One of my least favorite things is going to meetings. Sometimes you have a good meeting and you’ll walk away with a much better understanding of the task at hand. However, I find that the majority of these structured get togethers are painfully unfocused and disorganized, especially if they’re on the phone. Even when there is a clear plan of action for a meeting, people will often go off on tangents discussing their vacation plans or the weather. I get it, it’s just human nature but it’s still not productive! Read more
The average American spends 1,700 hours a year at work, and unfortunately for you and me that means it’s a statistical inevitability that something embarrassing or awkward will happen while you’re at work. I don’t know about you, but it always seems to happen to me at the most inconvenient time, like spilling coffee on yourself right before a big meeting.
Here’s a checklist of ways to deal:
If you are lucky enough to have summer Fridays at your workplace you know it’s where every Friday throughout the summer people get off of work at 1pm (or so.)
When I first heard about this, I tried to convince my boss to pick up on the trend. But unfortunately, the news business runs a little differently. But if you participate in shorter workdays on Fridays – you can enjoy your longer weekend by being as productive as possible up until the moment you leave work.
Here are a few tips on how to make your summer Fridays as productive as possible:
1. Do more during the week: Plan your schedule appropriately, so a shorter workday on Friday is do-able. Rather than cramming everything in at the last minute, really make sure you’re on track with your work. Schedule busier tasks earlier on in the week and reserve Fridays for follow ups and smaller tasks only.
2. Don’t open your e-mail until noon: It’s harder than it sounds. There’s many times when it’s easy to keep hitting refresh on your inbox to kill time, but resist the urge. Spend your mornings doing what’s important, rather than responding to e-mails that aren’t urgent. As important as you may think it is, usually e-mails can wait a few hours.
3. Prepare the night before: Throughout the week, make a to-do list of the things you must get done each day. If you’re writing an article, outline it the night before– it’ll save you hours the next day. Don’t leave the office until everything you need to accomplish gets done. You’ll thank yourself when you get to start your weekend early.
4. Keep your office cool: Working in a hot room tends to make us feel groggy and sluggish.
5. Treat yourself: Get as much out of your day by working hard first and then enjoying a nice reward of your choice afterwards! Whether you plan to get a manicure or treat yourself to a nice meal, finish your task first and reward yourself afterwards. It’ll act as a motivator and you’ll be able to enjoy it at your own leisure without stressing about all of the things you have left to do.
6. Meditate: In the morning, spend a few minutes to focus your mind and listen in. You will discover ideas inside of you that will help you find success throughout your workday. By relaxing, you’ll be able to align your goals and plan your day to be as productive as possible.
Enjoy your head start on your weekend!
Being stuck in a stuffy office all day can totally kill your productivity. Sitting at your desk for eight hours (usually even longer) and only moving a few feet to get a another cup of coffee or hit the break room for lunch isn’t enough mental stimulation. A change of scenery and some fresh air is all you need to get the juices flowing again!
So here are some ways to get outside of the office yet still be productive:
1. Walking Meetings: A colleague of mine is always asking me to meet her for a “walking meeting.” I thought that this was a a really strange request but once I tried it I really loved it. It gets you out of your chair, offering a great break, but at the same time you are still getting things done. Note taking can be a challenge though so make sure to reserve this type of meeting for certain topics only.
2. Have Lunch Outdoors: Instead of sitting in the break room, take your lunch outside with you. Or try something different and get to that little cafe you’ve always wanted to test out. I love eating alone at restaurants — I know a lot of people don’t enjoy it but I love taking my time, ordering whatever I want and enjoying some peace and quiet. If you’re using your lunch break to continue working — bring your laptop with you and enjoy the sunshine or if it’s rainy head to Starbucks or somewhere with free WiFi. A new perspective could be all you need.
3. Talk A Lap Around the Block: If your eyes are starting to flutter mid-afternoon — get up! If you get your body moving it will wake you up. You don’t need to take a long break, five minutes is all you need to get your blood moving and your brain working!
4. Bring the Outdoors to You: If your office isn’t really in an area equipped for a quick walk, you can bring the outdoors inside. Decorate your office space with some real plants and flowers.
Now hop out of your chairs and go get some fresh air! Let me know how it felt to take a break and enjoy Mother Nature.
I’ve written a lot about how important it is to remember that you are just one person. Give yourself a break sometimes! It’s not always possible to get everything done on your own, which is why sometimes, you have to ask for help. I finally took my own advice and enlisted the help of some interns — wow has my life gotten better. It’s really amazing what giving up a little control can do.
I haven’t always found it easy to let someone else help me out, but when I went to the BlogHer ’13 convention in Chicago, I sat in on a session, run by Meagan Francis, about outsourcing and why you should do it…and I’m so glad I did. There are major benefits that come from having an extra set of hands: Read more