A lot of people listen to music to help them relax, but the question is, what song is best for the job? It turns out, science has the answer. According to researchers from Mindlab International, one song was better than all others at making us relax: “Weightless,” by Marconi Union. The song reduced anxiety in study participants by 65 percent and produced a 35 percent reduction in overall physiological resting rate. And it’s no coincidence – the band actually worked with sound therapists while crafting the song. And if you want an entire playlist, researchers put together a list of ten songs for your listening – or relaxing – pleasure.
Love this interview with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, in which he lets loose with some major advice for tech companies. After noting how many high-profile executives and employees are leaving big tech companies in Silicon Valley, Benioff diagnosed the problem – and the solution. “In technology over the last two decades, the most important thing has been the idea. That is, the best idea wins,” he told Cramer. “That has been what gets you funded, that’s how you grow your company, that’s been your highest value: the best idea wins. No longer true. The current highest value is trust, and if trust is not your highest value, if the most important thing to you and your company is not trust, you need to look again.”
Everybody suffers from “imposter syndrome” at some point. And this can have real consequences for businesses. But, as Macy Bayern points out, there are certain things workplaces can do to help their employees move past it and be their best and most productive selves.
Consumers increasingly want the brands they do business with to stand for something beyond profits. And leaders are responding. Here’s a great piece about how more and more CEOs and business leaders are coming out and taking stands on social issues. Yes, there’s risk, but there’s also opportunity – to communicate a company’s authenticity and values.
Everybody wants to be more financially successful. And there are endless pieces of advice on how to do it. But here's one way: be generous. It might sound counterintuitive, but, as one study found, being unselfish is connected to higher incomes. And here are some great ways to bring the power of giving into your daily life.
We have a mental health crisis in this country, and part of that is due to the difficulty – for whatever reason – many people have in reaching out. So any tool that can make it easier to seek help when it’s needed is welcome. That includes this non-profit targeted at young professionals called Empower, which allows people to connect to a trained volunteer via text, their preferred method of communication. It’s a great example of technology being used to enhance our humanity and connection to each other and ourselves.
Our culture fetishizes youth, but, as Allison Shrager points out, “as we age, we combine our changing fluid intelligence with our increased wisdom.” As an example, she cites the many scientists and experts, including this year’s co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics William Nordhaus, who continued to do groundbreaking work long after his 20s and 30s. So if you haven’t had your breakthrough yet, says Shrager, take heart: “Perhaps our most creative days are still ahead of us.”
I wish I’d read this when I was in my twenties – though whether I would have listened is another matter. But it’s true that so few people treat their time as if it’s as valuable as it truly is. As Nicolas Cole writes, “If you can't protect your time for the things you truly want to do while you're in your 20s, you will never be able to do so when you're older with even more responsibilities and time commitments.”
It’s all well and good to understand the dangers of being a workaholic, but a question I get asked a lot is, "what if my boss is a workaholic"? As performance coach Melody Wilding writes, it’s all about boundaries. “Once you set limits, make sure to follow through,” she concludes. “Boundaries are useless if not enforced. Maintaining them may be hard, but your well-being and happiness are worth it.”
Engineers are great to learn about process from, because the stakes of whether a process is working well is so huge for them. A great example is this piece from Cate Huston, Engineering Manager at Automattic [note: this is the correct spelling], writing about the two key questions to ask when your team has hit a logjam. The exercise is also useful for individuals (like me) as well.
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