fall-drive The world is full of mathematical patterns — sets or patterns into which lots of data falls naturally. There’s the Padilla Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), the bell curve, the Fibonacci sequence, the Zipf distribution, the golden ratio.

My Rescue Time productivity scores are falling into a standard pattern: I’m 80% productive overall. I spend about 20% of my time writing blogs. 20% went to email, Skype, and such — “Communication and Scheduling,” RescueTime calls it. Another 20% is spent in Word, working on projects. The rest of the time is research, design, solving people’s problems, analytics, writing reviews, social media, making calculations, grading papers, and tracking stuff in Roo. Probably some of that is time spent on the phone with my computer idling. Add teaching and meetings.

I was surprised to see that this week didn’t turn out to be shorter than usual, even though I had to go to bed on Thursday afternoon and I was in meetings all day on Friday. I still logged about 45 hours. But I didn’t meet my goal of 5+ productive hours each day — at least not on the computer.

I am very stired of feeling ill. I’m tired of coughing, tired of feeling stupid, tired of aches and pains and fatigue. Let’s just move on to bouncy good health, shall we?

Last night #1 son was talking about his frustration with how to live. I suggested that consciously choosing to do the right thing on a regular basis leads to good. He felt that would really just be a neutral life. If he did that, he figured, he wouldn’t make the world a worse place but he also wouldn’t make it a better place. In that case, I suggested, he could devote his life to a cause he cared about. And do what? he asked. He doesn’t think that writing about issues or working to change people’s minds or voting or persuading others to vote will make any difference. He can’t see himself developing new technologies that will improve the world. He doesn’t believe that thinking of others has any more long-term benefit for the world than living selfishly. He doesn’t know what he believes in.

Most of us probably fall on the middle of the bell curve when it comes to the value of our lives to the world. We do what’s right 80% of the time. 80% of the change is made by 20% of the people. The Fibonacci sequence is probably in there, too, somewhere.