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Happy 2nd Birthday to My Blog

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Candles spell out the traditional English birthday greeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My blog is two years old today!  Happy Birthday!  I can’t believe it — what started as a list to help me find an apartment has turned into one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.

Thank you to all who read regularly and all of you newbies too.  This year I’ve learned that it’s OK to take a break here and there — and not beat myself up over it!  I hope no one minds too much when I disappear for a few days.

Like some of my favorite things (wine!) in intend for this blog to get better with age!  Here’s some of the upcoming projects that I’ll be working on to make this blog even more fabulous:

  1. Posting more regularly with themed days! (Who doesn’t love a theme?)
  2. Uploading more tips and tricks via video.  (Sometimes talking is so much easier than typing. And I get to talk with my hands which speaks to my Italian heritage)
  3. A Private Productivity Assessment Giveaway! (Yes, I will post more details next week but I want to help you get more productive and
  4. Connect with my readers more often! (I’m thinking Twitter chats and more events with my Lists & Libations group)

If you have any ideas for blog posts or would like to team up on a project I’m all ears!  Please shoot me an email to Paula (at) ListProducer (dot) com.

Thanks for reading!

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6 Tips for Working Through Distractions

Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot : FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being back to work after Hurricane Sandy with my whole team has been a great morale booster.  So happy everyone made it in and I could see all their familiar faces — it’s one more sign that life is returning back to normal.

But it’s easy to get distracted with all the war stories being tossed around.  Plus — many people have to deal with insurance claims (myself mostly) and worries of childcare, heat, hot water and power at home.  So getting actual work done is quite a challenge.  Here’s some tips:

1.  Tune out: I’ve gotten very good at this over the years from working in busy news rooms but it does take some practice.  Engage for a bit and listen to all the stories from your coworkers but then at some point you have to mentally check out.  This will allow you to focus on tasks in front of you.  Sometimes headphones will help — I suggest blasting Dave Matthews Band or your favorite to drown out sounds around you.   Read more

Morning is the Most Productive Time

Good mornig,guys! Why don't you drink with me?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t always been a morning person but with a “regular” 9-5 schedule – I didn’t have a choice. So I’ve embraced it. Every morning before work I:

1. Read two newspapers

2. Practice yoga

3. Sip green tea

4. Eat a healthy breakfast

5. Read through and respond to several emails

6. Listen to news radio for 15 minutes

7. Check my Twitter and Facebook feeds

8. Take a shower and get ready

9. Walk for 15 minutes

Most people barely have enough time to jump in the shower, take the dog out for a walk and scarf down some breakfast before they get to work. I don’t do all of the things on that list because I HAVE to – I do them because I WANT to.

My husband thinks I’m crazy but I wake up at 6:05am every morning so I can do all of those things before work. It’s hours before I have to get to work but I love that time to be productive and do the things I want to do for myself.

I recently read an e-book called, “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam and it turns out a lot of successful people do exactly the same thing as me. They meditate, exercise, read, practice hobbies and do anything that they like way before they get to work.

As it says in the book — if you do things before work in the morning there’s a higher chance you’ll actually get those things done and out of the way to feel much more accomplished and productive before you sit down at your desk. You’ve all been there… you procrastinate, make excuses and get tired by the end of the day so you may never get to the gym. For me — I don’t like to be rushed. I like to give myself enough time to get ready and wake up.

Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project” gets up an hour before her family to check email and headlines and start her day.  I like to do the same thing so that when I actually get to work – I can start working right away and only have a few emails to distract me.

So what do you do in the morning?