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Productivity Tips

    Real Life

    Feeling Burnt Out? How To Find Inspiration Again

    You probably know blogging is not my full-time job (ha, a girl can dream though, right?). I put in part-time hours at this little internet space, but I’m definitely not raking in the big bucks. And that’s cool with me. I didn’t start my site to pay my rent, buy an expensive handbag or gain recognition. This space was, and still is, my creative outlet. I find inspiration and joy in brainstorming new topic ideas, styling posts and curating my own content.

    But, sometimes, the ideas stop flowing altogether (hello, idea drought 2016), and the dreaded burn out starts to set in. I’ve fallen victim to this the past few weeks. If you’re like me and stare at a computer screen all day, you’d probably rather eat sandpaper than stare at computer screen all night (maybe not literal sandpaper, but I think we can all agree the struggle is real). Every once in awhile, our brains need to take some time to relax and reset. And you know what? That’s okay.

    Whenever I feel a lack of inspiration coming on, I turn to a few tried and true tips to get the creativity flowing again:

    TAKE A WALK

    It’s nearly impossible to force ideas to come when they don’t want to. Writers’ block anyone? The worst. When I get to this point (and believe me, it happens more often than I’d like), I step away and change up the scenery. Taking a walk helps clear my head. And we could all use that, right? If anything, it’s a good excuse to get out of the house, explore your neighborhood and enjoy the nice weather.

    VISIT A THRIFT STORE

    This tip is a little off-the-wall, but I swear it works. Thrift and vintage stores are packed to the gills with unique and quirky items. I love shopping at thrift stores regardless, but whenever I’m feeling a lack of inspiration, this setting really helps me find inspiration.

    And if you’re in the mood to shop a little while you’re there (I don’t blame you), take a peek at my top thrifting tips!

    POST UP AT A LOCAL COFFEE SHOP

    Coffee shops are creativity meccas. Not only do they help fuel my caffeine addiction (THANK YOU), but they’re also great spots to go when I need to get work done. There’s just something about the coffee aroma that helps ignite productivity and spark ideas.

    Can’t make it to a coffee shop? No problem. Check out Coffitivity, a nifty little website that brings all of the coffee shop white noise to your apartment. It’s a game changer!

    LISTEN TO AN INSPIRING PODCAST

    I wasn’t big into podcasts. Remember the Serial craze? I know, I know, you probably think I’m a crazy person, but I just couldn’t get into it. And then I discovered Jess Lively’s podcast, The Lively Show. Now I am team podcast all the way. Jess’ goal is to help “bring a little extra intention to your everyday,” and she hits the nail on the head every episode.

    My favorite episodes are: Talking fashion and blogging with Liz Schneider of Sequins & Stripes, How to create a capsule wardrobe with Caroline from Un-fancy, and how to create a beautiful, value-driven outlook on life with Alex Ikonn, author of “The Five Minute Journal.”

    BROWSE PINTEREST AND INSTAGRAM

    I’m a visual person, and I find inspiration in beautiful photography. Have you tumbled down a deep dark Pinterest or Instagram hole recently? It’s a real epidemic. If I’m riding shotgun on the struggle bus and need some blog ideas, I head to one or both. Pinterest is filled with fun projects, and usually, one of them helps spark something great.

    P.S. – Let’s be friends! Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.

    REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED

    True life: some days, I want to give up blogging altogether. I think about all of the hours and money I’d save. Like any hobby, time is of the essence, so no matter what you’re trying to pursue — whether it’s an art degree, a promotion, launching your own company — getting wrapped up in it is wonderful, fulfilling and stressful. And sometimes when burn out sets in, you want to throw in the towel. When you get to that place, it’s easy to forget why you’re chasing your passion at all. On those days, I go back and read my first post (which I’ll admit, is actually hilarious) and it really helps put things into perspective.


    Have you been in a creative rut recently? What were some of the methods that helped you find inspiration again?

     

    Feature image via The New York Times from “A Simple Feast” Cookbook by Diana Yen.

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    Real Life

    3 Easy Ways to Declutter your Home

    After living in a mess of an apartment with clothes I never wear thrown all over my bedroom floor, I decided it was time to do something about it. When there is literal clutter in my apartment there is clutter in my brain. I feel frazzled, disorganized and on-edge almost daily. Are you nodding in agreement on your side of the screen? I thought so.

    From now on, I want to be more mindful about the things I buy, and donate and sell the clothes and items I no longer wear or use. Because the thought of living with less is liberating.

    If you’re taking steps to change your ways, I’d love to hear what works for you! In the meantime, here are a few things to try out this month…

    Challenge Yourself to a No Shopping Month

    236A2018I’m currently challenging myself to a no shopping month. Sounds scary, right? I promise you though, it’s not so bad! For one month, I won’t buy any clothing, jewelry or shoes (especially shoes). Because I don’t know about you, but a trip to Target for bananas almost always ends with a pair of sandals, a new top, a bathing suit and a few new lipsticks.

    Do I really 100% love everything I end up buying? Not always. Sometimes I’ll buy something because it’s cute, but then it sits in my closet for months. And those lipsticks…I might as well open my own beauty shop because my collection has gotten just a smidge bit out of control.

    Sell and/or Donate Clothes You Don’t Wear

    Clear the Clutter - Natalie Was Here

    I filled three bins (THREE, GIANT BINS) with clothes that show signs of wear, or haven’t been worn at all. Have you heard of Poshmark? It’s an app that allows you to easily upload items you’re trying to sell, and shop other people’s closets at the same time (dowload the app and enter code “PVDWF” for $10 to use on your first purchase!).

    When someone bids on one of your items and you accept, Poshmark emails you a pre-paid shipping label, so all you have to do is box up your item, slap on the label and drop your package off at your local post office. It seriously couldn’t be easier. I’ve made a little over $200 since I downloaded the app, and I love the feeling of giving the things I no longer wear a new home (the extra cash is pretty nice, too). *Full Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored by Poshmark. I just really, really love the app and had to tell you guys about it.

    Fill One Trash Bag Each Day for a Week and Donate

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    My mom told me about this tip, and it’s genius. Fill one trash bag or box each day with clothing and other items you no longer wear or use. At the end of the week, drop your bags off at your local thrift store or charitable organization. You’d be amazed by how many things you accumulate, even if you live by yourself (moving made me realize this). I did one round of this a few weeks back and felt so much better (not to mention lighter!) afterwards. Slowly making progress, guys.


    What are some tips that help you organize and declutter your space?

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