Tag Archives: schedule priorities

How to Make Time for Books

After a book binge on the topic of polygamy (I know…I’m weird), I’m currently reading Honeymoon in Purdah by Alison Wearing.

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

If the answer is nothing…that’s ok. I’m here to provide some gentle encouragement that if you want to start making more time for books, you CAN! With all the back-to-school vibes hanging out in the air, I totally believe now is a great time to recommit yourself to lifelong learning. Reading books is such an important part of that.

So, you’re on board. (Woohoo!) But how can we make more time for books in our busy, busy lives? Here are a few ideas…

1. Schedule Reading Time

I am one of those people who has lots of aspirations but not a lot of follow-through. (See also: this post.) So I can saaaaay I wanna finish a book a week, but if I don’t actually set aside dedicated time to do said reading…it’s probably not gonna happen. That rogue 30 minutes in my day will go *poof* and I’ll still be sitting at my computer clicking around on pointless stuff.

INSTEAD! I really study my planner (I use this one) for those free pockets of time and schedule in the stuff I want to do.

I’ve also written a post about how you can “set and forget” self-care that you can check out HERE. If hunting down reading time doesn’t sound like your bag, no worries! Pick a recurring time slot and stick to it.

2. Read Books You Like

This might be a no-brainer but I think it’s important to point out. If you want to make reading a habit that you’ll stick with, then you’ve gotta read books that interest you! After all, you want reading to be something you look forward to.

A great way to find MORE books you like is by talking about books. Share your favorite reads with friends and family and get their recommendations. I like to keep a list of book recommendations I’ve gathered from folks I know and cool reviews I come across on the internet.

Then, bring that book you like with you wherever you go! If you get stuck waiting somewhere you can pull out the book instead of your phone. It’s amazing how a random 10 minutes at the pharmacy here and a 15 minutes in a parking lot because you’re chronically early to stuff (just me?) there really starts to add up.

Oh and, NOTE: If you don’t end up liking a book? GUESS WHAT!? You don’t have to finish it! I had a weird aversion to ditching books until like really recently and I gotta say…this way is much better. Frees up a lot of time for the books you’re actually going to enjoy. So, there ya go–I grant you my permission, for what it is worth.

3. SHARE!

Sharing is WHAT? Accountability! 

I love, love, love posting about what I’m reading (and what I’ve just finished reading) on social media. I’m sure it’s not the most thrilling of content but it holds me accountable with my reading goals. (I also enjoy tracking my reading privately which you can read more about HERE.)

Other fun ways to share about books include joining a book club, reading a book with a friend, or tracking on the Goodreads app. Find what is fun for you!

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about kicking off an email-based book club in January 2019. Would anyone be interested in that!? Let me know below and subscribe to my email list so you’ll be in the loop!

Ok, over to you! How do you make time for books? Share your secrets (and stuff I missed) below. 

 

P.S. If you’re basically blind but also wanna double down on reading time by adding in a dose of self-care…you’ll have to wear your glasses over top of your face masks. It’s a LEWK! 🙂

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My Perfect Lazy Day

Summertime is the perfect excuse for a little now and again laziness. I can totally remember, during Summer vacations in high school, ENTIRE days spent doing literally nothing. Well, besides heading to the basement as soon as I woke up (it was always so COLD…even in Summer) to watch hours and hours of MTV and maybe make a phone call or two on the landline.

With that memory in mind, I started daydreaming about an ideal lazy day in 2017. While I could still probably waste the better part of a day watching trashy reality TV, I’d like to think “My Perfect Lazy Day” would have a bit more to offer. Here’s how I see it going down…

lazy day reading in bed lazy day starbucks green tea

10 am – Reading in Bed. Put off getting dressed for as long as possible by staying wrapped in blankets with a good book. Here are a few I’m looking forward to reading soon!

11 am – Coffee Shop. Officially get the day started with a quick trip to Starbucks. I slowly nurse my iced tea or coffee while enjoying some good conversation, a perusal of my favorite websites, and a flick through the newspaper.

 

1 pm – Fish and Chips Al Fresco. To me, nothing beats dining in the great outdoors. Luckily I live in a place where the outdoors often involves an ocean (or at least some sort of waterfront view). This dish is my fave seaside fare.

3 pm – A Walk in the Park. A long, ambling walk is the perfect way to while away an afternoon. I love to bring along a camera to snap pics of the beautiful blooms. And I’ll pop in a podcast if I’m hiking stag.

 

6 pm – Pre-Dinner Cocktails on the Porch. Who wants to be indoors so soon? Not I! Time to enjoy something tropical tasting. Mason jars and stripey straws are non-negotiables.

9 pm – Binge Watch. Curl up on the couch with these handsome fellers! The Netflix queue awaits…

What’s your ideal lazy day? SHARE BELOW!!

