Speaker, author, wife, and mom Mridu Parikh minimizes overwhelm by ordering her days intentionally.
Beating overwhelm with intentionality and simplicity
Mridu Parikh is a speaker, author, and coach who loves to help ambitious women feel in control of their time, energy, and habits, even when they’re overwhelmed by demands and distractions. She’s also a wife and the mother of two sons. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mridu began her career as a professional organizer, so she’s always been into simplifying, streamlining, and organizing. As her family and business grew, she evolved from organizing her home into organizing her time. Now she helps other women who are overwhelmed with all the demands on their lives to become more streamlined and efficient.
A typical day
Mridu’s “typical day” has evolved over the last couple of years. Her biggest productivity challenges come when the children are home. Right now, it’s summer break, and the kids are home, so she tends to fall off her routine more often.
A purposeful morning routine
That being said, when the kids are in school, Mridu gets up around 5:45 a.m. and starts her day around 6. She spends the first 15 minutes of her day to wake herself up and get ready for the day. At 6, she’ll sit down with her cup of coffee and meditate for about 5-10 minutes using a guided meditation app (Insight Timer).
Next, she gets some type of physical activity in, with anywhere between 7 minutes of Yoga to 45 minutes of walking.
Finally, she’ll write down her top goals for the day in her journal.
Doing these three things helps her tremendously in setting up her day. Any time she misses these routines, she feels a bit off.
The rest of her day
After her morning hour, Mridu loads the kids in the car and drive them to school. When she gets back home, she showers, dresses, and gets ready to start her day by 9 am.
She tries to keep the first hour of her workday (which she calls her Power Hour) free of phone calls or appointments. This is when she tries to get the things done that she knows won’t get done later in the day. It’s her time to focus on the things she knows she’ll procrastinate on later.
Her workday ends somewhere between 3 and 5 depending on her kids’ schedules. She spends her afternoons usually driving her kids around to different activities.
Once they’re back home, they’ll have dinner, clean up, and often sit in the same space to work or do homework together.
Before going to bed, she spends about 20-30 minutes tidying up and looking at her calendar to see what she can do that evening to prepare for the next day. She sets her coffee to brew, and she also goes into her Gratitude app to record the things she’s grateful for.
Using a move to a new city as a chance to re-set
Prior to becoming a personal organizer, Mridu worked long hours at a corporate job and seldom got to see her children. The family’s move to Nashville was her opportunity to start something new. She thought she would enjoy her new work as a personal organizer because she loved organizing, but she quickly realized she didn’t enjoy doing it for other people. Not only was the job physically taxing, but the people she helped were unable to maintain the organized space, and she would go back over and over again to organize the same space multiple times.
What she realized was her clients weren’t learning from her, but rather leaning on her to do it for them.
That’s when she realized she had fallen out of love of the work she was doing, and she wanted to be a coach so she could teach women strategies and skills to organize for themselves.
How did you get the courage to start your own business?
Mridu admits it was scary to start her own business, so one of the first things she did was to immerse herself into her community. She joined women’s groups and NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals). She started attending meetings, and one conversation led to another.
Her advice for someone who wants to launch something new is to get out there and simply start talking to people because you simply don’t know where it will lead.
Biggest productivity challenges
Mridu calls social media and email the bane of her existence. She can definitely lose her focus between those two things, so it’s important for her to put pragmatic tools in place to keep her on track.
As challenging as it is, her awareness of how she falls down the social media rabbit hole has increased, so she is able to pull herself out of it easier than in the past.
Tools Mridu recommends
One tool Mridu uses is intentionality. She acts on the law of intention, which means she states her intention prior to taking action. For example, if she needs to post a blog, she will state out loud, “my intention right now is to go online and post my blog.” Though this ‘tool’ is not an app that you can use, Mridu says it truly helps her.
The second tool Mridu loves is Inbox Pause. This is a free app that works with Gmail and Outlook. You can download to prevent you from getting distracted by new emails coming in while you’re trying to deal with existing ones. Simply click on the pause button to block new emails from coming in, and when you’re ready for more to come in, then you can click on the button again to resume email delivery.
Mridu also is a big believer in simplicity. There was a time when she had a lot of apps and different types of planners to keep track of everything, but she has consolidated them down to three, which are: Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Evernote.
What happens on a day when everything gets away from you?
When Mridu is stuck in that overwhelm and is going around in circles, she has to stop working. She disconnects by closing her laptop, stepping outside to breathe in some fresh air, and turning on her meditation app. She says this is the hardest thing to do because it feels like you’re wasting time, and intuition tells us to do exactly the opposite. But in actuality, you’re regrouping, composing yourself, thinking it through, and you’re taking a break so your mind can arrive at the right next decision.
The other thing that helps Mridu is to write it all out. She makes the lists, the goals, writes down what’s important and why it’s important. She says simply getting it out of your head and onto paper is tremendously liberating and clarifying.
What’s on the horizon for Mridu?
Mridu recently released a book titled Accomplish It: 7 Simple Actions To Get the Right Things Done and Achieve Your Goals. She’s been invited to speak at several conferences and other opportunities to share her book, so she’s excited about that.
She is also transitioning her business to a lot of one-on-one coaching as well as group coaching, so she’s building a lot of flexibility into her approach. She’s launched this endeavor and has a great group of women she’s working with, and she’s excited to work with more women and grow her business.
Last thoughts on making a life that matters
Slow it down. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What are the three things that would make me feel most accomplished today?” You might be surprised that it’s not email, but maybe go for a walk, spend time with my family, make a healthy meal, or do that brain-dump.
What do you think?
Connect with Mridu
More about Mridu
Mridu Parikh is a speaker, author, and coach who loves to help ambitious women feel in control of their time, energy, and habits, even when they are overwhelmed by demands and distractions. As a productivity coach, speaker, and best-selling author she will teach you how to focus, overcome procrastination, and squash anxiety. If you’re craving doable ways to embrace structure and stay accountable to your goals, you will love Mridu’s simple and straightforward style. Her strategies have been featured in The Huffington Post, US News & World Report, Real Simple, and many other media outlets, in addition to her own ROKU channel. Get Mridu’s FREE resource, 21 Powerful Productivity Hacks You Need Now, on her website, Life Is Organized.
Mridu is also a wife and the mother of two teenage sons. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys all things milk chocolate and red wine.
Books and more
- Accomplish It: 7 Simple Actions To Get the Right Things Done and Achieve Your Goals
- 21 Powerful Productivity Hacks You Need Now
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