May 16, 2012

On staying focused and productive

Hello, everybody! I feel as if I hadn't talked to you for too long! And yet, I've managed to publish the same amount of post per week, ha. I haven't been commenting on your blogs as often as I used to, but I'll go visit you soon! I promise ;).

Anyway, I wanted to thank you once again for your sweet comments and let you know that these are happy days! :D I've finally got myself into studying and making the most of time, plus, I've been eating healthily and exercising. I'm the kind of person who lives her life in black and white with no shades of gray, so it makes sense that I had to tackle most of the issues that were affecting me all at once. 

I can barely believe it myself, I mean, my goals are nothing great, but I feel that when I moved to this country I sort of fell into this black hole where I felt really grateful and happy, but at the same time I couldn't get myself to do productive things. Time went by and I got comfortable in that place ... or maybe I was too scared to leave it? I'm not sure. Now, after over a year (yeah, too long, I know!), I am finally realizing that I do have control over some things and I am taking action.

I thought I could share some tips or rules that have helped me get out of that lethargic state and start taking action in my life. Don't get me wrong, my point is not to give "life lessons"! I know nothing about life. I just figured I could share some of the things I discovered along the way that have worked for me and who knows, may work for you, too. Ok? ;)

Be realistic
Set achievable goals; don't overload your schedule with tasks you don't know you'll be able to do. If you set objectives that are too big and you fail, you run the risk of feeling so disappointed in yourself that you might end up giving up on them altogether.

Let go of fear
At the same time, believe in yourself. If something does not work the first time you try it, give it another shot or try a different approach. Set attainable goals and as you get the hang of it, move on to more challenging ones.

Start the day off by being productive
This is key to me. I frequently don't feel like opening my books and studying when I wake up. However, the way my morning begins pretty much dictates what the rest of the day will be like. If I manage to check off an item in my to-do list right away, even if it's not the main one (say cleaning up a little or doing the dishes), I'm more likely to feel accomplished and motivated enough to keep the energy going. Overcoming that first bit of inertia is the bigger challenge. 

Be wise when you divide your time for each task in hand
Analyze the outcome of your effort and decide accordingly how much time you need to spend. Also, evaluate the possibility of needing extra time to complete your tasks, since unexpected obstacles and situations can arise.

Choose a comfortable study/workspace
To me that means a room that's filled with light, a clear table and being able to see color (a mood board or a bunch of flowers, for instance). I'd also add not to be in a place that's too comfortable such as your bed; it'll make it easier to surrender to laziness and procrastination.

Stay away from distractions
I discovered that I can't even have music on if I want to stay 100% focused. Turn off the TV, don't visit social networks or check your cell phone. If someone calls and you don't want to lose your focus, don't feel guilty about turning down a call. You can always text or call them later to explain the situation; they will understand.

Turn negative thoughts into positive energy
I am very easily put down when I hear a negative comment about me or when I find something too difficult. When I started reading the material I need to study to get my TESOL certification, I found out it was too tedious and summarized for me to memorize; that's the reason why I put it off for so long. A few weeks ago, I decided there was no way around it other than resorting to other material to elaborate on each subject. This has helped me have a deeper understanding on the topic and has given me confidence to keep going.

Give yourself credit for what you do
This is a tough one for me. As much as negative comments affect me, I can't accept positive feedback. I never feel I'm worthy of praise. I lack self-confidence, but the funny thing is that being productive is helping me build a stronger self. I have so far submitted 5 assignments and passed them all with a grade of 100! I honestly didn't think I was going to. Getting a positive outcome is proof that your effort was worth it and in turn will give you the stamina to keep going :).

Keep yourself motivated
Envision your big goal. And as I've just said it, seeing concrete results will motivate you to keep working.

Take breaks
It's ok to take to breaks when you feel too tired or stressed. Catching some fresh air and relaxing for a while will help you see things from a different perspective.

Hold yourself accountable
Knowing that I'll let someone down if I don't follow through works better on me than a system of punishment/reward.

Be satisfy with your downtime
Make sure that what you do in your free time is beneficial to your happiness. If you've enjoyed the free time with your loved ones, you're more likely to feel confident and satisfied about getting back to work.

Eat healthily, drink lots of water and exercise
Try not to eat heavy foods that will make you feel drained. Losing weight and exercising more are my 2 other goals aside from getting my certification. I've found out that the 3 of them go hand in hand! :) Since I'm focusing on reading and studying, I don't have time to worry about food and cravings, so I've been eating less and making better choices. Running on the treadmill makes me feel more energized and gives me the stamina to keep checking items off my to-do list. It's a win-win! Who would've thought?! :D  

Productivity lies within you
Know yourself first and do what works for you. 

Hope this wasn't a big waste of your time and you could at least get something positive from all this jibber-jabber! As I told you before, I'll take the time to check your blogs soon. And I am very excited to inform you that you'll soon see some posts I'm preparing in collaboration with a couple of buddies from Argentina! ;D Yay!

Happy midweek, everyone! ;D

Now let's keep working! :P


seelvana said...

increíble lo motivada que estás!
Te felicito!
No hay dudas de que vas a obtener buenos resultados :D

Mary Has Sound said...

Great advice! You followed a lot of your own advice with the AWESOME CONFETTI BOTTLE PACKAGE I just received from you. You're a genius and I love it. I can't wait to respond back.

Catherine said...

Love this post, thanks for sharing!

I also have issues with accepting positive feedback, I usually just shrug it off, but its a good motivator if we let it be.

xx, C

vero mariani said...

mikiiiiiiiii linda! qué bueno leerte así, activa, con pilas, contenta y con todo por delante! sos lo más, y este post me acaba de inyectar todas las pilas que me escasean estos días (son días MUY intensos). gracias por la magia corazona y VAMOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS MIKI!!!! you rock and jagger wants to move like you ;)

Katrin said...

Thank you, Miki! I needed this!


Miki querida, este es un gran post! Te deseamos lo mejor y gracias por inspirarnos ;)

Kirsten said...

This is great! I'm so glad you're feeling accomplished! You deserve it!

ceci a. said...

Vamooooooooooooooos Miki! Esa es la actitud! Te recontra felicito por este cambio de enfoque.
Take control pero co ndisfrute
Gran meta!
Un beso grande!

chantilly said...

these are some really good points, miki :) i'm always telling people stuff like this, but the truth is, it's harder to actually do yourself. i'm glad you're in a good mindset right now and making some healthy changes :)

thank you xoxo

Marisa Noelle said...

This is all so good Miki! Though basic, it's the kind of things I need to constantly remind myself every day and it's the kind of stuff that can be easily forgotten.

I'm such a freak when it comes to accepting positive feedback. I'm not sure why but I guess I'm too overly concerned about coming off haughty and I'm sure lacking self confidence has something to do with it too.

Sounds like your really on a good path here lady! I'm going to join you as well with this:) Just the perfect little snippet I needed to read coming off a very busy /stressful couple of weeks.

xx Marisa

Blue Eyed Night Owl said...

I'm so so happy to read you are doing well!

Funny how things work like that, right? Sometimes one can feel overwhelmed and find it impossible to take on yet another task, even though doing something extra can often make things easier haha. On that note, I think I'll go and do a little workout myself;)

Nice tips!