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    4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

    When was the last time you did something for fun? And by doing something for fun, I don’t mean going out for dinner and drinks or binge-watching your favorite show. I mean doing something that has no end goal besides being a source of joy or peace in your life. Maybe you love baking but haven’t found time recently to whip up your favorite treat. Maybe you’ve been meaning to finish knitting that scarf you started months ago for weeks now. Or maybe you have a blog but haven’t written anything for ages. For many of us, myself included, it’s been a horrifyingly long time since a beloved hobby was just a hobby. In high school, my dance classes and lacrosse practices became fodder for my college applications; in college, my passion for reading and writing funneled neatly into my major and my career. Suddenly, as an adult, I have come to a startling realization: By monetizing all of my hobbies and giving each of my pursuits a distinct end goal, I accidentally forgot how to have fun for fun.
    No matter what stage of life or career you are in, chances are that at some point, you’ve taken the “work hard, play hard” mindset and blended the working and playing part together. Whether you’ve chosen to pursue a career path that strikes all of your main personal interests (go you!) or you’ve opted to turn something you love to do for fun into a side hustle, it can be easy to assume that the best way to make the most of an activity that brings you joy is to turn it into something that also makes you money. However, there’s something to be said for doing things purely for the delight of doing them, without monetizing the activity. How do you really know when your hobby should stay a hobby? Here are four expert-backed questions to ask yourself before you start turning something you love into a job or side hustle.
    1. How much passion and interest do you have in this hobby?
    Turning a hobby into a side hustle requires time and energy, meaning that chances are, you’re going to have to love it a lot in order to still find joy in the process once you’ve monetized the activity. According to Registered Clinical Counselor Niloufar Esmaeilpour, reflecting on whether you want to do something for the sake of making money as opposed to the enjoyment of the process will better position you to make a thoughtful decision on monetizing that hobby. “If you genuinely love what you’re doing, monetizing that hobby might enhance your enjoyment,” Esmaeilpour said. “However, if the pursuit becomes solely about making money, you may risk losing the intrinsic motivation that makes the hobby enjoyable in the first place.”
    If you’re starting to get an inkling that you might want to turn an activity that you do for fun into a job or a side hustle, weigh your level of passion and interest with the hobby itself. Is this something that you will still be able to love when it becomes a source of income? Can your passion for this activity withstand the pressure of deadlines and goals? If the answer is yes, you might just have a candidate for a hobby that you can turn into a little extra cash.
    2. Will you be able to maintain a healthy life balance if you’re turning your hobby into a side hustle?
    One of the great things about a hobby is that if you miss a day or drop the ball, it’s no big deal—you can easily pick back up where you left off without facing any penalties. On the flip side, when you’re doing something that you love as a moneymaking enterprise, there are expectations that you have to meet to be successful. Esmaeilpour recommends considering whether monetizing a hobby will significantly disrupt your work-life balance, especially if you’re planning to turn it into a side hustle. “Maintaining a balance between your hobby and other responsibilities is crucial. Consider whether the demands of monetizing the hobby will disrupt your work-life balance or lead to burnout,” Esmaeilpour says.
    Sometimes, hobbies themselves are stress relievers, which is why it can be valuable to keep money out of the picture. For example, if you’re a talented painter or love to bake and know that other people are impressed by the things you make, consider whether you’ll be able to still make time for adequate stress-relieving activities if you start making money from your creations. After all, your health and overall well-being should come first, so making sure that you can keep those things up is essential.
    3. What is your skill level with this hobby, really?
    This can be one of the toughest questions to ask yourself when it comes to turning something you love into a job or side hustle, mostly because it means being brutally honest with yourself about your talent and whether or not you want to put the pressure of moneymaking on that talent. Regardless of what your hobby is—whether it manifests in a physical product, or is a skill in itself like teaching a type of class—consider whether your skill level with this hobby has actual market value before launching it into a business or side hustle.
    If this hobby is something that you really want to turn into a moneymaker, that might mean investing time and money in training and development of the skill. “Monetizing a hobby may require a higher level of expertise and professionalism,” Esmaeilpour says. “Consider whether you are ready to invest in further education or training to improve your skills.” While we are all certainly capable of doing something that we love in order to make money, it’s crucial to examine the background work that goes into turning something into a marketable skill, and whether we want to do that background work in the first place.
    4. What is your end goal of monetizing this hobby?
    While there’s nothing wrong with monetizing something that you love to do for fun, ultimately, you have to know where you want the activity itself to go in your life once you’re doing it for more than fun. Do you want to turn this into a full-on career, or are you only looking to have a side hustle? Are you trying to cover the expenses of the hobby itself simply by turning it into something that makes money? According to Esmaeilpour, getting honest with yourself about your goals and expectations will ensure that you still experience the joy of the hobby, even if you do end up making some extra cash off of it.
    Making money from something that you love to do can be incredibly rewarding—but maintaining things that you love to do outside of the pressures of financial gain is crucial for our overall happiness. After all, a true “work hard, play hard” mentality will involve a division between the two, so that you can have both sources of work and play at the same time. As for me, I’m beyond excited to pick up a book for fun for the first time in many, many years—and not tell anyone what I think about the book when I’m done reading. More

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    Feeling Meh? You Might Be Suffering From Autumn Burnout—Here’s What to Do About It

    I love a good pumpkin spice latte just as much as the next person, but I will still gladly choose summer over fall any day of the week. Despite the fact that autumn is the most popular season, the cooler weather and shorter days just don’t do it for me (even though I’ll never turn down an opportunity to watch my favorite comfort show). Truth be told, I often find myself unmotivated to work hard and reach my goals during this time of year. So if you’re like me and also find the transition from summer to fall a nightmare for your work life, there’s a strong chance you’re no stranger to “autumn burnout.”

