8 Playlists for Focus and Chill

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Music can not only entertain us, but it can have profound effects on our mood. When I’m working, I love to listen to relaxing music.

Just last week, I was working on event prep and the clock was ticking. My coworker commented on how much she liked what I was playing. That Calming Piano Music station really helped me stay grounded that day.

These days, everyone has a portable music player via their phone and music is streaming, why not ensure that you always have a calming playlist ready to go?

This week, I’m sharing a few of my favorite stations for finding calm in the busy work day. (Not an endorsement for any music supplier in particular, just some playlists that I’ve found to be personally enjoyable and would recommend.) Some of you have noted that better focus can be a challenge at work, and I hope that these songs can help with that, too.

For the morning:

  • Productive Morning, Spotify – Great for focusing on a project.
  • Coffeehouse Blend, Spotify – Chill background music while cleaning out that inbox.

And the afternoon:

  • Afternoon Acoustic, Spotify – A change in tone for afternoon projects
  • Daily Lift, Spotify – bad meeting? Get those good vibes back.

Early evening:

  • Indie Apartment Party, Google Play Music – Got some cleaning up to do around the house? Fold that laundry with a spring in your step.
  • Dancing With Myself, Google Play Music – Solid dinner prep jams that will have you dancing around the kitchen.

And time for sleep:

  • Acoustic Bedtime, Google Play Music – Ease into sleeptyime.
  • Calming Piano Music, Spotify – I love this station, generally, but it’s especially great for winding down in the evening.

Tell me, what are you favorite stations to bring on the chill?

Leave your suggestions in the comments, and happy listening!

 

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Prioritize Now for Less Stress This Holiday Season

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Hard to believe that fall is already here! As we speed forward into year-end, the holiday season will soon be upon us (I know, dare I say it!). If you’re like most folks, a flurry of busy is about to come your way big time. From holiday parties to shopping for gifts to managing holiday stress, it can easily be a hectic time of year.

In this week’s Midweek Motivation, I want to help you prioritize. The more that you have your priorities in order, the easier it will be to plan for what’s coming your way.

I realize it may sound counter-intuitive, but a helpful way to prioritize is to write down everything you have to do. Seriously, everything. Get it all out there. Even the little things. While it may potentially feel a bit overwhelming to get it all out, once it’s on paper, you can take charge once you have all of the information in front of you. Seeing the tasks in front of you will make it easier to see 1) what’s actually on your plate and 2) if there’s anything on there that no longer interests you.

Give yourself some quiet space with no interruptions. Take 15 minutes and write it all down. We’re talking total brain dump-style. Next, cross off anything that gives you heartburn. Time to assess and see if it’s something really worth doing! From there, you can better prioritize.

Last month, I shared the importance of finding an organizational system that works for you, so put it to good use! (And if you’re having a tough time finding a system that works for you, coaching can help you determine what would be best–reach out!)

Get all of the activities on your calendar, because if they’re not scheduled, they’re less likely to happen. And, you’re less likely to overlook anything and wind up in a pinch. Take a few minutes to jot down any upcoming events through the end of the year, and avoid the stress of overbooking.

There’s a ton to do around the holiday season, so do the work ahead of time to stress less and live better now. Your future self will thank you for it.

What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do

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Overwhelm impacts everyone.

For me, the last week has definitely one of those times. Everyday has felt like a long day, with so many places to be and my brain stretched and pulled in so many different directions.

How do you stay organized when there’s so much going on?

For me, I recently went back to using a paper planner. (Paper? I know what a crazy idea right?)

While using an online calendar can be convenient, I found it difficult to use it for priority setting. I started using a paper organizer that I could color code, and better assess how I was using my time.

Getting organized is a key step to combating overwhelm, and it’s important to figure out a method of organization that works best for you.

When you’re disorganized and don’t have your priorities in mind, it’s easy to keep accepting invitations to do more and to get distracted from your larger goals. And I don’t just mean for work. I mean for life.

How do you really want to be spending your time? Who do you really want to be spending your time with? When your to-do list has no end in sight, the last thing that you need is to accept invitations that will drain you of the time and energy you need to devote to your goals.

This week if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take 10-15 minutes to look at your calendar and see how you’re really spending your time. Review what you see carefully, and think about how it  makes you feel. If there are appointments or events on your calendar that are giving you anxiety, it’s worth asking yourself why they have a place on your calendar. Use this time to get organized, and get clear on your priorities.

Taking time out to assess what you have scheduled is a helpful way to make sure that you’re spending your time most effectively.

Remember, if you don’t have clear priorities and you’re accepting all the invitations that come your way, you’re letting other people decided what’s important.

How to Reframe Your Brain for Success

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We’ve all heard it. The voice from that little naysayer in your head. You’re not good enough. Not smart enough. Not worthy enough.

