Tag Archives: productivity

This one small thing helped curb my procrastination…

Dearest reader – I must confess something to you. My whole life I have fallen victim to a pretty bad habit. PROCRASTINATION. I just love putting stuff off. Maybe you do too? Well today I thought I’d share something that has helped me drastically reduce my procrastination practice…

how to stop procrastinating

I started timing myself. Doing, like…all types of things. Things I didn’t want to do. (Like chores and lengthy email responses to clients.) Things I did want to do. (Like read a couple chapters of a book.) Stuff for work and stuff for this very blog.

I would start the timer. Do the task. Stop the timer.

Ok, ok. I know that sounds a little quirky…or maybe downright weird. Maybe you’re picturing me at my desk dressed like a high school gym teacher with an old school stop watch hanging around my neck. Well, a) phones and computers have timers so no need for a stop watch, and b) STAY WITH ME…

When I decided I wanted to curb my procrastination, I tried to identify what was causing me to put stuff off in the first place. And I found that usually it was because, in my brain, whatever I needed to do would just take too long. It would be a whole thing…an ORDEAL.

“Why start now? What if I can’t finish?”
“I’ll just edit this copy tomorrow when I have more time…”
“Oof, do a load of laundry?! That’s gonna have to wait until the weekend.”

For whatever reason, my conception of time was on the long side.  Like, for EVERYTHING. Mostly for things that didn’t sound appealing…but sometimes for things that did! (I’m lookin’ at YOU self-care!)

So I thought – “Let’s nip this temporal uncertainty in the bud once and for all!”

How long did it actually take to do the dishes and compile monthly analytics reports for clients and post fun Instagram stories? *Spoiler alert* Way less time than I initially thought! Suddenly there was less of a foreboding excuse looming nearby when I needed to get something done. I didn’t need to wait for that mythical 3 hour chunk of free-time later in the week. I had 10 minutes NOW.

how to stop procrastinating

Recently, I was doing some work for a client as I waited for a flight in the Lexington airport (free WiFi yay!). The gate agent came on the PA and announced that boarding was about to begin. A quick wave of panic washed over me because I still needed to create and schedule an email to go out to my client’s email list. My brain immediately tried to shift the work to later. “I’ll just have to buy WiFi at my layover airport, ” I thought. When I realized…WAIT. I know this will take me twenty minutes, at most! I’m in boarding Section 4… Let’s DO THIS!

Because I KNEW I could get it done in the allotted amount of time, I had no reason to procrastinate. I just banged it out and boarded the plane when I was done. (And subsequently spent my whole layover reading an awesome novel!)

Will this work for everyone? Maybe not. Your procrastination might be caused by a completely different thought-spiral than mine. But just in case you find yourself pushing things back in your calendar (and back…and back again…)–GIVE IT A TRY! The results may surprise you. Now, go be productive! You’ve got time.

How do you deal with procrastination? Tell us in the comments!

P.S. The one small thing I do every day to put myself in a good mood…

 

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Office Design Tricks to Up Your Productivity Levels

*This post contains affiliate links.*

The place you choose to work makes such a big difference to your productivity levels. Thankfully, if you work from home, you have maximum creative control to design your work-space exactly as you see fit. (Score!) In this post, I’m gonna lay out some aspects of home office design that will make your home work-space a hive of productivity. Many of these changes are simple and don’t require a huge investment, while others may take a little more time and expense. Find the fixes that work best for your working flow and budget…

Light the Way

Office lighting can make such a big difference when it comes to your productivity. Bad lighting can lead to headaches, fatigue, eye strain, and tiredness. Conversely, natural light can play a big role in boosting your mood. So consider positioning your desk nearby a window where it is going to attract as much sunlight as possible. Rather than having one main overhead source of lighting, having a lamp or two allows you to adjust the brightness as necessary.

