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Jessica's Friday Five

Five practical tips every Friday for making your life more joyful and easy. A wildly popular email newsletter with thousands of readers.

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Jessica's Monthly Management Memo: July 2024

Hi Reader, I hope your July has meant at least a little bit more slowness in your life in some way. I imagine it might have also involved stress - the political environment in many parts of the world is deeply distressing. Leading through this is even more complex as you aim to support your team and yourself while things around you at times feel out of your locus of control. I hope that some part of this month's newsletter supports you. Let's get to your Monthly Management Memo - as always...

Hi Reader, On the professional front, it's been a fun week of scheduling fall workshops for clients and getting some pieces in place for the next cohort of Joyfully Managed Worklife. On the home front, it's been an unusual week with viruses hitting our home, high temperatures outside, and less childcare than normal. I'm finding myself eager for both the cool weather and routine of the fall season—how about you? Let's get to your Friday Five! How to Organize and Store Photos: I get asked all...

Hi Reader, It's been quite the week around here. We arrived home from an incredible trip to Paris, London, and Porto. This week, we have minimal childcare (what an...adventure...), and I led five virtual workshops for clients around the globe and as part of the Nonprofit Builder Wellbeing Festival (2 of which were held at midnight in my time zone!) while we slowly unpacked and put our lives back to equilibrium. I'm thrilled to look ahead to this weekend and see very little on my calendar. I...

Hi Reader, Like last week's, this newsletter was written a few weeks ago as I was heading out for a trip with my family and friends. I'll be back on Monday, and I'm so excited to catch up with all of you. I've been taking my own advice to stay out of my inbox while on vacation—I literally deleted my work email account from my phone while I am gone and didn't bring a laptop. As you're reading this, there's a good chance I'm on my final day of surf lessons in Portugal and maybe even have been...

Hi Reader, I'm still out of the office on vacation with my family, but before heading out on the trip the chance to write a few Friday Fives in advance was a treat for me. Writing this email each week is my favorite task - I often use it as a "carrot" to get me to do less-desired tasks ("Jess, you can write Friday Five after you finish up Project X".) So hello from Jess of Last Week - I hope your week has been going well. Let's get to your Friday Five, shall we? What I bought & liked this...

Hi Reader, I'm writing this issue quite a bit earlier than normal - because as you're getting this, I'm a handful of hours into a few weeks of vacation with my family and away from my email inbox. We're headed to Portugal to go surfing with some friends. We were invited last year, and with this one wild and precious life, I wanted to find a way to say yes to it. Will I be able to stand up on the surfboard? Who knows. But I promise to try my best! I have a feeling I'll be more successful...

Hi Reader, It's been an odd week here - both of my kids are at sleepaway camp this week, and the rhythms of life are quite different from our normal. I don't have an 8-year-old climbing into bed with me for cuddles and Wordle every morning. There's no one to remind to put shoes on in the morning. We eagerly check the camp app for their photos and the mailbox for letters. Today we got one that reports that the food is "absolutly amasing" (I love childrens' spelling so much), especially the...

Hi Reader, Earlier this week, I facilitated a team retreat where we talked about communication for teams—from decision-making to which communications platforms (Slack, text, email, etc.) should be used for different things to how to appreciate and apologize to each other. One of the tools we used was Sam Kaner's Gradients of Agreement for consensus-based decision-making. Aiming for consensus is valuable, especially when a decision is long-lasting and needs strong buy-in from everyone. Have...

Hi Reader, My kids finished their school year yesterday so it's summer vibes here in our home and I wanted to update the Friday Five imagery to match that mood. I hope you are headed into a nice weekend. If you're feeling stressed right now, here's a suggestion: answer the following question and then take action: "What's the biggest problem I can solve in the next hour?" Here's to all of us having some time to just be, not do, in the next few days. Let's get to your Friday Five! 6 best books...

Hi Reader, Short weeks - do you love them or hate them? I'm on the fence. Long weekends are nice (less nice than before I had kids, if I'm honest), but I find that it's so rare to effectively curb workweek expectations down to 4 days when that's not the norm. So then it feels like 5 days of work crammed into 4 days. Not exactly relaxing. If you're in the US like me, I hope your 4-day week was manageable and perhaps even lovely! Let's get to your Friday Five. What I bought this month: You...