How to Create an Imaginary Board of Directors

While I may not technically be on a first-name basis with Janelle Monáe or Dolly Parton, I feel like I know them well enough to imagine the advice they would give me if I could text them in a moment of panic. Sometimes that perspective is all you need.

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Book Review & Takeaways: Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee

Relaxing is not my strong suit. Of course, I always feel better after taking a break. But I'm constantly catching myself trying to squeeze in one more thing (or twenty) before I call it quits for the day.

I recently turned to Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving by Celeste Headlee for a much-needed CTFO pep-talk.

Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee - Free Period Press

Making Time to Do Nothing

I find myself continually reading books and listening to podcasts about rest. It turns out I need lots of reminders not to be working all the time. This helps shake me out of my "mindlessly busy" habits. (Hurry Slowly, a podcast about slowing down, is one of my other favorites along the same vein.)

Headlee summarizes her favorite “life-backs” (a play on the term, “life-hacks”) to help us break our addictions to “efficiency without purpose and productivity without production.” I’ve included a short description when the tips are less self-explanatory:  

  • Schedule leisure.
  • Schedule social time.
  • Create your ideal schedule.
  • Work in teams. “We have evolved to think in groups and bounce ideas off others. Analysis of data from diverse industries going back decades shows that even the most experienced expert reaches better conclusions when their recommendations are merged with the advice of less-knowledgeable people,” she says. Another tip from Headlee: Brainstorm alone, but evaluate your ideas as a group.
  • Work fewer hours.
  • Commit small, selfless acts. Add this to your daily to-do list!
  • Stop comparing at a distance.
  • Focus on ends, not means. Be wary of “means goals” like getting a promotion or losing a certain amount of weight. Instead, focus on “end goals” like creating better products or living longer. For most of us, our end goal is “living a good life.” “End goals often provide a direction—going west—instead of a specific destination.
  • Increase time perception. This means becoming more aware of what you do between waking and sleeping.

I also love this quote she cited: "Charity is really self-interest masquerading under the form of altruism." -Anthony de Mello

Are you also in need of a CTFO pep-talk? Check out the book here or at your local library! You can also read or listen to an interview with the author on NPR.

Browse other books I’ve been enjoying:

Big Dreams, Daily Joys by Elise Blaha Cripe

Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee Takeaways - Free Period Press

Five Finger Breathing: A Relaxing Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety

Have you heard of Five Finger Breathing? I read about it in the New York Times article Peak Anxiety? Here Are 10 Ways to Calm Down, and it's a super-helpful tool!

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Book Review & Takeaways: Big Dreams, Daily Joys

I'm trying something new to share books I've loved. Instead of attempting to summarize an entire book for you, I'll be sharing what especially resonated with me or changed my outlook. After all, that's supposedly the point of self-development books, right? First up is Big Dreams, Daily Joys by Elise Blaha Cripe.

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The Winter Self-Care Survival Guide

The season of 2020 that we all have been dreading is finally on our collective doorsteps: it's winter. But winter doesn't have to bring gloom with it! We've been dreaming up some ways to keep your spirits light this winter. Read on for our Winter Survival Guide.

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How to Create an At-Home Self-Care Retreat

Throughout this rollercoaster that is 2020, we've been told time and again to prioritize self-care. And for good reason! Making self-care part of our daily routine reminds us that we are worth putting time and energy into. As a way to cap off the year, we wanted to organize a day-long Self-Care Retreat. We want you to spend a whole day valuing your damn self. Read on for our mini guide on how to do it.

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6 Journal Prompts for Fall

It's fall! There are three months left of the 2020! We've almost made it! That calls for some reflecting, don't you think? Here are some journal prompts to get you started.

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How to Meditate Without Actually Meditating

You don't have to be sitting on a pillow with your eyes closed to be practicing meditation. Here are some ways to become more mindful throughout your day. Hint: it involves getting out of your head and getting into the present moment.

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10 DIY Collage Greeting Card Ideas

One of our favorite ways to use our new Collage Kit Magazine is to make greeting cards. Collage Kit co-creator Amber Esner made 10 fantastic examples to inspire you!

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24 Cleveland Makers Selling Cloth Masks Right Now

Want to support our local Cleveland mask makers, but don't know where to start? We created a guide of 24 Clevelanders sewing up fabric masks for you. Stay safe out there & protect others!

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