Alabaster Mini Orb Lamp // Globe String Lights // Petite Perla Chandelier

Ergonomically Check Your Chair and Desk

If the position of your chair and desk ends up leading to neck and back pain, this is inevitably going to impact your productivity levels. There are a couple of quick ergonomic checks which are easy to perform. First of all, the top of your computer screen should be around eye-level. Your feet should either be able to rest comfortably on a foot rest or on the floor. Make sure that your chair is slightly reclined to minimize lower back pain. Investing in a good-quality chair is one of the best purchases that you can make for your office.

Mesh Desk Chair // Gaiam Balance Ball Chair // Adjustable Foot Rest

Sights, Smells and Sounds

Your senses all come into play when you are creating a comfortable office space. Starting off with what you’ll spend the day looking at — the room color. Studies have shown that the color blue helps with productivity. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s a shade which isn’t too harsh on the eyes. You can also hang some pictures to give yourself something fun (and maybe motivational) to look at during the day.

Interior Paint in Blue Bayou // Calming Art Print // Ayo Mirror

You may never have thought much about the smell of your office, but the right scents can actually help to focus your mind and boost your mood. Fresh flowers are a great way to provide a scent in a natural way. It is worth going for some which you can easily smell such as Alii Hawaiian Tropical flowers. Another option is to use candles or essential oils. Otherwise, you could always try simmering a few herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your whole house with pleasant smells.

Hawaiian Flowers // Stress Relief Candle // Stone Essential Oil Holder

The type of noise which works best for your productivity levels varies from person to person. Some people prefer complete silence. In which case, it is worth looking into soundproofing options in the room. Others like to have some background music, so it check out wireless speakers so you can cut back on the need for wires criss-crossing around the room.

Sound Proof Panels // Noise Cancelling Headphones // Wireless Speaker

Clutter Clearing

While you may create a lot of clutter in the creative process, you should make it a habit to store away the things that you need and throw everything else away. Mess is generally not helpful when it comes to productivity levels. Make sure that you have enough storage systems to contain everything comfortably. And don’t forget your digital clutter as well. The best way I’ve found of keeping on top of your clutter (actual AND digital) in a home office is to schedule time each week to organize. Pick a day and time and jot it down in your diary weekly. You’ll likely just need a half hour or so each week to go through papers, computer files, etc and get it all sorted. Consistency is key!

Poppin 3-Drawer File Cabinet // Paper Organizers // Wire Wall Grid

Bring in Nature

There are plenty of ways that you can bring nature into your indoor office space. We already talked about fresh flowers, but house plants are also a great option. They will last longer and are usually straightforward to maintain. Open the window on a regular basis to allow fresh air into your office space. If you can’t see anything natural outside, the next best thing is to put up some “nature pictures” – think: a picture of you and a loved on a recent hike in a pretty frame on your desk or a painting of the sea!

5 x 7 Frame // Gradient Cement Planter // Mid-Century Turquoise Planters 

Achieve an Optimum Temperature Balance

Achieving the right temperature balance is one of the best ways of boosting your productivity levels. Studies have shown that people tend to work better when it is a little warmer inside, but you don’t want to make it SO warm so that you feel drowsy. A smart thermostat will give you maximum control over the temperature in your office. And you can always bring in some extra heaters or fans when you feel like you need to adjust the temperature up or down.

Nest Thermostat // Urbanjet Desk Fan // Portable Radiator

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to creating a work-space that provides maximum productivity levels. Essentially, you need to create an environment which works best for you. No two people work in the same way, so it is important to learn as much as you can about your own working habits. Good luck!

Do you work from home? An office? What changes have you made to your working space to increase productivity? 

mid-week round-up

What it do, baby-boos? Yesterday I brought back my favorite South Florida perk — the 2 p.m. break from work to to take a dip in the pool!!! Now I’m just struggle-bussin’ it through the last half of the work week when all I wanna do is drink boulevardiers, watch this docu-series on Netflix that everyone’s been raving about, and make pocket letters. Eeps! Weekend where are you??? Hope you’ve got some enticing weekend plans in mind, and here are a few links I found fascinating…

Why is there so much focus on no-platforming at elite universities, when hundreds of colleges across America regularly suppress speech?

Starting your day in a way that works for YOU.

Related: Don’t Hide Your Hustle – Lucy, Graphic Designer

The 33 most exciting new books of 2018.

