The One Thing You Should Be Doing If You Want To Be More Productive

Being productive requires you to be motivated. But after years of juggling work, children, social commitments, workouts, new diets, hair appointments, grocery shopping, laundry, needy family members, and the unexpected monkey wrenches called life, motivation is hard to find. So, in order to stay motivated, you have to take breaks and allow yourself time to recharge. Whether you take five minutes to sit in your car in silence before walking into the house after work, or you take a day off to go to the spa, you have to take a step back in order to move forward.

Taking time for yourself should happen weekly. Otherwise, you lose motivation and your productivity drops off. So, schedule a massage, get a manicure, take a long nap, or read a few chapters in your book: just do something that is 100% about you.

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted and no solutions are searched for.  — Maya Angelou


How to Handle a Workplace Dispute

Workplace disputes, while hopefully uncommon, do occur. Usually, the actual dispute is not the issue: it is how you handle the dispute. Here’s what you should do:

Pick Your Battles. A huge part of handling workplace disputes is knowing when you should engage and when you shouldn’t. Not all comments, actions, or situations warrant your attention or response. So before you engage, decide whether it is something that even matters.

Remove Emotion. If you do find yourself in an office debate or disagreement, you have to remove emotion. This means no yelling and no tears. Because holding back emotion can be difficult, try giving yourself time to calm down before you address the issue. Sometimes, calming down means taking a breath or two before you speak. And, sometimes, calming down means discussing the issue hours later. Just make sure that you are able to express your position clearly without losing your cool.

Don’t Make it Personal. Keep your words professional and respectful. There is great power in proving your point without hitting below the belt.

Move On. After the dispute is worked out, move on. Don’t dwell on the issue and don’t run around the office gossiping about it.


How Successful People Get Their Seat at the Table

We all know those women that are extremely accomplished and on top of their game. They have a seat at the table and their voices are heard. But how did they get there? What did they do?

Here are a few things successful women do to stay on top:

  1. They go the extra mile. Successful women don’t just do enough to get by, they do more than what’s required. They go above and beyond because they know that in order to gain a much coveted seat at the table, they need to work twice as hard. And, keep in mind, they didn’t get a seat at the table after two weeks of hard work. They showed their superiors that they are consistently adding value to the organization. They earned their seat.
  2. They speak up.  Successful women know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you want something, say something. If there is a new project that you want to be involved in, go to the person in charge of assigning tasks and say something like: “I would love to be involved in ‘project X.’ My experience studying abroad during college may help the marketing team with regard to reaching audiences abroad.” This way, you express interest, offer assistance, and communicate your qualifications. Even if you’re not the right fit for this particular opportunity, offering to help doesn’t go unnoticed.
  3. They ask for help. Women at the top ask for advice and mentorship just like the rest of us. Having a tribe that helps guide and advise you is important. Communicate your goals to your mentor/sponsor and ask for advice regarding obstacles you may face.

Ten Things Every Professional Should Carry In Her Handbag

If you’re like most women, you carry a large purse that holds some of your most prized possessions. But when you dig through your Louis Vuitton, never-full tote bag, do you actually find what you need? Do you even have everything a professional should have? My guess is no. So, here are the ten essential items you be should carrying in your purse:

  1. Business Cards. This should go without saying but, a lot of women forget to carry business cards. If you want to be taken seriously, carry your business cards and give them out. This Kate Spade card holder is perfection.
  2. Mini Lint Roller. Dog hair is cute on your dog, not on your slacks.
  3. Small Makeup Bag. Unless you’re flawless and can go without makeup, you need to carry a small makeup bag so that you can freshen up your makeup mid-day. Travel size versions of your favorite mascara, concealer, and lipstick are ideal. Keep them in a small makeup bag like this one.
  4. Hygiene Products. Deodorant, travel tooth brush, mints . . . you get the point.
  5. Fashion Tape. Don’t fall victim to a gaping button-down shirt.
  6. Tide Pen. Well, because, spills happen.
  7. A Mirror. Check your teeth for food . . . and lipstick.
  8. Tylenol. A headache can quickly ruin your day.
  9. Lotion. Don’t wear killer heels and have ashy ankles. Carry lotion and use it .
  10. A Nail File. A broken or split nail is the worst. These mini nail files are our favorite.


3 Ways to Boost Your Confidence At Work

Confidence in the workplace is not something that comes naturally to most women. Most of us constantly work on maintaining a level of confidence that allows us to compete in the same arena as the over-confident men we often encounter. Whether we are negotiating a raise or simply raising our voices louder than our normal whisper, we have to boost our confidence to have a fighting chance at success. So, here’s how:

  1. Identify and eliminate sabotaging thoughts. The number one murderer of confidence is our own thoughts. When we constantly question our decisions and convince ourselves that any idea we come up with is stupid, we end up staying quiet in meetings and passing on opportunities. If you find yourself consumed in thoughts about how you aren’t qualified for your position, try to stop those thoughts and make a commitment to not play those negative thoughts on repeat all day. When you make a conscious decision to pay attention to the inner dialogue in your head, you learn how to change it to support you, rather than hinder you.
  2. Write down your accomplishments. Sometimes, all we need is a simple reminder of everything we have accomplished to remember that we are qualified to do the task at hand. So, keep a running list of things you’ve accomplished: big and small. This not only comes in handy when you need a confidence boost, but it also comes in handy when it’s time to negotiate a salary raise and you can support your desired salary with concrete examples of things you accomplished within the past year.
  3. Listen to music. Listening to music that sparks your inner Beyonce is a great way to boost your confidence. Music can be therapeutic and can help shift your view point. Compile a playlist of songs and if possible, tune in while at work when you need a pick me up.