Are you working hard for the right things?

I feel trapped some time at work, and in life, by the never ending to-do list. That’s why I start to love travelling more and more, as during those trips, I have time to reflect on my life, and also realize that more often than not, your life is not affected by not doing some of those daily tasks that seem mandatory in your normal daily routines.

We should work hard to achieve our goals, but from time to time we need to ask ourselves, are we working hard on the right things? If not, how can we reallocate our resources and focus more on the truly meaningful things, and readjust our routines to make time for the “right” things?


Do you really need to change your job to become happier?

I was reading a book on Hapiness and I wanted to share some thoughts from the book that I relate to. 

I’ve changed job a couple of times. While some are the right decisions as the career path or the companies were not compatible with my goals, the others were questionable choices. Looking back, some could have provided me with better opportunities if I has just stayed longer. At that time, a new job seemed so appealing and exciting. We all fantasize about a new job even when the ones we have are not too bad. Some reasons include that we simple get bored with doing similar things, or the commute is too long, or the money is not good enough. 

While the commute or a siginificant boost in salary or title could be valid payoffs for a job change, a small increase in compensation or title will usually lead to the same frustration you experienced at your old job soon, if not more. After all, you need to work extra hard to prove yourself and get familiar with the new system, new boss and new team when you make a switch, which can take up to 6 months and you will usually not be considered for a promotion or raise within the first year after you start at the new position.

So if you want to give your old gig anothe try, what could help you cope with the boredom or dissatisfaction you bear with your old job?

One simple yet effective method is to remind yourself the benefits you have at the new position that you take for granted as compared with your old job. For instance, I used to have to work late for reporting often as the junior person who was supposed to complete reporting was careless and incompetent. Now I have a team of mostly hard working people, and hours are not bad.

The other approach is simply to be more grateful. It sounds like cliche but it works wonder if you consistently practice it in your life.

Also, you might want to check your expectations especially if you are just imagining what a perfect new opportunity would be like: higher pay, less stressful, more fulfilling. 

Lastly, don’t make the same mistakes. Think about all the jobs you have and the things in common that you are not happy about. If you do make a switch, make sure to look for signs of these things. 

The 20-minute rule

I read something on LinkedIn on productivity and wanted to share it with you.

We are no stranger to the feeling of feeling exhausted after a long day’s work and commute, and only wanted to lay on the sofa netflixing. Admit it, it’s human nature to be lazy and it takes efforts and focus to be productive after work. You may ask why do we need to be productive if we already work hard during the day. Well if you are like most people, spending hours watching TV while browsing online without a purpose doesn’t make you recharged. Recreational activities just for the sake of killing time actually makes people feel less fulfilled and sometimes guity. Also, it’s probably already late after you finish TV and you will end up having a hard time waking up early the next day, which makes you even less energetic. The vicious cycle continues and you will be waiting for Friday to come. 

Don’t you want to become those people who are energetic and positive, and manages to actually learn or accomplish something in their spare time that they can put to use some time in a few years down the road? That could lead to a great sense of achievement and financial freedom if the hobby/side gig turns into some more serious business. 

You will never achieve whatever goals you have unless you change your behavior.

How to do it? It’s almost unrealistic to suddenly change from doing nothing to spending 3 hours focusing on something. The more effective way is to use 20-minute intervals and switch between tasks if you’d like while taking breaks in between. You can start with aiming for writing a post for 20 minutes then relaxing for a bit and then picking up a book for 20 minutes, or planning meals, doing some skincare regime, etc. Actually, once you get a head start, the rest is much easier. You could be easily writing for 40 minutes before you know it. 

The essence of this approach to me is to start with less ambition as overly high expectation is usually a big obstacle to getting started and a big contributor to procrastination.

Lastly, having an app that can record your time spent on each activity on a daily basis is very helpful in becoming aware of how you spend your time and staying motivated in engaging in more productive activities.

Did you get your Mansur Gavriel fix today?

Mansur Gavriel’s relaunch event today has stirred up a lot of emotions throughout the day. People were waiting, anxious, upset, excited, and there were 1k + comments under MG’s Instagram account before the relaunch took place. Not surprisingly, the bags were sold out within 10-15 minutes after the relaunch and resellers already began to list the bags for higher prices. 

For a company that’s so young and only selling limited design and products, this is almost unbelievable. The Purse Forum blog also mentioned that they have not heard so many people asking about a bag in a long time. Now although some people claim that they have had enough with the MG hunger marketing and are moving on, the rising popularity of the brand seems to indicate otherwise. After all, the MG bags are among the best designed bags in their price ranges and they look fabulous in photos, and we just care about outfit photos so much, don’t we 😛

Last but not least, luckily I also was able to get one classic mini bucket in that 10-15 minute window! I am looking forward to its arrival.

What’s your dream?

It has to be something you would associate your self-worth and belief system with. It’s something that you will still want to do even after you’ve earned far more than enough money to lead a content life.

If it’s this important, I guess it makes sense that it will take a while to figure out. Some people say you can usually uncover some hints from what you were thinking of becoming when you were a kid.

What I’ve been thinking about so far: it has to involve interaction with other people, to help them achieve their goals to help make them feel better about themselves yet it’s not a client relationship so I can maintain a good level of freedom and do not need to bend over just to make them happy. Something similar to working in a private practice where you own a certain field and people will trust you when they seek for advice.

Short-term goal: read more books on personality and psychology.