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.

Uninvited Pal

I wish I could say that I made this all up.
Below is a true story, it happened to me. It really highlights the dangers any girl faces out there. You just never know.

I get a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to the mall and out to Arigato for dinner. Joy to the world!

I arrive at the mall, park, and text her to see where she is. No reply. Okay, no problem-o. Guess I’ll head on inside. Maybe a few of my friends are around in there, wandering around and browsing the wide selection of shops Kamloops has. Hah. I step out of my Jeep and into a swirling world of snow.

Because earlier warm weather that day, I was only wearing a mesh cardigan, but for whatever reason, I didn’t find the air overly cool. I was in good spirits. My steps felt light, and I was looking up into the sky and smiling to no one in particular. If anyone was watching me, they’d think I was some happy moron. But whatever, I was enjoying myself. Snow stuck to my hair, my face, my clothes. Step, step, twirl in the middle of the road. I reach the door, go through it, and hold it open for the man behind me. I smile at him. Our eyes lock.

He’s young, only a little older than me. Our height is exact. He has colorless blonde hair, and bleached somber blue-green eyes. He might have been handsome if it weren’t for the way he hunched over, and the way his eyes met mine with abruptness. For that minute I felt something wasn’t right. I continue my smile, and pull away from him. I head for Sears, which is at the end of the mall, with my head held high.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see his black hoodie. Oh, guess he’s going the same direction as I am. I’m not paying attention to where I’m going really, and more concerned with the fact that no one is replying to my texts asking where they are. I notice that I’m almost in Sears and slingshot around. The man does the same. Now I’m a little curious.

Coincidence? What the hell?

I head for the opposite end of our modestly sized mall, turning my head often to glance at passing stores, that way I could see if he was still following me by our reflections in the glass. He is. Close by as well, only a meter away, and almost coming up beside me. I keep my pace causal so he assumes I haven’t noticed him. I walk past Booster Juice and swerve around the back of it. All the while staring down the people who worked there with a small smile. Translation: Fuck guys stop making smoothies and help me. Help me. Help. The man continues to blatantly follow me. He isn’t even trying to hide it, which somehow suggested danger more-so than if he was trying to.

I steal a look back at The Body Shop and consider entering, but I don’t. It makes little sense, but I’m afraid of possibly making eye contact with him again. I shoot straight for The Bay, rapidly thinking of ways I can observe him a little and maybe judge his intentions. Once in the store, I move left towards a random tea cup display. A middle-aged saleswoman approaches me and asks if I need any help. I blurt out, “I’m looking for tea cups without handles.” Wherever that came from, I don’t even know. Her face screws up in confusion. I can only imagine how long this is going to take her.

I scan around my peripheral vision for the man, and almost feel alarmed when I can’t find him. Oh. Eyes latch onto mine. 10 metres away. He keeps his face downcast, but tilts his head slightly to the left. I waste no time in looking back at the teacups. I’m unnerved. I absent-mindedly ramble about how my mom loves teacups without handles. I’m terrified. The saleswoman eventually explains (clearly baffled) to me that they don’t sell anything of the sort and I should check the kitchen store downstairs. I pretend to listen and then ask where the store is, all while keeping an eye on the man as he scuffs back to the store’s entrance. 5 metres away. Waiting for me, and likely listening to me. I thank the woman, and turn to leave. The man copies. I warily keep him in front of me, but he purposefully walks slowly, as if he wants to return to his position behind me. I tread to his left. We walk beside each other as close as friends.

When we reach adjacent to The Body Shop, I break away and bolt inside without warning. One of the women working there asks if I’m looking for anything in particular and offers me a pamphlet on the store’s sales. Not wanting her to bother me, I politely refuse the pamphlet and claim that I am only browsing for facial wash. “Okay, let me know if you need any help!” Cheerful smile exchanges with unsteady smile. She leaves me be. I focus on the products in front of me, pulling a few out and acting as though I am wholly focused on the back label. I glimpse the man standing with his back to me just outside the shop, resting his hands on the railing outside, peering down at the shoppers below. He twists around and rests his eyes on mine again. I hastily break the gaze, my face flushing, then refocus on a facial wash infused with tea tree oil. The man enters the store. Fuck. A saleswoman greets him. “Hey.” This is the first time I’m hearing his voice. It’s low. He retreats almost as soon as he enters, returning to his place along the railing.

I put the facial wash back into it’s snug place on the shelf and stroll out the store, veering right and retracing my steps towards The Bay. I hear the man’s footsteps at first behind me, then a moment later beside me. He matches my gait with a sort of urgency. He wants me to notice him. I’m uncertain. Raw fear overwhelms all else. I know I will regret confronting this man. A dangerous vibe of desperation leaks out of his every action. Before entering the Bay, I jolt to the right. I can’t face him.

I speed down the long hall leading to the washrooms.. The dingy headache-inducing fluorescent lights flickering on at random intervals give me a dim light. Hearing footsteps behind me and now almost in a blind panic, I swing into the women’s washroom, almost knocking over another girl my age. Her friend shoots me a strange look. I don’t apologize, and find a stall to hide in.

I can’t help it. Before I know it, I start crying. Finally one of my friends responds to her phone, and I shoot text after text of my situation. She’s already grabbed a table at the sushi place, and cannot leave or we’ll lose it. I have to get out of the bathroom alone. Almost 30 minutes of me crying and texting and reapplying my makeup pass before I leave my sanctuary. To my relief, he wasn’t waiting outside of the bathroom any longer for me. I sprint for my jeep.

I think if this sort of thing were to happen again, I would be more bold. When you read stories about harassment, you can’t help but think to yourself, “oh, I would be more brave. I wouldn’t react that stupidly.” Then you find yourself in an unexpected situation, and you fail yourself.

Creepy dude, I hope we never ever meet again.

Oct. 24, 2013 – Apple products galore

Earlier today I bought an adorable faux black Chanel iPhone case. It was a little pricey, but still worth it. I also snagged a new MacBook Air case from Future Shop, buuut sadly it barely fits the 13” model that I have. I’m tempted to take it back, only because of how difficult it is to pull the laptop out once it’s in the stupid case… it’s just…I like the style too much. I even got my Mom to sew a brown & gold-colored button on the front tab. ♥

I also updated my MacBook Air to the latest OS X, Maverick. It apparently comes with all sorts of new apps like Maps, iBooks, etc. The app that allows you to create iBooks is particularly beautiful. I don’t know what I will write, but I’m inspired to write something. The tags feature looks pretty sharp, and offers an impressive way of organizing every file on your computer. I can’t wait to start playing around with that. (Woo tag everything!)

And for my ultimate favorite feature ever to come in an update… MULTIPLE DISPLAYS! I can now wirelessly connect my Mac to the Apple TV, which means no more mess of HDMI cords all over hell. Using your TV as a display is super, super fun.

My second ultimate favourite feature is Finder Tabs. Not exactly ground-breaking, more like a necessity that should have been a part of Finder from the start. You can open one window in Finder, and instead of opening a bunch more (yikes, clutter), now it’s a simple as opening a new tab like in Safari.

“Have fun exploring the world’s most advanced desktop operating system.” – Apple

This laptop can do anything, and is a complete joy to work with. Totally in love with it. Sure,  I can’t update any of the hardware, which really sucks, and all the “stuff” Apple gives you from the App Store takes up 60+GB which is half of my HD… Still. It is awesome for what it is.