150 Steps in April

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Jane B
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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Jane B »

Hi Mannix, Yeah I know the feeling. I've often dealt with the same problem but I can say I have become more aware of it over the past few years and made some progress. For me, it is a question of frequently planning and stopping to identify what it is that is really important to me in my life now, and what are the goals I want to achieve. Also, when I have lots of things to do, I now try to relax and not to get too overwhelmed. I condition myself to focus on one thing at a time, keeping in mind that trying to do everything in a rush equates to not really getting anything done at all. To develop a time management strategy, I have collected ideas from a number of books and managed to develop a system that fits my personality and my unpredictable lifestyle. For instance, in his book "How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life", Alan Lakein suggests making daily to-do lists and grading them by A, B or C, A being the highest level of priority. And then, you can also add several levels of A and B by identifying them as A1, A2, B1, and so on. I also use lists everyday, but I have learned to keep in mind that I am not a "failure" if I don't achieve everything on that day. The incompleted tasks will still be on the list and I can always transfer them to my list for the next day, or even the day after, if I have to. The point of having a list is to have some structure and to ensure that things get done, even if not immediately. I know, especially as a freelancer, how unpredictable my days can be (I can get contracts at any given time), so it makes no sense to have a system that is too rigid. As Barbara Sher so eloquently puts it: "planning is mainly science fiction". I think planning is an important part of getting things done, but it takes some trial and error before you find a system that works for you. I like an analogy that Lakein makes in his book, about how developing a planning system that works for you is like the work of a photographer. The photographer must often make a lot of different snapshots before he gets the perfect picture. Hope any of this helps. As for me, well I had been having a number of symptoms lately, and after doing a bit of reading, I realized it is highly probable I have developed laryngitis. Therefore, no rockin out for Jane till my weary vocal chords get the rest they need. Thus, my day mainly consisted of resting and only taking care of urgent commitments (and yes, Mannix, I had a list of tasks I didn't complete, and have simply moved them on to tomorrow :wink: ). I did a bit of research and am relieved to know there are vocal training programs destined to the type of singing I'm doing in my band (i.e. rock/metal with screaming). At first, I thought there wasn't any real safe way to do what I was doing and I just had to be careful not to overdo it. Well, I have decided to take this minor "damage" I am experiencing as a warning sign and I will make it a priority to learn how to do my singing and shouting in a healthier way.

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Ann Marie
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Re: 150 Steps in April

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Good mini-rant, Mannix, though I have no words of wisdom! 20 called malaspina to see if they rec’d my application for admission...not yet 21 printed nia survey 22 made kid a good breakfast and lunch 23 finished letter to mail 24 scheduled time in ti study for bcrpa course on 2 nights 25 made lunch at home, and fresh juice 26 worked 10 minutes in garden 27 faxed admission application to malaspina 28 bought a couple of organizer things for the kids bedroom and one for my bedroom 29 didn’t go to a coffee shop 30 got some wire for tying up the raspberries and a peony support thing 31 printed postcards for nia classes 32 got letter of recommendation from professor for scholarship app if you ever need a picker-upper, get someone to write you a letter of recommendation and then post it on your wall, it's great! 33 taught class tonight and really realy needed it 34 spent time in the garden with the kid tying up the raspberry canes and diggin out the dandelions 35 did go to coffee shop, bought minimal. 36 am posting :)

Mannix
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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Mannix »

Hi, everyone, Anne Marie, thanks for the rant compliment! :) Jane B, thanks for spending so much time on my issue! Franklin Covey planner systems also use the "grading system." I have to admit I've gotten away from it. Last night, I replanned the day on a calendar, instead of a blank piece of paper. It seemed to help. One of my problems with having incomplete items on my to-do list is the next day is so full of tasks there's very little chance I'll get everything done. So there's a snarl in the system right there! I don't feel like a failure so much as a drowning victim! It's a new day and my first goal is to sit down and do nothing but eat breakfast for 10 minutes. It's really hard! More soon! -- Mannix

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by mango »

