Poetry Corner – finally!

finally!

I'm finally going to...

start a podcast!

who the fuck would listen to that?

perform at open mic night!

who would find you funny?

apply for that job!

why the fuck would they hire you?

get in shape!

what shape?

start jogging!

yeah, to the convenience store maybe

start my business!

are you joking?

get my life in order!

what life?

I am ready!

no you're not

This time I'm going to do it!

I don't think so

Today's the day!

maybe tomorrow

I'm gonna start on it first thing...

we'll all be waiting with bated breath

10P 10: How To GSD (Get Shit Done) – To-Do List PART 2!

T0P 10:

How To GSD (Get Shit Done) – To-Do List PART 2!

written by Cameron Brtnik

Here we go again…

It’s Wednesday…

You’ve still got a million things left to get done, and already half the week is over…. You glance at your increasingly-looming To Do List: buy fish oil (need more vit d!), drop off kids at practice, email clients back, pickup dry cleaning, take laptop to get fixed, call sister back, watch ep 6 of The Crown… You start panicking: “I’ll never get all this stuff done, why did I take on so much? How am I ever gonna finish this damn to to list!” Through further research, trying out new methods, and more trial and error, I’ve created more of my own techniques on being efficient and compiled them here in Part 2 of “How To Get Shit Done On Your To Do List” or the easy to memorize acronym “HTGSDOYTDL!” Check it out!

Now let’s Get Shit Done on that To-Do list!

1. Note To Future Self – You can see the future – Write a note to your future self (or friend, partner, or even dog for that matter) informing them: “I have finally finished {insert task}!” eg. “My first week of yoga class,” “Painting the bedroom pink” or “The second chapter of my book!” Writing this note your “future self” will help you to see the task completed in your mind, and motivate you to follow through! I mean, how could it exist if you never completed it in the first place?

2. Feeling Bloated – If your To Do List has grown too big (which it undoubtedly will), it can be frustrating and feel like you’re barely getting ahead. At that point, I move any “Non-Urgent” tasks to the bottom of the list. As I only assign numbers to the top 6 things on my list, they become the “Urgent” tasks to complete . By the end of the week if you haven’t gotten get around to these ignored errands, DELETE them. After all they can’t be that important can they? Option 2: If you can’t bear to delete them, start a “Master To-do List” where you can copy & paste these pesky tasks to collect digital dust.

3. For Ever-note – I know I mentioned this in my first “Top 10 on To-Do Lists, so do yourself a favour and start using the Evernote app. You can organize your Notes into folders, shortcuts and tags so you’ll never misplace your Notes (like those cursed car keys!). This leads us into our next two items on our list…

4. Labeling Theory – Have some fun with labeling your Notes! (I know, my life is sad.) Try labeling your Note with a unique title so you can easily search for it later, then ‘tag’ it with categories like “Job Search” or “Social Media Posts.” If it’s a Note you refer to often, add it to your ‘shortcuts’ folder. Now go ahead and have fun scrolling through your Notes! *Cheering ensues*

5. Find a Due Date – When making my To Do Lists, I often label them by time or date (I really do have no life). For example: “February Goals, Complete this Week, Today’s Tasks;” by setting a self-imposed due date you subconsciously push yourself to complete those tasks in a shorter amount of time. Remember: whatever helps you to Get Shit Done!

6. Living Large – CAPS LOCK THE TEXT FONT. This subconsciously works by making the task seem “bigger,” and therefore more important, than the rest. JUST DON’T KEEP IT ON WHEN YOU’RE COMMENTING ON YOUTUBE VIDEOS! Thank you.

7. Re-Adjust – Try changing seating positions. Go from sitting in your chair to kneeling on the floor, or sitting on the edge of your bed to standing up. It not only helps to regulate blood to your extremities (pins and needles be gone!), but helps “shake things up” so you don’t get too comfortable, or uncomfortable. Now try standing on your head.

8. Make Your Bed – I started doing this even before Jordan Peterson was a household name (and my personal “self-improvement guru”). I just realized one day that if, upon waking up, you immediately make your bed it programs your brain to be productive and puts you in that “success mindset.” Besides being a good habit, it will also make you less likely to crawl back into it after a long day of eating breakfast.

