Let’s Talk about Personal Space

See I’m a closed up person. I’m not the book type where the more you get to read, the more I open up. In fact, I feel as though you are the wrong type of reader or you just don’t spend enough time in a library, you will be getting to read a different book. Actually, for every reader that gets the right book, every wrong reader gets a different book because, different approaches and let’s face it: I don’t want you comparing notes with each other.

However, (keeping in line to the excellent book analogy because I’m fabulous for thinking of it in the first place) all readers alike get a common introduction. #NoHate #AllLivesMatter I like to (try to) be funny, a bit chatty, open to listening and being a cheerleader about saving the world and spreading sunshine on rainy days #haw

Still for all, there are few things I don’t speak much on for various reasons among which include:

(Local and International) Politics

No, I’m not trying to be diplomatic about it. Truth be told, unless it’s the UNFCCC or your names happen to be Trudeau or Macron, I’m not interested in knowing about you either. Mostly because I am a little blissfully unaware about what really goes on. Shameful I know, but I’m not lying when I say that it bores me. Sometimes to near death. I’m not proud of it needless to say but at least I’m being honest about it and avoid partaking in conversations I don’t quite understand much of.

On How Parents Should Parent their Children

Of course I will give ample advise on how I would raise my unborn children and in my mind write countless blog posts about how wrong I think you are raising your own. But, I for one will most likely not be able to afford any of my own and since you are bravely raising children, I genuinely do believe that you have a better idea of what you are doing with your kid(s), I think.

Education

While education is essential and a right for all, let’s face it. In reality, not everyone has access to it and due to various reasons, those who do have access to it sometimes leave it behind due to commitments, financial concerns, more lucrative job offers and the genuine lack of interest in wanting to study. While education is one way towards the road of smart(dom), it isn’t the only way and learning happens in everyday life and not just in an institution.

Sexuality and Gender

I added both, despite knowing very well that one is different from the other because I am unable to clearly explain as to how one differs from the other. My Gender Studies lecturer from 2012/2013 will be disappointed, I know. But like what you may, who you may and do whomever you please, so as long as you stay away from my man, you and I can always, ALWAYS drink together. I’ll even buy you a round.

Body Size

Let’s just say, #AllBodiesAreBeautiful

and they are! If you are unable to see beyond that, you and I clearly cannot be friends.

Facebook Relationship Statuses

If you are not on Facebook, well I don’t think this would apply to you, but irrespective of you being single, married, widowed, divorced and any other new type of relationship you choose to be in, I’m chill, with the exceptions of you either complaining about your chosen status or making out with you bae next to meet when we meet every four months for dinner. (ew)

Religion

These include the beliefs and practices of my own, of yours and those around us. Unless otherwise provoked with hateful comments on any religion, I will continue to believe that all religions speak of love, unity and togetherness because that’s what all religions preach. I think.

Coz we all love the pope.

This also means that I bear judgement (maybe a bit on parenting one tho) and have no biases (unless you are a child of war or divorce) on the different perspectives you and the rest of the world choose to believe in.

Because, personal space right?

We will soon speak on religion and agnosticism. However, if the sun chooses to shine and rays of inspiration hit me, I will speak of travels.

Let’s (try to) Talk about Sex Education?

It’s a topic I’ve been wanting to speak on for a long time, but haven’t for the usual reasons, i.e.- procrastination and then for the more diplomatic reasons on whether we should speak about it at all. Because I mean after all, these sort of topics are saved for after marriage and I’m not married noh.

See but then this post is not about having sex. Don’t get me wrong. It’s more on the need for educating people about sex. Also most of these images are shamelessly stolen off the Internet.

If you do want to know more about sex and the works, I would suggest some sort of magazine or website and in other unrelated news, Playboy is bringing back nudes!

***

This post on the other hand was inspired partly by one of my drivers. We were driving back from Kurunegala a few days ago and he tells me,

මිස් දන්නවාද, Valentine’s Day  වල තමයි වැඩියෙන්ම ගෑණු ළමයි දූෂණය වෙන්නේ.”

Translation: Do you know that the most number of girls get raped on Valentine’s Day?

And no, I didn’t know that (and I don’t know if it is true). And yes, this post was to come out on Valentine’s Day but then I got busy with work (no there were no Valentine’s celebrations from this end as we are too old for that you know, lol) and never got around to it.

