How to schedule your week

How to schedule your week (or: a spoonful of 'sugar')

Do you ever feel... No, not like a plastic bag. Do you ever feel like your days are superhectic and busy, but then when you lay in bed at night, you can't help but wonder: 'Uhm...what have I actually done today?' You start thinking about all the goals you have in life. I'm talking ALL the goals: write a book, write a grammy winning album, learn to play drums and guitar, go to Japan and eat Jiro's sushi, meet Oprah, build a school in a Third World country, and of course fold the laundry and get groceries for this week. Brain: “K, let's do all that tomorrow.” Result: insomnia.

This was ME, not long ago. I felt incredibly busy and unproductive at the same time. My to do list was getting longer and longer, and yet somehow I wasn't really focusing on what I wanted to focus on.

Until the magical New Year's Eve. Every year on New Year's Eve I write down my goals for the next year and this time something was really gonna CHANGE. I was going to make a schedule. But wait...I've made schedules before and was never able to really stick to them. How was I going to do it right this time and not get distracted by a million things? The answer was obvious: alliteration.

 Weekly Schedule

The first thing I came up with was 'Money Masterplan Monday'. It started as a joke in my head, but after a few minutes I was writing down ideas feverishly! Now, I promise I am an adult, but...I admit some part of me never really grew up. I still like fairytales and stuffed animals, and I'm not ashamed to say it! So whenever childish little me doesn't like something, it helps if I turn it into a game. I stopped eating sugar, but Mary Poppins would say: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down :)

OYL-Agenda-Banner

So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

My Personal Schedule

Monday

Money Masterplan Monday

Send invoices, pay bills, organize administration, budget planning, visualize what I'll do with my first million... etc.

&

Music Mashup Monday

Check out new music and make playlists of references, and cover options, work on live show, create mashups and mixes to post online.

Maruja Retana

Tuesday

Technical Tuesday

Finish editing jobs, learn a new trick, try out new settings, develop mixing skills

AND:

New Skill Tuesday

now: DJ-ing
later: guitar

 

Wednesday

Errand Wednesday

Groceries, meetings, doing annoying things like cleaning.

&

Writing Camp Wednesday

Plan sessions or write 2 songs to practice speed, write article for OYL, columns and copy for promotion.

Thursday

Telephone Thursday

Call people

&

Topline Thursday

A "topline" is the vocal melody and the lyrics of a song.
Arrange, organize and finish toplines, create pitch plan, reach out to labels

 

Friday

Film Friday

Film a cover, an acoustic version of an original song or a new episode for my 'Maruja Says' youtube channel.

&

Finish Friday

Tie up loose ends and finish everything I couldn't get done this week

Friends Friday

Hang out with my friends!

Maruja Retana Lonneke Engel Joey Holthaus

Saturday

Social Media Saturday

Plan posts for the week, shamelessly stalk people on Facebook and waste some time on Tumblr and Pinterest

&

Celebration Saturday

Do something fun :)

Maruja Retana

Sunday

Sweetie Sunday

Hang out with my sweetheart and have a major cheat day (Nutellaaaaa)

So yeah...my schedule is not really a schedule, and that is exactly why it works for me. It is more a tool to focus on certain themes each day. The reason why I think it is so perfect is because I have a tendency to react instead of act. It helps me to not go straight to Facebook when I turn on my laptop, because that is what I do only on Social Media Saturday (unless I have something specific to post). It helps me to be more reliable and tell people: 'I'll finish this song on Wednesday', because that is when I write.

I highly recommend this system to all my fellow chaotic workaholics out there. Now, of course you can change it up as you like, e.g. my good friend Emily swears by her newly created 'Maintenance Monday' to keep her focused. Hope it helps you too, happy scheduling!

xoxo Maruja

Images copyright Organice Your Life®/Maruja Retana/Gijs Spierings

First published on Organice Your Life on January 22nd 2015

 


Maruja Retana in the video for her song Right Through Me

Maruja Retana music video has 1+ million views!

This is a throwback to a few years ago when my first single 'Right through me' was released! It was shot it in a studio called 'Ernstige Zaken' ('serious business' ;)) in Amsterdam, by video company Pixelheaven. They did a wonderful job! I wanted it to be something fun and real, to really show my personality, and I think they pulled it off. What do you think? p.s. My video hit over 1 million views! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0k12j2OhdI

Making of a music video: The Team

Fashion: Sepehr Maghsoudi

The video had a few fun cameos... I was thrilled that fashion designer Sepehr Maghsoudi was in it, not only a very talented man but also a great person! :) All the beautiful dresses you see in 'Right through me' are designed by him.

Costar: Marius Hordijk

And, because I wanted to give the Organice Your Life team a little wink, I asked Marius to be in the video with me! I'm very happy he did!

Multitasker: Joey Holthaus

Lastly, I was so glad that my good friend Joey Holthaus was with me all day! He did a fantastic job multitasking, because not only did he take awesome behind the scenes pics, he also gave me various pep talks and thoroughly checked if my cleavage still looked right throughout the day haha :D Thanks Joey!

It was very nice to work together with a nice group of people including friends.

Most watched video

I heard that 'Right through me' was one day even the most watched music video on YouTube in the Netherlands, and nr. 6 worldwide, unbelievable! I have worked very hard for this first milestone, hopefully the first of many. I hope you all will like it!

