Check Off Tasks You Finish To Improve Productivity

One thing I have learned from to-do list is that they could also be counter productive.

If you manage to get the tasks out of your head and on-to paper, you have made a great step towards being more productive. However, your list could be long if you have many things on your plate.

Questions could pop up; Where do I start? How do I manage to get this done?

This is not too hard to answer though; you just get started. The start is the most important and the hardest part. Once you have started, the next actions will be easier, because you are already in the flow of work. You have successfully checked off the first task, it’s cleared from your head and to-do list and you are ready for the next step.

A to-do list could weigh heavy

However, it could also happen that when you have set the goal for yourself to finish the to-do list today, you could not get it done completely. That’s when self-doubt and the feeling of failure could come in. You should not allow this to happen, but you can’t always help it. The feeling of failure comes in when you do not finish the goals you’ve set out to do, so when not finishing this to-do list you failed yourself, and you will feel the results in your thinking. You might also punish yourself for failing, and that is counter productive.

This trend is what happened to me on a daily basis, years back. A lot of thinking gone into figuring out how to deal with this. There is a dilemma here, because I need to get the tasks out of my head to get a clear picture, but I can not allow this to-do list to compromise the work ethic by failing every day.

Manage what you have finished

What I did was quite simple, but effective. I wrote down a DONE list, not a TODO list. Each task that is finished is put on this list and is literally checked off. Now, all tasks that are being added are achievements, not goals.

This made me feel good about the things I actually did, instead of worrying about the tasks that should and/or could have been finished. It made my productivity go up, because I was not constantly battling a way-to-large todo list with everything on it. Some constraints in my thinking were removed by this, because every tasks now added was a win, instead of a loss. It made me more positive about my work-ethic, because I actually saw all the actions I have taken, instead of focussing only on the work ahead of me.

Now I just write down raw weekly goals that I need to do, as you still need to strategize your way to success. But now, all the actions that are required are just done and added to the done-list. This makes me sleep more easy at night, as I do not worry about all the actions that I did not finish the day before, and I still have clear targets what I want to achieve in this week.

You could try it if your to-do list is weighing you down at times. Please share your experiences, so we could learn more about it.

Consider Eating Fruits in ALL the Colors of the Rainbow

Eating healthy should be everyone’s top priority. Your health defines how well you live your life. You need to eat the right foods to make sure your body functions like it should. If you don’t, you will notice your body and mind working less efficient. Malnutrition can lead to all sorts of problems in your body.

You should eat your fruits, that should be obvious. Most people however know this and take one or maybe two pieces a day. Usually, they also take the fruit they know tastes nice. They do not change it up. This is something that should change, because there are many different fruits all containing different nutritional value. And you need this variety.

Try it this way. Choose your fruits based on the color it has. If you just had an orange, pick a green apple the next time. Or take blue berries and purple grapes. Next piece you eat could be yellow like a lemon. This way, you add a richer variety of vitamins and minerals to your body.

The rainbow has 7 colors. Eat every color, because every color has a function in your body. That is the simple explanation, you will learn about the deeper meaning later. If you miss one color, your body is going to try to communicate you eat it.

If you have difficulty eating all this fruit, try to make one colorful smoothie a day. That way you can drink the mix of nutrition all in once. Once you get the hang of that, your smoothies are going to play a major role in your diet. It is a beautiful and very easy way to add the so-needed good-stuff in your body.

Start buying fruits with all the colors of the rainbow, mix them in a blender and work towards a healhier lifestyle. Your body will thank you for that.

Why Training Regularly Will Keep You Fresh in the Head

Working the muscles is one of the things everyone should do from time to time.

The simple fact is that the more you do it, the fitter and healthier you get. (This has limits of course, but we will discuss over-training another time). Rather than training very intensely one or two times a week, you can also train lighter and more regularly.

Of course, it depends on the type of sport you like and what and how you train during sessions. More importantly though is the goal setting: what result do you want to achieve with your training? If you know this, you should figure out a way to achieve that goal. You should balance your intensity in order to get the results you like. If you go at it without any direction, you will train too hard one day and skip the next session, because something else came up.

You need to focus on the results you want.

