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5 Ways to be a Better Complainer and Get What You Want

United Breaks Guitars

United Breaks Guitars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I told you about an app that helps you skip the wait-time when calling customer service. However, just because you get to talk to a person faster doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get what you want. I’ve had amazing customer service, but I’ve also had really horrendous help that leaves me so frustrated. You know what I mean – it can be really hard to keep your cool when the stranger on the other end of the phone is being difficult about their company shipping you the wrong pair of pants.

A few years ago Dave Carroll was flying United Airlines when he noticed that the people loading the plane were throwing his guitar around, resulting in a broken guitar when he landed. He spent months dealing with United’s customer service, only to discover that they weren’t going to do a thing about his smashed guitar. Dave took matters into his own hands, writing the song “United Breaks Guitars” and exposing the airline’s bad behavior in a viral video that resulted in United reaching out to David and offering to replace his unusual guitar. Now, when the rest of us have to get a new guitar, we can’t quite get United Airlines to send one for us. Instead, we can compare a range of small bodied guitars on a site like thesoundjunky until we find the guitar that is right for us.
I know that we don’t all have the luxury (or the musical ability) to handle bad customer service the way Dave did, but here are a few ways anyone can complain smarter and get better customer service: Read more

Watch My Webinar To Boost Your Productivity

I started this site nearly three years ago when a friend asked me to share an apartment-hunting list I had made. And helping others become more organized and productive has been the major reason I’ve kept writing for all of these years. Wednesday, I decided that it was time to take that help to the next level so I hosted my very first webinar!

It was a lot of fun (despite some technical glitches — please excuse!) In case you missed it, you can see it here:

One of the biggest setbacks people face is just getting started. Let me help you tackle your inbox, find time to cross off your to-dos and make better lists to set you up for success in 2014! If you want personal help, please fill out this Free Productivity Assessment to better understand where you need more organization in your life. I’ll hand pick a few people to have a personal one-on-one phone call with to focus on any issues that are keeping you from being more productive.

Thanks for checking out my webinar!

3 Times Procrastination Is Good For You

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

Believe it or not, I’m a huge procrastinator. I’m better these days than I used to be, but I believe the idea of a pending deadline looming over your head is real motivation. List making is about reducing stress by helping us remember what we need to do, but it’s like that old saying, you can lead a list-maker to a Post-it, but you can’t make her complete a task.

1. Write creatively.

Writer’s block often comes from over-thinking. When I have an entire day to write a post, I always struggle to come up with the perfect first line. But if I wait until later in the day, it forces me to just write anything and that usually gets the creative juices flowing – just make sure to leave enough time for an edit!

2. Making tough personal choices.

I’ve heard that when you can’t decide something you should toss a coin in the air – not to decide for you, but because the second the coin takes flight you’ll realize what you really wanted. When we have the time to sit with a difficult decision, we can second guess our gut. While you can still take time early on to think things through, waiting until the last minute to actually decide will allow you to be more instinctive.

3. Saying you’re sorry.

Some mistakes require immediate reconciliation, but in a situation where you may have hurt a friend’s feelings or get in an argument with a loved out, take a day before you apologize. Even if you realize you messed up right away, waiting will take the emotion out of the situation and allow you to reflect in an unbiased way. The more able you are to see from the other person’s perspective, the more genuine your apology is likely to be.

5 Things You Never Knew About Saving Money

moremoneyI thought I knew a fair amount about how to have healthy finances. I know how to make money, save it and spend it…so what else is there to know? Apparently a lot! A fellow blogger and friend, Scott Gamm, just wrote a book called “More Money Please: The Financial Secrets You Never Learned in School.” And he’s only 21! Yes — that’s right!

The book is written from the perspective of a college kid who knows more than most about finance. Scott started a blog called HelpSaveMyDollars.com for young people to get their money issues under control. Many people struggle to save and often run out of money quicker than they make it.  Anyway, this book is geared towards 20-somethings, however, I think people of all ages, including parents and professionals, can benefit from reading it. Here’s some of what I learned: Read more

Fancy Hands: Make Your Life Easier With An Assistant

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image from twilio.com

Even very productive people have trouble getting everything done throughout the day. But the secret really is being able to delegate. If you can take something off your plate so you can work on something else that you’re better at — you will be much more efficient. Enter…the assistant.

I know you’re thinking “I can’t afford an assistant!” I know because I said the same thing until I found FancyHands.com. It’s basically a virtual assistant service. Read more