What’s on your TA-DA list?

If you’re anything like the vast majority of entrepreneurs in this world, you have a To-Do List that’s 10 miles long. Your days and weeks amount to checking things off the list in order to feel like you are making progress.

Some days, you dream of adding in Take a shower and Brush your teeth just so you can feel like you’re accomplishing something.

And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with the epic To-Do List, it often acts as the proverbial carrot dangling in front of your face. Always striving, working, and reaching, and never taking the time to see how far you’ve come.

That’s where the Ta-Da List comes into play.

A Ta-Da List is a compilation of the things you’ve checked off your To-Do List and accomplished, big or small. It’s a celebration of the strides you’ve made, the risks you’ve taken, and the mini dance parties you’ve had in your head.

It’s a clear-cut reminder to take pause and appreciate all of the successes you’ve had.

To-Do vs Ta-Da

To-Do is always looking forward at what needs to be done.
Ta-Da is looking back at all of the things that you’ve accomplished.

To-Do is never-ending.
Ta-Da is always celebrating.

To-Do is a catalog of all the things you want to do.
Ta-Da is a catalog of all the things you’ve done.

To-Do is a chore.
Ta-Da is a party.

To-Do is lackluster without the Ta-Da!

Ta-Da away

The next time your To-Do List is starting to bog you down, why not switch it up and create a list of all of the things you’ve accomplished?

It could be in the past 2 hours, the past 2 weeks, or the past year.

Regardless of how far back you go, know this: being productive is important, but so is taking time to recognize just how far you’ve come.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emily Levenson, Propelle Co-Pilot Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach who has devoted her life to helping others rewrite the story of their lives and feel deeply connected to their truth.

When she’s not delving into the dark corners of the unconscious, you can find her writing about her journey to get pregnant, testing people for food sensitivities, or planning epic events with the women of Propelle.

Find out the latest life lesson that Emily has learned over on her website, emilylevenson.com.

The Great Gilbert Giveaway!

Elizabeth Gilbert at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures

Elizabeth Gilbert—best selling author and inspirational speaker—is coming to Pittsburgh and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

When we heard Elizabeth would be speaking, we reserved a section of seats for the ladies in our Rock It! community. They were snatched up in a matter of minutes. The good news? We held onto one of those tickets for YOU.

That’s right. We’re giving one away.

This is going to be one hell of an inspiring girl’s night out.

Here’s how to enter:

Enter Now!

Organized Time

Organized Time

Ever feel like your calendar gets the very best of you? Or like your left alone swimming in a list of to-do’s a thousand miles long?

Been there. Done that. Have the t-shirt.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. It really is possible to feel like a total productivity master with a few simple tweaks.

If to-do lists are your thing:

  • Write down everything that you want or need to get done each day (or week).
  • Select 1-3 things from that list that are your absolute priorities. Meaning, if you get nothing else done, this needs to get done.
  • If you’re having trouble selecting the top priority because everything feels like a priority, try writing them all on pieces of paper and choosing 1-3 from a hat at random.
  • If you get everything done, go back to your list and repeat.

If you live and die by your calendar:

  • Schedule in time to do the things you need to do, including lunch breaks and self-care items (like massages, manicures, or walks).
  • Consider having themes for your days (or mornings) like Marketing Monday’s, Social Media Tuesdays, Newsletter Wednesdays, Email Clean-out Thursdays, and Free-for-all Fridays.
  • Make sure to honor your time. If you want to have client sessions at a specific time every week, but then schedule a million other things during that time slot instead, you’re never going to reach your goal.

If you struggle to start because your workspace is cluttered:

  • Set a timer for 10-15 minutes each day and clean! You could start with a corner of your desk, clearing out your computer desktop and filing everything away, or throwing away all old items on your bulletin board.
  • Identify what tools—filing system, shelving units, bookshelves, etc.—would help you get more organized.
  • Hire a professional. Sometimes we need a bit of help to get unburied from a mess. There is no shame in getting help and tackling it together.

You may have to try a few techniques or tweaks to find what works best for you. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s encouraged. At the end of the day, it’s really about making progress towards your goals and less about being a slave to your calendar or to-do list.

Now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite way to stay organized?

We’d love to hear your favorite tips, tricks, and organizational tools in the comments below.

