How To Manage The Hours Working An Office 9-5 Job When You’re A Creativity Junkie At Heart

A lot of people come to New York City to become something, to get their names known and become famous. The city is thriving off of creative minds, and that’s why they call it “The City That Never Sleeps.” For me, it has always been hard to grasp that there are a number of people who venture to the city to land their dream jobs in the corporate world. It’s hard for me to fathom what it would be like to work in a corporate office confined to a desk all day long. And sure, there are a LOT of corporate environments that incorporate a desired cultural aspect, like Google or Uber.

We’ve all seen the perks of working at Google. I mean a nap room? Really? If only I could land a job there, I would probably never actually work. You could find me in the nap room in a deep slumber, getting my full eight hours. I would sleep through lunch breaks and ever so delicately drop grapes into my mouth like the real dainty princess that I am.

For a lot of young New Yorkers, and even experienced city dwellers, it’s understandable that jobs like that are hard to come across. Usually, you have to know someone, or work your way up in the rankings from an internship. But what happens when you’re 25 and finally realizing what is it you want to pursue your career in? Do you have the support to quit working for money and partake in an unpaid internship to build up your resume? Is someone going to pay your overpriced rent and ConEd or PSEG bills while you spend your weekdays on coffee runs hoping to catch your big break? (Coffee runs are actually highly unlikely in internships these days, as most internships are great learning experiences and an incredible way to get your foot in the door somewhere).

The majority of us don’t have this luxury, which is why I spend my time at my office sitting at my desk, finding alternative ways to flow my creative juices, like writing this article for example. I’m part of the lucky few that are able to get away with doing a lot of personal things at work. I work in Human Resources and spend majority of my day on Instagram, internally cracking up over funny dog memes and relationship posts, and then direct messaging the posts to my friends to give them a good laugh at 1:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.

When I turned 25, I went through what society likes to call a “quarter-life crisis.” It exists, I assure you. I wanted to go to college for Fine Arts, and had the opportunity to attend some top-notch schools (that I couldn’t ever afford). But I chose to get my education in a business and communications related field from FIT, which is actually a great and very affordable school.

Three-and-a-half years after graduating, I found myself at yet another dead end job, spending eight or nine hours a day watching the time pass. I started to think of what I actually wanted to do in life. What would make me happy? If you’re a friend of mine, you know that all I want to do in life is be a mom. But you can’t get paid for that type of full-time career, and you can’t apply for it either.

Being a mom is a life goal. So at the age of 25, I had to reevaluate what I was doing and begin to set a plan and answer the bigger questions: What is my purpose? How do I see myself spending the rest of my life?

Marching Your Firm to the Right Cadence

Defining, maintaining, and refining a cadence is key to keeping a company “accountable and authentic to everyone it touches,” according to the book “Think Big, Act Bigger” by Jeffrey Hayzlett. He also discusses how cadence is “your company’s river—its culture and systems.” The better it flows within the company, “the more it flows through anyone it touches, from employees to vendors to customers.”

Establishing a successful operating pace not only makes your employees feel more comfortable and productive but also gives clients an additional level of assurance. Secure in the knowledge that a creative firm will turn around work within a certain amount of time, they are more likely to rely on that firm as a creative partner.

Internal cadence must come before external; once your team is in a good place in regard to workflow and expectations, you can proceed to educate clients on how timely decision-making will affect the delivery.

Set clear expectations

At the outset, sit down with your team and the client, and explain the plan ahead so it is clear to everyone involved. You may experience some pushback from employees concerned that a rigid schedule may hamper their creative efforts, or force them to rush their process. Discuss those concerns, as well as benchmarks and goals that are dependent on following this process. Pacing in a reasonable manner will take potential delays into account.

Everybody’s buy-in is necessary. The next step is the creation of an internal timeline for projects, with checks and balances in place before the client sees anything. How much time can the team comfortably devote to ideation? How long does it usually take to receive feedback from a client, and incorporate those notes into the planning? Working collaboratively to answer these questions will help frame a suitable rhythm for the team.

5 Game Changing Skis for 2014

With every new ski season comes new technologies that promise to let you skip the bunny hill and fly down the slopes in bigger and cooler ways. Some companies are really killing it with the gotta-have-it-now innovations, so Active Junky has gathered five of our favorite earth-shattering skis for 2014 (with one bonus brand to keep an eye on) to keep you primed for the white stuff.

New model this year (Design) — Moment Deathwish

The anticipation over Moment’s Deathwish is palpable — this is the shape of things to come. Handmade with a core of aspen and pine, the Deathwish is made to grab on groomer turns, hold up in crud and slice with ease through powder. But the new Dirty Mustache Rocker technology is the truly revolutionary part of this ski. It offers four contact points along each edge to bite into even the toughest hardpack while a micro-camber and tip/tail rocker make for a sweetspot that floats over whatever Mother Nature may throw your way.

Updated physical specs (Construction) — Icelantic SKNY Series

Taking inspiration from East Coasters and Europeans alike, Icelantic has slimmed 20mm off the waist of some of their most popular models to form the new SKNY Series. With the same sidecut radius and construction as their chubbier relatives, the new SKNY Scout, Pilgrim, Nomad and Shaman are perfect for carving, cruising and tearing it up on-piste. This season’s super-psychedelic, Travis Parr sculpture- inspired graphics don’t hurt one bit, either.

The Faithful Shopper: Mountain Magic

Hard as it is for some of us water babies to believe, not everyone heads straight for a beach during the summer. Others prefer to spend their time exploring some of the many hills and mountains outside the city. And of course, we have plenty of stores to get you ready for your camping and hiking trip:

Eastern Mountain Sports – 530 Broadway – 2152 Broadway
If you need gear, apparel, footwear and really good advice, come here for one stop shopping.

