Nick Mazuk's blog

Focused consistency – my 2023 theme

Nick Mazuk

January 4, 2023

Simplicity is removing the obvious and adding the meaningful.

– John Maeda

I don’t write New Year’s resolutions, but each year I do write a theme. For the past few years it’s been about doing more. This year, I want to do less.

So 2023 will be my year of focused consistency.

  • Focus: focus is not about saying no to bad ideas, it’s about saying no to really good ones. Currently, I do way too much and am involved in too many things. This makes it really difficult to make an impact or really enjoy any one thing. As such, I will eliminate anything that doesn’t truly provide value to me.
  • Consistency: I’ve been forgetting to do a lot of things lately, or I do something way too late. As such, I need to be more consistent in doing the things that actually matter. Doing fewer things will definitely help. But with more time, I need to be diligent to actually do the things I want to do—not just waste the time.

Why does this matter? Last year was my “year of health.” So in theory, whenever I had a choice, my goal was to tend to choose the healthier option. However, there were many times last year I didn’t choose the healthier option because I wasn’t focused. For instance, there were several days (and weeks) I decided not to exercise because I needed to spend time working on something else—something I could have (and should have) said no to. Because I was not focused, I could not be consistent.

This year will hopefully change all that.

What will I say yes to?

In short, I will only say yes to the things with the highest positive impact to my life. As such, they should align with both my values and goals, including the following:

  • Simplicity: if it makes my life simpler, I’m all for it
  • Health: after my year of health, I value living healthfully a lot more
  • Career goals: I have very lofty career goals (which I’ll share in a future posts), so I’ll continue to work towards them
  • Friendships: even as an introvert, I value the time I spend with others, so I want to continue maintaining my friendships
  • This blog: I need a place to document and share my thoughts, so for 2023 this blog will be my primary outlet

What will I say no to?

This is not an exhaustive to-don’t list, but the following are some things I’ve agreed to do in the past that have been a distraction:

  • Compositions or arrangements (if I already agreed to write something, I’ll still do it)
  • Finale lessons
  • Leading new music ensembles
  • Taking on expanded roles in leading music ensembles
  • Miscellaneous jobs or gigs
  • Random coding side projects
  • Things that don’t align with my values or goals
  • Things someone else is better at than me
  • Things I don’t want to do

I may update this list as the year progresses. This list was last updated on January 4, 2023.

Note: If I directly sent you this post while turning down your request, that means it's probably on this to-don't list. I doesn't mean I don't like you or appreciate that you asked me to help, but rather that I need to focus on the things that matter more to me.

Winter is for delegation

One thing I’m going to start doing this year is having seasonal subthemes that align with my yearly theme.

Normally when you want to focus, the first step is to eliminate as much of your work as possible. However, that’s not the highest impact thing I can do right now for the following reasons:

  • Eliminating things right away will many of the groups and organizations I’m apart of, so I need to find people that can replace me
  • For the things I wish to continue doing, I need to delegate to cover my weaknesses. This will allow me to be more consistent and effective in the things I choose to do.

What’s next?

Well, I’m looking forward to 2023. And hopefully, it’ll be my best year yet.

I’ll probably write blog posts in the future about my progress and how I’m doing. However, this blog is a lower priority for me, so don’t be surprised if I decide to focus on things that matter more to me.