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How to Create an Easy Evening Routine

manage everyday life Jul 30, 2020

For years I struggled to get to bed on time.

I didn’t stay up late intentionally – I just always had one more thing to do.

And then another thing.

And another.

I’d do them all, go to bed late, and wake up exhausted.

What changed?

I married my husband and he taught me the power of an evening routine.

Now, before you roll your eyes and click away because you already know you don’t have time for one of those magazine evening routines (you know, the ones that include 20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation, and an hour long bath…), I want you to read what I said again.

My husband taught me the power of an evening routine.

He’s not a yoga, meditation, hot bath kind of guy.

He’s a “plug in the phone, brush teeth, floss twice, and read for 10 minutes” kind of guy.

And you know what? It works!

The simple act of stopping at the same time every night, plugging in my phone (I keep it in the kitchen), and then going to wash my face,...

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How to Talk to Your Boss When You Make a Mistake

I looked at my boss and took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t get that proposal finished in time and I know that let you and the team down.”

I could feel the knots in my stomach tighten.

I hated making mistakes at work and I hated admitting them to my boss.

But I had learned that shifting the blame or making excuses only damaged my integrity, so I stood firm.

“I’m planning to finish proposals the night before they’re due from now on, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

He looked at me and thanked me for accepting responsibility and creating a plan to ensure success going forward.

And then he gave me another proposal to work on.

I couldn’t have felt more grateful – my willingness to own my mistake had strengthened the trust my boss had in me, rather than tearing it down.

It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

If you’re wondering how to talk to your boss next time you make a mistake, I invite you to...

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How to Declutter your Phone and Increase your Productivity

master everyday life Jul 16, 2020

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone.

I love all the things it enables me to do – run my business on the go, stay connected to my family and friends, avoid traffic, order takeout, update my calendar, listen to podcasts, take pictures… it’s such a good tool.

But I hate how it can easily control me. Every ding, buzz, and red bubble notification is like a siren demanding me to PAY ATTENTION NOW—and before I know it, I’ve spent countless minutes just “keeping up” with everything my phone tells me I need to do.

Here’s the good news, friends:

You can take back control.

How?

By setting your phone up to serve you and your needs, rather than you serving it.

Wondering exactly what that looks like?

I’ve got you covered ;)

Step 1: Turn off (almost) all your notifications

I recommend turning every single notification off, except for your texts and reminders. Let them pop-up on your screen but turn off the sound – that way...

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The Secret to Motivation

master everyday life Jul 09, 2020

I have a confession to make.

I’m never motivated to wash my face at night.

Like, ever.

By the time 10pm rolls around, I’m just tired.

Splashing cold water on my face feels downright cruel, and my makeup has smudged itself off anyways, so I don’t even “see” the need to spread cleanser all over it.

Here’s the thing, though: I somehow always manage to wash my face—even though I never feel like it and even though the consequences of not doing so aren’t really all that bad.

Why?

I have a nightly plan—a routine—that includes washing my face.

And because I have the plan, I just execute it.

I don’t wait for motivation to come.

I don’t even expect it to come.

But because I have a plan, it gets done.

Sister, I think we can get so much done when we do feel motivated that when the motivation goes away we think we can’t keep going.

And that’s just not true.

Motivation is a fickle friend. It will come and go.

But...

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3 Tips to Make Moving (Almost) Easy

master everyday life Jul 02, 2020

Moving is hard.

There’s no way around it – even if you’re not moving very far, the logistics required to pack, clean, and organize in a very short period of time can be downright overwhelming.

While I might not be a moving expert, I’ve moved 8 times in the last 13 years (including one cross-country move) and I’ve learned a few things that have helped streamline the entire process for me.

Want to know my secrets?

Read on, sister – you know I’m here for all this practical life stuff ;)

Tip 1: Number Each Box

Buy a sharpie and put a number on every box you pack. Use the notes app on your phone to make a list of the box number and the general things that are inside.

  • Box 1: Workout clothes, extra picture frames
  • Box 2: Bowls and Mugs
  • Box 3: Cookbooks

This has helped me SO much when it’s time to unpack – rather than dig around in countless boxes, I know exactly where to look.

Tip 2: Research Internet Providers and Schedule an...

