It seems counter intuitive, but I’ve read that at the end of August is one of the best times to plan a vacation because you can get the best deals. We’ve talked about how to deal with vacation stress (including how to be a good employee while on vacation, and a vacation time poll to gauge how much you’ve actually taken) and we’ve talked about office etiquette around the holidays — but we haven’t talked about planning a vacation in a long time, so I thought we could discuss. How do you budget for a vacation, both in terms of money and time? (Does anyone do the “extra savings account just for vacations” thing?) Do you like to vacation in the summer or some other time of the year? Have you taken the same vacation multiple times (for example, I’ve been on FOUR Paris vacations — I love the city and love seeing new sides to it every time I go)? Or are vacations all about family for you, spending time with your parents (either in your childhood home or at a family beach house or the like)? [Read more...]
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...]
How do you stay on top of hair cuts and other personal care appointments when you’re a busy professional? Reader S, who is about to start as a summer associate, wonders…
I’m in law school, about to start as a summer associate at a firm in NYC, and I was wondering if you had any advice on scheduling appointments while working at a firm. I know that as a summer, I probably won’t have the same workload as I would as a junior associate, so this is mostly a question for the future. When you were in BigLaw, how did you stay on top of things like hair cuts and waxing appointments? It just seem like the hours you need to be working and in the office would make it really hard to schedule things in advance or take the time off to get in with your favorite person.
Great question, S — for my $.02, the answer is to make friends with your calendar system. Let me explain:
- Schedule appointments at the first or last appointment of the day. Doctors, hairstylists, it doesn’t matter — everyone who is appointment-based falls behind. Another option: take advantage of weekend appointments where offered.
- Schedule WELL in advance. The first or last appointment of the day (or the weekend appointment) can be really hard to get, which is why you should try to schedule everything ahead of time, when you can afford to wait a few weeks or months. [Read more...]
How do you bring yourself back when you’re consistently over budget — what changes do you make, on either a small or large scale, to control your spending? We’ve talked about how to set a budget, as well as how to live within your means, but we haven’t talked about that thing that everyone needs to do from time to time: rein yourself in when you’re spending more than you want to. There are two sides of this coin, I suppose. First, maybe you’re spending too much and sending yourself into the red — credit card debt is climbing, other bills are going unpaid, etc. Second, maybe you’re still spending within your means, but you just feel like you’re out of control — maybe you were raised with a more limited budget, or maybe you just know you can save a lot more than you are right now. Either way, the question is the same: how do you stop spending? (Pictured: Moyna Dollar Sign Pouch, available at ShopBop for $40.80 (on sale from $51).
I’ve done a number of things through the years, including: [Read more...]
Do you nap at the office? What are your best tips for napping at the office (possibly without getting caught)? We took a poll on office naps a thousand years ago, but haven’t really discussed since then, and I thought it might be an interesting topic.
First, some factoids from the Internet — according to Inc., researchers concluded in 2010 that “napping can improve the brain’s ability to retain information, noting that a middle-of-the-day reprieve ‘not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before.’” More and more offices are adding nap rooms (or buying “sleep capsules,” which give you a bit more privacy). (On the flip side, as Salary.com notes, some companies still consider it grounds for firing – know your office!) For the DIY-nappers, there’s even a fully funded Kickstarter campaign for a pillow that gives you a “micro environment in which to take a comfortable power nap” (pictured — you can now buy the pillow for $99). Apparently, in Japan napping is so popular among top executives that there’s an entire culture around it. It’s important to note that napping is not necessarily “sleeping” — and even if you normally take 30+ minutes to fall asleep at night you can reap the benefits. According to Lifehacker, Pzizz is a new tool that can help you “learn” to power nap (and help with nighttime insomnia too).
So, ladies — do you nap at the office? Is there a nap room or other space available for napping, and do you actually use it? Have you picked up any tips or tricks (signs on the door, special messages for your secretary, etc) that makes napping at work easier? [Read more...]
Do you have any tips for recharging after work so you can have a more productive night? I keep reading about how mothers like Sheryl Sandberg go home and do another 5 hours of work after they put the kids to bed, but I’m exhausted by then! All I can do is stare at the TV with a glass of wine. Help!
I totally agree, R! I’m curious to hear what the readers say because evening productivity has always been one of my biggest struggles. (Pictured.) I’ve never been very successful at doing work work at home in the evening, but I have had periods where I’ve felt my evenings weren’t a total waste. Things I’ve done in the past include: [Read more...]