By the end of every year, I spend some time to recall the past year and analyze what went well and what did not went the way I expected. As a result I get a corrected path to go for the upcoming year.
I mostly spent the last two years with getting some private life back. While most of my life consisted of work and more work by then, I made it to get some rest during the last few months. Moving from Haltern to Schleswig helped me a lot. I also moved three quarters of my working time from freelancing to a regular job which was also really helpful.
Despite all that I still found myself working longer and longer. After a eight hour work day at office, I spent like another four to five hours working at home. Not everyday but most of them. I also spent most of my weekend working.
Too many projects
The reason for this situation is that I still have some clients and contracts that last until the end of this years. But additionally next to my regular job, I work on three projects with a bunch of people.
The first one is an educational platform for learning languages. Started as an idea to help people learning my mother tongue Tamil, it evolved to a unique app concept to learn any language. By now some few people (including myself) are working on a proof-of-concept of the idea using Tamil as our first language.
The second project is my oldest idea. Almost everyone who knows me also knows that I have problems gaining weight. I’ve tried many different things to solve this issue. And through this I came to this project. It’s an application that makes you reaching your weight goals by assisting you. While you keep tracking your meals, activity and body measurements, the app tries to find out how your body reacts on several nutrients. Then it will suggest you groceries that you may take to in- or decrease the value of some nutrients.
While both projects above are still in a phase of planning and prototyping, the last project I was working on is already released. It’s KERNWERK. This project is an app for getting your fitness to the point you want to reach (and more). Different to other approaches, KERNWERK provides real workouts crafted by real coaches every single day while a complex algorithm makes sure that your daily workout matches your current state of fitness.
Focus on personal goals
Reading the lines above, you may now see the high load of work. Although I really love these projects, I just can’t handle them anymore. That’s why I decided to cut down the load. The result will be more time for myself and this also means more money (time is money!).
The time left over I want to spend on personal goals like speaking basic Japanese (I started learning this year, but did not make much progress due to lack of time), getting into open source development and speaking at (developer) conferences. I actually also planned to move to the Netherlands/Belgium and get a full-time job but I’m still not sure because I really enjoy the calm of Schleswig (other call it boredom). So for now I’m going to stay here.
But what I definitely have to change is the work load apart my regular job. And I decided to step away from the KERNWERK project and from the platform for learning languages. While KERNWERK has a solid and awesome team of which I was just a small factor, the e-learning platform needs to be put on hold.
It’s not any easy decision but it is a necessary move for my future. At the end of 2018 I want to look back and say: “Yes, I have the life again that I wanted and I’m happy with it”. And if that’s not the case, I’m going to adjust my direction for 2019. Just like I’m doing now for next year.