Olive Cardigan, Stripes + Staying Focused

Today is my first day back from vacation and I'm sure it's going to be exhausting. Getting back in town after midnight, re-adjusting to the three-hour time difference, tackling a mountain of laundry (thank goodness I have a working washing machine again!), no food in the fridge...it's all about powering through as much as I can and mainly hoping tomorrow feels a little more normal! Most likely I'll be throwing on something like this easy, casual, comfortable outfit for the day.

Sweater: Gap (Olive out of stock, Similar) | Tank: Saks off 5th (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Bag: Sole Society | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Option)

Outfit Details:

I follow Maribel on Instagram and she recently went on an olive and stripes kick...which made me feel like wearing olive and stripes! None of these outfit pieces are new-to-the-blog, but for sizing reference on the current items (sweater, jeans, shoes) all of it ran true to size for me.

Front View:
Sweater: Gap (Olive out of stock, Similar) | Tank: Saks off 5th (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Bag: Sole Society | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift, Option)

Monday Motivation: Staying Focused
Time management is something I'm really working on this year (see my original post of New Yar Goals), and although I have mostly focused on improving my punctuality, I have noticed that a lot of times I can trace my issues back to a lack of focus on the proper task. e.g. Let's say I'm getting dressed to leave the house, but I get a text message and think, "I'll just write a quick reply." That turns into a back-and-forth exchange and ultimately it's eaten up those five minutes that would have made me on time.

On days like today when I have a long to-do list of mundane tasks, it is so tempting to procrastinate with easier, more fun distractions like social media, online shopping, etc. Cutting out those distractions completely could mean a full extra load of laundry gets put away! And yet...it's easier said than done! I'm really motivated to improve my focus and improve my self-control when it comes to distractions. In preparing this post, I googled "how to stay focused" and came across a couple of articles with tips that resonated with me. If you're struggling with this too, here are a couple of my favorite snippets:

1. From Nadia Goodman at Entrepreneur:
  • Train your mind like a muscle. When multitasking is the norm, your brain quickly adapts. You lose the ability to focus as distraction becomes a habit. Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task. Start small, maybe five minutes per day, and work up to larger chunks of time. If you find your mind wandering, just return to the task at hand. "It’s just like getting fit," Rock says. "You have to build the muscle to be focused."
This struck me in particular because I am used to training my muscles with weight training and I had never really thought about mental focus needing to be trained in a similar manner. This is exactly what I needed to read. This also applies to my blogging time. I'll write a paragraph....zone out, check social media etc. A blog post that could have been finished in two hours takes three because I let myself get distracted, and this is an area where I really want to improve. 

2. From Stephen Guise: (I highly recommend this whole article!) 
  • Focusing is a lost skill, a casualty of the 21st century. People bury their noses in iDistracted and Distractdroid devices, practically salivating at the notifications which confirm their importance. Instead of commanding their day, they are controlled by their uncontrolled lust to be distracted....Instant notifications are drugs that train you for a life of distraction.
Harsh, but true! He goes on to give many tips in this article for improving your focus, and I found it very motivating! I was also amused that my search lead me to this particular article because just last week my sister Denae had recommended one of the author's books to me (Mini Habits, by Stephen Guise). I'd never heard of him before, and now he's come to my attention twice in one week. I was already planning to listen to his audiobook per my sister's recommendation but it's nice to know going into it that I'm already connecting with the author's writing and general message.

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I have to say, I did a pretty good job staying focused on writing this post thanks to the nature of the topic and the influence of the articles I read. Let's hope I can apply some of the same discipline to my to-do list! Hope you all have a good Monday and see you back on Wednesday!

Linking up with:



  1. welcome back and yes the day after a vacation is always rough. Goof luck getting back to the swing of things.


  2. I have a hard time staying focused on tasks too. I'll be reading both of these articles! I really like the idea of starting with focusing for 5 min and building from there.

    Doused In Pink

  3. Your booties are super cute the green cardigan paired with it lovely

  4. Good luck getting back into the routine! And yay! You found Stephen Guise! Did you find the article on his blog?

    1. Thanks Denae! I was so amused that my google search took me that way. The article is on his blog. If you click on his name right above the quote it should direct you to the exact article that is the source of the quote. :)

  5. I really like the tips for staying focused! That is a real downfall of mine. I start something, see another task that needs to be done, and then go on to that without finishing the first task! I like how the advice you found says to start small and build up!

  6. You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I'm a life coach blogger. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging endeavors. Please keep in touch with me in Google+, +sridharchandrasekaran Twitter @lifecoachbloger

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words!

  7. Welcome back Gina! I really enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of your vacation--and I was just a little bit jealous. Once again, this is such an interesting topic and it is so true what Stephen Guise wrote--I'm going to read that article. In a world where most of us do our work on the computer and web, it is so easy to get distracted. I've been trying to follow the Eat That Frog and Power Hour philosophies, but I'm always looking for more tips.

    1. I have not heard of Eat That Frog or Power Hour, so obviously I'm going to have to look those up now. Thanks for sharing!

  8. i am horrible at multi tasking, which i guess is a good thing, because when i do end up doing something - blogging, cleaning, laundry, i do it all at once. or i do nothing at all haha.

    1. I would like to be better about doing one thing to completion before moving on to the next. As it is, I always feel scatterbrained because I'm doing a little of this and a little of that all at once!

  9. You touched on such a bad weakness of mine! Even at work, I end up starting about 10 different things and finishing zero! And notifications really are drugs. What a powerful message!
    Your olive and stripes combo is definitely one of my favorites to wear myself so two thumbs up from me!
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com


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