My first few posts for this blog were of a great help to me. The simple act of writing them helped me solidify the ideas running around in my head.
The last couple of articles were a bit rushed. In fact I was close to missing one of my, self imposed, weekly deadlines. That was where the Information Overload article came in. I suddenly noticed the amount of time I was wasting on unnecessary stuff.
So overall this blog has been a great success for me. I know there aren’t many people reading my words of wisdom but that doesn’t matter. I am not trying to be a professional blogger. I just want an outlet that lets me write stuff down but at the same time I want to make the posts worthwhile, at least for myself, and then hopefully they may be of use to someone else.
Right so now this has become a regular thing I think its time to try and plan ahead a little bit.
How I Got This Far
I started to realise that a lot of the information I was reading was starting to come from blogs. This led me to subscribe to a few feeds and then the majority of the information I was digesting was actually interesting. Previously I was just reading news articles and the like, 99% of which was not of real interest to me.
I began to focus my attention on making changes to the way I do things. I came across some great articles that inspired me. Some recurring themes were getting up early in the morning and writing everything down. After a while I realised that I was reading the same advice from different sources but was still doing nothing about it. So I decided to try both.
I have nearly got the early rising part down. I started getting up at 06:00. For anyone who knows me they can attest to that being a major feat. My wife and I would then go for a 30 minute walk before making breakfast.
This has faltered a bit recently but I still wake up at 6 and pretty much always out of bed by 7 at the latest. Unfortunately my wife tore a muscle in her calf and so the morning walks also stopped but at least I still make the 15 minute walk to work every day.
As for the write everything down ideal then I am still working on that one. I bought the book Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. This was amazing and I jumped in with both feet. Try reading David Allen Is A Genius for a brief introduction to the David Allen way.
I quickly got on top of my email Inbox and was managing ubiquitous capture quite well. The problem came with the trusted system to keep all my next action items. I tried loads of different online tools to help with the process. None of them matched up with my demands precisely and so they got left behind as I tried the next tool. I even started planning a tool of my own to get around the problem. As web application development is something I want to get in to, what better way to start than a productivity app that will help my productivity.
This is where I decided it was time to take a reality check for a moment. I had only been trying this GTD thing for a couple of months and I thought I was an expert who knew exactly what would be required in the perfect online productivity tool. So instead I have recently decided to take the pen and paper approach. It seems to be working great so far.
This led me to read even more stuff about personal development. As an example I came across an article called How to Give Yourself to Whatever the Moment Brings, and Forget Stress by Leo Babauta over on Zen Habits. This is great blog and I feel that I have only just scratched the surface of the content within. This article made me think of Shirley, my gorgeous wife. I don’t pretend to follow this way of life but reading the article did make me realise that some of us are closer to this ideal than others…
Where Am I Heading
Another thing I have come across repeatedly on these personal development blogs is the idea of Public Accountability. This basically means that if you make your intentions public you become accountable for them. At the same time this has the added benefit of some extra motivation. As other people now know about these intentions, if I don’t complete them then I fail, and this failure is public.
So what’s on the horizon? This is a big question and only now that I am starting to clear the decks can I really start thinking about it.
The Bucket List is still on the agenda but this is just a list of some long term ideas. I will however try and pick away at this occasionally. I want some goals that I can get my teeth into in the short term.
I want to re-read Getting Things Done. Now I have started to settle into a decent routine I would like to have another look at this book and hopefully pick up a few more tips this time around. I would also like to read Zen To Done by Leo Babauta when I get a chance. These, again, are both slightly longer term goals.
To make myself feel accountable I need a deadline. So lets come up with a few items that I can attempt to achieve by the end of April. I will then report back my progress when the deadline is reached.
I want this list to be quite easily achievable to get me off to a good start. Then next month I can try and push myself a bit harder. Lets start on this list:
- Go somewhere or do something nice with my wife at least once a week. We both enjoy walking so hopefully we can get out on the hills and stretch our legs a bit of a weekend.
- Get back into the habit of getting up at 06:00.
- Start going for the early morning walks again.
- Complete design and development of the HenleyHorseTravel website for Justin, an old friend of mine.
- Copyright was recently brought to my attention when I tried to upload my Skydive video to YouTube. I am currently reading the free e-book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. So I plan on doing a post about copyright soon.
- Set up a nice coming soon page for my website.
- Keep up my weekly blog posts. This one has run over a bit again so I must start preparing them earlier. I want to get to the stage where I am ahead of the game by working on next weeks post with this weeks already done and scheduled to be posted at the appropriate time.
There are a few more items I almost added but I think I’m going to leave it at that for now and see how I get on. This is the first time I have tried anything like this and some of these items are bigger than others so I look forward to seeing how many of these I can nail.
Image: lululemon athletica