Where Are You Spending Your Time

In an effort to end procrastination, a word I am starting to eliminate from my vocabulary, I realized I need to understand where I am spending my time. Where is my time actually going?

I made a spreadsheet, that allows you to track how many hours you spend a week doing a certain activity. There are only 168 hours in a week, so where are you spending your time?


Weekly Hours Planner

The spreadsheet should be pretty self-explanatory, the available hours are on the right (and green), when you run out of hours it will turn red. Fill it in and make it your own. Try to get every hour accounted for. To use it, just go to file > make a copy.

This should be used in conjunction with the weekly planner.


After you figure out where you are spending your time, plot it out on the weekly planner. Download it and print a few copies. Fill it in, make it messy, and play with it until you find something that works for you. I understand every week will be different, but if you could make your ideal week, what would it look like?

There are only 168 hours in a week, so where are you spending your time?

Procrastination is Caused by a Lack of Clarity

This was never really intended to be a series (part 1 part 2), but writing about procrastination has been helping me to think bigger. I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve written the last couple of weeks and I kept asking myself, why do I procrastinate. Why is it just so alluring to waste time? I would then ask why again and again.

Below is the type of inner dialogue that played out in my head.

Why do you procrastinate? I’m bored.

Why are you bored? I’m not sure.

That’s not a good answer. Try again. Why are you bored? You know you have stuff you should be working on. I know, but I always end up getting it done when it’s due.

Right, but what about the stuff that doesn’t have a due date, when does that get done? Well, I don’t know. It doesn’t.

Why doesn’t it get done? Why aren’t you working on it? It’s what you want, isn’t it? I guess? My challenge is that I want to work on so many things, that I never actually commit to one.

Why don’t you commit to one? I’m not sure which one I should commit to.


Then it finally hit me. I don’t commit because I haven’t fully figured out why I want to do it in the first place. Often, it just seems like the right thing to do or the thing I should be working on.

Sure, goal setting is part of the equation, but even more important is why. Why are you doing it in the first place?

I realize now a mistake I’ve been making, is not thinking things through and taking action without clarity. What I have is a clarity problem.

It’s not enough to just have goals, I need to sell myself on WHY. Clarity is mastery, and when you understand why you’re doing something it helps fill in those spots of boredom. Procrastination is caused by a lack of clarity.


The Cost of Procrastination

It’s kind of ironic that my last post, The Procrastination Syndrome: A Terrible Habit, was about how procrastination has plagued me my whole life, and here I am, shipping a blog post past the deadline, only a week later!

Why is this post shipping late? Well, I spilled water all over my desk and my mouse died. I had to clean up a mess and find an extra mouse. I also shouldn’t have waited until the day the blog post was due to write it. Lesson learned. Start keeping a content calendar.

Over the last week, I’ve started to take more of inventory of how I’m spending my time. While I am doing better than last week, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

I heard a quote the other day that really got me thinking about how much procrastination has really cost me, not just financially, but in lost opportunities and, more importantly, time.

Procrastination = giving up one life.

And when you think about it, it’s true. Our time is a limited resource. You can always earn more money, but you can never earn more time.

I am not procrastinating on simple tasks, what I’m procrastinating on, is living my life. I must stop putting off until tomorrow what I can do today.  I don’t want to die having lived an unlived life.

What have you been putting off that you know should be working on? What dream do you keep putting off?

One of my dreams has to always own my own business, but it never seemed like the time was right. I realized it was never the right time because I never made the time. I’m happy to announce my new project, Ruckus Studio.

It’s still a work in progress, and while I may not have completely eliminated procrastination over the course of a week, I’m just aiming to be 5% better than yesterday.

Stop wasting time. Don’t give up.


The Procrastination Syndrome: A Terrible Habit

Procrastination seems to be a disease that has plagued me seemingly my whole life. I finished the altMBA in February and told myself that I would continue writing and posting publicly. I told myself, this time, would be different. I made a commitment. Well, two months have gone by, and still no blog posts.

In seemingly ironic fashion, while procrastinating from writing this very blog post, I came across a video on Youtube, “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, Tim Urban.”

I told myself, and others, that I would have a blog post published by 11:59pm on Tuesday 4/12/16. I had to set a deadline. I knew I would never do it if I didn’t. It’s 10:43 at the time of writing this.

I knew I should have started writing a long time ago,  but I was busy procrastinating. Youtube videos don’t just watch themselves you know. I came across the video, said, only 15 minutes?! I have time for this. I still have almost 2 hours left before the deadline!

So I watched it.

It was actually really good, and worth the 15 minutes.

There was actually a lot of truth to it, especially the end. Tim discusses how as procrastinators, we wait until the deadline to get something done. We always have good intentions to start working on it. Chipping away a little at a time. This time, will be different than the last time, but this time never is. Deja Vu.

There are two forms of procrastination.

  • short term procrastination: a project with a deadline.
  • long-term procrastination: a project with no deadline.

