Keeping Track

One thing I have found very beneficial is to keep track of your activities and the results.  This is very good for running or biking times and distances, other exercise activities, or also tracking general projects.  I started an Excel spreadsheet 3 years ago and have tracked every bike ride I’ve taken in those 3 years.  I have a cheap little cateye cycle computer and I collect total distance, average speed, total time, and max speed.  I like being able to see how I have improved my times, improved my number of rides per week, and things like that.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  Tracking a project like a computer build, craft project, or car restoration is also a good idea.  Things like these can the be turned into interesting or tutorial web pages as well.

Track consistently

This is really the most important part.  When you have a nice long history of data it is great to be able to know what you have done and then you have a sense of accomplishment.  Get in the habit of recording your data as soon as you are done.  This will become natural and then you won’t have holes in your data.

Do something

It really doesn’t matter how you track, just keep track.  This can be a simple as writing it down in a notebook, keeping track in an Excel spreadsheet, or getting some specific software to help you track.  Obviously, if your end goal is something to display on the web then it makes sense to input it into a computer.  The format isn’t as important, however as data can usually be repurposed and translated to different applications once it has been entered on the computer.

Using the data

Make sure that you actually use the data.  Periodically go through your numbers and look at things like how often you did your activity, what improved, and what you could stand to improve.  If you have something that would make a great tutorial, publish it on the web and let other people enjoy and learn from your experience.

If you haven’t done anything like this before, I suggest you start today.  Yes, you may not have data from before which would be nice to have, but if you put it off more then you have even more data lost.  Make it important and simple, and keep with it!

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