So long 2013, it’s be quite a year!
As 2014 quickly approaches I am psyching myself up for one hell of a ride. I’ve never been more excited about a new year and I’ve worked hard to get to this point so it’s nice to see that hard work truly does pay off.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Part of the hard work in 2013 meant that I couldn’t spend as much time as I would have liked writing blog posts and sharing photos. Being on the road is exciting but also exhausting, especially when doing if for months at a time. Now it’s time for me to learn how to manage my schedule in a more efficient manner for 2014 and beyond. I’m looking at several ways to be more productive while spending less time on time things that have little potential in terms of reward. More time spent on tasks does not always equal more productivity or more rewards. In fact, time is such a precious commodity that I cringe to think how much of it I have wasted in the past on tasks that were merely busy work.
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
~ Tim Ferriss
Time for me to work smarter, not harder.
I’m not saying that I won’t work hard anymore, I’m just looking to be far more productive by working smarter. I’ve caught myself using the term “overwhelmed” far too much in the last few months. It’s not the fun work like taking photos and editing them that is overwhelming, in fact, I find myself doing less of that than I have in years and I need to fix that. Like so many of us, it’s the things like emails, meetings, and social media that take up a whole lot of the work day. When the work day begins at 9 and ends at midnight on most days, something is wrong. Not only is this not good in terms of productivity, I don’t think it’s mentally healthy.
I have high expectations from myself and tend to set impossible goals with unachievable deadlines. That’s a total recipe for disaster and in the long run, I end up feeling guilty about not getting enough done and thus continues the unrelenting sense of being overwhelmed. This has to change. It might not be easy to change but it HAS to. I’ve just put the 8 habits of highly productive people graphic you see above on my desk as a constant reminder of what I need to do to encourage positive change in my life in 2014. I’m going to make it the background on my phone as well. Let’s see what happens.
Making smart, positive changes is not only a good idea but necessary to make progress and evolve in life, business, and creativity. Charles Darwin nailed it when he said:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
This applies not just to species survival but to survival in business and art as well. In 2014 I’ll be making some drastic changes in my life. The changes I foresee are life enriching and positive but I’m sure that to achieve the results I’m looking for from these changes, it will be a bit of a roller coaster ride. Peaks, valleys, ebb, flow, are all natural cycles but I think I can control this roller coaster to a point where it’s more fun than scary. It should be an interesting challenge.
If you’ve read my blog in the past or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +, you know that I’m a fan of quotes, especially positive motivational quotes that inspire and encourage me. While short relevant quotes are great for a quick pick me up, the even more inspiring writing to me is often found in motivational manifestos. I’m happy to share four of the ones that have made me take a look at my life and galvanise me into taking action to effect positive change.
The Holstee Manifesto is the one that I always go back to for encouragement or a refill on motivation. If you want a copy of it to hang on your wall, you can get one here.
The Maptia Manifesto is a recent favourite from my friends at the beautiful website Maptia. Dorothy, Jonny, and Dean, the founders of Maptia are truly kindred spirits. I just love how they see the world and I’m happy to be able to team up with them from time to time by adding images and stories to their beautiful site. The Maptia team has inspired me to savour my travels even more and I’m looking forward to seeing what great things they achieve in 2014.
Surfers have a unique way of seeing the world and I love watching surf documentaries like Step Into Liquid just to listen to surfers talk about their philosophies about life. The Wave Tribe Manifesto nails it for me in terms of how I see the world and what I’d like to be able to do with my life. I’ll keep working on it and I’ll return to read this manifesto on a regular basis.
What’s not to love about the 16 Hours Manifesto? Every single point that is made in this manifesto is on target with what I believe makes life worth living. While it’s nice to believe these things, it’s another to implement the ideas so now it’s now up to me to that my actions live up to my beliefs and aspirations.
I haven’t posted anything new on the blog in quite some time and I’m not happy about that at all. I guess I needed a break and used the excuse of being “busy” to skip a week, then two, then three. Has it really been that long since I last posted? Time flies when one is “busy” but the sad thing is that I’m pretty sure I could have managed my time more efficiently. I never intended to stop writing posts, it just happened while I was on a long 3 month journey that took me from Iceland to co-lead a photo workshop with buddy Colby Brown, to my inaugural Dream Photo Tour of Italy (where the top image was taken), Paris for a cool project with Formatt-Hitech, New York to speak at the Photo Plus Expo for Fujifilm and meet with the awesome people at Photoshelter, Los Angeles for a short sane break, and San Francisco for meetings with Google and G-Technology.
While I was legitimately busy during this time with important tasks, I still found the time to be busy with things that did not reward me either financially or artistically. There is comfort in busy work for some reason. It doesn’t make sense but it is human nature. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, right? Wrong! One of my main goals in 2014 is to banish as much busy work as possible and hopefully, that will allow me to get back to posting here on a more regular basis.
It’s nice to be posting again and not only am I back but hopefully with renewed zest and new content to share with you. While I have big plans for the blog for 2014, I think I’ll keep the plans to myself, for now, other than to mention that together with my design team, I’m currently working on a completely new blog design that will be mobile responsive and Retina screen friendly. The new blog design is already motivating me to want to share more photos, stories, and other content. That’s a great start.
I don’t want to set more goals for myself than I can achieve. After all the blog is just one part of what I do and I do have my work cut out for me in 2014. I’ll have more on that in one of my next posts.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep searching for ways to work smarter so that I’m able to have the time to work on the things that I have a passion for, like photographing the world, editing images, and sharing them with you all here on my blog.
Thanks for your kind support in 2013. May 2014 be an awesome adventure for us all.