It’s the Little Things…Keeping Track of Life (or, Using Reminders and Repeating Tasks to Make Sure Stuff Gets Done)

Life comes with a lot of responsibilities and it can be hard to keep track of everything, like remembering to change the air filters in your house. No, you don’t have to water your plants or change out your air filters on a rigid schedule, but the plants might not live very long and the air you breathe won’t be as nice. I happen to love plants and clean air (especially with a very hairy, shedding dog, living on a gravel road, and a tendency to burn things), so I value keeping up with tasks like this. Tasks like this though, don’t quite fit on a daily to-do list very easily because they don’t happen every day and, sometimes, don’t happen for months. Yet, we still want/need to remember them. I don’t know about you all, but my brain forgets stuff I need to do, even if it’s every single week or every other week. So, to make life a little bit easier on myself, I automate as much as I can. My repeating calendar reminders are such a little thing, but they have such a big difference in my life. Continue reading

Adventures in…Being Put on the Spot, Karaoke Edition

Being put on the spot scares me, particularly if I’m unprepared. Whether it’s being asked questions in class, having to say a small speech in front of people, giving an impromptu presentation, or just asked questions in general, I hate being unprepared in the spotlight. When this happens, my entire body and brain shut down. I literally freeze, my eyes get kind of wide, and my brain feels like it’s running around in circles inside my head waving its little arms in terror. This is mainly why karaoke has terrified ever since I became aware that it’s a thing. As a consumate preparer, you’d think that I would have prepared for the eventual time when I would face karaoke, but I didn’t.

There are plenty of social situations that you can usually avoid if you don’t like them and it’s not big deal. That’s how I treated karaoke for most of my adult life until I couldn’t avoid it anymore. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves in a position one day when we really, really should just do it. I should know myself better and know that I need to be prepared for situations before they happen. I should have known that I needed a prepared karaoke song. But, for whatever reason, I only just came up with my go-to karaoke songs. Hopefully, you can learn from me and be more prepared than I was when I found myself in just that situation. And while I haven’t discussed this with many people, I have to believe that there are others out there like me who need preparation and become petrified at the thought of choosing a song, then voluntarily getting up there to sing it in front of people. So, for all my fellow karaoke-averse people out there, here is how I came around to believing that everyone needs a karaoke song. Continue reading

It’s the Little Things…Verbalizing Jealousy

Small tip: don’t tell someone you’re jealous of them. That is, unless you don’t like them and want them to feel really awkward. It’s pretty high on the awkward meter of things to respond to. Think about it – what are you supposed to say to someone when they say, “I’m jealous of your [insert jealousy-inducing characteristic/object/activity here]”? This topic has been on my mind recently because a few people have said they were jealous of me recently for a few things I do or have done, particularly that I make time to go for a short walk in the afternoon and that I recently passed a big licensing test. So, what do I think you should do if someone says they are jealous of you? And, what should you do if you want to say you are jealous of someone else?  Continue reading

Adventures in…Getting Through the Afternoon Slump During a Meeting

If you attend meetings at work, chances are you’ve had trouble staying awake in at least one of those meetings. It’s not ideal, but I don’t know a single professional who hasn’t struggled with this at some point in their career. The good news is that I’ve noticed that it gets easier the more you progress in your career. Regardless, you may be invited to meetings relatively in your career and, due to a bad combination of events, you struggle to stay awake. Most of the time, the culprits are a big lunch, bad sleep the night(s) before, a dark room, a warm room, a boring speaker, tangents that don’t involve you. Picture it…you’ve just had lunch and have to attend a meeting. You’re full, maybe the room is dark, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, and you don’t have a major role. You aren’t the organizer or a main speaker, and it becomes hard to pay attention. Those early and mid-afternoon meetings can be so hard because you’re so tired.

I’ve talked before about how everything is a skill and this is no different. It is definitely a skill to stay awake during the afternoon slump. There are a variety of little ways I’ve tried getting through the afternoon slump during a meeting. Some of them have defintely worked better than others and none of them work every time. That’s why I keep trying new ways and combining them to see what works. Continue reading

You Probably Haven’t Tried Everything

“But I’ve tried everything! And I can’t do it!”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely thought this a time or two. Whether it’s trying to find time to exercise, time to read, clean better, make the dog listen, be more productive/focused at work, or stay in touch with family and friends, I have to be completely honest with myself that I probably haven’t tried everything. Chances are, there’s still something else I could try. I just haven’t done it yet. Continue reading