Why I started writing daily todo lists?

As the years go by, I actively and consciously learn more and more about myself, specifically the way I work.

Years back I used to write monthly todo lists, I didn’t realise it at the time but I was mimicking things I’d seen other people do. Sort of like people that are organised and productive write todo lists so that’s what I’ll do too. I was doing the behaviour without any true intention so it didn’t really make me the organised and productive person I aspired to be.

I then discovered MuchelleB on YouTube who I’ve learnt a lot from. She inspired me to write structured weekly todo lists which I’ve been doing for a few years now.

But lately I’ve found myself needing something else.

And so I started writing daily todo lists.

I’ve been using post-its which are great because you can’t fit a lot on them.

I’ve been using them at specific points in my day where I find myself stuck for what to do or how how to spend my time in the most caring/helpful way. I’ll write 7-10 tasks and work through them for the rest of the day or even just a few hours.

I’ve found that when I’m more intentional about what I’m doing in smaller sections of time, it’s much  easier to be disciplined. In contrast, when I I’m working from a full week’s worth of tasks day to day, I end up just doing what I feel like doing rather than what needs to be done.

And the purpose of this post is to serve as a reminder for when things aren’t working well that you might just need to do something a little bit different.

What’s it like?

I committed myself to writing and sharing it on this blog over 3 years ago. Sometimes it’s easy but other times it feels difficult to do. Sometimes I want to write about the world or social media and other times I want to share what I’ve learnt about myself through self-exploration. The personal posts come easy to me because I’m used to writing about myself. When I write about social media or the world, it’s fun because I’m sharing my ideas.

I’ve developed such soft spot for this writing space. I can show up, write and share it. I get to express myself through words and it’s so liberating. And then when you show up as a reader, sometimes it feels validating. It’s nice knowing that my words don’t simply get lost or drowned out. But I think most importantly, it’s good to know that there are people that get it. I’m not writing anything that is obscure or uncommon. The Daily Gemm is really just thoughts on life but in my own style which I’m still developing.

I recently wondered if I should give up this site to make space for other creative work. However, I realised that in my 10+ years of blogging this has been my favourite and best blog. Even when I’m struggling for what to write or the words aren’t quite coming together well, I still enjoy it.

I love to write, I’ve gotten and continue to get so much from it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. There’s really nothing like it.

Debunking myths about writers

There is this idea about writers, infact it applies to creatives in general. The idea is that our best work comes from a place of negative experience that serves as the poker that stokes our flames of creativity.

I enjoy writing about being a writer, mainly because it’s a title I struggle to attach to myself as a blogger. However, here in this space where all I do is write, I suppose I am a writer.

There are all these ideas about the way that writers should be and it’s strange that we cling to them, even the negative ones.

A common one is the idea of the tortured writer. For them the writing process is like some sort of possession where it takes over and you have no choice but to sit and write until you are possessed no more.

I used to carry the belief that the best work or at least the best of my own work had to come from a place of sadness, anger or frustration. It’s not that I looked for those things but I found myself happy to use experiences that brought on those emotions as opportunities to write something.

Then one day after catching up with a dear friend, I left with a full heart and inspiration to write. When I started to write, the words poured out with such great ease like they have so many times before. the only difference was that this time I was full of joy.

In that moment, I realised that I had debunked the myths that I had once believed about myself as a writer.

Why I’ll never run out of ideas

How do you come up with something to write about every single day?

Write about your interests and write about your experiences.

The origin of this blog was about picking a small moment of each day and writing about the lesson I took from it.

The small moment could be watching a film I loved as a child, going shopping, baking a cake, a conversation with a stranger or running for the bus.

When I decided I wanted to start daily blogging a little over 3 years ago, I knew I had to decide to write about something that felt easy for me. As much as I didn’t want to be someone who wrote about any and everything, I also knew that I didn’t want to be so niche that I felt restricted to the point where I’d struggle for what to write.

Even when I took a break from blogging, I was still writing, making notes and the ideas just kept flowing.

I think that’s a sign that I did well picking the content for my daily blog. In a recent post, I shared that in 2022, I’ll no longer be daily blogging but I have no doubt that the abundance of ideas I will keep flowing.

Wellbeing in the workplace

I think that this matters and I think I think that this is important.

If you had a conversation with a lot of companies, particularly since this covid pandemic, they would have something to say about the importance of wellbeing.

We’re all aware that peoples mental health and general wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic for various reasons. It could be a lack of social interaction, feeling lonely, the change in routine, fear of getting sick, job security, financial issues and more.

But it might not be the pandemic that is the issue. What about if you go to work and you’re treated poorly, ignored, lied to, there’s a lack of trust, you feel stifled, you’re constantly overlooked, people don’t listen to you and you don’t feel respected, you might not even be aware of the impact it can have or is having on you.

