Tag Archives: inspiration

How to get more done

Weekends in the library.

Weekends in the library.

So it turns out that working full time, on top of doing a Policy Research MSc, Fundraising Diploma and NVQ in Management, plus keeping up a regular gym routine does not leave any room for regular blogging. (Apologies). But it does teach you a thing or two about getting shit done. So here’s a list of things that I’ve learnt about fitting more into your day.

Build things into your routine if you want to get things done.

Every other day, my alarm goes off at 6am. It’s dark and it’s cold, but I don’t give myself an option of staying in bed. I eat, pack and make it to the gym by 7am. I’ve finished my workout by 8am, and shower and dress before cycling to the office. I am usually at my desk by 8.45am.

It seemed brutal when I started, but getting up an hour earlier doesn’t have a negative effect on my day. If anything, lifting weights before work makes me feel pretty badass. And the exercise make me more awake than I am on my rest days. Getting up an hour earlier means I workout 3 or 4 times a week, without losing any time from my evenings.

I bet you want my Peanuts vest.

I bet you want my Peanuts vest.

The thing is, if I asked myself every morning at 6am, “Should I go to the gym or not?” I never ever would. I would go back to sleep every time. So I don’t give myself the option; I make it a non-negotiable part of my routine.

A day is longer than you think

I used to write off the day after 8pm. I said “Oh there’s no point in doing anything now”. So I settled down to watch several hours of Netflix or read a novel before bed. It turns out, there’s still a lot I can do after 8pm, even if I am a little tired. Some evenings I have settled down with a cup of tea, and done several hours of essay writing or studying. Of course, it’s important to have some downtime too. But learning that I can so good work late into the evening has taken some of the pressure off my day and ensured I get a lot more done than I thought possible.

I can work even when I’m not in the mood

As well as ‘It’s too late’, another excuse I used to give for not doing what I wanted to get done was “I’m too tired/sad/not just in the mood.” I used to wait until inspiration struck. Now I can no longer afford to do that, I’ve discovered that I can work when I’m not in the mood. Sometimes I need to bribe myself with chocolate, but once I start, I often get into it and want to work for longer than I planned.

Prioritise.

Of course, you can’t do everything, and having a lot to do really forces you to work out what’s serving you and what isn’t. I no longer go out drinking or partying unless it’s something I am really excited about. I spend less time wandering town and window shopping. I only hang out with the people that I’m genuinely interested in catching up with. And while I’ve wanted to blog more than I have done, the experience has made me realise that it’s not as important to me as being on top of my uni work, crafting or Skyping with Grit.

Take time off in the way that’s right for you.

I take less time out for myself than I used to, so I have to use the time wisely and in the way that I’m going to find most relaxing. As an introvert, this sometimes (okay, often) means turning down social invites for a night in watching Gilmore Girls. This means I’m most recharged for my next productive day.

Things that I made in June and July

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I finished this cardigan. Wahoo! Overall, the wool cost me £36 (although I do have some leftover for another project). So making my own clothes isn’t saving me money, but I don’t think that’s the point. I am pleased that I made something that looks like this, and taught myself some new skills in the process.
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Lately I’ve been reading memoirs

So I’ve decided to stop being anxious about money and bought some of the books that have been on my amazon wishlist for a while. All I want to read right now are memoirs by awesome women. Here are a few of the best:

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How a bad girl fell in love by Girl on the Net

I have been reading Girl on the Net‘s blogs for years, mainly for the erotica, but fully on board with the feminism too. I knew this was going to be different to her blog and to her first book, since writing about love tends to be different to writing about sex. What I didn’t expect was how much, despite having a very different relationship history, I was able to relate. This book is as much about living with high functioning anxiety as it is about relationships. Girl on the Net writes about both with intelligence and self-awareness. I gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own approach to relationships, as well as being a very entertaining read.
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Frustrations and dreams

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I’ve not been feeling up for writing this week, and as hard as I try I can’t craft a proper post with any kind of lesson. I know that writing can help me come unstuck, and that getting words on a page can start to fuel my creativity. But I’m stuck in a catch 22, where I need to write for inspiration but I need inspiration before I start to write.

Does anyone else get this?

Thinking that anything would be better than staring at a blinking cursor on a screen, I started to just write out how I feel. Aha, a blog post. It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it’s where I am right now. And I’m going to be kind to myself, and let that be enough.

So here’s a list of what’s in my head this week; my frustrations and my dreams.

Enjoy.
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Some things on the internet worth reading

As things are winding down for Christmas I’ve been sorting out things on my computer, ready to start work again in January with organised files. One of the things that needed tackling was my bookmarks which was full of every single webpage, blog post or article that I thought was interesting in 2015: so quite a lot.

When I read something that makes me stop and think, I bookmark it, thinking that soon I will email it to somebody or write about it on here. Usually, I do neither of these things. But rather than see my digital hoarding tendencies go to waste, I thought I would post the best of those things here.

In no particular order…
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The life changing magic of consciously choosing what’s in your life

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So I finally got around to reading Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I thought I had already read enough decluttering and minimalism books, that there was nothing about getting rid of things that I had yet to learn. But actually, it kind of blew my mind.
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I’m done with being self-conscious

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By day I work for a charity run by and for adults with learning disabilities. I love how they quite often manage to cut through the bullshit that non-learning disabled people cloud their lives with. Most of the time, the most simple and obvious response to things is the best one.

As part of the evaluation of a funded project, I’ve been working with a group of people to rate various aspects of the life of their lives on a scale of one to ten (these scores are revisited every six months to measure progress).

Anyway, the point is that one of these people gave themselves a ten out of ten for confidence, and it blew my mind.
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