If you’d rather tweet about it, here is a sample tweet to get you started (click here to tweet):

My favorite way to stay organized is ____________ (fill in the blank). @wepropelle



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emily Levenson, Propelle Co-Pilot Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach who has devoted her life to helping others rewrite the story of their lives and feel deeply connected to their truth.

When she’s not delving into the dark corners of the unconscious, you can find her writing about her journey to get pregnant, testing people for food sensitivities, or planning epic events with the women of Propelle.

Find out the latest life lesson that Emily has learned over on her website, emilylevenson.com.

[Guest Post] Redefining the F-Word: The Importance of Failure

the f word
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Over the years we’ve all heard inspirational words from leaders, mentors, teachers and scholars on what is, and what isn’t considered failure. Many believe it’s the feeling you get when accomplishing a goal, attaining prosperity and popularity, or even being blessed with finding personal meaning.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Failure is a lot like icing on a cake—it gives success great substance and significance, as long as we have the moral courage to pursue such a feat with determination. One should never be afraid of making mistakes because it is from our mistakes that we learn to succeed.

Years ago, I met a magazine editor at a workshop who shared with me these words of advice: “The key to success is having dreams and making them come true.” I wondered if what she shared was accurate. We all have dreams and work hard to attain them, so what does it take to make them come true?

Through the years, I’ve learned from my experiences that between having a dream and manifesting it into reality, it will take a great deal of courage and a brave heart to overcome obstacles, because along the way you will fail. Though it’s painful, it is important to recognize that failure is a vital part of success.

Failure shouldn’t be regarded as the opposite of success, but rather an instrument to reaching your goals. In today’s world, the F-word has become a dreaded anxiety and must be prevented at all costs. Through success, you will be familiar with failure because you cannot successfully master something without failing. We are raised in a society that rarely focuses on the drive found in failure which has the ability to feed the soul. Our successes in life are largely dependent on how we fail and view our ineffective endeavors, and how we react to them afterwards. You need to be able to constantly strive and go beyond your comfort zone if you want to be successful. There have been many cases in life where failure crushes someone so deep that they cannot continue and end up feeling dispirited towards their dreams.

I have a friend who dreamed of becoming a professional actor and moving from small town Indiana to sunny California. He did a lot of theater, received awards for his work that affirmed his skill, and found great meaning in the arts. After being cast in a TV pilot for a major network and traveling to L.A to start production, he was told the show was cancelled. It crushed him. For months he tried to find work, did some more theater, but sadly gave up. Through conversation, I often felt his efforts weakened due to personal fears of failing again. To this day, he calls his current job his number two dream.

Failure has an appalling way of feeding fears to our doubts and insecurities that it isn’t possible to succeed when you nosedive—but that isn’t true. Fear is only as deep as you allow it to be. If you understand what failure means to you, you will see how you can triumph. If you can get past the fear and accept it as a probable outcome, any impossible dream seems possible.

No one ever fails in life unless they give up entirely or stop trying—herein lies the difference between failure and success. Our successes in life are determined by the courage we have to face such failures. Disappointments will come and go, but they’re a vital part of the process to achieving your goals. Many don’t realize that success and failure go hand-in-hand—by fearing one, we deny the benefit of the other.

It’s counterintuitive to recognize that failure is something to embrace. Without a willingness to be brave and separate it from your identity, success will come progressively slower. By personalizing failure and giving it importance, not only are you damaging your self-esteem, but you’re wreaking havoc on your confidence. It’s important to allow yourself to become introspective and equally courageous since courage is a vital component to success through failure. It tests our adversity and shows us the depth we can push in order to gain what we want.

What would life be like if we didn’t have the courage to attempt anything after failing? Man wouldn’t be able to nourish his creative mind or achieve modern day ideas. Imagine a world without light bulbs! Thomas Edison took 10,000 tries before developing a successful prototype. When asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times, Edison replied, “The light bulb was an invention with 10,000 steps.”

It’s about perception. If you believe you’re bigger than your failure and treat it as a stepping stone, you’re on the right path. If you don’t come across failure in anything you do, you’re not living life to the fullest, nor understanding the meaning behind such disappointments. Remove all feelings and look at failure analytically. It’s essential to learn from past mistakes, no matter how big or small because each of our mistakes teach us something new, and show us fresh ways of approaching a problem. In many ways, failure is our greatest teacher in life.

