Easy Time Hacks To Take Back Your Day

Two years ago, I had the honor of being part of the Washington Post Time Hack Project. I was one of a handful of coaches who were paired with readers struggling with work-life balance. It was fun to help individuals from around the world and from every age group to take back control of their time and their life. The Time Hack Case Studies and Top 10 Time Hacks provide some tangible tips to help you take back your time.

The first order of business for taking back your time is to acknowledge you have the power to do so. With a schedule packed full of work hours, childcare and household responsibilities, and a myriad of other tasks, it is too easy to feel a slave to your schedule. One of the main reasons we feel stress with a busy schedule is we allow ourselves to be the victim of time and responsibilities. What we need to do is to run our schedule, not to let it run us.

The initial step to taking control of our schedule is to consciously create our schedule. How often during the day do you say ?I have to . . .? Just changing the wording to ?I choose to . . .? can move the power from the schedule to you. When you feel you ?have to? to do something, you are a victim, a slave, a drone of the responsibility. When you choose to take action, you are in the driver?s seat. Blame, anger, and stress are removed through consciously choosing how you spend your day.

This is more than just word choice. Being conscious about your time is more than taking responsibility for what you are choosing to do, but it is also choosing to do ? and not to do ? certain things. Look at everything on your list and really consider if you are consciously wanting and choosing something ? or does it feel like an obligation. I was speaking to a small business owner the other day who was overwhelmed by the amount of work on her schedule. However, when we delved into each item, we discovered that many items were actually obligations, not business necessities. She felt compelled to take on additional work for her clients, for which she was not receiving compensation. Yet, ?as a good business owner,? she felt she had to do these things. Not true. Once we sorted through her actual responsibilities and removed the obligations, she suddenly had a reasonable schedule.

Once you have pulled unnecessary obligations off your schedule, look at what is left. Look for items which you feel responsible to complete, but may not be the best use of your time and resources. An example of this comes from a woman taking care of an elderly relative. She chose to help her relative, but between doctor?s visits, trips to the grocery story, doing laundry, and ordering prescriptions, her days were filled with caretaking. In this case, we looked through the list of caretaking to-do?s and separated them by things she wanted or needed to do, and those things which were more easily taken care of by others. Doctor?s visits were something she definitely wanted to attend in order to monitor her relative?s health. But there was no reason she had to spend an hour a week going to the grocery store. Peapod or other delivery services could ensure the task was done ? just not by her.

Take a look at your schedule for this week. What are things you truly want and need to do? What obligations can you remove from your list? What responsibilities can be more easily taken care of by someone else? Then embrace what is left on your schedule as those things you are actively, consciously choosing to do. Notice how you feel you have more time, and less stress, throughout your day.

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8 Things Every Broadway Fan Should Watch, Read Or See Before The Tonys

Still deciding whether to forego rent this month and see Bette Midler in ?Hello, Dolly!?? Is your obsession with Ben Platt starting to verge on unhealthy? Were you put on this earth to see Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon swap roles every night in ?The Little Foxes??

Well, fear not, theater fans, because the Tony Awards are upon us, with host Kevin Spacey leading the festivities this year on CBS. The stars of stage and screen (alert: Cate Blanchett will be in attendance) will gather in New York City on Sunday night to celebrate the stellar year in theater.

This Broadway season took us everywhere, from working-class Pennsylvania in Lynn Nottage?s Pulitzer-Prize-winning play ?Sweat? to inside the hearts of a fractured family facing the HIV/AIDS crisis in ?Falsettos.? Also, though he may not be nominated, but now is a good time as ever to thank the theater gods for casting Jake Gyllenhaal in ?Sunday in the Park with George.?

So whether you?re a diehard fan or just tuning into this whole Broadway thing, it?s time to do your homework and check out some theater #content from around the internet about the shows nominated this year. 

And for those ?Hamilton? fanatics, yes, the Tonys still happen when the musical isn?t nominated, but, rest assured, Lin-Manuel Miranda will be there.  

