Its been a year since I reduced my work schedule in order to pursue stuff I never get around to doing.  Over the years I have been falling behind on just about everything – from house projects to learning about new technologies.  When I first made the decision to reduce my weekly work commitments, I had a rough list of goals I wanted to achieve in my first year.  So I thought I would take this opportunity to give myself a performance review in regards to how well I have spent my extra time away from work in pursuit of personal enlightenment.

Not too surprisingly, I didn’t make nearly the progress I had hoped to on my goals.  A year ago, I would of stated  I had three primary goals to achieve in my first year:  Investigate/initiate robotics programming and other technologies, increase my writing, and focus on improving how I manage investments.

I didn’t make much progress on robotics, however I think I have a valid excuse.  Right now there is no clear leader in what platform will be the leading platform in robotics.  I am thinking Google will come out with the defacto standard, so I am holding off and delving into that until I see a more clear market leader.  So I am altering that goal to focus on developing something for the ‘internet of things’ most likely delve into home automation.  I just need to find something I want to automate.

I did not achieve my goal in increasing my writing.  The more I think and research it, I realize the first thing I really need to establish is a writing regimen.  I need to dedicate some time every week to focus on what I want to write.  So my goal for my next year is to really build out a time ‘budget’ for writing, then build the rigor it takes to be a productive writer.

I did do pretty well in the investment goal area.  Even though my stock picks are lagging the market this year (though I am blaming that on the poor performance of small stocks overall), I did do some work I feel good about in the area of asset allocation.  I have become much more immersed in various investing categories, which is leading to reduced risk (hopefully).  There is more to be done in this area, but I feel like I have met or exceeded my goal in this area.

So where else has all my spare time gone?   As I sit here at my desk, I notice the piles of papers and todo items have shrunk considerably.  I have taken care of personal and client projects that had been outstanding for many months, and enjoyed more work-free weekends.  I also feel good about my level of fitness.  Rather than spending my spare time browsing the refrigerator, I have actually increased my exercise and am probably eating better.   I am confident I will continue to make strides in this area next year.

So now that I consider myself officially ‘decompressed’, I am hoping to make additional progress on the same goals as I had last year, and if a few more goals creep in that would be OK to.

As for a performance review grade,  I give myself an ‘exceeds expectations’  grade.  Maybe I am an easy grader – but even though I didn’t hit all my goals, I have kept productive, learned a lot about a lot of things, and  have really enjoyed this last year.


2 Comments on My One Year Review

  1. tony vetro says:

    How goes the self published book? Is that still on your to do list?

  2. Dan says:

    Actually I have about 100 pages of that transcribed. I am making progress on it, but now I am at the juncture of figuring out the angle to take on it. As currently written, I think it needs some editing and updating, so I am trying to figure out the approach for that. Thanks for asking – I guess that was another hinderance to my goals this year, but I think its a worthwhile diversion.

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