However, this conservation with my driver led to us talking about sex education, rape, contraception, family planning, STDs and unwanted pregnancies that these girls clearly knew nothing of.

See, before we go any further let’s throw out a few disclaimers for ol’ times sake but mostly because we live in a supposedly sensitive as fuck world where everyone seems to take offence for everything. Also since we are talking about “adult” topics, we will be swearing because, duh.

  • This post is not meant to draw sympathy on women.
  • Neither is this post aimed at penalising men.
  • Nor does it conform to the norm that women are victims and men are those at fault.
  • I will only focus on the male and female genders and  heterosexual relationships because these are the populations that have easily accessible data and stuff.
  • Also:
just letting ya'll know. (also shamelessly taken off Google)
just letting ya’ll know. (also shamelessly taken off Google)

 ***

Since this post has been coming a few days and I’ve lost my train of thought one too many times for my liking, let me try to go through a few reasons as to why I think we need to speak more on sex, having sex and well most importantly, having safe sex.

just sayin'
just sayin’

Consent 

I usually refer the dictionary on themy Mac for definitions and this is what it had to say on consent:

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-23-23-03

A lot of the time, rape takes place when the “victim” (we are trying to be gender neutral here) has no idea that what is happening to them is wrong. This is true especially in the case of children and rape within their own families. I also have no numbers and statistics to back this information. If you are looking for a good read with numbers I strongly recommend the Bill and Melinda Gates Open Letter.

So it’s pretty simple right? If someone does something without the other’s permission, or consent, it is a violation of their rights or privacy or something on those lines.

Eg: – A few weeks ago someone took away the (my) laptop I was working on to show another some screen on Facebook, without asking me. No consent!

If you are still confused, the following video explains it thoroughly as well. I recommend you watch it as a family or a classroom – though I’m very well aware that my audience does not attract such people, haha.

The Birds and the Bees

Okay, I get it. I’m Sri Lankan too and my Mum never spoke to me about the birds and the bees. And still to date as a twenty-something year old I’m confused as to what the birds and the bees have to do with this. Why can’t we go more Freud about it and call it a lock and key or snake and window or you get the point. Or if you don’t, your mind is not dirty enough to be reading this post. 

Again, if you do have five minutes at hand, this is a very good video to watch or show the children around you.

See, a lot of the time, when there is no education or well discussion on what really happens when people have sex, it leads to things like, you guessed it, rape!

There is no shame in talking about it to children and truth be told, if I were to have kids, I would start speaking to them or introducing the concept of sex from primary school. It would not only teach them what they ought to do to protect themselves but also teach them the right way of treating others and respecting them.

True we have Google and most in my generation, a few before and all those younger to me rely on the Internet for information. However, the Internet too has come a long way since early Millennium dial-up and information sharing. It has become more vital than ever for everyone to not only cross check news sites (because fake news brings money too, it seems) but also inquire on the authenticity of information provided. Hence, if parents or adults are not going to speak to their kids about this, they will only rely on the Internet for (mis)information.

I asked my Mother recently as to why she never told me about how children are made / babies are born. She laughed it off and said that I knew more than she did. While I did laugh along with her because it was funny, it did also dawn on me that there are many kids out there who are incapable of having such conversations with their parents. What are they to do then? 

Contraception 

I saved the best for last because I believe that contraception becomes the solution to a lot of unwanted and unplanned situations including STDs and (not so) happy accidents.

Okay, let’s assume that consent has been attained and now two individuals (no I’m not looking at sexual relations with more than two people so don’t be offended) are maybe going to have sex for the first time. So no, they won’t get STDs and that box is checked. However, in the case of a heterosexual relationship, what about the risk of pregnancy?

If it amounts to anything on the lines of progress, which I think it is, some of the Healthguard Pharmacies here in Sri Lanka now not only sell condoms on shelves but also have emergency contraceptives as well. I think this is great as it not only reduces the risk of anything you are not really ready to have for but most importantly reduces the stigma and mental strain someone would have to go through when asking for it over the counter.

On another positive note, Sri Lanka is a country that does not require prescriptions for Oral Contraceptive Pills or OCPs. I don’t really know what this means in a medical sense, but as a layman or woman, I think this is a great progressive step as it again shortens the number of steps one would have to climb when wanting to have safer sex and access to contraceptives. While there isn’t a plethora of choices to choose from, I guess this is a start of sorts.

sorry, Google.
sorry, Google.

