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I’m Spoiling My New Boss Today

Today is National Bosses Day! A chance for you to celebrate (or maybe commiserate!) about your boss. It’s a pretty interesting coincidence, given that today is my first day working for myself!!

It was my last day at Fox News on Friday, after over a decade. So while it feels like the end of an era. It’s also the start of a new beginning.

Over the years I have met many entrepreneurs and I’ve always encouraged people to go out on their own and start their own businesses. It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Marie Forleo’s B School. But I never thought that way of life would be for me completely.  I always thought I’d have one toe in the corporate world. Sometimes the pieces just fall it to place and it seems like the right decision at the right time.

I’m celebrating the holiday by really spoiling my favorite new boss – me!

As a lifelong 9 to 5 worker I’ve always been a bit jealous of those who had free time during the day! They could take advantage of all the lunchtime specials, the relaxing mid-morning yoga class or the cheaper movie tickets – now I get to be one of those people!

I’m beginning my day with a trip to the spa and then a relaxing lunch. Maybe I’ll get a blowout or a manicure too. It will all be followed by a dinner with my fellow speakers for the PRSA Tri-State Conference. (There’s still time to join the conference if you’re interested!)

What are you doing for yourself today?

How to Organize a Successful Workshop

I’m super pumped this week, because my friend and partner in crime Terri Trespicio and I recently hosted our first live event! It wasn’t hosted by an organization or a conference – it was hosted by us – it was our baby!

Many of you know I created an online course called Lights Camera Expert after being asked “How do I get on TV?” so many times by experts who were sick of seeing everyone else in their field snatch up the airtime.

So we took them behind the scenes of what it’s like to work at a TV show or magazine, how to get a producer or editor’s attention and continue to get asked back.  And we pushed the video course out into the world about a year ago.

What happened next is not something we expected. Read more

Get Everything Done and Make It To Happy Hour

When I was in my early 20s I loved to watch Sex and The City. I was working weekends at the time and I would sneak episodes while I was writing or producing for the news. I hoped it was an accurate picture of what my life would be like – brunches and after work, get togethers with the girls. However watching it back these days I can tell you my life is not really like that. Did those girls ever actually work?

While we can’t all live the glamorous lifestyles of Carrie and Samantha, we can still make it to happy hour. Provided of course, that we get all our work done. When we’re buried under a heavy workload the chances of leaving work on time get slimmer and slimmer. But it is possible, all it takes is a little planning.

Here are some of my secrets to help you head out the door at 5!

  1. Make a roadmap of your day – Every day, when I’m nearly finished with work I create a “roadmap” for the following day.  I’ve stolen the idea from my time as a live news producer.  We always have a rundown to keep us on track during a live show.  Your work day should run the same way. Having this roadmap means I can hit the ground running and everything goes so much smoother when I get in the following morning.
  2. Don’t answer the phone Only answer if it’s absolutely necessary. That means the person who is calling can give your information about the task you’re working on or you have an appointment for the call right then. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in conversations that go nowhere! You’ll get back to them later – just add it to your list.
  3. Break the day up into chunksGot some mammoth task you’re really not looking forward to? Split it into smaller chunks and distribute it throughout the day. Giving yourself a chance to look at emails, etc in between will help to ease your frustration.  Breaks are our friends. But don’t get sucked into other projects. Give yourself specific time limits.
  4. BacktimeI’ve talked a little about backtiming before. It’s a concept I got from working as a TV news producer. You start at the end goal and work backwards. So what do you need to have done in order to get out of work on time. Make a list of all these things and how long they will take. If you incorporate this with your plan from the night before you can create a schedule for your day.
  5. Make a meeting checklist – The biggest time suck in the office is not people checking their social media or chatting by the water cooler, it’s meetings. Who hasn’t been in a meeting that has gone on for an hour longer than it needed to? Meanwhile the mound of work on your desk just piles up. By having a meeting checklist you can make sure all the important things are covered, but it can also help to move the whole process along!

So now the only thing left to decide on is  what you’re drinking when you get to happy hour!

3 Reasons The Stories You Tell Matter

I love telling stories. Even if it’s just fiction. Everyday when I walk to work and I see different “characters” on the street. I always make up stories about them.

For instance, the homeless man who hangs out on the corner in front of my office – I’ve named him James. He was a Wall Street hotshot but lost it all because he was greedy. Oh and he lost his family too. His wife left him and took his daughter – the only reason he even went to work everyday.

When you were born, where you grew up, the different jobs and hobbies you had over the years, these all make up who you are. But how you present these details  can completely change how others see you. For example, when people hear I am a news producer and I write a blog on the side, they assume I’m the kind of person who never stops working. However, when I talk about my love of tea or doing yoga then I give off the impression of being very relaxed. Read more

Four Boundaries Worth Setting Right Now

private-20115_1280When it comes to list making and my general time management and organization I like rules.

I like things to be clear cut– black and white.

Rules save me time, because I’m not sitting there wondering whether to take the call, go to the meeting or have another glass of wine.  

I have a rule in place so it’s either happening or it isn’t.

I recently did an event for my book Listful Thinking with the National Association of Professional Organizers in New York City and a common theme struck a cord.  Boundaries.

I’m often asked about what I call my “rules” and I find that the idea tends to resonate with a lot of people, especially working mothers. Probably because these rules allow me to set these boundaries in both my personal and professional life.

It’s something a lot of people have trouble with. Read more