2013 Postmortem

2013 was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Overall it was very successful, but I feel it was as balanced as I would have liked. I certainly did much better from a business standpoint, but as a result my personal projects suffered.

What went right

  • Increased my earnings – Probably my biggest win of 2013. I don't really like talking about money, but my 2013 earnings were higher than 2011 and 2012 combined.

    Sadly there's no secret formula here, I just spent a lot more time working. One thing that really helped was to set a "minimum hours billed" goal on Beeminder, which kept me moving forward on days where I'd rather not work.

  • Pushed myself – I took on some more advanced projects this year, which let me really stretch myself technically. Not only did I get to create some cool stuff, but I learnt a lot of new skills along the way.
  • Rebuilt philnewton.net site – This is something I'd wanted to do for a long time, and finally got around to it in September. Along with switching the backend from WordPress to Jekyll, I added a lot more content (probably more in 4 months than the 4 previous years).

    Overall I'm quite pleased with how this went, even if the actual conversion took a lot longer than I would have liked.

What went wrong

  • Let my fitness slide – I've never been particularly sporty, but I definitely noticed a drop in my overall fitness levels in 2013.
  • Didn't make any games – I try to take part in game jams at least once a year, but 2013 just didn't go right for me. I entered Ludum Dare 27, but ended up dropping out on the Saturday as I just felt burnt out from work.
  • Didn't set any goals – I didn't set any concrete goals at the start of 2013, which is probably why I feel like the year passed without me achieving anything.
  • Spent too much time unfocused – Working from home means I don't have to worry about commuting or only having a certain amount of time to get things done. As a consequence, it means work tends to stretch out over the day, and I'll often be working on things piecemeal throughout the day.

Goals for 2014

  • Get back to time boxing – I really don't like how my work hours have spilt into the rest of the day. Time boxing is something that's helped in the past, and I'd like to start using it again in 2014.
  • Improve my fitness – This is a combination of eating less junk and doing more exercise. I generally walk the dog a few miles each day, but I'd like to improve my strength and aerobic fitness.
  • Take part in the One Game a Month challenge – Even if they're only small toys, I really want to get back to making games.
  • Spend more time on personal projects – I have a huge list of personal projects, and I'd like to at least make a dent in it this year.

Here's hoping 2014 is even better!

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