Monday Motivation: One Extremely Underrated Way To Boost Your Productivity…

So many of you may or may not know that I am going back to grad school for playwriting. And my heart bursts with joy every time I think about the start of classes. School was always an area in which I thrived, and this will be the first time that I will have my entire curriculum centered around a topic in which I'm so passionate about.

yes queen

I'm sure you can only imagine how much further my excitement grew when my future professor emailed my cohort over the summer letting us know that for the first few weeks of school we would be focusing on creating 10-minute plays to be submitted to a prestigious competition between 12 high-ranking theatre schools. I love a good challenge. So I couldn't imagine a better way to start my first year of grad school.

So in addition to running Yes Queen, I will also be a full-time student attending classes-- and for my first few weeks in particular, I will have to be laser focused on my 10 minute play. And while I don't predict it being easy, like I said, I love a good challenge.

A few months ago an old college classmate reached out to me to discuss potentially redoing the Yes Queen website, and I definitely believed that it was time. But we had to wait until I got my school email account so that I could take advantage of a very hefty discount.

So for the past few weeks in addition to preparing for school, and meeting my deadlines for getting out content on Yes Queen, I've also been giving notes on creating the new website.

I was starting to feel that my priorities were getting to my sanity limit, but I knew that if I just pulled a few late nights to give notes on the website that everything would be fine... until I remembered about my master class.

A couple months ago I pitched myself to teach a master class on creating viral content, and my pitch was selected. Even though I knew that it was going to be the second week into school that I would have to leave to go teach, I felt like it was an opportunity that I couldn't say no to (plus I would make a good chunk of money, and my grad school size wallet said girl don't play).

But then to make the perfect shitstorm of competing priorities complete, I was asked to promote an event by a prestigious company for another sum of money that I couldn't refuse.

So for almost two weeks straight I was going to bed at around 3 a.m., and trying to get up at 7:30 am (but realistically getting up at 9 am) to get all of my work done, and going to grad school orientation (which literally spanned over 5 days). And while I was good at maintaining my diet, I pretty much abandon my social life, stopped going to dance class, and was barely going to the gym. All self-care pretty much went out the window.

For about the first week, I was coasting on the pure adrenaline of working on projects that I loved. But by the second week, I realized that I had started to do this thing where I would waste an entire day stressing out about how much work I had. But then I still wouldn't get any work done, and it would only continue to feed my cycle of stress.

It was on the Uber ride home from the event that I worked at that I realized I was spiraling out of control. It was the first time in a long time that I felt a huge wave of self-doubt crashing down over my head.

So do you know what I did?

I took a nap. And when I woke up I cooked myself a healthy meal, and read a little bit from a book. Then I went back to my computer and managed to complete a whole month's worth of work for Yes Queen. And I remember feeling so guilty about taking the nap as I felt like it was me continuing to waste time. But my productivity results only show that I was truly getting in the way of my success the entire time by not allowing myself to sleep.

So as we go forth to reimagine our Monday, and think about the ways in which we can take control over our lives one of the biggest lessons I learned going through this process was self-care is not a luxury -- it became so clear to me after having that break down, and reintroducing self-care activities back into my life how important it was to not treat self-care like a luxury. And in fact there is a lot of research out there that proves how essential activities like sleep are for productivity.

I would also love to remind you as I continually have to remind myself that it's important to practice balance and boundaries. My new rule of thumb is if it doesn't make me money, make me happy, or make me better, I don't make time for it. Ok?!