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Productivity Report - April 2017

Each Month, I make a post detailing what I’ve been working on, what I’ve accomplished, and just what I’ve been up to. This month's banner image features a sneak preview of my current work-in-progress, the Procedural World Generator.

Broad Overview

April 2017 is the eighth month in which I have tracked my productivity. I spent most of the month working on my procedural world generation project, and I spent one weekend creating a small game for Ludum Dare 38. Here is the breakdown of how I spent my time in April:

  • Fitness: 59.25 hours
  • Software Development: 80.00 hours
  • Other: 1.25 hours
  • Total productive hours: 140.5 hours

My average amount of productive hours per day (from all categories) was 4.53 hours.

April 2017 was by far my most productive month yet, beating out March 2017 by 32.5 hours. I am happy with the amount of work I have put in, although I still think I might could manage a bit more.

Software Development

April 2017 was easily my most productive month for software development. The 80 hours I spent sharpening my software development and computer science skills over the past month make my previous best of 53 hours in January 2017 look downright pathetic.

My overall software development goal for the month of April was to:

  • Work diligently on my project and have some real progress to show for it by the end of the month.

By my estimation, I have surely succeeded in that goal. I will need, at most, another week to tie up loose ends on my procedural world generator before I share it with the world; however, the project is mostly finished, and I am eager to move on to my next creation. I will have a more in-depth explanation of what I have created after it is finished (including a demonstration video), but for now I will offer a small blurb.

The procedural world generator I have created allows you to procedurally generate a 2D tile map of a chosen size via use of any of 4 unique algorithms developed by yours truly. Each map will contain one dungeon, which can be clicked on to then procedurally generate a dungeon map.

So that’s about as much detail as I want to go into for now on the Procedural World Generator. Let’s talk about what else I did this month.

So, on a whim, I decided to create a game for Ludum Dare 38. If you don’t know what that is, Ludum Dare is the most famous game jam in the world. You can find more information HERE on the official website. Basically, the gist of it is this: You get 48 hours to create a game based on a theme. The theme of Ludum Dare 38 was “A small world”.

In a total of 11.75 hours, I created a game called World Under Siege, which you can play HERE. It is a simple little game, but I had fun making it. If nothing else, it’s one more complete project to add to my portfolio.

The game turned out pretty nicely I think, and it gave me the opportunity to quickly (and effectively) review some important concepts in Unity and game development as a whole. Be sure to check out some of the games other people created for Ludum Dare 38 HERE. It’s hard to believe some of them were made in less than 48 hours.

So what’s next for me? Well, after I finish with the Procedural World Generator, I will be moving on to a very exciting and important project. I will be creating my own website from scratch using C# and ASP.net. What kind of site, you ask? A site much like this one. In fact, my goal for the month of May 2017 is to work diligently to create a personal portfolio website to replace BelowParallelStudios.com.

It is sad to say, but I think that this domain (BelowParallelStudios.com) has run its course. When I first started on this journey of hyper-productivity and personal development, my goal was mostly to learn to create games (or some other software products), and I figured that a brand name would be better for marketing as compared to just releasing things under my own name. By now, however, it is clear that this site is being used as a personal portfolio and journal, and so I think it would be best to just go ahead and make the site, domain and all, all about me.

So, just to be clear, I will be building a new website, which will have a new domain name, but it will serve the same purpose as this site. I will continue to upload my monthly productivity reports, and I will continue to work hard to become the best version of myself that I can possibly be (this is important in case I ever run into any versions of myself from an alternate dimension).

Fitness

In April 2017, my overall fitness hours totalled to 59.25 hours, which makes April 2017 my most productive fitness month yet. I spent 46.5 hours lifting weights, and I spent 12.75 hours running and cycling for cardio. My average lifting hours per week was 10.85 hours, and my average cardio hours per week was 2.98 hours.

My weight loss goal for March was to get below 205 lbs body weight. With an average weight last week of 203.8 lbs, I think it is safe to say that I succeeded in this goal. Here’s some data for you. First, a chart showing my weight on each day of the month:

While there are some major fluctuations there, it is clear to see that the trend is steadily toward a lower weight. No, the weight loss this month was not dramatic, but I did lose a decent amount of weight. Let’s take a look at my average weight for each week of the month:

Here, I think it is easier to see how much weight I lost. I went from an average weight of 206.3 lbs in the first week of April to an average weight of 203.8 lbs in the last week of April. That is a difference of 2.51 lbs. Not a lot, but I’ll take it. That amounts to about 0.63 lbs of weight loss each week.

Now, here’s a chart plotting my weight on each and every day from March 1, 2017 to April 30, 2017:

In this context, my weight loss is starting to look sort of impressive.

Aside from weight loss, it was a solid month for me in regards to strength as well. At the very least, I can say that I achieved my goal of maintaining my strength over the course of the month. I hit a new deadlift pr with 385 lbs for 5 sets of 3 reps, which is great. Unfortunately, I have stalled on my back squats lately. I think the problem is just that I go so hard on back days with deadlifts and rack pulls that I am never going into a leg day completely fresh. Soon, maybe starting in June, I will work out a new program, maybe with squats and deads on the same day. I’m not sure yet. We’ll see.

My fitness goals for April 2017 will be to get below 200 lbs body weight while maintaining strength on all lifts.

Other

In this past month, I spent 1.25 hours doing other productive stuff.

Student Loan Repayment

Last month, my goal was to put $1600 toward my debt. I fell short of my goal by $100.

In the month of April 2017, I paid $1500 toward my student loan debt, which currently rests at a total of $26,309.62. Since graduating in May of 2016, I have put $17,350 toward my student loan debt. That means I have paid off $15,383.30 of the original $41,692.92 total. (For those wondering about how the numbers add up, keep in mind that some of the money I pay toward my debt goes to paying off interest).

The reason I only paid off $1500 this month instead of my goal of $1600 is because I ended up needing to buy some new clothes due to having lost so much weight.

Goals for next month (May 2017):

Software Dev Goals:

  • Work diligently toward the goal of creating a website to replace BelowParallelStudios.com

Fitness Goals:

  • Get below 200 lbs bodyweight
  • Maintain strength on all lifts

Student Loan Repayment Goals:

  • Pay off at least $1500.