Clara Le.

01/21

Published on

This is the first issue of my monthly review. Learn more about it at the end of the post.

About three weeks ago, I began to track three simple habits:

  1. Early Riser — I want to be up by 7am every day.
  2. Breaks — Take at least two 15-minute breaks on work days.
  3. Screen Time — Turn off laptop by 7pm every day.

Preparations

I tracked all three habits with a simple checkbox system in Notion. I also set up a few other things to help me ease into them:

  1. Early Riser — use a “sunrise alarm clock” to gently wake up
  2. Breaks — add reminders in my calendar and follow half of this yoga class during each break
  3. Screen Time — install Timefibers on my laptop and the StayFree App on my phone to track my screen time automatically

One thing I quickly realized is that I am very bad at tracking these habits manually. The checkbox system was definitely not complicated. But I just couldn’t bring myself to open Notion and check the box when I had completed a habit. For the coming month, I will move to an even simpler technique: a sheet of paper taped on the wall. Let’s see if it will be easier to use.

Even though tracking these habits was not my forte, I still have a few interesting stats and takeaways.

Results

83%

Up by 7am every day

The Early Riser habit was not too hard to keep, and I actually did it almost every day. The tracking is not the most accurate, but I have checked 10/12 boxes.

17%

Strict — one break of 15min every day

58%

Loose — two breaks of 15min every day

The Breaks habit wasn’t so easy. I tended to skip my reminders and to only take one of the two daily breaks most of the time. With a strict tracking of two breaks a day, I only checked 2/12 boxes. If we lower the threshold to one break a day, I checked 7/12 boxes.

25%

Laptop off by 7pm every day

Turning my laptop off by 7pm every day was incredibly hard. Working all day long, I only have a few hours in the evening to actually work on my personal projects. More often than not, I get carried away and turn my laptop off past my curfew time.

7h20
Average laptop use per day
40min
Average phone use per day

My laptop tracking data tells me that over 18 days, I have used it a total of 133 hours—approximately 7h20 every day.

As for my phone, I used it for 17h31 over 25 days—1h46 of that being for a remote Catan game. This approximates to 40 minutes of use per day.

Note: I was on holiday for the past seven days. Pretty sure that it changed my usual screen time: I usually spend more time on my laptop and less on my phone.


Why this monthly review?

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I would like to track some habits in public to keep myself accountable.

I will use this monthly review to report on these habits, but also as a space for bigger questions—that don’t fit in my regular weekly review. For now, I don’t intend to define any kind of structure and will simply let it grow and change organically.

See you next month!