How Do Pregnant Ladies Do This?

I am 34 weeks pregnant today and I am exhausted.

My plans have been to work up until the last possible day so I can maximize my time with my new bundle of joy. But I AM SO EXHAUSTED! Like getting through the day everyday is so much that I can barely do anything at home. Cook/clean/etc. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else feels the same or if anyone has any tricks of the trade to make the next 6 weeks go by in the most productive way possible.

So in case you’re wondering where my posts have gone and fell off the Earth, I blame pregnancy. I started about 5 posts and was never able to finish them. I will be trying to post more regularly in the future. Let’s hope I can get some energy back.

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Organizing 101: Home and Office

Last week, on Boss Lady Wednesday, I posted about some introductory Management Lessons that I felt were very relevant to the multiple jobs I have held.

This week, I would like to post about some organizational tips/tools that have helped me to manage not only my 9-5 but my home in a much better way. Keep in mind these tips are very simple, but if you had not used them previously, it will make a huge difference in your keeping things together.

  1. Lists! If you want to get anything done, whether it’s chores around the house, grocery shopping, etc. Making a list helps you in one of two ways. Just writing down what you need to do will help you recall it later on – even if the list is unavailable to you. If you leave a list for your husband (or children, I guess) it is easier for them to see what you want rather than having to remember it before you come home. What makes this even more worth your time is making the list as soon as it comes into your head – I need to do blank tomorrow. Write it down and then tomorrow you know you can reference your list to get everything done.
  2. Calendars. I used to be terrible about this but honestly, I will not make any plans or appointments without checking my iCal (on my phone) which is automatically populated with my work calendar. Say goodbye to missing dates with friends or doctor’s appointments. Note: If you do not have a smart phone, using a date planner or mini calendar that is easy to carry around will also work. I personally use my cell phone – and I back it up on my iCloud in case anything happens to it. 
  3. Doodle.com. This website is a great way to schedule events, lunches, dinners, meetings, etc. with a group of friends or clients who have various email clients (i.e. – they are not all on your blank.com exchange server). Doodle allows the host of the event to choose a few dates to meet up and then each person can vote on which day works for them. This tool has really helped to make last minute meetings and dinners work swimmingly.
  4. Filtering your emails. If you only use one email or you use one email for multiple purposes, it makes your life so much more efficient to filter out your emails by a specified category. This way you can check the ones you know you need to look at and save the other emails for another time, if they are not so important for you.
  5. Pinterest. Forget your favorites bar -it’s a thing of the past, pinterest is one of the most incredible websites you can use. Find a recipe online that you want to try? Pin It. Find a decor piece that you like? Pin It. Personally, I even have the Pin It button right on my browser so I can pin any website whenever I want. It’s great for more than just lifestyle/home websites, you can pin anything so reading tips online about how to run your business or a great tool that you can use to make your life more efficient really helps and it’s all in one place and easily accessible with internet access.
  6. For my hoarders/collectors: Keeping your life organized is much easier when you don’t have things you don’t need in the way. My advice is to start looking at things from the point of view – “is this functional? how often do I use it? do I use it at all?” This step is much more complicated than the other 5, but if you can get yourself to a point where you are only keeping this around that are beneficial and removing clutter from your home it is much easier to keep things looking nice.

These tips are designed to help you manage your time and your life. What helps you keep your life organized? Are any of these tips helpful for you? Other questions or comments? Leave below.

Management Lessons 101

Although I have only been a “Manager” for a couple of months now and most of my job doesn’t involve direct managing of employees, I have definitely experienced “managing” enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Here are some quick tips for managers who need a refresh.

  1. If you make a mistake, own up to it. It is disheartening to watch your manager blame or use a “we” when everyone in the room knows whose fault it is (not that your m.o. should be the blame game). If you are honest about your mistakes, your employees are more likely to feel comfortable being honest about theirs and they are more likely to respect you – we are all human here.
  2. Be an active participant in what your employees are doing. You should know all of their jobs inside and out, so when a problem arises you can be the most knowledgeable on the subject, not the other way around. Also, when an employee leaves you will know the work and the kind of person you want to be their replacement. The more you need your employees for every little thing, the less valuable you are as an employee.
  3. Keep your direct reports in the loop. When you can share some information about upcoming company-wide issues or successes, let your team know so they can distribute the information downward. Letting your employees know about wins and losses lets them feel like they are part of a team not just a stiff company.
  4. Offer to help. If you see an employee that looks like they are overly stressed offer to help them but actually provide assistance. Maybe you know a better way to help solve a problem they are having or can take something off their plate to help them meet a deadline. Even if you don’t, they will feel like you are concerned about them, in a positive way.
  5. Acknowledge their wins. If someone on your team is promoted, announce it. If an employee receives a letter of thanks from a client, share it. This will help to create a culture where your teams wants wins. Appreciating your employees will go a long way.

These 5 tips will definitely help you encourage a positive team environment with growth for both you as a manager and for them as your employees.