The Brief: This Is Why Your Awkward Friendship With Your Coworker Is a Good Thing


Coworkers that turn into friends are a little different than other friends. First of all, they see us before our second cup of coffee as well as when we have to be in serious, professional, networking mode. But apparently even if you weren’t expecting to become friends with your coworkers sometimes it just naturally happens (even if it can be a little weird), but this is actually a good thing and can improve your work performance. According to a team of organizational psychologists relationships with your coworkers are known as “multiplex relationships.” They basically found that though these relationships are complicated, they are still positive. The study found that those surveyed who reported having more of those “multiplex” relationships also tended to receive higher marks on their work performance. Yes, having friends is good! However, those who reported having more friends did say there was a higher level of emotional exhaustion at work because they did have to put more effort into these relationships. Yes, because talking about Game of Thrones with your coworkers/friends can be oh so tiring. (Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Working Out With Coworkers)

ClassPast It

If you are one of the thousands of people that uses ClassPass, then you had a tough week as you saw a major price increase from $125 per month to $190 per month.  After all, this was the app that let you take spin class, yoga and that weird zumba paddle boarding class every month at a reasonable cost and now it’s like they think you suddenly can afford Equinox prices. Umm don’t you think if we could all afford to go sit at the juice bar and stare at guys go to Equinox we would? That place is like a resort for adults! But if you are trying to figure out how to proceed with your fitness choices other gyms and exercise programs are taking full advantage of your dilemma. Crunch Gym sent out emails offering the month of May for free if they are ClassPass members. David Barton’s new gym in Hell’s Kitchen will also let you take free classes if you show your ClassPass app. So it looks like you won’t have to look too far to find another way to do indoor kite surfing class. (Related: 15 Excuses We All Make to Avoid Working Out (and How to Break the Cycle)


Oh It’s Been Broughten

Watch out Starbucks. You’ve got some serious competition and they have really good donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts has decided to launch a full on war to compete with Starbucks and it is getting seriously good for anyone that is a DD regular. According to GrubStreet, they have a new mobile ordering platform because we all know lines are for peasants. It’s supposed to roll out mid-May at all New York City locations. This is part of its new DD perks membership club which gives you gold stars as currency, which is a bit magical in a Tinker Bell-ish sort of way (just watch this.) But wait, it gets better. The brand is also launching curbside delivery, because sometimes skipping the line isn’t enough. Sometimes you want to go full Kardashian and have them bring your vanilla chai and breakfast sandwich to the curb outside. Because nothing says classy like having your food handed to you on a sidewalk outside of the Dunkin’ Donuts. And finally, they are going to start selling more espresso-based drinks. BOOM! Right in Starbuck’s face! It’s only a matter of time before DD has Norah Jones compilations albums. (Related: 7 Things to Do With a Mentor That *Don’t* Include Coffee or Lunch)



Levo Loves…

The latest trailer for Me Before You. Warning if you have eyes and ears you will be sobbing so maybe save this for after work and not right after happy hour. Actually watch it tomorrow. Just watch it tomorrow by yourself.

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10 Ways to Get in Job Applying Mode

10 Ways to Psych Yourself Up About Job Hunting

You’ve made a list of jobs you know you’re perfect for, and now you just need to get into your most creative, cover-letter-writing powerhouse state of mind. Here are 10 ways to turn on the switch: 

1. Start the day off on the right foot!

Beginning the day groggy and lethargic will only make the process seem that much longer. Instead, get a good night’s rest and then start your morning off with a filling breakfast, a walk around the block, and maybe even your favorite podcast. (If you’re looking for a new one to try, the podcast StartUp is about “what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.” Listening to someone else’s career journey will get you pumped to get working on yours!)

2. Make your space work for you.

Do you work best with a ton of natural sunlight and opportunities for the occasional people-watching? Set yourself up in front a great window. Are you better tucked away in a corner where you can be sure you’ll go undisturbed? Sneak away to the coziest corner in your apartment. You know yourself best, so create a space that you know you’ll succeed in.

3. Know your goals.

Take out an old-fashioned pen and paper, and write down your goals. It could be for the day, the month, or even the next five years. Committing your goals to paper will give you a clear direction for the day and remind you of that bright, shiny career light at the end of the tunnel. (Plus, a 1979 study showed that graduate students who wrote down their goals were earning on average 10 times as much as their classmates 10 years down the road!) Pin those goals up where you can see them—and be inspired by them—and then get to work.

