You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t publish a monthly review for August or September. Sometimes with the juggle of multiple online businesses, family and marathon training, some things have to give and my reviews were one of those things.
Where to direct your time, energy and attention is an ongoing challenge when you want to be productive. Productivity to me is not simply something you measure in terms of output of work. I define productivity as:
Productivity = using your time + energy + attention effectively to achieve your goal
I looked at my current business goal during these months and made decisions on how I would allocate my work time based on what activities would help me progress most toward my goal. The key point to note here is that the choices I made were done so intentionally. To get the most out of our time, we need to use it consciously.
My business workload over the last few months has been greater than I can efficiently and effectively manage so I am putting time into thinking how I move forward for 2024. Below I share how I have progressed with my personal goal for October.
Create a monthly experiment
Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – I love my routines and they provide an excellent base from which I can achieve a great deal. My love of routines can mean that I can take a very well-worn path. This year I want to mix it up more. Add more play, challenge myself and try new things while bringing along others as I go.
Quote to connect to – “The true method of knowledge is experiment.” – William Blake
October performance – In Spetember I injured myself in a strength workout. The timing was terrible as I was about six weeks out from Melbourne Marathon. I needed to do daily rehab to help get me to the start line and I simply didn’t have any bandwidth to add any thing else, so I made my daily rehab my challenge. I was absolutely perfect with it until the marathon. The week after the marathon I didn’t do anything but jumped back on to it for the last week of October. You can see my previous daily challenges below and I added some notes on what I did and how I went for August and September. For November I am going to practice a breathing exercise every day for at least 5 minutes and focus on breathing through my nose as much as possible at all times other than exercise.
- January – to play every day
- February – take a short video every day
- March – pray the rosary every day
- April – Yoga With Kassandra’s – Flexible Body, Flexible Mind – 30 Day Challenge
- May – create a new design in Canva every day
- June – do a 10 minute Non-Sleep Deep Rest session each day (fail)
- July – write 10 ideas in 10 minutes
- August – cook two new meals a week – I had a 80% success rate with this in terms of actually cooking two new meals a week (only one was a dinner and the other was lunch or breakfast just for me). Out of the meals I cooked, there are two that I have cooked again since and will become regulars in the rotation.
- September – 10 minute daily NSDR – this was great and while I didn’t achieve 100%, it would have been closer to 80% it made a huge difference to how I am feeling.
- October – daily rehab – I had an injury in the lead up to the marathon so daily rehab was a priority and I stuck to this as noted above until the marathon!
Practice switching from judgement to curiosity
Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – Having strong opinions on issues means that when I hear a dissenting view I can move to judgement and not make an attempt to understand the opposing viewpoint – it stifles open communication.
When I hear/read/view something that triggers me, I want to be curious not judgemental about it and really listen and understand the thinking behind the differing view and have truly open communication with others. Communication is key to connection.
Quote to connect to – “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand.” – Roy T. Bennett
October performance – The world really threw me and everyone else a challenging practicing ground in October. The referendum and the conflict between Israel and Palestine were/are highly emotional and have been covered widely on social media. I will be honest and admit that my reaction to this has been to consume content much less. I realise I am in a privileged position to be able to do this and it doesn’t mean I don’t think about these issues and those affected, I definitely do and it is distressing to me. I have been listening to a great podcast though which was recommended to me by a lovely reader, Gillian, called The Rest is Politics. It is hosted by former Downing Street Director of Communications and Strategy Alastair Campbell and cabinet minister Rory Stewart they come from across the political divide and discuss UK and World politics. 8/10.
Consume a diverse low information diet
Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – When consuming information from many sources now, algorithms are feeding us what it thinks we want to see based on what we have already seen, listened to or read. It takes a concerted effort to diversify the information we are consuming.
We are becoming an increasingly polarised society on so many issues and it is causing deep division. If we only ever look at one side of the story our divisions will only grow bigger.
Quote to connect to – “We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” – Tim Berners-Lee
October performance – I didn’t take any particular action other than to reduce the total amount of information I consumed during the month. As a consequence I read more and went to bed earlier – winning all around!
Tasks for the Year
- February – Completely overhaul my Feedly feed – completed. It took me about 90 minutes to overhaul the feed. It was interesting to see so many blogs that now no longer publish new articles. I completely deleted entire folders of feeds. Over time my interests have changed but by keeping so many feeds in my account, there was too much info coming in so I wasn’t really seeing the ones I wanted to. I would have halved the number of feeds that I had in my account which is great.
- May – Edit, add and cull the email newsletters I am subscribed to
- Review accounts I follow on Instagram
- July – Review podcast subscriptions – deleted podcasts I no longer listened to and added some new ones to create diversity in my feed.
- March – Review Youtube subscriptions – this month I worked on adding diversity to my Youtube subscriptions and deleting anything I am no longer interested in. I unsubscribed from over 50 channels. There is so much quality content on Youtube now that I am tempted to pay for the premium version!