    In this article

    What is “autumn burnout,” and what causes it?
    The term “autumn burnout” refers to feeling completely mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted during the transition from summer to fall. While this can stem from things such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s often a direct result of the increased pressures and demands that go against our biological body clock.
    Where summer is all about relaxation and long days outside filled with vitamin D, fall is all about cooler weather, shorter days, and more time spent indoors. Not only can this lack of physical activity and sunlight seriously affect our energy levels, but it can also leave us feeling unmotivated to work hard and reach our goals. Plus, transition anxiety is very real, and a change in season and climate can be triggering for those who have a hard time dealing with change.

    Signs you’re suffering from autumn burnout
    While everyone is different, there are some telltale signs that mean you’re suffering from autumn burnout. So, use these universal red flags to spot when you’re approaching or suffering from burnout this fall:
    1. You feel unmotivated and exhausted
    If you’re dreading what’s on your calendar, are struggling to complete tasks, and feel overwhelmed by literally everything, you’re likely suffering from autumn burnout. This is especially true if these feelings are ongoing. Unlike normal fatigue, exhaustion burnout can’t be cured by a good night’s sleep, and taking a work break won’t restore your motivation or ambition.

    2. You’re experiencing sleep issues
    It’s no secret that getting the right amount of beauty rest each night is imperative for your health, but you’re more likely to experience sleep issues when you’re burnt out. This is because stress releases adrenaline and cortisol, and these two hormones trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response and in turn make you more alert. If you’re feeling particularly stressed during the day and are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, it’s likely a result of burnout.

    3. You’re apathetic about your job
    They say if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life, but I beg to differ. While I love my job and wouldn’t change it for a thing, there are still days when work feels like work. So if you’re passionate about your career but find yourself growing indifferent towards or frustrated with it, you’re likely burnt out. Likewise, experiencing decreased productivity and overall work performance are also major signs of autumn burnout.

    4. You’re cynical and irritable
    Cynicism and irritability are two major red flags that you’re approaching burnout or are already there. After all, burnout makes you more susceptible to lower mood levels because it depletes your mental, emotional, and physical resources. If you’re more pessimistic than usual, there’s a strong chance you’re experiencing autumn burnout.

    How to treat autumn burnout
    1. Prioritize a healthy work-life balance
    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is truly key to treating burnout as the seasons change. This means setting boundaries between your work and personal life—not answering emails after a certain time, clocking in and out at a reasonable hour, making your weekends all about you and forgetting about work, and so on. Additionally, give yourself time to recharge every single day. Let yourself indulge in a morning workout or a nice breakfast and unwind with some reading or journaling in the evening after work. Setting aside time for yourself will allow you to decompress, de-stress, and release whatever’s bothering you.

    2. Focus on your health
    Health is wealth, and you naturally feel more motivated and perform better at work when you feel good inside and out. So, treat burnout by prioritizing getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and eating well. You’ll feel strong and well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way and able to thwart burnout easily because you’ll feel good. Plus, taking care of yourself will make you feel proud and accomplished.

    3. Plan ahead
    Planning ahead is one of the easiest ways to ease anxiety and stay grounded and calm during times of stress and pressure. Set aside time before the start of each week (on Friday or Sunday) and plan out your schedule; your schedule should include work priorities and tasks, chores, and other necessary appointments or errands you have to get done. By taking the time to do this, you’ll remove one extra step for yourself in the morning—you won’t have to wake up and plan out your day. In turn, this will make your days seamless, and your productivity will soar.

    4. Stay connected
    Isolation is one of the worst things for your mental health, and becoming disconnected is easier than ever thanks to remote jobs and busy schedules. For this reason, make an active effort to stay connected to the important people in your life on a regular basis. Regardless of whether you text or meet in person, talking to others will remind you that you’re not alone and will help you get out or stay out of a funk.

    5 Tangible Tips To Recover From Burnout, According to an Empowerment Coach More

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    How To Romanticize Your Career This Fall

    When it comes to social media trends, I don’t think there’s one I’ve fallen for more than the trend of romanticizing different areas of your life (get it?!). Lame jokes aside, romanticizing is the idea that you can add pleasure and enjoyment to things beyond just dating or your relationships. It’s about living a quiet life and intentionally making an environment you love to spend time in, whether that’s by cooking meals you enjoy, refreshing your space to be more you, or taking yourself on dates on a regular basis. It’s the antithesis to the hustle culture we all grew up in, and I was so excited to give it a try when I stumbled across it.
    After spending some time romanticizing my day-to-day life for a while, it got me thinking about whether the trend could also be applied to my career, and if so, how? Working a 9-5 or being self-employed isn’t an area that we often think about as being soft and enjoyable, but maybe there’s a way to bring in some of the best parts of romanticizing. I’ve spent the last month trying to romanticize my career and have thoroughly enjoyed the process, and now I’m sharing what I’ve learned along the way so you can too.

    Change your mindset
    If you’re working a job that doesn’t make you leap out of bed every morning, you’re not alone. Having to work for a living isn’t something that most of us want to do, but that doesn’t mean you should view it as a chore and slog through the day—waiting until 5pm or Friday to roll around is no way to live. When I decided to pull in elements of romanticizing to my career, the first place I started was looking at what I liked about my job. I love writing and I love the flow I get into while strategizing and editing other people’s work, so I chose to focus on that part of my role and remind myself how lucky I am to get paid to do that. It might sound fluffy, but I found myself having less Sunday scaries leading up to the work week and more enjoyment in the moment when I made a real effort to focus on the positives of my career throughout the day.

