My personal data analysis of my tasks reveals that I completed less tasks in 2020 compared to 2019. Even though I had a consistent weekly goal completion rate, I failed to reach several of my major goals. Most impacted when it comes to this blog and other goals was the drop in writing I did. I simply spent less time writing by a large margin and by extention wrote less words and published less articles. Interestingly, I had more meetings this last year than previous years, which may relate to a shift in my work and volunteering, but I also suspect it relates to a broader societal change as more people were available for video calls.

Let’s take a look at my year in tasks, projects and goals!

NOTE: This data was logged with Todoist and my simple goal scoring system. Data collection and visualization powered by QS Ledger. This post is part of my 2020 Year in Data project.

Total Completed 1708 Tasks

Compared to 2019 when I completed 1829 tasks, I completed 121 less tasks in 2020.

Weekly Goal Score

Noteable here is a drop in goal completion in week 37. All in all it was a fairly consistent goal completition rate

Monthly Tasks

Breakdown of Tasks Completed by Project

Creative Writing by Word Count from Aug 2019 to Jan 2021

What Tool am I digitally writing and taking notes with?

Winner: Typora and The Archive

NOTE: I suspect now that The Archive supports inline images that this usage rate may shift away from Typora going forward.

How I Track My Tasks and Goals

Todoist: For tasks and productivity management, I remain pretty married to Todoist as my primary task manager and task tracker. Todoist is a well-designed product that aligns with my Getting Things Done productivity philosophy. As I wrote about in Tracking Your Tasks with Todoist, Todoist has both an internal “gamified” task tracker and a solid integration with IFTTT. This enables me to create a Google Spreadsheet of my completed tasks and generate simple reports for my weekly and monthly tasks completed.

DIY Weekly Goal Tracker and Scoring: I’ve been doing a weekly review and setting weekly goals for a number of years. A bit over a year ago I adapted a scoring system from Cal Newport for weekly goal “scoring”. The basic idea goes like this. Each week I set one or two major objectives and a few minor ones. At the end of each week, I give 1.5 points for each of the two major objectives. For the minor objectives, I take the percentage completed and multiply it by 3. I add these scores together to get my weekly score. The max score is technically 6 but I generally think about it as a score between 0 and 5. It’s simple and fun and keeps me accountable week to week.


  • Total Tasks Completed: 1,708 (compared to 1829 tasks in 2019)
  • Daily Task Average: 5.6
  • Monthly Task Average: 142.3
  • 291 tasks on Networking / Career (meaning I still did a lot of calls and meetings in 2020)
  • 171 tasks on Productivity / Self-Tracking
  • 161 tasks on Startup Boost
  • 139 tasks on Studies
  • 4.09 was my weekly goal score average, which means my goal-oriented outcomes were pretty aligned throughout the year.

Conclusions: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead

While in many ways the lack of travel caused by COVID-19 meant I was probably more at home and “desk bound” than normal. So theoretically I could have been more productive and more task oriented than I was. Unfortunately I wasn’t as productive in terms of total tasks completed as I could have been.

All in all, my personal data analysis of my tasks revealed that I completed 120 or so less tasks in 2020 compared to 2019. I also didn’t hit many of my major goals for the year either.

I’ve long been an advocate of the goal-oriented life and productivty. But 2020 and COVID-19 had an impact on my attention, mindset and output. There was also a confluence of other factors in my life in 2020 that affects my work too, namely moving countries (from China to the US), higher financial and consulting demands now that I live in the US and new relationships.

There is no doubt that many, myself included, had to severely modify my goals I had set last year. No more travel and many of my epic goals needed to be paused as I took a break and figure out what mattered to me. That said, in view of my goal scores, I remained active and productive throughout the year. In fact, I’d argue that my goal score were steadier in 2020 compared to 2021, meaning I was generally more consistent in completed the goals I set.

In view of the on-going challenges around COVID-19 in my immediate surrounding, for 2021 I didn’t set quite as ambitious of goals as I could have if there was no pandemic. No plans for half or full marathons. No jet-setting to multiple companies either. Instead many of my health goals are around consistency and habits. Daily exercise. Regular and adeqate sleep. I am all about thinking about self-care and cultivated good mental health hygiene.

In spite of many limitations and challenges, I have set some ambitious targets for the year ahead. I want to write and publish more. Ideally at least a dozen or so blog posts and hopefully a book. My recent increase in creative word count and this blog post constiute a couple steps in that direction. The lockdown resulted in me learning the basics of music production last year. I plan to continue learning, making music and putting out a beat or song regularly on my soundcloud. As a product designer and software engineer, I have plans to design and launch a couple products in the year ahead too.

All things considered I focus much less on a long-term vision and simply show up and do the “laps” necessary to make progress on things that matter to me.

Check out other posts, data visualizations and infographics from my year in data!