The maternity care desert in Washington D.C.

A teenager told police all about his gang, MS-13. In return, he was slated for deportation and marked for death.

Gun fatalism is reasonable in a terrifying country.

Native American lacrosse teams reported racial abuse. Then their league expelled them.

Smashing guiding’s glass ceiling.

Related: On the Rooftop of the World

How women see how male authors see them.

As gentrification closes in, immigrants in Lincoln Heights see their American dream slipping away.

The weird true story of the rise and fall of the waterbed.

The most Instagrammed location in every state. (Summer road trip inspiration!!)

P.S. Follow me on Instagram. 

Nine Activities to Break Up the Day When Working from Home

After I’ve worked from home for a few hours, I tend to get fed up with my surroundings, and need a change of scenery. You too? There are definitely benefits of having a place in your home that allows you to get shiz done. Whether you work for yourself, remotely, or hustle on the side. At the same time — when you wake up, punch the clock, and fall asleep ALL within a few steps of each other? It can get a little monotonous! So let’s talk about how to break up the day when you’re hard at work in your humble abode…

Stand Up Every Hour

To protect your lower back and improve circulation, stand up and stretch every hour. I use the Pomodoro app to set timers for work and when I need to peel myself out of my office chair. (I love a good power hour followed by a 15 minute break!) Oh, and if you’re feeling uninspired, use the time to get some fresh air (outside or open a window). The fresh oxygen is great for your body and brain! 

Coffee Break Around the Corner

Instead of having coffee at my desk, I like to take a walk to the ventanita up the street for a freshly brewed treat. Breaks like these give you something to look forward to when you are hitting a wall. Plus, motivating yourself with a coffee…or a healthy smoothie or a cupcake(!) or whatever treat might be close by is a great way to incentivize the big push you need to meet a looming deadline.

Check the News

Instead of checking the news on my computer or phone, getting a newspaper to flick through or flipping on the TV for a few minutes allows me stay tuned in to current events throughout the day. WITHOUT getting sucked into the inevitable internet rabbit holes.

Five Minute Yoga Routines

No matter how small your home office is, you can always find a spot to unroll a yoga mat! Look on YouTube for a few yoga stretching routines you can complete in five minutes or less. Bookmark your favorites so you can return to them whenever you need to stretch, restore your breathing, and energize. Your attention span will thank you!

Call Your Friend or Colleagues

For a complete break, return that phone call to your mom or give your friend a ring to hammer out weekend plans. Want to stay on task but still have an excuse to pace away from your desk? If you generally collaborate with your colleagues through email or Gchat, switch it up and call them instead. You can talk about the project you are working on, ask about the next steps, or simply clarify issues. 

Water the Flowers

One thing I really want to start getting more into is houseplants! And I’d like to keep up with their maintenance by choosing a set day and time to go around the house and tend to them. This would give me a short break, a reason to unchain myself from the desk/computer, and a sense of accomplishment. You can create your own schedule based on the watering and care needs of your plants. For example, Hawaiian flowers (my current obsession) need less water less often to stay healthy and bloom, while some houseplants need attention every day.  

Plan Your Office Redecoration

Feeling like your home office needs a reboot? Take some time to brainstorm how to improve your home office to suit your needs better. Think about the colors you want to use, the carpet, look for inspirational images and quotes, and think about ways of improving your lighting. You might even download an online app that allows you to design the perfect space online. Get ideas from blogs and magazines, and use your imagination. My current set-up is fine for now but I love daydreaming and planning for a future office overhaul! 

Complete a Mandala

While you might think that coloring is for kids, it is actually a super relaxing activity. You can print a mandala (for free!) and get your crayons or colored pencils out to complete and design it. Sometimes when my work is feeling more monotonous than creative (think: spreadsheets and analytics), I like to bust out the art supplies for a little bit to break up the monotony. 

