There have been times I have lacked confidence. I have wondered whether something someone has asked me to do has been within my competency.

But then I’ve thought if they think I can do it, perhaps I should give it a go. 

– Jan Mason (quoted from AFR)

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Posted in being grown up, employment

Counting Down

I have five weeks left at work before I begin a one-year holiday in Europe!

25 week days.

600 hours.

36,000 minutes

…okay stop. I have to admit, I’m getting distracted.

Keeping motivation at work is becoming difficult. I regularly find myself minimizing whatever I am supposed to be doing and googling hotels I might stay in or festivals I might go to, places I want to visit and all other sorts of travel related diversions. It’s fair to say that my productivity has decreased – mentally, I’ve already checked out from my job.

So I’ve been gathering some tips for staying motivated at work:

  • Keep a ‘To-Do’ list:

This is sort of a reminder for me. I religiously write down all my tasks and projects at work. Nothing is too small of a task to be written down. But lately, I can get to the end of the day and realise I haven’t even gotten my notebook out of the filing cabinet.

  • Take regular stock take of what you’ve achieved:

The To-Do list will help! It’s so rewarding to see all those little ticks.

  • Take coffee/chat/walk breaks:

Don’t try to concentrate all day long – this is pretty much setting up for failure. I inevitably find myself back googling ways to survive the weather in Iceland or how to pack a suitcase most effectively.

  • Tidy your desk:

Chaos and productivity are not friends – at least not for me. So I take a few minutes a couple of times a day to clean my coffee mug and organise my books and papers.

And the final tip:

  • Cut yourself a little slack:

After all…THERE’S ONLY SIX WEEKS UNTIL I GO TO EUROPE FOR ONE WHOLE YEAR!!

This is Julia, being grown up.

Posted in employment

A Poem About Work

The clattering of keyboards
rattles round inside my brain;
The humming of the hard drive
is driving me insane;
The patter of the printer
puts me in physical pain.

The endless ‘ding’ of emails
as they enter an inbox;
The cry of mouses clicking
and the ticking of the clocks;
The chaos only quietens
when the filing cabinet locks.

Posted in being grown up, dining, employment, family, food, health, home, money

Things GrownUps Do

Things grownups do that I am quite good at:

  • Set up direct debits
  • Pack the dishwasher
  • Cook dinner
  • Make appointments
  • Go to family get-togethers
  • Decorate
  • Shop at a Farmers Market
  • Remember to turn off the lights and the heater
  • Pack lunches
  • Maintain a relationship
  • Research different insurance and service policies
  • Submit assignments and pay bills on time
  • Keep a job
  • Arrive places on time
  • Maintain a savings account
  • File my email inbox
  • Deal with tradesmen

Things grownups do that I am not so great at:

  • Make sure there is enough money in my account to enable direct debits
  • Unpack the dishwasher
  • Answer text messages
  • Portion control
  • Wear matching socks
  • Study regularly
  • Keep appointments
  • Clean my guinea pigs cage
  • Keep the house tidy
  • Get up when my alarm goes off
  • Maintain my car
  • Fold and iron my clothes
  • Weed the garden
  • Make the bed
  • Make small talk

This is Julia, being grown up (or at least trying!)

Posted in being grown up, employment, goals, health, home, money

Mid Year Performance Review

At the beginning of the year I set a few goals. At work this week we are doing our mid year performance reviews, to make sure everything is on track and to remind us to redouble our efforts on some of the things we have avoided or not quite achieved.

So I thought I should do my own mid-year review, and give myself some incentive to keep pushing forward with my goals for the next six months.

2014 Goals:

Education:

– Study for one hour (outside class time) each week day.

Haha, nope. Fail.

–  Achieve a minimum Distinction grade in each unit.

Two high distinctions so far, yeah baby!

– N/A Complete all requirements for graduation.

This one isn’t actually possible at this point, but I am on the right track, so I’ve got that going for me.

–  X Apply for Masters.

I can’t yet, since applications aren’t open, but I’m not sure at the moment whether this is still something I want to do…

Career:

–  X Achieve permanency at current APS 4 level.

Not yet…but I’ll keep trying.

–   Reduce sick leave days.

I think I’ve had four days off this year. That’s pretty good in six months.

