Happy New Year! It's now January and I'm feeling recovered and rested after a holiday with friends, family, and loved ones. As people start easing into their routine in 2019, I thought I'd share a few areas of focus for me this year. I don't do resolutions as I often feel priorities and goals can change. Instead, I think of Gregorian calendar year milestones as a time to set focus areas.
Be as predictable as possible
My life has some complexity to it. I work in San Francisco, my girlfriend is in Los Angeles, and have life-long friends in Seattle, Europe, and New York City. The first talk I ever gave was at Ignite about how to live in two cities. Though I'll try to simplify this, I feel my life is wired this way. My counterbalance is to be as predictable as possible. This means being predictable to friends, family, coworkers, and yes, myself. My goal is to create a routine and foundation that people can anticipate and know what I'm going to do. I'll mix it up to have fun as well, but predictability is the foundation.
The new year is preceded by my birthday, which is a great reminder that I am getting older. My friend Jess Estrada and I often talk about the idea of getting older. I used to be terrified about it, but now I embrace it. I'd like to work professionally as long as possible (see Vince Carter scoring 20 points as a 41-year-old). In order to work at a high level, health is crucial. I'm focusing on better ergonomics in the office to make sure my back, neck, and joints are in good health.
Do fewer things at a higher level
I am passionate and interested in many things. There is this infinite energy I have when it comes to collaboration, creation, and generating ideas. Often ideas can tie if you don't tend to it. My solution to this is to do fewer things and at a higher level. It sucks to say "no" to things, especially ones that really interest you. However, I see this as a good forcing function to get things done in order to move onto things equally as interesting.
Less screen time
I'm no longer interested in the latest smartphones. My iPhone from a few years ago serves its purpose at a high level. Screen time seems to be a huge area of focus for a lot of people; the attempt to reduce the amount of app addiction and scrolling. As someone who works in digital, this is a tough balance as screen time also is a professional focus. I'm trying a few things to combat screen time:
- Having a Braun analog clock as an alarm and leaving my phone in the living room when I go to sleep
- Spend the majority of design time on paper and whiteboards before creating in front of a screen; to see how far you can get
- Using Siri and voice command more as a way to get things done
- RSS. Curating my own feed of content instead of having to go on Instagram
Being mindful of my data
It is very difficult to fully own all of your data in this day and age, so my goal is to be mindful about it. Last year I deleted my Facebook account and feel so much healthier from an information perspective. This year I am going to continue this trend:
- Deleting unused accounts
- Hosting more content on my own domain
- 3rd party hygiene. Spend time to groom apps like Twitter to make sure the 3rd parties that have access are still relevant
- Frequently changing passwords (I recommend 1Password)
Before all titles, I consider myself a Maker. I like to build, create, and make, whether it is digital or physical. Last year I found some patches of time to paint again (I am a visual arts major). As 2019 progresses I'd like to continue that trend with drawing, painting, and photography. Perhaps I'll have enough content to do a show again. I haven't done an art show since 2008.
It started with this post! My 2019 is focused more on writing and less on speaking. Though I'll consider doing one or two conference talks, I am really looking forward to sharing ideas in written format. Daily writing can be a blog post or a simple post on my micro.blog.How about you? I'd love to hear some things you're focusing on, and wishing you a healthy 2019.