Monthly Archives: May 2011

The “Back to Reality” Blues

I just returned from an amazing vacation in Maui. My boyfriend and I stayed with my grandparents in their condo on the beach to celebrate his graduation from UNR. You would think after a nice relaxing week on the beach I would be fully energized and ready to tackle real life, but jetlag and cold weather just aren’t making it easy. I went from Alooooha! to Aloblahhhh, and I’m wishing I was back on the beach in the sunshine.

The funny thing is, I know that if I lived in a place like Maui, it would lose its luster. Vacations are an essential part of creating balance in your life; however, if you are always on vacation, it no longer does the trick. Working extra hard makes those breaks that much more rewarding. I think if I were on permanent vacation, I would eventually have the urge to find something to do. Consider, for example, the many retirees who have gone back to work because they got tired of sitting around and needed something productive to keep them busy. It all comes down to the fact that you can indeed have too much of a good thing. Moderation is key to creating balance.

I know I will feel more refreshed in a couple of days and more motivated to get into my work. In the meantime, I am going to continue to attempt to readjust to reality while I fantasize about where I’m going next!

On a side note….

If anyone is interested in vacationing in Maui, my grandparents’ condo is amazing and available for rental throughout the year. Shameless plug, I know 🙂


Amazing Maui Condo for Rent!!

To a happy, healthy, and productive life!

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Filed under Balance

How to Tackle New Project Anxiety

I always get overwhelmed when first assigned a new project. It’s that point in time when you have no answers, limited information, and no plan that evokes the fear of the unknown. My head begins to swim with questions, ideas, and thoughts as the new assignment is laid on me. It’s not until I have a moment to sit down and organize the muddled mess in my mind that I begin to relax and move forward with confidence.

When tackling a new project, organization is key. You have to organize your thoughts before you can even begin to make sense of it all. Here is what I do during the initial stages of project planning:

Ask questions

Get as much information as you can right from the beginning, and take notes. Make sure you are clear on expectations, timelines, and assumptions. If you don’t know something, leverage the knowledge and experience of others. The more details you can get from the beginning, the less chance you have of losing time by heading in the wrong direction.

Make a list (1 of many!)

This is how I release all those thoughts clogging my brain, so I can think clearly. I write things down in lists, starting with the major components of the project. I sort these sections in order of urgency and sequence. From there, I break down all the actionable items into tasks for each.

Create a timeline

Once you have a better understanding of the work breakdown structure, it’s easy to start creating a timeline or Ghantt chart. Be realistic with your time estimation; you have to find the balance between over ambitious and dragging your heels. Give yourself a little cushion because overly aggressive timelines could set your project up for failure.

I always feel much better once I have done these things. What do you do when journeying into the unfamiliar territory of a new project?

To a happy, healthy, and productive life!


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Filed under Professional Productivity, Time Management/ Organization

Going the Extra Mile

It was a beautiful spring day in Reno today, and on top of it, I kicked off the running season with my first 10k race! I have done a handful of 5k’s, and I moved up to an 8k last fall, but today I accomplished one of my goals by adding an extra mile and going for the 10k. I really enjoy participating in local fun runs, and we do have quite a few to choose from here in Reno. I love the energy and comradery that radiates from these runs; it’s pretty inspiring being in the midst of so many active, motivated people.

Not only is it the thrill of the race that makes these runs exciting, it’s knowing that the whole crowd has come together to support a cause. Most fun runs are organized to raise money for research, charities, and other non-profits. What better way to give back to the community, while simultaneously doing something good for your health? Not to mention the awesome T-shirt and goodie bag full of loot.

If you haven’t done one of these events, I highly suggest you give it a try. Even if you don’t consider yourself a runner, these races are usually walker friendly. The best way to set a goal for a race is to choose one you would like to do in the future, whether it’s in a month or 6 months, and register. Now you are committed. Put it on your calendar and start telling everyone about it. Once it’s out in the open that you have set this goal, you have even more motivation to follow through with it. If you don’t run much, start small. A 5k is 3.3 miles, so start jogging 1 or 2 miles without stopping and add on from there. You can count on some adrenaline and crowd energy to give you an extra push on race day.

If you do race regularly, I challenge you to set a new goal. I plan on tackling a few more 10k’s before the season is over. In the next year or two, I will work up to a half marathon. Do you have any fitness goals you are working toward?

To a happy, healthy, and productive life!

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Filed under Health, Motivation, Personal Productivity