How To Balance Work And Goals

I was a hard-worker and a go-getter before I knew that those were words for a resume. I always have turned in homework way earlier than needed and done the extra credit. I enjoy a calendar that is filled with color-coded appointments and a to-do list teaming with tasks.

However, I have experienced several eye-opening situations and perspectives this past year. Between the changes COVID brought us and newfound friendships, I was introduced to a more relaxed mindset. I was told that you should also leave yourself time to relax. This was defiantly a new concept for myself since I was used to even scheduling myself times to watch select episodes on Netflix. But, nonetheless, I listened to these new perspectives, willing to change my ways.

Now, however many months and school quarters later, I have realized what works for me. I have experienced both the negatives and positives of both of these styles of living. I now know what works best for myself, and what allows me to go to bed feeling satisfied and content with myself.

I am writing this following list as not a for-sure guide of how one must live, but simply as a gained perspective that I wish to share. All of our minds work differently, this is just how mine functions.

Work Hard, Play Hard

This is such a 2010’s phrase, but I have never actually took the time to implement it. I went from working almost every waking hour, to spending so much time with friends that I was actually turning in mediocre work on time. However, there is a sweet spot between these two.

I have found that working from about 9 am until 4 pm on school and self-promoting activities makes for quality work that does not exhaust me. Of course, working a flexible job schedule does counter this routine often, but for majority of the time, it is my standard.

Then, when I have completed all of my assigned tasks to the best of my abilities, I am able to leave myself to do whatever I please (eg. hang out with friends, watch Netflix, scroll through job postings, etc.). The possibilities are endless. However, the one rule for this part of my day is that I am not allowed to think about what needs to be done. If I am stressed that about an approaching deadline, then I didn’t get enough work done yet and I need to continue working. Yes, ideas for writing, interviews, blog posts, etc. run through my head, but I am only allowed to write them down to be pursued on my next work time. Brain resting is essential, and this time of relaxing is the perfect opportunity to reset from a long, hard day of work.

Enact on Your Dreams

Just as I did for my poetry collection and novel, do not let your dreams be delayed.

Even if your project is something as simple as cleaning out your laptop storage or something as big as constructing a video based on viewpoints from popular YouTubers, do it. If you have a dream, do as much as you possibly can, even if you think it is crazy. The reason why humanity progresses is due to our drive to improve with each generation, year, or even day.

Stay Active

If I don’t have a project I am working on, I loose my drive. I always have to be chasing something down or creating something. If I do not wake up in the morning and contemplate how I will be able to progress on my task, my day will most likely feel unproductive. Just continue working on something, anything!

Don’t Rely on Dailies

My checklist consisted of: 50 XP in Doulingo, 30 minute workout, 48 ounces of water, 100 pages, 2 episodes. Most of the time, I would only achieve two or maybe even one of these tasks. Not because I am lazy or because I forgot about them, but rather because it sucked away the life from these tasks. Reading was my natural pastime, but since I made it a task, I avoided it. Same with the episodes. I also swing by the gym whenever I get off of work, but after a week of late night shifts and seeing that I really only went twice, I got down on myself.

All of these goals were completely doable, but the moment I gave them a bubble to be marked down, I avoided them. Then, at the end of the week, my motivation would take a plunge because I would only see sporadic marks across the chart, proving that I cannot stick with my goals. However, as soon as I eliminated the dailies, I then realized that I did all of these tasks, and even more, without realizing it. Since I was able to see progress in the bigger image, my confidence was boosted, and I completed more.

My Take-Away

I cannot be contained to a passive life. I am full of opinions, expression, and drive. I need to work on something in order to feel satisfied. Over the past year, I have learned that a designated time for relaxing is needed, but I cannot let that time dive into my progress. I have been on a practical stand-still on my novel for the past year, even though I wrote pretty much all of it within the first two months of 2020. It saddens me to know that I have lost that time, but I am also glad that I am able to grow from this experience.

And if you are asking what I hope you are asking, yes I will be returning to posting. I placed a time schedule on this blog when I originally started it, which made it feel like a chore. However, this blog was not supposed to be that for me. This is my platform for research and conversation. It is the place that I am able to share my findings in hopes of helping someone else. It is my stories that others can relate to and compare their own experiences with. It is supposed to be fun and exploratory. That is the atmosphere I plan to return to Investigative Geek, and that is exactly what I will do.

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