Updated: Sep 30, 2018
Are any of you currently struggling with some aspect of your life? Are you stuck in a bit of a rut? I, for one, fight a constant battle in my brain every day. (Well, like most people my brain has many battles!) But this one in particular is what I’d like to talk about today.
Balancing my work and free time.
Right now I’m going through the phase where I just can’t get it right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all one for pampering myself, but there’s only so many hot baths, face masks and Netflix bingeing sessions one can do before it crosses the line into pure damn laziness.
As the beginning of the academic year starts and students move back to university, it takes a while for the work load to kick back in. I’m in no means complaining, but it’s a real shock to the system when we’re back in the place where 3 months ago we were drowning in exams and coursework deadlines, but now with lots of free time whilst we get back into the semester. I’m sure for a lot of people this is their favourite time of year because who on Earth complains about not having work?
Yep, that's me!
As someone who’s pretty hard working, I always have this voice in my head that is telling me I need to be doing something productive. Having a blog to run means there’s usually always something I could be doing: writing blog posts, taking photos, reaching out to brands, etc etc. I have goals that are completely separate from my university degree, so surely I should be utilising this time whilst my university work is minimal? You’d think - but sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. And that’s when it starts becoming a battle.
Today I’ve literally gone from saying to myself out loud “Wow I’ve actually got my shit together”, to breaking down in tears because I have no idea how to use my time. And before you say it, yes I’ve been going to the gym, but there’s only so much gym a gal can take.
Whilst desperately trying to get that energy back, I remembered something I learnt a few months ago. So, in this blog post I'm coming to you as a messenger, with a message so simple yet completely life changing and is guaranteed to help you in one way or another.
Over the summer I read a book called ‘The 5 Second Rule’ written by Mel Robbins. If you know me and I’ve given you any advice recently, there’s a good chance I’ve told you about this woman. She is the definition of “take no shit, get shit done”. When it comes to life advice, she well and truly cuts out the crap. Take this quote of hers for example:
The 5 Second Rule is a tool that you can use in any situation, whether it’s getting out of bed, approaching a friend about a difficult situation, achieving a goal or just getting through the day.
All you have to do, is count down from 5. “5-4-3-2-1”, and physically do the thing straight away.
Told you it was simple.
But in the words of Mel, “it’s simple, but it’s not easy”. Put it this way, it's a great way to practice your self-discipline, that's for sure!
By counting down from 5, what you’re doing is reducing the time that your brain has to sabotage yourself with thoughts of how it feels hard to do whatever you know you should be doing. All you've got to do is cut the bullshit before it takes over and stops you.
It can be used to get your ass to the gym; It can be used to stop yourself from reacting to someone in a non-constructive way; it can be used to write that book you’ve always wanted to write but never had the motivation or belief that you can do it.
So you think you won’t be very good at the thing? So what?! Mel says you gotta do it anyway.
There are so many projects that I’ve started and stopped because I was too scared that people would laugh or think I was being ridiculous. But when I look back on them, I’ll never know if eventually they would have been successful, because I gave up before I even started.
What I’ve learnt is that consistency is key. You’re not going to see results at the gym after one session, but that’s no reason to give up. Just because your start up business is taking time to show results, doesn’t justify you packing it in. All those successful people that you envy and long to be like? They all had to start from somewhere.
I've come to learn that self doubt will hinder you more than any hurdle you will ever face.
Whenever you hear that self-sabotage voice in your head, count down from 5 and in the words of Shia LeBouf himself, just…DO IT.
Again, it sounds simple, but it works.
Once you’ve done it once or twice, the trick now is to keep doing it. I am in no means a master of the 5 second rule - it’s so easy to sink back into your old habits. But today I used it to start writing this blog post, and that’s something I wouldn’t have done without the rule.
Mel obviously goes into way more detail in her book (click the book cover) and her many YouTube videos (you can find them here), so I would highly recommend you check them out if you want to learn more about this stupidly simple but extremely effective tool.
I really hope you can click away from this page with the knowledge that it is really that simple to take control of your life! You've just got to be willing to put the work in.
Do you guys have any other advice for people that are stuck in a rut? Can you relate to anything above? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and as always, don't forget to tune in and speak out.
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