Watch Funny Videos

For some fun and energizing entertainment, save your favorite YouTube videos for when you need a pick-me-up. Get a collection saved on your desktop or bookmark bar, so you can access them when you need them.  A bit of laughter goes a long way. It will help you release stress  so you can carry on with your daily work more focused and motivated. I’m starting a new playlist for this very purpose! So far I’m feeling this one and this one.
LEAVE ME LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE FUNNY VIDEOS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! 

Thanks so much for reading, friends! Happy working (and breaking!!) ❤

How to Beat the Monday Blues

Friday: a day for jubilation, relief, and anticipation for the weekend. For those of us who work all week, Friday can’t come soon enough!

Monday: a day to ask yourself one important question: where did the weekend go? For those of us who work all week, Monday comes around again far too quickly. Bah!

Yes, it’s those Monday morning blues! Studies show, above all other days, Mondays can bring about feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety issues. Just the mere thought of a Monday can ruin our weekends… how can we relax when we know it’s coming? Well, fret not as I’m here to help. Coincidentally writing this on a Monday (so obvi I’m writing from a place of experience, lol), here are some tips to help you get over those dreadful blues:

  1. Make the most of your weekends. We often bemoan the fact we haven’t had time to do everything we wanted, but chances are this is your own fault. Even though weekends are supposed to be about relaxation and enjoyment, that doesn’t mean planning goes out the window! A little forethought goes a long way. Stop spending the day in your pajamas – unless that’s your ultimate weekend goal – and plan out what you’d like to do during the two days you have off from work. Start checking things off the list! (Related: How to prioritize your passions.) Then, when Monday does finally roll around (far too soon!), you will at least have some satisfaction that you made the most of your limited time off!
  2. Make Monday fun. Okay, so you have to go to work! That sucks (even if you love your job–they call it work for a reason!), but Monday can be fun too. Plan to do something enjoyable every Monday, whether that’s a fancy lunch with your colleagues, a game night after work with your friends, or some other activity that will improve your mood when you get home in the evening. Even penciling in your favorite recipe on your meal plan or packing a treat in your lunchbox, small additions to your day, could have you looking forward to Mondays. Pretty soon, Monday will be the best day of the week – unlike those Terrible Tuesdays, Weary Wednesdays, and Turgid Thursdays! (We’ll have to tackle those in another post, lol.) 
  3. Get your sleep. Partying hard on a Friday or Saturday night is fine, but that shouldn’t be the case on a Sunday. You need your z’s to think and feel better when Monday morning finally arrives. You will feel better about the day after a good night’s sleep, and you will wake up refreshed, vibrant, and raring to go! And your clients and co-workers will thank you. No one likes a Grumpy Gus on Monday mornings…we’re all in this together!
  4. Streamline your morning. There is so much to do on a Monday morning – doing your hair, sorting out your makeup, choosing an outfit, and so on and so on. Such a drag! Still, you can take the muddle out of your morning with a few stress-free tips, giving you a fighting chance after the alarm clock has rung it’s miserable chimes.
  5. Improve your workspace. If your workspace gets you down, work out why it might be holding back your productivity and joy. If it’s feeling dull and lifeless, fill it up with personal items and colorful flowers. If you’re trapped in a place with little ventilation, grab yourself some green plants or an air purifier — read about the benefits suggested by Adam Kemp Fitness, they’re pretty convincing! If there is work piled up on your desk on a Monday morning, leaving your brain feeling cluttered, make a point to clear through work on Fridays (or at least give your desk a proper tidying before you leave for the weekend!). Your space won’t seem so miserable when you return.

Do you suffer from the Monday blues? How do you tackle saying goodbye to the weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. Bonus tip — Meal Planning for Beginners in 7 Easy Steps

Found: My Perfect Planner

I’ve finally found a planner that I’m totally obsessed with and can foresee using for months (maybe years!) to come. It’s the Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days-A-Week Planner Journal.  Here’s what I love about it:

  • Features 52 week at-a-glance spreads.
  • Each week runs Monday-Sunday and includes a “Someday” column for other tasks you want to complete during the week that aren’t specific to a certain day.
  • Includes 30 minute interval time slots so you can map out your day super precisely.
  • Spiral-bounding allows it to lie flat and stay tucked in a drawer with the current day facing up.

