Homework: Where are you spending your XP?

XP, as anyone who plays tabletop or computer role-playing games can tell you, stands for “experience points”. You earn XP for your adventures, and can then trade them in to improve your skills and abilities.

In real life, the equivalent is practice. When you spend time on something, you get better at doing it. Whatever skills are required for your job, you’re probably pretty good at them, because you spend a lot of time doing them. Whatever you spend your time on, those are the skills you’re building.

Do you read history discussion forums in the evenings? You’re building your history knowledge skill. Do you play chess? You’re improving your chess skill. Do you listen to technology podcasts while on the way to school? You’re improving your technology knowledge skill. Do you spend time with your family and friends? You’re improving your interpersonal skills.

Do you watch reality TV in the evenings? You’re improving your Reality TV Knowledge Skill. Do you play Halo? You’re improving your Halo skill. Do you listen to baseball games as you drive to work? You’re improving your baseball knowledge skill.

None of those are inherently good or bad. I’m not judging where you spend your XP – I’m asking you to judge where you spend your XP.

XP Analysis Homework

What would you like to do? Go back to your “what do you care about” homework for ideas. Write down all the things that you’d like to get done, that you’d like to learn, that you’d like to find time for.

Now, keep an activity log for a week. It can be complex software, or as simple as a notebook that you keep in your pocket. Write down everything you do, and how long you spend doing it.

At the end of the week, write down all your activities. Where did you spend your XP this week?

Are those the skills you care most about improving? If not, what changes can you make to bring your XP expenditures in line with your priorities?