 

?Dear Evan Hansen? (Best Musical)

From the minds of ?La La Land? songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, ?Dear Evan Hansen? has won over audiences (and Hollywood) thanks to a career-defining performance from Ben Platt and catchy ballads that tug at the heartstrings. Watch Platt and co-star Laura Dreyfuss? performance on ?Late Night with Seth Meyers? below. 

?Sweat? (Best Play)

The early favorite to pick up the award for Best Play this Sunday, Pulitzer winner ?Sweat? is the most politIcally relevant of the bunch, exploring the lives of factory workers in a small Pennsylvanian city. HuffPost recently interviewed playwright Lynn Nottage about what the play says about Trump?s America.

Nottage is also working on a companion piece titled ?Floyd,? which will … twist … be a comedy. 

?The Little Foxes? (Best Revival of a Play)

Laura Linney. Cynthia Nixon. Period piece. Need we say more? Set in a small town in Alabama circa 1900, both deliver tour de force performances and then switch roles on the subsequent night. They?re also close friends offstage, and brought the fun to ?Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen? earlier this year.

?Falsettos? (Best Revival of a Musical)

We cried and then we cried some more. This musical revival about an imperfect family struggling to stay together in the wake of a divorce and a father?s coming out was a standout this season. The cast is slated to perform at the Tonys this Sunday, so read this comprehensive piece from BuzzFeed about why the show means so much to the LGBT community and how it?s more timely than ever. 

?Hello, Dolly!? (Best Revival of a Musical)

As turn-of-the-century matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, Bette Midler has been earning rave reviews for her long-awaited musical comeback to Broadway. The glorious cast album was recently released and, trust us, your ears will immediately thank you for this musical theater goodness.

Also, the movie adaptation starring Barbra Streisand is currently streaming on Netflix, so what?s the holdup?  

?Jitney? (Best Revival of a Play)

From the mind of August Wilson, ?Jitney? follows a group of drivers of unofficial and unlicensed taxi drivers ? called ?jitneys? ?who transport residents of Pittsburgh Hill District in the 1970s because others refuse to do so. If you haven?t seen Wilson?s best known play ?Fences,? the powerful film adaptation starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington was released last year and also explores the experience and struggle of working class black Americans. 

?Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812? (Best Musical)

This interactive musical needs to be seen to be believed and it?s far too complicated to explain (seriously, it?s adapted from a section of War & Peace), so check out the cast, including Josh Groban, performing two songs on the ?Today Show.?

?The Present? (Cate Blanchett for Best Actress)

No one plays morally complex women like Cate Blanchett, and the Oscar winner is in fine form in this surprisingly modern adaptation of an unfinished Chekhov play. Directed by the actress? husband Andrew Upton, the standout scene features a drunk Blanchett pouring vodka all over herself, as she dances on a dinner table. Watch his interview with the cast below, and for more vodka and Blanchett, check out ?Blue Jasmine.? 

The Tony Awards air at 8 p.m. June 11 on CBS.

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These ’90s Apple Sneakers Can Be Yours For $15,000

Sneakerheads, prepare your wallets. 

Apple sneakers made exclusively for employees in the ?90s are currently for sale online at the auction house Heritage Auctions. Two important things you should know if you?re looking to purchase the sneakers: the shoes are a men?s size 9 1/2 and the starting bid is currently $15,000. 

Elon Werner, director of communications with Heritage Auctions, told HuffPost that the shoes came from a garage sale in San Francisco. Werner believes the shoes were a promotional item produced by Apple, though not many pairs were made. He?s only seen one other pair of the Apple shoes before in a size 8 1/2. 

According to Heritage Auctions, the shoes are estimated to go for over $30,000 at the final sale. For that kind of money, these kicks had better come with Steve Jobs? signature. 

Online bidding on the sneakers has already started and a live auction will be held on Heritage Live this Sunday, June 11. 

In 2012, images of a similar Apple sneaker popped up on Imgur: 

Business Insider reports that a pair of Apple sneakers sold on eBay for $79 in 2007. 

If you?re just in the mood to buy some expensive sneakers that have a little wear and tear, and you don?t care too much about Apple, Neiman Marcus has you covered. The retailer is currently selling ?Future Destroyed High-Top Sneakers? from luxury designer Maison Margiela for a whopping $1,425.

