Category: Personal Development

Personal Development

Tools That Help Me Plan Better

In this post, I would like to share on how I get things done.

I’m not someone who is highly organized and disciplined. Being easily anxious, planning really helps me to stay calm and be on track.


First of all, among other planning tools, the lists are the most important thing. I am a hardcore lister.

I keep my lists on Evernote – things like goals, master to-do lists, financial commitments, saving goals, and writing ideas. I realize that many achievements in my life are more likely to be materialized if they’re written, insyaAllah.

I prefer pen over the keyboard for the thinking process. I don’t immediately plan or type my lists on Evernote as I brainstorm better with pen and paper than with a laptop or cell phone – they often bring me to other places i.e. random websites, social media platforms, and useless news scrolling.

Only when I’m happy with my lists, I’ll transfer them digitally.

Yes, it’s quite tedious. For me, analog might slow us down but while slowing us down, it makes us more thoughtful and creative.

Evernote is amazing. It is a cloud-based software service designed for creating, organizing and storing various of media file whether it’s a text document, a photo, a video, an audio file or even a web page. The only thing I hate about Evernote is that it can only be accessed from not more two devices if you’re on free version.

Expectedly, I’m on the free one.

Google Calendar and Google Task

Things that I need to do are pretty much routine i.e. daily – go to work, write, send and pick up kids, chores, A.M and P.M beauty routine and for weekly – halaqah, groceries, going out with friends, kids-quality-time (art/workbook/storytelling) etc.

So, I don’t really do daily planning and to-do list.

The daily to-do list is only necessary for non-routine work that I keep track using Google Tasks. Google Tasks is a free online service that helps manage your to-do lists.

While those task are nothing without a date/time assigned to them, I schedule them on Google Calendar along with my events and appointments. Google Calendar is also an online service so it can easily be accessed via the apps or Internet browsers as long as you have the internet. Unlike Evernote, there’s no limitation on access for both Google Calendar and Google Tasks.

They can be displayed side by side on a computer screen and that’s very helpful.

Notebook or Bullet Journal

My minimalist on-the-go essentials are my phone, wallet, notebook/papers and pen, lipstick and my car key (only if I’m driving, of course) – all in my handbag.

I always have a mini notebook in my bag. It is more like a bind of loose papers to me. They get finished pretty quickly because I love to tear them off and give the papers to my kids and friends.

At this moment, I fancy having an appointed bullet journal. I was already using one before I religiously listing on Evernote. However, after decluttering all of my notebooks, I have none left and through time I feel like I’m missing something.

I’m planning to have a pocket-size bullet journal for on-the-go journalling. I won’t overlap its role with my Google Calendar, Google Tasks and Evernote. It is not so much for the planning purpose but more of therapeutic journalling for me.

I’m still giving it time – to think about whether it’s really necessary.

Personal Development

Let’s Be Slow

Perhaps I am was an anxious person. Feeling easily overwhelmed. Feeling like there were too many things I need to take care of – work, kids, parents, friends, chores, my health. My dream.

It’s a sick cycle and the same routine everyday, of things to do, places to go and people to meet. Me feeling sick about them already tells that, not all of them sparks joy to me. And so, why do I keep doing them?

How about you?

Do you have so many things in your life? What’s the first thing to flash when you jump out of bed everyday? Are you excited for the day, or do you just grab your phone to scroll down social media for half an hour and already feel better to continue your day – your fast life as it is.

The fast life is all around us – fast food, fast cars, fast conversations, fast families, fast holidays. We may be living great lives but we aren’t ‘there’ for them. We don’t take the time to linger over food, over friends, over our family etc. We are not savouring our life and are starving of the real connection to our life. (Slow Movement)

So ask yourself, do I have the time to be present and feel every moment and effort to live, every day?

Slow living

Slow living is a lifestyle with mindful approach. To feel life and its meaning. To be grateful and happy about life and everything it has to offer.

Depending on your current lifestyle, there must be some factors that anchor your time i.e. your attitude, commitments and planning method – maybe you have too many goals to achieve in a day and not all of them are equally important to you. Maybe, you’re just overloading yourself with unnecessary things.

