On Friday night I went to the pub with some work colleagues and while we were there, I received a few words of wisdom that inspired me to think about 2019 and how I want to approach it. Self-assessment is very important to me and I felt like posting my plans as a blog post would help me come up with something more concrete, keep me accountable and make it easier for me to review my progress at the end of the year.
As such, in 2019 I want to:
Finish the things that I’ve started
As I write this blog post I currently have 19 others sitting as drafts. While the majority of them are still in their early stages, there are more than a few that are very close to being finished. I have a habit of getting excited about a new idea for a post and dropping my current drafts to work on that instead, even though the hours that I spend on a new blog post could easily be used to finish multiple current drafts (the irony of writing a new post to say this is not lost on me). This year, I’m going to try to focus more on actually completing the things that I start. I’ll finish the software that I’ve started writing, publish the blog posts I’ve already got and generally try to start new things only after I’ve finished the old.
Be less of a perfectionist
As much as calling myself a perfectionist might sound like bragging, I’ve always felt that perfectionism isn’t a positive trait. Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean that I produce perfect work, but that I am often unnecessarily critical of what I create and concerned about how others perceive it. A key point that I’m trying hard to learn is that avoiding perfectionism doesn’t mean not caring about quality, it’s about learning the concept of good enough.
Be happy with what I do get done
I really struggle with blaming myself for not getting more done in my spare time. This usually manifests as a feeling of guilt when I’m watching TV or playing video games, where I feel that I should be working on something more “practical” like writing some code or working on a blog post. While I do enjoy the time I spend on projects, I also want to learn to be happy with however I choose to spend my time. Feeling guilty about relaxing doesn’t make the time more practical, it just ruins the relaxation!
Be more decisive
This one is pretty simple: I’m going to spend less time getting caught up in analysis paralysis and more time actually making decisions, especially for those decisions that don’t really matter in the long term. I sometimes take more time deciding on how to approach a task than it would have taken to complete the whole thing! The biggest difficulty with this will be trying to figure out which decisions don’t really matter and therefore can be made easily, and which are still important enough to spend time on.
Learn to see failure as a learning experience
One of the great pieces of advice that I was given on Friday was that failing isn’t a bad thing, it’s an opportunity to learn. I have a habit of taking failure quite badly which can make it difficult to objectively analyse what happened and learn from it. It can also make me less willing to put myself in situations where failure is a possibility!
I feel like 2019 is going to be a big year for me both personally and professionally and I feel like If I can stick to the above points hopefully I can get the most of out of it. Time will tell with how successful I am!