Hocus Focus

I’m trying to master distractions and reclaim my focus. In order to do so, I’ve been reading books and articles with techniques, tips, and tricks. Right now I’m trying the 18 Minute program from Peter Bregman. The basic idea idea is that you define areas to focus on in your life. Everything you say yes to should fit into and move you ahead in one of those focus areas. Then, day by day you plan your work based in the focus areas and calendar the work to be sure you have enough time to complete your tasks. If an item does not get finished in a day, it moves to the next day. After three days you have a few choices for that item- do it now, put it on a maybe list or forget about it.

I like the process so far. Calendaring my items shows me whether or not I have enough time to complete everything I think I can. It will help me decide what projects to take on because I’ll have a better idea of how much time I actually have.

i also like the process because it’s applicable to any job/life situation. It works for me as a contractor, but I can also see how it would be helpful to someone in an office. It’s really about where to spend your time, how to determine how much time you really have, and what to do with tasks that don’t get done.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 29 and 30

Well, it’s over. For the last 30 days (plus all those days I didn’t actually work out) I’ve made workouts part of my routine. Almost four months ago I left my office job and started to work from home as a freelance writer. Pursing my dream was a monumental decision. As I worked long hours to establishing myself as a writer for hire, I was mostly sedentary. I was no longer walking to meetings or around town on breaks with my colleagues. My longest walk was about 15 steps from my home office to the mailbox. My body started to rebel. I gained weight in places I didn’t know you could gain weight. I lost muscle tone and become pretty out of shape in a very short amount of time. This challenge was to get fitness back into my daily routine and it has helped a lot. I didn’t take any weights or measures before I started, so I don’t have numerical proof, but I do have general, feel good proof. My clothes fit better, I feel better, and most importantly, I look forward to my workouts. They’re a part of my daily routine now.

The final two workouts were: 20 Minute Beginner Workout: Full body Yoga, Tone, & Cardio by Gym Ra and 20 Minute Upper Body Arms and Abs Work Out: Armed and Dangerous by JessicaSmithTV

Verdict: Both felt good. I’ll be sure to keep them on my rotation.

I’m not sure what my next challenge is, or if I’ll even do one. These last two challenges were ways for me to revive my blog and get writing more often. Maybe my next challenge will be a writing challenge. Maybe NanoWriMo?

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 26, 27, & 28

I’m losing steam as the challenge winds down. I’ve definitely gotten into good habits around working out after I’m done with my work for the day. It’s a great way to signify that I’m done with one part of the day and ready to relax into home life. I don’t know what my next 30-day challenge will be. I think it should have something to do with writing fiction. Maybe writing 500 words or so each day. I have a few more days to decide.

Friday, I did a 50-50-50 workout, which is where I do 5 sets of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, and 10 crunches. It’s not much, but it’s something other than sitting at my desk.

Saturday I went to an hour spin class. I love my spin class. I need to go more often.

Sunday- meep

Today I did two blogilates videos- both cardio-related.  I did Heart on Fire- Pop Cardio and Hiitilates- Beautiful Burn.

Verdict: Both were good. I’m sweating a lot as I type this recap. I’d do both again. Together it was about 20 minutes of cardio.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 24 & 25

The downward slope to the finish! Only 5 days left!

Yesterday, rather than do a YouTube workout, I tried this series of 4 moves from Prevention: The Only 4 Exercises You Really Need. Basically the moves are plank, push-ups, squats, and triceps dips. I did 3 sets of- 1 minute planks, 10 modified push-ups, 30 squats, and 20 dips.

Verdict: Fast and easy. What I like about a circuit-type workout is that you can do the sets throughout the day, which is what I did. I like a quick pick me up.

Today I did two GymRa videos: Get a Butt like Beyonce and Speed Up Your Metabolism in 8 Minutes. The butt video was pretty good. It involved a step and weights. It was a series of 6 or 7 moves completed on each side, 15 reps each. The second video was actually 2-8 minute videos, one for each side of your body. So the title is misleading.

Verdict: I’d easily do both videos again. I was sweating like crazy when I was done with both.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 22 & 23

Such a lazy weekend. I intended to do a lot more reading, writing, and working out than I actually did.

But, back to it during the workweek.

Yesterday I did my take on this Blogilates workout. I’ve posted this before. It’s my go to workout when I dont feel like cuing up something on Youtube,

Verdict: Like I said, it’s my go to. I like that it works abs, butt, legs, and arms. I do 4 sets of 25 reps of each exercise, rather than doing 5 minutes straight of one.

Today I did two Blogilates videos: 5 Best Thigh Slimming Exercises and Quick Ab Workout. The first video was about 11 minutes long and the second was 5-6 minutes.

Verdict: Meh, both were fine. Nothing special. I’m not sure I’d remember them in a few days.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 19, 20 &21

If I’d stuck to this challenge daily, we’d be just about on Day 30, and even though  I still have 9 more workouts to go to finish what I’ve started, I can easily say that this is a habit I’m happy to have formed. I look forward to my workout every day and that’s saying something. There are some better habits I need to get into, like mixing it up more, adding more cardio, and doing longer videos, but overall I feel better than I did 30 days ago (and some of my old jeans fit again, so there’s that.)

Wednesday (day 19) I did this Full Body Activation video by Gymra. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I loved this video. You swing your arms and your legs and work your whole body in non-aggressive ways for 30 minutes. It was a great workout.

Verdict: Will be on regular rotation!

Yesterday I started Barre Full Length Ballet Workout: Sculpt Your Hips, Thighs, and Butt, in Less than 15 Minutes by JessicaSmithTV. I made it more than halfway when I started feeling dizzy. It wasn’t the video, though, it was a bad day for allergies.

Verdict: I’ve done this video before and really liked it. It’s tough and you definitely feel your legs and butt afterwards. I’ll come back to it because I love a good barre workout.

Today I did Pop Pilates: Pick-me-up Quickie Workout by Blogilates. It was pretty quick, though I felt it while I was doing it. I followed it up with 40 crunches, 40 bridges, 40 leg crosses, and 4 triceps dips just to lengthen the workout a little.

Verdict: Short and sweet, though I wish it were longer. I don’t mind putting a few different videos together though, so this one might make a comeback.

YouTube Workout Challenge, Days 17 & 18

Well, I didn’t do any videos while I was away. I did take a few walks, but nothing too strenuous. So I’m back at it now that I’m home and in my daily routine.

Yesterday I did another Yoga with Adriene video: Travel Yoga- Morning Sequence. It felt good to stretch for about 10 minutes.

Verdict: I didn’t love this one as much as the Freedom Flow video. It was mostly sun salutations. It did feel good to get myself back to regularly scheduled work oust, though.

Today I did three videos: Pilates Beginner Reformer Workout with Kathi Ross Nash, Pilates Reformer Lower Body Workout, and Elizabeth’s Studio: Ep4: The Core Has Legs.

Verdict: I likely won’t do any of these videos again. The first one used equipment which I did not have. Also, the instructor kept saying “good girl” to the women demonstrating the workout. It was demeaning and creepy. The second video was just alright. The exercises were fine, but it was only 5 minutes. The audio in the last video was WAY too low. I couldn’t hear anything she was saying.

So the lesson I’ve learned is to stick with loud, high energy videos and I’ll be happy.