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Work-Life Integration

The 13 Tools You Need to Work Healthier—Not Harder—and Get More Done

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Haele Wolfe, Skillcrush

What makes a great designer or developer? Is it the right credentials, education, or tools? Or is it something less tangible, like determination or a great sense of organization? Or maybe it's even simpler than that: Success in any field has a lot more to do with your daily work routine than you might think. And as the workweek shifts from the standard 40 (or 50, or 60) hours to something more closely resembling the natural fluctuations of our individual lives, our concept of how we work needs to shift, too.

Taking care of yourself is critical to a successful career: You can't expect to deliver top-quality work if you're constantly exhausted or sick. In that vein, I put together a list of habits and tools for busy tech pros (or really—any employee) to implement into their daily routines so that they can work not just harder, but healthier. There are cheap buys, splurges, and free hacks, but in any case: It's your health. Treat yourself.

1. A Better Desk

We know—everyone loves standing desks, but trust us, your brother-in-law who can't stop raving about his new desk has a point. It's indisputable that sitting for long periods isn't good for our bodies, but for employees tied to a computer, it can seem like there are few feasible solutions. Enter the Standing Desk, a concept designed to give desk-bound workers a healthier option for their workday. Keep in mind that if you're eager to try a standing desk, don't go from sitting all day to standing right away. Ease into it until your body gets used to the change. Check out the Ready Desk for an inexpensive, easy to implement upgrade to your work space.

2. Shoes That Do the Work

Even if you don't decide to invest in a standing desk right away, you need good footwear. Whether it's for just around the house, or at the office, good shoes go a long way towards healthy posture and helping combat joint pain. For a sturdier slipper, try this model from LL Bean. Want something a little trendier? This Clark's loafer is subtle, durable, and fit for the office. Not sold? Maybe it's the Unicorn slippers then. And yes, they light up.

3. Great Lighting

It's scientifically proven that light has an effect on your mood and decision making. Get ahead of the curve by looking into some smart lighting for your workspace so that you stay motivated and productive. Fixtures like the TaoTronics Desk Lamp offer you timer options, an LED lifespan, and different brightness levels, among other features. Protip: Check out apps like Eyeleo and F.lux to help combat eye-fatigue from staring at a computer screen. Your eyes will thank you later.

4. Something Green

Studies show that plants make a positive difference in our ability to concentrate. Worried about a lack of a green thumb? Try something from this list of sturdy plants to find the right companion for you.

5. A Boss Chart

What really motivates you? A trip to the beach at the end of the month? Your family? Your pet? Whatever the source, it's important to remind ourselves of what keeps us going, and to make sure that source is a positive thing. Even a small reminder, like a photo or list of goals, can help you find focus in moments of stress or anxiety. So tack up that list, remember you got this, and go get it.

6. A Daily Plan

Organization is the key to fighting stress. Get the ball rolling with this list of productivity apps, or, if you're more of an analog person when it comes to organization, a nice journal and a good pen are often the perfect ingredients for time management. (Bonus: Writing has been linked to improved memory and making a to-do list every day will give you a sense of what your workday really looks like.) I love this planner from Etsy. It's a download so you can print on an as-needed basis.

7. Teatime

Speaking of planning your day—make sure you work in some time for food and water. The benefits of staying hydrated are inarguable, and once you integrate this easy self-care tip into your workday, you'll be asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner. If you're looking for a project, buy loose-leaf (or grow your own) and get a cute teacup friend to keep you company and remind you to keep sipping.

8. Smart Snacks

We covered hydration, but what about food? There are easy, fresh snacks you can fold into your daily eating habits that will make it less of an effort to be productive during those crucial work hours. Nuts in particular have been found to have significant health benefits when consumed in regular, small portions. Salmon, steel-cut oats, and blueberries, make almost every list of healthy snack options. But really, the most important thing is to find what healthy options you like (Ed. Note: Go for the dark chocolate covered acai berries from Costco) and create an eating routine that works best for you, instead of accidentally working through lunch and grabbing the first thing you see, health be-damned.

9. A Solid Backup System

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if something can go wrong, it usually does, right? Nip chaos in the bud with a solid backup plan for your digital information. CrashPlan and Backblaze are monthly services you can subscribe to for cloud protection that will automatically back up and store the data on your computer. Another option is a separate hard drive, like a Lacie or a SeaGate. Either way, have a plan. That way, no matter what goes down, your work will be safe and you can rest easy.

