For the past few weeks, I’ve been battling a couple of different illnesses. First, it wast the GI flu, then it was whatever I have now. And both times, I was basically down and out most of the day. I absolutely detest getting sick, and I’m admittedly useless when I get sick. Thankfully, my wife has been able to take care of things for the most part. I just pray that she or my kids (who likely gave this to me) don’t catch it.

So in these times of being sick, I’m faced with a dilemma: how on earth do I complete my move goal? At the time of this writing, I’ve completed my move goal 296 times in a row – but it comes with a caveat. My wife will tell me that I’m cheating, but really, I blame Apple for what I’m doing. How am I “cheating”?

I lower my move goal.

I blame Apple because they really need to provide ways for people who are sick to have some rest days. How am I supposed to complete my normal 550 move goal when I have a 102ºF fever? There should be a way to change the Activity rings to a “sick” mode, where it lowers all three rings to a reasonable amount. While I’m at it: there should be a rest day, at least one day a week, that I can not complete my rings and the move goal streak can continue. Activity++ does this, and I like that the streak just continues even if you’ve taken a day off.

When I’m done being sick, I’ll change my move goal back to what it was and complete it regularly. But if I get sick again, I’ll likely lower it to reduce my stress and keep the streak alive. Sure, I could let my streak lapse and start over. But unless you’re a superhuman, it’s difficult when life gets in your way and things slip a day. I’m all for the gamification of things like activity, but I’m also going to game the system if there isn’t a reasonable way to let me take care of myself.


I’m usually stir-crazy when I use something for so long. I get antsy about what I’m doing, feel the need to change it all up, and try new things. But every-so-often, I end up finding that perfect blend of things that I need. I finally feel like I’ve hit a sweet spot for my task management workflow.

There have been changes that have lead to this: first, I strengthened my use of Drafts for trusted capture; this has allowed me to have one central place to enter everything and is engrained in my muscle memory. Then, I focused on how I get my information on a daily basis, which led me to the use of Reminders and the Siri Watch Face. I can use the Apple Watch as a tool to see what is coming next and focus my attention on my next action; I’ve even started using the Siri watch face in conjunction with my calendar, so that I can better map out my day. And when I started using the very surprising GoodTask, it has all come together in a great new package.

I don’t feel the need to change anything, and I’m sure I could improve my workflow by automating it a bit more. I just don’t feel like moving around apps and finding something else to distract me from what I’m doing. I’m sure there are some things that will change in the future.1 But for now, I’m content with what I have, and that’s enough for me.

  1. I know that Drafts 5 is coming, and I’m sure a GoodTask 4 is as well. Both will elevate my productivity to a new level I didn’t previously have. Stay tuned for that.

Building Habits

Habits are difficult. It is very easy for me to build bad habits, and I struggle to build good habits. The positive/negative effects of habits can be far reaching, depending on the scenario. One thing that I often struggle with is my weight. I’m not morbidly obese, but I am fat. This is due to bad habits that I’ve maintained over a number of years: stress eating, bored eating, poor portion control, poor diet, not enough exercise etc. The long story short is that I don’t do enough to monitor myself and don’t exercise nearly enough; I’m not doing a good enough job at taking care of me.

In admitting to myself that I have a problem, I talked about this with Seth on our podcast where I told him that I eat my feelings. And while I understand that a lot of people do this, it’s not a sustainable thing for me to do. There are a number of reasons why I personally wanted to devote an entire episode about it, but there were two big reasons: that 1) Seth had gone through something similar before, and has spent some time building good habits which he maintains today; 2) I needed to gain some accountability.
Continue reading “Building Habits”