Being Productive Has Nothing To Do With Being Busy

Getting shit done has nothing to do with the perfect to-do list or planner.

It has EVERYTHING to do with how you feel about you and why you do what you do.

Do you know your purpose in life?

Do you believe that you will and deserve to complete that purpose?

If the answer is YES to BOTH of those, the other shit will fall into place.

Everything comes into focus. It’s easier to prioritize the real shit from the bullshit. Your mindset shifts.

If the answer is no, answer these questions:

  1. Where do you currently spend time? What things are you doing? 
  2. Why do you spend time on these specific things? (No judgment, this is for your eyes only!)
  3. Who are you doing these things for? (Is it for you or for someone else?)

Take time with this last question. Seriously think about why you spend your time the way that you do. Are you really doing the things that YOU want to do?

The answers to these questions are the things you care about most. These things are your current purpose in life. 

Check in on the Facebook Group, to let us know any aha moments or questions that you have. Make sure you tag me @MarvetteLacy so that I can see it.

For the next post, we will build on the work you completed today and find out what’s really blocking you.

You Need To Read More

Do you hear this often?

You need to read more to better understand qualitative research.

When I first started, I felt like I read thousands of articles and was still confused. I would pay attention to what the researchers did, how they wrote their purposes statements and research questions. I would try to copy how they wrote (oops) and pass it off as my own. I didn’t know what I was doing, it’s no excuse though.

The problem with that is one, it’s plagiarism and two, it still does not get you any closer to understanding purpose statements and research questions.

The truth is that it is difficult to fully understand the research process when you haven’t done it before. Right now, it’s all theoretical.

You probably have read what you’re supposed to do in writing a proposal and it is just not translating on paper… or with your major professor.

Yes, reading is important for your learning; however, if you don’t know what to look for while reading than you will keep going down this road of confusion.

That’s why I created the Qual 101 virtual workshop.

During the Qual 101 virtual workshop, we will be discussing exactly what you need to look for when you are reading.

I will also help you to write your research proposal by explaining the necessary components needed.

I will walk you step-by-step on what each component is, why it is important, and how you can write it.

Research doesn’t have to be difficult and stressful.

It is actually fun!

Once you learn more, you will begin to enjoy it as well.

I would love to see you there on Saturday, September 9th.

Sign up here for more information about Qual 101

3 Things To Stop Doing In Qualitative Research

Here is a quick rant…

I’m going to make this short.

I’ve started this post at least 20 times trying to find the best way to write this in an approachable, non-judgmental manner. Didn’t find one and so I’m just going to write.

I will say that I have a list of things to stop doing that surpasses the three I describe below. I’m just going to start with these to take into account those of you who simply just don’t know, who are new to this, or somewhere in-between.

Here we go:

Qualitative research does not equal interviews.

Interviews are one option for data collection. Interviews are not exclusive to qualitative research. Therefore, let’s all agree that we will no longer say something like “because this is a qualitative research project, the researcher used interviews”. Some of you will not even acknowledge that you are intending to do a qualitative study; you just write that you did interviews.

Simply put: Qualitative research is a type of research; an interview is a type of data collection. Neither are a methodology. Which brings me to my next point.

There are other methodologies than phenomenology…and chances are your intended design isn’t a phenomenological study.

Those of who think this doesn’t apply to you because you do recognize the need for a methodology and only use phenomenology…Nope!

Phenomenology…is great. Especially those who understand it and can identify which type of phenomenology you are using. I rarely, if ever, see that identified though.

Phenomenology is not a catch-all for when you are unsure or too lazy to research methodologies. There are histories and theories attached to phenomenology.

You can also research other methodologies (narrative, case study, etc.). The methodology that you do choose should match with the rest of your design and who you are as the researcher.

If the researcher is the instrument, why is there no description of that instrument?

The researcher is the instrument in qualitative research. The researcher collects the data and analyzes the data. The researcher has a worldview, past experiences, and understandings that shape how that data is understood and used. As a result, the reader should know about the researcher (the instrument) in order to understand the research findings (results).

This requires the researcher to let us know who they are and how they see the world. Objective research does not exist. I need to know your experiences, assumptions, and expectations so I understand more how you reached your findings.

Just reporting the findings as if it is fact or obvious is not cute.

Want to know more? Click HERE to receive a quick checklist of what to include for qualitative research.

My Institution Betrayed Me After My Boyfriend Attempted Suicide – Part 1

Trigger Warning: This post involves descriptions of emotional abuse, suicide attempts, and negative interactions with police and college administrators.

“In time, you will see that this was all some misunderstanding. The three of us will sit down and talk this out. We just need a mediation. You need to still do your job as you signed a contract and when he gets back to school, it will all work out.”

