Pique Emails

  • 100+ things to do without technology

    Want to spend more time without technology? Here are more than 100 things that you can do — offline. 

    1. Brainstorm a list of goals that you can accomplish with deep work
    2. Implement that project that’s been on your “big ideas” list forever
    3. Do morning pages
    4. Print out The Pique Coaching Workbook and self-coach yourself
    5. Print out The Pique Coaching Career Workbook and spend time thinking exploring job options 
    6. Do a jigsaw puzzle 
    7. Do a logic puzzle, printed out from online 
    8. Cook a fancy meal
    9. Meal plan 
    10. Clean
    11. Play a board game
    12. Take a walk
    13. Write a letter
    14. Start writing a book 
    15. Take a class (improv, art, music, etc) 
    16. Paint 
    17. KonMari your house 
    18. Visit a museum
    19. Daydream
    20. Meditate
    21. Work out
    22. Volunteer
    23. Host your friends 
    24. Read
    25. Take a bath
    26. Fix something around the house
    27. Nap
    28. Go to a park
    29. Go to a fair or flea market
    30. See a comedy show
    31. Go to a cultural event
    32. Play tennis or pick up basketball 
    33. Garden or visit a garden 
    34. Superthink 
    35. Swim
    36. Chat with a stranger
    37. Make a bucket list
    38. Do 5-minute poems based on words of the day
    39. Write a letter to your future or past self
    40. Make a beeswax candle
    41. Sit at a coffeeshop and people watch
    42. Take a bus on a new route
    43. Get off at every train stop and wander around the neighborhood
    44. Do a no-grocery challenge
    45. Clean out a drawer or filing cabinet
    46. Make or fix a piece of furniture
    47. Learn a new language
    48. Revamp a process in your business or at work
    49. Get colleagues or friends together and workshop new ideas on a whiteboard
    50. Do a blind taste test of food or drinks
    51. Brainstorm 5 dream careers that you would have in an alternate life
    52. Go to a bookstore and hole up in a section that you don’t normally explore
    53. Run errands
    54. Browse a thrift store
    55. Talk to people about their weird hobbies
    56. Find a concept in a non-fiction book and connect it back to your industry or role somehow
    57. Learn calligraphy 
    58. Take a bike ride
    59. Make a vision board
    60. Plan your next trip using only travel magazines
    61. Write to your intuition
    62. Record your dreams and find the themes
    63. Experiment with essential oil mixes
    64. Teach yourself long division again 
    65. Play with a kid
    66. Visit an animal shelter
    67. Hold a solo dance party
    68. Go to Daybreaker
    69. Visit an alcohol-free bar
    70. Go to an ecstatic dance meetup
    71. Go to a Meetup that has nothing to do with your normal interests
    72. Get your friends together for a Shut Up and Write session (all writing, minimal talking)
    73. Go to a networking event
    74. Attend a conference 
    75. Knit or crochet
    76. Discover a new store in your neighborhood
    77. Brainstorm how you can create the most value possible to the world
    78. Re-read your old writings 
    79. Make a photo album or scrapbook 
    80. Take yourself out for a picnic
    81. Go birdwatching
    82. Get a book about plants and take it out in nature
    83. Ask people you know if they’ll look into your eyes for 5 minutes straight
    84. Learn to hula hoop
    85. Critique your old theories and beliefs 
    86. Make an article of clothing
    87. Learn to sew
    88. Develop and name a new theory for your industry
    89. Learn 10 new words
    90. Write and perform a song
    91. Donate things that you’ve outgrown
    92. Feng shui (rearrange) your house
    93. Create a mind map for a challenge in your life or in the world
    94. Buy the Values Deck and use them as prompt alone or in a group
    95. Figure out how to automate one thing in your personal or professional life
    96. Do a do, dump, delegate, delay exercise with everything on your to-do list
    97. Write a gratitude/appreciation list
    98. Write an imagined Q&A to and from your biggest heroes
    99. Make your own picture book
    100. Sit and observe using your 5 senses
    101. Come up with a themed dinner idea
    102. Make your own list of 100 things to do without tech 😉


  • Money generation exercises

    If you’re considering moving forward with a coaching package, but are struggling to find the money to invest, there are two exercises that I recommend checking out:

      1. The Money Generation Exercise

      2. 1-Hour Money Multiplier

    Money generation exercise

    Pick $3,000 (investment for 1:1 coaching), $699 (investment for group coaching program), and $199 (investment for the Half-Finished to Done course) as your goal. 

