Most Important Tasks

In my Leonie Dawson workbook that I filled out at the beginning of this year there was a page called

12 Zen Habits (From Leo Babuta at Zen habits.net)

They are all pretty useful and zen and go as follows

  1. Set your 3 MIT’s (most important tasks) each morning
  2. Single task (focus your attention)
  3. Zero inbox
  4. Process emails once a day
  5. Exercise 5-10 mins a day
  6. Work while disconnected
  7. Keep your desk decluttered
  8. Clear & declutter home for 15 mins a day
  9. Stick to a 5 sentence limit on emails (make your words powerful)
  10. Say no to commitments & requests not on your important short list
  11. Eat fresh fruit & veg everyday
  12. Follow a morning routine

I think we can all pretty much agree that these ‘Zen Habits’ are worth thinking about as we go through our days. In fact I have them stuck on the wall in front of me right this very second look

zenhabits

My favourite one is number 1. I actually do use this one every day now. Having 3 MIT’s is great because it isn’t overwhelming. It its an endless to do list. It is just what actually matters to you the most on that day. Sometimes there is time for more. Some days I have achieved my MIT’s by 11am and I have the rest of the day to frolic..or whatever. I take 5 minutes every morning to figure out what the 3 tasks are for that day that i definitely need to do. If i think of 4 i have to choose which ones are the most necessary to my day.

Todays MIT’s for example are

  • Write blog post
  • Go to appointment
  • Start assignment

Today is pretty standard actually. Often my 3 MIT’s have something to do with self-care (appointment-actually for hypnotherapy) something for my business (today-write blog post) and often something to do with studying because there is basically always something I really need to do for that.

Other days, I know immediately that My number 1 priority is self care. Sometimes my MIT is actually to find time for a quick nap, or a bath, or just to read alone for a while. On days when I’m not feeling that great I know that that needs to be taken care of first.

Some days it is to do something fun with my family, to visit my grandma, to clean something, to business plan, to organise something for charity, to find time for yoga or a walk or to write in my journal if I haven’t done that for a while, to create something if i haven’t done that for a while.

You get the picture. I need to sit down each morning and actually give myself a few minutes to think about what the day holds in store for me and how I can work out when to do my MIT’s.

Why don’t you try it? Could you list 3 MIT’s today?

Peace out,

Imogen x

P.S.

Have you signed up for self-care month? Free daily emails throughout June with self care tasks in for every day! Sign up here

http://eepurl.com/bl49EP

Business Planning

I haven’t been posting as regularly this week I know. I have been laying the foundations, doing all the backstage work in order to make this blog into the life changing community I hope it will be one day. I have run a (semi-successful) business before and want to do this properly and I know I need to start with a proper business plan. So this is where I have started. I will post this part of it because I think it is important for you to know where the hell i’m going with this as much as I do.

Here is my vision statement:

The vision for the blog Imogen J Hope-Life Balance is to create an online resource containing helpful information and sources to help people achieve balance in their lives. I want to start by creating a catalogue of blog posts which explain different ways in which I and other people can achieve a better balance in their lives. To have more time and energy for the things that they are passionate about, for example hobbies and interests and to look after themselves mentally, physically and emotionally, so that they can reach greater potential. I want people to see that their lives don’t need to be endless circles of work they don’t enjoy and fatigue. Life can be more fulfilling and creating a better balance is the way to do it. In the future I want to share ebooks, worksheets and online courses containing information and interactive guides on how to achieve greater life balance.

So this is where were headed. I’m learning a lot about online businesses. How to blog and what areas I need to work on. It’s not as easy as churning out the thoughts in my head (who knew??) and I am starting to realise what a huge amount of hard work it is going to be. I am ready for it!

Imogen x

Thoughts on courage

When I started this blog it took a massive leap of faith for me to press the publish button. I have a lot of thoughts of self-doubt and I have suffered from low self confidence and self esteem. It can be difficult to ignore.

For example;

~Will anyone read it?

~Will people think that anything I have to say is relevant or interesting?

~Do I have anything relevant to say?

~What would my friends & family think about me acting as though I can write anything worth knowing?

That last one in particular actually makes me laugh a little reading it back now. First of all because who cares? And also because actually my family and friends are always very supportive of me. I suppose its just that little paranoid noise ticking away at the back of my head putting doubts there.

