Friday, June 1, 2018

Book Club: "You Are A Badass"

"You Are A Badass", Jen Sincero
This book was the catalyst for my passion of reading self-improvement books. Jen Sincero does a great job of breaking down her concepts into understandable pieces. Her writing style may not be for everyone. She incorporates some witty humor and personal anecdotes throughout it, so if you're looking for a more straight- forward, less embellished novel, this may not be for you.
My friend recommended this book to me as I was going through a series of crazy life transitions.
I'm not kidding, this book took my perception of life and flipped it a full 180 degrees. I was depressed, anxious, and confused, and I took comfort in the moments reading the book. It was like her words took over my own inner-narrative for a while, and it felt good to let go and have someone tell me how to feel better. If you're ever feeling stressed out or out of control, I suggest having "You Are A Badass" readily available. It is also available in audiobook format. Sometimes on a long commute, there's nothing better than just sippng some tea or coffee or green juice (whatever floats your boat) and listening to an audiobook.
Some of my favorite quotes that inspired me:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

9 Ways To Be More Productive

Somedays, I wake up with the mindset to get sh*t done, while other days I am literal garbage who cannot stop eating Pirate's Booty popcorn and binging Netflix. It's all good, that's just life sometimes. But the trick is to find a balance. It's good for your soul to occasionally tune out and not stress about anything going on. However, if you put things off for too long, then you're just making yourself stress out more later.
So my first step,
1. Break big tasks into smaller chunks.
(I hate the word "chunks" smh)
If you see a huge task like "go through all of my clothes and sell/donate them" you might get overwhelmed and just keep staring at the copious bags of clothes that are sitting there doing no one any good. So break it down. In this case, if there is a lot you're working with. I'd break the number of clothes into groups. Even just going through one bag of clothes may set you up for the stamina to keep doing it.

2. Stop checking your phone every two minutes. I mean it.
I have read so many studies about technology and the way it affects our brain's ability to process information. Do you know that when you look at your phone, it can take your brain up to 25 seconds to get back to the full extent of your attention that you had before you distracted yourself? Yeah. So just stop it. You can use that 25 or more seconds later, when your task is complete, to check your phone.

3. Get as much sleep as possible.
I am not one of those people who can function on no sleep. Nope. Can't do it. I value sleep so much. Maybe it's because I had mono twice so I'm scared if I don't get any sleep it may flare up again... So I guess I'm saying live your life as if getting no sleep has consequences. Cause even if it's not mono, there ARE consequences. Big ones. Chronic sleep deprivation has effects on your heart and brain function. Not to mention it is no fun being around someone who's either too tired to engage in conversation, or too delusional to engage in one that makes sense.

4. Set out your things for the next day.
I like to set out the clothes I'm going to wear the next day, as well as prepare my purse and any other items I need to bring with me. I like to charge my Fitbit next to my bed along with my phone for easy access the next day.

5. Find a way that gets you excited to organize your day. Whether that be bullet journaling or (for us much too lazy for that people like me) a cute whiteboard so I can visualize my month. I also have a whiteboard/corkboard in my bathroom, one side, I plan my day and keep track of random thoughts. I like that whiteboards can be erased. It saves paper, and studies show that there's a real benefit to physically striking through or checking off a to-do list. I also have an awesome planner that I personalized on Etsy. (Link here-- P.S. It's on sale rn) It has entries at the beginning of each month where you can set four main goals, and then breaks it down into a small checklist (breaking it into chunks like #1-- I think we're onto something). It also has an area at the end of the month where you can keep track of your finances (something I've seemed to lack a keen ability in)

6. Journal. Even though I made a joke about bullet journaling above, I'm not opposed to it for occasional journaling. I just love my planner so much and I just feel like wasting time drawing out exactly what my planner already has a little counterproductive. I'd rather spend that time checking off things on my to-do list. I've started a Pinterest board on journaling ideas if you'd like some inspiration. I'm going to do my best to teach myself how to have an aesthetic journal because it seems like somewhat of a challenge for my creative side, and I think it's good in general  to challenge oneself.

7. Prioritize your to-do list. This is so important, I cannot stress it enough. Research has proven that successful people tend to have the habit of crossing the most difficult task off their to-do list first. This is great advice because you can't procrastinate the important things and get a bunch of low-priority random sh*t done, then later convince yourself that you were productive, when really, you just didn't prioritize. Keep a list of "eventually-do"s or "I'll get to that later"s. After you've completed your most difficult task, if you're still feeling productive, give yourself a break and complete an easier task. I always find that getting the most overwhelming thing off my chest makes all other tasks seem more approachable.

8. Give yourself a break. Don't go overboard. Slow your role sometimes. You'd be surprised how efficient giving yourself time to be at peace and not stressed out is for productivity. Your brain is trained to respond to positive reinforcement, so give yourself a reward for your hard work. Do a face mask, watch an episode of "The Office", meditate, read, listen to music, journal... Do what you gotta do to get yourself in your Zen mode. Then get back to work again refreshed.

9. Surround yourself with things that inspire you or make you happy. For instance, I've always loved candles, gold desk supplies and room decor. I've recently gotten into healing crystals, and I have them all lined up on a shelf. I'm looking into crystal grids too. I just love the positive energy they bring. Even if they don't actually posses any properties, it's an aid in setting your intentions for the day and a reminder that you emit your own energy, and you can choose what kind of energy that is. I love dreamcatchers, my Lana del Rey records, etc. When you surround yourself with the things that make you smile as you work, it helps abundantly.
© Samantha Van Sickle. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.