Your Desk Can Make You More Productive


Not my desk, not my mess. (Photo credit: Jim Carson)

When my desk is messy I feel out of sorts.  It’s amazing how a clean desk can lift your mood.  I pride myself on being super organized and having it pretty much together but sometimes my desk falls through the cracks.  I get lots of mail and lots and lots of magazines (which I love!) — but sometime’s it’s overwhelming.

I’ve had a feng shui expert write about how positioning things on your desk could make you more productive in the past.  But there are some other things you should consider like clutter, light, size and monitors.  Here’s a look at those things from called “How to arrange your desk for maximum productivity.”  How does your desk look?

Fill Your To-Do List With Fun

430213_10152769872390193_743900261_nThe “real” to-do list in this photo inspired me and I wanted to share it with you.  Check it out — it lists things that you should really have on your to-do list — like:

  • Sing
  • Smile at strangers
  • Eat ice cream 
  • Laugh 

I’m all for a list that looks like this one!  It’s much more fun than one goes on and on about responsibilities and tasks. But both are equally important.  So how about for every task related to-do you add to your list — you also add a fun one?  I’m going to try it today.

Throw Out The Rundown

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Random Control Room Shot

In newsrooms across the country producers were yelling, “throw out the rundown” when word of the twin bombings in Boston got to them.

Having been in newsrooms and control rooms during numerous breaking news stories I know that phrase all too well. In a split second you dump everything you’ve been planning for your newscast. Then you get on the air as quickly as possible to inform your viewers about what is happening in their world. All the while — piecing together senseless facts and trying to give a clear picture of what is going on.  Those are usually the best newscasts because everyone is on their toes.

My heart goes out to the city of Boston. I’ve been there a few times — most recently almost 4 years ago when I stayed at the Lenox Hotel and ate lunch at Atlantic Fish on Boylston street. You may now recognize these two places because that’s right where one of the bombs went off.

I often write about embracing structure, always having a plan and thinking ahead but on days like April 15, 2013 – that all goes out the window.

A good friend of mine just told me she is pregnant with her second child and wasn’t “planning on having another so soon.” She’s a big planner like me. But she is happily “throwing out the rundown” and welcoming this new baby into her life.

These got me thinking about how I approach life and that sometimes I could stand to be a little less rigid and not always stick to the rundown. You never know what an unexpected event will bring you. Whether it be heartache or happiness we should all learn to go with the flow and go along for the ride — good or bad.

I’m going to give myself permission to just go through the day without accounting for every single second.  I still see the value in preparation and am not going to abandon my lists any time soon but I really think sometimes you have to just “throw out the rundown” and live your life.

Start Next Year’s Taxes Today


Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Tax day is here! So you’re either cringing and cramming to get your return in on time or you’re sitting back, sighing a breath of relief that you’ve already gotten your money from the government. Whichever category you fall into — this post is for you.

Be Prepared

I’ve spoken about Evernote before because I think it’s a great tool for keeping organized and remembering everything you need to in one place. It’s also fabulous for keeping track of your tax information.

I used it this year and it really helped to keep me on track. Next year you should try it too. Starting now though will keep you less stressed when tax time comes around again. Here’s what I did:

1. Make a notebook in Evernote called “Taxes”.

2. Create a note that lists out all the documents that you will need to collect for next year’s taxes. That’s all the 1099 forms for each of your accounts and employers. Put a checkbox next to each so you can check them off as you get the correct paperwork.

3. Throughout the year put notes and receipts in this notebook for tax writeoffs.

4. When you start getting 1099 forms back later in the year — scan them into this folder.

5. Once you get all your information together — do your taxes! Or send off all the forms to your accountant.

That’s it. If you just take the extra step to be a little bit ahead of the game you won’t be scrambling this time again next year. Think of all the time and money you’ll save! Let me know how you keep track of your tax information.