Tag Archives: Advice

The Two-Minute Rule That Helps Me Stop Procrastinating.

Procrastination is something I believe we all struggle with at some point and I am no different. It’s been very prevalent for me at the moment but it’s something that I have been trying to get better at. In today’s post, I’m going to be discussing my relationship with procrastination and how I have found a quick tip to help me combat it.  

joshua-ness-225844-unsplash.jpg(Photograph by Joshua Ness on Unsplash)

Something I talked about briefly in my recent quarterly goals post was the two-minute rule and for those who don’t know about it, it’s a rule that has been around for many years that simply gets you to do smaller tasks that should take two minutes or less. In doing this, it means that you try and get those smaller tasks done right then and there, leaving less room for procrastination. 

I know why I do it, and it’s not so simple to explain. I have dealt with perfectionism for so many years; meaning that certain tasks that I do, have to be perfect. For example, I wasn’t happy with only cleaning one room of my house, it had to be the entire house or nothing at all. It’s that all-or-nothing thinking that came into play and that would take over so much that I didn’t see the point in cleaning at all if I couldn’t do it all at once. It sounds ridiculous when you read it, right? But that how I seen so many tasks for years; from school work to absolutely anything I got involved with and it stayed into my adult life.  

We’ll take cleaning the house as an example for this, I would procrastinate cleaning because I told myself that I had to wait until I had a full free day to clean the house. When I was working, that day only happened at the weekend but sometimes I would be doing other things at that time and by the time the work week had rolled around again, I didn’t have time. The cycle then began again waiting for the “perfect time” to clean an entire house and when that time did eventually come, I couldn’t clean it all in one day by myself so I became angry and frustrated.  

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With this cycle never ending, I became annoyed at myself but after talking to my therapist and having heard her say this a lot, I knew I was being too hard on myself. I knew something had to change but change is very hard sometimes, especially when you’re doing something for such a long time. I decided to implement the two-minute rule into small sections of my life and I want to share a few examples of how I have done this: 

Making my bed in the morning. 

I talked about this briefly in the goals post but it’s something that is so simple that it almost seems silly that I put it off. This doesn’t even take one minute to do, never mind two. As soon as I get up in the morning, I make the bed because it can be so tempting to get back in after breakfast. Plus, there’s no better feeling than getting into a made bed in the evening. 

Washing the dishes after I have used them. 

Not exactly two minutes depending on what you have cooked, but I find it much easier to do the dishes straight away rather than wait until the evening or the next morning. I would be really lazy and they would end up sitting for days, it made the kitchen look very bland and not as fresh. I’ve started to feel more organised getting them washed, dried and most of the time, put away too.  

Prepping vegetables for a main meal. 

I tend to stick to a small selection of meals so I know the exact portions of vegetables I need for each one and that really helps when I’m going to the shops to get what I need. Now, I tend to cut up my vegetables a few hours after buying them and putting them into boxes in the fridge or freezer. It means when I come to making the meal that day or even the next day, it’s very easy to put the already chopped vegetables, into the pot and start the process. This takes longer than two minutes, depending on the amount, but it’s a rhythm I’ve been loving lately. 

It’s so strange to imagine how a few simple changes to your routine can make such an impact but it does. I don’t have a complete day routine as of yet but those changes definitely help with building it up again. It’s also made me realise that I don’t need to clean the entire kitchen in a few hours, I can take it little by little and still feel good about it. Being a perfectionist, it has been hard but it’s all about working through that, isn’t it? 

Let me know if you’ve ever used this technique before or if you have a better one I can try, I’m all about trial-and-error with these type of things. Thank you for reading today’s post! 

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What the University Experience Taught Me.

