My earliest inkling of this notion was in high school when I needed that little pick-me-up, to kick-start my motivation a bit and in that time a small voice in my head thought to advise me to Just do it! So when that thought floated through my mind I wrote it down on my white board as a little reminder to myself to remember to take action and it worked for quite some time. Of course I later realized that this was already a widely used slogan by Nike and so I started to distance myself a little from this phrase as it started to feel more like some bit of propaganda rather than a motivational mantra, but I always sought out some other sorts of concepts like it to hold its place.
As of late two things catch my attention in much the same way.
The first is the concept of “Eat That Frog”. The concept first came from Mark Twain who said, “If your job is to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first”. I found an article that I liked that expands more on this titled: Mark Cuban wakes up every morning at 6:30—here’s the first thing he does. Mark Cuban from shark tank applies this thought process to his actions each day stating that: “Whatever the stressful things are, I try to get those out of the way in the morning”. To go even further with this concept Brian Tracy also wrote a Book titled Eat That Frog and covers this idea in that book also.
For the second concept that I liken to the Just do it! state of mind is to: “Start Before You’re Ready”, which I heard from Marie Forleo and is actually my favorite of these three concepts at the moment because it’s a definite call to action and makes me feel more like I’m called to not only my big goal for a day, but somehow makes me feel more drawn to my bigger life goals as well.
Sometimes it can be hard to gain momentum or to stop procrastinating, but when one is open to the notion it’s very clear to see that there is great beauty in action.
It’s still so early so don’t lose sight of why you started it all, so early in on writing this blog and sometimes it can already be easy to forget. First and foremost it’s for yourself, it’s your journal (of course with some constraints due to the fact that it’s an open journal of sorts), but never-the-less it’s your journal and it’s here to serve you. It should serve to aid you and never to hurt you. It isn’t for how many follows or likes you can get, although that can be nice sometimes too, but rather it’s to help organize your thoughts and is a vessel through which you can communicate and express your feelings. It shouldn’t feel like a chore and you shouldn’t feel like you have to impress anyone other than yourself, in fact since it’s yourself there’s no impressing to be done anyway. It should be used as a tool and not used as a self inflicted chain. You can’t require yourself to write blank amount of posts each month, only that you hopefully do write each month. It should grow and change with you, but it should never restrict you or make you feel like you need to do it. Just relax and allow it to be what it is and allow yourself to be what you are, nothing more and nothing less.
I’m not sure what is going on with me right now. I’m thinking that whatever is going on with me is related to my feeling stressed out about the studying that I’ll have to try to squeeze into my schedule because of some of the upcoming competencies that I have along with this cold that I’m still getting over. I’m not right in the middle of my cold, but my sinuses are still a little congested and is still causing me some discomfort. I’m even stressing out about whether or not to attend the high school reunion tomorrow since it will cut away a bit of my study time and I never know who will be there with another cold virus ready to get me sick all over again, don’t mind my paranoia it’s ever-present.
If I do go tomorrow I might not stay too long so that it doesn’t cut into my time and energy too much, also I may not dress up too much since I usually feel more at ease in more casual attire.
Anyhow, to the gist of this entry. I thoroughly dislike being underproductive and I feel that there are sources of this greater than usual under-productivity that I’ve pinned down more so to my lethargy from being sick in combination with the fear of the many responsibilities that feel as though are pilling onto me and making me feel frozen in a sense of dread of the possibility of failure.
But the whole point in me thinking things out and talking things through is in a hope that I will find some solution to any given problem that I happen to be facing.
In this case the solution that I’m hoping might come to my aid is the solution of: being more present. I noticed that in being stressed out, my mind is always wandering and I have trouble keeping focus, but now I want to give myself a challenge and hope that I will succeed in this challenge and it is the challenge of trying to focus on one task at a time. Although in some ways the single task proposition will feel a little underproductive, since I’ll not be allowing myself to multitask, I actually believe that multitasking may be one of my main problems to begin with. Some examples I’ll give are regarding my day to day activities: example one-I’ll put on some water on the electric boiler, it’ll shut off on its own without my noticing and I’ve distracted myself with some other activity with the state of mind of a sense of convenience and yet I never get back to what I initially started since I’ll forget about it. Example two-which applies to not only myself in this household, I think we’re both guilty of this: putting on a load of laundry with the intent of getting back to it and finishing it, but once again falling into the same sort of rabbit hole and forgetting about it all over again. I’m tired of my own distractibility.
This may almost be a sort of self-imposed punishment, but it serves a purpose and will serve to hopefully aid in some of my own progress. I’ll only semi-multitask from now on. When I set about doing some such convenient activity I must choose a way to pass the time in a way that doesn’t fully distract me from my initial action so as to end up forgetting it altogether. Examples of boring tasks to pass the time with: studying (ding-ding-ding-ding-ding), reading, painting my nails, semi-meditation, exercise, etc. Examples of unacceptable excessively distracting activities: watching T.V., being on the phone or computer, etc.
