September 2016 Wrap Up

For the most part, September 2016 sucked. Motherhood kicked my ass, and my body tried to kill me.

But first, stats!​


Here's what happened on the HowToGYST site, YouTube channel, and at home in September 2016

On The Site — September 2016

This month I talked about the foundations of productivity -- finding a balance between your work and home life, getting a good system set up, and planning your most productive day. I also shared my exact planning process because, 'round these parts, I always try to walk the walk.

I was simultaneously running a promotion on my e-course, the Productivity Power-Up, so the posts were little tasters of what you can expect once you sign up. (A huge WELCOME to all the new students!)​

Click the pic to be taken to the post.​

Declutter your home header

Struggling to maintain a work-life balance? Read how I juggle marriage and motherhood with my career, and the secrets that have kept me sane(-ish).

Is your productivity system helping you get the most out of each day? Here's a big mistake you might be making...

Increased productivity starts with a great productivity system. Here's how to set one up so your days run much more smoothly... plus a big mistake to avoid!

Planning your most productive day: a step-by-step guide

Let me take you step by step through planning your most productive day, so you can get more done in a lot less time... and then go put your feet up.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how I plan my days, including why I do it, and what I use.

I talk a lot about the importance of scheduling, but do I walk the walk? Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how I plan my days and weeks & the tools I use.

Really useful tips for completing category 3 of the KonMari Method -- 'Paper'. And a great KonMari checklist too!

Learn the secrets to getting more done in less time, so you can focus on what matters most to you.

On YouTube — September 2016

I guess you could say this is where it all went wrong for me.

My first video of the month was one I've been meaning to record for a while -- my struggle with post-natal depression. I kept putting it off because, honestly, it's just hard to admit it. It's hard to talk about it. It's hard to be vulnerable.

But all of a sudden I needed to say it out loud. I grabbed the camera, let everything flow out of me in a big jumbled mess, and then tried to edit it down to something more "consumable".

Here's what I didn't tell you:

I thought I would find the whole process to be incredibly cathartic. I thought I would feel so much better once it was out. I thought I would finally put it to rest and move on.​

I didn't.

Instead, it brought back a lot of bad and painful memories for me and, for most of the month, I was dragged back to that dark place and had to fight hard to find my way out again. In fact, the whole experience made me realise I may not be totally out. Yes, I've often seen the light, but I think I may still be seeing it from the shadows.

I'm working on it.

That video lost me a lot of subscribers, and all my YouTube stats took a bit of a nosedive. That was disappointing. They're just now starting to come right again​ (probably because the content posted thereafter was decidedly more upbeat) but I won't let it stop me from sharing the more serious topics from time to time if I feel it's right. Life isn't all about the ups.

On the flip side, I received so many incredible, supportive messages from you​ and, for that, I can't thank you enough. It was heartwarming and humbling to hear that it brought a bit of light to some of you still in darkness. All in all, the comments and messages had a very "sisters-in-arms" feel, and I was so proud that some of you who didn't have kids or who haven't struggled with PND still pledged to check in on your mother friends. You're all making this world a better place.

Click the pic to be taken to the video.​

Post-Natal Depression: My Struggle with the Baby Blues

Post-Natal Depression: My Story & How We Can Change It

Finding Motivation: The Hack I Use To Get Motivated FAST

Finding Motivation: The Hack I Use To Get Motivated FAST I AM VERY BUSY Agenda Flip-Through & Review

"I AM VERY BUSY" Agenda Flip-Through & Review

How To Be Happy: My Happiness Prescription

On top of all that, my KonMari folding video hit 100,000 views! WHAAAT?!

August 2016

Social Media Stats — September 2016

  • Facebook: on the brink of 2,000 'likes'. I've been spending a bit more time on here lately.
  • Twitter: finally broke the 700 mark. I never expect much gain here because I'm rarely on it.
  • Instagram: over 950 followers now. After only posting 1 photo for the entire month of August, I upped my game here this month and have been posting most days. Extra effort = extra followers.
  • Pinterest: almost 2,700 followers. Still flying. 
  • Newsletter: almost 675 subscribers now. Consistent increases here every month, despite inconsistent emails from me.

HowToGYST HQ (AKA home) — September 2016

A gloomy month here.

