Managing yourself: Do something every day that moves you forward

Approaching #newwest via Skytrain cc @translink

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
- Marilyn vos Savant

One of the things I have learned about life is that it often throws you a curve ball and that you just sometimes need to roll with it. A couple of days ago, I couldn’t feel stronger. I felt on top of the world. And yesterday, despite all the work I had to do, I felt that I wasn’t myself. I felt exhausted, tired and sleep-deprived.

And then I remembered something I learned years ago. Something that my parents taught me that has kept me going: do something every day that moves you forward. This lesson is particularly valuable for someone who works in academia, like me. Most academic coaches will tell you (particularly if you are a young, up-and-coming, rising star, or if you have to juggle several projects in a portfolio-style kind of academic/consulting life) that you need to write EVERY DAY. Even if for 15 minutes, write every day.

I’ve kept my parents advice to heart and even though yesterday I felt crappy, I did the things that I had to do to move me forward. I wrote, reviewed research materials, read, had meetings with students and my teaching assistant. And then I took some time off to recharge. All of these things, whether I read 20 articles or I read one, have been things that move me forward. It’s not the number of articles I have read, it’s the fact that EVERY DAY I read.

It’s the fact that, every day, I do something (even if it’s small) to move me forward. That’s what needs to be done to get the work done.

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
- Booker T. Washington

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Comments (3)

Tanya : Get a Life, PhDApril 21st, 2012 at 11:24 am

I love this idea: Every day i do something that moves me forward. As academics, it can seem as if we are not going anyway, with the glacial speed of our writing. By celebrating the small successes: wrote 15 minutes, read 1 article, we can see success every day.

Sharpeshots PhotographyMay 7th, 2012 at 6:06 am

That’s great advice – if you can get to the end of each day knowing that you got at least one thing done, I find you even sleep a little easier because you’re not thinking about what you can do the next day to make up for what you didn’t do today

I love this advice as well!

Make it a great day! “Fill your mind with books, articles, and information that inspire you, sooth you, or just flat out make you belly laugh! How you feel is your main point of attraction, so guard it with all your might!”

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