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Nonviolent communication : problem-solver and happiness booster

When my friends and loved ones feel sad or worried, I tend to feel very powerless. I just don’t know how to react! I would like to show support but only seem to spurt out unwanted advice. I know that’s not what they need, but I don’t know how to offer the empathetic ear they are longing for. While doing research, I recently stumbled upon a technique that teaches us how to listen to our friends’ needs and truly show them that we care. It is called nonviolent communication. I must say that I am not in love with the term. Coined by psychologist and author Marshall B. Rosenberg, nonviolent communication refers to a way of communicating that will cause no harm to its recipient. I did not believe that giving unwanted advice was “violent” in any way, but it can surely harm a relationship if the person manifesting sadness is only wishing for closure and connection. So what is this communication technique that does no harm? Nonviolent communication is a technique that can be applied towards others or ourselves. […]

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Stop comparing your Bullet journal!

3 Leuchtturm notebooks

In the many Bullet journal Facebook groups I am a part of, I hear people complain about comparing their bujo to the highly creative and ornemented ones you see on Instagram. They say that they can’t draw, that their handwriting is awful, but they still want to take part in the hobby. I hear you. Today, I’d like to give you permission to do what works for you. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses! Keep it simple I wrote about my recent journaling slump lately. Since I’ve fallen into a rut, to keep up with the habit, I’ve decided to simplify my spreads. What I see around are intricate, highly decorated spreads, lots of drawings, washi, stamps, and more! If you have fun creating these intricate spreads, do not hold off! But if you feel like this is too complicated, too much work, or just not your style, you can do very simple spreads, in black and white or with a simple splash of color, and leave the decorating aside. Lately, my designs have been really straightforward. […]

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How to stick to your good habits in times of change

Recently, I wrote about my existential crisis and my decision to get a day job. I started my new position at the beginning of April, a month ago. No need to tell you that switching from working from home to go work in an office an hour away from home makes a big change in my daily routine! And this change has impacted my habits in many ways. In today’s post, I want to share my tips to stick to your good habits in the midst of change. Let dive in! Protecting sleep and recovery I am now working full time, which means I’m working more than I had in the past 10 years or so. I’m waking up earlier because my commute takes an hour each way. Waking up earlier means going to bed early. I used to need to sleep 7 hours a night to get a good night’s sleep, but since I’ve started working, I find myself sleeping 9 hours on average as my Fitbit reports keep telling me. I guess that my body is adapting to […]

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Hygge : Happiness is a Danish word

Hygge : happiness is a Danish word

As far as I can remember, happiness has always been a source of wonder for me. Last year, a new concept came to the awareness of the general public, the Danish principles of happiness called Hygge. I am a bit late to the party, but I have been thoroughly seduced by this concept and today I’d like to share with you the basic principles of this art de vivre. Hygge has no direct translation Hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, is a complex concept coming from Denmark. Hard to describe in a few words, it doesn’t have a direct translation in any other language. It describes a feeling of well-being that you can experience in a variety of situations. A few elements can contribute to this well-being and I will try to help describe the concept by sharing these elements. The Basics of Hygge 1. Soft Lighting The Danes are the largest consumers of candles in Europe. They would say that the soft glow of a lighted candle can bring Hygge to any situation. For a hyggleligt ambiance, choose diffused lights similar to the dawn […]

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8 ideas to put your notebooks to good use

If you are a regular here at Productive Happiness, chances are that you are a stationery afficionado. Do you have a tendency to collect blank notebooks, just because you find them pretty? I certainly do. At any given time, I might have a dozen notebooks laying around, most of them still empty. In today’s blog post, I wanted to share a few ideas to put your blank notebooks to good use! Diary This is the most classic way of using your lined notebooks. During my Miracle Morning, I use a fancy notebook by paperblanks that holds my fountain pen ink beautifully. I write about the previous day and about anything that’s weighing on my mind. I write for only a few minutes but it helps me process any difficulties I might encounter and find perspective in the midst of chaos. Gratitude log Keeping a gratitude log is becoming very popular nowadays. Positive psychology has popularized the idea that we tend to experience more of what we focus on. By writing a few things each day that you are grateful for, […]

