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Things You Always Do To Have a More Productive Day

mountain-918637_640I’m a procrastinator by heart, so in order to make sure I get everything done I force myself into a routine. I like to always wake up at the same time and stand at the best part of the station platform for getting on the train quickly. All these little things help to make me my day more productive.

Yes – getting to know where the doors are going to stop on the platform only saves me one minute or so everyday. But it makes me feel like my commute is going faster. Which puts me in a good mood and helps to kick start my day.

Here are some other little ways you can ensure you’ll have a productive day:

Make Your Bed – I know, I know I sound like your Mom. But taking a few minutes in the morning to make your bed look nice doesn’t just give you that feel good – post clean up feeling. It gives you something to look forward to coming home to! Read more

Cocktails Delivered Right to Your Door

IMG_6549As you know, I’m always on the hunt for easy and efficient ways to get things done. So when I heard about Cocktail Courier I was intrigued. Here’s how it works – you pick a cocktail you’d like to make at home and they send you all the pre-measured ingredients to mix the perfect drink.  Professional mixologists create every recipe, which range from Moscow Mules to a twist on an Old Fashioned.  These are probably drinks I wouldn’t tackle at home.  But with the kit they sent me — I tried took on The Sideshow, which is a variation of a Sidecar. Read more

11 Free Fab Finds for Productivity

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.03.21 PMGetting things done doesn’t always have to be time consuming and costly. There are actually a whole lot of free ways to be more productive.  I’ve put together this list of freebies that will get you on track:

Time Savers

1.  Pathtalk: This app is really versatile (and awesome)! It allows you to contact local businesses, make dinner reservations, book appointments, compare prices, and check in-store availability. Not to mention, you can do all of these things without making a single phone call!  I use it all the time.

2.  Dragon Dictation: Have a brilliant idea but don’t have any paper? Dragon will transcribe whatever you say with pretty good accuracy into a tweet, Facebook post or e-mail.  This is great for capturing to-dos that pop up when you’re on the run.

3.  Umano: This app allows you to listen to professionally recorded short news articles! Sign up and choose from a wide variety of publishers and bloggers (including me!) to listen to. It’s perfect for when you want to listen to stuff on-the-go! If you decide to try it out, use my code when signing up to get unlimited listening: NN8MEZ.

4.  Timeful:  A way to schedule all the things you really want to do!  You can connect Timeful to a calendar you already use and schedule in tasks like reading and meditation.Timeful will suggest the best times for you to complete each task – which you can accept or deny.

5.  Minutes Please: Control your web time here! You know how it goes — taking a 10 minute break to check Facebook turns into one hour. Enter the URL of the website and the number of minutes (up to 120) you want to spend on it. Minute Please will give you a countdown at the top of your browser. Never waste time online again!

6.  Scannable: A new mobile scanning app introduced by Evernote. I’ve already used it a bunch of times to scan receipts, insurance cards and articles.  All you have to do is point and click and you can instantly save or export the picture.

7.  HelloSign: You can sign e-signatures with this site that are legally binding.  This was a lifesaver when I was buying my apartment.  There’s just so much paperwork to fill out.  I used HelloSign to scan, edit, and sign documents.

8.  Hellofax: From the same makers of HelloSign.  With this app, there’s no need to have a fax machine anymore. HelloFax takes a high quality scan of your photo and securely faxes it to wherever you want. One of the best parts is, you can keep your current fax number to avoid confusion with customers. There’s a free 14 day trial.

Email

9.  Email Game: If you have an endless inbox — conquer your e-mail, with a game! This game encourages you to read and responds to e-mails faster and more decisively. This adds a fun twist on the boring task of sifting through your inbox.

10.  Unroll.Me*: Junk e-mail can pile up pretty quickly. When you’re in the store and they ask for your email, all of a sudden you’re getting a ton of useless newsletters. Unroll.Me will identify every newsletter that you’re subscribed to and you can opt-out with the click of a button.

11.  Boomerang: Get your inbox back down to zero. This app provides various useful features. If you’re up late answering emails, you can schedule to have them sent out in the morning. This way you can get your day starting out doing other tasks. You can also prioritize certain emails that you want to tackle later. Plus you can schedule emails you’d like to follow up on to pop back up into your inbox when you’re read to deal with them. The first 10 emails are free.

Still feeling overwhelmed by your email? Check out my course Take Back Your Inbox, which I created to help you get back in control!

Check out these free fab finds and let me know what you think below!

*Unroll.Me makes money by learning what people stay subscribed to and what they unsubscribe from – that data is valuable and helps corporations learn what people want and what they don’t want. Your email address is NOT sold. If you’d like to keep your subscription list private you’ll need to unsubscribe manually from individual email subscriptions. If you appreciate the swiftness that you can unsubscribe from multiple sources while helping brands service customers better then Unroll.Me is for you!

