Put Yourself First This Year

When did more become better? Longer hours, bigger sacrifices, fewer hours of sleep. This is becoming the new norm for many people and even I get excited when I see an article that claims to have the secret schedule of the most successful people. But the truth is you don’t need to be getting up early to go to yoga, work a 10 hour day then get home and make a freshly-prepared home cooked meal, before you rush of to your child’s clarinet recital. I’m not the only one who has noticed this growing trend, it was a big topic of discussion at the Listful Thinking afternoon tea event and it was raised in my friend Cass McCrory’’s recent podcast interview.

Buying into the “more is more” philosophy can set you up for failure. It can lead to blaming yourself that if you just push a little more then you’ll be able to achieve all your goals. That’s not always necessarily true.

Truthfully, however, working harder can only help you up to a certain point. Beyond that it you may only get diminishing returns. This is the point  when the benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.

After my appendix burst, I started taking a ‘just enough’ approach. I learned this when I interviewed Heidi Hanna, a stress expert, in my book Listful Thinking but didn’t really apply it til now. She told me to make a “just enough” list instead of bogging it down with lots and lots of to-dos. The list contains only the minimum requirements that I would feel like just enough after completing them.

The free time I have left over can be spent doing things I enjoy or that I want to work on. I find that in the long run prioritizing  my mental and physical well being, instead of just working hard all the time, has been a key part of my success. When you have more room to breath you have to more time to:

  • Think creatively
  • Be inspired with new idea
  • Concentrate on the task at hand

I’m challenging you to put yourself first this week! Make a ‘just enough list’ for today and share it with me on social media. (@ListProducer on Twitter, @ListProducer on Instagram, or here on Facebook) I’d also love to hear about the other ways you prioritize your well being.

Rest is the New Hustle

Rest is the new hustle (1)I’m back in action!  Well mostly…and more slowly but I’m back.

Thank you for your patience while I disappeared from my blog and social media and basically the world to recuperate after my appendix burst.

Ever have one of those experiences where you know it’s changing your life — right as it’s happening?

But you’re just not totally clear on how it will alter you in the end?

I guess that happens with big life experiences like getting married and having kids.  But turns out — it also happens when your health is on the line.  Something that until this point, I’ve had no experience with.

I thought I had food poisoning at the end of January.  But I’ve had food poisoning before and I’d never had such intense stomach pains with it.  But I just figured it would go away.  

It didn’t and I ended up in the emergency room with a ruptured appendix!  Boy was that painful.

Apparently this doesn’t happen a lot anymore because people get to the hospital well before this tiny organ has a chance to explode. Read more

Feed Your Organizational Soul With These Photos

Occasionally I get inquiries by other productivity or time management sites, asking my opinion on lists and such. However, last week was the first time a design website has reached out to me!  I’m used to coming up with my top 3 to-do list tips. But this was a fun project to come up with some of the visual stuff that inspires me.  I make a vision board every year with photos of goals and things I love — it’s like a visual to-do list.

Not so surprisingly I like things where design meets functionality as you’ll see from the article. Keep in mind, when you’re living in New York City every space saver counts! Here’s the article to check out some of my favorite picks.

Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics

4 Rituals to Have a Productive Day

mountain-918637_640I’m a procrastinator by heart, so in order to make sure I get everything done — I force myself into a routine.

I always wake up at the same time and stand in the same spot on the subway platform — to ensure I take the quickest route. These little things help make my day more productive.

Yes – getting to know where the doors are going to stop on the platform only saves me one minute or so everyday. But it makes me feel like my commute is going faster. Which puts me in a good mood and helps to kick start my day.

Here are some other little ways you can ensure you’ll have a productive day:

Make Your Bed – I know, I know I sound like your Mom. But taking a few minutes in the morning to make your bed look nice doesn’t just give you that feel- good, post clean up feeling. It gives you something to look forward to coming home to!  And it’s the first thing you can check off your to-do list for the day – getting your momentum going.  Read more

The Productivity Hangup You Probably Have Too

lady drinksA few weeks ago I was invited to a dinner party to celebrate my book Listful Thinking.  My friend and colleague Joya Dass runs a women’s networking group called LadyDrinks and hosted the event.  

So I was thrilled when she asked me to recreate the magic with an afternoon tea theme in Princeton, NJ.  (You know how much I love tea if you read this blog regularly! So I was all in on this.)

Most of the women at the tea were professional moms who juggle careers in industries ranging from technology to medicine. They all had one question – “How can you balance everything?”

It’s not easy, I struggle with this too and it’s only me and my husband at this point!  

One of the pitfalls and mindset issues I noticed coming up time and time again as we went around the room chatting was the idea of setting boundaries. I think mothers who work outside of the home tend to feel guilty about not spending enough time with their families. And then they feel guilty about not working enough when they are with their families.  That’s a recipe for overwhelm and disaster.  

Taking time for yourself is super important for your productivity and for your sanity.  Here’s the fix: boundaries.  Read more