I set a goal to read 52 books for the year. I have read ten so far. Feeling accomplished, I wrote about my book challenge. So many people responded with questions like: Do you ever sleep? Where do you find time to read?
We live in a world in which we are juggling so many things at once. While finishing an email, we are on the phone with a client, updating our calendar, preparing to go to a meeting, and on and on and on. This is a normal day for many people. However, we need to understand the difference between multitasking and efficiency.
When we get home from work, we are bombarded by so many sounds and notifications like Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Linkedin and all these social apps we are tethered to. When do we have time to breathe? Why do we respond to everything with such urgency?
I started to meditate seriously in 2015. Before this, I tried to meditate but didn't stick with it. I just wasn't ready. When I discovered Naam Yoga everything changed and I started to practice daily. Meditating has worked wonders in my life. Eventually, I explored other mindfulness practices and they all worked well. You need to try out different systems to find what works for you.
To answer the question where do I find time to read: by being present. When I am reading, cooking, spending time with my family, writing an email, talking to my clients, preparing a presentation, mentoring someone, laughing, dancing -- I am fully present and conscious that I am doing the activity.
Mindfulness is about being aware and awake. To be mindful at work means to be consciously present in what you're doing, while you're doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. If you're writing a report, speaking with a client, in a meeting with your boss, etc. mindfulness requires you to give your full attention.
Here are some tips that will help you to transition to a more rigorous mindfulness practice!
1. Start your workday by being present as best you can. Pause for a few moments before you start your workday. Try not to start immediately answering emails, phone calls, or Facebook notifications. Instead, take a few minutes to breathe and organize your day. These little moments add up to make the day a more productive one.
2. Be a Single-Tasker. Single-tasking is doing one thing at a time. To do this block off 3 hours of time solely to work on projects. Switch off as many distractions as you can and focus on achieving one task at a time.
3. Slow Down To Speed Up. By slowing down, you become more efficient, productive, happy, resilient and healthy at work. This allows your brain to become even more efficient, focused, effective at communicating with others, and better at learning new skills.
4. Cultivate Humility. Humble people have confidence in themselves and don't feel the need to continuously remind others of their achievements. Humility does not mean seeing yourself as inferior; rather, it means being aware of your natural dependence on and equity with those around you.
5. Accept What You Can't Change. Acceptance lies at the heart of mindfulness. To be mindful means to accept this present moment just as it is. It means to accept yourself, just as you are now. It doesn't mean resignation or giving up. If you have dreams of leaving your workplace to start your own business, just take baby steps to get there and remain positive about the outcome. Mindfulness is about giving attention to the present moment and not judging your innate talent or intelligence, but being open to new possibilities.
To be mindful on a daily basis no matter how chaotic life is around you, you don't really need to be sitting cross-legged for one hour meditating! In general, becoming more mindful comes with practice! Don't try too hard or force it to achieve any special effects! Simply relax into the process and pay as much attention as you can to what is here now. Whatever form that takes. Allow yourself to experience life as it unfolds, paying careful and open-hearted attention. A good place to start is to just breathe.
I have always been in love with all things art- I was obsessed with drawing and painting before I was even walking. In high school, I started a career selling art through various gallery art shows and on Etsy. I then went on to study fine arts at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in painting, but took classes in ceramics, printmaking, cinema and architecture to get a really well-rounded education on all sorts of art.
During my senior year of college, my career path went through a huge transition; I started my own temporary tattoo brand, INKED by Dani, which is a brand of temporary tattoos based on my hand-drawn fine art designs.
The idea for the brand came one night after a themed party at college. My friends, knowing how much I loved drawing, asked me to cover them in hand-drawn doodles using eyeliner. The feedback from that night was overwhelming, everyone my friends saw that night was obsessed with the designs. In that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head... I could do some completely unique here and create chic temporary tattoos with an art-driven aesthetic, unlike anything else on the market. Other temporary tattoo brands were targeted to kids or lacked a sleek and millennial-driven look. It was a perfect pivot; I could utilize my fine arts training and tattoos as a new art medium to create a completely innovative brand.
Using the money I made from selling my artwork throughout high school and college, I funded the launch of INKED by Dani. I had always loved the look of dainty tattoos, but knew I could never commit to the real thing, and I knew my parents would kill me if I got a tattoo (I also knew that so many girls must have that same conflict). Starting INKED by Dani was a no-brainer.
I started off with a collection of about only 10 designs and sold them at sorority houses around USC. Our unique concept for on-trend and fashion-forward tattoos was spreading through word of mouth, and we quickly started growing an Instagram following. I was hustling all day from my room, cold calling retailers, sending blind samples and tons of emails, and trying to open up as many opportunities as I could.
Now, we're sold at over 10,000 retail locations (retailers include Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Hot Topic), and we've transformed temporary tattoos into a whole new form of wearable art.
My 4 best tips for starting your own business are:
- Just go with your gut! You'll never know what works until you try it. Go day by day and do everything in your power to work toward your goals. Be bold, but be sure to be thoughtful in your actions.
- Research your competitors and other successful brands in your category to determine how you can make your product stand out. Figure out where there is a need or hole in the market that your new offering or approach can fill.
- Don't spread yourself too thin. Delegate where possible, and stay focused each day on doing the best and most you can. Don't get too caught up in your end goal or the big picture to a point where it overwhelms or freezes you. You're already making a bold move to start something new, so try to prioritize what's important! I started off in the beginning hand packing every single tattoo pack that we sold and shipped. If I wanted to scale to align with the level of demand we were receiving, I needed to make the pivot to mass produce and relinquish the control of doing every step myself. I am a total perfectionist, so that was definitely hard! From that point on, overseeing production has been a huge part of my daily schedule, but by doing so I've been able to free up more time to focus on design, merchandising, and sales, allowing me to really focus on growing the business.
- Prioritize great product packaging and branding. It's so important to invest time in customer experience- how customers view and interact with your product. The packaging is just as important as the actual product inside! When we were starting off, we had high demand, and I definitely jumped the gun a bit on packaging so we could deliver product to the retailers when they wanted it. Since then, we've completely revamped the packaging into something upscale and unique that reflects what the brand is all about. Our product packaging is always called out as being one of our retailers' and customers' favorite part of our product!