How to Eliminate Decision Fatigue and Get More Done

how to eliminate decision fatigue

As I mentioned in this post, I’m not very decisive. While I’m great at split-second decision making (think: barking orders during emergency situations or finding the best course of action when work events go awry), life’s more mundane questions, like what to eat for lunch or wear to a friend’s wedding, can leave me perplexed.

While I may consider myself an extreme case, I have a feeling I’m not alone. You may notice a few signs of decision fatigue in your own life as well. Perhaps you come home from a long day of work feeling completely exhausted. You can’t quite decide what to do so you sit on the couch watching TV instead of going to the gym. You have no idea what you want for dinner so you go get takeout instead of cooking. That’s decision fatigue! Whether sick of choosing or just overcome with options, your brain defaults to the easiest decision possible.

Over the years, I’ve figured out a few ways to cope with decision fatigue. I have found that organizing my life in a way that eliminates decisions is tantamount to increasing my productivity. You may find you’re the same…

decision fatigue food

When it comes to deciding what to eat, I’ve found that making these decisions “in bulk” is the best way to not succumb to restaurants in the 5 o’clock but no idea what to eat for dinner madness. Set aside time to make a meal plan each week. If you’re feeling extra on top of things then do a bit of meal prepping, too. You could go all out and package up 21 meals into neatly organized tupperwares or simply take a bit of time to get ahead. Wash and chop up produce. Cook a grain. Boil some eggs.

Check out this post to learn more about sticking to a certain theme for dinner each night of the week. This way, even when you slip, and find yourself with out a plan or anything prepped, you’ll at least know “It’s Thursday so we’re having stir-fry.” (Or whatever you selected.) Another approach you could try if that feels a bit too limiting is the 14-day dinner menu.

decision fatigue clothes

Another decision I must make on the daily (sometimes multiple times a day…UGH!) is what to wear. Ever notice how super successful folk tend to wear the same things all the time? They might be on to something! While I don’t plan on rocking jeans and a black turtleneck every day a la Steve Jobs, developing a capsule wardrobe is a great way to limit the scope of my options. Do a little closet experimentation and see if you can come up with a capsule that suits your lifestyle.

Another possibility is to organize your clothes based on when you would wear them. Dedicate a drawer to workout wear, a section of your closet to office apparel, another for running errands and weekends at home, and a dedicated place for more formal attire. Identify what you’ll be doing and then head to the corresponding area to grab your outfit.

If buying and trying lots of clothes and keeping up with fashion trends is something that’s important to you, consider coming up with some outfit equations or cheat sheets that may work to speed up your getting dressed process. Then you can put together different combos like skirt + cardigan + tights + boots + boho earrings + scarf lickety-split!

Conversely, if choosing which items of clothing to add to your wardrobe is contributing to your decision fatigue, consider looking into services like Stitch Fix. I LOVE Stitch Fix because I don’t have to stand in a store and ruffle through racks trying to decide what to buy! They simply send me 5 items of clothing they think I’ll love, based on my style surveys and Pinterest boards, and then I either keep them or I don’t. I’ve also eased my clothes decisions by choosing to focus on building this 50 piece capsule wardrobe.

decision fatigue planning

If you suffer from decision fatigue I HIGHLY recommend you start keeping some sort of a notebook or planner system. Spend some time with this little guy every night before you go to bed. Write down all the things you’d like to accomplish the next day. Before I found a notebook system that worked for me I would start each day with my mind SO FULL of all the things that needed to get done. I would repeat them over and over and re-order them in terms of importance and then repeat them again. Basically, struggling to decide when to do what. Take it from me, just write it down. I can still work out the order the next day, and migrate things that don’t get done, but having that rough sketch the night before saves me so much brain space.

decision fatigue finances

This one may seem pretty obvious but I think it’s worth mentioning. Set up direct deposit so you don’t have to decide a good time to take your paycheck to the bank. Work out an amount you feel comfortable allocating for savings and schedule automated transfers from your checking account to a savings account. This way you won’t have to decide (as often) when and how much to set aside. Switch things like utilities, internet, and cell phone bills over to autopay so you don’t have to decide when to pay what bill and whether to mail a check or pay online. Easy peasy!

decision fatigue schedule 2

Instead of saying, “I’d like to explore my city more” or “I need to exercise” or “I want to spend time with my friends” and having to DECIDE when in your busy life you’re going to do these things…make COMMITMENTS. Set your priorities and then schedule your priorities. Learning to do this was a HUGE first step for me in investing in myself. Set up a recurring movie night each week with your friends. Declare #adventuresaturday and explore something new with your sweetheart (See picture above!). Set Monday, Wednesday, Friday as your workout days. Invest in your hobbies for an hour each day after dinner. Wanna grow your side hustle? Head to a coffee shop every Sunday, put your phone on airplane mode, and dig in.

Keep up a routine for long enough and it will soon develop into a habit. And you know what that means? It no longer took any thought. No decisions, no fatigue, no brain space.

Just life lived.

Do you suffer from decision fatigue? Have you made any lifestyle changes to limit the amount of decisions you have to make? I want to hear about them!