Saturday, 7 May 2011

Confession, Reflection, Reaction #1: I fail my Filofax [Update]

Ohhhh yeah!
Image used under licence from: steelight

Last few weeks or so have been extremely hectic for me because I was approaching the end of my law school life - which means having rounds and rounds of final exams =( So I was more determined than ever to "rebuild my relationship" with my dear Filofax and give him the attention that he ought to have =) [for details, please see this post] At the end of the 28 days of bad-habits-breaking-better-habits-forming period, I am glad to say that I have |become more organised, which in turn helped me to get more out of my study time.

Make a daily to-do list and be flexible in assigning the time slots for the tasks
Each day before I study, I would first look at my daily to-do (or revision) list and then roughly assign time slots for the tasks in my mind.  I would first take a brief look at my materials then estimate the time that I might need for the revision.  Then I would mark down the time slots on my daily schedule (I'm using day-per-page non-Filofax inserts.  Please see my previous post for photos).  Particularly, I used the amazing Pilot Frixion pens for marking so that I could easily rub off my writing and adjust the time if I need to.  But I tended to make as few amendments as possible (unless if, for example, when I was studying half way and I found that the materials were harder than I thought, then I would allow myself more time).  Therefore, I resisted the urge to put down all the tasks at once.  This way, I can be more realistic about what I can accomplish in that day.  Besides,  writing everything down without assessing whether I will be able to finish them all is dangerous for me because each failure will lead to disappointment and guilt-tripping.

Having my Filofax at my fingertips
Having a Filofax that lies open in front of me has been very helpful.  And the keyword here is open.  Because in the past, I had always put my Filofax on the desk when I studied in the library.  The only difference this time was that I kept it open.  It enabled me to check my Filofax more regularly which made me more engaged in planning my time.  It also gave me added psychological benefits in a way that I felt like I have a companion/ assistant/ coach with me when I was studying =) And I'm happy to say that I indeed checked my Filofax more than 3 times a day =D

What helps you nourish the relationship with your Filofax? Please let me know! =)

Yuki xoxo

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Things I'm grateful for #1

Image use under licence from: hippydream

 Thank you for Jesus' love and sacrifice for me <3
 Thank you for having the freedom to choose what I want to pursue with my life
 Thank you for my best friend Vani - it's her birthday today =)
 Thank you the lovely cup of hot Horlicks that I'm sipping right now 
 Thank you for my mom - who loves me and willing to cook for me even thought it's already late at night

What are the things that you are grateful for today? =D

YC xoxo

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Afterthoughts - The Devil Wears Prada

Copyright: 20th Century Fox

I have always enjoyed movies but I don't often have the luxury to spare hours sitting down and watch a movie =(  So I always miss out on the movies that everyone has watched or talks about.  One of them is The Devil Wears Prada.  Last week after my exam, I didn't feel like studying for the next one, so I pulled out the DVD (from a huge stack that has been sitting at a corner collecting dust) and watched it over hot coffee.  This movie reminded me of a few things:

The choices are all in your hand
I remember my old colleagues used to say, be nice to each other at work, because it's very likely that you spend more time with your co-workers than with your family - and I can't agree more.  I think it's especially true that since working is inevitable to most people, we should try to enjoy work as much as we can, because we all should live each day to the max =) 

It's also my theory that if you really hate my job, just quit! Why bother wasting your precious time over something that you do not enjoy and will drain your energy? If it is impossible for you to quit your job (e.g. due to financial pressure, limited jobs on the market), then the only thing that you can do is to change yourself.  It's so easy and tempting to put the blame on others - my boss is mean, my co-workers are irresponsible - but since we can hardly change the others, what we can do is try to be less accusing and adjust our attitude.  There are definitely things that are lovable about our job, our boss and our colleagues.  Learn to laugh things off and embrace any challenge with a light heart.

The job you hate could be someone else's dream job
So take pride in what you do and do it well, be grateful and learn to see things from another one's perspective.  You may be missing out on the fun part! 

Stop whining - you are not trying hard enough
This has to be one of my favourite lines in the movies.   Of course we all want people to acknowledge our effort and recognise our work.  But we also have to objectively assess our performance - yes we might have done all we could, but that doesn't mean it's the best or the most appropriate way to do it.  So stop feel like a victim when people don't give you a pat on the back for the work you have done - because it may just be not good enough!

It's ok to choose personal life over work.  And it's also ok to be a workaholic 
I think people generally think that it's crucial to maintain a work-life balance.  But what is a work-life balance anyway?  Some may prefer 60% life and 40% work, and I do believe some may truly prefer 10% life 90% work.  I think the society has stereotyped people who are "workaholic" as being miserable, crazy, depressing etc.  But how about that they may truly LOVE their work and would rather spend most of their waking hours at work?  I think it's no different from other people who are passionate about what they do - for example, a stay-at-home mom who loves to spend hours taking care of her children, or an athlete who spends most of his time on the tracks training.  So why do we despise people who prefer to work long hours?  In my opinion, no matter what you choose, the most important thing is  to love what you do and enjoy every day of your life!

