just do it

just do it


I know Nike got there first.  It is a great slogan and fits the brand.  But how many of us take it on board?  How many online courses you have subscribed to but never finished?  How many  books you have bought but never read?  How many workbooks half completed?  How much time do you spend planning and how much time do you spend doing?

Somebody recommended this website to me today.  TheDoLectures.com It is wonderful, I have spent ages there and am about to tick something off this year’s list “attend a festival” by buying tickets to The Good Life Experience festival in September.  While I was browsing around the site I found their manifesto.

“The idea is a simple one. That people who Do things, can inspire the rest of us to go and Do things too. So each year, we invite a set of people to come and tell us what they Do.”

How simple and how amazing at the same time is that?    But it only works if there are people who DO things, and sadly there are less of them than you think.  I fall into the mainly “not doing” category.  I am big on ideas and grand plans and less good at getting down to the job in hand.  It is a constant source of friction in our marriage.  I am a great compartmentaliser and can literally and metaphorically close the door on something I don’t want to do and pretend it’s not there.

I have had several attempts at businesses, some successful but dull and some fascinating but not successful.  I have managed to write one reasonably successful novel (not going to live in the Bahamas on the proceeds however) and create an innovative planner which is loved by most users, but there are not enough of them!  Notice the last two. They are physical things that need to be sold.  I hate marketing, I hate sales and I hate asking people for help  (The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, formerly of the Dresden Dolls is a very good read if you are like me). And I am also fundamentally lazy and am very good at putting off until tomorrow and firmly believe that James Bond was right and Tomorrow never Comes 🙂

I need to practice Doing.  But how?  Well each to his own and what is working for me may not work for you, but trial and error and you will find your own route.  The key is to just do it, to start doing and stop planning.

I love routine and order.  I like everything to be in its place and always tidy my desk at the end of the day.  It may be chaotic during the day but when I return to it in the morning I want a clear desk to start the day.  So I played to my strengths.


I adopted a Bullet Journal Lite  (excellent introduction to Bullet Journals here).  I don’t use the index but I do use the two ribbon markers a lot.  I don’t have a diary element – I have appointments that go well into the end of the year and early  next year I need a proper diary.  Isn’t she lovely?


But I have monthly lists and daily lists.  At the beginning of each month I write down the things I have to do and the things I want to do.  It doesn’t matter how big or how small they are, I just get them down.  Big ones can be broken up during the course of the month into manageable chunks.

Each day I write the things I have to and want to do checking against the master monthly list to ensure at least one of the beasts on there is going to be addressed.  I also add the things I expect myself to do every day.  Specifically, journal, gratitude, meditate/House on the Right Bank (Mindstore)  and walk.  With the exception of walking all of these have to be done before I do anything else (apart from making my cup of tea).  I need the discipline of a morning routine to make sure I do them everyday.  Everything goes in the Bullet journal.  Meeting notes, lists of blog ideas, holiday checklists etc.  So there is the horrifying risk that it could be lost taking my life with it.  But hey ho, I can live with that.

By playing to my need for order and routine I am now starting to DO rather than just talk and plan.  I have finished two online courses and read two business books and two novels.  I have completed several knitting and crotchet projects and the building work we are having done at the moment gave me an idea for a very simple but I think rather good business idea.

Are you doing or talking?

Love Gillie x



diving off the pedestal

Usually when we come back from holiday we have about 48 hours, at most, before the girls have to be back at school.  We have a hundredweight of washing to do, last minute school panics and the dogs to pick up from the kennels.  Consequently I plan to within an inch of everyone’s lives.  I do not want to come back to chaos, I want to hit the ground running.

We may not have been minimalist in the past but I was organised.

How the mighty are fallen.

We are going to Australia next year.  The Boss is doing a lecture tour and I am chief bag carrier.  The lovely lady who is planning our flights needs scans of our passports.  My passport runs out in March but we are going to Padua in October (another lecture, I could get used to this).  Never mind, said the lovely lady, just send a scan of the current one and then the new one when you get it.

So I go to the passport box.  Reader, you are ahead of me.  They were not there.

I have a momentary panic that in my supercharged decluttering I have given our passports to the local charity shop.  Somewhere this is another Smellie family complete with identical twins doing nefarious things in the far east…..

I am cheered when the Dancer informs me that the current cost of a lost passport is £150 each.  A grand total of £750.  £750 I do not have to spare.

I start to think laterally, I look in the pantry, in the laundry.

This year we came back from holiday faced with another five weeks of school holidays.  There was no panic, no rush and I DIDN’T PUT THE PASSPORTS AWAY!  Because I had all the time in the world, and there were so many other things that I wanted to get on with.

I was convinced I had taken them out of my travelling tote.  That they had been “put” somewhere.  Finally I conceded that perhaps I hadn’t.  But where the heck was the tote I took on holiday?  It wasn’t where it ought to be (another failure to put something in its rightful place due to the lacksidaisical attitude).

I stood in the kitchen and wondered if it was worth weeping, when out of the corner of my eye I espied the tote in question.  It was hanging on the back of the pantry door with the spare shopping bags.  And it it….. the passports.

Lesson learned?  Just because you are not working to a deadline does not mean that you can “leave it till tomorrow”.  Because tomorrow you will forget and by day three total amnesia will have set in.

Everything has its place and it should be in it now, not when you get around to it.