Work Life Balance | How to get things done efficiently (Productivity tips!)

3.28.2019

One of the most frequently asked questions I get: 
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE BETWEEN WORK-LIFE BALANCE?!
especially when I'm also doing my part-time masters program (i love it but ugh as well) 

To be honest, I don't have a magic solution that could make all things work out, but I do have a system that I rely on to maintain the homeostasis lol, and to make sure I don't go haywire. 






1. Set a system for yourself 
I think this is pretty basic, we all know that we need a planner (be it physically or digitally) to keep ourselves organized. However, have you find yourself jotting down all the to-dos and schedule yet, still not keeping up? A lot of us KNOW this but we don't do it optimally (myself included). 
I took a productivity course on Skillshare which has help me tremendously in optimizing my to-doist app, Google Calendar and physical planner 

Another huge tip on this is to set a review day. What you do with a review day is to review the previous week (e.g.: carry forward events, what was working well and what you need to catch up on). This allows you to have a birds-eye view of the following week too. I personally set a 30 minutes on a Monday to do this review :) 





2. Instead, multi-task in efficient ways 
For the longest time, I thought being able to juggle work-life balance is to be good at multitask. Boy am I wrong. The key to having it all 'well-balanced' is to be good at FOCUSING. 

I now use the Pomodoro method as discussed before (e.g.: setting 20 minutes to start off a task) in order to make myself go into deep work mode. Of course, some good lofi music helps too! (my current favorite is this one)
I got to understand more about the effect of multitasking through the illustration below: 

credits to donebeforebrekky

When you multi-task, you often spend a great amount of effort when changing from one task to another. This costs more effort when picking up the previous task/next task when we interchange between task. Overtime, the amount of tasks that's effectively is decreased, which is known as being busy, not productive and effective. 

Also, I'm currently looking more into the Pomodoro Method and Task Batching to learn how to be more effective with my daily tasks.

Resources: 

Also read about Batch Tasking 
and






3. Ditch the perfectionist in you 
 The idea of having everything perfectly in line is just bullshit (sorry for the lack of vocab but really). A lot of people think work-life balance means having it all together and it's sunshine and rainbows all the time. 

Here's what balance looks like to me: 
Pulling an all-nighter for an assignment due, double booking my appointments, having heated arguments with Joe and feeling guilty of not having enough family time. 


Knowing that I can have it all, not all at once, but I can have it all. 

 For example, next week is my finals (yiaks) so I know that I will be investing most of my energy on my studies instead. There's always a place and time for different focuses so know that it is ok for fall back sometimes. 
This shift of mindset had helped me tremendously in combatting that evil critical self-talk that's so detrimental to my mental well-being. Please practice self-care in this journey too to avoid burnout.(follow me through the 30 days habit challenge!)




Are you struggling in maintaining work-life balance? What do to do to keep yourself in place when things get out of control? Let me know!


Journalling tips for busy people | Prompts and resources

3.20.2019

I'm on my Day 15 of journalling and I finally feel different from this habit building journey. I've fall off twice this month: 1) due to my busy schedule, 2) I'm sick (and still am).

Again, these are the setbacks that I've foresee during my habit building planning (click here for FREE worksheet!), and I'm surprise on how well I'm able to pick up the habit the next day without feeling discouraged at all! *kudos!*



Now, when I first started announcing the #30dayshabitchallenge on Instagram, a lot of you asked: "How do I start?" "What should I write about?" "I couldn't seem to start." 

It was exactly how I felt too! Especially when you are busy juggling with school/work and life. You just want to make it as easy as possible to do this self-care routine. Here's my top tips for those busy hustlers out there that want to start journalling! 


1. Use prompts 
If you have no idea where to start, a few prompts that I've been loving are: 
a) Today, I'm proud of... 
b) I'm grateful for.... 
c) I want to focus on... 

Just this three will do. The others will flow. Just like how they say, it's not that the journey is hard, it's the first step that's stopping you. So get started with these few prompts and you're good to go! 


2. You are not writing an essay
Like, you don't have to submit this piece of work to anyone! Screw that grammatically correct sentence, ditch that bombastic adjective to describe your feelings. You can literally write, or even doodle whatever that's in your mind. 

Some days, I could be writing about how angry I feel and then I jump into my to-do list. LOL. Some days, I even start my journal in English and then switch to Mandarin. If that's how it resonates with you at the moment, do it. 

You may also want to google: morning pages or stream of thoughts for more information.


3. It can be ugly 
Who says journals should be pretty with washi tapes and stickers all around. I know you've been looking for 'journal inspo' on Pinterest but oh dear... we ain't got that amount of time. If you're anyone like me where you still have zillions of to-dos at the back of your head, you want to get it done asap. So, don't worry if it's not 'aesthetically pleasing'. After all, it's the content that matter. 


