For the third year in a row, I will make a few (academic) promises for the new year, but I will start by following up on last year's four promises:
Promise: My first promise what to read 200 pages of academic articles per month during January - June (on my sabbatical) and write blog posts about it.
Outcome: I did read quite a lot of academic articles although I clocked in closer to 150 pages per month rather than 200 and I only managed to do it for five rather than six months. I did write blog posts about articles I read in February, March, April, May and June.
Promise: My second promise was to catch up with writing about "books that I have read" on this blog as I was constantly writing about books I had read half a year earlier and it was no fun.
Outcome: I did partially catch up and my upcoming blog post about "books I have read" will treat books I read only a few months ago, in November.
Promise: My third promise was to husband my time on the 6-month long sabbatical I took last year (January - July).
Outcome: I do think I for the most part used the time effectively. I had very regular work habits (I was physically in an office five days per week) and I accomplished quite a lot, including writing academic papers (which was an important goal).
Promise: My forth promise was to use a lot of "collaborative consumption" services on my sabbatical.
Outcome: I didn't really try out a lot of different services I did use Airbnb extensively both when doing trips with my family as well as when I rented a big apartment in Toronto for the CHI conference in April together with three colleagues of mine.
My new promises for 2015 are:
1. To again read academic articles during the period from January - June. The goal is 200 pages per month but I'm ok if I "only" reach 150 pages per month too.
2. Just as I promised two years ago, I will again make an effort to tame the mess in my office. Parts of the massive amounts of papers in my office are actually organised, but much remains to do since papers have gradually accumulated in my office during the last 10+ years. My aim is use 30 minutes every day to sort through, organise or throw away stuff - but since I now know that this is in fact unrealistic, I'm fine with using 30 minutes at least twice and preferably three times (or more) per week.
3. Last year I promised (and accomplished) to use the time spent at my sabbatical effectively. My promise for this year is that I will use my time as effectively as I did last spring despite not being on a sabbatical.
4. Just as I need to clear the physical piles of papers in my office, my brand new promise for 2015 is to find procedures and time to work with and reduce my e-mail. I have 6000 messages in my inbox and I want to reduce that by at least 75% - to less than 1500 - at the end of the year.
I have also made a performance-related promise to myself about writing and publishing academic papers but don't feel confident enough to go public with it so that will remain my secret...