Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year – After One Month – A Slower Pace

The first week of my sabbatical felt like vacation – something I would enjoy but return from. This was especially true because I was actually on a vacation – an out of state family reunion. The second and third weeks were some combination of an extended vacation and extra long Saturday. We had a few trips – planned and spontaneous. When not on the road I spent a lot of time on important but non-urgent tasks I had been putting off for a few months – things like getting a recalled part of the car repaired or fixing/assembling items that had accumulated on my workbench. One month in and a new normal has appeared. We have more of a routine and I have less of a backlog. Things feel like they have reached an equilibrium. Being dual stay-at-home parents allows time to rest, but three children (and one in the

Yearly Focus

Sabbath Year – Day 1

It feels more like a Saturday than the beginning of a long rest period. I no longer have access to my work email or any accounts – so I really can’t DO any work. My head is still filled with context though. I am still the most informed person on a number of projects I just handed off. So my guard isn’t totally let down as I know it is easy for someone to call or text me with questions. With time that will change though. The projects will progress and I won’t have project level context. Maybe at that point this nervous feeling will go away.

Yearly Focus

2017 Focus: Half Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by focusing on fewer goals, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than the sum of the results from doing many things. I detailed my 2017 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year update as well. Here is how I’m progressing. 2017 Theme: Sabbath Year 2017 Challenge: Define & Launch A Sabbath Year My sabbath year will be launching on July 13th, 2017. After about five years of considering, exploring and planning, we are finally here. I recently wrote about our general sabbath year principles along with specific plans we have for this year’s iteration. With those completed and the launch forthcoming, it looks as if this challenge will be completed shortly. 2017 Habit: Time Outside With Family When I picked seven hours as the goal,

Yearly Focus

Our 2017 Sabbath Year

I previously wrote about principles that guide our family’s thinking about the concept of a sabbath year. Those principles were written to be generic enough that they could apply to all of our future sabbath years. While I’m sure we will iterate these ideas over time as we learn from experience, they represent the current thinking. The next step is to take those principles and apply them to our current life state in order to come up with a specific plan for our 2017 sabbath year. I predict that every sabbath year will look slightly different, because every period of life offers different circumstances. For example, having young children to take care of is going to make a year look much different than a year in which there are no kids to take care of. To start, here are some of our current life circumstances that we think will impact the

Yearly Focus

What Does A Sabbath Year Look Like?

For 2017 I challenged myself to define & launch a sabbath year. This is a concept I’ve been thinking on for the past ~6 years but as the start date has been getting closer, my need for a clear definition been increasing. In the last month I’ve been talking with other people a lot about this upcoming sabbath. Two people have poignantly asked me, ‘what does success look like for you?’ Though I had a rough idea, I realized I needed to think on the concept more. Endeavors a squandered less frequently when they have a clearly defined and measurable goal defined before they start. While I can’t say I do this with every endeavor I undertake, it sees particularly important for one that will cost a year of time and over $100,000 between opportunity & actual costs. Here I want to explore the general concepts of a sabbath period

Physical Challenges

Race Report: Dispea 2017

On June 11, 2017 I ran the 107th running of the legendary Dipsea race. I finished in a time of 1:02:04. Goals Finish/Survive – ACCOMPLISHED Qualify for 2018 – ~150 spots – ACCOMPLISHED – with 136 to spare Average heart rate 170+ – ACCOMPLISHED – averaged 177 BPM 160+ on the Downhills – ACCOMPLISHED – 175+ 175+ on the Uphills – ACCOMPLISHED – 180+ Sub 1:05 – ACCOMPLISHED – 1:02:04 Top 25 Open Section – ACCOMPLISHED – 21st out of 796 runners Do not walk or speed hike – Not Accomplished – 3 sections of speed hiking, 2 forced Sub 1 hour – Not Accomplished Top 1% Course time – Not Accomplished 55:00 – Not Accomplished Successes What am I proud of from race day? Completed my first trail race Really strong effort, dug deep & kept pushing Managed to stay upright the whole time Maxed my heart rate at 192 – haven’t seen 185+ since college Really let go on the paved downhills –

My Thinking On Various Topics

Collecting Data I Do Not Yet Know How To Use

If we ask questions – as Socrates warns us we must – eventually our ability to answer them becomes limited by the data we have available. If we wait until we have the question to start collecting data, it will take us some amount of time to get baseline data and then even more to measure change during experiments. We won’t have our answer for some time – weeks, months or even decades. We might never get an accurate answer. This is why we must record data that we do not yet know how we will use. Some day we will have a question that these data can answer. This is why we must bear the burden of recording and storing information. Some day an important question will be quickly answered because of the hard work we put in now. Here is a story to highlight one recent, though not all

My Thinking On Various Topics

The Dread of Collecting Data

The thing I dread the third most is collecting data. Usually by manually logging it in some spreadsheet. It isn’t uncommon for me to log things in three to five different systems on a given day. The period when I’m experimenting on myself and have to track things is always such a chore and I am so relieved when an experiment ends. The thing I dread the second most is having to analyze the data. I usually get into flow once I start, but these days, with windows of time to focus being limited, a file of raw data brings more dread than joy. The thing I dread the most, however, is not having data when I make important decisions. Without data, not only will you be inaccurate more often, but you will not know how inaccurate you are. Data helps us be more accurate and also helps keep our gut in check

Yearly Focus

2017 Focus: Quarter Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by doing less, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than the sum of the results from split focus. I detailed my 2017 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2017 Theme: Sabbath Year 2017 Challenge: Define & Launch A Sabbath Year The launch of my sabbath year is slowly becoming a real thing. I’ve taken the first steps to put it into action and begun to lay out logistics. After years of keeping the topic limited mostly to family & close friends, I recently gave my work concrete notice. I had roughly suggested the idea previously to my manager and one of the founders, but there was no firm timeline or next steps associated. There are still a lot of details

My Thinking On Various Topics

Reflections On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today, after reading through “Letter from Birmingham Jail“, I sit reflecting on what it looks like to be an “extremist for love”. Throughout history great people that have fought for some noble good have also had a knack for ending up poor, in prison or meeting an untimely death. Sometimes all three. Am I at risk for any of those? What does that say about my priorities?