Feeling like you're not doing enough with your time? Let me help you.
Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Rina - 00:20
So today I thought I'd talk to you a little bit more about some of the things that people worry about when they're on gap years or when they're on their own schedule and some kind of like realizations that I've come to try and help you through that.
Hi, my name is Rena, and if you're new here, welcome. If you're not, welcome back, I'm currently on a gap year, so I talk a lot about my gap year experiences and thoughts and just some cool things that I am up to, so I'd love to have you around.
So anyways, let's get right into it! Right off the bat one thing that I'd say is sometimes the reason why we feel this way is really just because we're not doing a lot. I know for the first couple months of my gap year, this was definitely me and I just want to start off by saying that sometimes it's really OK not to be doing much.
Rina - 01:20
You know, sometimes we just need some time to cool off, chill, be lazy because we can't go, go, go all the time, you know and that's totally fine.
But if this isn't you, you're trying to grind, but you're just not feeling like you're being the most productive. I'd say there are a few potential reasons for this.
One is that you're doing a lot of things, but none of them align with what you truly want to do. This might be a difficult one to detect and to admit to yourself, but if you look at this year of volume of things that you do and you're thinking to yourself, well, that's actually kind of a lot, but you're not feeling satisfied that might be because a lot of those activities that you're engaging in are things that you're doing for the sake of doing something, or because you think those activities should be good for you or are conventionally good for people.
But you yourself don't really care much for it. So my first tip for you is to define some important values or goals or objectives that you might have for your gap year or whatever it may be for you.
And if you are the kind of person that automatically shuts down as soon as you hear something about trying to define who you are or your values, I see you don't click away because I'm totally that way. I have no idea what my goals are for life or anything like that.
Rina - 02:50
Like I have nothing figured out and things like this totally scare me as well, but I just think it's a good idea to take some time and sit down with yourself and think about what kind of experiences or like what things you could do that actually make you happy, like imagine yourself and like a year's time or whatever time frame is convenient for you and think about what kind of stories future you would want to be telling other people about, or what kind of experiences you're going to be looking back at and thinking to yourself, Oh, wow, I'm really glad I did that!
So for me when I was trying to decide what to do with my gap year, I realized that I was not ready to say goodbye to Japan yet.
Rina - 03:40
For context, I live in Japan and I'm going to university in Canada, so I really wanted to explore Japan for what it was and kind of build my past before I moved on.
Some of the things that were really important to me, I realized, was things like traveling around Japan, or I'm doing things that I can only do in Japan, like being in dance performances that are choreographed by specific choreographers that are in Japan or you know, like spending time with my family and friends that I know I'm going to be leaving behind in the fall and stuff like that.
Another thing that I thought would be a really cool thing to do was to try and start my own like creative project for of some sort and that ended up being this YouTube channel which I'm going to try and be better at posting more regularly this year in 2022. You heard it here. I'm going to keep my promise, and of course I'm not perfect at this yet, but whenever I get tempted by different ideas of what I could be doing, I try to shift myself back to my own goals because I know that if I'm not working towards those things, I will always look back and wish I had.
Another tip that I have for you, and this is one of my favorites, actually is to pick your battles.
Rina - 05:01
Don't sign up for too many things, like of course doing 10 things. In words, sounds better than doing three things, but having too many moving pieces in your life really spreads you thin and you don't have enough time to invest yourself in any of them to make any of them really worthwhile.
I'm really bad at this because I'm the kind of person that just wants to say yes to everything that comes my way, but I've been trying to assess what things are really important to me and to say no to things that don't really mean or at least to choose a few main goals that deserve a little bit more attention.
OK, the next thing is that maybe you find it really hard to keep motivated when there is no external structure that's giving you any deadlines.
So for this one I have two practical tips. The first one is to make a to-do list for your day today.
Rina - 06:02
Way too many days that I'd like to admit I wake up and I don't really know when I'm supposed to be doing so I kind of forget what I wanted to do with my life and so I scroll my phone or do something really mindless for the whole day until at like 9:00 o'clock in the evening I magically remember everything that I wanted to do, but by then it's too late to start anything and so I don't do anything and I go to bed and I feel like crap, sound familiar?
So what I started doing and I don't do this every day, but it worked for me when I was in my 14 day quarantine that I made a video about previously. So before I go to bed, I wrote down my To Do List for the next day. So as soon as I wake up I already know what my day is going to look like and that really helped me keep on track on the different things that I knew I wanted to do.
And side note, one thing that's very important to distinguish is your To Do List is not your brain dump. So what I mean by that is sometimes you write so many things that you're going to do it in one day and it's just not fair on you to expect so much from one single day.
Rina - 07:33
So separate your brain dump and your to-do list. A braindump is good because it lets you know everything that you want to get done at some point, but you don't have to get everything done in one day. Keep your expectations realistic and let yourself breathe from time to time. But with that being said, yes, a todo list is definitely a good idea.
The second tip is a little it sounds a little stupid, but make a point of getting dressed if you're not going outside or if you're not going to school or to work or anything.
Rina - 08:15
It's really easy to stay in your pajamas until like 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. But I just find that when I'm in my PJ's I feel really lazy and unmotivated. I just feel like so much more of a boss when actually wearing like human clothes and like I kind of, I'm starting to really enjoy fashion, so just the act of putting together a like nice looking outfit sets a good tone for the rest of the day. So if you really kind of person that sits around and sweats all day, that's totally fine, but like one day, try dressing up and see how that makes you feel and if it makes you feel more motivated, perfect!
OK, here's the biggie, OK? Here is the main problem that we all have, and that's that. No matter how much you're doing. There is always more that you could be doing. There is literally no finite number of things you could do, so your plate could be full like so full.
But then you look at that one person and think to yourself, oh, I guess I could start a new business or you look at that other person and think oh, why don't I like traveling Italy or whatever you know like it's never enough. There's always more, but I was talking to this person, a couple months ago and I was telling them about how I feel like I'm not doing enough with my gap year like I have so much free time and like I'm not doing everything that I could possibly be doing and then that person told me that feeling that you're not doing enough never goes away.
Rina - 10:05
You could be 55 and you feel like you're not doing it and the only thing that you can do is do as much as you can do with your life and accept that you couldn't do everything that life has to offer and that doesn't make it any less sad.
But just understanding that everybody feels that way and there's no real way around the fact that you can't do everything that like that realization in itself, kind of made me feel a little bit better, and it allowed me to forgive myself for not doing everything and to and that's how I started to figure out some of those tips that I told you earlier about you know, like choosing your battles and defining your own values like at the end of the day, it's not important that you did everything that you could possibly do.
It's important that you did what you wanted to do, so yeah, those are the kinds of things that I figured out in the past nine ish months that I've had off of school, so I hope this video and these tips were helpful for you if they were, give me a like and a comment down below, I'd love to hear from you and stay tuned for more videos this year.
Rina - 11:26
That's one of my big goals for this year. So yeah, stick around. I'd love to have you here and I'll see you in the next one bye!