Ahh, a new year. A fresh excuse to imagine everything will change, and a chance to project overly ambitious goals onto your future self. This year I’ve got one relatively ambitious goal, and a few systems aimed at helping me support that goal. For the sake of not backing out, I’ll publicly document the new plan here.

The systems:

  • Watch less television. I certainly don’t watch the most television of anyone I know, but I also don’t watch the least. The majority of the time I do spend with the TV on is probably spent multitasking. I often get home from work and put something on in the background while I clear my inbox, or do some low priority and/or braindead task. Separating this practice into chores and TV will likely increase my productivity and decrease my TV time. If it doesn’t, then I just need to cut TV out.
  • Read less news. I think over the course of the last presidential election cycle(2 years‽) my news checking habits moved from moderate to addiction. I have this memory of one day looking up from my phone, with a light headed daze, and like some sort of junkie wondering how much time had passed since I’d last looked up from my phone, since I’d last seen the world with my own unfiltered eyes. There are more enlightening, and more long term substanitive, activities than the hamster wheel of keeping up with the world’s latest information; I would like to focus on those.
  • Say “no” to more things. I wish I could remember where, but sometime over the last year I read a quote along the lines of “Saying ‘no’ is saying no to one thing, saying ‘yes’ is saying no to a million things.” This phrase so clearly elucidates the opportunity cost that goes along with any activity. It’s hard to imagine that I wasn’t already aware of that line of thought, but something about its simplicity hung with me, and has weighed on me since. I’m hoping my biggest time gains come out of rejecting more opportunities.

All of these are supposed to be in the service of freeing up more time to work on my larger goal:
One hack a month. Bonus points for an accompanying blog post. The emphasis will be on gaining exposure and giving support to technologies that interest me. These will likely be either directly or indirectly related to my job, as that’s what I spend most of my time thinking about. A short but non-exhaustive list of what may be included is blockchains, cryptography, decentralization, protocols, and testing. Ideally it will be a mix of MVP hacks and open source contributions to libraries that I would like to support.

For my first month I’m actually going to add support for transaction replays to my ethereum wallet gem Eth. Implementing this involves familiarizing myself more with the signing code that is OpenSSL related, but will hopefully be applicable to my intended work of integrating with libsecp256k1. Additionally, I’d like to close out open issues and add the support and documentation that I’ve come to expect from well run open source libraries. Along with that, I pulled out a gem of shared code between eth and the Ethereum ruby full node implementation. My gem uses it, but the full node does not yet, so I’d like to get a pull request in for that. You’ve already read this month’s accompanying hack blog post.