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    17 Under-$50 Desk Essentials That Maximize Productivity and Still Look Good on Your Desk

    When it comes to your career, your desk is everything, especially if you’re working from home. It’s where you spend the majority of your time and make your livelihood. So having a setup that’s disorganized, cluttered, or doesn’t match your personality is only going to hinder your overall work performance. This is why having a desk (and, of course, desk essentials) you love, is aesthetically pleasing, and inspires and motivates you to be super productive is an absolute-must.
    Admittedly, furnishing a space to your liking can cost you a pretty penny, which inadvertently causes most people (myself included) to shy away from it. After all, there’s rent to pay, groceries to buy, and life to live, and it’s hard to justify spending $300 on a desk lamp. That said, though, our workspaces no longer have to suffer—thanks to online retailers like Amazon, Target, and the Container Store, we can now find a plethora of adorable, high-quality desk essentials at affordable price points.
    Maximize and level up your productivity like never before with these chic desk essentials for under $50. From desk organizers to essential oil diffusers and everything in-between, these items will help you create a setup you’ll love and get the most out of your space without breaking the bank.

    Essential Oil Diffuser
    Let’s be real: Working in an environment that doesn’t make you feel good is not fun and hinders your productivity. This essential oil diffuser is inconspicuous enough to look like just another cute desk accessory but powerful enough to bring the right vibes to your space. Tip: Drop in lavender, lemon or patchouli essential oil to boost focus and concentration.

    The Everygirl x Day Designer
    Undated Notepads – Set of 3
    Need something to jot down your next genius idea? Or a weekly planner you can pick up any day of the year? This set of notepads includes everything you need to keep track of your schedule and ever-growing list of to-dos. Plus, they’re from our collection with Day Designer, so you know each one will look great on your desk.

    Sticky Notes Set
    Level up your organizational skills and boost your productivity with this combination of planner dividers, index tabs, and small, medium, and large sticky notes. With multiple color options, you can color code and bookmark your notebooks, planners, and documents accordingly.

    Assorted Gel Pens
    Naturally, you need some good pens to go in your pen holder, and Pilot is pretty much the god tier of all gel pens––they glide on paper like a dream and make your handwriting look super aesthetic. Use the assorted colors as a way to color code different tasks and priorities, stay organized, and keep track of everything. For example: Your main job tasks and notes could be in black, your grocery list could be in pink, your side hustle in blue, and so on and so forth.

    Highlighter Set
    The days of highlighters so bright they burn your eyes are over. This set of neutral highlighters are the perfect way to call-out important notes without sacrificing your aesthetic.

    Geometric Pen Holder
    Nothing’s more aggravating than having pens scattered everywhere or being unable to find one that works when you need it. With this pen holder, you’ll be able to keep your writing tools all in one place. Make money moves and sign off on boss-chick things in a timely fashion.

    Desk Organizer
    Clutter in real life can clutter your mind and inhibit your productivity. Keep your desk free of clutter with this multi-functioning storage shelf and organizer for all your essentials and accessories.
    4 colors available

    Retractable Utility Knife
    I know I’m not the only one guilty of reaching for the nearest vaguely sharp object when it comes time to open packages are a tricky envelope. Give your scissors, keys, and yes, pens, a break by using one of these utility knives instead.

    Acrylic Desk Accessory Kit
    Even in the digital age, we can’t escape all paperwork. Keep your important documents together, and make sure no important papers ever go missing from your life again with this simple accessory set.

    Multi-Cube Timer
    Time is money, so regardless of your go-to time management and productivity method, having something on your desk that ensures you stay on schedule is a must. This multi-cube timer comes with both a digital clock and timer, which makes it great for convenience and effective time management. Plus, the simple design will look super chic on your desk.
    5 colors and 5 timer settings available

    Screen Mist Cleaner
    Knowing our screens are absolutely filthy and doing something about it are two entirely different things. This misting cleaner is cute and easy enough to use that we might actually start doing something about it.

    Desk Vacuum
    If you, like me, say you’re going to clean your desk every Friday so you have a clean workspace to return to on Monday and then inevitably forget to do just that, this one’s for you. With the flip of a switch you can vacuum all the debris off your desk. Plus, it’s inconspicuous enough to store right on your desk, so you never forget to use it when Friday rolls back around.

    Small Dry Erase Board
    The truth is, life gets busy, and even though we write things down in our planners, we can’t remember everything and are bound to go off-track once in a while. To prevent that from happening, write down your most important memos on this dry erase board. It has a minimal, sleek design that’s sized perfectly for your desk, is reversible, and comes with two magnetic markers.

    LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger
    Prevent eye strain and migraines from working in a poorly-lit area with this modern LED desk lamp. It has five levels of adjustable brightness and a wireless phone charger, so you’ll always have a place to charge your phone.

    Round Power Strip with USB Ports
    Prevent interruptions from dying electronics or wasted time trying to find an available outlet or USB port with this round power strip. Sized perfectly for your desk, it comes with four outlets and three USB ports, so you can charge everything you need in one place.

