In years past I have been fairly loose with my process of reflecting and planning. This year I took an entire day to catch up on paperwork, draw out plans for my business and lay out a structure for managing my many entrepreneurial ventures. End result? I needed a second day for it.
A week later and I’m still working on some of the planning phases. I’ve realized that I spend a lot of time dealing with the daily whirlwind of minor tasks and spend almost zero time on the side projects that have potentially large payoffs. I also spend very little time streamlining my web development business.
Those revelations were quite motivating and helped me shape my goals for the first portion of 2018. But the important piece of this is that the higher-level thinking I worked through proved more valuable than I thought it would be. It wasn’t easy and I really dreaded doing it. But once I got into it, the dreamer in me got excited. I’m now looking at ways to incorporate these sessions more regularly throughout the year.
What I’m reading
Principles by Ray Dalio
I’m finally jumping into this one as my primary book. And first impressions are quite good. The concept of writing down your guiding life lessons and using those to make decisions is a breath of fresh air.
BW - 40: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Morning Pages has been an intriguing concept to both Mike and Joe. So they finally jump into the source of the practice. There’s a time commitment involved but they both seem okay with that.
Books added to the list
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
Josh mentioned this one to me since I keep struggling with meditation. I continue failing to see any benefits from it so at some point I’ll read this and see if I’m missing something.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Somehow I managed to see this book recommended by Emma Watson on Instagram. I’m aware that I don’t fully understand a lot of the race issues in the U.S. and that’s primarily because I’m white, which is why I don’t regularly talk about it in public. This book seems like it would help me formulate a more comprehensive view of the issue.
Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
The worship leader at our church read from this book yesterday and the clarity of the quote struck me as helpful in my understanding of the Bible.
Interesting Productivity Guild topics
OmniFocus: A slightly different take on a “Today” perspective
Kennon shares an alternative way of handling a working task list. Ultimately, he wanted a way to see necessary tasks for the day and yet toggle the tasks that he wants to complete as well.
Reflecting While Working
This is the discussion topic from last weeks newsletter. Wilson challenged me on the Morning Pages commitment which prompted a quick conversation about doing the full three pages or not.
Words That Challenge
No boundaries for user identities: Web trackers exploit browser login managers
I discovered this through Daring Fireball. I suppose it should come as no surprise that some analytics trackers are harvesting passwords.
9 Essential Questions Everyone Should Ask Themselves At The End of The Year
This has made the rounds but I’m in the middle of answering these questions for myself. They aren’t easy questions.
A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don’t get sleep - Business Insider Nordic
This was a fascinating read. The value of getting good sleep is no secret. But this article does a good job aggregating a lot of the pros/cons of sleep.
I’ve still not seen any major (and conclusive) results from this habit. But I’m starting to wonder if that’s because I have a lot of practices and habits in place that already helps me focus on the present.
This past week was terrible for Morning Pages. I didn’t do them once. I’m not giving up on them yet, though. I just need to make sure I dedicate the time to them.
No mobile email
I’m dropping this as an experiment and adopting it fully. I’ve seen nothing but positive effects from removing email from my phone. I still occasionally open the mail app on my phone but I immediately close it as soon as it happens. I’m sure that habit will eventually fall off completely.
In the midst of answering some reflective questions about 2017, I realized I need to be more intentional with my time. When I give myself the extreme freedom to choose where my time goes on a daily basis I tend to put off the tasks that drive my business in the right direction and instead focus on putting out fires. By scheduling my time in more detail I should be able to accomplish my goals without putting them off for urgent one-offs.
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