If you are interested, here is an excellent compilation done by Pew Research on abortion policies across the world.

Other suggested reading:

The least we can do from our end is to probably talk about it more to well, normalise it in to general conversation so that there will be no stigma when anyone would want to ask questions about it (as opposed to Googling for an answer).

There is no shame in parents or teachers speaking to their children or educating students on sex and all the other safety precautions they need to know because it would seriously do this country a world of good. See, once the discussion is out there in the open there would be criticism and probably a ban on speaking about the topic in open (like in the case of the big matches) but until that time, there is a sense of responsibility from every generation to the next.

#ThinkSunny

An Open Letter from Me to You

To the dearest people in my life,

These are different from the previous open letters that I have written. This one is a tad bit more personal even to the extent of TMI. There might be parts that you might think are exaggerated but this is just me talking through the written word because we all know how bad I am at communicating in real life.

I don’t always speak my mind. You see, I’m crying-emotional AF and any sort of extreme emotion gets my waterworks running. I am not very emotional otherwise as most may already know. If you don’t believe me and know any of my close friends and family (or even better the ex-boyfriends!) do ask them too. I also used to be affectionate once upon a time but that too was lost after growing into adulthood. And on being sensitive and sentimental, but we’ve spoken on that before.

Instead of me speaking my mind, I want you to read my mind. No one is psychic here I know, but I can gauge your feelings. In a similar way I want you to do the same too. Because you wouldn’t know and I wouldn’t tell you otherwise.

I also don’t ask for things. If I get something I take it but if not I don’t. Because if we are close and I were to do things for you I would expect that you knew on how the drill worked. But if it doesn’t turn out that way that doesn’t mean i would care less about you. But you should know that I don’t ask. On the contrary if I do ask or say I want something, please by all means give it to me if you can or if you can’t say so. You see it’s part ego and part social anxiety that prevents this happening often.

Continuing on the note of asking, if I ask and you don’t respond because you may have simply forgotten, I won’t ask again.

You see, I’m not a very second chance type of person. My Mother is heavily into that but to an extent I’m unforgiving and I don’t know why. I suppose it’s because I don’t forget easily. I would want to ideally forget, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind style, but I don’t. This means I will ideally never (or not for s very long time) ask anything related on these lines again.

I also want you to remember. Mostly again because I remember.

I suppose a lot of these sound like I want you to be me, haha

Because for me if is always the little things. Also because I’m just tired of constantly reminding.

You should also know that I get lonely. I like being alone and we all know that, but being alone and being lonely are two different things. It’s probably again due to my social anxiety and female hormones, but I get lonely and because I don’t communicate, I don’t tell and I would want you to know. I want you to know and be there for me without me having to ask you for it. Because I don’t ask. But if you don’t, that’s alright because I wouldn’t love you less.

Finally, if you are wondering on what you get out of all of this, all I can give you is unconditional love. I will also give you little material or edible things when I can but it’s my “love” that you will always have and it’s not because love will save the world. I will also make sure that no one around you tries to hurt you and if they do I would wish nothing but unspeakable things on them and to the rest of their generations.

Overall, I’m asking too much. I know. But I can’t help it and the person in me is too adamant to change her ways. But if you are already here in my life, thank you for being there for so long. If you are new, welcome and I’m glad to you have here too. I hope this letter explains my behaviour because I’m simply a little tired of trying to explain myself.

Love,
Seni.
Open Letters

Let’s Talk about Love

I am going to write something a little cheesy tonight and I hope that’s okay with you. I also partly apologise for not having written anything for 2016 – Happy New Year by the way, I hope it’s been good so far – the writing days weren’t many and on the days that were, it weren’t too sunny. I also say only “partly” as larger blogging communities with established bloggers have made me read countless posts on how we should not apologise for not uploading content because we do this for ourselves, supposedly.

The cheese I’m about to write of, is not inspired by the pizza I had two weeks ago. I don’t think I eat cheese as it is unless in food – you see, it’s my Mother who is more inclined towards having been a cheese-nibbling mouse in a past life – so no excuse there either.

Tonight, I’m going to talk about love.

