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Many people think routines are boring. Why, even I used tofeel the same way some time back. You know how they say you realize the worthof your nose only when it is blocked. That is so very true! It gets boring whenyou’re doing the same thing over and again. But when one day everything goesfor a toss, you start yearning for the good old days. It happens, life isalways greener on the other side.

To keep track of what I do, and ensure I do everything I setout to do, I have a system that fortunately works well for me. A bit of notes,reminders and a mini Kanban board at home helps me get my work done. But overthe last few weeks I had quite a bit of backlog because I was away on back toback holidays. As amazing as the one-month break was, I was starting at atruckload of work that needed to be done by then. I did not want to work oneverything at the same time. I knew I would abandon them. So, I started slow.One by one, I finally got all of them done by mid- February. I might have alsocontemplated never going off on a break, considering the overhead and the timeit takes to get back to the normal state. Sigh!

Anyway, all is well and good and I’m back to following myroutines. It gives me a sense of peace when I know that everything is plannedand will be implemented when required.

Keeping up with this year’s theme of maintaining a gratitudejournal, here are the 3 things I am grateful for:

1. Birthday: Another year older, another year wiser! Birthdays are a big deal for me. With every year, I’ve realized it’s not about the celebrations, but it’s just a chance to bask in the love and affection that people in my life shower me with. Last year, we were pretty new to the city and didn’t know many people. But this year, we’ve been lucky to connect with many people with whom we share a good rapport. And that’s definitely a silver lining in our lives. I’m so grateful for all the people – especially the new friends in my life who’ve made me look forward to every day in this wonderful little city!

2. Organization skills: Yes, I’m going to take credit for my organization and planning skills. It’s one thing being a business analyst at work, but it is another to extend the work principles to get personal tasks done. I was anxious when I got back home in January after enjoying a month’s break. But soon I was intimidated by the amount of work that I had to do by the end of February. Then I resorted to play to my strengths. I did what I was good at – making lists. I made a list of everything that I had to do – assigned a date for each of them. And then, I created a document for each of those tasks with a checklist of all the things that I had to do. There were 6 laborious tasks, involving an average of 17 items on each individual list, but by Feb 25, we had completed all of them successfully.

It was a lot of work. However, having a master list,maintaining a dedicated checklist, and updating the status of each task helpedme understand the progress. If we had to complete something by say, Feb 2, Ihad to ensure I started working on it at least 10 days before. This would giveme time to have everything in place for the work on Feb 2nd to be completed.I’m grateful to my mom who used to plan her work and execute them well with herimpeccable organization skills. Seeing her go about her work has inspired me tofollow suit without consciously realizing it.

3. A new initiative at work – So, I am heading another new process re-engineering initiative at work. That’s one amazing thing about being a business analyst. There is an umbrella of work that you can do, based on the team you are working, and it couldn’t be more exciting. And I will not remember what my boss said when he explained to me and the Leadership on why he choose me. He said, “You talk to everyone. You have a good rapport with almost every single person in a 50+ member team. I see you as someone who gets things done from people.” I was on cloud nine. I was overcome with happiness and the satisfaction of being recognized within a year of working with the team. This is by far the most challenging project I’ve driven. But every time I stumble across a roadblock, I remember what my boss said and work on sorting out the knots. I’m grateful for a positive work environment, where I can do what I’m good and come back home satisfied.

Every time I feel down, I write down the key highlights of what I’ve been up to. Trust me, big or small, social media-worthy or not, we all go through our own struggles, deal with them and overcome them. Don’t insult yourself by comparing yourself with others. You know nothing about others. Rather than going with assumptions about others, work on the facts that you know about yourself and use it to your benefit. You deserve to lead a good quality of life. Be your own cheerleader. If you don’t cheer for yourself, who will?

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