Friday Afternoon

It is the middle of May, a few weeks before the end of the spring term. I’m currently sitting in the Executive Director of Residence Life’s office. I asked her, moments before if I could leave my position as Resident Assistant (RA) early as I no longer felt safe at school.

I went to a small, private, liberal arts institution for my undergraduate work and was the typical student leader. Meaning: I was doing way too much and being tokenized way too often. Different story for another day.

Being an (RA) was one of my many positions I enjoyed my college experience. Looking back, there was also moments, like this one, where my body screamed from the inside and my mind did not have the language to express those feelings.

The Friday before this Monday morning conversation, I was working at one of my on-campus position as an Office Assistant. I received a call from my ex-boyfriend (let’s call him Frank); we ended things about three weeks prior. There is a longer version of this story, I will just begin at this point.

Please Come Over And Talk

Frank asked me to come to his apartment after work to talk with him about his future plans. Graduation was coming up for both of us and we were trying to figure out our next steps. Frank was prior military and was considering returning after graduation. He asked if I would come over and talk it through with him.

I asked him to meet me in a public place as I was somewhat uneasy about meeting him in his apartment. Frank made up some excuse as to why he couldn’t leave; something about waiting for the ‘cable guy’. I told him I would come but only for a few minutes.

I told two of my sorority sisters where I was going and if they did not see or hear from me in an hour, to come and get me from the apartment. We all did a nervous laugh (half joking/half serious) before parting ways. Five minutes later, I was knocking on Frank’s door.

The Talk

We had some small talk for the first ten minutes or so. We hadn’t spoken to each other in almost a month. Frank did vaguely talk about going back to the Army and what that would entail. He had a 2-year-old daughter and wanted to make sure he was doing the best thing for her.

About 45 minutes into the conversation, the energy shifted. Frank wanted to know why we broke up and why I no longer wanted to be with him. I tried to be direct and concise with my answers to avoid getting too emotional. I reminded him that I did not come to discuss our relationship and would have to leave if he continued.

Frank stated that I could leave after he showed me the gift that he got me. I told him he could show it to me another time and in a public place. I had this feeling in my stomach that this was no longer safe and that I had to get out immediately.

Shit Got Real

When I tried to leave, Frank blocked the door with his body while pushing me out of the way. It felt like a movie. Here I am in six-inch heels (it was undergrad/I was young) trying to run from the front door to the back door attempting to get out. I started to panic on the inside.

“Just let me show you what I got you and you can leave.”

“Okay.”

Frank goes into his bedroom. (Side note: The doors locked from the inside with a key and he took the key with him. So I could not leave. I know what you’re thinking.)

He comes back out with a small white plastic bag with a small white box.

“Okay, thank you. Let me leave now.” I did not open any of this.

“I got you an engagement ring, don’t you want to see it?”

“Nope.”

“I want to marry you! You don’t even care?”

“Nope, I just want to leave.” (If you know me, then you know it came out just like this.)

He then tore open the bag, grabbing a small rusty razor blade and violently thrusting towards his wrist.

“Is this what you want? I’m prepared to kill myself.”

For what seemed like an eternity, I struggled with him trying to get the razor from him. Frank kept insisting that he need to cut himself since I no longer cared about him.

Attempting Suicide

I eventually stopped trying to stop him. I managed to grab my phone (remember flip phones) and pressed the call button. The phone automatically dialed the last number on my list, which was a sorority sister. I left the phone open as long as possible so that she could hear what was going on.

I also noticed that every time Frank attempted to cut himself, it did not work. The blade was too dull. He tried pushing harder and harder. As he pressed the blade into his skin, he gave me this burning look. “Is this what you want? You not gon try and stop me?”

To which I replied simply, “Nope. You want to kill yourself, go ahead and do it.”

The Escape – Institutional Betrayal #1

Somehow I was able to get out of the back door. I ran down three flights of stairs (yep, still in my 6-inch heels). He followed me until he saw that other people were outside.

I called 9-1-1 and told them what happen.

“Is this a joke? You seem really calm so I have to ask if this is for real?”

“What?! Yes, it is for real.”

“Someone will be there shortly. Oh, I think I hear the sirens. You should be okay now.”

Click.

A few minutes later, the police, fire trucks, and ambulance arrived. A police officer (appeared to be a young white man) came to me to ask me what happened.

Laughing, “He tried to cut himself with a razor but it was too dull?”

Other police officers went to get him and brought him out in cuffs.

My sorority sisters finally showed up.

The Aftermath – Institutional Betrayal #2

Frank was placed on a 5150, a 72-hour hold at the local hospital.

That was Friday.

On Monday, I asked to speak with the Executive Director of Residence Life.

She was well aware of the situation as she was briefed during the emergency meeting held over the weekend.

I explained to her that I no longer felt safe. That I was still in shock about the whole incident.

