5 Steps to Avoiding the Pinterest Paradox

May 28, 2015


P.S. I’ll get to Pinterest in a moment. 🙂

Dreaming and Doing. Is one better than the other, or do both together create the best productivity life hack?

In life we simply can’t escape the productivity conversation, which inevitably becomes the balance conversation, which then morphs into the just live in the moment and be happy conversation.

Here’s my take it on it…
The theme I created for myself this year was, “Flow in all things.” Just saying it out loud makes me take a deep breath and smile. I really like this feeling. And, the theme has really come in handy numerous times this year. However, I find myself also craving to not flow. To push a bit harder, as uncomfortable as it may be for me and for others. To ask, instead of wonder or let go. To create those waves, instead of float away. Perhaps, subconsciously, I created this theme because I knew I would push the envelope enough this year to require more breath-ful moments? Hmm. Could be.
Here’s what I know about productivity (the art of getting things done as effectively as possible, so we can do even more)… We are MUCH MORE productive when we are doing things that we are passionate about, really good at (like our talents/strengths), and that will help us achieve a highly-valued reward. Do our bosses want us to be more productive? YES. Do we want to be more productive at home? YES. Do we want to create and grow in our lives?YES.
We are humans! Part of the human experience is a desire to fill our cups as much as possible. After all, when we fill our cups (hopefully with the right things!), we can extract so much pleasure and growth. Ah! The human experience is good, indeed!

But what happens when we dream too much and don’t do?
I’ll let you answer this question. Go ahead, fill in the blank here: _____________________________________________.

In comes

I LOVE Pinterest. In fact, I try not to log on too often, because I lose myself within the screen, and I lose myself within lots of yummy dreams! Typically, we’ll be attracted to things in Pinterest that excite us, and that help us to create a vision for all aspects of our lives. Dreaming feels great, and dreaming creates lots of good ju ju for us. When we dream too much, though and don’t do, our energy decreases, our motivation decreases, and our productivity decreases too.
So, I’m not asking you to quit Pinterest. Quite the contrary! It’s a great place to create our visions. BUILD THOSE DREAMS, but please DO take some action. The science behind motivation tells us that when we have lots of excitement (Pinterest ideas) mixed with lots of apprehension (Can I…Will I really do this?), it can have the opposite effect and deter us from doing anything at all, except create lots of pretty Pinterest boards!
So how do get the most out of our Pinterest habits and enjoy the happiness, thrill, accomplishment, and new skill building that these “P” projects can offer?

Here are some of the easiest, yet hardest, 5 steps to consider:


Our brains love to think that we can do it all! The reality is, though, that we can go into flight mode when we are overwhelmed and do nothing! Especially if you have the habit of creating many Pinterest boards and still have not tried any of the ideas you love, do yourself a favor and pick one to get started. I’d go for a really juicy one that is just slightly out of your reach, but will feel so amazing once you “get ‘er done!” Achieving these slightly out of our reach goals can positively affect us in many ways.

Here’s one I stored for a while. I had a HUGE party idea file and never did any of it. It felt not so great! I decided that the entire board—doing all of those party “things” was just a bit too much for me. But, creating the invitation did provide me with an attractive, yet uncomfortable challenge. I picked it and I did it! I was a proud mommy, and my daughter and her friends loved it.
And, this week, I decided to challenge myself with this activity, which also is slightly uncomfortable but exciting at the same time. One at a time. Rewards-a-plenty with both!


The hardest part is to get started. Create a new board titled,“Started!” and place it there. Starting actually cuts the apprehension out of the equation and makes checking it off our list a new possibility, instead of “someday maybe.” In our minds we begin to see the check mark instead of the question mark.


Hold yourself accountable in some way (whatever way you know is best for you) and celebrate your progress, especially if it’s something that takes a while to achieve. For example, I love collecting “10 Minute” boards about exercising. What can I do in 10 minutes to tone my abs (for example)? But, guess what? If I only do 10 minutes of ab exercises once, I will not get anywhere. I need to do it for 30 days, perhaps, or if that’s too extreme, how about 3x per week?


There are so many great recipes on Pinterest. I usually don’t have the ingredients I need, so I will start by picking my recipe and creating a list. Then, the next day, I will tell myself that I will cook it (get it done) on Saturday, and I will add to my calendar the time block which will allow me to go to the market to purchase the ingredients. If I don’t tackle these first three steps, this recipe will remain a dream. Chunk it down into bite sized pieces.


Tell yourself when you will finish. If you don’t stick to your deadline, extend it, but try to get it done. No deadline? Not done!

For some, creating those invitations I posted above would be easy. Perhaps crafting is something they do often. For me, although one of my strengths is ideating, I do need a black and white way to commit to it and get it done. I followed this process to complete it and I really loved doing it! The rewards were many: I was using my creativity, I was doing something that would ultimately make someone else in my life happy (my daughter), I challenged myself, it engaged me in ways I’m not normally engaged, and it gave me a craving to use my creativity in new ways. Cha Ching! And, for those of you who follow my strengths-related work and blogs, you can absolutely believe I leveraged my strengths to get this done, creating even more benefits.

So, are you in the Pinterest Paradox? If so, I’d love to have your commitment to take one the ideas that EXCITES YOU AND CHALLENGES YOU, and follow the steps above. AND, I would LOVE for you to share with me what you are committing to. Let’s go from Pinterest Paradox to Pinterest Passionate Productivity!
You with me??
It’s your life. Lead it well.


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