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In my previous blog post, I talked about my University experience and why I dropped out. I realised when writing the post that I had so much more to say than I thought so today’s post will be focused on what University taught me, both positively and negatively. (All photos on today’s blog post are from Pexels.com)

When life gets tough, it’s very hard to see that your circumstances are trying to teach you something but I believe that it does. Whether that’s resilience or it’s telling you that you deserve better, you don’t see that until you are over the hump of the bad times. I’ve experienced it myself and I’m sure every single person has, it’s quite a natural thing. I did gain some positives out of this experience as well as negatives, so I wanted to list a couple of each that I have reflected back on. 

Independence

I got the opportunity to live on my own for the first time, and while I lived in a house with eight other people, it still felt like my own place. Despite what my family thought; I wasn’t home sick, it was everything else that made me feel miserable. The responsibility that I had living on my own gave me a great sense of independence which I had craved for a long time. I loved cooking my own meals and at the time, I ate so unhealthily but I still had a responsibility of the food I ate rather than the shopping being bought for me.  

Risk Taking

I took a risk; I took a risk to move to another country (while it’s only over the water, it’s still a big step) where I only knew one person and even though I didn’t know how it was going to pan out, it’s something that I gave a shot. I had been so scared of failure and I still am but this experience showed me that it wasn’t the end of the world. 

Go With Your Gut

I learned to go with my gut more. I think we underestimate how much our gut tells us; if we have a bad feeling and go through with something that turns out bad, we can think back to the previous time and remember the specific moment that you “had a feeling”. It’s hard to tell yourself that something isn’t right, especially if you’re worried or scared of missing out on something but it’s part of living life. Sometimes I go with my gut, sometimes I don’t and while I didn’t go with my gut on this occasion, as I get older, I have started to rely on it much more. 

There are always negative experiences in life but you need the bad to appreciate the good. I hate to think of it that way because we all hate the bad, but it makes sense, right? 

Ask For Help More

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wish I had have asked for help more. I asked once and got shot down and that embarrassed me from asking for more help. I thought I wasn’t capable of getting through the course so I let self-doubt get in the way. I still struggle asking for help and while it does get easier on my good days, it’s something I still hold back from on my bad days.

Not Everything Is For Everyone

One size doesn’t fit all and it never will. Not every path will be suitable for everyone and that’s okay. I understand that it’s not a reflection on me as a person or my skills, it’s the way of life. When you’re in a rabbit hole of self-doubt, that’s a different matter and having gone down this hole many times, I can completely understand. Not one person is built for every single career or skill, it’s not possible or at least, I don’t believe it’s possible. 

People Pleasing Never Works

People pleasing will get you nowhere. There’s a phrase that goes along the lines of “If you make others happy, you’ll be happy” (I tried to Google it but nothing came up so I have no idea who said it). To a degree, it is correct. Volunteering is the perfect example; giving back to those less fortunate will make those in need happy and you get the endorphin rush of helping others. However, when it comes to big life choices, this is not the case and I wish I had realised this when I was younger. It’s a mistake that needed to happen in order for me to learn from it and I have made it in a smaller sense since but I have continued to learn from it. 

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There were many other negatives about the experience but I thought I would choose to talk about the ones that I am still learning from now. I don’t want this to be a completely negative post but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t admit that there were many other negatives that I’m choosing not to talk about.

The University experience is whatever you make it. I was sick and tired of hearing that “University will be the best years of your life” so much so that I started searching online if anyone else hated it. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone; out of all the new students in the world, was I the only one that hated it? I wasn’t of course, but the online world didn’t help me on this particular quest. I’m not a drinker and I don’t like parties, you hear so many stories about going to constant parties so was this potentially the reason that I felt like I didn’t fit in? I was pretty shy too and added to the social anxiety that creeped in, could that have been a factor? I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer but I’m at peace with never finding this out.

My advice to anyone thinking about their future before they sit their A Level’s (or college qualification equivalent like myself or even as an older learner) is to find out as much information out as possible about all routes. Whether that is going straight into a job, furthering your education in college or University, trying out an apprenticeship or taking a gap year (if that is something that you can financially handle). I remember when I was sixteen and having the annual career chat with someone in the last year of my high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’m almost twenty-seven and I still have no idea! To think, when I was sixteen, I thought I would have my life figured out by twenty-five. I was very wrong but maybe it isn’t such a bad thing. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s post; I would be really interested to hear about anyone else’s University experience, good or bad. I’m not putting University down by any means but I just believe that it’s not for everyone and that is perfectly okay.  

