Lessons from “Creative Week”

The week between Christmas and New Year’s tends to be quiet for business, so I decided to christen this “Creative Week”. I have a number of projects I love to do that I don’t make a top priority – so they don’t get done. I thought this week could be rich for creative production – layered in with just two hours of work-work each day.

Normally, I set an intent for what I want to carry out, plan in time, and track what gets done – but that didn’t feel right for Creative Week. However, working on a complete whim was too big a challenge for a planner/tracker, so I brainstormed a list of creative stuff I wanted to get done. This included everything from running and meditation, to practicing the guitar, to making beaded bags, to reading, to writing for long periods of time. Continue reading

The disorganization habit

Have you ever uttered these words?

  • I’m not messy – I’m creative
  • I’ve always been disorganized
  • Someone will remind me if I forget
  • I run late – people are used to it
  • Don’t mind the mess at my house – it’s my mess and I love it

Then you may be in the disorganization habit. And maybe it’s working for you. But if you’re reading this post, then maybe you’re looking for a change. Continue reading

Holiday organizational tips

Getting through a holiday-laced December can be fun – and it can be exhausting. Having a plan in place will help you feel more in control and help tilt things more toward fun and less toward stress. Planning also helps you stick to your priorities rather than making last-minute decisions on the fly.

Good planning starts with a schedule. Take a look at December and block out time now for:

Special events and family events

  • Is there anything that needs to be done or prepared before the event? Games? Food? Decorations? Invitations?
  • Plan in time to clean for any events that are at your house – but know that this is probably not the best time of year to start a big decluttering project!
  • If you have a special family event, try to keep a solid block around that time so you can focus on family and be present! Continue reading

Living your dream time

When you have a million things to do, everything feels important, and whatever’s next on the list gets done. You may have an edgy feeling that you’re missing out, that there’s something you should be doing, but who has time to think about it, right? You’re getting stuff done, so go go go.

Then you wake up in the middle of the night. You glance at the clock. It’s 4:00 AM. It’s quiet and dark. You can’t go back to sleep and start to think about things that never intrude on your busy days.

  • What would it be like to take a year off to travel to all the national parks in the United States?
  • If you wrote a novel, what would it be about? Time travel? History? Mystery? You have ideas that are just at the corner of your thinking.
  • Continue reading

Breaking the habit loop

Have you ever noticed when you’re doing something out of habit, like taking a shower or driving to work, that you think of all sorts of things that have nothing to do with taking a shower or driving to work? That’s your brain on autopilot. You are in a habit loop.

Think about the last time you learned something new, drove a new route, or started a new job. When something’s new, your brain slows down to make a myriad of decisions. Once you’ve done something for a while, your brain shifts to autopilot.

Because your brain saves energy being on autopilot, old habits can be hard to break. And new habits can be slow to form because new habits take full brain power.

So how does a habit loop work? Continue reading

Life is a game

Roll the dice. Draw a card. Move a colored peg around the board.

Life is a game with an unpredictable outcome, and the fun is in the playing. When you wake up in the morning, are you grateful to be alive? Do you feel energy in your gut anticipating the day?

What will you learn today? Who will you meet? What conversations will you have?

Back to the game. Draw a “Habit” card and see where it takes you…

Continue reading

How to be more productive

If you find yourself saying, “I wish I could get more done,” stop for a minute and think about exactly what it is you want to get done.

  • Do you want to finish projects you’ve already started?
  • Do you wish you were doing more interesting stuff?
  • Do you have big ideas and aren’t sure how to take the first step?
  • Or are you just feeling like you’re wasting time?

Continue reading

25 tips to help improve your productivity at work

Being organized at work isn’t all that different from being organized at home. You just have more people to deal with. The number one productivity tip I can offer for each is the same: Write it down. Writing things down saves your brain from trying to remember everything you have going on. And seeing things on paper helps you sort out and prioritize.

Use one calendar to write down meetings, appointments, and important deadlines. And use a planner to write down your daily tasks and things you’re keeping track of.

“Do I have to write everything down?”
“No, just the things you want to get done.”

Here are 25 additional tips to boost your productivity at work Continue reading

How “creative avoidance” messes with your obit

Creative avoidance is the fun stuff you do to skirt getting to the big stuff. When you’re pondering a big, juicy project, it’s hard to get started for many reasons… And if you don’t have time, you have the perfect excuse!

“I’d love to get this done but I don’t have time.” Continue reading