    Create a space that makes you happy
    This tip was the biggest game changer when it came to adding more joy and intentionality to my work. I don’t know about everyone else, but sometimes I get so set on the functionality of my office that I don’t take the time to optimize it for what I actually like. With the goal of creating a space that made me feel like the main character in a cozy fall rom-com, I revamped my home office and brought in some fall candles, hung some aesthetic prints from Etsy, lit my diffuser, and swapped out my clunky black office chair for a cute beige fuzzy one (that still supported my back, because that’s key!). Trust me when I tell you that it made a world of difference when I sat down to do my work in a space that was so pretty and calming.
    If you’re in a physical office or have less ability to modify your space, focus on the small things to make your day more enjoyable: always have a soft sweater or blanket nearby if it gets cold, keep photos you love on your desk, and have a stash of your favorite pens or office supplies ready to go (I swear by my pink Post-Its and Zebra BP pens!). I also recommend that everyone updates their laptop background photo to something seasonal and inspiring (*cough* The Everygirl monthly backgrounds *cough*). It might seem trivial, but the little things can really impact your overall mood each day!

    Be intentional about your breaks
    If taking a work break often looks like scarfing down a granola bar while scrolling TikTok for 10 minutes only to jump immediately back to your computer or hop on the next call, listen up! I was in the same camp—it’s basically the opposite of slow and intentional, and nobody would be calling it romantic. I decided that my breaks needed to change in the name of romanticizing my career, so I started planning out what they would look like at the beginning of the day. I sometimes take a phone-free walk outside, spend some extra time brewing a special coffee and drinking it on my balcony, or using the time to play with my dogs or call my mom. By actually taking a break and giving my brain time to not be online or productive, I noticed that I felt refreshed and ready to pick back up when I sat down at my desk to start working again. That calmness trickled through the rest of my day, giving me perspective and helping me feel less overwhelmed.

    Engage all of your senses
    When I started researching the steps to romanticizing my life (according to the TikTok girlies), I quickly discovered that engaging all of the senses is key. To bring this into my daily 9-5 and my evening freelance work, I decided to have a quick morning checklist I would run through to ensure I was covering all my bases before starting work. For smell, I would turn on my favorite diffuser scents or light a candle. For touch, I’d wear clothing that I loved and was comfortable instead of stuffy corporate wear or yesterday’s sweats. For sound, I’d play some soft folk or instrumental playlists (the Little Women soundtrack is amazing and motivational!), and taste was always fruit-infused water, coffee, or tea. As for sight, I hung new art and made an updated vision board with some aspirational career goals instead of the bland calendar I used to have above my desk. These are small things, but they really made my day feel so much more enjoyable and reminded me that my 9-5 could be a lot more pleasurable if I put a little effort in.

    Set boundaries that work for you
    While it’s not something exclusive to the idea of quiet living or romanticizing your life, setting healthy boundaries is a key part of making your work days more enjoyable and relaxing. If you’re spending all of your time accommodating other people’s needs or doing things you don’t want to do, you’re going to feel resentful and burnt out pretty quickly. When it comes to your career, take some time to really consider if you can take another task with your current workload or if you want to volunteer for that extracurricular before signing up, and chat with coworkers about what your ideal work day looks like so they can be aware. For me, I recently chatted with my manager and was able to delegate some projects that were less interesting to me so I could focus more on the work I really enjoyed. This, in turn, allowed me to finish work by 5pm more often and gave me back my evenings so I could focus on new hobbies, self-care, and socializing, which made me a lot happier and more relaxed overall.

    Take your time
    I knew that slowing down and being intentional was at the heart of the romanticizing movement and something I really wanted to try to pull into my fall work days, especially when receiving constant emails and never-ending Slack messages. When I took a closer look at my habits, I was shocked at how often I was immediately dropping everything to respond to an email or hop on a call without taking a moment to collect myself first, and how that made me feel like I never had enough time in the day (plus my stress levels would jump with each *ping*). When I implemented a rule of waiting a little bit before responding to messages or calls, my anxiety levels went way down. It also reduced the amount of back-and-forth needed when I stopped to really examine the ask or question before responding. That’s not to say you should ignore everything or completely disregard all deadlines (definitely don’t do that), but it’s worth remembering that not everything is an emergency. Adding more calm and pleasure into your day can really be as simple as pausing and taking a moment to yourself before jumping into action—your peace at work is worth slowing down for!

    50 Affirmations for When Work or Money Stress You TF Out More

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    In a Career Rut? These Journal Prompts Will Bring You Clarity

    Falling into a career rut is a rite of passage in your 20s and 30s (just like overcoming a quarter-life crisis at 25 and moving on from that relationship you swore you’d never get over). You’re not alone if you’re feeling bored, confused, frustrated, burnt out, or a mix of all of the above. I’ve been there a few times since graduating college—trust me. Whenever I’m getting whiplash from checking the clock during my work day, I know it’s time to do a little soul-searching. My favorite way to get out of the monotonous day-to-day besides chugging coffee and hoping for the best? Surprisingly, journal prompts.
    Getting my thoughts onto paper helped me work through other big life decisions like packing up my bags and moving to the city, and turning inward has proven equally successful whenever I’ve found myself feeling bogged down at work. I’m not about gatekeeping, so here are some of the journal prompts I’ve leaned on to get clarity on my next career move (and pull me out of my deepest, darkest ruts):

    1. If I could achieve financial freedom, how would I spend my time?
    Potential career pivoters and questioners, this prompt is for you. If we lived in a dream world where money mysteriously popped into your bank account every day without you lifting a finger, how would you fill up your day? Would you spend it redecorating your home? Tending to your backyard garden? Maybe working on that art piece you haven’t had the chance to finish?
    Look at each hobby and activity individually and then as a whole. Are there any common themes? Are you in current alignment with your true passions or are you too far removed from what brings you joy? Can you combine any of these interests into a role? Get creative with your answers until you can map out a career path (or two). Revisit these desired career paths and map out the skills, knowledge, and tools you’d need to help you get there.

