How to Get Your Shit Together

How to Get Your Shit Together

Step-by-step checklists, guides, and support to get the important stuff done and your ‘what if’ plans in place.

New Online Checklist Tool

Check out the new Online Checklist and sign-up to track, store and save your progress. Finally, get that to-do list monkey off your back for good.

Checklist

 

GYST Guides and Articles

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Your no-panic, master list of all to-dos. The critical information you need to get it done, in bite-size chunks to knock each task quickly off your list, the GYST Guides and Articles

Next: Go to the GYST Online Checklist.

The Magic of Checklists

2Does a checklist really help? Yup. We think so.

A simple checklist can take the immense categories of ‘Important Life Stuff’ and break it into bite size pieces.

Get Started with our new Online Checklist with our super easy 10 step guide to help you get your will and living will done.

Check out the original Everything Checklist to get a big picture look at where you are and what to do.


 

Curious about the art and science of checklists? Read on…

 Why is This so Hard?

“Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.”
― David AllenGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

We often think daily battle for attention outlined by Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People between the Urgent and Important is the main culprit: the pets need a walk, the kids have homework, the kitchen sink is dripping, out of town guests are coming and you still need groceries for dinner. Even though we ‘want’, and even admit that we ‘need’ to do this stuff – it sinks to the bottom of the list, often for years.

So next, GYST wanted to know what specifically is getting in your way so we can work towards getting it out – here’s what you told us are the biggest barriers to Getting Your Shit Together.

Simply put, we are overwhelmed, don’t have time, and don’t know where to start.

Momentum & Motivation

The mountain of philosophies on productivity comes along with competing apps, methods, programs, and systems -in addition to tons of general advice to relax your way to productivity, lifehacks to boost it or numerous TED talks to explore how it works.

But we also need to talk about is motivation – there must be some explanation as to why we so passionately avoid doing the things we know we must do – and Dan Pink’s TED talk on motivation is pretty illuminating. What really motivates us? “Autonomy, mastery and purpose”.

A favorite quote:

“The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive– the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things cause they matter.”

All interesting stuff. In fact, we love the TED talk playlist on “Success” for its buckets full of inspiration, and reminder to focus on the important things.

A Checklist?

Well, nothing matters more than the people you love. So we are going to get your house in order – together. The ‘checklist master’ Atul Gawande has thankfully done a lot of the heavy lifting to show us how in his New York Time bestseller, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Done Right – When Gawande’s team introduced a two-minute checklist to eight hospitals as part of a research study in 2008, deaths dropped 47%. So how do we use what he’s learned to increase our ability to get stuff done?

So, how do we do it right?

Legal and financial documents can be soul-crushing to read, much less understand. We’ve also got a lot of time clocked ‘not’ doing this stuff, so our checklist needs to be enough to get us moving. But, not too much that we throw up our hands in surrender.

The # 1 rule to making a checklist from Gawande’s Manifesto is to use simple sentence structure and basic language.

“Good checklists, on the other hand are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything–a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps–the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.”

 

 

Ask GYST: Advice for first time mom?

Ask GYST: Advice for first time mom?

A reader asks, “Hey GYST, any advice for a soon to be, first time mother?” Of course there is a more advice out than than may be helpful…but when it comes to getting your shit together on being a new parent..here are the top things that came to mind:
1) Put your own mask on first – they tell you that on the plane for a reason. A happy Mamma makes a happy family. Whatever that is – crossword puzzles or crossfit classes – make time for you and guard it like your life depends on it.

2) Get life insurance now. Like, as in yesterday.

3) Start putting 20% of your income into savings. As Suze Orman said, “Pay yourself first.”

4) Read Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled.

5) Cut yourself some slack. A lot more than you might be comfortable with. Visualize deep, wide, luscious, green canyons full of patience and gratitude.

6) Don’t tell anyone the baby name(s) ahead of time. When you do, everyone has an opinion or says, “that’s the name of that kid who peed his pants at school in 3rd grade”. When you tell them after the baby is born, they will almost always say, “ohhhh, what a beautiful name.”

7) Write a will, living will, and power of attorney asap (the checklist makes it easy).

