Imagine achieving every goal you set yourself each morning and finishing the day with a self-satisfied smile, knowing you have done everything you needed and wanted to. Some people swear by productivity tools, others by to do lists and prioritization. Below we take a look at the best ways to improve your productivity in life and work.
Tips for improving your productivity
In the absence of being able to add an extra hour or two to our days, making the most of our time means either working harder and longer or smarter. Given that lack of sleep is responsible for lost productivity and costs the United States around $411 billion a year, working smarter is the far better option. Working smarter means utilizing productivity tools well and making a few changes to our daily routine.
1. Mono-tasking: First and foremost, ditch the multi-tasking. Although you might feel like you’re getting more done, you’re not. Our brains aren’t designed to focus on more than one thing at a time. Research has shown that so-called multi-tasking is more ‘mental juggling’ and actually decreases productivity. Instead, focus on one thing at a time; you’ll complete it faster and at a higher quality than if you are trying to do more than one thing at a time.
2. Each minute is precious: Make the most of your day by rising early and using your commute time well. Instead of scrolling through your social feed while your train hurtles you toward the office, get ahead on emails, organize your to-do list for the day, or run-through a daily meditation or mindfulness practice. Meditation and mindfulness calms your inner chatter and improves memory which supports better focus and clarity of thought. It also reduces stress and improves emotional control which can aid logical decision making and help us to remain calm.
Having a regular wake and sleep time helps your body to make the most of sleep – when it repairs itself from the day you’ve had and prepares for the day to come – thus boosting productivity in your wakeful hours. Rising early has also been shown to improve people’s productivity. Early rising is linked to higher conscientiousness, greater happiness and being more proactive.
3. Make a list and prioritize tasks: Having a list of things that need accomplishing each day helps you to maintain focus. It will also provide a sense of achievement as you tick things off which can help with motivation levels. For a productivity-boosting to do list, try prioritizing tasks and working on difficult or harder to accomplish tasks at the time of day when you have greater focus.
4. Take care of yourself: To improve productivity and maintain a higher level of efficiency, we need to take care of ourselves. This means taking breaks throughout the day so we can focus on the tasks we need to do, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep each night. Nothing kills productivity faster that a foggy brain from lack of sleep or a sluggish body that is relying on caffeine and sugar boosts to get it through the day! Take care of yourself so that your mind remains sharp and your body can keep up with everything you have planned.
If you feel the need to boost your productivity, refrain from putting in more hours at your desk. Instead, take a step back and analyze the way you spend your time. A few simple adjustments so you’re working smarter may well be the answer you were looking for and yield the productivity boost you yearned for without compromising your work life balance.
Contributed by Amanda Lasater
As 2019 approaches, it's important to think about the steps you need to take to ensure that you are setting yourself up for a productive, effective, and enjoyable 2019.
At Personalized Solutions, we advise all of our clients to start simple and complete our 7 first steps towards organized living worksheet. You only get 24-hours in each day, let's make sure you are spending each moment where it REALLY counts.
Creating your organization strategy is a personal yet vital part to setting yourself up for success.
Fail to plan, plan to fail.
We are here to help, let's make 2019 AMAZING!
There is nothing quite like jumping out of your comfort zone in a massive way...
Let me start with point A: I am not a fan of being filmed. Much like most people, I am self conscious about how I look, the way my voice sounds, and of what others will think. I am human and even though I am mostly confident, there are always those scary, shadows of doubt.
2018 has been the year of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and that is what has led us into this new realm...videos!
I hope you will follow along as we provide business and lifestyle tips that are geared to help you lead a more stylish, organized, and productive life. Each video is aimed to come back to the overarching theme of:
Bear with me as I get used to this, nothing is ever close to perfect the first time around but I know that if I stick with it, things can only go up from here.
You can look forward to learning a lot more about what we do at Personalized Solutions, what my struggles as an entrepreneur are, some of my favorite lifestyle tips, travel destinations, and so much more!
As always, I appreciate your support (please subscribe!) and I look forward to connecting with everyone even more!
Lots of Love,
Jessica Leila Adnani
Karen Nowicki, the founder of Phoenix Business Radio X and I met in December of 2017 when I was fortunate enough to be a guest on her and JoAnn Holland's show, Ladies Leadership Circle.
After that first meeting, I knew Karen was a Phoenix business leader that I wanted to know more about.
Karen began her career as a teacher for the Kyrene School district. When it came time to do her masters, she decided against an educational leadership program and instead went with a masters in organization management. Her studies led her deeper into business, thus propelling her into an integrative coaching certificate which resulted in a new career as a consultant and coach.
