All posts tagged: Efficiency

My System: “The Daily Mirror”

Who: Rachel Simon, novelist, memoirist and speaker. System: Communicate daily to-do list tasks via sticky notes left on the bathroom mirror. How does it work? “If there’s something I need to remember, I write it on a yellow sticky note and put it on the bathroom mirror so I have to see it. ‘Mail check on Wednesday’; ‘Review my Powerpoint.’ I wrote a sticky note this morning that said ‘Call Margit.’ “ Well, I’m glad you did. So how does this system work with your husband? “My husband is also creative (he’s an architect) and we’re secluded in separate studios for good part of day. Our house often has the feel of an artist colony. So this way we’re able to have those household conversations you need to have, like ‘would you reread blog post I wrote?’ Or ‘when are you going to work on broken toilet?’ Or even, ‘remind me to tell you about conversation I had with my father.’ “ Does he respond? “Sometimes the way he’ll respond is that he’ll write something right on the yellow …

My System: Running With Manicure

Who: Lili Schwartz, Graphic Designer System: ”Before I go running, but after I tie my sneakers, I put on nail polish. Then my nails dry while I run!” Inspiration: “My husband hates the smell of nail polish so I had to put the polish on outside the house.” While twiddling her thumbs, literally, waiting for her nails to dry, she got inspired: “I needed to find an outdoor activity that didn’t require my hands. Since I often need motivation to run a few miles, having freshly polished nails at the end of a workout became a great incentive!” Pitfalls? “This is a seasonal system. I don’t run outside in winter.” Favorite polish color?  “Currently I’m wearing Milani’s NY Apple Red.” Any polish work better than others? “All shades work, but I only apply one coat of color at a time. I don’t run far enough for base and top coats!” illustration: Kat Borosky

My System: How to Spot a Celebrity on the Down-Low

The 2014 Star Map from Rentenna (Graphic: Rentenna.com) Living in NYC, you’re bound to spot the occasional star hunkered down over a plate of pancakes at Buttermilk Channel or walking their dog in the East Village. For New Yorkers it’s a bit of a quiet sport. To make matters easier, Rentenna.com just released its 2014 map of NY and Brooklyn celeb abodes. But heaven forbid you call attention to the fact that you actually notice them. (There you are repeatedly elbowing your husband pleading, “Look, look honey it’s…it’s that reporter from…from NY1!” Oh, the horror.) Instead, my husband and I simply say the word “Rutabaga.” For example, Susan Sarandon strolls by us in Chelsea? All I need to say is “Rutabaga” and my husband will casually glance about until he sees said celeb. Easy and no one gets hurt. Or embarrassed. This was adopted from a  system I used as a teenager. Back in the day, by using the code words “MT” (which stands for “my type”) or “YT” (“your type”), my bored sister and I could …

My System: Gretchen Rubin on Her “Power Hour”

Gretchen Rubin in NYC at her book launch party. (Photo: Leslie Fandrich) Who: Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. System:  At 6 a.m. Gretchen has a “power hour” of solitude and focus where she can write, catch up on emails, tweet, before her day “officially starts.” ”At 7 a.m. I have to get my children up, get them fed, get them to school. So, I have this precious early morning hour when everything is quiet and I don’t have any distractions. It’s just for me.” What prompted the idea? “I realized that our family mornings were hectic and unpleasant, because I was racing around trying to get too much accomplished at once. It finally dawned on me that if I got up an hour early, I’d be able to get a good start on my day.” Do you consider yourself a morning person?  ”I think some people are larks and some people are owls and you really have to know where you are. And so for an owl I don’t think that would …

My System: How to Get More Juice From Citrus

Who: The Vamp Job: Food blogger for VittlesVamp.com System: “If I need to juice a lemon, lime or any sort of citrus fruit, I microwave the little buggers on medium for 45 seconds, so they’re warm and squishy inside, and are much more amenable to juicing.  I usually find I get more juice out of the fruit that way.” How much juice does this get me? ”One regular-sized lemon should produce about 2 tablespoons of juice, if not more.” Best use of this system? ”It’s particularly useful when you’re prepping cocktails for a large group.  It is amazing how much citrus you can go through when making a batch of drinks.” Favorite citrus-enhanced party cocktail?  Vamp’s all-time fave is the classic Gin & Tonic – served with a wedge of lime. Natch!  But she also recommends the Zombie as a great party drink. Here are Vamp’s Zombie particulars: The Zombie 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice 1 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. passionfruit nectar 1 tsp. brown sugar 1 oz. white rum 1 oz. gold …