If you are new, start here: Introducing My ButterflyEffect
Sunday, 8 July 2018
The first week of this journey had a lot of ups and downs. I started off really well, as with most things and as the week went on I slowly became more tired and things began to pile up again. Nevertheless, I managed to stick with it as much as possible and I’m looking forward to trying harder this week.
Here are my goals from last week and how I did:
1. Stick to my daily to-do lists
I made a list of to-dos every day, and I managed to complete at least three things every single day. I put my three most important tasks for the day right on top of the list and I aim to get those three things done, even if I get nothing else on the list done. However, I was not successful every single day and guilty of procrastinating for a while.
2. Stay up to date in my bullet journal & fill in my trackers
This I completed successfully every single day this week. My habit tracker and gratitude trackers have entries for every day. On the 1st of July, I even managed to complete every single one of my habits for the day. It was a great start to the month and for the week. It also showed that if I put in the effort I am capable of doing them all in one day.
3. Use Forest and Pomodoro whenever I do work
These are two of my favourite apps to use when I work. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Forest is an app that locks your phone/device for a set amount of time and grows a little tree while you work. If you exit the app while the timer is on, your little tree dies. There is even an extension for chrome so you can block websites that you find distracting while you work, like Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube etc.
Pomodoro is a technique where you complete 25 minutes of work and take a small break of 5 minutes or so then repeat the cycle 3 times. On the fourth cycle, you take a longer break of 25 minutes. This way you get a lot done and breaks in between. I use an app called Focus Keeper for this, but you can even use a kitchen timer and a piece of paper to keep track of your pomodoros.
I think I managed to use both 90% of the time while I worked. They really help so much and I will continue to use them throughout this journey.
4. Do one thing at a time and stop trying to multitask (ie no series in the background)
As this is a habit that needs to be broken, it’s been very challenging to stick to. However, I did manage to have study music playing in the background instead most of the time. I do catch myself going to Netflix every now and then, but I will continue to try to break this habit.
Besides, if I play a series in the background I don’t pay attention to what’s actually going on in the show so I end up missing out on a lot. And my work suffers too.
5. Do yoga, walk the dogs and take the stairs as much as possible
I did yoga every single day this week. I am currently making my way through the TRUE yoga series on Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. It is a 30-day challenge and I hope to complete it by the end of July.
I prefer taking the dogs for a walk very early in the morning when it’s still cool outside. It’s currently the middle of summer in Dubai and temperatures reach close to 50 Celsius. So if I sleep in, I don’t end up taking the dogs out. See number 7.
I have really loved taking the stairs whenever I can. It has become too easy to take elevators everywhere, even at uni. But it’s only 4 flights and I took the stairs there every time I had class and wasn’t running late.
I’ve also decided to climb as many flights of stairs as I can when I get home. We live on the 8th floor so I haven’t managed to walk all the way up yet, but I have gone up at least 2 or 3 flights every time I reached home. I do a fair amount of driving myself to university and taking my sister and picking her up again when I don’t have class, and then when I get home from grocery shopping or any other outing as well.
6. Write my lists (Big To-Dos, Weekly To-Dos, Daily To-Dos)
I have decided to make these a part of my bullet journal and slowly add things to my habit tracker every month. Starting with only a few things makes it easier to complete all of them, rather than only a couple on a list of 30 things to do every day.
My big to-dos form a part of my overall goals and weekly to-dos are mostly cleaning related and writing these posts and other social media uploads. This list has been really helpful for weekly reflection and I plan to make one every week.
7. Go to bed earlier and wake up early
I’m still struggling a lot with this, mostly because I struggle to fall asleep at night. I end up tossing and turning for a really long time before finally managing to fall asleep. What has been helping with this is listening to meditation as I fall asleep and taking some homoeopathic remedies for anxiety and sleeplessness. I am also trying to read a physical book before bed (not an ebook). I think that I need to establish some morning and nighttime routines for this to be effective.
8. Stop looking at screens after 10pm
Most days this only ended up happening around 11pm but it’s getting there. This is mostly due to losing track of time as I’m usually a night owl and creativity hits me just when I need to be getting ready for bed. At least I’ve realised this is an issue and I need to have some kind of alarm letting me know when I need to start my bedtime routine.
9.Upload this (meaning last week’s) post and write the next one
Check and check. I was quite happy with last week’s post and this one came together quite quickly. I was worried that this week wouldn’t have too many words – I don’t like posts under 1000 words – but it grew in my reflections over the past week.
10. Catch up on book reviews and review a book immediately when I finish it
I completed 2 out of the 4 book reviews that I needed to do, so this week I will complete the rest. I need to keep in mind that my thoughts on what I read are freshest right after completing the book, so it’s better not to wait before writing the review.
11. Bonus accomplishments and events
I attended a class that I have been avoiding for a while due to some kind of anxiety. Going to it helped me realise that I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to practise the work more on my own (it’s Maths so practice is all that works) and it would help a lot with the anxiety.
I received a delivery from DesertCart and all of that went into my basket of Things-To-Get-To-When-You-Don’t-Have-So-Much-Work-To-Do. There are five weeks left of university and I am looking forward to finishing all my work so that I can delve into the basket.
We will also be moving to a new apartment soon which will be exciting but a lot of work. I think we will need to finish moving by the end of July so packing will start before you know it. My mom will be visiting at the end of the month and she’ll be helping with the move thankfully.
Overall, it has been a good start to the journey even though I had a migraine and a visit from mother nature along the way. All things considering, I am happy with the progress so far.
Here is my list of 10 things for this week:
- Finish The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- Create a Morning and Nighttime Routine
- Finish my TEFL work and help Carmen with hers
- Finish assignments before the due date
- Catch up on Reviews
- Write a post for Binx Thinx (my main blog)
- Organise my desk area
- Eat at the table, not in my room
- No series at my desk – it is a space only for work
- Spend more time in nature and with family
Thank you to everyone who is joining me on this journey of self-discovery and improvement. Let me know if you’ve ever done something similar.
See you soon!
Read about last week here: Introductions
Read about next week here: Chapter 2