4. Sift through social media.

Put your expertly-crafted Pinterest skills to use! Create your own inspiration board before getting started, complete with some badass quotes, photos of your career role models, and even that purse you just might have to buy for your first day of work. Not sure where to start? Check out Levo’s “Inspirational quotes” board or even these eight motivational Instagram accounts. Get double-tappin’ on those pics and then hit those applications.

5. Treat yourself with some Starbucks.

While yes, you do deserve an award for all those application forms you’ve been filling out, there’s another great reason you should head on down to your local coffee shop. The caffeine in coffee can improve your attention span, mental performance, and help you buckle down and focus. And a little whipped cream won’t hurt either, right?

6. Get noisy. 

Find yourself getting distracted by the cars outside or your roommate’s fave show playing in the background? When music gets to be too much to handle, try turning on some ambient noise to get in the zone. There are websites that will give you everything from the sounds of a coffee shop (you can even specify if you want “Morning Murmur” or “University Understones”) to a fast-paced beat. One site, Noisli, even changes background color to bring you the health benefits of chromotherapy. Pick whatever gets you groovin’ and get back in the work flow.

7. Be a little silly.

We all need a bit of extra support now and again. This motivational penguin (yes, I know how silly that sounds) will give you that dose of adorable and appreciation that can get you through to the next email/application/phone call. We promise we won’t share your new secret to success.

8. Pretend it’s a “Rainy Day.”

Ever heard of a Rainy Day file? Chances are you have one, even if you call it something different. This is that little sparkly email file (or real file!) you have that’s filled with all the sweet notes from your friend and encouraging emails from your former professor or boss. (There may even be a few “I love you” emails from mom thrown in there.) Basically, it’s your go-to place if you want to feel good and confident. Take a second to read through everyone’s kind words before crafting your cover letters. Now you’ll be ready to tell that employer why you’re the absolute perfect candidate for the position.

9. Laugh a little.

Confession: My friends and I couldn’t stop laughing at this BuzzFeed video about one woman discovering the wage gap. Even though it’s satire, it’ll make you want to get in an office, #ask4more, and make a difference. And a little comedy will make those apps fly by!

10. Grab your most supportive girlfriend.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the application process or just think you’d benefit from some teamwork, grab some fellow applicants and work together. Another set of eyes and some additional brain power can help get the ball rolling. Plus, no one knows how awesome you are like your BFF does, so she’ll be sure to keep the morale high and your confidence up!


The Brief: 90 Percent of Women Would Rather Do This Than Be Late For Work

Generation Pauper

Feeling broke? It’s because you are a millennial. According to a new report, millennials are making less than any other generation before them (and remember there was a time where everyone in this country was literally a bean farmer.) The report, released by the comptrollers office in New York City this week, shows that Gen Y earns 20 percent less than the previous generation. “Millennials were applying for jobs in the most difficult economic climate since the Great Depression and as a result, a growing number are now working in low-wage industries and earning less than their predecessors,” comptroller Scott M. Stringer said in a statement. “This group of young people is confronting unique economic challenges that their parents did not have to face. Every generation is expected to do better than the last, but too many millennials are not getting a fair chance to make it in New York City.” Now NYC is especially expensive, but this is still startling information. (Related: 3 Surprising Tips to Master Your Personal Finances)


Big Fat Zero

Bad news ladies.  According to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, a woman up against only male candidates has absolutely zero chance of getting the job. Major bummer. The researchers write: “The results from these studies were what we had predicted: When there were two minorities or women in the pool of finalists, the status quo changed, resulting in a woman or minority becoming the favored candidate.”However, the researchers did find that if a woman was up against a pool of men, but then another woman was added to the pool, she had a better chance of getting hired. But with all men, she has nada chance. “For one thing,” the researchers write, “it highlights how different she is from the norm. And deviating from the norm can be risky for decision makers, as people tend to ostracize people who are different from the group. For women and minorities, having your differences made salient can also lead to inferences of incompetence.” (Related: The 5 Emotional Stages of Job Hunting)