This may sound a bit neurotic, but when I was contemplating the reasons why past planners just hadn’t cut it, it was the inability to create a detailed timeline for my day.

You see, my work schedule can be a bit of a puzzle. I do freelance work for a number of different clients, I work on this blog, and I side-hustle at a local wine store. The great thing about this set up is that I can create my own schedule by piecing together the three. The not so great thing? Doing so can be a little difficult to conceptualize. A traditional planner with a big empty box for each day almost felt over-whelming. Jotting down “work at 3pm” or “phone call w/ client at 10am” didn’t do my brain any favors when visualizing how I should schedule the rest of my To-do’s.

Then I had a *lightbulb* moment. What if I could find a planner that was more appointment book than daily calendar? I stumbled upon this 8 day-a-week version while searching on Amazon and the rest is history. It’s honestly one of the best things to happen to my productivity levels in YEARS.

 

Above you’ll see a little peek at my planner in action! Nothing too fancy. I throw in a few stickers here and there when I feel like it (like the devil emoji for a 7am meeting, LOL!) and use a few colors of highlighters to indicate different things. Sometimes I’ll mark off a certain time-frame for client work and then bullet point more specific to-do’s off to the side. And that’s about it. I love it!

What type of planner do YOU use? Tell me below! 

A 30 Day Mantra Challenge (+ FREE activity guide)

Now that you know how to incorporate mantras in your daily life and have read up on the mantras folks love and use, let’s get action oriented! The benefits of mantras are no joke and committing to a 30 day practice is a wonderful first step to start reaping the rewards. So, I’ve created a 30 Day Mantra Challenge!

There’s a new mantra for every day of the 30 day challenge. Each day, focus your thoughts on the words. Repeat them to yourself as you get ready in the morning and during your work-outs. Let them wash over you as you take breaks, feel over-whelmed, or sit in traffic. Consider their power as you turn in for the night. Let’s get started…

Day 1. Today I let go of all that does not serve me.
Day 2. I choose to nourish my heart and mind.
Day 3. I choose compassion and kindness.
Day 4. I am loved.
Day 5. I feel abundance all around me.
Day 6. I feel abundance within me.
Day 7. Everything is working in my favor.
Day 8. The Universe is powerful and I exist within it.
Day 9. I trust in the power of the Universe.
Day 10. I am strong.
Day 11. I am grounded.
Day 12. I am connected.
Day 13. I send healing light to those in need.
Day 14. I align myself with my highest truth.
Day 15. I communicate with love and understanding.
Day 16. I open myself to the fullness of my power.
Day 17. I am enough.
Day 18. My mind is clear.
Day 19. This is my path towards a higher purpose.
Day 20. I connect and ask for guidance.
Day 21. I am grateful for this day.
Day 22. I am grateful for my body.
Day 23. I am grateful for my mind.
Day 24. I feel gratitude for the abundance all around me.
Day 25. I am graceful.
Day 26. I have the tools to overcome any obstacle.
Day 27. Practice and all is coming.
Day 28. I love and honor where I’m at today.
Day 29. Be brave.
Day 30. Find delight!

If you want to take your journey one step further, I’ve also prepared a FREE activity guide to augment each day’s mantra. Every day includes 3 action items – 1 to promote positivity, 1 to help with productivity, and 1 for focusing on self-care. If you’d like to nab a PDF of your very own activity guide – CLICK HERE.


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m laying the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what we’ve covered:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)

14 Ways to Take Meaningful Breaks

how to take meaningful breaks during long projects

As the queen of leaving projects to the last minute, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to settle in for the long haul without losing my mind. I think we’ve all been there. (Especially if you’re someone who enjoys working under pressure.) The rest of life got in the way in the weeks leading up to a deadline, and you find yourself chained to your laptop with a marathon’s worth of work to tackle.

My secret to making it out unscathed? Meaningful breaks.

Choose an amount of time (like 45 minutes to an hour), set a timer, and start ticking things off the to-do list without stopping. Then, when the time is up TAKE A BREAK (like for 15-30 minutes).