    Ask yourself to brainstorm the 10 easiest, most fun ways that you could generate that money.

    Even if it doesn’t end in you coaching with me, you might be surprised at what ideas you’re able to come up with when you put on the lens of easy and fun, and don’t let yourself stop until you have 10 ideas.

    Seriously — do not stop before you have 10 ideas for either making the money and/or saving money. The beauty of this exercise is that it holds you accountable to going back what you think you’re capable of in terms of idea generation. (Which is a meta skill that will serve you well during coaching!)


    Once you have the list of ideas, ask yourself what you would need to feel in order to put these ideas into action. 

    1-Hour Money Multiplier

    Sarah Von Bargen of the blog Yes and Yes has an awesome free resource called 1-Hour Money Multiplier

    Here’s her promise: “60 minutes + 5 weirdly easy steps = more money in your bank account by this afternoon. Yes, really!” 

    (I respect her so much that I even had her on for an episode of The Pique Podcast!) 

    Need help?

    You can reach out for support at hello@piquecoaching.co


  • Half-Finished to Done, LIVE scholarship

    I’ve thought long and hard about how I can best serve the Pique Coaching community right now, mid-pandemic.

    I’ve talked about this a lot: For many people, quitting procrastination is the farthest thing from their minds right now; but for others, this is the golden hour. Your time to solve the decades-long challenge of procrastinating against your own will.

    But for many in the small group who are raring to go, finances are a challenge right now.

    If that’s you, I am thrilled to announce that I am offering a scholarship spot for my upcoming group coaching program, Half-Finished to Done, LIVE.

    It’s where we’ll be taking all of the content from the course Half-Finished to Done: How to Nip Procrastination in the Bud, Complete Your Projects, + Create the Results that You Want in Life, and applying it in a hands-on, interactive, live setting.

    Walk in with a finishing problem; leave having solved procrastination for yourself. Your evidence? That project that’s been on the back burner will officially get finished. (I think that calls for another party popper: 🎉)

    This scholarship is valued at $500 USD.

    I invite you to apply if you:

    If you’re in: Head here to fill out the 7-question application by 12pm ET on Friday, 4/17.

    Not for you, but know someone who might love this opportunity? I’d love for you to forward this post along to them!

    *Not sure if it’s money holding you back? Here’s a surefire sign: If I offered a money back guarantee for the group coaching program, would you be more willing to invest? If so, it’s likely not a money challenge as much as a challenge of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Happy to coach you on that.

    Excited about Half-Finished to Done, LIVE, but not in need of a scholarship? Head here for more information


  • Exit signs

    Let me tell you a little story. When I was ten, I went to Disney World with my dad, sister, and two brothers. A ten-year-old’s dream, right?

    No. I was a little wuss and spent the day sitting on park benches while my dad and siblings rode the rides. (Don’t feel too sad for me. I had cotton candy.)

    Toward the end of the day, I finally got up the nerve to try a roller coaster — Space Mountain. If you’ve ever to Space Mountain, you know that it’s a roller coaster in the dark and this super fun pitch black experience includes the entire time you’re waiting in line.

    We were almost to the front of the line when I saw it: The bright red EXIT sign. I turned to my family, said “Bye bitches,”* and peaced out back to the comfort of my little bench.

    What does this have to do with you? When we’re trying something new in life and we’re scared or doubtful, life throws up exit signs for us. They’re attention-grabbing, neon-colored escape routes and they’re tempting as hell.

