Tag Archives: Motivation

“Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky: Book Review.

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Today’s post is something I am very excited about; now I wouldn’t say it’s a book review because it’s not as in-depth going into every single section but it’s picking out those little gems that I found fascinating or that spoke to me, and that’s what we should all look for when it comes to book reviews right? 

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I picked this book up in New York when we went to visit the Strand Bookstore; I had never heard of the book before but I’m very interested in self-development and originally, I thought it was based around productivity and because that is something I tend to struggle with, I picked it up pretty quickly. Once I got into the book, I realised that it wasn’t about productivity at all, but it was more about changing your habits in order to find yourself more time. What I personally love about the layout of the book is that; the chapters aren’t very long and because there are so many techniques, you can jump throughout the book so you don’t necessarily need to read it back-to-back. To give you a very quick over-view, it was written by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky and you can really see their personalities shine through throughout this book with their little jokes and puns and even the little illustrations too. 

Before getting into the techniques that I took value from, I wanted to go through the four steps that are absolutely key to making sure this process works a treat; Highlight, Laser, Energise and Reflect. 

four-steps.png(Illustration Credit: Make Time)

Highlight

What do you want to make time for? That’s the million-pound question right? We have so many different things going on day-to-day but the focus of this is to choose one single thing that you want to make the time for. This really can be for absolutely anything; work-related, a creative project, self-development or maybe something that has been on your to-do list for a while. Now of course, this isn’t the only thing you are going to do in your day but it’s something that you know that will need set time aside for. This section also allows you to help you make time for your highlight; whether that is writing it down on paper or digitally, doing your highlight in the morning or evening, or helping you design your own days around your own hours. 

Laser

Aah distractions, we’ve all been there right? This next step is to help with those distractions that we can’t seem to drag ourselves away from and yes, lowering our social media usage is included (but this will help you choose which techniques will make the process easier for you). 

Energise

We’ve all heard that recharging is amazing for the soul and when we’re working on any project (whether that be work-related, creative or simply doing a list of chores around the house) we all need to take time out rather than work twelve hours straight. This section is full of wonderful tips that many of us need to do more often to refresh the brain. 

Reflect

Reflection is so important when taking on any changes because if something doesn’t work for you and you’re not looking at that on a regular basis; the changes you have been making will continue to not work. John and Jake recommend doing this every evening before bed, so you can recall what you did during the day with it still very fresh in your memory. 

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Now, onto the techniques! These are just a few of my favourites that I took the most value from, as the book is packed full, so if you want to find out more, you should have a read of it for yourself. I’ve divided these into the four sections to make for an easier read. 

20190519_090955-01.jpeg(This is what we see A LOT within the twenty first century and I used to be a victim of it too – Constantly being busy and being so proud of the fact that you were so busy you didn’t have time for anything else. Look familiar?)

Highlight Tactics 

The “Might Do” List.
While this might sound overwhelming when I explain it; once I had done it for the first time, I realised that it’s definitely not as bad as it sounds. As someone who went way too far with her own lists only a year ago, I’m still careful with how I structure lists. This technique asks you to list all the tasks you need to do and then prioritise what tasks you absolutely need to do and what tasks you can put to the side; it’s as simple as that. It might take some time writing everything down but it will help you realise what needs done rather than becoming really overwhelmed. 

Tactic Battle: Morning vs. Night.
There’s often talk within the personal development world that in order to be your best self, getting up early in the morning is a must but what if you don’t feel like you work your best at that time. In this tactic battle, Jake and John discuss what works for them; Jon works better in the morning and Jake works better in the evening. I’m personally teaching my body to become a morning person and I am getting there but I thought this would be a great section to read if night-time is more your jam. 

20190519_090753-02.jpeg(An example of one of the many digital techniques in the book that Jake and John talk about including letting go of distractions from your phone. Also, how cute are the little heads and the speech bubbles?)

