Needless to say, my brain is still decompressing from the amount of awesomeness that was SXSW Interactive (SXSWi). A couple of days ago I wrote about SXSW Interactive and QR codes on MGA’s blog, but for this blog, I wanted to write about some of my personal takeaways. First off, I was lucky to room with a great group of friends from the Denver/Boulder area–Elaine, Ingrid, Cali, Meredith (pictured with me to the left) and Mike. Throughout the week I met fantastic people, ate delicious BBQ, listened to awesome people speak, and made stronger friendships with the massive group of Colorado folks in Austin. These were all things that I absolutely expected to happen while there.
The big takeaway for me was a theme that followed me throughout the whole week and while it was unexpected, it was definitely welcome. I wouldn’t say that it came from any particular panel or conversation, but a culmination of the whole experience. We all need a kick in the pants sometimes, and this was mine.
I left Austin feeling motivated. Simple as that.
Motivated to work hard. Motivated to make things happen. Motivated to be the one people count to “get ‘er done,” as we say in Arkansas.
I think the hardest thing about being “motivated” is turning that motivation into action. For me, it starts with spending time after work and on weekends at poaching wifi at coffee shops working on:
Also, since I’m a big fan of to-do lists, I’ve started keeping a personal list so I can mark off accomplishments and progress I’ve made for myself.
While I realize that I’m young and that I could find more “fun” ways to spend my free time, the way I figure, the more time I can spend getting these little things done in my spare time, the less stressed my life will be. It’s all about shifting your mindset.
So if you find yourself working from a coffee shop in Denver, let me know. It is highly likely that I’ll be plugging away at a cafe in Capitol Hill or Uptown on the weekends, at least until Rockies baseball season starts. Then all bets are off!
My flight to Austin leaves Wednesday afternoon. This leaves me approximately 48 hours to tie up all the loose ends, figure out what I’m going to pack (most importantly, which shoes I will take), and ultimately de-stress myself. Oh, and sleep.
Yes, I have been a total stress wad the last week or so. But, I think I have figured out why. Usually when I go on trips I am that person who has thoroughly researched every last teeny-tiny detail before departure (I’m sure I completely annoyed my travel buddies while planning our trip to Spain last September). I could draw you a map of where the hotel is located with my eyes closed. I have walked the area with Google Street View and know (roughly) how many steps it is to the nearest pub. My packing list and the details of each activity I want to do has been written down on a crumply piece of paper for at least a week prior to my leaving. I just do better with a plan.
So, as I said, my flight leaves in 48 hours. I haven’t gone through the SXSW panel list hardly at all. I don’t have the slightest clue what shoes I am packing. And, I still have loads of things I need to wrap-up at work before I depart for a week.
What is saving me right now is knowing that I have amazing friends who remind me to do things before I leave (thanks to Aimee for the iPhone prep e-mail, and Josh and Cali for sending along events I need to RSVP to). Also, I do know where my hotel is, and I do know that I am going to have an amazing time.
Last year I wanted to be at SXSW Interactive so bad and I am really excited to make that happen this year. Honestly, I don’t think I could have handled watching the #SXSWi hashtag run through my Twitter stream again without being there.
If you have any last-minute recommendations for something I may forget, please let me know! I’ve got the Emergen-c, umbrella and multiple power cords covered.