Tag Archives: productivity

If I had all the time in the world… what would I do?

If I had all the time in the world, what would I do? 

I took a nap the other day—or what was supposed to be a nap—and woke up half a day later more refreshed than ever. 

That was probably more sleep than I had gotten int he past two months. 

But if I had all the time in the world, what would I do with it? 

Maybe, let’s narrow it down to a day—all the time in the day. 

1: Sleep 

Sleep could not be more valuable than now, but I know that I’ll need it even more 10 years from now. As a student, I could care less about my sleep. Like, yes I care about it a lot, but there’s not much I can do when I have a semester’s worth of assignments due in the next week or so. 

Plus I have to keep up with work and everything beyond school and work without completely botching it all. So for the time-being, I could care less about my sleep. It’s 12:53 AM and counting and I don’t have time to sleep. 

2: Travel 

Travelling is one of those long-term goals that I don’t need to fulfil right away, but I can definitely dream. 

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Europe. Just Europe. All of it. Don’t make me pick and choose specific countries because I cannot handle decision-making and this will only stress me out more than I already am. This is a discussion for years from now. 

Anyway, I don’t know if it’s the food, architecture, or aesthetic—it’s probably all three and more—but something about Europe just seems like a beautiful place to visit. Something about the landmarks, cobblestoned city roads, and European food just screams ‘chef’s kiss.’ 

3: Explore the city 

Now you might think that ‘explore the city’ and ‘travel’ are kind of the same thing… but they aren’t. Travel is a broad-scale, long-term goal-type of adventure. But explore the city is like a mini, everyday-type of adventure that I can easily manage on almost any given day. No need for advanced planning and extreme saving. Open mind and comfy shoes required, and that’s it. 

Though what would I explore? You name it: food spots, landmarks, places I’ve passed by a million times but have never actually stopped to see, you get the gist. 

4: Hobbies 

Whenever someone asks me what hobbies I have, I panic because I never know what to say. I am so busy with school, work, and everything else on top of that to the point where I don’t have time to get into traditional ‘hobbies.’ I have time to write papers, work, listen to music, transit place-to-place, and that is pretty much it. 

BUT with all the time in the day, I could probably relax and paint, read a book or two, try playing an instrument, or learn to origami-fold all my old homework because why not?

5: Spend time with friends and family 

As much as I hate to say this (especially because my parents think this too), I think I spend more time out at school and studying than I do at home with family. That’s just what the job responsibilities entail but it is just sad. I cannot even imagine being a full-time student working full-time at the same time. To the people who can do that, bravo. 

If I had all the time in the day, I’d meet up with friends who I haven’t seen in months—maybe go to dinner, go shopping, or just sit and chat in a café; watch movies with my family; take a group trip somewhere; the possibilities are endless. 

6: Alone Time 

Lastly, I couldn’t forget to have some time for myself. Take a break from my phone; go on a walk first thing in the morning; paint my nails; read a book; bake a cake; clean my room; enjoy a movie; watch a sunset; or just sit in the comfort of my own presence without a worry. 

I could add lots more to this list, but I can’t get too ahead of myself. There’s too much for me to get done right now, but in the meantime, I can always dream.  

It’s time to take a walk

It’s time for me to take a walk, a long, long walk. I just need to get out of the house, enjoy the weather that spring has to offer, and relax for a moment.

Seriously though, when was the last time you left the house to just walk? Wait—when was the last time I left my house to just take a walk?!

Bring me back 10 years and I would have said that this is the most plain and boring thing I could do as a person to have fun… but what do you honestly expect a kid to say? 

Whatever. The times have changed, and I know better now. 

When I find myself sitting at my desk all day on my laptop, anything sounds better than working. Cleaning my room sounds like more fun than working. Putting together IKEA furniture is more enticing than working. Anything but. 

But it has been a hot minute since I’ve taken some time for myself to enjoy the simplicity of the outdoors and the scenery of my neighbourhood. It sure sounds cheesy, but like I said: anything sounds better than working. 

I can just imagine how peaceful it would be. The sun would be rising over the houses across the street first thing in the morning. The air is cool but not cold—a comfortable cool. Once I get my earbuds in and a good playlist going, I’m all set. 

Depending on where I walk, I can see the mountains in the distance or smell the scent of fresh laundry fill the air. In the evenings, I can even catch a peek of the sun setting on the opposite side of my street or see the city lights glow in the distance. 

Not going to lie, this sounds like something I would have written in language arts class back in elementary school. The imagery is really coming together in my head but putting it all into words is a different subject. 

Anyway, the point is that I could really use a walk. Now you might be wondering, why don’t I just stop writing and get walking already?! Well, I should remind you that I’m writing this very early in the morning and the light of day is nowhere to be seen. 

On top of that, it’s late-March/early-April when I’m writing this, so the weather is the worst it could possibly be right now. No, it’s not snowing so I can’t complain, but rain and clouds are not any better. 

Give it another month and it’ll be nice and sunny out. For now, a good imagination will suffice. 

Also, let this be a good reminder for everyone to take a break from everything and relax. You deserve it. 

Burned out? Burnt out.

I think I’m burnt out. Burned out? Burned… Burnt. You get what I mean (I hope). I don’t know which of the two it is but I think I’m that. 