9. Just Begin – If you’re having trouble starting on even one of your To Do List assignments, just start a random project: it doesn’t even have to be on your list! Even if it’s “change the lightbulb” or “return library book,” you’ll be surprised how much one action snowballs into another. Keeping oneself busy creates momentum that transfers over to other things, like stuff you actually have to get done. So start cleaning out the fridge and you may just end up finishing the end of your brother-in-law’s weeding speech.

10. Change Spaces – If you’re struggling to Get Shit Done at home or from the office, try changing your environment: like specifically going to the actual place on your list. For example, I hate looking at my bank statements so I do my banking from the bank! Somehow being in the “real life” location helps me completely focus, and it does seem like the “natural setting” to be viewing bank statements – until security kicks you out for looking suspicious.

Want more ways to Get Shit Done? Read this: https://cambrtnik.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/top-10-list-how-to-get-shit-done/

***To my (three) readers: If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it my next Top Ten segment!

Cameron is a freelance writer and promoter of “Getting Shit Done” cbrtnik.com

BLOG-Bits: A Man

BLOG-Bits

A MAN

4.13.21Vision “Vision without action is a dream.”

Why don’t I have a vision? Something that guides me, and motivates me along the way? I can envision so many great things, almost will them into being. But by own future moves along a different timeline. I can open the door to my mind, yet have no access my future. Even a hazy vision would be fine; it doesn’t have to be crystal clear. When I close my eyes, all I see nothing but darkness, still I can hear the voices sneering and snickering hiding in the corners of my mind. I suppose that’s what therapists are for. Wait a second – my vision is to have a vision. Eureka, I’ve got it! Time to get to work. What is my vision? Why don’t I…

3.04.21 – Cog in The Machine

Most men are simply a cog in the machine… In that they, no matter how integral, are just part of what makes the whole contraption run. But they, too, will be replaced after churning out their best work, put through the grind, worn and abraded, a thick layer of elbow grease, blood, sweat and tears, with another just like him but at cheaper cost. None the matter; as long as this thing keeps running. Now go back to work!

3.03.21A Man

What is a man, if not his word? A man is his promise. And I cannot keep promises. In fact, anything I’ve “promised” you before this very writing could not and should not be counted on. And for that, I apologize. I am human, but I feel more like a scrapped blueprint for one. “I am my thoughts,” and my thoughts are made of shame and regret. Shame and regret for what? For letting myself down; for I know what a man is – sense one when he is in my presence – and I am not that, although it is what I strive to be: to finally become A Man.

Poetry Corner – Confidence

Confidence

I have no confidence.

I’m gonna accomplish something!

I have no confidence.

Today will be different!

I have no confidence.

I can accomplish anything!

I have no confidence.

I am useless.

I have no confidence.

I am amazing!

I have no confidence.

I am confident.

I don't have what it takes.

I have no confidence.I’m gonna accomplish something!

I have no confidence.

Today will be different!

10P 10: How To GSD (Get Shit Done) On Your To-Do List!

T0P 10:
 
How To GSD (Get Shit Done) On Your To-Do List!
 
written by Cameron Brtnik
 
It’s Monday…
 
    You’ve got a million things to get done and already you’re falling behind… So you write a To Do List: buy milk, drop off clothes at dry cleaners, send meeting syllabus, pickup package at post office, take phone to get fixed, call mother back, watch ep 4 of House of Cards… Sound familiar? We live in an overwhelming world of constant upgrading technology, perpetual updating, and a ceaseless barrage of text messages on top of our already lengthy to-do lists of more trivial tasks. How to cope with it all? Through research, trying out various proven methods and a good deal of trial and error, I’ve come up with my own techniques on being productive and discovered some invaluable insights. Without further ado-list (sorry), here’s my Top 10 List of “How To Get Shit Done On Your To Do List” or the easy to memorize acronym “HTGSDOYTDL!” Just do it.
 
 
Now let’s Get Shit Done on your to-do list!

1. Make a To-Do List (duh!) – Scrap your notebook and use the Evernote app. It’s full of fantastic features to help get your To Do Lists, and your life, in order. In fact, I’m using it right now!