Appropriate, I felt.

But before you hit the “x” on the tab, please do keep in mind that the “love” in this post is not inspired by so and so’s recent Facebook “relationship” status update. It might part be so by the overly commercialised and romanticised Valentine’s Day – it’s at these times do I regret not being a store owner – and this month’s letter writing event

It was when I was finishing up some note taking – I take arduous notes that usually materialise into nothing – did the thought of “love” keep melting in my mind.

Because all people should be loved, and if they aren’t or if they feel like they don’t, I think it’s about time we told them so.

I was never big into “love” as we know it you know. I might be all teary eyed from the outside – I also have a terrible condition of dry eyes for which I use this excellent fake tear drop solution and no, I do not wear contact lenses – but from the inside I have to say that I’m a bit of a tough girl. You know, it’s mostly the ones that look innocent *cough choke* that end up being all Arnold Subasinghe feisty. Just so you know, the last reference was drawn from having watched that new Terminator movie, lol.

But having thought of love and since it’s February and Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be an appropriate time to speak of love, because who doesn’t dig the subject, huh?

But in the past few days, weeks and months in my supposed journey to meditation, some bits of yoga and physical fitness, I have become very slightly obsessed with standing in front of the mirror.

We are all guilty of it and I’m at least admitting it.

But don’t get me wrong though. For most of the part and good genes, I’ve always liked how I’ve looked. Yes, a little bit more effort into the hair and makeup to the face will no doubt make me look on fleek, but ain’t body got no time for that (see we have issues waking early morning).

But what I have noticed though is, on the contrary, it is perhaps the love I have for myself and body do I find more appreciative qualities in me. It’s simultaneously important that we do not confuse this with narcissism which is a whole different ball game.

Because if we do not love ourselves enough, we will never be able to accept love into our lives. Trust me on this ones my loves, I’ve seen it and it isn’t pretty. It’s worse when you are on the other side giving this loveless person so much love (that you initially thought you neither had nor was ever capable of) but then you realise that it is never enough for they will never be happy.

No copyright infringement intended

It is only if we love ourselves and accept ourselves (bite me, I’m being clichè and Tumblr-esq) are we able to love someone back and receive love, unconditionally.

Unless you are a baby. Babies are little teenyboppers that no nothing of. Like Jon Snow.

If you are unsure if you love yourself, let me give you some “insight” (they get a little TMI I’m afraid) into how I know that I love myself:

Disclaimer: These are not “exclusive” or the only points of measurement. We all may love ourselves differently of course. 

  • I take care of my body – some bits of wondering what goes into my mouth (by this I mean, food, lol); some bits of exercise and yoga (I genuinely enjoy doing it) and hygiene (I wash my hair twice a week because, dry shampoo bitches and shower at least once a day, unless it’s a weekend and I don’t need to get too close to anybody, lol)
  • I treat my body / self – I’m don’t have a big sweet tooth, not really a big foodie or shopper, however on that rare occasion if  I feel like a chocolate milkshake and a chocolate waffle and I’m not on my period, I go for it. No body’s going to stop this girl! \m/
  • I don’t take many pictures of myself –  Unless it’s for Snapchat because, YOLO. Haha. But in actuality, I am really not a big fan of the picture scenario. I personally think it’s totes awks in public and there is too much of planning going on during a very short span of time. STRESS!
  • (at the same time) I don’t mind being in pictures and I don’t request to retake any – Frankly because I can’t be bothered, lol. I know that my left side is the good side so as long as that is in, I have no qualms!
  • I nap when I want to – I also stay up late at night watching countless makeup tutorials and writing unpublished blog posts, but I love naps especially when it’s not bed time and thanks to the relatively flexible schedule I work with, this is possible!

I think there must be some more but then again it’s almost three in the morning and I have better things to do, like go sleep.

But think about it if you have the time – my sleeping and waking thought are the best apart from those in the shower – and treat yourself a little more in life, not just this month. As for Valentine’s Day, come write letters with us or just do your usual Sunday grocery shopping. It’s just another day after all and you might even be liable for a quicky discount 🙂

Hope you have a sunny weekend my babies.

Let’s Talk about Birthdays

A few days ago, it was my birthday.