Make sure your partner are keeping up with you at the same pace
I think the clashes between the main character and her partner was attributable to the fact that they are not progressing at similar pace.  While the main character was trying hard to adopt at her hostile workplace and climb the corporate ladder, her partner was not progressing in his career.  I think it is important that your partner understands what you are trying to achieve and be supportive. Otherwise your partner can only drag you down (I hate to say this but that's how it is) or the two of you will grow apart. 

It's not ok to just walk out of your job
One thing about the movie that really bugged me was when the main character walked out of her job when she suddenly realized that's what she has signed up for.  I know this is just movie, but if it happened in real life, this has to be the most unprofessional thing to do ever!!  If you want to quit, quit with grace, and quit responsibly!

Have you watched this movie before? What are your thoughts about the movie? =)

YC xoxo

Friday, 15 April 2011

New Filofax in training!

I have been very busy with exams lately because I only have 2 weeks left before I'm officially done with law school!! (yay! finally!)

I have got a new Filofax and now it's undergoing intensive training so that it can learn to lie flat haha! =D I will use my new Filofax and revamp my current set up after I am done with school because I have a VERY important mission that I want to (or rather, hope to) accomplish this summer that calls for a lot of planning and commitment.  I will definitely cover it in more details later =D stayed tuned!

YC xoxo

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Confession, Reflection, Reaction #1: I fail my Filofax

Duhhhh, I fail!!

[Image obtained from Google, original source unknown]


My Filofax never fails me, but I fail my Filofax, big time =(

I love my Filofax, but I have been neglecting it to a point where it's a borderline case of Filofax negligence.  Yes I do use it for recording my appointments, class schedule and to-do lists.  But I find myself gradually losing the enthusiasm - I don't make plans for my days as often.  I'm making fewer and fewer lists.  Even if I do, I never refer to them anymore.  I don't jot down appointments immediately even though I should.  I don't make weekly plan anymore - not even day plan.  Sometimes I don't even check my Filofax for days.    


I think one of the reasons why I'm slipping into this unproductive mode is because my instinct to procrastinate is kicking back in.  I am the most terrible procrastinator out there - I can spend the whole day surfing the internet and doing nothing without feeling an ounce of guilt.  Since I am not the self-disciplined person, I especially need a structure to my day in order to be productive.  By knowing that I will have to edit my class notes from 6-8pm, then have dinner at 8-9pm, that will give me less margin for procrastination.

I always have this "yeah, it can wait" mentality and give myself excuses to push back my important-but-not-urgent task to later days.  One of my worst case is that the same task (filing in a form) was on my to-do list for over 2 weeks and still it's undone.  In the end I didn't trust myself anymore (that I will in fact complete the task) and stopped putting it down on the list altogether. (Note: to this day, the form is still not filed... yet -____-|||)

I think another problem leading to my downward spiral is that I tend to be over-ambitious when I make my to-do list (in fact any list).  Out of the 10 items in the list I could only complete 2.  I planned to revise 4 lectures today but I could hardly finish 1.  Each failure leads to disappointment so subconsciously I believe that not making list (or not trying to achieve) equals no disappointment.  That's why I don't want to make plans anymore and I am growing apart from my Filofax.    

Not taking my goals seriously
Of all the reasons leading to my Filofax failure, I think this is the most lethal of all.  I am so deadly attracted to my comfort zone and old (bad) habits.  Trying to breakthrough is too much effort!  What if I don't jog 3 times a day?  I may not be able to lose the extra pounds that I have been wanting to lose but I won't die because of it will I?  I know I should sleep earlier but this is my last semester before I start working, I do deserve a little indulgence don't I?  All of these excuses only make me a slowly-boiled frog =( 


Remind myself why I should be serious with my goals 
Because I love my life.  I hate to see myself wasting my precious time. I hate that I am not utilizing all of my potentials.  I am the at my best (and happiest) when I have goals and working hard to achieve them.  If I cannot even manage my time and take charge of my life, how will I be able to achieve the bigger things in life?      

Plan often, and check my lists often
I will make daily plans and weekly plans so that I can have a structure in place at the beginning of each day and week.  I will check my to-do list at least 3 times a day -  in the morning (before class), in the afternoon (before I study) and at night (after I study), to make sure I will not give myself excuses or reasons to procrastinate.

Be realistic
I will make realistic and attainable daily goals and stick with them.  I would rather have a small plan that works than a mega plan that fails. 

I will give myself 28 days to make the relevant changes (i.e. approximately until the end of April).  Why 28 days? Because this is the time you need to turn something into a habit (as least that's what I was told haha)  

I will be posting updates on my progress... stay tuned =)

This series is an honest account of my failures in life and how I plan to turn them around.  I remember once I read that if you make your goals public, you will have a better chance of realizing them =) I will be grateful for any advice from you and I hope to share my experience to anyone who may be going through the same struggle.  

YC xoxo
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