CategoriesGeneralPhotography

Sabbatical update week 4

Finding my rhythm

After the struggle to be ‘productive’ during the last two weeks I’ve found my rhythm this week. Small tweaks in my daily routine brought the change I needed which was reinforced by inspiration.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” – John C. Maxwell

I had all this activities on my list like ‘complete reading book’ ‘watch course on typography’ and I wasn’t making progress. I started creating a habit of defining three things to complete the next day and I break them down in small parts. Like ‘read chapter 2 of this book’ or ‘outline this blogpost’. The next day after my morning routine I immediately get going and it’s easy to make progress. Action creates motivation and I felt energized all week. This, however had a downside as I was still full of energy going to bed, which hurt my sleep. With my phone next to my bed it was tempting to browse the internet or catch up with my favourite vloggers. Starting last night my phone is forbidden in the bedroom. Let’s see how this tweak to my daily routine impacts my productivity and sleep.

Inspiration

It was also an inspirational week. Last week Eric Ries’ new book The Startup Way was released. I immediately started reading and felt inspired. I’m only a few chapters into the new book yet but it’s interesting to recognize many of the elements that were part of the Innovate EY program described in the book.

The biggest inspiration of the week was due to the ‘Streets of the World‘ photography exhibition I visited on Friday. Photographer Jeroen Swolfs completed his passion project to take a street photo in every capital of the world. The 195 photos form an interesting documentary of humanity around the globe. It left me wondering what photo project I can take up that would be exhibition worthy. I can highly recommend the 45 minute National Geographic documentary (in Dutch) about this project.

Weekly stats:

  • Running: 28km
  • Total weekly steps: 83k
  • Average sleep: 6:39

Thanks for reading!

Broos

CategoriesGeneral

Sabbatical update week 3

The challenge continues

In the previous update I already shared with you the challenges that come with having no urgent deadlines or brief shots of adrenaline after every email, phone call or meeting. This week I had even more trouble finding my productivity. A few days passed filled with procrastination while trying out things to find my new rhythm. Going to a coffeeshop, co-working space or just outside (we were lucky with a few sunny days) did help to get some things done.

Feeling productive

The question I try to answer for myself is, when do I feel productive? It has always been a feeling of ‘being in the zone’ or ‘being present’. One of the EY leaders once explained to me that his definition of work-life balance is when he is fully present in the activity he is engaged in at that time. Enjoying the family when he’s home or on the phone with them as well as giving his full attention to the board meeting or the conference call he is dialling in to. I applied this concept not only to feeling balanced but also to being productive (after all you can only be truly productive when your thoughts are focused on what you’re doing). And this is exactly the feeling I’m lacking for the past two weeks. When I’m trying my hand on design I want to be learning to code and when learning to code I want to read a book. The only activities where I feel I’m truly present is with friends and family and while running. I feel strongly that these feelings and thoughts bring me closer to true intrinsic motivation for what I’m doing and doing only what I feel strongly motivated for.
With a fixed end date for my sabbatical I probably wouldn’t have had these feelings so I see this as a luxury and benefit of taking a sabbatical: a healthy struggle which I have to go through.
I went out cycling yesterday and today to find a spot in nature where I could read, write or create. I didn’t find a good spot for that yesterday but today something happened. While cycling, the journey became the destination. Slowly I started to feel some inner quiet to start doing the things I so badly want to do. That’s when I sat down and wrote this update. Will week 4 start to see increases in productivity? I will let you know next week!
Weekly stats:
  • Running: 34.5km
  • Total weekly steps: 102k
  • Average sleep: 7:19
Thanks for reading!
Broos