10. Laptop Protection

While you're at it, increase the chances of a long, healthy laptop life by popping a protector on your mobile workspace—and do it ASAP. Toting around expensive digital equipment is something a lot of us take for granted these days, but the stress that would come with the giant bill following even a small coffee spill just isn't worth the ulcers. For something sturdy, try Speck, who offers a range of protective screens and carrying cases.

11. Some Damn Company

If you work from home, you might find that you get lonely: Chatting with the UPS delivery person for way longer than is appropriate, disputing credit charges just to hear another voice, or keeping the TV running at all times. Give loneliness a run for its money with weekly dinner plans with a friend, some penciled in time to email non-work contacts, or even listen to podcasts while you work. Try Design Matters with Debbie Milligan for something design industry-heavy and interview based, or Code Newbie podcast with Saron Yitbarek, which follows people on their coding journeys.

12. The Right Workout

You probably saw this coming from some of my earlier points, but seriously—what are you doing to maintain your physical and mental health at work? Apps like Move and Big Stretch Reminder are free and let you customize your type and level of exercise reminders, and are catered to personal goals and workplaces. Awareness is an app that helps users become more informed about their computer use (and helps them to take breaks) by gently tracking patterns of screen time.

13. A Regular Refresh

Here's where I'm adding in my own personal recommendation: if you're still having a hard time figuring out how to implement these healthy routines into your workflow, I'm going to suggest totally mixing it up. Sheet masks or face wipes are an easy (and often times hilarious) way to build in a quick, refreshing break to your daily schedule. These Animalz masks are quick, easy, and an uplifting activity to add to your workday routine to get you through that afternoon slump. It'll force you to take a break, reset, and probably take a bunch of selfies.

Remember, an ideal workday starts with conscious, healthy choices. Whether you're just beginning to strike out on your own as a freelancer, or trying to find the motivation to make a career adjustment, these routines are meant to help you find focus, and bring you closer to reaching your goals.

Do face masks and unicorn slippers sound amazing but you haven't made the jump to working from home? Download the free Ultimate Guide to Getting a Remote Job You Love to learn more about steps you can take right now to get ready for the remote job market. The guide also includes a step-by-step plan for learning the digital skills you need in order to land remote work.


Deloitte + PowerToFly: An Exclusive Evening With Women Finance Leaders

Join Deloitte M&A and PowerToFly (a women-run organization that introduces select women to executives at major corporations) for an invite-only event on February 28th. The evening will kick off with a panel discussion featuring Deloitte's women financial leaders, and will conclude with an opportunity to network with your peers and the Deloitte team over food and drinks.

The event will be held on Thursday, February 28th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at 30 Rockefeller Center, 32nd Floor, New York, NY.

Agenda (Subject to Change):

  • 6:00pm - Check-In & Networking over cocktails and light food
  • 6:20pm - Kick-Off from PowerToFly
  • 6:25pm - Welcome & Introduction from Susan Dettmar, M&A Consultative Services Practice Leader at Deloitte
  • 6:35pm - A Behind the Scenes Look at Deloitte with Nadia Orawski, Principal, Deloitte Consulting
  • 6:45pm - Panel Discussion featuring Deloitte's Women Leaders in Finance
  • 7:00pm - Audience Q&A
  • 7:20pm - Networking continues over beverages and light food

Deloitte is hiring, however, you don't need to be looking for new opportunities to attend.

About our Events: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age. If you require accommodation to fully participate in this event, please email hi@powertofly.com, and we will contact you to discuss your specific needs.

Unfortunately, PowerToFly and Deloitte cannot admit outside recruiters to this particular event. Please email hi@powertofly.com if you have any questions about this policy.

About Deloitte: Deloitte is committed to recruiting, developing, and promoting a diverse workforce while providing unique opportunities across our businesses. Deloitte has been recognized by Working Mothers as one of the 100 best companies for multicultural women. Their benefits include up to 16 weeks of Paid Family Leave, pension plans, and gym & health subsidies.

Event Audience: This event is a great fit for a number of roles including Finance Managers, Integration and Execution Managers, and M&A Strategists.

Better Companies

Audible, Microsoft & HomeAway Leaders On Building Diverse Talent Pipelines

Presented by PowerToFly and Glassdoor

Register today to join this FREE webinar we are co-hosting with Glassdoor!

PowerToFly and Glassdoor have partnered to present a webinar on February 6th, where top talent leaders will share how they're building diverse talent pipelines.

Join leaders from Audible, HomeAway and Microsoft, who will discuss their current D&I strategies and share advice on how you can build your own diverse pipelines.

