Humans Don’t Grow In The Dark

Aug 13 2009

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about throughput.

I think we all understand the concept: how much stuff can be forced through a particular channel at once. Humans have throughput limits, too.

I currently have a stack of books teetering next to the leather chair in my studio. This stack has towered over 2 feet high for months. When will I ever get through the pile? And what happens when I get a new book? How long will it take me to get to it?

Every week, I write a list of projects that I want to accomplish that week. I usually aim for 10 projects a week, but I rarely get through half of the list. From one perspective, that’s okay; at least I’m accomplishing things. But wouldn’t I be better off with more realistic estimates of my throughput?

Thanks to a few monetary gifts, I’ve had a lot of disposable income for the past few months. I, er, don’t any more. I need to be more responsible with my money, so I live within my means. How can I do so when I make those purchases privately?

So. I’m aiming to read one physical book a week, and will post a review of that book here when I’m done. Thus, you can expect a book review here every week (with a few exceptions; Saalon‘s gift of Neal Stephenson’s 960-page Anathem will take a few weeks). Next week’s book is Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

I’m going to limit my list of weekly projects to five.

And, I’m going to keep detailed records of how much money I spend each week, and post the numbers here every week. Not every single expenditure, but weekly totals, and analysis of expensive days and key purchases. (It’ll be revealing to fully account for the monetary cost of GenCon.)

I believe this is the best way to push me to change. What do you think?

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