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Money-Making Productivity Tips

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Imagine the life you really want to be living. What does it include?

For many people, the answer includes traveling to new places, eating good food, visiting friends and family, and living in a comfortable environment. 

Well, all of those things require financial planning skills!

Jennifer Barrett, financial expert and author of the book Think Like a Breadwinner, joined me on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop. We talked about how to rethink your approach to finances in order to create the life you really want.

1. Look at the shorter-term.

Jennifer says that many of us think that all we need to think about is saving for retirement and having a rainy day fund. But that view is limiting — you’re leaving out all the things you want to do before retirement!

Jennifer suggests having short-term savings goals that line up with your life goals. Do you want to have children or start a small business? Well, both of those things require money. Jennifer says it’s a good idea to align your investment plan with the amount of money you’ll need for the milestones you want to achieve.

2. This doesn’t have to be hard.

For many people, especially women, the messaging we’ve been getting is that financial literacy is complicated. But Jennifer says that’s just not true!

When it comes to investing in the stock market, Jennifer suggests checking out the S&P 500 list of companies. Those investments will probably be safer for beginners. If you’re struggling to decide which stocks to buy, let your interests guide you!

Jennifer’s grandmother actually led the way for her on this one — she invested in companies whose products she used or was interested in!

You don’t have to move around your stocks, either. Jennifer says that leaving your investments to grow until you need them is probably your best bet. 

3. Set yourself up for success at work.

Jennifer has some productivity tips for work, too. You can try focusing on “promotable work” — the things you do that will help you get to the next stage in your career.

Spending your time and energy on what researcher John Williams calls “office housework” (like ordering food for meetings) is probably not the best use of your time. Those tasks often fall to women because they want to be helpful. But that means missing out on productivity and promotions. 

You don’t have to be rude or unhelpful — just balance your time and priorities so that you are not doing unseen labor.

Want more money-making tips? You can watch our full conversation here.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Get a Sneak Peek of My Productivity Course

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 4.45.36 PMEver wish there were more hours in the day?  The problem might be you’re not using the hours you have in the most efficient way.  I’ve got a fix for this and I put it all together in a productivity course I’ve done with PopExpert.com.

It’s based on my book, “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed” and is designed to help you live a more fulfilling and connected life. Read more

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?

Checklist for a Stress-Free Dinner Party

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Rhoihessewoi (Photo credit: Jay Vice)

Spring is the perfect time to throw a dinner party. As the weather warms up, it’s such a treat to gather family and friends outside onto your deck, rooftop or terrace for a nice meal. But we all know, party planning requires more than just sending out the invitations. Between the cooking and cleaning, entertaining can be a nightmare.

However, planning ahead will change your life. With a few preparation tricks, you’ll enjoy your time and be the hostess with the mostest.

1. Check your cupboards first. Make sure that you have the right amount of serving dishes, wine glasses, etc, so that you’re not rushing around the day of the event. If you don’t have wine glasses, you might want to look online for stemless wine glasses or more traditional wine glasses.

2. Start ahead of time. Nothing creates more stress than having a million things to do all at once. Rather than leave things until the last minute, start your cooking, cleaning, and planning in advance so you’re not left doing everything just hours before the party starts. Set the table the night before to leave time for any last-minute party preparations. I also like to make a list of all my to-dos for the days leading up to the party. That way everything is mapped out ahead of time so I can just grab my list and spring into action.

3. Go with what you know. Cooking under pressure can always be stressful, especially when you’re on a time frame and budget. Stick with the recipes that you know so you can spend the least amount of time in the kitchen to focus on other preparations.

4. Have everyone bring their own dish. Cooking can be a big ordeal, especially when you’re preparing for a large amount of people. If you ask each guest to bring a little something, it will take the stress off of you and allow guests to feel like part of the party planning.

5. Choose a signature drink. Buying large amounts of alcohol isn’t always the cost effective. Plus, who wants to play bartender, mixing all different drinks, all night long? I like to prepare a pitcher of sangria (or your drink of choice) in order to save time and money.

6. Clean as you go. It might seem like a pain in the moment, but it’s a relief when you don’t have a scary pile of dishes at the end of the night! After each course, move the plates inside the dishwasher, rather than just piling them up outside of the sink. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

What are your tips for an efficient dinner party?

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I’m Going To B-School!

Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 9.17.42 PMI never thought I’d be going back to school — but I am!  Today is the very first day of Marie Forleo’s B-School and I couldn’t be happier to get started.  I found Marie a few weeks ago through Twitter and have been devouring her content ever since. She teaches people how to be entrepreneurs and turn their passions into much more.

It’s an 8-week online course and there are people from almost every inch of the globe participating.  Just check out the map of participants — insane, right?  I’ve done a few continuing education classes here and there since graduating college. I’ve taken a novel writing class, a children’s book writing class and of course a bunch of cooking classes — but never anything like this.

Getting ready for class has been exciting and scary.  Here’s a list of my preps in case you find yourself in a similar situation one day:

1.  Get a notebook you love.  Seriously — this helps calm my fears.  I chose a notebook that a close friend gave me for my birthday — so it has some sentimental value.  It’s the perfect size to stick in my purse if I need to take my work on the road.  And the best part is the cover.  It’s plastered with stamps from fabulous places all over the world that I want to visit.  It’s an excellent inspiration for the traveling I’d like to do in the future.

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