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Put My Book on Your Must-Read List!

Paula Rizzo book

Me and my publisher Brenda Knight at Book Expo America in NYC

I have exciting news to share with you — my first book is coming out in January 2015!  It is called “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed”! I can’t wait for you to read it.

Paula Rizzo book

The swag my publisher Viva Editions gave out at Book Expo America to promote the book!

Every year I go to Book Expo America here in New York City for my day job as a TV producer.  I check out all the new titles and set up meetings with publishers so they can tell me about their upcoming books and authors in the health field.  It’s a huge trade show and the who’s who of book publishing is always there.   This year, I got a great surprise — my publisher, Viva Editions, already started creating some buzz about my book with these adorable “Listful Thinking” notepads!

We’re still working on the cover art and ironing out all the details for the January publication date.  I’m working on all sorts of fun events and activities leading up to the launch and I hope you’ll participate in them!  I’m open to ideas too, so shoot me an email if you have any.

I will be sure to keep you posted but just couldn’t wait to share the news!  Please add the book to your “Want to Read” list on Goodreads and please spread the word!

Tweet: Just added #ListfulThinking to my Must-Read #List on @GoodReads http://ctt.ec/5c0Vo+ #productivity @vivaeditions @Listproducer

Be Productive On Summer Fridays

Enjoy your summer Friday! (Photo Credit: blog.syracuse.com)

Enjoy your summer Friday! (Photo Credit: blog.syracuse.com)

If you are lucky enough to have summer Fridays at your workplace you know it’s where every Friday throughout the summer people get off of work at 1pm (or so.)

When I first heard about this, I tried to convince my boss to pick up on the trend. But unfortunately, the news business runs a little differently. But if you participate in shorter workdays on Fridays – you can enjoy your longer weekend by being as productive as possible up until the moment you leave work.

Here are a few tips on how to make your summer Fridays as productive as possible:

1.     Do more during the week: Plan your schedule appropriately, so a shorter workday on Friday is do-able. Rather than cramming everything in at the last minute, really make sure you’re on track with your work. Schedule busier tasks earlier on in the week and reserve Fridays for follow ups and smaller tasks only.

2.     Don’t open your e-mail until noon: It’s harder than it sounds. There’s many times when it’s easy to keep hitting refresh on your inbox to kill time, but resist the urge. Spend your mornings doing what’s important, rather than responding to e-mails that aren’t urgent. As important as you may think it is, usually e-mails can wait a few hours.

3.     Prepare the night before: Throughout the week, make a to-do list of the things you must get done each day. If you’re writing an article, outline it the night before– it’ll save you hours the next day. Don’t leave the office until everything you need to accomplish gets done. You’ll thank yourself when you get to start your weekend early.

4.     Keep your office cool: Working in a hot room tends to make us feel groggy and sluggish.

5.     Treat yourself: Get as much out of your day by working hard first and then enjoying a nice reward of your choice afterwards! Whether you plan to get a manicure or treat yourself to a nice meal, finish your task first and reward yourself afterwards. It’ll act as a motivator and you’ll be able to enjoy it at your own leisure without stressing about all of the things you have left to do.

6.     Meditate: In the morning, spend a few minutes to focus your mind and listen in. You will discover ideas inside of you that will help you find success throughout your workday. By relaxing, you’ll be able to align your goals and plan your day to be as productive as possible.

Enjoy your head start on your weekend!

5 Apps to Make Cleaning Easier

Cleanly App (Photo Credit: darnellthenewsman.com)

Cleanly App (Photo Credit: darnellthenewsman.com)

I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with cleaning. Being tidy and organized helps increase your productivity and makes you feel less stressed—but the process of cleaning is never fun! As a kid my mom even nicknamed me “the mess maker.” Even though I would make a big mess – I would always clean it up!

Especially when you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to push cleaning off to the bottom of your “to-do” list.

Not wanting to clean isn’t something new either. It’s always been a burden on everyone from someone living by themselves, a stay-at-home mom or business owner.

Here are a few of my favorite cleaning apps:

1. Cleanly: If you’re in New York, and have ever dragged your laundry down the street…this app is for you. It allows New Yorkers to schedule laundry pick up and delivery at their own convenience! Cleanly users can schedule a time for pickup, including directions on how to wash their clothes, and a “Cleanly Valet” will come pick up the clothes and drop them off at a local laundry mat or dry cleaner! Fresh, clean clothes are then delivered within 24 hours.

2. Handybook: Users can book a company certified maid, plumber or handyman on their mobile phone by filling out an online application in less than two minutes! You fill out what type of cleaning you want done, how many rooms need to be cleaned and choose from a list of available time slots. In just minutes, an e-mail confirmation will provide you with a housekeeper’s name and phone number.

3. HomeRoutines: No list is complete without a cleaning “to-do” list! This app lets you create thorough to-do lists and then rotate tasks by day or week, so you can develop a routine that makes keeping your house clean a habit. The app splits your home into five zones and gives you a task for each area, reminding you about tasks that often get overlooked, but need to be done!

4. BrightNest: Take your lists to the next level. This app helps you build a customized list of projects based on your personal living conditions. The app asks you questions, such as whether or not you have kids or pets, the appliances you use and what your goals are. Weekly projects are then illustrated with an estimate of how much time they will take. It even lists surprising tips to help you get the job done and gives you home maintenance advice based on your region’s climate.

5. Chorma: If you’re living with multiple people that leave their space messy, this app can help. Chorma lets you create lists of repeating chores and then assigns them to housemembers, who can check-in with their progress. To encourage people to get their stuff done, the app allows you to create redeemable individual or group rewards!

Make a list of five areas that you think need to be cleaned and then download one of these apps that will help you!

8 Wines to Try This Summer

Paula Rizzo Drinking WineSummer has always been my favorite season. First because my birthday is in the summer and I think everyone becomes attached to “their season.” But also I love cooking outdoors and enjoying great summer wines!  You know how I feel about Pinot Grigio but there are many others to choose from.

So get your spatula in one hand and your wine glass in the other and let the grilling begin! Here’s a list of great wines that I’ll be trying this summer for under $20:

  1. Enza Sparkling Rosé: Straight from Italy, this sparkling wine has a refreshing strawberry and green apple flavor. $15

2.    337 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine offers deep and bold flavors of  grapes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. $14

3.    Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato: Enjoy the moderately sweet watermelon, peach and ginger ale aromas with fizzy fruit flavors. $10

4.    Petite Sirah: If you prefer red wine, definitely break this out at your next barbecue! This wine tastes both smooth and silky and it’s easy to drink! $12

5.    Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir: Another red wine selection that offers a taste of cranberry, black cherry and spice. $18

6.    Adega do Monte Branco Alento Branco: This white wine is perfect for sipping on the patio—it’s pure, refreshing blend tastes like ripe pineapple and zesty lime. $14

7.   Penfolds Club Tawny: A personal favorite of mine! This wine has just the right mellowness and consistency to leave your mouth watering. $14

8.    Marco Negri Moscato D’Asti: This sweet, bubbly wine is perfect to pair with any dessert to end your summer barbecue. $18

What wine will you be drinking this summer?

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?