Laser Tactics 

Skip the Morning Check In.
I’m going to prefaces this by saying that this is something I wouldn’t be able to do during the work week, but during the weekend and when I have no plans, absolutely! Skipping the morning check in really is what it says on the tin; it’s where you wake up with an alarm and don’t check you phone until you have had breakfast and are ready to go for the day. Over the Easter break, I remember reading this part of the book before going to bed, I set my alarm and I went to bed. I woke up the next morning and the first thing I did was look at my phone (Ironic right?) and it was dead. The cable must have fell out overnight so I had no battery left, so surely this was the perfect opportunity to charge it in my room while I got ready. Now, I had zero idea of what time it was, so I went down and had my breakfast, got showered, dried and straightened my hair and got changed. When I eventually turned my phone on, it was 6:30am… the exact time I had set my alarm for. If that wasn’t fate, I don’t know what is frankly. Yes, it was still early but I had plans that day so I was able to read and chill for the early part of the morning. 

I don’t necessarily think this is a bad idea, I certainly seen the benefits after one morning but you still at least one alarm. I would suggest an actual alarm clock so you know what time it is but I do like the concept of not logging right into your phone as soon as your brain time to wake up naturally. 

Make a “Random Question” List.
Ever thought about who was in that movie that you love and you just HAD to Google it even though you’re right in the middle of something? We will do anything to create a distraction sometime but often, we can’t help what pops into our head which is why I loved this idea. You can write any random thoughts or questions down and once you are finished your task, then you can decide whether you want to find out the answer or explore it further. 

20190519_104324-01.jpeg(I explain this one just down below!)

Energise Tactics 

Central Park Your Plate.
This concept interested me because we’ve all heard of the perfect portion plate and it’s what most of us universally used when we were younger. This point of this plate is to imagine your vegetables are Central Park, bang right in the middle of the city, then what you put around that is your proteins, your fats and your carbs. It’s not only to make sure you get lots of vegetables but to re-structure your meals so there are more vegetables, if you’re the type of person that only puts a few on the side then says “Oh there’s not enough room for any more.” Now you don’t have that excuse. 

Sneak a Nap.
I’m not just choosing this because I love a good nap (because I REALLY do!) but throughout the book, Jake and John tell us about various studies they have read surrounding different studies and they mentioned that a 1994 study conducted by NASA focused on long-haul commercial pilots. The researchers found that pilots who took a nap improved their performance by 34% which was particularly influential because we all want our pilots to perform well. John does make a small note saying that he understands if you work in an office environment, it can either be awkward to go for a nap or you might not have an area for that, but even a quick nap on the weekend can help you benefit. Naps can get a bad rap sometimes and I thought this was a great section of the book to bring to the fore front as they can be beneficial. 

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This was one of the easiest books on how to design your life because it has over 80 techniques to help you figure out what you like, what you don’t and what works perfectly for you. I would say if you’re looking for a quick fix, realistically I don’t believe that any book like this is going to help you find it instantly; it’s important to note that when you’re trying to change your habits and make time for what you want to do, it’s all about the process. That’s why this book also includes reflect on the changes you make; is your highlight really important to you? Are you energising correctly? Are you letting your phone be the boss of you rather than the other way around? It helps you constantly look at what you are doing and if it is working for you. 

This is a book I will continue to go back to a lot, simply because our lives are ever-changing and our highlight will always be changing too. My advice would be (if you can) get this in the hardback version rather than the audio book because it’s really easy to flick to the page you need in just a few seconds. All the techniques are laid out in the contents pages at the beginning so it’s really simple to jump from page-to-page like I talked about earlier.  

I really hope you enjoyed today’s post because it’s something I have been working on for a while; I prefer to go through a book and pick out the sections that speak to me because it adds that personal element to it, which is why you won’t see every technique listed out (I love the majority of the techniques but if you want to find out about the entire list, that’s when you buy the book!) These are tactics that I have found work for me or ones that I found interesting, and I decided that they deserve to be shared. You can find the book right here! (Please note: This is not an affiliate link, I simply wanted to be the helpful soul that I am, so you could find the book even faster) If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below or contact me on my Instagram or my Twitter

Three Simple Ways I Got Back On Track.

Three Simple Ways I Got Back On Track

In Part One of this post (Four Mindset Changes To Help You Get Back On Track) I talked about how changing my mindset around certain areas was important for me to get back on track after a break. Today’s post is all about three changes I made myself to make sure I was working towards my goals. 

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Meal prepping. 