She spent eight years building a coaching practice that was both personal and professional. She was also the co-owner of a social media marketing company, 99 Dollar Social. 1.5 years ago she sold the company which helped her husband fulfill his dreams in opening his own auto shop, Chandler Auto Repair and Service.
Karen then decided to hire her own business coach to determine what her next move was going to be. She had been so successful with the sale of her company, she desired guidance on what was next in fulfilling her journey. Through this coach she was challenged to do a podcast.
"I wanted to find a way to meet new people that I wanted to work with. My coach said, you've got 48 hours and I want you to research podcasting and do your first podcast, even if you don't do another one - at least you'll know if this is a good fit. So I found Business Radio X and I knew right away this was who I wanted to work with. They are all about three things - accelerating relationships, increasing visibility, and creating quality content. For me, it was more than just a podcast, it was opening another opportunity for revenue."
Karen's radio empire began June 5th 2017. (Happy Anniversary!!!) She was licensed to be Business Radio X in the Southwest with the first studio being the Phoenix location.
"The idea is not only for me to be in front of business leaders, but to give that opportunity to other business owners through hosting their own shows at the studio. In less than a year we now have nine sponsors, business owners who host and sponsor their own shows, and as of June 4th we are moving into a new home with MAC6. At 53, this is the most exciting thing that I have done so far. It is a legacy business that I can either sell or give to my children. This is the opportunity to have an exit plan."
Karen is certainly building an empire. Her shows are listened to by thousands every week and her expansion plans throughout Arizona are in the works. She also knows nearly every business leader in Phoenix, proving she is a woman to know and watch.
Karen, thank you for your leadership in Arizona's business community. You are a beautiful human being inside and out and we love collaborating with you.
Follow Karen and Phoenix Business Radio:
Scott Parker is an Arlington, Virginia businessman who has accomplished more by the age of 35 then most do in a lifetime.
I met Scott years ago at a bar in Arlington when out with friends. He was really nice and mentioned he owned our neighborhood hot spot, A-Town and that my friends and I should check it out for brunch. In the years to follow, Parker has gone on to be a part owner in eleven different establishments throughout the DC, MD, VA metro.
Five restaurants: A-Town, Don Tito, Don Taco, Barley Mac, The GOAT
Three VaporFi franchises
Two DogThrive locations
One original concept boxing gym: BASH Boxing
To say this guy is busy is an understatement. Social media has given me the ability to lurk on Scott's day-to-day and that is what led me to asking for this interview. He wakes up every day around 5am, gets a workout in, and begins his daily to-do list. He is also very family oriented which we can all appreciate, I know how hard it is to balance work and family.
So let's dig in!
You started at A-Town and then expanded your reach into all different arenas, let's talk about the timelines and motivations.
"A-Town opened in August of 2012, Don Tito March 2015, Don Taco March 2016, Barley Mac March 2016, and the GOAT November 2017. The DogThrive concept is an original one, created from scratch. We have two locations, one in Annapolis and one in Gambrills, opened in November 2016. Vaporfi is a franchise based out of Miami and I own a part of three locations in the DMV, opened December 2014. BASH boxing is an original concept, we are planning on two Arlington locations - one in Rosslyn set to open in July and one in Ballston, hopefully in December.
I wanted to get into other small business industries and concepts. Each new industry I went into I was operations and marketing guy, I'd then partner with genius level talent, for example, with DogThrive my partner has trained thousands of dogs.
VaporFi was a trend thing, saw a lot of people doing really well in it, overall it's done well.
Bash boxing is an original concept, and I'm unsure if we will franchise it or not."
Tell me more about BASH, I am really into boxing right now so this concept excites me.
"Our first location will have a class max of 36 people, classes are 45 minutes long, and there is 1 instructor. I chose boxing because it's a workout that builds confidence and helps people get aggression out. It's really hot right now and it's different than what is out there."
You've achieved a lot, what are the top three things that you do or things you'd offer as advice to others who want to achieve the same kind of success?
It's finally official!
March 15th we celebrated the launch of Personalized Solutions Scottsdale and it was perfection!
The event was held at the stunning Museum of the West in Old Town Scottsdale - the only Smithsonian affiliate on the West Coast. We were joined by the President of the Museum, Mike Fox as well as multiple members of the board. We had over 100 local residents in attendance, media coverage from So Scottsdale! magazine, and a fantastic life in luxury raffle with over $1800 of luxurious goodies - including a stay at our favorite Scottsdale resort, The Andaz!
In addition to celebrating our launch, we honored the Women of the Year for Women of Scottsdale and East Valley Women. Two phenomenal ladies that inspire in everything they do, Margaret and Nancy, congratulations!
Truth be told, I had never stepped foot in Arizona until September 28th 2017. A DC client had asked me to attend a meeting on her behalf and off I went.
