get shit done

We've all been there - one minute you're amped about how on-top of your To Do List you are, and the next, your energy deflates along with any motivation to keep chipping away at all your tasks. Whether it's applied to daily obligations or longer-term goals, the sneaky voice that whines 'ugh, I don't feeeeel like it' is a productivity roadblock that, if it starts to feel at home, can move in permanently and leave you perpetually scrambling.

The trick is to get a handle on that inner sloth as soon as she starts rearing her little sloth head. This is much easier to do if you plan ahead. But, maybe even the idea of constructing a plan for what to do when you don't want to do anything feels daunting. I gotchu. Making plans to make plans is sometimes the most stressful part of making plans at all. 

So here are some simple, actionable ways you can set up your future, less-than-optimally motivated self to stay on top of every deadline, every communication, every project in the pipeline, so you can maintain your momentum and get shit done like the brilliant mastermind you are.

Know Thy Laziness

Without even realizing it, we rationalize our way out of productivity all the time, so harnessing some self-awareness to figuring out exactly what triggers these brain snags is the only way to get our laziness in check. Are you overestimating how much time and energy tasks will require, thus psyching yourself out to the point that you just avoid getting started? Or, maybe you haven't applied a sense of urgency to more open-ended projects, so in turn you give yourself permission (on the reg) to just put them off. 

Whether it's an unorganized workflow or an out-of-sync time management schedule, establishing exactly what it is you're resisting is vital. Likewise, try getting into the habit of recognizing when throughout the day (or night) you naturally feel most motivated and focused, as well as when you feel like:

Getting clear on when your Prime Time (as well your Nope Time) is will help you work more strategically.



As much as we may not think mindless social media check-ins factors into our productivity, all that scrolling and double tapping is inevitably weakening your workflow. If willpower alone is enough for you to resist the tempting distraction of incoming messages and account alerts, kudos, you're a self-disciplined unicorn who probably should have written this instead of me. For the rest of us, I recommend eliminating the possibility that our tech-addicted brains will go rouge by simply turning off all push notifications for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat...errrything.

Rest assured: nothing is going to happen on your feed that you can't engage with in a few hours. Fight the urge to even peak at social media while you're working, because let's be real...'I'm just gonna check Facebook' is a slippery slope that almost always ends with you angry-commenting on your annoyingly Conservative uncle's posts, or backstalking photos of your recent trip with friends. Just do your future self a favor and put the phone down.


And since it's probably safe to say that your laptop plays some role in the whole 'work' thing you're aiming for here...consider downloading SelfControl. It's an application that temporarily blocks access to predetermined 'blacklist' sites of your choice like email, social media accounts and other internet black holes that might hinder your focus (...hi Buzzfeed Animals section). Even if you restart your computer or delete the app, you still won't have access to those sites until the timer expires. Hardcore, sure, but effective, especially since it doesn't even give you the option to bow out early.


Rip it Like a Band-Aid

This one shift can make all the difference in how much you manage to get done vs. how much time you spend bitching about everything you need to get done. Whatever method of scheduling/task organizing you use (I'm a physical-planner-supplemented-with-phone-reminders kinda gal myself), many experts say you should consciously address the most daunting, unsavory tasks before you cross anything else off your daily To Do List.

So instead of starting the workday with your relatively easier tasks, say, social media automation or proofreading content, you should force yourself to take on the tasks you're dreading most, say, a dangerously approaching presentation deadline or that blog post you've been procrastinating for the last two weeks.

I say force because, frankly, it's not going to be fun at first. If you have a single self-indulgent bone in your body (and I think most of us have many), you should expect a ton of mental pushback. That internal whining and rationalizing is totally normal, and it doesn't mean you're a schmuck or that you 'can't'...just that you have to actively push through your mind's protective instinct to delay the 'pain' it's been conditioned to associate with the work you're putting off.

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Kindly remind your spoiled brain that the longer you two avoid the harder task, the more arduous it'll be when you finally get to it. So buck up, and before you know it, this straightforward approach to facing challenges could spill into other parts of your life, too. 


