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Productivity

Finding Stillness in the Bullet Journal

March 16, 2016

Mindfulness through bullet journaling

I’ve spent more time than is lady-like walking back and forth between rooms because I forgot what I was doing. I’ve worried so much about forgetting something that it was normal for me to lie awake in bed reminding myself of it on repeat, frantically typing it out in iPhone Notes, only to forget to look at my notes in the morning.

As a mother, entrepreneur, community activist and artist, the amount of random work and ideas I have to juggle can be detrimental to my projects, my loved ones, and my health. The stress levels get high when you have the short-term memory of a goldfish.

I’ve preached about it: the key to getting shit done is mindfulness. I can’t think of an instance where multitasking allowed quality, precise execution of a task or project. Yet, as all my fellow creatives know, it’s really difficult to remain in the moment and on-task when you I have a lot on the mind: ballet lessons, dirty sheets, crusty paint brushes, client contracts, etc.

My entire life I’ve had daily planners to help me organize my tasks; it helps to see obligations on paper. I’ve had routines, rhythms, and check-lists… but something has always been missing— my life spans further than dates and little to-do lists.

Enter the Bullet Journal– brain-child of Ryder Carroll. The Bullet Journal is quite simply any blank book, and you write your life in it. It not only encourages order and productivity, but it acts as a record. Many of us have likely used most of Ryder’s techniques in the past, but it’s unlikely that you’ve used them all in conjunction.

To get the basic gist of it check out Ryder’s Bullet Journal video:

If you are like me and don’t watch videos, here are the basics:

  • Have one notebook for everything: your schedule, lists and notes. Use your favorite kind of notebook so that you really enjoy using it and carrying it around.
  • Three main sections: (there are more, explained here):

    • Index: when you get a fresh new journal you reserve the first few pages for an index, then number each page thereafter. As you go along you add your different page topics to the index. Topics spanning several pages are indexed as such: “Topic Name: 7-12.” Your Index is an integral part because of the nature of the Bullet Journal: since you go page-by-page all your topics will be mixed up.
    • Monthly Log: the Monthly Log is made at the start of each month, and consists of one spread– a calendar on the left and a task dump on the right. The calendar can either offer up space to plan out events and tasks, or act as an actually diary of sorts by only jotting things down after they’ve already happened. The task page is comprised of things you want to get to that month, or were carried over from the previous month. I’ve shared a sample of the Monthly in the photo above.
    • Daily Log: the date is the name of your list, and your list will likely include tasks, events, and notes. Since you never know how much space you’ll need in a given day, don’t start the following day’s header (the date) until the previous day is complete.
    • Collections: collections are topics that you’ll likely revisit and add to periodically, like that “Movies to Watch” page. Other ideas might be a wish list, helpful websites, or a brain-dump of creative concepts.
  • Log quickly: put most of your thought into the title of the page (ie: Movies to Watch), and not a lot of thought into the short-sentence items in the list.
  • Use a few bullets: Ryder’s bullets are as follows… Tasks are “•”, notes are “–”, and events/appointments are “o”. If you complete a task you “x” it out. Now… I’d really recommend watching the video to find out more about other symbols and signifiers.

bullet journal monthlies

Click here for more details on the process, Ryder’s way.

The Bullet Journal changed my life because it brought me to center. Whenever my brain needs dumped I have a place to let it spill out, and when I need to refer to it I don’t have to go searching for that old envelope I scribbled on. Everything is in one place. My one journal houses my household task list, my design concepts, my art timelines, my garden plans, my packing lists, my recipes, my million-dollar ideas and and and. Because it’s a blank book, it’s constantly morphing into whatever I need it to be, depending on how my day, week, or month is panning out. Not only has my productivity taken a lift-off, but I’ve found that the space within any tasks feels bigger, with more room to move and more air to breathe.

Here’s my set-up:

bullet journal weekly

Weekly Spread

This is my main dashboard. It’s my game-plan for the week.

First off, I use boxes for tasks instead of dots because I feel better when I can fill them in.

At the top of my Weekly Spread I list four topics: Goals, Next Week, Dinners and Projects. These sections highlight my bigger ideas, so that in the sections below I can break them down into smaller tasks.

The four bottom columns include Work, PCSI (volunteer work), Home, and Other. These categories list tasks and appointments, although I mostly depend on my Apple Calendar to remind me of appointments and dates. I’ll put the first letter of the day of the week next to all appointments and task-items that have deadlines.

