Saturday, April 12, 2014

How you can make it work for you

Last week I wrote about how I get things done in my life. Those were general rules that I have in mind on a daily basis. They allow me get a lot done within the limited free time that I have. And more importantly, without exhaustion myself.

Each person is different and each moment in our life may require a different approach. We have to keep our eyes and mind open for the need of changes and not to be afraid of jumping in if necessary.

Personally, I prefer to use applications and keep most of my stuff online. This way I can check all my appointments any time, anywhere. When you plan ahead it becomes crucial to have as much information as possible at hand. If you need to make changes in your schedule, you will not have to guess anything. It is all there and you can (generally) drag them from one day or time to another to have them rearranged.

With that said, I still keep a paper agenda with me for the times I have bad connection and cannot go online. Even though I should have 4G by now, I feel lucky when I have connection sometimes. 

Tracking my workouts prevents me from getting stuck in plateaus.

So what do I keep track of?
  • Appointments (professional and private)
  • Projects (professional and private)
  • Goals (professional and private)
  • Groceries
  • Workouts
  • Meals


Whether it is a meeting in the office or an appointment with my hairdresser, I write it down. As a rule of thumb, I keep my professional schedule on the agenda from work, and my private ones, electronically. Double booking oneself or forgetting a call is not a pleasant experience and it can spoil your day or even your career.


I am always working on something. I love sewing, knitting, reading and taking pictures. That in addition to my hobbies and regular chores. To avoid losing sight of deadlines, I make notes about everything. Ideas do not come at predetermined times. Wow-moments can hit you when watching TV or when you are stuck in traffic. You do not want to miss them!


All the time and energy I invest in my projects and plans cannot be in vain. Many times we are so busy "surviving" that we forget the meaning behind our actions and the reason why we started them in first place.
No matter how much you enjoy the race, remember what you are expecting to accomplish with your efforts. Otherwise, you will not be able to measure your progress. Set goals for 2, 5 and 10 years from now and record them. You cannot get anywhere without a destination.


Because of the limited hours of shops and supermarkets here, we buy our groceries on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Therefore, I must keep close track of all ingredients I need to buy for the week in advance. If I miss something, I will have to change my meal plan and it can damage the balance of diet. If you are an athlete, you surely understand I mean.


The only way to improve your physique is by breaking plateaus. If you are a runner, it means running faster or longer. If you lift weights, you want to go heavier and have more intense sessions. How can you remember where you were at if you do not write it or input it somewhere?


After spending more than year following no-brainer diet plans, suddenly I was confronted with having to put my own meals together while keeping a balanced intake. Needless to say that it sounded pretty scary to me in the beginning (I'm a no-cook) and it is still a challenge to keep them varied.
However, when I started putting a schedule together, things got much easier.

When it comes to choosing the tools to use, have your personal preference in mind above any fashion or tendency. At the end of the day, it has to work for you. It might be flashy, cheap, expensive, cool, whatever, but if you do not feel comfortable working with it, it will be a wasted effort.

As mentioned above, I use both applications as well as paper tools to get organized. The more centralized your lists are, the better. And that is the main reason why I go online. However, I do not want to be in the dark if I run out of battery or a server somewhere around the globe goes down.

My number one tool is Google. I use not only Gmail, but their Calendar and Google docs. To keep my partner updated of my schedule, we adopted Cozi. Their system is user friendly, available for both IOS and Android phones and tablets and in addition to a family agenda, they also offer to do and shopping lists as well as a recipe book. For my workout and meals, I have recently adopted BodyMinder. I was still struggling with a method to use for my training and intake journal and it is proving to be a great alternative.

Cozi and BodyMinder are two the tools that I use.

These are just examples of some of the tools that I use. There are other great ones out there for all tastes and preferences. So before choosing one, the first step is to ask yourself what you need to start with. If you are not accustomed to writing things down, do not expect you will get everything tracked at once. It will just create unnecessary stress. Take one step a time. Pick the aspect you need to improve most and work on it. Once the first barrier is broken, the rest will be piece of cake.

Get others in the family involved. Kids may work with stickers, for example. Working together will surely make it a fun experience. How about a vision board? Or a board on the fridge? Be creative!

Once you are into it, you will see how much more productive you have become. And if by any means you do feel at ease with the way you chose to do things, do not be afraid to change. You will only succeed if you use the right method. If you have to do some monetary invest, think of the return you will get by getting your time managed better.

You already have something going on. Awesome!  Let me know what tools you use. For what do you use them? I would love to learn from you too!

Thank you all for stopping by and I hope these tips can be helpful somehow. Success and see you next time!

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