Trying to buy a gift that doesn't result in clutter but is unique and customized?
Have gifts that you need to wrap, but your attempt looks like a preschooler did it? (Ok, I'm talking about me here). Does DIY turn into OOPS?
TaskRabbit and Fiverr to the rescue!
TaskRabbit is like Craig's list but without the scaries. Instead of wondering if the person showing up is going to be reliable or is a descendant of Big Foot, you can hire and pay through TaskRabbit. You'll be able to see references and ratings of the people you are considering. Everything is done through its platform to make it easy.
I had one client who used TaskRabbit to take down all of her holiday decorations and put them away. Another used TaskRabbit to be a runner at her child's birthday party so she could focus on her son instead of replenishing cupcakes and punch.
Fiverr is another website to outsource tasks from the professional to the personal. It's called Fiverr because each gig is $5, but the work might be 2 or more gigs.
Popular professional services include:
translation of video
I've used Fiverr for press releases, making PDFs editable (I paid $11 rather than buying the Adobe Suite) and book editing and formatting. What I really like them for is for creating personalized gifts.
I had a ‘celebrity' record a special message for my husband for his 50th birthday.
I had someone photoshop my brother Todd into a scene from Baywatch for his birthday (yes, I could have done this myself, but it wouldn't have looked as good, and my time is worth more than $12).
I also had my niece's photo turned into a cartoon Rapunzel for $12 – two gigs + a tip.
Have a cousin who likes Elvis and Brazil? There's a Brazilian Elvis that can sing her a custom message.
One of my favorite uses is to have someone do vacation research. There are many people who will create customized travel itineraries or will be your personal assistant when you get there. There's one that will plan your entire Disney World vacation starting at $10!
Get creative. Save time. Stop putting off those tasks you keep moving forward to the next day. What's the first task you can think of to outsource?
Last year I started following Bagby, a company that describes itself as digital wellness with a human soul. The founder, Juan Sanchez, has two degrees in digital and social media marketing. He decided to stop becoming part of the distraction while at the same time, take his relationship with his wife to the next level. Bagby encourages people to put down their phones to not just reduce screen time but increase HUMAN time.
Do you know what Phubbing is?
I bet you've phubbed someone. Or someone phubbed you. My friend, who is a recruiter, even said she was phubbed in an interview!
Phubbing – Phone snubbing. When people look at their phone and snub the person right in front of them.
Phubbing drives me crazy. Even the sight of a phone on the table makes me anxious. My husband, who is 50, notices that the majority of his millennial friends always have their phones on the table, face-up, glancing at them as notifications appear (yes, I know people who are not millennials do this too, but the majority of his friends of that age do it without exception). He puts his on the table sometimes, face-down, because it's uncomfortable in his pocket. I have a dear friend who always has her phone out in case the school calls, but then I noticed one day that when her entire family was with us, she was the only one who had her phone on the table. I don't blame her. The dopamine drip is strong.
To me, it feels like they are saying “I'm here at this table with you, but something may important may happen on this device and I can't miss it. Not even for 30 minutes.”
Habit. Telepressure. Learned behavior. Is it an addiction or an impulse?
Several studies report phubbing leads to negative feelings, lack of connection, an increase in anxiety, a decrease in marital satisfaction, and more. It also threatens our four fundamental needs of belonging, self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control.
It's such a distraction that it sucks the enjoyment out of an event, even when it's not directed at me personally. This is why I think every concert venue, comedy club, movie theater, and school should invest in Yondr.
My husband, who pretty much has a tablet or phone with him at all times, agreed to my experiment and put one up beside our front door on New Year's Eve. We had two other couples coming to join us for a raucous game of who could be the most horrible person at Cards Against Humanity.
What happened as they arrived was very interesting. We asked our guests to put their phones in the holder, and the first couple, Sara and Billy, did it right away. When the next couple arrived, TB put both of her phones in the holder. Her spouse wanted to keep his in his pocket. I told him it was not an option, and the peer pressure forced him to get rid of it.
As the night progressed, he joked a few times, “if we had our phones, we could look it up.” And he's right! There were several times that we would have asked Siri or searched for a video, photo, or something else, but we didn't.
Guess what happened?
At the end of the night, none of us could remember what we even wanted to look up to begin with. That funny video we were going to share or the news story we had to read didn't even matter.
When I asked one of the couples the next morning how they felt about it, they said it was a little weird at first, but then they liked it. They paid more attention to the people in the room and weren't distracted. Upon further reflection, ten days later, Billy Alspaugh sent me this message.
Looking back on the evening, I was surprised, and in hindsight, appalled, at my initial reptilian, base response to not want to give up my phone. It set off bells and whistles that don't conjure up rainbows and unicorns.
I quickly reminded myself that I'm trying to embrace “outside my comfort zone” and mentally moved this situation into that column.
I found that I was unnerved and slightly discombobulated the first few times I was unsure about something and instinctually began to reach for my “googler”. That began to go away after false start #2.
