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. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I now get to hear and begin to feature stories from fellow practitioners who have adopted my Grid tool into their practice. Below is one such example from Dr Christelle Kerouedan, who finds using the Grid helps her juggle a hectic work and home life, ensuring that she also nourishes her own mind and body.
Grid™ in three short sentences?
What key challenges were you facing before discovering the Grid™?
“Before discovering Magdalena and her work, I was constantly running myself into the ground. I am very driven, ambitious and I like things done well… add to this a propensity to offer help to everyone around and an inherent inability to say no to more work, and you have the perfect recipe for burn out!”
“I had suffered from burnout a few years before and even though I had promised myself never to go back there, I was recognizing some tell-tale signs and was slowly but surely heading back towards it. With a smile, Magdalena replied: “I totally get you, and I know what you need” while handing me her ‘The Get Productive Grid’ book.”
What is your Grid™ practice?
“I am a ‘Gridaholic’!
When the end of the year is looming on us, I start reflecting on the past 12 months and think about my goals for the following year. This feeds into my yearly Grid. It is also a great way to look back and allows me to pat myself on the back looking at everything I have achieved.
I also develop a monthly Grid, more detailed but aligned with the yearly one. It focuses on the tasks I need to do in order to achieve my wider goals, as well as on how best to create balance on a day to day basis. I revisit this monthly Grid regularly, coloring the tasks achieved as I go along, keeping myself on track. I don’t always achieve everything I have set myself to do but I am being kind to myself, acknowledging that sometimes, external factors might get in the way and that nobody is perfect…
The Grid system is also part of my daily routine: I create a mini-grid every morning while having my morning coffee, to ensure that once I start work (which can be all-consuming and relentless) I don’t forget the other things that are important in my personal life. This works as my plan for the day.”
How has your Grid™ practice enhanced your life?
“The Grid system is like a super-smart to-do list. It allows you to brain dump everything that you have in your head but in an intelligent way that considers all your needs.
Creating my first Grid made me realize two things: first that I was trying to do far too much and second that I was neglecting my self-care.
I have now been using the Grid religiously for more than three years and thanks to the system, I have learned how to balance my life better. I still have hundreds of irons in the fire, but the Grid highlighted how much I was doing for others and how much energy this was taking off me. So, I have also introduced a bit more self-compassion – without the guilt – and I am making sure that I am always including some activities to nourish my mind and body.
A bit about Dr Christelle Kerouedan
Christelle is 47, born and bred in France, and lives in London for over 20 years. She has a partner, 3 children aged 21, 18, and 13 from a previous marriage, and a very cuddly cat named Bilou. Family is and always has been her number one priority. However, life is extremely busy, working as a Partner in a corporate communications agency, whilst developing a nascent coaching practice and managing the renovation of her home project by project.
Christelle met Magdalena at the ‘Make Time Count’ Grid workshop for the Imperial College Alumni. As a scientist herself, she loved Magdalena’s approach being rooted in neuroscience and knew immediately that it would suit her. Christelle bought her book ‘The Get Productive Grid’ at the end of the workshop and read it over the following weekend and adopted the Grid method straight away.. Since then, she’s hooked.
Take a moment and consider these three questions:
- What would feeling more accomplished and on top of things allow for you? – Grid can help take a step towards it.
- What is getting squeezed out right now by other priorities and is this how you want it to be? – Grid can help you rebalance it.
- If you could change 1 thing this year in your life, what would it be and why? – Grid can help you bridge your dream with action.