In the Morning

Are you one of those people who starts off every morning with a run or are you so grateful that pajamas are fashionable right now because you barely make it to your desk on time? Well, you aren’t alone if you are all about sleeping in. According to a new survey from Organic Valley of over 1,000 women 45 percent of women say they always or sometimes check their e-mail before even getting out of bed, and 90 percent say it’s more important to be on time to work than to be dressed to impress. It seems most women are skipping the most important meal of the day (45 percent), but they are making time for coffee as 50 percent said they would opt for caffeine over food. And don’t call women high maintenance because the survey found that more than half the women made it out of the door in less than an hour, and 81 percent of women wear the first thing they put on. Perhaps they were able to make it out the door so fast because twenty-one percent admit to using a scarf or jewelry to camouflage a stain.  (Related: What Your Morning Routine Says About You)

Levo Loves…

That the Starbucks Birthday Cake Frap is back! Made of vanilla bean and hazelnut with pink whipped cream on top, this is the stuff coffee break dreams are made of. But you better get in there because the limited edition frap is only available now through Monday, May 2. We have a feeling there will be a lot of birthdays next week!

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This Is How Millennials Can Get Involved With the Fight For Equal Pay

So, you’ve heard a lot this month about the gender wage gap and Equal Pay Day, and perhaps you or someone you love is experiencing it personally. Here’s the thing about the gap: It encompasses a lot of different issues – issues that nearly everyone woman will face at some point in her life. Unequal pay (including base rate, bonuses and options); occupational segregation; retaliation for seeking a raise, promotion, or pay transparency; pregnancy and caregiver penalties (including caring for children and other family members); as well as wage theft and an inadequate minimum wage (which disproportionately impacts women) all contribute to the gender wage gap. These issues transcend socio-economic status and only compound as you work longer or factor in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, parental status, and disability status. Worse, they are fueled by conscious and subconscious, antiquated and false (ahem, sexist) notions about women’s value and contributions to their families and the American economy. These same notions have a tendency to negatively impact other areas of our lives as well, including health care and personal safety, threatening not only our careers but also our promise as individuals.

But you know all of this, and you know all of the data that supports it. The question is: what can you do about it?

How do we address the issues creating the gap, ensure the adoption of policies that protect us, as well as continue to rally against cultural norms that undermine us as women in the workplace, in the home, and in society? How do we ensure women don’t have to wait ridiculously until 2058 (the current estimate) to receive equal pay for equal work and close the gender wage gap?

We become activists.

We do so for ourselves, for other women, for our families, and for a nation that depends on us. We can’t do it alone, nor is it right that we should have to fight this battle at all, but that won’t stop us from doing our part. And as Millennial women, at the start of our careers and lives, we are in a unique position to make a difference and set a new standard for generations to follow.

So here’s what I do and what I encourage you to do as well:

1) Speak out.

Leveraging the power of personal stories and networks has long helped advocates achieve social and political change, and it is no different with Millennials and equal pay. Create your own blog, share stories on social media, write to local news outlets, contact your elected officials, and, most importantly, talk about the gender wage gap with your friends and family members, including the men in your life. Put a real and familiar face to the gap and you will make it difficult to ignore (and family dinners more interesting).

2) Disrupt the system. Yup. DISRUPT it.

Call out the gap and its sexist underpinnings wherever and whenever you find them, changing the tactics, when necessary, to fit the environment and make you more effective. For example, addressing these issues in your workplace can be tricky, especially if you are not a manager. Try building a community at work around equality and inclusion for women at all levels of leadership. Ensure the membership is diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, age, and seniority-level. Encourage your boss to support it formally as a way to foster a healthy working environment that encourages company loyalty and boosts the bottom line. If that’s not an option, keep it informal. If (when) issues of pay and promotion disparity arise, this community can serve as a resource.

3) #ask4more. Ask for a raise. Do it.

You shouldn’t have to ask to be paid equally and fairly. You’ve earned it, and it’s required by law. That said, even as you fight for change, you need to get paid. And that means doing your research and asking for a raise … every year. Before you approach your boss, check out to see how your salary stacks up against others in your field. Without focusing on individuals by name, talk to your co-workers and mentors about what salaries and compensation packages are like in your workplace generally. Keep track of your contributions, monetizing them and using data, where possible. This will help you avoid explaining why you need or want a raise. It isn’t about need or want, it’s about earned. Indeed,  you may have earned more than others in your workplace. If so, ask for that as well. Right or wrong, asking for a raise can signal to your boss that you are a serious professional who demands and deserves to be taken seriously. Besides, when you ask for a raise, you encourage other women to do so as well. And, if you just can’t help yourself, remind your boss that you too have responsibilities for yourself and your family (even if it is your family of one).

