“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you towards your objective...Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?” W. Clement Stone
I keep repeating that you are a unique human. Pay attention to the factors that drive your unique productivity.
Here are a few questions to figure out what works for you:
It’s been in my closet since we moved into this house over a year ago. A giant whiteboard with sketches to organize my dreams because some “guru” said I needed it. A tool I wasted too much time on because it worked for somebody else.
GASP! I just took a closer look at those sketches. I date one April 2019!
I love checking off to-do lists and planning the details of my day. I admire those that can easily see the big picture, and if that’s you, I have a giant whiteboard for ya. It’s littering my precious closet space.
Have you ever felt that spending time to organize yourself is an exercise in futility? It’s not you! It’s the tools.
This assessment helps you find your personal productivity style. Go ahead, take it. Who doesn’t love personality tests?
In school, and as parents, we are told to identify and work with learning styles. They labeled some kids visual learners, while others did...
I just said NO!
A good friend called and asked me to serve on the board of a charity. It’s a charity I happily give my time and money to, but I still said NO. I felt terrible, but this is a HUGE improvement. I used to lose sleep over these sorts of NOs. Or worse, say yes when I knew it wasn’t the right choice.
I’m a recovering people-pleaser.
People-pleasing is a disease. It makes everyone around you feel better, but in the end, the person who ends up suffering is you.
According to Miriam Webster, people pleaser has two definitions:
someone or something that pleases or wants to please people
a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires
The first definition sounds pleasant, but it usually leads to the second.
Have you seen Taylor Swift’s documentary “Miss Americana?” It’s a...
The thing about vision boards is what the hell to do with the giant poster board when I’m all done designing my destiny? A full-size poster board is not a simple thing to store.
Then I came across a design that you could store away in a drawer.
All the joys of vision boarding without the annoying storage issues.
Let me show you how:
Items you need:
Start with flipping through your stack of magazines and clipping out any image that resonates with your vision for the year. Don’t overthink this one (and I’m really talking to myself here). Turn on some music, grab a friend to clip with just whatever you need to make it fun.
After you’ve collected a pile of magazine clippings, take out your file folders.
Fold back the folders about a...
I could tell from my husband's voice that I didn’t even have a second to grab shoes as I ran to the car. Five hours later, I was tucking in my sweet boy who had just broken his first bone (actually BONES poor little dude).
Doctor's orders now limited my super active boy who had already felt the weight of social distancing.
He had a fresh perspective on quarantine. Overwhelmed with all the limitations, those board games I’ve been begging him to play since last spring had a whole new appeal.
The good news: you don’t have to break any bones for the cure.
Here are some ways we can take a fresh perspective to move past overwhelm:
Now into our second full week of 2021, you’re optimistic with a fresh perspective that comes with a new year. Use this as your next chapter. We start a new year feeling a sense of new beginnings.
HELL YES to a clean slate.
Pull out your phone and compare the pictures you took on NYE 2019 to NYE 2020.
If the visual alone isn’t enough for you, think about the people you see in those photos. How has 2020 changed them?
Nobody could have predicted a year of a global pandemic, a polarizing presidential election, and a spotlight on racial injustice. And that’s a shortlist.
New Year goals and resolutions are all the rage every January. Last year I jumped on the “one word” bandwagon.
This year feels different.
We make resolutions to break a bad habit or to change something we don’t like about ourselves. According to US News and World Reports, 80% of resolutions failed in 2015. I bet 2020 blew that stat away.
The sense of hope going into the New Year is strong, but it’s calling for a higher level of commitment. Try taking a different approach to this fresh start. Try reflection.
Managing your to-do list should never take more time than checking those boxes.
This is the wasteland of productivity. I have waded through it too.
We all want a system that’s effortless. Something that supports the way our brains work rather than drag down our productivity.
The ideal is to find a system that works with you and then make productivity improvements.
Remember when you tested a hypothesis in junior high school science class? Memories of the egg drop experiment are rushing to me. You designed a vessel to protect an egg when dropped and then tweaked it until it worked.
Let’s use the same approach with your productivity. Test these changes and see what works for you:
Can you believe about 28 percent of the workweek is managing e-mail? That’s over a quarter of your time spent on someone else’s priorities. Some reasons we spend so much time on email...
You know that friend that has it all together. AND she’s always beaming. You look at her and think, “that’s a level of happy I just can’t reach.”
Or is it?
What if I told you that a little time spent with your calendar could improve your happiness?
Yes, even if you aren’t a planner.
Before I get into the details, let’s define happiness. Happy is a feel-good word. Another way to look at this is emotional health.
Not everyone is happy all the time. Even Mr. Rogers had his bad days.
He helped kids identify their feelings. Take the lyrics to this song of his for example:
What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?
Mr. Rogers was onto something. It’s how we handle the darker emotions that’s the true sign of our...
How’s life? You answer that question almost every day and “I’m fine” slips out without thought.
What does that mean? It’s different for everyone.
It’s our privilege as humans to pursue a life of fulfillment. But that is such a subjective idea. What seems to be a fulfilling life as a teenager is entirely different than a busy mom in her 30s.
I recently listened to an interview with Nastia Liukin. A five-time Olympic Gold medalist. As a kid, she felt blessed to pursue her dreams at the highest levels, but the career of an Olympic gymnast has a short lifespan. She had to redefine herself in her mid-twenties.
You may not have the desire to go for the gold but we can all relate to having to redefine our dreams.
Let’s look at the factors that make up a fulfilled life.
This is impossible. Or is it?
Life balance is a joke. If you...
Gripping tightly to my mom’s shoulders, I hobbled from the car to my daughter’s first-grade classroom. I had just celebrated my 40th birthday, but no doubt I moved like a 90-year-old
I was using my mom as a makeshift walker.
Looking back on it now, I have no clue how I maneuvered my broken body into a tiny wooden first-grade desk. After the Back to School presentation wrapped up, one of the other moms put her arm around me to ask what was wrong.
“I’ve got scoliosis,” I sighed, “and this just happens every once in a while.”
She offered to come to my house and rub magic oil on to relax my spasming muscles. Kinda creepy but desperate for any relief, I agreed.
The oil didn’t save me.
Had I reached a new low in my desperation to stop the back pain?
After I regained the ability to stand upright, my mission was to sit less.
This phrase caught on like...