Month in review: January 2021

Last year was strange in many senses, besides COVID significantly slowing down the whole planet, lots of changes happened in my little corner of the world. I moved from beautiful Cairns – a city that will always be dear to me, where I have made many friends I hope I will be fortunate to keep for life, and where my son was born – to the also beautiful Sunshine Coast.

All the changes and uncertainties made me revisit my life and work planning strategies and I must say, most of them I’ve been using – and been significantly dependent on – since my PhD. The first change, as I mentioned in the last Month in Review I published, was to change from a filofax-style planner to a Moleskine Weekly Planner. At that point I decided to split each day of the week in three columns: to do, done, and personal. What I realised then was that I basically had nothing to write on the personal life column, and yes I write and look at my planner every-single-day. So, this was probably the main lesson of that initial change: that my work-life balance wasn’t really that balanced. This is a key reason why I always liked planning my time and sharing the ‘Month in Review’ posts here, they are true recalls to reality.

So, at the start of 2021, I changed again and went back to the original plan of splitting my planners and having two separated ones. My Moleskine ‘work’ planner has now two columns and it is ALL work-focused. But I also started a personal bujo-style journal, both to plan my personal and family life, and to keep our memories. The word ‘work’ hasn’t made its way into those pages yet, and I hope I can keep it that way.

In the process of reviewing my plans I also realised I miss writing here, and so this became a focus of 2021: better mantain this nurturing space, aka blog. For now, this is what happened in January…



I am working with a research team on a project to assess microclimate in two age care facilities around the Sunshine Coast. That project progressed in January and the weather sensors were placed in those locations and data started to be collected.

I also have another project proposal which looks into urban microclimate in a regional city in Queensland. That project has made a small progress and its contract is now being analysed by the city council and partner university. If all goes well, that’s another project that will start soon.


Writing and publications

During January I mostly worked on the ‘revise and resubmit’ feedback for an article, which was resubmitted in the end of January.


Presentations and teaching

No presentations or classes were delivered. The classes at USC start on 1st March and the only teaching-related activity was course preparation, i.e. defining assessments, timetables, softwares needed etc.



Aligned with my comment above – the planning time one – I’ve undertaken a course on planning the (goals for the) year. That definitely helped me to put things in perspective and prioritise planning now to save time later. As the time goes on, this process of re-planning and reviewing also helps us to learn about our own working styles and what works best.

On a side note – as part of the work/life balance quest, I’ve undertaken some online courses on drawing and watercolour. I can’t get enough of them, and even though I’ve been drawing for most of my life, it is so so soooo great just to have some kind of accountability. I deeply miss having more space for art in my life – especially making art – so read this as a therapy type of learning.


Service and engagement 

Also in January I completed one more review for the Sustainability Journal and participated in a Masters final panel at PROPAR/UFRGS in Brazil.

And finally, I have been busy organising the AECURN/ACRN joint symposium and panel which will happen on the 16th and 19th February. You can get more information and register for the event(s) here.


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Heading photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash


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