Prioritizing by stress level

Work Life Finding Tiffanys Oak Lawn Coffee Dallas

Work has been a lot of work lately. Lately as in, like the last year and a half.

While we are finally getting our act together in a lot of systematic ways (#startuplife), sometimes it seems that help will never come. My last painstaking hire was whisked away from me, like Wilson the volleyball floating away in the current of agency politics.

The real upside of all the insanity on my to do list is getting way better at prioritizing, voicing red flags and learning to accept my limits. And how I do all of these things involves lists, lots of lists.

Last week, I just couldn’t take any more “urgent, top priority” items. Randomly, I decided to order my to do list by stress level instead. I mean, if I’m not going to get everything done anyway, might as well be freaking out slightly less about the things left over?

It turned out to be loverly.

Finding Tiffanys Productivity Tip

To keep the list from getting too overwhelming, I broke my list into groups of three. Then I refused to even look at the next three until I had finished the first group. Apparently this a real deal productivity tip I stumbled into? I’ll take it. This also had the unintended effect of keeping me more focused and present during the work day.

There’s definitely a correlation between deadlines and stress level, so I didn’t completely throw those out the window, but I also found this helped weed out the “pop-up” tasks from the high impact ones. By the end of the week, I felt lighter, as well as proud of my productivity.

I highly recommend it!

Doing it all

but first coffee quote

I realized this week I can’t do it all.

Realistically speaking, I’m fully aware I won’t get to everything on my lists (that’s right, plural) each day. But I still approach them with the idea that if I just keep working, if I just wake up earlier, every single item will finally have nice big line through it. One day, my list will be no more. Surprisingly, this has yet to ever happen, which can be quite a stress-inducing reality.

I recently had lunch with a married friend who confided about the possibility of kids, “I don’t know how people do it. I can barely manage my life, how are you supposed to add someone else’s too?”

Later, my roommate randomly turned to me and said, “Don’t ever let me become one of those moms that gets all wound up about things that don’t really matter.”

Not one of is anywhere even close to having kids, but it got me thinking. How do people do it?

My new theory is, they don’t. Maybe the secret to growing older successfully isn’t getting everything done, it’s being okay with not having everything done. It’s recognizing some things just don’t matter.

I stumbled upon this quote from What Not To Wear’s Clinton Kelley, and all I could say was, YES.

clinton kelley quote

And some weeks I’m just going to forget when it’s my blog day, miss a long-awaited appointment and overbook myself with a whopping three activities for the same date and time. Whoops.

All work and no play, but there are monkey valentines so who cares.

ParisTraveler_Drinks_pinupPicture 11 666c7b94ee5c9f8c475df3dddcdd0108Welp. It’s going to be another busy week! Luckily, this time I woke up right on time at 5 AM to get it started right – phew.

Work in and of itself is going to be pretty stressful this week, but in a particularly good way. I am a freak who actually enjoys having to go to work early to get a head start on the day when there’s a lot to do. Especially when I am having the opportunity to work on projects I’m really interested and invested in.

There’s also a kitchen to be cleaned, laundry to be folded and a car’s interior that is desperate for some TLC. But those will just have to wait. My real goal this week is to catch up on the newsletters that have filled my inbox over the last two weeks. There literally is not enough time in the day to do all the reading I would like to.

Plus, I purchased the most adorable Valentine’s Day Cards at World Market [featured above.] I mean come on. Pop up monkeys? It could only get better if they were sloths. Ever since I moved into a new apartment, I have been single handedly keeping the USPS in business with congratulations cards, Christmas cards, change of address cards, just saying hello cards, and more cards cards cards. I would love to get these suckers written, licked and stamped this week to get it off my plate. The longer I keep them, the more attached I become. And although a single girl sending herself flowers is perfectly acceptable, I have a slight feeling sending myself a popup monkey might keep me singing “All the Single Ladies” a bit longer.

I am also finalizing Euro Trip 2013 this week! My plane ticket is purchased, passport application submitted, but the flights and trains between countries are TBD. I can’t wait for this adventure! It’s costing me an arm and leg, but I think it is upholding my New Year’s Resolution to spend less on things and more on experiences quite nicely. 🙂

Have a great week! If you’re having anything like the weather we’re having in Dallas, it’ll be hard not to.


Appointments, Dylan, Knots and Cooking.

bob+dylan+1966 dramatic-bun-2-e1335805983574 Making-Appointments-4573_l_d24eda515d5866ebChicken Strawberry Spinach Salad_1

This is a week of appointments. Well, of two. Westley and I both have check ups with the vet/doctor.. Finally. They are both long over due but are such a pain to schedule. Why are these offices even open during the day? A vet and doctors office open from 4-10 PM would suit me just fine.

I started reading Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan about a century and a half ago. I think it’s actually been about two months, but the holidays and work put me to sleep before my head even hit the pillow to start reading. Consequently, I’m only about a fourth of the way through. I never understand what it is I do after yoga or running during the week. Where do those 5 hours go before bed? Well, this week they are going to you, Bob.

Master the top knot bun. That’s right. That is on my goal list this week. I’m not even embarrassed by how shallow that might be because I want to figure out how to do one that bad. It just looks so simple.. and yet so complicated. Wish me luck.

I happen to hate cooking. I also happen to be making a larger effort to eat better, as seen in my New Years Resolution. I am quickly learning that these two sentiments don’t go hand in hand. To eat well, you need to actually cook something. For dinner, I will often just have a bowl of cereal if I do a late yoga class or a bowl of pasta after I run. Nothing that takes over 10 minutes. For this week I have spinach and grilled chicken coming my way. I am allowing myself to have pasta with the chicken, but am generally trying to cut down this week. Baby steps, babes, baby steps.