goals

2018: Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

2018: Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

The Lunar (Chinese) New Year begins today, the 16th February 2018. It isn’t a significant year for me in any way – just the year I’ve chosen to stop all the ‘fluffing around’ and get serious about being more productive. And what better way to start than having at least one goal ready to coincide with the Lunar New Year. After all, it’s about new beginnings, isn’t it? 2018; Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

Just to sort things out a little for you, I’m referring to the era that I call ‘Post-Career’, herein referred to as PC Time. When I looked back on most of my career years, I could identify at least a few achievements that were significant for that particular year. Since I retired in April 2016, there haven’t been too many significant achievements looking back at me from the rearview mirror of end-of-year reflections.

That has to change!

So here I am, with 2018 looming large around me. The urgency is in the fact that we are more than half-way through February and I still haven’t committed any plans to paper – digitally speaking of course (does anyone still use paper?) – until now.

Distractions

Barely a day goes by that isn’t filled with distractions – so I have to devise a plan for how to ignore them. That isn’t as easy as it might sound, since some of those distractions are mighty interesting. One of the significant distractions in my life is the location of my home. My humble abode is nestled amongst twenty-eight acres of natural bushland. As any Aussie knows, bushland means birds. Not the Alfred Hitchcock variety (that’s another story!), but the beautiful kookaburras and magpies that gently sing me awake in the morning and signal the close of day in the evening. If I could just be satisfied with hearing them while I work, it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem stems from the hours spent, camera in hand, waiting for the perfect photo of a kookaburra in flight.

2018; Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

It’s the kookaburra’s fault!

And The Justification For The Distraction?

I’m always intrigued by the ingenious reasons we use to justify the things we do, regardless of whether they are ‘right’ or not. I justify my bird-watching activities by assuring myself that one day, that photo of a kookaburra in flight, will be the perfect addition to something I’m writing. It might be years before that happens, but I’m convinced it will.

2018; Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

Well, I almost got it…

Rule Goal Number One

Schedule Writing Time For The First Waking Hour (Or Two)

That could be a problem before I even begin. In PC Time, there is no set waking hour. Don’t get me wrong, I still rise at an acceptable time, for a retiree. But now I have the option of not rising, if I don’t want to. While the magpies and kookaburras sing me awake most days, there are times when I let their melodic calls sing me back to sleep.

How will Goal Number One be impacted when I roll over and pretend I haven’t heard the day starting?  Will it be lunchtime by the time I’ve finished my hour (or two) of writing?

Does it even matter?

The answers to these questions will depend on what events are vying for my time on any given day in my usually, almost empty, Post-Career diary. While most days roll in and out with nothing more than writing, taking photos, eating and/or socialising, on the agenda, some days are different. Sometimes there’s a 9am meeting scheduled, or an early morning coffee at ReCafeNate with my name on it.

Revised Goal Number 1

Devote One To Two Hours To Writing, Every Day

Perhaps we fail to meet our goals because they are not quite as realistic as they could be. Nothing happens until I’ve had my coffee, so the hour immediately following my opening-eyes experience, has to involve coffee. When I’ve had the coffee, then I can do the writing. And here’s where a bit of creativity could help. I usually brew my Espresso coffee at home. But sometimes I saunter across the road to ReCafeNate for the pampered feeling of having Josh make the coffee for me. If I took my iPad with me, I could make the coffee last an hour while I write. If I’m really getting into the writing, a second cup of coffee would see me through the second hour. And I could check off my exercise for the day as well. While it isn’t a long walk to ReCafeNate, it is uphill.

Write First – Illustrate Later

Theoretically, the first goal of the ‘2018: most productive year ever’, is to focus on the writing. Instead of having thousands – yes, you read that right – thousands of photos that I might (or not) ever use, by getting thousands of words written, then I can focus on the specific photos that I need to highlight the text. Besides, I might even get lucky and put the already thousands of photos I have to good use, before I take any more.

Well, that’s the plan – I just hope I can stick to it.

2018: Will It Be The Most Productive Year Of My Life?

I’ll keep you posted on my progress….

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Posted by Maureen in Travel, 3 comments
Blog Challenge Day 7 – What Day Are We Up To?

Blog Challenge Day 7 – What Day Are We Up To?

What Day Are We Up To?

Faster than a Shanghai Bullet Train

The Blog Challenge started out well but somehow, lately, deadlines are rushing past me faster than the Bullet Train leaving Shanghai Station. The question ‘What day are we up to?’ seems to be creeping into my thoughts more often than I care to acknowledge. The new year has just begun, so why is it in such a hurry to be over?

Where Did That Year Go?

Given the prospect of another year slipping by, I figured it might be time to make some definite plans; set some goals; find some direction. I’m guessing it’s what most people call ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, except, I don’t do them. I used to – sort of, but the goals would usually end up as fleeting thoughts that passed through my mind on their way to the dark place that thoughts disappear to. I don’t know where that place is because I’ve never successfully retrieved anything significant from there. All those goal-oriented thoughts hung around just long enough to leave a faint, whimsical memory before slipping silently into the void. All that was left was an occasional “Oh yeah, I kind of remember thinking I would do that – that was how long ago? Surely not!”.

This year I’m going to try a radical new approach and actually write the ideas down. There’s no guarantee that this will work any better than not writing them, but it’s worth a try.

The problem with writing the ideas down is a lot like writing a shopping list.

The Shopping List

The finer points of the shopping list include the following:

  • take stock of the pantry
  • scan the refrigerator for essential items, or lack thereof
  • transcribe the absent items onto a very long piece of paper, herein referred to as ‘the list’
  • drive to the store
  • spend five minutes circling the car park looking for an empty space not too far from the door
  • spend another five minutes test-driving trolleys (shopping carts) to find one with all four wheels in alignment
  • wheel the trolley to the top of the first aisle ready to start shopping
  • put your hand into your pocket to retrieve the list
  • open your wallet in the hope that the list is in there
  • search every conceivable place that an elusive list could have found its way into
  • suddenly picture the list sitting on the kitchen table, right where you wrote the very last item
  • debate whether to drive all the way home to get the list
  • decide to ‘wing it’ and shop without the list; how hard could that be – you only wrote the list an hour or so ago
  • wonder why you have a lot more items at the checkout than you remember writing on the list
  • drive home
  • wonder why you have an abundance of items that weren’t on the list and none of the urgent items that you are completely out of
  • vow to never waste time writing a list again

The Carpark

The shopping list method doesn’t work!

Which brings me right back to the radical idea of writing down the earth shattering ideas that are going to magically transform 2018 into the most productive year of my life. Since the list idea clearly isn’t an option, what next?

How or where will I write my ideas that will ensure they won’t disappear into that elusive place for homeless thoughts?

No Idea!

I haven’t quite figured that part out yet but I’m working on it.

One of the bright flashes of inspiration that lit up my otherwise dormant mind earlier today, was to incorporate the ideas into my blog. Since my website is relatively safe and secure, there isn’t too much risk of the great literary masterpieces slipping over the edge of reality into cyberspace, never to be seen again. And since the Blog Challenge is all about getting me into the habit of writing daily more frequently, the blog-full of goals should jump out and remind me to actually do something about them – hopefully.

So now that I have the ‘where to write them’ sorted out, I just have to work on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ to write. And that is best left for another day.

Watch This Space!

 

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 3 comments