Notwithstanding this blog, pay discrimination is against the law. Learn more about your rights and responsibilities under local, state, and national equal employment laws and, if you think you’ve been a victim, contact HR.

4) Give fiercely.

Perhaps more than most, Millennials understand the impact of collaboration and small dollar donors. With issues like equal pay, working as a collective to fund and fuel the movement is critical. There are organizations, like the Equal Pay Today! Campaign and its coalition members, fighting across the nation on our behalf every day, but they need resources and support to keep going and close the gap more quickly, so we don’t have to wait for 2058. I’m not okay with the generation behind mine facing the same fights I am fighting today, that my mother fought yesterday. I have recently committed to putting my money where my heart is, deciding to back the equal pay movement in amounts greater than my normal $25 – $50 per year. I ask that you step up in the fight for equal pay as well by resourcing it at a level and in a capacity that is comfortable and meaningful for you. For advice on donating to get the biggest bang for your buck, visit

We need you to be an activist on equal pay and the broader gender wage gap in your community, at home, and at work. Speak out, disrupt, #ask4more, and give fiercely.

 Photo: Getty Images

5 Ways to Get Your Dream Job That Hasn’t Been Invented Yet

5 Ways to Get Your Dream Job That Hasn’t Been Invented Yet

#Girlboss reality check: plotting out a solid career path might not be what leads you to your dream job anymore. The reason? The gig that you’ll go ga-ga for might not have been invented yet. Think about it: many of the top 10 best places to work in 2016 according to Glassdoor including the number one placeholder, Airbnb, weren’t even founded until the mid-to-late 2000s. How can you possibly take the right courses, secure the best internships and brush up your resume to get your foot in the door when the door hasn’t been built yet?

According to an all-female panel at SXSW Interactive today, made up of executives of tech, science, fashion and data companies, it’s really not that difficult to prepare for — or pivot from if you’re in a field that gets disrupted by new technology (as in, there was no Twitter or Snapchat in my J-School course syllabus when I graduated in 2008). Read below for five pieces of career advice on how to prepare for your dream job that hasn’t been invented yet.

1. Don’t Limit Yourself: “When I started working in public health, there was no Digital Development role — it didn’t exist!,” said Jessica Federer, Head of Digital Development at Bayer AG. “Pick something that you love at let it evolve because if you try to plan out your career you’re really limiting your options.”

Johanna Murphy, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Rag & Bone, shared her twist-and-turn-filled journey. “I went to school thinking I wanted to be a chemist until I was not doing very well in chemistry and then it turned out I had a knack for writing so I ended up being a journalist for a while then went into marketing and it actually turned out am actually very good at math andhave a creative side of my brain. It’s all taken a long time for me to figure out what it is I’m good, but it’s that,” she said.

2. Have a Plan to Update Your Skills: “Have a passion for learning new things because everything changes so fast today, including new skills that we weren’t taught in college,” said Sandy Carter, General Manager at IBM. “So the best career advice I can give is to make sure you have a plan to always update your skills.”

3. A/B Test Your Life: “Let yourself be open to new experiences and try things that challenge you. If you’re really hardcore into math and science, try something on the creative side or vice versa. Who knows? You may have a hidden talent,” said Johanna Murphy.

Sandy Carter echoed her sentiment. “Especially for high school and college girls, I tell them to A/B test their life. So my daughter, for instance, she’s 13 and she loves art. So look at art — drawing, painting — but also look at digital animation. Who knows? You might like one of the other. Try it and then A/B test two other things. That way you can take different things that you like and develop it and A/B test your way to a fabulous career.”

4. Don’t Pick a Job, Pick a Boss: “You want to evolve, you want to be successful… and you just need a great boss” said Jessica Federer. “So don’t pick a job, pick a boss. Pick someone who inspires you and challenges you and that you want to work with.”

