Adopt a “Back to School” Mentality

back-to-schoolEven if you don’t have a child in school most people will get the “back to school feeling” in September. I know I do as soon as the weather starts to cool down. Summer Friday’s are over and it’s time to buckle down for another winter. September is also a great time to do a personal and professional status check. Are you happy with your job? Your career? Your home life? If not, now is a great time to start making new goals.

Here’s a list to help get you back on track this September:

 

Look at your job through the eyes of your intern – Whenever I get down on my job…I think about the excitement of what it was like when I showed one of my interns around for the first time. They are always in awe of all the equipment in the control room, the buzz in the newsroom and the energy in the studio. It’s easy to forget these things when you’re walking in there every day. Make sure you don’t take your awesome space for granted.

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Instant Gratification Apps

shake shackWe live in a society where quicker is better and right now is best. With the popularity of services like Amazon, Netflix and iTunes, having things brought to us in a snap is becoming more and more common. To satisfy our need for “instant gratification” there are some apps that will bring you what you want, when you want it! Most are start ups, and designed for people who work long hours and don’t have the time or energy to check things off their to-do lists themselves.

I’m a big fan of outsourcing and here are some of my favorite apps for this:

wun wunWun Wun – This app allows you to place an order from restaurants, groceries, and liquor stores and they will deliver it to you in under an hour for free. I recently used it when I was craving some Shake Shack, but I didn’t want to have to trek the 22 blocks to get it. I timed it and the delivery guy arrived in 50 minutes, and the food was great. The other delivery services in NYC like Seamless and Delivery.com don’t service this restaurant, so it was the perfect solution for my burger craving. Just a heads up – their messengers’ work for tips. So be generous with your tipping.

Available in – New York and the Hamptons.

UPDATE: This app has changed — full details here. Read more

Getting Rid of Writer’s Block is as Easy as Baking a Cake

English: A chocolate cake decorated with icing...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are all writers in some form or another. Some of you will have your own blog or journal, or maybe you’re a student writing essay after essay.  Even office workers write emails or send out a few tweets here and there. I’ve been fortunate enough to never really suffer with writer’s block.  Not that often, at least.  It can be difficult to break out of though.

Here’s a checklist of tricks to try when writer’s block pops up:

1. Bake a cake – I’m not kidding, baking a cake (or any other sweet treat) is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Thinking about your ingredients and what your going to make helps to distract you from the problem at hand and gives you something else to focus on. Once you’ve put the cake in the oven, go back and look and your work with fresh eyes.  You’ll probably find what was missing before. Plus you’ll have something tasty to eat once you’ve finished your work! (My intern Nicole has found this method to work time and time again!) Read more

Can List Making Make You a Billionaire like Richard Branson?

Richard BransonLots of successful people also happen to be list makers — like Sir Richard Branson!  He’s a high-profile British billionaire and founder of Virgin Group, which is made up of more than 400 companies including Virgin Atlantic.   What you may not know is that he’s also dyslexic and struggled when he was in school. In fact, his principal told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.  When I saw on his blog that he was a list maker. I just had to share some of his productivity tips with you. Read more

Checklist to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Now

christmasI know it sounds a little extreme but I’m a big advocate of starting my Christmas shopping in August. Getting all the presents bought by Thanksgiving allows me to relax over the holiday season and avoid the shopping amateurs waiting until the last second and clogging up the mall parking lots in December.

Follow this month-by month guide to have a stress-free holiday season:

August – This is a great time to start planning and thinking about who you need to buy for and what you want to get. Each year I make two lists using Evernote. One list is of everyone I exchange gifts with for Hanukkah and Christmas.  I write down ideas for gifts and reference my list from last year to make sure I don’t get the person the same gift twice.  The other list is of random ideas, websites and clippings of gift ideas I’ve found throughout the year with no particular person in mind. I have an ongoing “gift ideas” notebook in Evernote of fun gift ideas. Read more