how to be more productive

5 Ways to be more PRODUCTIVE!

“When we stop chasing those impossible standards and surrender our fears, we become truly productive in what matters. We experience genuine fufillment; an imperfect yet intentional life, driven by a clear core purpose.”
— Lara Casey

Hey busy bees,

Thank you all so much for participating in the poll on my instagram story this weekend! My mission is really to serve you and help you make positive changes in your life, so I'm excited to share this new post with you today.

There was an overwhelming response of people who were looking to be more productive. The word productive can be intimidating sometimes. Who doesn't enjoy laying on the couch with a glass of wine, watching netflix after a long day?

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Productivity doesn't mean you have to give up all that.

It means prioritizing what's important, setting non-negotiable times to get things done, and ALSO setting aside time to relax when you're done.

Here are some tips and ways I stay productive in my business, career and personal responsibilities! Which one tip are you going to focus on?

1. PLAN your week!

So many people think that means writing things down in a planner. Guess what? I tell my clients all the time that planners don't work for most people. I use reminders in my phone about 4570468 times a day. I have a google calendar for work and just the regular iphone calendar in my phone for client coaching sessions or social activities! If there is something you'd like to get done, schedule it into your week. Just like you would a trip to see friends or a business meeting. SCHEDULE IT IN! That's the only way it'll happen peeps. 

I recommend looking at your calendar the night before, or setting aside time in the morning if you're an early bird. Think through each of the things you'd like to get done and make it happen!

2. Set NON-Negotiables (with yourself!)

If I have a client coaching session, I schedule it into my calendar and it's non-negotiable. I wouldn't skip it and not show up for my paying client, right?

You should treat time for exercise, business development or "me" time the same way. YOU are deserving of this time, and you are just as worthy as any other "important event."

I have started doing this with the gym; scheduling it into my week like I would any other activity and reminding myself that it's a non-negotiable time.

I don't even get into that argument with myself if I should or shouldn't go. It's just done!

Try it out- it works wonders. It's all about that inner dialogue people!

3. Set goals.

I can't tell you how many people/clients I work with that say they set goals at work, but don't set personal goals. AGAIN, YOU are most important. What do you want your life to look like 1, 5 or 10 years from now? Are you happy? Do you have financial goals to pay off consumer debt or buy a new car? Take a trip? Plan for a baby? Plan for retirement? Attend a conference? Get a promotion? Dream big and take the time to set goals. Write down 30, 60 and 90 day goals. Or monthly goals. Break your big goals down into smaller steps and again, plan time to accomplishing them into your week! 

4. Review your progress and hold yourself accountable.

Are you incentive driven? Many of us are. Set goals and don't forget to reward yourself! Share your goals with your significant other or friends (better yet, a coach!) Hold yourself accountable for your goals by staying consistent.

It's not enough to want something, you have to work for it!

If you're slacking, ask yourself why! It's all about your inner-dialogue and self talk.

Know that change doesn't happen overnight and it's all about those small changes you make every day that add up to the big ones.

Treat yo' self after you've achieved your goals!!! 

5. Have a rock-solid routine! 

It's so important to have a routine that gives you time to reflect on all of the things you want to do. If you want to meal plan before a busy week, you have to allocate the time. If you want to journal or begin meditating you must make it part of your routine! Whether you're a morning personal or night owl, find something that WORKS for you! There is not a one-size-fits-all! I have found that doing small things each day helps me eliminate overwhelm.

For example, I HAAATE doing laundry. I put it off forever, and then I'm completely overwhelmed, bitter and stressed out when I have to spend a day on the weekend doing it. I've realized this really sucks and isn't working for me, so I've decided to change my routine. I put in a load in the morning, throw it in the dryer when I'm making dinner then bring it up after dinner when I'm watching TV to fold! It's helped eliminate the overwhelm, and although it's easy to put off, I've realized it's much more pleasant this way! 

I could go on for days, but I want to keep this short and sweet! I'd love to hear which tip resonated the most with you and which one you'll be trying out this week! 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe for my productivity tips and inspiration. Lots of my instafriends wanted to see a blog on creating positive habits, so that's on the list next!

If you'd like some accountability and want to set up a free consultation with me, you can do that here! You can get some information on the types of services I offer here! I'd love to help. 

Have a great week! 

xo,

Danise

A Story On Excellence: How our Lyft Driver saved New Years Day

Hey busy bees,

Today I'm sharing a little story from our anniversary trip to Nashville. After a 10 hour car ride, I couldn't wait to relax in a hot shower and put on my sweatpants! When I got in the shower, I started to really think about how the morning started off, and I immediately couldn't wait to get to the computer to share this story with you.
I hope this story inspires you on this New Years day of 2018! Here goes:

My husband, Ross, and I had an AMAZING trip to Nashville. After 4 days in Music City, we couldn't wait to get back home, pick up our dog Bailey, and relax before heading to work tomorrow. We woke up around 6:30 on New Years Day and immediately started packing. We were ready to hit the road! The temperature in Nashville the entire weekend was BITTER cold, and this morning was no exception. I'm talking 9 degrees! We loaded up the car; I'm still half asleep and moody becaue I haven't had my coffee. After throwing everything in the back seat, Ross tries to start up the truck. For those of you that don't know, he drives a diesel truck so it takes a little bit to get it running, especially in the cold. So when it didn't start, we didn't panic. We knew it might just take a little bit. But after a few minutes, my anxiety started to set in. We're 9 hours from home, it's new years day so there is probably nothing open. He kept turning the key and turning the key and nothing was happening. Ross realized it was probably the battery. 

