Year of Foundations
In late 2017, I left my job of six years and started working at Google. Naturally, I went from being top-dog to “who’s this guy?”. That’s harsh. Combined with the need to rapidly learn a slew of new systems, processes and skills, while expected to get things done quickly, it’s easy to understand why it’s quite common for Nooglers (new Google employees) to have Impostor Syndrome.
Add my 2.5 year old daughter to the mix. Being a parent is quite taxing as it is, but it was damn easier when I wasn’t stressed out at work during the day. Seeing her grow up and develop is amazing (we already play board games together!), but “Terrible Twos” is real, and a big challenge.
Combine this with coding on the weekend, maintaining current project, writing for the blog (which I’ve neglected recently), and it make sense that I feel like I spread myself a little bit too thin lately.
So, I’ve decided on a theme for 2019. It will be a Year of Foundations. It’s about focusing on what’s important in my life right now, investing inwards instead of branching out, and allowing myself to relax when I can. It’s about getting the foundations of my life in order before I can use my new skills to take on new projects, and being in peace that I’m not acting on all my ideas right now.
So what am I expecting to do in the Year of Foundations?
- Work on building sustainable habits such as working out and eating healthy. Physical health is a condition for mental health.
- At work, keep in mind that my main job is to learn all these new skills. Communicate that to those around me, expose my ignorance when required to prevent the stress from unrealistic expectations.
- Be efficient with current projects and ongoing tasks (open source projects, house chores) while doing my best to minimize further commitment on my part, to make as much time as I can to relax and charge.
Also, it’s helpful to keep in mind some non-goals for the year:
- Avoid taking on new side projects, specifically programming (while minimally maintaining current ones) - and keep the energy to learn for my day job.
- This isn’t supposed to be the steady state; I’m investing in myself so I can reap the benefits later.
If you’re even mildly interested in productivity and self improvement, I highly recommend the Cortex podcast. And if you’ve read some of my past posts, you know that I’m a big fan of CGP Grey. As part of Cortex, Grey suggested the idea of having a theme for the year instead of setting specific goals or making new-year’s resolutions. The idea is that the theme acts as a compass to guide your decisions rather than force specific behavior. This means that it’s okay to deviate when necessary without feeling like a failure.Discuss this post at the comment section below.
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Thanks to Shachar Ohana and Hannan Aharonov for reading drafts of this.