The long-term procrastination is the one that you have to be careful of. With no deadline, there is no urgency. I have come to realize that I need to start creating my own urgency. In an effort to change this bad habit, I am going to start imposing my own deadlines. I will hold myself accountable.

My new goal is to publish a weekly blog post. Due every Tuesday at 11:59pm.

Hopefully, next week I can publish less than an hour before the deadline.

For your procrastinating pleasure…

Recommended Reading List

A list of books I’ve read over the last six months that I would recommend to anyone. Think I will start including summaries and personal comments with these going forward. Also realize viewing an unordered list like this with all these underlines looks terrible.

Personal & Professional Development

Personal Finance

User Experience & Design

Section 7 Project: Create The Visual Design Language for Your Redesign

I got the idea of using style tiles from Samantha Warren.

What are Style Tiles?

Style Tiles are a design deliverable consisting of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of a visual brand for the web.

They help form a common visual language between the designers and the stakeholders and provide a catalyst for discussions around the preferences and goals of the client.

Style tiles establish a direct connection with actual interface elements without defining layout.

I find Style Tiles are a great way to really begin thinking about designing the visual identity for the web. You don’t get stuck trying to design the homepage, or pick a font, or even a color. You get to see how everything works at a really high level and adjust it accordingly. Sure you still need to spend time picking out fonts and colors, but I find it a much quicker and smoother process when you can see how everything comes together.

The original Style Tiles can be downloaded as a psd, but I find that when I am trying to design for the web I want to spend more time designing in the browser. You can see how things work in real time, especially hover effects, something that can’t be demonstrated in static document.

For more information on Style Tiles check out Style Tiles – A visual Web Design Process for Clients and the Responsive Web or fork Jerad Gallinger – Style tiles with SCSS.

See the Pen Style tiles with SCSS by Ryan Conway (@conwayeast) on CodePen.0

See the full version on CodePen.

My Three Words for 2016

The goal here is to replace resolutions with something a bit more useful. This is an idea was taken from Chris Brogan.

How Do You Do It?

Pick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for 2016. They should be words that let you challenge yourself as to motives and decisions. They should be words that help you guide your actions.

My 3 Words for 2016:
Grow. Invest. Connect.


Grow as a person.
Grow my business.
Grow my savings account.
Grow a garden.


Invest in myself; health, productivity, and personal development.
Invest in my business; learning by implementing.
Invest my time in worthy endeavors and pursuits.
Invest my money.
Invest in others.


Connect with nature.
Connect with other people.
Connect with influencers.
Re-connect with old friends.
Connect the dots*.

*Steve Jobs talks about this in his famous 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Section 3 Project: Design the User Interface (UI) for a Timebank from Intro to the Design of Everyday Things

Intro to the Design of Everyday Things


1. Page 1: Cover image of the design with name and title of assignment.

2. Page 2: Images and text to convey the conceptual models of “more”/”less” and “credit”/”debit”.

3. Page 3: A multiple screen sequence (flow) that highlights discoverability and the gulf of execution.

4. Page 4: A multiple screen sequence (flow) tha show how an exchange with an other member is initiatewd and the user understands action through feedback.

5. Page 5: A summary of what you learned by evaluating your designs with others.

TimeBankProject-Udacity – View Full Size




Career Paths of User Experience

I came across this presentation by Patrick Neeman, an award-winning user experience leader, and I thought it gave a very nice overview of potential UX career paths.

Links to all the resources mentioned in the presentation can be found below, as you cannot actually link to them directly from the presentation. Hope you find it as helpful as I did!

Pro Tip: expand the presentation as it is quite hard to read at the embedded size.


Section 1 Project: User Goals and Business Goals

The website I chose to redesign is: Scotland’s Cruise Centre.


1. Write down the user goals and business goals for the website.

2. Based on this unit’s course material and any outside knowledge, list out the UX principles you want to focus on specifically for this site redesign.

User goals and business goals for Scotland’s Cruise Centre.

User Goals

Primary User Goal:

I want to learn more about this cruise’s departures, what’s included in the package, cruise ship amenities, and the ports we stop at to determine whether it fits my budget, needs and preferences.

Secondary User Goal:

I want to purchase this cruise.

Business Goals

Primary Business Goal:

Ability for visitors to book cruises and packages directly on the site.

Secondary Business Goal:

Increase upgraded packages sold by  10%.

UX principles to focus on for the site redesign.


The site is very busy and often find it hard to focus on one specific thing. Organizing with some hierarchy might be able to help highlight the more common choices or packages they want to sell.


Ability for users to easily discover new cruises and deals to specific destinations.


Users cannot currently book online. They can either fill out a form to request an inquiry or fill out a form to request a call back. I wonder how many lost sales this process results in.


The site just feels overwhelming. If I were looking at potentially booking a cruise package and came across this site I would leave before I even began exploring the options. The fact that you cannot book online is negative as well. Would like to create a more delightful browsing/shopping experience and make better use of photography to really capture the visitors attention and make them feel like they want to be there.