Less, More & None (2021) – Review

Less

  • allowing my task list to build up
    • I am really pleased with the way I managed my time this year. I maintained a good balance between my day to day tasks and larger projects. There were no changes to the systems or tools1 that I use, but I did adapt the way I approached some aspects of my job, improving my delegation and making best use of mornings to get two to three smaller tasks off my plate before the day has really begun.
  • looking at my mobile phone when people are talking to me
    • This is the second year now that I have been a lot better with this. I still find that I have to remind myself to put my phone away but I have built up some better habits around my phone in general that have helped a lot.
  • reading doomscrolling the news
    • I also did well with this. While I did keep up with some of the news surrounding the pandemic as well as the current political landscape2, I managed to direct my attention towards the culture and lifestyle sections of the paper most of the time. I was far happier spending time reading about people, places and ideas that could enrich my life rather than dwelling on everything that is wrong with the world.

More

  • exercise
    • I am sad to say that other than walking regularly, I failed to make exercise a priority in 2021. I have no genuine reason or excuse for this and plan to find ways to make sure that it is a priority in 2022.
  • reading
    • I read 52 books in 2021. That is two more than my target and 11 more than 2020. I posted a complete list of everything I read on this blog.
  • saving money
    • We carried on where we left off in 2020 and added significantly to our savings. 💰💰💰
  • seeking opportunities for personal growth
    • Reflecting on this goal, I am not sure what I was considering exactly all the way back in January 2021 but I have achieved a few things this year that I am proud of:
      • I have finally achieved a sense of equilibrium at work and feel better placed to develop myself further as a leader and to be able to consider the next steps in my career
      • I have been (re)learning French
      • I have cooked regularly for my wife3
      • I have finally taught myself how to tackle cryptic crosswords, and while I am far from being an expert, I now understand the rules and can work my way (slowly) through the Guardian cryptic crossword
      • I have continued to develop my appreciation and knowledge of Jazz – in particular piano-led groups4 and the development of the be-bop and hard-bop styles.
  • writing
    • This just did not happen and I do not have an answer to how I get back to writing regularly. Maybe I am not supposed to right now? I will likely include writing in my goals for 2022, but I think I need to reflect on the type of writing I want to do and where it is published to better understand where/how it fits into my life. I enjoy writing but since I completed my M.Ed in 2013 and took on more senior roles at work, I have consistently struggled to make it a regular habit.

None

  • making excuses when it comes to exercise
    • See my response to the first item in the ‘more’ section.
  • skipping my ‘morning reading’
    • I did not miss a single day and ended up re-reading the entire ‘Holy Bible’, not just Paul’s letters as I had intended. I did not make as much headway with ‘History of Western Philosophy‘ by Bertrand Russell5 but I did re-read (again) ‘Meditations‘ by Marcus Aurelius and I also finished ‘On Writing‘ by Stephen King, which was as much a biography as a guide to writing well.
  1. See bullet point two in my review from 2020.[]
  2. All I see when I think about the state of the world is the ‘This is fine’ meme taken from the comic by KC Green.[]
  3. at least once per week[]
  4. Brubeck/Clark/Evans/Garland/Hancock/Monk/Powell[]
  5. I am going to make this the sole text for my morning reading in 2022.[]

Published by

James Michie

Husband, Educator, Writer, Runner...

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