From here I will transfer items over to my daily pages as they come around, usually breaking the tasks down further into smaller items.

bullet journal dailies

Daily Pages

I draw out a timeline box and note the date down for my “dailies” either the night before or first thing in the morning, then dump my brain of all the things I should/want to do that day. Next I review my Weekly spread to see if I need to transfer anything over. As the day progresses I sometimes add notes about work, orders, communications I may have had, etc. with a dot as my “notes” bullet.

In the right-hand column I write down my meal plan(s) for the day, important reminders, and any notable things that happened that day.

After my mind is all cleared out I go back and assign a code to the left of the boxes if they correspond with a specific chunk of my day. For example, I’ll put a little “o” next to my Work & PCSI tasks, a “+” next to household tasks, and a triangle next to my errands. I then separate out my timeline at the top of my Daily entry into chunks of time using those icons.

I always create a timeline at the start of the day, even if I don’t really need one. It helps me either 1) stay productive, or 2) keep myself from working. Yep. I need help on the latter.

This timeline and coding system is one of the biggest things that has helped with encouraging mindful productivity in my life. It allows me to quickly see what items I should be focusing on without having to glance over any of the other notes.

Other Spreads

I thought I’d just share some of my most useful collections. If these spreads look like they took a shit-ton of time, well, then they probably did. I’m not going to lie. I can get pretty crazy about my journal at times.

Some people in the [massive] Bullet Journal world have multiple journals for different areas of their lives. However, I’ve found that having one book keeps me more present-minded. My one bound book is like my coffee and my baby monitor— I don’t have to think about keeping it with me at all times, wherever I go. It takes me one to two months to use up a whole notebook, and then if I need to reference anything (anything at all) I can just pull out the notebook from that period of time… and then I giggle and smile to myself because my Bullet Journal system is awesome and everyone wishes they had one.

bullet journal packing list & home docket bullet journal cleaning routine and gardening plans bullet journal recipe spread bullet journal habit tracker

Supplies

These are the supplies I use, or similar items (and I get a commission if you buy using these links):

Inspiration

Here are a few of my favorite Instagram accounts. I forced myself to only list 3 so that there was a limit and people wouldn’t feel sad:

  • Kim – TinyRayofSunshine
  • Dee – DecadeThirty
  • Trine – LogthatLife

For more outside inspiration click here for Kim’s super resourceful page.

Lastly, but apparently not least, I’m going to share with you the link to my planner Instagram account, and please, if you’re going to laugh because I post photos daily of my journal and not my children or animals or food, call me up so that we can laugh about it together: Honeyrozes

Meditations Productivity

Ten Ways to Practice Mindfulness without Meditating

January 29, 2016

It’s been a long time, blog world. Drie and I like to make things, and that’s the problem with being a Maker: you always want to make something new. We made a blog, but then we wanted to make other super sweet stuff. I’ve been busy making art and a school, and Drie’s been cooking up lyra routines and a Kickstarter campaign to launch her and Blue’s physical location for all the other stuff they make and collect. You kind of need to set priorities as a creative, and unfortunately, blogging hasn’t made the cut as of recently.

I grew up thinking that the key to super-charged creative productivity was multi-tasking, but now I’m finding that to be productivity’s antagonist. The opposite— being completely present in the moment— is the key to productivity. Yet, being present, as we all know, is one of the most challenging thing for humans to do. It takes a lot of practice! Practice like meditation!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried and tried to love meditating, but it is just such a drag! I’ve made resolutions and tried to impose rules to force myself to meditate, but nothing has worked. I’d much rather be doing something that gets me excited! That makes me jump out of bed and gets my fingers tingling! The thought of meditating— that scary peaceful place of total presence and mastery of the mind— makes me fabricate all sorts of excuses to the point where I’ll stay in bed all morning to avoid it.

I have practiced meditation for weeks at a time, and it was cool. I encouraged everyone I encountered to meditate. It centered me and made me really pleasant to be around, so I know the benefits and how it can change your life. But I’ve also done a lot of other things that are sort of like meditating, they are a lot more FUN, and they seem to have a similar effect on my life. Lately I’ve returned to “using” several of these methods in my daily life, and I’ve been seeing that the practice of mindfulness necessary to engage in these activities has been seeping into the other areas of my life as well. My overall happiness has increased: I treat my body better, feel more confident and capable, and of course, I feel more productive.

