productive play to your strengths

My Most Effective & Productive Schedule (Not a Morning Person Style)

Have you ever googled how “productive” people schedule their days? If you haven’t I’ll save you the time. “Productive” people get up at the crack of dawn, they run 7 miles as the sun rises, they meditate, journal, write a memoir, read three newspapers, drink a green smoothie made from the healthiest of greens that they grow in their garden, AND then they begin their day by focusing on only the 3 topmost priorities in their life.

Contrary to my sass there is no shame in that lifestyle but it doesn’t work for me. I guess you could say I am not one of the “productive” people, if you buy into that there’s only one right way to be productive. 

While I may not fit in with the early bird, I wake up at the crack of dawn and have my sh*t together club – I do usually have my sh*t together. So, today, right here, right now I’m going to share with you my not-so-morning-person-morning-person-routine or the night owls guide to functioning. 

Warnings!! 

**before we begin – a warning** I have the privilege of working from home (I help people like you get their sh*t together – learn more about it here) You may need to adjust your activities to meet the demands of your life or career & include time for travel. If you need help customizing your life schedule reach out – I am happy to coach you through it. 

***also, I am not a doctor, therapist or financial advisor (nor do I want to be any of those things). I’m sharing what works for me but be sure to find a routine that works for you!

Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s go! 

The Schedule Itself 

The Daily- Ish (M-F) Schedule of a Highly Successful Emily- Abundant AF Edition (10/10 recommend giving your schedule a fun title to help motivate you to stick to it)

7:30 am (ish): Wake up, Coffee, Yoga, Meditate, journal 

9:30 am: Client Calls, Admin, Work stuff! 

11:30 am: Break, Walk the Corgi, workout, lunch & shower

1:30 pm: Client Calls, Admin, etc. 

3:30 pm: Corgi pee break & check the mail 

4:00 pm: Back to work – wrap up whatever needs to get done or late client calls

6:00 pm: Dinner, Walk Corgi

7:00 pm: Hang out with Brenton, record podcasts, watch tv 

10:00 pm: Attempt to Sleep (I usually get my most creative ideas now and end up getting up to write them down or scribbling them in a notebook next to the bed)

11:00 pm Try to Sleep for Real (accidentally read for 30 minutes)

12:00 am: Usually Actually Asleep 

The Breakdown: What Works for Me 

Be Flexible

A few explanations that may help you while building your schedule. First, the history. This is my tried and true albeit flexible schedule. This schedule has taken me almost a year to perfect. I started listening to my body more during the *early* stages of quarantine (read more about it here). At the end of the year I decided I wanted to try being a morning person (you can watch that STRUGGLE here). And now, at the start of 2021 I have found my sweet spot.

Work to Your Strengths 

Second, I am an absolute MONSTER to wake up in the morning (ask Brenton, I get a little scary when I am sleepy). Not a morning person would be an understatement. I also am absolutely awful as a human being when I am overtired – sleep is very important to me and it is prioritized in my schedule. I try to work with my sleep pattern instead of working against it. There is no point in wasting energy to become a morning person when I don’t need to be one. In addition to that I was raised by night owls and I am most creative at night. Creativity does not equal productivity though. I am most productive between the hours of 9:30 – 11:30 am and 1:30-3:30 pm. I try to schedule anything that involves uninterrupted focus for one of those blocks of time. I know this from years of trial and error when it came to schedule meetings in the corporate world. 

Take a Break

And finally, breaks are CRUCIAL. Getting outside to see the sun (or clouds) is a game changer for me. It immediately refreshes me and helps me move from one task to another without lingering on the past. I have a built in break requirement – Herman – but if you do not have a furry friend that makes you go outside multiple times a day maybe try setting a timer to take yourself on a walk.

The Breakdown: What Did not Work for Me! 

This schedule took a lot of trial and error. A few mistakes were made. 

