Archives for the month of: June, 2014

I found this uplifting article, 10 Things Most Successful People Do At Night Before Sleep, while browsing Twitter the other day. What do you do before you go to sleep at night? Typically, I flop down on the couch or in my bed and read or play games on my smartphone, just to unwind for the day. I don’t have a TV in my room, so I don’t watch movies and I don’t listen to my headphones–I usually have a pretty quiet evening. But, after reading the article, I wondered if anything I do, from the time I get home from work until I go to sleep, prepares me for success the next day. I had to scrutinize my habits and think about why I do them–and I came up with some great answers!

The first thing Shawn Lim, the author of the article, offers as advice to prepare for success tomorrow is to wrap up the day; that is, do not take your work home with you if you do not work from home. This is one thing I struggled with when I first started my job–I didn’t take physical work home with me, but I did take the anxieties of work home. The only thing that does is make you a ball of nerves–get out of that habit as soon as possible! Once I developed more confidence in my role at work, I understood that no matter how much I stress about my job at home, I won’t be able to accomplish anything until the next morning when I get into the office. Now, I can concentrate on my friends and family and not feel so guilty about it!

Another suggestion Lim makes is to plan for the next day by writing down what needs to get done and preparing for it. I found that accomplishing this is as simple as laying out my clothes and packing my lunch the night before, so I’m not running around frantically in the morning to get ready. If I have any errands to run after work or some freelance work to do, I make the time to get what I need or to do that work. This helps me relax when I’m ready to sleep because I know that I’ll be able to meet the challenges the next day. Preparation makes 70% of my stress go away.

The final tip Lim gives is to get enough sleep (!). I know this is the most obvious suggestion, but it’s probably one of the most difficult to achieve. It’s much easier said than done to get enough sleep during the week, but I can tell the difference in my mood and productivity immediately upon waking up after a late or restless night. I seem to need between 7 to 8 hours to function properly like a living, breathing human being and if I get a little less than that, my brain seems to be working on borrowed power. I think part of this is knowing yourself–focus your needs and what you need to do to meet them. I don’t have a spouse or children, so I can imagine making the time to get some sleep is probably very difficult with others in your household to care for, but I do know that it is extremely important to make the effort. Your spouse and your children will thank you!

This article made me think more about how I use my time. I always feel better if I have a plan for the next day, even if it’s a rough idea, and I’m going to make more of an effort to make sure I prepare at the end of each day for the one ahead.

Dog Tired Dog


Here are three more articles related to this topic that are worth checking out!
1. 20 Things Highly Successful People Don’t Do
2. 20 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People
3. 8 Easy Ways To Get Better Sleep Tonight


blue flower

Bad experiences make you a better person.

I had myself one such experience this morning.  Although it might be helpful to the reader for me to explain my experience, I don’t feel it is appropriate to get in to the nitty gritty details.

The basics of the story:

I entered in to a new academic environment today and felt very unworthy of being there.  Some of this was felt on my own account but it was definitely prompted by another person many different times.  Holding back my tears and feeling unworthy and small I started hustling for my worthiness by speaking up about my experiences that I thought would get their approval.  Now I am cringing that I did that.  It did not help.

At the end of the day, the person prompting me to feel unworthy is not on my list of people whose opinions of me matter.   I am doing the best I can and no one can ask anything more of me.   I will now never purposely make anyone feel the way I felt today.

My advice–never hustle for your own worthiness.  Know that you are enough and worthy of anything you want to try.


I decided that I would take two days off from work early next week for some “me” time. It was amazing how long it took me to allow myself to do that, even though I’m pretty sure I need a mental health day. Things are going well at work and in my personal lifenothing is wrongbut I woke up on Friday morning last week and thought “Yep. I need this.” I had to give myself permission to take those two vacation days because I felt guilty. I’m a rational person and I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but we all have our irrational moments sometimes, right?

When I was thinking about what to write for this post and reading other blogs for inspiration, I came across quite a few that state that mental health days are becoming more “popular.” I think this is because employers and employees alike are realizing they are needed every once in awhile to maintain and improve productivity. Everyone, no matter who you are, feels burnt out from time to time and taking even one day to decompress can improve your outlook immensely. Stress is a very dangerous thing if it gets out of control because it can affect you mentally, emotionally, and physicallyalmost like the flu. If all a person needs to dispel some of that stress is to take a few days off, then why not?

I firmly believe in mental health days. We all need them once in awhile and without them we might go a little nutty (which is what I want to avoid!). I’m not sure if you readers are anything like me and feel that you need permission to take a vacationwell, I’m giving it to you! Take the time you need to rest, do something you enjoy, and be human again. Do nothing all day, take a cooking class, or clean out that closet you’ve been meaning to organize for years. Whatever your style, take the time you need. If you’re overworked and overstressed, your work and eventually your personal life will suffer.

Check out these three links about mental health days:
1. 5 Signs You Need a Mental Health Day
2. Taking a Day Off Work – A Mental Health Day
3. Everyone Needs a Mental Health Rx: A Mental Health Moment

dancing in the rain

When it rains it pours.  I heard this old saying a couple months ago in a conversation with Karen regarding leads. That is the first time I had heard the phrase and at the time to my knowledge I had not experienced this.  Although, now I have some thoughts on the matter.

This old saying has perfectly described my job search.  There will be weeks when my email inbox is empty and all of my hard work is seemingly not producing any results.  Then I’ll have a weekend like this past one where I’ll reach out to people, have fun, get rejuvenated, and excited again.  I came back to my inbox today to three emails regarding some of my job search efforts. This is a huge success!

I think this raining adage is all about mindset.  If you’re in a negative spiral, the pouring rain may seem overwhelming and scary even if the rain is needed.  For example, if the emails had come in last week I probably would have been happy, but overwhelmed and a little scared to start following up with these people and companies.  But now that I am revitalized after this great weekend, my job search mojo is back and I feel inspired to follow through on these opportunities from a place of excitement.  I believe in order to be ready for the pouring rain you must be excited to run out into it and dance.  (Can you tell I love rain as a metaphor?)

Get excited and let’s dance!

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