March 31st, 2019


Self-work update #2

So from reading the 4-hour Work Week I came across some advice for how to limit your tasks/activities to few important ones so that you can have time for the things that actually are important, instead of seemingly keeping yourself busy for the sake of being busy. I'm just going to make some notes of that here.

Some key suggestions in relation to work:
"Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines."

Many of the tasks that we may end up doing aren't really productive at all, but we kind of do for the sake of doing them. This is something like spending time organizing your email folders instead of sending that one really important email that is the core task of the day, after which you could relax. Which leads to it being key to ask yourself:

"Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?"

I am a habitual postponer for sure, so I could benefit from checking myself more often. I also can vouch for the 'short and clear deadlines' suggestion because it's been really useful to my non-career related activities this spring: studying Japanese and exercising. I have an exercise plan that clearly states what I do every day: there's a link to a YouTube video for every day (except rest days, of course). So I know what I do every day and it's really easy to stick to it because there's a clear plan, all I need to do is open the right video in the morning and follow the exercise instructions haha. As for Japanese, I also made a really clear plan in which I've listed for every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday what and how I study. That plan has dates and everything, so I know what I'm doing or should be doing March 30th, for example. If I fall behind, I must use time during the 'off days' to catch up so I can get back on track. I admit this has got more challenging now because the further I get in my study book, the more it has words and grammar etc. that I haven't bumped into before, which means it takes longer to go through the exercises. I've scheduled two weeks per each chapter, and at the beginning that felt luxurious, and now it feels maybe a bit tight.

But in any case, watching Ainori season 2 on Netflix, I find myself picking up words that I've learned this spring and it makes me so proud and I realize I really AM progressing - it can be really hard to tell especially when you're not talking in Japanese to others but just kind of working on your own and trying to burn new vocabulary into your brain. And studying is so much work, it's such a relief to notice that all that work isn't going to waste.

ANYWAY, another interesting thing I read in the book was "You are the average of the five people you associate with most". This was supposed to make you think about friendships and relationships obvs, because some people have really toxic people in their lives. I think I don't really have toxic influences around? But I do see cool people that I'd love to be friends with, or better friends with, and I do have a hard time thinking about who would be the five I associate with most or whom I would like those people to be, so. I'll leave it in the background because it's not as urgent a thing for me as it would be to someone who's really being dragged down by doubters in their lives, but at least I'll make sure to value the people who are lifting me up and whom I enjoy lifting up and happy rainbows, puppies everywhere etc.