How Cheating Will Make You A Better Friend

I’ve always impressed my friends by remembering significant events in their lives. I always send a good luck text before a job interview or wish them well before they go on a nice vacation. Over the years many people have complimented me on it, and asked how it is that I am able to remember all these events. Well I’m finally going to share my secret with you.

I cheat.

Whenever someone tells me about an upcoming event in their lives, their favorite drink or what they’d like for the holidays, I write it down. I set a reminder in my calendar to write the person a message about their big event or make a note a few weeks before their birthday or the holidays on which gift suits them best.

It’s really that simple! Read more

I’m Spoiling My New Boss Today

Today is National Bosses Day! A chance for you to celebrate (or maybe commiserate!) about your boss. It’s a pretty interesting coincidence, given that today is my first day working for myself!!

It was my last day at Fox News on Friday, after over a decade. So while it feels like the end of an era. It’s also the start of a new beginning.

Over the years I have met many entrepreneurs and I’ve always encouraged people to go out on their own and start their own businesses. It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Marie Forleo’s B School. But I never thought that way of life would be for me completely.  I always thought I’d have one toe in the corporate world. Sometimes the pieces just fall it to place and it seems like the right decision at the right time.

I’m celebrating the holiday by really spoiling my favorite new boss – me!

As a lifelong 9 to 5 worker I’ve always been a bit jealous of those who had free time during the day! They could take advantage of all the lunchtime specials, the relaxing mid-morning yoga class or the cheaper movie tickets – now I get to be one of those people!

I’m beginning my day with a trip to the spa and then a relaxing lunch. Maybe I’ll get a blowout or a manicure too. It will all be followed by a dinner with my fellow speakers for the PRSA Tri-State Conference. (There’s still time to join the conference if you’re interested!)

What are you doing for yourself today?

It’s Time to Quit my Day Job

I went to a psychic once years and years ago and she told me, “you’re going to own your own business.”

This was back when I was just getting started in TV, close to 20 years ago.

I thought she was crazy.

I told her I’d never have my own business. That I was a TV news writer and then I’d be a producer in a few years and that having my own business isn’t something I was going to do.

But it turns out she knew what she was talking about.

Technically I’ve had my own business since 2011 when I started this blog.

I’ve treated it like a job – day in and day out. Read more

Want to meet me & Gretchen Rubin in Chicago?

I used to be the queen of networking and go to lots of events every week. That’s when I was first building this blog and also launching my book Listful Thinking. I wanted to get the word out! But after my appendix ruptured over a year ago and I vowed to slow things down a bit.

And I quickly I realized essentially every networking event is the same.

Think about it, how many networking events have you been to that take place in hotel banquet halls filled with clammy handshakes, and awkward conversations punctuated with the exchange of business cards? And those cards usually end up in the garbage.

So how do you stand out?

How do you make your mark in the short amount of time that you have with someone new?

Well it’s all about your pitch! That’s how. Read more

Get Everything Done and Make It To Happy Hour

When I was in my early 20s I loved to watch Sex and The City. I was working weekends at the time and I would sneak episodes while I was writing or producing for the news. I hoped it was an accurate picture of what my life would be like – brunches and after work, get togethers with the girls. However watching it back these days I can tell you my life is not really like that. Did those girls ever actually work?

While we can’t all live the glamorous lifestyles of Carrie and Samantha, we can still make it to happy hour. Provided of course, that we get all our work done. When we’re buried under a heavy workload the chances of leaving work on time get slimmer and slimmer. But it is possible, all it takes is a little planning.

Here are some of my secrets to help you head out the door at 5!

  1. Make a roadmap of your day – Every day, when I’m nearly finished with work I create a “roadmap” for the following day.  I’ve stolen the idea from my time as a live news producer.  We always have a rundown to keep us on track during a live show.  Your work day should run the same way. Having this roadmap means I can hit the ground running and everything goes so much smoother when I get in the following morning.
  2. Don’t answer the phone Only answer if it’s absolutely necessary. That means the person who is calling can give your information about the task you’re working on or you have an appointment for the call right then. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in conversations that go nowhere! You’ll get back to them later – just add it to your list.
  3. Break the day up into chunksGot some mammoth task you’re really not looking forward to? Split it into smaller chunks and distribute it throughout the day. Giving yourself a chance to look at emails, etc in between will help to ease your frustration.  Breaks are our friends. But don’t get sucked into other projects. Give yourself specific time limits.
  4. BacktimeI’ve talked a little about backtiming before. It’s a concept I got from working as a TV news producer. You start at the end goal and work backwards. So what do you need to have done in order to get out of work on time. Make a list of all these things and how long they will take. If you incorporate this with your plan from the night before you can create a schedule for your day.
  5. Make a meeting checklist – The biggest time suck in the office is not people checking their social media or chatting by the water cooler, it’s meetings. Who hasn’t been in a meeting that has gone on for an hour longer than it needed to? Meanwhile the mound of work on your desk just piles up. By having a meeting checklist you can make sure all the important things are covered, but it can also help to move the whole process along!

So now the only thing left to decide on is  what you’re drinking when you get to happy hour!