Thanks to a few close people in my life having publicised this on Facebook, the rest of Facebook got to know and the next thing I know, I’m sitting up early the next day replying to posts because, social (media) responsibilities.

Answering your question on as to why I continued to be on Facebook, I learnt (nearly the hard way) that if you happen to be the sole administrator of certain Facebook pages having your profile deactivated results in those pages being hidden / unpublished, which in my case would not have helped. I was vulnerable.

But, the main reason on not mentioning my birthday on Facebook or throwing a party to celebrate the birthday (also note that I don’t surprisingly drink on my birthday, wut.i.know.right,lol #wannabealcoholics) is because I simply do not like (celebrating) my birthday. Emphasis on the my as I love celebrating everyone else’s birthday. Hypocritical, af.

My twenty-something old brain tells me that the refraining of celebrations having begun with my once-religious ways (wut.i.know.right,lol). But as I grew older and approached my late teenage and then adult life, I genuinely grew averse to celebrating my birthday for reasons that baffle me or rather, unknown to me.

The best of my instincts tell me that it might also be the wannabe-hipster-ish-let’s-not-celebrate-major-events-in-life-unless-you-get-married-coz-you’ll-be-a-rockstar-and-it’ll-hopefully-be-once-lol syndrome, which I sincerely hope you understand, if not, go eat a cupcake.

<cue “aww”>

But as I grew older, my two-year studies of psychology (that may have led me to think that I graduated with a post-doctoral certification, wut.i.know.right,lol) likes to think that this form of abstinence (I like how I try to spice it up like my non-existent sex life) may have been an early manifestation of sorts for the type of social anxiety that I feel now WHEN I AM AROUND CROWDS, which may have also been caused by the sort of work I do (that usually revolves around the least number of people #happyloner )

I get anxious.

Lots anxious.

Especially, social (media) anxious because let’s face it, (most of) my life is on social media. I mean, do you know that if there was no internet that I might probably have to learn how to bake cookies, get into shape and sell them at these wash n’ vacuum places wearing a crop top and mini skirt?

<cue Dili> #DramaticSeniIsDramatic

But all said and done, I’m truly grateful to all who called and wished having seen my friends and families initial noise making online. I don’t judge you, no, I do that too, if I already don’t have your birthday written down. Most if not all, wish well and genuinely want nothing but happiness and sunshine in my life and I am truly grateful for it, but as those who are closest to me knows, quieter the better.

Like my first birthday in India. I spent the entire night walking by myself and nomming down ama(h)zing Bengali food for dinner and also treating myself to Gelato ice cream (because, student budgets) and then I come to hostel and find out that my friends had planned a big treasure hunt and dinner (with so many biriyanis!). My heart broke because I was overwhelmed and unsure how to react to these social situations. I was truly happy and awkward. Do you understand now? 

Also, no cake, because you’ll end up eating it, haha. The image above is what actually went down. I mean the cake, you little dirty minded thing.

December Diaries copy

Write soon.

On Productivity

Two things work through my mind as I start typing this out:

On how pretentious a productive person I might sound (loving the alliteration though, can’t help it, slurp);

IT’S BEEN THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW SINCE I WROTE SLASHED BLOGGED. GAH. YAY. OHMYGOSHImuststopbeingasdramatic.

December Diaries copyJokes aside though, I have some productive tendencies. It all comes down to how productive I genuinely want to be. Emphasis on the genuine (and not some as most would’ve assumed, lol), because I have come to realise that I cannot fuck with my brain. It knows when it is urgent and how important it is to me or something on those lines.

So of my twenty-something years on board, here’s what education, work, familial and other relationships have taught me on productivity: 

a) Sleep has nothing to do with this

I don’t know about you, but as a kid I had plenty of autographs. You remember those yes? 90s kids? 80s kids? 70s? 60s, no that was my Mum. But these autographs, (not the funky ones with questions that became a hit in the 2000s) were colourful blank often-perfumed pages for friends, family and loved ones to write nice things about you, so that when you grow old, grey and miserable, life has given you something good to fall back on. I jawk, aren’t I just hilarious? 😀

In one of my first autographs (I may have been 7+), my Mum wrote in it, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a girl healthy, wealthy and wise.” I mean, I’ve always been a night-owl. As a child of seven, I used to clean my desk between 08-10pm every Tuesday night. (I don’t recall what the deal was on Tuesdays though) As an adult, health aside, the wealth and wisdom may have been accumulated from night-time adventures.