It was interesting to me how big a deal being device-free was. In reality, we just went a few hours without them. We most likely could/would have passed the same amount of time without anyone going “to the pocket” without drawing any attention.
I thought that the joint “team effort” brought a sense of unity to the proceedings that wouldn't have existed with devices on hand. For example, working together to remember band names, song titles, year of album release, etc. that otherwise would have been searched for.
To that same end, I know I felt a sense of resolve and found joy in being able to remember/find things mentally that I, by default, would have just farmed out to the interweb. Strangely I felt like a kid again, way back before pocket supercomputing, when going to grab an encyclopedia was too much hassle. It was somewhere near this realization, probably early to mid-game, that I couldn't have cared less about my phone anymore.
I must admit that the amount of time I have spent since New Year's Eve thinking about my relationship with my device has been somewhat shocking to me. My wife Sara has been practicing removing her device from her space, both in work and sleep. I never really understood what her aim was until New Year's Eve.
I am making an effort to be more cognizant of how dependent I am to my device daily and to remove it whenever possible. Small things like turning it off vs. making it silent when I need total focus on a task truly makes a difference. I have quite a ways to go, but for now, I'm taking baby steps.
My husband loved the experiment so much that he wanted to keep the phone holder on the wall and start a new habit of Phone-Free Fridays for 2020! Usually, I'm the one who wants to do something like that, so I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that this was his idea. It's since moved to Phone Free Weekend Nights starting at 6pm.
I'll be buying more of these phone holders this year for my clients who allow distracted meetings. Why have a meeting if people aren't going to be present?
We need more people like Juan, more companies like Bagby, and more willing participants to go back to human-to-human interaction. This is all a social experiment, and I think sooner rather than later, we will all be practicing more analog and digital minimalism to establish a connection.
Where and when can you see yourself using a phone holder? When can you commit to not phubbing?
Marcey Rader is a speaker, coach, and author of productivity and health behaviors who wants to rid the world of phubbing. Check out her latest book to lead you down a path of presence, at www.workwellplaymore.com/books.
This year, I went to Starbucks and got my favorite iced coffee and then spent the afternoon in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel (fewer distractions than a coffee shop, cozy, and made me feel abundant). I went through my primer book, page by page, to see how I changed and what happened or didn't happen. My primer book is something that I look at almost every day and is taught by business coach Shauna Van Bogart. Unlike a static vision board, it is a living book. I have active pages I am writing in (a little like a journal) and have different page spreads for family, health, marriage, speaking, coaching, travel, etc.
My brother Todd flew in from Indiana, and we met the third member of our Cheer Squad, Lilly Ferrick, at Bean Traders coffee for Habanero Chocolate Lattes and shared our reflections. Tears were shed, fist bumps were given and lessons earned gave perspective.
The biggest lesson earned was hiring someone who was is skilled in one area and assuming it would transfer to another.
Which relationships strengthened the most? Lilly Ferrick and Janet Boudreau, my Vistage Chair.
Smartest business decision – hiring Jessica Coscia to help with my book PR and moving to LinkedIn only.
On the last Saturday of December, my husband and I went to Full Bloom Coffee for cinnamon cold brew (hmmm….I'm seeing a pattern I didn't realize!) to do our yearly reflections for business and personal. It was exceptional in that I wouldn't have known some of the things he shared or even thought to ask.
I love this exercise and encourage you to do it for yourself, with business colleagues, and with your family. It's enlightening and always a learning experience. When I reflect to someone, they may have a different opinion or a way to look at it. My friend Lilly was discussing her sabbatical, and I pointed out that if she worked for a company that they would have a specified time frame, they would pay her. This gave her an idea about mini-sabbaticals throughout the year. She changed my wording from a lesson learned to lesson earned, which I like much better.
It's not too late to do your reflections for the year, the holiday season, a vacation, or a party. If you don't know where to start, hit the lessons first. You earned them.
I picked up Work Well and Play More expecting to focus on the productivity section, fully believing I’d polish what I considered to be solid productivity habits at work. In addition to patting myself on the back for the productive habits I do have (like using Offline as my default setting in Outlook so I can control the flow of emails into my inbox), I was reminded of productive habits that I’d lost (like batching and scheduling my tasks). What was total bonus for me were the household productivity and clutter tips! I have a new motivation to try healthy new foods and to declutter my home space. This book overflows with PRACTICAL, DOABLE strategies for instilling better habits for your mind, your home, and your desk!
– Wendy Gates Corbett – Amazon Review
I put over 180 hours into the book just leading up to launch day (of course…I tracked it!) and was in super Mission-Critical-Only mode for eight weeks. I have never put anything into my business like this.
Launch morning arrived, and I packed up my car and drove to the gorgeous City Club Raleigh to have my launch open house from 9-12. I was already feeling hyped-up because I didn't know how many people would attend, and I had 35 RSVPs on a Monday morning!
