Tag Archives: Time management

6 Ways To Work Smarter, Not Harder

timthumbMany people today scurry from task to task, check emails every two minutes and make calls while walking. However, staying busy does not equal high productivity, and definitely not success. The key to high productivity is time management.

Believe it or not, there are really enough hours in a day for everything you’d like to do, but it requires a bit of organisation to find them. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your day.

Do the most important tasks first

One golden rule of time management is to complete the most important tasks first. Every morning, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial and do them first. Once you have done them, your day has already been a success and you can move on to do other things. By doing this, you might even be able to finish something in advance and save some time for the next day. On top of all of these positives, it will also give you a sense of satisfaction which can really motivate you to do the same in the following days.

Be organized

Create an organizing system. Start by setting up a filing system for documents and make sure all items have a place to be stored. Clean your desk and drawers so that you can find what you are looking for immediately. Also, create a daily or weekly plan and make sure you always follow it. If you are working on several tasks at the same time, batch the related tasks together so that your mind can continue flowing within the current zone instead of switching unnecessarily to something that requires you to re-orient.

Focus what you are doing

There are always those few who seem to work no harder than anyone else, and yet constantly kick goals. The secret is always their focus. Concentrate on the task you are currently doing without being distracted by numerous other things – it will help you get things done quickly and then move to the next one.

Ensure you get enough sleep

Sleep at least seven or eight hours a day. Some people choose to sacrifice sleep as a way to hack productivity and wring a few more hours out of the day. However, you aren’t doing yourself any favours by doing this! People need seven to eight hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. Follow the needs of your body and never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep.

Get an early start

Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. Since you have to finish your task eventually, why leave it to the last minute? It feels much nicer and less stressful to get earlier start on something.

Once you have decided firmly to do something, start immediately and get it done before the deadline. You will see that you have created time to do something else – and who doesn’t want more time?

Be conscientious of TV/Internet/gaming time

Time flies really fast when you are watching TV or browsing Twitter, which can be one of the biggest drainers of productivity. Be aware of how much time you spend on these activities, set a schedule and stick to it. If you find it difficult to resist these temptations, consider locking yourself in a room while working, away from all the distractions. It might be extreme, but it works.

Yuan Liu is a freelancer who has recently taken a course on human resources management. She finds PayGlobal’s HR & Payroll software (HRIS) simplifies workforce management and provides a flexible HR solution – she will definitely use it in future.



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Five Tips To Overcome Top Executive Burnouts

Even though people use stress and burnout as synonyms, these words refer to different aspects: stress implies a physical state where your body is overly taxed, whereas a burnout defines a state of depression that is mostly caused by an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. Nonetheless, stress is known to be one of the leading causes of several conditions, including work burnout. Given the current frantic economic fluctuations and intense competition, it is safe to assume that almost all managers are under a lot of stress and therefore more likely to experience burnout. Because both will affect an executive manager’s capacity to run an organization effectively, it is important to take action immediately; following is a list of 5 tips on how to deal with work-related burnouts.

Work Life Balance Graphic1. Make realistic to-do lists
As the CEO, it’s very likely that you have an interminable to-do list that gets bigger and bigger each day. Without denying that those tasks have to get done, they don’t have to be done all at once, but rather gradually, particularly if you don’t have the physical time to finish them all. Since the mere sight of an endless list could add to the stress load, it is recommended to start making smaller and more manageable lists.

2. Take some time for yourself
If you are unable to remember the last time you took your family out to dinner or the last time you spent some quality time with your spouse, then you are experiencing burnout. While you are an indispensable man for your company, don’t forget that those countless sleepless nights and stress could have already taken their toll on the other important aspects of your life. The solution is to take some time off and meet with the people you love on a regular basis. However, make sure you are truly “away” from work by leaving your laptop and phone at the office.