Stay Unique 

One, trying to make my schedule like everyone on LinkedIn. Joe CEO wakes up at 5:30am and makes millions – therefore I should wake up at 5:30am and make millions is a fallacy. I don’t want to wake up at 5:30 am and Joe is probably wealthy because of nepotism. Waking up before the sun does not make anyone more productive – it just makes them a morning person. Being a morning person does not make you more successful (unless you are naturally inclined towards mornings). Create a schedule that works for you and who you want to be and empathically ignore the feedback of anyone who isn’t affected by it. 

You do YOU 

Another mistake I made was thinking that I needed to get up when Brenton (my partner) got up. Brenton is a morning person, I am a night person. For weeks I felt guilty about him getting up to walk the dog while I slept in until it dawned on me that he didn’t give a f*ck about it or he would have woke me up. He wants me to be healthy and happy and that includes getting enough sleep. It’s ok to be on different sleep schedules than the people you live with – it probably makes both of you more productive and stronger if you both utilize your natural abilities to get sh*t done. 

Perfectionism

A third misconception I had about my schedule was that I had to follow it religiously. I used to sweat it if I overslept – now I just let it go. As long as I’m up and ready before any calls AND I get everything I need to do done in the day I consider it a success. No more bullying myself about oversleeping. 

Chaos

And finally, the fourth mistake I made was throwing away my schedule completely. For a short period of time I let myself stay up until 3am and sleep until noon. This was awful for my mental health, it prevented me from eating on a regular schedule and it made me sad. I’m someone who needs a loose schedule with chunks of time to play with and having no structure was not good got me. 

TLDR: Find what feels good for you and optimizes your ability to get what you need done WHILE prioritizing your health (physical and mental) 

I hope this breakdown helps! And remember, being productive is not the end goal! You are so much more than what you do – but sometimes you just need to get sh*t done. 

Here to help you make your life more manageable just sign up for a free discovery call here

healthy hobbies and healthy habits

Healthy Hobbies: How I Stay Sane at Home

Healthy hobbies I picked up in 2020/2021!

By healthy hobbies I really mean hobbies that keep me from losing my mind at home. I’m not a big drinker, I don’t have a yard to run or play with my dog in and I’m self-employed and run a business that relies on people having jobs and money! Now that I no longer work for corporations, can’t go on vacations and find it too dangerous to visit family or eat out at restaurants I have extra free-time on my hands (I was wasting 20+ hours a week talking to people about nothing before all of this – what a life). 

At the beginning of quarantine a lot of us turned to things like Netflix, alcohol, TikTok and MINDLESS SOCIAL MEDIA SCROLLING. For the first few months of COVID quarantine I would work on my business then immediately turn to mind numbing activities like the above. Eventually my brain got bored. Now that we are almost a year in I’ve tried to cut waaaaay back on all of them (except you TikTok – I love you TikTok). So, now that I have fully adjusted to my self-employed stay at home lifestyle I’m going to share with you what I do for FUN with all that extra time. 

Most of these will involve purchasing items to get started BUT I have included two habits I picked up that are absolutely free & can be done with paper, computer, cell phone notes section or with chalk on the ground. 

Alcohol

Before we start let’s talk about the pink elephant in the room (alcohol). A lot of people are killing time in quarantine with booze – you do you boo I’m not here to shame you but here’s a little about why that doesn’t work for me. 

1. Anxiety. (hangxiety, anxiety while drinking, anxiety while sober – it’s omnipresent) 

2. The only alcohol that tastes good to me now is $50 a bottle (Moet is best #champagneproblems)

3. Sugar upsets my stomach in large quantities 

4. I like to create more than I like to consume. I like to do things (assuming I’ve had enough rest) and being hungover is not conducive for creativity. 

I’m ready for my AARP card now.

Does this mean I NEVER drink? No, it just means I don’t drink often because I’ve found so many other things that I want to do with my money and time. And that don’t affect my psyche.

So what do I do instead? 

Roller Skating: Impala Skates (thank you Brenton) 

Let’s start with the newest edition to my hobbies – learning to roller skate. Brenton lovingly got me pink skates for Christmas and while I’ve only gotten to take them out a couple times (stupid rain) its SO MUCH FUN and also SO TERRIFYING. If you have a park, parking lot, quiet street or a first floor non-carpet apartment I 10/10 recommend giving skates a go! 

