5 steps to complete any project

The number one question I get when I give talks on organization is about finishing projects. This might be something big like writing a book. It could be losing weight or starting an exercise program. Or it could be a nuisance task – like clearing boxes out of the basement or cleaning out a closet.

No matter what you’re working on, here are five steps to help you complete a project. Continue reading

Need motivation to get more sleep?

Deborah Kris had an article in The Washington Post last week on the importance for teens to get enough sleep. The thing is, sleep isn’t just important for teens! More and more research is being done on the impact of sleep deprivation across all age categories.

We’ve all experienced periodic lack of sleep and you know the feeling.

  • Your cognitive functioning is impaired.
  • It’s hard to focus, to concentrate.
  • Your body feels heavy, achey, and clumsy.
  • You feel grumpy and might have head spins and negative thoughts.
  • You feel more sensitive and impatient.

One teen in a recent study summed it up beautifully: “When I don’t get enough sleep, everything is harder.” Continue reading

Welcoming conflict as an opportunity

When you’re trying to get something done, the last thing you want is something, or someone, standing in your way. But sometimes conflict is exactly what you need to stop, to reconsider the direction you’re heading, and to make a change.

I’m in the middle of a great book called Sacred Instruction by Sherri Mitchell. Here are some of Sherri’s thoughts on the beauty of conflict. Continue reading

Slowing down to be more productive

I just finished Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee, a product designer and student of JOY in the world. One of Lee’s last studies in the book is on the joy of being in nature. Participating in a natural life helps you slow down. It keeps you grounded. It helps you be meditative and at the same time lifts your energy. And it makes you feel healthier and happier which helps you be more productive.

Think about when you were a kid and everything outside felt new and exciting. I’ve been thinking about elements of nature and what we can do to be more observant of them to appreciate them more to get back some of that kid-energy.  Continue reading

Is clutter blocking your energy?

I challenge you this week to look around your house and clear one area that has gotten a little cluttered over the summer. We get busy and things pile up and stagnate. Putting things back in order takes a little time but you’ll feel calmer in your space. You can breathe. You can settle in. Your energy will lift just looking around.

Perhaps there’s a counter with supplies out at the ready. A table with this week’s mail. A nightstand with tissues, hand lotion, and a few unread books. An entryway filled with boots, coats, and umbrellas. A bookshelf packed to overflowing. A desk with open files, a coffee cup, and surplus pens. A closet filled to overflowing. Continue reading

The Joy of Color

I’m reading a great new book: Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Lee opens the book with studies and thoughts about what makes a moment joyous and settles in on something quite simple: color.

If you want to change a drab day, a drab building, or a drab party, add bright, warm colors and you add a pop of joy to the world. Think birthday party balloons. Chinese dragon parades. Maypole ribbons. Hot air balloon festivals. Fields of wildflowers. Can you picture any of these in black and white? No! Just thinking about these colors brings up a bubble of joy.

“Color is energy made visible.”

Lee believes that energy is all around us and that bright colors have high energy that’s contagious.

If you need a little pop of energy, you could try something as simple as… Continue reading

A life well lived

One of our speakers at the library last week, John Baugher, has a new book coming out about the joy of end-of-life care. I’m certain I’ve never heard anyone speak about end-of-life as being a joyous time. Most of us face end-of-life care, for ourselves or for others, with a certain amount of dread. But John’s decades of working with hospice have left him feeling otherwise.

But John’s talk didn’t center on the end of life. It centered on a life well lived. And not as a reflection – but as a daily practice. His question was:

“Was your life well lived – today?”

Continue reading