A Scheduled Life

Having an ENFP side to me which is a bit more spontaneous and carefree, I’ve always found it difficult to commit to a daily schedule. I can follow a travel itinerary down to the last minute, but for everyday life? Nah. I’d find myself sleeping in or just watching something on Netflix.

Just this month though, I’ve realized the importance of committing to a daily schedule. I’ve been feeling unproductive and unfocused, but June gave me a 180-degree turn! Having a fixed schedule daily helped me to put some rhythm into my days that my body can get used to.

Here are some tips if you are trying to commit to a schedule:

1. Understand yourself. It was not just a matter of drafting a schedule and the  following it immediately. I had many iterations of my daily schedule before finding the right fit. I spent some time (1-2 weeks) trying to gauge my energy level throughout the day to know how to arrange my daily tasks. I moved my activities around depending on how they worked for me until I came up with something that feels natural and closer to my center. Do you start slow, or are you more energized in the morning? It might be a bad idea to schedule a personal study time during the time of day when your brain dozes off.

2. Start well. Regardless of energy spikes, I’ve found that it’s really important to start my day with some quiet time and exercise. Spending time in the Word grounds me for the rest of the day, so I make sure to spend 30-45 minutes on it, then I do some cardio while watching an episode of Gossip Girl, which I’ve discovered is a good energizer because of the show’s snappy pace.

3. Get enough sleep. I observed myself for two weeks and realized that I need 6-8 hours to function well and not get cranky at the slightest inconvenience. Try it out. Don’t set your alarm for a week, and just let your body wake up when it decides to do so. Check for a trend, and you’ll find your natural sleep duration. Once you have it set, discipline yourself to sleep on time such that you will get your full sleep cycle. This may mean getting off of Facebook or turning off the TV despite the attractive pull of AJ Kapa.

4. Have only one calendar. I am a proponent of this mainly because of the learning I got during a Work-Life Balance training when I was starting out in the corporate world. We were taught that we only have ONE BODY and ONE SELF which should translate into ONE CALENDAR. This has been key to my being able to manage my many responsibilities, as I only have one place to look at to know where I should be by when. It lessens the chance for double-booking, and easily shows you possible schedule conflicts.

5. Set timeboxes for your tasks. Timeboxing is the most effective time management method for me because of how natural and simple it is, and because of how it caters to my short attention span. Rather than working on tasks until they’re done, I commit certain blocks of time for a task/group of tasks. For example, I set 30 minutes everyday to get church tasks done. This allows me to get things done slowly but surely (in chunks) if I have a big task for the week, or get all the small stuff done in one sitting if I just have a lot of minor tasks to complete.

6. Schedule in your meals and leisure time. This will help you be disciplined with your use of social media, and will also help you have something to look forward to after being such a disciplined person for hours. Rewarding yourself with chill time will invigorate you especially when you feel pressured with your full schedule.

7. Align your daily schedule with your life goals. If you have something that you are aiming for this year (we’ll talk about yearly personal planning in a future post), make sure that you fit it in your calendar. I personally have a goal this year to write more, to be more active, and to pass my PMP exam. Because of that, I have time in my daily schedule to blog, and exercise, and read my PMP reviewer. Your schedule should not put you on autopilot, but should help drive you to be what you want to be.

8. Be easy on yourself. Unable to follow your schedule for some days? Relax. No one’s checking! Don’t use your one or two off days as a reason to skip following a schedule altogether. I myself have been feeling so thrown off since Wednesday since my wisdom tooth extraction changed up what I can/cannot do and even my sleep pattern. I just accepted the fact that I had to give my sched a break for now and that I can resume on Monday once I’m fully recovered. See, that’s quite easy.

Now go ahead and put some structure in your life 😉

Calendar

Phone or planner–whichever works for you!

(via Daily Prompt: Commit)

Losing “Wisdom”

Hello from my bloated gums and face. I had an impacted wisdom tooth extracted yesterday, and I’m just so glad to finally tick this off my checklist. I’ve been putting it off for months, and I even got sick before my original surgery schedule. This really deserves a huge sigh of relief.

A combination of trust in the Lord (seriously!) and trust in my dentist helped to boost my confidence and actually get me excited (weird, I know) about the procedure. I was a bit worried about feeling pain having already experienced getting 2 of my upper molars out, but I was generally more enthused and just wanted to get it over with as I have accepted it as a part of #adulting.

Side note: I love the dental clinic that I go to in Eastwood. It’s called Smileability Dental Clinic, and I’ve been going there since 2014 for cleaning, check-ups and permanent/temporary filling. My usual dentist is Doc Sara, and she’s pretty awesome–very welcoming, and not masungit at all even when I’m makulit and ask a lot of questions. My favorite thing about their clinic though is how friendly the receptionist and the assistants are. We banter and joke around whenever I visit. My mom also goes to Smileability for her dental needs, and we’re about to line up my sisters. If you aren’t convinced to try them out yet (they are accredited by Maxicare anyway), you should know that Marc Nelson also goes there. So, if you are #blessed like me yesterday, you’ll have a chance to sit beside him in the waiting area, get a quick smile from him, and move your foot to let him pass by. Hahahaha!

