Tag Archive | LIFE

‘Emotion-Driven’ Goal Setting

‘Emotion-Driven’ Goal Setting

To me this makes so much sense. Really recommend to watch. 😉

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TIME AND DATE

T&D

I’ve found this to be a pretty useful site for all my calculations with dates.

If I want to know, for example, how many days it has been since I got married or when our 10000 days anniversary is :), I use this site. Or how many days/months ago some event took place. And so on.

However, to find out current time somewhere in another part of the world, one can simply google ‘current time X‘ – and it’ll be there. 🙂

Organised Family Archive

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 14.19.29

I’m so glad to share that I’ve finally found a way to organise my family’s photos, videos and stories… Besides having all the family archive available on an external hard drive + on my mum’s hard drive (there’s not enough space for this on my computer), it is very convenient to have all the family photos and videos available with several clicks of a mouse anywhere in the world in order to easily share special events with family and friends.

WordPress is my solution! 🙂

I have considered and tried other sites like Facebook / Google + (sharing only with close “Friends” of course) or Tumblr (having a site protected by a password). But  having gained a lot of experience in working with WordPress, I have realised this is the best option for me and returned to it.

Because what is important for me in such a website is that:

  • the website can be made private – I’m not ready yet to share all my family history with the world 🙂
  • everything can be organised in a chronological way
  • one can create galleries
  • one can ‘backdate’ – post something as if it was posted years ago (Tumblr, for example, makes it a bit messy on the back end – where one edits the site..)
  • one can make drafts in advance or schedule posts
  • videos can be embedded
  • the design can be adjusted
  • there is a tagging option
  • there is a calendar
  • visitors can leave comments

WordPress has all these functions and more…

So, what I’ve done is – I have:

  • signed up for ‘another WordPress site’
  • made the site private
  • chose a sleek minimal theme – ‘Forever’ 🙂
  • adjusted the functionality of the site to my preferences
  • created posts for all the family events or photo collections
  • created galleries (in those posts) with photos from our trips or with our guests, or from events and so on.. – uploaded lots of pictures on the wordpress server (still a lot left to upload to be up-to-date, but still lots of free space left)
  • started to upload all the family videos to youtube (making them private too, so that only people who I choose can view them) and embed the videos into the posts on the WordPress site
  • been in the process of creating login details for my family members and friends, so that they can access the website

The only problem I’m having with WordPress is that there is no way to protect the website just with one password, like on Tumblr, so that anyone who has it can access the site without usernames or creating accounts… (In that case I would use Disquis to add a comments function..)

Other than that I’m very happy with how I’ve organised our family archive! 🙂

I plan to use the information from the website for my son Carl’s 1st year baby book: it should be much easier to create a physical book using the materials from the site, for everything will be already organised when the time comes to prepare the book.

My other plan is to do the same for my parents… They say they like the idea! 🙂 And I like doing nice things for them. ) I just need time…

Are You Making use of Google’s Fantastic Free Online Services?

I’ve been using Google’s services quite a lot recently, and I find them very useful. So I want to share with you how exactly I use some of them.

  • Google Web Search: obviously to find stuff online and answers to my questions – just write your full question in there and you might just get the exact answer you’re looking for. Note that one can control their web search history here.
  • Gmail: well, for emails of course, but I also use labels extensively when archiving the messages. Messages that I am not completely done with I label with RESPOND and SORT OUT, so that my inbox is clean most of the time.
  • Google Calendar: this calendar is very useful, one can create several calendars (for example, one for a different area of life) and share some of them with others, or invite people to events and use email reminders.
  • Google Docs: I’ve uploaded to Google Docs all the documents from my computer that I just want to keep as a reference or archived, so that my computer has only relevant stuff on it that I actually use regularly – everything that I’m just too afraid to delete completely can be kept on Google Docs. Moreover, it is really easy to create new documents with Google Docs and to share them or collaborate with others.
  • Google Reader: helps us keep track of all the blogs that we’re interested in. So instead of having newsletters delivered into your inbox at not always convenient times for you, you can decide for yourself when you’d like to check the updates. Just add the feeds of your favourite blogs to your subscriptions.
  • YouTube: In the meantime I’m mostly using YouTube to save my favourite videos/songs/playlists in one place that I can always access. Also I keep track of the channels that I’m interested in.
  • Google Maps: I always use it to find locations of places. Moreover, in Zurich one can use Google Maps to check on the timings of public transport and to plan any journey. Recently I’ve started using ‘My Places’ – I’m making lists of places I’d like to visit, to remember or to share.
  • Google Translate: I mostly use the iPhone app – it’s good.
  • Google Plus: it’s a social network, I’m planning to make more use of it in the near future… I can already say I like it, for grouping one’s contacts is much easier here than anywhere else – for example, choosing from whom we’d like to get updates or sharing pages we like online. I hope more of my friends start using G+ soon… 😉
  • Picasa Web Albums: I’ve uploaded (almost) all of my photos to Picasa (besides an external HD) to save space on my computer. I think it’s good, however I haven’t fully grasped it yet… There’ve been some changes recently, so it must be even better now.

What’s more, all the functional goodness that Google offers is, again, free, accessible from anywhere, sharable, and backed up securely.

Just make sure to set your desired level of privacy for each service…

No more wasting valuable time! – or audio-reading..

