My Morning Routine to Increase Productivity

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Hopefully Monday wasn’t too rough and you’re now in the flow of a wonderful new week! Over the last couple of months I have been focusing on how to maximize my productivity throughout the day.  It’s a journey and I do not have it all figured out yet.  But I have learned several tricks [like my sleeping hack I blogged about last week] that really help, and one of them is having a solid morning routine.


Here’s my schedule starting from the minute that I wake up:

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Current Faves: Apps, Podcasts, Business Leaders

Hey y’all!

It’s finally fall and I feel like I’m living my best mini-pumpkin overloaded life over here. [But seriously, I just snagged a bag of mini white and orange pumpkins from Tom Thumb…insert *squeal* here].

As we enter into the new season and the start of Q4, my goal-setting and personal development self is operating at an all-time high. I think it also might have something to do with the fact that Rosh Hashana was last week, which is the Jewish New Year for anyone who doesn’t celebrate. 🙂 The New Year always brings out my desire to create new resolutions or at least revisit old ones. [Check out out my 2017 goals and H2 goals.] I plan on writing up my Q4 goals in the near future!

Today I want to chat about some of my favorite podcasts, apps and business leaders that I hope help you in your day to day lives.  I am always on the search for the best tools and thought leaders to help me become a more efficient businesswoman and now blogger/influencer.

My Favorite Apps, Podcasts and Business Leaders are listed below.

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Women Who Thrive

It’s no secret that if you work in male-dominated industries like Oil & Gas, Tech or STEM-related professions, it can be challenging to find your path.  Women have made significant headway over the last 50 years, now making up approximately 57% of the US labor force and are earning more graduate degrees than their male counterparts.  However, only 26% of employees in computer and mathematical jobs are women, and female employees are still earning $.78 to the dollar compared to men.  (See my thoughts on the pay gap and other issues affecting woman in the workplace here.) There are various reasons for the disparity and much work to be done to bridge the gap. Getting engaged and taking the following steps can potentially move the issue forward and help women thrive:

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Teals and Goals

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Today I want to talk about goals, specifically goals for H2 (i.e. in business lingo, half two, or the second half of the year). I think it’s super important to think about what you envision for yourself in the year ahead / what you aspire towards and then get it down on paper. There’s something about writing it down (or typing it out) that makes it more real. There’s always hoopla around goal setting in the self-help / coaching (business or personal) world at the start of the year. However I think that it’s just as noteworthy to pause mid-year, reflect, and goal-set for the remaining months. Mind you, your goals might be the exact same as what you started with in January and that’s totally fine. However my bet is you might have a few tweaks to your list! 😉

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We Are All Wonder Women

Happy International Women’s Day!

I know I’m a few days late but it’s kind of like celebrating a birthday…you get the whole birthday month, or at least a week, right? 😉

This holiday has inspired me to think about some of the major issues impacting women in the workforce (and perhaps women in general) today. From my experience, one of the most prevalent issues that I see is the lack of standing up for oneself. I can admit that I have been guilty of not standing up for myself at work, not recognizing my value and not asserting myself enough. I can also proudly say that over the last couple of years (especially since I have come into leadership positions) I have focused on getting better in these areas and have grown significantly because of it. I have gained an enormous amount of strength through the support of my husband and family and through female leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and her LEAN IN message.  I am also blessed to say that the company I work for supports me tremendously and has sent me to women’s leadership training where I have learned to use my voice and negotiate for myself.

Research shows that women do not negotiate their salaries as much as men do, women tend to not speak up as much as men in meetings and women get paid approximately 83% that of a man’s salary.   While many studies have been done on these issues, I can personally attest to them from my own professional experience and that of my female co-workers.

I work in IT servicing the Oil and Gas Industry and needless to say, it is a male-dominated profession.  I have been very blessed in my career to work for very supportive companies and bosses that have fostered my career growth, have helped me grow and have encouraged me to lead.  (Not to mention, I have worked my butt off… 🙂 ) However, even amidst all of that, as I grew into leadership roles, I noticed that I was hesitant to speak up in meetings, I didn’t feel confident in sharing my opinion and I felt very alone.  As I moved up through the ranks, the amount of women in leadership positions dwindled.  I also didn’t have many female mentors to lean on, if any at all.

Slowly but surely, with a strong push from my husband and my company, I have gained confidence in myself and have realized my value within the organization.  I am not afraid to speak my mind, to take (calculated) risks, to negotiate on behalf of myself and my fellow female co-workers and I aim to help other women around me succeed.  I have spent hours on the phone with female co-workers who were almost to the point of tears, telling me that they feel unsupported, unheard and that they feel like no one is invested in their growth.  While a lot of times their feelings are just, I encourage them to look inward and at their own behavior that they’re projecting.  What are they doing to get the attention they deserve in meetings and from their bosses? What are they doing when they get their salary offer or proposed level — are they renegotiating if they’re unsatisfied? What are they doing when they’re in a meeting — are they speaking up, making sure to take ownership of a part of the presentation material, or are they sitting in the corner keeping quiet?  Once we discuss these things, a lot of time there is an “aha” moment.  (I hope I do not sound harsh as I do realize how difficult the implementation of these behaviors can be and have been there myself.)

We must respect and value ourselves as women, employees, co-workers, members of society, moms, sisters (and any other roles we play) if we hope to get this respect back from others.  We must speak up for ourselves and we need to acknowledge our value. There is an element of personal responsibility here that I believe we should own.  On the other end of the spectrum, we need to encourage and support other women in their personal growth, as well as demand that corporate America and society start changing their actions regarding women’s pay and overall equality.

I feel like I have gone through a lot of (sometimes uncomfortable, emotional) important growth over the last couple of years in regards to this topic and would love to hear your own experience.  If you have any questions or are looking for advice, let me know.  I  know that this is not an easy thing for a lot of us.

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂 Thank you for reading these thoughts and remember, we are all Wonder Women.

Graphic is by: Satrun Twins Art Shop