Do More of What Feels Like Magic

There’s nothing kids love quite like feeling “grown up.” Give them some responsibility, and they’re hooked.

At least, that’s how I felt when I worked in my dad’s home office. My dad has his own business, and when he had invoices to mail, he let me help him prepare the envelopes.

This was thrilling to me. As a small child, I loved pressing the return-address stamp onto the black ink pad. I loved the stamp’s disappearing act, the swivel that made the raised letters come and go.

One moment, there were no words in the upper left hand corner of the envelope, and then next, there were several lines of text. Amazing!

Sure, I enjoyed pressing the stamps too, but I didn’t begrudge my younger brother Willie taking on that task instead. For me, the magic was always in the words.

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The Truth About Time Management: You Need to Read with Laura Vanderkam (Plus a Book Giveaway!)

All of us have the same 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. But why do some of us feel overwhelmed and overburdened, while others feel focused and relaxed? What’s an empowering, realistic way for recovering perfectionists to approach time management?

In this edition of our ongoing You Need to Read Video Series, I address these questions and more with writer, author, and speaker Laura Vanderkam.

Laura is the author of several time management and productivity books, including I Know How She Does It (one lucky commenter will win a copy!), What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours.

Her work has appeared in publications including Fast Company, Fortune, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

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Stop Rushing and Start Living (Even If You Prize Productivity)

This morning, I find myself wanting to stop rushing and do just this: to sit on the sofa and stare out the window. Sacred dawdling, as Sue Monk Kidd calls it. When I first read those words, I thought, Dawdling as sacred? Really?

But it is sacred, because it is an act of faith. To stop my work, be unproductive, and simply look out into the new day … this requires trust.

When I do this, I feel as though I am coming close to a subversive act.

To sit around? On a Thursday morning at 10am, when I should be working? On a Thursday morning at 10am, when in another lifetime (and by that I mean two years ago), I would have been sitting down to a long series of meetings at my former workplace?

Yes.

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