5 ways to feel crazy productive every single day

  1. Make your bed as soon as you get up. Seriously. It may seem unnecessary, but if you don’t get anything else done the rest of the day, at least you did that!
  2. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. Put it on your to-do list, and relish crossing it off!
  3. Turn off notifications on your cell phone, tablet, and laptop for two hours every morning. You will be astounded – at least, I was – to see how much you get done without all those dings.
  4. As soon as you sit in your desk chair, pull out a sticky note or scrap of paper, and write at the top: The single most important thing for me to accomplish today is____. Then, do that thing! It seems simple, right? But how many times do you think, “It’s already 5:00, and I’ve gotten nothing accomplished!” This will ensure you have your Most Important Thing done!
  5. This last one’s a biggie and something I’ve only recently started. When I plot my day, I now estimate how long a task will take. I write that amount in pencil next to the task or meeting. Then, when I complete the task, I write down how long it actually took. Four days into this routine, and my eyes are open wide! I had my schedule all kinds of under- and over-estimated. Now, I’m honing in on a more accurate idea of what I can accomplish in a day. (By the way, I used almost one hour less time yesterday than anticipated. Hello, bonus nap!)

News: I’m speaking at BlogPaws!

I’m absolutely thrilled to share that I’ve been selected to speak at the 2015 BlogPaws. I’ve attended the conference a handful of times – only missing one so far – and learned so much.

This year, I’ll be speaking along with Karon Thackston in the advanced track. You can check out all the sessions on the conference page, but our talk is Advanced Strategies for Attracting & Keeping Readers Authentically.

I couldn’t be more excited. Authenticity is one of my passions – living authentically, writing authentically, speaking authentically. My portion of our talk is going to focus on writing strategies to convey your authenticity and, in turn, retain a loyal readership.

I hope to see you there!

OH! And if you haven’t yet registered, here’s a discount code to use at checkout: BP15-Speaker-10off

Book review: My Beloved World

“There are no bystanders in this life…. Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.” — Sonia Sotomayor

I recently finished My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and the third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. I can’t overstate this: Read it. Next. Finish what you’re reading now, then pick this up.

My Beloved World book review

Prior to digging in, I worried that it would be dry, that it would be a picture of her swift rise to the top with nods to adversity here and there. Why? Many books written by people in political power – and, yes, she’s in judicial power, but they’re so similar in DC – fall into that trap. This was nothing like that. At all.

She is open, candid, and humorous. She examines her life experiences with a critical eye, and though I’m sure she held a lot back, it doesn’t feel like she did. The narrative is captivating and surprisingly casual.

The book starts with young Sonia exercising her independence and learning how to administer her own diabetes medication. The text continues chronologically with interspersed passages of self-reflection. She talks about growing up in a household with an alcoholic father and a long-suffering, overworked mother. When her father passes, the story pivots and follows her development, step by step, into the woman she is today.

Well, not today. Ms. Sotomayor chose to end the narration with her first judgeship rather than taking us up until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Hopefully someday she writes that story.

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum doesn’t matter. This isn’t a book about sides. It’s a book about perseverance, hard work, and the importance of a supportive network of friends and family. It’s an inspiring story – half my book is dog-earned – and the kind of honest, authentic tale you imagine hearing a girlfriend tell about herself over a cup of coffee.

It came out in 2013, and my only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner! Definitely give this one a read!

My Beloved World* is available in multiple formats on Amazon.

*That link is my Amazon Affiliates link. If you choose to purchase the book by using that link, it won’t cost you a penny more, but I will earn a teeny tiny commission.

Pinterest portfolios! (Or, why didn’t I think of that?)

Recently – I wish I remember where – I read a suggestion to corral clips into Pinterest boards.

Brilliant!

Why didn’t I think of that?

So, I started two different boards, one for non-pet lifestyle clips and one for all pet lifestyle work. They’re both still a work in progress, but I think this is an exciting way to keep track of completed work!

Check ‘em out!

 
Follow Maggie Marton’s board Lifestyle on Pinterest.

Follow Maggie Marton’s board Pet Writing on Pinterest.

In pursuit of goals

Are you a goal-oriented person? I find that if I don’t have a set of concrete goals to work toward, I get distracted far too easily.

The trick, though, is remembering to hold check-ins pretty regularly to make sure you’re on track and moving forward. This year, I’m trying something new: Sunday night “Meetings with Me.” I’ve scheduled in my planner to meet with myself every Sunday evening for about half an hour to review my goals and determine tasks for the week ahead.

For now, the five goals I’m working on are:

  1. Book proposals. I’ve completed one of three proposals, have outlined the second, and only have the rough idea for the third. My goal is to complete and submit these throughout 2015. This Sunday’s “Meeting with Me” will be all about assigning deadlines for the year.
  2. Create and launch an e-course. Tentatively, I slated this project for Q2, so while I’m not actively chipping away on it, I am brainstorming a bit now and then.
  3. Pitch pet topics to general lifestyle mags.
  4. Focus on health and self-care. This includes juicing daily, drinking tons of water, re-planting a veggie garden, and shopping cruelty-free.
  5. Dogs, dogs, dogs. Of course. This includes walking routines, training, taking classes, and having fun together.

I also have some speaking engagements coming up (yippee!), travel, and teaching writing courses two days a week. All things I love but nothing that requires me to set specific goals with deadline-driven project steps.

What are your goals for 2015? Do you have projects you’re striving to achieve or lifestyle changes you want to make? I’d love to hear what you’re up to and how I can help support your dreams! Tweet me to discuss!

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2015 is off to a wonderful start!

Mine sure is. I love all the freshness, the newness of January 1: a new calendar, a new blog planner, new goals and dreams and aspirations, a new journal, and a renewed commitment to working hard.

At the beginning of the year, I always set a single word as my intention for the year ahead. For 2015, I was torn between “authenticity” and “inspired.” Ultimately, I chose “inspired” because I think being/working/feeling inspired informs authenticity.

I may be the only person to say this, but I’m so ready for the holiday break to be over so I can hit the ground running next week!

How about you? Do you set a word for the year? If so, tweet with me! I’d love to exchange ideas and, of course, inspiration!

New client alert!

I’m so excited to be working with Waggo.com! It’s an absolutely beautiful website filled with must-have pet products. But – even better – I’m working with them on writing home and design content. It’s so much fun to combine pets and home decor, two of my favorite topics.

My first post is live on the site today. Check it out: How to integrate dog design into home design.

I have a bunch more assignments for them in the coming month. So fun!