What did you do in 2020 that was most rewarding?
After re-listening to Richard Koch speaking on Tim Ferriss’ podcast last week, one question that he asked really stood out.
“Once a year, rather than doing New Year’s Resolutions, I ask the same question. What did I do that meant the most to me and my family and friends — and sometimes strangers too?
And what could I do in the next year? More of the same is not a bad answer, but something fresh too.”
After chatting to a few friends, we simplified the question to “What did you do in 2020 that was most rewarding?”
The ultimate aim of asking questions like this is to identify which activities provide you the most value and ensure that you continue to replicate and expand on them.
Recapping the year
It’s quite difficult to remember everything that you did during the year.
To help recap 2020, I did the following:
1) read back through my calendar month by month
2) re-read all of my quarterly goals and reflections
After doing this, I split the findings into professional, personal and random.
What I found most rewarding in 2020…
Working on the business rather than in the business
Prior to 2020, my time in garymelican.com was principally dedicated to web design and web development.
As enjoyable as this was, the actual business itself wasn’t developing as I hoped it would.
In 2020, I grew a small team to focus on design and development – enabling me to focus more deeply on marketing, sales, finance, project management, business strategy and more.
Both the quality of output and the business itself improved greatly in 2020.
Creating the online course on learning to build a website was rewarding for a number of reasons.
Some of these reasons include:
– the online course served as an opportunity to be totally creative
– as people begin to complete the course, it’s crazily rewarding to see people learn to build websites and feel empowered as a result
– it’s exciting to grow a new branch of the business
Disciplined with exercise
2020 was the most consistent year of exercise I’ve had since stopping competitive sport in 2013.
Although exercise only takes up 5 hours of the 168 hours per week (3%), it continually makes me feel confident, energetic and positive.
Read more about my three thirds daily routine.
Saturday Morning Walks
Every Saturday morning, my friend Cian and I meet at 7.15am and walk for roughly 4 hours around Dublin.
This is a chance to chat about our weeks, life and anything else that comes up.
This portion of the week keeps us both in calm and positive mindsets.
Here’s a video that Cian created of the journey every Saturday morning…
More present when not working
Up until 2020, the pressure of undertaking web projects and delivering for clients often consumed my mind even when not working.
Allowing work to consume my mind 24/7 reduced the quality of my relationships outside of work and also sapped the energy out of me in general.
In 2020, I have been far more present when spending time with others outside of work and it’s allowed me to enjoy life in so much more – and ironically then bring more energy to work.
Viewing work as a privilege and not just pressure has been a big contributor to this transition.
The 4 Hour Work Week
I rarely read books. The 4 Hour Work Week is the only book that I read in 2020 (and I only read half of it).
Despite spending just 12 hours reading that book so far, it inspired me to make many changes which resulted in many of the rewarding activities listed above.
In 2021, I will dedicate more time towards reading.
Despite spending a total of just 119 hours blogging this year (1.4% of the year) – it energised me greatly and allowed me to meet lots of interesting people.
I describe this in more detail in the article called the benefits of blogging for one year.
It took 6 hours to identify what I found most rewarding in 2020.
This small time investment will allow you to be more informed when allocating how you spend the upcoming 8760 hours of 2021.
Feel free to share any thoughts you have and I wish you all the best for 2021 🙂
Thank you for reading,