Happy July 1! Ah, I so heart the summer. For one, summer is essentially a synonym for fun. Two, it’s my birthday month, and I LOVE birthday month.
Last summer, probably around this time, I was with Gena at my dad and stepmom’s house in Sag Harbor (cute town in the Hamptons) and I made an epic declaration – at least that’s how it felt at the time. I proudly and loudly announced that I would take one month off next summer (that being now, this summer) and spend it in the Hamptons or down the Jersey shore. It seemed so magical and summery and kid-like for me to give myself a summer vacation at age (almost) 32.
So that was the plan. A month ago, Gena and I had gone as far as finding two places in California to stay for part of July and starting securing dates and everything. Around that time, though, we also decided that we would finally start a business together (something we had been talking about for a while now) in January 2015. Which made me realize that I had 6 months left in the land of organizing, productivity and business coaching. Truth be told, I’m sure G and my business will include those things to a degree, but it won’t at the core of it.
Which made me realize two very important things:
- I didn’t want to “take off” July at all – I actually really wanted to create two awesome programs and support those peeps who really needed my help for my last round of coaching in the land of Embarkability.
- I could be productive and enjoy the summertime all at once! I didn’t need to fly to California or close my computer for 30 days straight to feel energized and ease-filled. And what a relief it was to come to that realization.
So with all of this in mind, here are 4 ways to make sure that your summer feels both magical AND productive.
1. Do something for yourself first thing every morning. On airplanes, they always say to put the oxygen mask on you first and then on a child. And we all know conceptually that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we ultimately won’t be very good at taking care of others. So let’s put that into practice. Every morning, do something for you before you do anything else. Whether it’s meditating, reading, taking a walk, journaling, or making yourself a decadent breakfast. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s to support you AND that it’s the first thing you do in the morning. Why the first thing? Because if not, the day always seems to slip away and you putting you first somehow or another just goes back to being a nice sounding concept.
2. Set boundaries and stick to them. When would you like your workday to begin? When would you like it to end? Do you want to work on Fridays? Get clear on what your ideal day and week look like, and you may want it to look a bit different now that it’s summertime. Maybe you want to spend more time outside during the day, and you’ll do more work later into the early evening. Wherever you want to put boundaries is perfect, as long as it supports what you really want and that it truly feels realistic and doable.
3. Crystalize your vision and then create a simple and ease-filled plan. First, get super clear on your 2 major goals for the month of July (one personal and one professional). That’s it. You can have more than 2 in theory, but if you are going to REALLY commit to seeing these goals through to reality, then I strongly encourage you to limit yourself to two. For example, let’s say your professional goal is that you want to begin working with 4 new clients this month. Now, write every single thing you can think of that could help you connect with these 4 clients. After you’re done with your list, choose the top 3-5 actions that you’re going to take to see your goal through to reality. No more guesswork, and no more wondering what to do when you’re at your desk.
4. Decide what’s magical for you. It’s only fun to actually honor your boundaries around your work if you have fun and magical things to do after you’re done. So write a list of all of the things you would love to do this summer. And then every night, when your computer closes (based on whenever you decide that it should close), pick one of the things on your list. It’ll feel fun, spontaneous, and delightfully magical.
One more thing — I’m so excited and honored to support those people who truly need my help and feel called to work with me for the rest of 2014. If you’re dreaming of ease-filled days that still feel productive, a life that feels magical and freeing, all while working less and playing more, I would love to speak with you to see if working together could be a good fit. If you’re feeling called to connect, if you’re sensing that inner nudge, let’s schedule a time to speak. Here’s link to my online calendar: Let’s chat!
Here’s to making your summer (and beyond!) both magical and productive!
Love and spreadsheets,
Things are changing in the land of Embarkability (only good things!) – so if you would like to receive my emails moving forward, please sign up here.
As a token of my excitement and thanks for staying along for this exciting ride, you’ll receive a new free gift I just created when you sign up. It’s called “My Fav Organizing Resources That Have Truly Changed My Life (and that not many people know about).