    Adjustable Cell Phone Stand
    This adjustable cell phone stand will help you keep everything neat and orderly on your workspace and will reduce the temptation to sneak a glance at your latest notifications. The adjustable height is an added bonus: You don’t have to crane your neck in all sorts of directions to sneak a glance at your phone.
    5 colors available

    Ergonomic Keyboard Rest and Mouse Pad
    If you’ve been resisting ergonomics because you can’t find anything that won’t ruin the entire look of your desk setup, consider this leather keyboard wrist rest and mouse pad set. It will protect your wrists, help you work more comfortably, and enhance your desk setup all in one fell swoop.

    7 Things Every Successful Woman Has on Her Desk More

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    This 2-Minute Wellness Practice Can Help You Level Up at Work

    They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And while that may be true, there are, undoubtedly, days where work can feel like, well… work. This is why practicing meditation can be seriously beneficial. It can help you de-stress and clear your mind so you can start fresh every single day.
    Neglecting to take care of yourself and your mind not only negatively impacts your mental health and overall well-being but also affects how you perform at work, too. By incorporating meditation into your daily life, you can take care of yourself and level up in the workplace—and it will only take a couple of minutes out of your day. Keep on reading to learn exactly how meditation can help you at work.

    Boosts focus and brain function
    The entire goal of meditation is to be fully present in the moment and to bring yourself back to the present moment gently if your mind does wander. This gentle training of bringing your mind back to what’s right in front of you during meditation will inadvertently carry over to your life outside of it.
    Being fully present at and for work will boost your focus, increase your productivity and maximize your time management. Much like monotasking, when you’re focused solely on the task at hand, you’re bound to do better; you’re less likely to make mistakes and forget things. Plus, staying focused on one thing rather than 10 helps you stay more organized. In addition, when you’re fully present and focused, your brain will function at a higher level, which can help with things such as problem-solving, decision-making, crisis management, critical thinking, and memory loss.

    Improves creativity
    Want to impress your boss by coming up with an idea that’s outside the box? Meditation can help with that. When we meditate, we distance ourselves from our thoughts and feelings, which in turn creates and opens up space for new thoughts and feelings to enter. By opening up ourselves and our minds, we can allow creative and bold insights to enter our lives, and our unique self-expression can be liberated.

    Source: ANTONI SHKRABA | Pexels

    Helps you sleep better
    It’s no secret that not getting the proper amount of rest can seriously mess with you. Everyone needs sleep in order for their brain and body to function properly. That said, most of us know all too well that there are some nights when sleep comes easier than others, and on the nights when sleep doesn’t come easily, we often wake up feeling less motivated and excited to take on the day and have more difficulty staying focused on one thing. This can ultimately make work feel a lot harder than it actually is.
    Meditation can help you sleep better because it naturally balances out chemicals that are vital to sleep, like serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin—AKA the sleep hormone. It also helps you learn how to better separate the events of the day and the next day so you can relax your mind and get your beauty rest. When you wake up feeling rested, refreshed, and renewed, you’ll be on your A-game at work.

    Increases confidence
    We’re often our own worst critics, but through meditation, we’re taught to examine our innermost thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice helps boost self-love and compassion for ourselves, which in turn increases confidence. When you’re feeling confident in yourself, that confidence will translate into your work. You’ll feel more comfortable speaking up or bringing new ideas to the table because you’re more trusting of yourself and your mind, and you’ll work better overall. Plus, you can also better manifest things for yourself and your career when you believe that you’re worthy of and deserve them.

    Reduces stress and manage anxiety
    Whenever we feel stressed or anxious, our brain essentially tells our body that there’s an emergency, and our body then responds accordingly by releasing fight or flight emotions. Unsurprisingly, this flood of emotions can make it extremely difficult to concentrate on or get any work done. Meditation, though, directly counters these emotions and restores the body and mind to a calm, restful, and emotionally stable state by lowering our heart rate and blood pressure and slowing down our breathing. This helps train our minds to ward off fight-or-flight emotions and makes it easier for us to get through work and whatever challenge we’re facing because our mind isn’t flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. We also end up making better work-related decisions because we’re not basing them on pure emotion.
    In addition, whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, meditation can help you cut through outside noise and get to the heart of what’s really bothering you; you can see things more clearly and work through them better. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed at work, use the principles of meditation to calm down. Take 3-5 long, deep breaths to break away from fight-or-flight emotions, slow down your heart rate, and clear your mind.

    Source: Sam Lion | Pexels

    Helps strengthen professional relationships
    Meditating allows you to get more in touch with yourself and your emotions, which in turn can help with your communication skills. Naturally, it’s easier to articulate whatever you’re thinking or feeling when you understand it. It also helps improve your self-awareness, and when you’re more self-aware, you’re more mindful of how you respond to things. This means that you’re less likely to be extremely reactive or take things the wrong way.
    Additionally, meditation is a grounding exercise that’s known to boost overall mood in general. Inner peace radiates outward, and your energy is calmer, friendlier, and more welcoming. When you’re happy and authentically yourself, people (including that boss you’re trying to impress!) are more likely to be drawn to you.

