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The active bird catches the worm

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been a student, and thus living as a student in shared houses. In total, I’ve had 36 housemates so far (if I didn’t forget to count anyone), and I have lived with different characters. But most of all, I think you can subdivide people in the go-getters and the sedentary folks.

When I started studying, I was already juggling a lot of activities: my studies, my band, my music classes and an active student life. Nowadays, I am juggling a PhD, lots of transatlantic trips to see my husband, almost daily workouts, taking care of my cat, actively playing music, blogging here and there, reviewing CDs, daily meditation, daily journaling and a tadload of other activities. You might get tired at the very idea of buzzing around all the time, but it mostly boils down to having the right mindset. Admittedly, I might come across as 10.000 Volts kind of person, but moving around and doing different things is exactly what fuels me up and what sparks my creativity.

Here’s how you too can make the switch and become a go-getter:

1. Different activity, different location

For me, moving to different places and having appointments here and there is key to finish one task (for example my research day), and then get to the next place (for, say, a workout).
When I plan to work from home, eat at home, and do some yoga at home – my day becomes too blurred and I might not get much out of it. When I take the energy level up and move from the office to the gym to home and maybe some store on the way,  I actually feel fueled up.

2. Good planning

Vague ideas on the different activities you’d like to add to your schedule won’t actually get you there. Know the dates and times and plan accordingly. Also, a good planning will help you to get more hours out of your day – we all know that, but really, having a schedule can prevent you from sinking in the TV/internet/… black hole.
Having a fixed day or gym class will help you consider it as an appointment. Not only will you be more productive during the day because you have something to look forward to, but you will also notice that additional activities energize you.

3. Be active, everywhere

What I observed over time is that the go-getters are the people who work hard, play hard, and, while they’re somewhere, see what needs to get done, roll up their sleeves and get it over with. You won’t easily catch me staring in the blue while I wait for my food to cook. I typically will start putting dishes aside, cleaning up part of the kitchen (very much inspired by Zen Habits cleaning as you go) and prepare lunch for the next day.

4. Put your heart and mind to it

Being active is easier when you put your heart and mind to what you do. When you’re fully dedicated and passionate about your activities, it’s easy to keep the flame alive.
In the end, it’s about knowing what you can do, and simply doing it.

5. Really enjoy relaxation time

The fact that I like to be jumping around and going here and there doesn’t mean I don’t value downtime. It only means that I more consciously enjoy my downtime: relaxing in the sauna after the gym, drinking a cup of wine in the evening, watching something online – I experience downtime as much more rewarding when I have been active for the entire day. It’s similar to the idea of celebrating your successes in research.

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This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I love this post and I totally agree with you. I can not work without good planning and I'm pretty active too. For instance, today, while my son was at football practice, I went for a run, instead of lying around chatting with the other parents (well, I'm an introvert…).

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