    2. Are there untapped opportunities that could reinspire me at work?
    I’ll let you in on a little hack: Finding opportunities where you’re currently at is the quickest way to moving through a career rut. Before you job hop hoping it’ll provide you the relief you’re desperately searching for, you want to make sure you’re 100% confident in your decision to move on. There’s nothing worse than experiencing buyer’s remorse in a career setting. Unfortunately, returning to your previous employer isn’t as easy as showing up at Nordstrom with your receipt in hand. This journal prompt will subtly uncover whether or not you’ve outgrown your current role, company, or maybe even the industry as a whole. 
    Ask yourself: Have you ever wondered what your boss’ boss does on the day-to-day? Is there a project that would let you flex your creativity? Or better yet, is there a project you can lead yourself? Open your eyes to projects and shadowing opportunities you’d like to try in your current role and jot them down to bring them to your next 1:1 with your manager. You never know what possibilities there are until you ask!

    If linking to stock image site: Source: Vlada Karpovich | Pexels

    3. What three ways can I incorporate more self-care into my routine?
    Sometimes it’s not just the 9-to-5  job itself, but also the lifestyle you’ve set in place during your 5-to-9 life. Write down a few approachable swaps you could build into your morning and night routines then transfer them over to your planner so you’re motivated to cross them off your to-do list each day. The catch here is to make sure each self-care activity is something you truly enjoy or you won’t prioritize it. All’s to say that if you’re not a die-hard runner or a morning person, don’t add a 4 am sprint to your calendar even if that’s what your favorite influencer on TikTok swears improves her day. 
    I recommend incorporating one mental, one physical, and one emotional self-care item into your routine. For example: meditating for mental release, a daily yoga practice for physical well-being, and journaling for emotional regulation. If you’re at a loss for what to write, look back on your response to the first prompt: If you could achieve financial freedom, how would you spend your time? You may find a few ideas hidden within your answer. 

    4. Who do I look up to as a career role model and why?
    If you could pick three to five people in your previous company, your current company, or within your industry to sit down to dinner with for an hour, who would you choose? Create a bulleted list of your VIP dinner party guests and what you would pick their brains about over vodka pasta and Aperol spritzes. Get descriptive with which questions you’d ask, which strengths each one brings to the table, and what you’d like to learn from each of them.
    If they’re someone you know or could know in real life, set up a coffee chat or after-work happy hour to get to know them better, and who knows, you may have found your next mentor. If they’re more of a public figure or celebrity, research their career timelines on your own or learn from them through a class, article, video, or podcast. Either way, you can take a peek at their career paths and gain inspiration for one, the direction you could take yours, and two, what career would suit you better if you’re looking for a pivot. 

    5. What do I really want? 
    Not your parents’ expectations of you or what you want to brag about to your friends during girl’s night but what do you really want? Are you ready to negotiate for that shiny new title and pay bump? Do you feel like your career choice has already run its course? Dive a little deeper into the goals you want to prioritize on your career bucket list and what lifestyle you want. Because at the end of the day, you’re the one clocking in and out of your job and living the life you’ve set out for yourself so you want to make sure it’s something that is filling your cup—not draining it.

    9 Affirmations To Tell Yourself if You Are Stuck in a Rut More

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    20 Life Rules Every Successful Woman Follows

    When you feel like being an adult is an active struggle, it’s easy to become envious of women who seem to have it all figured out. You know who I’m talking about—the women who naturally attract money, promotions, love, glowing skin, and shiny hair into their life. To us mere mortals, it seems as though these women glide effortlessly through life, but the truth is, they simply follow the same 20 life rules. Keep on reading to learn all about the life rules successful women follow, and watch everything around you fall into place.

    1. Love the skin you’re in
    Successful women are not immune from insecurities—they are human, after all. Nevertheless, they still make an active effort to love the skin they’re in. They’ll speak kindly to themselves and engage in self-care rituals and activities that nourish their soul regularly. Likewise, they’ll also admire their body—they’ll run their hands over it in the shower, look in the mirror, or hug themselves, and this helps them connect with themselves and increase their self-love.

    2. Always rise to the opportunity and accept new challenges
    Successful women have no trouble rising to the occasion. They’ll never say “no” to any new opportunity or challenge that comes their way because they know that life is a never-ending learning journey. While mindset helps them grow in every aspect of their life, it’s especially beneficial for their career—it makes them reliable and hardworking, and that only contributes to their success.

    3. Ask for help when you need it
    Although we’re taught that doing everything on our own is a sign of success, successful women know better. They know that doing it all often leads to exhaustion and burnout, which is why they ask for help when they need it. They’re not ashamed of this either. In fact, they know that setting aside your pride and seeking help from others is a sign of strength—not weakness.

    4. Take control of your finances
    Successful women work hard for their money, and they’ll be damned if they don’t have a handle on their finances. They make it a point to go out of their way and stay in the know when it comes to their finances. They’ll track their income and expenses, review and adjust their budget as needed, and conduct research and ask a financial expert questions when they don’t know something. Regardless of what they do, they don’t leave their financial situation up to fate.

    5. Take care of yourself
    Women who are thriving in life seem to have a natural glow to them, and it’s because they prioritize taking care of themselves. They know that health is wealth, so while they enjoy looking good, they enjoy feeling good even more. So, they’ll attend routine health checkups and dental cleanings, exercise regularly, hydrate and eat a well-rounded diet, and get plenty of rest. Likewise, they also won’t deprive themselves; they know life’s about balance, and will indulge from time to time in moderation.

    6. Invest in and bet on yourself
    Successful women have no trouble focusing their attention and putting their money towards whatever’s going to help them reach their goals. This might mean pursuing a postsecondary degree if it’ll benefit their career or taking a certification class in order to make a career change. Or, they might buy a new outfit for a once-in-a-lifetime interview to help boost their confidence. Whatever the case may be, these women have no trouble betting on themselves, and that inner confidence radiates outwards.

