Okay. I have one simple question to ask and please be very, very honest…
Have you ever worked so hard and still felt like you haven’t done enough for the day?
Does this ring a few bells? Are you thinking of what have you done all day today? Yeah, don’t worry about it too much you’re not alone, because I definitely have.
There were days where I had done so much work and all of a sudden, the end of the day arrived, and I still felt like it wasn’t enough. Naturally, I felt bad. Like I’m sure I did a lot of work. I KNOW I did. Was this just me criticising myself? Or did I actually do enough work? (I guess we’ll never know).
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But, fear not!
There’s no need to worry because there are plenty of us who share the same feeling. We’ve all been aboard this boat at some point in our educational and even working lives.
However, do you know what I’ve noticed? For some odd reason, our brains are quick to register the times when we DON’T do any work that it kind of fails to register when we DO, in fact, do plenty of work.
I find these things intriguing. How is it possible that I have studied for 4 hours and yet I still feel like I didn’t do enough? Surely, I should be congratulated for doing SOME work and obviously I should be commended for studying for 4 hours like the Superwoman that I am (Disclaimer: I am not Superwoman).
Jokes’ aside however, this is a bit of an issue. And it can lower our motivation to continue working.
And. We. Don’t. Want. That.
Alas, thankfully, for you guys, I have a few ideas that I think will really help, especially for those times where you felt like you could-have, should-have and maybe would-have done a tiny bit more… But you know what? We are not here to dwell on the past. What’s done is done. We move on and we work towards the future. We are not here to delve into the negative!
So, don’t worry! it’s ok! I got you covered with my 3 tips to stay on track and stay focused!
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into them!
#1: WRITE A MORNING LIST
Firstly, I have a challenge for you. And I promise you that it is so simple to do. My challenge is this: I challenge you to write a morning list for yourself for ONE week.
What is a morning list, you may ask? Well, I would define a morning list as a list that you write for yourself of what you are going to do for the day. It IS a list of things that you PLAN to do for that SPECIFIC day. It’s nothing too difficult to do nor is it the hardest task in the world.
But – I would STRONGLY recommend that you try this out for just one week. One week!
So how does this work. Do you just make a list and that’s it, forget about it until next week? Of course not. Let me break it down for you:
The purpose of these lists is to keep yourself accountable of what you did for the day so that you’re ready to take on the world! We are serious about our futures; our self-development and our self-care and I promise you that when you implement morning listings into your daily routines, you’ll see a difference.
Fear not, I’ll be doing this with you too! So, we’re all in this together 😊
All that you must do is this: when you wake up in the morning, write down 4/5 things that you are going to do for the day.
The trick with this method is not to write down something as general as ‘study all day’ or ‘do the cleaning’ No no no. When we decide that we are going to do big tasks, quite often, we feel like when we don’t accomplish them, it makes us feel like we haven’t done enough for the day.
Instead, the best way to do a morning list is to think of things that you do EVERYDAY. Very uncomplicated everyday jobs that you could easily do in your sleep. Keep it simple. Easy peasy things. There’s no point in giving yourself a difficult task where there’s a reasonable chance of you not fulfilling it.
So, for example, instead of writing down ‘Today I am going on a 10k run and go to the gym for 3 hours’, instead; you could say to yourself ‘today I am going to go for a 20-minute walk’. Rather than saying ‘I’m going to clean the house’, instead; you could say ‘today I will tidy-up my room’ or ‘I will do the washing up at dinner time tonight’.
The concept is this: basically, when you are about to go to bed, and before you place your head on your pillow; look back at your notebook or sheet of paper or wherever you wrote down your 5 items, and see if you fulfilled your list.
If you did – GO YOU! I am SO proud of you! YOU WILL instantly feel better knowing that you did in fact have a productive day, even when you feel like you didn’t.
You’ll go to sleep with a peace of mind because you completed your list.
Sometimes when we can physically see the work that we have done and when it is written on paper, we feel more content with ourselves. Therefore, if ever you’re feeling like you didn’t do enough work for the day, that note will serve you as a reminder that you did actually do a lot.
But hey, if you didn’t manage to complete your list – don’t worry! That’s still cool! It’s not the end of the world. There’s always tomorrow! The best thing about waking up in the morning is that it’s a fresh new day and you’re ready to take on another new challenge!
Now you may not have a notebook by your bedside, perhaps the first thing you check in the morning is your phone and, on that note, we move on to our next tip below.