So, yes, it was a leap of faith. I read up on how to start a blog and typed away trying to ignore the doubts and clocked publish before I could talk myself out of it. Because I wanted to do it, I do have faith that I have something worth saying and that I could actually help people with how to balance their lives, which is what I want to do with this blog.

So I closed my eyes and pressed publish, I almost didn’t expect anyone at all the read it, at first especially, then I checked back and there was a like, a few visitors, and even some followers! (Hi, by the way, its is very nice to meet you!) So that encouraged me to write more. I read up on how to grow my blog and made sure that I followed through with what I was reading (there is some good blog advice on my Blog Help Pinterest board if you need some tips). So I try my hardest to write a post every single day and release it into the world via the internet and now, after all the worrying, it feels good to do it and thank you for reading & responding to it.

After the experience I have had here I hope to be writing in this way for years to come and continue to get more response as that is what it’s all for! It took a lot of courage for me to publish my first post and now I can’t imagine what I would do without it. I hope that you find the courage you need to take a leap of faith into something you want to do, even if it scares you. Especially if it scares you!

Imogen x

Fitting it all in and creating Life Balance

So i have a lot of strings on my bow. And would like even more perhaps. It’s a busy life but I have to make sure that I also fit in self care and relaxation. In the past I have been known to let things get on top of me and suffered from stress and anxiety which ideally i would like to avoid returning!

So this past week I have been attempting to establish new routines as part of my goals for 2015. This started by my prioritising The different areas of my life that i need to dedicate time to. That brainstorm looked like this

IMG_4078Not the most colourful but this quick brainstorm has led me to a much more productive week already.

Monday I shut myself away and write 1 chapter of the novel I am writing. Any ideas i have had during the week are noted down or dreamt up ready to be written on Monday. This system seems to be working well so far. I have written 3 chapters and the in-between time gives me enough space to dream up what happens next.

Tuesday painting is quite straight forward. I sit down and let whatever is inside me that day come to the surface and out onto the paper. Sometimes it is something I don’t like. Sometimes i think I have produced something amazing and sometimes its just a little bit dark. Anyway the important thing is that I put the time aside to create something which is just so important to me.

Wednesday says educate. I try to use an hour or so on a Wednesday to read up on selling art, blogging, writing, scheduling and any other subjects which i feel i need to educate myself in. Then i have the rest of the days in the week to implement what i have learnt.

Thursday selling day. I pop as much as i can on etsy and try to manage my shop the best i can on this day. Maybe in the future i will also use this day to sell or display my art locally when i pluck up the courage!

Friday is blogging day. I will sit and write about whatever it is that is on my mind or has been during the week that i might have made a note of.

Weekend is spent ferrying the kiddies from parties to classes to freezing myself in the park! And if I’m lucky some special time with Mr.H.

Rain Again...(Introducing Violet and Jonah aka. Vi & J.)

You may have noticed I am also a student. I am starting a part time degree with The Open University for English Language and Creative Writing. I don’t start for another 2 weeks today and then i guess I’m  going to have to work out how to fit it in to my routine that i have already implemented. Who knows how i will fit in that 18 hours a week but, hey, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I believe that if I’ve already set out routines for everything else it will be easier.

As i am also mother of 2 little sprouts i have to look after them before all these things AND clean and declutter and cook and play. So you see there is still a lot more to fit in here.  I will probably pop all that down in another post but i just want to give some ideas of how you can fit in ways to create, produce and even sell even if your family or working life is full and chaotic.

Thanks for reading lovelies!!

Imogen x

Welcome..to my Life Balance blog

I’m Imogen. I am a writer, painter, student, mother and wife. I hope to use this blog to practise writing and to promote whatever it may be that i am working on. Also to create a network of support and belief around myself that i, and you, can all achieve our life’s purpose and dreams.

I write with great trepidation. The same way i, in fact, do anything as i am very self conscious, self doubting and low confidence when it comes to that which i create. But i am trying. Trying to grow, trying to learn and trying to believe in myself more.

So this will be where i will publish my personal story. Maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

Thank you for reading.

Please engage in feedback it would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

Imogen J Hope

Life Balance