Lifehacker is one of my favourite websites and one of the first productivity/geek type websites I subscribed to…

Welcome to Lifehacker, an award-winning daily blog that features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently. Lifehacker launched in January 2005, and now ranks as one of the top-linked blogs on the internet according to Technorati. Since its inception, Lifehacker has been named Best Blog by Wired, won several Bloggies, and found its way onto many best-of lists by the likes of TIME, Slate, and many more. – From Lifehacker

Andy challenged me to get an article I’ve written published on Lifehacker and hurrah hurrah well done to me I’ve only gone and done it!

Lifehacker have a regular feature ‘From the Tips Box’ which consists of short ideas suggested by readers so I thought I’d try sending them an idea. I’d been working on the end of semester project for my course so thought I’d send them my handy distraction-proofing tip and hey presto, they used it, that’s me in the middle of the page. God bless them they copied and pasted my email in its entirety (hence the random reference to an attachment!) but yey I’m basically a productivity guru now.

Apologies for the lull in posting (what do you mean you hadn’t noticed I was gone?!), I’ve been ill but do not fear loyal reader(s) as I’m back!

Jo x



The Adams

Well after a bit of a drop in list thing productivity that done-ometer is going to bounce right back up because I did 13 list things IN ONE DAY! It was one of the oddest days I’ve had for a long time but completely awesome too. My friend Adam suggested we spend a day doing list things so along with another Adam we came up with a slightly random itinerary and spent the day crossing things off my list.

This was how our day of adventures went;

  • 148. Get an outfit in a colour you’ve never considered before
  • 165. If you don’t already have some, buy a pair of colourful trousers – charity shops are good – and enjoy wearing them. If you do have some, get a colourful something else.
  • 51. Learn how to fan shuffle cards if you can’t already
  • 42. Learn to play a card game
  • 50. Go somewhere you have always hated/never wanted to go
  • 154. Bet on something
  • 115. Go to an art gallery
  • 175. Visit a Brighton touristy place you’ve never been to
  • 205. Do something to hang on to your youth
  • 120. Make biscuits
  • 197. Do a jigsaw
  • 72. Destroy your McFly collection
  • 39. Eat a kebab

A hectic and at times surreal day but also loads of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about how we went about each list thing as more updates will be appearing over the next few weeks.

Jo x

I started learning the piano when I was about 7ish and had lessons for 10 years. I’ve performed in a load of little concerts and used to take part in an annual music festival where I often came second to the same guy who even beat me one year with a broken arm. A BROKEN ARM! As you can see I’ve come to terms with that (more or less!)

I love playing the piano and am so grateful for the lessons I had growing up and the nagging to get me to practise (which I still didn’t do as much as I should’ve). For my 21st birthday I got a digital piano who has been christened Clive (I have an odd habit of naming some of the things I own, they’re the closest I’ll get to pets as I’m hopeless at looking after living things) and we ended up joining a band and releasing a single! When I was practising my scales whilst growing up I never thought it would lead to me being in a band!

These are some people I’d love to be able to play like…

Tim Minchin – I’ve seen him live and had major piano-playing envy! He is so funny and awesome live

Ben Folds – Some brilliant songs, you have to see him live. I couldn’t decide whether to be amazed or completely jealous so just did both!

Sam Tsui – I just mostly wish I could sing like this guy, check him and Kurt out on YouTube

Anyway, thrilling autobiographical section aside, one of the pieces I started learning when I was having lessons was Debussy’s First Arabesque. This is how it should sound…

…however my version stops at around 0:36 as I never got round to learning the rest.

Those 36 seconds have had a lot of mileage though, for several years I worked in a piano shop and it was my standard demonstration piece (it sounds a bit fancy and if you mess it up you can pretend its just some funky ‘modern’ composition). I must’ve played those 36 seconds hundreds of times (and the cunning thing is you can endlessly loop it if 36 seconds isn’t enough!) but I feel like I should finally conquer the remaining three minutes or so.