It might be painful to look back at your failures, but by avoiding them, you’re not fully engaging on the path to success and understanding where you need to be. With every challenge where failure is foreseeable, you will discover something new about yourself and how to get there. Failure is a constant learning opportunity, but only if we allow it to be.

Success brings power, and so does failure. Failure has the ability to encourage improvement and planning, letting you see yourself without embellishments. These failures allow you to build character and turn into the person you ideally wish to become. Successively, you will become more honest with yourself and see personal potential more clearly.

Your failures in life are not etched into who you are, but rather, ingredients to success. Leave behind any negativism found in the F-word and focus on the positivity.  Failure is the one thing we can build on top of and know we can’t go wrong. It’ll guide us through life and show us who we really are. 

Life is all about taking a risk and finding a passion. If you fail along the way, know that it was worth it to take that leap of faith because without failure, where would you be today?

***

Head Shot 2014 - Tania HussainTania Hussain is a writer, entrepreneur, and life long learner. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine, The Hudsucker, and a freelance journalist with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), an organization dedicated to strengthening the role of female journalists worldwide. You can find her on Twitter @westlifebunnyLinkedIn, and her personal website

What do you do for FUN?

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What do you do for fun?

Seems like an innocent enough question, and yet it baffles people. Brings them to an absolute halt.

When we were kids, we just knew how to do this. It was our raison d’etre. Our life’s mission. Yet, somewhere along the way we internalized the notion that children have fun, but adults have to work.

And fun began to get pushed down to the bottom of our priority list.

As entrepreneurs, we typically have a mantra of “work first, play later”. But later never seems to come. There is always work to do; always something that seems more worthy of our time.

Ironically, the days where we take it a little easier on ourselves—playing and having fun—we’ll end up getting more done, have more energy to work on things, and be more focused.

Fun is good.

Having fun—and more specifically laughing—strengthens our immune system, reduces stress and anxiety, and gives our heart, lungs and diaphragm a much needed workout. When we have fun, we are more likely to meet and engage with others, and create lasting relationships.

Having fun has also been connected with things like reduced pain, weight loss, lower blood pressure, and a longer life. Yes, please.

The best part? Fun changes our internal dialog, making it more positive and supportive. And you know how important our thinking patterns are, right?!

Let’s put fun back on the priority list.

Fun is the proverbial pinch of salt that brings out the flavor of your life.

Here are 7 things you can do to start having more fun every single day:

  1. Seek out and have adventures. Go for a walk around your neighborhood looking for lost treasures. Get lost on purpose and explore a new part of town. Go on a scavenger hunt through a store looking for as many purple items as you can find. Hide love notes for people to find all over the city. It doesn’t matter what you do, just go do it!
  2. Get lost in the moment. Crank up your favorite song and dance around the room, get immersed in a good book, loose yourself in nature. Whatever you choose, set aside your to-do lists (and that nagging guilt), and be present with the task at hand.
  3. Learn a new skill. Take a knitting class, learn how to kayak, take up slam poetry. Nothing jolts you out of your comfort zone and forces you to be present like learning a new skill. Yes, it can be frustrating. But it can also be incredibly rewarding and fun.
  4. Laugh. Tell a joke, watch a goofy video on YouTube, go to a comedy show, rent a funny movie, or tell embarrassing stories with your friends over a glass of wine. Whatever it is, do it. And do it often!
  5. Do what you loved as a child. Chances are, the things that you loved to do when you were 10 years old are things that you will still love to do now. Ask yourself this: what are my most fun memories from childhood? What was I doing?
  6. Have a fun buddy. According to research, everything is more fun when you do it with someone else. (Yes, even that.) Find a friend or loved one to do things with, even if it’s walking around the mall, Skyping while watching your favorite TV show, or going for a run.
  7. Schedule it in. Okay. I know that this one sounds like the least fun to do, but it’s a biggie. Create an alarm on your phone, make a standing appointment every day, and honor it. Most importantly, give yourself permission to bring fun into your every day life.

Putting it into practice

What’s one thing you can do today to start making fun a priority?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emily Levenson, Propelle Co-Pilot Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach who has devoted her life to helping others rewrite the story of their lives and feel deeply connected to their truth.

When she’s not delving into the dark corners of the unconscious, you can find her writing about her journey to get pregnant, testing people for food sensitivities, or planning epic events with the women of Propelle.

Find out the latest life lesson that Emily has learned over on her website, emilylevenson.com.
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