FYI, for those who are confused about the sort of work I do, no I do not moonlight as a hooker. My area already has a few prominent bodies who may not be accepting of mine and my body is still not on par with theirs and hence, it comes down to a matter of tough competition.

On the health side of things, yes, your face would look brighter, but then again I have for most part of my life never had the issue of circles or bags under my eyes and have begun using an under-eye cream to prevent any such nuisance in the years to come.

b) Do not however, ignore the importance of sleep

This does not mean that you are to work all night long because you need no sleep, like Jon Snow, you know nothing. Even if sleep does not come naturally to you, while I do not advocate for sleeping pills and what not, if you must, do go ahead with it, if not, try exercising, eating lighter meals and Googling as to how you can sleep better at night. Even if you don’t sleep, try to lie on your bed listening to music. Try to avoid reading or watching anything that will bring additional strain on your eyes, but just chill and hopefully, you’ll fall asleep.

c) Understand your body type / environments you work (best) in

This is a weird productivity tip of sorts, but I think for me to have written the first two points, it took me a while before I figured out that I was a night person. It’s not only night-night that’s most important to me, but also the environment you work in.

For example, when I’m at home, I work into the nights because the house is quieter and everything is really calm. I even tend to workout most at nights. However, if I am travelling for work or on vacation, I do have early night (sometimes as early as 10pm?) because I tend to finish up on work during the day because of the change in environment (and also due to the less number of household chores / responsibilities that you may otherwise have).

It’s best for you to understand on what works for you. For example, while in uni, my roomie was an early bird. So during exam time, I’d study from 10pm – 3am and I’d wake her up when I’m going to sleep where she will study from about 4am till mid morning.

d) Exercise

It’s funny that I speak on exercise because I’m anything but sporty. haha. In school I didn’t do any sports. Probably played badminton for about a year and clearly my Mum’s sports gene had hit neither my older sister nor me.

We don’t really have the most athletic of bodies either and due to our genetic mix, we are the if-you-eat-too-much-you-will-put-on-weight as opposed to the my-metabolism-is-naturally-high types. Towards my late teens and uni in India too had a lot to do with this, I started doing yoga. I started off with a yoga class (not the traditional one, this was at a gym, lol) and then followed a lot of yoga videos online and started reading up more on it. When I started feeling my body becoming stronger, I gradually incorporated more cardio and strength training into my routine and now, I have a relative-commendable schedule of working out thrice a week with some yoga, some cardio, stretching and core-strengthening. I don’t use machines or hit a gym (because of a very bad and funny gym accident I had a few years back); don’t jog (this tropical weather I’m telling you and we have weak-ish knees) and have put together a routine based on various workout videos and articles that strain neither the knees or the wrists.

Exercising has not only helped me fall asleep better at night but also help feel good about myself, especially that I-cannot-climb-up-this-staircase-but-oh-that-feels-good thought. Working out regularly has also made me make a mental note when planning things out because now we have one more thing to incorporate into the schedule!

e) Write your shiz down

As a writer that tries very hard, I essentially enjoy writing. While I was teaching, my students may have hated me, muhaha, but I try to institutionalise the practice of writing wherever I can, just as how I change computer languages from American to British English, HAHAHA.

Writing helps you put things in perspective and also helps you prioritise. I write both on paper and on the terrific Notes app on my laptop and phone. If you want a fancy shiz app, I’m sure there are tonnes on your phone app store that might hit your fancy.

If you are overwhelmed with hundred-and-one things to do and do multiple-thing-including-the-supposed-hooker-moonlighting like me and don’t know where to start, here’s what works for me:

  • Take a blank paper and write down in point or list form every single thing you want to do. These can include things like taking your kid to the doctor’s, calling up your friend to check on last week’s hangover (yes, these things happen and we forget), grocery shopping, paying you internet bill and so on. The list is not a work or house only list, but a list of everything you need to accomplish in life that moment. Of course if you write things like “graduate” then you might as well stay in school, silly goose.
  • Number them! Scan the list thoroughly and number them in order of importance. If some items are equally important, e.g. – shopping for your boyfriend’s birthday next week and finishing up a report, don’t hesitate to use the same number twice, but remember not to overdo it. Ask yourself if you will die, be fired, lose money or a relationship if the task is delayed and the answer is no, then it’s fine to push it to the bottom of the list. Do not mix prioritising with procrastinating, because what’s at the bottom of the list will make it’s way to the top, eventually and be complete.
  • Once the numbering is done, set time or date stamps, giving yourself a grace period as well (especially where client / employer deadlines are concerned).
  • Categorise your tasks then in either order of importance or a date-breakdown or just into baskets where they all belong.

