Picture this: It's 6:32 a.m. Your Sleep Cycle alarm knows this is the perfect 15-minute interval of light sleep in which take wake you up. You go into the bathroom and stream your favorite new album on Spotify Premium through your bluetooth speakers. You get in the car, and Waze helps you navigate the least-trafficked route to work. Before you know it, you're at your desk and have Trello, Asana, and Evernote all coordinating your tasks, projects, and notes. iCalendar pops up on your phone to remind you of that lunch meeting you scheduled last week. Your team hops on Slack every so often to check in, and soon enough it's time to go home. You order some dinner on Seamless, and as you're falling asleep you watch that new Netflix show you've been meaning to get to on your iPad. Your life is now run by apps. But is it really that much more efficient?
What's the worst part about networking? All the horrifyingly dull questions you have to ask and answer, in order to establish new relationships with your fellow humans. But, there's no law that says we have to stick to the same old, same old. Mixing things up might actually get some better answers, build stronger connections, and bore everyone a lot less. In this week's roundup, we look at 27 questions to ask instead of "What do you do?," plus the housekeeping questions you must ask at your next job interview, and the best ways to get motivated when you're feeling uninspired.
Leap Day, Schmeap Day – if you get an extra 24 hours, but it's a Monday, it barely counts. If you're having trouble using this "extra day" for anything other than complaining about how much you have to do and how little you want to do it, good news: there are plenty of oddball methods of forcing yourself to get stuff done. We're not talking to-do lists and work sprints, here. These motivation tricks are different enough to throw you off-balance and into productivity.
Maybe you hop out of bed on Monday mornings with a song in your heart and a to-do list already coalescing in your brain. If so, don't be hurt if your co-workers avoid you until they've had their second cup of coffee. For many of us, the transition back into the work week is rough, to say the least. Whether the weekend was full of chores or fun, switching back to office mode is a challenge. Sometimes, the only answer is to play little tricks on ourselves, in order to make work happen.
When was the last time you regularly used pen and paper? Was it for cursive practice in the third grade? Doodling on handouts in high school while you daydreamed through that lecture on Hamlet? Is it possible that you're starting to get bored with taking down all of your mental notes in that ever-convenient-yet-one-dimensional "notes" app on your phone? Maybe it's time to give old paper a second chance.
Flashy office perks like ping-pong tables, free backrubs, and unlimited snack foods might help keep you in the office, but do they make you better at your job? Not necessarily. If you're wondering why your creative work environment isn't sparking more innovation, those fancy perks could be to blame. Here's how your cool office could be killing your creativity.
In 239 years of our nation's history, there have only been 43 U.S. presidents, which makes "president" arguably the hardest job in the country to get. (Despite what it might feel like, when you're waiting for an email from a hiring manager for a decidedly non-presidential role.) Unsurprisingly, the people who make it to the highest office in the land often have some pretty strong ideas about what it takes to succeed. In honor of Washington, Lincoln, and all the rest, here are 15 quotes to inspire you to greater heights of productivity, determination, and success.
If you started reading this, you're probably taking a break from dealing with a pretty long to-do list. Whether you have a system in place or not, gaining more control over your list is always a great benefit to your productivity. Here are some basic touchpoints you can use to make sure you're prioritizing the right things, at the right time.
Last week, you said you'd do everything differently, starting today – start exercising before work, cross those lingering to-dos off your list for good, begin learning that new skill that will take your career to the next level. Now it's Monday, and you're thoroughly unprepared to do any of those things. What happened? Well, for starters, you might be thinking too big, especially for a Monday.
Picture your last meeting: it probably involved a lot of people staring at their mobile devices, and not many people engaging with the speaker. Worse, our device addiction has spread outside the confines of the conference room. People now look at their phones while they're supposedly having conversations with clients and colleagues. All of this is rude, of course, but more importantly, it's an attention-killer. After a few years of checking your phone every couple of minutes, it's hard to even remember how to entertain yourself or focus on anything. In today's roundup, we look at a few rules to keep your smartphone and other devices from taking over your life; plus, why someone else got promoted instead of you, and 20 affirmations that will appeal even to people who hate affirmations.
Sometimes, it's tough to keep feeling good and working hard, especially during the winter months. There is something about the cold, dark, gray days that just make you want to stay in under a blanket with a good movie and a less-than-optimal snack. But, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to find more motivation for work, or other goals you're pursuing (maybe at home, or at the gym), this method could really help. Read on to learn more about how the concept of "future you" just might save the day.
Have you ever heard that you are your own worst enemy? It's true. Lots of time when we're not getting anywhere, career-wise, it turns out that we can only blame ourselves. But, before you throw those hands up in the air in frustration, learn about these ways in which you might be holding yourself back — and more importantly, find out how to let yourself succeed.