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8 Gorgeous Illustrations That Give Wonder Woman The Tribute She Deserves

?Wonder Woman? hit theaters last week, and the film has taken the internet ? and the world ? by storm. 

The much-anticipated superhero movie scored a coveted 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and shattered box office records, raking in an estimated $100.5 million on opening weekend. It was the biggest domestic opening for a female director ever (?Wonder Woman? was directed by Patty Jenkins).

From little kids around the country dressing up as Wonder Woman to grown women crying in theaters watching a female superhero kick some serious ass, it?s safe to say ?Wonder Woman? was quite the success. 

To pay tribute to the story of Wonder Woman and all that this film has done for young women around the globe, we?ve rounded up eight fan illustrations of the superhero. Initially collected by Poster Posse, these illustrations celebrate Wonder Woman in all of her badass glory. 

Scroll below to see eight illustrations of Wonder Woman, created by superhero fans. 

Head over to Poster Posse to see more ?Wonder Woman? illustrations. 

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Amy Schumer Says She And Ex Ben Hanisch Tried To ‘Rush The Intimacy’

Amy Schumer is turning heartbreak into new material.

At a charity show in New York City on Thursday, the comedian mentioned that she and Ben Hanisch broke up about a month ago after one and a half years together. Then she offered a peek into their relationship.

?We went out with a couple who had been together a long time, we were trying to rush the intimacy,? she said, per AOL Entertainment. ?Like I was trying to impress the girl and I was like, ?Well, he woke me up this morning with a fart!? And he just slowly turned to me and he goes, ?Are we doing this???  

?And I was like, ?No, no, no, no, we?re not opening fire. Don?t tell me any of the disgusting s**t I?ve done.??

Schumer joked at the Hilarity For Charity event to benefit the Alzheimer?s Association that she?s adjusting just fine.

?I?m dating this new dude,? she said, according to People. ?He?s awesome, he?s like Stephen Hawking, sexually.?

The ?Trainwreck? star also riffed on her attire. 

That?s just so Amy.

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Paul Ryan Had The Worst Reaction Possible To The Comey Testimony

WASHINGTON ? Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) shrugged off the bombshell testimony of former FBI director James Comey with a mix of claimed ignorance and overwhelming sympathy toward President Donald Trump?s neophyte political status.

Ryan said it was important to have independence between the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the White House. But he defended Trump and acted as if the president?s apparent attempts to influence Comey and have him drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should be excused because the commander in chief is ?new at this.?

?He?s new to government,? Ryan said. ?And so he probably wasn?t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI, and White Houses. He?s just new to this.?

Ryan continued that one takeaway from Comey?s testimony ? the Speaker wasn?t watching the Senate Intelligence hearing, but he said he had read Comey?s prepared remarks ? was that people should be able to see why Trump was so frustrated.

?When the FBI director tells him on three different occasions, he?s not under investigation, yet the speculation swirls around the political system that he is, that?s frustrating,? Ryan said.

Pressed that Trump?s lack of experience perhaps shouldn?t be an excuse for breaking the law, especially when he has advisers around him who know the law, Ryan offered that, ?I?m not saying it?s an excuse, it?s just my observation.?

When pressed on Trump, according to Comey, explicitly trying to get him to drop the investigation into Flynn, Ryan said he wasn?t going to comment ?on these things,? citing the ongoing investigations in the House and Senate into Russian meddling.

?There?s a ?he said-he said? thing to this, and I don?t have any comment on it,? Ryan said.

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Trevor Noah Explains How Eric Trump Got Like This

After a report alleged that Eric Trump?s charity foundation funneled donations from a benefit golf tournament for pediatric cancer to the Trump Organization, Trevor Noah on Wednesday analyzed this apparent act of greed.

Eric Trump denies the allegations, but where could the second son of President Donald Trump have learned such ?heartless? behavior, ?The Daily Show? host asked.

OK, it doesn?t take a genius to figure that out, but it takes a comedian to bring it home.

?This is the curse of being one of Donald Trump?s children,? Noah said. ?You can try and be good but he?ll be like, ?No, no, no, don?t do that. You?re a Trump.? And now Eric might as well be one of Trump?s buildings. He?s not as popular as he once was and if you look deep, you?ll find that he?s also empty on the inside.?