My first evening at the Andaz I attended a charity event that was being hosted by the hotel and that is when I met JoAnn Holland and Debbie Gaby. We chatted throughout the event and went to dinner together afterwards. They invited me to attend another charity event two nights later, Horses and Hot Rods. This event was the pre-event for The Arizona Heart Association's Heart Ball in November. That evening I met more wonderful people and decided I'd return for the Heart Ball.
In November I had such a great time that I began seriously considering Arizona as the next city for a Personalized Solutions office...it mixed fantastic weather, kind people, and a desert, cosmopolitan vibe. The Phoenix economy is also one of the fastest growing in our nation, another perk!
During this trip I attended a Women of Scottsdale luncheon as well as an East Valley Women meeting. I met more lovely women and decided that I needed to return again in December to really decide if this was the next step for my business.
In December I returned, signed a lease, and began the transition planning from DC to AZ.
End of January, we landed in Phoenix and haven't looked back!
I am so thrilled to be a Phoenician and a contributing member of this vibrant business community. Thank you again to everyone who helped welcome us this month, we sincerely appreciate your time and support.
For more photos, click here!
Meet Chef Ben Rubin, Founder of AllSpice Hospitality.
Chef Ben and I have been working together to create perfectly planned parties and menus to my clientele for the past three years. He is hands down one of my favorite people to work with (not only is his food delicious, but he is hilarious!) a rare but great combination in the hospitality industry.
He began to refine his journey into professionally cooking, seven years ago with a 22 month program at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. During his time at the Institute, he completed two externships. The first, working in the kitchen on a Celebrity Cruise Line ship for three months, producing meals for 2,200 people a day! During this time he saw 14 Caribbean countries, worked with staff that represented 86 countries, on a boat of 5,000+ people.
After his time on the ship, Ben went to Atlanta where he worked at one of the top Greek restaurants in the country, Kyma. He spent ten months there and loved every second of it.
Upon completing school, Chef Ben moved to Brazil where he spent a year courting his wife, soaking up the culture, and working in a sushi restaurant. (Quite the variety of experiences)
After Brazil, he landed back in Washington, D.C. where he worked for Blacksalt (one of my favorite restaurants), for two years.
Chef Ben was done working for others and that is when AllSpice Hospitality was born.
No, I'm not MAD at you. It's the name of the gym, silly.
Now you're wondering, what is this gym phenomenon and why haven't I heard of it or tried it?
MADabolic stands for:
Simply put: each daily workout is designed around one of those three driving concepts and you are never completing the same workout twice.
Last week while back in DC visiting our clients, I had the pleasure of not only squeezing in five MAD classes but also getting to know the owner of the Arlington/DC location, Corbin Jennings.
Corbin began his career, like many, in corporate America. He studied economics in college, worked in banking for a minute, then logistics for Lowe's and Under Armour.
It was during his time at Under Armour when he realized he needed a life change and could no longer sit at a desk for 60+ hours a week, staring at excel sheets. He was bored to death.
After doing the MAD workouts in Charlotte, North Carolina, Corbin decided to throw caution to the wind and began looking into opening a MADabolic of his own in the DC metro.
Two years later, at age 28, Corbin successfully became the owner of the MADabolic franchise in Arlington, Virginia. Pretty impressive...
How did you go from a corporate minion to business owner and what were the challenges you faced?
"I was always willing to take risks. The really challenging part has been not knowing the 99% of the operational side - taxes, licenses, etc. I am constantly in unfamiliar area. Prior to becoming a MADabolic owner, I was in roles where I could become really proficient at something and master it. Entrepreneurship is not like that.
What led you to pick MADabolic out of all the fitness franchises out there?
"I was a member in North Carolina for six months before deciding to franchise. I fell in love with the workout - genuine strength and athletic training. It was far superior to everything else I'd come across."
What was your fitness background prior?
"I was an athlete growing up and played soccer competitively but I was not a personal trainer or coach."
So how did you become one?
"There is a four to twelve week intensive onboarding program for trainers that takes place at the HQ in Charlotte. I completed that and I am also ACE certified.
WOW! That is a long training program, why so tedious? Explain the hiring process.
"There is a 25% fail rate for the onboarding program, it is designed to challenge. Before sending people to Charlotte, we have our own hiring process. We want people who can move REALLY well. At first, I was hiring a lot of former crossfitters, but as I've gotten further along, I've realized they aren't very dedicated. Now I am looking for passion and dedication to the program, attention to detail, and the ability to move REALLY well.
What has your turnover rate been like?
"We have only lost two trainers since opening. We had two potentials we sent to Charlotte but they didn't end up moving forward. In the gym industry there is a notoriously high turn over rate."
