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A year of no more chasing - 2017

28 May 2017

Starting with 2012, until 2016, I’ve had a fantastic 4 years - I managed to level up skills, personal relationships, professional relationships, income, travel exposure - all sorts of things.

However 2017 has been a year of the chase, and I’ve found myself dissatisfied so far. 3 more days for half the year to end and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. Personal projects, finances, workplace, relationships, travel - they haven’t quite had the bang I’ve been seeing in the previous 4 years.

Better late than never, so I’ve decided to take charge and ensure I make the remaining 6 months worthwhile. Here are some of the things I’ve been chasing in 2017:

  • Social: I’ve been trying to make friends. Most of my interaction happens online on Facebook or Tinder, and I don’t quite meet a lot of people in person
  • Freelance jobs: I’m beginning to feel like I need to try more things and not just focus on my $dayjob. Working on the same problem for an extended period can feel demotivating, and I feel siloed from the rest of the tech world. However, I don’t hate anything as much as I do wading through job postings and similar crap and writing in
  • Personal projects: Probably just to look cool, I’ve started several personal projects with a clear focus on making money. I start excitedly, but as it turns out making money out of something is hard, and then I lose focus on the fun behind solving the problem itself
  • OSS projects: I’ve been messaging some of my OSS heroes telling them I’m gonna free time to contribute, and often they even find things for me, but I just never get to it
  • Design work: I’d like to do artsy and pretty things, but apart from the two days of sketching I did enthusiastically I couldn’t go much further
  • Sports and Fitness: I had a fantastic February maintaining my diet plan and even wrote an article about willpower inspired by that. Yet again, in March, there was a crazy outburst of work, and I couldn’t keep up

That’s a lot of things and it can be difficult to remember all of them, so I’ve decided that I’ll keep the following guidelines in mind for the rest of the year:

  • Avoid virtual talk. Either there’s time alone for hobbies, or there’s time spent with a real person talking or doing things. I’ve already let go of my Facebook account and my Tinder
  • No more wading through job postings for work. Over time I’ve realised that there is a basic amount of money I need for my lifestyle expenses (private condo, uber, nice food, monthly flights, sketching courses or similar), and quite frankly, that’s not a lot. Beyond this, a few thousand extra dollars a month isn’t going to buy me a private jet, so might as well spend the time doing something that I enjoy. I enjoy the company of smart makers because to me they’re cool, so I’m going to try and be more involved with OSS projects
  • Same with design work. At my dayjob, doing design work isn’t feasible right now. Outside, finding the kind of design work I want to do involves wading through crap. Therefore, once again, I’m going to spend time sketching, and on 99Designs without any expectations of winning
  • I’m going to contribute $10 to a fund for every day I don’t do any form of workout. I’ll use that as a scholarship for students later on. Very often, I pick the unhealthy option because it’s cheaper, so I’ll contribute $20 for days I skip > 1 meal or consume 2 unhealthy meals

So, to summarise, my guidelines for the rest of 2017:

  • Avoid virtual talk
  • Try and be more involved with OSS projects
  • Spend time sketching, and on 99Designs without any expectations of winning
  • Contribute $10 to a fund for every day I don’t do any form of workout
  • Contribute $20 for days I skip > 1 meal or consume 2 unhealthy meals