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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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How to craft your ideal week

I used to get bogged down by the trivial stuff. There’s only so much you can do in a week, and it was easy to put my efforts on the small stuff and forget the big projects that would really make a difference. I’d spend my days in my email inbox and no big project would move forward. Then I remembered what Stephen Covey used to say : “Put in the big rocks first.” I needed to change the way I approached my weeks and make time for what was most important. I needed to craft my ideal week. I first got introduced to the idea of an ideal week when I read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Dan Harkavy. To make sure that our grandest goals get achieved, Hyatt suggested that we designed our ideal week to carve out the time for what matters most. When I created my life plan, I drafted an outline of my ideal week and never looked back. Like a budget for your time The idea of the ideal week is similar to […]

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10 Bullet Journal Instagram accounts to follow

My favorite place to look for inspiration for my Bullet journal is on Instagram. I love to browse the layouts, spreads and colorful pictures in my feed for hours on end. I thought it might be fun to share with you the top 10 Bullet journal Instagram accounts to follow according to yours truly! Let’s jump in! Brian Qian Youtuber and Instagrammer Brian Qian, also known by StudywithInspo, is one of my favorite Bullet journalists to follow. I love his doodles and soft designs, especially his floral drawings!   OurJourneyinjournals Mae-Mae Han’s fee is super fun, very colorful, and features pretty brush lettering. If you’re into this kind of journaling, check her out! j.creas I love Janika’s feed, especially for the interesting collection ideas she shares! She’s journaling in french like me and her spreads are fun and pretty.   Leuchtturm 1917 Our friends over at Leuchtturm 1917 have a great Instagram account! Their feed features bullet journalists from all over and inspire us sharing other ways to use our planners.   Gardensanctuaryjournaling Elisabeth’s account not only features Bullet journals, […]

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Get rid of Chronic Forgetfulness with Zachary Sexton

Zachary Sexton

In last week’s blog post, I shared a new productivity system I’ve been trying out for a while, the Personal Kanban, which has dramatically changed the way I approach work and life. I’ve been introduced to this system by one of my productivity super heroes, Zachary Sexton, formerly host of the Asian Efficiency podcast. He graciously accepted to come over this week and share a bit more about Personal Kanban and some of his best productivity advices. Here’s the transcript of this exciting interview! Can you introduce yourself and your background, your why and how you are living it at the moment? “I am a writer, podcaster, teacher, meditator, skier and non-recovering business, caffeine and productivity junkie. I live in Austin, TX with my fiancée Nikida and two dogs, Gus and Morty.” Zack graduated college in 2009 with a degree dual degree in Business and Economics. He then spent a year in Washington DC working as a Senate aide. He also taught math in Denver Public Schools for 2 years. He eventually burned out. Took a year to explore ‘who am I’ […]

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Personal Kanban : a new way to approach life and work

personal kanban

While listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently, I’ve been introduced to a productivity system that is radically different from the traditional to-do list; the Personal Kanban. I was immediately intrigued by this system and decided to try it for myself. I must say that it has dramatically changed the way I approach work and life and I just had to share it with you guys. What is a kanban The Kanban methodology is very popular in product and software development after it has been popularized by the automobile empire Toyota. A kanban is a type of billboard with different columns. Some people use a whiteboard, others use a digital software, others use their office walls in lieu of a kanban, any surface with columns will do. You can even divide a page in your Bullet journal and use it as your kanban. The traditional Personal Kanban uses 3 columns : to-do, doing and done. The principle is simple. When you get a task, or project to accomplish, write it on a post-it note and stick it in the […]

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How to start a Bullet Journal

Maybe you’ve been lurking around on the blog before, or browsing Pinterest and Instagram, and have seen the beautiful notebooks everybody seems to be lugging around that they call a Bullet Journal. You’re intrigued and would like to start one, but you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the information floating around, a bit intimidated by the beautiful things people are coming up with, and you don’t know where to start. Here’s what this guide is for : helping you get rid of the overwhelm, and teaching you in concrete steps how to start a Bullet Journal. Let’s jump in! Start at the source If you haven’t already, the first place to start if you want your own Bullet Journal is directly at the source. The creator of the Bullet Journal system is called Ryder Carroll and he created a website describing the method in details. The first thing you should do is check out the Official Bullet Journal video. I’ll be waiting for you while you do that! Start with just a few basics All you need to start a Bullet […]

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