Someone on twitter said that doing a yearly retrospective is extremely valuable - so here I am. I've decided one of my 2018 goals will be to live a more public-facing life, partially for professional reasons, and this is a good first step.
On the road
2017 has been a wild-ride. I moved to Cary in December 2016 and have spent a whole year here at this point. Most of my client-base is still in Winston, so I've been doing a bit of driving this year. I didn't drive every day, but it probably averages out to about one trip a week. 12,300 miles total. Travel time based on google maps: 227 hours. Wow. That's 5 1/2 weeks of time that I could have spent in a much more productive way, or at least in a more enjoyable way. What if I just flat out refused to travel and told everyone I needed to be remote or no-dice? Would certainly be better for my mental health...
I love being back in Cary/Raleigh. Most of my close friends are still in the area and we are finally able to do things together again. My wife and I have started regularly attending / hosting dinners and going to events with our friends. I don't think it's a stretch to say that both me and my wife are introverts, so making new friends in Winston never came naturally. It's nice to be able to rejoin an old established group.
- Got a fence built.
- New puppy (Belle).
- House decorated, furniture purchased, home office set up.
- Expecting first child early 2018.
- Cultivated an ongoing relationship with a really good Raleigh client for 2-days a week of work.
- Shipped a LOT of code. 4-5 new web applications into production. Ongoing maintenance work and enhancements.
- Fully scheduled myself moving into 2018.
- Made 20% more money that I did in 2016.
- Consolidated all of my todo lists into Trello (using GTD style lists).
- Wrote a few blogs posts.
- Got back into Twitter. This is something I've been wanting to do.
- I traveled way too much.
- I attempted to offload some projects of mine to 1099 and it didn't work out. I feel like I can probably pin most of the problems here on myself (communication and setting expectations). I'm likely going to give this another go - will write about it.
- Had a lot of trouble with time-management. Multiple last-minute marathon code sessions to meet deadlines.
- Side Note: these were all deadlines that I basically set myself by scheduling meetings promising to show the latest changes. If I don't do stuff like this, I never feel the pressure and don't get things done. Perhaps I should set more realistic goals and tell people "NO" more.
- Didn't blog as much as I should have.
- Had a lot of trouble leaving work at work. Consolidating my todo lists has really helped here.
I'm excited to see what 2018 brings. Here's a short list of goals and some ideas on how I'm going to accomplish them.
- Less travel - the upcoming arrival of our baby girl has made this one really easy for me. I told all my clients, truthfully, that I don't want to travel very far when my wife is in here 3rd trimester. I am also not going to be travelling after she's here because my wife needs me home. My Raleigh client has me onsite 2 to 3 days a week in 2018, and the rest of the time will be spent remote.
- Better time management - I cannot realistically continue to do late-night marathon code sessions. It's just not sustainable. I am planning to be very disciplined with my time-management in 2018. I'm also considering ways I can be held accountable when working from home on open-ended projects. Maybe I'll start live streaming myself in the office working?
- Less Coffee - I've gone a little overboard on the coffee and really need to cut back. In January I'm going to begin my journey.
- Make 20% more, again. This will be interesting. I'm close to hitting a hard-cap based purely on the fact that there's only so many hours in the day. Even with the reduced travel, I will need to scale in other ways to accomplish this. I'm thinking productized services and possibly hiring another developer.
- Work on the business rather than in the business. e-myth stuff.
- Spend time with my wife and new baby. The only way I can achieve this in the way I want is to have extreme discipline with my time-management.
- Continue learning. This year I want to deep-dive on .NET Core, CSS grid, and React.
- Launch something. I want to launch something public-facing of my own. I do it for clients all the time, I should do something for myself.