I did not think I would be able to focus on my classes or my Housing responsibilities.

I was scared and just wanted to go home.

I wasn’t crying.

I wasn’t yelling.

I probably appeared emotionless.

I didn’t show typical reactions to trauma.

She told me that I was fine.

“In time, you will see that this was all some misunderstanding. The three of us will sit down and talk this out. We just need a mediation. You need to still do your job as you signed a contract and when he gets back to school, it will all work out.”

That conversation did more damage to me than being trapped in the apartment.

I realized that there was nowhere safe to go.

No one I could trust.

I realized that no one believed me. That no one wanted to see what was happening. Two of their students needed help. It was not going to just blow over. Things were not going to be normal again.

There is a second part of this story. It involves a plan for a mass shooting, a police interrogation, and me having an additional year of classes. I will work on it for next time as this is already longer than I anticipated.

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading.

Ph.D. Stress and Burnout: 5 Steps To Overcome Overwhelm

I shockingly found myself on academic probation after my first semester of my doctoral program. Talk about imposter syndrome!

After days of crying myself to sleep and mounds of self-doubt, I made the decision that I was going to kick ass the next semester. I was going to prove to the insensitive and non-empathetic faculty that they underestimated me and they could kiss my ass!

I’m proud to say that the next semester I did just that. Hello, 4.0 semester!

May was filled with celebrations and gloating! I was on an extreme high.

Then reality smacked me in the head as I entered my first summer semester.

I was tired!

Let’s just say that I spent the whole summer on the struggle bus.

I did well academically. Personally and mentally was a different story.

I’m not too proud to say that the next semester was more of the same.

Some of this was the results of being in a doctoral program.

A lot of it was because I burnt myself out that second semester and did not know how to recharge myself.

As a Black woman, I was taught that you just push through it. That there is no time for self-care. You have to keep going.

That can only last for so long. I learned that the hard way during my second semester of my second year. That’s a story for another time.

Today, I’m here to tell you 5 things you need to do to get over the hump of burnout and overwhelm.


Know You Why

I had absolutely no idea what it meant to get a Ph.D. Like I didn’t even know what Ph.D. stood for. I was just doing what my mentors told me to do. Apply for a Ph.D. program and finish it before you get pregnant. I mean I remember saying as a small child that I wanted to get all the degrees because I loved school that much. But I can’t say that I had a true why for putting myself through such a rigorous process. That’s the number one reason why I was burning out. I had no idea why I was doing this.

What’s your why? Why are you pursuing a doctoral degree? Are you doing it for you or for someone else? Be honest with yourself.

What Are Your Barriers

Knowing your why will help you to be real clear on what is blocking you from doing the things that you really want to do. Yes, there are program requirements that you have to do that you don’t care that much for. However, in the bigger picture, are you doing what you want to do? What is getting in your way? Are you doing extra projects or giving extra time to things and people that you really don’t care that much about? That you feel a deep sense of obligation to but really it’s not your responsibility at all. As Black women, we often do additional physical and emotional labor out of some deep moral obligation that we are not sure where it comes from. Maybe your barriers are simply things like facebook and television. Whatever your barriers, it’s time to be honest with yourself about it.

Figure Out What You Want

Knowing your why and the barriers preventing you from achieving that why opens up the door to being clear about what you actually want. This isn’t just about what you want academically. It’s about what you want for your life! What happens after your doctoral program? What type of life do you want to live now? Are you living it? Do you even know what you want? When you know what you want, it’s that much easier to tell other people and things no. Because when you are clear about your goals, you have no time for things that do not push you closer to those goals. I find what holds most people back is that they do not want to let other people down, When the truth is they are not at all concerned about letting you down. I’m not telling you to be completely selfish or void of empathy. I’m saying that YOU are also worthy and deserving to have the life that you want.

Plan Out What You Want

Once you know what you want, plan that shit out! It doesn’t matter if you write down the best goals. If you don’t actually plan and execute those plans, then you are no better off than when you started. Find a system that works for you to help you get shit done. This will take some experimentation and some soul searching. What works for your homegirl, may not work for you. Just because I tell you what works for me and what I do, it may not vibe with your personal working style. But you won’t know unless you try it. You don’t want to or don’t think you have time to? What do you have to lose? Face it, you are burnt out and overwhelmed. You have to act and give back to yourself to get out of it. Sorry, not sorry. I’m here to help.

Get You Some Accountability

This is the most difficult step of all because who wants to be vulnerable and ask for help? This woman right here does! I used to be that person who did want to look like I didn’t have it together, I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was doing. But girl, you don’t. No one does. You have to get some sista friends who get it, who will support you, and who won’t be afraid to tell you to get your shit together! There are women who are just like you. Needing some accountability to get what they want out of life. Just do some research on the women you look up to. They are surrounded by a tribe (most likely women) who help them to keep it together, who challenge them to be better. Who is your tribe?

