If you follow Wilson Trollope on Instagram, then you will have seen my personal New Year’s Resolution for 2019: Be Disciplined. It’s a follow up to last year’s resolution: Be Thoughtful. So while I’ll continue to use the “slow down and think about it” techniques I learned last year, I’m also aiming to be good about using my time wisely to maximise my productivity. I’ve already come up with some practical stuff to do to help me out, like going to bed at the same time every night (life changing. Why haven’t I done this earlier) and using a time tracking app to get a snapshot of how I’m using my days (more on that another day).
One of the most important things I needed to do, though, was step back and look at what the year holds. I set Be Disciplined as my resolution because I know that it’s shaping up to be a busy year because (brace yourselves), I will be:
Working “full time” (lol if only), including a special project for work that I’ve been quietly campaigning about for three years and which – God as my witness – I will advance this year
Running this blog which includes too much admin.
Writing for Capital Mag (which at some point means doing my damn taxes which is three hours of confusion, minimum)
Sitting on a board. Last time I did this it was a gateway to a lot of work
Doing a very fancy Executive Leadership Course so I can get some sweet sweet career development
All the stuff associated with being one of the executors of my Nana’s estate (more emails, more forms)
Doing an online personal coaching course so I can continue my aim to be a better Megan
Doing a pottery course for a couple of months
Going to New York later in the year! Exciting but much saving and planning required
Buying a house/apartment assuming the market coughs up something I like/can afford/that will be all good in an earthquake
Starting a business (wheeeeee, this is an exciting mystery for now!) (for you guys, obviously I know what it is)
And also, y’know, having a life
On the last point – my life – I know from bitter experience that I am the person who functions best when she feels “under control”. That means a tidy house, cooking my own meals, staying on top of laundry, getting all my life admin done in a timely fashion, seeing my friends often enough, remembering birthdays, all that kind of stuff. All that stuff takes time, which I need to remember to hold in reserve for this element of my life so that I can do the others better.
Now, I don’t have kids and I realise every person reading this blog post who does have kids is probably going “lolololol you think you’re busy” but life is not a competition and I think this is objectively a lot. My friends and I were talking about what we did in high school as extra curriculars etc today and without going into detail, I can tell you that I’ve been an over-doer since those days so this list, while insane and of my own making, is also ZERO surprise.
What has changed since the days of high school and crying at night because I was so overwhelmed, is that I’m 35 years old and 100% more awesome. Mostly because I learned some hard lessons about boundaries and limitations in 2017, but the great news is it’s 2019 so I have all the stuff I developed that helped me then, to help me now. In particular:
I have an awesome team at work. I totally trust them to do a great job, so apart from some fairly standard “I’m your boss” nagging and reminding, my workload will be just my own role (for the first time in two years, miracles exist). Guys, if you’re reading this, please for the love of God do your filing.
I know the hardest thing about the blog and Capital is having the ideas. So, I’ve planned a bunch of topics to write about for each, and blocked out time throughout the entire year (for example, to shoot or to write) for Capital.
The board role and the Exec Leadership Course are both super important, so they’ll take priority this year when I’m running short on time. Having a clear sense of the things that matter the most has helped me immensely in the past.
The blog is very very optional. I love it, I will continue it, but let’s be real: if I stop writing it then you guys will still have access to approximately 10 trillion other websites talking about clothes. The great thing is that the degree of work required is totally in my control. To that end: this year I’m targeting two posts a week. That’s a maximum 10 hours of work (depending on the complexity of the content, and excluding blog admin like emails) and it means I should be able to build up some content to roll out on weeks when I’m absolutely slammed.
I’m making a chunk of time every week sacred time, which can only be used to hang out with buds or do other important things like testing 16 lipsticks at Mecca and then leaving without buying one. I think one night per week and a chunk of weekend is a good start.
I live by the mantra “it’s better to be organised than to get organised”. I do weird things like clean one extra thing in my house every week (like the top of the fridge, or all the shelves in my kitchen) so that it’s a small task done 52 times rather than one massive nightmare task. Tidying up is part of my night-time routine, and I make my bed every morning. It’s great stuff, and really helps me feel like things are okay when I’m dragging my exhausted carcass into my house. Also, a freezer full of yumminess is a great mood enhancer when aforementioned carcass-dragging is happening. I use my slow cooker year-round for a reason.
I think stepping back and being critical about what I’ll be spending time on this year forces me to be realistic about the absolutely zero capacity to take anything else on. I’ve written the list of things in the front of my notebook, so I can refer to it every time someone says “hey how about doing this cool thing!” and, pray for me, I believe I can say no to more opportunities. There are some big, exciting things in that list that I really want to nail, and I look forward to checking in with you guys as I go along (who’s excited for hilarious stories about my misadventures in home buying????).
What are you up to in 2019? Have you had to spend a ridiculous hour or two navel-gazing to make sure you are on top of it, or is that just me?