Twenty Eighteen, New Year new me etc. etc.

Written on January 1, 2018

I wrote a brief summary on Twitter of my goals for 2018, and received a few questions in reply, so figured it was a great time to start putting one of these into practice!

Delete Facebook & Twitter apps from my phone

Ever looked up from your phone, having spent 20 minutes aimlessly watching videos on Facebook, about 7 videos deep of related videos to the quick clip of a cat missing the shelf it was trying to jump to? Yeah, me too.

Research suggests that people who work without their phone on their desk are more productive. According to Comscore's 2017 Mobile App Report, adults spend more than half their total screen time in the five most-used apps, and tend to select Facebook as their "most essential."

Working remotely for GatherContent poses it's own challenges, feeling lonely or isolated can bite when you least expect it, and whilst we do lots with GC to avoid this happening, it's also up to me to make sure I stay connected with my friends. This in itself poses a challenge - how do I find the right balance between idly wasting time on social media vs. keeping in touch with friends.

Looking at my own usage, I identified that I spent a lot of time achieving nothing on Facebook & Twitter, so decided to delete the apps from my phone.

Limit my time on social media to 10 minutes per day

To do this, I downloaded the browser plugin called StayFocusd, which is super easy to install and set up. I added Facebook and Twitter to the Blocked sites list, set the plugin to be active on weekdays and activated it. It means that every time I'm on those sites, or any links that I click from those sites, the plugin counts down. Once it hits zero, that's it, you can't access those sites until the timer resets.

The idea behind this is twofold. Firstly, it will help me to focus at work whilst not completely removing access to these sites (working in marketing means that I need access to these networks from time to time), and secondly, it will help with my mental health, as there's a clear link between poor mental health and social media usage. Goodbye to the days of arguing with a "alt" right cockwomble achieving nothing whatsoever.

This set up is a bit of a test - I want to see if I feel better, and work better. If I find workarounds, I've also looked at solutions such as Freedom* and I've just started to get this set up - I'll report back on how I get on with this. This works on a device level, rather than a browser level, so I can block usage across all devices!

Exercise more

Anyone who knows me knows that I run. A lot. This year I want to be the year where I do more cross training.

In 2017 I took part in my first ever triathlon and loved every minute of it, even though I found it the most challenging event I've ever taken part in. So in the spirit of jumping in at the deep end, I've signed up for a half Ironman this year 😱

This means that alongside running, I'll also need to get swimming, and cycling! I also want to get back to the tabletennis table, get back on an 11-a-side football pitch, and I'm looking for a squash court in London as well. Let me know if you have a space in your club!

Write more

This has been a goal of mine for the last year, but with my recent move back into marketing has become a lot more pressing. A professional goal of mine is to improve my story-telling, vital for creating a high-performing funnel, and one of the best ways to do this is to write and get feedback and write and get some more feedback and write some more.

This post is the first attempt at this, and I'm aiming to post pretty much weekly (holidays allowing, because ya know, rest is important)! I'll be sharing these via Twitter mostly, but if the interest is there in what I'm writing about, I may set up a mailing list too!

Moan less

I'm generally a positive person, but I'm aware that sometimes I can be a bit moan-y. I'm aiming to be more self aware this year, and to realise when I'm moaning. I'm incredibly lucky to have a great set of friends and family, and be involved with some awesome groups (I see you TrackEast and LDN Brunch Club), and need to remember this when I feel like a moan.