New Hour’s Resolutions – not Year’s, Hour’s

Bollocks to new years’ resolutions. I am trying my Pattern Week one (still chewing over the details, will report back) but I’ve had a poor start back to work. Bits of bad news hanging over me, nothing I can do much about but which combined with finally being in a relaxed holiday mode – it only took two weeks – meant the start has been tough.

You are part of my solution. If it weren’t for you, I hope I would’ve got to work but I wouldn’t have thought about how to do it. More, if I were to have found some way to get myself going productively, I wouldn’t have written it down for either of us. As it is, I have thought about and I am going to do something and I am going to tell you.

Consider this a live post: as I write to you now it is coming up to the top of the hour and from that hour I am going to do ten things. I can’t tell you what they are because they’re specific and they involve other people who don’t know you and I are talking like this. But I took a shower, decided on this overall idea of ten things in the next hour and realised that if I do it, I’ll feel I’ve got somewhere today. And usually that’s all I need to keep getting somewhere each day.

I wrote down a list of eight things immediately. Had to check my OmniFocus To Do list for the other two and got a bit bogged down because there was so much to choose from. But the point of ten is that it’s not easy but it is achievable. Whatever you’re working on, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that there are ten really fast things you could do right now if you put your mind to it.

And I bet at least one of those is something you don’t want to do.

I’ve got two of those in my ten.

It’s four minutes to the top of the hour. I have tea.

And go…

12:03 First one done. An important, personal and mildly tricky iMessage: lots of detail to get over in a short space.

12:12 Plan failing. Was doing the second and third thing together – how’s that, eh? – as it was a pair of emails that I realised could be done as one and CCd, when I got an iMessage reply about task number 1. Have responded, as it was urgent, but also finished those emails. So now it’s on to task 4: something a touch more creative, but only a touch.

I’m in a programme called Room 204 which currently also has a writing buddy scheme; I’ve never done one of these before but it has been working out very well for me and I’ve also just enjoyed getting to know more writers in my area. That’s my geographic area, most of the writers are not doing the same kinds of writing as me – and that also makes it interesting. So interesting.

But it is now time to swap over buddies and the first order of business is to email the new one and say what three things I’m aiming to do this month. It’s accountability, you know the idea.

So my job number 4 is to figure out the three. I’ll tell you now that this ain’t going to be the only three things I do in January. But it’s the three I think the buddying system will help. I just don’t know what they are yet, so 4 is working out the three.

Right, I’ve written those. Not one detail of which I can tell you yet I’ll send it all to my writing buddy now and that will be tasks 4 and 5 done. Getting good at this, aren’t I? Plus the iMessage conversation has continued right along with all this.

12:32 Slower than I’d like. But I sent that list to my writing buddy and in expanding a few things to give them any clarity at all, I managed to make them all clearer for me too. So that was good and unexpected. But now on to task 6. It’s a financial one.

Hate these.

12:44 Done that one and while I was in my accounts, also booked a train ticket – and forwarded the ticket to TripIt so it’s in my iPhone ready for me – which means I’ve done numbers 6 and 8.

Number 7 is also financial. Hang on a tick.

I need to raise an invoice and it will take me longer to check my database for the number than I’ve got time for. Instigating a new 2014-style invoice numbering sequence – and will include it in Evernote so that I always know what the last one was and the next one is.

12:53 Done and done. So that’s the invoice done and submitted, which is number 7 and also the Evernote invoice and job numbering thing which wasn’t part of this list of ten at all. So that’s 7 and 11.

Which leaves me seven minutes in which to do numbers 9 and 10.

12:59 Number 9 was a complicated little email and that’s now done and sent.

And you’re thinking that I have less than a minute to do number 10 but actually, you’ve been reading it. Number 10 was: “Write blog about ten things to do in the hour.”

Which means I’ve done it.

Part of me wishes I’d failed because then I could write about that and learn something from it but it turns out to be a rather good feeling. If I could show you the full list of ten things you wouldn’t be ferociously impressed but you might be a little bit. I deliberately picked ten things that I thought would be difficult to do in an hour but maybe manageable at a push and they were.

I’ll just quickly skim over this, remove anything I can’t tell you yet, and then post it to you.

Thanks for being my push to get a decent hour’s work done on this first day back in my office, this first day that has felt so tough to get going.

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