Clean Sweep

For a lot of us, where we work is a huge contributing factor to how well we work. Finding your personal sweet spot between 'chaotic clutter' and 'sterile minimalism' might take a while, but it's worth figuring out, since this is where the magic happens. Take a few minutes before you settle into your work zone to do a quick assessment (and, if need be, adjustment) of your desk. 

Make sure everything on it either inspires your productivity and/or serves a direct work-related purpose. If it doesn't fall into either of those categories, it probably doesn't need to be there.


Timing is Everything

Without a preset scheduling structure of some sort to guide you, even if your work is consistent, there's really no way to hold yourself accountable. All those tasks and ideas and larger goals, they sort of just float around arbitrarily without being bound to any specific timeline, and that, my friends, is exactly how shit does not get done. 

Optimizing how you work is essentially the difference between being in the middle of the ocean drinking champagne on a yacht, and being in the middle of the ocean with only a deflated lifejacket.

 ....Same ocean. Slightly different stress levels.

Likewise, time management is what keeps your productivity afloat in a sea of procrastination, so try not to take it for granted. There are lots of ways to track your time, but a great, lazy-proof option is The Pomodoro technique. It's an old-school time management method that breaks larger tasks into several timed intervals (usually 25 minutes each), separated by short breaks. It tends to be an incredibly effective way to get shit done, since the idea of focusing on something for just 25 minutes vs. the idea of simply 'completing a task' in an open ended way, feels way more manageable. The beauty of Pomorodo is that those 25 minutes of uninterrupted, on-task focus results in much more efficient work than, say, spending 4+ hours distractedly bouncing between several tasks. Working smarter, not harder, ya dig?

Well, there ya have it. I hope implementing some of these ideas helps you stay motivated and on track, but remember that balance is the name of this (and just about any other) game. You'll get more shit done on some days than on others, and that's totally okay. The idea is to take advantage of your truly motivated moments in the most efficient way, and develop habits that help set future you up for success (even if she'd rather nap with her dog or watch Bravo) .

Naked Skin Bar - Discover the Magic of Organic Beauty



Coming home after an otherwise ‘meh’ day and being greeted by a subscription box is the grown-ass woman's equivalent of children on Christmas morning, except you usually don’t know exactly when it’s arriving, so it's arguably even more of a joyous surprise. No doubt about it...subscription boxes are a great way to #TreatYoSelf. Tons of options are out there, but not all of them carry the same caliber of goods.

The 10 picks below deliver gorgeous, thoughtfully compiled products or projects, all of them make the world better in some way, and most importantly, all of them result in a squeal of excitement upon opening.


For the Picky Beauty Lover

Petit Vour

Think of this as the conscientious product junkie’s version of Birchbox. Super affordable and curated to your specific beauty profile, Petit Vour delivers 4 high-end beauty products (ranging from sample to full-sized) to your door every month. No need to stress about ingredients, since they only include items that are 100% cruelty-free, non-toxic and ethically-made. You can also shop for individual products directly on their (super pretty) site.

Frequency: Every Month 

Price Per Box: $15


For the Girly Girl in All of Us

Mission Cute

Equal parts cheerful and charitable, Mission Cute donates 50% of profits to a different non-profit organization each month. These cheeky boxes are filled with curated lifestyle goods ranging from statement earrings and picture frames to encouraging art prints and push pop confetti.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box: $17


For the Conscientiously Chic


This quarterly box features carefully selected products from conscious brands all over the world. Past Causeboxes have included fair trade beauty products, The Giving Keys necklaces, artisan teas, LSTN headphones and Krochet Kids beanies. To date, Causebox has donated 20,000+ meals and continues to support local artisan brands worldwide.

Frequency: Every Season

Price Per Box: 49.95


For that Time of the Month

Le Parcel

Ever dream about legit not having to leave the house or interact with any humans while on your period? Le Parcel feels you. The monthly box includes artisan truffles, a curated gift ranging from jewelry to makeup to artisan goods. You also get up to 25 tampons, pads and liners of your choice. Practical while still indulgent? Yes please.

