Productivity

I Like Feeling Productive

Who doesn’t like being productive?

I feel good when I get stuff done. I need a goal, a purpose.

Without a challenge, I’m bored. I don’t always feel like working though. But I dislike feeling unproductive.

It’s so easy to put off and procrastinate rather than start right away. But I know I can’t wait for a perfect moment. I also shouldn’t wait until I feel inspired or motivated. Sometimes I just need to sit down and start.

I prefer doing a little every day rather than a lot all at once. It’s exhausting to write for 6 hours straight. But 60 minutes isn’t that tiring.

I’m not always as productive as I’d like to be. That’s okay. Some days are better than others.

I’m learning to start over. just because I did or didn’t do something yesterday doesn’t mean I can’t change what I do today.

I have bad days, even bad weeks. But I always find a way to get back on track.

At any given time, there are plenty of projects on my plate. They aren’t going to complete themselves. I need to start and finish them myself.

I’m not very good at taking breaks and doing nothing. Which is why I try to get a little bit closer to where I want to be with each passing day.

Baby steps. Walk before I run. I should enjoy this journey rather than stress about it. I’ve been worrying about the wrong things lately.

Somehow, someway it will work out in the end, so long as I work hard every step of the way.

Productivity

How To Have A Productive Commute

I’m going back to school in less than a week, which means I’ll be commuting all the time. Here’s how I try to make my commutes productive.

Read.

Fortunately I don’t get motion sickness, so I love reading on the subway. It’s more convenient to open ebooks on my phone, but carrying a small paperback isn’t bad either.

Write.

I get most, if not all, of my writing done when I commute. If you don’t write, you could draw instead.

Study.

As a student, I’ve studied for many tests and exams while traveling to class. I tend to make cue cards or cheat sheets beforehand, and then review key concepts on the go.

Practice.

If you’re not a student, use your commute to go over lines for a presentation or moves to a dance. I’ve done both.

Sleep.

Or more accurately, take a quick 20 minute power nap. Resting doesn’t always seem productive, but if it means you have more energy the rest of your day, close your eyes and relax. You don’t even have to fall asleep. Sometimes all you need is just a short break where you don’t think about anything.

Eat.

I’ve lost track of how many times I have eaten on the subway. More often than not, it’s a granola bar. If you’re going to be stuck in traffic for an hour, you might as well take the time to refuel, so you’re not starving before you get home. On a similar note, make sure you’re drinking enough water when you’re out and about. Listen to your body. Take care of it, okay?

Here’s to commuting productively!

Writing

How To Stay Positive As A Writer

It’s not easy staying positive as a writer, especially when the world keeps rejecting your work.

But positivity is a beautiful thing. Here’s to keeping your optimism alive and well.

  • Celebrate small wins. You came up with an idea? You wrote one sentence? You edited a paragraph? Celebrate that. It’s easy to overlook all the little things in life. You may feel like you aren’t making progress, but if you’re putting in the work every day, life will fall into place. Besides, small wins add up to big victories over time.
  • Look back. Remember all you’ve achieved.
  • Look forward. Think about the things you can accomplish.
  • Treat yourself. You deserve it. Play. How fun. Do other activities.
  • Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Humans tend to focus on the negatives. Say positive affirmations. Whatever they may be.
  • Filter out the noise. There’s a lot of sounds or voices around at any given time. You don’t have to listen to all of it.
  • Use social media in moderation. Spending all day on Facebook isn’t that productive and probably won’t leave you feeling too proud.
  • Exercise often. Endorphins are a wonderful thing.
  • Choose what you read carefully. Reading is amazing. But the media you consume can have an impact on your own emotions.
  • Go for a walk outside. Soak up the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is good for your health.
  • Write for yourself. Create what you want. Tell the stories you need to tell. You’re different and unique. You aren’t anyone else, so don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Personal Reflection · Productivity

How I’m Trying To Live Better

I wanted to try to live better, so I’ve been doing the following:

Walk more. Specifically in the morning. When I was in school, I did a lot of walking. Even though I’m not taking nearly as many steps now, I hate the thought of sitting at home all day long. So now I walk and listen to a podcast at the same time.

Floss every night. It took a while to build this habit. For a time, I didn’t. Then I would but forget on occasion or get lazy. Now I’m finally flossing right after I brush my teeth.

Stay hydrated. I drank so little water in high school, I was probably close to being dehydrated half the time. I pay greater attention my liquid consumption these days, especially as the weather warms up.

Go to bed earlier. I think sleeping has been one of my biggest challenges. I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. As I get busier, I find myself sleeping later. I have a morning routine, but I don’t have much of a night routine. Once upon a time, I slept earlier and woke up at a decent time. I’m doing my best to do that on a consistent basis.

