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What's the Total Cost?

I am a sucker for a good deal. I mean, I am the rare breed who loves going to Costco. But, today I'm throwing this out the window. My tip? Do less comparison shopping. When you look at the total cost of comparison shopping—including your time, not just the sticker price—you'll find it's rarely worth it. The time it takes to go to multiple stores, drive to the cheaper gas, or spend hours browsing online is more valuable than your savings. So, don't overthink it. Find so

10 Ways to Spend Money to Reduce Mealtime Stress

The number one stress we hear from moms is getting dinner on the table, so what better place to spend money to save time? To spend smartly, first identify what part of the meal is causing stress. Is it getting the food ready? Clean-up? Grocery shopping? Then try to spend to reduce that stress. For example... If you stress about planning: Order groceries online. You can shop from old orders or put items on repeat, saving you having to go to the store. This might even sav

You Can Buy Happiness

Ashley Williams, a professor at Harvard Business School, has studied over 100,000 people to understand the relationship between happiness, wealth, and time. She found that the happiest people (even at lower incomes) use money to buy time by working fewer hours, outsourcing, or spending out. This week, we'll dive into advice on how to make this all-too-important trade-off of money for time. Her findings show that spending as little as $40 on time saving measures can buy

How to Not Step on Legos

I secretly curse Legos multiple times each week. They seem to be found in the far corners of my house, and there is nothing more painful than stepping on one on my 2 AM trip to the bathroom. Which is why I'm obsessed with toy storage mats, play mats with drawstrings on the circumference that allows you to both contain the toys and clean-up in 10-seconds. You are welcome. #productivity #momhacks

A Lightweight Way to Keep in Touch

My team is distributed across the globe—in the Philippines, Dubai, Spain, and multiple US time zones. The past few weeks I've been focusing on how to make us feel like a 'team' even though none of sit together. We've started a simple task that has made us all more connected. When we log-in for the day, we each share three words that define that day. Mine today: Coaches: I'm holding a focus group to learn more about how we can make them more effective and their lives easier. C

A Tool to Help You Step Away from Your Inbox

Over the past few weeks, I had started becoming a bottleneck for my team. We manage most of our tasks through the project management tool, Asana. But, honestly, that started feeling like just another inbox. I was missing critical questions and overwhelmed by the volume. One of my team members had a great idea. She created a Google Sheet where she added her questions each day. She marked which were "blocking" and created columns for me to answer them directly. I've since roll

Your Two-List Strategy

I'm stealing a page from Warren Buffet this morning. 1. Make a list of 25 goals in your life. 2. Now circle your top 5. Great, those are your current focus. 3. But, here is where his strategy gets interesting. The other 20? According to Buffet, "Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.” In that vein, I've been numbering my priorities each week. It's hard

Just Show Me

Today's tip is simple. Use screen grabs. I work with Virtual Assistants to help me accomplish a ton in my life and business. Instead of writing out long descriptions of what I need to be done, I just use a screen recording software to show them. Less than a minute of documentation prevents future software fumbling and ensures we are on the same page. I use Screencastify. Here is a little screen grab for what I'd love for you to do today. Hint, hint...please share your favorit

My Magical Morning

I'm a morning person and how I start the first 30 minutes of my workday drastically affects my productivity. I thought a peek into my get-to-work routine might help inspire yours. I sit at my desk with my monitor. Dual screen doubles my productivity. Then I take a deep breath and start my Pomodoro timer. I check on my weekly goals spreadsheet, marking which I've completed and get a sense of what needs to happen today. I adjust priorities as needed. (At a startup, priorities c

Do the Most Important Things First

Today’s tip is so simple that I almost didn’t write it. Do the most important things first. When you look at your todo list for the day, what would you do if you only had an hour? Great. Do that. Better yet, do this for your week and complete your biggest priorities by Monday afternoon. You will remove the constant pressure or a grueling todo list and be amazed at what you can accomplish. So, it’s Monday morning, a perfect time to try this out. What can you tackle right now?

