It seems so perfectly perfect (in every way) that the theme for The Fit Dish is Habits of Highly Productive People because Katie is probably one of the most productive people I’ve ever met.
I’m hoping some of her awesomeness rubs off on me and I can tackle my cluttery ways.
Don’t forget to read to the end for your chance to win a copy of her book The Effortless Everyday.
UPDATE: Katie sent out an email today (Sept 22) to announce that within one freaking day her book made it onto the Amazon best sellers list. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
Cowgirl Runs: Katie, I’m so excited to interview you for your book release. To start, tell me a little bit about yourself.
The Effortless Everyday: Thank you for having me! I’m a author, speaker and lifestyle designer who teaches (mostly) women how to design their everyday lives to minimize effort and maximize happiness. I live in Saint Paul, MN with my husband, who I’ve been with for half my life, and our adorable dog Watson.
I won’t go into my entire life story because I wrote it all in the first chapter of my book (for real there are things in that first chapter that even my husband didn’t know about), but I will say that right now I feel like I’m living the dream.
In a nutshell I’m a lanky, introverted Norwegian who loves to bake cakes and play ping pong. My favorite time of year is March Madness and I crave adventure 95% percent of my life. [CGR: I think March Madness is basketball? Some kind of sportsball…..]
CGR: I remember in the spring when you said you were going to be writing a book – how did you come to decide to write a (freaking) book?
TEE: It was one of those decisions that pieces together over time. I didn’t wake up one day knowing I’d write a book. There were little whispers here and there and they kept getting louder and louder. Then in dreams or during a run I’d get big downloads of ideas for how to structure what I wanted to say.
It took years of practicing this stuff myself and teaching it to my clients before I started to see that there was an overarching concept that could be shared with the masses.
I announced my intentions publicly before I felt fully ready to pursue it.
CGR: I wanted to get some perspective on how you go about tackling an issue. Let’s start with a change you’ve made. You and your husband only have one car – how do you make that work for you, considering your neighbourhood isn’t super walkable?
(When I was married, we had one vehicle and one parking space, and so often it felt burdensome to plan tasks and errands because of it)
TEE: That’s funny that you ask this because we’re considering getting a second car.
Our lifestyle has changed a lot over the years as we’ve moved around. I haven’t had a car since sophomore year of college. Over the years there have been times when it was a nuisance, but we were so used it to that nothing ever pushed us over the edge to get one. So really we didn’t have to make a change to one car because we’ve always been a one car family.
It only works because we communicate and plan ahead. Adam takes it to work most days and I plan my schedule to maximize my use of it on days when I take it. We have a huge leg up because I work from home.
It can be a headache, but it also forces us to be efficient with it and not just drive around all the time. I make far fewer trips to the store than if I had access to a vehicle all the time.
Each time we move we evaluate who should be the main user of the car. Then each quarter we look at how it’s working out and if there is a better way to do it. Many times we adjust the commute times and main user after we get a feel for our new lifestyle.
CGR: If you’ve read Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, I’m an opener (I didn’t even need to take the quiz to find that one out). I don’t like clutter but struggle with it. Logically, I know the answer is to 1 – find a place for things, 2 – put things in their dang place, and 3 – don’t buy things I don’t have a place for, but I’ve sucked at putting it into practice. What advice do you have for me?
(I was so relieved to read that you consider yourself a slob. I try so hard to be organized, but I’m constantly fighting against it!)
TEE: You’re so right that I’m a natural slob. It shows every time I stay in a hotel and it’s a complete disaster after 30 minutes. [CGR: Same here! It’s ridiculous how my suitcase can just explode in a short amount of time!]
The true trick to organization is to know your kryptonite and then create systems that work for you. Don’t try to fit someone else’s definition of organized into your life. Perhaps you’re bad at picking up after yourself or you never put your clothes away. Whatever it is you need to first recognize what your biggest issue is and/or what you do naturally. My kryptonite is picking up after myself. I’ve never been good at it and even today I still struggle with it.
So instead of trying to get better I just accept it and build in systems to work around it. I have speed tidy-up sessions and a nightly fluff & wipe.
But in all reality, because it doesn’t come naturally to me (but I still really care about it) the biggest thing that helps us is having people over. Both my husband and I need external motivation so the quickest way to get our house clean is to invite someone over for dinner or have overnight guests. We’ll get our place cleaned in 20 minutes when someone is actually going to see it.
If all else fails get a house cleaner.
CGR: What is your favourite resource for learning new tips and tricks?
TEE: I am always reading articles and books, but my favorite way to get new ideas for how to operate is by talking with my friends. I try to surround myself with intelligent, open-minded women who come from all different backgrounds. So I love asking them what they do and what’s currently working for them. Many times they’re delighted to share and I’m surprised by their answers.
CGR: What is the best advice you can offer a procrastinator?
TEE: What’s so bad about procrastinating? I am a procrastinator and a planner so I plan around my procrastinating tendencies. Often times when I’m in the 11th hour before a deadline I have a much clearer perspective on what truly needs to get done and I don’t waste time with distractions. Also procrastination can be a great indicator for something you don’t actually want to do or should probably delete from your agenda all together.
If you really want help with it I suggest two things. 1. Make external commitments that will motivate you to follow through. If someone else is giving you the deadline you’ll get it done. 2. Work with your procrastination. If you know you’re going to leave something to the last-minute then make sure not to plan anything else around your deadlines. Get plenty of sleep and stay healthy and just know you do your best work in a pinch.
CGR: What is your favourite a) self help book (uuuuggghhhh, I hate that phrase) and b) non-self help book?
TEE: Oh gosh, there are so many choices. I read non-stop so it’s really hard to narrow it down. I’ll be doing a Periscope this week sharing some of my favorites. Currently, I’m loving Essentialism and How to be Parisian Wherever You Are. Non-self help book: The Royal We.
CGR: In your book, you talk a lot about accomplishments and successes, what would you consider your biggest failure and how did you move on from it?
TEE: The word failure sounds so dramatic and all-encompassing. When really I look at things that seemed to not go as planned at the time as all being part of the path to where I am now. With that said, I’ve failed a lot in big and small ways.
I was underemployed or unemployed for a while during the recession. I had a marketing company that never took off and plenty of small online products that didn’t do as well as I had hoped. Personally, I’ve failed in many ways that other people would see them as happenstance, but I see them as results of my choices.
All of it is part of my story and I wouldn’t change any of it. I feel truly happy where I am and feel very privileged to do what I do.
I move on through all struggles by giving myself plenty of grace, time to feel it fully and then turning to my husband for support. Then I make sure to get extra sleep and extra movement. Both of those things give me clear perspective that I can base my actions going forward on.
Before moving on I choose how I want to see the situation and what it means to me. My viewpoint of it matters a lot in getting over it or acting differently in the future.
CGR: What’s your favourite dance move to bust out at weddings?
TEE: I just got back from a wedding last weekend. I LOVE dancing. I’m tall and lanky so I love to make people laugh with my awkward body movements. My favorite non-move is to stick my butt out and wildly shake it next to someone while flailing my arms. It never fails to make them laugh.
I also wanted to share Katie’s Periscope from yesterday on 20 of her favourite books. As an avid reader, I love getting recommendations for new books!
Okay, isn’t Katie just wonderful?!
Giveaway deets: Open to anyone who can receive a shipment from Amazon. Giveaway closes Thursday, September 24 (so you can get your freebies with the book) and the winner will be announced Friday, September 25. Your choice between paperback and Kindle edition. If you do not email me by Friday, September 25 to select your type of book, you will forgo the freebies (but will still receive the book).
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