It’s the first of September, and we’re starting the final third of the year. There are 122 more days in 2021, of which 82 working days. The summer hiatus is over. I feel lucky we were able to spend two weeks in Denmark, and another week in France. In the spring we assumed we would stay home as we did last year. Especially when the number of Covid cases surged just before the summer due to premature easing of restrictions, the likelihood of travel diminished.
The weeks away were needed and helpful. At the start of this year I couldn’t focus much on anything, and while that later improved, most things felt sluggish and uninspiring. Being out and about with the three of us gave me new energy and ideas.
In the coming 4 months I’ll keep doing a few things as I did them in the past months, to maintain balance. Like only allowing meetings and conversations in one half of the day. Like using the evenings mostly to read fiction (55 thus far this year). Like avoiding urgent things as much as possible, because those make me feel like being prescribed what to do. I also want to add a few regular things. A weekly lunch out with E, to have time for ‘normal’ conversations together, like we did today. Spend more time reading non-fiction books, something I’ve mostly failed at for years, but now feel more capable to, having relearned myself how to read non-linearly and having a note making routine to do something with the things I read (I even mention this on my /now page, showing the strength of the need I feel to address this).
I also restarted making ‘month maps’ which I skipped mostly in the spring as one month bled into another. ‘Month maps’ are overviews I make at the start of a month, exploring the things I want to finish in the coming weeks, the things I’m dreading or likely to procrastinate on for which I then define small actions to help overcome that, the things I want to avoid becoming urgent, and a general list of things to pay attention to.
Work wise I have the luxury of being able to focus on one project mostly, which happens to be on a topic, the new European digital and data legal frameworks, that is just becoming relevant to data holders and will stay that way for the coming few years. It’s the biggest legal change in data re-use since the first open data directive en the INSPIRE a dozen or so years ago. In my experience having one such ‘steady’ thing going, makes it easier to acquire other work for my company, as I don’t feel urgency to make it so.
Ton Zijlstra mentioned this article on zylstra.org.