At a stoplight, I thought…this is it. People will love it or hate it. I will change lives or not. But it's out there for all the world (or hopefully at least a few hundred people) to read. I started to get a little choked up and said, “Self, don't you ruin your makeup. You have photo opps today!” and put those tears to rest.
Result – BEYOND EXPECTATIONS – on all fronts. My village of supporters came out, and I actually had to kick people out at noon. The event space was perfect with the view of downtown. Many people who helped make this book happen by contributing, editing, or beta reading were there. I was able to recognize people, pull snippets from the book, and make connections for people to work with each other. Several times I looked out and started to get teary-eyed (but then quickly remembered – mascara!). My husband attended and played the ‘tambourine' (a reference to Chris Rock's latest poignant stand-up on Netflix) even though he was sick.
Work Well. Play More! belongs in your library next to Steven Covey, David Allen, and Jack Canfield.
In Work Well. Play More!, Marcey takes a different approach from many productivity authors by offering specific targeted behaviors and habits that are actionable. She starts by explaining how she got to the point of writing this book. Her story is entertaining; her writing is energetic and appealing. She pulls you into the book quickly. I finished it in two days – taking notes throughout.
VLAdmin – Amazon Review
We had a quick lunch, and then I went for a 90-minute massage and sauna session and got home at 5 pm. I have no idea how many books I sold on Amazon because they only show books shipped, not sold. I had several people send their order screenshots to Rea and thousands of dollars in bulk orders for teams as gifts and for one entire company, so I know that the numbers beat my goals.
Another high-five – I was able to have a successful launch without vomiting email campaigns all over my community – three in six weeks – (which even that gave me hives!) and using LinkedIn only. I asked who was willing to help me market the book by sharing the news, and people stepped up and said: “how can I help”?
Post-launch is not like post-wedding blues. There are none. I still have much to do, and launch doesn't end. I'm gearing up now for my masterclass to lead people through the steps. It's so exciting. I can't wait to begin.
A valuable “Choose Your Own Adventure” to help anyone move the needle!
This might be the first (or more likely, the sixth or twelfth) book on one of these topics that you'll read, and what sets it apart is how no two people will use it in the exact same way. The Novice, Pro, and Mastery level options of each step helps you up level to the place that you want to be, in the areas you care about the most. It's a “Choose Your Own Adventure” in the best self-development way possible.
Annette Adamska – Amazon Review
Massive hugs to Rea Donato, my Happiness Specialist, and who the book is dedicated to, for all the work she has done behind the scenes, or as my friend Sara calls her – the wizard behind the curtain. Her sister Rizza also stepped in to send over 450 individual emails and a ton of research. If you bought the book or wrote a review, send the screenshot to email@example.com for an exclusive video Show Those Bad Habits Who's Boss! If you're interested in the masterclass to walk you through the steps in the book, you can learn more here before completing an application. The class begins in January.
An amazing ROI in work/life from this book!!!
This review is unlike any other I have ever written. Because this book I've been “doing” while “reading”. Not yet finished and incorporating important hacks and adjustments in my routines that I'm getting a really mega huge R.O.I. for reading the book!
This practical “how-to” guide provides tangible tools and practical steps for gaining time and decluttering the body and mind in three key areas: productivity, organization, and health.
Marcey Rader is a nationally recognized productivity and health speaker, best-selling author, coach, and founder of Work Well. Play More!®, where she helps teams and individuals climb the ladder or build their business, without sacrificing their health.
“I lived through the experience of a complete and wholesale life renovation. The steps that I outline in the book saved my life and my sanity and are the foundation for my coaching program. I wrote this book because I want to continue to share these skills with others to help them redefine what health, wealth, and success truly mean.”
Marcey Rader is an Amazon best-selling author, sought-after productivity coach, accredited health and wellness expert, and renowned keynote speaker. As the founder of Marcey Rader Coaching and Work Well. Play More!®, she helps individuals and businesses kick their lifestyles back into balanced gear – without sacrificing health. She packs presentations with actionable advice and real-world wisdom, decluttering the mind, body, and business, one habit at a time. Her speaking roster's alive with engagements for Fortune 100 companies, startups, and everyone in between. Audiences from North Dakota to Dubai, manufacturing to biotech, learn to escalate their energy, conquer the calendar, master tasks, and extinguish email. To learn more, visit https://www.marceyrader.com/
Whether you’re a team of two or a 500-person department, Work Well. Play More!® offers productivity, health, and performance workshops, along with coaching and training on-demand tailored to your team, department, or the entire company. Work Well. Play More!® delivers interactive, engaging workshops that can change your company culture on the spot – for the better. We go way beyond theory to provide practical, real-world, in-the-weeds application. To learn more about Work Well. Play More!®, visit https://www.workwellplaymore.com/
Connect with me to get my not-too-often emails on how you can increase your productivity, improve your health, and declutter your spaces. I’ll send Ten Things You Are Doing That Wreck Your Productivity right away!
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