    Keeps you moving forward
    Sometimes when things are eating away at you or weighing heavily on your mind, it can be hard to release them, but through meditation, you can find a way to clear your mind and let them go. Meditation lets you examine and deal with your problems for a certain amount of time (like while you’re meditating), but after that, however, you can box up whatever’s bothering you for the time being and take it out at a later time. This isn’t suppressing your emotions—in fact, it’s doing quite the opposite: You’re simply setting aside things that don’t serve you at the present moment, and when the time is right, you’ll come back and deal with them accordingly. This will help you better manage your workload when you’re not feeling your best. Your productivity, output, and overall job performance won’t take a hit, either.
    Practicing meditation regularly can help you refocus and regroup, release pent-up emotions and stress, and gain clarity and insight into yourself and whatever’s going on in your life. A lot of people find meditation intimidating, but there are numerous tools—like books such as Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor, YouTube videos by experts like Tara Brach, or apps like Headspace or Calm—to help you get started. If you don’t have those tools available to you, you can simply breathe and try to focus solely on your breath in the present moment. You can also try journaling whatever comes to mind when you’re done meditating, too. This can help you further expand on any insights or creative ideas you received while meditating.
    Remember that practice makes perfect, and meditating will only get easier over time. Stick with it, though, and you’ll find yourself in a happier, calmer, and more emotionally stable state more often. By reaching a heightened state of awareness and higher consciousness through meditation, you can level up and unlock the best version of yourself—inside and outside of work.

    Yes, Manifesting Works—It Helped Me Land My Dream Job More

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    So You’ve Made a New Connection by Networking—Here’s What You Should Do Now

    As an extroverted introvert, I love networking. Whenever I’m in a room full of strangers, the journalism major in me kicks in as I chat with new people and ask questions to uncover their stories. I haven’t always been very good at it, but I’ve found my last two jobs because of mutual connections, so something must be working.
    As someone in their mid-to-late twenties, I’ve done a decent amount of networking across some…unexpected platforms to say the least. Before the pandemic, I connected in person with college professors during classes and office hours, colleagues at my first job, and complete strangers at happy hours and any professional networking event I could find. During the pandemic, I attended more Zoom happy hours than I can count, met all but one new colleague virtually, and used new platforms like Clubhouse rooms and Gatheround speed networking to form new connections.
    Regardless of where or how I met new people while networking, I’d always end up with the same question: “Now what?” You chat. You laugh. You make small talk. You (hopefully) exchange information. And then you go your separate ways. But a stack of untouched business cards or a forgotten list of emails isn’t doing you any favors. Like any relationship, the people you connect with will remain strangers until you put work in and start to build a rapport. Whether you’re a recent grad or someone who’s been in the field for years, here’s how to grow your networking connections with intention.

    Get their info
    While everyone is Googleable these days, there’s something to be said for acquiring information straight from the source. When someone hands you a business card or shares their email, it’s a clear indicator that they like you enough to offer a way to stay in touch and grow your connection. It can sometimes be awkward to ask for someone’s contact information, but if you don’t ask, you shall potentially not receive it. In the event that you couldn’t quite ask directly—like if you want to connect with a speaker or panelist but couldn’t chat with them after the event—the internet can come in handy. A quick LinkedIn search will likely uncover their profile where you can connect.

    Send a message
    Too often, we collect business cards and then leave it at that. Now that you have a networking connection’s LinkedIn profile in front of you or their email in hand, use it! Regardless of where you send your first message, include your name, brief details, and a bit about the conversation the two of you had when you met in order to jog their memory. This last part is key—if you met this person at a conference or other big event, they probably met dozens of other people too. Did you talk about your love for the Chicago Cubs? Did they mention the book they’re working on? Did they ask you to send them your resume or more information about your company? Whatever it is, include it in your initial outreach to stand out. Granted this can get a bit difficult on LinkedIn, which limits the length of the first “let’s connect” message to 300 characters, but these brief introductions should be relatively concise, to begin with. Be effective, but brief.

    Source: Social Squares

    Schedule a chat
    Depending on where you want your new connection to grow, you might want to schedule a second conversation after your initial meeting. Pre-pandemic, meeting for coffee or grabbing lunch were pretty common ways to connect, but that limited in-person meetings to those in your same geographic location. Now, video calls are a relatively low-stakes norm that allows anyone to still get “face time” with people in other cities, states, or countries—or people who just don’t have the bandwidth or energy to meet in person right now.
    Note: Many of us are struggling with Zoom fatigue, so don’t overlook the good ol’ (but sometimes dreaded) phone call.

    Follow their company
    Does your new connection work at your dream company? Follow the organization on social media and sign up for their newsletter if they have one. This not only gives you insight into the organization but also something to talk about the next time you chat with your new contact. Even if you aren’t on the job hunt, seeing your connection’s company pop up in your feed or your inbox can serve as a consistent reminder to follow up with them and stay in touch after your initial conversations.

