Bigger Results This Year with a Smaller Focus

Have you ever tried walking up a down escalator?  It may be fun, but it’s not very productive.  That’s what it’s been like for me lately.  I have so much stuff going on, but it doesn’t seem like I’m accomplishing as much as I want.

Family, volunteer fire department, Navy Reserve, homeowner, employee.  All these things take time.  And that doesn’t include anything WordPress-related.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; I chose everything on that list.  My point is that it’s easy to spread yourself too thin.

There is never a day in my life that I am bored.  Coming up with ideas is the easy part.  I decided I would rather make more progress in fewer areas than a little progress in a lot of different areas.

10 Sites Down to 2

I had 10 domains for various projects I wanted to work on.  You come up with a neat idea and buy a new domain, only to have it sit there unused.  I did a lot of planning for a new family blog.  I bought a domain, had an idea for the logo, created a list of blog ideas, and started registering social media accounts under that name.  Then I realized all the time I was spending on it.  I scrapped the whole thing.

Sure, it’d be fun to have something like that, but think of how much extra work that would be.  I’d have another site, various social media accounts, and more email.  That’s exactly what I don’t need.  Instead, I’m going to cut the number of domains I have down to 2 (plus a third domain for testing).

  1. GeoffreyShilling.com.  Instead of having this simply be my online presence, I’m going to use it as my personal/family blog.  I want to start writing more and figured this was a great place to do it.  As of right now, I’m planning two weekly posts in addition to anything else I have; that stuff will be posted whenever it’s ready.
    • Weekly Update [Monday]:  This is basically going to be my weekly journal to track what I’ve accomplished the previous week and see where I’m spending my time.
    • One More Mug [Wednesday]:  I love everything coffee-related, especially my different coffee mugs.  This is where I’ll share a new coffee mug each week.  I’m going to start keeping track of when and where I get each one in the future and will add that in as well .  Despite my wife claiming I have plenty of mugs already, I only have enough to keep this feature going for a couple years right now.  #OneMoreMug
  2. WPAdventure.com.  I’m jumping in and learning all I can about WordPress.  I already know some, but I want to work towards a very deep understanding.  This site is  going to cover that journey.  Here’s where I’ll share the tips I discover as I learn development, the tools I use, and support-related topics.  Please note that I will not actually be providing support on this site.

My Goals for 2017

While my  daily list of items is great to keep me on track day-to-day, I think I  also need something longer term so I can have clear direction on where  this adventure is going.  For this reason, I set two primary goals for  the rest of this year:

  1. Improve the quality and consistency of support.
    This is tough because I never know what I be doing in a given day.  My goal is to provide at least 30-60 minutes of support each day, even if I have to break this into smaller time frames.  In addition to providing regular support, I want to reduce the number of replies.  It’s not that I don’t want to help people, but generally the few replies you have, the faster their problem was solved.  I’ve also been focusing on WordPress.com, but want to get back into WordPress.org forums as well.
  2. Build a solid foundation of WordPress.
    This may sound like a broad goal, and it is.
    This will include everything from reviewing CSS and HTML, learning PHP  beyond knowing how to hack files to them to behave how I want, and  building a strong understanding of the inner workings of WordPress.

I also have a couple secondary goals I would like to work on.

  1. Be More Social.
    I often hear people talk about how they spend too much time on social media and need to cut back a bit.  I’m the opposite; I want to start using it more.  I share some things on Twitter, but I don’t really interact all that much.  I’m a very quiet person.
  2. Start learning JavaScript.
    This likely won’t happen until next year.  I’m about as basic as you can get.  Sure, I can do basic things using a reference, but I can’t even print “Hello, World” to the screen using JavaScript without looking it up.  Once I feel I have a good [basic] understanding of PHP and WordPress, I intend to start learning JavaScript.

Here’s to a productive year!

2 Comments on “Bigger Results This Year with a Smaller Focus

  1. All great goals, Geoffrey! I’ve done similar things in the past–which is why I dropped out of the WP client scene. I still enjoy it, I’m just focusing on person projects and a grad degree. I’ve found a few tools helpful, maybe you will too. Trello organizes my life. It is an invaluable resource to me. The Forest app has boosted my productivity immensely. It gamifies the Pomodoro approach to productivity–solid app. Best of luck to you this year!

    • I think it’s something that everyone needs to do, especially if you have very many interests/hobbies. My family comes first, so I need to make good use of the little spare time I do have. I imagine you had your hands plenty full with that degree, let alone any extra stuff! Thank you for sharing a couple of your tools. Trello is the tool I use most of all! I use it for my work list, to-do list around home, general organization, and even my grocery list. Forest sounds like an interesting approach to productivity. I will definitely check that out. Thank you for the well-wishes! I wish you the best of luck in all you do this year too!

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