A simple framework for buying time to think

Illustration of a woman in the center, with concentric silhouettes of her around her.
Illustration of a woman in the center, with concentric silhouettes of her around her.
Illustration: Abbey Lossing

In this angry, anxious, and polarized time, it’s easy to lash out, whether on social media or at people in your real life. And we often end up wishing we didn’t: One survey found that a majority of social media users had posted something they regretted.

So buy yourself time — not just to calm down (though that is helpful!) but to formulate a response that achieves your goals with the least collateral damage.

Repeat these sentences every time you’re angry: “Let me process that. I’ll get back to you.” Remove yourself from the situation, whether for just a minute or (if necessary) for longer. …


The best morning routine isn’t the one that leads to more productivity. It’s the one that actually works for your life

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Illustration: Abbey Lossing

We all have mornings that don’t go perfectly. For me, the culprit is a 10-month-old baby. For you, it may be anxiety about an afternoon presentation. Or a text from a friend. Or construction outside. The point is: the morning can easily get sidetracked, and that can be problematic, as it’s a period of a few minutes that can define the rest of your waking hours.

Fortunately, the “right” morning routine is the one that works with how you wake up, not against it, whether you’re an early morning phone checker or not. No, you don’t have to spring out of bed at 5 a.m. to an hour of Peloton in order to maximize your mornings. …


Here’s how to respond when a job interviewer asks, ‘Tell me about yourself’

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Illustration: Abbey Lossing

The human brain loves stories. Think about interviewing job candidates; we’re much more likely to remember the candidate for that head of strategy job who recounted checking her town calendar as a kid in order to open her lemonade stand next to big events (and changing her price based on the weather… and working out the ROI of bendy straws) than a candidate who just notes that she’s had four years of experience.

But much as we love stories, telling good ones about ourselves — about who we are and why we do what we do — takes a bit of work. …

About

Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management books including Off the Clock and 168 Hours. She blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

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