Ever find yourself thinking – “if only I could make this train/bus/tram/…-ride a time that is spent a bit more beneficially for me…” or “I’m OK with cleaning up the kitchen and organising my stuff, but I feel it’s such a waste of my time, for it never stays clean and organised for more than several hours and has to be done again and again, and again…”

My solution to this problem is listening to books, news and interesting radio shows, while I’m on my way somewhere, cleaning up/organising at home or doing something that doesn’t require much thinking. Then the time is not wasted. 😉

Here are some audio resources I recommend:

Audible UK – my library includes the following titles:

  • The Real Purpose of Parenting
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Law of Success
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Social Animal
  • Start with Why
  • Zen Habits
  • Zen to Done
  • Focus
  • The Power of Less
  • Blue Ocean Strategy
  • How to Stay Sane

The Economist

Freakonomics / on iTunes

Wired UK

How to Declutter

The process of decluttering is actually very simple. There are just 4 decisions we have to make regarding our stuff on a regular basis.

4 DECISIONS:

  • keep it
  • trash it
  • donate it
  • leave it for later

By the way, one can apply this process not only to physical things, but also to relationships, commitments/projects, plans, ideas and so on (because ‘donate it’ can only be used with physical stuff, in some cases it should be replaced with ‘share it’). 🙂

Let’s look at the 4 decisions in detail:

  • keep it means:
    • keeping a physical thing: keeping this thing and assigning a ‘home’ for it – a place where this item can always be found when not used, where it ‘lives’ when not used
    • keeping a commitment: doing our very best in pursuing it, dedicating ourselves to it and making sure we enjoy it and it is good for us
    • keeping a relationship: keeping in touch on a regular basis
    • keeping an idea: doing something about it – taking it one step further
  • trash it means:
    • trashing a physical thing: literally throwing it away – all broken or unusable things should be trashed (if something needs to be repaired, it has to be done ASAP)
    • trashing a commitment: stopping pursuing it – we have no more interest/no more energy/nothing more to give, so there’s no point making promises we cannot fulfil
    • trashing a relationship: ‘unfriending’ someone on Facebook / deleting someone from the address book – usually it is good to do it if we communicated only once with someone or went to school together, but never actually talked to each other afterwards; – there is no point keeping up with people with whom we wouldn’t normally communicate – being aware of what’s going on with them or checking out their pages from time to time is like stalking 🙂 – also, people that already have more than 500 friends on Facebook don’t really care whether we’re friends with them, they can’t actually even keep up with all their ‘friends’: that’s just too many – idea: use Facebook for real friends/those that you’d like to share your personal information with; use LinkedIn for contacts that might be useful for our future career (so it’s less personal)
    • trashing an idea: deleting the info about it from our computers or physically trashing the sheet of paper where it’s written or just forgetting about it
  • donate it means:
    • donating or recycling a physical thing: donating to charities or recycling the items with the help of websites like Freecycle, Craig’s List, eBay… – more info on where to donate stuff: here
    • donating a commitment: sharing with others what you did and that you’re quitting, so there’s a spot opened (for example, if there was a limited number of participants..) – maybe they’d like to pursue it…
    • donating a relationship: for example, when moving to another country, some relationships become ‘obsolete’ – share the details of the practitioners that don’t have much space for new clients that we went to can be very helpful for our friends who live where we used to live.
    • donating an idea: sharing the idea with others – maybe they’ll find passion and ways to implement it…
  • leaving it for later means: making the above 3 decisions regarding some the items some time later – in 2 months, for example

Asking ourselves the following questions might help us make the right decisions:

  • What are the things that I use on a daily basis?
  • What did I use this week? – make a list of things we used can also help make a decision about what we really need on a daily basis
  • What are my necessities? – make a list of things that we need for particular activities: for example, bathroom necessities, make up, wardrobe, things needed for particular hobbies
  • Which things/activities/people make me happy/bring me joy? What/whom do I adore? – we should definitely keep those, definitely be in touch with those people often
  • What are the most annoying things/activities/people? Why are they still in my life?
  • Are there any things that are hard to get rid of? What are they? Why is it difficult? – find out how to deal with emotional things here
  • Why do I have this?
  • Do I use this item? Or is it for ‘just in case’? When did I use it last time? – read how to deal with ‘just in case syndrom’ here and here
  • Will I use it again? When will I use it again? At which occasion?
  • Do I have things that cost me a lot of money? Am I using them? – if yes, keep them – if not, get rid of them: sell/give away – keeping expensive (any) stuff that’s not being used brings emotional discontent – money has already been spent (it’s like ‘sunk cost’ in economics terms), keeping the item will not bring the money back, whereas getting rid of the item can bring a sense of calm, sanity, peace of mind (that’s worth much more than anything expensive IMO)
  • What does decluttering mean to me? What kind of result do I want to achieve? – Is it minimalist look? Is it arty look but well-organised? What is it? – we have to determine what we want for us, for only then would we know whether we’d reached our goal

I would do it this way:

  • get myself some boxes (if there aren’t any, buy some from IKEA or similar – this is not clutter, and they are fairly cheap)
  • do the first round of decluttering just by going around all the corners of my flat, through all the folders on my computer, through all the email and so on – and eliminating that obviously has to go, applying the first 3 decisions
  • take time to answer general questions above – a week maybe
  • do the second round of decluttering – this time really tough, in order to achieve the desired outcome
  • when achieved a decluttered life, admire this clean look, love the clean computer, enjoy fulfilling and meaningful relationships, focus on projects at hand – invite guests more often 🙂

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RESOURCES – HOW TO DECLUTTER