2019: First Quarter Check-In
It’s nearly impossible to believe that it’s already April. I have no idea how that happened. It was just Christmas, and of course, Christmas is also just around the corner. Because time flies - this is well established.
I’m still happy with the my 2019 word (cultivate) and ways of being (decluttered, agile, open, purposeful, resilient), even if Q1 didn’t quite go as planned. My ways of being definitely helped get me through that.
Every Damn Day
One thing I’ve been doing, or rather one thing I stopped doing, is giving equal weight to all the things. Because they are not all equal and they all have different potential outcomes if I do or don’t do them. This has helped me focus and take things off my to-do list (instead, I just do them). For example, I work out because I have to. Just like brushing my teeth and making sure my son is taken care of. These are things I have to do.
If I don’t work out 5-6 days a week (and move/go for a walk on the 6th or 7th days), it’s not good for my health (physical or mental), or my overall productivity. I block of my calendar and I do it. In doing that, it’s become much less of a stressor in a sea of stressors for me. The added bonus is that most of my outdoor runs are in the easy zone right now since I’m burning my legs out in Orangetheory and F45 2-3 times a week. That means, I get a ton of “think time” for work or other projects during my runs. There’s no one bothering me, I don’t look at my messages, I’m not sitting in a meeting, and man, I come back with so many ideas and things just ready to go. I’d say it not only helps keep me productive, but it makes me more productive. This type of thing falls under my “Every Damn Day List” - the things I just/must do (like eat, drink water, read something that’s not on a screen, etc.).
Of course, there are still weeks where it just gets so crazy, I can’t manage all of it. And those weeks I get extra cranky. But I just keep pushing through because the next week is a new week.
But outside of that Every Damn Day List, there are things I want to be doing. Other habits, other goals. And I’m chugging along pretty decently this year. I’m not moving mountains and I definitely over-estimated by capacity when I was planning out Q1 activities, but I’ve still accomplished things.
I’ve done my very best to elevate my hobbies, like art, sketching, and jewelry design, to a higher priority. I think I’ve made more jewelry and created more sketches this year already than I did for the past two years in their entirety. I haven’t been quite as good about the other stuff - more complex art or craft projects. But I’m getting there, and I’m seeing progress. Sometimes starting small is good enough.
Pivot, Pivot, Pivot
When I first set out on my goals for 2019, I intentionally left off things about my small product design and research career/day job/business. At the end of the year I was experiencing some serious, serious burnout and was feeling like I hated my chosen field.
But after taking a breather, thinking about things, and reading The One Thing, I decided that wasn’t the best plan. So…in the spirit of my Ways of Being, specifically agile and resilient, I pivoted a bit. I’ve started to figure out what exactly it is I’m doing around here. I’ve been able to get really specific in my longterm focus so I know how it fits into my other longterm goals. And I’ve started moving, and my first thing…my One Thing, was to update my portfolio site. That’s still a work-in-progress, but I did some significant updates over the past few weeks with more to come by the end of the month.
And now the more I do the more I do. It’s a domino effect. One action leads to another that leads to another, and somehow I’ve gained momentum. And clarity.
I’ve been surprisingly good this year at cultivating my tribe, and not necessarily intentionally. I’ve done really well spending time with friends and building relationships, and generally, that makes me way happier. Not a ton to say there otherwise. Chugging along. All good.
So that’s Q1.
I’m off to a decent start with 2019, and I know I’d better get to some of my goals in general pretty quickly because it’s almost June, and June means vacation season and right after that is holiday season. And then it will be 2020. So basically, I only have 6 months out of the year to get my stuff together because the second half of the year is just useless for productivity. Onward to Q2.