Late Nights and Nothingness

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Ever feel like doing just absolutely nothing. I mean you still do the bare minimum to get you through the day (work, appointments, and the like) but besides that you feel like doing absolutely nothing. Sure you feel like you should be doing something and of course there are plenty of somethings for you to be doing but for some reason you just can’t give enough cares in the world to actually do these things.

These are the moments where you find yourself going to bed late and staying in bed all morning, spending countless hours in front of the TV or your computer screen with only a faint recollection of what you are looking at and small constant voice in the way back of our head telling you its dying a slow death, or telling yourself at work that this time you will be productive when you get home only to have your commute home suck out all motivation you so perilously mounted up.

I feel this comes on in the middle of the year when you look back on what you have done so far and you subsequently give up. You think “well wasted already half of the year so why not waste the rest of it”. After all that would be the easy thing to do. It’s so easy to just continue they way you always have, it’s what you’ve been doing so why not keep doing it?

Time to turn the tide. It that you know glass half full situation. You still have half a full glass. So take some time to recuperate, meditate, and get back in it because you still have half a year left to go.

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The Difference between Being Busy and Being Productive

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Being busy is nice. It gives us a sense of purpose and makes us feel as if we are doing something meaningful with our lives, but being busy isn’t the same thing as being productive.

For instance, last fall I took on two short films, blogging for two film festivals, finishing two scripts, and a seasonal supervision position at work that upped my hours to 40-60 per week. To say that I was a little overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I had a constant headache throughout the film festivals due to seeing so many movies in a row. I was supposed to take point on the second short film was unable to. The scripts never made it that far. I had worked so many hours between my job and everything else that on my days off all I wanted to do was sleep.

All of this got me so wound up that in February I said enough and left for Florida for eight days of sunshine and mind clearing. Super busy but not that productive.

Lesson learned.

We have to find the right balance between busy and productive. Knowing which projects to take on and how many is essential not only for giving our best but for our well-being.

So when ever you start to feel overwhelmed or things being to suffer and you are falling behind, stop and ask just how productive you are and change things. By the way it’s okay to say no. Saying it isn’t a bad thing because if you can’t give your all then don’t. As they say “less is more”.

“Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Keeping a Journal to Stay on Track

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A good way to keep yourself focused and on track is to keep a journal. To do lists and goal sheets are great starts but a journal will allow you to look at what you’ve done for the day and actually assess just how much progress you’ve made.

I have been keeping a journal since the beginning of the year and it has really helped me define the things that I’ve really worked on and pointed out the times in which I really didn’t do as much as I could have.

Here is how I break my journal usage down:

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1. The Date

Just as is says. Main purpose is of course so when you go back and look at your entries you know when you wrote it.

2. Events

This is where I write down different things that happen through out the day which usually break down this way:

  • Exciting things that may have happened
  • Recap of things that I was supposed to accomplish
  • What I actually accomplished
  • Unexpected issues (such as a plugin shutting down when building my site or having to wait in the doctor’s office due to being sick)
  • Insights (Had a break through in my script writing or came up with an awesome idea)
3. Tasks for Tomorrow

I usually leave the space at the bottom to figure out the things I need to do tomorrow to improve on what I did today or the actions I need to change in order to be more diligent.

How often should you write in your journal?

As often as you like. I usually make it a daily thing where every night before I go to bed I write in it.

The format of your journal can be anything you like. I keep mine in a good old thick notebook where the cover is decorated and I use multicolored gel pens just for fun. You can also use a computer and there are various apps that are available to use as a journal. What you choose to use is up to you. Just as long as you keep it up.

Top image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net