The 2 minute rule

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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

 

Six Word Story.

Today’s The Daily Post challenge is to write a story in six letters.

Clever girl, disregarding a bitter reality. 

Sounds almost… poetic? Somehow, it reminds me of a haiku, my favorite kind of poetry.

 

On another note, over the summer I have lost 7.3 lbs! For comparison, here’s a photo:

Woah.

It’s insane that the pic shows 7 pounds of meat! Harder still to think I’ve lost that much, just by changing my eating habits and doing a bit more exercise. The MyNetDiary app has helped majorly as well.

The photo is from another blog, you can view it by clicking the photo.

Ciao,

Shavonne

July Memories

Before.
Final image.

For the first part of July, I traveled with my family to La Loche, Saskatchewan. Under the porch at the house we were staying at, my brother and I found an adorable litter of puppies. The puppies’ mother barely acknowledged their presence. The puppy in the picture above was the weakest of the litter, and my favorite. He was an absolute sweetheart. His personality really began to show at the end of our stay.

My brother took the shot above. The first image is the original, and the second is the one I’ve touched up. I took out the reddish tint, and then evened out my skin tone, and smoothed my skin. Finally I touched up the eyebrows subtlety. It’s so cute how we got the photo at the exact moment the puppy decided to yawn.

 

Original.
Touched up.

 

Here I am combing the beach for shells at Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. The day was overcast, windy, and not so warm. I’m hoping August brings nicer weather for Canada.

The first shot again had a slight red tinge, so I removed that. I also evened out my hair, slimmed down my shirt, and tucked in the sides of my shorts that were slightly sticking out. I then finished off with the location in the top right corner.

As always, click on the photos to see the full, much more clear version. More photos and edits coming soon!

Ciao,

Shavonne

Summer: 50% complete.

I’m starting to feel the usual melancholy of the end of the holidays setting in already, even if there’s still a month left.

Currently, I’m combing eBay, trying to find a good deal on a Porsche Boxster, or Pontiac Solstice. Hoping that I’ll find a cheap one for sale near where I live before the month has ended.

On to more exciting news: Since July 13th, I’ve lost a little more than 6 lbs! What’s my secret? Eat lots of healthy food, and exercise lots.

This wiki article by James Quirk outlines 17 great ways to start loosing weight, and becoming fit.

My favorites are:

Have confidence in yourself (you should know the exact reason that stimulates you to lose weight)

set an achievable goal for your weight reduction (if the aim is not practical then you will easily get disheartened and stop following your regimen)

find out your daily caloric intake (The MyNetDiary app for the iPod did wonders for me, keeping track of my calorie intake and amount of calories burned conveniently. It also sums up what you need to change about your diet, and outlines a plan for you to follow, and how long it’ll take you to meet your goals. And the best part, it’s free!)

decide which foods to cut out & seek alternatives to unhealthy foods (for example, instead of buying your usual cut of steak, try for a smaller, leaner cut. Or buy a low-fat meat such as fish)

plan your meals (make sure your meal plan reduces your total calorie intake)

watch your portion sizes (eat s l o w l y to avoid overeating; you will get satisfied with fewer calories)

graze on healthy snacks (eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, or grazing, helps aid weight loss, compared to eating three large meals a day, by keeping metabolism steadier)

get more fibre (all the benefits of fibre are in the full article linked above)

drink plenty of water (again, all the benefits are in the article.), exercise (By making time for exercise and other healthy, productive activities, you can also avoid temptation to overeat. The Wii Fit is a great way to do a variety of exercises. If you have an Xbox, here is a detailed list of Kinect games that focus on fitness)

sleep properly (find out how many hours you need for a good sleep. Sleep deficiency impairs your ability to lose fat.)

and finally, be realistic. Don’t expect a miracle, you have to work for your results.

This morning I had Original Alpen Cereal by Weetabix, it’s loaded with fibre, which helps you meet your weight control goals more effectively. The recommended amount is 5 grams of fibre for a healthy breakfast. Half a cup of that cereal brought my calorie total to about 170. A full breakfast is at least 200 calories, so I added 4 tablespoons of Homo Milk by Island Farms. If you prefer more milk in your cereal, then try Skim or 1% milk, but I personally dislike the taste. That brought my calorie total to about 210.

For lunch I had 3/4 cup of watermelon. Watermelon helps to balance your blood sugar, and is low in calories. Plus, it tastes great. I polished that off with a medium-sized stalk of celery (7-1/2″-8″)  and a tablespoon of Smooth Peanut Butter by Kraft for dip. Celery is very low in calories, and peanut butter has a bit of protein, which helps you stay full for longer.

I finished off the day with 3 and a half oz. of lean strip loin grilling steak by Western Family, about 2 oz. of red baby potatoes, and 2 tablespoons of cream corn. To help measure how much steak you’re eating, remember that a deck of cards equals about 3 oz of meat.

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Image from Pinterest.

A really helpful site on estimating the amount of food that’s on the menu, and great alternatives to unhealthy foods is found here as well: http://almostgastricbypass.blogspot.com/2010/08/day-107-monday-august-30-2010-part-3.html

Throughout the day I’ve been using the WiiFit Plus, focusing mainly on strength and yoga exercises. I burned about 100 calories altogether.

After dinner, I went for a hike around the park behind my house for 45 min., burning about 166+ calories.

Another important tip that helps lessen your hunger is drinking lots of water, which has countless other benefits as well. The recommended amount is 5-6 glasses a day.

And that concludes a typical, healthy day. Tomorrow morning for breakfast, non-fat frozen yogurt!

Ciao,                                                                                                                                                   Shavonne