March 16, 2022

How Todo Lists Hinder Your Productivity – Podcast Ep 10

Listen to episode 10 on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

We know the todo list cycle all too well.

You have a hundred things rattling around in your brain, so you write out a massive list out on a piece of paper, and then jump into frenzied action.

But you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, like you are working all the time, and still have so much to do and can’t get ahead of the todo list that grows faster than you can manage.

The Problem with Todo Lists

Todo lists tend to fragment your focus. Alone, they can never be the time-management strategy you need to organize your tasks within the context of your week. Todo lists encourage you to take action, but it is most often un-prioritized action, meaning you will never make progress on the things that actually matter most to you.

Todo lists also don’t enable you to see the greater context of your productivity. When you look at a todo list, you see that you’ve either completed a task or you haven’t. Your todo list can’t tell you why your task is still unfinished. All it can offer is that sense of deflation as you contemplate that another day has passed and it’s still sitting on your list.

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December 29, 2021

How ROOTED Goals Can Help You Thrive This Year

January 1st is only days away. With it will come a massive wave of social pressure to sit down, dream big, map out your future, and then relentlessly hustle and bend every aspect of your life to make those goals happen.

But we’re not falling for that this year. We think there’s a better way.

Unrealistic, untethered, shame-motivated goals are a cultural epidemic. We ourselves know all too well what it’s like to put pen to paper, get our adrenaline pumping, cross our fingers with the hopes that somehow it’ll be different this time—and then have unforeseen higher priorities come in and wash away all of our wishful thinking.

We’re done with goal setting systems that pump you up, introduce massive tension between your goal and your daily responsibilities, and then leave you feeling like a failure.

Time is too precious for that! As home-loving wives, mamas, and entrepreneurs, we needed a goal setting system that was mercifully realistic, embraced our other responsibilities as valid, and was deeply rooted in our broader life callings. The ROOTED Goal Setting System was the fruit of that quest.

For the past two years, we’ve been developing this system to help woman set lasting, sustainable, and life-giving goals. This is an entirely new way of thinking about goal setting (you may remember it was the topic of one of our podcast episodes this past fall).

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September 8, 2021

Time-Blocking: Your Framework for Productivity

One of the most essential features in our Monthly booklets is the time-blocking section on the day spread.

When researching how to increase productivity — especially when needing to balance multiple roles in one day — there was one practical skill that came up again and again: time-blocking.

It’s highly recommended by productivity experts, and after using it in our own lives, we get why. When you make space to get realistic about your time availability, set up habits and rhythms, thoughtfully organize your tasks, apply prioritization and batching methods, and pad everything with ample margin—your productivity will increase.

With our Monthly booklet, the time-blocking feature on the day spread is completely customizable to your unique schedule. You can write in each hour to reflect your ideal rise and sleep schedule, or focus on only your working hours.

Think through your body’s energy, productivity, and rest rhythms (and for mamas, the rhythms of your kiddos). Then line out your tasks accordingly. Do you have the most creative energy first thing in the morning? Slot your most creative and important work during that time. Are you working during the day and making progress on your side hustle in the evening? Focus your time-blocking on those evening hours, writing in the key project you plan to tackle in the to-do column. Do you capitalize on your kiddos’ nap time to get work done? Slot that as your predictable working hours.

New to time-blocking?

A great way to develop this habit is to start by writing what you did do at the end of each day. Do not pass over this tip, it may seem simple, but it is a powerful tool for tracking the rhythms you already operate in. The truth is, you can’t wipe your current rhythms away and start over with a brand new schedule you think would be awesome. We are creatures of habit, and it simply won’t work. You have to begin to make change by first evaluating what you currently do, and then incrementally adjust the things that need adjusting. This will also help you see what is currently working well in the way you go about your day, and continue those life-giving habits you already have. By writing down what you did, you will be able to:

  • gauge what is realistic for you to accomplish in this season
  • spot the areas where you could use some discipline (we all have them!)
  • note the days or hours you tend to run errands, plan appointments or take care of home tasks
  • chart out the natural rhythms you (& your family) already operate in (meals, naps, school, work, etc.)

A few days (or even weeks) of this, and you will have loads of insight you can then use as you start to plan days before they happen. The practice of writing down what you did is a trick you can pull out again and again whenever you hit a season of transition (new job, new baby, new home, etc.). When things feel a little off, just take a few days to evaluate your rhythms and see what insights you can gain about what is working and what needs changed.

If you’ve never made a habit of time-blocking, start today! Flexibility is always required, but you’ll be amazed at how much time-blocking will enhance productivity. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

Want to keep it fun? Highlighters, colored pencils, or even washi tape can be great ways to visually track the different sections of your day.


The Evergreen Planner system is comprised of three unique pieces: the Cover, the Annual and the Monthly. Here at Evergreen we believe in self-compassionate planning and want to inspire women to craft a lifestyle that both fuels their dreams and serves their daily rhythms. Learn more about our system here!

June 9, 2021

How to Reverse-Engineer Your Goals

The R.O.O.T.E.D. Goal Setting System helps you to identify and reverse-engineer essentialist goals that bridge the gap between the future you want and the life you’re living right now.

Sustainable, Life-Giving Goals Are:

Last week, we talked about why clarity is QUEEN if you want to set a strong goal, and discussed how to get more clarity about what you want.

This week, we’ll be diving into the mechanics of reverse-engineering.

What is Reverse-Engineering?

“Reverse-Engineering” means to take apart an existing product or piece of technology, dissect it, and study it, so you can learn how to duplicate or enhance it for your own purposes. When you “reverse-engineer” a goal, you move past your vague theories about what it will take to make your goal happen and research until you have concrete and actionable understanding.

This can be an emotionally tough part of goal setting, but it’s vital to becoming realistic about your goals. By becoming a sort of expert on what you are wanting to do, you can make the decisions necessary to support your goal with confidence and understanding.

You can conduct this research in a number of ways:

  • You can talk to someone who has done what you want to do, and ask them to walk you through the steps. (People often hire coaches for this purpose.)
  • You can read a book or how-to article about your goal. (This can be inexpensive and effective, if you commit yourself to taking real action on what you learn.)
  • You can take an e-course and/or join an online membership. (This deep dive can be a convenient and effective way to become very knowledgable about your goal, and the monetary investment helps foster motivation to follow through.)

As you conduct your research, it is important to remember that you’re not just trying to gather any and every bit of random data you can about your goal. Your objectives are specific. You’re trying to identify someone to whom you can relate who has succeeded with the goal you want to accomplish, get a big picture look at their story so you can find where it overlaps with yours, and then zero-in on the action steps that you could take in order to get the results that fulfill your motivating “why.”

You’re looking at someone’s “finished product” (their success), and then reverse-engineering: taking it apart bit-by-bit, to understand how cause-and-effect played out in their journey so that you can mine effective action-steps like gold from the wisdom of their hindsight.

You also need to take care not to get into an endless research rut. It’ll be tempting to do so, but you have to keep your eye on the prize: taking effective (and often messy) action as quickly and decisively as possible.

Here’s a page from the Goals Workbook that we’re developing. It’ll help you organize your research so that you can really nail down what it’ll take to make your goal a reality.


Our subscription box is open to new subscribers for ONE more day! We ship our sub boxes four times a year and they contain 3 Monthly booklets along with curated planning accessories. The Monthly is the muscle of our planning system. It’s a five-week undated day planner featuring week spreads, habit trackers, timeblocked day pages, and plenty of bullet grid flex space to make the planner completely yours. Our sub box won’t open to new subscribers again until late August, so don’t miss this chance to get the right tools in hand!