Let's dig into the workout...
March will be a jam packed month with lots of exciting things to share!
First up - we are headed back to Washington, D.C. February 27th - March 6th to check-in with our clients, friends, and colleagues.
While back on the East Coast, we will be interviewing Corbin Jennings, owner of MADabolic in Arlington, Virginia. MADabolic is an incredibly designed workout that will challenge and train your body like an athlete. (Prior to moving, I was a member and saw incredible results)
Stay tuned to read about what led Corbin to open his own gym and what makes MADabolic so special + check out their instagram, it's awesome.
(Arizona, I am working on convincing Corbin to open a Phx/Scottsdale location ASAP, don't worry!)
After inspiring you to switch up your gym routine, we will then lead you to the delicious kitchen of Chef Ben Rubin, owner of AllSpice Hospitality. We love working with Chef Ben because he is insanely fun but more importantly, incredibly talented. I promise the photos to come will be mouthwatering. Follow his instagram here.
After that is full coverage of our...
ARIZONA LAUNCH PARTY!
Our launch is happening on March 15th at the beautiful Museum of the West in Scottsdale. We are thrilled to also be celebrating the women of the year for Women of Scottsdale and East Valley Women.
Lastly, we will be doing a travel overview of:
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Whistler in British Columbia
See ya in March!
Turning dreams into reality...
It's something most people won't make happen for themselves.
No, I am not a pessimist, I am a realist.
The reasoning behind it is simple...
MOST are too scared to try because they are too afraid of failing.
I've never been afraid of failing when it comes to my business and career.
When I first started PS, I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you read the Washington Post article then you know I was buried in student loans and my business was my ladder out of that grave. In the beginning days, I worked seven days a week to keep up with the growing demand and our rapidly expanding client list. It was exhausting but looking back, it was worth it.
Besides exhaustion, there were other downsides to this fast pace growth. I was completely worn out and had no time for my health (Up at 5:30am, home at 9pm/10pm), my relationship took a back seat and eventually failed, and my friendships were the weakest they'd ever been. Sure, I was 23 years old and I had an assistant - that sounds pretty awesome but nothing is ever quite as shiny as it appears.
No one enjoys the preachy, "here's how I did it" post but because so many people ask me how I wound up leading the life I have now, I've decided to summarize.
The magic keys:
I've never been afraid of hard work.
I've never been afraid to fail at work.
I always knew that if I tried my hardest and put forth the max effort, that was all I could do and if it wasn't enough, well then so be it. As I built Personalized Solutions, my clients were able to see my work ethic and my desire to succeed. I believe that is what built the foundation of trust that led to successful, long term, working relationships.
After six very prosperous years in Washington, D.C. I decided to uproot my entire life and move to Arizona. A risky move that could have potentially dire consequences to the business I worked incredibly hard to build back East. When I made the choice to leave, I knew that there would be risk involved but after weighing my options, I determined it was a risk worth taking. Worst case scenario - I lose it all. Remedy - I find a "normal" job. Fortunately for me, my clients stuck with PS, realizing a lot of our work can be done from anywhere, and as long as it gets done, the mission is accomplished.
Prior to leaving:
A new client approached me in November about a passion project of hers that she had pursued once but then let slip to the side. She was contemplating reviving the project and she felt I'd be a great partner in helping her do so.
This was not the first time I'd been approached by a client to help launch a passion project but it was the first time that the idea of partnering with a client sounded really appealing. I was able to understand my clients vision, the need for what she wanted to create, AND I'd get to play a major role in the development of the brand/product. However, my business background does not directly correlate...this is where the fear could and should set in, right? Fortunately, this client trusts that if anyone can help her launch this brand, it's me. There is great value in knowing that other people believe in your talents and capabilities. If they believe, so should I. (and I do)
Long story short -
This new venture = the opportunity of a lifetime, six years in to owning Personalized Solutions.
Dreams are goals with deadlines. (As Coach Dan says, have written goals - become part of that 2%!)
Build strong habits and be disciplined. (In all aspects of your life)
Don't be too afraid to start. (You will never know what could have been.)
So what if you fail? (You'll bounce back with a lot more knowledge than you had before.)
Listen to your gut instincts. (They are never wrong.)
Go chase your dreams, ignore the naysayers, and work your ass off. (I promise you will have no regrets.)
As I dig deeper into this new client project, I am invigorated. This project is what will propel both her and I to the next level and I believe that if I dedicate myself 150%, the result will be the same. I refuse to let fear dictate my life and that is why I am here in Arizona, defining a new chapter, launching a massive new venture, and enjoying every second of it.
Pursuing your dreams!