Mannix, I rebel against any to do list (although I love making them). Just looking at a list of things that I MUST DO TODAY make me want to crawl into a hole. So... I have a master to do list in a spiral notebook. I write EVERYTHING on that list as it occurs to me, from the everyday (pay bills) to the one -time stuff (transfer wedding video to DVD). It's like a catch-all. For daily use, I do things backwards. I have a really nice notepad and I write the day in really big letters across the top. Then I simply write things on the list after I do them. It's a great way to avoid List Rebellion, plus it's nice to see all that you accomplish in a day. Then I go through my master list to see if I can check anything off as done. If I have energy to burn and I need something to accomplish, I simply consult my master to do list and pick something. Lots of stuff gets re-listed over time. For example, I pay bills at the end of the month. I put it on the list when I think about it, check it off when I do it, then put it on the list again when I think about it the next time. Just my $0.02.
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille

Mannix
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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Mannix »

Hi, everyone, Today went much better! It's a little after 7:30pm now, and all I have left to do is have dinner and maybe some planning for tomorrow ... if I feel like it. Completed steps for today: 1. Worked out - cardio DVDs at home. 2. Went to Alexander lesson. 3. Shipped music book to the winner of one of my e-bay auctions. 4. Straightened up the house. 5. Taught 2 lessons. 6. Worked on draft itinerary for a trip to Carlsbad Caverns, NM. 7. (from yesterday) Said "no" to a 2-hour gig that would have required driving into Washington, D.C. during afternoon rush hour, and probably performing for two hours straight, which may not be good for my shoulder. (This "no" stuff is getting easier!) Jane, so sorry to hear about your laryngitis. And I'm fascinated that there are schools/teachers for heavy-metal "screamers." I always thought it was just something those singers did in the height of musical passion! Anyway, glad you're heeding your body's warning signs. Mango, I sometimes do those reverse to-do lists as well, it depends on what else is going on that day. I've been going without lists from time to time, just to keep from getting so fixated on them. It also depends on what my mood is. The greater the resistance, the more likely I am to go through the day "naked." :wink: And now, it's time for my just reward: put some sweats on, watch one of the 3 new DVDs I got from Netflix, scribble some more on that weekly calendar. Hope you're all being good! -- Mannix

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Jane B »

Jane, so sorry to hear about your laryngitis. And I'm fascinated that there are schools/teachers for heavy-metal "screamers." I always thought it was just something those singers did in the height of musical passion! Anyway, glad you're heeding your body's warning signs
Thanks for the sympathy, Mannix. I had no idea either until recently I did a bit of research and came across the website of a teacher in New York who specializes in it and has taught many professional metal singers. I am planning a trip out there this summer to visit with a friend and am thinking about scheduling a lesson. This information has been quite a relief to me, actually. I didn't think there was any healthy way to do that type of screaming and that you just had to be able to withstand extreme torture to do it.

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by mango »

I did a little bit of research for my online business today. Looked through a great book, decided on a make-it-right guarantee, wrote down a few questions to help with my pro forma (financial projections). :D Climbing out of my hole.
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille

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Ann Marie
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Re: 150 Steps in April

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Oh, look how fast this works!! I am back to using my whiteboard and daytimer and getting things done and knowing what the heck needs to be done. YAHOO! Jane B, that lesson sounds like a really good idea, I wonder what they will teach you, I'm so curious about that. Mango, I think the person who invented the spiral notebook should be given a big mooshy kiss on the cheek and a million dollars (if they don't already make that off the patent) for thinking it up. Oh, and spirals with sections, and spirals with rounded edges, or those spiral ones with the perforated edges so you can neatly tear out the pages....ohhhhhh spirals.... Mannix, you take AT lessons, too? I love AT! It's also part of the Nia classes I teach. 37 paid app fee to malaspina 38 wrote letter of app for financial aid 39 printed recommendation letter from prof 40 drafted monthly budget to include with app 41 made free class cards and stuck them to promo cards for nia 42 handed in scholarship app 43 figured out what to do about second course 44 worked in garden, many dandelions regret this 45 made good dinner at home 46 had kid do chores 47 did go to coffee shop and bought fries at a drive through, but didn’t buy the drink with the fries, and at the coffee shop I only bought one drink, rather than my usual two (and no treat there) 48 am posting

Unity
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April roundup

Post by Unity »

Unity wrote: I've got a sort of reverse goal - try and stop any compulsive buying, starting new things etc for the month. Then see what I have learned at the end.
:D I have been very successful and only bought 1 item that wasn't needed for the whole month. 8) I did volunteer for ONE thing impulsively last week that I later regretted (and thankful that my email hasn't been replied to) What I learnt - I'm still impulsive over making decisons without enough time to think and reflect on previous situations. e.g. this person always messed me around in the past. So when I agreed to do something for them LAST WEEK they didn't reply. But I bet they will some time in the future just when I don't have spare time (or inclination).