SS: Sunday Saves (#89) Decluttering.

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Good morning all, happy Sunday and welcome back to another edition of Sunday Saves. If you haven’t been following me on Twitter, you won’t know that I have started on a clear out of my spare room which means decluttering is in full swing. That’s why I have decided to make decluttering this week’s topic because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, right?

1) I Don’t Bend That Way (Is Decluttering The Key To A Stress Free Life?)

Your environment plays a large role in your mood; if your bedroom is filled with clutter then you won’t be able to shut off at night, or at least that’s what they say. Anne has also indicated that decluttering could potentially decrease your stress and it all adds up when you really think about it. She gives three very simple tips on how to get started and one of her tips is even “where to start” because when you have one room in particular like I do, it can be overwhelming and you haven’t a clue where to begin that process,

2) Ann Marie O’Connor (These Four Tips Will Guarantee A Clutter Free Closet)

Anne Marie is coming from a different angle in her post where she discusses not so much the cleaning and decluttering aspect of this world, but she gives four tips on how to help with it. These include how avoid distractions which if you get distracted easily especially when trying to clean, you’ll want to give that a read.

3) Live Your Decluttered Life (9 Simple Strategies for Decluttering Your Family Home)

Now to give you a warning, these next two posts from Suzie and Rebecca could be seen as quite similar posts and while there are tips that overlap, there are lots of fresh ones too. More specifically as we talk about Suzie’s post, she is coming at this from the family home perspective. Now, while I don’t have children, sometimes you would think I do with the amount of time I spend trying to clean the place, despite only living her with my cat. Some of her tips include decluttering in small pieces (which I’m guilty for not doing and trying to tackle all at once), start with the broken toys (or any home interiors that you feel you couldn’t put out on display in my case) and choose a category each time (which is the most helpful for me because when it comes to writing a list, categories are the most effective way to help me understand which part to start next).

4) Savvy Sassy Moms (12 Simple Tips For Decluttering Your Home)

Again very much like Suzie’s post, Rebecca is talking about the family home but I wanted to include it because it has a lot of great, helpful tips that I know that I didn’t think about before. Included in some of her tips are check the dates (which didn’t occur to me when I wasn’t throwing out food but I’ve started to look at beauty products for this too) and five minutes a day which sounds absolutely perfect to me. I am guilty of saying that I don’t have enough time but we all have at least five minutes where we can spend tidying in some space or form. Getting the kids involved is another tip that both Suzie and Rebecca suggested and while I don’t have kids (yet) I believe it’s important in getting them involved as early as you can because it will teach them a set of skills that they may not learn in the classroom but will be completely invaluable as they’re growing up and starting their own lives in their own homes in the future.

5) Nourish and Nestle (Where To Take Your Decluttering Discards)

I thought it would be quite apt to finish off with Lynn’s post on where to discard our rubbish, if it is recyclable. Many of us try our best with recycling and it’s absolutely fantastic but sometimes there are too many options so Lynn has helped gather it into one post so we don’t feel so overwhelmed. I can tell you that charity shops will be benefiting majorly on my behalf from my declutter.

Well that’s all from this week’s Sunday Saves, I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition and remember to give all the links a little click to share the love. If you have any other suggestions around this topic, please let me know on either Twitter or Instagram. Have a great week!

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide on How To Start Saving.

In my recently monthly intentions (which is linked here) I talked about wanting to create a savings plan for the New Year because while I’m not saving for anything in particular, I do want to have some money behind me in case an emergency pops up. So today’s post is about how I plan to start thinking about my savings plan.