    7. Put yourself out there
    Putting yourself out there can be scary, but successful women do so in spite of that fear. This goes for both work and relationships. They know that stepping outside of their comfort zones is a surefire way to get noticed. So while it may be intimidating, they believe in themselves enough to take that leap of faith. More often than not, this move pays off tenfold in the end when they land their dream job or manifest their ideal partner.

    8. Don’t spend your life worried about others
    Letting go of caring what others think is sometimes easier said than done, but it’s a rule successful women swear by. They know that when it comes down to it, you can’t please everyone. Which is why they’ll surround themselves with an uplifting, positive social circle. And being surrounded by people who only want the best for you ultimately makes this rule an easy one to follow.

    9. Build an emergency fund and save for retirement
    For successful women, knowing that they can fall back on themselves financially if push comes to shove is non-negotiable. So, they prioritize building an emergency fund and saving for retirement. Not only does this help them become financially independent, but it also sets them up for success and the ability to fully enjoy the fruits of their labor and embrace their golden years when it comes time.

    10. Never compete for your partner’s love or attention
    It’s not uncommon to come across someone who makes you feel as though you have to compete for their love and attention. However, successful women won’t tolerate feeling this way from a romantic partner. If their partner ever makes them feel like this, they’ll talk to and see if they can get through to them, or they may cut their losses and part ways. Of course, every relationship is different, but ultimately, successful women don’t have time to play games and vie for their partner’s love.

    11. You are the author of your life
    It’s easy to let other people or the things that have happened to you define who you are, but successful women refuse to fall victim to that mindset. Instead, they take charge of their story because they know they are the sole author of their life. And while there will always be things that are out of their control, this ultimately makes them a force to be reckoned with.

    12. Talk to the people you care about regularly
    Everyone is busy, and it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But time can slip away all too quickly and life can change in an instant. So, successful women make it a point to talk to and connect with the people they care about regularly. It doesn’t matter if it’s over text, a call, FaceTime, or in person—all that matters is that they’re connecting. Plus, it helps remind everyone that they’re not alone, which is something we all need.

    13. Have a morning and nighttime routine
    It’s not uncommon to feel like your career, relationships, and overall responsibilities demand more of your time as you get older. But successful women make sure these demands don’t take away precious time for themselves. Instead, they combat this by having a morning and nighttime routine. Besides all the benefits that can come from having these routines, this allows them to steal and carve out extra time for themselves no matter what. And this helps them stay grounded and make strategic moves in life.

    14. Don’t apologize for your success
    Unlike many of their traditional male counterparts, women often feel the need to apologize for their success. While successful women certainly won’t brag about their accomplishments, they won’t go out of their way to hide them either. They know how hard they work for what they have and they refuse to apologize for it. And they know that their accolades simply reflect the time, effort, and dedication they’ve put in—and that’s something to be proud of.

    15. Know what you bring to the table
    The saying “know your worth, then add tax” applies here. Successful women know exactly what they bring to the table and have no trouble asking for what they deserve. They refuse to settle for being underpaid and underappreciated in every aspect of their life. So, they’ll ask for a raise if the odds are in their favor or take their talents elsewhere and surround themselves with people who love them exactly as they are.

    16. Balance is essential
    Successful women don’t buy into the mindset that life is all work and no play. Instead, they know that balance is essential. This is why they have a life outside of work—whether it’s a hobby, side hustle, or simply going out with friends. Likewise, they also carve out time for themselves and treat themselves and splurge every once in a while. In short, they let themselves enjoy life and luxuriate in it.

    17. Support other women
    Society often pits women against each other, but successful women are actively working to change that. Rather than compete against each other, successful women lift up and encourage each other wholeheartedly. They know that a win for one woman is a win for all women everywhere.

    18. Compromises shouldn’t come at the cost of happiness
    It’s no secret that relationships consist of compromise, but flourishing women don’t let those compromises come at the cost of their happiness. So while they have no problem being flexible, they won’t agree to anything that jeopardizes their overall well-being (think: giving up their career, etc.). After all, the right partner will make sure their happiness is a priority and won’t ever put it on the back burner.

    19. Look at the glass half-full
    Despite the fact that successful women aren’t immune from hardships, they still choose to look at the glass half-full. This doesn’t mean that they fall into toxic positivity—they’ll still cry, scream, and get their emotions out when they need to. Rather, it means that they remain optimistic in spite of life’s trials and tribulations. And this positive outlook is ultimately what helps them attract abundant success into their life.

    20. Set goals and go after them fearlessly
    By now, you probably know that goal-setting is vital, and successful women swear by this as well. Not only do they set goals, but they also formulate plans to reach those goals and go after them fearlessly. Ultimately, they never lose sight of their dreams. And they know that no dream is too big or unattainable—they believe in themselves and their abilities and will wake up every day and take tangible steps in the real world that help them bring their wildest dreams to fruition.

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    5 Tips for Effective Communication

    Talking is easy. But communicating? That’s another story. Effective communication is a fundamental skill everyone needs to learn to succeed in life, and it’s a crucial component of managing personal and professional relationships. But with the rise of social media, effective communication has taken a backseat to emojis and posts with witty captions. Whether you’re looking to improve your communication skills at work or in your personal life, you’ve come to the right place. I’m offering practical tips to help you develop effective communication skills so you can share your thoughts and opinions with clarity and purpose.

    5 Tips for Effective Communication
    We are constantly communicating. Whether through talking in person in a meeting, emailing with team members, texting with a friend, or through our body language, verbal communication and nonverbal communication are always happening. So how can we ensure we’re conveying the right message with the appropriate tone of voice to build trust and make others feel heard and understood? Good communication skills, that’s how. 
    More specifically, effective communication skills partnered with the right amount of emotional intelligence and active listening. I know because I spend my days communicating. Not just because I have to but because it’s literally my job as a communications professional. Throughout the years, I’ve learned what good communication looks (and feels) like and how to avoid poor communication. We’re going to dig into why effective communication is so essential to a fulfilling and successful career and how you can explore the best types of communication that suit your personality and your work style.

