Rick Carlino

Lead software developer and a co-founding member at FarmBot

Co-founder and Maker of Things at Fox.Build Makerspace in St. Charles, IL.

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Plans for 2019

Introduction

It’s easy to back away from commitments when you keep them in your head. When plans are publicly announced, the likelihood of completion increases.

For (literal) years now, I’ve had an idea list on my computer full of projects I would finish Any Day Now™. The list has more than a years worth of ideas. In 2019, I hope to cross at least 15 projects off that list.

Key Themes in 2019

Build enjoyable projects. While I will still cover professional topics in 2019, my main focus will be satisfying intellectual curiosity. I will save the tough technical challenges for 9-to-5. 2019 is all about learning for its own sake.

Share my progress. Sharing progress is a rewarding aspect of pet projects and can inspire others as well. I will consider a project complete when showcased to the world. If I am unable to finish a project, I will discuss the challenges I faced. I hope that my failures can help others also.

Economize my time. This was a challenge for me in 2018. I was incredibly busy both professionally and personally, but feel like I could have avoided some of the stress by managing my time better.

In 2019, I will protect my time from commitments that don’t matter. I will abstain from most social media outlets like Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook and HackerNews. To ensure I still share my progress with the world, I will maintain a presence on Lobsters, SSB, and the Tildeverse. These communities are smaller, more focused and update less often, leading to less distraction.

In professional matters, I plan to avoid poorly articulated meetings and needless appointments, as this dampens my momentum throughout the week.

Activities to Avoid in 2019

Continuing the theme of economizing my time there are a few enjoyable projects that I will abstain from in 2019. Although I do enjoy the activities listed, they have been too time consuming in years past. I will avoid them in order to experience a wider set of activities in 2019.

Full or Ultra Marathons. I love long distance running, but for 2019, I am going to make a conscious effort to not register for anything beyond a half-marathon.

Excessive Public Speaking. I have a bad record of saying “yes” to public speaking and event coordination. Like marathon running, I love doing it, but don’t have the time right now.

Taking on new projects. In 2019, I’m going to focus on finishing postponed projects rather than taking on new ones. Time is a finite resource and side-project ADD is real.

Activities to Sustain in 2019

I made some great progress in 2018 and intend to maintain momentum in the following areas:

  • Medium-distance running - I will try to do some half marathons, but nothing major like years past.
  • Blogging and self-reflection
  • Meditation
  • Reading

What’s Next?

My next post is an outline of enjoyable projects I want to take on in 2019.