Archive for September 25, 2012

5 Ways to be more Productive


No Buns

I am no longer glammed up, and have been sitting around in my house clothes, trying to study. Today is a rest day, so I had no excuse not to study.

At first I spent my time on facebook – seriously, facebook was trolling me today. First, I got this ad in my side-bar:

mum to be

And then this popped up:

Bun in the oven

Dear Taste,

Nothing. Nothing is baking in my oven, and that’s how I like it. Thank you for your kind yet oddly invasive question.

Yours sincerely,



Eventually I decided it was probably time to get something done or risk sitting around all night feeling guilty. I used almost all of my tactics to get productive today, and they worked – 7pm was Mr The Rake’s ‘time to stop’ alarm (more on that in a tick) and here I am, blogging guilt free!


Always Running, Frequently Late

(A nod to Jenna!)

I don’t just run, I quite literally run through each day. I take on too much, and do it all at lightning speed.

At the moment, I have the following on my agenda:

1. The big one – honours. The thesis is due 5th November

2. The marathon - 13 days!

3. Work (marketing)

4. Work (tutoring)

5. The 3 hour, twice weekly commute between Sydney and Canberra

6. International Law Society – I have a national mooting comp to get going

7. Starting up the new business

Naturally, spending time with Mr The Rake is also a necessity!

I’ve had a few people ask how I fit it in, so here goes…

Note, of course, that I frequently stay up late, procrastinate, shift priorities, procrastinate some more, and, in Canberra (sans Mr The Rake), I sometimes continue working right up to bedtime at 11 or 12 at night. Not smart.


5 Ways to be More Productive


1. Make a list

I write everything down. If I don’t, I forget things, I let people down, and I feel overwhelmed and confused by the number of things taking up space in my brain.

To do list

Yep, I actually have special stationery!


2. Set an alarm

Ruby from Focus Woman taught me this trick – and it works! Instead of sitting and aimlessly picking at articles, I set myself a single task, set my alarm (usually in 50 minute intervals) and work until it goes off. Then I have a few minutes break, and am back at it again.


I’m still perfecting this one. The first session is usually great, and after that…I start to wander a bit. But this tactic is gold. If you ever get stuck in the procrastination loop – use it!

And big thanks to Ruby for getting me back on track when I couldn’t get past the procrastination stage!


3. Have deadlines

I love my diary, it keeps me sane. If I can see my week planned out in front of me, it doesn’t feel so muddled and overwhelming.

More than that, I look for deadlines. I ask when something is needed, or, as with honours, I’ll let someone know that my work will be in by x date. I fear looking unreliable more than I like procrastinating, so as much as I hate myself when the deadline hits, you better believe it gets done!

When I’m having a bad day (like today :-P

) I ask The Rake to set me a time to finish. Today that was 7pm. I got moving when he said that!


4. Act immediately

Within reason of course!

Deal with emails when they come in, return missed calls, or, if you can’t act straight away, write it down!

It’s the same principle as putting something away before you pull out something new – keep it tidy and you won’t have a pile of shit to clean up later.

Pile of laundry

What not to do…


5. Remember to be flexible

That 50 minute power session just isn’t going to happen if someone calls you half way through. Deal with it. That’s life. Sometimes things come up, and it’s ok to chuck the plan and start a new one on the fly.

Calm down and go set an alarm. Chill out woman, you’re annoying me.

Your Turn!

What are your productivity tips?
What is your favourite form of procrastination?
What would you never need these tips for (e.g. for me, that’s running!)

Prom to Pavement


Meanwhile, in the Capital…

I spent Sunday to Saturday in Canberra this week – the longest stretch in a few months!

Sadly – this is what it looked like…

No biggie. I just got my purple on and got ready for PROM!





But -

1. You are too old for prom

2. You live in Australia – surely you mean formal?

You are never too old for prom! Or so said Chal to the ANU International Law Society. I’m on the society’s executive, and so I got to be part of the fun.  

Not a totally random shot! Check out the hoodie - the International Law Society Hoodie!

The prom was in aid of the US election – we wanted to do something fun with our members, and in election year, the US embassy was happy to get involved (one of the perks of living in the nation’s capital!).

Chal and Kate

Chal and I getting set up – you may notice some similarities between the tape holding up the ‘flag’ and the tape on my head

After a full day of setting up we headed home to get dressed up, and help each other to forget that we had spent the entire day in tracksuit pants.

Ready for prom!

I may or may not have been vain enough to spend my morning workout on the rower in the hope that it would show in my backless dress…

(Yeah, I just admitted to that – please don’t bring it up in real life!)