Moderated by Katharine Zaleski, PowerToFly's CoFounder & President, speakers will include:

  • Jamy Barton, Sr. Director, Tech Diversity at Audible
  • Lyndsi McNaughton, Sr. Global Sourcing Programs Lead - D&I at HomeAway
  • Luci Gomes, Global Director of Talent Acquisition Americas & Commercial, Marketing & Consumer Teams at Microsoft

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, February 6th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST.

The second half of this webinar will be dedicated to audience Q&A, and our panel is looking forward to taking your questions. If you have a particular question or topic you'd like us to explore, let us know on the registration form and we'll be taking questions in real time on the webinar too!

About our webinars: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age.

Should You Start Looking for a New Job?

Take this quiz from our career coach to find out!

I'm 26 and I'm already on my fourth job. My dad is 60... and he's on his second. Clearly, we both fit the Boomer and Millennial stereotypes rather well. Thankfully, though, he's never judged me for "job hopping."

Instead, we've discussed our experiences and realized that he's as scared to quit his job as I am to stay at mine. No matter how old you are, deciding whether you should stick things out or move on isn't easy.

So, to help you organize your thoughts, we put together a "Should I quit my job?" quiz with the help of our career coach, Heather Coll (a member of the much less controversial Gen X).

These questions will help you figure out if it's time to move on - from your current role, company, or both. Because no matter what point you're at in your career, or which generation you're from, you deserve to be happy at the place where you spend most of your waking hours!!!

How'd you do? If you're ready to start job hunting and need help putting your best foot forward, Heather can help you with everything from crafting the perfect cover letter to nailing your interview. Or, if you're still not sure about your next steps, she can help you figure out how much longer you should stay where you are, and how to start looking for the perfect job once you decide to leave. Just don't feel like you have to decide by yourself, and don't let anyone judge you for your decisions - whether they're a cranky Baby Boomer, an entitled millennial, or part of some generation no one's even heard of anyway. You do you!

Microsoft Corporation

Meet Microsoft’s Women Tech Leaders

If you are a Dallas based woman in tech and you'd like to attend our event, please contact us at hi@powertofly.com to be considered for an invite.

Microsoft has partnered with PowerToFly to present a one-night-only evening for women in tech. The night will include a discussion with several of Microsoft's leaders, many of whom are Modern Apps Consultants, Secure Infrastructure Consultants, and Premiere Field Engineers. There will also be plenty of time to network with Microsoft leaders and top women in your field.

The event will take place on Tuesday, February 5th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar Street, Dallas.

Agenda (Subject to Change)

  • 5:30pm - Check-In and Networking over Food & Drinks
  • 6:10pm - Introduction by PowerToFly
  • 6:15pm - Keynote Address
  • 6:25pm - Panel Discussion featuring from Microsoft's women leaders including Luci Gomes - Global Director of Talent Acquisition Americas, Services, Commercial, Marketing & Consumer Teams
  • 6:35pm - Audience Q&A
  • 6:45pm - Networking Continues

If you are interested and available, Microsoft will be asking some attendees to interview for open roles on Wednesday, February 6th, the day after the event. Follow up interviews will take between three to four hours of your time and will be comprised of two technical interviews and one hiring manager interview. Let us know when you register if you are available and if so, if you'd prefer the morning or the afternoon. If you are not available on 2/6, Microsoft and PowerToFly will work with you to find an alternate follow up date.

Microsoft is invested in women-focused organizations and providing support to women once they are employees at Microsoft. Their employee network Women@Microsoft reaches over twenty thousand people worldwide. Microsoft's ongoing diversity partnerships include the Anita Borg Institute, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and MentorNet.

Visit Microsoft's page on PowerToFly to learn more about their open roles, benefits and diversity initiatives.

About our Events: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age. If you require assistance to fully participate in this event, please email hi@powertofly.com, and we will contact you to discuss your specific needs.

Unfortunately, PowerToFly and Microsoft cannot admit outside recruiters to this particular event. Please email hi@powertofly.com if you have any questions about this policy.

Women & Diversity in Hollywood: A Look at 2018

In Spite of #MeToo, Women Directed Fewer Films in 2018 than in 2017

2018 was a banner year for women in politics, with more first-time congresswomen elected than ever before and the most women in Congress ever. Unfortunately, in spite of #MeToo and Time's Up, it wasn't a similarly good year for women in Hollywood. A study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative shows that women actually directed less films in 2018 than they did in 2017.

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