Related: A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17 ]

Below, I’ve listed 14 meaningful breaks that I find helpful to cycle through as I hammer away on a project.

Take a shower.

This is especially helpful if you didn’t get a lot of great rest. Showers are like liquid sleep! Use a body wash like this one and breathe in deep. Massage your scalp as you lather up your hair. Get that blood flowing to your brain!

Fill up your water bottle.

Gotta stay hydrated! Fill up your favorite vessel and take time to drink as much as you like as you stare into space. Feelin’ fancy? Add some fruit or cucumbers or herbs and get a lil infusion action going.

Watch a YouTube video.

Sometimes you just need to switch your brain off for a few minutes. But turning on the TV or firing up Netflix may distract to the point of disaster. YouTube to the rescue! There’s a zillion different kinds of content to choose from (Cats! Makeup tutorials! Hydraulic press! Cooking miniature meals!) and most are a reasonable length. Go nuts for 10-15 minutes and then switch that brain back on.

Make a list of the day’s accomplishments.

I’ve mentioned this before, but a “shit I’ve already done list” can sometimes quell the panic of a seemingly insurmountable “shit I still need to do list.”

Eat a snack.

Go fix yourself something healthy to eat!

Love on your pet.

Taking care of someone else for a few minutes is a great way to snap out of it if you’re feeling like EVERYTHING IS THE WORST. So if you have a pet, go make sure they have food and fresh water. Take them outside to run or toss around a toy. Get out their brush for a lil grooming sesh. Give them lots of pets.

Head to your closet for a costume change.

I like to capitalize on the surge of productivity I feel as soon as I wake up…which usually means I’m in pj’s and then *whoops* several hours have gone by. So a simple costume change if you’re in my boat is to just go get dressed. But you can also change from your everyday clothes to workout clothes if you plan on working out later. Change from uncomfortable clothes to comfy ones. Or switch it up for a change of pace in the aesthetics department.

Handle a “personal admin” task.

You can’t press pause on life because you’re under a deadline. Reply to an email. Pay your phone bill. Grab groceries. Schedule that dentist appointment. You get the drift.

Work up a sweat.

One time, during a looooong (and boring) day of work-from-home projects, I did 10 push-ups/10 sit-ups/10 squats during every break. Not only did the time FLY by…but I was sore as heck the next day. Ha! For a less crazy approach, go for a jog outside or queue up a 30 min HIIT workout on YouTube. Roll out your yoga mat and stretch out.

Have a solo dance party.

Put on your favorite song and jam like no one’s watching. Because they aren’t. Repeat until you’re sufficiently pumped.

Tidy up a little.

Just like with the “personal admin” tasks, tackling a quick chore or two will feel like you’re accomplishing something…even when your BIG accomplishment for the day is hours away. I like to do the dishes or make my bed. (Which also helps to make your space feel more productive.)

Chat with another human being.

Working on a project solo can start to feel really isolating. Pick up the phone and catch up with a friend or meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee.

Switch up your surroundings.

Usually if I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, it’s time to pack up and head somewhere new. It’s amazing the second wind you can achieve just by heading to a second location!

Go for a walk.

Fresh air! Natural light! Even if you only circle the block, you might just have that break-through “A-HA!” moment once your legs are pumping and your mind is allowed to wander a little.

Over to you! What are your favorite ways to take meaningful breaks in the midst of a marathon work sesh? Share below!! xoxo 

P.S. 4 Career Building Tips for the Newly Hired and Let’s Talk Personality (Tests).

The Finding Delight End of Summer Reboot!

FINDINGDELIGHT.com

I always find life’s pace to slow a bit during the summertime. Maybe this is an after-effect of years spent in school. Without reading assignments and due dates, the days would stretch into a calm, never-ending march towards autumn. In the year’s since the same chill vibe has continued to ring true. This blissful respite from the GO, GO, GO of other seasons is awesome. But it can be a hard one to shake once the vacation days are spent and you gotta force yourself back into the saddle.

