Back in December 2020/January 2021 I wondered if the contracting and job markets in the UK would continue to be dead through till the summer. It seemed possible that I might have to go six months without working and so to put a plan in place to make constructive use of the time seemed sensible.
I used the 12 Week Year to motivate myself in Q1 of this year and then tried to learn from that experience in planning out Q2. The image above is the rough high level plan I put together. As with my first 12 week year plan, I’ve tried to use reasonable estimates, and take into consideration the crazy situation with the pandemic and how that has affected my family.
I’ve always got too many goals. But I’d rather acknowledge those goals and accept I can’t work towards them yet than attempt to bury them. I find if I do that I get distracted by them, unable to let them rest for a time. I wrote down everything I currently want to achieve, categorised them as this helps with prioritising the goals, then attempted to give a fair estimate of how long I thought they would each take. That gave me the immediate signal that I wasn’t going to get everything done!
As you can see, for a bunch of those goals, I didn’t even estimate a time suspecting they just would not be possible in the next 12 weeks.
Column titled Time estimated (hrs) was my original estimate for how long each goal would take. I took a couple of weeks off at the start and so only had 51 days left in the 12 weeks to use. It’s possible I made some over-estimates so took another look and put a slightly revised number under Ten week goals. I also ruthlessly focused on the goals I most wanted to achieve: writing goals, admin goals such as completing essential tax returns, and job hunting goals.
I’ve benefited from continuing regular exercise and so created a column to account for goals I would work on every day, allowing these to be properly factored in. If I spend one hour a day looking for a new job, and 45 minutes exercising, then I can multiply that by five days a week for ten weeks and ensure that time is not hidden from the final total.
Then, I’ve continued to track what time I’m spending.
I’m in my fourth week of ten remaining weeks (two weeks having been taken as holiday.) I’ve certainly made progress to a couple of the highest priority goals. After spending another 32 hours this quarter, I’ve completed first draft of 28 chapters of The Commands of Jesus, the follow up to 31 Days of Prayer.
I’ve installed a new template for my company website and written and edited several key pages.
I’ve also applied for 22 contracts and permanent jobs.
However, I’ve taken on a few things I wasn’t expecting, and hadn’t thought to include one crucial task that takes up a fair bit of time: sending out mailing letters and writing blog posts like this one!
Last quarter I had planned to spend more time training, but I ended up focusing on the writing goals. This quarter as I’ve stepped up job hunting, I’ve found myself also taking time for training that I hadn’t planned. So be it. The expectation is this will make finding a new contract or job easier so I trust it will be worth it.
For those that are waiting, I will be switching focus back to Fallen World once The Commands of Jesus draft is completed.
And that’s probably all I want to say for now.