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Find Your Flow.

Updated: Apr 15




I’m anxious. Let’s just start there. Sometimes I visualize the chaos of anxiety as ping pong balls bouncing around my mind – some fast, some slow, some slower still. Each one representing something on my never ending to do list. The fast ones are at fever pitch, prioritizing themselves regardless of reality. The slow are always there in the background, humming, sucking up energy for another time.  

 

It’s not a secret that anxiety isn’t always logical. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time fighting it. In an effort to overcorrect, the perfectionist in me designed completely unrealistic structures intended to “fix it”. To be so structured that it was impossible for the anxiety to win. I’d knock them down and rebuild whenever they didn’t work. My inability to adhere meant personal failure. It meant I lacked discipline. Procrastination became the norm.  

 

In my experience, this isn’t all that uncommon. As a business owner, it can feel like you're just treading water. Staying afloat, but not making progress. Our to do lists have to do lists. One or maybe a few of those to do lists aren’t even yours. But they’re still in there, ping-ponging around, taunting you.


Over time I learned that a perfect, fully formed structure is not a prerequisite for success or productivity. So I laid a new foundation. We’ll call it a collaborative effort between anxiety and perfectionism. It’s really simple. 

 

Step 1: The Morning Ritual 

 

Step 2: Find Your Flow 

 

Step 3: Give a Gift to Future You 

 

Step 1: The Morning Ritual 

 

Diving into your day in the wrong frame of mind can affect the quality of your work. It happens all too easily. You check your messages when you first wake up to get a sneak peak, only to find an URGENT ISSUE or something not-so-nice from your landlord or that email from last week you forgot to respond to. Panic ensues. You spend maybe 10 minutes too long on the toilet drafting a response because you haven’t even really started your day yet. You’re now caught in the flurry, and it doesn’t stop for several hours until you are confused and hungry. 

 

Instead, I really want you to try (just try) waiting to open those messages until after you’ve taken just a sec for you. Make a little pre-work ritual. Here’s mine.   

 

  • A quick shower, light skincare, and an easy outfit  

  • Empty the dishwasher so it can be reloaded throughout the day 

  • Make a cup of pour-over coffee  

 

I always feel better when I start my day here, but some days don’t always go to plan, and that’s okay too.  

 

Step 2: Find Your Flow  

 

Now you’re caffeinated and ready to take on the day. Spend a few minutes getting organized.  

 

  • Move to your workspace, ensure it’s clean and your technology is nearby and charged  

  • Jot down top-of-mind to dos  

  • Check your messages. Respond to the quick ones. Add anything not-quick to the to do list.   

 

Start with a win. Seriously, pick the easy thing. The fun thing. The fastest ping pong ball. Cross it off your list. Build momentum by working on a few more things you can accomplish quickly. Now you’re on a roll. Listen to the voices in your head. Let them choose what you work on next. If you’re already thinking about it, don’t fight it. Go with your flow. Move from thing to thing based on what you're prepared to tackle in that moment. Give yourself permission to switch gears even if you haven’t fully finished something yet. Some may consider this an anxiety-fueled frenzy, but I'd prefer to think of it as intuitive. Spinning your wheels on a project you're not in the headspace to tackle isn't the best use of your precious time!


Don't forget to eat. Keep tabs on your progress so far (go you!). Reassess your list. If you’re like me, your natural tendency to feel guilty about everything still on the list should give you that final push you need to knock out the remaining priorities. 

 

Step 3: Give a Gift to Future You 

 

You’ve done a lot today and there’s still way more to do. But rest is just as important as the hustle. Pick a time to stop working and stick to it within 30 minutes. Spend the last 15 minutes in your workspace setting Future You up for success. Tidy your desk. Save any in progress files. Review tomorrow’s calendar. Start tomorrow’s to-do list with the things you didn’t get to. Close shop. 

 

The takeaway?


There’s no correct way to get sh*t done. If sticking to a rigid structure gives you hives, then get loose girlfriend. Find what works for you and what doesn’t. Consistently show up. You became a business owner because you wanted to do things your way. If given the chance, you may find what you think is holding you back is actually the key to unlocking more success than you thought possible. 

 


With love and lemons,  


Jenny 

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