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Mannix »

Good morning, everyone, Jane, knowing there are private teachers for the heavy-metal style really changes my perspective of the genre! Anne Marie, I enjoyed your ode to spiral notebooks. :) Unity, congratulations on your successes for April. Maybe for that person who messes with your head, you could put a post-it note by your computer or phone that reminds you to say "no." That way you won't have to worry about making the wrong decision in a stressful situation. Can it be the last day for April steps already? Not possible! For this morning, My wish: to work out at home from 8am to 9am. (Errands later.) Obstacle: husband, who wants me to drive him to the Metro station, and will probably be ready to leave at 8 am. :roll: Hey, has anyone else noticed some of the emoticons have chins now? More later. Good Wednesday to all, -- Mannix

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by mango »

Urs, you should send another e-mail and say that something has come up and you are not able to help after all. Ann Marie, I enjoyed your ode as well. :D
worked in garden, many dandelions regret this
Laughed out loud over that one. A few things that I hope to accomplish before Monday: I want to get back to working on the business plan. I want to come up with a timeline for quitting my job. I want to send off one of the business forms.
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille

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ListWise

Post by Lynx »

Greetings Listers, Reverse Listers, and NoListers Mannix, I think this is the perfect forum for talking about how we do our steps. We know each other and it is called 150 steps, so anything that jostles that pursuit is proper purview. I have about 5 or 6 methods, and seem to cycle through them. While tidying up on one way to plan, I open the next phase with a different method. I compose my days in blocks. My first step, when I'm conscious, is to build in my needs first. When will I rest? Take a walk? Eat? Lately, I've gotten wiser about how large to size the blocks. I can predict interruptions or hassles, always. This adds time. If I can do something in 15 minutes with not problems then allotting 30 helps get me get ready for when the toner streaks and I have to reprint a few pages. If I get this time done in 15, so much the better for today. The day is not always my span for the plan. Sometimes I make a long list and give myself three days or four days to get them all done. I pay attention to what I really do. Does dealing with a back up of email leave me brain drained? Then I make sure to put in a break to walk or putter around. I also have been playing with meandering production techniques of late. That is, say I need to write a letter I've been putting off. What really happens is I start the letter, get to the first sentence, and remember I need to renew a book. So, I immediately renew the book, and return to the letter and write a little more. Oh, company coming, clean the bathroom, do that. Return to letter. And so on. I need to allow about 4 times the usual time this way, but it gets it done. Plus, I have no library fines, a cleaner house, a few shirts ironed, clean mirrors, etc. Basically, whatever the (short) distraction is, I get up and do it AND keep coming back to the prime task. Jane B, good going to getting that vocal training. When I got serious about making consulting and training my career, I took a lot of voice and singing classes intentionally to learn how to relax my voice so I wouldn't burn it up/out. L
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel

Unity
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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Unity »

Thanks Mannix and Mango. I never thought of emailing them :bash: It will stop me from worrying. I'm going to do it now. Mannix, I used to have a note by the computer some months ago but it fell off and I threw it out. Yes, you're right the faces are longer. Sorry don't know what to advise about your workout timing.

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Unity »

Going a bit mad. Went to email the person above and say I can no longer help them but found myself finding the information they wanted (and enjoying myself doing it) so decided against sending the email. But another part of me is very annoyed that I didn't send it. Trouble is that I did used to enjoy getting involved in their projects but the way they operate is highly stressful (own agenda and not informing anyone) not the way that I would like to do things. Yep, I know I'm answering my own questions. I should say NO.

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Re: 150 Steps in April

Post by Mannix »

Good evening, everybody, I think I'm going to skip the wrap-up this month and start fresh in May. Things went well today, but I'm feeling extremely stiff and I want to do one of my yoga DVDs. Probably to bed afterward. Unity, how are you doing? I would only say that if you enjoy doing that kind of work, maybe you can do it for someone who will appreciate it and not bring stress into your life. Good luck with the situation. (By the way, I did get to work out this morning, just a little later than planned.) Lynx, the description of your planning process struck a chord with me. May try it next month. Anne Marie, I do enjoy my AT lessons. I find myself looking forward to them and feeling much more relaxed afterward. Unfortunately, I think I still have a lot to learn, especially as pertains to working out without excess strain or injury. Hopefully stretching will serve as a stop-gap measure as I continue to learn AT. Hope everyone is doing well! -- Mannix

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