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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” – Confucius

 Have you ever wondered how to do something with all your heart, when your heart’s not in it anymore?
 
Well, you’ve come to the right place! 
 
As you loyal readers may know, I’m in my final year of a PhD, trying my best to balance the horrendous writing, revising, analyzing, and re-writing with my actual life.
 
Don’t get me wrong:
 
I love to write.
 
But weaving the narrative that is a literature review is not too much fun, especially compared to writing blog posts or creating lesson plans! As for justifying actions I took to collect data for my study four years ago, now knowing full well that I should have done it differently, well it’s tough. 
 
Is my heart in this project? Not really anymore.
 
So, how can I finish it without going absolutely mad? 
 
 

How To Finish A Tough Project With All Your Heart

Now, I’m no expert on this topic (disclaimer!), as I struggled with it myself. Not to mention the fact that I’m not quite done with my “tough project” yet.

 

1.  Set Priorities

The whole “no time” excuse simply doesn’t work for me. We all choose how we spend our time. So even as I often make this excuse myself, I know it’s a lie. Motivational Monday - Accept No Excuses

We have to choose to be committed to our priorities and work to see our goals achieved.  If I really want to hit the deadline for my PhD (the end of September), my next six months are going to be insane.

Simply by setting the goal and choosing to be committed, we can put our heart into it.  Even if it’s only there temporarily, until we reach our goals.

 

 

 

2.  Decide To Put Your Heart Into It

 

Sometimes, I truly believe it’s about getting in the mindset, rather than having your heart already into the project before you begin. Of course, it’s easier if it’s a project your passionate about.  When the passion dwindles though, and we seem more blue about the project than passionate, we need to take action.

Find one reason to love your project 💙.

For example, for my PhD I’d say that I love the fact that doing one has allowed some great teaching offers to show up at my door. 

 

3.  Remember Your Why

If we don’t remember why we started, it’s often the most difficult to finish.  Every time I start to get discouraged with my PhD (multiple times each week, lately) and visualizing the future I want just isn’t cutting it, I go back to the why.Motivational-Monday-113-Why

Why do we start projects?  

Even if our original passion has faded, there is usually some excitement or logic hidden behind the bitterness.

Actually, the reason I started both my Masters and then my PhD was that I was really interested in how students could learn to speak a second language more fluently, especially during a study abroad. 

Even though I don’t want to continue on a path in academia, I do want to keep learning more about that. Perhaps I could even open an effective study abroad school where students come back home actually speaking Spanish.

I could run a program based on current research, that actually works and measures students’ progress.

Now that thought is motivating! 

 

Why I Don’t Multi-task

Well, not in the traditional sense anyway.  I use a method called batching.  Actually, I first heard of this time over on Melyssa Griffin’s blog; her post on business systems got me thinking. In case you don’t know who she is, she’s definitely one of my Blogger Heroes, as I like to call them. 

She turned her side hustle blog into a million-dollar business in about four years. Incredible, right?  I respect what she’s done so much that I actually have part of a lecture in the International Digital Marketing course I teach dedicated to her work and strategies.

Anyway, batching basically means doing similar tasks together, as Melyssa says.  That way, instead of hopping from one task to the next, you can be a lot more efficient.

Of course, this sounds easy and logical – but how often do we do it?

 

Here are three tips for “batching”:
  • 1. Toughest First –    Actually this is more of a general work tip, as well.  I’ve read a few sources online that suggest choosing your most important and difficult task, and tackling that first.  Why?Motivational Monday 88 Personality

 

  • 2.  Write It Down  –   That’s right, make it concrete.  What exactly is your task for the day, and what are the subtasks you’ll accomplish by the end of the day?

 

  • 3. Tell Someone –  Now, this may be one of those personality differences, but some people like myself work best with accountability buddies.  I have a couple for my PhD, one of whom is helping me so much at the moment.  In fact, I’m checking in with her at least every week to give her an update on where I’m at.

 

I really think batching works best.  For my PhD, setting aside entire 6 to 10-hour blocks where I have nothing else to interrupt me (or little else, I should say) is genius.  That way, if my mind wanders the first half hour, it’s not the end of the world.  I have time to refocus, get in the game, and power on through.

However, I have to say that I’ve spoken to people who find the exactly opposite to be true!  Equally productive people (if not more productive) who work best by spending a few hours at a time on different projects throughout the day. Perhaps it has to do with personality types and the way they affect our lives. 

So, if you’re wondering why my blog and social media action is slightly stunted over the next 6 months, you’ll know that it’s because I’m “batching my work” to zoom through the writing process.

Are you a “batcher” or “multi-tasker”?  I’d really love to start a discussion here and find out which way all of my readers work best.  Let me know in the comments below! 😊

 

Have a lovely and productive week!

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P.S. Photography lovers, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took a few days ago in the Bonanova neighbourhood of Barcelona


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