My Year in Review: 2021

Sitting in my home office with a big part of me wondering and thinking “What did I even do and achieve this year?” But for real, when I look back on 2021 and recall all the different stops my life, path, and career fell into, it all ties together. And that’s a big reason why I decided to forge on and write this post.

Working with a team

This is most likely the best decision I’ve made this year. I’ve always wanted a team to assist me with my work. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the process of building and creating an app, as well as the diverse skills and hats that go along with it; from planning to design to coding to copywriting and marketing, to name a few.

When I was able to hire, I did so right away. I wanted to focus more on what I’m good at while letting others do what they’re good at. I took the approach of listing all of the tasks I do and finding someone to do the ones I don’t enjoy doing. This allowed me to do more of what I love, and less of what I don’t. Moreover, the team’s work was of an incredible and outstanding quality, far exceeding anything I could come up with and imagine.

Renovated Home Office

I had the same desk for more than 6 years. It was nice and it did the job. However, I desired a larger desk for my comfort. Furthermore, I wanted a clean and minimal setup than resonates with my character and corresponds to my personality. As a result, I renovated the room with wall paint and new furniture including larger desk and a bookcase.

Graduated from college

Well, the nightmare finally ended. Kidding. After five years, I graduated with a degree in “Computer and Communications Engineering”. To be honest, it didn’t add much to my app development skills. However, the experience and the people I met made it all worthwhile. Talking about graduating, my final year project was the “Mockup App” itself. I was fortunate to have a supervisor who understood me and my needs and gave me the opportunity to work on something I enjoy and love that will be beneficial for me after graduating.

Focusing on one product

I didn’t intend to, but that’s what happened. I find pleasure in building apps. And I love coming up with new ideas, starting and launching new projects. I had big plans for Mockup, and as it’s getting more users and more feedback, thus different measures for it. So it’s absurd to postpone or put these plans on-hold in order to commence another project. As a result, this year’s work was centered on this app. I did, however, make a few minor updates to my existing apps and will continue to maintain them as needed.

Less freelancing, more of my own

Remember why I started a team? To do more of what I love, and less of what I don’t. And it turned out that I don’t enjoy freelance work. I mean, money-wise, I can make a lot more, at least at this stage. And dealing with clients and providing value to them taught me a lot. However, it doesn’t align with my future vision and long-term goals. It is far more satisfying and fulfilling to see my ideas come to life than it is to build someone else’s vision. And in the long run, I can always scale and push my apps further, which is something I intend and love to do.

Finding work-life balance

I first heard about the hustle culture two years ago. And I was blown away. What could be better than doing what you love 24/7, non-stop, to achieve the greatest results possible? And with lockdowns, there was nothing to stop me. I aspired to be the productive guy who has no time to waste. I literally time-blocked my calendar from 5 am to 10 pm. On the bright side, I sticked to some good habits, such as exercising, reading, and having regular sleeping pattern. And working too much did yield excellent results at first. 

However, during this year, I started to feel that this isn’t going well. I was doing great at work, but some other aspects of my life weren’t going the way I want to. I began to sense the toxicity of this whole hustle-culture thing. At times, I can be proud of myself and the amount of work I do. However, when I’m tired, sick, or simply not in the mood, not working feels like a waste of time and can be stressful. But what’s the point of working hard if you can’t take a break when you want to? 

That’s why, this year I tried to shift my mindset and strike a work-life balance. It’s not easy, especially since I work for myself and have to set my own boundaries. Having regualr weekly breaks was beneficial. Another is realizing that I am entitled to some downtime after a long’s day hard work. This is something that started this year and will continue to the next.

After all is said and done, keep in mind that balance is an important key and figuring out what you want and how your next steps would follow is upon your sleeve. 

Whatever you did this year that didnt fit the picture you wanted, 2022 is just around the corner with golden opportunities. You have plenty of shots to countervail what fell short.

Happy New Year everyone and celebrate what you want to see more of.

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