Tag Archives: motivation

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.

Learning to be patient

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3

When I wrote that my word for the year would be peace, I did not expect it to be such a struggle.

“Oh, it’ll be easy,” I thought “I’ll just stop doing things and wanting things.”

Oh wow. Trying to stop yourself wanting things so much is painful. Forcing yourself to wait it out rather than doing something the moment you think it would be a good idea is hard. I’m learning to be patient.

I’ve learnt that there are two different types of wanting something. There are the things I want just so that I can want something, and then there are the things that are truly worth having.

Firstly, wanting for the sake of wanting.

I feel like I need to be changing things in my life to feel any forward momentum.
Continue reading

The day I stopped arguing for my caffeine addiction

caffeine

This image from unsplash.com makes me really miss coffee.

It was the weekend before Christmas, and I was celebrating having a couple of weeks off work by burrowing deeper into my duvet and entering into full on relaxation mode. It was quiet, it was cosy, it was peaceful… My husband jumped out of the bed.

“Come on, it’s time to go to the gym.”

“What?!”

“Come on, doesn’t the class you normally go to start at 10?”

“Well yes, but…”

The truth was, I was planning to give myself the day off. But being stubborn and competitive, I wasn’t going to let him go by himself. So I dragged myself out of bed and left for the gym.

Without having a cup of tea.
Continue reading

What do socks have to do with comfort zones?

comfort-zones

I went to a sock making workshop in November. I found it quite challenging – I hadn’t knitted in a few years and never in a round – but ultimately rewarding. I skipped home to show off my tiny demo sock and immediately spent too much money ordering sock yarn on the internet. I’m going to make so many socks! In so many different colours! Knitting socks is going to be my thing!
Continue reading

What running a half marathon taught me about motivation

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly making my way through the Writer’s Workshop by Sarah Kathleen Peck. One of the many things I’ve taken from it so far is that being a successful writer is less about talent and more about practice. The people who succeed are those who show up and put in the work.
Continue reading

Everything you need

When I have an idea for a new project, I find myself making a shopping list of everything I need. A couple of weeks ago, when I started jogging to work, I treated myself to some new running clothes to inspire me. This week, I decided I wanted to start drawing again. I thought about when I’d have time to go to a stationery shop to get some new pens and a sketchbook. It was only when I couldn’t find the time that I considered using the pen and paper that I already owned. I realised that I prepare myself for things by stocking up on supplies.
Continue reading