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Writings on life, love, the mind, stress, anxiety, distraction,
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The Upside of Burnout: How to Turn it From Problem to Opportunity

anxiety burnout personal May 21, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

I'm 40 years old, and I've burned myself out twice so far in my career. In both cases, it was painful, terrifying, and yet life-changing in its positive effects.

The first time happened in my late 20s. I was in the final year of finishing up my PhD. The stress of graduate school combined with a serious bike accident left me drowning in waves of anxiety, depression, and fatigue. The second time happened just recently, in a milder form. It sprung from a combination of stress,...

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Why 'Completion Addiction' Might be Your Biggest Barrier to More Productive Work

energy focus productivity May 21, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

It's 2 a.m. I'm wide awake. Thoughts about the vendor I need to reply to, the email I forgot to write, and my overflowing inbox spin through my head, pinging me awake like mental smartphone notifications. Finally, I've had enough. I get out of bed and pull out my computer.

I open my inbox: "121 unread messages." 

I spend the next two hours flying through my inbox. It's a blur of calendar invites, Slack messages, emails, and Asana...

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Overwhelmed by Your Inbox? You Might be Experiencing 'Email Apnea'

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

Have you ever wondered why, after spending hours on email, you feel tense and tight? Why you feel more anxious than before?  Or why, even when do you stop, your mind keeps spinning

This is the state that psychologist Linda Stone calls "email apnea."  It's characterized by "shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen." 

Email apnea occurs for a variety of reasons. First, our posture slumps...

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Experiencing Death by Meeting? Try This 60-Second Technique to Bring Meetings Back to Life

energy productivity Mar 27, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

The modern office meeting is broken. We've known this for decades, which is why people say things like "death by meeting," "analysis paralysis," or Apple CEO Tim Cook's truism, "the longer the meeting, the less is accomplished."

And yet, in many organizations, meetings continue to drain energy, creativity, and time. In my own experience, it's become clear to me that the ordinary mindset in most meetings is best described as "not fully there" or, in the words of...

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The Modern Mind is Distracted, Stressed, and Overwhelmed: Here's How to Relax

burnout energy mindfulness Feb 24, 2020

Originally published in Inc. Magazine.

We live in a world that seems to have forgotten how to relax.

At work, we rush from one meeting to the next. We use the microscopic gaps in our day to fire off emails and texts. And we frantically try to complete all the items on our to-do list by the end of the day, and mostly fail.

At home, we finally have the space to take a breath and relax. And yet most of the things we do to take the edge off the day keep us stimulated and caught in this "always on" state: social...

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Want to Know the Real Reason You're So Distracted? Harvard Scientists Have the Answer

Originally published in Inc. Magazine

When it comes to how to be more focused and less distracted, we've got things inside out.

We tend to think that we are distracted because of the devices in our pocket, Instagram, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, and the thousands of other notifications beckoning for our attention.

But according to the research of two Harvard psychologists, the real problem isn't our chaotic environment, its our minds.

Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel...

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Ecstatic Emailing: Turn Your Inbox From Torture to Bliss

energy focus productivity Feb 14, 2020

Let’s face it, email sucks.

Each day, I open my inbox to find hundreds of messages waiting for me. Even though I’m a religious unsubscriber, 30% are marketing emails that go straight to the trash. The rest are messages from co-workers, friends, and family members with thinly veiled requests for how I should be spending my time:  “Can you send me that file?” “Hey, we really need to think about this new partnership?” “Can you make a reservation for...

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The Art of Working With – Not Against – Fear and Anxiety

anxiety mindfulness Feb 14, 2020

Many of the traditions see autumn as the time of year when fear and anxiety reach their apotheosis.  Halloween.  Elections.  Falling leaves.  Wind.  Grey skies.  Which is why now might just be the perfect time to talk about the nature of fear. 

Throughout my life, fear and anxiety have been constant companions.

In fact, I think it’s fair to say that much of my motivation for mindfulness practice springs from an almost primal urge to placate fear and...

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Yoga Nidra: Supercharge Your Energy With This Power Nap On Steroids

I have a confession to make.  I struggle almost every day to stay resilient in the face of stress.

I realize the irony in admitting this.  After all, I work in the industry of self-improvement and resilience – an industry where most “experts” purport to live a perfect life, where happiness and success arise almost effortlessly.

I wish I could make a similar claim.  But even after over a decade of intensive mindfulness training, on some level, my experience of reality...

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Is There A Cure For Social Media Mind?

Following the 2016 Election, I stopped using social media for two reasons:

  1. The fact that a foreign entity manipulated American public opinion and undermined the legitimacy of the democratic process using these tools
  2. The fact that numerous studies have linked time spent on social media with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicide.

In recent months, however, I came to the realization that the modern professional often has to engage in these spaces.  These tools, after all, help us...

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