Weekend Round-Up, Procrastination Ends & Exercise Begins

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This week we conclude with the month of Procrastination. While I feel like overall I’ve made a bit of progress in Procrastination Prevention, this last week was a lot less successful. I was out visiting family on the East Coast. It was difficult (read: pretty much impossible) to fulfill this week’s Weekly Challenge to Plan Your Day in Advance. Not only were Jesse and I both sick, but the days that we finally were well enough to make a schedule, outside factors (including bad weather and unexpected funerals) severely altered plans. But that’s life; some weeks are just a wash. I think I’ll have to give this challenge a Do-Over. =0) Sometimes, that’s what you gotta do when life throws you a curve-ball. Just go with the flow, don’t get to hard on yourself, and try again.

I’m excited for the first full week of Exercise! I love the summer months. It’s a great time of year to focus on getting in shape… especially when you see look in the mirror and don’t quite see your beach-ready body shape that you hope to have. I’m definitely looking forward to the weeks to come!

In case you missed it, here were some of our top posts of the past week. (You can either click on them, or scroll down and review all of our past posts.)

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Interview: The Happiness Project author GRETCHEN RUBIN

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Tips: Motto’s to Remember

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Recipe: Livin’ La Vida Lentils (aka Minty Red Lentil Soup)

See you tomorrow with a brand-new Weekly Challenge for the month of Procrastination!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~Sherri <3

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TIPS: Mottos To Remember

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Procrastination.

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Here are some MOTTOS to remember to help combat Procrastination:

TIP #27 – TIME IS VALUABLE; DON’T WASTE IT: If something is wasting your time, just stop it. Even if you have spent money to go to an event, a movie or anything of that sort, if you find  it is a waste of time, cut it short. Money you have a chance of recouping, time you cannot.

TIP #28 – IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO: If something does not help you to get to your long term goal, learn to just say no.

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Today’s the last day of tips for Procrastination! Stay ‘tooned on Thursday for a brand-new theme and a brand new month of Tips, Challenges, Recipes, and of course, Comics! =0)

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If you missed last week’s few tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Interview with The Happiness Project author GRETCHEN RUBIN

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Gretchen Rubin is a blogger and author of many books, including the #1 New York Times and international bestseller The Happiness Project and its bestselling follow-up Happier at Home. After attending Yale Undergrad and Yale Law School, Gretchen originally began her career as a lawyer. She was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Chief Adviser to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. It was while clerking under Sandra Day O’Connor that she realized that she wanted to become a professional writer. Her other books include biographic bestseller Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Forty Ways to Look at JFK, as well as Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide.

Gretchen Rubin is truly an inspiration to all of us here at Playing Grown-Ups, and we are honored to have her share her insights in this month’s interview.

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Sherri: When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up? As you grew up, how did your career objectives change?

Gretchen: Weirdly, I don’t think I ever thought about it. I just kept aiming for the next obvious hurdle. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college, so I went to law school—that dangerous default decision!


Sherri:  What motivates you both personally and professionally?

Gretchen: I’m motivated by a love of reading and writing. I love to read, to research, to pursue odd obsessions—and when I learn something or read something wonderful, I want to write it down, turn it into my own material, and share it.


Sherri: This month, we have been focusing on how to cope with procrastination.  Do you have any helpful hints for us?

Gretchen: Just about anyone who has ever put off a troublesome task is familiar with one of my Secrets of Adulthood: Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. When there’s some chore you just don’t want to tackle, every other chore seems alluring. As a friend told me, “My apartment is never cleaner than when I have a writing assignment due.” If you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing.

When I want to do the difficult work of original writing, I often work outside my apartment, in a library a few blocks away. This gets me away from the temptations of the internet, and it also forces me to do nothing else but write. I say to myself, “I’ll stay here for two hours,” and then I’m stuck. If I’m not writing, I’m just sitting there. Sure, sometimes I jump up and go look for a book in the stacks, but that doesn’t take long. I end up writing just to pass the time. At home, by contrast, there’s no end to the useful tasks that I can find to occupy myself.

I wrote about this on my blog, and someone commented, “Oh, this strategy wouldn’t work for me! I can spend hours on forums.” He did not understand this strategy. You do nothing. No reading, no tidying, no calling, no errands, no filing, no emailing, no re-formatting of a document.

So if you often find yourself procrastinating by working, try making yourself do nothing.


Sherri: We at Playing Grown-Ups love food! What are some of your favorites? Do you have any simple recipes that you might share with our readers?

Gretchen: I’m no cook, so don’t really have any recipes. I like very plain food, for the most part.  Some of my favorites: Greek salad, quiche Lorraine, scrambled eggs, hamburgers. And can I include coffee?


Sherri: You seem to have so much energy and vitality.  Do you have any advice for us on how to stay youthful?