Before we start, it’s important to know that everyone’s situation will be different; the questions that I ask appeal to everyone though so you can still use these questions to give your own answers and see how I’m planning on working everything out.

Decide what you want to save for.

Your obvious starting point right here. If you’re reading this saying to yourself, “I should really save” but you have absolutely no idea why you need to or if you only think it would be a good idea but don’t actually want to, simply don’t. If you don’t want to, just don’t. For those of that do want to save, this is your why. Why do you want to have that spare cash? Is it for a holiday? Is it for a particular purchase? A special occasion perhaps? Mine is an emergency basis. I don’t want to be caught out with just my income in my bank account, so it’s smart to have some money behind you at least, in case anything were to happen.

(My spider diagram isn’t completely organised but it’s a great way to get your ideas out quickly if you prefer something that isn’t in list form.)
Know what your direct debit (or essential) bills are.

For many people, they will know what their direct debit or essential bills are. They’re the ones that come out every month around the same time and you know they’re going to be the same price every month. Mine are my rent, my pet insurance, my TV, my internet, my electric and my phone bill. In terms of heating for example, I have oil so I can’t top up my gas every month on a card, I have to buy it in one big batch which can a big price every few months. It’s the same with food shopping; it really varies so that’s why tip number four will be very important here.

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If you want to save a particular amount.

Once you know what needs to go out each month roughly, have an estimate of how much you would like to save. This really depends on so many factors but because we haven’t looked at ALL purchases, this is just an estimate so I wouldn’t put too much thought into this yet. You also have to think, are you looking at the saving in a monthly term or a yearly? You’ll see it come together faster in a monthly term but with a yearly, if you can’t save one month, you can always move something about and save double the next month.

Keep a closer look at your purchases for the next month.

For those of you that don’t keep an eye on your spending, this will be a real eye opener. I’m not really strict but I wouldn’t just shop and not think about how much something is, and I feel like a lot of people are in that same category. In order to keep track of what you’re spending, you need to write everything down. Yes, even that coffee you bought at lunchtime and even that box of tampons. Absolutely everything and it’s important to do that because you can see what you are buying first hand. It doesn’t take long to do; you can either use your notes app on your phone or you can quickly write it down in a notebook. I tend to write the price too because it makes it much easier to add up at the end of the month. I’m personally not doing this particular process until January because November and December are such expensive months that it doesn’t reflect my true spending habits.

See if there is anything you can eliminate.

Maybe you’ve noticed you buy more coffees than you first thought? Maybe you didn’t realise how many times you were buying lunch during the week rather than meal prepping at home? There could be so many little habits that you pick up on that you didn’t realise that you done. I find it easier to write those habits down again in one list on their own, you can see them a lot clearer that way.

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We’ll take this as an example; I’ve listed my other debit debit bills which include my gym membership, Spotify, Netflix and my Book and a Brew subscription. Out of four of those, only three were important to me so a few months ago, I stopped my subscription for the book service. This meant I was saving myself £13 a month and while this isn’t what I’ve described above, it’s a good starting point before you go through every single purchase for the month. You can really pin-point first hand what you can potentially eliminate.

Plan out treats for yourself.

Treat Yo’ Self. (If you watch Parks and Recreation, you’ll know how boss Retta and Tom are). You have to treat yourself once and a while, and not all treats are free and that’s perfectly fine. You can still go for your monthly eyebrow appointment, you can still go for that monthly lunch date with your best friend. You have to work out what is important to you to take care of yourself so whether that’s your monthly subscription to Netflix or your Saturday morning cup of tea with your current book in your favourite coffee shop.

Take into consideration any special occasions.

Birthdays and anniversaries are occasions that you can’t avoid and you will have to take into consideration. They will come quite frequently throughout the year so it might be better to budget for these each month too.

Re-examine how much you would like to save.

Go back to your estimate and after taking into consideration what you can cut, what you would like to keep, those special occasions and the bills that you have to keep, how does your estimate look? Can you increase it or do you have to decrease it slightly?