I don’t have the motivation to do anything right now. I’d rather be sitting around or staring at a wall. If anything, I could be using this time to sleep, but that would just be a big waste of such good time. 

You know what though? Writing about this gives me a reason to get all those bleh feelings out. Trust me, I’ll be over it before you know it. 

It’s just insane though to think about what the human body puts up with. If you’re like me, you stay up much later than you should only to wake up noon the next day (okay, well not always noon, but it feels that late a lot of the time). And then you may spend an hour or so getting ready for the half-a-day you have left to make use of. Then a couple hours go by, you do some work, it’s time for dinner, and all of a sudden the day is over. 

Rinse and repeat. 

Even though I spend my days working away at homework and work, it still feels like I never get anything done. Well, okay I guess it doesn’t help when I spend more time on my laptop online shopping or clearing storage up on my phone than I should. It’s just a matter of me using my time wisely… productively… usefully? Please, could this sound any less cliché??

I should be sleeping right now, but instead I’m forcing my eyes awake so I can get stuff done and feel accomplished. 

I’m sitting here at my laptop like something amazing is going to happen. Maybe in the literal blink of my eye, I’ll watch my list of things to do completely disappear. I’ll be done with this semester, and I’ll finally be able to enjoy some much needed sleep and leisure time. 

That, however, is for another day. Something to look forward to for sure. In the meantime, let’s just get through this month. This is just another one of those moments that I’ll get over soon with enough time spent scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram. 

I just need to romanticize life for a sec and everything will be fine. 

I got this. You got this too. We’ll be fine! Just trust the process.

Productivity During a Pandemic

I’ve been in quarantine for two months now, and it is not going the way I expected. When it first started, many people (myself included) saw it as an opportunity to be productive and do things we hadn’t had time for during our everyday lives. Friends told me about their big plans and I read about famous novels and plays that had been written while the authors were quarantined, and it put a lot of pressure on me to finally write a novel. This was my chance, after all. I’d never get another stretch of time this long off work, so if I didn’t do it now, I might never do it. The immense pressure I felt had the opposite effect it was meant to, and I still haven’t done any creative writing, but that’s okay.

I’ve talked about this before, but I really don’t think pressure is a good motivator (at least not for me). I also feel that my goal of writing an entire novel that would (hopefully) one day become a bestseller wasn’t very realistic, and that made it even more difficult to do. I’ve never written a complete novel before, so it is already a daunting task without the added pressure of having to do it before quarantine ends.

Quarantine itself has also been a strange experience; initially I was too stressed to accomplish anything, then I overcame my anxiety and focused on finishing my final projects, and since then, I’ve spent most of my time relaxing. I do feel like I deserve a break; I did just finish my degree after five grueling years, after all. Plus, as I stated before, I’ll never have another stretch of time off like this – it’s possibly the only time I can spend months relaxing until I retire, so I might as well take advantage of it and recharge before I start working full-time (whenever that happens – there aren’t a lot of jobs available right now, for obvious reasons). For these reasons, I have come to terms with the fact that I am not going to write a novel during this time, and I’m okay with that. I still have the rest of my life to write, after all.

So, since I won’t be accomplishing the one big, unrealistic goal I wanted to accomplish, I set my sights on a few smaller goals, and focusing on those has made me feel much better. I had a few realistic goals for this time: I wanted to work out consistently, I wanted to start writing on my blog again, I wanted to grow my nails out (I compulsively pick them – it’s a bad habit I’ve had for years), I wanted to talk with friends more, I wanted to rewatch some of my favourite film series such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and I wanted to read (as an English major, I’ve barely done any pleasure reading since I started my degree, and I wanted to get back into it).

None of these goals were crazy, unachievable things, and that made them easier to accomplish. Plus, I kept them vague – I didn’t plan to post three times a week on my blog or read 25 books, and this vagueness also helped. I could accomplish these goals at my own pace, and any effort I put towards them counted as an accomplishment, which made me feel better about it and encouraged me to continue.

I can proudly say that I have accomplished each of my goals, even if only to a small extent. I’ve been working out every other day, I’ve been writing blog posts about once a week, my nails have grown, I’ve talked to all of my friends (some almost every day), I’ve rewatched most of my favourite film series, and I’ve read two books and am halfway through a third. These may seem to be small accomplishments, but I’m proud of them nonetheless.

I think making a few smaller, more realistic goals is better and easier than having one or two big, unrealistic goals, and the feeling you get when you accomplish the smaller goals may push you to keep going and work at one of your bigger ones. Even if you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything during the last few months, I encourage you to look back and try to name two or three accomplishments, no matter how small they are. This will help you realize that you have not just been wasting your time, and will make you feel better when you look back on this time. Though, of course, there is nothing wrong with not accomplishing anything – in fact, relaxing could be seen as a sort of accomplishment, or at least something that’s good for you.

Basically, don’t beat yourself up over not achieving that Big Goal you had – it’s totally fine to use this time as a break, and small accomplishments are still valid and important. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or put unrealistic expectations on yourself. This is a tough time for everyone without the added stress of being productive, so don’t let that weigh you down – just do whatever is best for you.

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