I think the end of summer is a great time for a fresh start. Whether you’re still a student or the change in season marks a new chapter in your life or you never stopped hustling all summer long (“Vacation? WHAT vacation?”), you can give yourself a little reboot.

To help us out, I’ve gathered 30 days worth of reboot assignments. If you want to ease into the next season feeling productive, de-cluttered, calm, inspired, and ready to kick a lot of butt then this challenge is for you. One day at a time. One assignment at a time. We got this!

Day One. Keep a spending diary.

Record your purchases for the duration of the day. Spend some time going over the results to identify necessities vs. superfluous spending.

Day Two. Silence the cell phone noise.

Navigate into your phone’s settings and turn off all your notifications. Choose a few times throughout the day to check on things (read: texts, emails, social media) but leave it at that.

Day Three. Give your To-Do list a Top 3.

Identify three to-do’s that MUST get done today and place those at the top of your list. Check these items off before you move down to any of your other tasks.

Day Four. Organize your junk.

Do you have a space in your house that acts as your catch-all? Maybe it’s a random drawer in your kitchen or a table in your entryway. Maybe it’s even the top of your desk. Spend some time today clearing out this space, wherever it is, and organizing whatever items remain after the purge.

Day Five. Plan your counter-attack.

Stress creeps up at the most inopportune times. Why not get out in front of it. Today, identify five things that ease your stress. A nice cup of tea? A thirty minute jog through your neighborhood? Keep this list near and then USE IT. When stress rears it’s ugly head..fight back!

Day Six. Enjoy a day of nothing.

Remember the part where I said you were gonna ease into a productive autumn? If you have the day off then see where the day takes you. No planning ahead, no worrying about what you should be doing. Just do what you want when you want to do it. (If you have to work today, apply this mind set to your off-time.) Perhaps you’ll end up starting the novel you’ve been dying to read. Perhaps, bored out of your gourd, you’ll turn your attention to your side hustle. Who knows!? The point is to just go with the flow.

Day Seven. Focus on casual gratitude.

All too often, we say “I’m sorry,” when what we mean is “Thank you.” Work on catching yourself and flip the script. Read more here.

Day Eight. Streamline your morning routine.

Take a long hard look at the steps you take to ready yourself for the day and find ways to trim the fat. Love a good, long morning faff? I do too! But maybe you don’t need to do ALL the journaling, yoga, newspaper reading, and full-face of makeup every, single day. One or two areas of focus per day may work great for you!

Day Nine. Establish your bedtime routine.

Spend this evening creating a lovely, relaxing nighttime ritual that sets you up for a great night of sleep and a productive tomorrow.

Day Ten. Write!

Set aside twenty minutes today for a little stream-of-consciousness journaling.

Day Eleven. Read!

I love watching TV as much as the next guy, but for today’s assignment, switch out any time you would normally watch for some time spent reading instead. Books, articles, whatever. It’s a day for reading!

Day Twelve. Go on a long walk.

Hit the trails unplugged and free from distractions. Just spend some time with yourself, your thoughts, and nature. Take note of your surroundings and how they make you feel.

Day Thirteen. Social media clear out.

As you scroll through your social media accounts today take note of those people, brands, or accounts that no longer serve you. Is there a friend whose Facebook posts do nothing but rile you up? Time to unfriend. A store whose Instagram pics make you pull out your wallet a little too quick? Click that unsubscribe button.

Day Fourteen. Try the “45 minute on – 15 minute off” approach.

As you create your To-Do List, consider breaking down your tasks into items you can complete in 45 minute chunks. Then, set a timer as you work your way through. After you complete each task give yourself a 15 minute break to stretch, grab a snack, wander outside, play with your dog, or whatever!

Day Fifteen. Give yourself an allowance.

Look back at your spending diary and see if you can place a number on the amount you would like to put towards “extras.” Spend some time defining extras, sketching out your monthly expenses, and identifying the best way to divvy up your fun fund. Then, give yourself a pay-out!

Day Sixteen. Eliminate decision fatigue.

Take today to identify one area of your life where you could eliminate decision fatigue and come up with an action plan. Some ideas – weekly meal plans, subscription services (like Graze for snacks or Vitafive for vitamins), or a capsule wardrobe.

