03 Jan My (Reasonable) 2017 Expectations
As with many, 2016 was a mixed bag. On a personal note, I don’t think I could fault it but there’s definite room for improvement in 2017. Here’s my list and plan of how I’m hoping to start the year off right!
Out with the old in with the new
Well not quite. We all have a toolbelt of tricks, methods and practices we use on a daily, but as creatives, we always need something to set us apart and stay ahead of the pack. Picking up some new skills big or small can be immensely advantageous. Mine for this year is learning the ins and outs of Sketch as I feel I can no longer sell myself on my Photoshop-only UI skillset.
Shed that weight
I have a bucket load of ideas for projects — in fact, I have around 170 in my notepad. But how many of those did I actually execute in 2016? Maybe only a handful. I find when the room’s too cluttered I have a tough time focusing, and much like this, I want to pare down my list to a reasonable number of projects I actually want to fulfill versus the ideas that are cute, but I’ll never execute.
More milestones and fewer resolutions
I always found having several goals/resolutions for the end of the year has never benefited me. Instead, I plan on setting up weekly milestones of varying degrees with an overall theme throughout the year. My broader theme is the need to feel satisfaction from my career, in that I want to have a sense of accomplishment; that I’m working towards something bigger for myself. Photography is a field in which I’ve been saying I want to be taken seriously; this year I need to stop practicing the craft and actually apply myself, put myself out there to enable opportunities to get paid.
Do more (but less) work
I’m most likely the world’s greatest procrastinator. Like many, I delay and wait for the pressure and stress to help me deliver work. While it generally works in my favour, I hate the feeling throughout. As a freelancer, working from home for the majority of the day doesn’t help either. I want to start another approach — devoting an uninterrupted chunk of time per day towards projects. But, since I have ADD, I’m blocking 30-minute chunks of pure focused productivity with a 10-minute break reward. So for a 5-hour work block, I’ll have taken an additional 50 minute tallied break. Which is better than doing it the old way, as many studies show that in an 8 hour day many only have 3 productive hours. If 30 minutes is too short, Fast Company has written an article with 52 minutes being their magic number.
Sharing is caring
Something I started practicing at the end of ’16 was to share more with others — a borrowed principle from the awesome Austin Kleon. I truly believe sharing is symbiotic/mutual, in that if you’re putting art or knowledge in the open the benefits will be two-fold. 1, you’re teaching someone how to fish, 2, it stimulates interest and adds value to your persona.
I hope there’s at least one takeaway from my list, but would be curious in hearing from you, what’s on your list for 2017?
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Also published on Medium.