    Source: cottonbro | Pexels

    Stay top of mind
    Chatting with your contact once when you first meet and again as a follow-up isn’t enough to develop a meaningful connection. Whether you’re looking for a job, mentor, or new business, you should first build a relationship instead of making these important asks out of the blue. I’d recommend following up about once a quarter but only with relevant notes or information that your contact will find interesting or valuable. Industry reports, social posts, podcast episodes, books, etc. are all great pieces of content to send their way and keep the conversation going. People also love to talk about themselves. Did your contact just get promoted? How’s their book coming along? Are they leading their company’s incredible new initiative that you’d love to hear more about? Send them a note to check in—they’ll more than likely be happy to tell you more. 

    Read the room and try again
    When it comes to building connections, it’s crucial to strike a balance between being persistent and being annoying. If the vibes were off when you first connected, you don’t have to reach out. If someone doesn’t respond to your first follow-up message or two, it might be time to cut your losses. I like to believe the best in people—maybe they’re busy or your message got lost in spam or they opened your email but forgot to respond. But sometimes people just won’t want to talk to you, and that’s OK! It can be disappointing (and I know this is easier said than done), but try not to let it get to you. You put yourself out there and should be proud of that. On to the next one.
    More often than not, people love to support others through their career journeys, but the initial impact of networking will only get you so far. Once you have someone’s information, remember to keep the connection going through consistent conversation and intentional follow-up. Ask questions, but remember to be respectful of their time and show your appreciation. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll end up returning the favor.

    Networking Works: Here’s How One Connection Changed My Entire Career More

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    The Productivity Method Successful Women Swear By

    At the end of 2021, I knew it was time for me to make a change. As an entrepreneur, I was thrilled to see my business really grow throughout the year, but by the end of the year, the burnout was creeping in big time. Over the holidays I sat down and made a plan to better tackle my work days. That way, I could keep up my current output while also regaining some much-needed work-life balance. After giving a lot of different productivity methods some serious thought, I turned to time blocking and it made a world of difference in how I plan my days, how quickly I can complete tasks, and how much free time I have outside of work.
    Basically—I am a time-blocking convert, so I’m here to walk you through why so many successful women swear by this productivity method and how to bring it into your own work days.

    What is Time Blocking
    So, what exactly is time blocking? The beauty of this productivity method is how simple it is. When you plan your workday or work week, all you have to do is divide your day into blocks of time where each block is dedicated to accomplishing either a specific task or a group of tasks. You can start by creating a normal to-do list, but then you need to take things up a notch and assign each to-do a certain block of time where you intend to complete that task.
    Let’s look at an example of how I would time block my day as a writer, starting with a pretty standard to-do list.

    Write two blog posts
    Arrange three upcoming subject matter expert interviews
    Meet with two clients
    Research and outline two blog posts to write tomorrow
    Reach inbox zero

    With that to-do list in mind, I would then block out my tasks around the tasks that are already set in stone (aka meetings) at certain times.

    8-11 a.m.: Write two blog posts
    11 a.m.-1 p.m: Meet with client #1 at 11 a.m., have lunch and take a quick walk, and meet with client #2 at 12:30 p.m.
    1-3 p.m.: Research and outline two blog posts
    3-4 p.m.: Arrange three subject matter expert interviews and reach inbox zero

    So, how did I determine how to arrange my time blocks? To start, I am the most focused in the morning and that’s when I write best, so I chose to start my day with my biggest tasks. I had to schedule to get both of those blog posts done before meeting with my clients starting at 11 a.m. Because there was a gap between my two meetings (which makes it very easy to waste time), I scheduled my lunch break into that same block. Later in the afternoon when I have a bit less energy and focus, I decided to work on researching and outlining blog posts, which require less focus than writing. This prep work will also make it easier to jump straight into writing them the next day. I chose to then group easy and small admin tasks for the last block of the day when I find it really hard to focus on bigger projects.
    How I time block might not work for you and that’s okay, but you can see from my thought process how you can use time blocking to be really strategic about how you get your work done.

    Why It Works
    The reason that time blocking can be so effective is that it makes it easier to commit to deep work and to make the most of your preferred working habits and schedule. Not to mention, it helps you avoid having to hem and haw over what to do once you finish a task.
    When you decide on a time block and commit to it, you are dedicating yourself to one single task or a similar group of tasks which helps you devote your mental focus better. You can avoid task switching (which can really slow you down) when you group together tasks. That’s why I find it easier to send out interview requests via email in the same time block as cleaning out my inbox. The same goes for research versus writing. Research can be quite tricky and involves overcoming a lot of roadblocks and problem solving, which can be really frustrating. Grouping all of my research together makes it possible to just focus on the writing which requires deep work that isn’t slowed down by trying to overcome research problems.
    Time blocking is also really motivating and makes it easier to avoid distractions. When you set a time deadline for a task the pressure is on a bit. If you start to surf the web, you can miss your chance to finish your task in your desired time block which can derail the whole rest of your day.

