100 days of productivity: a catch up

This post is part of my 100 Days of (Productive) Summer series. For more about this project, check out the introductory post here.

I’ve been slightly cheating for the last few days, in that:

1. I’ve been scribbling down some ideas for this blog rather than blogging every day

2. On Friday and Sunday I did wake up at 7 and do some emails, but then went back to sleep for a while

& 3. I have been exercising, but in a ‘where I can fit it in’ sort of way – ie walking (with leaflets), crunches (before bed, since I’m lying down anyway) and weightlifting (my godson).

No wonder he looks nervous.
No wonder he looks nervous.

I still think it counts, but I need to up my game. Anyway, here’s my AYOP picks for the last few days:

Fri 4th July – Be mindful of how you spend your time. Constantly check and reflect on how you spend your time (and energy and attention) throughout the day. I often do this by setting an hourly alarm on my phone.

I was quite looking forward to this one, but…events. I ended up taking care of said godson for a few hours on Friday afternoon, and babysitting a four-month-old is not an activity that lends itself to constant reflection – or to having an alarm going off all the damn’ time. Nevertheless I think having a regular prompt that goes: “Yo Grace…are you actually concentrating on this email you’re writing/phone call you’re having/meeting you’re in, or are you thinking about Breaking Bad because I just said ‘Yo’?” would be a positive thing, and so I think I’m going to give that one a better try at a later date.

Sat 5th July – Exercise. In the words of AYOP, “In my opinion, working out is the single best way to get more energy. And it doesn’t just energize you; exercise also combats disease, brightens your mood, and helps you sleep better.”

Now, two years ago I would have been all:

NO to jogging

but now I’m all:


or I would be if I weighed two stone less. And had a stomach like that. And could afford to wear Sweaty Betty‘s beautiful beautiful running clothes from head to toe. And lived near a beach. What I mean is – I run, now. Not as often as I should, but I do, and sometimes I even enjoy it. I love the way I feel after a run (it’s a magical combination of endorphins and smugness), and I love the atmosphere at races, and I love watching myself get ever-so-slowly better at something I never thought I was capable of doing.

Jennifer Lawrence

I hate to risk incurring the wrath of JLaw, but running is amazing. If you’re wondering whether you should try it, the answer is almost certainly yes.

One of my favourite ways to run is as part of the South Manchester Parkrun – a well-organised, well-attended, friendly timed 5k every single Saturday at 9am in beautiful Platt Fields. I don’t go as often as I should – partly because I work most Saturdays now, and partly because, y’know, 9am – but I never regret it when I do. If you’re near Platt Fields you should definitely come along – if not, find a parkrun near you.

I’m also planning on running the Great Birmingham Run this year, which will be my third half-marathon. If you’re also running that one or think you might like to, get in touch and we shall compare training plans and blisters.

Finally, Sun 6th July – Let the air out of your tires every once in a while. AYOP’s Chris took this to extremes with a slob week, but he says a more rewarding way to relax is by ‘creating positive, productive outlets to relieve your stress.’ Appropriately enough, yesterday I discovered the Slap George Osborne game.


Ahh. I feel better already.



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