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Productivity, depression, and the challenge of being an entrepreneur

When you write a happiness and productivity blog, people expect you to be glowing, sparkling, checking everything off your to do list daily. And when I am at my best, I’d say I fit the bill quite perfectly. But on days like today, I cannot get anything done, and there’s not much I can do about it. I’ve suffered from depression since I am a teenager. At 15, my first major depression hit hard, I had to take meds and some time off from school. I even had to change schools. The doctors said that my chances of suffering from depression again in life were very high. With the help of antidepressants and therapy, I gradually started feeling better and, by the end of high school, depression was only a distant memory. Later in my 20s, depression crept back in, it came and went. I tried different meds, with astonishing side effects, weight gain, acne, all sorts of weird things, like blurry vision or falling asleep at 8 at night. Then I had a few years of solace, where my […]

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Inside Kendra Wright’s Planning Process

Planning is a very personal process. We all have a different process to plan what we’re going to work on and get accomplished, and what goals we will focus on. That’s why I always find it interesting to dive into inspiring people’s planning process. Earlier last year, I invited Kendra Wright, creator of the Year of Fear project on the blog. Since, I’ve discovered that Kendra has a very interesting take on planning and incorporating adventure into her weeks. She gracefully agreed to share her planning process with us today. Let’s dive in! Kendra, welcome back to Productive Happiness! Can you share with us what life design is, and how can we integrate it into our daily lives? Life design to me is making a conscious choice on how we will spend our time versus totally winging it like many people do. Putting your priorities on your calendar before the demands of the world take over. Whereas many people let others rob their best time, energy and attention. Then, invest whatever time is left into their goals, ideas and relationships. […]

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7 Reasons Why You Need a coach

7 reasons why you need a coach

In this day and age, life is so fast paced that we need an edge to keep ahead of the flow. If we truly want to be successful in our career and in our relationships, trying to wing it just doesn’t cut it anymore. We’re bombarded by information, opportunities and new technologies and deciding what’s right for us can quickly become overwhelming. My readers often tell me that they’re having a hard time deciding what to focus on and narrowing their priorities. These are all reasons why you need a coach. Coaching is one of the best ways to cut the clutter in your life, define your priorities and find happiness and fulfillment. Keep reading to learn the 7 reasons why you need a coach. 1. A coach helps you define your goals and your priorities One of the biggest challenge my readers face is to decide what to dedicate their time to. Time is the most precious resource we have and the most limited. We all get 168 hours a week and, if we’re spending it on stuff that’s […]

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Bullet Journal Flip Through – Volume 4

Bullet journal flip through

Lately, I have closed my third Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, my fourth Bullet Journal ever. I had started implemented the bullets part of the Bullet Journal method at work for a few years before deciding to bite the bullet and buy a notebook. 2 years later, I like to look back at my past journals and reflect on my life. Today’s post is a flip-through of my favorite spreads in my Bullet Journal Volume 4. Enjoy! Bullet Journal Key My key has changed a bit since my last journal. I’ve created a smaller circle to represent events, such as birthdays. I’ve started incorporating color coding, as you can see at the bottom. I’ve added this bit way later, towards the end of the notebook, that’s why it looks out of place here. In my new journal, my color code has been created from the start. Index Classic Bullet Journal index. I’ve started incorporating color to help me find frequently used spreads more easily. I used more than the included index, so I need to remember to allow at least one more […]

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7 Spooky Productivity Mistakes You Might Be Making

7 spooky productivity mistakes

Happy Halloween little witches and demons! While I was brainstorming to find a proper theme for today’s blog post, I’ve been thinking that what scares me the most in my fast-paced work environment is to waste my time on trivial stuff while the truly important, money-producing activities are pushed to the side. Working overtime to compensate for my lack of organization could really impair my relationships and would throw a punch in my well-planned work-life balance. So I thought, why not share with you the top 7 Spooky productivity mistakes that you might be making? I thought it would help some of you achieve better balance in their work, so let’s dig in! 7 Spooky Productivity Mistakes 1. Not sleeping enough As long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from insomnia. Even as a toddler, I wouldn’t nap, because I just wasn’t able to fall asleep. This problem still has dire consequences on my productivity. On days when I can only get by 4 hours of sleep, I cannot expect getting anything done. In my case, it is the result […]

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Batching Your Work To Help You Get More Done

batching your tasks help you get more done

It’s Monday afternoon. I’m typing furiously, listening to angry dubstep. In a few minutes, all of my accounting tasks for the week will be taken care of. More time freed up for the important stuff. I’m using a special trick that allows me the increase the time I spend on the money-producing activities in my business, and less time on the trivial stuff. It’s called Batching. According to Michael Hyatt, Batch Processing, or Batching “is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion.” Grouping your similar tasks in specific blocks of time means you spend more time in the same resources and less time switching from task to task. The benefits of batching Batching your tasks offers many benefits : Remove distractions In the Getting Things Done methodology, David Allen speaks of contexts, locations you spend time with to complete your tasks. My accounting takes place in the QuickBooks software, while email pressing takes place in Inbox. By identifying contexts in your task list, you can “batch” your tasks by software and reduce […]

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Why I chose analog for my personal productivity

Why I chose analog for my personal productivity

When I was a kid, I was one of the first to get a personal computer, you know, the ones with the huge floppy disks? My father was into gadgets and technology, he had a cellphone before the frenzy, and we were the first in our neighborhood to have access to the internet. You’d think that my father’s love for gadgets would turn me into a digital devotee. Sure, I like my shiny new Surface Pro and my many productivity apps, but I have a love for analog that no app could take away. My trusted notebook in hand, I will plan my articles, set goals, track my habits and write down my tasks on a daily basis. And there’s a very good explanation as why analog note taking and goal setting actually works best than digital. In a study conducted in 2011 by Mangen and Velay, the researchers discovered that the “physical action of forming letters while writing by hand is important in helping the brain remember the letters that are written.” Handwriting activates more parts of the brain […]

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Structure Your Days With Time Blocking for Maximum Productivity

A few years ago, I was working in an office as an executive assistants. I had many roles to fill and tasks kept piling up. Most of my days were spent trying to keep afloat of my task load, but I never seemed to get anything concrete done. I was stuck in the busyness. That’s until I started blocking my time. I decided to draft a simple schedule on a piece of paper, making sure that the most important activities were put in there first. This way I made sure that busyness could not creep up on my priorities. And soon enough, I began to thrive and regain control over my task load. Time blocking had saved me from high waters. What is time blocking Time blocking is the act of assigning tasks to portions of your days. You “block” a time frame of your calendar to work on your most important projects, taking in account your energy levels and your priorities, while creating margin for what’s unexpected. Energy levels According to sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman, our body tends to […]

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4 steps to plan your weeks in the Bullet Journal

Daily Spread in the Bullet Journal

Setting goals is an important part of achieving success. But what do you do once your goals are set? Good planning ensures that all your projects are accounted for and that you get the ball rolling on your most important priorities. In today’s article, I’ll be sharing the planning process and workflow that I use on a weekly basis. Let’s jump in! My planning process is divided in 4 steps : Capture, Review, Plan, Do. Let’s take a look at each step. 1. Capture The capture step is probably the most important part of my planning process, and a founding principle of the Getting Things Done methodology. It consists of writing down each tasks and projects as soon as they show up. This allows your mind to stay free from retaining information constantly and to be able to see all your todo’s in a trusted system. While on the go, I use the Todoist app on my phone to jot dot my tasks, as well as Google Keep for notes and project ideas. At home, I use my trusted Bullet […]

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Getting Things Done : You don’t need to do it all!

Getting Things Done : You don't need to do it all

When I first read David Allen’s productivity masterpiece, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the process he laid out. I did not know how to get started and I wasn’t so sure I wanted to implement every part of his methodology. It seemed too much. The good news is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed as I was, you don’t need to do it all. You can pick and choose a few components of GTD and just get started with that. Over time, when it feels natural, you can start adding more components. In today’s article, I will share a few pointers on the most valuable parts of Getting Things Done that you should consider trying today. If you are not yet familiar with GTD, I suggest you read my beginner’s guide here. Start small : the 2 minute rule One of the smallest commitment that you can make when getting started with GTD is the 2 minute rule. The rule is simple : if a task takes less than 2 minutes to accomplish, […]

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