Same dream; new plan

I’m a planner, as you may know. I like to keep things organized and to get a lot done each day. This year, I decided to put aside a busy life and have just one thing on my list: write a sequel to my Gunny Malone novel. In order to clear my list, my plan was to travel and write-in-place. To be inspired by the places I was writing about including rounding Cape Horn on a ship. To write as I followed the trail west from Virginia to San Francisco. To write as I spent time in Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Charleston, South Carolina. And to write while living for a month on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.

I had worked on my plans for about a year. I had an over-sized map on my wall with places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see, and people I was going to stay with. I got camping equipment and a new car for the journey, one I could sleep in if necessary. I quit my job. I sold my house. And I hit the road on February 26th. Continue reading

Can you become a Morning Person?

Here’s something I would not think possible: That you can turn an evening person into a morning person. In the research I’ve done and through personal observations I’ve made over several decades, I deeply believe that each of us has a sweet spot of time in the day where we’re productive. We have other times when we’re creative . And we all have base times where we need to chill and get some sleep.

To meet work demands, many try to make a change, but it doesn’t seem to be all that successful without a lot of caffeine!

But last week I read an article in the New York Times by Harry Guinness, a writer who swears he made the switch from Night Owl to Morning Dove. I’d love a follow-up from him at some point to see how this is going, but here are his tips for how he made the switch in case you’re interested. Continue reading

Connect

I’ve been part of a number of in-depth conversations over the last couple of weeks about how important community is, and how it can be so hard to grasp these days. The topic came up at work, in a book group, in an Eldering discussion group, at the Democracy Cafe, and among a circle of friends. Have you ever noticed when an idea bubbles up in your life that you hear it over and over?

Here’s the core of the thinking. Humans are tribal. We evolved to live and work in tight communities with shared experiences and shared work. But we live in crazy times where few of us live near family or old friends. Many of us live in houses or apartments that are tucked away from everyone. We drive in cars by ourselves. And many of us put on a face when we’re at work or school. Do people even know us? Continue reading

Make Time

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to get and stay organized. My latest inspiration is Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. These two Silicon Valley fellows found themselves swamped with work and while they had interesting careers, were unhappy with the amount of time they had left in the day to do work they loved. Part of the work they loved, of course, was writing a book about doing the work they loved… :).

Here are their four big take-aways: Continue reading

Bats and Palaces

As an organizer, it’s a bit of a mind game to make a plan to get your best work done and still be okay with whatever happens. When the Universe is synchronous around you, it’s a great reminder that all is well, that there’s a pattern in your life, and that things are happening as they’re meant to happen. When you recognize and appreciate synchronicity, it helps you work toward an end without being too attached to the outcome. And breathing into this gives you a wonderful feeling of settled Zen.

I had a synchronous moment last week between a wild animal presentation on bats, and a book I was reading, Palaces of the People, by Eric Klinenberg. Continue reading

The planet’s health is your health

A key component of being organized in a Zen way is to maintain good health. If you’re healthy, you can do anything. If you aren’t healthy, don’t expect to be organized! You have a bigger task at hand.

You might think about your health in terms of a doctor’s visit. Or maybe relate it to what you eat. But how important is the health of the planet to your health? It’s vital! And yet it’s so easy to ignore. Continue reading

10 tips for healthy eating

What you eat is at the core of how you feel. And how you feel has a direct impact on your ability to get good work done.

As we head into the first of the big holiday feasts next week, food is going to be coming at you fast and furious. You can’t fight it, but if you want to survive the holidays and still feel healthy and clear-headed, to have energy and not gain 10 pounds, practice mindfulness. Be sensible. Be picky. And use your head over your gut to make decisions.

Here are 10 healthy eating tips I originally posted in 2017. Today seemed like a good time to pass them on again as a reminder to me, and to you, to stay on a healthy-eating path as delicious smells start to fill the house next week. Continue reading