Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb10 - Day 11:11 things

December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

(Author: Sam Davidson)

1. Clutter

Except for what I really collect (books, CDs, photographs) I would like to remove some clutter from my room. My office is already clutter-free (at least at my side of the office), but my room, and especially my rooms at my parents' place are filled with objects I haven't touched in the last 5 years. I know I will feel lighter and able to think more freely when I eliminate them.

2. Approval of people I don't care about

Somehow, I seem to be conditioned to try to please and to be kind to all people I only know vaguely and do not contribute to my life. I try too hard to fit in, and it takes me too much energy. Eliminating this will go bit by bit, and by reflecting on my actions on a daily basis. Getting rid of this will free me of a certain amount of social stress.

3. Conflict with the people I care about

And this social stress sometimes makes me grumpy and insecure about myself, which results in me getting into conflict with the people I care for. Next time I feel a conflict coming, I will stop and pause and try to find the reason behind this. This should make the relationship with my loved ones stronger and healthier.

4. Negative memories

I'm totally an emotional packrat. I keep remembering negative events, even though they took place more than 10 years ago. I want to start to let go of these negative memories. It will free me of some unnecessary thoughts and ideas and help me focus on what is important.

5. Wasting time on the internet

One of my bad procrastination habits I am trying to get rid of. I don't have a real procrastination problem (I do plan ahead and always finish well before my deadlines), but wasting time randomly clicking around on the internet is one of my dumbest habits. Getting rid of this will bring me more time and will result in a better focus.

6. Being busy with little task to avoid tackling the big problem

Another bad procrastination habit: doing all the easy little administrative tasks first, and then concluding sometime halfway the day that I haven't got to the point of tackling my most important thing to do for the day. Again, getting rid of this will help me focus and prioritize better, and free some more time for me for fun activities.

7. Fear of asking for other people's time

This one is especially a problem when asking for the time of my advisors. I am too aware of the fact that they are busy, and stressed out because of the recent reorganization that I feel guilty to go and ask for their time. But waiting and waiting before I schedule an appointment delays me. Getting rid of this strange fear will help me move forward and towards my goals.

8. Perfectionism

This probably will be the hardest one, since it is an entire part of myself. I'm taking a special course for PhD students, and since we are a small group, there is a lot of space for our personal stories in there. In 2011 I would like to let go at least some level of perfectionism.

9. Guilt when I take time for myself

Too often I still feel guilty when I take time for myself and I keep thinking I should be doing something useful like reading papers now. This again is part of my attempts to find my work-life balance, and letting go of this feeling of guilt will make sure I can fully enjoy the time I take for myself, recharge my batteries and then tackle work with a fresh mind again.

10. Anger in traffic and the supermarket

I've tried for about an entire year to pass by people in the supermarket by saying "excuse me", and it seems to be very uncommon here in the Netherlands. I ended up coming home from the supermarket upset and angry and ranting about those rude Dutchies. I probably should just let go and push my way through the supermarket too. Or at least, I should just let go of this feeling of frustration. It's a cultural thing, and I should adapt to it. The same is true for traffic. I'll just have to learn that people drive a bit more assertive here.

11. High amounts of sugar and fat

I eat these too often, and they make me so tired. Last Monday we had cookies and marzipan and all kinds of treats during our coffee break, and about an hour after that I almost fell asleep. And this happens to me every time when I eat a lot of sugar. On the other hand, fruits and granola bars (if they don't contain too much sugar at least), give me a lot of energy. I hope I'll be able to make some healthier choices in 2011. Getting rid of the high amounts of sugar and fat will make me feel healthier and less tired.


  1. I certainly need to add number 4 to my list as well. I need to get rid of that too

  2. Number 5 needs adding to mine.

    Approval of people I don't care about: I got rid of that one a year or so back. It really held me back and caused unwanted stress in my life. It was a hard one to let go of though, I think once you realise ur doing it tho....makes a HUGE difference. It was kimnd of second nature to me for years though.


  3. What a list. I need to add all of these things to my list. You certainly have it nailed down how to bring more positivity into 2011 <3