Sunday, September 29, 2019

How to Be More Productive at Work

Hey everyone!

Whether you work in an office building, outside, at home or somewhere in between, being your most productive self at work can be a challenge. For many of us, we spend the standard 40 hours [if not more] per week working, but not getting nearly enough done

Being more productive at work reduces stress, helps you stay more organized and improves your attitude

Who doesn't want a little more of that?

The idea of getting more done at work without stress or long hours sounds appealing; but how do you get there? Here are a few things you can do now to help you be more productive.

Curate Your Space. 

This is my #1 suggestion to immediately spruce up your desk or area, and make it more comfortable to be in for the whole day. Enhance your workspace with reminders of things you love, personalized accessories, or bring the outside in with plants and greenery (some studies show that more green-like space in the workplace boosts cognition by 26%.¹). Surrounding yourself with familiar things creates an extension of your home, family, and friends. 

Pack Healthy Snacks. 

The 3:00 afternoon slump is SO real and, in many cases, occurs more than once throughout the day. You already know that food gives you a boost of energy but healthy foods will keep you fuller, longer. Also, retrieving your snack from the kitchen will require you to get your body moving. Fueling and moving your body will help keep you more alert. 

Download Helpful Apps.

You may need a little help from technology to stay productive. There is no shame in my game, I use a variety of apps to collaborate with my team (i.e., Slack), help me stay on top of meetings, track my projects (i.e., ToDoist), and sketch out ideas (i.e., Evernote or Bamboo Paper). 

Take Your Lunch Break.

One of the biggest lessons I've learned this past summer is to take an actual legit lunch break. This hour belongs to me—and you—and I have forced myself to eat lunch away from my desk, go downstairs to the gym, or do important errands. I used to work through lunch or eat at my desk but that never works. You think you're getting more work done but what you're actually accomplishing is burnout. 

Eliminate Distractions. 

Gossip at the water cooler, chatty Cathy from accounting, social media notifications are all there pulling our attention and focus and threatening our productivity. Who hasn't gone down the rabbit hole every now and then? Distractions cause us to lose track of time and then work doubly hard to recover and pick up where we left off. Move to a focus room or wear headphones, if permitted. I usually wear headphones as a signal that I am unavailable for shooting the breeze. At the same time, listening to my favorite playlist or audiobook, not only helps me focus on the task(s) at hand, but makes the day go faster.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

How to Stand Out from the Crowd

The State of Black Girls Networking Event

Nowadays, it seems like we are living in a society of people doing and wearing whatever—and being whomever—they want. Despite this group of brave people “doing them”, there is a larger number of people who are under pressure to adopt a predetermined set of social norms to be accepted.

Don’t go against the grain. Go with the flow. Don’t rock the boat. These are just a few phrases I can hear in my head right now.

Have you ever felt like that in life?

Has anyone ever said those words to you?

At the risk of sounding like a high school valedictorian, I say, that your particular presence on this earth cannot be duplicated or replaced. Each one of us is uniquely created and has specific gifts and talents to bring to the table. Your voice matters and it is needed. *drops mic and descends proverbial soapbox*

But, what can you do to stand apart from the crowd of conformity? I’ve put together a “Be” list of behaviors to help you show up and stand out; it looks like making the “Be” list isn’t such a bad thing. See what I did there? lol

How to stand out in a crowd


How many of you knew this would be number one? Being confident is vital to helping you stand out because you set the tone of the interaction or situation before anyone else. When you walk into a room, your confidence tells people I’m resourceful, I’m funny, or I’m smart. But how do you do that exactly? Walk [or sit] upright, lift your head, make eye contact with others, initiate greetings or introductions. These behaviors prove that you’re not afraid to be seen and your excited to share who you are with others.


I love this one because the best thing about being you is that you’re the only one! Even identical twins who mirror features can turn out to be totally different people. Don’t be so willing to dumb yourself down or give away your individuality to fit in. Embrace who you are. Not in pretense, but with a self-awareness that identifies your strengths, your weakness, your quirks, and says I’m different because…and own it!


Positive people are infectious, they are inspiring, they draw others near them, and they can flip the script—turning negatives into…well...positives. Being positive can help lift others out of depression and difficult situations, and can help you stand out as a beacon of light. No one wants to be around negative people, except other negative people! If you are overly critical, only see the bad in situations and people, or can’t smile you might stand out, but not in a good way.


Possibly one of the worst things you can do is go into any situation unprepared—literally or metaphorically. Standing out means putting yourself out there to be noticed, vulnerable, judged and, yes, criticized. Be prepared that not everyone will buy what you sell. Some may be jealous, some may be indifferent, and some may not understand you at all. But even if you experience rejection, don’t internalize it. Don’t turn mutinous and put yourself down by discounting all the things we just agreed will make you stand out.

Finally, BE READY for what happens next. Now that you have everyone’s attention, what are you prepared to do with the opportunity?