From Dr. Magdalena Bak-Maier, Grid™ Creator and MTC Founder
It’s been close to ten years since I developed the Grid approach to help with work-life balance and to get more organised.
I am delighted to feature another uplifting story from a teacher who has retrained to support women to have a positive birth and postnatal experience. It is incredible to hear how her husband got onto the Grid method also by watching it work out so well for her.
No matter what is your professional role or life circumstance, I’d love to see how adding Grid to your toolbox can help you get more organised and create the life you want. You will find specific steps to give the Grid journey a try at the end of this interview and case study.
Who is Helen?
“Hello! My name is Helen Wright. I am 40 years old and I live in Wapping, East London with my partner and our two small children. I have worked in education for the past 20 years, as a primary school teacher and senior leader – specialising in the early years, teacher training and mentorship.
Becoming a mum awoke a new passion in me and I spent every nap time and evening during my maternity leave retraining and setting up a business to support women to have a positive birth and postnatal experience. When my maternity leave ended, I decided not to return to my teaching job and I have never looked back!”
How did you discover the Grid™?
“I discovered Magdalena and her life-enhancing Grid Method, via the 30-day coaching programme I signed up to through Psychologies magazine in 2017.”
What was true before you discovered the Grid™?
“Prior to using the Grid Method, I was a chronic list maker!
I would often have so many lists here, there and everywhere that I often found myself in a muddle and consequently progress in all areas of my life was hindered!”
Grid™ beats the traditional to-do lists
“I really took to the Grid’s seeming simplicity. I loved the idea that I could categorise each part of my life on one sheet of paper and see everything I wanted to get done, at a glance.
It was such a refreshing change from creating endless linear lists, which I often felt compelled to rewrite after I’d crossed a few things off. Firstly, this was such a waste of time and secondly, it made it impossible for me to see any progress – which was very disheartening!
I adore how the Grid enables me to pick a task which is aligned to my energy at any given moment, thanks to the split of energy-giving and energy-receiving sections. For example, I might not feel like updating my accounts this morning, but I might after I’ve completed day 2 of my weekly workout plan!”
Grid™ puts the power back into your hands
“Personally, I feel that there is something very powerful about creating a Grid by hand; something about the physical process of setting it up, writing and highlighting which a computer programme or spreadsheet could never match.
Of course, my partner sees me creating my Grids and we often Big Grid together. He is now an avid Grid maker too!”
My Grid™ process helps me stay on track, stay focused and get more organised
“I generally create a new Grid every week or every fortnight. I use it to keep me on track: to help me focus, to keep me organised, to aid my memory and to offer me some balance between work, rest and play!
It’s the perfect way to track my progress. I love the way I can very clearly see gaps, thanks to the highlighting system. This helps me to reflect at the end of each week and set new targets to help me move forward. For example; if I can see few or no tasks highlighted in the ‘Admin’ section of my grid, I ask myself why this is: are the tasks too big or too overwhelming? Do I need to break the tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones? Do I need some help? How might I make the tasks more inspiring? What’s my motivation?
Each evening, I review my Grid and highlight any tasks which I have completed. I then pick 3 tasks from the Grid, which I call my Magic 3! I then write these in my journal to complete the following day. This really helps me to remain accountable to myself and ensure that I am working my way through everything I have committed to on my current Grid. Writing the tasks down in this way, the night before, helps to anchor them into my subconscious mind, so that when I wake up, I am ready and raring to go! It works a treat. I really notice a dip in my productivity on mornings when I haven’t prepared in this way the night before.
As well as creating my weekly/fortnightly Grids, I also do what I call ‘Big Gridding’. It’s my way of creating long term plans for a specific area of my life or work. I usually create these on big sheets of paper so they can be stuck somewhere prominent, like my fridge! I find Big Gridding incredibly helpful when I’m stuck: when I feel like I need to make a big decision and I’m not sure how best to proceed. Big Gridding helps me to organise my thoughts into clear and specific categories, which I can then break down into manageable tasks, meaning that the big plan is no longer so overwhelming!”
Grid™ in a single sentence
“Magdalena’s Grid method has been a complete game-changer for me. I have done so many courses over the years and sure, some things stick with you, but not in the way the Grid has done. I would honestly be lost without it. I am so grateful to Magdalena for sharing her magic with me.”
If you’re a busy mum, business owner, teacher, or manager Grid™ can help you too.
“I wish I’d known about the Grid method whilst I was a class teacher, as it would have been incredibly supportive in terms of curriculum and lesson planning. I would also, most certainly, have been able to manage my time better with the support of a Grid: I would have felt much less overwhelmed and far more productive!
I think the Grid method could be used by anyone: for busy mums, business owners, teachers, managers…Grid is just so adaptable!”
About Helen and her work
Helen is a dedicated teacher who supports expectant couples and women to:
- master their fears about giving birth;
- effectively navigate the system they find themselves in;
- take control of their birthing journey.
Helen uses Hypnobirthing in her work, which can effectively reprogram fear-based thinking and beliefs with helpful positive outlook and behaviours. Helen’s work helps women feel calm, confident and in control of their birth and postnatal recovery. She works in person and online, in group and 1:1 sharing antenatal know-how, tried and tested hypnobirthing methods. Helen is also the trainer for IPEN (the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network) in London. In this role, she teaches and mentors fellow birth workers, as they master the art of creating placenta remedies to further support their clients. She draws on over 20 years of experience as a primary school teacher and senior leader with a specialism in the early years, teacher training and mentorship.
Most recently, Helen launched online support and mentoring community for busy mums called Five Minutes’ Peace. Find out more about her offerings and work here.
Get more organised today
Find out the Grid can help you get more organized. Follow these simple steps:
- Order a copy of the Get Productive Grid book which will help you take a systematic approach to Grid practice including additional goal-setting activities, a 3-months Grid plan and evaluating your results.
- Join the 30-day coaching programme Helen did and make fast progress to improve your life, work, career, and self-care.
- Explore our free Grid resources that will help you try the method out for yourself and join our Grid community on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Thank you for reading. If you have a work-life balance story to share for a Grid case study please get in touch.