#Haiku ‘Resilience’ #ThursdayPhotoThoughts #January2021

Photo from Pixabay

I received this image as a recommendation from Pixabay, which is a wonderful site where many generous amateur and professional photographers offer their photos at no cost (there are also photos you have to pay for).

The image immediately brought words and thoughts to my mind, which I’ve captured and made into a haiku.

January has always been a tough month for me for many reasons, mainly the anticlimax after the Christmas and New Year Holidays, the return to work, the cold temperatures, and this year there is the added challenge because of covid restrictions and worries.

Fortunately, there are only ten more days to get to February, a nice, short month which leads on to March and the promise of spring. So hang on in there!

This January I’m giving myself time to plan. I’m still organising the year ahead, trying to establish and follow a blog and writing schedule, as well as a daily routine that works for me. But it’s an ongoing process because there’s a lot on my plate; a new novel in my Eyre Hall series and a box set, new blog features, looking into traditionally publishing a contemporary romantic thriller I finished last year, and so on.

I’m sowing seeds, despite the snow. Who knows which ones will grow and when? But life’s like that, nothing is guaranteed and yet everything is possible. That’s January for you!

How is your January going?

#MondayMotivation ‘Design Your Day’ by Clair Diaz Ortiz #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring Design Your Day, written by Claire Diaz Ortiz, a book which has the advantage of presenting a synthesis and discussion of many other books on time management as well as her own contribution to the discussion, the DO LESS method. She proposes strategies to achieve goals in less time by enhanced time management skills, leading to maximum efficiency.

In this enlightening book, she uses acronyms to put forward her suggestions for best time management skills.

Listen to her talk about her proposals in this podcast.

The first acronym is DO LESS:

Decide what you want or need to do for a time frame.

Organise what you will do.

Limit to the essential. Make sure it’s all necessary.

Edit your time. Define your limits and stick to them.

Streamline or reduce your work time based on the 4 hour week principles.

Stop. Take time to pause, relax, detox and unwind.

She proposes a morning routine, because she firmly believes that doing as much as possible as early as possible can make your day more successful, and the acronym is PRESENT:

Pray or meditate to connect with your inner self.

Read something inspirational.

Express yourself by means of journaling.

Schedule your day by careful planning.

Exercise to energise your body and feel better.

Nourish by doing something for yourself, such as a treat or a hobby.

Tracking which she refers to as checking your routine.

She proposes using SMART goal setting to break down your strategies to achieving objectives, and focussing on the following life categories: God, Family, Health, Personal, Work and Money.

She discusses Pareto’s 80/20 rule and the 4-Hour Week as well as Parkinson’s Law which states that work expands to fill the available time for completion. So the longer you plan to do something the longer it will take.

Essentialism: A Conversation on Setting Human-Centric Goals With Grace for the Season Ahead - with Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Author, Speaker and Innovation Advisor - Rank & File Magazine

This books’ advantage is that it is unpretentious, short, practical and clear. It includes ideas put forward in many other personal growth books which she discusses.

The main new idea she proposes is to aim to do less by planning more efficiently and delegating where necessary.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation ‘168 Hours’ by Laura Vanderkam #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m featuring 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, written by Laura Vanderkam, a book which has helped me realise I have much more time than I ever imagined, and although I thought I was good at planning, this books has made me realise I can use my time much more efficiently.

In this brilliant book, the author reminds us that every week has 168 hours, which is plenty of time to do everything we want and need to do, as long as we  follow her advice and find ways to rearrange our schedules to make room for the things that matter most. This book gives us plenty of creative and eye-opening ideas, to do just that.

In the introduction, she suggests, ‘Looking at life in 168-hour blocks is a useful paradigm shift, because—unlike the occasionally crunched weekday—well-planned blocks of 168 hours are big enough to accommodate full-time work, intense involvement with your family, rejuvenating leisure time, adequate sleep, and everything else that actually matters.’

I took several pages of notes as I listened to her Ted Talk first, and  then went on to read her book, 168 Hours, so what follows is a brief synthesis of the ideas I consider most inspiring and helpful, but I urge you to listen to her and read her book, because it will help you to identify the things that really matter in your life, take control of your week and find time for everything you desire.

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by [Laura Vanderkam]

A week has 168 hours, we work for 40 and sleep for 56, which means we have 71 hours left. That’s a long time! Some people commute 2 hours a day, that’s 10 hours less, 61. Let’s subtract say 2 hours to eat and 2 for housework and shopping, that’s 28, which still leaves us 33 hours a week of free time.

The secret to optimising that free time between family, friends, hobbies, exercise, and relaxation, is:

a) being aware of the time at your disposal and how you are using it every week and b) being intentional about how you use this time. 

In order to gain awareness of how we’re spending our time, she recommends using a spreadsheet you can download from her blog My168Hours.com, or create your own.

We should later analyse how we’re spending our time acording to categories such as child care, which can be subdivided into physical care, playing, education, and reading, for example. Housework, which can be divided into laundry, food prep, house cleaning, lawn work, and so on.

Another inspiring proposal is the suggestion that we write a list of 100 dreams and make sure we’re working towards one or more of them every week, and cross them off as we complete them.

Setting goals, prioritising from work to household chores, identifying what’s important, urgent and what can be delegated or postponed, long and short term goal planning, downtime, creating a weekly, block schedule and so much more is contained in these 271 priceless pages.

I absolutely loved this book! It’s useful for everyone and anyone, whether you’re a stressed CEO, a busy mother or father, or a student. There’s so much useful and practical information and food for thought that it’s one of the best and most useful books on time management I’ve ever read.

168 Hours is especially useful at this time of year when we’re more likely to assess our past year and plan for next year’s goals.

If you listen to and read Laura Vanderkam’s proposals, I guarantee you’ll have a greater chance of finding happiness and reaching your goals.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth