Six years ago, I wrote a blog post titled How to Vanquish Email Overload Once and For All. “Go Serena Williams on your email messages,” I advised. The key, as I saw it then, was to whack emails out of your inbox with the “aggression and precision of a champion.” If you had a clear vision of where your emails’ content should land—the trash, Dropbox, your to-do list—then there was nothing to it but to do it. In 2019, I still agree with the basic premise, but a busier and more complex life has . . .
This Is How I Do It
I’ve got big dreams and a small child so tips for the work-hard-sleep-short set are my sweet spot. I appreciate when a blogosphere tidbit saves me time or money, and I hope to pay it forward with how-to posts like those shown below.
Greeting cards are a wonderful way to express appreciation for the people in your life--if you can pick one up before the occasion passes by. Why not make sure you’re prepared by keeping cards on hand instead? Make this the year you get your notes in order and plan for all of the occasions likely to emerge throughout the year. . . .
A career change inspired “The Crossroads of Should and Must,” Elle Luna’s manifesto for passionate living. Part pep talk, part illustrated guide, the book is all heart. It offers a remedy for discontent and unachieved potential to people who feel their talents are being stifled by others’ expectations. I’ve read unapologetic calls to “just do you” many times before, but Luna’s use of drawings presents the idea in a fresh and memorable way. She offers no tedious footnotes, lengthy citations, . . .
I was reading Laura Vanderkam’s “I Know How She Does It” when news broke of the racist killing of nine churchgoers in South Carolina. At first, it felt meaningless to be mining the book for time-saving strategies and productivity tips as the nation (or some of it anyway) went into mourning. It felt absurd to read a self-help book when I could be toppling confederate monuments or lobbying for gun control. Yet I kept turning the pages. And I realized that in the face of senseless violence, . . .
“We’re in a society where we have to justify play. But play reminds you of your better self and how happy you can be. In play, there’s a wonderful lightness of being.” --Nadia Stieglitz, founder, Mice At Play Normally, I’m not a big Halloween person, but this year I felt like dressing up--mostly because Zora got a costume box for her birthday that came with a witch’s hat just my size. It’s way too big for her head, but it’s the perfect size to fit over my afro puff. Truth be told, I wear . . .
Dear Maya, How do you stop putting everyone else's needs and happiness before your own, yet still be considered a caring person/mom? “Selfish” in Seattle Dear “Selfish” in Seattle, I wish I had a magic solution for this one, but the truth is that there’s not much you can do to make sure that others consider you a caring person or mom. No matter how hard you work or how much you give, others may still judge you harshly any time your desires come into conflict with theirs. So you’re better . . .
A quick read, “#GIRLBOSS” aims to inspire by sharing lessons of Sophia Amoruso’s meteoric rise from anarchist “freegan” wanderer to founding CEO of the Nasty Gal clothing company. “In the same way that for the past seven years people have projected themselves into the looks I’ve sold through Nasty Gal, I want you to be able to use #GIRLBOSS to project yourself into an awesome life where you can do whatever you want,” she writes. This leap from identifying with an outfit to creating a life is . . .
Part-memoir, part-playbook, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s “Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World” is a refreshingly practical addition to the women’s empowerment shelf, especially for women who aspire to public service. True to mission, the book even ends with a note that the women’s congressional softball team could use another starting pitcher. She’s talking to you, dear reader. Get in the game! The book chronicles the life of an extraordinarily accomplished woman leader, but . . .
Contaminated time is your enemy. Think of those tainted moments you spend worrying about one thing when you should be focused on something else--and more worthwhile, like your family or sleep. It’s the role overload, task density and time crunch that scatter your attention, tamp down your spirits and vaporize your impact. One surprisingly simple solution is to literally get things off your mind, by putting them down on paper, be it print or digital. Productivity guru David Allen recommends . . .
Are you an elite competitor in the Busyness Games? Do you find new and creative ways to divide your time and attention? If so, then “Overwhelmed” is a must-read. It methodically reveals the tangle of unrealistic personal expectations, social pressure, and workplace inflexibility that conspire to push modern American schedules to the brink. The book documents how, toward the end of the 20th century, busyness took on a kind of alluring high social status, distinct from previous eras. “What . . .