Introducing a Frontlog: Experiments in Process

Here’s an SAT-style analogy for ya, partially because I like wordplay, partially because I value effort over outcome, partially because I like Simon Sinek, and partially because I dislike New Year’s Resolutions.

Backlog : Product Experiments (the what) ::
Frontlog : Process Experiments (the how) ::
Forelog : Vision Experiments (the why)

This isn’t the best analogy, since ‘the how’ per Sinek’s Golden Circle is more akin to ‘principles’, but this’ll work well enough.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve set up grand ideas for myself in terms of how I’d conduct daily life, based on personal development & productivity YouTube videos that I watch / listen to while doing the dishes, specifically:

  • wake up at 4:30am
  • make a cup of ginger & turmeric tea
  • journal
  • quiet exercise to not wake family & neighbours
  • creative endeavours (blogging or making music)
  • logistical tasks, usually involving email
  • cold shower
  • dress in my minimalist set of clothing for awesome all-day ass-kicking
  • listen to podcasts during commute
  • explore music-making tools on iPhone at lunch
  • end evening with a clear desk and Inbox Zero
  • read stuff I can doze off to right before bed
  • get 7 hours sleep

Ambitious? Unrealistic? I have NEVER been able to do all this, so evidently, this ideal has been at least unsustainable.

I’ve got excuses. I’ve got what are probably solid reasons, too. But heck, at this point, I’ve also got zilch for a sustainable daily practice that I can be proud of.

So I’m starting again and taking a different approach.

I’m iterating. (Agilist self-five!)

You heard of people doing month-long experiments? Like they’ll abstain from coffee or sugar for a month, or try to consistently meditate? That’s what I’ll (say I will) do in 2020, except with a shorter time-scale (2 weeks) (a Sprint? Agilist self-five again!), and tracking so I don’t miss that fortnight’s daily habit experiment for more than 2 days in a row.

Top of my Frontlog?

  1. Wake up at 4:30am. And journal.

I mostly do this, but have been out of this practice since my kid got really sick, and then I got sick, and then we went on vacation (so… December). And yes, I intend to have both acceptance criteria and a minimum bar per Frontlog Item (FLI) (new lingo? Agilist self-five yet again!)… 26 of ’em in 2020.

The goal is to gradually build up a sustainable daily system of habits: regular & frequent meta-actions to support the actions that really matter.

(I acknowledge this is a boring blog post. You not as jazzed reading this as some of my other ones? I’m there with ya, and I’m the one re-reading this as I write & edit. Honest motivation for pressing the ‘Publish’ button in the same morning I started this? My last post was in November, and it’s almost the end of December. I’m not explicitly trying to be monthly as I pick up blogging again, but it low-grade feels better.)

(Ugh. Even that parenthetical attempt at a more human connection came off as boring.)


What’s your Frontlog?