5. Say “No” to Stupid Things: Lisa Pearson, CMO of Umbel recalled what a friend and colleague recently said. “Do things you enjoy, constantly stretch and learn, say “yes” to everything, but say “no” to stupid things,” she said. “I think that’s a tough one for women to reconcile because of the desire to be helpful and supportive and enthusiastic. But say “yes” to the ones that are of high value, not just yes to everything.”

Photo: Getty Images


The Brief: Another Woman Just Entered the Presidential Race

Running It Out

This just in. Ted Cruz has picked a running mate and it is Carly Fiorina. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate today, according to CNN. As you recall, Fiorina also ran for the GOP nomination and is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (she led the company from 1999 to 2005.) According to CNN, “The unusual move from the Cruz campaign also comes just hours after the billionaire businessman, who is trying to look like the presumptive nominee, gave a high-profile scripted speech on foreign policy.” This is most likely an attempt to get more female voters. “She is smart, articulate and loves campaigning,” said Beth Miller, who advised Fiorina’s 2010 Senate run. “People like her and connect with her. She affords him some new life in the campaign since the media will be following him even more closely.” Katie Reilly of TIME says Fiorina was expected to be named as a VP contender on someone’s ticket even though she has never held elected office. Should be interesting! (Related: Why Aren’t There More Millennials in Politics?)


Lifetime Achievement

You may have mixed feelings about the Lifetime network. After all, they did air the Elizabeth Taylor movie starring Lindsay Lohan which just led the entire nation to utter a collective “Why?” But last summer with the show UnReal we got to see so many strong female characters (hello Constance Zimmer!)  on a smart show and now we can expect more great content. Plus, a recent BuzzFeed profile on Lifetime notes that women wrote or directed 73 percent of Lifetime’s original films from 1994 to 2016. And now, according to Women & Hollywood, Lifetime has announced a new programming slate and a new multi-platform initiative that will be focused on entertainment by and for women. Titled The Fempire, it’s goal is “entertaining and engaging the next generation of feminists.” Plus we can look forward to a Selena Gomez-executive produced project based on her own life experiences (“From Barney to Bieber” should be considered for the title) as well as movies with Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams and Fashion Inc.”, an unscripted series revolving around aspiring fashion and beauty entrepreneurs. (Related: 5 TV Power Couples Who Will Show You the True Meaning of Love)


Pulse It

We’ve got your summer food trend of 2016 and it doesn’t involve making milk out of a vegetable that should never be associated with veggies so that is something! You’ve actually (and hopefully) been eating these foods for years but now they have a cool, pretentious name so you can feel superior. They are called Pulses which is lentils, beans and chickpeas. So not only is it totally on fleek to eat these right up but it is also good for the world. The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (did you know they even did that with food?) Pulses are good for fixing quantities of nitrogen in the soil, boosting fertility and reducing the need to apply it to food crops. Doritos are awesome, but they definitely can’t do that. (Related: 5 Foods That Will Make You Better at Your Job)


Levo Loves….

ModCloth’s new Body Positive Swim Campaign which features 13 female entrepreneurs, ModCloth shoppers, models, employees, and past campaign stars. ModCloth is also unveiling a video series called Hot Tub Roundtable, in which inspiring women talk about their lives and careers.

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5 Times Procrastinating Might Be the Smart Thing to Do

5 Times Procrastinating Might Be the Smart Thing to Do

Be honest: How often do you put off important work projects until the last minute?

Rather than beat yourself up for “bad behavior,” consider this: Procrastinating actually has some real upsides, experts say, and you can use it as a strategy to benefit your career. If you use it wisely, that is.

“Procrastinating on purpose is nothing about being lazy or disengaged,” says Rory Vaden, co-founder of Southwestern Consulting and author of “Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time.” Instead, putting things on the back burner can sometimes give you more time to think things through, evaluate the task from different perspectives and brainstorm creative ideas that improve your work and ultimately help you charge through to meet your deadline.

“The thing to get comfortable with is we will always in a constant state of putting something off,” says Frank Partnoy, George E. Barrett professor of law and finance at the University of San Diego and author of “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay.”

So why try to fight procrastination when there are times when you should embrace it and use it to your advantage? Here, experts share five situations where procrastinating can pay off big.