Those things can have a significant impact on a persons wellbeing, particularly when they’re happening regularly.

And sometimes in the workplace these things are very covert. When you speak up you get generic responses that lack sincerity but are somehow just enough. Just enough for you to feel like you were overreacting, that maybe you’re not trying hard enough and that things will be better in the future.

However, if you’ve given things a chance to get better and things haven’t improved then you need to decide if the job is actually worth it.

Are you willing to sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of a job?

Catching up and clearing out

If you’ve been a regular reader for more than a few months, you’ll have noticed that I stopped blogging for about 6 weeks. There were a few posts here and there but it was far from my usual daily blogging.

However, over the past few days I’ve been getting my ducks in a row and I’m now back.

For the rest of this month, I intend to catch up on all the posts I’ve missed, so expect an overwhelming influx of content to be read at your own pace. The reason for this is I have about 10 completed posts, 100 half finished posts on WordPress and around 50 posts written elsewhere.

I quite like the idea of clearing out what I’ve written and putting out fresh content in the new year. I’ve finally decided to make some big changes with TDG as it goes into it’s third year which I’ll share more about later this month.

Despite not posting, I’ve still been writing and I have plenty to share. I also have big changes in my personal life which will result in more work and career related posts in the coming months.

I’m excited to be back posting again and look forward to sharing my words with you.

Why you’re not inspired to write

Often when it comes to periods where I’m less inspired to write, the problem has nothing to do with writing.

For example, if you’re busy and overwhelmed throughout the day, when it comes to sitting down to write in the evening it’s difficult. It’s not that you’re not inspired but instead that your mind is frazzled. You can’t focus because you’re distracted by everything else that is going on.

When you put pen to paper or fingers to keys, the words don’t flow because your mind isn’t clear. But it’s not writers block, your simply just blocked overall. And as soon as things are no longer overwhelming or you spend time to get yourself back to a more harmonious state, the writing starts to get easier again.

I wrote this for you

You know the feeling you get when you read something that resonates. You feel seen, you feel heard and you feel connected, often to a complete stranger.

But this person was able to form something that encapsulates a feeling or a moment from your life. It can often serve as a reminder that we’re not so different or as separate from each other as we sometimes end up believing.

If you can be moved by words written 200 years ago then our problems, challenges and experiences aren’t so unique to us, there are plenty of other people that know what it’s like. In my teenage years I liked to beelive that somehow the author knew that I’d need to read their words, almost as if they wrote them just for me. Of course that wasn’t the case but it was a nice thought at the time.

I’ve held on to that idea but allowed it to evolve a little. As someone who writes and shares their words, I never write with a particular person in mind but I know that people are often drawn to read about things they can relate to.

I’ve read great words that have moved me and so I hope to do the same. I guess it’s sort of like taking one and passing it on.

‘I wrote this for you because of what they wrote for me.’

The role of the creator

When it comes to this blog, I’m in charge of the writing process and you are in charge of the rest. That includes the views, likes, comments and how popular each post gets.

As the creator, as much as you might want to be, you can’t be in control of the numbers and of how well your work performs because that’s not your role.

Your role is to do the work and as long as you’re doing it well, you have to learn to be okay with everything that comes with it.

Obviously if you earn a living from creating, the stakes are much higher. You might need to report back to someone and of course what they want to hear is that the numbers have gone up and at worst that they’ve stayed the same.

However, in spite of the above, I think it’s good to look at the numbers occasionally (even if they don’t affect your income). It can be useful to see the kind of stuff that is performing well. For example, one of my most popular posts is about Instagram and I’m also aware that my posts about being a writer and the writing process tend to do fairly well. I enjoy writing about those topics so choosing to do more of that would be a win-win for me as the writer and you as the reader. I wouldn’t have that knowledge without looking at the numbers.

But most importantly, the key is to not become so attached to the point that you’re happy when the numbers are up and sad when they’re down. The only thing you need to do is create.

The power of words

As a writer, when it comes to the written word I think it holds a lot of value.

However, I have to admit that when it comes to communication, the written word doesn’t always come out on top.

In a back and forth exchange, it’s easy to miss the tone or intention of the words you receive. You don’t get the sound of the voice, the volume or the face expression. When all you have to go off is words, you end up filling in the blanks and making things up.

It’s easy to assume the worst, especially when you already have your guard up. Maybe you misread the tone and assume the persons words were intended to be harsh which in turn then influences how you choose to respond. Before you know it the situation has become something that it didn’t even need to be.

So, maybe next time before things get out of hand you can simply arrange to talk face to face or at least make a phone call.