10 habits that will change your life for better

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about some habits, that have great power to make our life easier and more productive. I’ve started incorporating them into my daily routine and although many of them aren’t my everyday thing yet, I can already see how better my day is when I do this easy (as we could think) activities.

So without further explanations, let’s move to all those life-changing habits.

Get up early

This is the one I am struggling with the most. Especially, since I had my son (ok, he is just an excuse, I had a problem with this before he was born too).

However, every day, when I manage to get up before him, I have some time for myself, I can get ahead with my tasks (at least these requiring me to focus). Having this one or two hours each day, when everyone is asleep makes a lot of the difference.

Of course, I could tell you to wake up at any ‘optimal’ time, but such perfect time does not exist. I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles about the power of getting up at 6 am, or 5 am. Some even swear to everything that is important to them that 4 am is the time when you should get up and start your day.

Although I believe them, I still don’t agree with them. I don’t think getting up at 4 am would do any good for a person, who let’s say finished their shift just two hours before. But the fact is, that if you’ll get up earlier before your normal schedule, it will definitely help. At least if you won’t spend this time scrolling through your social media.

Open all windows at your home as soon as you wake up

This seems to be so random and not important thing, that I wouldn’t bother to do this. I’ve read about this so many time before, but I have never seen any purpose of it. Of course, I did open them at some point during the day but didn’t see why would I open them as a first thing after waking up.

Well, when I started to follow it, I had to admit it has changed my life. First of all, my home is fresh and airy before I am done with making breakfast. That makes me more likely to do some work when I am ready to start getting my things done.

Don’t make your bed to soon

This can seem like a nightmare for those, who like me were growing up with mums who really paid attention to it. For me, there was no way to leave my bed unmade for longer than 10 minutes since I woke up.

But in reality, there is very good reason to leave making your bed till a bit later or even not doing it at all. Leaving it uncovered (but not messy), for some time with an open window, will help you to have a good night sleep in fresh bedding.

Have a nutritious breakfast

This one never had to be explained to me. But anyway I was always eating very bad breakfast or haven’t got any at all. I’ve started working on the quality of the first meal in the day, I started having much more energy than I used to.

If you are a coffee drinker, it might be even more beneficial to you, as in my example, breakfast helped me not crush as quickly as I used to.

Get at least a bit of exercise

This is quite obvious. In polish (I am not sure about English) we have a saying: “in the healthy body healthy soul”. Keeping yourself in good condition help to reduce stress and pain associated with prolonged sitting or standing.

And the good news is, that you don’t need to spend money on expensive equipment or gym ticket. Just a bit stretching and walk or run in the fresh air will do the thing. And you’ll not even realise when you’ll start loving it.

I can’t say I am running regularly, as not always I have someone to leave my son with. But I am able to go for a walk almost every day. It is good for my son too 🙂

Review your plan

This is the thing, I am most guilty of. I have my to-do list prepared and it is just waiting for me in my bullet journal, but when I’ll get ready, I just keep getting my tasks from my memory.

Reviewing your to-do list after every task will help you to decide which task is the best to do next (if you haven’t written them in the order) and at the same time, you’ll not forget about anything.

See what can you do, before the real day starts

Before I will talk about the importance of this habit, let me explain what do I mean by real day. This is quite connected to the first point, where I told you about getting up earlier. For the purpose of this post, the real day will mean the time before your normal wake up time.

Why is this one so important to me? As for the most part of the day my son is following my each and every step, he has to try doing everything I do and basically he is in the age of being interested in everything, I have to have my eyes all around my head. That makes it impossible to do anything what requires me to focus (first of all, my son would be climbing one any way; second of all: if he wouldn’t climb, he would be looking for some way to explore the highest shelves in our house, what could end in taking him to ER after he would have fallen).

So every time, when I manage to wake up before him, I am getting as much of writing posts, recording videos, montaging them, etc as I possibly can. Of course, after having my breakfast. If I think about it, ironing is one of these tasks too. I don’t really understand it, but my son loves every kind of strings, wires and other long objects. As I am ironing, he tries to pull the wire and it is quite stressful not to let him get hot iron on his head.

Clean as you go

I don’t know how it is in your place, but my one has a magic power of getting dirty. You know, I’ve just washed the dishes, after made tea and heated up some food, I turned around and my sink is full of the dishes… AGAIN!

Or I hoover and mop the floors. Meantime my son wakes up I feed him and my floors are all dirty. Just in no time.