So, I made a list of ten of those things for all of you and here they are:

Get tattooed

Getting tattooed can be a great practice in mindfulness, as you bring your awareness to the specific source of pain to relieve the other parts of your body of tension.

Snowboard

Taking the risk to endanger your physical body to snowboard with grace requires deliberant trust in yourself and the natural forces. The body and mind need to loosen and relax, as you commit to the process, breathing out any fear, and offering up true vulnerability to the mountain.

Rock climb 

Rock climbing subjects you to the real, physical sensations of fear and stress to remind you of the power of breath and the present moment.

Walk

The simple experience of taking alternating steps with your left and right feet helps create a meditative state that allows you to easily be present in your body and the present moment, which can be just as profound of an experience as seated meditation.

Chant

The act of vocal repetition removes you from the physical state into the ether, in a much more present, non-judgemental place of sound.

Dance

Dancing is one of the most natural, instinctual, and easily-obtainable ways to Be Here Now. Plus, you can do it with anybody who can stand on their legs, including your dog.

Journal

Writing can curb your restless mind and cultivate awareness of your overall experience. It simultaneously provides an archive or your mindfulness practice while sharpening your ability to attend to the present moment.

Play an instrument

Regardless of ability or experience, any musician can use music practice as a meditation of completely absorbed yet relaxed concentration. The act of play not only increases your ability on your instrument, but you are also creating a sanctuary within yourself which is away from your normal active state of mind.

Draw from life

By pencil/pen drawing the things around us, we move past looking (labeling of objects) to seeing (becoming part of the experience of being). Drawing is an extraordinary practice that emphasizes the wonder of “ordinary” existence.

Eat

Eating mindfully is one of the easiest and most convenient practices to remind yourself of the miracle of life.

What things do you do to bring the practice of mindfulness into your everyday life?

 

* photo of the incredible Tasha Rayburn by Chris Black of Black Shot Photography

Inspiration Productivity

A Summer of Abundance and Growth

September 25, 2015

Paintings by Ursala Hudson

Waves of monsoons resulted in a lush, thriving summer that offered abundance in all areas of our family’s life. I like a state of constant movement — analyzing, brainstorming, and producing. I generally try not to think about how much is getting done because otherwise I get anxiety that I’m not creating enough. Therefore, it wasn’t immediately obvious if we’d even accomplished much over the past three months, but as I began listing the projects that Drie and I completed, I finally felt like I could take a deep breath and relax. Here is the recap of the projects we worked on this summer.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Paintings & Collages

I started the summer by returning to my oil painting, but oil painting requires patience and rotating through paintings while the others dry, and sometimes I just want instantaneous results! So I turned to painting in acrylics and making collages. It was so refreshing, and I just might keep it up until my little girls are bigger and I get larger chunks of time at my easel.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Ghost Rabbits dress-up 

Drie has collected quite the stockpile of amazing vintage garments over the last year, and it completely fills her entire guest room. One of our favorite past-times with two of our best friends, Betsy and Emilie, is over-dressing for parties and events. Emilie and Betsy (sisters) were both in town this summer, so Drie jumped at the opportunity to have a dress-up party, even though we had nowhere to go. The four of us rummaged through Drie’s racks and shelves and took photos for her blog that accompanies her vintage Etsy store, Ghost Rabbits. It was a little hard to part with the pieces I modeled, but I’ve scored some other beauties off of her in the months since. See the Ghost Rabbits blog post for more photos.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Charter school touring

I’ve been working on opening a K-12 charter school with a group of parents here in Pagosa, and this summer we were able to travel around Colorado and New Mexico, visiting innovative schools to gain inspiration before we wrote our own academic model into the charter application. The above photo is from a Montessori farm school in Española, New Mexico, that centers its curriculum around growing food.

Charter schools are public schools that do not discriminate nor charge tuition, and they are exempt from many of the state regulations that conventional public schools must follow. Our school won’t be opening until the fall of 2017, because the charter application takes about a year to write, and then the school takes about a year to open, but our group is right on track! Follow our adventures on the Pagosa Charter School Initiative’s blog by clicking here.