Ouch. Watch the full analysis above.

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Interior Secretary Takes Aim At Obama-Era Sage Grouse Protections

WASHINGTON ? The Trump administration has called for a review of an Obama-era conservation plan for the greater sage grouse, a move that appears partially aimed at opening up more of the declining gamebird?s habitat to oil and gas development. 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on a call Wednesday that the secretarial order he will sign Thursday will establish a team to review conservation efforts and make management recommendations within 60 days. The goal, Zinke said, is to improve collaboration between federal agencies and 11 Western states to ensure continued protections of the imperiled bird, while providing states with ?greater flexibility? to pursue opportunities for energy development and job growth.

?There have been some complaints by several of the governors that their ability to use federal lands ? whether it?s for oil and gas, recreation, timber, across the board ? that some of the heavy handedness on habitats don?t allow for some of those uses, and they?ve come up with what they believe are innovative plans and workarounds,? Zinke said. ?And we certainly want to work with states if that?s their desire to do that.?

Zinke added there is ?a lot of mistrust? and ?anger? in communities that feel they haven?t had a voice. 

Sage grouse, a ground-dwelling game bird with an elaborate mating ritual, used to number in the millions. Loss of sagebrush habitat from development and invasive plant species has decimated the bird population, now estimated between 200,000 and 500,000 individuals. Their current range spans some 257,000 square miles across 11 Western states, less than half of the species? historic range.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined in 2015 that, as a result of a collaborative efforts between federal, state and local parties, the greater sage grouse did not warrant protections under the federal endangered species list. Then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called it a ?milestone for conservation in America.?

But the decision was criticized from both sides, with environmentalists arguing it would not do enough to protect the native bird, and oil, gas and mining interests saying it would hinder development. 

Zinke said Wednesday that ?no party that I know wants the sage grouse to be listed? under the Endangered Species Act, and ?no party that I know doesn?t want a healthy population of sage grouse out West.? He said the review would consider focusing management policies more on populations, rather than habitat, and look at innovative technologies, including drones to obtain more accurate population courts. 

Conservationists quickly slammed Zinke?s decision. 

Jim Lyons, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a former Interior Department official, said in a statement that the review could ?compromise years of collaboration? and ?appears to be a thinly veiled and unnecessary attempt to open up important habitat to oil and gas drilling, jeopardizing the important balance and flexibility offered in the existing plans.?

Bobby McEnaney, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Zinke has found a new way to imperil the bird species ? via executive action. 

?Forget climate change, expanding land developments, or ongoing impacts from the fossil fuel industry,? McEnaney said in a statement. ?By single-handedly upending this agreement, Secretary Zinke might just have landed the decisive blow to the sage grouse, and the unique sagebrush habitat of the American West.? 

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Shakespeare’s Words Repurposed In An Inspiring Short Film About Rape Culture

A woman jolts awake, and for a moment she?s disoriented. She gathers up her clothes, and hears a shower running, presumably the morning sounds of a partner she?s not happy to see.

?Let me be severe to myself, but not unjust,? she says, words borrowed from a play called ?Double Falsehood,? which is attributed to William Shakespeare by some scholars. ?Was it a rape, then??

It?s the opening scene to a short and potent film produced by Thaddeus Shafer and Kari Lee Cartwright. Called ?Was It Rape, Then??, the story borrows lines from Shakespeare?s plays to recreate the multitude of dire experiences that can arise from rape culture.

The short film ? adapted from an onstage performance by Charissa J. Adams for a burlesque show called ?Cabaret Consensual? ? follows several women as they navigate social situations and private thoughts about non-consensual sex. Over the course of the film, a chorus of women questions the injustices done against them, but go on to turn their pain into personal triumph.

Early lines lament ?what men daily do,? but as the film progresses, its heroines find it in them to ?fight,? ?with hearts more proof than shields.?