Renowned researcher and author Brené Brown refers to it as “the voice that keeps you small.”

As we talked about last month, this negative self-talk can really have an impact. It’s tough when you want to pursue a goal, and you keep getting stalled by that little voice telling you that somehow you’re not enough. Some of you shared with me your ‘imposter syndrome’ fears and asked for more tips on how to keep that voice at bay.

One way to shut that voice down is to explore the opposite reality. While folks like to say, “Think positive!” that isn’t always enough. Instead, try flipping your viewpoint into the positive and start looking for evidence of the opposite reality. Train your brain to find your successes– there are likely more than you think.

For example, instead of saying,  “I’m never going to be able to lose weight,” try thinking of it as, “I am entirely capable of losing weight.” Then, take a look at your life and see what evidence there is to support this new reality. Maybe you went to the gym instead of happy hour or opted to walk to work. Give yourself credit for it!

When you start looking for evidence, you’re actively shifting your thoughts. You’re making your brain more aware of what you *can* do, and you’ll be more likely to notice these instances in the future. And, by increasing your positive thoughts, you’ll also be more likely to continue on with the positive behavior.

In most cases, you hold a limiting belief that’s encouraging you to think negatively about your situation. And it’s called a limiting belief because of just that, it’s not true! The more that you can look for evidence that shows *why* it’s not true, the more that you’ll break down that belief.

Here are some more common examples on how to reframe your brain for success. Remember, when you reframe your brain to find positive evidence, more of it will actually come to be.

Instead of Try saying
I’m not smart enough. I am capable of learning new things. I taught myself how to ____.
No one ever listens to me. It’s unfortunate that this person isn’t interested in my point of view. At work, several people agree with me about ___.
Everything is going to go wrong. While __ didn’t go as I had hoped, I can handle any challenge.
I can only achieve ___ once I have ____. Nothing is stopping me from achieving my goals. I am entirely capable.

Do You Remember Being 20?

For this week’s #MidweekMotivation, I’ve got something a little different for you: my guest blog post at BEING Young & Twenty.

BEING Young & Twenty is a blog geared toward helping young adults find comfort and camaraderie in their perspectives, expectations, struggles, celebrations and disappointments. My post speaks to the inherent trust that we give ourselves in our twenties, and how we never hit an age where we magically figure it all out– life is about learning as you go, and trusting your path.

I hope you’ll check it out on BEING Young & Twenty. And feel free to leave a comment on any stories you find intriguing– it’s all meant to help!

One Quick Tip to Stop Negative Self-Talk

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No one is immune to negative self-talk. It’s that inner voice that nags you.

It says you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough… and the list goes on.

Thoughts like this run through our heads all of the time, and if you give them too much stock in your brain, it can truly be exhausting.

Want a quick way to stop this negative self-talk in its tracks? The next time one of these negative thoughts crops up, ask yourself, “What would my best friend say?” When you think about someone that you trust and what they would say about a given situation, odds are that they would be much kinder.

Think about it, you likely wouldn’t tell a friend that she’s not smart enough for the job that she interviewed for, or that everyone will scoff at how she looks in that dress. By thinking about things from the angle of someone whose opinion we trust, it helps us to be easier on ourselves. And we could all use a reminder to be a little gentler.

How can asking yourself this one question change your outlook? Share in the comments below.

And, if you’re experiencing a lot of negative self-talk, working with a coach can help. Please contact me to learn more.

How to Rock a Success Mindset

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Do you celebrate your successes? I’m talking beyond the milestones here.

Most of us tend to find ourselves waiting for The Next Big Thing to declare it worthy of celebrating.

Here’s the thing– celebrating successes is actually a way to cultivate *more* success.

huh1

Yes! When you tell yourself, “I am successful” on the regular, you’re building up your confidence and self-belief. Meanwhile, if you downplay your successes, or think that successful things only for other people, then you’re pushing it away.

If this sounds a little too out there for you, think about that friend who says she’s following The Signs to make her decision (and we all have one!). Ever notice that this person *does* in fact find signs? Well, some would argue that what you’re seeking is what you will find. This same idea works with success. The more that you can learn to recognize your small successes on the path to a big goal, the easier it will be to keep moving forward. You’ll keep seeing more and more things to keep you motivated as your cultivate your success mindset (Sounds fancy, right? Get it, girl).

Remember, celebrations don’t only have to be for birthdays, holidays or team wins. It’s the celebrations of life in general that are important, the little wins.

As a coach, I help my clients identify the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Then, we work together to close that gap. Creating lasting change is hard work! Learning to identify your successes along the way to a larger goal will help you stay on track.

Have you been working hard at pursuing a goal? Ask yourself: what have I achieved this week that shows I’m on track? What have I learned recently that will help me move forward toward my goals?

Now go on and get celebratin’!