Lessons learned

teacher asking a question to the class
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Progress over Perfection means improving, so let’s quickly recap some of the things I’ve learned in 2020, about living, being, and mostly about myself. First, communication, I’ve been actively working on my communication skills since March, because in a remote working environment, being careful what you say, and how you say it is even more delicate, because people aren’t in the room to read the emotional reactions. I’ve done several online courses about tailoring the message, being more articulate, more “meaningful” and being more open and present in virtual meetings.

I’ve also taken some time to learn to take better care of myself in 2020. I spent several months alone, without seeing another human, outside my immediate family, because I am able to work from home, and don’t leave much. This has forced me to think about what I needed to be well, and that’s led to focused sessions, better planning of my days, weeks, and months, and taking time in the day for “meditation/focus”, to ensure that I’m focusing on the right things.

2020 brought a pandemic, a major shift to what “business” looks like, #BlackLivesMatter, diversity & inclusivity becoming a much-needed topic of discussion, and so many more. Through this, I’ve learned firsthand that a positive message to some can be interpreted differently by others because of unconscious biases. I wrote approximately 190 daily messages to my team this year, in the hopes to keep people feeling connected, in a remote world. The messages have changed over time as our situation has, and I’ve learned more about my colleagues, new and old.

Progress over Perfection

If 2020 was a year for learning then 2021 will be a year for adaptation, and growth. 2020 saw us change our lives, flip them over, and shake out all the things we thought we knew, only to learn. a whole bunch more.

If you don’t have a plan, how will know you know you’ve arrived at your destination

I’ve learned a few things this year, and that includes the fact that I am scattered all over the place. I may be super organized with things, but those things are spread across 10 different places, and a lot of cycles are spent knowing where to look to find them. Between Work, my side hustle, and my personal stuff, I’ve got JIRA, Confluence, Infinity, Google Docs/Drive, Trello, Gmail, Google Keep, Browser bookmarks, etc, it’s just too much. Each one of those is used for specific things, and while each one great at what they do, remembering where I stored a specific piece of information, is sometimes overwhelming.

Enter my second brain

person holding silver round coins
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In 2020 I discovered a tool, that I think might cover a lot of what I was craving in the way of organization. It offers “types of content” along with taxonomy and structures. I like to take notes, but I also like being able to filter out and view that content in different ways. The tool I’ve stumbled across is called Notion, and can be found at Notion.so, and I plan to write some about it this year, follow this page for future posts about it and my usage.


black and white dartboard
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Goals without plans are simply ideas, and as such, this year I’m setting some actual goals, realistic ones, with plans to achieve them. So this year, I’m setting goals, but for each goal, I’m also setting the objective, what the success looks like, and the steps to get there. This will keep me accountable, and with specific steps, and people to check in with for those goals.

  • Lose 10 lbs
  • Learn to cook 12 new meals
  • Build something new with my hands
  • Brew my first batch of beer, something I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time
  • Post 12 articles online

These may seem like steep goals or too simple of goals, but one of the things I’ve learned is that if you set a goal without a plan, it’s just an idea. If you set a goal without motivation, then you won’t invest the time to make it real, and if you don’t know why you are doing it, there’s no point.

So, from me to you, Happy New Year, I hope you find the motivation to make your goals real, and achievable.