Dec 31, 2016

Second half of 2016 in review: analytic

Narrative portion of this review here. Previous review here.

Here are some statistics about my life in the second half of 2016:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 high), my average life satisfaction was 7.47. I subjectively assessed my life satisfaction at the end of each day. My highest day was a 9/10 and my lowest day was a 4/10. Gwern pointed out some problems with using a 1 to 10 scale, namely that the scale is too fine-grained and skewed to the upper end (i.e. I never assess days as "1" or "2"). At their suggestion, I'm shifting to a six-step scale for 2017 (six steps because I only experienced six degrees of satisfaction in 2016).
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 high), my average mood was 7.46, remarkably close to my average life satisfaction score. I used the Reporter app to subjectively assess my mood once or twice a day at a random time. My highest mood assessment was 9/10 and my lowest assessment was 4/10. Having my randomly sampled mood average be so close to my at-end-of-day life satisfaction average is reassuring – it means there's no end-of-day reporting bias.
  • A couple months ago, I started assessing conscientiousness at the end of each workday, though on reflection what I'm really assessing here is productivity: "how much did I accomplish this day?" I assessed this on a three-point scale: 0 as not conscientious, 1 as mediocrely conscientious, and 2 as fully conscientious. My average daily conscientiousness/productivity score was 1.28 – slightly above "mediocre." Ideally I'd be hitting 1.6 or 1.8 each week, so definite room for improvement here.

I wrote a fair amount in 2016. These are some of the pieces I like best:

I will likely be posting less in 2017, as the goals I am focusing on don't involve much writing. I'll still post things when the mood strikes me.

Skills (following this framework for evaluating performance):

  • Technical skill. Over the last few months, I've learned a lot of SQL syntax for my job. No technical skills have degraded noticeably.
  • Expressiveness. My expressiveness when speaking "up" the power dynamic (i.e. when speaking to people with more authority than me) has improved, though it still isn't fantastic. This is really nice, as it has long been a big weak spot of mine. My expressiveness when speaking down the power dynamic has likely also gotten better since I became a team lead, though I am still inexperienced on this vector and have much to learn about it. No noticeable change in peer-to-peer expressiveness.
  • Project management. This has definitely improved since becoming a lead (in particular I am getting better at backing my plans out of the goal-state I'm shooting for), though my awareness of how much I still have to improve is growing at least as rapidly as my skill in this area.
  • Vision. Many of the goal-states I'm aiming at these days are defined by clear metrics, which makes it really easy to measure progress towards the goal. The biggest conceptual update here is a much greater appreciation of how clarifying good metrics can be when thinking about goals.

[rereads: 1, edits: minor tweaks, played around with bulleted list formatting]