It took me quite some time to actually manage my routine. Years ago, I tended to go at it with complete dedication to achieve a certain goal. One of the goals I had for years was to play in the first squad of my football club. I had to be complete fit for that and I figured, the more control I had over the ball, the better my games would become. That was indeed very true. I happened to score more, had more oxygen and did not loose my technical skills while being tired. It really made a difference in my performance.

Sometimes though, life pushes you in different directions. When I needed to work hard on other parts of my life, I also felt the need to go out to the club and party. Quite a lot. This paradoxical effect is very real for me and drains my motivation to push myself to the gym every time. I would find an excuse to not go.

However, every time after months, I started to feel worse. The partying slowly made my body more unhealthy and I started to feel the results in my mind, in my thinking. It happens to be the case that if your body is healthy, fit and focused, your mind follows. If you do not properly take care of your body and your body is weak and sick, your mind (and thoughts) follows.

This link is very powerful in my experience. It makes the solution actually pretty easy, because the problem is clear. if I do not take care of my body, I feel bad. If I do take care of my body, I feel good, powerful and energetic. My conclusion is simple: I need to start training.

This switch is not easy, as is every change you want to implement in your life. The start of things cost the most energy, just like the Shuttle’s take-off to Mars takes the most energy. The start is the most difficult and you need to throw in the right amount of energy to get over it. Once you do that, things will start to move more naturally.

Recently, after a two months period of working and partying, I decided to start up the power engine up again. I went back to the gym.

I would advise you to do the same. To keep up with you life, you MUST keep the body ánd mind in balance through training regularly. You will not only see a slow but steady increase of physical strength. You also keep your mind clear and you feel good.

The hidden advantage most people do not always recognize immediately about training regularly is that it clears out a lot of negative thoughts from your mind. You feel refreshed after a training. Your mind is clear because your body had to do most of the work. You did not think of your struggles for a while, because you had to focus on something else. After a nice shower you flushed all the sweat off and you feel tired, but mentally strong and stable.

If it happens that I do not train regularly, this reset of thinking is what I miss most. This always triggers me to get back to the gym. Implementing the right training routine in my life is my way to stay physically and mentally strong ánd to keep feeling good.

Hope you do the same. It seems quite important, yes?

Why You Do Not Like the Taste of Your Greens

One important issue with vegetables intake is the taste.

Around me, I noticed that many people did not eat their vegetables in childhood. They were simply not in their diet. So when later on, they eat some greens and all that you taste is a taste you don’t like.

If you want to enjoy your healthy foods, you need to get used to the taste. The good news is that your taste buds changes very quickly once you start eating differently.

Please take a look at the following video, explaining the science behind it.

Read more on nutritionfacts.org

As this video explains, there is one other major obstacle in the way of enjoying real and healthy foods. Progressed sugars, salts and fats have influenced your taste for years. Almost everything we eat is so ridiculously sweet, everything else without progressed sugars will never be sweet.

This is one major problem for people switching to eating more healthy. But now, once you know this, you can find a way to find a solution for it.

If you want to enjoy your healthy meals more, you change three things in your lifestyle:

  1. Increase the number of vegetables in your diet and add enough variety. (learn to cook)
  2. Decrease your intake of packaged foods with lots of processed sugars.
  3. Keep eating them.

Personally, this is what it came down to for me. Now.. if you want to do this, you now know that eventually, you are going to like the taste.

The Most Important and Often Overlooked Nutrient

All the soda’s, milks, coffee’s, fruit juices and sport drinks we consume usually just taste so  damn good. This made some forget why we actually have the need to drink. We need to stay hydrated!

Besides the fact that not drinking enough water is associated with a whole list of physical discomforts and diseases there is another major reason to stay well hydrated. Your mood!

75% of our brain is water and even mild dehydration changes our brain function. Most notable effects of dehydration are increased sleepiness and fatigue, lower levels of vigor and alertness, and increased confusion.

Luckily for us water is absorbed by our body rapidly. It only takes 5 minutes to go from mouth to bloodstream. So it’s just a matter of minutes from moody to happy.

For the chronic happy people checking your urine is a good way to see how your body is doing. Colorless or light yellow means you are well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber color means you may be dehydrated.

Do your surroundings a solid, stay hydrated and be happy!

Prepare Yourself Properly for the Coming Day

This morning, I woke up, yet again, at my couch.

