Neutral Sweater Jacket + Time Management | On the Daily EXPRESS

1/8/18

Neutral Sweater Jacket + Time Management

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Well, the holidays are officially over and it's back to the grind around here. The kids are back to school and my youngest was actually looking forward to going back and seeing his friends. I'm going to miss the slower pace and extra reading time, but life goes on so I'm sure after after a week or two it will all feel normal again. Speaking of normal, I'd say this is a pretty normal outfit for me this winter. A t-shirt, an outer layer, some jeans and some boots:

Sweater Jacket (c/o) | Black Z Supply Tee (c/o) | Jeans | Boots | Necklace | Bag | Belt | EarringsNail Polish | "Beyond the Pale Pink"

Outfit Details:
The good news about this sweater jacket is that it's a non-itchy fabric (very important detail if you ask me) and warm enough for winter wear. Obviously in a colder climate you'll need a long sleeve layer underneath and a coat to boot, but with the shorter length of this piece, it should be easier to pair it with any coat. It's still available in two colors, but the bad news is that my color is sold out. It's a One Size piece that would probably work for sizes XS-Medium.

Sweater Jacket (c/o) | Black Z Supply Tee (c/o) | Jeans | Boots | Necklace | Bag | Belt | Earrings |  Nail Polish "Beyond the Pale Pink"

My t-shirt, jeans, and boots all ran true to size. My necklace comes as a two-layer piece, but I separated the layers to make two necklaces. If you want to do the same you'll need another clasp for one of the layers. You can find them easily at any craft store (e.g. Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics) but I just took one from another necklace that I wasn't using anymore.

Monday Motivation:
Last week I kicked off the 2018 edition of my Monday Motivation series and outlined the four key areas I'm focusing on for the year. I promised to go into more detail on each area in subsequent weeks...so here we are with week one! For January I'll follow the order I listed in the original post, but after that I'll share more organically based on what's relevant for me at the time.

Going in to 2017, I knew I wanted to improve my time management and I did make some progress, especially in regards to punctuality. I found two key habits I had to change to make it anywhere on time. First, start getting ready to to leave the house 10-15 minutes before I actually need to leave. (Assuming I'm all dressed and ready for the day, that's the time to use the bathroom, put on shoes, round up any items I need for the errand, etc.) Historically I was allowing five minutes for all that, but I repeatedly found that it just wasn't enough time to do those last few things that seem like they should only take five minutes! The second thing I needed to do (which still needs improvement) was ignore my phone in that final 10-15 minute departure prep window. Again I was chronically underestimating the amount of time it takes to reply to a text/email etc.

For 2018, there are two areas of time management I'm aiming to improve. They're separate but definitely related:

1. Focus
2. Managing Smartphone Addiction

Focus: Did you all know that multi-tasking is a myth? It's really switch-tasking, and it's no wonder that whenever I think I'm multi-tasking, I just feel scatterbrained. On the flip side, I think part of the reason I like reading so much is that it forces my brain to focus on just that singular task and it feels good. Although I do manage to get most things done when I need to (e.g. staying consistent with blog posts would never be possible if I couldn't finish a task), I tend to switch-task far too often through the process. Five minutes of blogging, then I remember I need to change the laundry over to the dryer, then I need to make a doctor's appointment, then I check Instagram, then I text a friend, then back to the blog and do it all over again! I've read about The Pomodoro Technique and I think this is something I need to implement more often. I've done it inconsistently in the past and it does help, but for 2018 I'm bringing it back anytime I have a focus-oriented task at hand.

Managing Smartphone Addiction: This article is one of the best I have read (and not too long) about why we are addicted to our smartphones (and it's proven...not imagined) and offers some very practical, small and realistic steps to take to manage the addiction. I've repeatedly found that my phone messes with my time management and distracts me when I want to be focused on another person or task. It frustrates me that I'm not in better control of that urge to check my phone and this year that's something I really want to improve. I recently made a couple of changes to my phone settings that were suggested in the article and they did help, but I think I still need to go a few steps further.