This charter school project has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve experienced in my life, mostly because it’s showed me that the first step in a creative project is usually the toughest: committing. And then, as long as you have a work plan, you have a pretty strong chance of succeeding.

aerial

Aerial

Drie has been doing aerial training for a few years now, picking it up at Cirque School LA. When she returned to Pagosa last winter she had assumed she’d be sacrificing certain luxuries by moving here, including an aerial community, but almost immediately found out that she wasn’t going to have to give up on the silks after all. Her friend Sariah, whom she took her yoga teacher training from, offers non-formal aerial training at her gym where Drie also takes yoga classes.

Aerial is a fun, unique, and graceful way to stay in shape, and I’m just a tad bit envious at Drie’s strength and commitment to it. Drie is innately dedicated to caring for her body and mind in ways that express her individuality and femininity, and this summer of rekindling her love for the silks is just the beginning of what’s to come.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Art with the daughter

One of my fondest memories growing up in this little town I [still] live in was submitting my artwork into the county fair each August. At our county fair you can enter one item in every category of their display competition, but since this was Amelie’s first year, we focused on making one quality piece of work. She carved an Easy-to-Cut “suicide” block print with my guidance, and I only directly helped with the printing. When we saw the blue ribbon hanging from the frame after judging, we were both pretty proud.

We also did quite a few other art projects this summer, mostly creating huge messes of tiny cut-up paper, and a couple collaborative paintings. Read more about painting in acrylics with children here.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Folk festival 

This year my long-time buddy and graphic design colleague, Jacque, invited me to take photos for Folk West at the Four Corners Folk Festival. I haven’t taken full advantage of this local music festival in the past, but this year I had a back-stage full-access pass, with late-night shows and all meals included, and I fell completely in love. I went wherever, whenever I pleased, and heard the bands play from as close to the stage as was possible. The late-night performances were my favorite because of the small audiences and less formal set lists. The above photo is the fiddle player from the Oh Hello’s, who had all the young girls in the crowd swooning. I sure hope I get invited back next year!

vintage dress restoration

Vintage restoration

On her road trips Drie finds all sorts of delectable treasures, but oftentimes they have been discarded due to damage. The price makes them hard to pass up, so Drie takes them home and works her magic, restoring them to their previous glory. Restoration is time and research intensive, but always a rewarding experience. The amazing dress above was completely tea-stained before Drie spent a couple days giving the dress tender-loving baths and drying it in the shade. Other restored items are mixed in with her other treasures in her vintage store.

reflecting on the seasons for future growth

Gardening

Growing food at 7,000 feet above sea level is really fucking hard. In some climates you can just throw seeds around and pretty soon there’s stuff growing everywhere, but there’s only about 3 months of a growing season here in Pagosa. We have all four seasons, drought, the intense sun, and the wildlife that all require extra measures to be taken. Last year I managed to get a pretty abundant garden going before the deer ate 2/3 of it by mid-July. It was pretty heart-breaking. So, this year my dad helped me build a hoop-house. We clamped plastic to the ends, and put a shade cloth over the top, and not only has it kept the animals out, but nothing got fried by the sun! The shade cloth lets in most of the rain too, so I really only watered while my seedlings were coming up. Next spring I’m going to put plastic over the top to prolong my growing season by a couple months, but I’m not quite ready to water through the winter yet, so the shade cloth will be coming down any day now.

Stone Currents projects

This blog has been one of our largest projects this summer, as anticipated at the start-up. Drie and I were experiencing a minor disconnect, with her living *gasp* eight minutes away, and the babies napping seemingly all day long. Our blog projects and adventures force us to stay in contact and encourage us to create cool stuff both together and individually. Here were the summer projects we previously blogged about:

With the goal of inspiring our readers to reflect on periods of creativity, I plan to do more seasonal project recaps in the future. This sort of compilation of achievements is a great method to bring awareness to areas you neglect while simultaneously honoring your accomplishments. It can be a motivating and a mindful way to enter new phases with updated goals and a clearer vision. What have you produced recently?

Productivity

Clipboard Planning: Week & Month

July 24, 2015

Clip Board Planner Pages download

I’m a planner nerd. I’ve experimented with more planners than I can count. Numerous lists are the only way I can get everything done that I want to while running my graphic design business and being a stay-at-home-mom. Last year I created an entire planner system to organize my whole life by the project, year, month, day and hour. When I was using my planner I was incredibly productive, but it was in this big ole binder that I’d leave at people’s houses or forget in whatever bag matched my outfit that day. And I secretly loved when it got lost. If it was out of sight then I’d just avoid looking at it and I could just laze around. So I decided to abandon it.

