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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to plan a weekend trip. It’s easy to make excuses for not using your vacation time. There’s always too much work to do, not enough money to plan a trip, or something more important going on. However, it’s important for your mental health and well-being to give yourself a little break every now and then. Instead of making excuses, take action. Do what you can do! If you can’t afford to take an extended vacation, plan a weekend trip. It’s important to get out of dodge every once and awhile. But taking week-long vacations isn’t always realistic. Instead, see what’s available in your backyard! Make a list of places within driving distance that you’d like to visit, and make a weekend of it. That way, you can see some new sights without using up all of your precious vacation time. Here are some ideas:

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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to write a blog post. The Internet has given us access to so many things over the past few decades. Whether you’re looking for cute cat videos or up-to-date commentary on a recent event, you can find virtually anything you want. The Internet also gives you the power to shape your personal brand into anything you want it to be through social media and other websites. Today, we want you to harness that power and use it to boost your professional brand. Your challenge is to write a blog post using your personal website, a blogging platform, LinkedIn, or something else, and publish it for the world to see. It’s important to establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field of expertise. For example, if digital marketing is something you feel you’re an authority on, you could write about digital marketing techniques, strategies, and trends. That way, when employers or clients search for you online, which is inevitable, you’ll have something for them to find that directly relates to your personal brand and skill sets. Before you write a blog post, though, here are some tips:

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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to give a recommendation. It feels good to give to others, doesn’t it? There are so many ways to give back to your community, family, friends, and colleagues. Giving recommendations is a great way to show your appreciation for them. Sharing your personal testimonial for others can brighten their day, as well as help their professional brands. Who doesn't like to hear (or read) all of the good things people have to say about them? Today, challenge yourself to give a recommendation to someone. You can do this using LinkedIn. In fact, there’s a whole section that’s dedicated for recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Decide who you'd like to recommend, write them a brief recommendation, and then send them a message to give them a heads up. Also, make sure you offer to make any changes if they want them. Be as accommodating as possible. Remember, this is going on their public profile, and people are going to see it. You want to make sure they're 100% okay with what you've written. So, think about who you’ve worked with in the past. Who really stood out to you? Who really made a difference? What were their skills? What are their best character traits? Why were they great to work with? Answer these questions and write a brief recommendation for at least one person in your network. They will appreciate the gesture, and heck, they might even return the favor, if you’re lucky! When was the last time you thought to give a recommendation to someone? What's the best recommendation someone has given YOU in the past? What made it so great? Tell us!

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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to take some time for yourself. We live in a crazy, busy world, where your attention is always in demand. Between working, taking care of your family, helping out your friends, and so on, it can be difficult to justify taking a little time to breathe. Think about it: When was the last time you took a moment for yourself? Or, when you do take some time for yourself, do you feel guilty doing it because there are so many other important things you feel you SHOULD be doing instead? This constant demand can be draining, exhausting, and overwhelming. And, if you fail to take some time for yourself every so often, you’ll feel exhausted, burned out, and unhappy. So, stop putting it off! Today, take some time for yourself. A little “me” time never hurt anyone. In fact, you might not realize it, but having some "me" time is one of the most important things you can do for your career. It will help you clear your head, balance yourself, reflect on your thoughts, and remain stable. Whether you choose to go to yoga, take a hot bath, or just enjoy 15 minutes of silence each day, allow yourself to breathe. Force yourself to take a moment to reflect. And don't feel guilty about it! If you don't take care of yourself, you're not going to be as sharp or present as you need to be for your other obligations. Taking some time for yourself is important for your health, mind, and spirit. What do you do with your “me” time each day? What's your secret to making time for yourself? Tell us!

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Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to unplug after 7pm. With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to allow ourselves to constantly be distracted. Digital detoxes are good for your health, but sometimes it's hard to completely go underground when you have so much going on in your life. Think about your typical night after work. What are you doing? What are your distractions? You might find yourself scrolling through Facebook while you’re watching TV. Or, texting with your friends during dinner. For many, this activity might feel like a good way to unwind after work. While it might seem innocent, it can actually increase your stress levels over time. And who needs more of THAT? Today, force yourself to unplug after 7pm. Instead of mindlessly looking at your phone, be in the moment. Instead of watching TV, focus on the people in the room. Be present. This might be difficult at first. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself reaching for your phone without realizing it. To counter this, think about the biggest distractions in your life. If it’s your phone, turn it off and put it in another room. If it’s your TV, get out of the house and go for a walk. When you understand what steals your attention, you can create an effective strategy to fight it. Challenging yourself to do a "mini" detox from your technology when you get home from work will benefit your relationships, help you focus, and increase your mindfulness. When you can achieve these things, you’ll be happier and less stressed. Do you unplug after 7pm every day? What are your tricks for fighting distractions? Let us know!

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