2. Take Action – Add a NA or Next Action next to each task on your To Do List. It’s much easier, and more realistic to get shit on your list done in “chunks.” This simple tweak will do wonders. Some examples:

  • Next to “Call mother” add “Call mother – NA [ ] Call Tuesday 9 a.m.”
  • Instead of “Work on Novel” add “Work on Novel – NA [ ] write one paragraph”

3. Check It Out – Use box bullet points [x] to check off what you’ve completed, track what you’ve already done, and to feel a sense of accomplishment (yes, this reason is just as important!). Take a moment to look at what you’ve accomplished and to feel good about it. This will help build your momentum as you move on to the next task.

4. Reword It – If it’s been forever since you’ve checked something off your never-ending To Do List, try rewording it just slightly. For example: “Surprise hubby with dinner,” might become, “Surprise hubby with coffee,” or, “Finish chapter one of book,” could become, “Write one paragraph of first chapter.” This subconsciously lifts any stress or pressure it puts on you, and you may even end up cooking your honey dinner or typing out that chapter after all.

5. Sense of Urgent See – If, days later, you still haven’t checked that pesky task off your listicle, move it into an “Urgent” or “Super To-do List” reserved for only the things you need to complete ASAP. Everything else gets put off until you complete these tasks – or you may simply need to free up more time in your strenuous schedule.

6. Two Minute Man – Abide by the the old mantra: “If it can be done in two minutes, then do it now.” Now get off your ass and make your bed! Or mow the lawn really fast.

7. White Bored – If you still prefer to physically write things down (ok boomer!), use a large whiteboard so your tasks also become large, oversized even! Keep your whiteboard on full display so it’s visible at all times – from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed – and feel the pangs of guilt when you notice you didn’t check off: “Do one nice thing for a coworker today.”

8. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) – Keep only 5 to 6 things on your daily To Do List. This will make it much easier, and more realistic, to Get Shit Done! You can change these tasks up daily, but try to only change one at a time. This will help you build a routine by keeping your daily habits strict and regimented.(Like eating that block of cheese before going to bed. That’s why you’re having such vivid dreams!)

9. Account On Me – Have an “Accountability Partner” – Someone who will make sure you stay on track and follow through on whatever you set out to do. I recommend a daily check-in call that will help motivate you and create momentum for your day. It will also help put the pressure on; this friendly fellow will hold you to it that you’re going to finish reorganizing your desk…or else.

10. Don’t Make To-Do Lists – Huh, doesn’t that make this entire listicle redundant? Well, once you get into a daily habit – this may take days, weeks, or even months – it will become innate, a part of you, so that you won’t have to think about To Do Lists or getting shit done anymore. You’ll just do them.

PS. If you’ve written “make to do list” on your To Do List, I apologize for taking up your precious time and just accept that that pigsty of yours you call a room will never get cleaned.
 
 
Want more ways to Get Shit Done on your to-do list? Read PART 2 here: https://cambrtnik.wordpress.com/2021/03/06/10p-10-how-to-gsd-get-shit-done-to-do-list-part-2/

***To my readers: If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done,” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it the next Top Ten segment!***

Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and devout practitioner of “Getting Shit Done” cbrtnik.com

T0P 5: How To Meet People

T0P 5:

How To Meet People

written by Cameron Brtnik

wesocialcommunity-how-to-meet-new-people

T0P 5: How To Meet People 

    Let’s see, what to do today… Go to work? Check. Pick up groceries on the way home? Check. Make dinner and put the kids to bed? Check. Read at least one page of that book I’ve had on the go for six months now… Sleep. Where in this whirlwind schedule of yours did you make time to meet people?

It seems the “art of meeting people” is lost on us. We’re too busy staring at our glowing, soothing screens (I know I know cliche, but also true). Too busy planning our artful escape off the elevator full of sweaty people we spent the entire ride trying not to make eye contact with. Too busy worrying about our home lives: I gotta talk to the husband, I can see Sophie’s going through some issues, when’s the last time I saw the dentist? Internal monologue that really wears us down mentally and physically. “Outside people” are seen as a threat to our own existence: “Don’t talk to me bub or you’ll screw up my mental grocery list.” But you know what’s fun? Getting outside your thoughts, and striking an “uncomfortable” conversation with your worried-looking neighbour in the elevator. Also chatting with that person behind you in the line at the grocery store as you’re paying for your Coffee Crisp. I guarantee at least one of you will leave the conversation feeling better about the world.

