Quarterly Goals – September 2019

The last quarter had some drifting in my focus towards game design and software development and away from writing. It was so impactful, I was thinking of taking a quarter off to see what I naturally drew myself to doing. That train of thought was thrown out posthaste – there’s so much exciting stuff to do, why skip out on what should be some easy accomplishments for myself?

We’re going to split this next quarter into three buckets with three criteria each. Check ’em out:

My Goals Due September 2019

  1. All About Writing
    1. I will produce 1 outline a month. Likely more will be generated, though extra time will be given so I don’t get off track like I did on the in-hiatus Shallow Seas novel. Let’s count an outline as at least 5 pages.
    2. I will rewrite a fanfic so it’s not a fanfic, but something I can really own. People are inspired all the time by others. My They’re Aboard is one such case, though with a bit of tweaking and world-building, it ought to stand well on its own.
    3. I will keep up this blog. That’s going to be things such as a larger post exploring the need for gratuitous weaponry in science fiction and shorter updates on works in process.
  2. Game Time
    1. I will investigate the problems faced by Game / Dungeon Masters (DMs). This all spawned from when I heard someone lament that no one in a Role Playing Game (RPG) wanted to have the responsibility of DMing. I hope to provide some solutions to that, like:
    2. A RPG card-based system to ease campaign setup and running. I’m using Magic the Gathering cards at the moment. They’re surprisingly useful, though more work is needed for items, traps, locations, time of day, distances, weather, etc. I’ve high hopes for this one.

      Person Holding Brown Card
      Man holding card about rules from Pexels.com
    3. I will get a tabletop RPG into a prototype state. Between players acting as tank commanders w/ crew, players being the leaders of space fleets and worlds, or a study of this game The Orc and the Pie, someone somewhere should be able to play something (sometime).

      Man's Holding Swords Clip Art
      Role players from Pexels.com
  3. Evolving My Work
    1. I will study coding on LeetCode. It was suggested to hit-up 50 questions each of the easy, medium, and hard categories. I trust this person’s advice, so I gotta get on it!
    2. I will read two work-related books (with notes!) every month. Despite the list possibly changing, I can look forward to:
      1. The Effective Executive
      2. Tribe of Mentors
      3. Changing on the Job
      4. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
      5. The Design of Everyday Things
      6. Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?

        Book title from Amazon.com
    3. I’ve another, but it’s private. JimmyChattin.com may take a hit in contributions if this comes to pass.

That’s it for now. Depending on what comes, I’ll flip the table on all of this. As Captain Barbossa would put it, these are “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules”. In the meantime, here’s to a successful quarter!

Phone lockscreen source image from Pablo Olivera


Checking the Toggl (my favorite time tracker) analytics for the last 17 months as it comes to time spent on goals, the numbers are very humbling. (Spoiler: I don’t spend enough time pursuing my goals.)

Last year, I spent an average of 33.6 hours per month on goals (2019 at least is 37.5 hours per month!). In the 17 months I’m referencing, we are at about 35.55 hours a month, or 105 per quarter.

It has taken me about 17 hours to come up with an outline (any draft would be a conservative 500 words per hour). That’s 51 hours out of our 105. 54 left to go.

The blog has, on average, taken 2.5 hours per post. If I keep with 2 posts per week for 12 weeks, that’s 60 hours… Let’s aim more for half that at 30!

Down to 24 hours.

Edits for stories tend to be about 22 hours split between 2 unequal stories. Assuming the They’re Aboard rewrite has more than my typical editing required, let’s assume 22 to be a generous cushion for the changes.

The games will be… problematic. It’s been awhile since I’ve fully designed tabletop games (checkout my mods!). We can say that 8 hours is the most I’ve spent on designs this year in a month, so let’s assume 8 per month, 3 months, for 24 hours total.

Everything else gets wrapped up in my normal studies (LeetCode) or reading.

Ouch. We have -22 hours left over at the end of the quarter if we’re diligent, not counting the quarterly review and next quarter planning. These might be called “stretch goals” 🙂 Whatever the case, time’s ticking!

Round Black Analog Table Alarm Clock
Clock and coffee from Pexels.com

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Jimmy Chattin

Processor of data, applier of patterns, maker of games and stories.

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