So it's the beginning of Q4 2014. I do not have very good key results. Nonetheless, here is my grading and commentary of my Q3 OKRs followed by some concluding thoughts.
Explore the city more with Esther
- [0.7] - Try one new restaurant a week
- [0.5] - Go on one nice date a month
- [1.0] - See a broadway show
[0.73] - Recap: This was my best OKR by far, but I still think there is room to improve. We went to see the Lion King, and it was awesome! But I still think nothing can ever beat the original Disney movie. Such a classic. We did go try quite a few new restaurants, but on a lot of weekends we just ate at places we were familiar with and close by or cooked. We went on a couple of nice dates, but not many of them were thorougly planned. That's something that I want to do better going forward - plan out nice places and activities to experience with Esther :).
Launch V0 of Ensemble.fm
- [0.4] - Complete the PRD
- [0.1] - Create a technical design doc for V0 features
- [0.2] - Complete all necessary code for V0
[0.17] - Recap: Way overshot this. Although I will say that I have been tinkering away at this side project and it is consistently on my mind. Work got really crazy in June and July, which made me really not feel like writing any code or thinking about engineering projects after getting home. I definitely think that I can improve this score drastically by having a more disciplined and scheduled approach to when I work on Ensemble. I think blocking out time on my calendar and treating it as a first-class activity is going to be crucial. Since it's so enjoyable to just go hang out with Esther or my friends, it's easy to not treat this project as a real priority.
Exercise and workout regularly
- [0.0] - Bike to work twice a week
- [0.8] - Go to the gym twice a week
- [1.0] - Play basketball once a week
[0.6] - Recap: I didn't bike to work at all, but I was really making fitness and exercise one of my priorities. I think being active regularly gives me more energy. Perhaps more importantly, it also helps me digest my food better! As some of you know, I have had digestion problems in the past, but with the combination of watching what I eat, how much I eat, and also exercising, it's now under control. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with my "fitness" OKR, and I hope to improve this score by adding biking back into my weekly routines.
Keep better track of my finances
- [0.4] - Finish reading The Intelligent Investor
- [0.0] - Create an investment plan for my savings
- [0.1] - Keep Google Spreadsheet of all expenses
[0.17] - Recap: Another complete failure. I have been making slow progress through The Intelligent Investor, but it can be extremely dry to read. Especially after a long day. Lots of excuses though. I did have a lot of financial hiccups this quarter - my credit card number got stolen TWICE! And I set up a really nice spreadsheet to keep track of expenses at the beginning of the quarter and then never used it. This definitely needs improvement, but I think I need to carefully figure out smaller actions to take. There were many opportunities to simply make moves with my savings, but I didn't feel comfortable doing that without really doing my research and understanding the options that are available to me.
- [0.0] - Learn 90 Chinese characters
- [0.2] - Blog once a week
- [0.2] - Talk to parents, sister, and uncle once a week
- [0.6] - Clean my room and do laundry every two weeks
[0.25] - Recap: Now that I look at it, this title doesn't really seem appropriate. I guess I'll revisit that when I draft up my Q4 OKRs. I bought a book that goes over the 2000 most commonly used Chinese characters and didn't use it at all. I read maybe 10 pages of it. I stopped blogging when work picked up and never got back to it. I talked to my parents, sister, and uncle maybe once a month. I did, however, clean my room and do my laundry pretty consistently.
Overall, I am not satisfied with my results for my Q3 goals. However, I do think that I overshot, and now I know how to make more realistic goals. I think the key takeaway is to remain focused on improving one aspect of my life at once. As it becomes integrated into my daily routines, it becomes easier to maintain and I can exert less willpower to convince myself to take action. Even though 3/5 of my scores were really terrible, I believe they can be improved by being smarter about how I use my time after work. Also, being able to have a great relationship with Esther and stay physically fit are more important to me, which is clearly evident in the higher scores in those goals.
My plan for Q4 is to emphasize one new objective outside of my relationship and fitness and set stretch goals for this one objective. The other categories will have easier targets to hit in order to avoid stretching myself too thin. I want to build small wins that can snowball into habits and rituals that can really make a difference. As each quarter progresses, I will work on improving a new objective while maintaining my momentum in whatever I am already doing well at.