Week 1: Review
As part of my on-going efforts to improve myself and live more proactively, I will be documenting my progress over the next 13 weeks. I want this to serve as an online record of my progress. to hold myself accountable and share my successes and failures with others who might be looking to do the same.
One of the big challenges I've found when trying to implement a "life management system," so to speak, is dealing with times when the day-to-day is vastly different than normal. Being away from home, for example, or when life happens and there's family emergencies or other things that completely disrupt the normal daily flow of your life.
With that in mind, this time around I'm being mindful of this and trying to build in some tolerance for these sorts of things. For the next three weeks, I'll be away from home, which will put this to the test. My goal is to maintain my daily routine while travelling, and make some progress on my goals. I don't expect to make huge progress, but I also can't allow myself to remain at a standstill the whole time.
My goals for the next 13 weeks:
- Establish healthy habits - this includes a fairly rigorous physical activity routine, and making healthier decisions about what and how much I eat.
- Reduce wasteful spending - this means setting a realistic budget, monitoring spending patterns, and making conscious decisions about spending to reduce waste and increase savings
- Level up my business - meaning getting to a point where I'm no longer a generalist web developer, and instead focusing on helping companies with specific problems
What Went Well
For healthy habits, I'm very proud of the routine I've built and stuck to. Monday through Saturday, I alternate between High-intensity Interval Training and a Bodyweight Fitness routine. Sunday is a complete rest day.
This week, I stuck to this every day, including a 90 minute bike ride on Saturday.
For wasteful spending, I got a budget set up in YNAB and avoided a couple of purchases that would've been wasteful.
Lastly, for level up my business, I'm working on a draft of a new landing page for my site and have a list of topics for artcles I'm going to write over the next several weeks.
What Went Not-So-Well
This is actually the most important section, because we learn a lot more from our failures and mistakes than we do from our successes. My favourite part of the SELF journal is the "Lessons Learned" on each day and week, because it gives me an opportunity to reflect on how I can improve myself every day.
This week, I found that my focus drifted a lot on certain days, and especially when I have my phone around at my desk. As it is, I've locked down Slack and other distracting websites/apps when I've got a timer running, but my phone is still too easily accessible. I started putting my phone in a drawer, at the very back, where it's just inconvenient enough that I don't reach for it unless I really mean to. This is called "Designing Your Environment" and it's a vital concept to think about to minimize distractions and create the best possible productive environment.
Second, I found myself either getting ahead or lagging behind the schedule I set out for the day. Priorities shifted too. I think as long as I'm cognizant of the reasons for the priority shift, this is okay, so I've started blocking out my daily schedule in pencil so I can shift it around as the day goes on. This lets me "re-budget" my time on the fly and ensure I still get to what I need to.
I also found myself with random and distracting thoughts. Just out-of-the-blue things I should go look at or read about… Google Analytics, looking at stuff on Amazon, e-mails, etc. I realized these were all to-do items that could wait. So rather than allow myself to dive into them as soon as I have the thought, I started jotting them down under my "This Week" column in my project management tool so that I know I wouldn't forget about it. Then I'd timebox some time later in the day to get to those things.
So far, so good. I think this was a great first week. Next week will be the real test, however. I've never been able to maintain my systems while away from home. I think that's mostly because I never tried… I just tossed the systems out the window and reverted back to the easier reactive state.
I highly recommend, at the very least, keeping a record of all the lessons you've learned every week. I find that I'm often coming to conclusions that I've come to before, but I totally forgot about them because I never wrote it down or took the time to add the thoughts to my system.
What lessons have you learned this week? How can you improve your daily routine to ensure you're meeting your goals? Drop me a line below, or feel free to tweet at me!