    What is Effective Communication?
    Communication, at its core, is the exchange of information among people. But when you’re in an important presentation or a one-on-one with your manager, you don’t just want to share information. You want to do it in a successful way that produces your desired result. You want to ensure the information you’re sharing is received and understood. In essence, you want to communicate effectively. This involves listening attentively, knowing the best words to get the information across, and being clear and concise in conveying your message. Effective communication, like most skills, takes time and practice to develop. But it’s a crucial skill to learn.

    Why is Effective Communication Important?
    Effective communication in the workplace is vital to a successful career, just as good communication in your personal life is critical to strong relationships. Here are a few reasons why effective communication is a skill you need in your toolbox.
    Effective communication:

    Reduces miscommunication
    Enhances clarity and conciseness of messaging
    Fosters trust, respect, and empathy amongst colleagues and personal relationships
    Strengthens collaboration among team members
    Boosts happiness at work and home
    Reduces conflicts as a result of misunderstandings
    Creates efficiencies and saves time
    Develops a mutual understanding between people
    Increases individual and team productivity 
    Aids in effective problem solving
    Facilitates healthy conflict resolution
    Promotes innovation and creativity 

    How to Communicate Effectively
    We’ve all been in a situation where you’re trying to get your message across, and the other person just isn’t getting it. It’s frustrating for everyone involved. When it comes to figuring out how to avoid miscommunication, you can take a proactive approach. Imagine that every conversation or meeting you have results in a positive outcome with mutual understanding. That’s what we’re trying to achieve with effective communication. Here are five tips to help you develop and hone your effective communication muscle.

    Practice Active Listening
    Effective communication involves a mutual understanding, and while we all listen, are we doing so actively? Active listening is more than just hearing what another person is saying. It’s going above and beyond to ensure you understand the meaning and the intent of their words. It requires you to actively participate in a conversation, which means devoting your whole attention to someone and avoiding interruptions and distractions. Being fully present and engaged in an exchange allows you to understand the original message better and gather additional information relevant to the situation by asking questions you may not have originally considered.

    Facilitate Two-Way Communication
    There is nothing worse than communicating at someone when your goal is communicating with someone. Effective communication ensures the other party understands what you’re saying, and that includes gathering information and feedback from others. Two-way communication seeks to avoid a one-way dialogue. If you relay information to a person without understanding if your message was received or clear, it could lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and a lack of trust.
    So how exactly do you do this? First, seek to understand your audience and what’s important to them. Then, determine your message and the best channel to communicate to your audience (i.e., in-person, email, phone, etc.). Third, encourage feedback and gather data to better inform your work and future dialogues. And finally, analyze the feedback and take action. Continue to repeat the steps to hone your messaging as needed. Two-way communication fosters an environment of openness and transparency, leading to meaningful and productive conversations.

    Be Clear and Concise
    To achieve effective communication, the person you’re communicating with must understand what you’re saying. The best way you can do this is through clear and concise language both in-person and digitally. Be as descriptive and specific as possible. Avoid using vague language that could result in confusion. The goal is to get to the point in written and spoken communication as efficiently as possible. It’s also critical to select the correct communication channel. If there are a lot of important details to share that need to be referenced, writing an email may be best. If you have to share direct feedback, an in-person meeting or a phone call might be the direction you take. Be mindful of the words you use, what they mean, and how best to share them with others.

    Pay Attention to Body Language
    While there are many different types of communication, body language is key to remember when striving for effective communication. Making eye contact, maintaining good posture, being mindful of facial expressions, thinking about the tone and pitch of your voice, and keeping open body language helps to show whoever you’re talking to that you’re interested and engaged in the conversation. By being mindful of how we physically convey ourselves to others, we can make them feel more comfortable and understood. When others feel more comfortable, they’re more likely to be engaged in what you’re saying, and you’ll be able to get your message across more productively.

    Show Acknowledgement and Appreciation
    Showing interest in a conversation or exchange of information is respectful and leads to a more productive discussion with mutual understanding. When receiving or relaying information, show acknowledgment and appreciation to the other person. Relay back what you heard and validate if it’s accurate. Thank them for sharing the information with you and keeping you informed. Effective communication promotes empathy, allowing people to foster a more meaningful connection where different perspectives are considered. Think about how you’d want someone to act and respond if you were communicating with them and model that behavior back when the roles are reversed.

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    7 Email Tricks Successful Women Swear By

    We all send and receive so many emails every day that it’s easy to forget that email is a tool—a tool most of us were never taught how to use. Knowing how to create and send effective emails, while also making the most of an organized inbox, can save you a lot of time, improve your email communications, and boost your productivity.
    Successful women understand the power of leveraging email to their advantage, so let’s break down seven email tips, tricks, and hacks that successful women utilize daily to be at the top of their email a-game.

    7 Game-Changing Email Secrets Successful Women Know

    1. They know the power of a strong subject line
    Successful women know that first impressions matter and that a well-crafted subject line can make or break an email’s impact. They opt for concise, specific subject lines that summarize the main purpose or request of the message. By captivating the recipient’s attention with a compelling subject line, you increase the likelihood of the recipient opening and responding to your email promptly.
    For example, instead of writing “Meeting Request” they might opt for “Meeting on Project X Due Friday”. This subject line clearly communicates the intention and urgency of the email, capturing the recipient’s attention from the start. Or instead of using a subject like “Project Update”, they would write “X Project Update: Milestone Achievement and Next Steps Discussion”.

