Sunday, May 9, 2010

How To Keep Track of Your Life's Energy!

How to Keep Track of Your Life's Energy - Why We Vlog

Do you ever say at the end of the day "What did I even DO today!?" Do you ever forget where you went last week? Last month, Liah and I noticed that we were forgetting and saying these things to each other. I'd say "Hey, remember that time last week we went to that place?" And Liah would say "No." It's strange how the tasks and events that we care most about about, and spend most of our time and life's energy doing can be easily forgotten. We examined this concept further with some of our friends and found that many other people felt the same way. We decided to consult some experts..

Authors, Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin write in their national bestseller "Your Money or Your Life" that "Life energy is all we have. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth". So really, who we are is determined by how we spend our lives and everyday we have here on this planet is an opportunity to use our time and energy to express what matters to us. We both recognized that while we were doing what we loved by busking, songwriting, teaching etc. we still needed a method to remember our shared experiences as Left On Red and to track the allocation of all this life's energy. So we started experimenting with a couple ideas.

First, we made time charts to track our every day tasks. Wow, this alone was pretty amazing. We tracked what we were doing down to the MINUTE and the result, there was a lot less of "hmm..what the &^@$ am I even doing right now?" and more accomplishments. However, it's hard to maintain down-to-the-minute time charts every day because things would come up…you know, like growling tummies or important phone calls.

Next, we would set weekly goals and make out schedules to go with the goals. This is called " Liah's Super-Duper Time-Blocking Thingy System". This method ensures that time is set aside for work as well as personal important things distinct to both of us. For Liah it's working out and for me it's doing mensa puzzles..This worked pretty well but we found that our days lacked balance sometimes and we weren't getting enough sleep or enough practice time or personal time..

So we tried yet another method and this has been pretty effective. We attempted to base our schedules around 8/8/8 day. The 8/8/8 day was recommended to us by our friend Jesse who say's "A balanced day consists of 8 hrs sleep, 8 hrs work, and 8hrs play". *NOTE: This only works if you actually DO IT!! When you are working, you are working. When you are playing, you are playing and you MUST get the 8 hrs of sleep! This doesn't mean you need to work for 8 hrs straight. You can divi up the work time and the play time depending on what is most productive and comfortable for you: 3 hrs work, 4 hrs play, 2 hrs work, 1 hr play, 3 hrs work, 3 hrs play, 8 hrs sleep = 1 day. etc.

The 8/8/8 day works great, thanks Jesse! We will continue to have 8/8/8 days….but we still have to find a way to keep track of where we put the time??


So now that we had an effective way to plan allocate our precious life energy we still needed a tangible way to create meaning out our experiences.

Liah and I have been filming much of our travels since we started Left On Red and we decided that creating a VLOG to share our stories would be a fun way to keep track of it all and to share our adventures with our friends and fam..that's you:)

So we invite you to check out the first ever: LEFT ON RED VIDEO BLOG (VLOG)!

Yes, we've just put out April's Vlog which basically sums up everything we did in the month of April 2010 in under 10 minutes!

It works! Here's what we've found…

1. If we forget what we did, we just watch the video! (Kind of like 50 first dates…but not)

2. We have an immediate concrete way to view our accomplishments of the month

3. We feel accomplished and that feels good and motivating

4. We can share it with you!

5. During the month/vlogging process, we were very aware of what we were doing and when because of filming everything. Previously, if we weren't fully utilizing our time, it was hard to really see that. Now, the video camera and the end of every month's summary holds each day accountable.

In conclusion, the Vlog thing might not be your thing. Your thing might be keeping a monthly journal or weekly or even daily. Whatever your passion, writing, drawing, creating comics or painting- you might want to keep notes during the month in order to inspire a painting depicting your month's memories and life energy. The point is, choose a way to track your precious life's energy and have it be something you really enjoy doing. Take the last couple days of the month or first days of the next month to organize/create your tracking system! Every month can be different!

We will continue to share our monthly life's energy with you and would love to see your creations as well! Whether they are blogs, vlogs, drawings, paintings, collages, photo journals…we'd love to see! And we'll continue to create and share ours.


Kelly and Liah

"Time is the only commodity that matters." Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)