Today’s blog post is about my tips on how I get things done. I recently asked on instagram for some questions and somebody left a question about ~how I prioritize / schedule the “rainbowholic / kaila way”~. Since this blog topic is also in line with that, I figured that I should share some of the life hacks that worked for me.
In my opinion, I think that planning is just a percentage of the entire thing (if you don’t work for it, it will be just a plan). However, even though it is just a part of it… it is very important because it gets you into the right mood (a.k.a. your best focused self lol). In this blog entry, I will explain how I kinda ~program~ myself to be productive and to achieve my unending list of dreams / goals. Having the right mindset is really important when you want something to come true in the future. Hopefully, my tips will be helpful to anyone out there!
(I have been using this photo everywhere lol. Please forgive the redundancy lolol)
Ever since I started or disciplined myself to wake up early (the best time for me is 7AM), I suddenly had more time to do everything that I want to accomplish in a day. I used to wake up even earlier than that but I realized that I get tired too often during the afternoon (my naps become a full-length sleep lol THAT is not what we want everybody hahaha) sooo 7AM is the best time for me. If it is like 10AM, it is not early anymore I think (can be categorized under “normal waking up hours” haha). If it is hard for you to get up early, you can train yourself by setting your phone / alarm clock 4-5 times. It sounds crazy but it was effective for me. I also make sure that I sleep by 12 AM the latest (it depends on what kind of day it would be though).
After I wake up, I wash my face and put on sunblock and prepare hot water for my coffee / tea. I change my pajamas to work clothes (even though most of the time, I just spend my work days inside the studio if I’m not teaching). It is tricky to work at home so that is why I try my best to get into the work mode when it is working day. When it is weekend, I spend the day a little bit slower.
***Another tip from me for people working at home, you should have work outfits ready for you (I have like a few sweaters that I just rotate haha. Less clothes to wash too!). When you do groceries, you can reach your most productive self if you have a meal plan ready and you don’t have to think or search for the food that you need to consume. Since I do different types of work everyday when I’m on a rainbowholic mode (filming, editing videos, researching on what products to sell, brainstorming for attractive patreon rewards, updating social media, etc.), without having to think about my food that will keep me alive has been really truly helpful for me. I need my creative brain cells to think about my work and not about what I wear / eat.
Planning and doing the work both complete the pie.
If you plan for a long time, there is a high possibility that you might just lose the drive. That drive is important even if you only have 10% of it. For me, even just by making a checklist of things to do (for you to achieve a specific goal) is already good planning. The rest, you just really have to TRY doing it. If it works, yay for you. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. Just try again. There is no limit for trying again and again.
Being flexible with your plans is also important. You can’t just have a plan A for your entire life because most of the time, plan D/E or even Z will happen. Take detours if you must. You cannot grow and expand yourself if you will just stay at a comfortable place of just wishing and dreaming. Allow yourself to fail and learn from experiences. These “failures” will make sense in the future. I lost count of how many times I have screwed up (I’m not just being vocal about those online but dear Lord I have big treasure chests of those haha) but those things really shaped me to be this person that I can proudly call as a “fighting survivor” lol.
I don’t know how people do things without knowing their schedule and such but in my case, I really need a day-to-day planner. Having a functional planner (I use Hobonichi Weeks btw, simplicity at its best) has helped me plan my days weeks before. It also helped me to feel less anxious about my big pile of work since I can divide different tasks in many days. As someone who has the PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder syndrome) spectrum, I need to know or warn / remind myself at least 1-2 weeks ahead for the gloomy days (+ body aches) ahead.
When I started to have a functional planner that I really use religiously for about 3 years now (hobonichi weeks, kawaii bullet journal, then hobonichi weeks again since I missed it), my life feels much controllable now (before, I would just say yes to meet-ups and all .. and that really burnt my pockets y’all. Not good for entrepreneurs saving money to grow their business dream lol). Now, I make more intentional decisions and since I have a big goal ahead of me this year, I am more focused and I can say “No” without feeling guilt when somebody asks me to go out or something. Hope I am making sense but yeah haha
Throughout the years, journaling has become my own source of (self)pep talk content. I try my best to fill up my journals with positive things / gratitude so I will be reminded that at the end of the day, I did my best, and that’s good enough. I take advantage of my “I feel so creative today” days because I know that I’m not always as optimistic like that. I also like the feeling of accidentally looking back at the old times (thanks hobonichi journals!) when I was struggling so much and how things have progressed since then and I should be proud of my baby steps turned big leaps. If it’s the opposite, I try to reminisce the days through my journal pages when I was so happy & content about the littlest things. It may give me a bittersweet feeling but at least, when I look at those pages with a positive approach, I would realize that I am still goddamn blessed and it is just a bad day and not a bad lifetime.
Whenever I feel like not doing my Nihongo homework (I am currently under a Kumon correspondence program), I try to make a space for those on my desk. Whenever I leave my worksheets inside my backpack, I just never get my homework done. This is also the case when I do daily journaling using my hobonichi techo (I don’t really do it daily, but more like “regularly” such as 3-4 times a week). I have my journal / materials ready on my desk. I divide my desk into many parts lol.