On the flip side, if you do not sign up above, you will no longer receive my newsletters after the next few weeks, so be sure to sign up if you want to stay in the loop.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s get to the good stuff.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been in MEGA hustle mode. And when I say that, what I essentially mean is that I’ve been uber-focused, massively productive, and committed to completing certain things no matter what. The thing about hustle-mode is that when you’re that focused, many things can fall to the wayside – organization being one of them.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some super simple ways to make sure that you still accomplish a ton without creating wild chaos in your space, business, and life.
1. Keep everything on one to-do list. It can be really easy to accumulate 13 different to-do lists – some in notebooks, a bunch in email, others on post-its – you get the picture. No more multiple to-do lists! Keep everything in one place so that you’re super clear of everything that needs to get done without wondering whether you’re missing anything.
2. Plan the next day the night before. There’s something very relaxing about planning the next day the night before. The hustle and bustle of the day has ended and now you have some space to be deliberate about how you want tomorrow to go. Map out your must-do’s and figure out how long you think each task will take you. Then plug it in the calendar and bam, your success awaits.
3. Keep your desk clear. Cluttered desk, cluttered mind. Even if you don’t have the chance to go through all of your papers or mail, keep them in an organized and neat pile to the side. When your desk is ransacked with papers, office supplies, and who knows what else, it’s super hard to concentrate and get anything done with ease.
4. Delegate when possible. I so heart delegating. Love love love it. There are so many things on your to do list that you don’t need to be doing, and really that you shouldn’t be doing, especially when you’re in mega hustle mode. Check out Fancy Hands or Task Rabbit and cross tasks off your list within seconds.
5. Clean up at the end of the day. Spend 5-10 minutes at the end of your day just cleaning up – put clothing that’s hanging around in the laundry, straighten up your desk area, erase any remaining junk emails. Those 5-10 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but when you add them up each day, they will really make a huge difference.
Of magic and miracles. It just sounds beyond delicious, right? Who wants more magic? Me please! Miracles? Me again please! I’ve been knee deep in learning, exploring and experiencing the art and true amazingness of manifesting what I want.
A few days ago I woke up and really thought about where I was a year ago that day.What’s funny about it, is that on that day in particular, I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but even amidst all of that, I felt called to reflect upon the difference 365 days has made.
And let me tell you – a difference indeed they’ve made.
May 2013: very single and recently out of a very heavy relationship
May 2014: in a relationship that has exceeded any expectation I’ve ever had of one
May 2013: living in a studio (albeit adorable and cozy) alone with no natural light
May 2014: living in a luxury building with Gena in an apartment with epic views and more natural light than I know what to do with
May 2013: craving a community of sister entrepreneurs like whoa
May 2014: feel super close with quality NYC-based women business owners + part of Nisha Moodley’s Freedom Mastermind
May 2013: didn’t feel totally aligned with my business
May 2014: feel hugely aligned with my business and clear on next steps
Of course, there are things that haven’t changed that much, things that are still very much in progress, and other things that have, dare I say, regressed. But still, if someone said to me in May 2013 that my life would look like it does now in May 2014, I would have thought they had lost their mind – why? because I NEVER would have believed that some of these things would have ever been possible – especially in such a short amount of time.
So here’s my super simple recipe to easy breezy manifesting:
1. Know what you want – the clearer the better. And better yet, write it down on paper somewhere. You don’t need to look at it all day, or even everyday. But be sure to (a) know what you want (b) write it down on paper.
2. Chill out. I am so not good at this. Maybe it’s the native New Yorker in me or it’s just not one of my personal strengths, but chilling out is not something that comes naturally to me. It’s actually something I need to work on every single day. Yes, I need to work hard to chill out. Life’s little ironies.
3. Surrender. This doesn’t mean to stop wanting what you want. Still want it, but don’t be in a mindset of needing it. Approach it with a “wouldn’t it be so awesomely super cool if….” mindset. Feel excited, not desperate.
4. Live life as though what you want is a sure thing. Again, it’s a sure thing because you want it – not because you need it. So what do you need to do to prepare for 5 more clients? Have more money in the bank? Have a more relaxed schedule? What are the steps you can start taking today to bring you closer to being ready for your impending new reality?
So tell me – what are you currently manifesting? And what steps are you taking to prep for it’s impending arrival? Feel free to respond to this email and let me know. I’d love to hear what kinds of magic and miracles are on their way to you.
When’s the last time you felt like you didn’t have “enough time” to get it all done? Was it yesterday? Today? This very moment?