I am such a strong advocate for meal prep! If you meal prep your lunches like I do, then you can relate to the feeling of knowing what you’re having for lunch for that day or that week, and knowing you don’t have the worry about grabbing something at the shop last minute. The most important factor for me is I know what is going into my food; I make a chickpea, tumeric and quinoa curry from Delicious Ella and it’s really easy to make plus it’s not full of ingredients that you wouldn’t know where to buy them from. From chopping, boiling and cooking time, I would say it’s around an hour and a half so it’s not a very long time which is why I get up early on a Monday morning to make it. It means that I don’t have an excuse to not get up because if I don’t, then I don’t have my lunch, and I’ll have to spend extra money in the shop for something that is more than likely, not as great for me as my original lunch would have been.

Other meal prep can take hours, even half a day and many can simply take a few minutes. It’s really up to you; who you are cooking for, what type of food is it, what meal it will be for, how many times a week you will be eating it. That’s where a little planning comes in and once you have your plan down, you’ll be good to go.

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Using one list and one list only. 

Now to-do lists can be my best friend and sometimes they can be my enemy; however I have found over the last year that my mindset with to-do lists has changed dramatically. They used to really terrify me and make me overwhelmed, it was something I worked very hard on in therapy but using an app called “Wunderlist”, I have found a little hack for myself which makes life so much easier.

I create a list every week in my own folder named with the starting date on Monday and the end date of the Sunday, and I put all my to-do’s in one list. Sounds extreme I know, but I then put in brackets about the ideal day I would like to do the activity on. This means I have able to space out the activities over certain days and not feel overwhelmed.

Here’s an example: Monday 29th April to Sunday 5th May. On this list, were the most important tasks I wanted to do that week. These included: cleaning out my cat’s litter tray, emptying various bins around the kitchen, washing the car, meeting my friend for lunch, batch cooking my lunches and going for a food shop. See? A wide range of activities from housework, to social time to necessities. I try and write everything out at the start of the week along with the day I hope to have it planned for, then as soon as I have finished it, I tick it off. Very simple but it has a really positive impact on how I look at what I need to do within my week. 

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Waking up early and going to bed early. 

On my meal prep day, I get up at 5am which I know is very early (Trust me, I know but it’s very very worth it!) but I certainly can’t go to bed at 1am like I used to, especially during a work week. I make it a priority now to leave Scott’s house earlier than usual if I’m there, to make sure I’m getting ready for bed, winding down and heading to sleep. It’s as simple as that and sure, at first it was hard going to sleep early but you soon get there.  Waking up early and going to bed early can be challenging (especially if you’re like me and you really like a cosy warm bed in the morning, I really do feel your pain!) but if I don’t push myself to do these things, the thing that I wat to change, won’t actually change because I’m not willing to.

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I’m certainly not perfect and I haven’t found myself in the perfect gym routine yet because I’m not as used to get up early every single day as I once was or to push myself to the gym in the evening because I’m exhausted, but I’ll get there someday soon. I know what I need to do to get there, and it’s all about those baby steps that we talked about in the previous post.

Okay, so it’s not life changing or rocket science but it really is simple things that I have managed to work out and plan into my life but as always, no-one is going to be the exact same. You may have different priorities and that’s okay; it’s always about working with what you have, what you need and what your goals are.

I really hope you enjoyed today’s post, it’s always nice to look back over the last few weeks to see that I have progressed. It’s sometimes hard to notice when you’re living day after day but taking a moment of reflection every once in a while, can have a massive impact. Let me know if you enjoyed my post, or if there’s anything else you’d like me to post about (I’m always open to new ideas!) over on my Twitter, my Instagram or down below!

Podcasts: Part One (Wellness)

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see quite regularly on my stories that I’m posting about podcasts. I listen to them on my daily commute, around the house when I’m cleaning or when I’m on a solo gym session or run. They play a huge role in my life and in one of my recent posts when I talk about personal development tools (which I’ll link right here) I note that podcasts are one of those tools for improving yourself.

This post is Part One of Four for my podcast series; this post will concentrate on the wellbeing conversation, Part Two will focus on the more in-depth conversations of chat, Part Three will be miscellaneous podcast series that don’t fit the other categories and Part Four will be hand picking some of my favourite podcast episodes. 

We can use podcasts for many reasons and for me; I use them to listen to those I follow online for a more in-depth conversation, to indulge my interests and lifestyle choices more and to further develop myself. 