No is Better than Maybe

In starting my company, a ridiculous percent of my job is sales -- to potential investors, customers, partners, and employees. Sales is new for me. The learning curve has been excitingly steep. My most significant aha moment recently: ‘no’ is better than maybe. ‘Maybe’ wastes your time and precious mental space. While hoping that something will come through, you can’t move on to plan B. ‘No’ is a relief. Now you can fully pursue another opportunity. So two lessons today: firs

Stop Looking

The average person spends 55 minutes looking for things each day. With kids, I'm sure that number is even higher. (How do my kids' shoes get misplaced every morning??) So today, let's grab some of that precious time back with these tips: Create homes. Designate a place in your home for key items like keys, kid shoes, and your purse. Use technology. Buy a Tile for your keys, so you can find them with your phone. And, use Google Home or Alexa to find your phone by ringing it ev

Save Those Fingers

Do you find yourself typing the same things over again each day? For me, the list is endless: A description of Uplift The link to book time with me Directions for getting into my office Enter time-saving hotkey services. You can insert these text blocks into your work with a few clicks. Some of these even do automatic math for you and automatically close parenthesis (which is surprisingly zen-inducing). Try 'em: ProKeys (Chrome) Phrase Express (Mac / Windows / Android / iOS)

Mom Hack: Ask an Expert

I'm a questioner (read more about what that means here). One of my faults is spending too much time researching and searching for the 'perfect' answer. This tendency is one of my biggest time sucks. Research shows that people who are Maximizers (trying to get the best possible option) are less happy than Satisficers (people who are OK with 'good enough'). I've adopted a new approach: turning to the experts in my life. Picking a date night location? Ask my foodie friend. Deci

Declutter Your Inbox

Few things feel better than getting rid of the unnecessary. When I'm stressed, I try to declutter some part of my life, giving me a sense of control over at least something. Today, my inbox. I unsubscribed to over 1,500 newsletters. Yep, I don't need to hear from Burpee Gardens or that random Yoga place in Chicago that I went to once. Before you object that this sounds like much work, Unroll.me helped me do it in under 15-minutes.  I feel like I've shed a layer. I'll save at

Grab a Puzzle Piece Instead of that Cookie

I'm a big fan of breaks during the workday. Breaks are proven to make you more productive and produce higher quality work. But, so often since I work from home, break equals a snack. I'll eat out of boredom or routine. Google DC had a brilliant solution: setting up a puzzle in their kitchen. The puzzle became the proverbial water cooler of the office, giving people something to do besides grab a free bag of Popchips. I've started doing the same, setting up a puzzle to work on

Shift Gears

I preach the benefits of breaks regularly, but I'm still always surprised at how effective they are in my own life. Today's story: I was on a three-hour train ride this morning, in which it was hard to take real "breaks" since I was boxed in my seat. I spent a solid two hours working on a framework, ending with something that felt OK. The train arrived, and I grabbed a coffee and went to the bathroom. During that micro break, I had a breakthrough and completely rewrote everyt

Build In a Buffer

I'm perpetually late. Even worse, I completely stress out about this often. So, I've been trying a trick from Greg McKeown's book, Essentialism: Build in a buffer. Pretend that everything is going to take 50% longer than you predict. The research shows that this buffer is relatively accurate. For example, psychology students were asked to estimate how long it would take to finish their theses (averaging 33.9 days) and what it would look like 'if everything went as poorly as i

Eat That Frog

Look at your to-do list. What is the last thing you want to do? What is the item that keeps falling to the next day, but still needs to be done? This week I've been tackling my frogs first -- the ugly things that need to be done, but tend not to. Every morning is painful, but it's working. I'm motivated to get my frog done quickly, so I can just get on with my day. I also feel such a sense of accomplishment after it's done. The rest of the day feels easy. Stop procrastinating

Banning Busy

I'm a huge fan of Laura Vanderkam, who studies how professionals use and perceive their time.  In her new book, Off the Clock, (out on May 29th), she surveyed over 900 working parents about a specific Monday to learn about how they were using and perceiving time. The outcome: tips on how to build skills for feeling less busy and getting more done into daily life. Who doesn't want that? Avoiding the busy-trap has been a huge theme for me in 2018. I want to create space for the

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