"Three Ways I Completely Transformed My (Work) Life"

If you’re looking to find a little more zen in 2022, let us introduce you to Caitlin Cady. The Byron Bay-based author, mum-of-three and entrepreneur is the founder of Heavily Meditated, a book and app that offers up an easy, down-to-earth guide on learning to meditate and centre yourself. Beyond creating “the coolest book on meditation”, as Vogue Australia describes it, Cady has created a following that relies on her practical tools and powerful perspectives to help live out your best and most fulfilled self. 

Below, Cady lays out three ways she’s completely transformed her work routine, and it’s sure to help kick start a productive and gratified year.

By Caitlin Cady

Clarifying your goals and dreams is the first step in achieving them. But then, what next? Take. Consistent. Action.

Taking consistent action is the key to moving toward your goals. And consistent action requires focused attention. Focusing your attention is the difference between actually taking purposeful action on your goals and dreams and getting sidetracked by distractions that have no meaningful impact on your life.

In a world increasingly filled with distractions and diversions that sing out for your attention at every turn, the ability to intentionally focus your attention gives you a major advantage. Here are three hacks I use to hone my attention, cut out distractions, find focus, and take meaningful action toward my goals and dreams.

Unroll.me is a tool that will instantly lighten the load of your inbox by gathering all of your subscription emails (think promotions, newsletters, retailers, etc.,) into one daily email. You'll get a single email with thumbnails of every subscription email you've received in the last day. It's genius and it's free. You'll be amazed at how much less susceptible you are to distractions, time-wasting emails, and "accidental shopping" when there's a little barrier between you and the subscription email.

I know. Scandalous. I've been a Lover Of Lists for as long as I could put pen to paper. But life coach Brooke Castillo changed my mind about that. Her method involves brain dumping all of your to-dos onto paper and then scheduling them into your calendar as actionable tasks. This method gives you the opportunity to not only be more purposeful with your time but also to get realistic about how long tasks take. Since implementing this method, I’ve found that I work more efficiently and that I’m more realistic about what I can actually get done in the time I have.

Once you've got your tasks scheduled on your calendar, find fierce focus and knock them over like a pro using the Pomodoro Technique. In a nutshell, you break down your work into 25-minute sessions, punctuated by short breaks. The work sessions are called Pomodoros (from the Italian word for tomato), named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that the creator of this technique used as a student.

Here's how to get your Pomodoro on:

  • Select a task (e.g. writing a blog post, issuing invoices, studying, reading, etc.,) then set a timer for 25
  • minutes and work on the task until the timer goes off. If you get distracted by texts, the siren song of social media, or the rabbit hole of Google, just get right back on track and remind yourself of the task and timeframe at hand.

  • After the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Make a cuppa, stretch, get your social media hit, respond to texts, etc.,

  • At the end of the break, select a new task if you've finished the first task, or resume the original task for another 25-minute session.

  • After completing four Pomodoros you've earned yourself a longer break (15-30 minutes). I like to use the Be Focused app but you can just use the timer on your phone if you prefer.