Don’t Drop That Hobby — It Could Make You More Productive

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.34.16 PMHobbies can be a double-edged sword. You’re always trying to carve out more time for them but then when you actually do them — you feel like you should be doing something else to stay productive. What’s the fun in that?

Well here’s some good news. Did you know that your favorite distraction could actually be boosting your productivity? It’s true – here’s a list of some popular hobbies that will build up your mind and muscles to help you get things done!

List-making: Yes! List making is a hobby. Organizing everything into lists is a great way to get all of your thoughts out. This will also prepare you for things you want to get done. As I mentioned in my book, “Listful Thinking” many celebrities reached their level of success by making lists. A few of these people include Richard Branson, Octavia Spencer, Bobby Flay, Heidi Klum, and Sandra Bullock!

Exercising: There are countless ways to get your body moving. Recently, a friend of mine was talking about how she wanted to start being healthy, but she didn’t know where to start. Starting small is the way to go, before you can move onto anything else.

If you live in a big city like I do, you’re already getting a ton of walking in! Some of my other personal favorites include hiking, swimming, and dancing. Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain which gives you that feel-good sensation.

Writing: Write, type, record– anything! Get your thoughts out of your head and express yourself for at least 10 minutes a day. Turn it into a book or just throw it away. Writing in your spare time is a perfect place to channel your energy. This will get your creative juices flowing. I’ve found that once you make a habit of something – even just writing an idea down once a day- it will become so much easier to do on demand.

Art: Whether it’s painting a picture, doodling on your notebook or sculpting some play-doh, creating something is one of the best ways to calm your mind. This is one of those hobbies that are great for thinking outside of the box and getting in touch with your creative side. *

Listening to music: Music can increase your productivity in two different ways. If you’re trying to clear your head, put together a relaxing playlist. If you’re trying to get motivated, knock out your to-do’s with an inspirational playlist.

Puzzles: Challenge your mind with a puzzle. This will put your brain to work and help you improve your problem solving skills. People who solve puzzles are more likely to creatively assess problems in their lives.

Meditation/Yoga: This is perfect for you if you are overstressed and desperately need a release. Practicing meditation and yoga will put your focus back in check, calm your nerves and clear your mind. It’s also important to pay attention when you’re doing one pose at a time. This is great practice for when you’re working on only one task at a time.

Reading: Reading is a great pastime to open yourself to new ideas and take you to new places. So pick up a new book or listen to a podcast! Read something you wouldn’t typically read and try out authors you’ve never heard of. This is the best way to sharpen your mind and learn new things. This will help you think quicker on your feet. Something we could all do when trying to be more efficient.

How does your hobby make you more productive?

Stop What You’re Doing Right Now

Take a break from your work! (Photo Credit: sitbetter.com)

Take a break from your work! (Photo Credit: sitbetter.com)

Ever have one of those days where you look up and already it’s 2pm and you haven’t eaten lunch? I hate that. I know how busy a workday can get. There’s a lot to do in a certain amount of time, so things become stressful and hectic.

I often see people running around from meeting to meeting or sacrificing their lunch break, but a college study found that sometimes a break is the very thing you need. No matter how behind schedule you are, breaks are necessary to help us regain focus and energy to make us more productive.

Next time you suffer from writers block or become so frustrated with a task, take a breather to give your brain time to rest and reenergize– then dive back into the task. You’ll notice a difference. Here’s a list of ideal ways to spend your break time to recharge:

1. Go to the dog park nearby: Getting some fresh air is important– and what better way to spend it than with dogs? Going outside helps improve your productivity and focus… and dogs are a bonus to the trick! It’s good to get fresh air when you can as it can be that bit of relief that you need before getting back to your work.

2. Go for a tea run: Not only will your co-workers love this, but it’ll give your brain just enough time to relax and reenergize. You’ll get the caffeine you need– and who knows, maybe next time your co-workers will do the same for you!

3. Drink a green juice: Green juices are proven to improve focus and energy levels. By taking a few minutes to prepare this snack, you’ll boost your productivity, as well as your health! (It’s my new favorite thing!)

4. Find inspiration on Pinterest: Rather than scroll through your Twitter and Instagram feeds, switch things up by searching for career inspiration on Pinterest. Whether it’s resumes you love or awesome companies you want to work for, this will allow you to return back to your work fully motivated.

5. Send a thank you: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– gratitude is key! Even if someone helped you out in the simplest way, write them a quick note to let them know you appreciate it. It’ll help make your day and theirs!

6. Make a phone call: Step outside and call up a friend or relative. A short chat to see how their day is going will help boost your energy and mood before returning to your work. You may even schedule plans, which will encourage you to finish up your work as soon as possible!

What are you going to do on your next break?