Highlighters, dividers, and getting nowhere.



A horrible word to a teenager. When I was younger I hated it. Could never be bothered. I did ok in my exams but could have done a lot better had I actually been revising instead of doing what all teenage boys do all them time, watching erm…sport. Obvs.

With the constant threat of my creators asking how the revision was going, I employed what I though was a rather clever tactic. Periodically buying something from WH Smiths to make it seem as though I’d done something really productive. Highlighter pens, dividers, folders, whatever I thought might make it look as if I’d done something positive towards getting straight A’s. “Have you started revising yet son?…..No but I’ve brought this cool folder I can organise all my work in”




What a great idea                          .


But my folks aren’t stupid and I knew that. I also knew deep down that this wasn’t fooling them, and my motive for this incessant stationary buying was actually more to CONVINCE MYSELF that I was making progress. I was the same as a job hunter. Instead of hounding agencies and companies face to face and doing EVERYTHING in my power to get a job, I’d sign up with wishy washy agencies online, send my cv off to random companies I knew wouldn’t respond and look in the wrong places. All to make me feel as if I’d done something positive when deep down I knew what I’d done was as helpful as a 1kg kettle bell (not very).

What I needed to do was ACTUALLY revise, and ACTUALLY go to look for a job and speak to people. But I didn’t. Why?


It’s a practice I bizarrely still try to employ now as a marginally maturer adult (luckily I know myself so can manage it), and I see it ALL the time with clients.

“I know my food diary is bad but I’ve bought a healthy recipe book”
“I didn’t go for run but did research exercise dvds”
“I didn’t find time to meditate but did download an app for it”
“I haven’t prepared my lunches for the week but have bought new Tupperware!”
“I didn’t train but at least I bought my kit in”

Any of those sound familiar?

We take time out of our already time poor day, to do something just to put off doing the actual thing that we should be doing ha! Read that back. Aren’t we bizarre!

What’s more bizarre is that when you actually get something done, you feel good right! Wow, I’ve actually got a job. I’ve got money and can actually have a life now. Plus it’s never as hard or scary as you think it’ll be.

Going to the gym on a Saturday morning does actually make you feel good. Planning your meals for the week and then pulling it off, does actually make you feel good.


So there’s a general theme here isn’t there.

Easier said than done though eh.

So we often make a big ass to do list (sometimes that in itself is just something we do to put the main jobs off!) The big jobs go on and then we start doing the whole “highlighter and dividers” thing. We put silly jobs on like ‘change the lightbulb’ or ‘take the dog for a walk’. Why? Because we know these are easy to accomplish. Small job after small job gets done, putting off doing the “real jobs”. But the real jobs are the ones that make the biggest difference to your life, the ones that MAKE YOU FEEL HAPPIER, and they never move.

To do


So get your list in order…


Firstly order of urgency.
Then order of importance
Then order of urgency AND importance.

The job that is the most urgent, and most important, is what you need to do first. It’ll be a mega weight off your mind, make the biggest difference to your life and make you happier. Everyone’s a winner baby.

Closing line is four letters….


If you’re not sure what that means…google it then implement it.


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