Learning Keyboard 

The next hobby I’m going to talk about is playing keyboard. Have I had my keyboard for a year? Almost! Am I good at it? Absolutely not!! But I love learning songs on it. I personally love using this Youtube account for tutorials on how to play popular songs. I’ve let myself absolutely stink at playing music and it’s honestly really fun! If you are not musically inclined I 10/10 recommend picking up an instrument and learning off the internet. This let’s me tap into beginner’s mind and gives me an insurmountable mountain to climb – there will always be something new to learn. 

Painting

The third hobby I’m going to share with you all is painting! I picked this hobby up at the end of 2019 (maybe I was subconsciously preparing for this relentless year of at home living). The premise of at home painting is simple. I just find a Youtube tutorial on how to paint something, follow along, never have all the right colors and then I just kind of let my “creativity” take over and go off the rails. 

What I love about this is that I have learned that most “mistakes” in painting can be covered or adapted to. Painting allows me to tap into an artform that I never really understood and still have no idea how colors truly go together. If you want to jump in and need a joyful companion to paint with I highly recommend following a Bob Ross tutorial on Netflix. *insert gif of happy little clouds here* 

Writing (Absolutely FREE) 

Next let’s talk about something absolutely free – all it requires is your imagination – writing! As someone who loves to talk things out when they need to process I’ve found writing to be a great way to do this. The best thing about writing is that you can always SUCK and just keep it to yourself – there is literally no risk to writing.

There are quite a few ways and things to write but I’ve been dabbling in the following: 

  1. Blog posts (hi!) 
  2. Journaling (this is my personal favorite way to practice self-care and check in with myself – when my feelings or thoughts feel a bit too big I try to put them on paper) 
  3. Fiction storytelling (I picked this up in 2018 and while I’ve only ever submitted and finished one story I love doing this – I find character and world building insanely fun and it makes time FLY) 
  4. Poetry (a great way to make my thoughts and feelings make sense. It gets them out of my body and onto paper) 

If you want to write but you have no idea where to start here are a few ideas to help you. 

  1. Want to write fiction? Find or create a playlist that aligns with the world you want to be in or create. I personally love listening to dark academia playlists and writing about woods, magic, friendship, etc. 
  2. Want to journal? Find some journal prompts! You can find them on Pinterest, Google but I’m partial to the customized ones I create over on Fiverr! 
  3. Want to write blog posts? Journal or write about something that interests you. See where that thought takes you and try to narrow it down into a topic. 
  4. Want to write poetry? I have no idea what I’m doing in that department either but you can follow my poetry instagram for inspo! @ playingwithpoems 

Co-creating Additional Media 

Brenton and I have kept ourselves busy with a plethora of projects including: 

There you have it! A few of the many ways I keep myself busy and creative during these “unprecedented times”. Does this mean I don’t spend an inordinate amount of hours playing Animal Crossing? No – I still maintain an island!  Do I do all of these everyday? No! I don’t even do all of them every week – I tend to cycle through them adding new hobbies and putting down old ones in a seemingly random pattern. 

Along with all this fun I also help people get their sh*t together, organize their life, apply for (and find) jobs and many other fun life and career coaching activities. Helping people make more money or find what motivates them is my passion and I am so grateful for every single client I get to work with!! 


If you want in on the coaching fun sign up for a free discovery call here or visit this page to learn more!

adapting to change

Adapting – Change Management

Sometimes we pick change, sometimes change picks us. 2020 has reminded us that we are all constantly at risk of major change and we cannot always control what happens. What we can control is how well we adapt to change and how we grow from it. So today we are going to talk about making change manageable. We are practicing accepting change, embodying change and adapting without resistance.

Being adaptable is encouraged but not required. As Darwin did NOT say “adapt or die” (it’s a misquote – did you know that? I didn’t until I googled it for this blog post but you can learn more here

So if we are being honest, you do not have to adapt to survive. You do not have to manage change gracefully – you can drag your feet through every little adjustment. If you want to make things easier on yourself it’s time to start managing change. Know that if you decide to try the below you have already chosen change. Somewhere there is a desire for change. A wish to approach the world differently. To reach your goals – you are going to have to change. 