Without further ado, here’s my Top 5 Techniques on “How To Meet People and Break The Ice!” (or HTMPABTI)

1. Breaking The Ice – Don’t be shy; Approach people and you break the ice. Don’t open with the usual, “Hey, how you enjoying this party?” Rather offer something:a party trick, a funny anecdote, a compliment, or a corny joke. Once you become a person of value, this “just a second ago stranger” will be actually be interested in meeting you. Now go and Google “corny jokes.”
2. Keep the Conversation Interesting – Be outgoing, friendly, funny, gregarious… But don’t just talk about yourself (nobody likes a bragger…except other braggers); Bring up current news stories, talk about how you both know the host, share an embarrassing story, but most importantly ask questions about them!This person will be (happily) shocked that a stranger is so interested in getting to know more about him or her. Remember: Knowledge is power, and power is half the battle! Or something like that…
3. Ask Questions – Show you’re interested – I know I just stated this above, but it’s worth repeating. One way I engage people is not by telling them about me (although if they ask I will tell them) but rather by asking about them. Not just the usual: “What’s your name? What do you do? Have you been here before blah blah blah…” That’s interesting but not really engaging. Rather ask, “What are your interests?” See if you can bond over a common interest ie. sports, politics, your shared obsession in D&D. This is sure to keep the conversation rolling – at least until you tell them your nickname for the stuffed teddy bear you sleep with every night.
4. Name Game – Remember the person’s name! This is difficult (I do not now why it’s so difficult). My technique? I repeat the person’s name throughout the conversational least four times so I remember it. For example: What’s your name?”Daniella. “Pleasure to meet youDaniella. Daniella, do you enjoy waterskiing?” I’ve never been… “Haha that’s great, I can just picture you on a pair of skis on the lake like, ‘HeyDaniella! You have to be facing the boat!’ Well Daniella it was a pleasure chatting with you, how can we…” That was four times. It seems excessive when you read it, but it’s really not and she won’t even notice. And when you call her by her by her name at the end of the conversation, she’ll be impressed you actually remember it! Not like the last couple douchebags who didn’t and then expected to exchanges socials. Bam you win.
5. Keep In Touch – Rather than blatantly asking,What’s your phone number or Instagram?(this can feel intrusive especially if you just met) ask,”How can we continue this conversation?,”and let them offer their contact. A bit of reverse psychology for you!

Bonus: How to Remember a Name

  1. Repeat their name at least four times throughout the conversation.
  2. Think of a person you know with the same name who has a similar personality or hobby.
  3. Rhyme their name with something you’ll remember ie. Mike likes to hike, Suzy likes to drink boozy…

My Reading List:

  • The Game by Neil Strauss (Don’t knock it till you read it! Useful for men and women)
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and a passionate advocate of meeting strangers cbrtnik.com

10P 10: GSD or How To Get Shit Done!

mock up of empty picture frame on the desk
T0P 10: GSD or How To Get Shit Done!
written by Cameron Brtnik
    OPD or Obsessive Procrastination Disorder has caused a slowing down of my life, and even a reversal at times. I feel so behind that forward is somehow backwards; it’s like I can never get ahead. I worry that I’ll never achieve anything in the future because I’m constantly living in the past, stuck in place like a snail’s race, a car in a traffic jam, an insignificant particle traveling through space and time… (okay I have no idea where I was going with that metaphor). Common sense says: “Always put the most important tasks at the the beginning of your to-do list.” I’ve also heard the opposite: “Do the easiest tasks first so you feel a sense of accomplishment.” But which is the right answer? Unfortunately like most conundrums, there is no magic bullet. Don’t fret – I’ve compiled a list of “tried and true guidelines” that will help you, too, to finally Get Shit Done!
Rules that have helped me Get Shit Done –

1 – The Two Minute Rule – Whatever can be done in two minutes, do it right away! This has helped me Get Shit Done more than any other technique on this list, so if you take anything away, it’s this. I get the thing done right away and feel good about my “mini achievement.” And most importantly, have not added to the pile of “things to do” like a perpetual game of Jenga.