4. Set a timer 
Go on your phone and set a 15 minutes timer. It may seem very 'extra' but trust me on this, setting timer to any task that you're dreading is magic. It really made me focus on what I needed to do at the moment. 


My journal notebook on Evernote app. You can also see how my mind works, it's all over the place lol.



5. Do it digitally instead 
Not all journal needs to be on paper and pen. I do know people who prefers getting things done digitally. On days when I'm on-the-go, I even journal on my Evernote app. It's quick and easy. You can even create a private blog to document them and review them later. Any note-taking app is good! Do it on your phone or on your computer. Anything that works! Just know that there's always alternatives. 




So that's that! Be sure to download my FREE habit building planner to help you on this journey! If you are journalling as well, let me know how you're doing! Can't wait to hear from you :) 

How to build new habits? Detailed and actionable planning | FREE Downloadable worksheet included!

3.13.2019


Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. - Atomic Habits

Another habits post because I've got lots of questions from you guys regarding my journalling process. If you didn't know about my #30dayshabitchallenge, head over to my Instagram to follow through the journey! 

Before I break down the journalling journey, I'll share with you some of my tips when planning my habit building journey. I've also included the worksheet that I made to help your make planning process easier. So here we go!


1. Identify the habit 
DUH. But really, in details. Not "I want to be healthy" but instead, "I want to workout twice a week". Be specific and ONLY CHOOSE ONE HABIT at a time! Don't ever underestimate how a small habit can transform your life! 

2. Think and feel like you've achieved your goal
Try and feel as if you've already have the habit of working out twice a week, how would you feel? Powerful, healthy and strong. Try envisioning yourself in that state and savour it until it feels true to you! Law of attraction guys *wink*




GET THE WHOLE WORKSHEET HERE


3. Make a plan 
Download my worksheet HERE to help you with the process! Remember, make sure you are at least 70% confident with your plan, or else, amend it! 

4. Get ready for the setbacks 
In the worksheet, I've also included a column for you to plan for your setbacks. For example, that week was your exam week and you really got no time to hit the gym? Alternative: Do planks at home for 1min x 5 sets. Planning your setbacks allow you to feel more confident in getting back on track later on! 



5. Reach out (find your support system) 
For the longest time, I was so afraid to share my thoughts or goals to others thinking "What if I fail? I'll be such a joke." But when I took the leap to post it on my Instagram, I'm so amazed with how many people are supportive towards my journey and even Joe (a.k.a. the boyfriend) is constantly checking in with me on my journey. So find your own support system to keep you accountable in your habit building journey. 

6. Review 
Look back and evaluate how did the process go. What went well? What did not? Would you continue practicing this habit or you would do it differently? I'll do this together with you on my 30th day of the #30dayshabitchallenge. Can't wait! 



If you want to download the full worksheet, click here

If you want to see how I'm doing with my 30 days habit challenge, click here

and if you want to connect or ask me questions/send me feedback regarding the worksheet, 
email me at heyminniechang@gmail.com 
or dm me on Instagram/Facebook. 


Love ya'll. 

30 Days Habit Challenge | Why?

3.06.2019

As we're entering March, I believe a lot of us are struggling to achieve our resolution and goals. How are you coping with it?

I know one of my goal this year is to produce more content (particularly personal development content) and practice better self-care. With that said, I started giving myself a challenge to encourage myself to step out of my comfort zone.




I believe in order to grow better, we need to be uncomfortable; and in order to build the 'dream life', we need to build habits that work. 


Habits, are actually little systems that contribute to our lifestyle and identity. For example, having the habit of drinking lots of water and having balance diet contributes to a healthy lifestyle and 'healthy' image. Whereas, having the habit of drinking beer every meal might contribute to a 'unhealthy' image (well, of course beer belly shows too). 

What I'm trying to say is, WE CAN SHAPE OUR OWN IDENTITY. We can be in control in who we want to become. 


So this is why I started the 30 days habit challenge (#30dayshabitchallenge) 

For every 30 days, I'll be challenging myself to commit to a habit that I want to focus one. ONLY ONE. A lot of time we get so overwhelmed with the amount of habits we want to adopt: working out, eating healthy, reading, waking up early etc. 


But really, our lifestyles are not built in a day, a week or a month. It takes time. A year? 5 years? Maybe more. But it's ok. That's the best part of it. 


We get to solidify our foundation. Each habit will contribute to another, like a snowball effect. Drinking more water lead us to less sickness, which in return lead us to get more things done. It's small, but it has it's effect. I'm starting off with journalling because it contributes to my well-being, which keeps me grounded and allow me to be more efficient. With that, I'm able to do more while staying healthy emotionally. 


Well, that's it for a short post on why I started the #30dayshabitchallenge! If you want to see my progress of building my journalling habit, head over to my Instagram (HERE) to get up-to-date posts! Let me know what habit you're trying to build! :) 

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