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I wrote these words exactly one year ago:

I’m going to try for more “blank” days in the next 12 months. Wish me luck!

My phone dinged earlier this week with a reminder - “Did you have more ‘blank days’”? It took me a second to remember my promise to myself, but as soon as it clicked, I knew I didn’t need to load my GitHub contributions graph to see the answer.

I did not. 😬

I managed to reduce my contributions by a whopping 2%, but the number of “blank days” is about the same. Does this make me a failure? No, it simply makes me terrible at planning.

I set myself a goal, but I didn’t make a plan. I scheduled the reminder after writing Issue 521, but that’s all I did. Yes, I occasionally thought, “Oh, I should plan some time off” during the year, but then got back to the task at hand and … didn’t.

If I approached writing software that way, I’d be in a mess! Can you imagine starting a year-long project and scheduling the date for the first progress meeting to be three days before the deadline? Ridiculous.

How would I tackle it if it were a work project? I’d track my progress and make a plan.

The statutory minimum time off in the UK is 28 days, and there are 8 national holidays, too. That’s 36 days a year. It’s probably not wise to set my goal to be 100% of that from where I am now, so I’ll try for 50%. Pro-rating that for the remainder of this year means I must take 6 days off work before 2023. That seems achievable.

I’ve set monthly reminders to check in and plan time off, and I’m tracking the number of days I have with a widget in my Mac’s notification area. Now all I need is a JIRA account… 😂

Dave Verwer

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If using Swift Charts to visualise sort algorithms wasn't enough, how about using them to make music? 🎶