August Resolutions :Use A Bullet Journal

If you mind is a busy a mine, the only way to keep all the important imput from going in one ear and out the other is to write it down . 

I write everything down.  Everything.  If I don’t…it’s gone… Only to return at the most inopportune time.  People know this so well  about me that they are constantly reminding me to write things down.  Some do me one better and write it down for me.  

I make lists.  Lists about everything.  To do lists.  Repair lists.  Shopping lists.  Bucket lists. 

The problem is that there was no way I could organize this lists and random notes.  I would lose them and have to start over.  

So I stumbled upon a solution that works for me.  

The Bullet Journal

It’s like a regular notebook but instead of lines it has dots that resemble graph paper for those with artistic ability.  

But the thing that sets it apart is the index.  Because each page is numbered, I can find any note by jotting it down in the index.  

I’m about three weeks in and I love it.  

The Lucky Break

 

Today I take you back to February of 2011.  I was 24 years old, and even though I was a successful District Manager for a Dunkin Donuts Franchise in the suburbs of Rochester, I was enjoying the twenties lifestyle so much, that I had to work two other part-time jobs to support it and that box of a studio apartment that I passed out in.  Once in a while.

I had just found out that I was going to be a father and I hadn’t quite figured out what my next move was.  Like I said, I was working two other part-time jobs.  One being a bar back and cook at a local sports bar,  I was a bit overqualified for that position but I really enjoyed working there and for the couple that owned it.  And the other was a stint on the line at my current full service restaurant company.

I was hired with the company for the first time in late 2004 and though I had transferred and left employment from this company on three separate occasions, I always seemed to wash back on their shores in a moment of need.  Whether it was their need or my need depended on the situation.

Now, when it comes to my career.  I always have seemed to be in the right place at the right time.  “God protects fools and drunks” Anthony Bourdain once said.  And this occasion was no exception

 

Shortly after returning to life on the line that January, I remember how pissed off I was when I was scheduled against my availability to work the garde manger station on random Sunday afternoon.  That’s just a fancy term used to make a salad preparer sound more important, which these days depending on your restaurants concept can be very important.

Sunday afternoons were not in my availability and I sure as hell hadn’t worked that salad station in years.  Hell, I didn’t have a clue what half the preparations were.   But I showed up for the shift without complaint like the good soldier I was.   And there he was.

The “he” I’m referring to was none other that the Monopoly Man himself, the Regional Director.  He indeed bore a striking resemblance to Rich Uncle Pennybags from the famous board game and today he was going to change my life.

He and I locked eyes immediately.  Did the GM schedule me on this shift on purpose so that I would be here when he was here?  If so…well played sir.  I had worked with this RD before in many different restaurant locations and we had a great history, but I hadn’t seen him since I had left to gain management experience with another company.

And after hearing about what I had been up to lately and my son on the way, he inquired if I would be interested in getting into full service management.

The rest is history.  I few rides east,7795fdea050dd0849fbdf50e7bd76fc8--luck-of-the-irish-irish-luck to Syracuse in the winter for interviews and assessments, my POS Lincoln barely making the journey, and it was a done deal.  I relocated to Syracuse in March for Manager Training and my climb up the corporate ladder had begun.

Slow Down In August

Once the weather turned in early April, I was eager to come out of hibernation and spend the warm months out of my house and exploring as much as could. 

By Mid July it was too much of a good thing and I found myself burnt out by the constant rounding around and pressure to find a new place to go.  

So this month I’m focusing on balancing out my life even more.   I will focus on only traveling two or three days a week as opposed to  five to six days.  

Instead I’m focusing on working on the house, slowing it down, and relaxing.  

Tonight…I’m hanging out by the new Lakeview Amphitheatre with a cold ūüćļ.  

July Resolution Recap

1.  Tell people what you want :

I decided to be mindful of making sure that the people in my life understand my expectations.  Whether it be my employees, kids, even my own wife.

I realized that I can’t get mad at them if I haven’t clearly defined what I would like them to do or not do.

Does it always work? No, but at least I am doing my part so that when I unleash my wrath they won’t be surprised. ūüôā ¬†But most of the time, ¬†I am pleasantly surprised to find that all I needed to do was to ask.

2. Put into rotation:

Back in January, I set out to clear out all my clutter in all areas of my life.  Now we are over half way through the year.

What hasn’t been used since it was organized?

Use it or lose it.  All old gadgets or gizmos sitting on the shelf have 5 months to be used or out they go.

I fired up the old ūüéĻ keyboard a few times this month. ¬†Maybe a good future Resolutions.

3. Stop giving a fuck:

AKA stop stressing about all the things you have to do and the little time you have to do them.   One day at a time

Stop worrying about other people’s perception. ¬†It probably my most difficult resolution to date. ¬†And something I failed constantly at.

 

4.  Cut portion sizes in half.

Successful sometimes.  Nearly impossible in others.  But I have been actively training my body to consume smaller portion sizes.