First, I've learned to put certain group text threads on Do Not Disturb at times when I can't afford to be distracted. I cannot resist reading and participating in fun text conversations, so my only chance for staying focused is turning off the alerts to reduce the temptation to engage. Managing notifications is one of the suggestions in the article I liked, and I'm considering adjusting some other notifications as well, e.g. blog emails. It's rare that a blog-related email is truly urgent, but when I get the notifications on my phone I react as though I'm a 911 operator and need to send out an emergency response team to a house that's on fire.

Second, the proximity issue. This was also explained well in the article. I have a tendency to check Instagram far more often than necessary, so I've started by moving it a few pages off my home screen. That simple change really seems to help me slow down and ask myself, "Do I really need to be checking this right now?" I'm also working on keeping my phone zipped away in my bag whenever I'm out at a meal with my family. I want to focus on being fully present in those moments and not being that family who is all sitting there together looking at their own phones. Finally, there are times when I want to move my phone to a different room to help me focus on the task at hand, but when I've tried that, inevitably it's the time my husband needs to get in touch with me for something time-sensitive or the school needs to reach me because my child is sick, so I haven't found a way to make that work for me. But I do believe managing proximity is a big factor in controlling the addiction so I'm determined to find a few more realistic changes to implement in that regard

As always, I would love to hear your tips, tricks, strategies, and favorite books or articles on this issue! You all gave me so many great recommendations in 2017 and I am hoping for more of the same in 2018! In preparing this post I came across a book I want to read this month: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. It sounds like something I could use right now to keep myself focused on managing this problem. My January book reviews will be posted tomorrow so it won't be included there, but I'm pretty sure I should have it done in time for my February reviews so keep a look out for that!


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12 comments:

  1. did you check my links in last Friday's post there's an interesting ted talk about tech. I turned off the notification for All my social media apps and it's been great. I only see a dm or tag when I open up the app. I also try to browse for 5 minutes or less.
    Love this cardi, it looks so cozy.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    Replies
    1. I did see your links! I definitely want to listen to the Ted Talk when I finish my current audiobook. I agree with turning off social media notifications. I also took the Facebook app off my phone entirely and that helped too. I have to keep Instagram there for the blog but I don't get notifications.

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  2. So much food for thought about smart phones. I always love your intentionality about things like this. Something I need to be better about too as I often just dismiss it by thinking it's part of being a blogger. Love your jeans/boots/cardi combo. Always a go-to for me.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  3. Smartphone addiction is SO real- I need to get better about unplugging, that's for sure.

    Love your cardigan, gf!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  4. I switch-task quite often too. Loved this outfit, sweater jacket looks amazing on you.

    Nina's Style Blog

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  5. Awesome style.
    Thank you for the time management tips. THis helps a lot.

    Love, Esther
    https://lifestyle-tale.com/lovelace-hotel-a-pop-up-hotel-in-munich/

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  6. Love that sweater jacket! I bet it would be perfect for the rain today, which I am SO thrilled for! Multi-tasking is definitely a myth, and one so many of us have bent over backwards trying to do. No more of that! I'm loving your goals Gina. It's really hard to unplug and put the phone down, but I've been forcing myself the past few weeks and it's making a difference in my overall well-being :)

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  7. Oh I am so bad about focusing! Especially after Avie was born. I feel like I am running around and half the time I forget what I am supposed to be doing. That is a great goal for the new year!

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  8. It's really such a great outfit. I love the casual/neutral look. I am really trying to focus on a few things and accomplish them one at a time so I don't feel overwhelmed.

    http://www.myltitlenest.org

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  10. I feel like I was just writing about these same two issues for a post on my blog for later this week. The fact that I can't seem to focus on a single task and complete it, and that the phone just eats up piles of time... I can't even imagine what it is like for kids who have pretty much had smart phones their entire lives and what that must be doing to them. Turning off notifications and DND on certain people is a big help, plus DND before bedtime, when I need to focus on sleep and not phone.
    http://www.iamchiconthecheap.com/

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    1. I have to tell you, I started reading that book I mentioned in my post (Irresistible, The Rise of Addictive Technology...by Adam Atler) and it is incredibly eye opening and life changing for me. It directly discusses just what impact this technology has on kids and even the impact of seeing their parents on their phones all day. Needless to say it's not good and I'll be making some changes in my life!

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