For some time I was even wondering if there is a point of trying to keep my place clean. But soon I found a solution (to be honest my mum used to say it to me all the time when I was a kid, I just wouldn’t listen to her). It is just one very powerful sentence: clean as you go. I started with my dishes. Most of the time or make something to eat or drink, I try to wash everything straight away. To help myself with the floors, I bought a small hand hoover and every time my son decides that the best place for his rice is on the floor, I clean it right away.

This way, my home stays relatively clean at all time and I am not getting frustrated all the time.

Stay hydrated

I find it very important too. I have never paid a lot of attention to how much I am drinking. But quite recently I had these horrible headaches, which wouldn’t go. I was stuffing myself with painkillers, I was trying to catch extra naps whenever I could. But nothing helped.

Actually, my mum was the one who suggested that I might be not drinking enough. Well, since I started drinking at least a 1-litre bottle of water or other drink, I seem to have more energy and what is most important, my headaches are completely gone.

Plan your next day

This is very important too. It is very important to prepare your to-do list in the evening before. It will help you stay on the top of your tasks the next day when you wake up early. The trick is, you don’t waste your time on thinking what you have to do, you just pick a task from your list and get it done.

If your planning system is good, you will be also less likely to forget about important things, deadlines, appointments, etc.

And these are all habits I wanted to share with you today. I will be happy to read your recommendations of habits.

But this is it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Ps. I’ve forgotten to press schedule when I finished this post, so we have almost 5 hours delay today. Normally, posts will be live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 pm UK time.

Living in a world of high expectation

Hi guys,

Today’s post will be a bit different than the usual ones. I won’t share any tips, any deep thoughts. But I will complain a bit instead. It is going to be kind of weird, as the only thing I can complain about is myself. So let me introduce the story.

As probably most of the world does, you might be forced to self isolate yourself. This is our reality, we are trying to fight the pandemic which flooded the entire world in just couple of months. It might have sounded amazing on the beginning (I mean staying at home, not pandemic itself). You know, this time you are going to spend with your family, this projects you’ve never had time before to work on or just simple sitting on the couch and watching tv. Now you were about to take some time off or start working from home and who said you can’t watch tv while working?

Everything sounds perfect (except all the bad things happening outside, especially growing numbers of new cases and people who actually didn’t make it, but this is a different topic). But after some time, you might have realised, that nothing changed. You got this extra hours (even if you are still working from home, you don’t waste any time for commuting), but nothing changed at all. There is still no time to start this project, watching tv isn’t as relaxing as it sounded before and you might have even started to miss your work place.

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you might have noticed that I have never enough time. That my to do list is getting bigger and bigger, just because I keep adding to it without getting anything or just a bit done. I am getting too tired to do anything after working a night shift. I am trying to spend as much time with my son as I possibly can. But still my other things are being left behind.

My company used to be closed for over six weeks. I had tons of spare time. But my to do list have reached a world record for the biggest amount of task on it. I just couldn’t set myself to work.

Today I’ve started wondering, what’s happened? What am I doing with all this time given to me for free? And finally, why do I feel so tired, when I do almost nothing?

And I came to some conclusions. Or more likely I can see some possible options. But the most likely one is I can’t force myself to do anything, if I don’t have any expectations set upon me.

Normally, we live in a world where there are expectations regarding all aspects of our life you could possibly think of. What kind of worker you are, how does your household look like, what kind of a husband/wife, child, parent you are? These are just some of the aspects and no matter what you do, there will be someone who will try to prove that you are doing it wrong.

There are also different kind of expectations, which are even harder to live with. The ones which you set yourself. These are more harder, as every time if you’ll do “not well enough”, you’ll not have to wait for anyone to point it. This person will be already there. Just because it will be this part of you, which is never happy with your work. This voice in your head saying that you should have spent more time and your results would be much, much better.

So let me talk about these last expectations for a while. Before my son was born, I planned to keep my home spotless, so he can grow in the best environment I can provide for him at the time. And although my home is never a complete mess, it isn’t spotless either. There are the days, where there is sink full of pilling up dishes, clothes to wash already doubling size of my washing basket. There are a days, when I can’t get myself to iron (you would probably get scared after visiting spare room in my home). Or when the trash bin is asking me to take it out.

The image of me having a baby made me feel like I have to find a good night shift job, so we can provide for our son’s decent life. I was sure I will manage it easily. I was sure I will be a bit tired, but will manage it till my son will go to the school or till I will manage to figure out getting some kind of business going on from my home (which I haven’t even started to think about so far). I was sure and I was wrong at the same time.

