Goals for 2014

 05 Jan 2014

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This morning I made a post about some productivity changes I’m making in 2014… or at least I posted about a lot of systems that I’m going to try and keep up with to see if they help. I did not talk a lot about why I’m trying these systems. Bullet Journal, Pomodoro and Scrum for my life sounds great… but what am I trying to fix by doing them?

1) Blog more / Become a better writer

I always have ideas for what to write about… but then never do. Git tricks, Java weirdness, Parenting stuff (new!), game notes and strategies, etc. Often these ideas just get put off and then I never write anything. The last post in my last blog was in May of 2013… horrendous. I want to blog more and I think both keeping track of when I blog (in the journal) AND keeping track of blogging ideas both might help.

There is a secondary reason for this. I do want to become a better writer. I ramble and in order to accomplish the things I want at work… writing more would help. I also want to document things a bit clearer as well… and again I think writing more would help this. I’m never going to be an AMAZING writer… but writing something small each day on something I’m interested in should help a LOT.

2) Stop forgetting things / Avoid interruptions

Sometimes things don’t get done because I plain forget about them! This most often happens at work and is the main reason I want to have the journal with me. I don’t want to forget things that are brought up in meetings or told to me at random times.

As I said in my first post, I get interrupted a lot. Some of these are legitimate (a coworker asking a question) and some are just stupid (I browse facebook and youtube a lot) and others are due to interests (If something exciting happens in the gaming world or new technology is brought up I can get side tracked). The fact that I still manage to do my job is surprising sometimes! This is the main reason for wanting to apply pomodoro to work. I want to be able to focus on one task for 25 minutes and then re-evaluate what I should be working on after. I will try this one for the first time tomorrow! I’ll post about how it went after.

This is also becoming more important as I take on more roles at work. I used to be able to just sit at my desk and code all day. That’s easy! Now as I look forward and contemplate managing I’m going to need to balance working on code with project management, coworker training and management, meetings, etc. Exciting? Yes… but my systems need to improve.

3) Continue learning / Work on side projects

I pride myself on constantly learning new things. I actively spend time at work learning about new technologies (whether we end up using them or not) or keeping up with older technologies as they change. I feel this is one of the reasons I’m good at my job, and hopefully it will be one of the reasons I continue to be good at my job! Sometimes this gets lost and I feel with a better system I will keep this in mind and I will keep doing it. This also ties into my last post. There are things that aren’t job related that I want to learn about that I’ve been putting off. If these are listed in front of me and I spend time prioritizing, I feel like I might make more progress on them.

I want to become better at moving on a side project event a little bit. Often times side projects just die due to neglect, when it wouldn’t be hard to work on them for a short time each week. This ties into learning since a lot of my side projects have a dual effect of learning about some new technology as I work on them.

4) Plan for parenting later on / Don’t lose myself

When my kid gets older, I really want to use principles of scrum in our daily routine. I’ve been reading other blogs about parents who have done this with great success. By going over each day, a family gets to stay on top of deadlines and gets to hear about what other members are doing. My current routines will get me ready to apply this at a larger scale later on.

Parenting also takes a lot of time. Time goes away faster than it did before… so I need new ways to help control that so I still get to do things that interest me. I keep getting told that having kids changes everything. I want that statement to be true in some ways, and to not be true in others. I want the things that I’m interested in to still have a spot in my life… especially if they can include Kerrigan later on. I feel like it can be done… hence more planning!

5) Read more

Tiny goal… but it’s there. This will probably come a little bit later on. I probably want to apply pomodoro to some of my time at home as well (if it works well at work). This will allow me to read without feeling like it’s taking too much time away from other activities. I need that.