Posts

Read Faster with the Blinkist App

Blinkist app (Photo Credit: allmyfaves.com)

Blinkist app (Photo Credit: www.allmyfaves.com)

There are so many books on my reading list, that are sadly still waiting to be read. I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately like “How to Make Every Man Want You” by Marie Forleo and “Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier” by Ari Meisel. But between work and my day to day schedule, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and enjoy a book in it’s entirety.

However, I recently discovered a new solution to my problem– the app Blinkist!

Blinkist works the same way as sites like Cliff Notes by providing a quick and short synopsis of a book—this time on your iPhone or iPad! The app takes the full text of a non-fiction book and turns it into quick snippets of information. Rather than scrolling through pages and pages of text, Blinkist gives you the most important information from a text in just fifteen minutes! Here are some of the perks Blinkist has to offer:

1.     The books are put into categories, helping you to find what book you’re searching for easily. There’s even a productivity and self-help category! Read more

5 Time Wasters to Get Under Control

(Photo Credit: www.fitlike51.com)

(Photo Credit: www.fitlike51.com)

I go to a lot of conferences and meetings and when I ask people “how have you been?” they often say “busy.”  I get it – we are all busy but some people are addicted to this idea and this mentality.  They say busy as a place holder and it becomes their story.  But when you really think about it — all that busy time could probably be a lot more productive if you canceled out the time wasters.  While those extra commitments can help fill up your time, it doesn’t always mean that you’re using your time wisely. Most people waste time each day without even realizing that they’re doing it!

Here’s a list of time wasters that tend to sneak up on us:

1.     E-mail: While e-mail can be a quick and easy way to communicate, there are times when a phone call can get the job done quicker. I love e-mail, but sometimes it can be a pain waiting around for someone to respond—and sometimes people forget and never do! When needed, it can be more effective to pick up the phone or meet in person to get a question answered faster.

2.     Multi-tasking: It’s great to be eager and take on as much as possible, but there comes a point when enough is enough. When you take on too many projects at once, it often results in nothing getting done. By prioritizing your tasks (with a to-do list!) you’ll be able to focus and plan out what task to do when to make sure it gets accomplished. Plus, I don’t believe in multi-tasking, it’s impossible.

3.     Meetings: Nothing is more frustrating than unproductive meetings! There are so many times when meetings lose focus and nothing gets accomplished. It’s important to make sure there is an agenda that is being followed at all times. If you’re going to be using any kind of technology in the meeting, be sure to set that up ahead of time so people aren’t waiting around. Plus, write down a few key points that you hope to get across so when it’s you’re time to speak you can be succinct and efficient.

4.     Using your computer mouse: Who knew that something as simple as reaching for the mouse can waste your time! By using keyboard shortcuts, tech experts say you can save two seconds per minute. While it may not seem like a lot—believe me, it can add up! When the clock never stops ticking, even the smallest things make a difference.

5.     Social Media: Probably what we’re all most guilty of– wasting time on the Internet. Quickly checking your notifications on Facebook or Twitter can lead to hours of wasted time—even when we don’t mean for it! It’s natural to click from one thing to the next and end up with no progress on your work at the end of the day. If you find yourself guilty of this, there’s an app called SelfControl that lets you block specific websites for up to 24 hours.

What’s your biggest time waster?

Add Fun to Your To-Do List With These Food Apps

Weekends are great for crossing off to-do’s, but you can’t forget to add fun and relaxation to the list.  Going out for a date night or hitting happy hour with your co-workers are fun ways to unwind from a stressful week. Here are some (free) dining and drinking apps to try out:

                                                             

                                                       Drinking Apps

Untappd: If beer is your go-to drink, this is a great app. Not only will it give you a list of the most popular local bars but you get to share and read beer reviews. Whenever you try a new beer, snap a photo with your phone, upload it, and review it. The app keeps track of all the brews you’ve tried and gives you suggestions.  You can also follow friends to see what they are drinking and you can earn badges for your beer tasting!

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 5.44.52 PM

Read more

Bad Productivity Habits That Are Good For You

“Bad habits die hard” as the saying goes, but there are some you really don’t have to kick to the curb in the name of productivity. No more feeling guilty about that mid-afternoon nap or holding off that work proposal until the night before.

These “bad” habits can actually help with your productivity and get you motivated to work hard:

1. Procrastination: A pending deadline looming over your head, can actually be one of the biggest motivators. It can be stressful to wait until the last minute, but this can really get the creative juices flowing and spark that adrenaline rush you may need to complete a task. I found that there are three crucial times when procrastinating works the best – check them out here.

2. Napping: Feeling tired after that huge lunch or didn’t get enough ZZZ’s the night before? Take a nap! Yes, I said it! Bring back the kindergarten days and take a snooze. You may feel like you are just wasting precious time, but napping for 20 to 30 minutes can really rejuvenate you.

3. Leave the Dishes in the Sink: If cleaning is on your to-do list daily, feel free to skip over it every once in a while.

4. Texting and Checking Social Media: No need to turn off your phone when you are busy working away.

5. Distractions: Surf the web for cute puppies, read the news or watch an episode of your fave show! Distractions can take us away from work, but can also be a great way to take a break. If you feel stuck let yourself wander, it may spark a new idea and relax your brain. Set time limits for yourself so you don’t get carried away. For instance, I sometimes reward myself with an episode of Breaking Bad after checking off a certain amount of to-dos. It keeps me motivated as well as stopping me from binge watching.

6. Stressing Out: When we feel stressed the first thing we want to happen is for it to just go away!

But according to Heidi Hanna, author of the book “Stressaholic: 5 Steps to Transform Your Relationship with Stress”, stress can stimulate us. She says, “It gives us the energy to get things done. A lot of people procrastinate because the stress of that deadline actually fuels that energy. It gives us a surge of adrenaline which, in the short term, is fine.” Heidi warns that stress does become a problem when you begin to use it all the time. So it’s not something that you should be dependent on but once in a while it’s okay!

So don’t break these bad habits, just learn to use them in moderation. Be sure to comment below if these productivity don’ts work for you!

Easy Meals to Get on the Table Quickly

Fresh vegetarian pasta (2528005054)

Fresh vegetarian pasta (2528005054) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are having a crazy-busy work day the last thing you want to do when you come home is slave away in the kitchen to make a decent meal. I know when I’m mentally exhausted from the day, I don’t want to think anymore, so I end up ordering out and spending way too much money. To kick the dine-out habit, I found some awesome quick and easy meals to make that require little ingredients and not too much brain power!

Here’s my list:

1. Avocado Chicken Salad:

Ingredients: 2 cups of shredded chicken, 1 avocado, 1/4 cup of diced onions, juice from half a lime, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (optional), 1 tablespoon of basil leaves.

Preparation: Just mix everything together well and you have a yummy meal 🙂 (recipe from Real Food Enthusiast)

Screen shot 2014-04-20 at 1.16.56 PM

Read more