posts – Corporette.com http://corporette.com A work fashion blog offering fashion, lifestyle, and career advice for overachieving chicks Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:27:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 http://corporette.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-favicon-corporette-2014-AMP-32x32.png posts – Corporette.com http://corporette.com 32 32 Do You Schedule Breaks to Increase Your Productivity at Work? http://corporette.com/schedule-breaks-to-increase-your-productivity/ http://corporette.com/schedule-breaks-to-increase-your-productivity/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 18:37:53 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74790 We recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things […]

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schedule breaks to increase your productivity at workWe recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things are on your mind, and the best Spotify playlists to help you focus, we haven’t talked a lot about taking breaks throughout the day. Can you schedule when you take breaks at work? If so, do you tend to take a break at the same time every day? Do you schedule breaks on your calendar as appointments so that others know you are unavailable?

Even though breaks were allowed and even encouraged at most full- and part-time jobs I’ve held, I still wouldn’t stop to take my first “break” until 1 p.m. or later. Even then, it might’ve only been break time because I didn’t want to miss out on the last call for the office cafeteria salad bar at 2 p.m. I did, however, almost always take 45 minutes for lunch when I could. I would make it a point to take a long walk, read a book, or meet up with a friend.

We realize that for some of our readers’ high-demand jobs, it’s just not possible to take breaks, at least not frequently. For instance, as a trial attorney, on my docket days or days with back-to-back-to-back client meetings, or when I had trial prep, breaks weren’t always an option. I would often eat lunch at my desk, if I had time to eat at all, and I was lucky if I could get a few minutes to check my personal texts or emails.

Here are some tips we hope you find helpful when it comes trying to schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work:

Why you should schedule breaks at all

Taking a break will improve not only your physical health (as we all know, sitting for too long is bad for us), but your mental and emotional health, too. Even just walking for five minutes every hour can be beneficial. You’ll return to your work more relaxed, refreshed, and ready to keep working. You might even improve your creativity enough to solve a previously unsolvable problem, just by stepping away for a few minutes.

How frequently you should schedule breaks to increase your productivity

Experts say that 90 minutes is the absolute longest you should work before taking a break — even if the break is just for 5-10 minutes. Ideally, you should work an hour or less between breaks to be the most productive. The popular Pomodoro Technique advises you to work for 25 minutes (ideally focusing on one thing only), take a five minute break, and then go back to work. (After four 25-minute blocks, take a longer break.) But the timing can vary here — a study a few years ago found that taking 17-minute breaks every 52 minutes was the best strategy for being productive, while another study found that participants who were given two short breaks during a 50-minute task were able to stay more focused and perform better.

A few ways to encourage yourself to take breaks — besides setting timers/reminders on your phone — are setting your Fitbit to remind you to get up and move periodically; using a physical timer, website, or app to follow the Pomodoro Technique; or installing an app like StandUp! that prompts you to get up and move frequently.

How to get the most out of your breaks

To re-energize and reset your mind throughout the day, breaks can include:

How do you spend your breaks — going for a walk, getting or making coffee, or taking a few minutes to stretch or do a couple yoga poses in your workspace with the door closed? Do you have a job where you are required to take breaks at the same time every day?

Pictured: Deposit Photos / Swanlake1

Further Reading:

  • 3 Ways to Get Maximum Stress Relief During Work Breaks [Huffington Post]
  • Why You Shouldn’t Work More Than 90 Minutes Without Taking A Break [Lifehacker]
  • Why Taking A Break At Work Makes You A Better Employee [Health]
  • When, How, and How Often to Take A Break [Inc.]

 

How often should you schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work? WHY should you have scheduled breaks? We looked at some of the recent studies about breaks and productivity at the office, as well as the Pomodoro Method, to see the ideal work/break schedule...

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How to Stay Fit in Winter: Snow Days, Resolutions, and Other Fun http://corporette.com/how-to-stay-fit-in-winter/ http://corporette.com/how-to-stay-fit-in-winter/#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:47:39 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74975 We haven’t had a discussion on how to stay fit in winter (or fitness in general!) in far too long, so let’s discuss today.  Here are the questions: what do you do to stay fit in the winter? If you go outside the house (running, gym, etc) do you have a backup that you do […]

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how to stay fit in winterWe haven’t had a discussion on how to stay fit in winter (or fitness in general!) in far too long, so let’s discuss today.  Here are the questions:

  • what do you do to stay fit in the winter? If you go outside the house (running, gym, etc) do you have a backup that you do if it’s too slippery/cold outside to motivate, or do you just not work out?
  • for those of you who stream your fitness (YouTube, Beachbody, etc), what are your favorite channels/trainers/programs?
  • for those of you who do apps for things like strength training, what are your favorites?
  • if you own a machine (elliptical trainer, rower, bike [or Fit Desk], etc) what do you own, and are you happy you purchased it?