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Surviving the traps of productivity

Surviving the traps of productivity

In my recent existential crisis, not only did I decide to reorient the content of the blog and my ambition to make a living out of it, but I also revisited the way I approach productivity as a whole. Today’s blog post is the result of my reflections on the topic. First of all, as a productivity blogger, I want to admit that I am guilty of most of the sins I will highlight in this post. Most of us productivity gurus try to make you work harder, achieve more goals and get more done. That is the common definition of being productive in today’s corporate world. On the verge of that trend, some of the influencers are gradually starting to change this definition, focusing more on achieving the right things and guarding your time to stay focused on your priorities. After reading books like The ONE Thing and Essentialism, I switched gears in my perception of what productivity should be, but the content I was putting out seemed more aligned with the traditional meaning. I want to change that […]

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Reorienting Productive Happiness

reorienting productive happiness

March has been the scene of a major existential crisis at Productive Happiness headquarters. You might have noticed that I’ve been missing in action last week, and this absence was the result of this whole I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-life crisis that’s been going on for the whole past month. Be prepared for a very honest and vulnerable post. I’ve been blogging here at Productive Happiness for the past 2 years, except for a medical leave that lasted a few months in late 2016 and early 2017. Following that medical leave, I quit my day job and gave a shot at earning a living from the blog. I tried several things, incorporated affiliate links and even launched my own coaching program, which was a total and absolute fail. In early January, I came to the conclusion that I needed to supplement my small income with a part-time job, which I did not really enjoy. I started reading more and more business books, marketing tactics and sales books to help crack the code of money-making with a blog. Each time I would force myself to […]

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Simplifying : the journaling slump

journaling slump

In the past few months, I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut in my Bullet Journal. I used to spend a lot of time creating beautiful spreads and decorating with washi, stamps, colorful markers. But for the past few months, my heart just wasn’t in it. This journaling slump lead me to simplify my practice, and I quite like the result. Return to the basics As I have been slowly drown in my journaling slump, I let aside some of the spreads that used to take me lots of time to create each week, namely my weekly spreads. I went back to the basics ; a monthly spread to keep birthdates and important events, a monthly habit and mood tracker, and my blog statistics pages. No fluff, no collections that you create and never touch again, just the core essentials. And of course, my dailies. Bare naked During that journaling slump, I stripped bare my spreads. My dailies still have a pretty lettered header and weather icon, but nothing else. No bits of washi, pretty stickers or stamps. Just my […]

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The Free-Time Formula : How to carve out time for what matters most

The Free-Time Formula by Jeff Sanders

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve heard me say that Jeff Sanders is one of my favorite podcasters. But Jeff is not only a successful podcaster, he’s also an author! When I heard that he was coming up with his second book, The Free-Time Formula, I was eager to know what it was about. Jeff was kind enough to provide me with an advanced copy and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Last year, Jeff published his second book, his first paperback ever published by a real publisher. It was titled The 5 A.M. Miracle and was basically a compilation of productivity advice. I did not care too much for the book at the time and gave it somewhat of a bad review. I felt that the writing needed improvement and that the advice was general and, frankly, didn’t bring anything new to the already crowded productivity table. Well this time, my friends, things are different. The Free-Time Formula is all original content. Jeff came up with his own framework, 7 steps to […]

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How Trello changed the way I plan and work

how trello changed the way I plan and work

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been addicted to To-Do lists. I love checking boxes as I go about my day, crossing tasks off my list give me a great sense of accomplishment. But I would often bury myself lists several pages long, feeling overwhelmed by the insurmountable task load I would impose on myself. Then Trello came into my life, and I switched from overworked and overwhelmed to poised and in control. Here’s how Trello changed the way I plan and work. What is Trello? First of all, what is Trello? Trello is a task management app based on Personal Kanban. It contains boards with lists on which you can add cards. A card is a task or project and the different lists allow you to sort your work visually. The most common Kanban board contains 3 lists : To Do, Doing, Done. You would start by creating a card in the To Do column when you get a new task, move it to the Doing column while you’re working on it, and finally, bring it to […]

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