Understand your current fast life pattern

As for me, I’ve noticed that my time is faster due to my relationship with my phone – I lose real connection with my surroundings, my family and friends. It sounds silly that a 30-year-old grown-up woman like me is overly attached with her phone but it’s true. So, I start to unplug it more around the things that matter to me. In the morning, with my kids, with my loved one, and in the train ride home. I notice that I have better relationships with those I’m willing to switch my phone off for. A better and real connection.

Being too obsessed over productivity also stripped my life away. The perfectionism. I wanted to publish a blog post daily, write in my journal, and craft more poetry. I struggled to keep my house clean all the time while trying to home school my kids and prepare a homecook meal that they love every night. I wanted to be better at the office and keep all my friends loving me. I wanted to be the smartest, prettiest, and healthiest ugh. A’ishah baby, you can’t have them all.

The Four Burners Theory says that, in order to be successful you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful you have to cut off two. (James Clear)

In the end, it’s just common sense. An Instagram post or a Youtube video of a celebrity who doesn’t know me cannot be more important than my kids. My friends’ tweets cannot be more important than the blog post I need to finish. A random story book cannot be important than mouths to feed in this house, I better cook. Sometimes, a blog post cannot be important than enough sleep.

Know your priority

I know you already know your priorities (A’ishah, seriously?) But we easily lose focus.

It would be contradicted if I ask you to cut down on productivity to slow down your life and do less. It’s not that. It’s about knowing your priorities and live according to them. It’s about walking the talk and focusing over fewer but meaningful things.

Always question yourself. For example, if you say your family is important, why do you spend more time with writing (and work) to be left with less (and fast) time to spend with your family. And if you say your health is important, why do you watch Netflix and not go exercising, just to be worried about your health all the time.

It’s actually quite simple theoretically. Don’t do things you don’t want to do and go do things that you really want. Focus and stay present. Unplug. Live in the moment. Enjoy your life. Live slowly.

Let’s be slow.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. (Abraham Lincoln)

Personal Development

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

How to start doing anything (and be awesome about it)

Have you ever feel stuck? Feeling like you’ve been staying at one one place for.. forever. It hits you hard and you start thinking about things you can do to get this feeling out. You know you can’t be stagnant for too long, it’s just not you because you’re more than this. You have so many ideas, and all the brilliant ideas. You will do this and go to that. You will learn this to start to be that. This, that, this, that.

There’s only one problem, you never do anything about it.

Ideas are nothing without execution but there’s you, feeling stuck and trying to erase the feeling with.. daydreaming! Good strategy.

So, you want to be happier, healthier, prettier, and richer. You want to be better at your current job. You want to switch your career and work in a different company. You want to have a side-hustle income or a whole new business – being an entrepreneur. You want to write a book or start a blog. You want to go to places all around the world. You want to try new things or new hobbies. You want to improve your relationship. You want to be better.

There are indeed so many things that you want to do, but you didn’t do it because..

because according to you, you don’t know how to start.

In this post, I will share 3 steps to help you start with just anything that you want to do (you name it!)

1. Know yourself

All these while, you keep complaining about your circumstances – the situations that don’t help you with starting. But do you really know what is it that you want and more importantly, why do you want it? The big why is very important. It’s the purpose that keeps you going, no matter what the circumstances are.

Listen to yourself with an open heart. Know yourself. Identify your values and tendency.

2. Pick one thing

Just pick one thing at a time to stay focused. After you achieve the level of awesomeness for your ‘one thing’, you can repeat the process with the next thing you wanna be awesome at. (I think that’s so cool )

Don’t spend too long choosing it and stop searching for the ‘passion’ because let’s be frank – the search will never end. Just pick one that feels nearest. You will notice your nearest thing aligns with your values and tendency. Your nearest thing is also the main contributor to your other goals. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re not the best at that thing because once you start, you will climb the ladder.

If you already know your one thing, even better. Why haven’t you start already?

3. Practice daily

Be consistent and have an accountability system. Practice every single day. Make plans and execute them. You might fail in certain ways, it’s okay. Make a new plan and execute it once more. Do it and keep doing it. You’ll be the best in no time.

Stop saying you’re fine with not getting what you want, stop making excuses. Pursue the dream. Be awesome!

Know yourself and your why, pick one thing and start hustling.

With that, there’s only one more thing I could tell you right now. Just. F-in. Start.