I’m still finding my footing with fitness after my knee surgery and my second pregnancy, which left me with hip issues that flare up — but I’m more motivated and inspired than I’ve been in a while to get strong and hopefully get back to running in a few months. These are the fitness things I see the readers talk about most often — if there are any devotees of these programs or any others I’d love to hear you comment!

What are your best tips for how to stay fit in the winter? Is anyone doing any intense new workouts as part of your resolutions? What’s your favorite kind of winter/housebound exercise, and why? 

Psst: here are our most recent posts with tips before you hire a personal trainer, how to fit lunch workouts into your workday, and our best tips on packing a gym back for the office.

Picture via Stencil.

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5 Super Slow and 5 Super Fast Recipes For Long Workdays http://corporette.com/all-day-crockpot-recipes/ http://corporette.com/all-day-crockpot-recipes/#comments Mon, 08 Jan 2018 18:41:56 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74562 If one of your holiday gifts last year was a new pressure cooker or slow cooker (Instant Pot included), or if you just haven’t been getting enough mileage out of either or both of these kitchen appliances, we thought we’d round up some recipes for inspiration. Here are five all day crockpot recipes and five […]

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all day crockpot recipesIf one of your holiday gifts last year was a new pressure cooker or slow cooker (Instant Pot included), or if you just haven’t been getting enough mileage out of either or both of these kitchen appliances, we thought we’d round up some recipes for inspiration. Here are five all day crockpot recipes and five super fast Instant Pot recipes we’re interested in trying — slow for the long workdays, and fast when you want to make something quick (15 minutes or less) when you get home from work and can’t deal with another meal from Seamless or the freezer. Do you have a new pressure cooker or slow cooker that you’ve been trying out? What are your favorite sources of recipes (or recipes!) for them? Do you have any go-to fast or slow meals?

Psst: We’ve also talked about slow cooker recipes for working women, shared Instant Pot tips, and discussed the best cookware and kitchen appliances — and Kat’s shared some of her easy weeknight dinners in the past as well. 

Here are some workday-friendly recipes to try in your slow cooker or pressure cooker:

All Day Crockpot Recipes: Up to 10 Hours

These work really well for long workdays — a cooker with a timer can keep your meal warm for another 1–2 hours after it’s finished cooking.

  • A Year of Slow Cooking suggests meals with beans — even after hours of cooking, they won’t be dried out. Prep time: soak beans overnight (or 1–2 hours); cook time: 9 hours on low.
  • Recipes that Crock has a recipe for Italian pot roast. Prep time: 5 minutes; cook time: 8–10 hours on low).
  • Skinny Taste shares an easy recipe for jerk pork with Caribbean salsa. Prep time: marinate overnight; cook time: 9 hours on low.
  • The Skinny Fork shares a spaghetti squash Thai “noodle” bowl. Prep time: 1 minute to poke holes in squash, plus a few minutes to prep dressing and steam broccoli; cook time: 8–9 hours on low.
  • Cafe Johnsonia offers a vegan option for white bean stew. Prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 8–10 hours on low.

Super Fast Instant Pot Recipes: 15 Minutes or Less

If you get home late or just don’t have much time to cook, try these quick and easy recipes.

  • Instant Pot shares a 1-minute pork chops and homemade applesauce recipe.
  • Health Starts in the Kitchen offers a 5-minute salmon and rice pilaf recipe.
  • A Fork’s Tale has a 15-minute orange chicken recipe that can be made while you steam broccoli and prepare rice.
  • The Sausagetarian offers a curried red lentil and sweet potato soup that is ready in about 10 minutes, including prep time.
  • Two Sleevers has a 10-minute recipe for chicken tikka masala. At the end, you remove the chicken and freeze half of the sauce for leftovers. (You’ll probably want to marinate the chicken for 1–2 hours ahead of time.)

Do you have a slow cooker and/or pressure cooker? What are your favorite all day crockpot recipes, or super fast Instant Pot recipes for when you’re short on time in the evenings?