    Mistakes to Avoid
    Time blocking is a very simple method, but there are some mistakes you’ll want to avoid whenever possible.

    Underestimating your time. This can be tricky at first, so be patient. It’s easy to underestimate how much time something will take you which can make it hard to stick to the time blocks you chose. At first, overestimate until you get a better idea of how much time certain tasks will take. Even when you can better estimate timelines, it helps to leave a little buffer room to deal with unexpected Slack messages or tasks that are harder than anticipated.
    Leave room for breaks and admin work. The schedule I blocked above is a bit simpler than the ones I usually create. Just like I added room for a lunch break, it’s important to add room for smaller breaks throughout the day and to do admin work. I don’t have a boss, so I can ignore my emails for as long as I like, but you may need to schedule time between major blocks to address your inbox. You can also take advantage of finishing time blocks early to take breaks (another reason why it’s helpful to overestimate).
    Being too rigid. We can’t fully predict what’s going to happen on a work day. There’s no harm in reworking your schedule when an unexpected need or meeting pops up. That’s why I like to block time on paper with an erasable pen. It’s super easy for me to make adjustments as needed so I can regain a bit of control when things don’t go according to plan. By the way, these are the other tools I use to stay productive that are a bit more exciting than pen and paper. 

    How to Start Time Blocking
    Time blocking gets easier with trial and error, so there’s no reason you can’t start trying this productivity method today. Write a to-do list before the start of your next work day or as soon as you sit down to work, and next to each task, write down how long you think it will take. Then you can pull out a paper calendar, digital calendar, or a simple sheet of paper. Write down any meetings or appointments first since those have to happen at certain times, then make other time blocks around those fixed to-dos. If you see you have 90 minutes between meetings and you have a task you think will take 60 minutes, schedule it in there so you have some time for that task to run long or to take a break. If you only have 30 minutes between your last meeting and the end of your work day, group together answering emails and planning the following day into that one block.
    Eventually, time blocking will start to feel a lot more intuitive as you learn what your most productive day looks like!

    The Surprising Trait That May Be Affecting Your Productivity More

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    9 Unspoken Resume Rules You Should Be Following

    There are few things more frustrating and disheartening than a seemingly endless job search, so what if there were some simple tips that could help your resume move to the top of a hiring manager’s pile? Whether your relevant training and experience are extensive or very minimal, your resume is your sales pitch—it tells those looking to hire what you can do, what you enjoy, and where you want to move in your career. It’s essential that your resume highlights your best attributes while avoiding any red flags or mistakes that could hold you back in your job search. If you’re looking to take your resume to the next level, keep reading for nine unspoken resume rules that you need to follow before submitting your next application.

    1. Keep It to No More Than Two Pages
    When you really want to show off your training and experience to a company, it can be tempting to list every job you’ve ever had or course you’ve ever taken, but that’s rarely a good idea. According to, most resumes should be no more than a single page, especially if you have less than 10 years of professional experience. Most hiring managers have mere seconds to skim over a resume and decide if you’re a good fit for the available role, so you need to make sure that all information they see is relevant. Avoid unnecessary filler words, remove outdated information, and keep your resume as concise as possible.

    2. Tailor Your Resume to the Job
    Although it may be easier if you’re applying for a wide range of job opportunities, using the same resume for every application may work against you. Hiring managers are looking to see that you have the skills and experience for the specific role they are filling, and that will look different for each and every position. The training and work experience that would be important for an accounting role is very different from those needed for a hospitality position, so identifying relevant skills and elaborating on those for each specific job is crucial to ensuring you stand out. This also means removing any work experience that isn’t relevant to the job you are applying for, especially if it is from more than five years ago. Keep it recent, and keep it relevant!

    3. Don’t Let Spelling and Grammar Hold You Back
    It may seem obvious, but ensuring you use correct spelling and grammar on your resume can make a big difference when it comes to whether a hiring manager takes your application seriously. Use Grammarly to check for mistakes, or ask a friend to edit your work. Avoidable errors on your resume imply that you rushed in writing your application, are not detail-oriented, or simply didn’t care enough to edit your work before sending it—none of which are the impressions you want to give to a potential employer!

    Source: Color Joy Stock

    4. Numbers, Numbers, Numbers!
    One of the best ways to ensure that your experience stands out is by quantifying exactly what you did in each role. That means including numbers! Instead of listing a duty as simply “Customer Service,” say “Served up to 200 customers per shift.” Rather than writing “Posted on the company Twitter,” say “Managed the company’s presence across four social media platforms, building the online following to over 20,000 people.”

    5. Name Hard Skills, Not Soft Skills
    The skills section on your resume should be short and relevant, which means only listing hard skills! Hard skills are measurable abilities that are directly relevant to the job being applied for, while soft skills are personal attributes that describe employees as individuals. While soft skills like being hard-working, honest, and patient may have sounded good in high school, they are not measurable or objective, and shouldn’t be included on a professional resume. Instead, list hard skills that will jump out at a hiring manager, like your experience using Google Suite, Microsoft Office, Skype, or Zoom.