2 – Hold Yourself Accountable – Find an Accountability Buddy – someone who will hold you accountable if you don’t finish the task on time. This “motivational coach” basically acts as a boss who expects the job done by an agreed upon deadline. They may even help you complete your task, which is okay – there’s no rulebook to completing something, only that you get it done!

3 – FOLD (Fear Of Letting someone Down) – Similar to having an Accountability Buddy, if you committed to completing a project for someone, especially a friend or colleague, FOLD or “the Fear Of Letting Someone Down” forces you to complete that task. But don’t take on more than you know you can handle as that can have counterproductive effects.

4 – Under Pressure: Positive Procrastination – The old “leave it to the last day” pressure tactic has worked miracles for me. Back in high school, I often left assignments till the morning of. But come the “day of reckoning,” I forced myself to get up early, crack down, and whip out some of my best work. *Note: I don’t recommend using this one too much as it can physically and mentally burn you out.

5 – Double-Down – Are you willing to put money on that? If there is a sum of money riding on the outcome, this is often a strong motivator in completing a task by the due date. Think about a game of Poker: how motivated are you when you’re not playing for money? Do you care if you win or lose? Now put five bucks on the game and see if you don’t care. Now raise a hundred.

6 – Check Please – Write the tasks on your To-do Lists next to a checkbox (I recommend using the Evernote app as it has great features and your notes save in the cloud…whatever that is). As you go through your list and check that shit off, it feels good. And at the end of the day, you can lay back and stare at all those checked boxes and bask in the glory of success.

7 – Copy & Paste – When you’re cringing at the thought of checking your email, here’s a psychological rouse I created that’s helped me: Copy and paste messages into another app like Word or Evernote, read and write your reply in the app, then copy and paste it back into your email. This seemingly pointless work-around has helped me get over what I call WAS or “Work Avoidance Syndrome.” Psychologically, like doing work at a cafe, it can make menial tasks easier to complete. Try it and see if it works for you!* (*or your money back guaranteed! Now please send me money.)

8 – Set A Schedule – Set up a recurrent schedule to force you to Get Shit Done! For example, if you want to send out an email every month, make a phone call once a week or a text once a day, setting up an “auto-schedule” gets rid of the all the stress. Think of your favourite Youtuber or podcaster. They post content monthly, weekly or even daily or risk losing their fanbase (not to mention their sponsors). I find it inspiring to listen to a comedian like Bill Burr who posts his podcast not once, but twice a week! And he’s a self-proclaimed lazy buffoon. Now do you feel lazy?

9 – Chill Out – Listen to a “chillout playlist” on your headphones or in the background while working. This will calm and relax you, and put you in the right headspace to focus on your work. I recommend throwing on some Lofi Chill or any “study playlist” on Spotify.

10 – Celebrate the Good Times – The relief you feel when you finally finish that long-lingering project will be like getting a monkey off your back. You’ll feel free from the self-imposed oppression and guilt of not getting shit done, which means it’s time to celebrate with a (insert favourite drink here), lay back and marvel at how smart you are. Now go out there and Get Shit Done!

***If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it my next Top Ten segment!
Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto, and practitioner of Getting Shit Done cbrtnik.com

SpotLight: Divine Light Wellness – Holistic Healing

SpotLight: Divine Light Wellness – Holistic Healing

Shannon Soules – Life Coach

Spiritual coaching and energy healing for personal growth and wellness

This was my first experience with meditation and Reiki. This is a true testimonial I wrote for her website. She is also the first to be featured in my new SpotLight series. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or any mental or physical disorder, I sincerely recommend you try out her services. It really did work for me!

