I’ll be doing consulting for around two days a week for the rest of the year. Before I started this experiment, I hadn’t even considered this kind of work arrangement. Development tends to need larger chunks of time because you need to hold the codebase in your head, especially if other people are also changing it. Sketchnoting involves intense effort over one or two days. Illustrations are usually be short engagements with rapid turnaround. This social business consulting that I do with E1 works out really well. I can make a big difference on the days that I’m there, and I can also think about other things when I’m not in the office.
I like the work that I do when I’m consulting. It’s a mix of such different skills: writing, front-end development, database queries, Excel wizardry, statistics, automation, even drawing. I make good things happen.
What do I want for the second year of my experiment? This, I think – a wonderful new normal. Strengthen the foundation of fitness, remove more stressors and unnecessary obligations. It helps to remember that I don’t need to chase after every opportunity, that it’s okay to slow down and breathe.
Sometimes I think that I’m not using my other days well enough, that I’m too scattered across a number of potential projects. That I should be Doing Something Amazing. But worrying about it is even less productive, and I should expect that like all skills, learning how to make the most of discretionary time also takes time.
Hmm. There’s something interesting there. I don’t want to use these five years to have wildly awesome experiences and then go back to “regular life” afterwards. I want to use these five years to move towards new normals, new habits. It’s like the way I like keeping our lifestyle smooth and simple instead of varying it with incomes’ ups or downs. Slow and steady progress, sustainable growth, instead of fleeting impulses and momentary enjoyment.