Looking serious

Andrew and I in a very serious political event pose

I think I mentioned awhile ago that I’m a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to heels and running. These babies didn’t last long.

 Mr The Rake was in Sydney – which meant that I was partnerless. It also meant that I could do AWESOME things like not drink much, eat mini hotdogs for dinner, and wake up at 7:30am to run 20km with the law man.


I got it wrong, but it’s ok

A week or so ago, Debbie from Live from La Quinta suggested a run I could do during this first week of taper. Today was the day for it. And I really stuffed it up!

Debbie's Comment

Sorry Debbie!

Here’s where I went wrong:

1. Champagne and mini-hotdogs are not the world’s greatest pre-run fuel.

2. Mentally, I don’t think I was there this morning. I knew I could get through the run, but my mind wasn’t pushing like it often does.

3. Headwind. Epic. The worst I’ve experienced, and I got nowhere near enough tailwind to make up for it.

4. I just didn’t push hard enough. The last lap should have been a lot faster, and it just wasn’t.

5. The best bit – Garmin gave up half way through. For the first time ever, and for no reason. It had plenty of battery life left.

No excuses – I just didn’t run very well. This is a workout I’ll come back to again though, so much appreciated Debbie!



After that 20km, I was highly intelligent and jumped in the car for 3 1/2 hours. You should have seen Mr The Rake laughing when I tried to walk up the stairs in our apartment.

Are you a little bit gimpy Kate? Are you?

It was ok – he bought ice cream. And, even better…

I had a special delivery waiting for me! Chobani sent me a box of my favourite flavour – the plainest of the plain (they asked me!) -


So thank you very, very much to my yogurt family!


Today’s Moment

You have to ask? I got home to free yogurt!


Your Turn!

When was the last time you got all dressed up? 
Have you ever done something stupidly vain that no-one would ever notice?
Have you ever run in a really strong headwind? 


Happily Purple

Today I want to share the love as much as possible! After the blah, you have to seize the good, and the good can come in all sorts of packages.


Early today, I found out that Lady Gaga has started a new campaign to promote healthy body image, and reveal her own struggles with disordered eating.

Personally, I think this is brilliant – for a woman who celebrates diversity and has so much influence, being so open can only be a good thing.

What do you think?


Oh, and confession – I did attend one of her concerts earlier in the year… you can judge me, but I’m open about my love of terrible music. Mr The Rake is going to skin me alive while listening to Dream Theatre for admitting this – but pure joy is dancing to Gangnam Style and/or anything by One Direction.


The Little Things

It really is the little things that make us smile. Today I ate breakfast in bed, and then decided to spice things up by running in purple.

Oh dear

I was wearing my Spibelt for the first time since Saturday’s long run, so first I had to tape up my back and hip where I had rubbed off my skin (mmm, aren’t you glad I told you that? Watch out – I think I might have a ‘my toenail is falling off’ story in a few days).

Sadly, it was a horrible run. I managed my 7km, but my legs felt like fridges. AND crazy leaf lady was in the yard when I got home, so I had to run extra fast to avoid her.

This woman has one outfit, and every day, she spends her time in her front garden, picking up leaves and twigs, one by one, and throwing them onto the road.

Autumn is a very stressful time for her. 

Tangent: Crazy Leaf Lady later knocked on our door asking for a can of coke, and then forgot she had come around, and came back again ten minutes later.

But it was all ok – because then I went to an international law meeting, and got my hoodie!


I am having quite the purple day


After a fabulous afternoon at work, I finished with a Thai dinner. Bliss! Tomorrow is my first ever prom (I’ll tell you all about it :-)

), so no post tomorrow night.

In sum, I am getting over my plague cold, and want everyone to feel as purple happy as possible. Go forth and spread the STIs love.


Today’s Moment

I caught up with Miss Emily, my moot partner. It has been far too long since we sat down and had a good gossip.


Your Turn!

What made you happy today?
What music do you listen to?
What do you think of Gaga’s Body Revolution?
How do you bounce back from a bad run?
If you’re American, can you share something that happened at your prom? 


Let the Taper Tantrums Begin


That’s MY Basket

I was just at the shopping centre, minding my own business and trying to put a packet of soba noodles in my basket, when a girl shouldered me and and then put her tuna in my basket.

Both the guy she was with and I were so taken aback that we just kind of looked at her.

And it was a good few seconds before I managed a ‘erugh’ and she finally looked up at me, realised I wasn’t her friend, and did that awkward half giggle, half apology that makes you question whether Darwin had it wrong. (Though, to be fair, on any other day, that girl and I would probably be in reverse positions…)


Taper Time

Taper is already irritating. After I dropped Little J of at the airport to head back to Melbourne, I went to do my gym workout.

