I’m not going to lie, my life is a hot mess right now. As a new puppy parent, my days are spent trying to balance a full-time job while making sure my seven-month-old land shark isn’t tearing up my new fisherman sandals, peeing on my beloved vintage rug or nibbling the leg of my coffee table like it’s an ear of corn. (Yes, I realize this is incomparable to being an actual working parent, but let me tell you, raising a dog is no walk in the park… sorry, I had to). No matter how many hours I have in a day (I know, the same as Beyoncé!), I still feel like my never-ending to-do list keeps getting longer and longer.
So, when an email about a speaking opportunity with productivity shaman/energy reader/business coach Makhosi Nejeser came to my inbox, I thought to myself, “This is a sign! I could finally be ‘that girl’ who wakes up with the sunrise, works out, meditates, journals, gets all of her work done, meal preps, cleans up, gets 8 hours of blissful sleep every day and somehow raises a well-mannered, potty-trained dog at the same time. Finally!” More on that (and my blissful ignorance) later.
I logged onto Zoom and was met with Nejeser’s calming yet energetic presence, ready for my life to be transformed in an hour. “My work is really around strategy and energy,” she told me, before we got started. “When you understand your unique energy, it does make you more productive.” I quickly realized that Nejeser wasn’t going to give me a rigid list of steps to help me be more productive. Her business is more about helping people align themselves with their work in a holistic way.
“Are you into human design at all?” she asked me. I stared blankly into the screen. “Okay. So that means no,” she said with a laugh. “It’s essentially a blueprint of your energetic mechanics. It's how you are designed energetically to navigate the world.” Think of it like all of your favorite personality tests and your astrological birth chart—combined, and on steroids. Nejeser plugged in my birth date, time and location, and a complex drawing appeared on screen: an outline of a human body with a bunch of criss-crossing lines, shapes, colors and arrows. “Generator, I was definitely getting generator vibes from you,” she said. Huh? “You're really here to master something. Generators tend to have a certain skill set, a certain mastery, a certain topic that they go back to again and again and again, pretty much for their whole life.”
“And you have energy,” Nejeser continued. She pointed to two different parts of my human design chart (which I later found out were chakras—one of them being my gut). “You have this defined, which means you have consistent access to creative energy. You are not here to do work that doesn't light you up.” Ok, so far, super accurate. “And you'll find that if you look back on your life, you had gut instincts, and when you didn't follow them, things didn't go well for you.” All of this from just knowing where and when I was born? I was thoroughly impressed.
At that point, I was pretty convinced that she was psychic.
At that point, I was pretty convinced that she was psychic. She continued… “What you'll find is that your environment—the city, the room, where you sit at a table, who you spend your time with—all of that is affecting who you feel that you are,” said Nejesar. “Sometimes it can feel like you don't know who you are because you are not in a particular place to know who you are.” (I moved to Toronto, Canada, to “find myself” after growing up in Ottawa.) “Up until the age of 30, though, you will have this intense exponential way of being, meaning, you probably are someone who has to have certain experiences in order to learn.”
Once we established what type of energy I have, Nejeser walked me through how I could actually harness this in my day-to-day. “One way that you can begin navigating what is in alignment for you is through ‘yes/no’ questions,” she said. “Your gut will pull you close to what you want or it’ll pull away from what you don't. It's getting yourself trained to listen to yourself, because most of us are trained to not listen to ourselves.”
Another suggestion she had for me? “Allowing yourself to receive support.” I almost snickered when she said this because I will do a million things before I ask for help. “If you have coworkers or a team, allow yourself the permission to give them ownership of whatever they’re tasked with, without you needing to control it.”
So how am I doing? Is my life forever transformed? Although it’s been a few months since our chat, I don’t have my shit any more together than I did then. I’m not suddenly this super-productive version of myself after just one session. Like a good therapist, Nejeser gave me coping tools to better my life in little ways. The other night, my boyfriend and I were deciding on what to have for dinner, and instead of trying to think of something from scratch, he listed a bunch of options that I could say “yes” or “‘no” to. (Emily Mariko’s TikTok-famous salmon rice bowl was the winner.) Honestly, it was such a relief.
If you can’t book a one-on-one reading with Nejeser, don’t fret. She shared some tips that can be tailored to your individual needs, energy and working style.
“There are so many rules around who you need to be and what you need to do in order to be successful, right?” asked Nejeser. You know the one: If you want to be a millionaire, you have to wake up at 5 a.m. But, what if you’re most productive in the evening? What if you actually like working out in the evenings better? You shouldn’t have to ignore what’s best for you, just to replicate the schedule of some 28-year-old über-rich man.
… and your seasons
Another thing you can try? If you have a menstrual cycle, try adapting your work to the different seasons of your cycle. “You have a winter, which is like when you're on your cycle. You want to be introspective, you want to hibernate, you just want to have something warm,” said Nejeser. “When you come out of your cycle, then you start stepping into spring energy where you're starting to blossom, you're getting more energy, you want to start coming out. Summer’s that peak in the middle. That's when you're most on fire. So, you want to use that period of time in the month to do those very extroverted activities. And then you have a fall, which is when you start to experience PMS, things are starting to wind down. So, that's when you can start wrapping up your projects. One of my favorite tools is a lunar-guided planner.
Set boundaries with your tech
“You’ve probably heard this before, but implementing it is a whole different ball game,” said Nejeser. She recommends using the Stay Focused app that’s built into your phone, which allows you to limit the amount of time you spend on, say, Instagram or TikTok, or keeps you out of your work email after 6 p.m. “What this is actually doing is allowing you to prioritize your energy, prioritize your focus,” she said. “When we spend massive amounts of time on social media, or in our email, we feel drained. It’s not just because it's bad, but it's because there isn't that energetic exchange with other people, which honors the harmony of the universe.”
When you think of productivity, you think about how you can do more and pack your days with calculated efficiency. Nejeser recommended reframing your mindset to only focusing on the most important things; things that are “moving you and your life, humanity or vision forward.” First, write down all of the things you think you need to do, then narrow it down to three to five things that actually move you toward your goal or give you energy. For example, your hobbies. “In the name of productivity, most people cut out their hobbies because they can't make money from it or they think it's a waste of time,” said Nejeser. “But as humans, we have certain activities that are connected to our essence. When we do them, we have more energy to do the other ‘important’ things.” You shouldn’t have to put your wellbeing on the back-burner.
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