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Step away from the keyboard and into the sunlight! If you've been cooped up all spring, it's time to quit pretending you'd rather be inside working, and start finding your office muse outside of your workspace.

summertime_fun

Luckily, the universe is looking out for you and summertime has plenty going on – whether you're looking for a conference or just a casual event, we've got some suggestions here that are sure to get your creative wheels cranking.

 

For Creatives: Creative Mornings

Brooklyn // June 23rd

Kick off your weekend with an inspiring talk first thing on a Friday. It's hard to keep your motivation amped up on a summer Friday, but getting your brain cranking early is bound to light the spark for your last day of the week. There's breakfast, plenty of creatives ready to chat, and best of all, it's free!

https://creativemornings.com/talks/kate-bornstein

 

For Employers: Design Museums Mornings

Boston // June 23rd

The Design Museum Foundation organizes monthly Friday morning talks of their own, and this Friday's topic is "choice" among today's workforce. More and more American employees are working from home or remotely, and the framework of the traditional office model is rapidly changing – how can managers incorporate choice and flexibility into their work strategy, policy, and employee training and engagement? Enjoy the coffee and breakfast, and come find out!

https://designmuseumfoundation.org/boston/blog/2017/05/22/importance-choice-workplace/

 

Artisan's Asylum

Somerville, MA // Classes all summer long

A "makerspace" in Somerville that offers tons of classes and has all sorts of equipment available for the community to use? Sign us up! From electronics to fiber arts to screen printing to learning the ins and outs of a 3D printer, vinyl cutter, welder, or lathe, Artisan's Asylum has a great selection of classes throughout the year and summer. Stretch your creative legs and step away from that computer this season – you won't regret it!

https://artisansasylum.com/current-classes/

 

ArtBeat 2017

Somerville, MA // July 14th - July 15th, 2017

This year marks the tenth occurrence of this Davis Square arts festival! People come from all over the city to enjoy a weekend full of music, dance performances, and over 75 craft vendors.

http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/artbeat/2017

 

AIGA Summer Design Trivia

Cambridge, MA // July 25th

Spend time outside of the office with your fellow creatives amid beer and burgers at Firebrand Saints this July! The trivia promises to be non-designer-friendly, and the first 25 attendees get a free drink!

http://boston.aiga.org/event/summer-design-trivia-night/

 

Litmus Live Boston

Boston // August 2-4th

Content is KING, and nobody knows that better than email marketers. One piece of this global email community conference is in Boston, and with hundreds of attendees, they have workshops and talks that will draw a crowd (not to mention a pretty big networking pool). With a content-packed agenda, be prepared to learn more about testing strategies, content creation, email development techniques, and much more!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/litmus-live-2017-boston-tickets-32863399312?aff=es2

 

Free Movie: North by Northwest

New York City // August 14th

Maybe you've seen Saul Bass's iconic opening title, but have you seen the whole movie? Spend a charming evening under the stars surrounded by the bright lights of the big city. Spread out a blanket and enjoy a thrilling movie about a Madison Ave executive who gets mixed up in a case of mistaken identity and is now on the run!

https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/2017/08/14/hbo-bryant-park-summer-film-festival

Posted: 6/21/2017 1:10:04 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


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Posted: 6/19/2017 9:38:05 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Last post we talked about that tricky balance between maintaining a successful career and staying fit. Many suggestions revolve around making time for an activity or joining a team, but what if there just aren't enough hours in the day!?

exercise_work2

Sitting at a desk all day doesn't have to be the end of your healthy workout life. There are plenty of ways to fit smaller exercises into your day so you don't lose a couple hours jetting over to the gym. Give one of these a shot:

1) Micro Workout

Having to take a chunk of time out of your already busy schedule is a huge portion of the reason you're just not working out. Add in the time it takes to get to the gym and stretch and shower, and you're looking at a big portion of your daily free time.

But no need for a formal Work Out - fitting smaller exercises in throughout your day is just as beneficial to your health in the long run. Plus it hurdles the mental block you've built up about making time for exercise.

Follow this list, doing 30 seconds of activity followed by 10 seconds of rest:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Wall sits
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Chair step-ups
  • Body weight squats
  • Tricep dips on a chair
  • Planks
  • High knee running in place
  • Lunges
  • Side planks, each side

2) Make Your Commute Work(out) for You

If you're close enough to work that you can turn your trip to/from the office into exercise, do it! Whether it's a run,  a roller blade, or a bike ride, it'll get your metabolism boosted and the endorphins pumping for a great work day. You have to get to work somehow, and saving money while burning calories is good for the heart AND mind (and wallet).

3) Lunchtime Fitness Class

While perks like time off and health insurance come standard these days, companies are realizing the advantages of offering less typical benefits. See if it's possible to have a yoga or pilates instructor come to the office during your lunch break (if you have the space). It's likely your superiors will enjoy some appreciated (and grateful) employees and your lunch break won't feel like a waste of time.