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6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions http://corporette.com/6-books-to-help-achieve-your-new-year-resolutions/ http://corporette.com/6-books-to-help-achieve-your-new-year-resolutions/#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2018 18:01:40 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74827 Now that we’re a few days into the new year, we thought it’d be a great time to round up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career. Whether you’re aiming to get a new job, negotiate a good salary for a new job (or ask for a raise), get […]

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Now that we’re a few days into the new year, we thought it’d be a great time to round up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career. Whether you’re aiming to get a new job, negotiate a good salary for a new job (or ask for a raise), get better at delegating to subordinates, find sponsors at work, improve your executive presence, deal with difficult coworkers effectively, or just improve your job performance, these are worth a read. If you’ve already decided on your career goals for 2018, or you’re still thinking about what you want to accomplish this year, these six books can help you figure out how to do just that.

 


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6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: I Know How She Does It, by Laura VanderkamI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time (2017) by Laura Vanderkam

I Know How She Does It (not to be confused with I Don’t Know How She Does It, a novel about an overwhelmed working mom) is the product of Vanderkam’s look at the detailed time logs (1,001 days’ worth) of working moms who make at least $100,000 a year. From analyzing the women’s schedules, Vanderkam came up with several strategies to share with readers who need help in achieving more balance in their lives. KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor of the NYT‘s Motherlode/Well Family, called it “the most positive take on work and family [she’s] read in a long time,” and its Amazon reviews give it 4.2/5.0 stars. (Note that Vanderkam also wrote 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, which doesn’t focus exclusively on working mothers.)

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Never Eat Alone, by Keith FerrazziNever Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (latest edition 2014) by Keith Ferrazzi

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi (who runs a management consulting firm) focuses on “the power of relationships” and explains how to reach out to people and make connections — not just for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those in your network as well.
Publishers Weekly‘s review noted positively that “no one will confuse this book with its competitors,” and Never Eat Alone has 4.1/5.0 stars at Amazon.

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: The 12 Week Year, by Brian P. MoranThe 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months (2013) by Brian P. Moran

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions: In The 12 Week Year, productivity expert Moran criticizes the tradition of making annual goals and plans — “annualized thinking,” he calls it — and encourages readers to consider 12 weeks to be their “year” instead. Moran, who claims that his approach can help you get more accomplished in the time you have, explains how to structure your routines to make every day count, set goals, and increase accountability. The book currently has a 4.6 review score at Amazon.

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Own It, by Sallie KrawcheckOwn It: The Power of Women at Work (2017) by Sallie Krawcheck

As Own It publisher Random House puts it, this book is “a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism.” Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of the women’s investment website Ellevest, explains how women can find success by ignoring and rewriting the “old rules” — to stop trying to act like men at work and to instead rely on your own skills and strengths to advance in your career. You can read excerpts of Krawcheck’s book at the Ellevate Network and at The Globe and MailOwn It currently has a 4.3/5.0 at Amazon.

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Ask For It, by Linda Babcock and Sara LascheverAsk For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (2008) by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

In Ask For It, the authors of Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide teach women how to negotiate effectively by explaining their four-phase technique and using real examples of professional women who were able to negotiate successfully. They give advice on developing a strategy, dealing with the answers you end up receiving from your attempts, and more. The book blurb written by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., the author of Corporette reader favorite Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, says, “Ask for It provides the tangible tools and tips you need to get your fair share of the raises, promotions, and perks you’ve earned — and deserve.” The book has a 4.4/5.0 at Amazon.

 

 

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Feminist Fight Club, An Office Survival Manual by Jessica BennettFeminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (2016) by Jessica Bennett

As you can guess from the title, Feminist Fight Club, which was named to “best of” lists in 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, Refinery 29, Forbes, and others, takes a bit of a different approach than the books above. (Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer calls it “a classic, f*ck-you feminist battle guide.) The book has advice on dealing with sexism and other gender-related issues at work — including coworkers such as the Manterrupter and the Himitator (otherwise known as a He-peater) — and offers Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheat, and more. It has a 4.6/5.0 on Amazon.

If you’ve read any of these books, would you recommend them to other women? Have you found any other career books to help achieve your New Year resolutions that you’d recommend? What are your career goals for 2018? How did you do with your career resolutions for 2017? 

Psst: In the past we’ve talked about must-read business books for women, the best books for becoming a better manager and becoming a better communicator, helpful leadership resources for women executives, the best reading for women MBA students, the best online women’s management training, the best TED Talks for working women, Kat’s and readers’ favorite podcasts, and Kat’s favorite articles for working women. (We also had a reader discussion of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, as well as a discussion of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandburg.)

Image at top and social media image via Stencil.

We rounded up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career and beyond, including I Know How She Does It, The 12 Week Year, Never Eat Alone, Own It, Ask For It, and Feminist Fight Club! Which are your favorite books for career advice and practical self-help tips?

