Whether you work from home or in an office, the New Year is a great time to take a look at your work space and your work ethic and think about what you can do to improve them in the year ahead. Here are my tips:
1. Clean and reorganize your workspace. Don’t just spray down surfaces and dust your monitor. Remove everything off your desk. Sort through drawers and cupboards. Get rid of things you aren’t using. Cluttered space = cluttered mind. Want a fresh perspective? Try moving your desk or adding a lamp.
2. Invest in something you’re missing (or ask your boss for it). Need a new desk? New chair? New computer? Now’s the time to make the investment in what you’re missing and start the year off on the right foot. If you have to talk to an employer about this try to remember that they want you to be a productive employee and should be willing to meet your needs.
3. Commit to organizing your day. The biggest change in my work habits came with the Daily Page Notepad (Etsy, $13.00). Each page allows you to organize your to-do-list, meal planning, water consumption, appointments, goals, and other tasks for the day ahead. It’s amazing how much energy you save and how much clarity you gain by getting all these details out of your head and onto paper. I always fill the page out the night before—-it gives me a great idea of what the next day holds and helps me sleep like a baby. If you can commit to doing this Monday-Friday you will see your productivity skyrocket. Order a notepad here, and use code THYME for 20% off your order.
4. Remove distractions. Do you ever catch yourself completely procrastinating in the middle of the day? It happens to all of us. Unfortunately those distractions can suck up valuable time and that time adds up. If certain websites tend to suck your time try the StayFocused extension for Google Chrome. It allows you to set a timer for any website and then blocks the site when you’ve reached it. For example you can allow yourself 20 minutes a day on Facebook. If Facebook is open, your timer is running. If you close out the timer will stop. Use up your 20 minutes and it won’t let you revisit until tomorrow. It’s a great way to keep yourself from mindlessly scrolling your newsfeed. Another favorite is simply the Timer extension, which allows you to set a timer for certain tasks. I like to do this for tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy doing—-if I tell myself I’m going to focus and get it done in 15 minutes, I usually do.
5. Figure out how you work best. Some people have been in the workforce for a solid decade (or more) and still have no idea how they work best. Invest some time into actually thinking about this. Do you work best in groups? Alone? In the morning? Late at night? How could you change your work environment or schedule to optimize your performance? I’m the most productive from 5-9am and get the bulk of my work done during that time.
6. Think of 6 attainable goals for the year ahead and write them down. People are great at making goals for themselves (lose 5 pounds, eat healthier etc) but often overlook the importance of making career related goals each year. Make a list with a mixture of personal and work-related goals for the year ahead.
UV Vodka recently came out with Sriracha Vodka, and Bloody Mary enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced. While I definitely appreciate a good Bloody (and the spicier, the better) I beg you not to overlook this vodka for the surprisingly sophisticated flavor it can add to your favorite cocktails. Despite the red bottle, the vodka actually pours clear and adds a sweet/spicy flavor to any mixer.
As die-hard Sriracha fans (I mean, it made our Christmas card) we had a great time experimenting with the combinations and flavors this weekend. We were extremely satisfied with our final concoction- The Pomracha: muddled limes combined with a mixture of pomegranate juice, UV Sriracha Vodka and a homemade ginger-chili syrup topped with soda water and garnished with candied ginger. The first impression of The Pomracha is tart and fruity, but the drink finishes with the spicy taste of ginger and hot chilis. This is a great craft cocktail for starting your evening or impressing dinner guests.
2 wedges of Muddled Lime
1 oz Ginger-Chili Syrup (see recipe below)
2 oz UV Sriracha Vodka
2 oz Pom Juice
Soda Water (we made our own using our SodaStream)
Candied Ginger (for garnish)
Directions: Start by muddling 2 lime wedges in a low glass. Top with a hefty amount of crushed ice. Next, add the ginger-chili syrup, UV Sriracha Vodka & Pom juice into a martini shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Slowly pour over crushed ice and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with candied ginger, pepper rings and lime wedges, if desired.
Ginger-Chili Simple Syrup
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
4-6 thin slices of fresh Ginger Root
2 Hot Chili Peppers
Directions: Stir the water and sugar together in a sauce pan. Add the slices of ginger and 2 hot chili peppers (seeds removed and cut in half). Bring to just a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool (10-15 minutes) then remove ginger and peppers. (you can store the syrup in a mason jar or other container for up to 3 weeks in the fridge).
1. Flight (Watch it on Netflix) – Score: 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Action-packed thriller about an airline pilot with a bit of a dependency issue.
2. The Conjuring (Watch it on Amazon Instant) – Score: 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are two horror films that have made me cry with fear, this is one of them.
3. The Road (Watch it On Netflix) – Score: 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie blew my mind. We spend a long time discussing it after it ended. Let me know what you think the ending means.
4. World War Z (Watch it On Amazon Instant) - Score: 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. In some ways a typical zombie movie but more entertaining than most.
5. Luther (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 82 on Metacritic. Idris Elba stars in this police drama dealing with psychological factors underlying the crimes he solves.
6. The Kids are All Right (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Loved this movie! Great acting, great writing, great story.
7. Aziz Ansari Buried Alive (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Funny for people without kids….and maybe for people with kids who have a good sense of humor. I was dying laughing.
8. We’re The Millers (Watch it On Amazon Instant) - Score: 47% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not the greatest but still entertaining. Definitely has some cheesy moments, but Jennifer Aniston does do a lengthy striptease, so there’s that.
9. The Iceman (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Love the unique plot of this movie and seeing Winona Ryder again after so many years was kind of pleasant.
10. The Last Rites of Joe May (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Original and well-written. Dennis Farina (may he rest in peace) and Jamie Anne Allman are great on screen together.
11. Funeral Kings (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The tale of a boyhood adventure (+ cigarettes and swearing).
12. The Cabin in the Woods (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Has its cheese horror-movie moments but the plot twist will really get you!
13. The Kings of Summer (Watch it Amazon Instant) - Score: 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s like a (more) modern-day Little Rascals.
14. Jeff Who Lives at Home (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. A well-written Indie Dramedy and a great performance by Jason Segel.
15. Safety Not Guaranteed (Watch it On Netflix) - Score: 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Another great (and weird) movie from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine. I loved Aubrey Plaza in this.
Today’s Wise Words: “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso
Today I had to sit down and write out my past work experience and career path. Those kinds of things are never easy to put down on paper, but it was fun to look back at the past 6+ years and see all of the random jobs, experiences and opportunities that have lead to the present. I came to the conclusion that two of the biggest lessons I have learned along the way (so far) are: 1. Never say no to an opportunity. 2. We set our own limits, so dream big!
Background image from Helen Dardik.
I was so happy yesterday when I got a tweet from @ShopLilyViolet letting me know I had won their recent contest! I spent the rest of the evening on their website trying to decide which items I would use my gift card on! Whenever I check out their site (which happens a lot) I feel like someone pulled items from my dream closet and curated a collection just for me. There are always several things that I want, so, it’s not surprising that my wishlist is long and I have no idea how I’ll choose! Any opinions? Be sure to check out their site and let me know if you have any favorite items!
Items Above: one. Keagan Tote ($95.00), two. Farro Dress ($89.00), three. Orange Spice Jacket ($65.00), four. Colista Sweater ($65.00), five. Chambray Shirt Dress ($99.00), six. Scalloped Wristlet in Walnut ($32.00), seven. Emilia Coat ($101.00), eight. Diana Dress ($65.00).