I transitioned to my phone, which was a promising shift. All of my appointments and notes were synced between my phone, laptop, and desktop computer and I never missed a meeting. While the “Reminders” iPhone app is great for making lists, it wasn’t in my face. The calendar and Reminders app were both too far removed from my physical environment.

I decided to try a hybrid of the two systems, clamped to a $.99 clipboard, and it’s working fabulously.

planning02

planner03

The new planner sheets I designed are a mix between two of my favorite planner systems: the Uncalendar and the Planner Pad.  I leave it at my desk or on the kitchen counter for easy reference, and there’s page-order flexibility since the sheets aren’t bound. From the Uncalendar I took the blank boxes, so you can customize the planner to your own lifestyle. From the Planner Pad I took their funnel system of first listing your tasks in the top row, dividing the tasks up into days in the second row, and then inserting the tasks into your schedule in the bottom row. I also added a daily tracker area for repetitive daily tasks, which I like to use to create habits (ie: daily yoga, art, vitamins, etc).

I still enter my appointments and meetings into my iPhone since I can’t bring the clipboard with me wherever I go, but I copy them onto my tangible planner so I can easily schedule out my day hour-by-hour. Is that totally insane? Scheduling by the hour? It may be, but it’s the only way I can maintain mindful productivity.

If you’re looking for a new way to bring order to your life, download this first little PDF of planner pages and let me know how it goes for you! This first packet of clipboard planner sheets only includes the weekly, monthly and yearly views, but keep checking back because I’ll be sharing my other project planning and budgeting sheets soon!

planner04

Clipboard Planner Sheets

Download ORANGE

Download TURQUOISE

Notes: I print my sheets selecting the “borderless” option in the Print Settings, using paper that’s at least 30 lbs in weight, though these are only personal preferences. I use a bit of the Bullet Journal planning system also, to prioritize and categorize items.

Body & Mind Productivity

Choosing Your Own Story

July 13, 2015

On re-writing your stories to better serve you

My mother often questions why her children are so lazy. She’s done this my whole life, and it’s quite understandable. My mom has a fierce amount of energy and accomplishes more in a given day than anyone I’ve ever met. Have you heard about how the average worker is only productive for 3 hours per day? Well, that’s not my mom. She’s productive for about 16 hours per day. So, when she compares her children to herself, of course we’re slow!

I can’t say for sure that my mom’s claims have had a huge impact on my life, but a study done in the late 60s demonstrated how labels can have profound effects on people. Basically, scientists Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson told a some teachers at the beginning of the school year that a few of their students could be expected to have an intellectual boom within the year, even though they were really just average students. But when the students were given IQ tests at the end of the year their scores were significantly higher than the rest of the class. The teachers had unconsciously encouraged their “special” students to excel, spent more time with them, and were enthusiastic about teaching them. With the extra attention, the students felt more capable and intelligent, and performed accordingly. A simple story had a great impact.

I’ve always accepted my mom’s statements as truth: I’m slow and inefficient! I was satisfied with fulfilling her story, because no one expected more of me, and I didn’t need to risk suffering if the world didn’t like what I was producing. However, after recently taking inventory of my life accomplishments, I noticed that I’ve done too much cool shit for a lazy person. After realizing that my mom has really just been telling me stories, a great weight was lifted off my shoulders; I felt productive and able. Inspired by a friend, I then began looking inward to see what other stories was I believing, whether from someone else’s projection, or from comparison to other people. I wrote a list.

On re-writing your stories to better serve you

The ego makes judgements because it thinks those stories will protect. For example, “I’m a terrible writer,” translates into, “as long as I don’t show the world my writings then I will never feel the pain of ridicule.” How does that story serve us? If we were to live without those judgements then our lives would fill with experiences. By rejecting these stories of the ego we enter a fruitful state of vulnerability. Ask yourself, how will your vessel be filled if you don’t place it out in the rain?

The Task

  1. Write down a list of all the stories you tell yourself.
  2. Read the list and smile.
    Seeing your list of stories allows you to step back and see yourself as an individual — a friend. If a friend were to tell you these stories about theirself, they would likely blush, and you would give them a smile and a hug, and tell them that they have nothing to worry about: they are perfect just the way they are.
  3. While reading through your list put a line through the stories that aren’t true. If any are left uncrossed, reread them to see how those stories serve you.  “I’m creative”. Cool. Awesome. Yep. “I’m intelligent”. Yeah, got it. What does any of this mean anyway? Why does the ego even need this sort of validation? Aren’t we enough, just as we are, in the present, without any descriptive words?
  4. Take your list and light that bitch on fire.

