22nd February 2008

Kitchen Tweaks

Since Christmas I’ve been doing a lot more cooking using fresh ingredients, usually 3 times a week, which when producing batches gives plenty of food to last all week. Cooking up big batches takes a lot of effort though, with the prep time clocking up normally to about an hour.

Since this is a big chunk of time, I’ve started looking at ways I can make it either go quicker, or be less effort and more enjoyment. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Blog, Happiness, Cooking, Home | 0 Comments

15th February 2008

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude diary is one of those really simple things that people mention doing over and over, and every time I come across I think to myself “I should do that” but for some reason, until last week I never got on with it.

I’ve been keeping in the habit of carrying a notebook around with me the majority of the time (Any where except when I’m out drinking in town essentially) but I was still forgetting to journal an entry each day. So now, to prompt me to do it at the end of each day I’ve placed a pen next to my alarm clock so as I get into bed the last thing I do is write down an entry. Having a pen as a prompt also means that I have a pen to write with.

I’ve set myself a soft target of writing 5 entries each day, which on days where all I’ve done is gone to work and lounged around at home before bed can be a push, but even that in it’s self motivates me to both think a little deeper and beyond the day to life as a whole. If I have a lot to write down, I keep writing more then 5 items if they come to mind, and I’ve been doubling up the weekend entry on a Sunday night if I end up somewhere other then home on a Saturday night.

posted in Motivation, Journaling, Happiness | 0 Comments

6th February 2008

Up And Running Again

It’s easy to over complicate self improvement, be it constantly searching for the right productivity tool or trying to arrange the perfect exercise plan, but in the end,  all you’re doing is just thinking about moving forward which because that in it’s self feels like an acomlishment, it’s easy to get stuck in th pattern of only thinking, and not really doing a lot more then that.

So today I made a leap forward, I took 10 minutes just to do some basic tai-chi in and stretches in the living room, have accepted that my current task tool of choice Remember The Milk will do the job perfectly well, have started to keep a gratitude diary in the notebook I now constantly carry and I’ve started up this blog again to act as a reminder as to what I am doing.

No the most concrete plan of action, but it feels good just to rush out and do something with the intention now of using this momentum and seeing how life works out.

posted in Blog, Motivation, Foundations, Fitness | 0 Comments

4th June 2007

Spending A Weekend Stepping Out From It All

The weekend wasn’t what you could traditionally call productive, but it did me a world of good. The sun was shining on Friday night, so I
pretty much bribed my friends into going to a pub with a beer garden, and in the end a handful of us ended up at an out of town place which
had a great selection of wines and ales, and a really relaxed atmosphere, so made for a perfect summer evening of chatting in the open air. Much better then just sitting around the house, or going to the same old haunts.

Even better, on Saturday I was in Cheltenham for a day at Wychwood Music Festival, (The festival is set on the Racecourse) jumping on a train at 10:53, and arriving on site around 2pm. After getting my tent set-up I spent the day listening to some amazing music, from Badly Drawn Boy, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Fun Lovin’ Criminals. And of course, ate a huge amount of great fun from various random stalls.

I went to the Festival on my own, mostly because no one else wanted to go, and I felt like going anyway, so while some people might think it a little odd to go to an event like that on your own, it’s a good way to experience it all and just take a day away from everything to take in a new scene and enjoy it without any distractions. Not something to do all the time but I really did get a great deal of enjoyment out of the whole trip.

posted in Blog | 0 Comments

30th May 2007

One Month On

One month into my whole self improvement project, and the results have been up and down, and made me sit back a little bit and rethink the way I want to keep going forward, and the way I should present it.

So on the presentation side I’m going to work on for the next week or so, and general progress I’ve started tackling in a different way, now that the obstacles I had before have been dealt with.

Looking back over the first month, much of what I have done has been fairly mundane, but I do have a pile of new books which I have skimmed, but not read in depth, and I have been running off and trying several new things, which keep me busy away from the computer.

posted in Blog, Progress, Concepts, Foundations | 0 Comments

4th May 2007

Week Two: A Mix of Progress - And The Space Problem

This week as a whole has been great - But, it’s also been crazy busy. I’ve reassessed some of the ways I’ve been working,  and a have a pile of new books and other resources that all need to be filtered a little bit to be usable.  The single biggest problem I have right now is lack of space.  My room is way to tiny, even now with a very creative layout, even just sitting down at my desk feels like a huge effort.

The odd thing is, it never used to feel so small when I wasn’t very organized, but now the more I sort though things, the more apparent it is that I really need to do something drastic. The mid term plan is to move house, to a place of my own, sharing a house is great (And cheap) but there is a limit to how much you can use “shared space” for personal things, my wines for instance sit in the living room quite happily, where they should be. But I can’t move a filing cabinet down there, since it’s too public an area, and too far from where it actually needs to be.

On top of all that, I’m away for the next four days - so won’t be able to do much of anything (Other then experiment with my new phone!) but some of the people I’m away with are very much similar minded about productivity type reading and the like, so will be able to have some interesting conversation on the subject over the course of the weekend.

posted in Blog, Motivation | 0 Comments

2nd May 2007

Day Seven: One Week Of Improvements Later

Monday night was back on form - with a very productive evening getting lot’s of jobs crossed off my task list. I found time to burn and watch a couple of episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”, order some new books, a fancy dress costume, go to a friends house for a glass of wine, and even play a spot of World of Warcraft.

Monday I achieved:  4 Things Done, 3 Successes, 1 Ongoing, 1 New Task

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Blog, Foundations, GTD, Goals, Purchases | 0 Comments

30th April 2007

Day Six: Sunday DVD Blues

It might have been something to do with the vast amount of wine we drank on Saturday night, but I was particularly “meh” on Sunday, not really hungover, just restless - the heat not really helping more then anything.

TV was the order of the day, and I watched another episode of Drive - even though it turns out it’s been canceled by Fox, which is a crying shame because I was really enjoying the show! So I looked on my hard disk for alternatives.
Sadly Sunday was: 1 Things Done, 1 Failed, 1 New Goal

Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Blog, Technology, TV | 0 Comments

30th April 2007

Day Five: Lazy Saturday

For Saturday I had grand plans, but actually nothing really happened.

Saturday evening was a dinner party at a friends house, and since my nephew and his mum were still in town, another quick visit there was in order there. And I did get a lift to the wine shop to pick up my wine from the other day, and pick up another case of cheaper wines for general consumption over the next month or so.

I didn’t order a new phone. I should have, but some how completely forgot. Which is a shocking state of affairs, I don’t mind having a lazy weekend, but I can’t believe that this slipped my mind. This is kind of fitting as I’m currently rethinking the way I use my various planners to form something more accessible and useful.

posted in Blog, Wine, Family | 0 Comments

30th April 2007

Day Four: Family Visits

Friday was a bit of a none productive day, for many reasons really, mostly down to not been able to find a good pace for anything, my meeting early on ran over lunch, when going to my parent’s house to see my nephew I missed one bus, and ended up having to wait a half  hour for the next and plans for something to do later in the evening just fell apart.

So, nothing great to report. It was fun to hang out with my family though, and I added a few upcoming dates to my diary (which is getting towards having a complete picture of what happens when now, since I’ve been using a Filofax for about a year now) but it also highlighted the fact I need a slightly better way to capture new information coming in when I don’t have my planner to hand.

posted in Blog, Family | 0 Comments

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