I’m going to get practising so watch this space (or just stand outside my house and listen. Actually, don’t do that, that’s kinda weird)

Jo x

Bless me readers, for I have sinned. It has been far too long since my last update… I’ve been busy making (and eating!) cake, sitting around watching Christmas TV specials and watching it snow! I have made some list progress, though I haven’t won the lottery yet so that’s obviously a disappointment (at least it is still technically a bad habit!)

I had a lovely day trip to London to see a ballet which was amazing, followed a few days later by a not quite so lovely trip to London in some classic British drizzle to collect the purse I left in the pub we had lunch in oops. Life as a Lemar fan is lovely too though the weather has been particularly snowy since I became an official fan? Coincidence?!

I’ve sneaked a new page into my blog in case you want to help me (there is something ever so slightly pathetic about a page called ‘help me’ isn’t there!) There are some things I’m after suggestions for, some cheeky things I’m trying to blag and a few other random bits so why not have a look and get in touch?

Subject to me finding time in my hectic procrastination schedule to finish my MBA project, I’m planning to have a list blitz with my friend Adam next week so fingers crossed there’ll be lots to tell you. I’m in the process of arranging a fancy three course dinner with the members of Girl Club (three of my favourite ladies but shhhh, the first rule of Girl Club is that you don’t talk about Girl Club) so let me know if you’ve got any recipe suggestions. I may or may not have also started writing my book (so get in with some witty comments if you want to feature in it!)

Anyway, I’m off to sort my sock drawer by colour (these are the sort of tasks that become oddly appealing when you still have 2,000 words left to write!) I’ll leave you with my ironic picture taken during the UK’s coldest winter for decades…

Ironic snow pic

Jo x

I’ve been watching the birds in my Mum’s garden over the holidays and spotted not one but TWO new visitors to her garden; a pheasant and a willow tit. As I mentioned in my previous post I can I identify a pheasant but the willow tit had my mum and I scouring her bird book to identify it. They look very similar to the marsh tit but we think it was a willow tit, either way it was quite cool as they are both fairly rare. They are both on the RSPB’s ‘red list‘ which means they are priorities for conservation.

Willow Tit

Jo x

I’m not really a fan of new year’s resolutions, by about lunchtime on 1st Jan I’ve usually forgotten and/or broken them anyway, but New Year’s Day seemed like a good time to start one of my list things – to start a diary. This is another great suggestion from Abi as it is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages but never really got round to organising properly.

DiaryMy memory is fairly rubbish and I often forget about things I’ve done, silly stories, special moments as well as less exciting things.  A diary will (hopefully!) be a great way to put these things somewhere so I can look back over them someday (and probably cringe!).

Being a fairly geeky digital kind of gal I wanted to come up with a digital journal so I can search for things easily, add pictures and links and easily create an archive that I won’t lose. I’m also a bit self-conscious about the whole thing and don’t like the idea of glimpsing things I’ve written when I go to add things in so being able to email stuff in is a definite bonus. Much as I’m a Moleskinenerd (hey, I read about productivity stuff, it’s basically compulsory!) I’ve decided to set up a Posterous blog to collect everything as I can email it and easily add all sorts of pretty things.

I’m really enjoying blogging here and am super proud that I’ve kept it up (so far!) so figure I’m getting into the habit of writing about the things I get up to so will hopefully be able to stick with this. I’m keeping my journal private (so you can’t spy on my deep personal thoughts on such weighty topics as whether it is wrong to listen to the same song from Glee endlessly on repeat for an hour  or what would win in a fight – a badger or a baboon) so no spying on me I’m afraid.

Jo x

I used to work with Michael and one of his main duties (apart from crawling on my desk miaowing!) was being the office DJ and playing us music to keep us entertained all day. One of his classics was Lemar’s ‘If There’s Any Justice‘ ‘It’s Not That Easy‘ which was played roughly every third song (or so it felt like at times!). His suggestion that I join the Lemar fan club is obviously an example of his huge admiration for Lemar and his repertoire.

Whilst there doesn’t seem to be an actual official Lemar fan club I’ve come up with the next best options;

Lemar's Facebook fan page

Jo x

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