Whenever it may have been, I hear you – and better yet, I got your back.
I’ve always been pretty organized about my time, but recently, I’ve really had to step it up – a lot. Gena and I have been traveling so much that time has become all the more precious. The funny thing is that the less time I feel like I have, the more I end up getting done. There’s something about having deadlines and boundaries that suddenly pushes you to work more efficiently, up your focus, and truly commit to getting you to-do list done.
With that in mind, here are my top 5 secrets to getting things done when you feel like time is really of the essence.
1. Set a timer. As always, simplicity and success go hand in hand. There’s something about feeling like you’re “racing against the clock” that’s going to push you to work more quickly and efficiently. Whatever it is you’re working on now that you want to accomplish, decide on how long you feel like it should take you, grab your iPhone (or anything with a timer), set the clock, and go. I know that the minute the clock starts ticking, I suddenly get into “go mode” and distractions no longer get in my way.
2. Choose a juicy incentive. There’s nothing like giving yourself something to look forward to to push you to take action fast. Are you stalling on writing a blog post? Have you been avoiding your email inbox like the plague? Give yourself something super exciting to look forward to once you check that task off your list. The juicier the incentive, the more quickly you’ll work to getting it done asap.
3. Make plans. You know how the day you leave for a trip, you suddenly – and seemingly magically – get all of this “stuff” done that has been on your to-do list forever? As with #1, there’s magic in having a deadline – self-imposed or otherwise. Leave less white space on your calendar and even though it may seem counterintuitive, you will get more done in the space that remains.
4. Share your commitment. When you let other people know that you’re committed to getting something done, it makes you all the more likely to actually do it. Just yesterday on Facebook, I spontaneously invited people to participate in a “Get It Done Hour” – people said what they were going to get done over the next hour and then I checked back in with them 60 minutes later. There’s power in having other people hold you accountable.
5. Don’t do it. Enter delegating and outsourcing – two of my most favorite words. Whether you enlist a friend, an assistant or a company to do something for you, handing tasks off to other people can be one of the most efficient and empowering ways to get more stuff done.
With the launch of The Organized Entrepreneur, and The Organized Entrepreneur Community, I’ve also decided to create The Ultimate Organized Entrepreneur, a program for the entrepreneur who is sick and tired of feeling overwhelmed by her schedule, her to-do lists, and never feeling like there is enough time in the day.
It comes with a 100% money-back guarantee that within 90 days, you’ll feel calm and in control of your time, and free from to-do list overwhelm. Being that I’m giving 110% to each person who signs up, I’m only accepting 10 people. Two spots have already been filled. You can find out more here: www.embarkability.com/uoe.
love and spreadsheets,
And we’re back! The homebody in me has never been happier. As much as our trip to Hong Kong was a mega adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience, there’s nothing more wonderful than coming home to your cozy couch, a homemade green smoothie, and your own bed. Can I get an AMEN?
Shortly after we arrived home, I snuck a picture of Gena with our cat Gray. I think both of them were super happy we were home too.
Part of the reason I was so glad to be home is that when we were away, I felt super anxious a lot of the time. I couldn’t have felt more outside of my comfort zone. On most days, I experienced a panic attack – or two. If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you can imagine how not fun that was. If you haven’t, just know that everyday I experienced very high levels of anxiety that often seemed to come “out of nowhere” and that felt very effortful to manage.
By the second day we were in China, instead of just getting all flustered and annoyed at what was happening, I decided to take a step back and ask myself WHY this was happening. Because after all, everything that happens to us carries with it a lesson, a blessing, or both. So instead of focusing all of my attention on my shallow breathing or my racing thoughts, I started to do some investigating. And the answer actually came to me pretty quickly.
Let’s rewind a few weeks for me to explain the answer. I was in Costa Rica with my Freedom Mastermind sisters for one of Nisha Moodley’s epic retreats. One of the exercises we did was to describe what we craved most in our lives. Then Nisha offered each of us an intention to carry with us moving forward. Mine? To feel more secure within myself.
AH yes, so of course I was experiencing all of this anxiety. This was the perfect opportunity for me to practice feeling more secure within myself and to show myself that, even in the throes of a panic attack, I can find security within myself. A challenge indeed, but such a blessing too. So I did just that. I did whatever I could think of to feel more secure and safer within myself, my body, and my circumstances.