Gretchen: Thanks! that’s very nice to hear! One quick trick to make yourself feel younger and more energetic: jump. Just jump up and down, do some jumping-jacks, run down the stairs, hop over a puddle. There’s something about getting both feet off the ground that feels child-like and zestful.


Sherri: How do you find the balance between your writing (blog and books), responding to fans and spending time with your family? Is it hard to make time for everything since the blog has become so successful?

Gretchen: So far, I feel incredibly lucky that everything fits together. Blogging is just as fun as writing a book—different, but just as rewarding. Of course, one advantage of writing about happiness is that I feel very justified in taking time to do the things that make me happy—like hanging out with my family! I really enjoy every part of my day and my work. And I’m grateful for that, every day.


Sherri: Who has inspired you (or still does) and how?

Gretchen: Wow, that’s a big question. There are a lot of answers, but one is certainly my sister, Elizabeth Craft. She’s a TV writer, and she became a professional writer before I did, and I know her example helped me take the risk to try to become a writer, myself. Also, I’m the kind of person who worries about what I “should” be like, but my sister never wavers in her acceptance and understanding of herself. I try to emulate that quality.

Thank you, Gretchen, for taking the time to answer our questions! To find out who next month’s interview is, stay ‘tooned to Playing Grown-ups for all the latest info!

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To see last month’s interview with legendary Archies cartoonist Stan Goldberg, click here!

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Procrastination Weekly Challenge #5: Plan Your Day In Advance

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DISCLAIMER: I eventually do get done what needs to get done… most of the time..

However, I generally remember these tasks as I go through my daily routines. I try to store my “to-do list” in the back of my mind, pray that I will remember it, and will try to do it at a  time I deem more appropriate to carry out the task.  Is this the most efficient way to accomplish what needs to be done? Absolutely NOT!

Now imagine I spent this week writing out a schedule for everything that I plan on doing the night before each day. How much time will I save!!! So this week, let’s write up a detailed schedule for everything you need to accomplish. Set reminders to your phone, write sticky notes, do whatever you need to do to help remind you along the way. This week we are going to be efficient with time. Lets not waste a very valuable gift to us; TIME.

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Week #5: PLAN YOUR DAY IN ADVANCE!

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Weekend Round-Up, Procrastination Week #4

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I feel like, after 4 full weeks of thinking about, acting, and doing things to help combat Procrastination, I finally had a breakthrough. I notice that I am a bit more efficient with my time. I have been less focused on social media, and am starting to take control of my bad procrastination habits.  It’s funny, because at the time that I do each challenge or tip, I feel like it’s quite overwhelming and difficult. However, something must have stuck, because this was my most productive week in a long time. I caught up with my deadlines, and even managed to get ahead of them a bit. I especially enjoyed this week’s tips to Use Your Time Wisely, because it’s certainly something that I needed to improve on.

As for this week’s Challenge, Change It Up, I decided to focus on my correspondence. I am a phone person by nature. I love speaking to people, and I love the immediacy of phone interactions. If I want to make plans with a friend, I like to call my friend up on the phone to get an answer. However, some phone calls take much longer than they should. For example, waiting on the phone to deal with an insurance issue. Or sometimes phone conversations catching up with friends cut too much into work time, and I end up wasting valuable moments that could be spent getting work accomplished.

So, this week I decided to send out more e-mails or texts instead of phone calls. It especially helped when it came to dealing with corporate organizations. For example, I received a notification in the mail that a $15 rebate for paint purchase was denied because “Postmark date does not fall within program dates”.  Instead of calling customer service, spending time on hold, and dealing with all those problems, I looked up their customer service information online and sent them an e-mail at night, when it was quiet and easier, so I would not waste precious work hours during the day on this phone call. I let them know that I certainly sent it out on time, because I mailed it out on my Mother-In-Law’s birthday, two days before the postmark deadline, at the same post office trip I sent out her birthday card (which certainly they cannot deny a daughter-in-law – there’s no way I could be wrong with that date!). I also informed them that if they denied me the rebate, I would be more than happy to switch to a competitor! Sure enough, the next day I got an e-mail informing me that my rebate has gone through. I am glad to think that I was able to save a lot of time just sending an e-mail at night, when I first got my mail, instead of during the day, when I probably would have procrastinated making such a phone call. I will definitely try to keep this up!

In case you missed it, here were some of our top posts of the past week. (You can either click on them, or scroll down and review all of our past posts.)

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Procrastination Weekly Challenge #4: Change It Up

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Tips: Plan To Focus

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Recipe: Tuscan Tilapia

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Recipe: Fabulous Frittata Fries

See you tomorrow with a brand-new Weekly Challenge for the month of Procrastination!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~Sherri <3

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Tips: Plan to Focus

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Procrastination.

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Here are tips on PLANNING & FOCUSING to combat Procrastination:

TIP #21 – PLAN YOUR DAY IN ADVANCE: Create a to do list.; send reminders to your cell phone so you won’t forget. A simple, helpful phone app is Wunderlist.

