Looking back at the path you’re on

December is a great time to look at the path you’ve been on over the last year. If you want to shape the direction you’re headed, it helps to look back at where you’ve been.

If you can find a quiet moment this week, take out a clean sheet of paper and jot down the big events that happened to you this year. Brainstorm first, then think month by month to help spur your memory.

What events did you experience this year for… Continue reading

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

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

Take a break

I’m reading a new book by Daniel Pink, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. The chapter on the importance of taking breaks caught my eye because I’m so bad at taking breaks!

Pink reviewed dozens of studies and swears you’ll be more productive by taking breaks that are:

  • Short and frequent
  • Moving v. stationary
  • Social v. solo
  • Outside v. inside 
  • Fully detached v. walking while texting or talking on the phone

He describes the perfect break: Continue reading

Mind the Gap

I love when I’m traveling in England and the government courteously reminds me to “mind the gap” when exiting a train or subway.

As a life-philosophy, you also want to “mind the gap” between what you say and what you do. When you meditate or spend quiet time with yourself, it’s easy to think kind, generous thoughts. To feel connected to the earth. And to will the energy of the Universe to allow you to do your best work.

But if you’re cross when someone crosses you, or immediately feel disconnected when things don’t go your way, then it’s time to mind a gap in your life. If someone crosses you and you snap, practice stepping back mentally from the scene and sending that person loving kindness for whatever is going on with them. And see yourself from a distance, like a loving angel, and think, “That poor girl! I wonder what made her cross?” It takes practice to be non-judgmental with the world and with yourself but what a nice practice it is.

If you struggle with this, here are four things that may help you close the gap. Continue reading

Mapping your energy

If you’re trying to bring more energy into your life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans prescribe making a fun, mind map in their book Designing Your Life.

It starts off easy! Think back on a time when you felt energized and engaged with life. Continue reading