    6. Use Action Verbs to List Your Duties
    When it comes to listing your duties and responsibilities in previous roles, action verbs can make all the difference. This switches the language of your resume from passive voice to active voice and is a great way to highlight what you offer to a company. Lead bullet points with action verbs like “negotiated,” “managed,” “coordinated,” and “developed” to draw attention to your accomplishments and experience.

    Source: Social Squares

    7. Research Current Employees
    If you want an insight into what a company is looking for, the current employees are an incredibly useful place to start! LinkedIn is an amazing resource to find the people already working at the company you’re applying to, and it allows you to see what experience and skills they list both at their current job and at their previous positions. This can be a great way to find out which training and information the business and hiring managers see as important, assisting you in highlighting your own skills.

    8. Cut Out the References
    Including references on your resume, or even the well-used phrase “References available upon request,” is a thing of the past! Not only are they not needed at the application stage unless specifically requested but a list of references takes up precious space on your resume.

    9. Use a Cover Letter to Explain Gaps
    A lot of people are scared to address gaps in their resumes, but they shouldn’t be! A 2020 LinkedIn survey found that Americans feel embarrassed (24%), uneasy (23%), and ashamed (15%) about disclosing they are currently unemployed, but especially since COVID-19, it is very common for candidates to have at least short gaps in their employment history. If you have gaps in your resume, regardless of the reason, the best thing you can do is be honest about it. Rather than shying away, use a cover letter to highlight that you took time for yourself to grow and focus. From taking a course online to building a professional network, use the gaps in your resume to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to explain your time off to a hiring manager—it might just work in your favor!

    Yes, Manifesting Works—It Helped Me Land My Dream Job More

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    5 Things Successful Women Do on Fridays So Monday Isn’t a Nightmare

    It’s no secret that Mondays can be stressful. The term “Sunday scaries” even describes the uncomfortable feeling prior to the start of a new week. I, for one, have struggled for a long time with this. I’ve spent many Sundays overthinking the tasks and responsibilities I have waiting for me on Monday, often putting a damper on wonderful weekends spent with friends and family.
    Luckily, there are ways to prevent the Sunday scaries before they even hit, and there are even ways to prevent Monday morning from feeling like a frantic scramble to the finish line. The trick? It’s all in how you spend Friday afternoon. So get ready to sit back and fully enjoy a well-deserved glass of rose on Friday evening—because we’re diving into the five things successful women (and now you!) do on Fridays so that Monday isn’t a nightmare.

    1. Prep Your Monday, Before Monday
    Successful women know that remaining a step ahead in work and going the extra mile is what will set them apart, but as the week comes to a close, it’s normal to have tasks that spill over and become a “next week” item.
    Before you log off on Friday, take the time to organize your Monday (and the rest of the week for that matter). Review your email, messages, calendar, any big meetings from the week, and your overall to-do list every Friday before you leave the office. From there, map out the following week and bake in time for meeting preparation, follow-ups you need to handle, reminders you have in your calendar, things you have to do, and things you want to do. When doing this, make sure to add in things like walks to coffee mid-week when you know your mind will need a mental break.
    When I do this, I like to take it a step further and connect with my internal teammates about items for the following week so that we are already aligned on what needs to be done—saving us time and energy on Monday so that we can jump right in. This way, I leave for the weekend already confident that I have the following week managed and under control.

    2. Get Meeting Preparation Handled
    If I know I’m walking into a Monday with calls of any kind, I like to take extra time on Friday to prepare these in advance. I ensure agendas are ready, notes have been made, and I know exactly what needs to be done Monday morning in order to fully prepare.Knowing what I’m walking into on Monday helps meetings go smoother and helps me rest easy Sunday night knowing that Monday morning isn’t going to be a fire drill. Win-win!

    3. Clean Your Physical Space
    Before you jet out to catch up with friends on Fridays, ensure your desk or workspace is tidy. Walking into a neat and calm space on Monday morning will help ease your mind. Pro tip: Set out a nice candle, cute notebook, and your favorite coffee mug for Monday morning.

    Source: @alainakaz

    4. Clean your Digital Space
    Maybe more important than your physical workspace is your digital one.Before I log off on Fridays, I do my best to organize my email inbox, desktop, downloads, and other folders that may have started adding up during the week. I file items appropriately and get rid of what I don’t need.
    For email, I use folders and labels to ensure my inbox is as organized as possible for when I walk in on Monday, so that when I’m trying to rack my brain about where things left off, it’s already right there, organized in front of me.

    5. Reflect On Your Week
    At the end of the day, all of this preparation will only truly pay off if you take what happened during your current week and apply it to what is next. Take a walk for 5-10 minutes on Friday afternoon and think about what worked, what didn’t work, where you want to shift focus the following week, and what additional skills you want to learn. Add key goals you set for yourself or areas you’d like to improve into your weekly plan and add things to remember to sticky notes in your workspace so that when you come in Monday, there is no question about what you’re going to do.