    2. They use confident and authoritative phrasing
    Phrasing plays a crucial role in conveying messages effectively. Successful women choose their words carefully, ensuring their emails are clear, concise, and free from unnecessary jargon. They aim to get their point across without overwhelming the recipient with lengthy explanations. By mastering the art of phrasing, they make their messages more digestible and easier to respond to.
    Successful women also avoid excessive apologies or self-deprecating language, as it can undermine their confidence and authority. They choose words that convey professionalism, respect, and assertiveness, while still maintaining a friendly tone.
    Here are a few phrases that you can benefit from learning to avoid including in your upcoming emails:

    Sorry: While apologies have their place, overusing the word “sorry” can undermine confidence and unnecessarily take responsibility. Instead, focus on addressing any mistakes or issues directly and offer solutions or alternatives when necessary.
    Just or only: These words can downplay your confidence and diminish the importance of your message. For example, saying “I just wanted to check” or “I only have a quick question” may make you appear unsure or less credible. Be direct and assertive in your communication.
    Actually: This word can accidentally come across as condescending or corrective. Instead, strive to provide information or clarify points without using language that may appear dismissive.
    I think or I feel: While it’s important to express your opinions, using phrases like “I think” or “I feel” can weaken your message. Instead, state your viewpoint confidently as a fact without hedging or apologizing for your perspective.
    Abbreviations or text-speak: In a professional setting, it’s best to avoid abbreviations or text-speak like “OMG” or “LOL.” Opt for complete and proper sentences to maintain a polished and respectful tone.

    3. They tailor salutations and signoffs
    The salutation and signoff set and enforce the tone for an email. Successful women tailor their salutations based on the level of familiarity with the recipient. They use “dear” for formal or unfamiliar contacts and “hi” or “hello” for more informal relationships. Similarly, they select signoffs like “best regards” or “sincerely” for formal correspondence and “thanks” or “warm regards” for more casual or friendly interactions. Paying attention to these details showcases professionalism and respect and can help you maintain healthy business relationships.

    4. They have templates for everything
    To save time and maintain consistency, successful women create email templates for commonly used messages. Templates act as a starting point, allowing them to customize the content as needed. Whether it’s a follow-up email, a request for information, or a meeting invitation, templates streamline the email composition process, ensuring efficiency without compromising personalization.
    Templates are especially helpful for any email communications you send out repeatedly with detailed instructions. For example, if you onboard a lot of contract workers as a part of your role, you’ll want to have an email template ready to go with clear onboarding instructions. That way, you can skip repeatedly writing tedious emails while also making sure no important details slip through the cracks.

    5. They organize their inbox with filters and folders
    An organized inbox greatly benefits successful women. To help stay on top of things, successful women implement strategies such as creating folders or labels to categorize emails, prioritizing messages based on urgency or importance, and utilizing filters to automatically sort incoming emails. By keeping their inboxes clutter-free, they can locate important messages quickly and efficiently and respond to critical matters that could easily get lost in the inbox abyss.
    For instance, they might set up filters for things like “Clients”, “Projects”, “Personal”, or “Newsletters” to easily sort and locate emails based on their respective categories. In addition to using folders, successful women prioritize their messages based on urgency or importance. They may create folders like “Urgent”, “To-Do”, or “Follow-Up” to highlight emails that require immediate attention or actions. By adopting this approach, they can swiftly identify critical matters and ensure that nothing important falls through the cracks.

    6. They know how to manage their email time
    Successful women have a lot to get done in a day. This is why they understand better than anyone the need to set boundaries and manage their email time effectively. They allocate specific time slots for checking and responding to emails, avoiding constant interruptions throughout the day. By establishing designated email windows, they maintain focus on their core tasks and prevent email overload from derailing their productivity.
    So—when do successful women tackle their inboxes? A good rule of thumb is to check your inbox when you first start your work day to see if any urgent matters came up and right before signing off for the day to make sure no one’s waiting on an important response. In between those times, successful women use small pockets of time between meetings when deep work isn’t possible or when they’re experiencing an afternoon slump to catch up on emails.

    7. They use AI to make their lives easier
    AI tools like Chat GPT and Grammarly are invaluable for successful women seeking to improve their professional email writing. Stumped for words? ChatGPT can help you figure out how to phrase your email effectively. Just tell the AI chat tool all of the details you want to cover and it will give you a clear response. You can then experiment with different suggestions to refine your email drafts. Once you craft an email, you can turn to Grammarly or Hemingway for a quick grammar and spell check. Typos aren’t professional, so going the extra mile to avoid them counts.

    The Takeaway
    Mastering the art of email communication is essential for professional success and successful women have honed their skills in this area, enhancing their productivity, making lasting impressions, and navigating their inboxes with ease. Eventually, with enough practice, these tips will run naturally in the background of your mind, and you’ll be able to make the most of your email every day.

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    10 Tips for Leveling Up Your Work-at-Home Game

    I love working from home. I’ve been doing it since before it became cool (read, necessary) in 2020. Working remotely allows me to do my job without leaving the comforts of my home. It gives me more time in the day for myself and my family and less time behind the wheel commuting. And while it may not be for everyone, it’s my jam. But as stellar as the pros of working from home are, I’ve also experienced my fair share of cons, like lack of social interaction and collaboration, deafening silence and loss of focus, and time management and productivity challenges.
    Over the years of working remotely, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to stay productive and focused. Not every day is perfect, but with these ten practical and effective strategies, you too can level up your work-at-home game to make it more healthy, productive, and, dare I say, fun.

    10 Tips For Leveling Up Your Work-At-Home Game
    Leveling up your work-at-home game can be easier than you think. By making simple but effective tweaks to your day, you can become the best remote worker for yourself, your productivity, and your sanity.

    Create a Morning Routine
    How your work day goes often depends on how you start it, so make the time to establish a morning routine that allows you to begin your day on the right foot. Getting in a workout, showering, meditating, or eating a healthy breakfast are a few of the ways you can start your day off right. Find what works best for you. What you’re trying to avoid is waking up, rolling out of bed, and immediately logging onto your computer to work. And please, change out of your pajamas. (If you need some work from home style inspiration, we have plenty of work at home outfits to help you up your game). 