I’ve had two sessions with Shannon and…wow. It’s made a huge difference in my overall mood and mental state, and I’ve been much more clear-headed and focused. This year I’ve taken positive steps to get my life in order – mental health, career path, personal growth – by hiring a Life Coach and a Spiritual Coach and have been making incremental, yet great strides, in all three areas. I like the practical, straightforward advice from my life coach gives me which have produced immediate and perceptible results. To be honest, I was more skeptical of working with a “spiritual” coach, but at this point I was open to trying anything…

Shannon made the trip to Toronto for our first, in-person session. She has a nifty “mobile office” complete with massage table, sage and Tibetan bowls, so if you can’t make the trip to her in Georgetown she can come to you! She offered the whole gambit: guided meditation, Reiki and the mystical Tibetan Bowls, all of which were a first experience for me. If you’re a naturally skeptical person like me, right now you are probably saying to yourself, “Reiki? What the hell is that? Sounds like a Naruto jutsu.” But I knew that if I fully gave myself over to Shannon’s guidance and suggestions, I won’t regret it; it all works if you let your guard down and open yourself up to new experiences

One facet from our sessions I really appreciated was that Shannon took the time to transcribe everything I said and, more importantly, read them back to me; the strange thing is that it didn’t even sound like me! They were truly insightful reflections, all from deep within my own mind – if only we took time out of our “busy schedules” of watching Netflix and checking Instagram to meditate and do some self-reflection. If you have trouble focusing and meditating on your own like I do, booking a session with Shannon is the best way to begin! My ultimate goal is to eventually be able to do this on my own – but working with Shannon will inspire and get you motivated to start.

I had many insights in just two sessions – my second session was over Skype (this was “pre-zoom” era) as we couldn’t schedule a meetup that week. Yet surprisingly I was able to go into a meditative state as she guided me through our session over the screen. It was an equally gratifying session, although I still preferred our in-person session. I have since booked weekly sessions with Shannon, and I’m already looking forward to our next one. She has taught me that it’s possible to be still, even for just a moment, in this constantly engaging world and to start looking within.

Shannon also practices Poi and if you ask nicely, she may teach you! Check our her website here: http://www.divinelightwellness.com

Cameron is a freelance writer, blogger, and spiritual being based in Toronto. ***For your very own “SpotLight” just send me an email at cbrtnik@gmail.com or PM me on Instagram @instacam81

Poetry Corner – Like a Rock

Like a Rock

stacked-boulders-sandra-selle-rodriguez

Like a Rock


I want to be strong like a rock


My life has fallen accidentally into place
Like the rocks that make up this mountain
Satisfied with the cards they were dealt
Each working together to hold up an entire mountain
No one imposing on the others
Rather keeping each other in check


I want to be sturdy like a rock


Each completing the other; no grandstanding
Sturdy yet fallible
Ancient yet new each day
Always set with their faces toward the sun
Together balancing out the whole


I want to be intelligent like a rock


We can learn a lot from these rocks
We who compete for space
For a chance to leave our mark on this earth
To find meaning for ourselves
Rather than the whole


I want to be humble like a rock


We who step over each other to succeed
Rather than link together to form an alliance
Rocks do not feel jealousy, envy, or pain
They accept their place
And fend together, as one

Upfront Reviews: LookBack – The Wire

The Wire

by Cameron Brtnik

{WARNING: Spoilers ahead!)

So I’ve finally finished The Wire (10 years late, I know). It will go down as one of the most memorable TV series I’ve ever seen (next to House – if you know me you know I’m a big fan of the mischievous MD). I’ll have many memories from the show: Mcnulty, Bunk, hoppers, runners, and of course Omar. But the story, or lesson, that will remain with me is that of Reginald’s, aka Bubbles, in Season 5. Out of anyone in the show, he made the biggest transformation. And isn’t that what we’re always looking for in characters, a transformation? More importantly in ourselves? He was the most notorious of drug addicts, a heavy user until he regrettably kills his “adopted son” by accidentally poisoning him. He actually quits using for good (not before unsuccessfully trying to hang himself). The lesson I learned was this…

Bubbles did three things:

1. He stopped blaming others for his problems.

2. He took one hundred percent responsibility for his problems.

3. He sought out help in his community.

All these steps combined helped him greatly in his transition, transformation, and sticking to it. Bubbles, or someone like him, may always struggle with addiction. But he took the steps necessary in battling it. He’ll always be a better man for doing so.

10-the-wire-ranking.w512.h600.2x

Cameron is a freelance writer and fan for life of The Wire

cbrtnik.com