What Productivity Hacks Really Work For You?

Here’s a fun question for today: What productivity hacks really work for you? Does your diligence with productivity hacks come in waves (as resolutions strengthen and weaken) or have you hit on anything that is your new normal? What have you tried but failed to implement regularly — and what productivity hacks really work for you, particularly at work?

This is constantly something I’m thinking about, and I’ve tried a LOT of productivity hacks.productivity hacks that really work - image of efficient businesswoman being productive

These are some of the productivity hacks that really work for me:

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When Your Colleague Offers Your Firstborn to Sweeten the Deal

Reader N wrote in with an interesting problem: her colleague offered to throw in her firstborn to sweeten the deal. HiLARIOUS, right? Here’s her question:

Here’s an interesting dilemma, recently a senior male colleague and a new client were haggling over price when my colleague said jokingly, “to sweeten the deal we will throw in [my name]’s first born” (I am in my 20s and have no kids), they all laughed. It has since become a running joke, to refer to my first born in all pricing discussions with this client. I feel uncomfortable whenever it happens, but don’t want to seem high-maintenance. Should I raise it with my colleague?


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Affordable Office Attire: How to Buy an Entire Work Wardrobe With No Money

how to buy an entire work wardrobe with no money - guide to affordable office attireIt’s a common problem for people just starting out — you may need to buy an entire work wardrobe with no money or an extremely limited budget. Short of relying on the kindness of parents (or using credit cards — please resist the urge to go into debt to build your work wardrobe!), what’s a person to do? Whether it’s for an internship or a new job, let’s talk about it: what are your best tips on how to buy an entire work wardrobe with no money? Where can you cut — and where can you save? A fun question for today: what did your very first work wardrobe look like — did you have a strict budget? Did you buy it in one trip to the mall or over a series of weeks or months? 

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Coffee Break: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018: Picks Under $200

nordstrom anniversary sale 2018 picks under 200This post has become the runaway post (LOTS of great stuff this year, ladies!) and I’m late with Coffee Break, so let’s start with these: presenting our favorite Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks under $200!Nordstrom Anniversary Picks under $200 - Dresses for Work under $100 See all of our Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 workwear picks here.

Some general notes:

Readers, have you found anything great yet in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year? There are a TON of great dresses under $100 (particularly Eliza J) and blazers, and we’re also in the midst of rounding up suits, old favorites, plus size picks, and more.I was particularly interested to note that The Skirt may be back — it feels like Halogen’s “seamed pencil skirt” disappeared for a few years after readers were disappointed by the style changes to it. This year it’s just black and camel, but I’ll be very interested to hear whether people are happy with it!

Workwear Under $200 in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale 2018 picks under 200 - stylish tops and dresses for work under $50!

Pictured above, $29-$45: ruffle sleeve top (6 colors) / teal top / black top (4 colors) / green blouse (5 prints) / twist knit dress  (plus sizes too)

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How to Take the Stress Out of Vacation Planning (Open Thread)

We haven’t talked about how to plan a vacation in years, so here’s a fun topic for today: how do you simplify travel planning — i.e., take the stress out of vacation planning? Do you repeat trips? Copy a friend’s (or blogger’s) itinerary? Use a travel agent? Do you have any “done and DONE” kind of things where, say, if you know there’s a Kimpton hotel in that town you’ll stay there, or if your friend or a magazine or book series says Y restaurant is amazing you make it a “must do”? Take a specialty vacation package like biking or a family vacation resort something? Do you use social media like Instagram or FB? What are your best tips to take the stress out of vacation planning?

The topic kind of comes up because I just stayed at a Cambria hotel a few months ago for an alumni trip — and I mentioned how nice the hotel was for an affordable, well-located hotel to an acquaintance and she said, “Oh yes, we LOVE Cambria and ALWAYS stay there if there’s one in the city.” Interesting technique, and I could see how that would reduce a lot of the stress of vacation planning if you didn’t have any boutique hotel you were dying to stay at or you were flexible on where in town you wanted to stay. For those among you who travel often for business there’s probably a whole subtopic here — what’s your favorite hotel chain? 

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What to Wear to Work in the Summer

what to wear to work in the summerOver the years, we’ve had a lot of discussions about what to wear to work in the summer and still look polished, so I thought I’d pull some posts together for one handy dandy post. Readers, what are your biggest challenges for dressing for the office in summer? What are your favorite products or hacks to make summer office clothes more comfortable?

Workwear Hall of Fame: Favorite Products to Wear to Work in the Summer

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