When You’re Facing a Big Project

It’s Monday morning. You’ve been assigned a project that must be delivered to a client by the end of the week. A non-procrastinator might hit the gas immediately and power through within three days. But taking this approach means you’ll miss out on two days of potential inspiration, which can strike when it’s least expected.

“A lot of times we’ll come up with a better solution or more innovative ideas while we’re sleeping or in the shower or while we’re having a conversation with someone else,” Partnoy says. The key is figuring out how late you can wait to really get moving, he says, and then procrastinate until that point.

Field research backs up the idea of waiting for creative inspiration. A recent New York Times op-ed tells the story of an experiment in which participants were tasked with coming up with new business ideas. One group started brainstorming right away, while the other heard the assignment and then had five minutes to play Minesweeper or Solitaire before getting to work. The procrastinators’ ideas were rated as 28% more creative.

Plus, it’s not unheard-of for a client to switch direction days after briefing you on the assignment. By waiting to get started, you’ll have the clearest picture of what he or she is really looking for. “Any time you act too soon and then things change, you have change cost,” Vaden says. In this scenario, it means lost time. So instead of diving in prematurely, ask yourself: Must this be done now? “If it can wait, there’s really value to waiting,” Vaden says.

RELATED: Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Yourself, According to Science

When You’re Preparing a Presentation

Think back to the last time you were in a meeting and the presenter totally nailed it. Was their presentation peppered with current pop culture references or ones that went viral a year ago? The former resonate better with audiences—and that means putting things together late in the game.

“If you want your presentation to seem fresh, it’s often better to do the preparation at the last minute,” Partnoy says. Not only will your content be up-to-the-minute, but the talking points will be at the front of your mind, especially if you complete your work and then get a good night’s sleep. A recent study from the University of Bristol lends support to the idea that “sleeping on it” helps consolidate important memories, so you retain key talking points.

If You’re Evaluating a New Hire Candidate

Bringing a new employee on board has significant long-term effects on the company, so this isn’t a task to rush through just to lighten your to-do list. Putting off the decision for a bit  gives you time to weigh a candidate’s pros and cons and find the right fit, Vaden says.

Procrastinating about a new hire also lets you refresh your decision-making abilities. You want to avoid what researchers call “decision fatigue,” which occurs when you’ve been making rapid-fire choices all day. The more decisions that are on your plate in one stretch, the less likely it is that your brain will approach each one fairly, according to a paper in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Your judgment will be sharper if you revisit the candidate’s résumé and your interview notes at a later date, say the beginning of the following week, when your mind is clear and energized.

While you procrastinate, though, resist the urge to dig up every piece of information you can about the candidate. A study from Stanford and Princeton psychologists found that an overload of useless facts can alter your decision-making process and cause you to give more weight to non-relevant information.

RELATED: 4 Ways to Turn a Job-Hopper History Into a Big Career Asset

When You’re Making a Major Money Decision

Whether you’re planning to acquire a new company or just buy a new TV, there may be benefit to waiting.

“If I don’t have to make a [financial] decision right now, I’m not going to make it,” Vaden says. “Why? New information might show up, or a new deal might show up,” he says, that can affect what to offer or if you’re paying too much. “There’s a lot of science that shows we make decisions too quickly; we jump at stimulus,” Partnoy says. Resist the urge, take a step back and gather your facts.

Simply taking a little more time to mull things over can help you make better decisions. A study published in the journal PLoS ONE found that when study participants waited an extra fraction of a second, they were better able to correctly ID the direction of moving dots on a computer screen. Even just a 50-millisecond delay in decision-making improved the accuracy of their responses by 75%.

As Emails Pile Up in Your Inbox

Drowning in messages? Taking time out every few minutes to read them will interrupt your flow and put a dent in your productivity. “You can’t ignore your email forever, but you can ignore it now so you get other things done that are more significant,” Vaden says.

The best strategy: Skim the sender of each email as it comes in so you don’t miss something urgent from a manager. Otherwise, let them pile up and then devote about 45 minutes at the end of the day to reading them, Vaden suggests. By then, he says, many of your messages may have been resolved on their own, leaving you more time to attend to the most pressing matters on your plate.

