The Benefits Of Meditation

meditation for business womenLadies, do you meditate? I’ve never found the time to learn to meditate myself, always considering it a luxury — but I just got back from an alumni networking event that featured a lot of mini-talks about the benefits of meditation for business women, lawyers, and other executives, and now I’m kind of fascinated. Did you realize that when done right, you’re literally changing the physical structure of your brain (a concept called neuroplasticity)?

I’m still looking into it, but here’s what strikes me as some of the best benefits of meditation and a “mindfulness practice”:

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How to Take a Partial Social Media Break

Something I’ve noticed a LOT of friends doing lately is backing away from social media. I’ve been doing a partial social media break, since as a blogger I can’t really take a total break — but I’ve definitely modified my consumption. So let’s talk about it: What are you doing with the extra time if you’re on a break? Where are you getting your news and intel if you’re on a TOTAL break? What other ways are there to take a partial social media break? (In related news, we’ve also talked about how to focus on work when current events are stressful.) Some options I’ve heard of or have done myself for a partial social media break:

1) Modify your news feed so you don’t see people, groups, or news sources that are stressing you out. I regularly do this trick with people I’m “friends” with on Facebook for some historical reason, but don’t want to see every hourly thought from — for example, that guy who sat behind me in English class in 11th grade. I will also admit that I did this with groups like Pantsuit Nation and Lawyers for Good Government, particularly in the days before the inauguration where I felt like I kept seeing frenzied posts containing bad information.

Here’s how to hide posts from friends: Click the dropdown arrow and then choose “Unfollow ____.” You’ll stay friends but stop seeing posts.

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How Do You Keep Up with Current Events?

How Do You Keep Up with Current Events? What’s your favorite way to keep up with current events? Has it changed recently (such as when Facebook changed their “trending stories” to “trending topics”)? Have you adopted a new curated source that seems like a helpful one for you, like theSkimm or The Broadsheet, or have you rediscovered an older source (like the NYT or WSJ)?

Readers had a lively debate the other day while discussing reading news online and paying for media/content in general. Some felt that it’s important to, for example, pay for New York Times online access (which is $4–6/week), while others didn’t see a problem with finding the loopholes that let you keep reading for free (or, say, with using your parents’ HBO GO password). Looking at the bigger picture, The Media Insight Project did a survey in 2014 that led to some interesting conclusions on news consumption among the generations and genders. For example:

  • “Adults age 18–29 … are less inclined than those 60 and over to follow news about national government (57 percent vs. 79 percent) or foreign affairs (59 percent vs. 79 percent overall).”
  • “[F]or the youngest adults, age 18-29, social media and the web in general have hardly replaced more traditional ways of getting the news. Nearly half … also read news in print during the last week, 3 in 4 watched news on television, and just over half listened to it on the radio.”
  • “Women … are more likely to share news and get it through social media, and to follow news about schools and health and lifestyle. Men are more likely to watch cable news and follow different subjects, including sports and foreign affairs.”

Do those numbers seem to ring true for you and your family, friends, and coworkers? And all of this makes us wonder: How do you like to keep up with current events? Do you:

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Tool of the Trade: Morphine Plugin for Chrome

Tool of the Trade - Morphine | CorporetteI have written before for my love of focus-boosting tools like Leechblock and RescueTime, but I’ve been using a new one that I like, and thought I’d share: MORPHINE. When I switched to Chrome a while back, I was bummed to find that my beloved Leechblock was only available on Firefox. (Firefox kept crashing, everyone said Chrome was faster, and I know most of you view the site in Chrome, so I wanted to switch over to make sure the experience was the same.)

I looked around and found this great little plugin, Morphine, which I now use all the time, primarily for Facebook (SUCH a distractor for me!). The idea is that you only “earn” time with the URLs you put in Morphine after you’ve been using the computer for more productive purposes for a certain amount of time. Perfect. I used to have it set to 1 minute of play time for every 10 minutes of work time, but that left me with far too many minutes in my bank — so I switched it to 1 minute of play time for every 60 minutes of work time. That was a bit too little (I’ve decided I need at least 3 minutes to look at Facebook, even using the Social Fixer plugin, because when I try to sneak a peek for one minute, and inevitably try to refresh it for another minute more, it would take me at least 30 seconds to find my place scrolling down the page. (Lazy load, you kill me!)

Ladies, what are your other favorite productivity products, especially for blocking internet distractions? (Any favorite Chrome plugins to shout out?)

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What Are Your Favorite Podcasts for Working Women?

podcasts-working-womenIn the past we’ve talked about our favorite magazines as well as summer brain candy books, but we haven’t talked about podcasts. I’ve been getting more and more into them (on walks, or while prepping/cooking dinner via my Echo), so I thought an open thread would be fun. (Another fun question: would you ever be interested in a Corporette podcast? Would you like interviews with working women, “Ask Kat” questions, general discussions about some of the stuff we talk about here on the blog? I actually just made a guest appearance on a podcast on Thinking Like a Lawyer, the podcast from my friends over at Above the Law, discussing whether the office thermostat was sexist.)

So let’s hear it, ladies — what are your favorite podcasts? What do you recommend to other working women? What is a must-listen? Another question: do you try to get career advice and the like during your podcasts, or prefer to listen to fun topics or general interest stuff? 

For my $.02 — these are some of my favorites:

Kat’s Favorite Podcasts

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Open Thread: The Best Apps for Helping with Information Overload

How to Deal with Information Overload | Corporette (my brain feels like this desk!)I’m curious, ladies — am I the only one who is crushed by the overwhelming amount of information hurtling my way on a daily basis?  I get about 600 emails daily.  Every time I log on to Facebook or Twitter I end up throwing at least 5 new articles onto my “read it later” list via Pocket (which now has something like 1150 unread articles).  Pinterest seems like a bottomless pit of recipes and DIY projects that I know I’ll never try but decide to Pin anyway.  Not to mention the numerous magazines I get monthly, and the 1000s of RSS feeds in my Netvibes reader. (In fact, when I first started this blog I swore I would never do more than a few posts a day because I had stopped reading other blogs like Jezebel and Gawker, overwhelmed by the sheer number of posts every day.)  So… how do you deal with information overload?  I have a few suggestions, but I’m really curious what you guys do — do you rely on certain apps?  Do you have methods (like maintaining inbox zero, or declaring email bankruptcy on a regular basis)? What helps?

For my $.02: [Read more…]

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