I'm pretty sure we can all agree that one of the worst things someone can do is waste our time. Yet, isn't it ironic that if most of us sat and thought about who wastes our time the most, it would probably be ourselves? (Ouch and amen!)
I don't know about you, but not a week goes by that I'm not either wondering where my 24 hours went or wishing that I could add four more hours to at least one of my days. Usually, it's because I don't plan out my day the day before, or I'm doing stuff that is totally unnecessary.
It's funny how life works and what it will teach you. I say that because the more I'm learning to value myself, the more I'm also learning to value my time. With that, I've discovered a few hacks along the way that have literally given me a couple of hours back.
1.Cook for the Week (on the Weekends)
You've probably told yourself that you're gonna do this and just never did. But trust me—if you cook on the weekends while you're binge-watching one of your favorite shows, not only will it save you time during the week but it's healthier. Just think about it—you won't be wasting money on fattening fast food, which means cooking for the week also saves you money too!
2.Go to Bed (or Wake Up) 30 Minutes Earlier
How is going to bed or waking up earlier gonna save you time? It's all in how you look at it.
If you've been wanting to read a book, going to bed earlier can help you to knock some chapters out. If you've been saying you're gonna run more, getting up earlier means that you can get 20 minutes of cardio in before hopping in the shower.
3.Shower the Night Before
If you're slightly OCD, this tip probably won't work for you. But for everyone else, aside from the fact that showering the night before can save you an extra 15 minutes or so in the morning, did you know that it can be better for your skin and health too?
Not only does showering at night improve your quality of sleep, but cleansing your pores before bedtime can help your skin to rejuvenate itself while you rest. Plus, your pores will be closed by morning, which decreases the chances of getting an infection or catching a cold.
4.Tie Your Sides Down with Shea Butter and a Scarf
Whether you run out of edge control or you simply need a little more reinforcement for the hairstyle you want to rock, dab a little shea butter on your baby hairs, then tie a scarf around your head. Shea butter is one of the most "slept-on" ways to keep your edges laid. It's so good that you won't have to waste 10 extra minutes trying to get your hair under control.
Even if you get out of the house 20 minutes earlier on most mornings, that doesn't always mean that you're gonna miss a wreck on the road. If you're trying to impress your boss by not only getting to work on time but getting there earlier, download a traffic navigation app like Waze. You'll get up-to-date info on car accidents, traffic, and weather so that you can bypass all the (potential) drama on the road.
6.Check Your Email (No More Than Three Times a Day)
You're not gonna wanna hear it, but you need to. It's been proven that we spend (or is it waste?) almost three hours a day on email alone.
Listen, whatever is in your inbox, it's going to be there whenever you get around to checking it. You can save a world of time by disciplining yourself to wait until arriving at work before you check it at all. Then only look at it again during lunch and right before leaving in the evening. Unless you're waiting for something work-related that's time-sensitive, of course.
7.Turn Your Notifications Off
Surely you didn't think I was gonna let social media slide. Although I personally don't use it (nope, no social media accounts at all), I know that makes me an enigma. Meanwhile, guess how much time you're (probably) spending/wasting on it? HALF THE DAY (check out article US Adults Now Spend Nearly Half a Day Interacting with Media for reference).
Remember when your mom used to say, "Do you know how much you can get done in the two hours you're sitting in front of the television?" Replace that with "Do you know how much you're not getting done because you're always on someone's Instagram Story?" Just sayin'.
8.Do the Hardest Tasks—First
Procrastination sucks. Mostly because it encourages us to avoid making the most of our time. That said, whatever project you've got that you've been putting off because of all the work that's involved in it? Do yourself a favor and do it first. If you always make it a point (and practice) to do the hardest things before everything else by the time you get to the easy stuff, you'll literally be able to fly right through those tasks—and the rest of your day.
9.Leave Work ON TIME
One of the most challenging things about having a salaried job is you can easily stay at work 2-3 hours after the time you're scheduled to go home. But while you're still sitting at your desk, just think about all the errands you can run or how much of your house you can clean.
Moral to the story—unless you have to be at work past your clock-out time…don't be.
10. Schedule Your "Electronics" Time
One more thing. Any (reputable) interior designer will tell you that bedrooms are for sex and sleep. If you're not getting much of either, know that it's because you've got your laptop on your bed and your smartphone on your lap.
I'll put it to you this way: That's a surefire way to jack up your quality time with your significant other, your quality of sleep, and a few moments for you to paint your nails. So instead of electronics, just read a book or write in a journal.
I'm willing to bet some good money that if you implemented all or even some of these changes, you would get back a couple of hours of your life, easily. It's a reminder that most of the time, we don't need more time in the day; we simply need to stop wasting the time that we already have.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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In a conversation about her latest role in the Lifetime movie Abducted Off the Street: The Carlesha Gaither Story, The Real Housewives of Atlanta personality opened up to PEOPLE about her “next chapter” following her divorce from ex-husband Marc Daly.
The reality TV star shared that she is currently on a journey of embracing self-love, letting go of self-criticism, and focusing on embracing every part of herself.
"I've never given myself that before; allowed myself the freedom to just let go and walk through life fully embracing every part of myself," Moore says. "That's what I want to do moving forward because I'm tired of holding myself back. This 'next chapter,' as I'm calling it, is all about flourishing, removing myself from those burdens and stepping into me.”
Over the years, Moore, 53, has been open about the criticism that she’s endured from the maternal figures in her life and the impact that it has on her self-esteem. Now, the 1993 Miss USA is releasing herself from the constraints that have been placed on her in the past for a more free and open approach to life.
"I've always judged myself with my grandmother's eyes," Moore says. "She was old-fashioned and very religious, and while I appreciated that and appreciated her morals, I feel like I've been wound a little too tight in the past. I've always contained myself, especially in my personal relationships. And I'm done doing that."
While coming to terms with the end of her marriage, Moore shared that she has long held herself responsible for the divorce and her tendency to self-judge. However, she has since decided not to burden herself with unnecessary blame and guilt around the separation.
"For years, I blamed myself for my divorce — in the same way I judged myself, that was my default," Moore says. "But recently, I looked back at text messages between us, emails, listened to voice recordings, and it finally hit me: It wasn't me. So I said, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do this to myself.'"
"The only thing that I can say with me is that once I did see the red flag, I should have gotten out then," Moore says in hindsight. "I needed to stop being Captain Save-a-Hoe. Some hoes can't be saved!"
Now, the mother and entrepreneur has her sights set on the overall growth of her hair line, Kenya Moore Hair Care, as CEO; and if it’s in the cards, she’s open to entertaining new love in her life — although it’s not her top priority.
"If there's an amazing gentleman that pops up on the horizon who wants to take me to Monaco, and we have a yacht ride or something, then yes — yes. I will," she says jokingly. "Don't ask me twice! And no, I'll not apologize for it either."
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