If there's one thing we've learned in all this, it's that the work from home life — or WFH, for the uninitiated — is no joke. Throw that on top of homeschooling kids and surviving a global pandemic and somehow meeting those monthly goals takes just a smidge more brain power than it used to.

Little Rock Soirée editor Jess Ardrey did some investigating in the May issue on how the magazine's female-led team tricked themselves into work mode while sheltering in place, and the symposium team wanted to get in on the goods, too. Here are some of the gang's best brain hacks.


"After I sit down at my desk with a thermos of coffee, I make a list of my top three work to-do’s each morning to help me stay on track. I also schedule at least one video call per day so that I am forced to get dressed in something other than my PJs and at least put on a little makeup each day."

Mandy Richardson | Soirée Publisher, Women's Leadership Symposium Founder


"I make it a point to go on a walk when the sun is shining. You don't realize how much you need that vitamin D until you're forced to stay confined to one building. It really helps keep my mind clear and morale high so I can focus on my work."

Kelli Roy | Marketing and Events Assistant


"Background TV is my WFH saving grace. Something I've seen 100 times just fades into the background, allows me to get in my work groove and drowns out the home noises."

Tiffany Mattzela | Events Director


"I turn on all of the overhead lights in my kitchen and living room. Once I am done working for the day, I turn them off and chill with my lamps. Sounds strange, but it helps."

Bliss Mosley | Assistant to the Publisher


"I listen to specific music during work hours. The Lush LoFi playlist on Spotify is great. And although I’m definitely not wearing full-on work attire, putting on my watch somehow tricks my mind into thinking I’m going to a place to do a thing."

Jess Ardrey | Soirée Editor


"I start work days at home by using the time I would otherwise spend commuting to read through the many daily e-newsletters I subscribe to. It makes me feel connected locally and in-the-know about things happening in the world at a time when it's easy to feel disconnected."

Becky Flynn | Education Events Lead


"Each morning I go through the house and open the blinds in all the rooms to let the light in and 'open' for the day. Even on cloudy and rainy days it helps me to see the outside world coming in through the window."

Betsy Smith | Account Executive


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