New Year, New Office, Same Old Me

I don’t really go in for “New Year, New Me,” partly because I think it’s probably futile and also because there’s not a lot about myself I’d like to fundamentally change. I do have some plans for the year, and a couple of things I’d like to do more of, but no resolutions as such.

Relatedly: I’ve been thinking about this tweet. 

Often, telling ourselves we’re going to restrict ourselves from doing something will only make us want to do it more. It’s the classic teenager inside us who’s never quite grown up: mum doesn’t like that boy so I’ll keep seeing him; the teacher’s told me not to disrupt the class and that just makes me want to joke around even more.

I do not accept this “do what I say” lark, even if I’m the one saying it. #gothlife 

Walking back from the supermarket yesterday I was pondering the concept of restriction in relation to resolutions. I realised that over the last few years I have rarely made restrictive resolutions, but I have made other resolutions that have led to me doing less of the things I don’t want to do.

How? By giving myself less time to do them in.

For example, last year I wanted to do more walking, which I did. This led to an automatic decrease in a couple of other areas of life, because there wasn’t enough time to walk everywhere and spend ages procrastinating on the internet. Thus a positive result was achieved despite not actually making “Don’t piss around on social media” a goal.

This year, I would like to read more books. I read about 150 last year, which is 50 fewer books than I aim for on an annual basis. For 2019 I’ve set up a calendar where I can list all the books I read so I don’t lose track, and my TBR piles will keep their current system because it works well. I anticipate that this year I will in fact read more, not least because I’m starting a uni course that’s going to include some required reading, and I anticipate that in turn this will decrease the amount of time I spend vegging out in front of Netflix.

More books, less Netflix, hopefully.

I would also like to experiment more with cooking. I’ve been reading Olive magazine for a year or so now and have a nice pile of recipes I’d like to try. Once again, I’m hoping that ‘more’ will equal ‘less’: i.e. the more often I cook, the less often I will order takeaways. We’ll see, though.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week; in terms of actually doing stuff, I have spent a lot of time in the office. On Monday I was here for fifteen hours; on Tuesday I was here from 3pm until midnight; today is Friday and I arrived at 6am, because I need to finish at 1pm. I spent that time arranging things, building office furniture, and catching up on the Christmas backlog.

Bohemiacademia have some clients already confirmed for 2019: we will continue working with a few of our long-standing clients, and today I secured us a new one in the form of a local gentleman who requires typing services. I plan to grow the business significantly this year, so watch this space.

On Tuesday I had a conference call about a conference; I am on the organising committee for DFRWS, a digital forensics conference which currently runs annual events in Europe and the USA. This year we’ll be in Norway and then Portland. Apparently we’re hiring a boat in Oslo for our annual digital forensic rodeo, which is a lot of fun. And the FBI’s new online behavioural analysis unit will be there, so I will be feeling all Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds and getting drunk on a boat with the FBI, because my life is sometimes super cool.

It me.

Wednesday was spent editing a draft of a book proposal, which I plan to send off tomorrow; and Thursday was mainly spent reading a counselling textbook in preparation for my upcoming university studies. I also had extended driving lessons (three hours!) on both days, because my test is imminent.

Today I’m wrapping up work for the week here in the office, and then a friend will be coming over later for our weekly debrief & winding down session – we both work for ourselves and find it useful to have someone around to help us stop working at the end of the week.

Having said that, this week I will probably have to do some work at the weekend too. On Saturday I will hopefully manage to finish the counselling textbook so I can move on to the next section of my reading list; and on Sunday I’m probably going to work from bed whilst drinking coffee cocktails and listening to podcasts, because I have roughly twelve hours of mindless, monotonous work to do. Many people would probably find this boring, but I find it a useful excuse to catch up on Let Me Google That and The Good Place Podcast and Women At Warp and Sentimental Garbage.

If you’re interested, here’s what the Bohemiacademia team got up to this week.

Tell me about your week.

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  1. Christa Miller · January 13, 2019

    Ah, likewise trying to find ways to make opportunity cost work FOR me. In some respects, this involves giving myself a break. Instead of “expecting” to do business stuff in the evenings, I know that I won’t want to work after a walk, but I will be OK filling the time with language study and reading — two things I do want to do more of. (If language learning involves Netflix, that’s OK too. 😉 ) I also have to “think smaller,” so instead of doing everything involved in, say, researching a new blog post or business goal, I might do just a little bit at a time.

    I’m still working out when to do different things (such as on my lunch hour vs. late afternoon before I make dinner), but those two ways of thinking have helped a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • scar · January 15, 2019

      Yes that definitely sounds like a sensible approach! And giving yourself a break certainly helps, as does being realistic about what you’re actually going to do. For example, I know that I rarely feel like doing much on Wednesdays or Thursdays, so they tend to become my ‘weekend’ days when I don’t schedule much work in. I could try to force myself to work even when I don’t feel like it, but that would just make me miserable and ultimately less productive, and then no one’s happy.


      • Christa Miller · January 20, 2019

        My issue is that I struggle to think realistically about what I’m actually going to do; I tend to see everything as having equal importance, so unless there’s a deadline or some other way I have to prioritize, everything looks the same. :/ That’s why I’m thinking smaller steps may help me.

        Interesting about your Wednesdays and Thursdays — last time I was self-employed, I gave myself Fridays to work on nothing but fiction, and Saturdays and Sundays tended to be more about marketing including blogging, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

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