There are many podcast applications out there both on Android and Apple but for me, I use Podbean which I’ve been using for a few years now. It’s a really handy app that facilitates loads of podcasts so I can have them all in one place and it even tells me which ones I’ve played already played. However, Spotify have been adding more podcasts to their platform so the ideal situation would be to move all my listening to there but at the minute, I do like keeping that separate for my music. 

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Her Rules Radio 

Alex’s podcast was one of the first podcasts I ever listened to before when it was called “The Crave Cast” so I’ve been a huge fan of Alex’s message and philosophy for such a long time. Her podcast is mainly focusing on wellness but she talks about a range of topics including self-love, cravings, sex, relationships and personal growth. What I really love about Alex’s podcast is that I can feel connected to any episode even including the episodes that wouldn’t necessarily fit to my lifestyle; there are episodes concentrating on pregnancy and others that look at money, two topics I have thought about but not necessarily something I am solely looking at in my life at the minute. In terms of guests, Alex talks with authors, dietitians and wellness experts (to name a few) as well as hosting solo shows too. I love when podcasters host their own solo shows because especially if you don’t know the host, those solo shows give you a better insight into who they are as a person especially when they’re having to talk on their own for an extended period of time. 

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The Chasing Joy Podcast 

I can’t remember how I was first introduced to Georgie Morley but I have been in love with her podcasts ever since. Her podcasts are focused on sharing “meaningful conversations about wellness that will bring energy and joy into your life”. She covers absolutely everything from diet culture, body acceptance, self-awareness, creativity and manifestation; that’s naming only a few subjects, there are so many! No two podcasts are the same from Georgie and very much like Alex, she hosts her own solo episodes too, which adds a balance. I’d recommend Georgie’s podcast if you’re interested in a more in-depth look into the wellness world but you’re not sure where to start. 

Coffee Talk(Photo Source: Kalyn’s Coffee Talk)

Kalyn’s Coffee Talk 

If you don’t know Kalyn Nicholson, she’s been a YouTuber for quite a number of years but more recently, she has started her own podcast which I was so excited about. Having moved away from beauty YouTubers in the last few years, Kalyn has moved from the beauty side into the wellness, spiritual and motivational side of the platform so her content is absolutely perfect for me. I was genuinely really happy to see her start a podcast because she has one of those voices that you could listen to all day (plus she’s Canadian and who doesn’t love a Canadian accent?) and even though we’re around the same age, it’s comforting knowing you are listening to someone who has been through a similar experience as you or is opening up about their struggles and how they moved through them. As I mentioned, Kalyn is new to the podcast game so she doesn’t have lots of episodes yet but some of her episodes include subjects like the truth of social media, being a beginner, putting too much pressure on yourself and learning how to trust yourself. Kalyn records her podcasts on her own but that doesn’t take away from the content that she creates, she’s a very easy listen even on her own. 

Minimalists(Photo Source: Minimalist Podcast)

The Minimalists Podcast 

I wasn’t too sure what category to put this podcast into because minimalism deals with every aspect of your life but I thought it fitted well within wellbeing. Ryan and Joshua host the Minimalist Podcast which started after their successful first book launch and before their first feature length documentary, “Minimalism” which covers all aspects of minimalism. This includes education, religion, hobbies, collections, mental balance and parenting. Again, just like Georgie’s podcast, there are so many subjects Ryan and Joshua cover that you can deep dive into any of them. I’m not a huge fan of their live podcasts; I prefer listening to a studio environment podcast but that’s personal preference for me but in those, they have much more of an audience connection than they do in their regular sessions (obviously because they don’t have an audience in the studio) so if that’s something that interests you, then I would check those out. Minimalism is something that seems quite scary to people and these guys do a perfect job in breaking down the barriers to helping you understand it more. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s post; as I mentioned at the beginning, I love podcasts but I’m always looking for new ones to listen to so if you listen to any wellness based series’ that I haven’t talked about, please let me know. New podcasts are my favourite thing to explore these days. Thank you again and have a great day!

SS: Sunday Saves (#48)

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Good morning and I hope you’re having a great Sunday so far! I can barely believe it’s almost the end of April already! I feel like I was just blogging about Christmas not too long ago. Anyway, we’re two Sunday Saves away from the big 50 which I can’t quite believe either, but it’s such a lovely series to do, and if you haven’t caught up with it yet, you can click here and you’ll be taken to every single post in the series so far.

