Four strategies to book fewer meetings — or at least make them bearable.

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Your team is exhausted with video chat. It was fun at first, bearable a few weeks in, now they’re burnt out and over it. Less and less turn on their video, and they’ll stay on mute if they can help it. When you ask, “Any questions?” after your presentation, you hear crickets.

Actually, you hear screaming children and barking dogs.

Video conferencing, although a great way to connect, implies a sense of stability and tranquility in one’s household. While seeing adorable dogs and your coworker’s children might be fun for you, it might make them uncomfortable. This is their home…

Four verb guidelines that are useful to know and useful to violate

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Your sentence hinges on your verb: Sentences are meant to do something with language. You tell a story, give advice, and explain concepts with verbs. Sure, nouns add color, but you can have a sentence without a noun. You can’t have a sentence without a verb.

You’re probably not giving verbs enough attention. You’re burying them behind filler verbs, distracting your readers, or you’re avoiding them altogether and clustering your nouns instead.

The following four rules of thumb help you write clearly and with impact by focusing more on verbs.

Disclaimer: These rules are useful to know and useful to…

Fourteen minutes of negative news increases anxiety and sadness

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Listening to the news is exhausting us. Watching only 14 minutes of negative news increased anxiety, sadness, and the tendency to catastrophic a personal worry, according to a 2011 study by Psychologists Wendy M. Johnston and Graham C. L. Davey. And you’re definitely watching more than 14 minutes.

A 2017 study found adults “feel conflicted between their desire to stay informed about the news and their view of the media as a source of stress.” Over half the respondents said watching the news stresses them out, and 72 percent believe the media blows issues out of proportion.

In other words…

Here are dozens of ways to escape without leaving home

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In quarantine, vacation days seem like a relic from another era. If you’ll only be journeying from one end of your apartment to the other, why bother? Especially if you had to cancel an actual vacation — your big family camping trip, or that beach getaway with your best friends from college, or the world pastry tour you’ve been planning for months — the idea of taking a day to just stay inside right now can seem depressingly pointless.

But if you’re privileged enough to have a job that offers paid time off, it’s important that you take advantage of…

Pros, cons, and why you should probably write on both

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I started writing on Medium with no know-how in January 2020. I committed: I woke up every day at 6 a.m. before work, made an excessively large coffee, and wrote until 7:30 a.m. Sometimes I’d write after work, and I’d always make time on the weekends. Since January 3rd, I’ve missed waking up early to write once.

In January, three of my blog posts were curated in five total topics and I wrote in three publications: The Startup, The Helm, and Fearless She Wrote. At the end of that month, I made a whopping $8.53.

A quick aside: I think…

A complete example of how to apply this productivity technique to writing

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When you write, you admit to having something to say. And you admit it’s worthy of someone’s time.

Because of this, when you sit down to put words on a page and end up with nothing, it’s not because of lacking capability or knowledge. It’s because of insecurity, or fear. Writing is a reckoning.

Your mind swirls with self-doubt: “What if no one cares? What if I’m wrong? What if no one clicks this blog or even worse — what if they click it, get bored, and then leave?”

You fear a low read ratio or average reading time. You…

I hate you, but you taught me a lot

Sometimes I think I’m a badass bitch, and then I get a paper-cut. I’m quickly reminded otherwise.

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But really — how frustrating are these monsters. They show up uninvited and refuse to bugger off for days — weeks! — ruining my daily chores.

I mean, sure, I shouldn’t haggle the can of beans the way I did (is it called a paper cut if it wasn’t caused by paper)? Maybe I should be more careful when washing glass (ditto). But anywho, it’s too late now. I have not one, but two papercuts.

It’s really impacting my flossing routine. Try to…

#5: Step aside, Ramsay — may the best cook win

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Working from home is challenging for those accustomed to office work. If you were lucky enough to work for employers who set aside “team-bonding” budgets, now you might miss your team events. Zoom is great, but compared to an escape room… apples and oranges. Not a fair comparison. The good news is you can host team events remotely to maintain your group cohesion, team bond and employee satisfaction.

How organizations treat employees through this crisis will speak volumes about them for years to come. While employer-branding mattered before, it definitely matters now. If you’re an employer who funded team-bonding events…

And here’s how it can help you, too.

I’m skeptical of anyone who promises a one-way ticket to happiness, but only after I purchase their “wellness kit”, their personal coaching, or their ebook for $9.99. This is different. This is innately human. And this is free.

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This is my first time growing vegetables; I have no green thumb and I’m using a dinky “Grow Your Own” kit from the local grocery store. My baby vegetables bring me happiness and excitement I never expected from seeds and dirt. …

If you were looking for opportunity on a silver platter, this is it. And this is how.

Would you take a look at that— the world’s a-flames, and you have time on your hands. If you were looking for opportunity on a silver platter, this is it. Your moment is now.

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Shit hit the fan, it really did. Some of us are unemployed, others range from mildly ill to deathly sick, and we’re stuck spending more time with our families than we ever have before — this part’s either horrible, or splendid. I’m not entirely sure.

In the wonderful land that is Canada, we’re grateful for our government. They stayed accountable, showed up, and continue to announce…

Negin Safdari

Executive Recruiter @ Artemis Canada. Passionate about communication, funny tweets, and finding great leaders to change the world.

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