Although it was obvious, I haven’t realised that as my son will be born, things won’t change for better. Of course, my son is the best person coming to my life, but he is also the most demanding one. Since he was born, I forgot what does spare time mean. I have no idea what detailed planning is, as the best I am able to do now is to have plans like: “during his nap time, I will…” or “while he plays with his toys, I will…” There isn’t any particular time. All my life has been sacrificed for this little human being (well, sacrificed isn’t the best word, but he became my reason to do everything I am doing, no matter how hard it gets). But this is not the problem itself. As I said, my son is the brightest sunshine in my life, I wouldn’t change this for anything else. There is only one problem. Expectations. Expectations set by other people, which I can always ignore (although, not always I can manage it quickly). Expectations set by my son, regarding our routine (which I am glad to have). And finally, the hardest ones, expectations set by myself.

Since I have realised that, I’ve decided to stop expect anything from myself. I can’t do anything about other people’s expectations, but I can stop myself from doing it. I will still make my plans and to do lists, but I’m going to look at them like they were some kind of guide, not my duty.

There will be sink full of dishes left overnight? That’s fine. Never ending pile of ironing? Amazing! Well, not so amazing, as eventually I will have to do them, but still ok. But what is more important, I will not let to define myself by the amount of chores I am doing each day or amount of tasks I am getting ticked out of my to do list. How is it going to go? I will definitely share it with you after some time, as I see any change (either for better or for worse).

But for now I am going to end this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it and if you have any thoughts or advises regarding expectations, you are very welcome to share them in the comment section. For now, I wish you a very productive day (without any expectations, though) and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How do I plan?

Hi guys,
Today I would like to explain how do I plan. Probably all of us have so many things going on. I keep finding myself in situations, when I have so many things to do, so I have no idea where shall I start. Everything seems to be urgent, all the time household chores are pilling up (especially clothes to wash and iron; add to this a sink full of dirty dishes – where are they coming from? – and you could possibly spend all day doing just this).
To try to stay on top of all my things, never ending to-do lists and new things to do continuously coming up, I needed a great planning system. As you might have read in one of my old posts, I am using a bullet journal. I used to use nozbe, which worked great for me, but unfortunately, I kept forgetting to charge my phone and there were a moments, when I needed to write very important event or appointment and my phone just died.
So I came back to using a bullet journal again. If you haven’t heard about bullet journal before, it is a customizable planner (basically notebook, where you can include any spread you can think of – but you are setting it up by yourself), which allows you to assign how much space for each month, week, day as you need. There is an original system designed by Carroll Ryder (you can watch how it works by clicking on creator’s name).
I use my bullet journal slightly different, because I found out that I can get more things done when I plan it in kind of funnel way. So let me explain three stages of my planning.
First stage: long term planning
I make long term goals approx. every  9 to 6 months. In this stage I include all goals, projects, appointments, etc. which are going to happen any time from now to up to 12 months. I simply create a future log (you can see it in almost every bullet journal set up video). It allows me to write all deadlines, events, appointments, which are meant to happen later in the future. I also include my long term goals, divided into smaller steps (it will be helpful in my next stage). And having all this written down, I don’t have to worry about them at the moment and I am ready to move to my next stage.
Second stage: monthly planning
As you can tell by the name, this planning happens every month. That time I have a calendar for that month, where I add all events and deadlines from my future log plus anything what comes up mean while. I also make use of my goals divided into steps in the previous stage, as I am including these steps as a goals in my monthly goals spread. I also divide them for smaller steps to make it easier to work on them during the month (just small tasks I can handle during one working session). At this point, I have my weekly spreads already set, so I assign each of these steps into a particular week. This allows me to visualise how much stuff I am able to achieve each month and see what will be left in any given project.
Third stage: weekly/daily planning
This is the last stage of my planning. At the end of the week, I assign tasks for each day in the following week. After that, every day I revise what have been done, keep adding any tasks which could appear mean time. Any task which wasn’t done at planned day is being migrated to the next day or if there are a lot of tasks waiting to be done, for any other loose day.
Also, there are a lot of other stuff, which I include in my bullet journal, like finance tracker, budget planner, savings log, sleep tracker, mood tracker, etc. All this is giving me great insight into my life and helps me to implement any adjustments, whenever I notice that something doesn’t go well.
This is all for today’s post. If you have your way of planning, I will be glad to read it in a comment section. For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.
Daria