I took the entire month of August off. I did absolutely nothing. No, I did not burn through four weeks of vacation time from my duties with the Minnesota Timberwolves, after all, there was way to many exciting things happening there to miss out on. However, besides my professional day job responsibilities, I shut everything else down during the month of August.
- I put all personal projects and side hustles on hold
- I stopped all Quantified Self tracking projects (tracking time, nutrition, exercise, etc.)
- I stopped all normal routines
- I rarely spent time meeting with others for breakfast, coffee, or drinks
- I stopped blogging
Don't get me wrong, I still kept busy outside of work, just really slowed the tempo down considerably. I did travel some, read several books, watched some movies, went on long walks almost daily, and tried to catch up on sleep. I lived a fairly simple life, at least simple compared to what I was use to.
Being an individual who is tracking-obsessed, and always has to have three dozen projects to juggle in my free time, August was a hard month, not gonna lie. But coming back from vacation in July, I knew I had to do a little resetting of my life. So given that I use September as my yearly starting point, August was the logical choice to do some re-evaluating.
So I spent the month of August refocusing on what happened the last 12 months, where I am today, and what the next year looks like. On top of all of that, what the next five, ten, twenty-five years look like. While I am not reaching any sort of "milestone" birthday this month (on September 6th I will turn 36 years old), time is ticking and I still feel like I have a lot I want to accomplish. So knowing that my process was going to need some dedicated time, I figured the best solution was to strip everything else down for one month so I could focus on my goals for the year(s) to come.
It felt awkward to let so many things go by without attempting to grab them and do something with them. I am sure some of what I chose not to do resulted in lost opportunities, and surely some that would have resulted in profit to my bottom line. I know I pushed some people off and delayed get-togethers that would have been beneficial to me, but alone time was more important. I know I consumed more than I created during the month, something that I try to normally keep more balanced. But all of this was worth it.
Coming into this September, I feel better aligned with my goals and objectives. I feel refocused and ready to restart the projects I temporarily put on hold, while at the same time, killing the ones that no longer make sense within my personal strategic plan. I feel confident that moving forward I will only take on commitments that align with my vision and are true to the path that will get me where I want to be years from now.
August was one of the most productive months I have had in years, and not because I did a lot. The difference was I spent my time on the one thing that was most important... getting realigned. It doesn't have to be a month, maybe not even a week, but no matter what, do yourself a favor and step back for a moment. Reset your plans, refocus your goals, and restart.