Quit worrying about people judging you

And get on with your amazing life

Years ago, when I left the world of graphic design and started speaking to and training businesses on various aspects of productivity, I was worried about what people, especially clients and friends, would think or say.

I imagined them questioning my decision, my qualifications, and possibly my sanity. I imagined them telling me I couldn’t do this. That it was foolish to change careers. That I would regret my decision. I was so worried about what people thought I delayed making a clean break with graphic design for an entire year.


Photo by Dogukan Sahin on Unsplash

Build a midday routine that stops mid-afternoon energy crashes

The first two hours after I get up in the morning are boring.

Not boring in the “I’ve got nothing to do” sense but in the “lack of stress and emotional surprises” sense. And I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

I wake up, and I know exactly what happens in the next two hours to set me up for my productive day. Yeah, I’m one of those people who have a morning routine.

I know I’m not alone. Millions of people have morning routines, all designed with one goal in mind: to set us up for a fantastic…


Man jumping in the air in the mountains
Man jumping in the air in the mountains
Photo by Cam Adams on Unsplash

You hold the power to get more done by talking to yourself (and saying the right things)

Last week, as I was wandering through the grocery store’s produce section, I found myself talking, out loud, to myself. Not an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence in my day since I talk to myself a lot. (Psychologists call this external self-talk, I call it a typical Tuesday.) While I was discussing the nutritional and taste merits of different vegetables, someone heard me and assumed I was talking to them. It was a little awkward explaining that, no, I was talking just to myself (and having a great conversation.)

I’m okay with talking to myself, not just when it comes to the vegetables…


Don’t go all in when things go off track

When life throws you and your goals a curve, don’t give up

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve decided to make a change in your life. Let’s say something like eating healthier so you can drop some pounds. So you’ve started bringing a salad from home for lunch every day — no more fast food for you — just well-thought-out, healthy choices.

Your intentions are good, your actions are on point, and you’re committed to making a real change.

Everything is working out great. You’re looking good, your clothes are fitting better, and you’re feeling virtuous about your choices. And then…

Since so many birthday celebrations were missed during 2020, it’s…


Lack of motivation doesn’t have to ruin your day. Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

What to do on the days when you don’t want to do anything

How motivated are you feeling these days?

As we tentatively step back into “normal” life, there will be days where your focus and motivation aren’t really what they could be (which is a surprise to no one.) This is incredibly frustrating, especially if you need to be taking care of things but are finding it very difficult to get started.

I’ll admit there are definitely days where I am struggling to find my focus and motivation right now. My struggle eats into and drains my energy levels, so doing things like sitting down to write just doesn’t sound like fun.


Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

Eliminate Moments of Choice to preserve your time

Three seconds ago, you had a Moment of Choice.

You had to decide if you were going to click and read this article or not.

Chances are you didn’t pause and say to yourself, “Hmmm, this is a Moment of Choice; what’s my decision? What am I going to choose to do?” Instead, without even thinking, you clicked. And here you are. (Thank you for that.)

This was not your first Moment of Choice of the day, nor will it be your last.

Moments of Choice constantly show up in your life. They are the decision points where you have…


Photo by Joyful on Unsplash

The three things no one talks about

Over the past year or so, millions of people have been introduced to the wonders of Working From Home (WFH) for the first time.

They’ve learned to put “offices” together in their dining room and the intricacies of Zoom calls that take up full days. They’ve learned to dress for comfort, if not success (and that pants sometimes really are optional.) And they’ve found the joy (and frustration) in spending more time (waaaaay more time) with their families.

Now many of the former WFH rookies are seasoned experts and want to continue the WFH life because of its upsides. …


Keep your brain in one room.

The secret to getting things done lies in treating your brain like a house

Think about what a regular day looks like for you and how many things are constantly fighting for your attention. Whether it’s your phone, your family, the current news, social media, your co-workers, or another Zoom meeting, the battle for your attention is genuine and never-ending.

Often, it might feel like the best answer is to do as many things at once as you can: make breakfast while watching the news and talking to your kids about what is happening at school, all while you are mentally planning your day. But none of this even remotely resembles focus. Because it…


Say it early and often

The secret that E. B. White knew…and you should too

One of the most powerful ways to protect your time, energy, and ultimately, your happiness is one that often feels the hardest to do.

It doesn’t involve downloading an app or any complicated steps. You’re never limited in how often you can use it. It’s simply saying “No” to the things that don’t align with your goals for your time and energy and your future. This applies whether that future is this afternoon or in two months.

Saying “No” is the one-syllable way to protect and preserve not only your time but also your sanity.

One of my favorite ways…


man in flower field shooting photos
man in flower field shooting photos
Photo by Alex Bracken on Unsplash

What do fields of flowers have to do with your ability to focus? A lot more than you might think.

For a moment, let’s imagine you are in a field of beautiful spring flowers taking photo after photo of the blooms in front of you. You and your camera are focused only on the gorgeous flowers. There are no distractions. Just flowers.

This is deep focus, camera style.

This is the kind of focus you want in your everyday life. Deep and intense. (Flowers are, of course, optional.) Deep focus is where your brain functions most efficiently, allowing you to get more done because you have only one thing to concentrate on.

Unfortunately, all too often, you are confronted with…

Ellen Goodwin

Productivity Consultant, TEDx Speaker, Podcast Co-host, Author of DONE: How To Work When No One Is Watching. Learn more at Ellen@EllenGoodwin.com

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