Health:

–  Eat breakfast every day (Try Green smoothies)

I did try green smoothies, they are okay. With only a couple of exceptions, I have eaten something every morning. That’s a big improvement for me.

–   X Take a gym or pole class six days per week.

Not quite, I think I have averaged 3-4 classes a week. This can and should improve going forward.

–  X Walk for 45 minutes before work in the mornings (at least 2-3 times per week)

oh god. This goal was misguided. I’m afraid to say I don’t think it will ever happen.

–  Reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol in my diet.

Yes! I’ve had a couple of relapses, but overall, I have reduced my intake. The final barrier is chocolate, that seductive, velvety hurdle.

Personal:

–   Take up a new skill; look at Archery.

I’ve been doing archery since February, it’s fun and I don’t completely suck at it. Boyfriend comes with me and it is nice to bond over learning a skill.

–   X Get my learners motorbike license.

Still too scared, but I really want to get on a bike before I go overseas next year.

–  Be proactive about seeing friends.

My social life has been pretty hectic this year, I’ve been quite impressed with myself.

Financial:

–   X Save $300 a week.

No. Thanks to fitness and social goals my savings have stagnated a little. Still saving a bit though, so that’s a plus.

–  Pack lunch instead of buying.

I’ve been really good with this. On Sunday afternoon I cook a big batch of something and freeze it in five portions. Voila!

–  N/A Apply for weekend job when university finishes.

Uni hasn’t finished, so this one really doesn’t apply yet.

That’s seven crosses, two N/A’s and seven ticks: a 50% success rate at the half way point. I have six months to get that to 100%. Wish me luck!

This is Julia, being grown up.

Posted in being grown up, employment, goals, health, home, money

New Year, Renewed Focus

I think it’s important to set goals. Even if you don’t achieve them all it gives something to work toward. A sense of direction and purpose. New Year’s resolutions are a bit tired, they burn out and are vague and useless in my opinion. Maybe resolutions and goals are the same thing under a different heading? I like goals though. It sounds firm and assured. The start of the year is a good time to make goals. I want this to be a productive year.

Here’s the list.

 2014 New Year sign inside light bulbs on green background

2014 Goals:

Education:

  • Study for one hour (outside class time) each week day.
  • Achieve a minimum Distinction grade in each unit.
  • Complete all requirements for graduation.
  • Apply for Masters.

 Career:

  • Achieve permanency at current APS 4 level.
  • Reduce number of sick leave days.

Health:

  • Eat breakfast every day (Try Green smoothies)
  • Take a gym or pole class six days per week.
  • Walk for 45 minutes before work in the mornings (at least 2-3 times per week)
  • Reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol in my diet.

Personal:

  • Take up a new skill; look at Archery.
  • Get my learners motorbike license.
  • Be proactive about catching up with friends.

Financial:

  • Save $300 a week.
  • Pack lunch instead of buying.
  • Apply for weekend job when university finishes.

What are your goals for 2014?

This is Julia, being grown up.

 

 

Posted in being grown up, depression, employment, home, money

I’d rather be building a pillow fort

Sometimes, being a grown up is really hard. You have all these responsibilities that you never had as a kid, or a teenager.

One thing that this impacts on is being unwell. I have a long, long history of mental illness, primarily anxiety and depression. I have bad days, bad weeks, at one stage I had a long, painful, bad year.

As a child it was easy to take a day, or a lot of days, off school. I wasn’t letting anybody down. It wasn’t going to affect my ability to maintain a standard of living. I didn’t have a quota of days I was allowed to be sad or unwell that could suddenly run out.

Now, working and paying rent, it has been decided that an adult is allowed to be sick for a maximum of 18 days per year. If, as an adult, you are sick more than your allotted 18 days, you stop getting money. If as an adult you don’t have enough money, you may lose the roof over your head, the food from your belly and the car that you drive.

So even though I’m sad, and tired, and barely in the room, I have to make the choice to go to work. People are relying on me. I am reliant on my income. Maybe it’s for the best. Not to dwell on how I feel, or to mope around all day. I don’t have time to be unwell. But I would love to just stop again, like I did in school, and not get out of bed for three days except to forage through the pantry.

But this is not Julia, retreating from the world into the land of comfort and denial.

This is Julia, forcing herself out of bed, into some clothes and off to work.

This is Julia, being grown up.