Why you should self-audit ruthlessly. | 001/100

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”


I’m deep into revision for my finals, now. It’s taken me a while to get into the swing of this new routine (as I alluded to here). Ensuring I’ve got the knowledge in the first place, plus the ability to weave it together into coherent answers under pressure *and* not making any mathematical errors is a challenge. It’s my goal to smash these exams, finish my degree in style and secure that first – something I’m incredibly close to already.

But, I’ve had trouble allocating my time. I’m a big believer in, once you’ve decided on a goal, charting a logical course of action towards it and getting after it with everything you’ve got. My days have felt somewhat stilted, almost halting – like a car where the engine keeps cutting out as you’re driving. That sense of flow I’ve written about before has been elusive. Something’s not quite right.

So, I looked inside. I wrote out how I felt, looked at my calendar and the way I’d gone about blocking out my days. I realised, incredibly quickly, that my usual morning workouts are actually forming a bit of a roadblock to my productivity. I’ve still been getting up early, am usually in the gym or out on a run by about 7.30 or 8, but by the time I’m back, showered and have had something to eat and made a cup of coffee (usually listening to a podcast or audiobook), I’m distracted. Emails about writing projects are coming in constantly, I’m thinking of updates and improvements I could make to the website, or perhaps the urge to draw comes on too strong.

It’s got to stop. Actions express priorities, as Gandhi said. So I’m changing things. First things first, revision. 3 or 4 hours, split up into 30 minute ‘work periods’, has not let me down in my university career so far (I’ve never got less than 70% in an exam, even in subjects like econometrics which, it’s safe to say, I don’t enjoy). So that’s staying the same. The difference is, that’s going to be the first ‘chunk’ I get done in the morning. Before I even open my email. Before I work out, before I have to eat or shower.

Let’s see how that goes for a week or so. The point I’m making here is this:

You can’t expect different outputs if you’re not changing the inputs. Wanting different results than usual without changing your process is madness. You need to be absolutely honest, and completely brutal with yourself about A) what it is, specifically you want, B) your actions and C) your willingness to change.

It’s kind of a self-audit. And it’s damn important. Don’t do it, and you could waste years and years, never correcting course and getting further and further away from where it is you want to be.

A small side note – I’ve committed to 100 days of daily blog posts. I’ll explain why I’m doing it, and how it could be a valuable practice for you, another time.

And here’s today’s sketch:




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