It happens more often lately, because the days are packed, and when I finally sit down at my own spot, at my own house, sleep kicks in fast. It’s actually quite nice when you are used to it.

This couch is really easy on my mucles and bones. Never do I wake up with a back or neck pain. It’s just comfortable.

Anyway, I woke up at 04:00 AM this monday morning. I light up a sigaret and wonder what to do next. If I walk to my bed, I might not be hearing my 05:45 and 06:00 alarms. But I need to take some more rest. So I decide to lie down in my bed and fortunately, I do not sleep anymore. I just rest there a bit.

It eventually took me about two hours to do what I needed to do to close my door te get going. Put some coffee in, checked my mail, cleaned up the mess from last night, setup some mailaccounts, shower and shaving and many more small things I usually do not have time for in the morning. This morning I made the time.

It’s actually quite relaxing to do this. At 07:35 I stepped in the bus and was enroute. When I had to wait for ten minutes on the bus, I realised I could be writing an article. So I dropped by sigarette and jumped into my notes. Why not write about the relaxed and efficient morning I had prepraring for this new week. It might give you some context on why you could do something about the start of your day. In this case, today is the beginning of a week full of interesting stuff. Possibily, probably?

It feels great to have finally managed to get this morning thing done in a prepared way.

Keep in mind that not one morning is the same. For me, it is usually a bit rushed. We can at least aim to improve the very early and dark mornings to make it more relaxed. And prepare yourself better as a result.

More on self discipline and self improvement later. Step by step.

We All Need More Fruits

Being on the standard unhealthy western diet first thing I figured out was: I need more fruit in my diet. We all need more fruit in our diet. Eureka!!!

Even though I always enjoyed the taste of fruit I just rarely ate it. Coming from a bad place health wise I wanted to eat enough fruit to stay healthy and something extra to make up for the lost years. Smoothies!!!

Yup smoothies are a great way to get some extra nutrients, anti-oxidants and fiber into our depleted bodies. Conveniently they are super easy to make. Get a blender and throw some random fruit in it. Maybe add some water to make it more fluid. It’s just that easy to start making smoothies.

However, there are many hacks to make your smoothies even better.

All fruits are healthy but some are even healthier, like berries. They top the anti-oxidant charts by a mile and are packed with phytonutrients. Having a sweet taste they are a delight to the tongue. Where some other fruits can have a negative effect on blood sugar control after being blended, berries negate this and even help you control your blood sugar level. That’s why I always include berries in my smoothie. Blue berries are my favorite.

Living this fast lane life we often don’t have time to go out and get our groceries. Here is were frozen fruit comes into play. You can keep it for weeks if not months in the freezer. So you always have fruit available. Where I live not all fruits (like berries) are fresh available throughout the year, but most stores do have them frozen. Frozen strawberries and raspberries have the same nutrients as there fresh counter parts.

Because life is expensive enough as it is it can be a challenge to fund your glass of smoothie every day. Bananas are a cheap way to fill up your blender so you can have a smoothie today, tomorrow and even the day after tomorrow. The natural fibers found in bananas make them a treat for the good bacteria in your gut.

Stay away from canned fruit. The canning process destroy most of the nutrients. Extra sugar is added to the syrup and the can linings leak harmful chemicals into the product.

There are more cheats for more interesting smoothies, those include adding ingredients from outside the realm of fruit.

Step by step. Let’s talk about that another time. For now just enjoy your smoothie!

One Step Towards Better Health

There are many stairs to be taken. Little over 2 years ago I started walking the stairs towards better health and eventually a better me. It all started with my bad state of physical well being. Even though I was training intensively and becoming bigger and stronger every month deep down my body got fucked up very badly. I was suffering from Crohn’s disease. The more I trained, the more I ate the sicker I got. Then one day I was playing a football match and injured my back. Spent 4 weeks in bed. Couldn’t even visit the toilet to take a shit. Oh the joy. Didn’t manage to wrap my head around the fact I was focusing so much on physical strength yet my back mussels failed me in such a horrible way.

Doctors didn’t help me at all. Only thing they did was trying to fight the symptoms. They didn’t have a clue what was going on with my bowels and not the faintest idea about what was the root cause of my weak lower back. Never occurred to them those 2 problems could be related. Came up with some experimental autoimmune suppressing medication they wanted me to take for a year to see if it might possible maybe work. Yea right, nice story bro but I am not going to be some kind of guinea pig. Told them I will figure it out myself.

