How to Break Down Your Goals

Whatever project you have in mind, whether it’s writing a book, planning a big dinner party or starting your own side hustle, these big ideas can quickly become overwhelming. Thinking about all the work you have left to do can make you feel like giving up before you even begin..

To help me feel less overwhelmed I  use a little trick called “backtiming.” This is a concept I picked up from my day job as a TV news producer. If your show finishes at 11pm, that’s it, you can’t over run. So to make the news work on time we start with the end in mind and work backwards. This guarantees that you’ll finish on time.

This method has multiple real world applications, if you’re a whiz in the kitchen you probably use this method to ensure all the various elements of your dish will finish at the same time. You can also use backtiming to plan out your future goals. For more on how backtiming works check this out.

It also  helps to break up your goals into smaller, more manageable pieces. You can focus on one of these lists at a time to prevent yourself from getting distracted by all the other pieces of the puzzle. Read more

I Finally Figured Out How to Meditate

I’ve tried to meditate lots of times.

I’ve gotten into the groove once or twice, but it just never stuck.  I’ve done countless stories at work as a senior health producer about all the benefits and it sounds great.

One of those benefits is better focus and increased productivity.  And you KNOW I want that. But I just couldn’t figure it out.

I always struggle to switch my brain off and so I’ve never had the “enlightening moment” everyone always talks about.

Well it turns out I was doing it wrong.

My intentions were all screwed up.

But thanks to Oprah (of course) and an all day meditation retreat with world renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg I figured it out.

If you know me personally or have read my book Listful Thinking, you know  I have a generally positive and sunny outlook on the world. It’s the thing that many people tell me is one of my best qualities. Read more

List of Surprises to Make Someone’s Day

One of my favorite past times when I was growing up was receiving mail from my grandmother. She would often send me cutouts from magazines and newspapers with cute animals and nice sayings. As a kid receiving mail is always quite exciting and it would make me feel special knowing that she had pick these cutouts just for me.

I’ve always tried to carry on this tradition. I often send thank you notes and “thinking of you” cards whenever I can to let others know that I appreciate them. Plus like my grandmother I like to include a little token to make people feel loved.

Thank you notes are quite a rarity these days so it has even more of an impact than it might have been  20 years ago. So if there’s anyone you want to show gratitude to, here are some ideas for small tokens you can send.

  1. A favorite recipe, perhaps for a dish that you have enjoyed together.
  2. Discount coupons for products or goods that you know they buy, or would like to try.
  3. Beautiful pressed flowers or leaves from your garden or a nearby park.
  4. A copy of a favorite knitting or cross-stitch pattern
  5. A coaster from a bar/restaurant that you would go to together
  6. Seeds of plants
  7. Photos (who prints photos anymore? You do!)
  8. Keychain or magnets are good, especially as little souvenirs if you live in different countries
  9. Maps
  10. Puzzle letters, which you write can a message on the back of.

A Scientifically-Proven Recipe For Achieving More

Think back to your most productive day this past week. Now ask yourself: On that morning, what did you do differently?

What did you eat for lunch that afternoon? What strategies did you use to silence distractions, eliminate procrastination, and stay focused all day long?

The truth is, most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to our daily routine.

But what if you knew precisely the right formula? What if you had a scientifically-proven recipe for achieving top performance? What if you could bottle that one perfect day, and uncork it at will?

If you’ve ever wondered how you can take your performance to the next level, I have something that I know you’re going to love. It’s an incredible event called the Peak Work Performance Summit, and I’ve been excited about it for months. Read more

Eat The Frog to Get More Done

Do you ever get that feeling when you first wake up, the fear of knowing that today you have to do THAT task.

The thing you’ve been putting off for weeks now and the deadline has finally arrived. Maybe it’s paying your bills or deciding which contractor to sign with.

I’m a natural procrastinator myself so I will try to do these kinds of tasks at the last minute and if it has to be done on a particular day then you know I’ll be dreading it.

But there is another way.

A few weeks ago during my Listful Thinking MasterClass my web designer and media strategist Cass hosted my class because she has a very unique way of looking at productivity and I thought they would learn a lot from her. And they did! During Cass’s talk, while discussing the perils of procrastination, she explained her belief that you have to “eat the frog”

What?

Eat the Frog is a productivity concept in which you do the tasks you want to do the least  first. By getting the awful tasks out of the way your burden for the day is lifted and you can actually enjoy the remainder of it. And be more productive because you crossed off something that was looming large.

This simple concept really resonates with people and the fact that it frees up the rest of your day is a built in reward that encourages you to banish those procrastination habits!

Ok so what task will you use to Eat the Frog today?