Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken the time to unplug myself from the Internet and to start doing things I really enjoy and haven’t had the time for in recent weeks – hanging out with friends, reading, and doing absolutely nothing. The word “productivity” hasn’t been a part of my vocabulary, and I’ve enjoyed having the freedom to throw my time away.
I’m giving myself a chance to recharge my batteries after an incredible year – so I can make 2011 even better.
This post isn’t a how-to guide on planning your year – if you want something like that, I highly recommend checking out this post by Chris Guillebeau.
This post will, instead, be a reflection on the things I’m going to do this year, particularly around PluginID.
But First… My Top 10 Revelations From 2010
I don’t think I need to explain these in detail – they speak for themselves.
1. The only constant in life is you. Love yourself.
2. There’s lots of “noise” on the Internet. You’ll be fine if you get rid of it. Trust me.
3. Fail often.
4. No matter what happens to you, you’ll always feel “normal”. Realize that.
5. The desire for something feels better than actually having it. Similarly, the fear of something feels worse than what would happen if it came true.
6. Your time is incredibly valuable. Don’t throw it away – use it for something you want to do (note: using it to do nothing and relax is acceptable – as long as you actually want to do nothing)
7. Try your best in all things – raise your standards to another level, and watch your performance skyrocket.
8. Don’t tolerate behavior from others that you wouldn’t tolerate from yourself; don’t tolerate behavior from yourself that you wouldn’t tolerate from others.
9. Your health is your most valuable possession. Keep it in the best condition possible. No excuses.
10. Failing to plan is planning to fail. A task becomes a lot less scary when you break it up into manageable parts.
2011 – The Biggest Year for PluginID Yet
I’m in an interesting position, looking back on all of this.
In the past year, PluginID has had 3 different people write for it. A lot of the community has changed, especially when I’m comparing the “Glen-era” to now. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing that so many active commenters have left; all I have to do is start bringing my own style to the site and a bigger community will form.
In fact, I’m not even going to try and “grow” PluginID. I can’t control how many people subscribe. All I can do is change the quality of the content I’m producing – and, to be frank, I really have to step it up.
In 2011, I’m going to make a commitment to only post my very best material – the ones where I know I’m providing tons of value. Every other idea is going to wait until I’ve fleshed it out enough to be considered worthy of a post. Often, after sitting on an idea for a couple months, it ends up “growing” and taking over my mind. Those are the types of things that I want to post – not some empty drivel that you could get off of any self-improvement site.
I want to make the advice here more unique. So much of my content seems like it could be taken from other sites, because, really – it can. All the cliches are going to go away, and fresh, new ideas are going to take center stage. If something that I’m going to write about has been adequately explained by someone else, I’ll throw out the idea and give that person the credit they deserve. I don’t want anyone accusing me of running a “cookie-cutter self-development blog” – I want my own voice, and my own unique take on things that some people might not even touch.
That means that a lot of questions and a lot of personal experiments are going to happen. Glen was a fan of little challenges – I’m going to do the same. Except they’re going to be much more practical – his were abstract in a lot of ways, and that lowered the effectiveness of his methods. This will be in combination with a near-obsessive quest to track every single thing that I do – I’m going to put in a system where I’ll attempt to track the most important metrics that will determine how well I do things, how well I feel, and how much energy I have, among other things. The goal will be to maximize my mood, energy, and productivity on a daily basis, instead of having one really awesome day of pure productivity, then two weeks of mediocre performance.
If posting better content and coming up with more unique and effective personal challenges means that I’m going to post more erratically, so be it. I certainly don’t think my readers will lose interest if I go without posting for a week because I’m working on something that’s going to rock their socks off. The quality and impact of my work will now be paramount, and the schedule – it can go to hell. Granted, to start, I’ll try to fit things in on the usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule, but I’m saying this so I have the leeway to eschew the schedule in favor of random posts.
Video is going to be a lot more consistent – it’s a pain to upload and manage, but I’ll do it for my readers. What I really have to get better at is getting my posts prepared earlier – often I write it, edit it, and publish it on the same day (I’m guilty of that on this post as well).
I’m also going to guest post at a lot of different places – hopefully places where the readership overlaps the least so I can pull in a bigger amount of new readers. At the very least, I’d like to see more community engagement, but I’d prefer that happen organically.
Whatever happens in 2011, I want it to be bigger and better than 2010.
Wishing won’t make it happen – only my action will.
Is there anything you’d like to see from PluginID in 2011 that I haven’t done? Is there anything you don’t want to see? Let me know in the comments.