The Evolution of Productivity

The workshop “Productivity with Heart: Aligning Your Values with Your Schedule” has been one of my foundations for teaching time-management. This is the perfect starting point for entrepreneurs and busy professionals who want to create more time. I’m looking forward to sharing this event as part of Twin Cities Startup Week (TCSW).

As the world changes and priorities are shifting, some people have more time than ever. What’s lacking is presence. It can seem almost impossible to focus on work while you are trying to help your kids through virtual school. Or maybe you are working more because your home office makes it hard to create boundaries between work and home life.

After 20 years of meditation practice, I’ve seen the benefits of improved clarity to focus my time and presence to connect with myself and my loved ones. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned and helping others bring more mindfulness to their personal and professional lives.

I’m excited about these upcoming collaborations with Luis Moreno and Sylwia Borowy:

Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness for Personal and Professional Relationships

And the first TCSW event in Spanish:

Cómo aprovechar la Inteligencia Emocional y la Atención Plena para Tener Relaciones Profesionales y Personales Más Efectivas

Another event that will be a fun way to bounce back this year with some positivity, is the Collaboration Coaching Group’s 2020 Reset!

I know you will love the insights and perspectives that Susan Kavanaugh shares when we discuss mindfulness and conscious communication on 9/22.

I can’t wait to connect with each of you at these upcoming events. And, stay tuned for details on my mindfulness for productivity course launching this fall!

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash


Managing Stress During the COVID-19 Crisis

April is stress awareness month. Needless to say, just about everyone is experiencing new stressors while we adjust to life during the global COVID-19 pandemic. It may not be a coincidence that this is also alcohol awareness month, as there is a correlation between stress and alcohol use/abuse.

Happy hour, even virtually, is a common ritual for celebrating the end of the workweek. While we may feel like just getting through each day is a victory, we should avoid developing the habit of a daily self-congratulatory toast. However, if you’ve found yourself indulging with more alcoholic beverages than before, you are not the only one. In the third week in March, the United States saw an increase in alcohol sales of 55% as many states were adopting stay-at-home orders. But sheltering in place is going to be marathon, not a sprint. Below are some healthier alternates to manage stress and maintain good health.

Promote your pillars of health

It’s no surprise that the usual habits recommended for wellness apply now more than ever. Stress management is considered one of the four “Pillars of Health” along with exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Exercise may look very different now given that we no longer have access to gyms. Outdoor exercise in safe spaces (while maintaining at least 6 feet of distance) is still recommended in most areas. In addition to the fresh air, we get a boost of vitamin D from sunlight and this helps support physical and mental health.


You’ve heard it before, even if you are working from home, get up at the same time, shower, dress, and be prepared for a “normal” workday. However, as Harvard researcher Karmel Choi notes, “We’re not just working from home. We’re working from home in a pandemic. If things feel different it’s because they are different.”

One of the best ways to manage stress while so many changes are outside of our control is to find ways to manage what is within our control. Creating routines helps to create a sense of calm, balance, and normalcy. Routines also help decrease ambivalence and decision fatigue. Once you have a routine of a healthy breakfast, you are less likely to consider unhealthy treats or skipping breakfast altogether. Creating routines can be a successful strategy for maintaining or improving the other pillars of health such as sleep.

Mindfulness and Meditation

If you don’t already have a meditation practice, you can get your feet wet with a free app like InsightTimer or paid subscriptions to Headspace or Ten Percent Happier. In our daily lives off the meditation cushion, there are many activities that we can do more mindfully. Daily chores such as sweeping or washing the dishes can become an opportunity to be fully present with the task at hand. We can also be mindful of our consumption by limiting unhealthy foods, alcohol, and negative news or social media. It’s helpful to be aware of the stressors that can be a trigger for emotional numbing and mindless consumption. To combat this, set limits such as portion controlling sweets or only scrolling news media for 10 minutes at a time.


Fear and isolation can lead to depression and anxiety. Remember that we are physically distancing, but can and should maintain connections virtually. Even if you consider yourself an introvert we are all social creatures to some extent. Make a point to connect with others regularly, especially friends or family who are living alone or may have less access to resources and support. Limit screentime and find novel ways to connect with members of your household such as walking together outside or playing board games.

If you needed a reminder of why alcohol is not a viable long-term solution, according to the World Health Organization: “At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues and violence.” Alcohol use can also affect the general health of the body, leading to potential outcomes like sleeping less, and a weakened immune system. Additional resources on healthy alternatives can be found on the Stress Management Society website.

We are experiencing changes and challenges on a global scale like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes. If you are struggling to manage your time and energy to create good health and habits, connect with Tamara for a free Zoom call.


Work From Home Tips to Start Your Day

I started working from home a few days per week in 2015. I would still go into the office or a coworking space 3-4 days per week. Like many of you, I have now been solely working from home since mid-March for social distancing. It can be difficult to adapt when there are so many changes but I hope my work from home tips help with the transition.

  1. Get up close to your usual time for work
  2. Take advantage of some of the time you used to spend commuting:
    • Meditation/intention setting
    • Exercise (walk or at-home bodyweight exercises)
    • Eat a nutritious breakfast
  3. Change out of your pajamas into comfortable work clothes to get into work mode
  4. Maintain favorite morning rituals like a warm coffee or tea or refreshing shake
  5. Set aside 15 minutes before work to catch up on headlines
  6. End with a mental sorbet to cleanse your palate, like a funny YouTube video
  7. When you login for work, check your email and flag what needs a response today (but don’t reply until later in the morning)
  8. Set aside a 1-2 hour block of time to complete a project in the morning when your mind is the freshest
  9. Use a Pomodoro desktop time or app to help ensure focused blocks of time
  10. Take time for breaks, chat with your family, pet your cat, have another cup of tea. Productivity may decrease with the intention for connection, especially if you have family members at home. That’s okay!

Please stay home and help us flatten the curve. I invite you to connect for a free call as I am learning to better serve clients during these difficult times.

Photo credit: James Fitzgerald on Unsplash

The Accountability Factor

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash


Humans are creatures of habit and positive change is hard. One helpful strategy is accountability.

I cannot count the times clients have told me, “I know what to do, I just need to do it.” Knowledge does not create change without a plan of action. But for many people even having a plan is not enough.

Some people get the boost they need via apps and online challenges but many do best when they know someone is checking in on their progress and wants to see them succeed. If you are more likely to meet your exercise goals when you have a buddy to go to the gym with or lose weight when you go to a weekly weigh in, then you have experienced the benefits of accountability.

I’ve found this to be the case for myself this summer while seeing a physical therapist. As much as I want to heal my knee, it’s hard to do 30 minutes of PT exercises every day. When I don’t feel like doing my exercises or am not sure when I can fit them into my schedule, I imagine myself meeting with my PT again. I want to be able to tell him how consistent I was.

This is why accountability works and one of the many benefits of coaching. I will not be exercising at the gym with you or attend your weigh-ins but I can be that angel on your shoulder reminding you to make better choices. This way, when we meet again, you can feel proud that you’ve stuck with your goals and even prouder of the progress you are making.

I’m looking forward to partnering with you!