A Space For Your Head

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Let’s be honest – sometimes, life is hard. Sure, maybe you’ve got a great job or you’re working on something you’re passionate about. Nonetheless, I’ve definitely had days (or weeks or months even) where I’ve been extremely stressed for a long period of time due to my work commitments. A little bit of stress is good because it can be motivating, but not to the point where it impacts your day-to-day functioning. I have had phases where I’m so stressed out, my heart beat is constantly elevated and my entire body is so tense, I feel nearly immobile. Which stresses me out, and then I get stressed about being stressed (vicious cycle, I know).

Enter Headspace. As someone who had never meditated before (and having always been somewhat skeptical despite the scientifically-backed research showing the benefits of meditation – guess I always felt like I was too busy to slow down, which is not true), I had never really considered it something to incorporate into my day-to-day. Thankfully, Headspace makes it easy. Headspace is an app designed to walk you through meditation. I loved starting out with an app that was tailored to beginners. For first-time users, the app has a free series of ten different meditation exercises. A voice walks you through how to breathe, what to think about, what to focus on, and how to improve your mental awareness. While you can adjust the duration of these meditation exercises, the default is 3 minutes (which, as someone with limited time to dedicate to meditation, is perfect). The interface is extremely easy to use, and I was able to start my meditation journey within minutes of downloading the app.  Additional in-app purchases are available for guided meditation related to anxiety, building focus, improving relationships, and much more.

While I’m still early in my journey, I can already tell that using Headspace has helped me clear my mind. This is especially helpful before I’m about to go into a stressful situation, whether it’s a meeting, coaching session, or tight deadline I need to meet. For anyone who has a busy schedule but still wants to be able to experience the benefits of meditation during the day, I highly recommend downloading Headspace. All you need is a smartphone (and a pair of headphones). Available today in the App Store and Google Play.

 

The Best Productivity Podcast

If you’re anything like me, time is usually short and you hate wasting it. Over the past year, I’ve developed a habit of listening to educational podcasts on my commute. The Productivity Show by Asian Efficiency quickly became one my my favorites. The show covers a wide range of topics (surrounding, you guessed it, how to be productive), from how to avoid procrastination to the best ways to de-clutter your workspace. Additionally, the show hosts do a great job of bringing in a diverse range of guests, such as David Allen (author of the best-selling title “Getting Things Done“) and Ramit Sethi. I know I’ve really enjoyed what this podcast has to offer, and highly recommend if you’re looking for a podcast that can help you regardless of your profession, career, or life situation. Subscribe using your favorite podcast app today! Links are below.

iTunes

OverCast

The Best Bluetooth Earbuds Under $30

Given the (what seems like) inevitable shift towards devices with no headphone jacks, chances are you’ve at least considered picking up a pair of wireless headphones. If you’re an iPhone user, it’s possible you’ve lost the dongle to plug in your earbuds to the charging port. So what are the best options?

Airpods? Expensive, and always out of stock. Not to mention so easy to lose, they actually sell connectors to make your wireless Airpods . . . um . . . wired again? OK, not really, but still.

After I got my iPhone 7 Plus (yes, I know, that was so October 2016), I realized I didn’t want to deal with a cable all the time. At the same time, I didn’t want something overly flashy (Beats), but still functioned well and looked decent on my daily commute or in the gym.

The ATGOIN Wireless Headphones 4.1 Lightweight APTX Bluetooth Earbuds are the solution – great sound, inexpensive, functional, and pair extremely quickly. I love having these headphones for my daily commute and not having to worry about losing a dongle or plugging in every time. On top of that, I use a waterproof case (this one), so not having to open up the compartment over the charging port is a major plus. On top of that, there are a wide range of attachments you can use depending on your anatomy. I was able to find a set that fit me well, and they stay in when running at the gym.

Sound quality is good for such a low price (and considering it’s bluetooth). These aren’t noise cancelling headphones per se (don’t actually employ the noise-cancelling technology you would typically see in higher-end headphones such as Bose), but the various earbud attachments do a decent job of sealing out any ambient noise. Oh, and the outer casing is magnetic, so you can stick the earbuds together when they’re around your neck when not in use.

The one drawback that I’ve run into is battery life. I do find myself charging a bit more often than I’d like to – I use these for maybe 2 hours per day, so I charge every 2-3 days at minimum. Thankfully, these also charge very quickly, so it’s not a big deal.

Bottom line – if you’re looking for a set of headphones that are inexpensive but high-quality and highly functional, I’d definitely recommend picking up a set.

Check the price on Amazon HERE.