|Influences||Nature and imagination.|
|Bio||Studying a Bachelor of Design. Fuelled by passionate creativity, and curiosity of the unknown. Anywhere there’s good coffee + authentic conversation, I’ll be there.|
Productivity Lessons that I Learned From Watching the Grinch
There are so many benefits to journaling, planning, goal setting, and reflection. Everyone knows life is so much easier with a journal, a planner, or a system of some kind. But with so many options, where do you begin? I have spent so much time, money, and energy trying to find the system that works best for me. And I keep coming up empty. It’s ironic isn’t — wasting time creating a system that’s meant to save you time? One day I decided to take a break from trying to perfect self-organization and relaxed for the day. So naturally, I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is what I learned.
In a closing scene, The Grinch yells out to his dog Max, "Help me! I'm feeling!" And I've learned that it’s okay to get emotional about our level of organisation (or lack thereof). Anyone who climbs aboard the productivity train will no doubt experience moments of overwhelm. Don’t think you have to get your whole life together in one afternoon. Don’t get stuck in a slump. Often I’ll either feel perfectly organized or completely failing in an out of control life. Don’t compare how organized you are to what you see on Instagram, Pinterest, and all those #bulletjournal tutorials you might have watched. It takes time to build routines and habits, but they will make a huge difference.
I love the scene where The Grinch stands atop that snowy mountain peak, reading from the Whoville phone book exclaiming that he hates every single one of the names on that page. I've learned it's important not to isolate ourselves into a perfectly organised bubble. Most people have cool spirit animals, like the wolf or the lion. I’m pretty sure mine is the hermit crab. I don’t naturally gravitate to social activity, parties, or ‘Friday night drinks’. After a long day, I’d much rather spend some quality time with Netflix and some Ben & Jerry’s. But it’s so important to get involved in your community wherever you can, join Facebook Groups of like-minded people, attend networking events in your city... you could even join a bowling team! Whatever it is, we’ve been designed to live life in community, so make time in your week to catch up with friends, call your family, and spend quality time with the people important to you.
Or what about the scene where he's worrying about his evening schedule thinking, "Dinner with myself, I just can't cancel that again!" Don’t allow your schedule to overwhelm you. Do you realize you have the same amount of hours in your day as Mark Zuckerberg? What about Nelson Mandela? In fact, you have the same amount of hours in your day as Abraham Lincoln had. We are all aspiring to be as productive and world-changing as “the greats”. But we get so overwhelmed by a to-do list that it’s hard to know where to start. The biggest piece of advice someone once gave me was this: "It’s not about what activities you fill your time with, it’s how much value you’re adding to your life."
I spent about 2 years doing an apprenticeship with a graphic design agency. Coming straight out of high school, it was my dream job. A chance to get my foot in the door of an industry I’d fallen head over heels with. But soon, I started to feel weighed down and didn't see the value in what I was doing. By the 2 year mark, I felt weighed down in the job I’d been dreaming of since high school. Why did the same activities that used to bring me joy, suddenly bring me anxiety? All the value I once felt, doing day-to-day tasks, had vanished. Activity, without any value, is pointless. And values, without activity, is just procrastination.
Right now I’m sitting at a desk, with my back upright, eyes glued to a laptop, and typing away at my usual woodpecker-sounding speed. It’s similar to how I’d describe what my day used to look like at the reception desk of that design studio. But I’ve brought value back into an activity that once felt exhausting. It was a hard decision to follow my gut and leave work to pursue tertiary education in the creative arts, but it was the best decision I've ever made. I'm no longer doing things for the sake of a steady income. I'm deeply learning about what I love – which has been continuously transforming how I experience the world. I'm finally finding incredible value and meaning in what I do, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Now, I’m not saying you should stop vacuuming because you don’t feel it adds value to your life. Sometimes there will be stuff in life that just needs to be done regardless of what you feel like. And life is full of unexpected stuff you’ll have to deal with. No journal, planner, or organized calendar, will ever be able to predict the waves that life could crash over you. But it's important to remember that there are some parts of your calendar that you have total control over, so make time to do things that add value to your life. Otherwise, all it takes is one metaphorical tidal wave, and life can suddenly feel meaningless.
So it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. It's important to surround ourselves with good people and get involved in our community. Make the most of the 24 hours you have in a day, and do things that bring value to your life and joy to your schedule.