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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Time Management

In Forge. More on Medium.

Attempting to power through isn’t always the answer to feeling stuck

Photo: Wand_Prapan/Getty Images

I, like most people I know, get stuck all the time — stuck on thoughts, feelings, physical challenges, creative projects. And when I get stuck on something, The first thing I do is attempt to work through it: I try to unpack the thought, unwind the feeling, bust the plateau, or force the creative insight.

Sometimes this works. Often it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, the best thing I can do is step away. But it’s also the hardest. My brain, like most human brains, hates leaving things undone. I face a strong urge to lean in and continue picking at…


‘Roles on the Radar’ shows you the potential in your life that you’re probably missing

Photo: © Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Do you ever feel frustrated about all the things you want to do, knowing there won’t be enough time to get it all done? Or, while you are dedicating your precious time to one aspect of your life, you get that nagging feeling you are neglecting another more important area?

In my role as a scrum master, my job is to help teams within companies improve their performance over time. The process involves conducting retrospectives, sessions in which team members openly and honestly evaluate their performance over the past time frame. …


Don’t let one distraction keep you from what you intended to spend your time on

Photo by Terrillo Walls on Unsplash

To-do lists are supposed to keep us on task. It turns out they do the opposite. I’ve written about the many reasons why.

To regain focus and be more productive, it’s far better to create a timeboxed schedule. You can’t say you got distracted unless you know what you got distracted from. That is, without knowing how you want to spend your time, there’s no way you’ll spend it intentionally.

However, there’s a common question I get about timeboxing that seems to trip people up: “What should I do if I get off track?”

Everyone gets distracted from time to…


🤷 Tip: When you need to say “no” to something, say you have a rule.

If you need an easy and straightforward way to decline a request—perhaps an acquaintance on Facebook is asking if you want to hear about their latest MLM business or a colleague has just invited you to an event that starts at 8 p.m.—Ryan Holiday suggests saying you have a rule, something he learned from Nerd Fitness founder Steve Kamb.

Holiday writes on Forge: “‘I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.’ ‘I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.’ ‘I have…


A one-week plan to build the boundaries you don’t have

This is part two in a series. The first part explains what a happiness fence is and why you need one.

Life in the modern world is full of dogs shitting on our lawns. That’s how I think about a lack of boundaries. The relentlessness of our lives — the pinging, the ringing, the going, the rushing, the overwhelming calendars — tramples all over our pretty landscaping. We need a fence, a “happiness fence.” Check out my piece “It’s Time to Build a Happiness Fence” to learn what it is and why it is critical in the modern world. Today…


📂 Today’s tip: Try “day batching.”

When you approach your day’s tasks like a game of whack-a-mole — gotta check on that project! gotta email these eight people! gotta return those library books that were due last Thursday! — you never feel like you’re making meaningful progress. Instead, you just feel scattered, deflated, and overwhelmed by the 492 others items still lurking on your list.

A better approach, as shared by Michelle Loucadoux, MBA on Better Marketing, is to give each day of the week a specific purpose: Maybe Mondays are for writing, Wednesday are for promotion, and Fridays are…


📋 Today’s tip: Fill in the blanks to figure out your focus.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan suggests a thought exercise to help identify your purpose at work. Try defining your purpose in a simple sentence: I seek to ______________ (your contribution) so that _________________ (impact).

As Sullivan puts it, “Your ‘why’ keeps you focused and helps you evaluate roles and opportunities to determine if they’re speaking to your core.” …


🗓️ Today’s tip: Balance your time with a “one for them, one for me” approach.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan offers lots of great, actionable tips that can help you find your focus and live the life you want. Sometimes, she reminds us, living the life you want has a lot to do with managing where you spend your time.

Sullivan shares a tip from brand designer and illustrator Krista Elvey: The struggle between chasing your wildest, weirdest creative impulses and paying your bills is very real. So…


Forge Career Course

Today, we’ll focus on time — including all the ways you spend and squander it — to design your ideal day

Illustration: Julia Moburg

This is day one of a five-day course on finding what you’re meant to do. Read our introduction post, which includes an overview of each day.

The writer Zadie Smith once said, “Time is how you spend your love,” and I believe this to be true. Before you start your journey to rediscover your purpose, you’ll need to take a step back and evaluate how you’ve been spending your precious minutes each day.

This means looking at where or with whom you place your energy and how you want to spend your time in the future. Our lives don’t radically…


🤔 Today’s tip: Ask yourself, when in the day am I most energetic?

You’ve probably fallen into the Coffee Trap before, wherein you have your first cup of coffee and suddenly, as the caffeine courses through you, decide you can conquer the world that day…only to find yourself rethinking your ambitions a few hours later. The good news is, these energy peaks and valleys can work to your advantage.

The TodoistOfficial Instagram account makes a great point: The key to daily productivity is scheduling around energy, because “timing is integral to our decisions, actions, and reactions.” So look at the…

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