Here’s my new productivity plan: Tackle one small thing a day. Lately, that’s been cleaning my space in miniature increments (as in, one drawer at a time)—but I’m finding it to be incredibly effective. In the past, my productivity plan often looked something like this: Make a very long list of all the things you possibly could and should be doing, including but not limited to large, random life tasks like filing your insurance claims, fixing your water meter, writing thank you notes, and remembering to meditate. Of course, I’d also pile on all my work to-dos, and then my personal work to-dos (go write a book proposal! while you’re at it, remember the blog you write?).Read More
If I have to do lengthy travel (a drive of more than three hours or a train ride further than a few stops), I like to do it on gray, drizzly days. This makes being tucked into a train seat or behind the wheel of a car feel cozy, rather than suffocating. On brilliantly sunny days, I just wish I could be outside breathing fresh air and walking barefoot in the grass. (Note: This does not apply to short drives in nice weather, which is actually one of life’s great pleasures and involves loud and enthusiastic car singing.)Read More
Most weekday afternoons, I take the subway down from my apartment to Soho. I get on the 2,3 express train, switching to the local at 14th Street, and exit at the Houston stop. I walk two blocks to the quiet block of Sullivan Street just north of Prince, which is shaded by trees and lined with brick apartment buildings, their exteriors ribboned with the iron grates of fire escapes, that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Friends. It’s a comforting snippet of the city, one that feels oddly neighborhood-like despite its proximity to the grit and noise of the NYU area.Read More
How’s your weekend going? I saw a sign in a shop today—a quirkily illustrated poster with the words ‘have a marvelous day!’ scrawled across the top. It showed 12 hand-drawn squares, each depicting something to marvel at: the scent of roses in a flower shop, a hot cup of coffee, the sun on your face.
I liked the reminder of what the word can be—not just excellent or fantastic but related to stopping and marveling at something (especially little things). How nice to wander through the world with a healthy dose of wonder: willing and ready and looking to be surprised or delighted or both.Read More
The party dessert platter. You know what I’m talking about. The dessert platter I mean is not a gorgeous spread of irresistible pastries, but rather a catering essential that feels like an afterthought. It shows up at these kinds of gatherings: an after-school soccer team celebration, a piano recital reception, a working lunch with clients, a buffet-style cocktail party. The platter in question is usually on a shiny black plastic tray lined with a paper doily. It sports an array of baked goods—squares of brownies, lemon bars showered in powdered sugar, and slices of pound cake. It suffers from what I call the “Starbucks pastry effect”—it looks inviting, but the second you bite into any one of the desserts, you realize your mistake. Dry. Overly sweet. Pretty tasteless.Read More