Knowledge with gauges

Since yesterday’s blog, I’ve been considering what motivates me and what I need to get over a few hurdles.

I know that seeing numbers increasing quickly inspires me. Little numbers or slow going frustrates me. I like to close my rings. Goal achieved trophies are cool, but little motivational “you did it, now keep going” platitudes make me sneer.

Knowing this, I then have a several other problems to overcome.

First, there is the fact that what I do is divided into sections: writing — publishing, painting — displaying — and that doesn’t even take audiobooks into this consideration (partially because I see audiobooks as an extension of writing and partially because I think if I tried to factor that in, my brain might melt). Writing and painting is one side of the coin — it should be creation and fun. It also shouldn’t have a detail of time. I won’t say that time isn’t a factor, but it does put a lot of unnecessary pressure on creativity. Publishing and displaying (for lack of a better way to describe releasing a painting out into the world) is more of the business aspect of the coin. As such, I will need different charts and different measurements to help the separation between them to avoid clashes with my critical and creative voices.

Secondly, I’m worried that tracking for painting will yield small numbers. It’s not like 1,000 linear inches can be painted in a day. Well, not with my allotted time. So, how do I make this exciting enough for me to want to get to it daily?

Thirdly, I want a pretty spreadsheet and dashboard with gauges, but it can’t be overwhelming. Just the important data at easy access. It also can’t take a long time to build. It would be nice if I didn’t have to open up separate spreadsheets from some of the others I have build. Oh, and how do I know what the important and motivational data will be? I feel a case of analysis paralysis coming on and I certainly don’t want to be stuck on this for days.

I’ve been wondering and briefly looking to see if I could find some other sort of tracker app which would allow me to do what I want with a few modifications. I keep thinking that if I build these spreadsheets into the one that already feeds into my Power BI file, I could have dashboards done easily. The problem is that my main computer has issues running Power BI. Okay, so the old Surface is a bit old, but wow does Power BI slow it down. So, I wouldn’t be looking at the dashboards every day, unless I figured out how to put the dashboard in the cloud to view from my phone. And somehow, all that data would have to refresh daily/in real time to give me benefit.

And in the back of my head, I keep hearing the question, “Would I be better off writing?”

Of course, the answer is yes. And yet, I’m afraid I won’t be motivated for the long term. I need to start to challenge myself and have the tools/proof to get out of my own head and keep building. Not doing that before is slowly grinding me into the ground. It’s worse than doing the same thing over and over (insanity) because I’m wearing down and I know it. I need to see those numbers increasing and know that I’m moving forward. Hopefully with consistency. If nothing else, watching the numbers (with luck, they will go higher) will provide me with knowledge.