TED Talk Tuesday: Maria Forleo talks lilies and leaches

So maybe this isn’t a TED talk, but I’m still reeling from all the inspirational content that was covered in Alt for Everyone, and had to share. The below video was spurred by the Overcome Overwhelm session with Hilary Rushford and Whitney English. While Hilary was able to wax poetic on her macro vs. micro planning, and how important it is to say no, Whitney designs and sells her own planners on Etsy—they’re beautiful, functional and the second I posted a picture of them to Instagram, my coworker commented about having one of those lusted-after planners and loving it.

The video features ADHD expert Ned Hallowell, who touches on five tips for entrepreneurs and creative types—great advice for anyone who easily feels overwhelmed and wants to work smarter, not just harder. His tips are:

Define clear and specific goals. Set three daily goals, three weekly / biweekly goals, three long-term goals to meet in the next 6-12 months, and three lifetime goals. This forces you to prioritize and ensure that the work you’re doing is in pursuit of “the big picture.” You also know me and goals. They’re my crack.

Avoid “sceen sucking.” This is an incredible term. How often do I log into my computer just to check my email, and then end up putzing. It’s estimated that out of every hour, 20 minutes are spent unproductively because people end up sucked into their screens. Instead, Hallowell suggests allocating a specific time or times each day to devote to email and online interaction.

Change the default response from “yes” to “let me get back to you.” Not only does this ensure that you’re not over-committed, but it this helps ensure that you only take on projects that are true to yourself or true to your brand and help further those longer-term goals.

Never worry alone. To try to avoid constant toxic worrying, (1) never worry alone, (2) get the facts so it’s not as overwhelming and you know what you’re working with, and (3) make a plan. This is something that I can 100% implement in my own life nowadays; I have a tough time differentiating between worry and genuine stress, so getting the facts and making a plan will help me avoid the nagging stomach ache of stress.

“Cultivate lilies and get rid of leeches.” I love this one: Lilies are people or projects that are worth the time and energy you invest in them, and who give back. Leeches aren’t worth the time and energy you invest, and instead are dream breakers and take away time from the lilies. That said, don’t crowd your life with too many lilies, such that you’re overwhelmed by too many commitments to each. Quality over quantity? Sounds like Perfect 10 for the people we surround ourself with, yes?

Enjoy the video!

Things I’m Loving: Color, Sparkle, and Paper Goods


Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 9.21.51 AMRecently, I’ve been lamenting the lack of color in my life. So I’ve been working to brighten my days in small ways. Below are some recent finds I’ve been loving. Clockwise from lop left:

Whitney English hosted my favorite Alt for Everyone session and makes this outstanding planner that incorporates three daily goals, an hourly breakdown, and plenty of room for lists. So obviously I’m craving one more than a slice of red velvet cake. Check them out on etsy, and preorder her August – July version. It comes in gold stripes too! Glitter? Count me in.

A recent copy of WOOF Magazine featured a fellow Northeastern student who founded Heads Up 4 Charity. The company started with bracelets made from pennies (hence, Heads Up), and now sells jewelry and clothing. A portion of the proceeds go to various charities.

Oh, Klean Kanteen. Forgive me for getting all worked up about a water bottle, but it’s amazing. I love their vacuum-insulated bottles. My mom’s kept ice intact when we left it in her 120+ degree car. And It keeps hot things hot, too, as I learned chugging coffee on the way to my 4:00 a.m. broadcast internship. It’s BPA-free, sustainable, and—with all the bright colors—all-around awesome.

I bought myself these stellar Jack Rogers as a graduation gift to myself. I’m still working them in, but they go with everything, and have just the right amount of sparkle.

I’ve been going on several interviews lately, and have thus been burning through stationary like crazy. I love Kate Spade’s stationary cards for sending a little love to the important people in my life. After all, it is on my bucket list (#38!) to send more thank you cards, this year!

I just finished reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette with my mom. It was interesting but I’m not entirely convinced it lived up to the hype. Nonetheless, I was giggling a couple of times—It’s hard not to love a schitzo. Next on the list? The Signature of All Things, Liz Gilbert’s most recent novel. Turns out she’ll be doing a reading in two weeks in the tri-state area. So I might finally meet the woman who first made me want to be a writer. How’s that for boosting creativity!