The 5 Productivity Hacks You Need In Your Life


Ashlyn Carter is a baller at marketing, copywriting, and productivity hacks. A lot of you have had questions like “how do I stay productive in my day to day life?” “how do I pursue my side hustle?” and “how do I work from home and stay motivated?”

Well, there is no better person to guide you through this than the one and only: Ashlyn Carter.

How She Got Started

“This job that I was in was never going to be okay with me taking rest.”

    • Out of college, she worked in marketing and then in PR. When she made an effort to keep Sundays free from work, her boss told her she was in the wrong industry!

    • She began to focus her control on her body and her eating and ultimately recognized she was suffering from anorexia, anxiety, and depression. After her wedding, she took steps toward healing and spent three months hospitalized.

    • Soon after, she decided she wanted to work for herself so she started her own business.

The Turning Point

    • Mindset is critical when you are starting a new pursuit. “I looked at my new job as a business owner not a freelancer.”

    • “It’s never been a better time to start a business, but at the same time it’s never been a noisier place.”

    • Ashlyn used what she knew from marketing to excel in her new business. She would reach out to people who needed help, and slowly began to make a dent in the industry. “I found the Ashlyn-sized gap in the market.” 

Being Organized As An Entrepreneur

    • Ashlyn got obsessive about her work because she was determined to not go back to her old job. Because of this, she found herself back where she started working 7 days a week.

    • She wanted to set up a business that could run when she couldn’t work so she began “Ashlyn-proofing” her business with outlines and structures.

    • It’s not going to change if you don’t make it a priority.

Productivity Hacks

  1. Get a Parking Lot

    • It’s important to have a constant space where you can put any idea in your head and know that it is logged and captured.

    • This helps fight the shiny object syndrome.

  1. Make Lists

    • At the end of the month, she looks at her to-do list and asks herself what felt like a “to do” and what actually was a “to do.”

    • When it comes to realizing the difference, she sets annual goals and re-reads them every single week. Seeing these big goals alongside her daily “to do”s helps her to choose well.

    • “What is actually going to inch me towards who I want to be at the end of 2019?”

  1. Be Nosy

    • Pay attention to how people are spending their time.  Be curious. Try new hacks out. Keep it if it works. If it doesn’t work: throw it out.

  1. Weekly Review

“You don’t get rewarded for what you intend to do; you get rewarded for what you DO.”

    • Every week Ashlyn asks herself these 4 questions:

    • What worked and didn’t work from this week?

    • What lessons did I learn?

    • What obstacles did I run into?

    • How am I going to adjust moving forward?

  1. Batching

    • Divide your business into five big topics you need to get done. Assign each big topic to a day of the week. i.e. Marketing, meetings, finance, client work, etc.

    • This brings back the structure that encourages us to get work done.

Ashlyn leaves us with these wonderful words of wisdom: “Even if you never slept you still wouldn’t be able to meet the expectations everyone is putting on you.” Head over to her website AshlynWrites.com where you can get her freebies and sign up for her AMAZING emails!!

You guys are still going crazy over last week’s episode of my recap of The Bachelorette! If you haven’t listened yet, hop over and do that after listening to this episode! If you like the podcast, I want to invite you to subscribe to the podcast and leave a rating and review. It helps us to get the episode out to more people!

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The Bachelorette Recap: Hannah, Luke P, Sex, and Jesus


Before we dive in to this recap, I just want to first say that this will not be a podcast episode of me judging everyone on The Bachelorette. Unless we have been on reality television before, we don’t know how we would handle these situations so we should always be looking at them with grace. I am not here to make anyone wrong or right. These are just my thoughts and responses to the tons of questions you guys sent in about The Bachelorette. You guys had a lot of questions about Hannah’s conversations with Luke P. specifically surrounding sex and her faith.  So, I’ll spend most of my time there!

The Fantasy Suite Conversation 

  • Is it fair to talk about your thoughts on sex with the person you’re dating? Absolutely! You should always make this clear early on.

How do we navigate physical boundaries in dating + the whole ‘sex’ conversation?

  • Know what  you want.
    • First decide what you believe + what is a non-negotiable to you—it’s much harder to do that in the moment.
    • For example my non-negotiables: man of God, loves Jesus, abstaining from pre-marital sex.
    • If you’re thinking of proposing to someone in less than a week + they’ve slept with multiple people at that same time—that would be a deal breaker for me. That’s not judgmental or slut shaming—it’s just connecting to what you want + what is a non-negotiable for you.
    • Assume nothing! Just because they share your worldview and/or faith doesn’t mean they view things exactly how you do. (Luke made assumptions about her.)
  • Assume Nothing! 
    • Just because they share your worldview and/or faith doesn’t mean they view things exactly how you do. (Luke + Hannah seemed to both make assumptions about each other.)
  • Communicate early + often
    • A lot of drama can be avoided when we commit to communicating where we’re at + why with humility + grace.
  • Create a healthy pace for physical intimacy (this one is HARD for me).
    • Physical intimacy too soon creates a false sense of intimacy—they had this initial spark + their physical chemistry was so intense.  It blurs your vision to discern outside of the physical.

