Following on the tradition I've started over the past couple of years (2011, 2010) after enjoying Chris Brogan's take on this, here are my three words for 2012. They aren't goals, per se, or resolutions, but more just three words to guide my actions through the year.
In our age of distraction, it's insanely easy to lose focus and suddenly find yourself hours later not having accomplished anything you set out to do. It's an inherent challenge for those of us who are by nature bright-shiny-object chasers and whose job involves being on the edge of communication technologies...
Over the past six months or so I've been taking some very deliberate steps to reduce distractions and give me more time to focus.
I've reduced or eliminated many of the notifications on my computer. I've gone to checking email only at certain times of the day. I've blocked off time in my schedule where I just shut down all social media, IM, and email and just work on specific tasks. Friends would not recognize my desk these days because it is CLEAN... as I've worked on simplifying the distractions in my home office.
Still, these are just steps... and one of the areas I want to work on in 2012 is really bringing some discipline to this and trying to focus more on what is important to get done. (Oh, look, there's a butterfly.....)
There are two aspects to this word for me. First, due primarily to the unwelcome intruder in our life in 2011, I have a great queue of projects, both online and offline, that I want to work on in 2012. Naturally I have a l...o...n...g... queue of blog posts I'd like to clear out. I need to update my Migrating Applications to IPv6 book. I really MUST reboot the VoIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) this year. There are some health issues I've put on hold that I need to address. There's a lot that was put on the proverbial back-burner... and I need to clear out that queue a good bit. There are a great many stories still left untold.
The second aspect of "queue" is that this year I really want to focus on maintaining a healthy queue of blog posts that are scheduled out in advance. Each week I'd like to be lining up some posts for the next week. Certainly there will be posts written in the moment to respond to other posts or to recent events... but I want to keep a schedule queue going so that my content is appearing regularly throughout the year. You do not need to hit the Publish button right now... and I want to work on that this year.
Finally, I've made some lifestyle changes over the past year... I've made a job change which also has brought some changes... I'm looking in 2012 at how to find a bit more of that ever-elusive "balance" between work and personal life. Beyond all that I do at work and online, I'm also a father of two daughters, a husband to a wonderful woman, a son, a brother, a friend, a community member... and many other roles.
This past year has once again reminded me of the incredible importance of all of that.
The challenge, of course, is that when you absolutely love what you do... when "work" is not a chore as much as almost "play"... well... it's hard to shut down the brain sometimes and let it go. Something I've always struggled with... to give that marvelous gift of being truly present with those around you.
So while I've made some changes in 2011, there's definitely further I can go...
Those are my "words" for 2012... we'll see how the year goes. What are you going to focus on this year?