On the Impact of Organization and the Tools I Use to Stay Sane

One of the most impactful things in my life has turned out to be something I never thought could contribute to someone’s happiness in any meaningful way. The ability to keep myself organized please vital role in my day-to-day life. It allows me focus on the things I love without worrying if there are enough hours in the day or stressing out about remembering to get milk on the way home.

Being organized has allowed me to cut my weekly grocery shopping time down from three hours of crisscrossing the market to one hour of streamlined get-in-get-out effort. It has made sharing information about my work schedule with my team much easier than it used to be. Having these tangible results to look at gives me confidence that, in setting a resolution for the new year, I will be able to succeed in that. In this post I’m going to give you some of the apps and tricks I use to stay organized. Continue reading

On the Fears that Follow Us

the_fears_that_follow_usEveryone has them. The fears that follow you through your whole life, nagging at you incessantly through every interaction you have. For most of us, those fears don’t even look like fears anymore. They have morphed into a part of our being, we explain them away as if they are just a part of our personality, just the way we are and that can never change.

For me, that fear is being boring or, as many of the people I knew in high school and college put it, “too adult”. I know, that is very broad and probably seems like something I could change easily with a bit of effort, the right clothes and a willingness to take on new hobbies or go out to the bar more often. In reality, whether I’m boring or not, the fear is there and the fear is the thing that is hardest to get rid of. Continue reading

On Celebrating Successes

As someone that often falls into perfectionist thinking, I struggle focusing on successes. Instead, I check it off and move on to the next thing. If I fail though, I spend days focusing on what I could have done better. This has led me to have a very skewed view of my own achievement, with the failures far outweighing the successes, despite the failures often being the things that show me how to succeed in the future.

I first recognized this skew in my self-assessment when I was about 20 years old. I was going through yet another sever bought of depression, in the midst of making one of the more difficult decisions I’ve made in my life. While I was in the process of deciding to give up on my declared major, Chemistry, I was deep in a mire of self-hate. I spent nearly all day, every day, thinking about why I was not doing well, why I wasn’t succeeding no matter how hard I tried. I thought about how disappointed my family would be.  Continue reading