    Maintain Consistent Working Hours
    If you were working in an office, you’d set a consistent work schedule. The same rule applies to working from home. You need to create a schedule and a routine you can structure your life around (because life isn’t just about work). Determine what hours you need to be or are expected to be available and make a plan to stick to them as best you can.

    Keep a Dedicated Office Space
    Just like it’s essential to maintain consistent working hours to help separate your working time from your personal time, it’s critical to keep a dedicated office space. This doesn’t have to be a separate home office (although that’s great if you have one!). It can be a dedicated corner of a room with a flat surface, a coworking space, or a quiet spot in your home. The goal of a dedicated office space is that at the end of the day, you can close your laptop and walk away, signaling to yourself and your brain that the workday is over.

    Set Ground Rules
    Working from home is a skill that, like anything, takes practice. As you become more established working remotely, you’ll want to set some ground rules. Setting a baseline for how you want to operate during the day when there is the possibility of so many distractions is essential to staying productive and focused. Think about how you want to use your phone, if you want to weave in personal tasks like laundry, and how you plan to take a lunch break. Get clear on your expectations for yourself and how to operate to set yourself up for success.

    Schedule Breaks
    When you’re working in an office, think about how many times you take breaks throughout the day. From walks to the water cooler to bathroom breaks to a quick chat with team members, real-time breaks are built into your day. These built-in breaks become less frequent while working from home, so it’s important to schedule breaks in your day. Plan to get up and stand at least once an hour, take a walk break on your lunch, or savor a few minutes by making a new cup of coffee. The longer we sit in front of a computer uninterrupted, the more unproductive we become. Breaks are essential to an efficient workday.

    Work From Away
    If you find yourself growing bored or uninspired by your workspace and your company is supportive, change up your scenery. Working remotely doesn’t always have to mean working from home. It can mean working from a coffee shop or at a vacation rental on a beach, or at a coworking space with friends. While routine is important, when you’ve been working from home for an extended period of time, switching up your working location is a great option to reinvigorate and energize your work.

    Invest in the Right-For-You WFH Tools
    To do great work, you need the right tools. In addition to productivity tools and project management software, it’s important that your space is set up to make you feel you’re most productive. Think about what would be valuable to you, and if your budget allows, make an investment. Some work-from-home tools that could really level up your space include items like a standing desk, a walking pad, an essential oil diffuser, a charging station, a second computer screen, or a printer. 

    Take Time Off
    Work is a big part of our lives, but it’s not the only part. While working remotely in comfy clothes might feel more leisurely than commuting to an office, it’s still imperative for your well-being to take time away from work. Utilize your vacation time. Take a sick day if you’re sick instead of trying to push through. To be well at work, we need to rest and charge. Working from home isn’t a vacation, so take advantage of the time off you’re given.

    Stay Social
    While working from home often still involves team collaboration and video conferencing, it’s not the same as being surrounded by an office full of people. It can feel isolating at times to be an office of one, so it’s necessary to proactively make an effort to stay social. Schedule time with friends or family outside of work to stay connected or book a workout class prior to your work day. We’re innately social creatures, so finding ways to get out of the house and surround yourself with people that energize you is important.

    Make Time for You
    For me, a big benefit of working from home is the extra time it gives me back in my day. Without commuting and extra time spent getting ready and preparing a lunch, I can spend more time doing things I enjoy. Don’t forget, the point of working remotely isn’t to work more, it’s to provide you with a better way to integrate your work and life. Throughout the work week, take time to do things you love. Read a book in the morning, get in a yoga class, play with your children, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, or spruce up your house. Take advantage of the extra time you have in your schedule and do the things that light you up.

    Best WFH Tools
    There are a lot of helpful resources available to level up your work-from-home game. I’ve identified five types of tools you might find valuable to improve your productivity, so pick what works for you and set you up for your best work day.

    Call me traditional, but I love a good planner. There’s something about actually writing down your tasks and goals and crossing them out that motivates me. Planners (or even blank notebooks!) are a great, inexpensive way to keep you on track and productive while working remotely. The Everygirl has some awesome options available at Target.

    The Everygirl x Day Designer

    The Everygirl x Day Designer

    Project Management Tool
    Whether you’re solo or working on a team, a project management tool is an effective way to collaborate with others, especially across different time zones. They’re essential for time management and task efficiency. Many tools are cloud-based, have mobile apps, and offer free plan options to help make collaboration even easier. A few of my favorite tools include Asana, ClickUp,, and Trello. 

    Communications Tool
    Communication is key when you’re working away from your direct team and those you cross-collaborate with at your company. Identifying a communication tool that works for you is crucial to your productivity. Your company may equip you with tools to help you chat and video call with others, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or the Google Suite. Find what fits your needs and allows you to work efficiently with your team to accomplish your goals.

    Digital Calendar
    Keeping a digital calendar is essential for me. It helps me manage my day and stay on task. Digital calendars allow you to time block your day to help you focus on tasks and avoid distributions. There is no right or wrong calendar to use. The best one is whichever one you’ll stick with managing. Staple tools like Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar are great places to start. The Google Suite is a useful option because it allows you to utilize other tools like Google Meet, Google Drives, and Google Tasks, which will automatically add any tasks you make to your Google Calendar to really help you organize your day.

    Comfort Items
    This work-from-home tool is a personal-to-you option. One of the perks of working within your own four walls is that you’re afforded the freedom of comfort. You can opt for leggings instead of hard pants. You can wear slippers instead of heels. You can play soundscapes instead of listening to coworkers chatting a few cubicles down. You can light a candle and enjoy the relaxing scent. Take advantage of what makes you feel good and allows you to do your best work. Obviously, if you need to be camera ready for a video call, ensure you’re presenting yourself professionally. But if you’re doing focused work, comfort is key.

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