TIME-SAVING & TASK-BOOSTING

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Countless new books, articles, and seminars each year focus on how we can boost our productivity, get organized, and make the most of our days at work. Don’t get me wrong; the overwhelming majority of them are filled with useful information, clever tips, and inspiring ideas for ways to become more efficient. However, what works best for me are often the most simple of strategies. I’ve taken my favorite tips from what I’ve read, and also what I’ve personally found effective, to create a simple three-step system for staying organized and boosting my own productivity.

Read more at sharpheels.com!



Spaces We Love: Eventbrite’s New San Francisco Office

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From unique bicycle storage, to breakout rooms with hammocks, to work spaces that vary from light and bright to rich and soothing, Eventbrite has blended an assortment of office design trends, and it’s all working very well. Find out what I love about the company’s new space on 5th Street in San Francisco.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Tips for Creating a Casual Yet Chic Coastal Office Space

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If your office is near the beach and you’re looking to capture a breezy, coastal feel in your workspace, there are some easy ways to bring the outdoors in. Here are a few tips to incorporate a beachy vibe into your office space so it can reflect its incredible location.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



The Millennials’ Guide to Charitable Giving

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Every year we make that list. We resolve to do something new, something different, or something better in the New Year than we did in the last. But as we get further and further away from the Madison Square ball dropping, many of us often drop the ball on our own resolutions. This year, if one of your resolutions included giving more time, money or resources to charity, these are some easy ways to make sure you stay on track.

1. Research

It’s important to take the time to fully understand a charity’s mission, vision, long-term plans, and balance sheet. How does the charity plan on using your donation? Is it going to the area you were hoping for? Many organizations have several areas of focus – research, support for families affected, awareness, etc.

2. Pick More Than One Charity or Cause

There is no reason that you have to bind yourself to one particular charity or cause. I like picking one general category each year or every few years to support. For example, you may decide that in 2015 you’d really like to focus on children’s organizations. In 2016, maybe you’ll decide to support the arts, or medical research.

3. Have Passion for the Purpose

The most valuable asset a charity can have going for it is a passionate volunteer and donor. Passionate volunteers are invaluable to charitable organizations in large part because they help to spread awareness of the cause and the charity – and ultimately garner passion from other volunteers and donors that can continue to further the cause.

4. Get Involved

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for large donations, you can still generate money for causes close to your heart by getting involved in charity walks, runs, urban obstacle courses, cycling/spinning events, etc. where you can raise donations through sponsorship. Likewise, charities often need your time as much as they need your money, so consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, a local hospital, an animal rescue, or working with homeless children through mentorship or tutoring programs. Your time can make all of the difference in the world to someone who needs it.

5. Track Your Donations and/or Set up a Charitable Trust

If you’re donating money to charity regularly, make sure you have an organized system to track your donations. Specific a specific email folder and save all receipts in one place. This will help you when it comes time to pay your taxes. You may also consider setting up a Charitable Trust, which you can learn more about here.

If you haven’t started working towards your goal of giving back this year, there’s still plenty of time. If you’re looking to donate time, money or resources, but aren’t sure what causes appeal to you, I recommend checking out VolunteerMatch.org. This site groups charities by region and cause, and may just inspire you to find an organization you can’t wait to help, and that would love your help too.

Star Hughes is a director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation and building purchases. Based in Southern California, Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s Downtown San Diego brokerage team, where she has worked on more than one million square feet of lease negotiations. She makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughes.com. Contact Star at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT, or star@hughesmarino.com.



Spaces We Love: Airbnb’s Portland Offices

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It’s only fitting that the Portland office of Airbnb would reflect its mission of being a “trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone.”

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



Office Living Space: How to Make a Workspace Feel Like Home

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For those of us who spend more time in our offices than we do in our houses, it’s important that our workspaces provide some of the comforts of home. After all, if you’re going to be spending upwards of 60 hours per week at work, you might as well make it your home away from home in the truest sense!

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



The Modern Millennial Traveler: Tips for Making the Most of Your Vacation Days

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With the Euro now at a nearly 12 year low, and technology enabling us to work from anywhere with an internet connection, there has never been a better time for Millennials to take advantage of vacation days by venturing abroad. Here’s how savvy Millennials use technology and other life hacks to plan for travels, make the most of their money, and create memories to last a lifetime.

*Use Exchange Rates for Determining Your Destination
If you’re torn between a trip to Europe or a trip to Asia, consider the current exchange rates. Since the Euro/US Dollar exchange rate is the most favorable it has been in more than a decade, you’ll probably get more bang for your buck if you opt to head to Europe.

*Be Smart With Seasons
Traveling during the off-season can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Summer travel to Europe is notoriously expensive, with July being the busiest and most expensive month of the year. Why not try an early autumn trip instead? Not only will hotel rates be lower, but you won’t have to fight through throngs of tourists at every site you visit.

*Charge Carefully, and Make the Most of Air Miles
If you have a credit card that doesn’t award you with points or miles, get a new one. There is no reason to be using a credit card that doesn’t offer at least some perks. If you plan to travel even more as years go by, it’s worth signing up for a card that offers air miles. Here is a list of many credit cards that reward you with air miles.

*Take Advantage of Trains
Europe is way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to public transit. Their train system is highly developed, inexpensive, and allows you the opportunity to get some work done as you travel. In addition, you’ll spend far fewer vacation hours waiting in lines at airports.

*Pack Purposefully and Practically
If you’re not careful with your packing you’ll wind up paying an arm and a leg for your luggage. It’s far smarter to design a “fashion itinerary” ahead of time. Bring key pieces that can easily be mixed and matched to create different looks, while also leaving room in your suitcase to bring home souvenirs, artwork, or new clothing.

*Get Immersed in the Culture of the Country
There’s nothing more fun than immersing yourself in the culture of the country you’re visiting. If you’re heading to Paris, plan a cooking class to learn a bit about preparing French cuisine. Heading to Portugal? Take a kite surfing lesson, and hit the water like a local. Get in touch with the whole experience of a foreign country by trying something new!

*Document the Details
You might consider setting up a blog before you even leave, so it will be ready for you to upload photos, videos, and your thoughts on various travel, as you’re experiencing it. The link can easily be emailed to family and friends back home, to say nothing of the ability to share it via social media.

Wishing you fair winds in all of your travel!

Star

image via wavenuelife.com



Honoring International Women’s Day With Star Hughes on KUSI

In honor of International Women’s Day, Star Hughes joined Jeanne McAlister, President and CEO of the McAlister Institute, and Suzanne Latour, President-Elect of the San Diego Women’s Foundation in a conversation with KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on the issues facing women today, and the strides women have made in the workplace.

Watch the rest of the interview at hughesmarino.com!



Spaces We Love: The Honest Company’s Santa Monica HQ

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Jessica Alba is definitely one of my role models. A mother, a wife and a mogul, her business savvy has made her business, The Honest Company, an astounding success. To boot, she’s got incredible style, which extends to her company’s headquarters. One look inside The Honest Company’s office space in Santa Monica is proof that when it comes to good taste, Alba’s in a league of her own.

Read more at hughesmarino.com!



These Boots Are Made For Working

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Sometimes it’s just too cold to brave the elements with tights and heels.  But aren’t boots too informal for the workplace?  Not anymore.

And with much of the nation battling rain, sleet, snow, and ice, it’s not only professional to wear boots to work, it’s practical too.  Here are some great ways to incorporate boots into your work wardrobe, while still looking put- together and professional. 

Read more at sharpheels.com!



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