Adaptability is not required but if you learn to go with the flow and adapt quickly you will save time, effort and make your goal getting so much more manageable. 

If you want to create change you have to learn how to manage it! Let’s dive into the details. 

We are making change manageable (and adapting to it) by: 

In 2021 we are going to be adaptable. We are going to do all of this from a place of self love, self acceptance, and a whole lot of patience. Are you ready for it? Let’s customize your plan together – discovery calls are always free.

Self- Trust & Self-Love

self-trust

How To Build Your Self-Trust Fund

How’s the balance on your self-trust fund looking? Mines robust but it didn’t always look like this. It took me YEARS to learn how to build my self-trust fund. And now that I think I know what I’m doing I’m ready to share a few of my self trust tidbits with you! 

Self-Trust Defined

Harnessing and tapping into our self-trust is powerful but before we can use it we need to understand it. Self-trust is knowing that you can take care of yourself and your safety. Having self-trust in a scenario means that you trust yourself to get through it. 

This article on self-trust defines it as “the firm reliance on the integrity of yourself”

I like to think of it as having your own back.

Self-trust does not mean that you know exactly how things are going to play out or how to do things perfectly but you trust yourself to do the best you can in any given scenario. 

The Benefits of Self-Trust

When we move from a place of self-trust we move with confidence, independence, authority, clarity and in my experience self-love. 

Self-love and self-trust go hand in hand. I’ve discovered that trusting myself is an act of self-love. Making decisions confidently and with the faith that regardless of the outcome I will figure it out has been a major declaration of self-love to myself. 

Self-trust allows us to take aligned action towards our goals and helps our ego survive any mistakes we make. 

How I’m Building Self-Trust 

Failure 

My number one act of self-trust is letting myself fail. Last week we talked about mindset myths and one of those myths was that failure is bad.

FAILURE IS NOT BAD. Failure does not make you a bad person. 

Failure happens, mistakes get made, and in the moment it can feel like sh*t. What we do with that failure is what matters. If we can recognize failure when it pops up, see it as a sign to pivot and not associate with feeling bad about ourselves we can adapt, adjust and rebuild. That adaptability is what self development is all about. 

So trust yourself to try and trust yourself to fail. I’ve learned more from my failures than my successes. 

Commit 

Another way I build my self-trust is by committing to my decisions. 

This does not mean that I dig in when I am wrong or stay stuck in one spot because I’m committed to a path. What it does mean is that I follow through with the decisions and promises I make to myself. 

I practice self-trust by making a decision and trusting myself to make the right one. When I first started doing this I was CONSUMED by moments of doubt and I let my “What If” Monster run rampant. After every decision and during every moment of doubt I have to remind myself “I made this choice and I trust myself to have made the right choice for this scenario”. 

This will take practice!! The first big decision I made with this process was starting my coaching business. It took MONTHS of me telling myself that I made the right decision and to trust myself before it stuck. 

Now I’m nowhere near perfect on this but the more I do it the easier it gets. 

My suggestion would be to start small (unless you want to commit like I did and go all in). Make a choice, stick to it and every time you experience doubt tell yourself that you trust yourself to do it right the first time. 

Limit the Influence of the Opinions of Others

Past Emily would ask approximately 3-5 people their opinion before making a decision. I used to make Brenton review EVERY SINGLE INSTAGRAM POST I POSTED. I did not trust myself to share my message correctly. 

Now I just jump into things and ask for feedback as I’m innovating. 

In my experience the best way to do this is to take action when you have an idea and just do it. Get comfortable with following internal pulls without asking for the opinion of someone else. This involved being comfortable with f*cking up, being ok with making mistakes and trusting yourself to make the right move. 

Is it easy? Not in my opinion. But looking back at how far I’ve come with my self-trust I am so grateful for the uncomfortable moments that pushed me here. 

Check In! 

Finally, to wrap it up let’s do a little self-trust check in! 

