Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Challenge: A year of being digitally micromanaged

On June 1st, I will begin a challenge: a year of letting apps, web apps, and devices micromanage my day-to-day.

For the next twelve months, I'll be setting up and following a number of digital systems that will govern progressively more of my time and choices. During this time, I'll use tracking apps, commitment devices, productivity apps, fitness & nutrition apps, wearable devices, scheduling apps, and anything else I come across that seems interesting and that I can manage without total tracking overload.

I'll be selecting the goals, targets, and tasks myself (with some exceptions) and the gadgets and apps will micromanage the day-to-day execution of my plans. So, while I'll remain in control of the big picture and direction, the apps and devices, with their instructions, restrictions, and prompts, will control much of the implementation.

I'll commit to each app for a specific amount of time. Some of the ones that I know well and use regularly already (like Beeminder, the Daily Routine app, the Happiness app, etc.) I'll commit to for most or for all of the time. To others, I'll commit for shorter times (especially the ones that are the least familiar to me, or those that are more experimental or extreme). But the goal will be to end the year with total compliance to as many and as wide a variety as possible!

I'm curious to see which make a large difference, which are unsustainable, and which just end up downright annoying. I'll post about my progress, any failures to comply with the apps, surprises, frustrations, successes and face-plants here, and I'll be streaming updates for those apps that have integrations on in the Slack, as well. (And I'll still be posting about apps and gadgets in separate posts, as well, for those of you who are more interested in those.)

I'll begin with my beeloved Beeminder, but I'll be powering it up with major spending restrictions that will be tied to derailment costs. (More on that in a week.) And the nice Beeminder folks are allowing me to pay you instead of them for some of my early would-be derailments on do-less goals, if you're the first to catch it. (Which will be easy for those in the Slack, since it will post a notice there when I slip up!)

So, see you in a little over a week. Until then, I'm going to go make use of a little self-determination while I still have it!