Do what you must

I am getting ready for the start of the new school year and enjoying the challenge that it presents. Suddenly I have a lot of things on my “to do list” which is a nice change from the summer break to be honest. Of course, I enjoyed having a break, but it is great to get back to the classroom, which gives my life purpose and structure. Just as a gym workout brings energy, doing work that is enjoyable does as well. I suddenly feel very alive and determined to make my best effort, one day at a time.

The first thing that I did to organize myself, was to write down on paper the things that I need to do in the near future. For some reason, just writing things down means many of them get done automatically, and there is no need to worry about forgetting to do something. Also, it is important to develop the habit of organization, and writing things down is one thing that really helps you to do that.

After writing things down, you will then have a big list of things to do, which still can seem overwhelming and stressful. It may seem ‘impossible’ to do all of the things on your list since there are too many. Remind yourself that nothing is impossible, and highlight the things on your list that you must do tomorrow. Plan exactly how and when you will do those few things tomorrow, and stick to your plan. In this way, you end up with a much shorter list of things to do tomorrow, so that you are focused on less things. Then, just remember to take action to do them so that you can feel good about yourself at the end of the day tomorrow, without ever needing to stress about it. People who make plans and keep taking action never need to worry!

Neil Pasricha, in his book, “The Happiness Equation”, mentions the concept of ‘putting action first’ as he describes his fear of swimming based on his experience as a child. He discovered that as he simply decided to take action to start swimming, he developed belief that he could do it and found the desire to do it too. Always take action to do the things you must do today, and good things will happen in your life. Take action and your fear will melt away when you see what you are really capable of!

Another interesting idea from the same book is the idea that “work expands to fill the time you have to complete it”. So, if you have an assignment due on Monday, plan exactly the day and time for when you will complete it. If you plan to complete it on Sunday, there is no need to worry about it all day on Friday and Saturday. But you must stick to your plan!

Let me know in the comments your strategies for organizing and planning. Thanks for reading!

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