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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

Be More Productive With An Accountability Buddy

friendsIn 1898 Norman Triplett conducted a study measuring the speed of cyclists. He noticed that when the cyclists’ speeds were faster when racing against each other rather than against the clock alone. He then replicated this study with people of all different ages, doing all different tasks. The results where always the same.

We perform much better when in the presence of others.

Accountability works very similarly. We are more likely to complete a goal if we are held accountable to it by others. So how can you get started? Here are some high-tech and lo-tech solutions: Read more

Stop Reading, Start Listening to Podcasts

200364775-002If you follow this blog you probably know how much I’m loving podcasts these days. It’s such an easy way to get smarter! Podcasts are just so convenient for my commute as I spend most of my time walking, making it difficult to read. Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go and make the most of your limited free time.

Here is a list of my favorite podcasts:

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – I’m always inspired by Gretchen and she’s a list maker too so you know how I feel about that! She’s the author of The Happiness Project and the soon to be released book, Better Than Before. This happiness guru always seems to have the right answers and the best ways to love your life. This podcast is new and Gretchen and her sister host it together. It’s worth a listen for sure. Read more

Do Not Resolve to “Get Organized” This Year

Organizing my Seed Stash

Organizing my Seed Stash (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

Happy New Year! I love the way a new year feels like a fresh start and a chance to try new things. I’ve written about throwing away your resolutions and instead turning them into goals, and I think that’s a great way to create a better and more productive and organized you in 2014!

Every year “get more organized” tops New Year’s resolutions lists and it’s a great intention but it can be overwhelming and difficult to focus on. The problem with resolving to get more organized is that it’s a vague goal that points to the negative and doesn’t give our brains something constructive to work on. What does “get more organized” mean to you? Think about it. What is the biggest pain point in your day? Focus on that. 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?