Setting Up Your Feedback Loop

Every day I wake up and work on a big project. It’s a long, slow, ongoing project. There’s always a book, always a document, always a report, always some recording to do. Every single day, that means I spend some time engaging with something.

This means that I have a feeling, immediately afterwards, of what I want to do with the rest of my day. Around noon, I can spend some time making myself lunch, talk a bit with my partner, or put something on the TV or my second monitor that would work as a good entertainment source and let me wind down for a bit.

Then there are chores that need doing, which I try to schedule to do during the middle of the day, or close to it. Some need to be done later; for example, I can’t clean up after making dinner until after I’ve made  dinner, but thinking about dinner early in the day means I may think to plan and thaw some food for dinner later. One of the errands is taking the dog for a walk, requiring me to disengage, daily, from my computer and its space.

And I do this with a notebook open on my desk, so that things I need to do, or thoughts I have or want to work out, I can do on a thing that I can then look at, later, at a glance.

This means that I usualkly have something on my mind, or something that I have worked on, during the day, that I think will make an interesting post to write about. That means that each day, I can spend some time, addressing thoughts I had during the day.  The writing therefore becomes a form of decompression for the work I’d done during the day or the conversations I decided to not get involved in, because I had a more pressing thing to do, or I wanted to look something up to check.

Then, I will write that article, before going to bed. It might not be long (like this isn’t!). Then I make a note of draft article stuff to work on for another time.

Then I can put a timer up to make sure that the article goes up some time away from now; this gives me time to check what I was saying, or return to an old post and give it images or an update or something like that as time goes on. If circumstances change, I can go through my posts and fix things up.

It creates the impression of a blog production pattern where every single day I’m producing a thousand words or so, with some articles ranging wildly higher, and some articles being a lot shorter. It also means that each day, I’m experiencing things that can inspire or become part of the production cycle; media I partake in during downtime can become part of the work on the PhD or part of the blog content. Drafted or outlined ideas there can be fed into that same process. Blog writing can be a draft, and feedback there, can relate to the same idea. And of course, sometimes I’ll read or do something for the PhD in the morning that could inspire an idea for the blog.

This is a feedback cycle. It’s something that I try to stick to, and it can be a good way to push myself out of habits like doomscrolling or playing even more random picross on a website.