Tuesday #3

I’m lusting after…

This ombre jacket from the Kardashian collection at Dorothy Perkins.


I don’t even like the Kardashians (reality tv show of choice: Made In Chelsea, I’m utterly addicted), and I’m not a baby pink kind of girl, but I love this jacket. It would look so good with black leggings and a casual top. I just need to find a way of it not clashing with my hair, which currently looks like this:

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Byebye, plans to turn my hair raspberry pink for summer…

I’ve started…

Journalling. I really want a record of my life as it is now, before, during, and after the big job application and the end of uni and the start of actually having to pretend that I’m a real adult. And everything is less terrifying if it provides an excuse to go stationery shopping, and a daily procrastination exercise.

I’m stuck in a remote town for placement so my shopping options were fairly limited to just WH Smiths and Waterstones. I picked up this A6 notebook from Waterstones to be my journal. I love the green accenting, the fabric binding is the same shade as the elastic, and the pages have a little divot so the elastic is never going to slip off. And it’s tiny enough that I can write a few pages easily, so less of a writer’s block trying to fill a page! I’m not the most natural writer (hence doing a sciencey degree where I write less than one essay a year!) so anything that encourages me to keep going is a good thing.

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I also picked up this notebook, just because. I was going to use it as a gym log, but I’d rather not end up with a soggy notebook covered in liquid chalk (yet somehow I’ll take my iPhone?! Logic – not my strong point) and I realised that the Fitocracy app is so much better for that, as I can track my progress more easily on that, so it’s now got all my learning objectives for my upcoming exams so that I can tick each of them off as I revise them – only 307 to go…

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Planning nirvana, maybe?

Since my last post, I’ve been looking at other peoples’ ways of organising their task lists, from using daily and weekly planners side by side, monthly planners, uncalendars… I was getting a bit overwhelmed by how many ways there are to plan your life!

As an aside, in my search I came across loads of people using Moleskines, and then stumbled on the Evernote/Moleskine crossover – I’m intrigued. And for only £14 with free delivery, I might even give this a try in the new academic year. Watch this space!

Back to this planning business. I was going through old Plannerisms posts and came across this post which referenced ‘Getting Sh*t Done’. Now that sounds like my kind of strategy, so I found the original idea on Bill Westerman’s site. It’s really simple, and it looks like it could work really well!

So here’s the plan. I have my Master List, which is just my original To-Do list, now removed from my diary pages and behind its own Filofax tab.

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Master list

Then my daily list is in a little Muji notebook that’s the size of a passport. As per the GSD guidelines, this is a completely randomly ordered list of stuff I need to do today, and can feasibly do. No more million-item lists. Just specific tasks that are clear how I can achieve them – not just “build my CAL package”, but “write a topic list for my CAL package”, then once that’s complete I can put the next step to reaching the overall goal onto tomorrow’s list. The idea is that you put a dot in the box to prioritise a task, and once you’ve done it, tick it off and put dots in the next few tasks to do.

Tomorrow, anything I didn’t get done will have a diagonal slash through it and get moved onto the new daily list, so there’s only ever one list to deal with (with reference to the master list to see if anything from there can be achieved that day).

The number in the right corner is how many days it is til I see my boyfriend; sad, I know, but I like seeing the numbers go down as the end of term gets closer!

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The notebook tucks into the front pocket of my Filofax perfectly! This means I can carry it around with me to refer to or add things.

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My Muji passport book tucked into the secretarial flap of my Filo

It’s only a 90-page notebook, but given that I only really need to be able to see today and yesterday at any one time, I don’t need an entire year’s capacity with me. Any bigger and it would push against the rings or make my binder really bulky, so it’s perfect! I think I might go for the navy version next time though, the dark red almost blends with the red of my Filofax but it’s just a shade or two darker. Navy would be a nice contrast.

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Muji book inside my Filo, not adding any width

The best bit about it being tucked into the front pocket is that it falls open when I open the Filofax, so I can tuck all the previous pages into the pocket and get it to always open on today for easy reference. And no, my Filofax doesn’t lay flat! It has one ever-s0-slightly dodgy ring (like nanometres out of alignment) so I’m being really careful not to overstretch it too sign and disrupt the rings, so the flattening process is gonna take a while.

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First thing I see on opening my planner.

I’m really looking forward to seeing whether this new system works! Three weeks before finals is probably not the time to be getting distracted by forgetting to do stuff… Having everything written down is part of my finals masterplan anyway, to give my brain a break from remembering day-to-day stuff so it has space for all the medicine instead!

I would lose my head if it weren’t screwed on

I got a Filofax to be more organised. So far, not so good. I now have a to-do list telling me what I need to do, but it hasn’t yet magically translated into this stuff actually getting done. Even staring at that to-do list on a daily basis isn’t helping… Maybe I’m just not focusing enough *stares harder*

 

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Inside front cover of my Filofax

 

Isn’t it pretty? I’m trying not to fill it with junk, so it just has my NHS organ donor card (in case I get hit by a bus on my way to the library), a discount voucher for Joy, stamps, coloured page tabs, and a gift-tag with a message from my sibling in it.

It’s great for being my diary – I know when I have tutorials, and where. I’m not so sure about the to-do functionality though. I have a to-do sheet inbetween the two pages of my WO2P diary each week, with a completely unorganised list of stuff’. I can see everything I need to do, but without any priority system or tasks being assigned to a time, I don’t feel any compulsion to get them done. That pink post-it note that just says ‘revise: resp, O&G’ isn’t particularly helpful either.