Ready? Ask yourself the following: 

  • Do I trust myself?
  • Are there aspects of my life that I do/don’t trust myself in?
  • How do I show myself that I trust my decisions?

Want to take it to the next level? Sign up for a free coaching discovery call – let’s build your confidence, self-trust and get you aligned with your goals. 

**I am a Certified Life Coach via Universal Coaching Institute and a Professional in Human Resources via HRCI. I am not a therapist or medical professional. Please work with a medical professional when it comes to your physical or mental health. 

mindset myths

Debunking Mindset Myths in 2021

Let’s debunk some mindset myths.*A note on mindset before we begin; mindset is an amazing and helpful tool but if we don’t take aligned action it’s just thoughts. Make sure you do the mindset work AND take action. 

This week we are going to dig into the new year with new mindset myths that we think will empower us but actually hold us back. Mindset myths are out there trying to convince us to play small, to be a participant in the hamster wheel of toxic positivity and that success is just one more checkbox away. 

As a coach I see these pop up online and with my clients. In my practice it is essential that we work through these myths. Identifying where these are wrong and how we can build a more empowering mindset philosophy will help us on our journey to identifying what we want to do and how to get there. 

Mindset Myth #1: Failure = Bad

Failure is somewhat taboo. No one really likes admitting they were wrong. As a society we have made failure into a negative. Our obsession with not failing can push us over the edge. When we let our ego take over and refuse to admit that things aren’t going to plan we dig in deeper and make our mistake have a much larger impact than necessary. This mindset does not serve us when we are trying something new. 

In my personal life I’m someone who learns best by f*cking up. If I go for something, I get my hands messy, commit to it & then things go sideways. I may feel like a failure temporarily but after I reflect I learn A LOT more than if things went well right off the bat. Smooth waters never made a good sailor rings true in my life.

Failure happens, mistakes get made, and in the moment it can feel like sh*t. What we do with that failure is what matters. If we can recognize failure when it pops up, see it as a sign to pivot and not associate with feeling bad about ourselves we can adapt, adjust and rebuild. That adaptability is what self development is all about. 

Mindset Myth #2: A positive mindset is the only way to achieve success

The idea that we are one mindset shift away from being Bill Gates is absolute BS. You are not Bill Gates, you will never be Bill Gates, you are YOU! So many successful people have negative mindsets (hence why they hoard wealth) and so many positive people are struggling. Your current situation is not JUST a result of your mindset and if anyone tries to package and sell that to you they are full of sh*t. 

The toxic positivity around mindset work infuriates me. It takes an inkling of truth and turns it into a philosophy.  A positive mindset is a wonderful tool, it helps us look for solutions instead of wallowing, it helps us find the magic in the mundane, it can keep us afloat while we search for the right job, relationship or situation. It is not a ferry to your goals – it’s water wingies for when you fall in the water.

Your water wingies of positivity help you stay afloat. But you have to see the negatives, the hard stuff, the failures (see myth 1) if you want to grow. If we view our goals SOLELY through rose colored glasses we are going to miss the red flags. You deserve to achieve your goals in a way that is authentic to your human experience – don’t dim it down under the guise of “good vibes only”. 

Mindset Myth #3: I will be happy when I accomplish my goals...

Our final mindset myth is the illusive “I’ll be happy when…” Delaying our happiness by tying it to our success is a recipe for frustration. With this mindset we give in to hustle culture. We let our output determine our worth. We tell ourselves really pretty lies like “I’ll be happier when I am successful” or “My success is just around the corner”.

Instead of giving in to the hunt we need to learn to be present. I’m a big proponent of practicing mindfulness. Finding ways to find happiness or joy or fulfilment in the moment we are in. Be here now. Find the real moments now. Happiness is not something to chase in the future – it’s something to look for in the now. 

Mindfulness and being present can range from meditation (classic kind or moving meditation like yoga or dance), simply looking around the room for something that makes you smile or checking in with our body or heart to see where things come up and where we can heal. 

Happiness isn’t something to delay – it’s something to seek right now. 

