Week 9: Optimizing For Productivity

Back to school! My reading week trip to California was spectacular. It was everything I wanted and so much more. I met so many interesting people and had so much fun wandering around SoCal all week-long with one of my closest friends.
What will I try to improve on next week?
Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting caught up on self-pity. I felt sorry for myself for having not grown up earlier, not learning to work hard until now, and for all the mistakes that I’ve made in the past due to my laziness. It’s a shitty realization to begin with and it’s even shittier when you realize feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to change a damn thing. So my goal next week is to focus on action. Whenever I get caught feeling self-pity I will ask myself “What can I do right now to move closer to my goals in life?”. Even if that means finishing one question on my next homework assignment that is good enough. Moving just a tiny step at a time is infinitely better than not moving at all. My goal next week won’t be to try to get as much done as possible but to be as productive as possible. I know that may sound similar but to me it isn’t. It means prioritizing my tasks everyday and I finish the one that I least want to do first and not the other way around. I want to develop a habit of working hard, but I also want to develop a habit of working smart. I think that forcing myself to finish my most uncomfortable task first everyday is a great first step towards this new habit.
What was I most proud of this week?
This week I was most proud of my shift in mental perspective. I’ve always wanted more time in life to do more stuff, but I realized having more time in my life won’t translate to me getting more done. Instead, I’ve shifted my perspective of optimizing for time to optimizing for productivity. If I spend an extra twenty minutes at the gym to get some more stretches in or to get that extra set of curls in, why not? I shouldn’t fret over such little things and start to focus on completing tasks with intention. I don’t have enough going on in my life that an extra twenty minutes here or there will make a big difference.
What was my biggest accomplishment this week?
My biggest accomplishment this week was the amount of work I got done on Thursday. I got back to Waterloo from LAX just after midnight Wednesday night knowing I had a midterm the next day that I did zero studying for. The next day, I woke up at a reasonable time, did a practice midterm, got my questions answered from a classmate then I proceed to do a good job on the actual midterm (I think I did a good job at least…). Following those events, I got straight back into the gym, finished my assignments and did a whole sedimentary lab. Looking back I am really proud of the fact that I got so much done in a productive and efficient manner without losing motivation and just pushing things back.
What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week?
I know this idea is getting repetitive, but my shift in mental perspective is definitely something I’ve done this week to get closer to my life goals. I know my one life goal is to be a millionaire by the time I am thirty and that I have started learning about investing to help me reach such a goal, but I am still a student studying Geological Engineering at the university here. Even though I don’t like the program I am in and am currently looking for alternatives in the future, I think my number one priority right now is still school. Getting good marks and getting a co-op job so that I can ensure I pass this semester and find some security for myself in the upcoming months. I know that I want to learn programming, investing, read more books, blah, blah, the list goes on. I also know that I need to focus on prioritizing better and my main priorities right now are to do well in school and get a job. I can’t get complacent about finding a co-op just because it is my last but I still need to have self-confidence in the fact that if I put in the work, I will find a job. The same goes with my school work. I know I have been cruising by school since I moved to Canada, but I still need to work hard in order to be satisfied with myself at the end of this semester.
What was hard for me this week, and why?
This week I got really frustrated by seeing everyone around me know what they want in the future and seeing them actually work towards tangible goals. It frustrated me because I am not really interested in the program I am currently in and I have no idea what I want to do when I actually do graduate. I try to find alternatives but when those become hard and require work I quit. It sucks and I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I can’t get everything done at once and big life problems aren’t solved instantaneously.
What was my biggest waste of time this week?
My biggest waste of time this week has to have been me not using my time wisely. Finishing my homework is definitely above the latter on learning French on Duolingo. Instead of freaking out at the fact that I might not be doing my homework right or not being able to get as much done as I want with the time I have, I just don’t do it at all and go on Duolingo to learn some more French. That seems really dumb now that I’ve written it out. Duolingo is just an example, and I realize that learning French will really help me down the road, but it is not my top priority right now so I need to focus on getting done was is needed to be done and then spend the rest of my free time for me.
What did I do this week that made me ashamed?
This question always makes me uncomfortable, it’s hard to think about because I don’t like to think about all the mistakes I’ve made in life and feel all those terrible emotions that come with it. I also feel very vulnerable when answering this question because “ashamed” is a very strong word. No one likes to feel ashamed about anything. So I had a talk with Carol about becoming aware of one’s life, both the good and bad. From this talk, I’ve come to realize that I am at a stage in life where I have developed my awareness to know what I want in my life and what I don’t currently want in life. The part that makes me ashamed is the fact that even though I have developed this awareness, I am always coming up with excuses in the moment, procrastinating and ultimately not doing anything to change my current situation. Making big moves in hard in life and I am used to taking the easy way out. I’ve realized that you have to work hard to get what you want in life, but i am ashamed of the fact that even though I have made this realization I have not built the courage to put it into action… So next week is going to be step 1!
Wow, learning how to type has felt great on my fingers. I still have some pretty bad habits on the keyboard, but everything feels so much smoother and I can actually translate my thoughts easier onto the computer knowing where all the keys are and not having to think when I type. Anyways, that is about it for this week. I am pretty beat from sleeping so late last night so no brain dump this time around. My brain is just a bunch of depressing thoughts right now… so I’m just going to leave everything to stir and clear itself out.

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