What’s the best part of your day?

I love this exercise from Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. You do stuff everyday. Some of it you choose to do. A lot of it you have to do. Each day your energy flows around your tasks, sometimes up and sometimes down.

If you want to have more up-energy, try tracking your energy flow for a week. You can either set up an activity log, or better yet, just mark up your planner. At the end of the day, look at each thing you did and check off or highlight things that raised your energy.

What’s cool about us is that we’re all different. A high-energy part of your day could be: Continue reading

Start where you are

How’s this for a premise: “If a problem isn’t actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s reality.”

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans develop this idea in their new book, Designing Your Life; How To Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life as they apply “design thinking” to making important life choices.

When you’re organized, you don’t like to waste time. And what’s a huge waste of time? Worrying – especially when you worry about stuff you can’t change. This doesn’t mean you don’t have stuff you wish you could change – a grouchy boss, a noisy neighbor, an obnoxious family member. But if you can’t change them, then they aren’t a problem – they are reality. And you can’t outsmart reality or bend it to your will. It’s still reality. Continue reading

Relaxing into a schedule

If you’ve been thinking about doing something cool, set a deadline and put together a schedule. A deadline is effective even if it’s something only you know about; when you write a due date on a calendar you’re making a written commitment to yourself to get something done.

A cool benefit of having a schedule, besides meeting deadlines and getting stuff done, is the peace that comes from deciding what you’re working on and when you’re going to do it. You may feel like a schedule limits you. I would counter that when you schedule something, you quiet your brain and the idea stops nagging at you.

“Are you going to work on me now? Now? Now?”

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The 8-week Sprint

A friend at work recommended a blog by creative guru Jessica Abel. I checked out her site and read through a long, long, long post about why I should pay her to help guide me through an 8-week sprint to get a creative project done. I read – and read, and read – and thought, “I don’t need a coach. I just need to do the work.”

Here’s the plan I came up with for my 8-week sprint. Continue reading

The Food Revolution Summit starts on 4-28!

Every spring for the past 7 years, the folks at the Food Revolution Network have presented a free 8-day Summit that’s completely accessible on-line. I have learned so much at past Summits and highly recommend this as a great use of your time. When you’re healthy and feeling good, it’s easier to stay focused and get organized!

The Food Revolution Summit runs from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST from 4/28-5/6. When you sign up, you get a daily link via email to “attend.” If you can’t tune in when the presentation is live, you have up to 24 hours afterward to listen for free. The Network will try to tempt you throughout to buy all the sessions to share with your friends. Unless you decide to be an evangelist about food, you don’t need to do that. Just listen when you can and learn, learn, learn. Continue reading

All roads lead to decluttering

When I give talks on Organizational Zen and ask attendees why they’re there, the #1 thing I hear is that they have clutter problems. Yes, nearly everyone you know has a clutter problem! Just knowing that kind of helps, doesn’t it? 🙂

But here’s the thing. In class, I save my thoughts and tips about decluttering for last. Why? It’s not that I’m being mean. It’s just that decluttering to me is a symptom of so many other things and my wish is that at the end of our time together, folks will realize that simply tidying up isn’t going to solve their problem.

What will? Figuring out how to nip clutter in the bud. Or deciding that clutter is not actually that big of a deal. And let’s start with that. Continue reading

“Never take chaos personally”

If you’re a planner, like me, you like linear patterns. If you do A, B happens. If you get a good education, you’ll get a good job. If you eat good food and exercise, you’ll be healthy. If you do work you’re called to, you’ll be successful. Life is logical and fair.

Except when it isn’t.

The Universe actually prefers chaos to straight lines. How many straight lines do you see in nature?! You tidy up; things get messy. Sidewalks crack. People age. The most natural thing on earth is that things we build up break down. Continue reading