Hello, January!

The new year signaled the end of my sem-long hiatus. I’m finally ready to blog again.

The previous semester was so much more trying than what I was prepared for. While I struggled with external battles like thesis, prod classes, and work, the internal battles were more trying. I needed the time and space to process them, and an entire semester was more than enough to do just that.

A lot of things fall under the vague term “internal battles.” As I type this blog post, two things come to mind: perfection paralysis and email anxiety.

Perfection Paralysis

Perfection paralysis has been a constant struggle for me, as I mentioned in previous blog posts.

Here are some quotes that have helped me get back on track. (They’re hi-res, so you could use them as wallpapers for your phones and tablets.)

Email Anxiety

Emailing has been the bane of my existence for 2016. I was absolutely horrible at it. As some readers might know firsthand, most of my emails begin with, “Sorry for the late response!”

But are apologies even counted if you keep on repeating the same mistake? Even if I felt guilty, anxious, and embarrassed, I still found myself replying late to emails. I even missed some emails until the sender followed up with me. It was starting to affect how I viewed myself. I thought of myself as lazy, sloppy, inefficient, and disorganized. Unanswered emails kept me up at night. Some nights, I even had nightmares about them.

All the guilt-tripping and self-hate were counterproductive. I knew I had to get my act together. Since I work remotely, being horrible in email is tantamount to being late or absent at work. There’s no way my plans for a digital nomad lifestyle would work.

For my twenty-second birthday, I knew what to get myself: a detox from emails and social media. As I was browsing for books, Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done by Jocelyn K. Glei caught my eye.

It was the first book I grabbed. I know it seems counterintuitive to read a book about emails instead of actually responding to emails. But if my current email situation wasn’t working out, I knew I had to work smarter. To develop more efficient systems. To analyze what wasn’t working out. And that’s exactly the project that I embarked on for the past few weeks, while being aided by this book.

I reflected on the book’s lessons and tried out some of its tips. I’ll be posting about Unsubscribe on this week’s Saturday Series.

Aside from a blog post on Unsubscribe, I’m also working on The Passion Project Directory and The Passion Project Library, both of which would be released this month.

I’m excited and hopeful for all the upcoming projects and collaborations. I’ve been well-rested because of the holidays and my hiatus. And now, I’m just really happy to be back!

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