Thursday, 30 January 2020

Rebooting the year

It's the start of a new year and I find myself on the back foot already. After a 2019 which can only be described as "a year that happened" I was hoping to launch into 2020 full of excitement and wonder with new hobbies and ... well, basically more fun.

Then I got the flu. Which always triggers depression in me.

Then I got back to work and had to catch up after having the flu while still getting through the depression cycle.

And now it's the last days of January and honestly I have no idea where the time has gone. I've just finished uploading the pictures from December to my Year in Pictures site, which is normally done mid-month. I've got a list as long as my arm of pretty basic things I needed to do this month and I seem to be running around attempting to get anything (let alone everything) done.

I could complain about this, but I think there is a more interesting question - what am I going to do about it? How do I get back on top of "stuff" without just pseudo-working through the weekend, and undoing the point of rest time?

Getting in front means working through my list and being in a better position to do / react / ignore as I choose. So, I suppose the question really is "how do I accelerate through this list?" Ok, this is a prioritisation question. I can do this.

First off, email. I find that since my working life has become all about managing my email inbox I have become very poor at my personal inbox. I can blitz this quickly though - mostly by deleting all the rubbish sent to me by LinkedIn and then raising the threshold required for a response from "probably should" to "must" and binning the rest. Coffee, typing, and it's down from about 40 to 9 which immediately makes me feel much much better. I practice inbox zero - poorly - and this is one of those little things that gives me a small boost. I really need to delete more email in the future.

With email dealt with, I've got a long list of actual Things that need doing ... or do they? I could take meter readings for gas and electricity, but the world will turn if I don't. I can ignore an estimated reading this month and correct next month. What else can I ignore? I need to vacuum, but honestly the world will keep turning if I skip this one... Most social engagements are not that interesting... Anything else that is not utterly essential can also go...

There is so much basic tedious admin generated by life that I find it too easy to get buried in the detail and forget what's important. For me, before the end of the month, it is important that I sort the pictures (done) and write a blog post (nearly over, don't worry). These matter to me and so are now sorted. I need to fill in an application form (nearly done after a REALLY boring afternoon). Everything else outside of work can take a distant backseat.

So the tedious answer to the tedious question is apparently simple. Delete everything. I'm rebooting the year.

But, after a rather dismal start to the year, I think it's important to look forward. This year I've got a new outlet for writing. I'm helping out gamesmastering on a MUD and it's the first time in a long while I've been genuinely excited by a new hobby. Part of my frustration right now is that I've got other stuff to churn through when I want to be getting on with that. More on this another month, I'm sure.

Welcome to 2020.