Manicures are intended to be somewhat relaxing, but anything that requires weekly or (at best) bi-weekly maintenance eventually begins to feel like an unwelcome hassle. While there are few better feelings than that of freshly painted nails, we can think of far more productive ways to spend the countless hours we’re losing to the salon every year. Here, five creative ideas for multitasking through your mani (that don’t involve being that girl screaming loudly into her ear buds the entire time).
Mani Multitasking 101
Make It A Meeting
While you might not be able to do this with just any client or colleague, your subordinates certainly won’t mind getting paid to be pampered. This works best with meetings involving just you and one other participant, and is especially great for any direct reports you think might be feeling overlooked. This approach can also make sense for any acquaintances, friends or family members with whom you’ve been needing to squeeze in a quick catch-up.
Bring A Cheat Sheet
In today’s busy-is-best culture, many of us are lacking the mental space to think creatively, brainstorm in-depth or attack tough problems and decisions. Make a list of the more abstract issues in your personal or professional life to process and work through before heading to the salon—that way you can direct your otherwise idle mind towards reaching that "eureka" moment rather than wasting it on whatever’s happening in a sleazy tabloid.
As Angelenos, we spend a lot of time in our cars and have become huge fans of the podcast as a means for not feeling like we’re wasting our lives away in traffic. They are similarly useful as a salon pastime. Entrepreneurs, bosses and other business-minded babes should check out: Harvard Business Review Interviews, Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series and This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt. For creatives, we suggest starting with Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert, After the Jump with Grace Bonney and The Lively Show with Jess Lively.
Try Double-Duty Beauty
Many salons offer dual services, so you can simultaneously get a massage, haircut or other treatment while getting your nails done. Taking advantage of these offerings will shave hours off of your regular beauty routine. If you’re more of a no-frills, $10 manicure type of girl, double up by throwing on some whitening strips while the manicurist works.
Take A One-Sided Phone Call
When it comes to taking calls in public, those in which you’re not expected to say much are decidedly the best kind. If a colleague needs to pitch you on an idea, your best friend needs to talk through her most recent heartbreak or your lonely grandma just needs a little attention, this is the time to make it happen. While these calls might not always make for the most pleasant or relaxing of salon experiences, this approach manages to take out two (often tedious) birds with one stone.