Frequency: Every month

Price Per Box: $15


For the Ethical Dog Owner

Cruelty Free For You & Me

This is a beauty-loving Crazy Dog Lady’s dream. Cruelty Free For You & Me delivers a monthly box of goodies for both you and your fur baby. Every box includes high quality green beauty products for you, and all-natural treats and toys for your pup. Sort of brilliant?

Frequency: Every Season

Price Per Box: 49.95


For the At-Home Mani

Color Me Monthly

After teaching myself to paint my own nails in college, paying for a manicure is something I try to avoid. That said, I’m constantly changing my polish and wanting to try new colors. Enter: Color Me Monthly. The super affordable monthly box (free shipping yo) delivers a different full-sized, 100% cruelty-free nail polish to you each month. Nothing fancy. Just an effortless way to discover new colors without having to schlep to CVS.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box: $7


For the Curious Traveler

Globe In

You know what’s better than getting a monthly box filled with gorgeous, handcrafted products from all over the world? Getting a monthly basket filled with those goodies. Every beautiful signature basket is woven by a fair trade collective in Mexico receiving fair wages. Globe In compiles unique food and lifestyle finds made by talented artisans from all over the world. There are two tiers of ‘boxes’ available: The Artisan box includes several artisan items either curated by Globe In or selected based on a theme that you pick; The Benefit Basket includes a single item each month, along with information about the artisans who created it.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box:

The Artisan Box - $39.99

The Benefit Basket - $19.95


For the Jewelry Addict

Prix Fixe

The ideal alternative to throwing your precious dollars away on generic mall jewelry, Prix Fixe is a monthly box that delivers several pieces of thoughtfully-curated jewelry right to you. 10% of proceeds go to a charity of your choice every month. You can opt for either the Bargain Box (3+ individual pieces) or the Trend Setter Box (4+ individual pieces). Expect boxes to be filled with polished boho-chic styles. You can browse and buy individual pieces on the site as well.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box:

The Bargain Box - $20

The Trend Setter Box - $30


For The DIY-er

Homegrown Collective

This monthly box delivers locally-sourced ingredients and tools along with straightforward instructions for completing a themed DIY project. Everything you need is included, and it’s a great way to finally try all those recipes you’ve seen on Pinterest for all-natural beauty products like homemade soap or coconut lip balm.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box: $40


For the Lazy Artist

Smart Art

Anyone with artistic inclinations but zero desire to actually compile the materials needed to complete all those Pinterest projects will appreciate Smart Art. Every month, your box comes stocked with all the material, background information and instructions needed to create your masterpiece. Projects are themed around a different artist, culture and art medium each month.

Frequency: Every Month

Price Per Box: $49.95

Everyone deserves to be inspired and delighted, and investing in a monthly gift to yourself is a great way to do just that. There are so, SO many other monthly/quarterly boxes out there, so it's almost guaranteed that you'll find one you adore. Do you have a favorite that we didn't mention? Let us know so we can check it out! 



good bad habits

I like to think that even some of our so-called shitty habits have the potential to do a little good. That was part of the motivation behind starting LIFEWHILE, in fact. Learning and helping others to make little, manageable tweaks that have can contribute to a bigger change. 

Will binge watching Real Housewives have a positive global impact? Probably not. But that’s okay! Balance, people...balance. Other indulgences, though, can be made more socially-conscious pretty easily.

1. Sleeping In

You snooze, you...donate to charity...? There are few things more satisfying than that moment when you give yourself permission to shamelessly turn your alarm off and snuggle back into bed. Turns out, that 'bad habit' actually has the potential to do some serious good. Enter: the iPhone app iCukoo, an alarm clock that automatically donates to a predetermined charity of your choice every time you snooze. Download the user-friendly app and start feeling a little less guilty about lingering in bed/sleeping through workouts/extending your naps/generally never wanting to leave your pillow.