    I’m not talking about the legitimate warning signs that a situation is not for you — I’m talking about the exit signs that are put in our way to pressure-test our commitment. (And if you’re my client, I will intentionally put them in your way. Fun for everyone.)

    I was talking to a friend recently who’s unhappy at work, both in her job and her industry, and we were chatting about her next steps. She mentioned that she had reached out to someone on Instagram who has her dream career, but that the woman wasn’t available to speak to her for at least the next month. My friend was disheartened by the exchange and had lost some of the wind from her sails.

    I said to her, “What are you going to make it mean for you and your future that this one woman in this one potential career happens to be having a busy month?”

    You get to choose what you ascribe meaning to. You can take a situation and say, “Well, that’s my exit sign.” Or, you can take the same situation and say, “Thanks, but I’m actually going to stick this one out.”

    *Not an exact quote


  • Lean In DC: Brainstorm-a-Thon

    Thank you so much for attending the Pique Coaching Brainstorm-a-Thon with the Lean In DC Leadership Skills Circle. Loved getting to connect with all of you. 

    As promised, here are several follow up resources that you can take into your everyday life:

    Here’s the last piece of the brainstorming exercise, which I highly recommend doing on your own:

      1. Pick the goal that you most want to achieve in one of the eight areas (self confidence, career, finances, productivity and time management, community and relationships, health and wellness, creativity, and physical environment)
      2. Using the 5 strategies for overcoming “I don’t know,” generate 10 new ideas for how you could achieve your desired result. 
      3. Don’t stop until you hit 10 new ideas. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support! 

    You can also download the presentation slides below:

    Brainstorming, ideation, and coaching with Lean In DC and Pique Coaching


  • The first step in every decision making process

    Clients often come to me with a big decision on their plate. They present all of the information on both sides and wait for me to give my input or tell them what to do.

    But I never do.

    Partially because it’s not my decision to make, but also because they’ve often missed a step: Deciding whether it’s actually time to make a decision.

    So I always ask this question: “Is it time to make a decision yet?” We let the mind chatter dissipate and wait for their inner voice’s response.

    If it is time to make a decision, they almost always know what the answer is already. But if it’s not time to decide yet, it’s off to information gathering mode.

    I’m a firm believer in naming concepts to integrate them more fully into your life. By calling it “information gathering mode,” your brain naturally relaxes from the stress of decision making and goes to work gathering useful information for you. Hence, the very fitting, very descriptive name “information gathering mode.” 🤓 When I talked about this with one of my clients, she breathed a sigh of relief. She said it felt like “putting her weapons down” and relaxing into a process of exploration and curiosity.

    If this seems too simple, try it with your next big or small decision: “Is it time to make a decision yet?” Don’t let yourself get away with “maybe.” Get a firm “yes” or “no” from yourself. If you’re not sure about the answer you hear, ask “How do I know that this is the right answer?”

    Don’t let yourself hang out in information gathering mode for fear of committing to a decision, and don’t rush to a decision for fear of hanging out in information gathering mode. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know which route you’re normally inclined to.


  • How to use “information gathering mode” to make better decisions

    In my recent post — the first step in every decision making process — I talked about the importance of deciding whether it’s actually time to make a decision. If it’s not, I recommend moving out of decision making mode and into information gathering mode.

    (A word of warning: Don’t hang out in information gathering mode for fear of making the wrong decision. You’ll know intuitively if you already know your decision and are just stalling.)

    Two valuable questions to kick off your information gathering mode:

    1. What additional information am I seeking?
    2. How can I get that information?

    Let me tell you about two clients who came to me recently with big decisions to make.

    Case study #1: The first client was looking to re-enter the workforce after several years of raising her kids and was searching for her next career move. A well-meaning friend told her that she needed to build something now in order to be generating money in two years. I gently reminded her that, while that might be true in some scenarios, there’s also a scenario in which she walks out the door today and starts earning money.

