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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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How often should you go to the doctor?

manage everyday life May 21, 2020

“Your Vitamin B levels are really low,” she told me.

I was surprised. I was young and felt healthy. Something was wrong with me?

But I hadn’t been to the doctor in years. Once I moved to Washington DC after college, it just didn’t feel necessary… and it also felt like a whole lot of work.

(Finding a doctor in a new city, booking an appointment, taking time off work… yeah, no thanks).

But, after a few friends (kindly) forced me to figure it all out, I did.

And that’s when I learned that I was dangerously low on Vitamin B levels.

(In case you’re wondering, Vitamin B affects energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism—among other things).

The doctor told me to start taking a supplement and I was able to get my levels back up again after a few months, but the whole experienced convinced me that regular doctors appointments weren’t optional.

They were necessary.

If you’re feeling like I was a few years ago –...

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Should you have a credit card?

manage your money May 14, 2020
 

I recently taught a live budgeting masterclass, and one of the participants asked a really good question during our Q&A time:

Should I have a credit card?

Much of the conversation around credit cards can feel overwhelming and even a little controversial. Some people love them and have several with various perks/discounts and others believe they’re not at all helpful to have and it can be tough to figure out what’s right for you.

If you’re trying to do just that, I recommend asking yourself this question:

Would having a credit card tempt me to buy things I technically don’t have the money to pay for right now?

If the answer is yes, stick with your debit card and/or cash and don’t get a credit card. Going into credit card debt is never wise—and paying off the debt is pricey, because you accrue interest (at a very high rate) on whatever you don’t pay off in full each month and this interest adds up quickly.

If the answer is no, go...

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The Magic of 5 Minutes

manage everyday life May 07, 2020
 

Want to know a secret?

Starting your day with focus and intention doesn’t require getting up super early or having a carefully crafted schedule.

It doesn’t require a magic potion, hot lemon water, or a cold shower, either.

In fact, it just requires one thing: setting your alarm for five minutes earlier.

Yes, just five.

Here’s where the magic comes in.

If you use that five minutes to do one or two small things that calm your heart and remind you of what matters most, you’ll find that your entire day feels better.

You won’t be rushed, frantic, and already late the second your alarm goes off.

Instead, you’ll be reminded of what matters – and that can have a profound impact on how you act and think throughout the day.

Want to try it out?

(I seriously recommend it – and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it, too).

Here are a few ideas on what to do during that five minutes – feel free to pick one or two or choose...

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