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Is multitasking bad?

master everyday life Jun 25, 2020

We’ve all heard it: don’t multitask. Your brain can only really focus on one thing at a time.

For the most part, I agree. I find I’m much more productive and efficient when I give 100% to one task and then move to the next.

But, when I’m doing a mindless task (like folding laundry), I find that doing another more “mindful” task at the same time doesn’t detract from my productivity or efficiency—in fact, pairing a mindless task with a mindful task can often make the mindless task far more enjoyable.

(And of course, it saves TONS of a time, and you know I’m all about that!)

Want to test it out this mindless/mindful multitasking idea?  

1: Start by making a quick list of your weekly “mindless” tasks.

These could be things like:

  • Folding laundry
  • Blow drying your hair
  • Cleaning
  • Walking
  • Prepping lunches
  • Driving to work/errands

2: Then make a list of more “mindful” tasks you could pair with the...

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How to Balance Competing Deadlines at Work

master everyday life Jun 18, 2020

Have you ever wondered how to handle competing deadlines at work?

If so, you’re not alone – having multiple projects due at the same time isn’t uncommon but figuring out how to get it all done can be tough.

I quickly encountered this problem during my very first job after college. I was serving as a paralegal for a large law firm in DC, which meant I worked for several “teams” of lawyers… none of whom communicated with each other.

(This meant I could have three big deadlines for three separate teams all on the same day… and I didn’t have a single “boss” I could talk with to help me sort out which project to do first.)

It was… stressful.

Over time, I developed a few strategies that helped me figure out exactly what to do when the dilemma of competing deadlines came knocking—and I’m going to spill them all below.

You ready?

Let’s dive right in.

Strategy 1: Work ahead

As much as possible, try to get...

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How to Make Everyday Decisions

manage everyday life Jun 11, 2020

I stared at the bare walls of my bedroom.

I had moved into a house with some roommates several months earlier, and I still hadn’t hung a single thing on my walls.

It wasn’t for lack of having things to hang – I had plenty – I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to hang and where I wanted to hang it.

I somehow thought that if I avoided hanging anything, I’d have a moment of inspiration and know exactly what I wanted to hang and where.

Problem was, this moment of inspiration never came.

And so my walls stayed white and empty for months.

Can you relate?

Do you constantly struggle to figure out what decision to make and obsess over what the “right” and “wrong” choice is?

If so, keep reading: I’m going to debunk a myth about “right” decisions and then give you a very practical three-step framework that has helped me make decisions and move ahead, rather than get stuck in endless circles trying to...

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How to Prepare for an Interview

find a job Jun 04, 2020

It was spring break during my senior year of college.

I was in Washington, DC for the very first time, walking (in heels) to my very first in-person interview for a “real job.”

I didn’t know what to expect—to be honest, I was more concerned with arriving to the correct place on time (I didn’t have google maps on my purple blackberry back then) than I was with the interview itself.

But once I arrived and sat in the fancy lobby, I felt nervous.

Was I wearing the right outfit? Could I explain why I wanted this job without stumbling over my words? I was about to find out… and that scared me.

(Spoiler: I ended up getting the job after a few tense weeks "waiting to hear back.")

**

If you’re prepping for an interview right now, friend, congratulations! I’ve been both the interviewer and the interviewee over the years, and today I’m sharing a few tips to help you feel as prepared and confident as possible.

(And no worries –...

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Car Maintenance 101

master everyday life May 28, 2020

I put the key into the ignition and glanced at the dashboard in my car.

Was that a new light blinking?

Ugh.

I reached over and grabbed my owner’s manual out of the glovebox and turned to the troubleshooting section, scanning the list of “warning symbols” until I found the one that was blinking.

It was telling me to “check engine.”

Was that important?

I called my dad.

It was.

Very important. Like so important that I called my boss, told him I’d be late to work, and drove straight to the car service place.

Have you ever felt a little lost when it comes to your car? You know to fill it up with gas when it gets low and maybe to take it in for a state inspection once a year or so… but outside of that, you feel like I did with the check engine light: pretty clueless.

I get you, sister.

If you want the 101 on making sure your car is as healthy as possible, below is a list of what I suggest you do. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but...

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