?Shakespeare played with context all the time ? double meaning, double thoughts, double lives. When we hear it live, we?re always halfway firmly rooted to the present moment onstage, and halfway floating in an imagined reality,? Shafer told HuffPost in an interview. ?Flipping genders is not unusual in Shakespeare […] It?s an especially powerful device when you can pull women into leading the rousing, militant speeches against a mortal enemy. We wanted to portray the fight of sexual assault survivors as, yes, an internal one, but also an external real battle for survival and autonomy, for truth and dignity.?

Shafer went on to explain that the aim of the short film is to explore the nuanced range of experiences that can fall under the descriptor of ?rape.?

?We are so locked into our strict definitions in this culture, so much so that it can be very difficult to be expressive with words without painting yourself into a corner. ?Rape? is one of those words, and we wanted to find a way to let rape, and the question of rape, permeate without boundaries and without needing to divide our protagonists legalistically,? Shafer said. ?They are all a part of one fight.?

Cartwright echoed that idea, and elaborated on it. She hopes that project will make viewers feel ?connected, empowered, emboldened and energized.? She also hopes the film will generate empathy for assault survivors, and to look beyond the ?harsh line between rape/not rape.?

?This has been happening for millennia, not just in the situations portrayed in our 3.5 minutes,? Cartwright said. ?We also stand in solidarity with the countless forms of sexual violence all over the world, crossing all class and cultural boundaries, overt and subtle, whether in schools, or the military or minority communities.?

Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN. For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center?s website

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Broadening ‘Buy American’ Is The Path To Prosperity

Most taxpayers want their tax dollars spent on American-made goods and services. Democrats and Republicans alike share this patriotic ?fair trade? value that our government should spend our money at home ? whether it?s state and municipal contracts or big federal infrastructure investments. That?s why Buy American laws that give preference to U.S. companies in government contracts are so popular, except with the foreign companies that want to underbid American manufacturers and the other countries that want to take jobs away through bad trade deals.

Those bad trade deals with their generous government procurement chapters have undermined the letter and spirit of our Buy American laws and undercut American workers in manufacturing and the public service sector. The U.S. is a party to the Government Procurement Agreement, for example, a 47-nation side deal to the WTO. It was the subject of a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, which revealed that foreign firms are able to bid on far more U.S. opportunities than U.S. firms are able to bid on foreign ones. Referring to that report, an administration official admitted that ?the U.S. may not be getting its fair share of the global government procurement market through its free trade agreement concessions.?

We appeal to the administration and the Congress, American business and labor, workers and taxpayers to rally around Buy American.

We agree. And we hope the administration and the Congress will work together to strengthen Buy American laws and regulations. Fortunately, we have good reasons to be optimistic about dramatic bipartisan reform, especially when it comes to government procurement. Democrats in the Congress are leading the legislative way to defend and improve Buy American. Some of the early activities of the Republican in the White House indicate that he may share their goal. While we were disappointed when President Trump reneged on his commitment to insist on U.S.-made steel in the construction of the Keystone pipeline, we were heartened when he issued an executive order on Buy American.

The ?Buy American and Hire American? EO could help jumpstart an investment in domestic production that would employ U.S. workers and boost the economy at the same time. It outlines federal procurement policies that focus on utilizing goods, products and materials made in this country. Most importantly, it directs federal agencies to reduce the use of waivers and exemptions that have allowed them to bypass Buy American laws up until now. We concur in AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka?s reaction to the EO, that it is a ?good first step toward making Buy America provisions more effective and discouraging excessive waivers, but more needs to be done to pivot the U.S. economy toward steady wage and job growth.?

Union members in manufacturing and the building trades depend on pro-U.S. trade and procurement policies and, from where we sit, the President?s EO, coupled with the passage of legislative initiatives like Senator Stabenow?s new bill, S 908, and Congressman Lipinski?s Buy American Improvement Act, HR 904, promises good outcomes for American workers. The Democrats? approach to these issues mirrors the objectives of the renewed interest in Buy/Hire American. And our members and American taxpayers generally will benefit when federal and state procurement policies are made stronger, more transparent and less susceptible to abuse and avoidance through waivers. Accordingly, we appeal to the administration and the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, American business and labor, workers and taxpayers to rally around Buy American and commit ourselves to hire American.

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