I was fortunate to grow up in a family where my mom modeled the mantra ‘make it happen’ and 'make the most of what you've got'. When we ended up as a single parent household, she just ‘figured it out’, and by default, I learned to do the same. And while that is a story in and of itself, for the purposes of this post, it provides the background on why I have a tendancy to come up with little tricks to be resourceful. and create a 'double duty' for many things I have. Some items on my list are things a woman would carry for their intended/ normal use, but I have helped out both women and men-in-need by keeping these things handy. So men, read on!
5 things I always have with me that do double duty!
1 – Smashbox eyeliner pot: normal use: helps me look awake and pulled together / double duty: great black shoe polish – put a little on a scrape or scratch on your black shoes, and that client, boss or co-worker will never know! Men, this thing is only an inch wide an a half inch deep - even you can carry it to keep those shoes shiny!
2 – Hollywood tape: normal use: double sided tape that attaches fallen hems in pants or skirts or closes an area of a shirt that may be too ‘revealing’ for the audience at hand / double duty: great for meetings and events to hang up flipchart paper or posters to walls without damaging paint or wall paper
3 – Sunglasses with case and cloth: normal use: obvious/ double duty: the right glasses help you look pulled together after back to back days of traveling, the glasses case doubles as a small purse/bag when I don’t want to drag one around, and the cloth works wonders on my iPad & iPhone
4 – Tiny Altoids: no description needed, ‘curiously strong mint’ – always good for post coffee, pre meeting, or to offer a friend, co-worker or seat-mate on a plane
5 – Ponytail holder – great for sweeping the hair back to look professional when the weather is crazy, when you will be around more polished groups / double duty: tying up chords for electronics and headphones
While these little tools are almost ALWAYS on me, the most important benefit is when there is someone nearby in need, I get to be the unexpected helpful buddy.
Being resourceful: Separate of the tools I keep around to be prepared, I have to make efficient use of my time. My mantra: “Have Time to be Still? Then you Have Time to Squeeze”
Efficient Exercise: don’t laugh, but if you are ever sitting near me on a plane, in a car, or during other activities like watching TV- I might just be exercising and you don’t know it. Anytime I am stuck in one place, I try to do little isometric exercises. Sitting up straight and contracting muscles is a nice way to keep your muscles active (consult your Dr. before listening to me). Not to mention, it makes me giggle, because although I’m typically solo (in a car, at a desk), if someone is nearby, I wonder if anyone notices.One of my favorite tricks is when I blow dry my hair or watch TV when I'm in a hotel room, I do leg lifts to the side and kick backs. It’s great, because I don’t use up time traveling to the gym, so I feel even more productive. Of course, this doesn’t replace a good walk, jog, or session in the gym, but in my mind, it makes a difference. Every little bit helps.
Of course, make the most of it all applies to things much more meaningful like time with your family and friends, but even though these little tips may sound silly, it never hurts to make the most of what you've got - even the simple stuff!