Besides procrastinating when it comes to checking your mail, putting the brakes on reading and replying can help you avoid responding in a potentially damaging way. “Often we respond too quickly with some emotional reaction, either anger or excitement, and we’d be better off taking some extra time to process the information that we received,” Partnoy says. So take a few extra hours—or even days, depending on the message and the sender—to ensure you’re giving the most reasoned reply.

Cutting down the number of times a day you check your email means you’ll be better off mentally, too. A study from the University of British Columbia found that checking email less frequently reduced stress, which can make you more productive. Study participants who reported feeling more tense accomplished fewer tasks.

Of course, procrastinating can also have some downsides—including adding anxiety to your life, in which case you may benefit from curbing the habit in order to stress less and get more done.

Photo: Getty Images


The Brief: What We Can Learn From Kelly Ripa’s Classy Return To “Live!”

Ripa Roars Back

It’s hard to have an awkward situation at work so imagine having one and then having it broadcast to the entire world. This is what Kelly Ripa has been going through after being blindsided with the news that her co-host, Michael Strahan, was quitting her morning talk show. She then took a few days off to process it and was labeled as a diva even though she was trying to deal with her workplace of 26 years keeping her in the dark on a major decision. But today she returned and reminded America that everyone needs to be treated with respect in the workplace so she is happy that she contributed to this conversation starting. “What transpired, though, over the course of a few days was extraordinary in that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. This is a place that I’ve devoted myself to, not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all the producers and crew who work on this show…we are family,” she told the audience. You tell them Kelly.  Read more about it here. (RELATED: 3 Ways To Deal With Being Blindsided at Work (Like Kelly Ripa Was))

College Grads

Good news college grads! Yes, the days of impromptu naps and daily parties are dwindling down, but you may have a job soon, which means soon you will be too tired to care that the fun is ending! A new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder surveyed 2,186 hiring managers and HR professionals. It found that the hiring outlook is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade. Sixty-seven percent of employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 65 percent. Thirty-seven percent plan to offer higher pay. Information technology (27 percent) and customer service jobs (26 percent) took the top spots for position types recruiting new grads. There were also many opportunities in finance/accounting (19 percent), business development (19 percent) and sales (17 percent). (Related: 8 Must-Have Body Language Tips for New Grads)

Emoji This

Everyone can relax now. We finally have Starbucks emojis. The world is now a complete place. See before these existed you couldn’t send a cat with heart eyes sipping on a frappucino emoji to describe the joy you felt when you wanted to tell a friend you were at Starbucks. No, you just had to send a picture of an regular coffee mug, like a peasant in the 1500s. And you had to type out Starbucks or sbux to let someone know you were there. Who’s got the time for that? But now you can send your friends 28 Starbucks-specific emoji including cake pops, green-tea Frappuccinos, and iced coffee. The app is available for iOS and for Android. With these now and the amount of time I spend talking about Starbucks, language may truly become redundant. (Related: 4 Life Hacks for People Who Spill Coffee on Everything)


Levo Loves…

Anna Kendrick’s new book cover and release date! The Twitter stars’ book is called Scrappy Little Nobody and will be published on Nov. 15 by Touchstone. We can’t wait!


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Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa Talked About the Importance of Respect in the Workplace Today and It Was Brilliant

Though Kelly Ripa is famous for her perkiness (heck, she’s made a career around it) we saw a different side of the host of Live! With Kelly and Michael this morning and we liked it. She returned to the program after a much talked about few days off after her co-host Michael Strahan announced he would be leaving the show to go work full-time on Good Morning America. News quickly leaked that Ripa had not known about this exit and was informed of it in the 11th hour by a network she had worked with for 26 years.  As you can imagine, she had a strong reaction, prompting her to leave the show for a few days (though apparently she had scheduled a vacation around then.)

[RELATED: 3 Ways To Deal With Being Blindsided at Work (Like Kelly Ripa Was))

She was labeled a diva by many press outlets for her behavior—“How Kelly Ripa Could Pay the Price for a Diva Act,” wrote TheWrap;  “Kelly Ripa ‘Went Crazy’ When She Heard Michael Strahan Was Leaving Live!,” wrote People—even though if any of us had to deal with a blow as big as this at work we would need time to process it as well. And to be told about so abruptly seemed odd and disrespectful, especially for such a powerful, veteran of her industry, but apparently this treatment of women in television is common.“There’s a long history of women in the top echelons of television being disrespected and being mismanaged,” Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent at CNN and author of Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, told Time. 

