Learn // How to Overcome Workload Paralysis and Get Back into Action

Too Much To DoHave you ever had too much to do and instead of getting to work, crossing items off your to-do list, and accomplishing goals…you just take a nap or binge on Netflix?  Ugh – it happens to me more than I’d like to admit.  Here are a few things you can do to get back on track.

Learn // 6 Habits of Confident People

you are enough

To define confidence, Claire Shipman said “It’s an ability to move toward things wholeheartedly. To move toward challenges wholeheartedly without holding back… The ability to be able to just take that risk and jump into things and benefit from what it feels like to just leave your comfort zone and just do something and learn…”

Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and trust that you’re going to land on your feet.  That’s confidence.  And these six habits listed by Fast Company make The Whole Confidence Thing not seem so far out of reach.  All it takes is a conscious effort each day to reach in that direction.

Read them here!

Lists // Best Books of 2014

Books

I’m a total book nerd. By the end of this year, I will have read at least one hundred books. I read a bunch of different kinds of books – novels, cookbooks, graphic novels, comics, non-fiction. Everything. Besides, I’m a huge subscriber to the idea that reading makes your life better (simple as that!). I usually read a bunch of books that have been taking up space on my to-read list, but I’m always interested to see what other people read during the year. Here are some of my favorite Best Of 2014 lists!  If you haven’t read any of these yet, just add them to your list for next year.  Happy reading!

NPR’s Best Books of 2014 – My personal favorite of all the lists.  You can see all the books at once, or filter them through each category for easier browsing.

The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 – Because it’s The New York Times.  And because their summaries are quick and to the point!

A Year In Reading with The Millions – Authors, bloggers, and staff writers come together and each compile their own personal list of what they read this year.

Amazon’s Best Books of 2014 – Amazon breaks down their most popular picks down to each exhaustive category and celebrities even picked a few of their faves from this year.  (Bonus – you can add books you like right to your Amazon Wishlist from the lists!)

Bits & Pieces

Bits & Pieces

Attention DC, Maryland,  and Virginia!  There’s a proposal underway that will totally transform the National Mall.  Welcome to the future!

If you’re learning how to cook or just trying to simplify your knowledge, check out this amazing infographic that details all combinations of aromatics that you’ll ever need to know.

How would you have done on Beyoncé Jeopardy this week?

Ever wonder about those little side dishes of crunchy, spicy, or sour veggies they serve along side the grilled meats at Korean BBQ?  Well, they’re called banchan and there’s a plethora of different kinds, but here’s a breakdown on the most common dishes you’ll see with your dinner.

Not exactly an early bird or a night owl?  Research has found that there are actually four different groups of chronotypes.  So now you might be able to figure out the hours when you’re the most productive.

So, Whole Foods has introduced a new way of labeling their produce.  It’s called “Responsibly Grown” and it grades produce on a level ranging from “Good” to “Better” to “Best” based on how its production has impacted the environment.  Do you think this would impact the way you choose your fruits and veggies each week?

Check out these ADORABLE dissolving latte art sheets!  How cute would these be to have the next time you’re hosting brunch at your place?!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, I should’ve googled it.  Here’s how to spot a liar.

And finally, inspired by a tweet from my great friend AllieBlaBlah, here’s a plan that will help you achieve your goals in 2015.  Don’t worry if you fucked up this year – there’s always next year.  It’s never too late to start off on the right foot.

 

Read // What To Do When You Have Too Much To Do and Too Little Time

Have It All

One of the realest lessons I’m learning right now is that sometimes I just can’t have it all. There are so many projects I’m working on and even more that are in the pipeline that I can feel myself just stretching thinner and thinner. Yet every day I challenge myself to see how much I can get done. But it all comes at a cost – losing sleep, trading in exercise for an extra hour of work, skipping meals, and multi-tasking when I shouldn’t be. Sometimes, you just can’t have it all. This article from Leo BaBauta will explain why. It’s a tough thing to hear sometimes but we all gotta hear it sometime.

READ HERE!

Learn // 5 Routines To Clear Mental Clutter

Mental Clutter

Let’s face it – we’re always working. We are answering emails as soon as we wake up in the morning. We’re making phone calls during breakfast. Then, after we’re done working all day, we come home to our hobbies or our passion projects. And we do all this while connected to our smart phones at all times. It’s exhausting! And all of these conflicting roles surely leave behind their fair share of clutter in our minds. Scott Eblin, author of Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative, has a short list of things you can do to clear out the clutter in your mind and begin each day with a clean slate..

