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Work tips from the Talk Science to Me Team

to do listThe Talk Science to Me team is a dedicated collection of science communications professionals. Unfortunately, we rarely see each other, since most of us work remotely. Our weekly internal newsletter has become a great way to stay in touch, and we often share tips for staying productive and getting the most out of a workday.

So, supplementing our recent post on resolutions for writers, here are some of the team’s recommendations for getting it done (whatever it is).

Warming up to work
Deb starts the day by checking her schedule on her smart phone while running up 1,000 stairs, stopping to stretch after every 100. Roma prefers the slightly more sedentary approach of looking over her diary while drinking a cup of strong coffee.

Not sure if this works, but Amanda suggests watching the strangely hypnotic Dancing Jellies video to get into work mode at the beginning of the day.

Getting comfortable
Amy has some great suggestions for making life in front of a screen more comfortable:

Roma does ten minutes of tai chi warm-ups before starting work. She says it’s helping her arms and fingers feel in good shape by the end of the day.

Amanda has also set up an ergonomic workspace to combat back and neck strain, setting her monitor and keyboard to the right heights to avoid feeling completely crumpled by the end of the day. She’s also created a standing desk using a laptop computer and a USB keyboard balanced on a couple of Ikea wooden drawer units. By moving between desks during the day, she avoids staying sedentary and developing repetitive strain problems. She’s also added a dog to her life and is regularly pulled outside to take a hike.

Boosting productivity
Deb takes a melodic approach to improving focus: she listens to Tibetan singing bowls for mellow yet focused concentration. There are quite a few tracks available on YouTube, and there’s even a singing bowl generator you can use to make your own relaxation tape!

Meanwhile, Eve advises automating routine tasks, suggesting Zapier as a tool that links apps to each other even when they don’t have an integration. A specific example of a possible application is to link Teamwork to Gmail, allowing you to “zap” a Gmail into Teamwork as a task. And it works with over 300 apps, so the possibilities for streamlining your working life are almost endless.

For automating social media, one option is Buffer, which queues up social media shares found during the day. IFTTT, or If This Then That, is similar to Zapier and lets you create recipes linking online applications that will run automatically whenever an event triggers.

So there they are: our team tips for a productive and comfortable working day. We’d love to hear some of your productivity and work/life tips, so let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

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