Bottom Line

  • Both of them could’ve handled that conversation WAY better.
    • Luke often displayed arrogance + needed to have the last word + be right.
  • If the tables were turned + there was a guy on the bachelor bragging + showcasing who he slept with + how many times—he would’ve been viewed as a pig.  But now she’s an empowered woman; it’s inconsistent + is taking the low road.  Always take the high road—whether you’re right or wrong.
  • Sex Is Not A Pre-Qualifier For A Relationship With Jesus
    • What you do/not do with you body sexually doesn’t keep you in or out of heaven with Jesus.
    • It is by grace ALONE you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8)
  • What does the Bible teach about pre-marital sex?
    • 1 Corinthians 6:18 ‘flee from sexual immorality’.  What does this even mean (listen to the episode.  I unpack it:)
    • As a Christ follower, I’m committing to submit myself to His teachings + ways.
    • He’s not afraid of sex, sexuality, desire, pleasure.  He created all of those things!
    • I am limited in my knowledge — is it possible that God knows more than me? Yes!
    • Saying no to something good + beautiful in the moment for a greater goal takes courage + humility + vision + support.
  • Sexual Sin Vs Other Sins
    • Talking about sin is triggering right?  We don’t like talking about when we blow it. It’s not fun. Often times we already feel like crap about it + calling it a sin feels condescending—I get that.  But what if we reframe what sin is: sins are the choices I make that separate me from God.
    • I make choices that create distance between me + God every single day.
    • Sexual sin is no worse than being prideful. We’re all on equal playing field here.
  • Since There’s Grace Should We Just Do Whatever We Want? 
    • By no means—I think this differentiates religion from a relationship with God.
    • Religion is rule based:  If I do this, God does this.
    • A relationship is different—#1 metaphor God uses to describe his relationship with humanity is that of a husband + wife.
      • It’s so easy to take advantage of the unconditional love from our loved ones when we know they’re not going anywhere. It’s a constant process to show our love and kindness to others.

On top of all of this, I talk on this episode about my thoughts on Christians dating non-Christians, if I think the dating on The Bachelorette honors God, and who I think the next bachelor will be! PLUS would I ever go on the show? And how would I handle the fantasy suite?! Be sure to head over to our Instagram @therefinedcollective to share your thoughts about this episode on our post!

Hey, single ladies— are you frustrated by the dating world? This episode is brought to you by my free guide called “6 Tips to Activate Your Dating Life with Intention and Clarity.” These resources helped propel me from sitting on the couch to out on a date. Head over to Bit.ly/trwdating to check it out! With you on the journey.

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Life / Wellness

My Favorite Toxic-Free Shampoo


Why Tara Brand Onion Remedy is My Favorite Toxic Free Shampoo to Date

1.       Uncompromising:   I love toxic free products, but don’t want to feel like I’m compromising the quality of a product in the name of it being ‘clean’ and non-toxic.  For that reason I take the ‘long game approach’ with clean products.  I replace products in my home as I find a clean product that actually works for me, and feels worth replacing.  Because let’s face it, since non-toxic products have better ingredients, they’re usually more expensive.  I’ve never gone toxic free in my shampoo for these exact reasons.  Until I discovered Tara Growth System Onion Remedy Sulfate-Free Shampoo.  Not only does it seem up-to-par with other shampoos I’ve used; it surpasses them with all their yummy high quality and natural ingredients.  My hair actually feels stronger and shinier.    

2.       Hair Growth: Maybe your first reaction was like mine:  Onion in a shampoo???  Umm…no thanks!  Well did you know that onion extract promotes natural hair growth?  Because I didn’t!  Onion extract strengthens your hair from root all the way to the tip, and promotes a healthier scalp.  It’s also rich in antioxidants.  Topical use of Onion extract can be traced back as far as the Ancient Egyptians due to their stimulating and regenerative properties.  How crazy is that?

3.       Moisturizing: I work out at least 5 times a week, and how can I put this delicately:  I leave the gym sopping wet in sweat every time.  And although I love New York City; it’s also a very dirty city.  Between those two things alone, I have to wash my hair almost every day.  Add in the blow drying and curling my hair a few times a week, and it’s safe to say my hair gets dry and damaged rather quickly.  The olive oil in the shampoo is incredibly rich in Vitamin E and has strong antibacterial and moisturizing properties, which make it ideal for use as a hydrator, conditioner, and cleanser for my hair and scalp.  It locks in moisture, and I can feel such a difference in my hair.

4.       Silky Smooth without Build-up: I want silky hair, but because my hair is fine I have to be careful about how much I condition my hair and with what.  It can get greasy real fast!  The Onion Remedy Shampoo has grapeseed oil in it which, like olive oil, contains Vitamin E.  This adds to and is essential to having glossy, smooth, nourished hair.  There’s also minerals, potassium, calcium and iron in Grapeseed oil that all combine together to create super healthy hair.

So ya girl, I’d say I’m a mega-fan of the natural, organic, toxic-free shampoo offered by Tara.  I’d love to know your thoughts!  If you have any questions whatsoever, please let me know!

CLICK here to check out Tara Brands Onion Remedy Shampoo