How to Make Your Home Feel Like Your Favorite Coffee Shop

When I have a project I really need to focus on, I head to a coffee shop—or used to, anyway. There was something about the sights, sounds and scent of these quaint places that helped me to be more productive. Yes, the caffeine helped (my go-to: an Americano with a splash of cream and cinnamon), but it’s not only the boost of espresso-fueled energy that helped me to get more work done in coffee shops. Science shows that novelty situations stimulate the brain: A change in atmosphere can signal an increase in productivity, creativity or inspiration.

While it’s not feasible for most of us to pack up our laptops and head to our favorite coffee shop to get work done right now, you can recreate some of the charm—and brain benefits—of them by incorporating these elements into your home office (or kitchen, or wherever you’re set up right now). As

Read More

How to pick the right read and host a virtual discussion on Zoom

Here’s something you can still do very well while staying at home to avoid coronavirus exposure: Read a book.

Another thing you can do effectively while quarantined? Participate in a book club.

Sure, it will be different without everyone piling onto the same couch or convening at a favorite coffee shop. But take it from three book clubbers (longtime host Barbara VanDenburgh, regular reader Mary Cadden and newbie Carly Mallenbaum all collaborated on this story), virtual book club has the potential to be a rewarding and intimate meet-up that serves a calendar commitment you’re actually psyched for.

Plus, you can invite people who don’t live in your city, or even your time zone!

So how do you put together a successful book club while in lockdown? We have some tips: 

Staying Apart, Together: A newsletter about how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Start with a small guest list

If

Read More