What works best for me is when I put it in to a day plan – basically ten things I plan to achieve in a day (these also include chores and what not) and generic basket plan, where the different tasks are put into categories / clients / employers and then listed out it in the order of importance.

Yes this may sound terrifying, but once you spend time initially and get this ball rolling, encouragement and motivation will find its way here.

d) Deconstruct tasks

This is probably one of my favourite productivity tips that I made a habit while I was living away in India. I would basically breakdown a larger task and do it in small parts so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the thought of it, when either a deadline or task is due. I use this most when it comes to household chores because I’ve seen my Mum clean the house inside out every weekend. For example, if it’s something like cleaning my bathroom, I would clean the floors on one day, the sink / commode on another, the wall tiles on another day and so on. This way, not only will my bathroom constantly be clean but when my loo can take no more, I wouldn’t be stuck in a pile of goo, literally. haha.

e) Incentives

I know, but this is great when you have to force yourself into doing something you don’t like, whether it is a school assignment or a task your line manager delegated to you, and you need that extra motivation to keep you going.

I usually make a mental note to reward myself:

  • if I complete something I’ve been putting off ages because it was too time consuming;
  • complete something I simply do not want to, but have to;
  • continuously work on a task / habit for a period of time. For example, last evening I shopped for some workout clothes because my workout schedule has actually been commendable over the past few weeks!

f) Take time off

I literally cannot speak or write more on this one. It’s a concept that is still new to me as it hasn’t been too long since I myself began practicing it. 

If you work unconventional job(s) or hours like I do, then everyone probably thinks that you lead suchha chill life. <insert image on Snoopy chilling on a beach chair with a Piña colada>

As if.

Chances are that you are (over) working most of the time, probably due to time zone constraints or there is simply too much work and your organisation does not have funding for an additional human resource, hence, alas and you soon start having your weekdays glide into your weekends and vice versa. The next step in this sequence is when you are termed a “workaholic”, “inconsiderate”, “bad relationship person”, “does not have time for family and friends” and so on.

I relate to this because I was this person about a year ago. Then, the words of my first boss / Editor found its way to my head. Six years back he told me,

It’s not about how (many) long (hours) you work, but how smart you work. 

Now, I make it a point NOT to work on Saturdays, I try for the entire weekend, but a Saturday is a start and a good one at that.

I try to take at least one weekend off doing nothing or spending time with family, friends, grocery shopping or travelling.

The break, I’ve grown to realise helps me reset and recharge for the next gruelling week ahead that I actually look forward to.

Word of the day: hustle

g) Spend time building yourself and your relationships 

This is not the yogic mantra nonsense telling you this, but taking time off has led me live somewhat of an offline life (of sorts) or at least to stay a few hours offline, spending time with myself or those whom I adore the most.

I’ll start with myself, because I’m narcissistic. If I have time to kill or purposely am avoiding work because I need a break, I do things that I find therapeutic, workout or just sleep. Even if I sleep in a little longer on a day I intend to wake up early, I have learned to stopped blaming myself because, perhaps the intention was not genuinely present when I fell asleep the night before. Spending time with myself either doing weird yogic nonsense like meditating has also helped me appreciate myself better and also worked a bit on the self confidence.

In case you didn’t realise, the narcissism was a sarcastic plugin.

My “me-time” usually pays off in good (productive) work vibes and that sort of positive chain reactions. I also think that good vibes and positivity goes beyond a hippy acid trip. It’s only natural for you to want to do the sort of work you do (regardless of how much you may not want to or how much you dislike it) when you are in a good mood. 🙂

I also now try to socialise and open up a bit more to family, friends and other favourites when I take time off. I either chill with them, do something fun together or just walk hand in hand to the sunset < #haw ❤ > because not only do we all need to calm the fuck down but also take some time off to appreciate one another by giving them our time.

