The 2 minute rule

horsesandI

Farm or city – we’ve been there. The list on your phone or fridge is getting longer and longer. Looking at it makes you a little anxious. You might knock off one or two things a day, but it never seems to really get any shorter. What’s going on? How do I respect my time and make better use of it, leaving more for time with family, self-care, or my passions?

This is how. My 2-minute rule.

Let’s take a look at my own to-do list as an example. Pull out yours even, and follow along with me.

We have:

  • vacuum the stairs
  • wash the Jeep
  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • deep condition hair
  • brush Jujube, the cat
  • call the pharmacy
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

Now be honest with yourself, how many of those things have you been putting off or procrastinating? You might have even had a few tempting thoughts regarding some of these, thoughts like, “Oh, I can do that later, it doesn’t need to be today” or “I’m not in the mood for that right now”. For me, almost all of these to-do list items were still on there due to prior procrastination. They didn’t need to be there. Highlight the stuff that you’ve put off at least once.

  • vacuum the stairs
  • wash the Jeep
  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • deep condition hair
  • brush Jujube, the cat
  • call the pharmacy
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

The stuff you haven’t highlighted, you either have no problems doing, or have not yet put it off unnecessarily for another day. Don’t overwhelm yourself, there’s no need to worry about these! Let’s focus on our highlights.

Which of your highlighted items are something that you can easily get started? Which can be completed in a few minutes? These fall under the 2-minute rule. They are items that won’t take much time to complete, and are only serving to stress you out and clutter the work you’ve put into organizing what you need to do.

Get rid of them. No thinking, no planning, no tuning into the chatter in your head telling you what you think about each item. ONLY DO.

  • vacuum the stairs

Takes 3 seconds to pull out the vacuum, and the stairs aren’t that long. I did this right after breakfast, before I could even complain in my head.

  • email my boss and give them a small update
  • shoot an email off to a local business

Opened my mail app, and start typing the recipients into the TO: box. The rest of the email practically wrote itself after that!

  • deep condition hair

This morning I made a little change. I wouldn’t even let myself hop into the shower, skipping this important step for the umpteenth time, before grabbing the deep conditioner out from under the sink and lathering my hair in it.

  • brush Jujube, the cat

No prep, no excuses. I grabbed the brush and did it.

  • call the pharmacy

Typed the number into my phone, and pressed call. You can’t talk yourself out of it if the phone is already ringing!

 

What’s the lesson here? Don’t let those 2-minute tasks latch onto your to-do list and hitch a free ride! As soon as they need doing, it’s always best to do them right away. You’ll find that your life is carrying less stress, and it’s very freeing to focus and plan what really matters.

That list now?

  • wash the Jeep
  • take daily meds
  • go for a walk
  • finish writing caption for tomorrow’s Facebook page post

Clean, simple, and elegant. Just the way we all want our lives to be. ❤︎

 

What’s your version of the 2-minute rule, if you have one? Or your very own secret tip to becoming more happy and productive? Please share them in the comments! xx

Shavonne

 

August 31st, 2011 Daily Post Challenge

On August 31st, the Daily Post challenge was to pick a word you don’t know, and use it in a story. Find a word you like, and use it in a short paragraph, story, or a clever sentence.

Hustling to reach the end of the road, I felt panic widen my eyes. A hollow ache settled in behind them as tears run down my face. The sun had not yet broken the horizon, so whether I was too late or not, it was impossible to tell. The thought of waiting alone in the darkness, next to the groves of frozen willow that creaked indefinitely, placed me in an almost maddening state of terror. I abruptly turned to look behind me, seeing nothing in the complete dark. Feeling satisfied, I turned back, but not before seeing the faint adumbration of a figure coming at me swiftly…

The word I chose is adumbration, which means “a sketchy or imperfect or faint representation.”

 

Adrenaline

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

 

Ok, a positive experience for this one.

In the tremendous state of Ohio, there lies the greatest amusement park in the world, Cedar Point. My mom, my brother, and I all flew to Ohio a few summers ago just to go see it. Previously we had gone to Disneyland, which was fun, but it’s a more light-hearted fun. A park like Playland is fun too, has a few good rides, is closer to home… but the place is tiny, almost claustrophobic. You don’t even need an entire day to get the most out of a park like that. So, we all decided (well, mainly mom, the adrenaline junkie) that it was time for some real rides.

I still get a cold sweat from thinking about the queen of pants-shitting roller coasters, Top Thrill Dragster. The ride accelerates you from zero to 120 miles per hour (translation: about 193 km/hr) to a point 420 feet (≈ 128 metres) in the air. But, before it does that, it gives you an unsettling countdown in the form of a traffic light. Basically, when the light turns yellow, you have no idea when it’s going to turn green. You just get to stare at in sweaty horror, wondering when the launch will come.