Also all-in-all I intend to try to eat my elephants one bite at a time so as to not overwhelm myself and cause myself to burnout or freeze up. All these big sometimes seemingly impossible tasks in life are impossible to conquer in one go. We are all human, at least I know I’m only human, so I need to remember and to remind myself that sometimes the only way to get things done is by taking little bites, little bites until the elephant has been eaten.
I am very much a sucker for making lists: grocery lists, to do lists, goals lists, etc. More than anything though, to do lists and I’ve noticed that lately I haven’t been as effective as I normally am. I feel in part I’m simply tired and may be in a little slump, but I imagine it’s likely more than just a matter of these things.
I believe the problem lies not in the list itself, but rather the way I’ve been making my lists. They are much too extensive. A little constant progress is far better than short little fizzling spurts of energy. My overly extensive list though often doable require too much energy and may also be too aimless.
I’ve heard before the lists should be only of three things, I probably list five times that amount and possibly more. Now, I think I should adopt something close to, but not quite the same as the advice given. I believe that perhaps from now on my lists should contain about five items. Enough to make it feel like I’m doing more since the number is greater than three, but also short enough to likely not get me to fizzle.
This entry is to serve as a sort of a reminder to myself of something that I likely too often forget: Focus on yourself.
I say this especially in the sense of housework, it’s much like the advice that I’d once read from Marie Kondo. She advises in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” to focus on your things and on your space because if you have a messy family you can’t make them stop being messy, you can only take control of yourself and your own space.
I often forget this in part because of my own poor remembrance and in part because of the unfair expectations of my mother. She rarely if ever takes any initiative to do any tidying in her own room and freely makes a mess in the shared spaces in the house after I’ve done some cleaning. I don’t know why she’s like this but I also don’t know how to change her.
On the other hand when I’m just trying to maintain my own space she sometimes make snobbish remarks of, “Oh you’re only keeping your own room clean, you’re not cleaning the main house that much anymore, it’s no wonder that your space is clean it’s the only part you’ve been cleaning lately,” there were times like that because I hated the repetition of cleaning only to find things a mess again after all my work, that endless unceasing purgatory of feeling like all my work was in vain.
I plan to return my focus on myself and hope that I can find the will inside me to dismiss her remarks, because when I focus on the rest of the house and much less on my own space the purgatory only grows worse because it becomes the expectation that I will constantly pick up the messes they leave around the house with the little bit of energy that remains in me after my 13 hour nursing graveyard shifts. It’s worse this way because no matter where I shift my focus the purgatory will always be there, but at least if I focus first on myself first, then I will at least be able to maintain my little bit of space in good order and in turn, perhaps also be able to maintain my own little bit of sanity as well.
Remember: you are first and foremost responsible for yourself and your actions, as is everyone else. Any expectation beyond that is the expectation that you will carry someone elses weight on top of a burden that already belongs to you and it shouldn’t be that way.
“The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, “If you will take care of me, I will take care of you. “Now I say, I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.”
What I mean by “boring,” is feeling like I’m making very little progress in the next year or two, but it is with the intention of laying the groundwork for a less “boring” future.
My intention for this next year or two is to simply work and save money and do the mundane day to day living as anyone else would.
My purpose for saving my money is so that I can buy a car in the next year since from all appearances it seems like my present car is nearly ready to retire. Having a new car will ease my mind and give me a sense of security that I have a reliable source of transportation for when I decide to return to school and continue to work as a nurse while I do so. Additionally I’m leaning towards buying a Prius because I won’t feel quite as guilty while I drive around if the car that I’m driving is less polluting than most other cars.
The reason why I plan to have two boring years rather than one is because in that first year I plan on buying a car and in the second I plan on saving some extra cash as a little cushion for myself, an emergency fund of sorts, since I want to return to school and can best picture myself doing so if I’m working part time.
Besides I imagine management at work would potentially take more kindly to my request to being part time if I’ve already put in a good deal of time to working for the company prior to my making such a request.
In a sense I guess I see this coming year as a way for me to get all my ducks in order, as a way of laying the groundwork for other things I’d like to do and alas doing so may feel to me a rather boring enterprise, but all good things take time and more can be got for those who wait.
I’ve edited this post on 12-25-18 and I’ll also add the following note at this time: I’ll likely not follow through on this original plan for the next boring year or two (I may not even follow through on buying a car). I feel time is too precious to wait on some important matters. I may not even ask to be part time, but I may at least ask to work 6 days instead of 7 each pay period and I may start school online at WGU. I might even postpone car-buying if home-buying might be feasible. It’s all up in the air at this moment in time, but hopefully when the dust settles I’ll have made some good decisions for myself…