Wow, I was NOT prepared for how wiped out I'd be after surgery. It meant the second half of the month was a bit of a haze and I fell behind on lots of tasks.
Shall we take a look?
On The Site — October 2016
You all know I've been working my way through the KonMari Method for the second time but something I didn't do the first time is go through all my digital clutter. My laptop has 500GB of storage but, what with photos and videos, I'm forever running out of space and having to spend time deleting things and transferring stuff to an external hard drive. So, for the past few months, I've been slowly but surely working my way through all my digital files, folders, music, eBooks, etc. I shared my process in a post, including how I added a little Harry Potter magic to the proceedings. 'Cause I'm nerdy like that.
Sticking with the decluttering theme, I also shared my top tips to living with a messy person when you're trying to keep the place clean. It clearly struck a chord with a lot of you because it was the most popular post this month. And I had plenty of opportunities to practice what I was preaching because, while I was laid up after surgery, my husband was left to look after the household. My tongue is still swollen from all the biting. 😉
Then, because September had kicked my ass, and October was shaping up to be more of the same, I wrote a post about how best to get back on track when you've veered off course.
I also shared one of my top productivity tools -- the 'bonus list'. It's something I developed when I found that some days I was full of motivation and could plough through a long to-do list, but other times the same list was leaving me feeling very defeated. Not knowing in advance what way my energy levels would lie, I never knew how long my list should be. Too long and I'd risk overwhelming myself; too short and I'd risk slacking off. And thus the 'bonus list' was born.
And, last but not least, I shared a great way to make time for your goals when you've already got a lot on your plate.
Click the pic to be taken to the post.
On YouTube — October 2016
A relatively strong performance here. While I was convalescing, I worked on a pretty solid YouTube strategy (thank you, digital marketing diploma). It's only barely in place but I'm already seeing a big boost in my views and subscribers.
First up was my most popular video of the month -- KonMari-ing my daughter's toys. I can't tell you how big a difference this has made to my home, particularly seeing as this is one of those categories that just keeps expanding. I've also noticed a big difference in the way my daughter plays. Normally she requires help and attention when she's doing anything, but since I've streamlined her toys, she's much more willing to sit quietly and play by herself. Hurray!
After that, I covered some goal-related topics, namely, the 3 types of goals you need to have if you want to achieve anything of value, and how to set goals when you feel a bit stuck in a rut and aren't sure where to start.
Finally, I shared a little productivity hack that's been pretty much the only reason I've been able to get my arse to the gym on any sort of regular basis. It's all about getting things done when you don't want to do them.
Click the pic to be taken to the video.
The KonMari Method: 'Komono': Toys (Round 2)
3 Key Goals To Give Your Life Purpose
Setting Goals (When You Don't Know Where To Start)
Getting Things Done (When You Don't Want To Do Them)
I've also started asking YOU which videos you'd like to see, so if you want to have a say on what I upload, be sure to 'like' the Facebook page and vote every Saturday.
Social Media Stats — October 2016
- Facebook: just about to break 2,100 'likes'. Care to get me over the line?
- Twitter: over 700 followers. Still. An incredibly slow burn but, to be honest, I barely use it.
- Instagram: over 1,000 followers now. Started the month strong and then... surgery. (My excuse for everything this month.)
- Pinterest: over 3,200 followers. Consistent growth.
- Newsletter: over 750 subscribers, which was my goal for the month.
HowToGYST HQ (AKA home) — October 2016
Did I mention I had surgery? 😉
Honestly, pretty much nothing else of note happened. It was a quick procedure which was, thankfully, without complication... except for the fact that, 4 days later I was doubled over in pain. It seems that not only did the procedure not cure the pain I was having beforehand, it made it twice as bad. So I'm back to the hospital in 2 weeks to try sort it all out.
If the whole experience has taught me anything (apart from how physically exhausting surgery is), it's that I know my body better than most medical experts. Despite telling everyone who'd listen that I was unconvinced my gallbladder was the issue and that I thought it was, in fact, my kidneys, I was still recommended for surgery and still chose to go for it. Lesson learned. It's just a pity I had to lose body parts to do it.
My husband is still of the opinion that my gallbladder needed to be removed, given the indisputable fact that it was absolutely rammed full of stones. Several of the hospital staff actually remarked on just how many were in the little jar they gave me but, as it turned out, the surgeon said that what they'd given me was just a small "representative sample" of what they've actually removed from me. So yeah, I had several hundred of the little feckers swimming around inside me.
And there are yet more in my kidneys, but that's for another day. Le sigh.
Luckily for you, there are no pictures of any of that, so enjoy this photo of my daughter in her Halloween costume instead:
What I read in October 2016:
(Contains Amazon affiliate links which means that if you buy through my link, I'll earn a small commission on the sale... and use it to buy more books. Hurray!)
I thought I'd be able to read loads this month, what with being laid up in bed for a week, but I ended up drowning in YouTube videos instead. But here's what I managed:
- "Pretty Baby" by Mary Kubica. I started this last month and, as you may recall, dubbed it "forgettable". Thankfully, the pace picked up considerably thereafter and it turned out to be a decent read. I wasn't spellbound, but it held my attention 'til the end. It tells the story of a woman who takes in a young girl and baby she finds homeless on the city streets. The girl's history is unknown but unfolds throughout the story and has devastating consequences for all involved. Worth a read if you can stick through the relatively slow start.
- "Truly Madly Guilty" by Liane Moriarty. I read another book of hers, "The Husband's Secret", back in July and quite enjoyed it, and then my mother-in-law recommended this as being even better. In a nutshell, the story centres around an afternoon barbecue where events take a turn for the terrifying. Unfortunately, it develops painfully slowly. By the time we find out what actually happened, I confess I'd almost lost the will to live. It's one of those "three couples living in suburbia form an unlikely friendship, until one fateful day threatens to tear them apart" type of stories. Read it for the excellent character development, not for the frustratingly anti-climatic denouement.
- "The Mindset of Organization: Take Back Your House One Phase At A Time" by Lisa K. Woodruff. This was free on Amazon at the time. I still feel I paid too much for it.
- "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" by Robin Sharma. Perfect if you're into meditation, Buddhism, or just generally leading a more peaceful life. Cheesy in places, but a good read if you're ready to embrace your inner monk and learn a few valuable life lessons about slowing down, breathing in, and enjoying the present moment.
- "Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy" by Helen Fielding. An odd one, given that it takes such a huge leap into the future, and that the book about the intervening years hasn't even been published yet (though it will be soon). I found it initially a little difficult to wrap my head around the jump in timeline, and I'm still unsure as to the reasoning behind it. It's like reading the last chapter of a book before you go back and read the rest. Apart from that, it's a reasonably realistic look at the trials and tribulations of motherhood (as much as any comedy fiction book can be, at least) but it's otherwise lacking in a lot of substance. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't even a fan of the first Bridget Jones book, much preferring the movie version. This one is so poor that I'm not sure I'd even bother with the big screen version, should there ever be one.
- "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" by... umm... Benjamin Franklin! This was written in the 1700s so it took a few pages to get used to the writing style, but I quite enjoyed the fact that it forced me to slow down and pay more attention to what was being said. (Avoid if you're only interested in "light" reading.) A fascinating insight into the life of an eminent, industrious, intelligent man. Well worth a read, particularly if you're ready to be inspired by how much can be achieved when you put your mind to it. (Warning: side effects may include feeling like you've wasted your life up to this point.)
And that was my (extremely uneventful) month. In truth, it's been a series of months blighted by illness and generally low energy levels so I'm ready to rock the shit out of the rest of the year.
P.S. Can we all just agree to stop messing with the clocks now?