To Wrap Things Up 

There are a LOT of mindset myths out there. These myths convince us to play small, gaslight ourselves and delay joy. In 2021 I’m encouraging you to call out the bs, to recognize the signs of mindset myths and toxic positivity and to ask for help if you want it. 

As a way to help more people in 2021 I’ve added some new coaching sessions to my services page. Discovery calls are always free. Let’s align your mindset with action and make a plan to make 2021 work for you. 

** please do not use this post to replace mental or physical health care from a physician. Always work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health. 

what do you want

How to Ask for what YOU Want this Year

Ready for your first tip of 2021? 

2021 is the year that we are going to ask for what we want! So tell me, what do you want?

Semi easy in concept but when we really start thinking about it, identifying what we want and why we want it can get messy. Do we really want to run a marathon or do we just like the idea of having run a marathon? Do we really want to be a millionaire or do we just want to not worry about money? Are we sure we want to be a doctor or are we just assuming we want to because it’s the only career we have ever considered?

When we start asking ourselves what we ACTUALLY want things get messy. But if we don’t take the time to check in on what we want we may end up with regret about how we spent our short time on this rock. Sure we might run the marathon but if we hate every moment of it what was the point? What were we really looking for from that experience? Can we quit halfway to our goal? 

Sometimes choosing our goals can feel high stakes. Never fear, I’m here to help you make this a little easier on yourself!

It is NOT Ungrateful to Want More 

First, we must be able to let ourselves want! Allowing ourselves to desire can be hard especially since we have spent the majority of our lives being told that we should be grateful for what we have. Gratitude is wonderful, it has a purpose, it is well meaning but we have to be able to be grateful AND desire more at the same time. If not, we may end up stagnant. 

Being demanding, wanting more and having the confidence to ask for it is not ungrateful. Ignore the bs from society telling you to play small. You can be grateful and want more. In fact, I recommend that you be grateful and want more. 

Make a List 

Now that you have let yourself want it’s time to make a list. Just like Santa… but this list is just for you. Literally, no shame, no judgment, no realistic outlooks required. Just a list of whatever you want!

This includes everything from your dream career, home, whatever you want. You can niche this down if you are specifically looking for guidance in your career or you can leave it wide open. Think of anything and everything that you believe would support you or make you happy. Begin asking yourself why you want things as you write them down but don’t overthink it. 

Throw Anything You “Should” Want Away 

After you have that list ready to go it’s time to look it over for any “shoulds”. If you’ve been here for a while you know how I feel about should-ing ourselves. I hate it.

Removing should’s varies by person but one of the ways I do it is to check in with my guts. Instead of getting in my head about the items on my list I start asking myself how my heart feels about the goal. Am I excited? Are there happy butterflies in my stomach? Am I nauseous because it seems like something that will take a lot of work? Does that end goal excite me enough to work through it? 

Be honest with yourself. It is your life. At the end of the day you are the only one who has to look back on what you’ve done and live with the choices. I promise that the authenticity that may be really hard in the moment will pay off in the end. 

Imagine the End Result

After we remove our should’s it’s time to imagine the end result of what we want. Some key questions to ask ourselves: 

How do you feel and what does it look like? The answer to this is going to help you stay motivated. 

Does the end result include expectations that are not connected to items on your list? 

Remove or add items as needed.

Finalize that List

Write up that final list of what you want. All of it. From the career changes to the healthy habits to anything and everything in between. Once you have your list finalized it’s time to pick a goal or two to start working towards. 

Make a Plan 

Finally, now that you know what you want it’s time to start making a plan. May I recommend this blog post about goal setting to get you started? 

Remember, goal setting is fun, change is exciting and going for what we want can be rewarding and HARD. If you get stuck, need help, get lost or just need someone to chat out your next steps with you please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help! Discovery calls are always free. I have some 1:1 monthly coaching spots available and if you need something to work on with your own time check out my in depth goal setting and planning program called WDYW

Ready to go for those goals? I’m so excited to watch you succeed! 

** please do not use this post to replace mental or physical health care from a physician. Always work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.