It also helps to prepare the work that I need to be doing for the next day. For example, if I need to start writing the shipping labels / custom declaration forms.. what I would do is to bring those out and put those on my desk (with a pen beside) so when I wake up the next day, the things I need to finish are ready. If it is an English teaching day, I do prepare my uniform (we have lol) the night ahead. I even cook my rice for lunch the night ahead hahaha. Preparation is the key for a less stressful & more productive life.
Taking breaks is SUPER important. If you constantly work without pausing (drinking water / moving around / etc.), that is not healthy. Unhealthy hustle is not good!
When people ask me how I manage to update so regularly and all, my secret is that I take breaks.. “mindful” breaks lolol~
Does it make any sense? Haha!
I take my self-imposed lunch break seriously and I also have a merienda / tea time / snack time in the afternoon. There are times when I even cook myself lunch+dinner combined (left-over for dinner lol).
I even watch netflix in between rainbowholic work. Having breaks would inspire me to be completely efficient in a short period of time (me to me: “If you want to watch this new Terrace House episode while having snacks, you need to concentrate and just get this shit done first in ___ minutes / ___ hour/s.”). When I film, I give my all and when I edit, I force myself to be “in the zone” (where I cannot hear anything deep inside) so I can finish editing in 30 minutes (I have a process that I just follow after years of doing this). I put away my phone and ignore social media / messages from people. Then when I take a break, I really do reward myself~
My motivation is quite simple…
If I don’t work or get things done, I won’t survive here in Japan. I cannot pay my apartment rent, my phone, my gas, my electricity, internet.. everything. I cannot travel to the places that I want to visit so badly.
My parents cannot provide for me (sometimes, it is even the opposite especially when they have health issues) and I don’t have anyone to back me up even if I know that there will be people who will help me.
I need to become a strong independent (yet vulnerable haha) woman. To be that person, I have to work hard and keep trying to be a better person with more life experiences.
If I don’t update my patreon regularly or be consistent with content creation, I won’t have any progress. I wouldn’t get 30,000 subscribers on my youtube if I slacked off. I won’t be able to pay for the bills of my studio. I cannot sustain this kind of creative lifestyle that I have been dreaming about for a decade that only came true this year if I don’t have any consistency or dedication towards my craft. You might just see the glamorous creative lifestyle that I have in Japan but behind-the-scenes.. it is a lot of sacrifice. My dreams are worth the sacrifices and I do believe that I deserve the best life that I could possibly imagine. Even if you just have zero or even in a negative situation, you can turn around your life upside-down and improve it day by day. The answer depends on you and how hard you are planning to work for those goals.
(this is my Patreon progress ever since I started.)
I remember that time when I literally had 500 yen in my pocket after transferring my savings to my parents’ bank account (my Dad was undergoing therapy that time).. it was a life-changing moment for me. I had to step up my game and stretch myself way more. I thought to myself, “I cannot just earn the bare minimum of surviving in Japan.” I have to have enough savings / extra earnings so if there is emergency, I can book a plane ticket anytime to Manila without thinking about my bank account. It is never wrong to want for yourself a better financial situation especially if you have many reasons. I also would like to provide a more comfortable life for my parents back home as we are not growing any younger by the day.. and that is another motivation for me.
How about you.. what is your mail goal / motivation?
My next question for that is.. how can you make that possible?
Be proud of yourself. You are alive and you are blessed.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective.
Are you gonna be hard on yourself and beat yourself up because you feel like you haven’t done a lot…. or
…. are you just going to move forward and choose to quit that negative conversation that you have within you? Having that internal negative talk or overthinking will not go anywhere and is super damaging. The more productive way is to be self-aware, find ways on how you can improve yourself, and to “waste your time” on working on your goals instead.
I am telling you… even by just being self-aware about the things you want to improve is already an achievement. My challenge for you is to follow-up on that and to actually make small changes in your life everyday that will eventually lead to a more disciplined & confident self.. and those traits will help you reach your dream life.
Give it your all always. Best effort is rewarded in some way by the universe / good karma.
I had many projects that I started before but I just lost motivation or was growing towards another direction. To save myself from thinking about it many times, I just thanked those projects for the realization and konmari-ed them from my mind, haha. Now, things have become clearer to me and I know what kind of work I would like to focus on. Being selective about the things you want to get done is vital as well. It’s hard to try and multi-task everything and sometimes, you really just have to let go of other things that just don’t make sense to you anymore. : )
And to end this list, I just want to emphasize on this one.
Don’t focus on making the perfect plans or the perfect execution. What is the most important is the combination of best effort + getting it done. There is no such thing as perfect and most of the time, it is even subjective.
Just try and continue doing it until it reaches the 100% progress bar. You don’t have to be your best self too. I have completed other projects during my most challenging (sort of tearful Kaila times) and that’s completely fine. Looking back, I just wanna hug my previous Kaila self and tell her she did a great job trying to keep it all together lolol.
She tried haha~
Thanks for reading up to this part! : )