That was a major leap of faith in myself. I didn’t have any medical background nor did I have any idea how the body worked and which nutrients it needs to function properly. Goddamn what a stairs it was and still is. Many lessons were learned, even more mistakes were made and corrected. Little by little and step by step. With all the knowledge gained standing all the way up here and looking all the way down there, it’s hard to imagine I once stood there.

I could talk many more hours and hours about my story but I won’t. I could talk about what not to do and not to eat but I will not do that either (experienced in my personal life that isn’t the stairs to take). Instead I will give you some useful information about the food I started eating and changed my life. I will show you why you should include them into your diet. Eventually you will know so much good food to eat there simply isn’t any room left for all the crap.

Why You Have To Focus Small To Act Big

Usually the experts will tell you to dream, to think big. They want you to imagine the biggest goals, even though they seems out of reach for now.

When I first heared or read this advice it felt like a confirmation of what I was already doing. I am always been someone with dreams that big, they made people laugh.

They even say that today; you are the man of the big plans, but hey, when you going to make them happen?

When I read this advice, think big, it made me plan even bigger. But why did these dreams did not come true? There was a piece missing from the puzzle (read: a few more then one).

I stumbled on one of these pieces of insights a few years and disappointments later. Because you must realize that when you talk big, you can fall pretty harsch. Which happened numerous times and this is not positive for your self-esteem.

Back to the insight that made me question my actions over the years. It were exactly the actions that were missing from the big dreams.

You need to really put in the work to make dreams turn into reality. That is the only obstacle in the path to success.

But, how do you define work? Is it completing the whole dream in, say, one months without sleeping? Is it the completion of the whole dream? I always defined the work as one thing, the complete tasklist that was needed to make it happen. And as a result, I planned every step and task of the plan until every detail was clear. It always felt like an immense big project and it always failed one way or another. It never completely work out according to plan.

It took me some years to see the missing link here. It is actually very simple. You go at it one step at the time. You got to focus on what is right in front of you. One step of the time. One action is most important: the one that you need to do right now. Once you finish that one, you’ll find the next action you need to perform.

It is all about thinking of the small actions when you want to achieve your big goals. You got to think really big to define worthwhile goals for yourself. But once you set that goal, you have got to take the smallest steps first. You have to focus on these small staps. Nothing else matters before you finish that small little action.

The WALKIN STAIRS mindset and lifestyle is based on this. We got our big goals, but we will not talk about it. We always focus on the small steps, just like what happens with walking any stair.

To get to the top (GOAL) you need to take one step (ACTION) at the time. One step is not a problem, but walking that whole stair with one step is simply impossible.

And something happens when you eventually reach the top of that stair. You look back and think, hmm, that was not as hard as it looked.

And than you will find another stair. Congratulations, you unconsiously got introduced to the WALKIN STAIRS mindset.

Walk with us.

Training is Different for Everybody

The problem with most advice from trainers is this: it is simplified to work for everybody. That is never going to work, as everyone has differences in body-types, personalities and goals. The trainer usually experienced that some strategy worked out and tries to apply it to any training session. That might work in some cases, it does not work when we zoom in on the individual.

Everyone needs to train according to his own needs. Goals define what you need to focus on. If you know when you want to be the best and fittest, you decide accordingly. You need healthy foods and quality rest, and most inportantly, the right intensity labor. Your muscles have to be in the right condition to perform when it is needed.

The solution is simple: you decide what and how you train: yourself. You find your why and you will know what actions would be to needed to make that why happen.

That means you need to find the reason you are putting in all that effort. Because effort and action is needed. It is going to hurts.

If you find the why you might find yourself, after losses but most inportantly the victories over yourself, in a thriumphic position. You will wonder what happened and you realize you have achieved what you wanted to achieve. Pain is the price you pay.

I realised at one moment, something has got to happen. We are going to train again. We are going to learn again. We are rushing up those stairs. We want something. Let us get going, step by step.

I decided to start walking stairs. Always. Always. No exceptions.

Today you are reading the Walkin Stairs debut post.

At least we made that happen. One step up.