Today I’m talking about the emotional connection we all seem to have to Monday’s, how to overcome digital distractions and the six stages of procrastination

1) What Gemma Did (Monday Motivation: Mondays Don’t Suck)

If you think Monday’s suck and it is your most hated day of the week; one, you need to change your mindset completely and two, you need to read Gemma’s post on why Monday’s aren’t the worst after all. She makes some really good points about putting the actual day into perspective and how it can be seen as a fresh start for you and your goals. I can be quite guilty of treating Monday as “Ugh, not again” but even I’m working on trying to flip my perspective on that.

2) Thirteen Thoughts (How To Overcome Digital Distractions)

Digital distractions are the worst especially when you need to work online to get your work done. Paula gives us a few recommendations on what to do when you’re getting distracted by fifty browser tabs (Okay, maybe not 50, but a lot of browser tabs!) or maybe you can’t stop looking at your phone because it keeps going off every two seconds. I especially love her app recommendation so I think I might have to give that a go, it sounds quite adorable (and productive, obviously!).

3) Artsy Teen Blog (The 6 Stages of Procrastination)

Maya’s post is so on point! She talks about the six stages of procrastination and I couldn’t agree more. You’ll have to read her post for yourself to see what they are, but even the little illustrations are so cute!

Well that’s all for this week’s post. Thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts on the posts, make sure to leave some comments on their blogs and spend the love! ❤

(Blogmas Day Eleven) Positivity Takeover Update #1

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Welcome to Blogmas Day Eleven!

So if you read my Life Update that I posted last week or you seen my Instagram, you’ll know that I was in Rome last week! That was a pretty perfect opportunity to take my Positivity Takeover cards from the Itty Bitty Book Company over to Italy with me. I only left two around the city (I was too busy sightseeing and then I kept forgetting) and they were both in the same place (but quite a distance from each other of course!)

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You’ll have seen this one above on my Instagram!

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Both photographs were taken at Ponte Sant’Angelo in Rome on a lovely sunny day (which is why I think the second card is so appropriate!)

I love being one of the many Positivity Takeover ambassadors and I’m going to be spreading more happiness and positivity throughout the New Year!

SS: Sunday Saves (#13)

This Sunday is probably one of the best Sunday’s because it means I don’t have to go to work this entire week! If you can’t love that, what can you love? In this week’s Sunday Saves, I’ll be talking about Twitter chats, reading and living your life to the fullest!

1. Anne Smiles (An Active Summer #HealthHour No.4)

I’ve started talking to Anne just over the past few weeks, all because I found out about #HealthHour. If you don’t know what Health Hour is, it’s a Twitter chat hosted by Anne about health related topics on Monday nights at 8pm. It’s the first Twitter chat I’ve ever looked forward to every week and even though I’ve only taken part in two so far, I love connecting with everyone. Anne posts recaps every week of the previous chat, to tell people what we had been talking about and to give an insight into what questions were asked. So if you’re into health, fitness and food, you should join in with us!

2. Momentarily Dreaming (8 Ways To Do More Reading)

I’m always looking to read more, I think it’s really important for everyone to take a step away from social media and take a minute for yourself with a book. (I should really listen to my own advice sometimes too!) Even though Sam’s post is from last year, I only just found it this week and she gives some quick tips on how to read more. I think the tips that would work for me the most would be taking time away from social media, setting an amount of time for reading each morning/night/day and setting myself some goals. Everyone who reads my blog, know that I’m a goal setter, so these are perfect for me.

3. Always Inspired Life (Top 10 Goals To Create A More Meaningful Life)

In Alina’s post, she talks about leading a more motivated life and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re living for someone else, not doing what you want to do or just going through life in the easiest way you can, I don’t believe you’re truly living. Being yourself, working on yourself, taking chances and being passionate are just some of the ways she mentions in her post, and I think it’s so refreshing. There’s so many posts out there on “being a better person” but this post isn’t like that, I love the way she has written this one, it’s honestly such a lovely read.

That’s all from this week’s Sunday Saves. My favourite thing about Sunday Saves is exploring new blogs, connecting with new people, finding out about different things that I might not have even known before and most importantly, to always keep learning. You can find me over at @RetroSnowflake on Twitter if you’ve found any new blogs or even want to send me your own blog. Have a lovely week!