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    The Surprising Trait That May Be Affecting Your Productivity

    Do you ever feel like no matter how many productivity hacks, time management tips, or The Everygirl desk essentials you buy, you still aren’t operating at your peak productivity levels?
    We’ve all heard the same advice from productivity experts everywhere, “Wake up an hour earlier!” or “Have you tried [insert time management strategy here]? It’s a total game-changer.” We live in a world where productivity is always top of mind, but sometimes, something still feels off no matter how many strategies we try or how much effort we put in.
    If you’ve ever felt this way, you aren’t alone. But I’m here to tell you a little secret: You might have top-notch time management and productivity skills, but if you’re not structuring your day around your chronotype, you’re missing one of the puzzle pieces that will help you be successful.
    As a self-proclaimed self-help enthusiast, I recently dug into Daniel Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Despite knowing as much as I do about productivity, I’ve never thought about how the timing I choose for specific work might not be a good fit. Naturally, I find open time in my calendar in the afternoons, a couple of hours before logging off for the day. But as it turns out, as a morning lark, I should actually be scheduling my focused work time in the morning hours.
    If you’re looking for the real productivity hack that will help you get your best work done, look no further: Understanding your chronotype is the missing piece you’ve been searching for.

    What are Chronotypes?
    Each of us has a chronotype or a circadian classification of sorts. Our chronotype influences our alertness and activity levels, even when we don’t realize it. And since research suggests that our chronotypes are biological characteristics influenced by genetics and age, it’s often easier to work with your chronotype than against it or try to change it.
    In his book, Pink shared the story of Thomas Edison alone in his lab one evening in 1879. While other colleagues went home to sleep, Edison stayed behind, determined to find a filament to illuminate a lightbulb. Pink uses Edison’s concept to introduce chronotypes you might be familiar with: larks and owls.

    Larks have early chronotypes and are generally what we refer to as “morning people.” They wake early (naturally, not after hitting the snooze button seven times) and feel energized throughout the day but start to wear out by the early evening hours. According to Pink, when it comes to personality characteristics, research reveals that morning people are pleasant and productive and high in positive affect.
    Owls have late chronotypes and are “night people.” They may sleep in when they don’t have to get up early for work and don’t peak (or do their best work) until late afternoon or early evening. Pink notes that owls tend to display darker tendencies, including impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and living for the moment.

    But in addition to these two types, Pink introduces the third chronotype somewhere in the middle—the third bird.

    Third birds are in the middle—not inherently early risers or night people—but more like people who naturally wake sometime between 8-10 am. Many of us meet the third bird criteria.

    Source: Tatiana Syrikova | Pexels

    Why does my Chronotype matter?
    Okay, our chronotypes certainly impact our sleeping patterns, but why do they matter at work? All of us, regardless of chronotype, similarly experience the day. The kicker: We don’t experience it at the same time in the day because of our chronotypes.
    Every day, we experience three phases as part of our biological productivity:
    A peak: The time of day where your energy, attention, and focus are at their highest.A trough: The time of day where your energy levels are lowest, and you may find it challenging to focus.A rebound: A boost in energy and attention (not quite the same levels as your peak, but more than your trough).
    According to Pink, larks and third birds experience the day in that exact order, but at different time frames throughout the day (larks peak earlier than third birds, etc.); however, night owls might experience the day in reverse order, says Pink—a recovery, a trough, and a peak. (Keep this in mind, we’ll help you optimize your day once you figure out your type!)

    How to determine your bird type
    Determining your chronotype is relatively simple. You need to examine your behavior on a “natural” day—a day when you aren’t setting an alarm clock or forcing yourself to wake up at a specific time.
    Pink recommends asking yourself the following three questions:

    What time do you usually go to sleep?
    What time do you usually wake up?
    What is the middle of those two times—that is, what is your midpoint of sleep?

    Do you have your answers?
    You’re probably a lark if your midpoint of sleep is before 3:30 am. You’re likely a third bird if it’s between 3:30-5:30 am. And if it’s after 5:30 am, you’re most likely an owl.
    Still not convinced? Try Pink’s simpler method to be sure. Write down when you wake up on the weekend or a non-alarm clock day. If it’s the same as weekdays, you’re a lark. Slightly later than weekdays, a third bird. And one-and-half hours or more later, an owl.

    How to make the most of your workday
    Now that you know your chronotype, you can take advantage of the three phases of the productivity cycle: peak, trough, and rebound.
    If you have some control over when you can do your work, try to plan to do your most critical analytical tasks during your peak. For larks and third birds, the morning to mid-morning hours is a sacred time that you should reserve for your most important tasks (you know, like that big assignment requiring research and critical thinking that your boss wants from you by the end of the week). Night owls don’t have it as easy, but saving important analytical tasks for the late afternoon and evening can benefit from a productivity standpoint. Here’s an example schedule for each of the three types:

    Consider using your trough for lighter, administrative tasks that are more mundane and routine. For larks and third birds, a late afternoon time block for responding to emails and Slack messages might be the move. For owls, consider starting your morning this way—ease in slowly and get settled into your workday. Knowing when your trough is can also be helpful for scheduling meetings. Depending on the type of meeting and your role as an attendee, consider scheduling less critical, more routine meetings during your trough when your activity levels are lower.
    There’s no secret recipe for living your best, most productive life, but knowing how (and when) you’ll do your best work can help. Don’t ditch those time management strategies and productivity hacks just yet! Combine them with a schedule that works well for your chronotype, and watch your work life soar in no time.