#2: DIGITAL REMINDERS
Now we do live in a digital world where we rely (very heavily) on our phones and laptops and computer screens for all kinds of communications and sourcing our information on just about everything. It’s not a bad thing at all; I love living in an advanced society. This next tip will definitely help a lot of us advanced individuals out there.
And again, it’s so simple. It is to simply have a digital list on your device. But the difference here is to have it ready for the morning that you wake up.
So, you remember the first tip about the morning list right? Well this tip might be better for those who would prefer to use a digital device rather than a notepad or notebook. All that this would require is you preparing a morning list the night before you wake up on your phone or your tablet or some kind of digital device. Set up your reminder on your device 10 minutes before waking up so that it’s the first thing that you see when you turn on your device. Much like the above tip, you’ll type down 5 things that you will do for the day. Again, we are sticking to simple and uncomplicated items for our list. Nothing too crazy or too dramatic, just a simple “I will study for 30 minutes today’.
Often times, the reason why we feel like we haven’t done enough during the day is simply because we did TOO much during the day. It might not be what we INTENDED to do but we were still DOING other just-as-important tasks. Even if you overdo your list, that’s still completely fine! In fact – its better! Essentially that can mean that you need to up the ante and either write down more items on your list, for example 7-10 items, or you can implement harder tasks like ‘today I will tidy up my bedroom, the sitting room and clean the kitchen’.
Now this, in my own personal opinion probably would be my least favourite tip, simply because it’s very easy for me to swipe away my problems…. Usually the first thing I do in the morning is check my emails, my social media and current affairs. It would take a lot of effort for me to actually do up a list in the morning. There’s a 10% chance of me getting back to it. Whereas if there is a physical notebook by my bedside, I can’t just throw it away. I’m more inclined to actually do it.
But you know what – each to their own. You gotta do what’s right for you! My style may not suit you nor vice versa! Bu you gotta do what you are comfortable with and do what suits you!
#3 Mother Dearest
Now, I love my mother dearly and with every inch of my heart. She prepares a hot and cooked meal for my family day in and day out. She looks after our family so well and she is one of my bestest friends. I commend how hard she works.
She is also my personal alarm clock.
Nothing annoys her more than when I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Because I know I have a lot of work to do and 5 (or 15) extra minutes in bed will surely do me no harm. Sadly mother doesn’t see it that way… I think she likes constantly telling me to wake up and reminding me of things I have to do for the day…
And with that, whenever I need to do something or plan to do something, I know for a fact that when I tell her, she will not stop to remind me to do it!
Of course, she wants what’s best for me and she wants me to succeed. She wants to see me achieve everything that I want in life. All mothers do! But if ever you feel like you haven’t gotten enough work done or maybe you feel like you need a reminder of what you need to do for the day, then someone can – I know that my mother can remind me.
Sometimes, having someone there to tell you that you need to do something for the day can encourage you to get some work done. Imagine you’re sitting in front of the TV and someone, a family member or a close friend even, asks you if you did the thing that you said you were gonna do. Imagine having to shyly tell them ‘erm… not yet’. It’s not the end of the world but you do start to feel down and if we’re not mindful, we can dwell on it.
The whole point of this post is to remind ourselves of the sheer amount of work that we do on a daily basis. We don’t realise that we do a lot; its just not written down!
I promise you, if you sat down tonight and wrote down every single little thing that you did today, you would be shocked at the results.
And on that note, guys, let’s do this together! Let’s start doing more for ourselves to better our futures! If you implement these three tips, I am so sure that you will see a difference in your productivity levels. You’re not on your own. There’s so many of us whom share the same mutual feelings!
The great thing about my tips is that it can be used by law students and lawyers alike. But, just because you’re not a lawyer or a law student (yet!) does not mean that you cannot use these tips – in fact – anyone and everyone can use them and should use them!
Like I’ve been saying countless times, over and over (I’m basically like a broken record at this point), I am here for you. I am trying and hoping to make your legal journey a little better and a little easier. And I know with these 3 little tips and tricks, you’ll do just fine.
Let’s kickstart 2020 with a bang! Get out your notepads or notebooks! Grab your favourite pink and blue fluffy pens! Phones at the ready! Decorate your page before tomorrow and let’s see how far we can do it!!
You GOT this!
Keep an eye out for my next blog post.
All the best!
Disclaimer: Featured image designed from Canva.