I’m an analyst, a reflector – I like to evaluate my life, my progress, my personal feelings of success. I set myself goals instead of new year’s’ resolutions. When I’m feeling low, the best way to pick myself up is to focus on my gains, achievements, and progress.
I write a gratitude journal each night to force myself to reflect on the positives of the day. I regularly log notes about what I want to achieve and the steps I am taking to get there. Vision boards are completely and utterly my jam.
I have a lot of goals, targets, ambitions. I think that these are the key to our satisfaction as they help us to identify the things that matter most to us, and offer us valuable direction. I often find myself wondering why on earth am I not moving towards these achievements faster? I blame my own inefficiencies and lack of focus, and I am certainly far too critical of my own choices.
The truth is though, that I am too hard on myself and realistically, none of us are capable of focussing on everything at the same time. Everyone needs some time to chill out and switch off from time to time. Right now, I am trying to balance a successful career with developing my writing portfolio and working out regularly.
Last week I felt like I was doing none of these things. I reached a belief that perhaps I simply could not do all of these things simultaneously. But, I’m not a quitter, if anything, I’m a total overachiever, so what did I do? I re-evaluated.
And this process has taught me, that to be successful in any aspect of my life, requires routine. This routine applies both to the activities that will directly bring me closer to my goals, and the mundane everyday tasks that I need to complete regardless.
I generally spend the hours of 8 AM to 4:30 PM in the office. And that’s a whole lot of my day gone. I also like to be ready to unwind and zone out of the world by 10 PM whether it’s bed time crashing or just some peaceful zen space. So I have pre-8 AM and 4:50 PM (by the time I get home) until 10 PM to play with. I need to factor in meals and food preparation, laundry, social time, writing, and working out.
By creating routines, like grocery shopping for a full week, food prep Sundays and clean up Saturdays, I actually find my time becomes a little more flexible. I can then safely allot an hour or two per day to writing, an hour to the gym, plan drinks after work once or twice per week and the whole show does not fall apart. Not to mention there’s still a whole weekend’s worth of time to utilize.
So if you really want to feel like you are moving forward, stop, evaluate and plan. The extra time spent preparing and pre-organizing your time will hugely pay off. Dedicate parts of the day to different aims, or days of the week to specific pursuits. I can do everything I want to, I just have to make it work for me.
Originally written by Elisabeth Tuck on Unwritten