Scout officially started pre-school on September 1st. She'd already attended a few weeks of summer camp at the school so was well used to the teachers and surroundings, thereby making it a smooth transition. But, as is usually the case, she came home a few days later with a cold, which she then passed on to me and Sam. And just when we thought we were all on the mend, the virus came back ten times worse for Scout and forced us all to sacrifice a lot of sleep.

She had an eye infection, a blocked nose, a cough so bad it made her throw up, a fever, and a nasty rash all over. She was up several times in the night every night, and basically stopped eating. Her energy levels were at rock bottom while her body used all its resources to fight off the foreign invaders, and her lack of decent sleep turned her into a devil child.​

It was rough going.​

September 2016 -- Scout was sick

​In the midst of all that, I was in pretty regular pain so I asked for another scan and appointment with my consultant. The scan confirmed what I suspected -- not only do I have gallstones, I also have a kidney stone too. Because my body hates me.

Last year, I decided not to proceed with surgery to have my gallbladder removed. This year, I'm going for it. I can't be in pain like this for the rest of my life. The scan showed that my gallbladder has a large number of stones in it -- so much so that my gallbladder wasn't actually visible on the scan behind the wall of stones. So I'm awaiting another appointment for the kidney stone, and I'm booked in for surgery for the gallstones next month​. I'm not too thrilled about it but, like I said, it's better than the alternative (assuming all goes well). It will be my first major surgery (apart from having my tonsils taken out when I was a kid and 2 wisdom teeth out a few years ago.)

Thankfully, all that misery was punctuated by some positive moments, first of which was a trip back to Google. I was super excited to be invited to YouTube's Creator Day here in Dublin​ where I got to learn from and interact with some of Ireland's top YouTubers. And, y'know, it doesn't hurt that Google always put on a good spread.

YouTube's Creator Day Dublin, September 2016

And then I landed my first feature in an Irish publication. Xpose Magazine's editor Aisling interviewed me and Ryder Carroll about the Bullet Journal system. I've been using mine for over 2 years now, and talked a bit about how it helped me transition from a legal career to looking after my daughter.

Needless to say, I rushed out to buy a copy as soon as it hit the newsstands!​

Xpose magazine feature, September 2016

I was also featured in the very first issue of Paper Planning Magazine, the brainchild of the wonderful and talented Carie Harling. If we didn't live thousands of miles from each other, I swear we'd be the best of friends.

What I read in September 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 didn't get to read as much as I would have liked this month because of all the reasons listed above, but my goal for the year was 2 books a month so I'm still surpassing targets.

  • "The Memory Box" by Eva Lesko Natiello. This is one I started reading last month. I wasn't expecting much from it but it kept me mildly entertained. Had it not been for the totally unexpected ending, I would have been pretty underwhelmed by it. I've said it before but I can generally get a good sense of how a book will end as I'm reading it. With this one, I was totally off the mark. It's nice to know a book can still surprise me.
  • "30 Days: Change Your Habits, Change Your Life" by Marc Beklau. In essence, a collection of good habits and positive steps to take to lead a better life. Nothing incredibly groundbreaking here, and some of it was a little repetitive, but it was good for a bit of extra motivation and a nice reminder that small changes can lead to big benefits.
  • "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne. This is a book that I've been wanting to read for a long time after hearing a lot of rave reviews. I finally got a copy from the library and worked my way through it. In a nutshell, it's about learning to strip away all the "excess" from a child's life so that they can truly enjoy their early years instead of this new and disturbing trend towards "advancing" them as quickly as possible. A really good read (though I did feel in places it could have been edited down a little more), a topic that's close to my heart, and it has cured my procrastination on the KonMari Method! The next category for me is toys, and I've been putting it off for several months now. Well this book has lit a fire under me and I'm more determined than ever to eliminate as much toy clutter as I can. In fact, by the time you're reading this, I'll probably already have done it! Expect an update very soon!
  • "Pretty Baby" by Mary Kubica. I read her other book "The Good Girl" a while back and, honestly, if I hadn't also purchased this around the same time, I probably wouldn't have bothered. I haven't finished it yet but, so far, I'm finding it pretty forgettable. I'm hoping the pace will pick up a little but, if I weren't so stubborn, I'd probably put it down and never give it a second thought.
What I read in September 2016 -- Simplicity Parenting

And that's it for another month. October brings surgery and, with it, plenty of rest and recuperation.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need a long lie down. zzzzz


What was the highlight of September 2016 for you?

Any exciting plans for October?​

Happy early Halloween!

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