Stories are just stories, positive or negative. When you label yourself with adjectives and nouns you are placing yourself in a box. All you need to know is that life is always changing, you are always changing, you are always doing the best that you can at any given moment, and who you are at this very moment is enough.

When we let go of these stories we are able to drop into the moment and experience the sensations of being — our ego drifts away and any worries, doubts, or pretenses dissipate. The present moment has no story. Of course, we can’t stay in this place, but it’s nice to practice visiting.

Body & Mind Productivity

Practicing Mindful Productivity

June 11, 2015

mindfulproductivity

The biggest challenge for most self-employed creatives and/or stay-at-home parents is staying motivated and on-task.  Being your own boss can be tough on productivity when you can say, “Fuck off, I want to spend all day lounging in the sun with my girlfriends, so I’m gonna.” But even if you’ve got the drive, if you’re not mentally on task then your work and the people around can suffer for it.

For me, I get caught up thinking about anything but the activity on-hand. I notice this the most when I’m spending time with my children. I’ll be making cookies with my daughter but thinking about work, or sitting the baby on the potty while checking my email on my phone. I’m all about incorporating my children into my at-home work life, but how are they benefitting from it if I can’t ever be present with them?

It’s not like I have too much shit on my plate, I’m just not managing my tasks efficiently. By attempting to multitask, I am actually hindering my productivity, let alone depriving my children, my work and my projects of quality attention. When I check my email while making breakfast I’m not actually saving a significant amount of time by responding to my clients right that second. Work can wait, and if it waits until I’m ready for it, then the quality will be higher as well.

Mindful Productivity

I decided to try an experiment, to see if I could be more present while remaining productive. I scheduled my days into intervals listing things that may sound ridiculous to have to write down, ie: wash up, make breakfast, clean up kitchen. I put my phone out of reach during large chunks of the day– specifically when I’m with my kids. Then I followed my schedule to the T, even though it is really just my every-day routine. Knowing that I have these lines drawn of when a task starts and ends allowed my mind to free up. Work had a specific time slot, and I didn’t have to think about it during any other time of the day.

The experiment’s results were pretty grand: my 5-year-old isn’t throwing tantrums (because she has all the attention she needs from me), I have more free time because I start & finish a project without getting interrupted, and I don’t go to bed feeling guilty for neglecting my family or my work. I didn’t have to alter any part of my day drastically, I’m now just practicing being mindful and appreciative of my pre-existing routine.

Is multitasking getting the best of you? Here are my tips to make a change:

Being present while remaining productive

Turn off your phone, turn off the computer

Set your phone to “do not disturb” during tasks where having a phone is not necessary. During “work hours”, it’s probably good to have your phone on. When you’re making breakfast and eating with your children, you probably don’t need your phone. Also, while working on the computer, turn off the WiFi so you’re less likely to browse the web.

Meditate

Meditating doesn’t require a fancy pillow or smudge sticks; meditation is just the practice of mindfulness that provides results with just a couple minutes per day. Meditation relieves stress, improves focus & self control, and it’s good for your body! If you don’t feel that you can fit two minutes of meditation into your day, try doing it while you wake up or fall asleep.

Schedule your day the night before

Planning your day the night before not only clears your mind for a restful night’s sleep, but imposing deadlines and time-slots on your day makes you more productive and enhances performance. Schedule in a “free” slot, where you can fit in tasks that maybe took longer than anticipated, or things that come up last-minute.  Maybe some of the tasks are specific and others are open-ended. For example, I wrote down “Kids”, which has a bunch of options under it that include swim lessons, grocery shopping, gardening, hanging with friends, etc. Make it work for you.

Stick to the schedule

This is probably the toughest part of any mindfulness practice: discipline. Divert your thoughts away from ideas that will not serve you in your current activity. If something comes up, recognize its presence, maybe write down the idea, and continue on according to schedule. Remember, you still have your “free” slot where you can fit in unanticipated tasks, but only choose to fill that slot if it’s necessary.

Motivation

Reward yourself each day with something fun and relaxing. That might be dancing to World Cafe with the kids, journalling, drawing, reading, or watching TV. Write down your your motivational reward on a piece of paper or in your daily planner.

Rejoice!

Watch as your life transforms and feel the weight lifted off your shoulders!