    Once we reduced the urgency around this decision a bit, she brought up not knowing what kind of set-up she wants — full time, part time, a business, etc — as well as what industry or title she would be interested in. She acknowledged that she was probably missing out on possible careers that she just didn’t know about yet.

    Together, we came up with a plan for her to “discover” 8-10 different career paths within the next month by any means necessary (posting on Facebook, talking to strangers, Googling). She texted me the next day saying “Boy, is the universe answering…” My response: “🙌🙌🙌🙌.” (You can just call me The Emoji Coach.)

    Case study #2: Another client recently moved across the country and was having doubts about the move. First, we confirmed that it wasn’t time for her to pack up and move back — she decided to give herself a year to truly go all in and stop entertaining the idea of returning to her previous home.

    Then we dug into how she could gather information about this new phase of her life. We came up with the idea of having her pursue a volunteer opportunity to get more embedded in her local professional industry. She could find one in a variety of ways, but would start by asking her manager if she knew of anything. (She’d then ask her boss who else she should chat with, but that’s a story for another day about the power of the snowball effect.)

    Here are some strategies for information gathering:

    • Sitting and waiting for the universe to speak up: Yes, seriously. I consider this a totally viable option. No, I’m not being sarcastic
    • Setting up informational interviews: Don’t just use these in your professional life. Talk to people who have the hobby you want to do, have picked up and moved abroad, or have met their partner while speed dating
    • Volunteering: Diving further into your industry or community through volunteering. You can meet people, gain skills, build your resume, and test-drive potential careers
    • Actually do the thing you’ve been avoiding: Get on the dating apps, take a short solo trip, or take on side work

    Do you see the way that information gathering mode almost instantly removes the unnecessary stress, chaos, and conflict of decision making?

    Happy information gathering!


  • Your compelling reason

    As you may have gleaned from my other posts, productivity and time management are on my mind a lot. I’m one of those people who finds it so fun to hack my time, discover cool new ways to increase my focus, and show up on time.

    But in my work with my clients, I’ve noticed that it’s easy to slip into the nitty gritty and miss the entire point: To spend more time doing things you absolutely love. (And to learn to love what you haven’t loved up until now.)

    It’s not to feel like every single minute is “optimized,” to prove that you’ve earned your busy badge, or outstay your coworkers in the office every day. Unless you want your gravestone to read “[FIRST NAME GOES HERE]Excellent at optimizing productivity apps“?

    BUT: Do you know your compelling reason for changing your productivity and time management habits? If not, here’s a quick 7-minute exercise that’s perfect to do today, as you sit on your couch with a cup of coffee (or a beer) in hand:

    For each category below, spend 1 minute (no more — set a timer) coming up with something that you want that feels totally impossible for you to have. It can be physical or non-physical; a thing, a belief, an experience, etc. Anything goes, but just one thing per category:

    1. Self confidence
    2. Career
    3. Finances
    4. Community and relationships
    5. Health and wellness
    6. Creativity
    7. Physical environment (city, home, possessions, etc)

    Use this sentence to guide you: “It feels impossible, but in [category above], I want _____________.” You can also use this one: “If I had a magic wand, I would wish for ____________.”


  • It does work (+ time management case study)

    On a recent client consult, the prospect told me about all of the tips and systems he’d been using lately to increase his productivity.

    “But they’re not working,” he said exasperatedly.

    “What does ‘not working’ mean?” I asked him.

    “I have resistance to them and don’t follow through.”

    “Let’s be very precise here. It’s not that they don’t work. It’s that you don’t like them and don’t stick to them.”

    I’ll tell you the same thing that I told him — it’s totally fine not to use certain productivity and time management systems, but acknowledge that it’s you, not the system. (Here’s how you know that’s true: For any given system, there will be thousands of champions who absolutely swear by it, call it life changing, and are willing to invest thousands of dollars to master it.)

    Here’s why it’s important: When you chalk it up to the failure of the system, you’re ignoring the power that you have to harness your mind.

    You’ll call it a wash and go off in search of a different, better, shinier tip or strategy that will solve everything for you.

