How to move forward after the election

My heart is slowly healing and my fear for our country’s future is slowly dissipating…because there is no other option except to heal and move forward, sooner rather than later.

However you feel about this election–devastated/stunned/neutral/hopeful/pissed/happy/scared–I invite you to feel inspired.

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we have control over so few things and it’s a humbling and sobering experience any time we realize that.

What can we actually control? Ourselves. Our choices. Our reactions. Our thoughts. Let’s focus on that. That gives us a lot to work with. Remembering what we can control has given me a lot of hope this week.

Now more than ever, we need to live from that perspective, from what we can control. It’s time to take a hard look about what we’re doing in our lives now, and how we can show up more powerfully–so that these next four years are wonderful and productive, regardless of what happens in White House.

It’s time to take action on those goals–academic, personal, professional–we want to accomplish, but we keep putting off.

It’s time to drop the negative beliefs we have about ourselves (“I’m too much” or “I’m not enough”) and get to work on what we want to accomplish and experience in this life. Those beliefs keep us small, hold us back, and prevent us from doing the stuff we want to do.

It’s time to get out of our comfort zones in small and big ways.

It’s time to just do things a little differently, to just act and create instead of thinking and talking.

What does all of this look like in regular life? Maybe it means committing to going to yoga at 6am 3 times per week, and actually getting out of bed and going. Maybe it means telling people how you really feel instead of trying to make everyone happy. Maybe it means replacing the time you spend Youtubing reruns of Girls Next Door (ummm me) with an uplifting podcast. Maybe it means looking for a job that really fills you up and is more in line with your passions. Maybe it means going out on dates now, not putting your love life on hold until you lose weight/fix something about yourself.

There are so many ways we can play bigger in our lives. There are so many ways we can be active and powerful. And when we do that, we give others permission to go after their goals and dreams too. And then we awaken the whole world.

Let this election–regardless of how you feel about it–inspire you.

How To Stay On Task When You Have A Ton Of Work To Do

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling suuuuper overwhelmed at work. It was the day after I saw Beyonce with my friends, so I was coming down off of that high and was feeling unsettled because the coffeeshop that I planned to work out of didn’t offer wifi. WHO DOESN’T OFFER WIFI?

I was trying to manage my feelings of depression (slight) and frustration all while a ton of work emails were coming in with request after request. I got very overwhelmed and found myself numbing out with Youtube, Facebook, texting, etc. I just needed a break from all of the work coming in that I had to distract myself.

I know you can relate.

But here’s the thing. When we troll our favorite blogs, websites, whatever instead of focusing on our work, that work begins to fester and become even scarier. It’s harder to get it done. Deadlines loom. We feel bad about ourselves for not being able to handle our workload. Our thoughts spiral. AND we make more mistakes in this anxious state, which requires even more time from us to correct.

Ug it’s the worst.

I have a LOT of experience with feeling overwhelmed by work, especially when we have multiple requests coming in, so I got your back.

The next time you’re juggling multiple projects/demands/requests and find yourself turning to Youtube, social media, your phone, etc. to get some relief, do these things instead:

1. Brain dump. Write down EVERYTHING you have to do/are responsible for you. Get it all out of your head and onto paper. You’ll feel calmer just seeing everything in front of you instead of swirling around in your head, making you crazy.

2. Take deep breaths. When you receive multiple emails and want to run and hide, take several deep breaths through your nose and out your mouth. Also, every hour, take a 3-min meditation break. Close your eyes, breath deeply, and just focus on your breath. Breath work like this lowers your cortisol level and helps your brain get still, allowing you to come back to your work in a calm state.

3. Read your emails completely. I know you get a lot of emails. We all do. But when you open an email, you have to read it completely. It’s easy to skim because you think you know what someone is saying or because you’re too freaked out by all of the work in front of you. But when you skim, you miss important details. Then you’ll have to ask about them later, which makes you look unorganized if someone tells you that they put the details in the email. And many times, when you read an email fully, you realize that what is being asked of you isn’t as time-intensive as you thought. This happens to me all the time at work. I’ll dread a project, then read the email detailing what really needs to be done, and the project is way less difficult than I made up in my head.

4. Get clarification on priorities. If you’re not sure what project to do first at work, ask your boss what your priorities should be. If you’re a student, ask your professor how much of your grade a project is worth. Ask yourself which of your classes are most important to your major or your future goals, and therefore need to rock. Are you taking a class where you can get away with doing a little less work?

5. Pick a focus object. When you look away from your laptop or paper for a quick break, don’t go somewhere online. Choose a focus object, something that you love to look at that brings you comfort or joy. Place it on your desk, and look at it whenever you pause in your work. This could be flowers, a painting, or an inspiring picture on Instagram. I love the Instagrams of these awesome people.

6. Pick a task and be unapologetic. When you know which projects need to get done first, focus on that and be unapologetic about it. Your brain will try to throw you off your game by making you think about everything else you have to do. But if you get caught up in those thoughts, nothing will get done. When you choose a project to work on and those thoughts come up, just say, “Thanks for sharing. I’m working on this right now. I’ll get to you soon.” Put your attention right back on your chosen task.

I’m working on staying on task myself, so expect more productivity tips as I become more productive.