The reality is the whirlwind is all about the tyranny of the urgent. It overwhelms you with minor tasks and you never get anything important accomplished.
In order to survive, you need strength to stand against the whirlwind and not allow yourself to be blown to and fro whichever way the daily wind is blowing. Hopefully, many of you are eager for the how and you fully understand the why. Yes, you want to be more productive and accomplish more and be less stressed. The purpose of freelance productivity is not to make you busier. You should do it to regain control of your life and ensure that you can pursue the things that give you purpose.
Maybe that is your freelance job. Maybe your work truly matters to you and gives you fulfillment. Maybe you need to make changes to your business. Maybe you have a side project you want to pursue. Maybe work is just necessary, but it powers other pursuits that give you that sense of accomplishment.
Let your business be the fuel that powers what you want to do in your life. However it works for you, think about the why. Use that as the motivation to make some changes and tame the whirlwind once and for all. Some freelancers manage their tasks out of their email inbox. The result is that your inbox rules your day.
The latest email is the latest priority and you have no sense of scope or strategy. The only right system is the one that works for you. And what works for you might not work for a fellow freelancer. So while it might be helpful to compare notes and see what works for others, the only real solution is to figure out what works for you. And that may change as you change. This has been a popular approach in recent years, and for good reason. The whole idea is to get things out of your brain and into a system. So instead of using your brain to keep track of all your tasks and projects and commitments, you have a system that does it for you.
This frees up your brain to actually focus on work, to be creative, to think deeply. It enables you to do better work. Seriously: Our subconscious is dumb when it comes to thinking about the things we should be doing. What happens when you hear that new email ding? The whole purpose of the system is to keep track of what you need to do, what you should do, or what you should consider, and then convert those things into tangible actions. It is always in my mind that I have been extremely fortunate in gaining my place as I am very aware of how competitive this process can be.
Fortunately, undertaking the Dental Development course for six months prior to starting my degree in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy at university helped prepare me for full time student life and also provided me with lifelong friendship and great house share options!
Although being a student is good fun, there is a lot to consider such as finances, living arrangements, home commitments, and the sheer amount of work required. The university hours necessary seemed to outweigh that of other courses, but if anything it made the time fly by. There was a good, healthy mix of clinical time and classroom time.
29-Year-Old Sherry Cola's Whirlwind Life
The course is enjoyable and the subjects were kept interesting by the lecturers. The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy is renowned for being friendly and supportive and I consider myself lucky and privileged to have studied there. The support offered was second to none and they are very good at recognising each student's strengths and weaknesses to help them thrive and succeed. One of the highlights of the course for me was dental practice in the wider community, where we got to experience dentistry in different environments and use our skills to help disadvantaged people such as the homeless or individuals in substance misuse rehabilitation.
Another thing I really enjoyed was the research project which really allowed us to sink our teeth into a subject of our choice. For me this was acupressure and acupuncture, something I would really like to train formally in. This meant I had some peace of mind making the transition from university into working life. Interviewing for this position was quite tough and involved competency questions. Performance on the day determined the allocation of a place and the practice assignment. The scheme is an invaluable opportunity to start a dental career in a supportive environment. Personally, this position helped me consolidate my skills, gain experience in treating a range of patients, develop time management skills and undertake further academic projects, something I really enjoy!
Currently, postgraduate training is compulsory for dentists who want an NHS performer number, but is not compulsory for therapists. However, I consider this option to be of great value as it really prepares new graduates for working life, offers a supportive pair of eyes and hands when required, allows you to network with graduates from other establishments and undertake projects such as audits.
How to catch your breath when life is a whirlwind -
Additionally, it gives a guaranteed opportunity for undertaking therapy work and prevents deskilling. During university I only ever did pulpotomies on plastic teeth and extractions were largely performed on unconscious children at the hospital. Needless to say my confidence in these treatments was fairly low on graduating and I am very lucky that the first few times I was faced with these in general practice and on conscious children… I had one of my trainers with me to offer guidance, support, and feedback.
Within a few months, certain treatments stopped bringing me out in a hot sweat and I looked forward to the sometimes difficult paediatric patients. As the scheme is part time it allowed time for me to seek other opportunities in private practices to add breadth to my clinical experience. It is my belief that my postgraduate training year and experiences are what helped me secure my current position. Halfway through my postgraduate year a job opportunity arose close to my home town for a dental therapist with the Ministry of Defence MOD.
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- How to catch your breath when life is a whirlwind.
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This is not something I had previously considered but when I saw the position I knew it was a great career prospect. Despite having lived in a military area for most of my life, my contact with individuals in the Armed Forces was comparatively minimal.
Quotes to make sense of this crazy whirlwind we call life.
It hadn't really occurred to me that civilians could work with the Army. The quality of my working life is incredibly important to me. Where nothing is happening as fast as you want it to. Then there are times when it feels like a whirlwind. The air around you is whipping and teaming with activity… it is hard to take a breath, things are changing so rapidly!!! This is the way it has been for Kent and I lately. In the last six months we have moved twice.
The first time from Hoop Top House to the cottage we rented because we had not found a house yet. A few weeks after that move we drove in the lane at BannockBurn and asked Sabine if she would be interested in selling… She said yes and we were moving again. We have so many projects we want to undertake at the house. My list seems to be growing by the minute. Kitchen reno, painting the living room, dining room and bedrooms… Gardens… Masonry work, a chicken coop… A kitchen.
I know I said that already but it is really really important. I pinky swear!!