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It's a Doc eat Doc world. Sal's three general survival tips for life, the universe and every

From conversations with other people, it seems I am an active person. I don't find it hard to concentrate, but I do find I get bored if I don't have multiple projects going at one time. I am in the final year of a PhD, run my own business, coach sport at club and state level, run gym classes at schools, train in judo, practice yoga, and attempt to learn Italian, all while being a good wife, friend, daughter, and office mate.

Subsequently I typically stick my fingers in a lot of pies. Sometimes all the oven timers go off at once, and I can get a bit overloaded.

To avoid complete meltdown I regularly use the following strategies:

1. Say no to Monkeys!

The things we need to do can be thought of as monkeys. We all have some on our backs. When we involve other people in our projects/ask them favours we are giving them our monkeys. The more you know about something, the more people will try to give you their monkeys. As I get older I am being offered more monkeys, and I have learned to say no. It's hard but it's also OK. Saying no doesn't make you a bad person. There are only so many hours in the day and we need to prioritise our own monkeys.

2. Make your office a happy place.

I LOVE chill out music. The gentle nature puts me in a happy mood and I can sit and write for hours. I also LOVE plants. More than that, I LOVE watering plants. I kill them often by drowning them in love and H2O.

So in my office, both at home and at the AIS, I have hardy plants (Pot Belly Buddha Fig featured in the photo) and I stream chill out music from Buddha Radio or SBS Chill. By creating this environment, it's actually relaxing for me to sit down and start work.

You can talk to your office buds at a meeting, or put a sign on your desk saying something like "Please tap me on the shoulder to chat" if you're unsure about how your office might react to you suddenly having earphones in. Also don't worry about music streaming chewing all the departments internet- the AIS IT department assures me that music streaming requires very little data. 

They may be biased though, because I did put a succulent in a cup for their office windowsill. AND it's still alive today so they must like it! 

3. We need to be silly. Regularly.

We can get really caught up in 'improving ourselves' every hour of every day. Between the Naked CEO books, TED talks, and podcasts, we sometimes forget to just do stuff for fun. I was given a copy of Sally Pearson's book by a friend who thought it might help me in my own journey, and honestly it just made me anxious. It was this constant reminder that I had so far to go to get to the Olympics (a goal of mine for judo). Despite this, I persevered until I realised that it was actually affecting my sleep. I was about 1/4 into the book and haven't opened it since. I was then offered a more intense book by Rhonda Rousey - and I ran screaming for the hills.

After reflecting on how this affected me, I came to the conclusion that my personality means that I constantly compare myself to others. Yep, I'm the judgy one. The good side is that I am a high achiever. The bad side is that looking at TED talks, and reading the Naked CEO wasn't going to teach me anything, because all my subconscious would say is "Look, they're doing a TED talk! They're much more successful than you".

To shake myself up and relive my daily stress, I try to have silliness in my day. I read Terry Pratchett books, watch Kath 'n' Kim or Upper Middle Bogan, listen to goofy music, and pull some CRAZY bad dance moves as part of my gym warm ups.

Sometimes I try to make people laugh. Just this morning I pulled off THREE cracker jokes in the physical therapies staff meeting.

Being goofy is something I love doing and I regularly practice. It doesn't get me anything new on my CV, but it can sure change a shitty day to a good one.

When was the last time you were just a goof?

I hope you'll try some of these tips and let me know how you go!

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