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Favorite Five: Staying Organized and Motivated

If your summer has been anything like mine, it’s been full of competing pursuits, projects, and #goals. How do you stay abreast of them all without A.) drowning and B.) losing motivation? My favorite five this month shares some resources that I’ve found helpful.

  1. Understanding Motivation: How to harness the power of consistent workplace productivity by Jory MacKay

We’ve all been there – there seems like a ridiculous amount of work to do and none of it seems particularly motivating to you, especially when you know you’re going to work late. This piece covers some ways to stay or get motivated at work. I personally made my own little motivation gallery wall on my cubicle’s wall.

I also keep a shelf of Strong Female (Disney) Characters at work to keep me motivated (WWSFCD?)

(Pictured left to right: Merida, Tiana, Moana, Rapunzel, Anna, Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Elsa, Cinderella, Mulan, and Rey. Special appearances by R2D2 and Han Solo in carbonite. Not pictured: Pocahontas, Brienne of Tarth, Luna Lovegood, and Hermione Granger.)

I also really enjoy putting my headphones and jamming out to some fun music while working. Sometimes I dance while I do it. Sometimes my co-workers see me. This is inevitably what happens:



  1. How to make an actually effective to-do list if you’re a procrastinator by Anisa Purbasari Horton

I love To-Do lists. They help keep me organized as I work through a proposal or project. I especially love the pads and sticky notes available from Knock, Knock like the ones below.

I like to break things up according to high and low-level tasks over a few different pads. For instance I’ll put my weekly assignments on my This Week pad, then tasks for the day on To Do and individual pieces of those tasks on the Action Items. I use the Mental Note pad a reminder for things to do as they come up (like adding a new project description to someone’s master resume after a proposal goes out).

  1. Feeling inadequate and miserable? It might be because of ‘expectation creep’ by Kara Cutruzzula – Shine

When it comes to my work, I can be known to be a perfectionist. This amount of times I’ve reprinted part of a proposal because I want to realign the layout or change out a photo are….numerous. In high school, I remember writing an essay on a test and being marked down even though I covered all the required topics. When I asked my teacher why it was marked down, she replied that she was used to more in-depth essays from me. I had literally written myself into a corner by not writing as much as I had in the past. I increased the expectations of myself and failed to meet them. This article talks about setting realistic expectations, and most importantly, how to say no.

  1. Effective Goal Setting: Practical advice for setting, measuring, and hitting your goals by Jory MacKay

Setting and achieving your goals is important, especially when it comes to your yearly review. Instead of setting vague goals like, “Be better at proof-editing”, breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals will be more helpful like, “Make sure to print and manually review submissions to catch typos before sending out a draft”.  This article will help you set and achieve goals and nail your next review!

  1. The most effective way to implement a behavior change by Jory MacKay – Rescuetime

I have a hard time changing my routine. If left to my own devices I would come home, eat something made of sugar, and go to sleep at 2AM after binging the new season of GLOW. I was able to effectively change my habits about two years ago when I changed my diet, started going to kettle bell classes, and started to go to bed earlier. But that was two years ago and my bad habits have crept back. This gives some good pointers on how to make a change for the better.


Kristie Norris is a Proposal Manager who enjoys theatre as a both a performer and audience member, horseback riding, and occasionally lifting kettlebells. She is a contributor for the Favorite Five blog series and a member of the Communications and Professional Development Committees.

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