it's not possible to do all the things

Monthly review – it’s not possible to do all the things

it's not possible to do all the things

Back in 2016, I ran a productivity workshop at the Problogger Event, and in it I shared what I called the 5 hard truths of productivity. One of those hard truths became particularly apparent to me this month. It was the hard truth of productivity number two – “You will not get everything done that you want to”. Whether it be work or personal life there are simply too many things we want to do for it to be possible to do them all.

When you are saying yes to one activity or event, you are effectively saying no to many more because you cannot be in two places at once. There were a number of events I had highlighted that I would have liked to attend in May and I borrowed more than the one book to read from the library that I wanted to read over the month. The reality was that it was not possible for me to do all the things I wanted to do In May even if I was the most productive person on earth!

This is why setting a goal each year is so important to me. When it came to choosing what events I did go to, I used my goal for the year to help me make decisions on where to spend my time. Coming to terms with the hard truth of productivity number two means you need to become more conscious of where you will spend your time or at the end of the month you may have done some of things you wanted to do but they may not be the things that are most important to you.

It is never too late to set a goal and it definitely helps you manage the fact that you will never finish your to-do list or fit in all the things you want to do in a month. You can see my single goal-setting process I use in this post – My goal for 2022.

Now on to my progress review for the habits I have set to help me achieve my goal for 2022 – cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences.


Read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There is so much to learn from both fiction and non fiction books. I have a huge list of books that I have wanted to read for some time, so this year to help expand my knowledge I am committing to read more. My target for the year is to read 25 books.

Quote to connect to – “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

May performance – Lucky I read three books last month because I only read one this month! There were a number of days where I did not read at all and this is definitely something I drop once I feel like I have a lot on. I need to change some of my daily routines to make sure I fit the reading in.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan – this was our book group choice and it came with very high reviews. I found the first few chapters tough going and it actually took me quite a while to get into it. The novel follows the life of Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans before, during and after his time in a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway. The scenes written in the POW camp are graphic and confronting and I didn’t find them enjoyable to read but it is important to remember what us humans have done to each other. For all the good he did in the POW camp I found Dorrigo quite unlikeable and it seems that he doesn’t like himself either.

I am going to be on the outer with my overall review of the book, given that it won the Man Booker Prize 2014 and some in my book group said it is on their list of all-time favourite books too! I didn’t love it. I am glad I have read it and I think it touches on some important points but I felt the book could have been shorter with parts dragging on a bit and I found it an effort to read that didn’t really give me much for my effort. 3/5

Invest one hour a week learning about our First Nations Peoples

Reconciliation Week Oration with Adam Briggs

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Reconciliation NSW recommends learning and understanding more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ histories, Cultures, Languages, technology and land management techniques as educating yourself is the first step in the journey towards reconciliation. My knowledge and understanding are severely lacking and I want to change this.

Quote to connect to – “Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.” – Bruce Lee

May performance – During Reconciliation week in May I had the opportunity to attend a number of online and in person events, two of note for me were:

The Soils Project

The Soils Project: groundwork is a series of three webinars presented by Struggles for Sovereignty (Indonesia), TarraWarra Museum of Art, and the Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands). I attended the first webinar which was hosted by the TarraWarra Museum of Art and the Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation. Dave Wandin was a key speaker for the session and he was so amazing to listen to. He has such love for his country and people.

Dave works at Coranderrk. Coranderrk was an Aboriginal Station that opened in 1863 and became home to Aboriginal people from across Victoria whose lands had been stolen from them during colonalisation. It is located on Wurundjeri land and the Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation (WEAC) are its custodians and managers. Dave shared how they are prepared to take the long-term approach to be truly sustainable in the way they manage Coranderrk – there is so much we can learn from Indigenous land management! They are currently reintroducing bush foods local to the area and ensuring a balance of biodiversity. Dave finished off his talk by describing the soil as our mother – we call come from it and we all have a duty to look after it.

Reconciliation Week Oration with Adam Briggs

This event was hosted by the City of Melbourne and Aboriginal Melbourne as part of Reconciliation Week. If you haven’t heard of @senatorbriggs you really need to check out his work. He is a Yorta Yorta man, rapper, record label owner, comedy writer, actor, and author. He is also someone definitely worth following on Twitter too!

Briggs talked about his childhood and why he creates the work he does. As a kid, everything was in the past tense when it came to Aboriginal people. It was like growing up in a country where people preferred you weren’t there. But as an Aboriginal kid growing up you want to feel validated and that you are seen.

Briggs set out to make the things that weren’t there when he was young. He wanted to give to his people the thing he wished he had growing up.

He discussed his mixed feelings about Reconciliation week and noted that we will not meet our potential as a nation without embracing the Aboriginal identity of this country.

Definitely check out Briggs’s work. You can find his music on Spotify and Youtube and get his children’s book Our Home, Our Heartbeat online at Booktopia and in good bookstores.

Volunteer on a weekly basis

Dr-Monique-Ryan-Election-Day

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Volunteering is an activity where you can be of service to others and learn so much from the experience. It has been some time since I have volunteered outside of schools etc and I want to get back into it for 2022.

Quote to connect to – “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

May performance – I continued to volunteer my time for the Dr Monique Ryan campaign for Kooyong and what an amazing result was achieved on election day! Election day saw me at an election booth for many hours and then scrutineering after the voting closed. This is a day I will remember for a very long time and I am glad that I took the time to be part of it.

Spend one hour a week planning and visiting new attractions

Peninsula Hot Springs

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There are so many great attractions and experiences in Melbourne both free and paid and when the kids were younger we used to visit them frequently. Since the kids have stopped wanting to do this, I have stopped going too. But there is no reason why I cannot go on my own or with Phil or with friends!

While I have allocated one hour per week, this can be averaged out across the month as my overall aim is to visit two new (to me) attractions per month.

Quote to connect to – “Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Unknown

May performance – On top of the events above I was also super lucky to get away for a night with my three gorgeous sisters to Peninsula Hot Springs. We did the glamping option (which was hardly camping in any form when you have heated floors and your own beautiful bathroom) and our package included the fire and ice experience. This is a private session where you are coached through hot and cold therapy by an instructor. It involved moving from the hot sauna (65°C) to the cold pool (20°C) back to the sauna, then to the ice plunge (4°C) for 30 seconds, and then repeating. The second time around they encourage you to go for longer than 30 seconds and up to a maximum of 3 minutes. Myself and my youngest sister did the three minutes! The hot and cold therapy really was the most amazing experience. You feel so alive and invigorated once you do it and you feel a great sense of accomplishment too!

Our package also included dinner which you can have in your robes (love this) and you can use the springs all night if you wish. We stayed until about 10.30 pm and then went to bed. We started the next day with a gentle yoga class, more hot springs, more hot sauna and cold pool, then changed, checked out, and had breakfast. I am already planning to get back and do this again!

I also spent an hour planning out events for the next couple of months as well.

What did you get up to in May?

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