Which then lead me to start thinking about how, whether you suffer from panic attacks or not, we all experience some level of anxiety as entrepreneurs. Whether around money (how am I going to pay next month’s rent?) or time (how is it 5pm already, and I’ve got nothing on my to-do list done!) or “competition” (she seems to be doing everything perfectly and I’m such a mess), fear seems to show up quite a lot for us entrepreneurs.
And when fear strikes, you often need a Mary Poppins bag full of resources to help you move forward. Because what happens a lot of the time to too many of us is that when fear strikes, we stop. We get stuck. We freak out. We go into overwhelm mode and don’t do anything about it. We just sit and stare and dwell on how stuck we feel. Now of course, we eventually get back up, dust off our yoga pants and move on with our business. But sometimes, we’ve waited so long that, in the meanwhile, we’ve missed opportunities, we’ve lost potential clients, and while we’re standing up again, we still feel pretty defeated.
Well, I say that it’s time for all of this to be part of your past! To help you, I’ve written a list of 10 things for you to do when you may find yourself in freak out mode yet again.
1. Tap it out. EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique) has been a serious game changer for me. I’ve bought books on it, but the best resources I’ve found are online. My fav go-to EFT guru is Brad Yates. Just google him and whatever you want to work on, and he’ll have a video on it. AND if you don’t know what EFT is, here’s some more info on it.
2. Breathe it out. Ah, deep breathing. Works every time. You can’t take deep breaths AND feel anxiety at the same time. It’s scientifically impossible. Sit, close your eyes, and breathe until you feel more grounded and centered in yourself again.
3. Talk it out. Whether the talking is to your significant other, your best friend, your coach or your therapist, talking out what’s going on in your mind is so so helpful because you no longer feel like you’re carrying the burden of your anxiety alone. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I think it takes a village to take care of a person. Let people help you. We all need help, and “we” includes you.
4. Journal it out. I heart me some journals. I’ve been journalling since high school, so I’m going on a good 15 years or so of writing my feelings out on paper. For some people, this comes as second nature. For others, not so much. Either way, I invite you to explore adding this to your toolkit of calm and ease. Moving whatever is floating around in your head onto paper can truly do wonders.
5. App it out. I am obsessed with iPhone apps. Wildly obsessed. Why? Because there are so many good ones! In fact, I have a whole page on my iPhone JUST for relaxation/manifestation/meditation apps. No joke. Here’s a pic if you need any suggestions of which ones to download.
6. Walk it out. The power of a good walk. Getting outside and breathing in some fresh air is a quick and easy way for you to feel better fast. Grab your headphones, your fav playlist or podcast, and walk off all of that nervous energy.
7. Play it out. Do something fun! I recommend you write a fun list before your next moment of nervousness so that you already have some ideas in your back pocket. Doing something fun helps because it forces you to focus on something new. And distraction sometimes is the way to go when other things don’t seem to be working.
8. Hug it out. Have I told you yet about oxy hugs? So recently, Gena and I read somewhere that when a hug lasts over 20 seconds, it releases oxytocin in both you and the other person. So now, we make it a point to give each other oxy hugs multiple times a day. Among many other things, oxytocin reduces stress and increases bonding.
9. Laugh it out. You can’t be laughing hysterically and in panic mode at the same time. Again, scientifically impossible. Whether you want to watch the latest baby-has-food-all-over-her-face YouTube video or your fav episode of How I Met Your Mother, laughing can really be the best medicine.
10. Dance it out. Who doesn’t like a good dance party? Give yourself 5 minutes of jamming out to your fav song and I promise you’ll feel better. Dancing releases energy and music uplifts you. It’s the perfect combo.
Another thing that totally helps when it comes to managing and preventing anxiety is being organized. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m in the midst of creating an awesome program, called The Organized Entrepreneur, to help entrepreneurs organize the many aspects of their business. To help me create a program that will help as many people as possible, I would love YOUR input. Would you please complete this super short form? (its only one question – and will take you 15 seconds to complete) I’m so appreciative of your support as you’ll be helping me help so many more people!
I’m so excited to help add simplicity, organization, and ease to your business and life.