Laurence Andrews

The Year of Smart

By this time in the year I have usually defined my list of annual goals, the things that I want to achieve over the next 12 months. Last year was reasonably successful for goals, I achieved over half and they were all good and helpful, you can read about them here 2017 & The Missing Blogs, but I felt like I was constantly looking over my left shoulder (they’re written on the whiteboard behind my desk) in shame because I knew some were unachievable. This year needed to be different, something less regimented, something that is achievable and that can encourage me to push forward in a positive way.

@geekyjames suggested that I take a listen to a podcast called Cortex, specifically this episode: Cortex #62: 2018 Yearly Themes as the hosts, CGP Grey and Make Hurley talk about productivity and annual objectives. If you haven’t listened to this before I certainly recommend it, don’t let the 97 minute run time put you off, every minute is gold. During the episode the hosts discuss Annual Themes, the concept is that instead of setting a list of specific goals (i.e. a regimented list) a theme is used as a framework to encourage direction and positive productivity. Certainly, a todo list or goal list can still exist but the theme is used to make sure that everything aligns to the ultimate objective. The yearly theme concept also allows for flexibility, I knew in August of last year that some of my goals were realistically unachievable ,and I wrote them off instead of continuing to push forward. There’s an interesting Forbes article here about themes being used in a similar way.

With some thought and reflection, I decided that 2018 would be The Year of Smart. There are a number of reasons why but the most significant are listed below:

  1. Working in the wrong way. Towards the end of 2017, I was burning myself out with work, doing too many hours, working hard but not working smart. This was a really big problem that caused a great deal of stress and affected more than just my professional life, it was (and is) at the front of my mind to resolve in 2018.
  2. Doing things that don’t need to be done. This one is difficult to quantify, but I felt that I spent a lot of time completing tasks that had little benefit, both professionally and privately. This could be as simple as going to the office when I don’t need to go to the office or going diving just to increase my dive count.
  3. Goals with no direction. Another thing I want to fix is moving in too many directions at the same time. I’m very guilty of swapping from one trend to another often without reason, for example, some months I will write lots of posts on the blog, other months I have no interest in the blog at all. Trying to funnel focus into specific areas will hopefully help with that.

It’ll be interesting to see how this makes for a different year, I’m confident and hopeful for change and am looking forward to welcoming 2018. There are some fantastic occasions that lye within, as @tigziefc and I plan our wedding, as the dog grows up and as our careers move forward - I can’t wait.

2018  productivity  work  personal  reflection  goals