TIP #22 – DO NOT MULTITASK: Focus on one thing at a time. By concentrating on the one task you will get the best results and accomplish more in the time you spend.

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Tip #23 – MOVE TO THE MUSIC: Put on motivating music that will help keep you focused and keep you going.

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If you missed last week’s few tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Weekend Round-Up: Procrastination, Week #3

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It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a few small changes. This week was all about Eliminating Distractions. Not only was it the Weekly Challenge, but it was also the theme of one of the Tip Days as well. Since I spend a lot of time working on my computer, I never realized how frequently I stray from my work to check my e-mail or Facebook account. What I ended up doing is signing out of all social media accounts during the work period, so any time I would visit Gmail, Facebook, Twitter or any other of those sites, I would remember that I signed out for a reason.  It’s amazing how much that little step helped tremendously. This is definitely a challenge I will continue for a long time.

In case you missed it, here were some of our top posts of the past week. (You can either click on them, or scroll down and review all of our past posts.)

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Procrastination Weekly Challenge #3: Eliminate Distractions

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Tips: Challenge – Accepted

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Recipe: Simply Scrumptious Salmon Tartare

See you tomorrow with a brand-new Weekly Challenge for the month of Procrastination!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~Sherri <3

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TIPS: Elimating Distractions

Tip Days will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips is devoted to Procrastination.

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Have you been working on the Weekly Challenge to ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS? Here are a few helpful tips:

TIP #16- PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO SUCCEED: Prepare everything that you will need to work on your project.  Go to where the project will be done. Once you are prepared to meet your challenge there is nothing left but for you to start and to not put it off any longer.  (You can do it!!)

TIP #17 – TURN OFF THE TELEVISION:  On the day that you will work on your project, don’t turn the TV on (unless it is during one of your allowable break segments. If you do turn on the TV at those pre-appointed allowable times, make sure you do not go past the allowed time limit.  Remember, shows, and the completion of shows can be recorded.).

TIP #18- GOOD-BYE COMPUTER, GOOD-BYE FACEBOOK: Stay away from the Internet on days that you will dedicate toward your goal, except during allowed break periods. The Internet can suck you in like a black hole.

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TIP #19- PHONES OFF: Don’t answer the telephone during your work periods, unless an emergency of sorts arises.  Phone calls can be returned at your convenience, during your breaks.

TIP #20- CLEAR CLUTTER: Clean your desk and organize your drawers. Spending time on cleaning will help in the long run and save time when you need to find things in a pinch.

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To see tips, that you missed click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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TIPS – Challenge: Accepted

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Procrastination.

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Here are tips on OVERCOMING OBSTACLES to accomplish your goal.

TIP #13 – KNOW IT CAN BE HARD: Understand in advance that that your task or project is probably a difficult one to complete.  That is undoubtedly the reason for your procrastination.  If it were easy you probably would not have put it off.  You should realize and be mentally prepared that despite your best efforts, and sometimes because of reasons beyond your control, you may not see your project through to its completion.  It is not a personal insult or degradation to not complete a particularly difficult task. The insult is not making the attempt.

TIP #14 – IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT: Understand that the project, or the smaller segments along the way, does not have to be completed perfectly.  Sometimes good is good enough.  Failure to achieve perfection or preconceived notions of perfection may stop you from attempting to complete the project.  Maybe the house won’t be perfectly cleared of clutter, but it will undoubtedly be a lot better off than it was at the beginning.

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Tip #15 – NERVES MEAN THAT YOU CARE: Embrace the anxiety that you may have in approaching a tough task.  If  you didn’t feel nervous, the task probably wasn’t that tough to begin with.  Anxiety, nervousness, and even fear are indications that the project is important to you. These feelings will heighten your senses, keen your awareness, and generally get your juices flowing when attacking your goals.

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If you missed last week’s few tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Procrastination Weekly Challenge #3: Eliminate Distractions

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I always wish I were the person who can be tidy and neat. But alas, I was blessed with a laid back personality who does not get too bothered by clothes that are sprawled on the floor. So today, as on most days, my goal is getting my room clean. This venture is not an easy task. However, give me some music and a couple of hours and I am good to go.

Lately though I’ve been realizing that it really shouldn’t take hours to get this room sparkling (let’s be real, I mean, at least not as messy).  I often find myself checking my computer seeing what happened on Facebook, or if I received any emails in the past ten seconds. Or sometimes I’ll get a call where I must put everything down to give it the full attention I (mistakenly) feel it deserves. So today I decided, all those distractions that keep me from my oh so neat room will be put aside, turned off, not in use for at least an hour. And guess what? It took me approximately half the time to get it clean!!! This week I am applying this approach to anything I deem worthy of getting done. Any big or small goal I have this week will officially be getting my full attention. Distractions,  I will see you later, possibly next week, but for this week at least, my tasks, my goals:  I’m all yours!

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Week #3: ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS!

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