Hello 2017, let’s be productive, energetic and minimalist together!

2016 is drawing to an end. With 2017 right in front of us, it’s the perfect time to take a few minutes to reassess, go back over last year and start 2017 thrumming with energy!

We started 2016 with very little energy: Alicia, our second daughter, was born in October 2015. The early months are always tough! But we went through the motions, suffered happily, enjoyed the sleepless nights followed by exhausting days while our family adjusted to a new routine to accommodate this beloved little terror, extending our home to a fourth person.

After that, we had a great run in 2016. My wife settled in her new not-yet-remote job, our eldest daughter Moira got used to have to share us with her sister, our little one started to walk. On my side I embraced a new position at my company as Chief Technical Architect, tweaked my morning routine, became fitter and even started meditating in December!

In 2017, I want to keep riding that wave and achieve even more happiness. And these are my top priorities for the year.

Be even more productive

Towards the end of 2016, I started using a bullet journal. I really like that methodology but I need to improve my bullet journal skills. Up to now, I have mostly used the daily logs. I think it’s time to dig up more of its modules!

In 2016, I had a hard time being productive when hit by the chaos monkey. Those are the days when my routine went completely sideways. I couldn’t find the energy and motivation I needed to be productive. And instead of dodging the bullet I tended to go back to my bad mode of trudging through the day, trying to force productivity instead of using all the remote weapons I have at my disposal: changing location, going for a walk, exercising…

Become more proficient at recharging

Credit: home-barista

As explained in this collaborative article written with the fantastic remotive slack community, there’s a difference between disconnecting and recharging. Disconnecting is the art of being able to archive what you are doing for later use while changing context. Recharging is filling up your batteries with energy for the long term.

In 2016 I’ve become very proficient at disconnecting – in both direction – making it possible for me to switch context quickly from being a dad to being a CTA.

I’ve also spent some time trying to figure out how to recharge my batteries more efficiently. Embracing the possibilities offered by remote work, I occasionally took a few hours during the day to go sailing with friends, surfing… As a European, I also have a healthy dose of paid leave: 28 days. The four of us did a great summer road trip in August, driving to les Alpes and taking the time to visit friends and family in the way. But I’m still struggling to find enough energy to feel happy to wake up in the morning.

My sleep patterns have been broken by the kids. Now that they sleep properly I still find myself awake at nights. I tried a few things – limiting screen time in the evenings, exercising in the morning, eating a light salad for dinner – but I’m still not very good at sleeping.

Recharging during the holidays with young kids can sometimes be an art as well. We all like to travel during our holidays but that can make it harder to rest. However with my daughters getting older it’ll only get better in 2017!

Embrace minimalism

Credit: lemerg

When reading about digital nomadism I’m always impressed by the minimalist approach. Being able to live for a year out of a small bag is something that is very far from our current way of life. Our relatively large flat is packed with things that we don’t necessarily use.

When I’m tired and grumpy I have a bad tendency to want more material things. If only I had the latest coffee maker / fitness tracker / phone, I’d be so happy I’d get over this rough period! Well, obviously, it doesn’t work. As explained by Srikumar Rao, happiness is an inherent state. You don’t need to achieve or buy something to be happy. In 2017 I’ll do my best to embrace the luxury of being happy with less things. Buying things I really need or want instead of acting on a craving.

Final words

By keeping only three main personal goals for a year – productivity, recharging and minimalism – my aim is to integrate those as part of my daily life. Creating an habit of those instead of focusing on too many things at once.

Did I miss any important priorities? Do you have a great tip for recharging? Let’s discuss on Twitter @ugocupcic.

Well done for making it all the way to the end! If you enjoyed it, how about liking/sharing this article?