These days our lives are busy. Do you ever feel like you’re slogging through water when you really want to run? Overwhelmed? Distracted? Stressed? Yeah, me too.


When you can’t seem to get everything done, and the days go by in a blur, you might be in danger of having a "near-life experience." Chris Kresser wrote about it in his article "How to Avoid a Near-Life Experience." Here are his six very useful steps:

  1. Be mindful:
    It’s an ancient Buddhist philosophy now being taught in hospitals and Fortune 500 companies, "...mindfulness simply means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment on a moment-to-moment basis." There is a large body of evidence to support mindfulness, showing that it can reduce stress and negative emotions and increase our ability to focus.

  2. Stop multitasking (it doesn't work anyway):
    It's a myth that you can get more done by multitasking. Checking email and social media while working on something actually slows you down and makes you less efficient. Besides, you're not really multitasking, you're just switching from one task to another. So, just focus on one thing at a time.

  3. Batch your email and social media:
    Limit time for phone calls and email to 2-4 times a day. This should increase your productivity (and reduce your stress) dramatically. Do you know how many times an hour the average employee checks their email? 36 times an hour. That's 288 times per eight hour work day!

  4. Turn off notifications on your phone, computer, and other devices:
    I ran into this issue recently after updating the operating systems on my computer and phone. I was getting notifications for just about everything! Ping. You have a text. Ping. You have an email. Ping, you have a voicemail. Ping, you have a calendar event. Ping. Ping. Ping. It made me crazy. I adjusted settings and shut it all off and it was total relief.

  5. Go off the grid:
    When you are constantly connected to your electronic devices, it's harder to be mindful and present. It's distracting and you can't fully relax when you need to. To go "off the grid" don't check email, take calls, use your computer, watch TV or use electronic devices at all. A whole day per week is great if you can manage it. Even half day away is very helpful.

  6. Do less (but accomplish more):
    I sooooo agree with Chris on this one: "One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in living a happier and more productive life is focusing on what is most important and letting the rest go. This has meant learning to say no to projects and tasks that are not important."

    Try it, you'll like it! :-D

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AuthorRobin Sagara

When I'm working on a creative project and I stall, feeling like my creative muse has abandoned me, I stop and remind myself that what I'm doing is not really about effort, but perspective and perception. Considering an alternate point of view, and a different interpretation of the goal of the project, makes a world of difference.

Here's one of those creative projects that was a timely reminder to me about perspective and perception (and keeping the concept simple).  Really, watch it, it's absolutely stunning.  

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AuthorRockin Robin

What is freedom? Author Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity talks about how his definition of freedom has changed over the years. Originally, it began with a desire to "determine the course of my daily schedule and overall life direction."  That was true for me too. That's why I went into business for myself, and probably why you did (or plan on doing it) too.


Like Chris, over the years my definition of "creative freedom" has evolved. I want to choose my own adventure in this life. I want what I do to mean something good. I want challenge, growth and learning too.

"I think that most of us want freedom to create, to make something meaningful. The freedom that we achieve allows us to move to higher planes of mission and purpose," says Chris. I agree.

It's worth thinking about. What does creative independence mean to you?

Read "What is Freedom" by Chris Guiolebau here.

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AuthorRobin Sagara