We rode it at night. I sat beside my mom the first time. I could see her looking over at me from the corner of my eye as I stared at the green light. “Nervous?” she asked. “Don’t talk to me,” I answered, totally absorbed in fear. It turned yellow. I turned yellow. If dying from being nervous was possible, I would have died.

The launch up is terrifying, but the whole ordeal was over before your brain could register what just happened. Your brain kinda goes like, “Fear, fear, fear, wow the park is beautiful at night, we’re up high, oh god, spare me, fear, fear, ok done. I’m ok.”

I want to go to Cedar Point again someday soon.

There’s more than just Starbucks in Seattle

February 8, 2013

The greatest white chocolate mocha I’ve ever tasted came in a cheap 12oz cup from a random tiny coffee window in the thick of downtown Seattle. It was around 7 at night, and I didn’t notice the window until I walked right by it. I don’t know what prompted me to wheel back around and head for the window, but I’m glad I did. It BLEW me away.

The next time I was in Starbucks, I ordered my favourite drink by habit. “Hi, I’ll have a tall white chocolate mocha please.” When I took a sip, cup in hand, I almost choked. The mysterious little cafe’s WCM made this one taste like an ultra sweet, tasteless imitation of what a white chocolate mocha is supposed to be.

I need to find this café again.

Get your hair glowing

I recently had the opportunity to try out some new hair products, and here’s my fantastic experience!

Up until this point I had never owned or purchased any of Clairol’s products. I was REALLY excited to give the new Color Crave line a go, and I’m happy to say I came out of this experience feeling pretty great about the brand.

In the mail I received two products for free, courtesy of Influenster. First up is the less hands-on color applicator, the ‘brilliant amethyst’ hair makeup.

“Hair Makeup” is seriously such a perfect name for the product. I’m a big fan of the easy-to-use sponge applicator, and the colour I picked, brilliant amethyst, is just SO gorgeous. After applying it I seriously wished it was permanent.

If you have tons of thick, dark hair like I do, it’s going to take some time to apply enough to cover the strands you want covered, as well as enough to get the colour payoff you want. This step can feel tedious, but it’s well worth it. It’s easier to braid or style your hair first, and then apply the product directly to a braid/specific strands.

I also figured out some tips to maximize the intensity of the colour you’re applying, without having to re-do the same strands over again.

First tip! Use a diffuser when you’re blowdrying to set the colour. It will stop you from turning your hair into a tangled, frizzy mess that when you comb it out, will remove some colour from your hair. It also lets you manage applying heat a little better to your strands, and you’ll be able to more easily see when your coloured hair is dry.

Secondly, after colouring and blow drying your hair, you might find it’s a little “crusty” to the touch. To get back it’s orignal softness, take a wide-toothed comb and run it gently through your ends 2-3 times. If you use a regular brush, or a many toothed comb, you’ll find that a little bit of the colour comes off again.

Even with dark hair I can say I’m impressed with how this looks and how long lasting it is. The brilliant amethyst is beyond pretty. ❤️ Check it out for yourself, it’s available at Walmart and many other places!

NEXT UP is the Color Crave semi-permanent color, which I got in ‘scarlet’. If you have ZERO experience colouring your own hair, I would definitely recommend watching some tutorials or reading a little bit more about colouring techniques before you try it out on your own. My ends have been previously bleached more than a year ago, so it was the perfect time to try out something a little more bold. The instructions that come with the kit were more than enough to get me going, and I imagine a total beginner would figure it out pretty fast too.

BIG fan of the result. The red colour that this product gives is simply sooo beautiful. The next day after taking the above picture, I immediately went back and applied more to more sections of my hair.

I was initially a little disappointed that the brilliance didn’t last 15+ washes, but I did adore the rose-gold color that my hair was fading too as the color washed out more and more. I know it’s guaranteed 15 washes, so I feel like I should be more annoyed by this, but the color it was fading to was just SO pretty that I can’t even bother with be mad.

Next time I get my hair dyed, I do plan on dragging myself into a salon. But if I ever got the urge to do another dye job at home, I would totally purchase this again. Don’t hesitate to go to town on the color if you decide to check this out for yourself, it really is beautiful!

Sept 19, 2013 – Latte art from the heart

Mum once made me this latte and I’ve never been able to recreate it.

Latte art is impossible without the right cup for pouring the frothed milk (…and the right skill. I’m lacking both).

Looking at this photo reminds me of a time when a barista at the Hospital’s café made me a pumpkin spice latte with a heart in the foam. Maybe I’ll post that photo sometime soon. It was wonderful, and totally made my day a little brighter.