Before I had my procedure, I may have bugged 10+ friends regarding their wisdom tooth extraction experience. So that you won’t have to ask me in person (I’m not masungit, I’m just efficient lolz), here are some things I have learned wisdom tooth extraction (and life) through personally going through the process:

  1. Do not scrimp on yourself. I asked around and found out that there were some dentists who were offering wisdom tooth extraction for a low low price of 3,000-4,000 pesos. That’s such a “steal” considering that mine caused my wallet to take an 8,000-peso hit. I do not have regrets though, since I was worry-free about the procedure and I realized that it was something that I had to do for me. I’d pay 20,000 pesos to buy a gaming console. What’s half of it for my health? Also, I’m so distrusting when it comes to medical/dental procedures, so I can only imagine the stress that I would’ve gone through if I picked a new dentist for an important procedure. I’m not saying here that it has to be expensive to be good, but I’d suggest that you go with your usual dentist no matter how much it might cost you because…
  2. You need to do it with someone you trust. Just like how you wouldn’t get into something serious with somebody you do not know, it doesn’t make sense at all to undergo this procedure with someone you just met. If you trust people and are not bothered by having a stranger working on your mouth for two hours, then good for you. For me though, it mattered that I already was comfortable with my dentist and dental clinic. I had so many questions pre- and post-procedure, and I was brave to ask them ’cause I knew the people already.
  3. Don’t overthink it. For the first time in my life (a hyperbole, maybe), I did not overthink something. I just sat on the dental chair, ready for the experience, just trusting that God will take care of the outcome. It felt good. I did not spend my precious time in fear or worry while Googling wisdom tooth extractions gone wrong. I just wish I can apply this learning to other areas of my life.
  4. Come prepared. While you do not need to overthink, you still need to come prepared. I drank the meds I was required to drink 1 hour before the procedure (amoxicillin, hemostan and paracetamol). I wore comfy clothes, as I didn’t want to feel cold for 2 hours. I freed up my day and took a sick leave. This honestly helped in keeping me at peace before, during and even after the procedure–knowing that I did my part.
  5. Use your “downtime” to reflect/relax. I am fortunate enough that I had my procedure when the dental clinic already moved to their new office at the 11F. The dental chair was facing the roof-to-floor glass window and I had a nice view of Quezon City/Marikina. It was relaxing, and helped me not to think about the slight pain in my mouth or the time it was taking for the procedure (mine took more than an hour). When I couldn’t stare outside, I just closed my eyes and thought happy thoughts (e.g. Marc Nelson, Nate Archibald) and relished the moment of not having to be in the office. Haha.
  6. This too shall pass. Despite my generally pleasant experience, it is a known fact that it’s difficult to have your mouth open for almost 2 hours. I wanted the procedure to be done. Also, some minutes into the procedure, I heard Doc Sara mentioning something about having difficulty taking out part of my tooth. I chose to ignore, and just assumed that it was a common occurrence, but I must admit, there was a slight concern on my end. Towards the end of the procedure, I was even coughing up that I felt like I was gonna choke since I had all these dental apparatus in my mouth and I was having a slightly tough time breathing. But, I knew that all was well when the dental assistant exclaimed a “Praise the Lord” followed by Doc Sara pulling out the last piece of my tooth’s roots. I breathed an inward sigh of relief. All difficult things come to an end.
  7. It’s not as bad as you think it is. Doc Sara caution me about bleeding, swelling and pain after the procedure and I was scared that I would not be able to function for a week. Surprisingly, upon getting home, I just had a one-time gauze replacement and the bleeding already stopped. There was pain and discomfort, but I just slept it out. When I woke up today, my cheek and gums were swollen, but the pain was very tolerable. I was even able to take a call with my boss earlier, though speaking has been very difficult. Right now as I type, I am feeling very uncomfortable–as if someone stuffed a huge chunk of cotton balls inside my mouth. It’s tough to eat food–solid and liquid alike. Yet, it is not as bad as I expected. Thank God. The major thing that I do not like post-procedure is that I cannot exercise. How sad. (Wow.)
  8. Take care. I normally am one who will not follow directions for “taking care” of myself. This is part of my being a pseudo-independent woman. Haha. This time though, I actually read through the brochure given out about post-procedure care and I followed it almost down to a T. I used cold compress, I gargled with salt solution, etcetera. Sometimes, we really have to follow the rules and stop being a rebel when it’s actually better for us :)
Wisdom Tooth

Unflattering photo of me pre-actual procedure. That is disinfectant all over my mouth that made it yellow/orange. Also, already had anesthesia so I couldn’t feel the right side of my fez.

The Essential Travel Packing Checklist

I was checking my travel map in Matador and found out that my last international trip gave me the 20th country that I’ve visited in the world. *insert celebratory confetti* It’s not a lot compared to how well-traveled others have been, but I’m pretty sure that I have “itchy feet” and wanderlust.

While I love going places–whether local or abroad, I am not a fan of packing. Not at all. I’d rather unpack, which I understand is something that people don’t usually enjoy but is to me like opening gifts on Christmas Day. I do not have enough travel funds to ditch the luggage and head to the airport with just a toothbrush, Packing is an essential part of travel, and is definitely one thing you’d need to ALWAYS do if you plan on living life a la millenial who always needs an escape.

I only got the hang of it in the last 3-4 years, but I’ve recently just been copying and pasting my travel packing checklist via OneNote. So far so good, I must say. I’ve survived with all of the essentials–whether it be at the hot beaches of Bali, or the chilly streets of South Korea.

Packing Checklist.png

I’m sharing with you my checklist of essential stuff to pack for your travels. View the list under the cut.

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