Hi everyone to this third blogpost of April 2019! I have to say it's been really busy lately – working more than 16 hours a day and wake up at 6am for the gym – yes, it's a little insane. It would be a lie if I tell you I don't feel sleepy. It would also be a lie if I tell you it's been another perfect happy week. But it's okay, we all have bad days. And somehow I feel really lucky to have this place – this tiny support system – where I wish we can support each other while I write.
Weird enough though this is in fact the life I have always wanted. Crazy working hours, workout to start the morning, and coffee catch up dates with friends in the weekend. I mean this, truly is the life of my dream. I absolutely enjoy the busy lifestyle (secretly wishing I can be a little more hardworking), love my life, and ya so far so good.
And because it has been quite busy lately I think this might be a good timing to talk about something related – My 5 Tips on Time Management!
PS. I know it’s Wednesday already and we are a little behind but at least we are on it. So we are fine.
PSS. Disclaimer: That’s just how I do it. It works with me but may not work with everyone. Hence it’s really important to find your own way so good luck.
What do you want?
Yes, the first step always sounds stupid. But before you go on to the below, you will have to know what you want. Not only do you have to be clear with your goal, the goal has to be specific too. For example, "I want to be rich" is not specific. What should be on your list is "I want to make 1mil in 5 years". Or maybe you want to be fitter and slimmer. Then your goal should be "I want to cut my body fat by 5% in six months".
I know not all goals can be as specific as other ones. But try to make it as specific as possible, ideally quantifiable, so that you can keep track of every step you make. I also find it easier to measure how far and how fast you are doing. It also makes sure you are on the right track rather than wandering around it. Only by knowing what you actually want will you be able to pave your way to achieving it.
Set long & short term action points
Now that you have a specific goal, break it down into quantifiable action points. For example you want to make 1 million in 5 years – then take out your bank statements, calculate your income and expenses, table your monthly goals. List out the unnecessary purchases you could have spared or the extra uber expenses because you were lazy. Based on the figures create a monthly budget plan for the upcoming 5 years, to make sure your goal is in fact actionable. If it's not, try to lower your goal, or find another way to improve the budget plan – no Chanel handbag until Christmas? Absolutely.
Sometimes if your goal is a big one. It’s better to break it down into smaller goals – long term and short term. For example you want to have a toned body. Then your quarterly goal can be losing 1% of fat every 3 months while your monthly goal is to hit the gym at least twice a week. If you find yourself constantly hitting the target, then it's a signal to remind you to move the bar up. Get a personal trainer, add a circuit routine to your workout, practice higher level yoga – push further.
Diarise and record
I know this might not be for everyone. I said this because I know this habit of mine did scare a few people away. That is to diarise and plan ahead. People around me will know I schedule my plans at least a month ago. I am not talking about big trips (where I might actually start making plans 3 months in advance). I am talking about weekend coffee dates or blog plans. I need to know at what point of my life or which date what I will be doing, what I will need to have completed and what preparations will be required. My schedule contains small details such as time slots, outfit of that day, possible purchases I will have to do, etc.
I know this may sound crazy for some of you (though some of my lawyer friends did say they can relate), but this is how I make sure I am on the right track. It also allows myself to examine how good or how bad I am doing, and based on that adjust my pace. (My current timetable is currently scheduled until July, if you wonder.)
Force yourself to stick to your goals
Goals can never be goals unless you stick to them. I get it, it's already hard to make the first step, and it’s even harder to make sure the second, third, tenth, twentieth step is still on the right direction. What I will do is do other things to force myself to stick to my goal. For example, on the money-saving goal, in order to make sure I don’t overspend, I open another savings account so that whenever I receive my salary, part of it automatically gets transferred to my savings account. Or for my weight loss plan, I choose to go to work with my mum at 7:30 so that even if I feel lazy that day, my mum won't let me. Either you make sure your other plans are planned around your goal, or you get someone else who is reliable and determined to check on you occasionally. Get a workout buddy, buy annual gym membership, find your own drive.
On the other hand though, do not over-estimate yourself. Fantasizing that you can work 20 hours a day? Only if I am talking to the Mr Superman right now. Otherwise make sure it's something achievable and sustainable.
Leave yourself some leeway, or a back up plan if necessary
So much as I say you have to force yourself to stick to the target, it’s also equally essential to leave yourself some leeway. There will be slips and it's normal. You have period that day and don’t feel comfortable going to the gym? Leave it, take a break. Do what makes you happy because that’s the only way to keep a goal sustainable. However don’t let that be an excuse. One slip today, two slips tomorrow, we all know.
Ah, last but not least, always remember one only has 24 hours a day, no more and no less. Or (I hate this) there are things that you cannot control eg. weather and traffic. You might have scheduled an outdoor shooting that day but due to the weather you can do nothing but to call it off. Yet what you can do is to change the venue, find a back up and do another shooting. It’s all about flexibility.
It's okay if you think this post isn’t very helpful, or it might be a little too intense for you. I mean everyone's different and girl, you do you. At the end of the day, only you will know what works the best on you and what makes you happy. You might be a more laid back person, perfect, you can totally be that. That's just how I do it.
Before I say goodbye, here's my motto of the day:
Make that one more step, just to find how spacious that zone is.
Good luck x