The following are the things I’m going to focus on in the coming year. I’m sharing them with you because I think they are things that would benefit almost anyone. So consider these my recommendations to you as well.
Spend More Time in the Real World
The virtual world has a variety and reach that is often hard to match in the real world. However, I fear we are sacrificing depth for breadth and I’ve become convinced that isn’t a good thing. Sure I can travel to a lot of places via the Internet and learn a lot about them, but none of that comes even close to the experience of the time I spent in the real Rocky Mountains this year or even just going to the beach. I value my online friends immensely, but they just aren’t the same as a real flesh and blood friend. I love reading, but reading on my computer just isn’t the same as holding a book in my hands. So the bottom line is that the computer isn’t going to get as much time next year.
Align My Activities with My Values
This is something I pay attention to now, but I still see a lot of gaps. It’s pretty easy to rationalize most activities to align with some claimed value. I’m probably just making it up. If I’m honest with myself and ask the really hard question of “Is this the most important thing I could be doing right now that aligns with my most deeply held values?”, the answer is often no. The same thing applies to relationships.
Add More Variety
I tend to become obsessive and end up focusing too narrowly on something. For example I read a lot, but in recent years my reading has become much more narrowly focused on science and personal development. I hardly ever read a novel anymore. I’m going to read more novels, biographies, philosophy, and classic literature.
Daniel Pink’s chapter on symphony in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future inspired me to try and learn to draw. Right now I can’t even draw a good stick figure.
I’ve decided to start an additional blog that is oriented around thinking and ideas rather than focused on personal development. For quite some time I’ve been itching to write on other topics that don’t really fit the theme of this blog.
I tend to start things and then don’t finish them and therefore my investment was wasted or delayed. I spent time but got no benefit. I’m a terrible procrastinator. I’ve decided I need to focus on finishing. I don’t think there is anything more important to productivity than actually finishing something. Don’t get me wrong, I try to avoid the sunk cost bias. If something isn’t important, it doesn’t matter how much time I’ve spent on it, I need to cut my losses and quit. The key is to not start something unless it is important and then focus on finishing it as quickly as possible and moving on to something else.
Simplify and Minimize
In order to do something new, you have to make room for it and so something else has to go. I’m really going to be focused on simplifying and streamlining my important activities and eliminating the rest.
I’m really drawn to minimalist themes but it is so unnatural for me. Why are we drawn to that which we are not good at? I love the look and feel of minimalist spaces for example, but when I look around me I see piles of stuff everywhere. I need help on this one! It may be hopeless.
What do you think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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