START HERE!

Read // 7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change the Way You Work

Old Ways

I can’t tell you how happy this made me to stumble upon this article this week.  From starting productive rituals to learning how to ask for what you want, I think these guidelines set the standard of excellence perfectly for anybody looking to embark on a creative endeavor.  This one is worth a read over and over.  Maybe even print it out and post it up in your creative space just to remind you to keep at it.

READ HERE!

How-To // 7 Ways to Get People to Like You

Like Me

What better way to figure it out than from Robin Dreeke, a former head of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Program, right?  One thing to remember is you can’t with ’em all and not everybody is going to like you (and you’re not going to like everyone either), but when it comes down to networking, it’s always good to make a good first impression.  And it’s easier than you think!  For example, last week I talked about how to get better at small talk.  In this article here, Dreeke suggests that asking a person what they found to be the most challenging part of their week can tell you so much about a person.  Who knows what kind of commonalities you’ll discover in a moment’s time.  So now you can stop talking about the weather and move on to something more meaningful.

READ MORE HERE!

Bits & Pieces

Bits & Pieces

I suck at small talk.  Seriously.  Don’t even try it with me.  But this week, I learned how to suck less.

Learn how to be a real person again with Adam J. Kurtz’s One Page At A Time adult activity book.

Pro-tip: sandwich uninteresting things in between memorable things and it’ll make learning boring content a little easier.

Powdered Wigs?!  Hobble skirts?!  Glad that’s over.  Take a look at these seven strange historical fashion trends.

Plot Twist:  A piece of Amelia Earhart’s plane, Electra, has been discovered!  Probably.

The Beaufort Bar in London has officially developed the coolest, pop-up cocktail menu EVER.  Making happy hour happier by every turn of the page.

Since turtles don’t have FourSquare, scientists attached tags to baby turtles to find out where they go once they hatch and make their way towards the sea.  They followed them for eight hours!  Now that’s the kind of stalking I can get behind.

Annnnnd, here’s a clip of Reading Rainbow’s Levar Burton reading “Go The Fuck To Sleep”.  Goodnight!

Read // Bits & Pieces

Nada

Know something we don’t?  Share the wealth! “You can’t generate new ideas if you’re suspiciously guarding your territory.”

It might seem a bit counter-intuitive to download a smartphone app to track much time you spend on your smartphone, but perhaps once you discover the startling truth, you’ll be more inclined to live in the moment.

I would literally rather eat a box of fiery hot lava-filled Hot Pockets than be surrounded by strangers at a networking event.  But today, networking is so crucial to success.  It really is all about who you know, not what you know.  So, if you’re anything like me, read this:  An Introvert’s Guide to Networking.

One of my secrets to living a good life is always having something to look forward to.

Watch these 11 documentaries that will change the way you think about food forever.

“Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations.” Happy Birthday, Brain Picker!

You might be sleepy, but don’t let caffeine rob you of your good ideas.

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed today?  You might be in luck.  Studies show grumpy people focus more on the finer details, while happy people just see the big picture.

Tidying Up: Get Rid of Anything That Does Not Spark Joy (organizational advice for the home and life in general)

Learn // Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

Stendig

With an increasing amount of tempting distractions plaguing us all on the daily, I’m becoming a huge fan of productivity secrets.  But I know these techniques are not one-size-fits-all, which is why I try to post different ones each week here on Cool Breezy.  This one, hands down, is one of my favorites of all time.

It originates from Jerry Seinfeld and it’s incredibly easy.  If you want to start a new behavior or quit a bad habit (or whatever it is you want to add to your daily routine), this is your answer.  All you need is a calendar and some sheer determination.  Here’s how you do it.  Let’s say you want to exercise every day.  Start today and when you finish your workout, draw a big X over today’s date on your calendar.  Do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and so forth.  Eventually you’ll start to see a chain of Xs signifying your new routine.  Hey, that’s awesome!  The point of this project is to not to break the chain.  Once you really get into the swing of things, the last thing you want to see is a huge white space glaring back at you saying “HEY! YOU DIDN’T DO THAT THING YOU SAID YOU WERE GONNA DO!”  So, don’t break the chain.  Keep going.

Learn: // 5 Strategies For Big-Picture Thinking

Big Picture Thinking

It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’ve been too focused on the step-by-step plan to get there. Here are five strategies you can use to get yourself back on track.  I’ve found the idea of picking specific goals to be most helpful for me.  If you pick goals that are specifically tailored to your big picture, the rest seems to work itself out.