REI – 303 Lafayette Street
Another location that can take care of all your needs, with a significant fitness component too. And dedicated to preserving the environment it prepares you to experience!

Airbnb’s New ‘Trips’ Service Helps You

We may never fall for a tourist trap again.

Airbnb is launching a new service called Trips that allows travelers to schedule adventures with local experts instead of bumbling around on their own, CEO Brian Chesky announced on Thursday.

The news got the Internet buzzing, as it could mean BIG things for the way we vacation in the future.

Consider this: Instead of simply hitting up the typical tourist attractions on a trip, travelers can use Airbnb Trips to book real-life experiences with locals who are willing to show them around. Travelers could sign up for a day of surfing with pros in Malibu, hunting for truffles with Tuscan locals or taking lessons from a Japanese samurai master, according to a company press release.

Trips are bookable either as one-off experiences or longer multi-day tours through Airbnb’s updated app. Half of the Trips are priced at $200 or less, according to Airbnb.

Five surfers walk along beach with surf boards.

It’s perfect for those sick and tired of relying on online reviews or chance encounters with friendly locals in order to experience a town’s true culture. The entire point of Airbnb’s new move, says Chesky, is to keep travelers away from long lines at overrated tourist destinations and give them a chance to feel what it’s really like to live in the places they visit.

“The magic is in the people, it’s all about immersing in local communities,” he said inThursday’s announcement about the product.

The feature is currently live in 12 cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Paris and Tokyo, with plans to expand to 50 more cities by next year.

Chrome Extension ‘DoneGood’ Tells You Ethical Places To Shop

Now you can go green while spending some green.

DoneGood, which launched nationally on Nov. 28, is a new Chrome extension and app that helps users find ethical and sustainable places to shop online. Businesses the app favors include those that are green, make high-quality, long-lasting products and support their workers. The companies that work with DoneGood also offer discounts to people who use the app and extension.

To use DoneGood, all you have to do is download it for free. Once installed, shop online like you typically would by searching for a product — like buying baby gear — on Google or Amazon.

If there’s an ethical or sustainable company that makes baby products that are, say, natural or toxin-free, DoneGood will alert you.

And baby, that’s pretty much it.

A ‘Master’ Fingerprint That Could Unlock Your Phone

Fingerprint readers, like the TouchID on an iPhone, exist to make your device extra secure while keeping the process of unlocking it easy. Computer scientists at New York University and Michigan State are poised to turn that security benefit on its head. Like a master key that can open any lock, these researchers developed digital “master prints” that could emulate a variety of partial fingerprints enough to hypothetically hack into a device.

The researchers wondered if there was a fingerprint equivalent to a common four-digit security code, like “1234.” Using analysis from a digital database, they discovered that, indeed, a master print could successfully mimic a random fingerprint 26 to 65 percent of the time, according to the study. Why such a huge range? It depends on the scale of the fingerprint database; the more partial fingerprints enrolled in a fingerprint sensor system, the greater the chances are that a master print could unlock it.

There are several security issues at play. One, fingerprint sensors on smartphones are usually small, and two, a user can enroll multiple fingers. What’s more, a phone usually gives you several attempts to unlock it with your print.

“The sensors are small and they don’t capture the full fingerprint,” says Nasir Memon, a computer scientist at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and one of the authors of the study.

And since a smartphone fingerprint sensor can be taught to recognize several different fingers, the system learns a lot of partial prints. When you place a finger on the sensor, the system doesn’t actually know which finger it is, or how you’re positioning it.

“So if any one of them match,” he says, “it will say ‘okay, that’s you.’”

Memon and his colleagues analyzed a digital database of 800 fingerprints, then extracted thousands of partial prints from that same database.They wondered: Are there any partial prints that match the others with a high probability? “We were surprised,” he says, “there were some that match like 15 percent of the time.”

It’s worthwhile to note that the experiment was computer-based, so the researchers did not try to actually trick phones using a master print. The findings are theoretical, and one prominent biometrics researcher is skeptical.

An App That Can Identify The Animal You Saw On Your Hike

The legendary naturalist John Muir once wrote: “Whenever I met a new plant, I would sit down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance, hear what it had to tell.” The first step to making an acquaintance is to get a name — and naming nature is not easy. This weekend, while walking through Great Falls Park, a butterfly landed on my friend’s leg. It was large, with yellow and black wings — clearly a swallowtail, but what species? That same day, a large black insect landed on a flower in front of me, and I snapped a portrait of it before it flew off. It was a dragonfly, but what kind of dragonfly?

Many of our experiences of nature take this form. You see something, but you don’t know what it is. You are surrounded by life, but much of it is anonymous. “People don’t identify as a naturalist but if you ask them if they’ve ever been outside, seen something, and wondered what it is, they’ll say: Oh yeah, sure,” says Scott Loarie from the California Academy of Sciences.

You are surrounded by life, but much of it is anonymous.
Loarie and his team have developed an app that can help. Known as iNaturalist, it began as a crowdsourced community, where people can upload photos of animals and plants for other users to identify. But a month ago, the team updated the app so that an artificial intelligence now identifies what you’re looking at. In some cases, it’ll nail a particular species — it correctly pegged the dragonfly I spotted as a slaty skimmer (Libellula incesta). For the butterfly, it was less certain. “We’re pretty sure this is in the genus Papilio,” it offered, before listing ten possible species.