Falling in love with saying NO

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In the age of ridiculously abundant information, it’s so easy to develop infomania and feel like you can’t stop researching and learning more about a topic. 

Nurturing and protecting your ability to create is more important and more difficult than ever.  

Falling in love with the power of no helped me learn to focus.  Instead of feeling like I’m giving up, I’ve taught myself to connect my power to say no to a feeling of freedom , liberation and power. I think of saying NO as actually enabling me to say YES.  

My power to say no to something “interesting” is what makes it possible for me to say YES and devote time and energy to what I’m truly passionate about.

Color-pencils-rainbow

 

“Stop. I’m not going to take any more input until I’ve made something with what I got.”

- Merlin Mann

 

 

12 Strategies for Designing Healthy Sleep Habits

Chronic sleep deprivation has devastating consequences in our lives. Here are just a few of the consequences of chronic lack of sleep:

  • Poor school and job performance
  • Difficulty taking information in and processing it accurately, listening or reading
  • Makes learning new tasks and concepts much harder
  • Greatly increased chance of making mistakes and even endangering lives for by driving while sleep deprived
  • Diminishes capacity to make decisions
  • Negative attitudes and pessimism
  • Impaired immune function
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Increases: Continue reading

Top 3 Reasons Designing for Your Brain BEATS Self-Control as a Peak Performance Strategy

If you are like most people today, daily living is full of unpredictable events requiring you to constantly rethink, replan, and reprioritize.

One of the most commonly recommended strategies for getting things done today is to cultivate more “self-control.” The idea is that if you had more self-control you could get more done — and operate at “peak performance” level more often — because after all “normal” successful people have a lot of self-control, right?    

That’s the common working assumption in our culture.  But really…what is self-control?  I love the way NYU Professor and author of the excellent book Ungifted: Intelligence RedefinedScott Barry Kaufman  defines it. Continue reading

Introduction to Agile Life Design and Decision-Making

This is BEING UPDATED for 2014

Agile Life Design is a decision-making process that involves thoughtfully assessing needs, wants, values and resources and then figuring out creative options and/or solutions that

  • Fulfill multiple needs (functional, emotional, cognitive, users and stakeholders, etc.) 
  • Resolve conflicting needs, values and wants

  • Provide the most value or impact using the fewest resources (time, money, energy, etc)
  • Anticipate and think through the full lifecycle of the decision to address immediate needs and take future needs into consideration as well.  

Agile design decisions anticipate how needs may change in the future and if needed, build in Continue reading

AgiliZen in Action: How We Converted our Front Yard from Dreaded Weekly Lawn Chore to Daily Garden Delight

Wanna see how we transformed our front lawn from a time, resource and energy drain to a low maintenance, agile, perennial garden where we love to hang out with friends and neighbors?  

Check out the video below!  Not only is our former lawn now an extension of our home and living space, we’ll also get fresh vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes, snap peas, and herbs.New Video - AgiliZen Lawn & Garden Work

We start renovating the front of our home after we bought it in 2001.  My very first gardening project was to install window boxes. A few years ago we lost our big oak tree and suddenly had a VERY sunny yard.  So we planted a tree (prairie fire crab apple) and then started replacing most of our lawn with garden.

This year we are initiating phase 1 of Continue reading

Asking for what you need without over-explaining.

How do you get people to understand ADHD and how it affects your needs?


I get asked this question a lot. Here’s a few ideas to help you agilize advocating for yourself in a gracious, undemanding, yet confident way.


After being diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 48, I went through a phase of trying to get people to understand what ADHD is and sharing with them how it explained so much of my whole life story. People’s responses ranged from

  • “ADHD isn’t real” to i-am-enough
  • “ADHD is just an excuse – it’s BS.” to 
  • “You don’t have ADHD.  How could you?  You’ve accomplished so much.” to
  •  “I could have told you that. My kid has it and I’ve always figured you might have it.” to 
  • “I have it too! No wonder we always got along so well” 

The reactions were quite mixed. But one thing became clear very quickly.  Continue reading

Agile Time Management Strategies – Free Download on Slideshare

I’m learning and experimenting with using SlideShare!  Here’s my first contribution.

What’s covered?

  • 2 ways Agile Time Management strategies differ from conventional time management strategies.
  • Top 5 ways we unintentionally set ourselves up for Time Management Troubles
  • 5 Keystone Time Management Habits 

Get the Downloadable PDF version at: 

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How to Cultivate the Potential Gifts and Strengths of Emotional Intensity, ADHD, Creative Intensity and other Traits of Neurodiversity

Emotional “intensity” is one of the biological traits that contribute significantly to  inner conflict, stress and misunderstandings in relationships between people with different personality and cognitive processing styles.

Intensity is also a significant predictor that an individual may be especially vulnerable to PSTD, anxiety, depression, addiction, chronic stress, chronic disorganization, chronic illness and feelings of overwhelm. 

In “Intensity of Emotion Tied to Perception and Thinking” by Daniel Goleman, Michigan State University psychologist Robert Emmons explains that

“emotionally intense people seek variety, novelty, complexity. They have more varied goals in life, know more people in more different situations, and because they are doing so many different things, feel more conflict in their lives.”

”These conflicts can be a source of stress for the emotionally intense, and may explain why they report getting more minor illnesses, like colds and flus, than do less emotional people,” said Dr. Emmons.

“The new data are showing that what are considered discrete psychological disorders may, in fact, be simply Continue reading

Rethinking SMART Goals – Agile Goal Setting vs. Conventional Goals

The SMART Goal Setting acronym has been around a long time.  I first learned it in 1981 in graduate school studying adult learning psychology. It’s time for an update.  The AgiliZen way of thinking about SMART goals fits the more improvisational lifestyle most of us creative, growth-oriented people thrive on.

Defining goals in the original model can feel restrictive and make people feel pressured to achieve them as they are stated.  If you miss a deadline it can make you feel guilty.  How we use goals to drive our behavior can wreak havoc on our emotional lives.

Imagine how different life might be if your  goals supported you in BOTH getting things done AND enjoying life? 

Enjoying life should not be the  “prize you earn” for accomplishment.  Continue reading