In other words, all eyes were on Ripa today when she returned to the program after staying mum for a week (except for when she was seen exiting her apartment carrying a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath.)  So how did she handle it after she was greeted with a standing ovation? With class, composure, humor and braveness. Opening with, “Our long national nightmare is over,” she continued:

“I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right. And let’s be honest, I know half of you called in sick to be here, so, we get each other. In that time, I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart. I didn’t want to come out here and say something I might regret. What transpired, though, over the course of a few days was extraordinary in that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace. This is my second home. This is a place that I’ve devoted myself to, not just because of you, our loyal viewers, but because of all the producers and crew who work on this show…we are family.

She went on to thank the loyal viewers and say she was thrilled for Strahan. She also added, “My dad, who was a bus driver for 30 years, thinks we’re all crazy. And I think he’s right.”

The crux of this is respect in the workplace is very important, especially for one you have been so loyal to. We devote our lives to these companies and the people we work with so this needs to be said. Thank you Kelly.

Watch Kelly’s big moment in the video below.

Photo: via YouTube

Power Moves: 5 Psychological Tricks to Use at Work

Power Moves: 5 Psychological Tricks to Use at Work

Mind Games

You might be kicking butt and taking names at work — knocking out stellar presentations, solving complex problems, and delivering solid results. But if you’re looking to get an edge, it’s time to turn away from traditional job advice.

Beyond focusing on doing good work, there are subtle psychological tricks you can incorporate into your power-moves repertoire. Here are five ways to get ahead by influencing your colleagues (and even a trick to play on yourself).

Take a Stand

You might not think that something as simple as the way a room is set up can have an impact on your brain, but Washington University at St. Louis researchers may have found the secret to influencing your coworkers’ teamwork skills: Remove the chairs. The study authors discovered that a “non-sedentary workspace” — one that encourages employees to get out of their chairs — keeps people energized. The study also found that moving around makes people more flexible about ideas and makes them more interested in and good at collaborating.

If your team is looking sluggish, try this technique during your next meeting. Mix it up by having everyone gather at a whiteboard instead of around a table. If your company is game, propose some small upgrades to your office: Standing desks or even bistro-style tall tables for quick meetings or lunches.

Break the Rules

Want to pull a power move on your first day at a new job? Go on, help yourself to that cup of coffee without waiting for an invitation. Small, authoritative actions like this psych out your audience, giving them the impression that you’re in power, found University of Amsterdam researchers. People read authority when you step outside the norms — it makes you look like you answer only to yourself, as opposed to being someone who diligently follows all the rules of polite company.

Of course, remember that the research emphasizes small, subtle actions, and not grand ones that overstep boundaries with your boss. So toss your bag down or turn on your laptop with authority when you arrive, but don’t go too far and establish yourself as the office jerk.

Open With Sarcasm

When you want to foster creativity among staff, use sarcasm to warm them up, says Harvard Business School research. After aseries of studies in which subjects were exposed to conversations that were sarcastic, sincere, or neutral, those who were in the sarcastic scenarios performed better on creative tasks afterwards.

This suggested to the authors that sarcasm must activate a part of the mind that promotes creative thinking. After all, decoding a sarcastic statement takes some brainpower — and perhaps just the kind you want from your colleagues when it’s crunch time on a new project. So what kind of sarcasm works best? Steer clear of humor that insults the receiver or makes a dig at someone else in the workplace. Instead, take a light jab at yourself.

Dress Up

Dressing more formally (the kind of clothes you’d wear to a job interview) doesn’t just look good, it can actually help you handle criticism and feel more in control, too, according to California State University Northridge and Columbia University researchers. “Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world,” says study author Abraham Rutchick.

Suiting up helps you put criticism in perspective by enhancing your abstract thinking ability, versus the concrete thinking processes that often lead us astray (study authors cite impulsive purchases as an example of thinking about money in too concrete a way). Abstract thinking allows you to take criticism in stride instead of letting it hurt your self-esteem. So if you think you’re in for a dressing down with your boss, remember to listen carefully, take responsibility, offer solutions, and dress up.

Photo: Getty Images