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How to Schedule Repeating Tasks http://corporette.com/how-to-schedule-repeating-tasks/ http://corporette.com/how-to-schedule-repeating-tasks/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:01:07 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74845 As the New Year starts, I thought it might be fun to talk about how to schedule repeating tasks — specifically, what yearly things do you do, or have built in to your year (month? quarter?) so that you can help stay on top of all the various tasks that build up, whether for your […]

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As the New Year starts, I thought it might be fun to talk about how to schedule repeating tasks — specifically, what yearly things do you do, or have built in to your year (month? quarter?) so that you can help stay on top of all the various tasks that build up, whether for your personal life, career development, job search, or more?

I think it all started with the “year in review” posts I’ve been doing here at Corporette for about five years now, as well as my attempt to keep on top of family photos from the past year enough to do a family calendar (also from the past 5 or 6 years or so). But the past few weeks this “review tic” has spread and I’ve been TRYING to sort way too many things lately, hoping the task will become a yearly one.  Lately my focus seems to be on drawers, and in the past week I’ve gone through my desk drawer, my makeup drawer, my sock drawer, my filing cabinets — all for the first time in a zillion years. I’m considering doing a brain dump of everything I’d *like* to sort through, then parsing them out into a few a month… but, well, I haven’t had time to do that yet.  I actually used to have a cleaning system that kind of worked like that — each month had a different “big” cleaning task (windows, blinds, duvet cover, etc) and it was all fine when I was doing it myself but I never seem to think about it since we’ve been using professional cleaners for a few years now… I should put it back on my to do list! (When I gear up for our taxes in a month or so I’ll do my yearly financial review of all the different subscriptions we’re paying for, since I tend to forget anything on autopayment. Oh, I’m also trying to get rid of a ton of bags we’ve had building up to donate and recycle old clothes…)

I’m sure that some of you guys must have even better systems, though, so I’d love to hear what you do — what do you do “every January”? Do you have different tasks for every month of the year? Do you only do big things like that (reorganizing drawers and the like) as they bug you? (What do you delegate, and to whom?) How do you organize regular review tasks like that in a way that doesn’t get overwhelming but keeps your life running as smoothly as you’d like it to?

Picture via Stencil.

Kat has wondered how to schedule repeating tasks without overwhelming yourself -- you know, those regular tasks you do yearly (or less) that wouldn't be a problem if you did them regularly -- but Kat wants to do them all in January. So we asked the readers: what are your best systems for scheduling repeating tasks? What do you do monthly, quarterly, or yearly?

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Top Posts of 2017 http://corporette.com/top-posts-of-2017/ http://corporette.com/top-posts-of-2017/#comments Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:59:39 +0000 http://corporette.com/?p=74577 What were your favorite posts from our past year? We’ve rounded up our favorite suits for women, workwear recommendations, and otherwise done a year in review; today we’re closing it out with a look back at our top posts of 2017.  These were the top read (according to Google Analytics) and some of Kat’s favorites, […]

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What were your favorite posts from our past year? We’ve rounded up our favorite suits for women, workwear recommendations, and otherwise done a year in review; today we’re closing it out with a look back at our top posts of 2017.  These were the top read (according to Google Analytics) and some of Kat’s favorites, but we’d love to hear yours as well! According to Google Analytics, these were our top 10 posts and pages of the year:

  1. My Review of One Two Cosmetics’ Magnetic Lashes
  2. Courtroom Attire for Women Lawyers
  3. The Best Tote Bags for Work, Interviews and More
  4. Work-Appropriate Nails: Length, Shape, Color and More!
  5. 6 Resume Rules for 2017 That You May Not Know About
  6. Wardrobe Essentials for Work
  7. When is a Dress Too Short for Work, What’s Modern, What Shoes Work, and How to Deal if You’re Tall or Short
  8. How to End Your Emails (And: Do You Think It Matters?)
  9. Workwear Inspiration from House of Cards: How to Get Claire Underwood’s Style
  10. Four Types of Comfortable Flats Every Professional Should Own — Even if You Hate Ballet Flats

Check out this page for our top posts of all time!

Of course, every year I have my own favorites, either because I thought they were great discussions, a story I hadn’t seen elsewhere/thought we did a good job with, or just because I really like them.  These are some of my darlings from the past year…

Kat’s Favorite Posts from Corporette in 2017…

Fashion/Beauty Posts

Lifestyle Posts

Career Posts

Favorite Posts from CorporetteMoms in 2017 (our blog for working mothers)…

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