Thank god for a Buzzfeed article I read a while back- who knew that all those useless articles would actually serve a purpose?!? But it was an article on life hacks and how you can call uber/lyft if you need a jump. I've never known anyone personally to do this, but I figured it was our best bet. We don't have AAA and the last thing we wanted to do was drop hundreds of dollars on a tow truck. So, I pulled up the Lyft app and prayed someone would help us.

I had so many thoughts running through my head. I had no idea if the driver would even be willing to help us. I kept praying that the right person would pick up the ride and be able to help us.

Sure enough, a Lyft driver named "JR" responded to our request. Ross contacted him and asked if he would be willing to help us. Within a few minutes, he was there. We got the jumper cables and prayed it would work. At this point, it's BITTER cold outside and the last thing anyone wanted to do was be out in it. Our driver was so kind, kept the car warm, and told me to warm up inside. Meanwhile, Ross kept trying to jump the car and after a few attempts, it still wouldn't start. At this point, we talked about calling a tow truck or going to Walmart to get a new battery. Again, I couldn't help but think the worst.

Our driver waited very patiently, all while keeping a smile on his face. He said he had only been a Lyft driver for one week. He was doing it to make some extra money and was in town for New Years Eve. At this point he had been driving since 11 PM the night before. 

About thirty minutes later, JR tells Ross to try to start the truck again. He tried it once, and it didn't work. We gave it one last try and......it started!!!!!! I threw my hands up in the air and immediately felt so relieved. The truck started up and we could finally go home.

I gave JR an extra tip and told him how much we appreciated what he did. On the ride home today, this story had me thinking about living and working with excellence.

Excellence means greatness; the very best. Outstanding, excelling, going the extra mile. 

I think a lot of people have the false assumption that in order to be excellent, you must have a certain job, appearance, social status, or certain amount of money in the bank.

It couldn't be farther from the truth. 

Excellence means helping someone out when it would be easy to hide behind your job description and say, "I'm sorry, I can't help you."

Excellence means standing out in the cold, helping someone in need when it would be easier to stay inside your warm car. 

While all of this was running through my head, I listened to Oprah's podcast with Jack Canfield, the author of Success Principles. He was talking about one of his nightly routines that he has, and recommends to his students. He looks himself in the mirror and compliments himself on the things that he did well that day. On the other hand, he also examines times in the day where he could've been kinder, more patient, or more compassionate to another person. For example, maybe he got frustrated with the grocery clerk after waiting in line for 15 minutes. He thinks about that particular situation and asks these questions:

How could I have been more loving today? How could I have shown more kindness today?

These questions really hit home for me. How can I show more love to my husband on the ride home today, when he's been doing all the driving for 10 hours (even though I offer a million times!) How can I show gratitude to my parents for watching our dog this weekend? How can I have more patience with my students, or show kindness with my colleagues at school this week?

How can I do more?

Our Lyft driver, JR, is the perfect example of this. He showed kindness, compassion, empathy, and excellence this morning. We would've been stuck in Nashville for God know's how long if it weren't for him. Because he chose to do MORE, our day wasn't ruined. We were out of the parking lot in less than 45 minutes after finding the dead battery.

 

What a beautiful reminder on this New Years Day.

To remember to strive for excellence.

To be kind.

To show gratitude.

To do MORE for others.

To ask yourself important questions.

To be more loving. 

Share this story with a Lyft/Uber driver you know and THANK them for their service! I know I'll be asking myself at the end of every day these questions, and I hope you will do the same!

xo,

Danise 

 

 

Keep Calm and Merry On

Hey Busy Bee,

I felt inspired today to write about the holiday season, and some ways I plan to stay "in the moment" and reduce stress over the next few weeks.

I find myself slowing down more and more lately. I've officially finished graduate school, Ross and I are celebrating our one year anniversary and I've settled into my new job. I want to maintain this feeling over the next few weeks and enjoy every moment. The holidays can be such a fun and happy time, but it can also cause a lot of stress. I can find myself stressing out about the silliest things; one of the big ones for me was a dress for Ross' work party at The Hardshell. I searched and searched online and couldn't find ANYTHING. Thank God for a trip to Macy's with my mom- we found two perfect dresses at an amazing price!

