Firstly, Happy New Year! We made it through 2023.
Thank you for visiting my little corner of the world. It seems it was just yesterday that I was writing about my productivity set-up for 2023.
In 2023, the phenomenal rise of productivity and note-taking apps being released into the market continued. This makes it hard to focus on one app / tool without being mesmerised by the next shiny thing. You see it and think, great, that sounds exactly like what I need. You export your notes or copy-paste them into the new app, and you are off to the races. Now, yes, I will become a new person and complete every single possible thing I ever set out to achieve.
Lo and behold, a few weeks in, a new kid is on the block with another fancy new feature, or worse yet, the app you were originally in has a new killer feature. So we copy and paste all the notes into yet another system. Before you know it, you have more notes spread about than you can handle, you feel scattered and eventually revert to just writing on a post-it as it has the same effect.
Sound familiar? You are certainly not alone.
To make a positive change in my life, and after becoming addicted to Cal Newport’s podcasts (Cal is like what John Grisham is to books), I found that I was not progressing at all. I was, in essence, doing “shallow work”, or even less, if that is possible, and not dedicating myself. In 2023, I tried to change this, and although it worked to a certain extent, the wheels came off in the second half of 2023 when I felt overwhelmed with work and personal matters and my productivity setup became scattered.
In 2024, I have decided to go old school. I thought back to my high school and university days and wondered how I learned, retained, and regurgitated so much more information spread across several different areas than I do now. Yes, I had more time and no pressure to perform at work, but something else was different. During the Christmas and New Year break, I pondered on this point and put it down to two main impacts:
The internet is a killer. It is everywhere. We start to read something and think, let me check that thing out quickly. We aim to sit down and focus, and our mind starts to wonder and think back to the funny cat video we saw, and now we need to find it again immediately. An email pops up, you shift…