I have been able to go from a large iced coffee to a medium.  A Footlong to a 6 inch.  And a Pizza to a Flatbread.  Fried to Grilled.

I found that the key is to not let myself get too hungry. ¬†When the “hangry” (anger due to hunger) comes out I feel like I need to eat everything because I will never eat again.

5.  Seek out Deals :

Had a lot of fun this month.  And as you know.  Fun equals expensive.  So I used many different avenues to have fun and not pay out the ass.

Read more here.

6. Tackle Procrastination ;

Just a massive to do list each day that starts with me doing the “worst first”

Covered my struggle with procrastination  in greater detail here. 

7.  Craft my Ultimate Bucket List;

Whenever I had an idea for something that I wanted to do before I died, I would write it in a little note-book.  I have over 100 things on my list.

I will save that for a rainy day.

 

8.  Practice the Art of Small Talk ;

I may be too  introverted to engage in small talk with a total stranger or have too much of a restless mind to remember little tidbits of information like where you vacationed last summer or what your wife does for a living, but I understand the importance of small talk in networking and building relationships

I read “The Fine Art of Small Talk” be Debra Fine, twice. ¬†And I put it into ¬†practice. ¬†Asked the Dentist who long he has been in his current location, ¬†asked my ¬†guests how their oldest was doing in college, entertained my staff when they told me about their wild weekend.

I’m no expert. ¬†At the very least. ¬†They know I care.

 

Conclusion :  July was very busy fun as well as exhaustingsummer.  One more month of Summer and then like the seasons, the project will change again.

Thanks for reading so far.

 

 

Goodbye July : Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls

Day started with the food delivery guy tripping the alarm and dispatching the police at 330 AM.  No matter.  

4 AM : Inventory

6AM : Write The Prep Lists/ Morning Paperwork

7Am : Put the truck away

8AM : Loose ends / and To – Do Lists

9 AM : Place beverage orders

930 : Half Day freedom

Had to take Lucas home today.  We usually meet his mom half way, just outside Rochester.  But since I have almost the entire day, I offered to drive him the whole way so we can hit some of my favorite Western NY spots.

Patti has never been to the Buffalo Zoo.  Always a popular choice for Liam, “more anmals”.  It was great.  Lots of rare animals that you don’t see in the average zoo.  It was a bit pricey.  $5 to park.  $12 per adult $7 for Liam. 

After, we headed to Niagara Falls, USA.  Liam is on a big waterfall kick right now.  Must get it from his daddy.  He was in awe.  We only checked out the falls because a storm was rolling in.  

I prefer the Canada side.  We will definitely have to take a vacation there once Patti gets a passport.  

Check out some pics.  

Be back tomorrow with the July Recap and August Resolutions.  

Eat That Frog – Tackling Procrastination

I just spent the last half hour wearing a ninja turtle mask and sitting across the floor from Liam acting as his “mirror”.  Mimicking his every move and sound much to his delight.   

Broke his heart when I had to stop to get some stuff done.  Like this.  

Let’s talk about “eating ūüźł s”.  No not literally.  It’s a popular figure of speech used to tackle procrastination.  

“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long”. Brian Tracy
Your “frog” is the the least exciting, least enjoyable task that you must accomplish.  Most people, including myself avoid these tasks like the plague.

I love to procrastinate.  Which is sometimes a good thing depending on the situation.  But more often than not it can lead at a lot of stress and anxiety.  

So this month, I decided to “eat my frog” first thing in the morning.  

Each morning and afternoon I would make my To-Do list and then I would select the item that I wanted to do the least.  

At work it might be… putting the food order away, or counting the beer cooler on Mondays, or checking the employee schedule.  

At home, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, cooking.  

What I found by doing all these things first was that I would get more done.  The saying is correct.  Once then worst was out of the way, it made the rest of the day go by more smoothly.  

There are so many tactics for handling procrastination but I would suggest reading Brian Tracy’s seminar of the same name, Eat that Frog.  Or practicing the 5 second rule, which I covered earlier in the year.   

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure.

I had about 30 Minutes after work to get in a quick bike ride before Patti went to work.  

I came across a charcoal grill in great condition with a “free sign” on it.  So I hustled back to grab my car to snatch it up. 

The reason I tell you this is because this strategy is great for new home owners who haven’t acquired all the “bells and whistles” that most accumulate over many years.  

Drive through an affluent neighborhood on garbage night….you might furnish your kid’s college apartment for nothing.   All my office furniture was acquired this way.

Pleased with my inadvertent find, I took the boys for a walk around Liverpool, just off of Onondaga Lake. 

I was always fond of this area because in the summer I spent in my car I spent a lot of time on my laptop in the library there or the coffee shop going over my training notes. 

Great BBQ joint.  The owner was once a partial owner or the very popular downtown Dinosaur BBQ.

Awesome pizza and wings at Pizza Villa


You can’t talk about food in Syracuse without talking about Heids… sorry to commit blasphemy…it’s just overpriced hotdogs folks.  However, I love the Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor next door.