Banu reached out to us with enthusiasm, gratitude, and a two-page reflection about the productivity and wellbeing online-course we offer. Titled “My Grid Introduction Training Memoirs”, Banu’s review is a goldmine of tips for improving your work-life balance and happiness. With her approval, we are sharing them with you!
First, though, let’s catch you up to speed with the Grid basics: this is the no-frills method that will change the way you approach productivity forever.
What is the Grid?
When Dr. Magdalena Bak-Maier developed the Grid method, she was looking for a way people could achieve what they wanted without burning out. That is how the four quadrants came to be:
- Personal Life
All your quadrants take space on a single piece of paper. There, you can categorize your tasks, break them down, and highlight them once completed. Part of the Grid magic lies within something Banu calls ‘energy-surfing’: choosing tasks in the order you feel like doing them, instead of by importance or time they take. Using this insight and other neuroscience-informed aspects that make the Grid so effective, the Grid Introduction Training teaches you how to improve your productivity and wellbeing.
The learning is an immersive online course that takes you by the hand the way a coach would over 6-8 sessions and helps you progressively create the life you want on your terms starting from what you have and implementing the Grid approach. You can follow the work at your own pace, and that’s exactly what Banu did! Let’s take a look at what she’s learned.
Banu’s Grid Introduction Training memoirs
I have read several self-help books over the years and have always felt that they aren’t concrete enough but are rather ideas. Don’t take me wrong, I appreciate the ideas but after being given the ideas, you are always left alone with your power or lack of self-discipline. Hasn’t almost everyone experienced this? You know how to diet but you just don’t. You know that you should read more or walk more but you just don’t!
I felt like this was the first time ever I read something that was concrete, that was tangible, that was down-to-earth. That was just doable! This is the first time ever I am able to continue something (it has only been a few weeks, but that is infinitely longer than my past experiences). I have become a person longing for Sunday to come so that I can GRID!
I am uplifted because I am proud […] for having focused on myself for even a moment.
What makes gridding so attractive and fulfilling for me?
- At first, I couldn’t tag my tasks. Which was which? It slowly dawned on me, and I really appreciated and enjoyed realizing the difference between personal-life and self-care. The same goes for work and career.
- I am seriously enjoying the energy-surfing aspect. My mathematical brain understood that always doing energy-demanding tasks is a downward line. However, switching between the two types of tasks is like a zig-zag that doesn’t have that downward trend. It’s like a heartbeat! That’s what our heart does too, right? Doing even a 5-minute energy-boosting task after devoting a maximum of 90 minutes to an energy-demanding task does the trick for me. I am uplifted because I am proud of myself for having focused on myself for even a moment there. By the way, the module and task system of the Grid Introduction Training actually facilitated my understanding of this system.
- I am learning how to chunk overwhelming tasks into doable bits. Doing some stretching in the office even for 5 minutes is better than nothing. Throwing away 10 sheets of paper every day, which takes only 5-10 minutes, from my ever-growing mountain of junk on my office desk, accumulated to more than an hour of tidying in just a fortnight. I would have never gotten around to this because I always have “more important” things to do!
- I keep asking myself whether or not any new task contributes to my career or self-care routine. This question and its answer has somehow made eliminating and delegating tasks easier too.
- Last but definitely not least, highlighters and colors are so powerful! Scribbling over completed tasks with a pencil and highlighting important tasks feel so misleading now. I just love my Grid getting more and more colorful! That positive-feedback is so effective.
Tasks have become less psychologically demanding.
My productivity style!
Weekly gridding suits me better. At first, I was doing daily Grids. However, due to the nature of my work, every day I have something new – say “pop-up tasks”. I realized that such tasks made me feel like I wasn’t accomplishing what I set out for. This has always been overwhelming for me, event before gridding. I always complained that “I can never do what I set out for in the morning. By the end of the day, I have done many things but never the ones I planned to do.”
Gridding for the week and energy-surfing was powerful enough to switch my negative perspective and those pop-up tasks don’t seem to drain me as much anymore. Tasks have become less psychologically demanding.
I kind of merged my Google calendar and Grid. My four quadrants have four different highlighter colors, and my four Google calendars are the same colors. This suits my character so much, since I dress colorfully and wear colorful nail polish all the time. It’s as if I was meant to Grid like below but just found out.
It gave me the jump start that I couldn’t have accomplished by myself in probably a lifetime.
I have my Grid by my side! Final reflections on the Grid Introduction Training.
Looking back, I feel like I was on a correct path, I had made many realizations and changes in my life with respect to work-life balance (especially after an overwhelming doctoral period that got interrupted with a serious traffic accident nearly leaving me crippled – I learned about work-life balance the hard way, unfortunately).
I had already started not working on the weekends. And, I had already started starting a task – even for 5 minutes or even by just writing the first sentence of a report or an e-mail – when I was about to leave work or going through the kitchen, which makes starting that task the next morning or the next time I grow through the kitchen so much easier.
Taking the Grid course not only made me realize that I was on the correct path, giving me some self-confidence. It gave me the jump start that I couldn’t have accomplished by myself in probably a lifetime. I guess this combo (the feeling of being on the right path complemented with the Grid skill set) made everything so easy. I was at the right point in life to just engulf the Grid.
I have to admit my career tasks are still a bit of a challenge but I feel like I am getting there. At least now I have the right tools on hand, I just have to keep on trying different styles and find my way. And having “want-to’s” (rather than “to-do’s”) gives the boost I need because the Grid gave me that knack. Now, I got to go and highlight my “Write my GIT Report for Magdalena” task in my self-care quadrant. Where is my orange highlighter?
Make the Grid into your own productivity ally
Did Banu’s reflection motivate you to make a change as well? We want your Grid journey to be as easy as you deserve, so you can enjoy feeling well and doing well. Take a look at what life has in store in 2022 with these next steps:
- Learn more about the Grid method and discover our free resources, including a Grid template and life satisfaction quiz.
- Sign up for the Grid Introduction Training here. Get started right away, or wait until you have the right energy for it – that is the beauty of Gridding! Going at your own pace with this online course helps, too.
- Connect with like-minded people: join our Facebook group, share your learning points and learn from others who are also on their journey.