8) Spend your values, not your impulses. You can buy a ton of squishable-adorable onesies and plastic items that are supposed to make life easier. Fuck 98% of that stuff. Find solid advice and follow it.

9) Ask for help. Accept help. People will want to do stuff for you and it will make them happy to do so. Let them.

10) Enjoy every minute. Even when your boobs are leaking at the grocery store and your kid threatens to run away the first time (in-between the perfect moments) – it’s all of it, all the time, that makes a big, wonderful life.

And lastly, it would be un-wise not to encourage you to get your basic shit together. Scan the mac-daddy everything checklist, sign-up for GYST and do just one or two things a week.

Being a Mother was, and is, the hardest most awesome thing I’ve ever done. It is, in fact, what inspires me to get, and keep, my shit together.

GYST’s Checklists

GYST’s Checklists

A simple checklist takes the immense weight of ‘Important Things To-do’ and breaks them down into bite size pieces.

Checklist

We encourage you to get started with the new Online Checklist – a super easy 10 step guide to help you get your will and living will done:

  • save and track your progress
  • get custom reminders
  • set your own timeline

 

 

The ‘Everything’ Checklist below is your big picture look of the big stuff to get done.

Will or Last Will and Testament

Read more about creating your will with GYST’s How-to write your will article here.

My Will Status:

____ Done (reviewed and/or updated in the last year)
____ Drafted (actively in progress)
____ Questionnaire complete
____ Must Update (that old one must be ‘around here somewhere’)
____ On My ‘To-Do’ List = Get started on your Will

Power Of Attorney (POA)

____ Power of Attorney: Executive
____ Power of Attorney: Medical
____ Power of Attorney: Financial
____ Power of Attorney: Digital
____ Power of Attorney: __________

Guardianship/Custody of Children

____ Custody of child(ren) (a permanent and perhaps temporary)
____ Letter with wishes and instructions to Guardians with wishes, values, etc. (you can also make a video if that feels easier)

____ Note: are there any additional ‘conditions or provisions’ for Custody (ex. a married couple still be married, stay in the same state, my brother can’t smoke in the house…)

Guardianship of Pets
____ Custody of Pet(s)
____ Conditions or provisions for Custody (ex. household, walks, etc.)
____ Letter with wishes and instructions to new caretaker/owner with wishes, instructions, etc.

_____ Note: it is important to many people to make sure family pet(s) are well taken care of, you can leave money specifically for this to a person to help with the costs on your pet’s behalf – but name a person instead of the animal as the beneficiary to avoid confusion.

Money/Assets/Stuff

____ Distribution of assets (money, savings, property, jewelry, etc.)
____ How Distributed (lump sum, annual payment, ‘when you graduate’)
____ Debt Instructions
____ Trust (if one set up)
____ Trust (if set up)

Burial, Funeral, Memorial

____ Funeral, Burial, Memorial Wishes Letter (detail and include any pre-planning you have done, arranged or already paid for)

_____ Note: you can leave very specific information, so if you want to be buried in that Elvis pantsuit or have ABBAs greatest hits playing – you should let us know.

Details & Logistics

____ My Will is legally binding (check with your state but often this means signed in front of 2 witnesses and notarized) and a copy is with:_________________.

A copy of my Will is located here (digital version or in a safe?):

__________________________________________________


 

Living Will or Advance Care Directive

Read more about creating your living will with GYST’s how-to write your living will article here.

My Living Will status:

____ Done (reviewed and/or updated in the last year)
____ Drafted (actively in progress)
____ Questionnaire complete
____ Must Update (that old one must be ‘around here somewhere’)
____ On My ‘To-Do’ List = Get started on your living will

Medical Power of Attorney

____ My Medical power of Attorney (and back-up person) is informed of my wishes and we have discussed my instructions. (if a Medical POA is listed in my Will, the names should match to avoid any confusion)

Wishes, Directives and Instructions

____ I have defined what Quality of Life means to me and is included in/with my legally binding Living Will document.

____ I have written a letter to my doctor to convey any additional information, wishes, and instructions.

____ I have considered where and how I would like to be cared for if I were seriously or terminally hurt, ill, or injured discussed this with those closest to me:

_____ Discussed these wishes friends and family.

_____ Discussed with my Medical POA.

_____ Discussed with my doctor and/or medical team.

____ I have reviewed my options, discussed and written my instructions about burial or cremation.

____ Discussed and written down the type of funeral or memorial service I desire.

Details & Logistics

____ My Living Will ill is legally binding (check with your state but often this means signed in front of 2 witnesses and if not required then encouraged to have notarized) and a copy is with:

____________________________________________________

A copy of my Living Will is located here (digital version or in a safe?):

__________________________________________________


 

Digital Details

Create a list of your important details and add/edit/delete as you need based on your life, it is a good idea to update frequently.