(2018 update: it’s so fun to look back at this post and see what was on my mind last year. This year, we’re preparing for our baby boy on the way, setting up our nursery, furniture, wrapping up baby classes and celebrating with our friends + family at our baby showers! It’s been an exciting but also overwhelming time. I try to do bit by bit each day to eliminate any feelings of stress. I continue to ask myself what’s most important for me and our growing family. I also ask myself if I WANT to do something vs feeling like I HAVE to do something. We might not even put up a Christmas tree this year because it feels like another thing we have to do….especially in my last month of pregnancy when we will have to take all the decorations down!)

In the grand scheme of things, the holidays are supposed to be a special and joyful time, but it’s anything but that for many people. How do YOU want to feel over the next few weeks? Are you feeling overwhelmed when you look at your "to-do" list? Do you feel stressed out about all your commitments? Are you stressing over silly things like a holiday dress, or recipe? 


Here are some tips to get through the holiday season:

1. Prioritize what's important! Take time to look at your calendar or schedule and prioritize what NEEDS to get done, what you'd LIKE to get done, and what can be put off until later. List your top 3 things, or non-negotiable and hold yourself accountable. I love setting reminders in my phone for each day to keep me on track!

2. Be okay with saying NO! The holidays are an important time to do what makes you happy, and recharge. If you have extra time off of work, don't stress yourself out by over-committing to things. Between events for your kids, holiday parties, shopping, wrapping, etc. you need to make sure you're conscious of your time. How do you want to be spending your time off? Don't feel guilty for saying no. Own it and just say "it's not about you, it's for me." 

3. Take time for self-care! Go get a pedicure, take a walk around the neighborhood, go for a drive, browse Target (my favorite), meditate, cozy up with a good book, journal, or spend time with those you love. This will help you feel relaxed and positive through all the craziness the holiday season brings. 

4. Unplug! One of my goals during the holiday season is to spend less time on my phone, and more time staying present and enjoying moments with family and friends. Check out the "Moment" app on your phone- it tracks how much time you spend on your phone daily. After seeing how much time your spending, cut that time in half, or stay off social media for a day or two during the holiday season! Instagram also has a new feature where you can monitor your activity and set limits for the day.

5. Make a vision board! What better way to stay focused on your goals, and present during the holiday season?! You can get poster board, or a cork board and cut up some old magazines! Pour some wine, put on some holiday jams and get inspired as we wrap up 2017! Every year I find a cork board from Target or Amazon and save up magazines that come in the mail this time of year. I also check Pinterest for specific quotes or pictures that inspire me. Then I just cut out the pictures while thinking about my dreams for the next year and pin them on! I love hanging it in my office for extra inspiration.

6. Keep a to-do list! One of my favorite ways to relax but also feel productive over a break is keep a to-do list. Over thanksgiving break, I wanted to clean up our office area, work on our baby’s nursery and address all of our Christmas cards. Being intentional and writing things down beforehand was really helpful! It felt great to come back to work and check things off my list on my productivity planner!

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 Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful! The productivity planner I designed can also give you monthly inspiration, productivity tips, a place to reflect on the past month and also keep track of all the events over the holiday season and beyond. Click here to buy + don’t forget to buy for your girlfriends or co-workers!

Happy Holidays and thank you for being on this journey with me! 

xo,

Danise

A simple quote that transformed my day...you might need to read this too.

This week's blog post will be short and sweet. I almost posted this as an instagram post, but decided to post it on the blog because I think other people might need to read this too. 

Today was rough; I'm feeling completely drained this afternoon and I can't wait to share more with you guys VERY soon....but to sum it up;

 

Exciting changes are happening over here, and change,

even with it's good,

isn't always easy. 

 

With that said, I flipped through my quote journal looking for some inspiration or for some words to jump out at me.

I needed to read SOMETHING, anything really, that would help me practice what I teach in this business.

Things like: 

Surrender.

Release.

Stay positive.

Stay focused on your goals. 

Be present. 

Be vulnerable.

Don't worry about what other people think.

 

But what I found myself doing was the complete opposite.

That's when I turned to my journal...and what I found was this quote:

 

The purpose of life is to suck in the entire experience and love fully from the heart.
— Shannon Keiser

It's so simple but SO true. 

Every experience is not always how we imagined it would be. Not everything can be tied up in a pretty bow, right? But if we embrace these experiences and allow ourselves to FEEL every moment; excited, happy, nervous, scared, anxious, worried, etc. then we are allowing ourselves to go through the experience that is meant for us. 

Life is all about adventure. Embracing the ups and downs, and being open to change is the only way to grow. Love the process. Let yourself be fully open to it. Love those around you, and the ones that support your journey. 

I'm going to remember to QUIT the "are we there yet mentality" and be present HERE, instead of THERE. The time will come, and I need to just soak in everything that's happening right now and take it all one day at a time.

 

I'm going to read this quote quite a few times today, pour a glass of wine and stay focused on my goals.

What are you experiencing now?

Are you allowing yourself to embrace change?

Is your heart open to new experiences?

I know that someone else out there needed to read this message, and if it spoke to you, I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great week, busy bees.

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xo,

Danise 

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