Interested in learning more about how to practice these five steps and getting some support from some kick-ass women, click here to join the Hustle Blueprint 5 Day Challenge.

Through this challenge, I will show you step-by-step how to go through these five steps so that you can feel better and get shit done. I personally send you daily emails with mini activities that take about 10-20 minutes a day. That’s it.

Are you worth 10-20 minutes a day?

Yes you are. Join me!

Until Next Time

How To Feel Better In Your Relationships

The hard truth!

You do not have control over other people!

But Marvette, I don’t try to control others.

Let see…

If you are doing things, giving things, saying things to get other people to smile, to make them happy, you are trying to control them.

But is that bad?

Depends…why are you doing it?

Is it to seek the approval of others?

Is that the only way you can feel good about yourself?

What happens if you worked really hard trying to find the perfect gift for your boyfriend. You go to 10 different stores in 3 different shopping malls. When you finally find it, you have to stand in line for 3 hours. You go home and spend another hour wrapping it.

The big day comes for you to give him the gift, you’re so excited. He opens the gift, looks at you, kisses you on the cheek, and says a simple, “thank you.”

How would you feel?

Would it bother you?

Would you be angry, hurt, upset that it didn’t seem like he cared about how much time and effort you put into that gift?

Does he even appreciate you?

This can leave you feeling used and unappreciated.

What if this is something that happened all of the time in your relationship?

You may feel miserable and just feel like giving up doing anything for him or your relationship. No cleaning.

No cooking.

No sex.

No just thinking about you cards or gifts.

You may start to look for someone else who will appreciate you and your work.

You start to fight more and more with your boyfriend. Which may increase you wanting to find someone else.

At the core of it, you are just unhappy in your relationship; wondering why this man doesn’t care enough to put in ANY effort into this relationship.

Friend, it doesn’t matter what you do or say, there is NOTHING that can make a person do something or change but them deciding to do it.

There is no perfect thing that you can do or say that will change it.

So how do you feel better?

You have to first accept that you cannot control another person.

Take some time to think about what you do want.

Let’s say he did change, how would you know? What would he be doing? Is it bringing you flowers every day? Taking you on trips? Telling you he loves you more? What do you want him to do?

Tell him what you want him to do.

Tell him what you like because no one can read your mind. Don’t have an attitude, just tell him exactly what you want. Try not to say things like, “I just want you to show me more love.” Instead, say things like, “I want you to take me out at least once a week.” “I like when you bring me flowers.” This is clear instruction of what you want. There is no guessing involved.

Give it some time and be patient.

You have been stewing in your feelings for a while. Your boyfriend just found out that you were unhappy and what you need. You have to be patient and give it some time to change.

In the meantime, satisfy your own needs.

Take yourself out. Buy yourself some flowers. Enjoy a movie. Buy yourself some lingerie. Treat yourself how you want others to take care of you.

Your boyfriend will notice. It will send a clear message of what you expect and need. You’re not waiting for him to give it to you. He will have to work at this relationship if he wants to keep you.

*Side Note: If you taking care of yourself makes him upset or lash out, this is too helpful information. It’s understandable that you may have money to do some things. However, it is not a crime to do things for yourself. Especially, if it doesn’t cost money. Taking a long bath or watching a movie alone is not a crime. You are allowed to give to yourself. If he cannot support that, you may have to consider if this is the right relationship for you.

Where you will get stuck…

You don’t want to do the things someone else should be doing. This is a limiting belief. You are waiting for someone else to come and save you and make you happy. Why are you giving your power away?!

You can only control yourself and you have the power to make yourself happy.

Want more information? Click here to join my challenge.

You Can Change, I Can Show You How

Last week, I told you a little about how my upbringing influenced my adult life.

Today is a more concrete explanation of how I transformed from negativity to a more purposeful life full of life

I felt stuck, not sure of my purpose

I felt alone, relationship in turmoil

Isolated from friends and family

High anxiety and depression

Felt really bad about myself, like I did everything wrong

Always felt take advantaged of and used

Felt no one cared about me

After finding a counselor and deciding to change,

I took steps to help me feel different

I now have purpose, sure of what I should do with my life

I now have and accept a circle of supportive loving friends, family, and love ones

My anxiety is under control, no longer ruling my life

My depression is almost nonexistent

I speak up more for myself and get what I want and deserve

I’m finally getting the love I give, deserve, and want

How?

7 Step Process

  1. Make the decision
  2. Decide what I want
  3. Figured out my starting point
  4. Examined the root of my issues and my limiting mindset
  5. Put a plan into action to get to where I wanted
  6. Continue to educate myself
  7. Give more to myself than to others

Want to know more?
I’ve created this 7 Day Challenge. Join Me!