Reflections 2019

Whew… I made it through 2019. A bit weary and a lot has changed for me…

I had a health scare with my mother on New Year’s Day 2018 when she suffered a stroke. Thankfully, we had great caretakers who helped with her recovery efforts. Mom isn’t as mobile as she once was but she’s still running around in her social circles.

I’ve had my own health scare but with careful management and coordination with my doctor, I’m able to take care of myself…

It’s interesting how Life throws monkeys wrenches at me. I’ll catch as many of the monkey wrenches as I can and be able to turn into changes for the better.

I never thought I’d see the day that I would return back to paper. I’ve been using my BuJo more heavily this year as my daily driver instead of staying all digital with my task manager and calendar.

I’m incorporating a lot more checklists to take the cognitive load off my mind. If I don’t have it written down, it’ll take up space in my itty-bitty brain until I can capture into my system. Then I don’t have to worry as much. Documentation, documentation, documentation has been the key focus for me. I’m documenting my checklists, my workflows, and tidbits of knowledge. I want to get to a situation where I can go on vacation from the day job and not have to worry. Business will still run smoothly because all the documentation is in place. GTD is difficult enough to try to get it into automatic habit form. Checklists is my gateway towards getting things done.

And last but not least… Collaboration is another keyword for me. It’s a tough road as a remote worker. I can get isolated in my own little world and forget about the other remote workers out there in the same boat as me. Reconnecting and intentionally spending real Face Time with other people helps to strengthen bonds between us all. I’m carving out time to sit down and break bread with others instead of the monthly video calls to check in. I’m going out of my way into the community and volunteering some time and giving back to my neighborhood. I’m getting my voice and face out there. I’m contributing through Discourse forums such as the Effective Remote Work community and elsewhere. I’d like to give something back to a community that has given much to me.

Happy New Year! Hope to see everyone contribute in their own way to the Discourse chat and the Discord water cooler conversations!

Space Cadet signing off in 2019 and preparing launch sequence for 2020! :rocket:

:man_astronaut:t2: Wilson


Sounds like your year started off rough but you made it through! Good work on that Wilson! What happened is not easy to navigate.

What’s the biggest change you made to your system as a result of that?

The need for documentation and checklists was the biggest thing for me. Checklists relieves me of the fear of missing a crucial step. It’s easy to skip over steps in the interest of saving time. But I’ll always worry if it’s a step I should’ve done and I may pay for it later. Many repeating routines happen once a year or every four years. It helps to have a checklist and documentation ready. I record my steps for “Future Me.” When Future Me encounters the same situation next year or further into the future, I can draw from my experience. I can fine-tune my checklists/documentation to handle any new rules that may have changed since the last occurrence.

Does anyone else have their own reflections and revelations of 2019? Share what you can!

Here are mine on 2019!

  • Simplification: The biggest help for me in 2019 was the simplification of my system. Some of this was resulting from switching to simpler tools, but, more broadly, it was simplifying my expectations and demands on my system.

    Do I need to remember every little thing I’ve ever thought of to do? No. Did I do a good job of cleaning that out in OmniFocus? Never. Does paper force me to do that? Yup.

  • Flexibility – Every time I set goals for myself, something changes in life to make them irrelevant in some way/shape/form. This year it was having a baby! Did I plan to go back to a jobby job from self-employment? Nope! But my family’s needs required it (both from a housing and time off stance).

    Crafting not only my system but my expectations to be more flexible dramatically helped me stay productive and focused in the midst of all the crazy of this year.

  • Paper: Whoa paper. I experimented with a Bullet Journal starting in March, hopped back to OmniFocus for a bit, and then went back to the Bullet Journal combined with Notion this fall. What I learned was paper helps me clarify my thoughts, tasks, and ideas in a much better way than any digital task manager has ever done.

    Do I find I miss a digital tool for tasks? Sometimes, but it’s more because I haven’t figured out where to put something. If that happened in a digital tool, it would probably get lost, but since I have paper, it’s just there on the page, even though it’s not in the best spot.