2015 challenge: increase productivity

2015 challenge: increase productivity

I started doing the Your Turn Challenge.  It is a 7-day blogging challenge inspired by the Your Turn book by Seth Godin. It’s definitely worth a go if you’re thinking about it. The feeling of seeing your writing amongst other amazing posts is fantastic.  🙂

Day 1: Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?

Well the simple answer, is that I want to prove to myself that I can be more productive. The last six months since I graduated or three months since I started working freelance I have been busy but I haven’t been productive. I recently read an article about the False Hustle, and I realised that it was totally me. Busy, busy, busy. Every free moment is taken up by one job or another, with little time to reflect but when I actually look back on the day I realise that I haven’t accomplished much. I’ve been working reactively instead of proactively. So my goal for 2015 is to be more productive.
I remember at university wondering at how my flatmate could be so organised and so productive. She would finish her portfolio a day before the hand in. Everything printed, models completed, her work was beautiful. And all this without a single late night, which is totally unheard of at architecture school. Where all nighters and total panic are rights of passage. I always wondered how she was able to do that. What was the difference between her and the rest of us? This year I have decided that I want to be more like her, I want to take charge of my day-to-day routine and be more productive. It will allow me to do my work well and also have the time to do the fun projects that I have been procrastinating for ages.
There were a couple of things that stand out when I think of her work routine.  Firstly she had a good routine. She was up by 7am every morning, went to bed by 10pm every weekday evening and was in the studio by 9am. None of which is a big ask. Secondly she would set targets everyday of what she wanted to accomplish. They were part of a bigger goal but broken into achievable chunks for the day. She never had a massive list of things to do. Just one or two that she could focus on and she wouldn’t leave the studio till they were finished. It was never that late 6pm compared to the rest of us who’d leave round 10/11pm. She had total focus when she was working, not getting distracted by this or that thing online or a chat. That’s not to say she wasn’t sociable, cause she was super friendly.  Finally she knew when to stop. Unlike the rest of us who kept adding more work, trying to achieve perfection on first go instead of finishing what we’ve started. She wasn’t afraid of trying something quickly and roughly and then improving on it after feedback or a tutorial.
I’ve realised that I am still with my student mentality, with flittering focus. I set targets for the day. I write a super long list. Which means I don’t focus on one thing and end up not finishing anything or being productive. I keep getting distracted by emails, the internet and everything else.  But I’m learning from my friend I’m trying to focus on breaking my bigger goals into achievable chunks. One thing a day, or one thing a week.
Inspired by the NOD Drawing Project by illustrator Andy J. Miller, where he set out to draw one character, with a name and description every weekday for a year. Every month in 2015, I will set myself two goals with the aim of reaching productivity. One will be a Routine challenge, focusing on building a better work routine and the second will be a Making challenge, developing my skills through side projects. The Your Turn Challenge arrived at the perfect time, as I thought January would go by without me setting or accomplishing a Making Challenge.
My aim is to write 1 blog post every day this week. I finally started my blog Active Socioplastics in November but the posts have been on and off. The Your Turn Challenge will help me to develop a steady blog schedule. I still don’t know what my message is but I’m finding that the more I write the better I can define it. So writing 1 blog post a day this week will be my first step towards productivity. I really believe that doing this will allow me to prove to myself that I will reach that holy grail this year. You can check out my productivity challenge progress throughout the year on Active Socioplastics. I’ll keep it updated with my learnings and my monthly productivity challenges.
I am looking forward to connecting with the community and meet other likeminded people. So happy blogging everyone 🙂
Here we go 2015 resolutions

Here we go 2015 resolutions

I know a lot of people have given up on the notion of New Years resolutions especially the bland ones like eat more healthy, got to the gym e.t.c e.t.c. But I still find them fascinating, if only that they make you pause and access where you are and where you want to be.

I was reading my resolutions/ goals from 2014. There were roughly ten, and out of them I had only done two. Graduate and work for people I admire and can learn from. I definitely hadn’t exercised at least twice a week unless you count thinking about it. But instead of seeing this as a negative, I found it interesting because it reminded me that life isn’t a smooth line where you can map out everything. Its a series of choices. So maybe it’s about having an idea of what you want and taking the opportunities that align to it.

For example I knew I didn’t want another job like the ones I had done most of my summers while studying. Where I didn’t find the work stimulating or feel like I had a purpose. This in turn helped me when it came to seeking and going for opportunities that were interesting. And when I attended the Clean Concience Dirty Hands symposium at the GSA, it opened my eyes to see that design could make positive social and economic differences and perhaps I could make a career in this area. I’m still very much finding my path but it was comforting to see I had stayed somewhat in line with my resolutions for 2014.

So for 2015 I have set myself an overarching attitude and mantra for the year. To keep hope and keep smiling. And if I notice myself complaining about something too many times, to either do something about it or stop complaining! Of course I still have my resolutions/ goals, among them to get my driving licence and the obligatory try to excercise (one year i will do this).

I’m excited for 2015, it is looking to be a good one.

Happy 2015 everyone 😊