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

Grouping items to create harmony

If you have a place in your house that feels scattered or drains your energy, try introducing a little harmony.

Think about how different a scattering of single leaves look compared to leaves grouped together on a tree. Or how loose petals of a flower look compared to the look of a full-headed flower. Or the look of singular flowers versus the look of a sweeping field of flowers.

You can create harmony by placing similar items together. By putting prints on a wall in matching frames. By grouping items together that are the same or complementary colors. 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

Improve your organizational skills by changing what you eat

If you aren’t feeling good about what you’re getting done, it might not be an organizational issue – it might be a matter of health. When we push our bodies to the limits, it’s not a surprise when the quality of our work suffers.

Here are some easy steps you can start this week to improve your health. Continue reading

Is singing the new exercise?

No matter what type of work you’re doing, finding a “like” community can help you accomplish more and have more fun with what you’re doing.

In Daniel Pink’s book, When, he writes about the benefits of choral singing – a unique kind of community. If you’ve ever sung with a group, you know how it lifts your spirit even more than singing solo. “Happy” countries, like the Netherlands, have regular gatherings where everyone sings. And I think group singing is why so many of us love theater – both participating in it and being part of the audience.

It’s not a stretch to think that singing makes you feel good. But check out the other benefits Pink lists for choral singing: Continue reading

Stay humble. Stay grateful.

As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how important it is to take breaks and how hard it is for me to take a break. And if you saw my post from last week, you know that my refusal to take a break resulting in the Universe knocking me flat with a broken ankle. Won’t take a break? How about a nice, quiet week in bed?

I’m going to take a risk here and admit that as bad as I am at taking breaks, I’m also terrible about asking for help. I love being efficient and independent. I’m the one who is here to help you! You do not need to help me.

Except that I’m in a cast for 8 weeks and can’t drive!

Here are my organizational lessons, and lessons in humility, from the past two weeks: Continue reading

When the Universe grants your wishes

As you may recall, I did a post a couple of weeks ago talking about how important it is to take breaks, and how terrible I am at it. I ended the post vowing to try to take breaks during the day. I went another week and did not make any progress.

So you know what the Universe did?

Continue reading