I spent a good portion of the afternoon at Legend Coffee with my son Nolan. We had great conversation about our jobs, politics (not too deep mind you, otherwise he would have lost me quickly), and sharing of ideas.
After we talked we did some writing, and I felt when I left that I had more clarity with my professional direction. Much of it has to do with really drilling down to focus on what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
I got so much clarity today simply by being in a place where there were no distractions. I think that's what I like most about coffee shops. When I'm at home, I work but then I get distracted by switching loads of laundry, letting the dog outside, or sweeping the kitchen.
Going to a coffee shop takes all of that out of the picture, and I can really focus on what I want to do. I get so excited that I find myself wanting to jump in and do ALL of my ideas at once. Then I take a deep breath, get a handle on taking a step in a direction, and commit to it.
And, if you haven't been to Legend Coffee, it's definitely worth the 45 minute drive into Omaha. It's located at 5207 Leavenworth St. If I could, I would go there everyday!
No, we haven't reached 100 days in 2016, so don't panic. It isn't going that fast.
However, the kindergartners in my school district have reached the 100th day of school, and it was enjoyable to watch them celebrate. They made 100 day hats, did activities, and had snacks. It was fun!
It made me think about how we seem to lose that enthusiasm for each day. We should treat each day like we are kindergartners celebrating the 100th day of school. It doesn't have to be this huge celebration, but why not appreciate it instead of taking the day for granted.
Instead of thinking about getting to the weekend or when the next vacation day is, start the day with the appreciation and gratitude it deserves. Here are 5 steps to get started:
1. It begins with the night before. Get to bed at a decent time.
2. When the alarm goes off, take three deep breaths and then get up.
3. If you're married or have a significant other and he/she is also getting up, say, "I love you." (Talk about starting his/her day off on a positive note!)
4. Get up and do some light stretching. Allow your body to ease into waking up.
5. Take 5-10 minutes to meditate, pray, and/or give thanks for the day.
Do this every morning for the next 100 days and see what a difference it makes in your whole attitude and approach to the day. You might just feel like a kindergartner!
Do you have 10 minutes?
Of course you do! Set a timer and do a 10 minute declutter. Put each item in its place.
If it doesn't have a place, then its home is the garbage can. Don't keep stuff just because you think you might use it some day. If you don't remember the last time you used it, then you don't need it.
However, the key here is consistency. Do this for 10 minutes each day as long as it takes to go through things quickly without thinking too much about it.
Too often we analyze whether or not to keep it, but when you only have 10 minutes to work you don't have time. It's a gut feeling. Go with your gut!
Now, if you'll excuse me it's time for me to set the timer and get going. :)
I love to-do lists. The main reason is that I can't remember what I need to get done, so if it's going to happen I have to write it down.
For the most part, I go old school with my lists. I write them down in my calendar and then I mark them off as each one gets completed. I love that feeling of crossing an item off the list. It's not quite like a runner's high, but it does feel pretty darn good.
I do use the Evernote app for the recurring to-do lists. For example, I like to break household chores up and do them throughout the week. That way I'm only devoting maybe 30 minutes a day rather than doing a marathon cleaning on the weekend.
However, I have a tendency to forget what chores I put on each night, so I use Evernote to remind me with an alarm at 7:00 so I see what I need to do. I know I won't always need to do that (at least I hope not), but until it becomes systematized I need those reminders to assist me along the way.
How do you remind yourself what you need to get done during the day? I would love to hear from you!
We've all heard the saying, "Go with the flow."
For me, flow is when something naturally happens. Many times I don't recognize it at the moment. I'll reflect and think, "Oh wow, I was really in the flow."
The thing with flow is that I don't think you can manipulate it into happening. You can't really just say, "Today, I'm going to be in the flow." We can put things in place for the potential of it happening, but we can't force it. That just puts way too much stress on us.
Like this morning, I set myself up for the potential. I got up early to read my daily devotional, pray, meditate, and read a chapter from one of my books. I had a nice casual breakfast with my husband and then headed downstairs to fire up my computer to write my column for the Arlington Citizen, Pilot-Tribune, and Enterprise. I kicked on Jack Johnson radio on Pandora, set down my cup of coffee, and set my timer for 25 minutes of work.
The column wrote itself in 19 minutes. The words just came out and I let them come. One thought connected with the next one, and so on until the rough draft was done. I stopped occasionally to give a song a "thumbs up" or took a sip of coffee, but that was it. Otherwise, I just typed.
When athletes talk about being in "a zone," that's kind of what I'm talking about. A basketball player will suddenly reel off 3-4 long range bombs in a row. She's red hot. Feed her the rock, because she's in the "zone".
To me, that's what flow is. Just like the player with the hot shooting hand, eventually she will cool off and miss a shot. That's what happens with flow. It comes and goes. You've got it one minute and then you cool off and the moment has passed.
The important thing is to realize when it happens and think about what can be done to set yourself up for future flow. That's the trick, my friends. How can we replicate it? Like I said before, I don't think you can force it, but you can recognize when it happens and enjoy the ride.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.