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Diary and to-do pages

One thing I do love is that one of my to-do sheets is near the front of my planner with all the details of trains I’ve booked – where I’m going (though not when – maybe I should add that!), where the ticket can be picked up from, and what the collection code is. It means I always know that I’ve got my travel sorted, so I don’t get caught out by missing advance fare discounts, and don’t turn up to the wrong station to get my tickets (given that the two stations I use a lot at the moment are 100 miles apart, this would be a very big mistake to make!).

I also have a notes section planning specific things that are coming up this year, like my job application. It’s nice to have a timeline of when the application deadlines are and when we’ll hear back, and the pages behind it are documenting how I can meet some of the points criteria and which deaneries I think I’ll go for. Later I’m going to include person specifications for the AFP job I want, and how I can meet those.

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FPAS section header

And finally, a super important section… My emergency tea bags! Our library makes us pay for hot water, but it’s still so much cheaper than buying hot tea from them, and Twinings is nicer 🙂

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Emergency tea! If only I could fit chocolate in here too…

Still pondering how to make my task lists more efficient… I don’t think a filofax alone is going to cut it.

Named for life

Most people have their name picked out by their parents, alter it a bit with nicknames and so forth during their growing up years, and sometimes change their surname on getting married. How much thought do you really put into how you’re referred to?

My first name is fairly easy to abbreviate in multiple ways, so I’ve been different things to different people over the years. My surname is reasonably unique – only one other family in our local phonebook, only four uses on the medical register, for example. Google Scholar shows no results for my name… but it will soon!

The paper that’s been two years in (intermittent) progress is finally sat in the in-tray of a journal editor! I may not be first author, but I’m super excited about this! (And this is only partially to do with the big fat FPAS point attached to it, of course).

So this meant having to pick what my name would be on it. I didn’t put much thought into it, because I just got a phone call asking for my middle name and qualifications (I have a BSc (Hons) that I think I’m more proud of than my four years of medical school) and that was it, but afterwards I realised that’s it – all my future publications will be in that same name. Somehow this feels like a bigger thing than deciding my stance on married surnames, though I suppose actually they both revolve around the same point – I’m keeping my name as it is for professional purposes, so that my publication history etc can be easily linked to me, and taking his name for personal stuff. Seems my career dreams are pretty influential in every decision I make!

Tuesday #2

I’m listening to…

EUROVISION! The boyfriend came to stay for the weekend so we just hung out and watched Eurovision on Saturday night, complete with our very own made up drinking game (‘drink for elk’ was looking like a fail choice until the Swedish self-promo song started…) and singing along in Icelandic, sort of.
LOVED – Greece! Anyone who’s advocating free alcohol is definitely my friend.
HATED – Malta. A poor man’s Paolo Nutini.

Denmark is stuck in my head though! It’s that recorder/whistle bit at the start!

 

I’m reading…

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Thrilling bedtime reading

Yup, my life is just that exciting right now. I’m having a major ‘mare with the SAQ papers in our final, so I got hold of a revision book to go over some extra practice questions.

 

I just got…

A revision survival kit! Courtesy of my lovely boyfriend, for finals next month. I’m just regretting that I left it all at my uni flat for study leave so I have none of this awesome stuff with me at my placement halls!

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Wine, more wine, muchos chocolate fingers, more chocolate, and the (second and third) best men a girl needs in her life!

 

Tuesday #1

 

I find Tuesdays worse than Mondays. Monday at least has some optimism behind it – “yay, it’s a new week!”. Tuesday has already confirmed that nothing exciting is happening this week, so just get your head down and hope for Friday.

In the interests of improving my Tuesdays, here goes an attempt at a regular blog feature…

I’m listening to…

Bastille. I’m so late to the party that I just discovered these guys, but their album Bad Blood is on my revision playlist constantly right now. I love having music to revise to, and something beautiful like this is perfect.

Also loving this remix they did of TLC’s Scrubs!

I’m reading…

Alll of these. And more. Finals revision means no more fiction til summer!

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I just got…

My first Filofax! It’s a Personal Chameleon and I love it already! I need to be more organised and my old diary was too small to hold my schedule and my to-do lists, so a planner seemed the right way to go and it looks so much more professional too! I’ll probably post more on this later.

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My Chameleon! Isn’t it pretty?

Our time is running out…

So finals start in like six weeks. Revision is next to non-existent, as is my social life. Congrats, me. Let’s look at last month instead…

April was awesome. My one week of holiday was absolute bliss, and absolutely jam-packed! I live far away enough from my family and a lot of my friends that whenever I head south, I have to fit seeing them all into whatever time I have there!

So, I had a weekend in Brighton, lunch out with my parents, a trip to the Zoo, an all-day shopping escapade with my best friend, cocktails and dinner with another school friend, a journey up to Birmingham (making the most of a 50p return ticket deal!), more drinks with another lovely friend, and lots of time hanging out with the boyfriend, which was really nice.

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Cocktails! Happy hour in Farringdon 🙂

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Monkeys! I love the little guy with the moustache :3

That week was topped off with a day at the Dr Clarke revision course, which totally fried my brain! I met a 5th year who was doing resits, and a couple of 3rd years who were just preparing early (terrifying!). I feel a bit more prepared for finals now though, at least the OSCE part, though I also now know that I don’t know anywhere near enough about the basics!

Then it was back to uni for my last rotation before exams. I think this sums up that part of my life at the moment:

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Two notebooks, three textbooks, my hospital ID card, and a pencil case stuffed with coloured fineliners! My shoulder is killing me…

Time to crack on with some work!