2. Netflix

Binge watching Breaking Bad or indulging in the latest season of House of Cards (...which was insane) is always fun, but a subscription to Netflix also means you have access to tons of informative and, yes, still super entertaining documentaries that are worth checking out. Docs are an easy way to for all of us to experience a different human perspective than the ones we’re used to. That kind of open mindedness and embracing of differences tends to result in compassion, something our little world can definitely use more of at the moment. Favorite documentaries streaming right now on Netflix: Living on One Dollar, Virunga, The True Cost, and The Act of Killing.


3. Caffeine

Whether you’re someone who’s functional with just a cup or two of coffee, or you straight up cannot ‘adult’ without a latte an hour, the kind of coffee you drink is worth giving more thought to. The reality is that most of the big brand coffee shops you see sprinkled around your city (including the one where this article is being written...~meta~) are not implementing fair trade practices as consistently as they could be. Of course, sometimes convenience is going to outweigh social consciousness, (and again, that's okay!) but as often as you can, especially at home, try to check out other options. There are lots of ethically-sourced, Fair Trade certified brands that produce delicious coffee while cultivating lasting relationships with their communities. Agape Roasting, for example, donates 100% of its profits to charity. 100%! Not to mention, they make damn good coffee. Full list of our favorite do-good coffee brands is here.


4. Online Shopping

The fact that we live in a world where you can purchase everything from pizza to swimwear to area rugs, all while lazily sipping a glass of wine and wearing sweatpants, is downright Jetson-esque. What a time to be alive, amirite? 

But, it's not all futuristic utopia and Sauv Blanc. Online shopping can be a super slippery slope that lots of us have fallen down a couple of times. Your bank account and already-overflowing closet? Yeah, they’re really not fans of this habit, but sometimes impulse outweighs rationale. When that happens, try going to a socially-conscious fashion marketplace instead of your usual digital stomping ground. Not only will you scoop up stuff that fewer people will be strutting around in, you'll also be doing some good. Sites like The Little Market (co-founded by Lauren Conrad, so you can be sure it’s cute) work with local artisans from various countries to create gorgeous, 100% fair trade accessories, gifts and home goods. I also love Modavanti, an online marketplace where you can get everything from on-trend activewear to beauty products to organic bedding. Every brand sold on the site has been vetted by Modavanti to ensure it promotes sustainability. So before you fall into the abyss of Forever 21 (...been there, often) consider exploring all the options out there that are as ethical as they are fashionable.


 Any other 'bad' habits you guys battle with? If you do end up trying these tweaks, be sure to let us know how it goes!



ethical coffee brands

For anyone who very sincerely relies on/loves/is slightly (read: very) dependent on coffee, that first cup in the morning really marks the beginning of each day. But if you’re opting for over-priced, over-hyped options, you might be depriving yourself. The brands below are downright potent, and each of them takes pride in using high quality, earth-friendly ingredients that give back.


1 - Salt Spring Coffee

Family-owned and dedicated to sustainability, Salt Spring is a member of 1% For The Planet and focuses on making delicious coffee with the help of fairly-paid farmers.


2 - Muddy Paws Coffee

Animal lovers, listen up !This small-batch, made to order coffee does more than just wake you up in the also helps fur-babies in need! Roasted and shipped within 48 hours, a portion from every Muddy Paws sale is donated to various animal charities.


3 - Agape Roasting

This not-for-profit brand was started by a couple of dudes who genuinely love great coffee and wanted to give back. 100% of Agape Roasting’s profits go to a charity, which changes every quarter.


4 - Three Avocados

Rich enough to get you through that dreaded mid-morning meeting, Three Avocados coffee also serves another very important purpose. Proceeds from every purchase help provide clean water to communities in Uganda. To date, they’ve helped over 20,000 individuals.


5 - Conscious Coffee

Made with only certified Organic and Fair Trade ingredients, Conscious Coffee empowers family farmers and has long-term relationships with their growers. They’re dedicated to producing great coffee and educating consumers.


6 - Peace Coffee

Committed to transparency and sustainability, Peace Coffee pays its small-scale farmers industry-leading wages. The brand also gives back, donating a portion of their profits to programs that foster sustainable trade systems.


Java lovers, let us know what you think of our picks, or if there's another brand you love that we missed!



free spirit girl leaning on wall


It's probably based on our egotistical need to be reassured, but as a whole, most of us love reading about personality traits, and it doesn't take long for us to become convinced we embody most of them. Because of this weird need to define ourselves, there is naturally a plethora of information online about what a certain ‘type’ means, or how to determine if you’re an introvert or an extrovert or an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert...or a four-headed flamingo.

It hopefully goes without saying that although some of these various measurements of personality are rooted in science, they really only serve as general markers. Most of us embody traits from both ends of any given personality spectrum; we’re each a unique combination of our environment and our relationships and, yes, our chemical makeup.

But we’re stubborn, control-craving little humans, so we still love subscribing to and subsequently reading up on one concrete ‘type.’ But I've noticed that most of the info out there is focused on praising type A personalities; you know, the traditionally over-achieving, OCD-inclined among us who shudder at the thought of a messy desk; whose competitive nature leads them to sprinkle just about any situation with the kind of high-stakes pressure they thrive on.

Now, Im 'not knocking the A-team at all; their intensity serves its own very important purpose, I just think that type B’ers have our own, often unsung strengths. So I put my very creative brain (*hair flip*) to work to compile a few reasons why I'm proud to be (...mostly) type B, and you should be too! Here's why:

1. You’re Like, So Chill

Unlike your Type A counterparts, people with a predominantly Type B personality tend to handle frustration and irritation with a lot of calm, stress-reducing self-control. This means you’re less likely to freak out at a coworker for accidentally disorganizing your stuff, or snap at your significant other for something you should probably just shrug off.


2. You Strive Under Stress

That deadline that just got moved up? You’re not paralyzed with anxiety over it like some other letters of the alphabet…

Instead, you embrace the new challenge and adjust your sails. You greet unexpected stress with a creative, solution-driven attitude; you adapt. This flexible sense of productivity also means you’re more likely to take risks and bounce back from perceived failures with more ease than Type A’s. Because Type B personalities tend to be ‘big picture’ people, we can gracefully ride the waves of day-to-day mishaps while keeping our eye on the prize.


3. You’re A Collaborator, not a Competitor

Type A individuals tend to, often annoyingly so (....there, we said it), embrace competition in just about every aspect of life, whether they’re vying for a promotion or playing a game of Taboo with friends, but it might be Type B’ers who really have the added ‘edge.’ We tend to view our peers as potential collaborators, not competitors. This means we embrace the exchange and shared-development of ideas with likeminded individuals. Spoiler alert: that’s usually how most inspired, forward-thinking projects come to fruition.

4. You Stop. You Smell The Flowers. Then You Instagram The Flowers.

No matter how busy and ambitious you are, you’re probably still pretty good at ‘enjoying the moment,’ and you proudly consider self-care one of your top priorities. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, Type B individuals are hardwired to appreciate the process of getting where they’re going, even while working steadily toward that end goal. This means you’re more likely to celebrate achievements (both big and small) and feel genuinely satisfied with your life, even if you acknowledge that it's a work in progress.


5. Within You, Without You

Your ability to reflect means not only do you know your true self better than most Type A’s, but you’re also able to connect more easily with others. Naturally creative and curious about the world around them, Type B's tend to be good at talking to people, and, possibly without even realizing it, putting them at ease with their generally laid-back demeanor.


There ya have it, Team B! It’s clear that you are uniquely equipped to create, impact and innovate in a very significant way. The best way to harness all your exciting abilities? Keep it real with yourself, for one. We need to develop self-disciplined methods for staving off the not-so-awesome qualities that inevitably come with that fierce creativity and stress-free work style. Procrastination, laziness and unfulfilled potential will try to sneak in. Cultivate your self-awareness, increase your focus and tell them who’s Boss...