I haven’t proofed this yet because it turned out WAY longer than I expected, but it’s honestly been something on my mind a long long time and here it is, finally. So excuse the typos and other (many) possible grammatical errors. Some of these work their way into productivity in a weird way (like motivation?), hence the reason I’ve included them in.

Until (hopefully) tomorrow, have a lovely Wednesday.

The First Tuesday of June

Hola my babies. It’s been a while since I wrote anything here. Blogging Tuesdays seem to be uhm a fail of sorts. Sigh.

Work happened(ing).

Happy little distractions happened (are happening).

Okay? 😀

I don’t have a particular concern slash rant to well rant about today and not feeling the rhymes to make do a poem of sorts. In fact I am very tired. Constantly tired. There was a scheduled break that was to come my way next weekend and a rendezvous of sorts (I can never spell that word!) planned but alas, looks like that wouldn’t be happening either. In as much as I love my laptop, I wouldn’t mind going on a little journey without it.

So for those interested about my oh-so-happening life, you may read this as an update of sorts. I’m not very ‘open’ about things noh, so somethings will be very subtly inserted okay. No pun intended.

  1. I unofficially stopped my Linguistics programme. I might have to officially do so too. Clearly, I was too judgemental, I agree, but then I went for two classes okay. First was orientation. LOL. Turns out not all MA programmes are ‘oriented’ at the same time. In fact, this was the first time multiple (read: maybe four) were having a common orientation. So basically, for the supposedly orderly, this means that the University has absolutely no forward-thinking mechanism ish in place noh. Tsk. Second, the second class I went to. I missed a good deal because of travels, India and Nepal (in case you were curious noh) and for the only class I did go dear Lord. I last two sessions! Told my Mum, who was out of Colombo then, that I was driving back home during the lunch break. Picture a lecturer at the podium, literally reading slash expanding off the three sheets of ‘notes’ that was handed to you before the start of the lecture, and ranting for two whole hours? Like for real! Sigh. I’m not the most ‘interactive’ in class but if the content is real good or better, is presented real good, heck even I would become one of those front-row Johnnys. Oh and coincidentally, after having unofficially stopped the programme, I also travel less. I’m quite happy about being in SL, no doubt but thought it was curious noh. Funny how God puts things in to place.
  2. <insert deep sigh about my present relationship with God>
  3. I did apply for another programme and actually had an interview where I felt that it might not be a walkthrough as opposed to the previous programme. Others who were there seemed overly qualified and older and wiser and with fatass files and shiz. That was encouraging enough for me to actually be in the programme. Fingers crossed though. If all goes well, I would happily devote my Sundays for this.
  4. Work has been good. Yay. There is a lot to learn and even more to read but I’m not complaining, I’ve been here for six months and been quite happy with the work. There is a lot I feel I can do, I just need to pull myself together to do all these noh. Moreover, it’s been a good, productive feeling and that is quite an achievement for someone who is overly critical about most things in life. #PodiWin

    #SexyBack0.2 I might look like this yes. #NarcissismFTW
    #SexyBack0.2 I might look like this yes. #NarcissismFTW
  5. Minor distractions. LOL. Let’s just say that I have been going out more and stop at that? It’s been good though. My mother frowns and my bestie is thrilled at my new-found socialnesss. LOL. Do holla if you see if wandering about in my infamous pattiyalas where people get lost. I might even buy you a drink.
  6. Oh an I got a new phone. YAYAYA.

So what’s been happening with you babies? I missed writing here and do hug your monitor slash screen now if you feel like its time to get your shit together.

#175

YAY. To me. I could be so egoistic at times, I even surprise myself. This was supposed to come in sooner, but didn’t and a similar fate befell the longer post on some other concern and whole load of other writing I am yet to work on. Sigh. Mother fell sick today so I took over her job at home and at work before attending to my three other jobs. A few years ago I tricked myself into thinking that life becoming easier.

On a happier note however, I celebrated #175 last week with Johanns. It was a really nice evening and I couldn’t have thought of a better person to treat but an ardent reader and good friend 🙂

"Destroying double patty beef burger" - quote Johanns. Pics from Johanns's fancy Nexus 4 cam.
“Destroying double patty beef burgers” – quote Johanns.
Pics from Johanns’s fancy Nexus 4 cam.