Connect with Verve Newsletter 7.26.2020
Take it down a notch
I just woke up from a messed up dream. I was at the gym — and that’s only the beginning of the nightmare! I was at the gym, on a treadmill, and the incline was cranked up as high as it could go. Around my waist was one of those thick rubber resistance bands, and it was anchored down to a wall on the other side of the room. And there I was, running as hard and as fast and with as much energy as I possibly could, huffing and sweating and charging with determination. And then, out of nowhere, stuff is being thrown at me! Miscellany – paper, bottles, books, random stuff, and I’m ducking and bobbing and trying to maintain my balance. And all the while, I’m wearing a mask.
You see where I’m going with this, right? Dream, meet reality. This is kinda what being a working mom feels like right now. What being a stay at home mom, a front line essential worker, an entrepreneur, a creative, feels like right now. It’s what LIFE feels like some days. We are fighting an ongoing, uphill battle and problems, questions and challenges are literally being thrown at us, left and right. It’s complete madness!!!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: My wish for you is to strip out ALL the excess. Get down to bare bones basics as the ultimate measure of self-care. Massages are great, decluttering is fine, but managing your commitments, your data intake and your stimuli is the name of the game when it comes to simplifying your life your life at this crazy time. Whatever you can do to take yourself off that treadmill, or at the very least decrease the incline or the speed!
Coaching Reflection Question
“The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.”
-Greg McKeown, Author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of LessWhat is essential in your life right now? What can you eliminate such that you can better focus on those few essential things?
Resources: Lead with Verve
A great place to start: Unsubscribe from all the noise
I recently started listening to the audiobook of “An Audience of One” by Srinivas Rao (I have a couple of free copies available on Audible, lmk if you are interested).I picked it up thinking it would be about creative mindfulness, a topic I’m really excited by these days. While he does emphasize the importance of establishing a daily creativity habit, he actually (so far as I have read), spends a lot of time talking about HOW to create TIME to establish a daily creativity habit. The book is filled with life hacks for time and energy management that ultimately boost your ability to get into the ‘zone’. LOVE.
As a way of applying some of his suggestions, I tackled my inbox. Over time I have subscribed to several newsletters and store/product mailing lists, all with the intention of learning from that thought leader or being notified of the next great deal. I realized that seeing those messages flooding my mental space every day was overwhelming and give me major FOMO (fear of missing out). So I unsubscribed from the majority of those ‘sales-y’ subscriptions and instead ensured that I followed the most resonant of brands on social media, where I know I can find them ON MY OWN TIME.
My goal for Connect with Verve is to give you food for thought and a gentle reminder to keep your creative spirit alive in little ways every day. I intentionally only publish bi-weekly and I try to keep the content segmented into three actionable components: Personal reflection (mine and yours), one resource to enhance your leadership and one to enhance your creativity. If you don’t want to get these messages in your inbox, you can always find the archives on my blog. I want you to stay subscribed only if you get value out of my self-coaching prompts, recommendations of resources, and announcements of upcoming programs and offerings. But if this feels like just one more thing flying in your face, please do yourself the favor of unsubscribing and sparing yourself the data overwhelm. I know you know I’ll still be here whenever you need me.
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Resources: Create with Verve
Create every day
I don’t often associate “time management” with “creativity” but listening to Audience of One (mentioned above), I really started to see the connection. I’ve always been a planner, and I love picking out my new journal and daily planner at the beginning of each year. I got into a rut recently as I found the pages of calendars and agendas too constraining. I really wanted a place to visualize and brainstorm, and I also wanted to add my own flair to my planner. I first found the Passion Planner in 2018, but I didn’t really appreciate the power in its simplicity. It looked so plain and bland. I hadn’t started on my creative journey yet, so I just thought it HAD to stay that way. I had seen stickers and washi tape and gel pens being sold in conjunction with planners, but I just didn’t get it.
By the time I was looking for my 2020 planning system, I had spent a year Bullet Journalling, and seeing all the possibilities a blank page could yield, but I found it cumbersome to recreate my ‘spread’ every week. Then I remembered my old Passion Planner that had been gathering dust for 2 years! I pulled it down and it immediately all clicked — the pages were intentionally sparse so you could have structure AND add your own style. There was lots of room to doodle, sketch, brainstorm and make lists. It has become an absolutely invaluable resource as I manage my day job, my business, the family homeschooling and activity calendar, as well as my other creative pursuits. I’m having a blast decorating it and because I have tailored it to my needs I actually USE it. I look forward to my Monday morning and end of the month planning and review sessions, and I’ve even enlisted my 6 year old to help me.
I love this system so much, I created a video to apply to be a Passion Planner Ambassador, which I hope will allow me to spread the word about this awesome system, and even enable me to easily gift them to my clients! Stay tuned!
How do you manage your time? Is your system working for you? Does it give you *joy* to use it? Does it let you be creative, be organized, or be whatever you most need it for? What’s one thing you could do to that would ease your overwhelm and get you feeling productive?
Til next time, be safe and be well,
Lauren Travis Lambrecht
Founder, Verve Leadership
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