Day Seventeen. Sign up for a learning opportunity.

Take a class, enroll in a web seminar, work your way through a workbook, or download an app. Education has a way of re-invigorating and inspiring!

Day Eighteen. Cull your closet.

Try on all your clothes and sort them into three piles–keep, donate, and toss. Think of all the clothes karma you’ll receive when you pass along your duds to someone they may be better suited to.

Day Nineteen. Set goals.

What are your main goals or priorities in this season of your life? Make an inspiring piece of wall art that lists them and hang it somewhere prominent.

Day Twenty. Forward plan.

If you’re like me, then you focus a lot of your attention on planning day-to-day tasks and not as much on the big picture. Today, spend some time sketching out the weeks and months (maybe even years!) ahead. Grab your calendar and pencil stuff in. No worries if things change down the road.

Day Twenty-One. Check your inbox three times.

Instead of spending the day with an ever-open tab dedicated to your email, check your emails only three times today. Once at the beginning of your work day, once right before or after your meal break, and one more time at the end of your day.

Day Twenty-Two. Prepare some meals.

Stock your fridge with lunches for the coming week. Pinterest has about a billion pins-worth of inspiration if you’re stuck on what to make.

Day Twenty-Three. Work off-line.

Allocate 2-3 hours to working off-line. Get everything you may need to complete your tasks in order, turn your phone to airplane mode, and venture outside of that Wi-fi bubble.

Day Twenty-Four. Make a reading list.

Make a list of all the books you want to read over the next year or so. Head to the library and get started!

Day Twenty-Five. Schedule time for your passions.

Identify three or four things that bring you joy and schedule them into your routine for the week to come. Maybe you can play soccer with friends on Monday, work on a knitting project on Thursday, and every other day work a crossword puzzle with a glass of wine. Make the time for YOU!

Day Twenty-Six. Talk to someone just starting out on this journey.

This one is open to interpretation but is a great way to pay it forward. Whether you choose to chat with a new hire or your own kid, an honest discussion about your personal life path can be a wildly helpful twenty minutes. And why not?

Day Twenty-Seven. Keep your small talk positive.

As you go about your day, make sure your conversations are steering clear of the following topics: how tired you are, how busy you are, or anything else complain-y. No need putting out negativity at every opportunity. Instead, focus on positive conversations.

Day Twenty-Eight. Organize your computer.

Clear out any files you no longer need and get your folders on fleek.

Day Twenty-Nine. Meditate!

Take fifteen minutes today to tap into some mindfulness. If you’re new to meditation, there are tons of apps and YouTube videos out there that can help guide you.

Day Thirty. Take a break from technology.

Repeat the day of nothing from Day Six but this time *dun, dun, DUN* do it without technology. No cell phones, internet, or TV’s. Spend part of the day reflecting on the strategies you’ve learned and tried throughout your reboot but most of the day just doing whatever you want. See what happens!

*As you complete each assignment consider whether it is something you could implement long-term. If you find something to be especially helpful or meaningful then keep it up! *

So, are you ready to reboot? Buh-bye, Summer! HELLO AUTUMN!!! 

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mid-week round-up

pop of color bird

What are you up to this week, friends? My mom is flying down to visit us on Saturday, and I can’t wait to show her around. I hope she’s ready for lots of tropical plants and Cuban food! I just finished the book “Me Before You.” Have you read it? Chet’s mom mailed it to me the other day (Thanks!) and once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to the movie! Hope you all have a wonderful day, and now check out these links…

A perfect cocktail for adult summer camp.

The female journalists on Hillary’s campaign trail.

How self-deprecation is taking over the internet.

For summertime travels.

Would you try The Pomodoro Technique?

How to make an origami corner heart bookmark.

If Hillary could go back in time to tell one person she’d been nominated for president…

An algorithm that unpacks the master rhymes in Hamilton.

Thoughts from a refugee camp.

Chicken, leek, and pea pasta bake.

How Hawaiian immersion schools saved the Hawaiian language.

9 contradictions to embrace for greater happiness.