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    How Does a Tomato Timer Help With Productivity? Here’s What You Should Know About the Pomodoro Technique

    The first time I learned about the Pomodoro Technique, I was standing in my manager’s office as she was staring at a tomato. She was convinced it would help improve her focus and her productivity. I remember being very confused and asking myself, “How in the world will this tomato help her get work done more efficiently?” Turns out, she was onto something. Well, actually Francesco Cirillo was on to something first.
    In the late 1980s, Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique while attending business school in Rome. How does the tomato timer come into play? “Pomodoro” in Italian means “tomato”, and Cirillo originally used a tomato timer when he first coined this productivity technique.
    My manager isn’t the only person who’s been intrigued by the Pomodoro Technique. Since its creation over 30 years ago, more than 2 million people have used this method to increase their focus and productivity—but how does it actually work? Here’s everything you need to know.

    So, what exactly is the Pomodoro Technique?
    The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that breaks a large task, or series of tasks, into short, timed intervals of work. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer to break his work into 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks. Each interval of work and break is called a Pomodoro. The Pomodoro Technique is meant to improve focus and increase productivity by reducing distractions and reducing complexity. Each Pomodoro helps create smaller, more manageable tasks and improve concentration.

    How do I give the Pomodoro Technique a try?
    There are six steps to the Pomodoro Technique. Let’s break them down.

    Step 1: Select your task. This task can be big or small. It’s totally up to you! The most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s work that requires your full, undivided attention.
    Step 2: Set a timer for 25 minutes. You can use a traditional timer like Cirillo did, or an online timer. You can even set a timer on your phone or download an app, but keep in mind that during this time you are committing to no interruptions. That means that you won’t pick up your phone to check social media, answer a text, or even respond to an email.
    Step 3: Work on the task until the timer rings. As soon as you start your timer, your only objective is to immerse yourself in the task at hand. Remember, no distractions. But because it’s not uncommon for random thoughts to pop into your head (think that one item on your to-do list you totally spaced on), keep a piece of paper handy. If you have a thought that pops into your head, quickly write it down, and then get back to work.
    Step 4: When the timer goes off, stop working. Metaphorical pencils down! Your 25 minutes are up, and it’s time for a break. At this time, put a checkmark on a piece of paper so you can keep track of how many Pomodoros you’ve completed.
    Step 5: Take a short break. The key word is short. The break should only be 5-10 minutes long. Set a timer and do anything unrelated to work. Go for a quick walk. Refill your coffee cup. Grab some water. Do a few breathing exercises. Literally anything other than work.
    Step 6: Lather, rinse, repeat. Congratulations! You’ve completed one Pomodoro. It’s time to get back to work. Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros (approximately two hours if you’re working for 25 minutes with a five-minute break), it’s time to take a longer break. This break should be around 20 minutes, but it can be up to 30 minutes. This time is used as a reset before you begin your next set of Pomodoros.

    A few tips and tricks when implementing the Pomodoro Technique
    The Pomodoro Technique is fairly simple, but staying focused, which is the reason you’re probably trying out this technique, is often easier said than done. But I promise, you’ll get the hang of it after a few tries, and it works! While you won’t find a tomato on my desk anytime soon, I can attest to the magic that is a Pomodoro.
    As you’re working through your Pomodoros, here are a few things to keep in mind.

    Working in intervals is meant to instill a sense of urgency. So while you might find your flow right before the timer sounds, the built-in breaks are there for a reason (i.e., to help reduce fatigue and burnout). It’s important to trust the process.
    The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to take a larger, more complex project and break it into smaller, more digestible tasks. So just because you think a task will take longer than 25 minutes, doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of this technique.
    If you finish a task in the middle of a Pomodoro, use any remaining time to review your work or take a look at your to-do list to identify what you’d like to work on next.
    By keeping track of how many Pomodoros it takes for you to complete an item on your to-do list, you can begin to learn where your time is spent throughout the day to start to create efficiencies in your work week.

    Can I use the Pomodoro Technique with others?
    Yes! While the Pomodoro Technique was originally developed for solo work, there’s a benefit to adapting it to use with your colleagues and teams. For example, try scheduling time with a friend or co-worker to sync up your Pomodoros. Whether in person, over Zoom, or via text, holding each other accountable for knocking out your to-do list is a win-win scenario.
    You can even try the Pomodoro Technique with teams. Say you need to brainstorm for an upcoming project, set a timer for 25 minutes, and let your minds run wild. When that timer is up, take a team walk or snack break before diving back in. Accountability is a powerful tool, and the Pomodoro Technique allows you to hold yourself and others accountable for achieving your goals.

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