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22 lessons from '22

So the third year of the decade is almost over and I want to pause and share some of the lessons / insights I've had in that time

  1. Take a month off from alcohol: It was amazing how doing so altered my sleep, weight appetite, exercise and productivity. I'm still wondering why I started back at all!

  2. Keep a regular journal. It doesn't need to be daily, but when you do, pausing every few weeks and looking back at your entries provides an amazing tool for self reflection and spotting patterns you might otherwise miss

  3. Turn off all the notifications on every app on your phone. Leave the ringer on; choose a pleasant ring tone (I use Booker T and the MG's "Soul Limbo") and keep the volume low. Stretch goal - do this for all your computer audio notifications too

  4. After my "dry January" (which ended up being about 8 weeks) I realized I wanted to define my "enough". What is enough food, exercise, work, love, play, money, space. Taking that time (I'm still working on it) has helped this be a better year

  5. Sleep with your phone in a different room

  6. A great joy is gathering those you love together and then preparing and enjoying a meal together. Remember to take photos. Bonus - try some of these questions to deepen the conversation

  7. Be a good listener - just don't take your turn to talk

  8. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Rushing to "do it right" risks getting it wrong. Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong

  9. Create a rule / filter in your email that moves any message with "unsubscribe" in it into a special folder. You get a cleaner inbox and who is bombarding you, versus who is being reasonable with messages to you

  10. When you send an email, end it with thanking the reader. You're more likely to get a reply

  11. Set your work calendar to 50 minute hours and 25 minute half hours. You'll get as much done as ever and #12 will be easier, and your colleagues will thank you

  12. Be disciplined to start all your meetings on time

  13. Whenever you think of someone pick up the phone, sms, or email them. Invite them to lunch or coffee or just a catch up. You'll be glad you did

  14. Feeling down? Open up your photo app on your tablet/phone scroll through for a few minutes

  15. Build a "focus" play list to help you get down and stay down to work. Build one for tough days, build another for getting ready to go out

  16. Make proofreading an integral part of your process and beware autocorrect, it is your enema!

  17. Take holidays where you can, long ones, short ones, afternoons away. We must recharge.

  18. It is OK to ask for help. Feeling down? - call a friend. Stuck with a problem? Speak to a colleague/connection,; Have good news to share? - call a friend again! And when you start to do that, watch for a) How much better you feel and b) How much more people call you!

  19. If you're reading a book or watching a movies and it "isn't working for you" Stop and do something else

  20. Take photos of every room in your home and save them in a digital or physical album. When you move you'll have a vivid reminder of what the place was like

  21. 5 X 5 rule - if it isn't going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it!

  22. Tired of resolutions? Set an intention by choosing a word or phrase for the year ahead. I've heard of people choosing "the Year of the pirate', or wizard, I chose 2022 to be the year of the player-coach. You might declare 2023 be the year of the Student, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Cook, Lover. Or it might be more abstract - the year or autonomy, awakening or energy. Choosing a word is an invitation to experiment with the associations, skills, challenges and strengths with it.

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