I am pleased to report that this time, it was not ‘blah’! It was, however, underwhelming.


World’s best selfie – but clearly, post-workout, I was not overly destroyed.

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss my speed sessions. It’s just not as satisfying to have an easy elliptical and rowing session. I want to go hard, sweat buckets, and come out feeling sick and satisfied. Taper says no.


On the rower…

It’s only a few days in, and I’m beginning to see why people talk about the ‘taper tantrums’ and the mental element of taper being the most difficult. Having gotten over most of the blah, this body has been conditioned to go hard or go home. The worst bit is that these sessions are just going to get shorter and more irritating over the next two weeks!


Too Many Rules!

And it’s not just the workouts. The nutritional element is quite tricky. Here I was ready to just eat mud cake until marathon day, but no, it’s all about -

Fueling right, but not overdoing it, but not dieting, but decreasing carbs, but making sure to get plenty of carbs, and not over-eating, but eating when you need to, but being aware you need a little less, but still get lots of protein, and don’t stop eating fats, and keep up the sodium, but don’t eat more than you need, but expect a little bit of weight gain and don’t try to lose it.

For an obsessive nutter like me, that’s a mine-field!

Tonight's dessert

You aren’t taking away my chocolate and berries

So I’ve given myself some basic taper food principles, and please feel free to weigh into what I put in my mouth if you know better – because most of the time, I sure don’t!


1. Don’t diet (this is the big one for me, I’m quick to cut carbs and sugar when I feel those pants getting tighter)


2. Eat a little less (like two breakfasts instead of three)


3. Be careful with iron – I know I can get low quickly 


4. In the first week, get plenty of protein to help those muscles I’ve been working to death, and have plenty of fruit and veg to keep my immune system feeling good.


5. In the second week, keep it balanced, and get plenty of healthy fats.


6. In the last 4 days, start increasing the carbs


7.Carb-load like a BOSS.


I can do 7. But I know that at some point I’ll notice I’ve stuffed it up, and then I’ll subject you to another several hundred words about fuel.

I’m starting to sound like a very expensive car. Also a crazy lady.


The Ghost Runner

And on the crazy train, I got thinking about the things people sacrifice to run. So here’s today’s main question -

What does your exercise of choice interfere with?


The other day, Mum commented on a post:

Mum comment

It’s a really good point. I doubt very much that Mr The Rake will go into labour with my child while I’m out running, but he certainly loses hours of quality time with me, and the opportunity for me to do my share of chores around the house because I’m working towards my mad goals.

On the flip-side, it gets me out of his hair, and he knows that I’m not content unless I’m chasing something down.


You want to do what?


Today’s Moment

I had a meeting for work, and it was the kind of situation where you feel like everyone is on your side and wants you to succeed. Sometimes people are just wonderful.


Your Turn!

Has anyone ever mistaken you for someone else?
Taper tips?
What do you sacrifice to achieve what you want?



It’s too hard

Exciting news! I’ve reached my $2000 target for the Butterfly Foundation! 3 weeks away from M-Day, we’re sitting at $2,050. This is an incredible effort – and I want to say thank you all so much! Of course, there’s no maximum, so do keep going…


What do you do when it’s all too hard?

Some days just suck. I would love to feel happy and smiley every day. At most, I hope for my daily ‘moment’ – and Jenna can always provide a Daily Smile when the going gets tough!

Way too on point for me today was Cait’s post – One Single Word that is Holding your Running Back the Most. And then last week Sarah had a bit of a motivation lag with How do you stay motivated on the way to your big goals?‘.

Over the last few days I’ve been a bit ‘blah’ -


I still got my workout in, but I’ve definitely had better days! For my 8km run, I went back to ‘I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done’. It is my favourite running mantra, and it never fails to see me through.

And all of this has me wondering about tactics to keep going when it’s just a bit shit.

Like when you wash your child’s cell-phone -

Or you find yourself some place you shouldn’t be (pancakes, anyone?) -

Go home door


Point is, some days are just ‘blah’, and some days it’s all too hard.


So I’m throwing it out to the floor – what do you do when ‘it’s too hard’?


Little J makes life colourful:



I keep this as my desktop background:

You will


There’s almost always a moment that makes you smile though!

Today’s Moment

Tonight, I spent half an hour talking with an amazing mother at work – she made me know that I had a positive impact in her daughter’s life – and that means more than a ‘blah’ day.

Your Turn!

What do you do when ‘It’s Too Hard’?
Tell me something fun!