How are you going to put it into place?

I wouldn’t suggest an old fashioned money box for this particular task; I personally would feel a lot safer putting it into a savings account and with online banking, this couldn’t be simplier. With some banks, you can even set it up to take a particular amount out of your account on a certain date so if you think you won’t even up transferring it, this might be the perfect option for you.

Decide when you’re going to start.

Normally I’m all for starting right away but when we’re talking about money, it’s always easier to start when you’ve just been paid because you have clear mind to go into saving mode with. Of course, you can start right away or even start the process at the beginning of the month, but I know I just feel more comfortable when I get paid.

These are quite simple steps so it won’t be for everyone but for some people (including myself) it can be hard to save money. Whether that’s not having a large expendable income or maybe not realising how much they’re truly spending. If this helps just one person, then I’ll be a happy woman. I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you think it could help others, please feel free to share it too ❤

SS: Sunday Saves (#53)

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Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend so far!  I’m back with another Sunday Saves this morning and again, just like last week, there’s no certain theme this week so I’ll be talking about handling stress, body issues and bath ballistics!

1) Not Copper Amour (Ways To Save A Stressful Day)

We’re always talking about stress, and rightly so, stress is more prevalent than ever so that’s why Emma has a wonderful blog post on how to manage this stress. Out of her list, I 100% agree with making time to eat; I love planning out a big meal and savouring it, it’s so relaxing. Physical exercise is another big way to combat stress that I couldn’t agree more with, especially when I’m in a big mood. There’s nothing better than taking your stress out on a weights sessions or even on the bike. However, cuddling up in your PJ’s with tea and chocolate works just as well for me sometimes too.

2) Surangi Style (My Body Shame)

Nital tells her story of how she currently feels about her body and you have to respect anyone who talks about their body, in a positive or a negative way, because body image is something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives. I feel like I’m on a similar path as Nital when it comes to recent body issues, so I can relate to her worries especially about buying new clothes and some of the food aspects, but more so clothing wise.

3) Desperately Seeking Lifestyle (LUSH of the Month – April – Yoga Bath Bomb)

LUSH is one of my favourite shops of all time! (Not a joke.) And unsurprisingly, I have tried the Yoga Bath Bomb but I love how much detail Ellie goes into from the scent, the appearance and she even lists all the ingredients so you don’t have to go to the website to find them out. If you’re looking for an in-depth look, Ellie has you covered.

That’s all for this week’s Sunday Saves! Thank you so much for reading and if you have any blog recommendations, please tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake or leave me a comment below.

SS: Sunday Saves (#40)

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Happy Sunday and welcome back to my Sunday Saves! How is it that I’m on my 40th edition of this series AND it’s the middle of February? Time flies when you’re having fun! So if you’re not sure what my Sunday Saves is, it’s a series that I write (almost) every Sunday featuring three blog posts or YouTube videos that I have loved that week. They could be new that week or they could be a year old but I’ve found them that particular week. If you’ve missed any of my other Sunday Saves, you can click here to read them all.

This week I’ll be looking at finding friends online, the story behind one woman’s pregnancy and how to help social anxiety.

1. Hello Sara Lou (Internet Friends)

Reading Sara’s post, I think a lot of us are in her position. We don’t carry many friends on from high school; sometimes that’s a conscious decision and other times people just drift apart. For me, it was a little mix of both. I cut a few people out of my life after high school because I decided I couldn’t be around a negative energy anymore and I just drifted away from others unintentionally. I still talk to a few of my friends from school but it’s maybe once every few years. The online world has been such a huge part of my growth, friendship wise and Twitter has been one of those saints when it comes to friends. I became part of the ‘Community’ community of Twitter and then when I started blogging, I got introduced to a new community, so it’s really lovely to always have people to chat to. I have the same belief as Sara that your online friends can mean just as much as those you know on the outside and I love having that balance between both.

