MyWorkTracker v0.2.0 Released

MyWorkTracker v0.2.0 has been released. View the User Guide.

The application can be downloaded and used from my Google Drive. Simply unzip the file into a directory of your choice and run it from there by executing MyWorkTracker.exe. Alternatively, the source code can be pulled from my Github repository. (Use at your own risk).

Features of v0.2.0 are:

  • Separation of active and closed work items, in two separate tabs.
  • Ability to add, edit and delete journal items on a WorkItem.
  • Ability to change preferences via the toolbar.
  • Other smaller changes (see here for details).

It took longer to complete than expected mainly because I got distracted. It’ll be a little while before v0.3.0 – I plan to do some writing again.

Tracking Work

I’ve mentioned earlier a plan to sharpen my development skills by learning the c# programming language. (That’s pronounced c-sharp, just in case you missed my pun).

In the past I’ve created a command-line tool to parse my stories, and a tool to generate some who-has-perspective graphics. I’m currently working on creating a tool I will use to keep track of my actual-day-job tasks. The project will aptly be called MyWorkTracker. Creative, I know.

Some important caveats:

  • It’s an incremental project. I’m going to add functionality in steps, and do my best not to forecast future work. This means that there’ll be times when it will look lacking; not so much half-baked as almost-raw. I want to avoid adding a lot of empty ‘hooks’ for later work. Instead of completing a single component to 100% polish, I might add two components at 50% polish.
  • I’m only just beginning to learn. I guarantee I will do things wrong and need to fix them in subsequent releases. Kind-hearted individuals may look over the implementation and provide feedback if they wish (after considering the first dot point).

The first portion of work, v0.1.0 will include the ability to create and edit Work Items. These have a title, a description, a due date, a status and a progress (0 to 100%).

At the top of the window is a graphical display of the Work Items, and below, details.

The Missing Week

I’m going to disappear for the next week…I’m refreshing my knowledge for a job application. 

Alas, the timid donkey of leisure which does not yet pay (writing) must move aside when the heavy machinery of income barrel down the road. 

I’m loving the new WordPress Android app. It used to be so limited, but they’ve finally improved it. 

On a side note I’ve been thinking about how important relationships are. It’s a fairly constant thought, but one you can never be overemphasized.

Hope you have a great week. 

A Changing Perspective: Writing and Work

I sit at the computer desk, motionless. Fully dressed for work, but mind remaining in neutral with no thoughts beyond the now. The flavour of strong coffee fills my mouth even as the sweet scent of last night’s tea lingers in the emptied cup. All is quiet, all is still. I wish to remain motionless until a time of my choosing, but I know it cannot be.

With an internal sigh I stand and make my way regretfully to the bathroom and the waiting toothbrush. In the adjacent bedroom my wife’s alarm goes off for the third time, pulling her from sleep and me from waking-slumber.

Time is not relative, it marches on regardless. The bus travels on its schedule, not at my whim. Work must be attended, regardless of my mood or desire.

I have approximately 17 hours a fortnight which is ‘uncommitted’. That factors in a reasonable amount of time spent doing chores, occasional socializing and precious time with my wife. (It doesn’t factor in time for exercising, which highlights another problem).

That’s a maximum of 17 hours, mostly divided into two-hour chunks at the end of a workday, which is not my most productive time. I already rise early, so extending my day at either end is not possible.  (I realise that for some people, 17 hours a fortnight is a luxury).

At times I have lamented – nay: complained and whined – that my writing time should be so dominated by my occupation which pays the bills. I have seen it as a distraction from what I would rather be doing.

This attitude could be both good or bad. At its best the desire to “break free” could propel me toward the near-mythical publication success. More probably, is that I could grow to resent or have bitterness toward my occupation.

My current reality is that while I want to write I still need to work. To do both well and have a healthy attitude means accepting that fact.

Besides, until I am squeezing every ounce of productivity out of those 17 hours then I shouldn’t be wishing for more. (And I have a way to go with that still).

How much time do you have to write? How do you balance your recreational and occupational commitments?