Lazy Time
Lazy Time

Lazy TimeAt the end of each year I like to look back and review what I got up to and then look forward to the year ahead. Last Year I posted most of the details of this personal review here on this site. Now it’s time to look back and see how I got on.

I’m not going to go through each of the goals in detail as I tried this at the six month point and the post got so big I had to split it into two parts: Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 1 and Mid Year Review For 2011 – Part 2.

Do you really want to know exactly which books I have read? If anything interesting happened I probably wrote a post about it anyway…

Instead I am just going to write a summary of how I felt the year went…

What Went Well?

The year started off very well. I was very productive and really felt that I was achieving something.

In August I got my first iPhone app accepted to the App Store and I also completed a standalone Windows application for a client that, with a bit of polishing up, I should be able to sell again and again. I will go into more details once I have done some of the polishing…

Web Design was another area I got into. I was asked to design a couple of websites this year. One never really took off for some reason but that was down to the owner rather than me. The other site I haven’t actually finished with yet.

All of this, along with the regular contracting work, helped my business bring in a consistent income throughout the year.

A bonus of being my own boss was that I got to watch most of the Rugby World Cup. Never before have I been able to watch so many matches. It was great. I just wish England could have performed a bit better…

Travel was an area that went pretty well this year. I even managed to cross an item off my bucket list by taking a trip in a submarine in Lanzarote. We enjoyed that trip so much, even though it poured with rain, we are going back in a few weeks with the whole family this time.

One other thing I am quite proud of is that I am starting to release a lot of stuff. In the past I have been a bit of a hoarder which has caused a bit of hassle trying to find space for everything. This year though I really feel that I have made a bit of a breakthrough and I have sold/donated/binned a lot of stuff!

As for the finances, the budgets are still going pretty well and we are starting to save a little bit again.

Lastly I am loving my Kindle. I seem to fly through books much quicker than before. I do sometimes miss holding a physical book but I think it is actually easier to read with an e-reader.

What Didn’t Go Well?

Twitter! I tried to make a go of it. In fact while the Rugby World Cup was on I tweeted quite regularly. I find it hard to filter through all of the incoming messages though and I don’t really subscribe to that many users. So every time I open up twitter I end up wasting loads of time. Maybe it’s time to cut the list down and try again…

Another area that I fell down on a bit is Health & Fitness. I started off very well, exercising pretty much every day, and my weight was heading down. By July I had lost over a stone, in fact 16lbs to be precise. Then things started to slow down a bit…

I got frustrated that I hadn’t picked up the intensity of my exercise and hadn’t found time for any sport which led to a bit of a plateau where my weight stayed pretty much constant for a few months.

That would have been all right but then November and December I became even less active. I also become very focused on a single project which seemed to dragging on much longer than expected as the goal posts kept changing. I am not sure if one lead to the other or whether it was just a coincidence but this started a downward spiral…

By Christmas I was a bit down on myself and I certainly took advantage of the excesses of the festive period. This lead to me putting most of the weight I lost back on! So I am back over 20st with a 13lb weight gain. Very disappointing…

My blog was let down a little at the end of the year as well. I thought I would see how I would get on without my self-imposed weekly posting deadline. Without the deadline I just didn’t find the time or incentive to post hardly anything. So the deadlines are back.

Another failure was my backup regimen. I really need to sort out something going forward to feel confident that another hard drive failure won’t catch me by surprise.

Photography was the biggest let down though…

I didn’t even tackle a single goal this year. I am beginning to wonder if I should just sell my DSLR equipment and stick with a compact instead as I don’t seem to be using it at the moment. The main problem is my backlog of photos. In fact that was a big part of the problem when my hard drive failed as I have photos stored on various machines, in various states of editing and I couldn’t be sure if I had my photos backed up. I really need to sort them all out!

Only when I am properly organised will I be completely happy taking more photos. And as I have a great opportunity coming up this year, details nearer the time, I need to get to it…

Conclusions

I am disappointed that I put most of the weight I lost back on recently. I need to make a more concerted effort in the year ahead, especially when the Winter closes back in!

My productivity has dropped a bit recently. I began the year pretty organised and productive but I have started to let things slip so I need to get back on track, and quickly…

The best way is to work out everything I need to tackle and just spend a little time on each every week, or even every day if necessary. I need to start by nailing down my backup routine and then organising and editing my vast photo collection.

I have completed a few projects that I am happy with but the majority of my work, even outside of the contracting work I do, has been for other people. This still brings in the money but tends to be a one off income, i.e. I do the work and then get paid and that’s it.

I need to start releasing some programs of my own that I can sell repeatedly. This way I don’t get paid for the initial work but once finished I then get paid, for each copy I sell, without having to spend any more time…

Web Design can be a bit of a time sink. I think it is because it is an area I really want to know more about I can easily find myself going off on a tangent trying to learn more about why things are done in certain ways.

This may be useful in the long run as I want to start building web applications in the near future, but on the few web projects I have taken on I seem to spend far too much time on them. When working on a website I need to start focusing on the actual task in hand!

So overall I am pretty happy with last year it’s just a shame that it had to end on a bit of a low.

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Image: Creative Commons License -Cavin-

1 comment

Shirl

Excellent read as always we both need to tackle the exercise which we will.
x

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