Practice mindfulness. I’m not perfect, but I like living in the moment as much as possible. I put my phone away while I’m eating. I also check in with myself throughout the day when I have some time.

Even though I feel like I haven’t been that productive, I have been living a better life. And that’s something I’ll take every day.

Productivity

I Need To Stop Procrastinating Right Now

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t procrastinate. But I live in an imperfect world and I’m an imperfect human being.

I delay. I put things off. And when the deadline nears, my stress levels skyrocket.

Even though I’m someone who hates leaving things to the last minute, I don’t always start early enough.

At least when I procrastinate, I try to be somewhat productive. Instead of doing the thing I should, I’ll do something else like clean. It’s not as urgent as an essay due in three days, but I’ll still take cleaning over writing. Or editing. Don’t even get me started on edits.

I find it interesting how much better I’ve gotten at procrastinating over the years. I guess I’ve had a lot of practice. For some reason, I didn’t put things off as much in high school. Then I went to university and everything changed.

I procrastinate with blogging all the time. I can’t help it.

When I was younger, I used to be more of a morning person, so I procrastinated less.

Nowadays, I stay up later and do most of my creative writing later in the day, which means I procrastinate until I can’t.

Productivity

How To Have A Productive Day

Or at least a semi-productive one.

Feel free to use what works and discard what doesn’t.

  • Wake up early. Earlier than you normally do. That way, you have more time. In a perfect world, you’d go to bed earlier the night before.
  • Tackle the most difficult task first. Especially if you’ve been procrastinating. Get it out of the way. At the very least, start something.
  • Bunch things together. For instance, let’s assume you need to use the computer for a bunch of tasks. Try to complete all three at once rather than turning on your computer multiple times during the day. Get all your groceries in one trip. Run a bunch of errands together. Pay your bills at the same time.
  • Break up big projects into small tasks. If only so you’re not as overwhelmed by all you have to do.
  • Have incentives. Motivate yourself to work hard with rewards. It can be a piece of candy or a night out with friends.
  • Multi-task, don’t multi-focus. It’s almost impossible to focus on two or more tasks and do them well. It is possible to do two things that don’t split your attention or require intense concentration though. For example, listen to a podcast while washing the dishes.
  • Get rid of distractions. Go to another room that doesn’t have a tablet, TV, etc. Ask a family member to change the Wi-Fi password. Or get a friend to hide your smartphone.

Here’s to having a productive day year.

Personal Reflection

School, Stress, And Stories

I’m a little stressed about school and life in general. Make that a lot. But when I look back on February, I’m proud of myself. Somehow, I survived. I even read and wrote every day during a short but insane month.

Recently, I’ve felt at peace while reading stories. Thank goodness books exist.

Because some days didn’t work out exactly the way I envisioned, I haven’t been as productive as I planned to be. Which explains why there’s a lot I need to do in March.

I bite off more than I can chew. Even though I don’t have to, I load my plate full.

Yes, I realize I have high expectations and a crazy imagination. Sometimes they work in tandem. Other times, I feel like my world is falling apart.

I’m doing my best. I know I say that all the time. I’m still a broken record. No surprise there.

Unfortunately, I feel like my best isn’t good enough, like I’ll never be enough.

But if I can get through this, I can get through anything.

Even though telling my story isn’t easy, I intend to stay strong. More than anything, I’d like to live on my own terms going forward.

Personal Reflection

Take Care Of Yourself

When I’m not feeling well, I’m torn between doing nothing so I can rest or doing everything in hopes I’ll get better because I’ve been productive.

A part of me knows I’m allowed take a day off from writing or blogging. But another part wants to persevere. The latter wins out more often than not.

I compromised. I didn’t force myself to go above and beyond. Even though I didn’t want to do too much, I did a little. I’ll take it. Some progress is better than none.

My head hurt. It was especially painful to be inverted. So while dancing I tried to keep upright as much as possible. Although I hate feeling ill, I like rebounding from a bad day or three. Knowing I took it easy even out of necessity motivates me to try harder when I’m feeling better.

Unless I’m beyond saving, I won’t nap during the day. I don’t know why. I think my body doesn’t know how to fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. I could feel awful, and I’d still be awake.

I shouldn’t be hard on myself. I am human after all. Obviously, I would’ve liked to do more. But why work myself until I burn out?

I’m reminded of baseball. It’s easier and better to give athletes a day off even when they don’t need one. It’s worse to push professional athletes to the point where they get injured, only letting them rest too little too late. They’ll take longer to recover from an injury then.

Better to give someone a break before they break something.

I never know if my analogies or examples make sense to anyone not named Herminia Chow. But if you need a sign to take a break and relax a bit, here it is.

Do what you can to prevent yourself from getting injured or ill. Prevention beats cure any day of the year.

Control the things you can. And deal with what you can’t. Always be kind to yourself because if you aren’t, who will be?