    But that won’t work either, because you haven’t solved the underlying belief system that keeps you stuck in the same cycle. (Of feeling overwhelmed, rushed, frazzled, and stressed.)

    Here’s a quick exercise that will help you instantly understand your own mind: Ask yourself your thoughts about productivity, time management, punctuality, or focus. Your answers will tell you everything you need to know about what kind of results you’re creating in your life.

    If you’re like most people, you’ll have a list that looks like this:

    • There’s not enough time
    • I can’t stay focused
    • It’s normal to show up late
    • Everyone else bails constantly too
    • I say I’ll do things but then just…don’t
    • I can’t figure out why I don’t follow through

    Here’s a case study to show how one of those thoughts plays out:

    Think about your current to-do list. Does this look familiar?

    • → Thought: “I can’t handle this much.”
    • → Feeling: Overwhelmed
    • → Action: Stall, procrastinate, complain, spin your wheels, don’t do any tasks on your list
    • → Result: Nothing gets done, list stays the same; validates that you can’t handle it.

    Or this:

    • → Thought: “There’s so much to do, as always.”
    • → Feeling: Overwhelmed
    • → Action: Do all of your tasks resentfully, make no changes to your systems, don’t say no, don’t brainstorm creative solutions
    • → Result: Nothing improves; you create the conditions to prove that there’s always so much to do.

    I’ll leave you with these two questions: What if your feeling is created solely by your thought about your to-do list, not your to-do list itself? And what if that thought can be changed?


  • What spontaneity, freedom, creation, + impact have to do with deep work

    In a recent post, I talked about the importance of having a compelling reason (your “why”) for revamping the way you think about productivity and time management.

    Having a big vision for your life is the first step to keeping yourself focused when it comes to changing your time management habits. Not surprisingly, it’s hard to stay focused on changing the status quo when you have no big vision that energizes you.

    But, even with a big vision, you can still create your own mental stumbling blocks that prevent you from adopting an amazing deep work practice.

    I recently had a fascinating conversation on instant messenger with a potential client. He came to me about implementing a deep work practice, so that he could create higher-quality outputs in his business. He was having trouble creating the quality of work that he wanted to create, because he was resisting scheduling blocks of uninterrupted, focused work.

    Client: Frankly, I am not sure why I am resisting scheduling…

    Me: I want you to answer that question: “Why am I resisting scheduling?”

    Client: I don’t exactly know…

    Me: My clients aren’t allowed to say “I don’t know,” by the way! 🙂

    Client: Rigidity. Lacks spontaneity and freedom…Too much planning & replanning if I miss out. [Look at how he did know the answer, even though he told himself he didn’t]

    Me: So tell me why you want spontaneity and freedom.

    Client: I want it because that is exactly why I started having my own consultancy practice…I want spontaneity and freedom more than anything else.

    Me: What do you want to do with your spontaneity and freedom?

    Client: In 2 words – CREATE & IMPACT 🙂

    Me: Do you see what’s happening? You want freedom and spontaneity so that you can create and impact. But you craving freedom and spontaneity is preventing you from creation and impact. You’re caught in a catch-22. Can you see that?

    Over the course of the conversation, we discovered some of the other thoughts that have been holding him back: That deep work is painful and full of drudgery; that “the novelty of switching to another new task is not there” when he commits to deep work; that during deep work sessions, he’s focusing deeply on one project instead of crossing a bunch of little things off his list, so “that dopamine hit of instant gratification isn’t there.”

    You might be thinking: “Yeah, he has super valid points, this deep work thing is looking worse and worse.”

    But when I had him list his reasons for doing deep work, it was so clear how valuable and worthwhile it was for him when he actually did it. One of his empowering, believable thoughts about deep work was “The sense of conquering the insurmountable gives me a feeling of so much pride!”

    Deep work isn’t the only option for increasing your productivity, both personally and professionally. But it’s incredible what it can do in your life, and even more amazing the person you become in the process.

    This conversation has been edited very slightly for increased legibility.