Read more about creating a list of your important details, documents accounts and passwords here.
____ I have listed my Personal Details out in case of emergency or someone else needs to retrieve it.

____ I have detailed any products or services I am using that are holding, saving, or storing any documents or details for me:

_____ Online services (i.e. Lastpass, Docusafe, Dropbox, etc.)

____ I have listed a Digital Power of Attorney in my POA document and on this form: ____________________________________________.

____ I have updated my account information and passwords to my online accounts on (date) _____________.

A copy of my details list is located here: __________________________________
and/or (name) ______________________________has access.


 

MONEY

Read more about creating your living will with GYST’s how-to write your living will article here.

My Financial Status:

____ I have thought over and written down my financial goals.
____ I have considered my personal values and the areas my spending and saving does (and doesn’t) line up.
____ I have researched tools, advice, resources, etc. to learn skills in the areas I have less experience to meet my goals.

Budget

____ I have completed a budget and track monthly actual costs to my budget (income & expenses).
____ I have a plan in place to make steps towards my financial goals.

Savings & Planning

____ I have ______ weeks/months of expenses saved in case of accident or emergency in an emergency fund located _______________________.
____ I have a short-term savings plan and put away ____% of my income each month towards financial priorities.
____ I have a long-term savings plan and/or retirement plan where ____% of my income goes each month.

____ I have reviewed my financial situation and, if necessary, discussed this with those closest to me.


INSURANCE

Read more about what kind of insurance you might need with GYST’s guide to life and disability insurance article here.

Medical, Dental, Vision

____ I have researched my current policy and am informed about new options or changes that may be in effect Jan. 1.
____ Medical
____ Dental
____ Vision
____ Other health care or savings options

Auto/Home/Rent/Umbrella

____ I have researched my current policies, compared prices and am informed about new options or updates I wish to make.
____ Auto
____ Home/Rent
____ Umbrella

Life, Disability, Long-term Care

____ I have researched my options and compared plans for me and/or my family.

____ Life Insurance and completed all steps.

____ Short term Disability and completed all steps.

____ Long term Disability and completed all steps.

____ Long term care Insurance and completed all steps.

____ Riders that are options to possibly add to my plan(s).

____ Other types of insurance specific to me/my scenario.

A copy of my policies are located here: __________________.

 

Tell us your story: Got a story to tell? Mantra to share? We’d love to hear from you, send us a jingle at hello@gyst.com.

Next: Go to the GYST Checklist

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life.

There are some talks you find yourself always going back to – when things feel amazingly up or especially down, when the mood strikes, on that anniversary – here are our favorites (get tissues):

  1. Steve Jobs’ infamous 2005 Stanford Commencement Address just dripping with memorable quotes. “We all die…and that is how it should be.  Death is the very best single invention of life.” 

“You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

2. Frontline’s “Being Mortal” with Atul Gawande: one of the most respected doctors and authors on aging and dying teams up with the documentary powerhouse to create a thoughtful and inspiring peek into our future.

“Hope is not a plan.”

3. Denali. A photographer’s tribute to friendship. “There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they’ve supported you through your darkest times.”

Denali from FELT SOUL MEDIA on Vimeo.

 

Tell us your story: Got a story to tell? Mantra to share? We’d love to hear from you, send us a jingle at hello@gyst.com.

Next: Go to the GYST Checklist

Your GYST Moment of Zen

Your GYST Moment of Zen

You’re Welcome. Now, what do you need to let go of? And what do you need to get done?

Tell us your story: Got a story to tell? Mantra to share? We’d love to hear from you, send us a jingle at hello@gyst.com.

Next: Go to the GYST Checklist.