• Unplug From Social Media, Get Productivity-Enhancing Zzzs
    We're learning more and more about the importance of a getting enough sleep. The quality and quantity of our sleep has an impact on our health, our relationships, mood, memory, the clarity of our thinking ... the list goes on and on. So, if you aim to take good (or even decent) care of yourself, sleep is something that really should be a priority.
  • Have a Messy Desk? You're in Great Company
    Do you have a messy office? Maybe your co-workers laugh about it a little when they pass by, but you assure them that you can "find anything in a matter of seconds" despite the way things look. Do you sometimes find yourself wondering how or why others manage to keep their spaces so tidy? If you have a messy desk, don't fret. It's not as bad a sign as you, or others, might think. Here are a few things you should know.
  • #MondayMotivation: Learn How to Procrastinate From 3 Famous Writers
    If you're a committed procrastinator, you're probably also pretty good at making excuses. Missed trains, minor domestic crises, even the tried-and-true "the dog ate my homework" routine – they're all pretty good for a delay, provided you don't use them too often. After a while, people will wonder why the train works for them, but not for you ... and how much it would cost to send your dog to obedience school on your behalf. Eventually, you're going to need some new stories to tell the boss.
  • 5 Emotional Skills Every Worker Should Possess
    If you're looking for work right now, you've probably heard a lot about the importance of developing skills (with technology, for example) as an essential step toward getting hired. But, you may have noticed an awful lot of talk about soft skills, as well. Writing, public speaking, and teamwork are increasingly coveted by employers. High emotional intelligence helps you develop the soft skills on your next employer's wishlist.
  • Everything You Know About Being Successful Is Wrong

    "Research shows that the kind of happiness that does lead to long-lasting fulfillment is the kind of happiness that's derived from positive social relationships with other people," says Dr. Emma Seppälä, the Science Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. "A life of meaning, a life of purpose, a life characterized by altruism, something greater than oneself."

    A life, in other words, that can feel pretty difficult to create in today's corporate culture, which prizes achievement and productivity. But maybe there's another way to live and work. Seppälä's new book, The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success, examines research on happiness, and makes the case that finding fulfillment builds success, not the other way around.

  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: Do You Feel Trapped in Your Career?
    The average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times over the course of their career, and spends less than five years at each job. Harder to figure out: how many times they change careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't track it, and many changes are pretty subtle anyway, as career paths naturally evolve over time. Sometimes, however, you have to make a leap. In this week's roundup, we look at what to do when you need to make a big career change, plus resume rules you should stop breaking, and ways to beat burnout.
  • Planning a Summer Vacation? 5 Reasons to Try for 2 Weeks
    March is about to go out like a lamb, and the blooming flowers and rising temperatures have a lot of people thinking about one thing – vacation. In fact, this is a great time of year to start planning your summer vacation away from the office. Before you submit that time-off request though, here's a thought: can you try for two weeks off?
  • What We Can Learn About Meetings From the Rare People Who Actually Enjoy Them
    Complaining about meetings is the unofficial sport of many workplaces. In fact, according to a recent Harris poll, sponsored by the online collaboration company Clarizen, 17 percent of employees said they would literally rather watch paint dry than attend a meeting, and eight percent would rather undergo a root canal. However, every now and again you come across a person, or even a group of people, who actually really enjoy meetings. Maybe we can learn something important about ourselves, or at least about how we collaborate, from thinking about their approach. Here are a few ideas to consider.
  • Sabbaticals Are Good for Workers and Employers
    If you're like most Americans, three things are probably true for you. First, you desperately need a break from your job. You're tired and stressed, and feeling rundown and overworked is typical for you. Second, despite this, you haven't taken a vacation in a while. And, it's not necessarily because you're not entitled – you might have unused vacation days. In that case, you feel that you can't, or shouldn't, get away from the office. You worry that it could hurt business, your individual performance, or even your career standing or trajectory. And finally, if you're like most American workers, you haven't even dared to dream about taking a sabbatical. But, maybe you should. You, and your employer, would be wise to take it under serious consideration. Here's what you need to know.
  • Your Boss Should Let You Nap at Work, and Here's Why
    If you're scanning Twitter for the #NationalNappingDay hashtag and scowling enviously at anyone whose employer offers a space-age nap pod or even just a dedicated room for the occasional snooze, take heart. While we can't promise you that your boss will care, the good news is that science is on your side when it comes to the benefits of napping.
  • #MondayMotivation: 5 Ways to Cope With Daylight Saving Time
    Did you feel a little jetlagged this morning? It's not all in your head – or at least, you didn't make it up. The effects of Daylight Saving Time on health and well-being are well-documented, including everything from general sleepiness to an elevated risk for heart attack and stroke. (Fortunately, those more serious risks dissipate a few days after the change.) So, if you're feeling a little behind at work today, the clock might be to blame. But, because your boss probably won't buy that excuse for long, you'll need to catch up as soon as possible. Here's how.
  • How to Keep Productivity Apps From Destroying Your Productivity
    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?
  • PayScale's VIP Blog Roundup: What to Ask Instead of 'What Do You Do?'
    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.
  • Would 'Period Leave' Help or Hurt Your Career?
    Sometimes it really feels like European companies are just showing off. In a time when American workers are lucky to get a few days of paid sick leave, one employer in the U.K. is offering a "period policy" that allows female workers to stay home during menstruation – without using up sick days. The idea is to improve productivity by "synchronizing work with the natural cycles of the body," says Bex Baxter, director of Coexist, the Bristol-based company.
  • SCIENCE: Your Jerk Boss Might Be Better for You Than You Think
    In a pick-your-poison type of social experiment, the researchers at Michigan State University have analyzed two types of workplace boss personas to find out which type is the most stressful for employees – a boss who is consistently a jerk, or a boss who is a loose cannon.
  • 5 Tips for Overthinking Less and Enjoying Life More
    As busy adults living in our modern culture of overwork, we shoulder a lot of responsibilities, and we feel under a tremendous amount of pressure to attend to all of them properly on a day-in, day-out basis. But, those of us who are prone to overthinking also have to deal with an additional stressor – ourselves.
  • #MondayMotivation: The 3 Strangest Ways to Trick Yourself Into Being Productive
    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.
  • 'Presenteeism' Is Not Your Fault: Why Workers Come to Work Sick
    "If you're sick, stay home." You've heard that from experts ranging from the CDC, to WebMD, to your own mother. If you're lucky, you might even hear it from your boss. Still, many come to work sick, including over half of food service workers. The phenomenon is called "presenteeism," and researchers estimate that it costs employers $150 billion a year – more than either absenteeism or disability. So why do people go to work when they're sick? The reason why is pretty obvious: American workers feel they can't take time off, and a lot of the time, they're right.
  • #MondayMotivation: 5 Ways to Fool Yourself Into Getting Stuff Done
    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.
  • #Throwback Productivity: Take Notes on Paper
    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.

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