Just Do It: SoTL

Why ‘Just Do It’ is one of the worst voices in your head

A photo of wooden Scrabble tiles. The words say@ Why not today
Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

When you read the tiles in the image (Why not today?) try reading them out loud and first emphasise the word today, and the second time emphasise the word not. Why NOT today?

It makes all the difference doesn’t it? So why not today? One of the worst things our inner voice can do to inner peace, is endlessly listing the should, and could, musts, and ought to.

I cannot recount the amount of times colleagues were upset with themselves, when having some time and asking: “Why am I not just doing it?”

All that achieves is create a toxic inner monologue, which immediately sets us up for failure. Because these are usually things we can’t right now, for whatever reason. Telling our selves we ought to does nothing but create guilt and a feeling of failure.

  • I should just …
  • I could just …
  • All I need to is …

Now I am not suggesting not to do your work, or go for your next goal, or dream. However, if you cannot get started, or find time there is usually a reason. So instead of perpetuating the guilt and stress that is inherent in the phrases above. Would it be useful to reframe your inner monologue?

Ask yourself some questions.

  • What is it I would love to do?
    • Write all the things down
  • Which of these will help my career progression?
    • First round of prioritizing
  • Which of these are my pet-projects?
    • What is the value of these projects?
    • Could be personal, professional, impact, esteem, makes you happy
    • Second round of prioritizing
  • Once you have prioritised by need and want. Think about time lines. Are any of your top priorities time sensitive?
  • Prioritise again
  • Don’t choose more than 3 goals at a time
  • Split each of these into tasks
  • Don’t overfill your calendar and what you plan to do each day
  • Choose one feasible thing:
    • read 1 or 2 articles and take notes on it
    • work on ethics application 1 section or whole application depending how much time you have
    • etc

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