If you like my music, here are a few more songs I have made since Right Through me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_dsZodhMDY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfWLtjtXYIo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nTQZ5UMcUM

You can also follow me at Vocal Psychology, THE place where I teach people how to sing their heart out!

xoxo Maruja 

First published by Maruja Retana on September 30rd 2011, updated in 2019


Interview with Brendan Brazier by Lonneke Engel

Organice Your Life is a place where I feature interesting people from all walks of life and in all fields of expertise. 

Interview with Brendan Brazier

Lonneke Engel interviews Brendan Brazier, Ironman Triathlete, plant-based nutrition expert and Vega founder. The location is  Candle Cafe West in NYC a delicious vegan restaurant!

Check out Lonneke visiting vegan sister restaurant Candle 79

Check out Lonneke's 10 vegan friendly restaurants in NYC featuring Candle Cafe. 

Read more about Brendan Brazier

Enjoy!

Lonneke 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLjPuj_MYUI

first published in 2012


Interview with Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com

Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com, tells us about his successful online-based platform, which links the general public to established industry experts and celebrity talent, his healthy and green lifestyle, and his favorite charities.

So tell us about your company.

Blazetrak is an online-based platform that provides video access to the world’s top professionals in the areas of music, fashion, tv/film, sports, business & lifestyle.  It is the first website that allows you to get directly in touch with established industry experts and celebrity talent – and be guaranteed a direct video response.  Blazetrak has a roster of 400+ professionals utilizing the platform including Big Boi, from the Grammy Award-winning duo Outkast, Edyta Sliwinska, formerly with “Dancing With the Stars”, Tyson Beckford, Ralph Lauren Supermodel, Mathew Knowles, World-Renowned Music Executive, Tara Conner, Miss USA Winner, and Darren Sharper, of the New Orleans Saints.

We, at Organice Your Life®, promote a healthy and organic lifestyle in all areas of our life.  What do you do to stay healthy?

I workout six days a week, which includes taking a Zumba class, completing a Kukuwa Dance Workout, a strength-based session at the Firm Studios, playing basketball, and swimming. In addition to working out, I eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis, with the exception of Friday’s. I generally splurge with pizza on a Friday.

Does living a healthy lifestyle carry over into your work? Do you let others around you know the benefits of eating organically and being green?

Living healthy is not only part of my work; it’s a part of my life.  My wife is a physician and a workout fanatic. She continuously encourages me and leads by example. I frequently hear stories of her patients who end up in the hospital due to a poor lifestyle choice. Many of the complications she faces with her patients could have easily been avoided if they lived a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes we run to medicine as the solution when ultimately, the solution may be as simple as changing your diet or being physically active.  Instead of just telling my colleagues, associates, and friends the benefits of eating organically, or being green, I demonstrate it.  I walk to the grocery store. I carry my green shopping bags. Sometimes, I even post my grocery list on Facebook and Twitter.

As a very busy executive, what are the major drawbacks that you see regarding living a healthy life?  How do you overcome these? 

The major drawback is definitely traveling. It’s very difficult to maintain your balanced nutritional plan, when the only food selections around you are fast food restaurants.  To overcome this challenge, I typically pack FiberOne Bars and apples in my suitcase. It’s pretty amazing how full you become eating those two items. I also generally purchase a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant. I have to admit, at times, I do succumb to the combo meal. However, I pay for it with an intense workout afterwards.

What are your healthy living secrets?

My healthy living secret is to partner with someone to stay healthy. Without my wife, I would have a difficult time. It can be a spouse, companion, friend, colleague, or associate. Encourage each other to eat healthy. Plan workout dates or even report to each other what you have done, good and bad. It really helps.

Do you have a favorite charity? What kind of charity have you been involved with?  Tell us about your charity.

My favorite charity is Rosie O’Donnell’s, Rosie’s Theater Kids. Rosie’s Theater Kids is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Theater Kids provides instruction in dance, music and drama and a professional theater experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Blazetrak has supported this organization through in-kind donations, including capturing some of their highlighted moments on video (http://vimeo.com/29853752). Blazetrak Co-Founder Nathaniel Casey sits on the Jr. Board of Rosie’s Theater Kids as well.

Blazetrak has also recently become a premium sponsor and has partnered up with event producer Faisal Al-Juburi, who has assembled a consortium of not-for-profit organizations – including Friends In Deed; God’s Love We Deliver; Hispanic Federation; International AIDS Prevention Initiative; The NAMES Project Foundation; and Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Theater Kids - to serve as beneficiaries of funds raised at a gala event to be held in New York City during the week of World AIDS Day. This event, centered around a staged reading of QUILT - A Musical Celebration, will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the AIDS crisis and the 25th anniversary of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. A large scale viewing of portions of The Quilt is also planned to coincide with the reading, curated to reflect panels made by and/or for New York City artists in the fields of theatre, music, and fashion.

Lastly, we’re also working with Blazetrak Advisory Board Member, Candice Cook, who has connected us with several global organizations. She is assisting us with developing a solution to integrate our technology with the non-profit sector, to spread awareness and receive donations online via our platform.

 

 


Antoniette Costa Music Showcase with DJ Questlove & Tara Kamangar

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Organice Your Life® contributor singer-songwriter Antoniette Costa's music showcase in NYC with DJ Questlove and classical pianist Tara Kamangar. Watch behind-the-scenes footage of party and live performance of Antoniette's original songs "Void of a Legend" and "Step on Me."