It has actually been a hot minute since I've last updated. Over the past few days I've spent some time doing a bit of a pre-spring clean while I've had my ass handed to me by a chest infection - and what fun that has been [insert sarcastic facial expression here]. Essentially, I've just stood by the window most days complaining about how damn cold it is; I'm turning into an elderly man.
It's funny what the Christmas season does to you. Usually I am somewhat organised (somewhat now). But this year was weird. I had all the presents, I'd done all the decorating, I'd even searched high and low for new Christmas socks. This year it was almost like I had the essentials of Christmas sorted but I lost myself somewhere along the way. I figured it might come down to time management. That's a tough one for all young professionals. There has been so many innovations and advancements in tech media these days that its actually no wonder that it doesn't take much to derail our days when our lives are constantly being bombarded with digital stimuli. So many distractions like Instagram and Buzzfeed (and others!) offer an express ride down the rabbit hole. I cannot name one that actually master time management. Putting together short lists always help in beginning that long journey towards time management albeit very slowly.
- Allow those little wins.
Apparently, it has been said that your brain manages a process best when it is allowed its 'little wins'. Therefore, if you have a huge task, divided it up into many smaller ones and take them one by one. Seems kinda crazy right? But when you think about it, you know its true. Plan and the execute. Gain momentum and then you will be all smiles.
- Don't be afraid to say no!
For me personally, one of the most challenging things in the workforce in your 20's is feeling the demand to prove yourself. You always think by accepting more work than say, your co-worker, you are validating your work ethic. When in reality, this couldn't be further from the truth. You have to know your limits. Say 'No' when you need to. Overloading always does more harm than good in one place or another,trust me. Its not how much you get done, its how well you do it.
- Leave your personal life at the door.
A French author called Gustav Flaubert once said "Be regular and orderly in your life so you may be violent and original in your work." I don't think we need to say anymore on that one.
- Wear a watch
Its funny, I never actually use to wear a watch until about 4 years ago. I just couldn't get into the habit of one and I always felt it was a bit weird having something on my wrist. I guess that was just one of those pre-teenager things. Nowadays, its rare that I'm caught without one. My watch is one of the most integral parts of my productivity. I always try to assign time limits to my tasks in my head so I can stay focused. You don't need one that speaks to you, just a piece that can serve your needs throughout the day.
- Watch those energy levels
TAKE A BREAK. I was shouting at myself more than anything there. But no, seriously. Breaks are good. It doesn't matter if your break consists of running an errand, watching a TED talk, texting a friend . . . whatever helps to relax the mind. You wouldn't drive a car without petrol, so don't push your body and mind beyond their limits either.
Christmas messed with me this year and really derailed any kind of coping mechanisms I had but that's how we learn right? Hopefully these tips will help us both eliminate stress and cacophony going forward. A work/life balance is important so when you get home, put the work away.