The Homestretch

So, here we are in the last few days of 2017. Traditionally, I spend the last week of the year thinking about all the things I’ve accomplished, personal goals I’ve reached and what projects I want to try to tackle for the coming year.

This year, I am lucky enough to have the entire week between Christmas and New Years off. So, I’m taking some time this week to plan for how I’m going to use the free days to land the plane for 2017.

A few things I’d like to wrap up before January 1st:

  • Finish structural edit notes for my screenplay – I let the story sit for a week and now I’m in the process of reading through the draft and making notes about larger changes I’d like to make in future drafts. I’d like to have at least two structural read-throughs done and notes made by EOY.
  • Start outlining my next writing project – I haven’t decided if I want to write another non-fiction book or try to hammer out another fiction project. So, I’d like to take some time and kick around all the various ideas I’ve got and vet out which one I want to start working on once my current project is complete.
  • Lose 5 – 10 more pounds – I’ve not been as disciplined over the past week with my diet and running, and as such my weight loss has stalled. I am supposed to return to the doctor for a follow-up appointment in a few weeks, so I want to lose 5-10 more pounds before then.
  • Yearly review – for the past seven years, I’ve performed a yearly review during the last week of the year. Typically, I write out all the goals and projects I’ve completed and write out all the goals I have for the coming year. It’s a good way to put my intentions on paper and out into the universe. I’ve got the bones of the document written, now I just need to fill in the details.

Overall, I think I can end the year on a really high note. I’ve been able to push a lot of things over the finish line recently and have accomplished the majority of the things I set out to do. Just a few more days to put a nice bow on everything and close out this year’s chapter.



Analog “Now”

One of the popular productivity/communication techniques going around the internet at the moment is the implementation of the “Now” page on your personal blog or website.

This concept was initiated by Derek Sivers a while back and it’s purpose is to give yourself (and others) a sense of the project(s) that are consuming your immediate attention.

I don’t personally have a Now page on this site, but I have instituted an analog version of the technique. On my cork board, directly above my computer workstation, I have a simple 3×5 index card posted that lists the top 3 projects that I am currently focused on (see screenshot at the top).

As of the time of this writing those three things include:

  • Training for the Route 66 5K
  • Working on a screenplay
  • Fall harvest & winter prep

I think the offline version is more effective (in my specific context) than posting it as a page on my site because it’s more accessible for the person who needs it most – me.

I primarily work in offline mode. If I only had my projects listed on my website, I would really only see the list when I thought about pulling up the page and looked at it. But because I have it posted directly above my workspace, I am reminded of my priorities much more often, even when I’m working offline.

Anyways, I’m positive I’m not the first person to do an analog version of this, but it’s definitely a technique worth implementing if you’re someone who sets goals and needs frequent reminders as to what your focus should be on (like me).