4) Yoga Ball Chair

Maybe you don't buy into this, but sitting on a stability ball at your desk has proven results. Studies have found that workers who sit on a stability ball burn 4.1 times more calories than those in regular office chairs. Sitting on an object like this improves your core muscles and strengthens legs muscles as well. Considering your need to spend so much time behind a desk anyway, you might as well try it!

5) Get a Gadget

A Fitbit will help you make sure your steps are up, but what about something that'll keep you active while you sit and work? Get an under-the-desk stair stepper and activate those legs while you're on a conference call. Or maybe even try a DeskCycle and pedal while you type.

Just because you have a desk job doesn't mean you have to live a sedentary worklife. There are tons of options for staying active, and we hope you'll try one of these!

 
Posted: 6/2/2017 9:51:40 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


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These days, it's hard being you. The weather is just starting to warm up, you've abandoned hibernation mode, and all of a sudden, you're busy. And we don't just mean Have Errands to Run busy. We mean have to run errands, work a little more than usual because a coworker is on vacation, finally fix that broken step, want to try out the new neighborhood restaurant, entertain friends who are in town, attend a wedding next weekend, maybe figure out your kids summer plans, et cetera et cetera et cetera – kind of busy. And somewhere between feeding yourself and making money you want to work out too?!
 
It's not too much to ask. And we all know your body will thank you years from now.
 
But that doesn't mean it's easy to do! We've been finagling the art of the full-time employee workout schedule for years now, and have plenty of tips for you. This is a two-parter, so check in soon for the second half of the list!
 
1) Team Sports
 
Get a group together from your office and join a league (that is, if you like your coworkers!) – it's a great way to get some activity worked into your schedule, and you might even be able to get the company to pay for it. Add to that the likelihood of a post-game hangout and you've got a really great athletic and social activity.
 
2) Teach a Spin Class at Lunch
 
This one we actually pulled directly from a recruiter in the office! She gets to work a little bit earlier to compensate for a longer lunch, and she comes back to the office afterwards totally energized. Going to exercise in the middle of the day eliminates the 3pm slump and makes you less antsy and more focused for the rest of the day. If you have a busy home life, it's easier than convincing yourself you'll exercise right after work, AND it feels a little like you're taking time out of work rather than your personal life, so you're slightly more incentivized to go.
 
3) Don't Belong to a Gym?
 
You're in good company! You've heard of book clubs, why not try a lunch time exercise club? Make the best of some free time by kicking your sedentary work life in the pants. Get a group organized and start walking up and down stairs together. Or plan to walk to a place for lunch that's a little farther than you'd normally go, or walk laps around the block while you chat about weekend plans. The most efficient way to do this is to combine your work social life with an activity. That way, you enjoy the exercise while having a group of people who push you to keep doing it.
 
What if you just don't have any hours to spare? Stay tuned for our next post, about fitting smaller exercises into your day!
 
Posted: 5/31/2017 12:55:11 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Last week we talked about how employers can get some better brainstorming out of their employees. It's their job to make sure they're motivating employees to think differently and bring it all to the table, but does that mean you're off the hook?

Nope!

better_brainstorming

You should be the one who wants to bring the best ideas to your team, so do a little reflecting on your brainstorming strategy. If it's not working, it could be better. Honestly, even if it's working, it could still be better.

Here are some places to start.

1) Question-storm

It's easy to pressure yourself to jump to a solution, a "final" idea, the answer to all of your problems. But rather than pushing your brainstorm to a "product," embrace the process. Kick start your brain by getting it warmed up. Instead of working on a list of solutions, work on a list of questions. Every question you could possibly imagine related to what you're brainstorming. Once you hit a wall, push past it and come up with more questions.

You know how sometimes when you're stuck on a problem, the solution comes to you while you're showering, or driving to work, or doing some other unrelated task? The point of avoiding the "solutions" right off the bat is to keep your brain from strolling down the usual, worn down path, and instead spreading out your thoughts, making new connections.

2) Figure out what works best for you.

No boss is going to be able to decipher what it means if you're silent during a brainstorming session. You could be deep in thought or contemplating that movie you saw over the weekend. Evaluate the success of these sessions afterwards – are you an effective brainstormer in a group, or do you need some time to yourself.

Chances are you need a little time to let the ideas simmer. We've all been gung-ho about an idea and then later wish we'd given it more serious thought, so why not spend some time up front evaluating your ideas?

Tell your boss what works for you, and you'll find they're happy to make their team as effective as possible at brainstorming. Who knows, maybe it'll help out other, less self-aware coworkers, at the same time.

3) Walk It Off

Are you noticing a theme? The key to a successful brainstorm is to give people (and brains) some time to themselves after being bombarded with other people's ideas.

After a regular session, go out on a solo walk for half an hour. Walking gets your blood pumping just enough for your brain to get a little oxygen but without exhausting yourself. Plus, the movement of walking is involuntary enough that you don't have to pay attention, but still keeps the main part of your brain occupied so the rest of it can wander.

How do these suggestions all sound to you? Give one a try!

Posted: 5/3/2017 9:45:05 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments