Reasons why I procrastinate

Why do I procrastinate? It is not because I shy from hard work. Actually the opposite is true of me. If I set my mind on something I will do everything it takes to get the work done. For instance, as I was working on my Master Thesis, I was cooped up in my apartment for days on hand. Writing the thesis was all I did. I was lucky that my husband took care of the household chores and cooking dinner for the period of time. It was so bad that he would call me during the day reminding me to eat something or talk a break and go for a walk. My effort paid off and I even got an A for the paper. (My husband believes that my biggest problem is that I always get away with last minute work. There is no reason for my inner or subconscious “I” to change its way when I achieve the expected results anyway.) But the point remains indisputable that had I started working on the thesis earlier, I would have saved myself the extremely stressful few weeks of exclusive focus on the thesis.

When I think about why I procrastinate, several reasons come to mind. Continue reading

Willpower is like a muscle

I read an article on Yahoo! titled “Supercharge Your Willpower” (Healthy, 2012). The author discussed in the article, how to make use of the Kaizen methodology to improve one’s life and overcome bad habits. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. Furthermore the author mentioned that willpower is comparable to a muscle. The author advised his readers to slowly strengthen their willpower. After all bad habits are not formed overnight and therefore it is not realistic to expect to break them overnight. Continue reading

Procrastination tracking

Yesterday I wrote about self-tracking and that it can be useful in overcoming procrastination. Since the 9th of January this year, I started to write a list of goals I wanted to attain each week. One can also call it a To Do list. But I rather call it a “Weekly Goals List”. First of all, it contains both Have To Dos and Want To Dos and I associate the term To Do with Have To Dos only. In other words, it has solely negative connotations. Second of all, I define the goals according to the S.M.A.R.T. rules. I learned this in my Project Management course last year. One way to define good goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. Goals have to be: Continue reading

The Quantified Self

Have you heard the terms “Quantified Self” or “Self-tracking” before? I have to admit that I have heard them for the first time last week. A radio talk show host was kind of against the idea of self-tracking. She saw this leading to others knowing about her personal data like when and how often she has gone to the toilet that day and what she ate for breakfast, etc. I find her stance on this topic absurd. After all self-tracking does not necessarily mean, you have to publish your personal data to the world but you can if you want to. It is like just because there is the functionality to upload photographs on Facebook you do not have to upload photos of you dancing on a table with a bottle of vodka in your hand but you can if you want to. I guess it depends on how extroverted and “exhibitionistic” you are. Continue reading

The Quarterlife Crisis

Today I have found a name for what I have been going through the past couple of years. I am having a Quaterlife Crisis. Attaching a name to my condition is not important but we human beings are social creatures. We need and thrive in (offline and online) communities. Therefore it is reassuring that I am not alone. Also knowing what it is could be useful in effectively targeting all efforts in overcoming this condition.

Although it is not yet as widely recognised as Midlife crisis, there are people out there studying this phenomenon. One of whom is Dr. Oliver Robinson at the University of Greenwich in the UK. According to Dr. Robinson, the Quarterlife crisis affects those between the ages of 25 – 35. Continue reading

Let passion be your guide

In my quest for a new job I have received quite a few tips from family and friends. There is a consensus that I should look for something that I am passionate about. My husband keeps telling me, “If you a passionate about what you do, work would not feel like a chore. It is important to enjoy what you are doing. I have found what I want to do. Of course there would be days when I am feeling down but overall there is a sense of fulfilment for what I do.” (I quote my husband because he is one of the wisest people I know. He is an ancient soul contained within a young body.)

I thought about my skills profile. I have an MBA, am a certified Project Manager, am a good organisational talent, have very good intercultural skills, and possess excellent intercultural knowhow. Next I did some online tests to analyse the ideal career path for me. The results were not surprising and reflected what I have always wanted to do or knew would fit my nature. Here are some of the proposed careers for me.
1.    Teacher: If I had remained in Singapore I would probably already be a teacher by now. Unfortunately only those who have completed a teaching degree in Germany would be allowed to be a teacher. Although I am a proponent for lifelong education, I do not fancy starting a degree that would last a couple of years before I can finally be a teacher.
2.    Artist: I have always loved theatre and especially acting on stage. But I am probably too old to start a professional career in this area now.
3.    Journalist: Again too old to be a journalist but maybe it is not too late work on a blogging career.
4.    Social worker: I rather think this would be something suitable for volunteering, instead of earning a living from it.

Then I came across an interesting article on Motorcycle USA today. It was on the motorcyclist John Hopkins, who had part of his middle finger on his right hand amputated (Team Suzuki News Service, 2012). Hopkins had fractured that finger in an accident in 2011 and complications have prolonged the healing process. He was faced with the choice of sitting out competitions in 2012 or amputating the finger up to the first knuckle and start training after a 10 day recovery period. He decided to amputate his finger. Is that being passionate about what you do or it is a sign of not being in a right frame of mind? I cannot think of a situation, where I would willingly get rid of a body part without it being necessary from a health point of view. Maybe I have not yet found my passion.

Reference
Team Suzuki News Service. (2012, January 15). MotorcycleUSA. Retrieved January 23, 2012, from http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/838/11998/Motorcycle-Article/John-Hopkins-has-Fingertop-Amputated.aspx

Tragedy needed to shake up my world

How often have you heard someone say something like, “After I lost my job and couldn’t find another one, I was so desperate that I decided to give my dream a try. Now I am happy and living the life I have always dreamt of.” Maybe not necessarily a tragedy but a wakeup call of some kind that chucks us out of our rutted routine we call life.

Today I read a story about how the early death of her mother due to extreme obesity led a woman to lose about 115 pounds herself (Cuffey, 2012). She has wanted to lose weight for a long time but she needed a death to seriously tackle the issue and be successful too.

I had something like this in mind, when I made my New Year’s resolution and wanted to live this year as if it were my last. But I have the feeling that I am still not making the most of my time. All because a tiny voice at the back of my mind keeps telling me that this probably won’t be my last year. My life is comfortable, why change it? I hate this tiny voice. I tell you; comfortable is the killer of greatness. But I am wondering, how can I get out of this comfy trap without being triggered into action by a tragic occurrence? I will let you know, if I find a way out.

Reference
Cuffey, A. (2012, January 18). Yahoo! Health. Retrieved January 21, 2012, from http://health.yahoo.net/articles/weight-loss/how-i-lost-115-pounds