2. Love Libby (Being Pregnant at 19 & Dealing With Miscarriage | TMI Tuesday)

I don’t think I’ve ever cried at a blog post before, not until Libby’s post about her story. She talks in detail about finding out she was pregnant and talks you through their journey up until the very end. It was such a touching post to read a different perspective of pregnancy because not a lot of women talk about miscarriage so in depth so it was a lovely but upsetting read, just have your tissues at the ready.

3. Jessica Leigh CBT (3 Steps for Overcoming Anxiety)

Social Anxiety is something that is becoming more talked about and I couldn’t be happier about it. Not because it’s a nice thing to happen, believe me, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you aren’t in control of your own emotions in a social situation but it’s more to do with the fact that more people are coming out and saying that they are having the same problem. I’m very lucky that I started seeking counselling to help me deal with a number of issues including social anxiety and Jessica has been my counsellor to help me through the barriers I’ve faced recently. We have used these tips in some of our sessions so I can tell you that they have thoroughly helped me through some of my socially anxious moments. It’s not complicated, it’s all about talking to yourself like you would a friend and guiding yourself through a situation (before, during and after) and reevaluating your thoughts on that particular social situation. If you’re struggling with an issue like social anxiety, I’d highly recommend Jessica’s tips.

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That’s all for today’s Sunday Saves! Remember to click on all the links I shared today and if you like them, share them too. You never know who might need to read them right now.

So you want to try yoga?

I’m not an expert in yoga at all but if you read my first yoga birthday post, I have some quite fresh experience in getting into the lifestyle, so I thought I would give you some advice if you’re new to yoga or even if you want to try it, but don’t know where to start.

Do your research.
Do you know anything about yoga? Do you know what type of yoga you would like to do? Have you done it before? Is this your first time or are you getting back into it again? These are all questions you have to ask yourself while researching about the practice.

Find classes in your area.
I’m all for watching videos online, I think it’s a fantastic resource and with so much free content out there, I don’t think you should let it go to waste. HOWEVER, for yoga especially, I think it’s an absolute must to go to a class and learn how to do the poses correctly. You will never know if you’re doing it right if you’re watching it and trying to copy it, you could end up hurting yourself.

It shouldn’t cost the earth.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either; depending on the area you live in, you can find affordable classes with experienced teachers. I live in Belfast so I learn through Yoga Belfast who have a range of classes for beginners right up to intermediates, in a range of areas, and are affordable too. There’s some drop in classes and others were you can sign up for a certain amount of weeks. There are many other yoga companies in Belfast of course, but I haven’t had any experience with them.

Get the right gear.
You don’t have to buy a £200 yoga mat, you don’t have to spend loads of money on new workout clothing, but make sure you’re equipped to work out properly. You don’t need to worry about trainers because yoga is done in either socks or in your bare feet. Try to avoid very loose clothing but don’t go really tight either, try and find a nice balance in between the two. I personally don’t like the cheap foam yoga mats because they can slide back on the floor (First week I went to yoga, this actually happened, so personal experience is talking.) but I got a good yoga mat from ASDA and it wasn’t expensive at all. I’ve heard TKMaxx or Sports Direct do some nice ones too.

Practice makes perfect.
This speaks for itself really. You can’t expect to get better at anything if you don’t practice. You’ll mess up, you’ll fall over, you’ll lose your balance, your posture will need corrected, but you know what? That’s okay, if you learn with someone who is willing to show you the ropes and if you’re willing to put the effort in, even one or two times a week, then you will gradually get better.

I am very thankful to have introduced yoga into my life, I don’t know what I would do without it. It has helped me physically; I’m now more flexible and that is particularly helpful when I go to the gym too. It has helped me mentally; I still get stressed and I still panic but yoga helps to bring me down (If only I could do yoga in work every day, now that would be heavenly!). I believe yoga is for everyone, no matter what your age, gender, flexibility, fitness level, lifestyle, whatever it is. It’s such a good focus for people to get stuck into and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope my advice has helped even just one person, good luck!