This is actually an unscheduled post brought on by actual current life ongoings. Posts don’t always happen in the order I place them in, but most of the things I want to write about have been outlined or have drafts already partially written and so they don’t generally happen in real time. I could draft this and post it later but it’s so fresh I decided I want to post it now. I am considering this post a sort of progress report of sorts and planning on making these every so often to keep track of how things are going and also to create a method of accountability for myself.
On My Previously Mentioned Goals for 2015
There are a bunch of different things I am trying to work on at once. It seems like the list of improvements I’d like to make (and ways I’d like to make them) increases more and more each day. Part of this is that I am so proud of myself for the changes I HAVE made that I find it addicting and want to make more and more positive changes. But, as my therapist pointed out last week, I am going to burn myself out if I keep it up. I knew this, and think I even mentioned it before, but I tend to get so caught up that I forget the logical things I already know.
I have also been drafting a post on successful goal-making and turning your goals into habits. In the process of outlining and drafting this post, I have come across advice that goes against some of the goals I’ve set (IE make goals more specific and less generalized in order to keep them). This means I am trying to achieve all these new goals, actively pay attention to how I am achieving them, and then trying to remember new advice and apply it to said goals. I never feel like it’s that much in the moment but when I look at it on paper (or in type here) I realize that IT’S A LOT.
I recently talked about how I use Kanban to stay organized and optimize my productivity flow. Today I want to touch on another really important tool I’ve used to optimize flow and actively work on identifying then overcoming distractions and bad habits: RescueTime.
What is RescueTime?
RescueTime describes itself as follows:
RescueTime helps you understand where your time is going while working on your computer or mobile device. It lets you keep track of the time you spend in various activities so you can have an accurate idea of where your day goes. Understanding your time allows you to take control of it, and find a balance that works for you.
As most people in my life know, I have been trying to switch careers for about a year now. During this past year I have indulged myself in art classes to feed my talents, created relationships with others in more creative fields, gained further insight into the inner-workings of the social media and technology areas, and fashioned an online space to share what I am passionate about.
Note: After spending several hours writing this, I discovered it has challenged me the most out of all my previous entries. Although I have worked diligently to develop the set of skills I possess, writing about them without feeling uncomfortable and narcissistic has been difficult. However, I knew that vocalizing my journey, regardless of whether it was positive or negative, would be beneficial.
There are many types of productivity methods and resources for how to use them. I’ll touch on others another day but for now I want to talk about the most basic productivity/organization method I use: Personal Kanban.
I first discovered Kanban two years ago while attending a Philadelphia Self Quantifiers meetup at The Action Mill. The first thing I noticed when I stepped foot into The Action Mill was tons of sticky notes of all different colors covering every wall, separated by tape in varying ways. I was immediately drawn in and asked what this was all about. I was given a quick explanation and told to check out the Personal Kanban Webinar on their blog.
From that point on Personal Kanban completed changed my life, both at work and at home. I’ve talked about this ad nauseam to friends, colleagues, random folks who stop by my office and ask what the heck the tape monstrosity on the wall is, and even did a presentation on Kanban during a job interview (I didn’t get the position but I did make a good impression on some folks there). And now I want to share this knowledge with you!
So far 2015 has been pretty unproductive and a total “fail” as far as new healthy beginnings go. This isn’t surprising because I didn’t really hammer out my goals before the year started. I have a long list of things I want to achieve but I didn’t make a real “game plan” and I’m someone who really needs a plan to succeed. I’m not beating myself up, though. It’s nice to start new habits at the very beginning of the year but if I start a few weeks late with a plan for success, then it’s better late than never. I’ve heard the quote “Focus on progress, not perfection” several places recently, and I am trying to remind myself of it often.
The biggest thing I definitely need/want to work on before anything else is cooking meals for myself, both for health and money reasons. I had gotten on a roll with this in mid-November but then Thanksgiving, new house changes, weddings, and holidays came and blew me out of the water. I’m baby stepping my way towards plans for goals and this is my current step. I was really inspired to start cooking again and get healthy when I saw this article The Anti-Detox Diet posted by my friend Kelly. My plans for how to keep up with cooking and eating healthy are below.