3. Reevaluate the deadlines
Although you are under a lot of pressure to reach deadlines, it is never a good idea to overpromise on the delivery date. Not only will you and your team be under a lot of stress, but the final product could also be subpar to the company’s standards. An effective approach in this case is to allow for some leeway time, so the consequences are not so tragic if you don’t meet deadlines.

4. Make sure you have sufficient resources to get the job done
Closely related to successfully meeting deadlines, incorrectly estimating the resources you need to get the project done constitutes another source of burnout. Despite the fact that some projects are urgent, dedicate some time to evaluate exactly what you need and even get additional resources before you get started. On a side note, it’s a good idea to consult with your staff when establishing the required resources for a project.

5. Understand that sometimes you need to say “no”
While most managers can’t even imagine turning down a project, it is important to note that if you don’t have the time and resources for it then it is OK to refuse that task. In addition, you can also decline going to meetings that don’t really concern you or say “no” to your boss or colleague if they come in unannounced and interrupt you constantly when you are busy. As an executive, CEO or other professional remember you’re the boss!

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Lucy Smith is currently learning to manage stress in the workplace. She chooses running to help manage her stress and improve her health and wellbeing. Lucy can’t wait to run her 8th marathon this year!



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14 Revealing Signs You Love Your Startup Job

by Dharmesh Shah – 

You may not be frequently giving out an embarrassingly gushing smile and you might not write little love notes during your lunch break. But, there are ways to tell if you love your job.

Of course, no job is perfect — even the best of relationships have their down days. We all have to do things we don’t like. I love working at HubSpot, it’s the best job I’ve ever had (but, that’s by design). But, even I have “off” days where I’m not spending all my time doing things I absolutely my job small

So all of the following may not be the case all of the time.  But when you love your job, many of the following should be the case much of the time:

1. You don’t talk about other people; you talk about the cool things other people are doing.

“I hear Michelle has really improved our customer happiness scores.” or  “I’d love to know how Mike managed to rescue that sale.” “Sherry developed a new tool that’s made our lives so much better.”

When you love your job you don’t gossip about the personal failings of others. You talk about their successes, because you’re happy for them – and because you’re happy with yourself.

2. You think, “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”

When you love your job it’s like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore.

When you hate your job it’s also like peeling an onion – but all you discover are more tears.

3. You see your internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people.

They aren’t numbers. You think of them as real people who have real needs.

And you gain a real sense of fulfillment and purpose from taking care of those needs.

4. You enjoy your time at work.

You don’t have to put in time at work and then escape to life to be happy. You believe in enjoying life and enjoying work.

When you love your job, it’s a part of your life. You feel alive and joyful not just at home – but also at work.

5. You would recommend working at your company to your best friend…

In fact, you can’t stop talking about how cool your company is and the awesome work you’re doing even when you’re away from work. Your friends and family are envious.

6. You enjoy attending meetings.

No, seriously, you enjoy meetings. Why? Because it’s fun to be at the center of thoughtful, challenging discussions that lead to decisions, initiatives, and changes – changes you get to be a part of.

7. You don’t think about surviving. You think about winning.

You don’t worry much about losing your job. You’re more worried about not achieving your potential. Not being as impactful as you can be.

8. You see your manager as a person you work with, not for.

You feel valued. You feel respected.

You feel trusted.

9. You don’t want to let your coworkers down.

Not because you’ll get in trouble or get a bad performance review, but because you admire them – and you want them to admire you.

10. You hardly ever look at the clock.

You’re too busy making things happen. When you do look at the clock, you often find that the time has flown.

11. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification – not just promotions and money.

Everyone wants to be promoted. Everyone wants to earn more.

You definitely feel that way too… but somewhere along the way your job has come to mean a lot more to you than just a paycheck. And if you left this job, even if for a lot higher salary… you would still miss it.

A lot.

12. You leave work with items on your to-do list you’re excited about tackling tomorrow.

Many people cross the “fun” tasks off their to-do lists within the first hour or two.

You often have cool stuff – new initiatives, side projects, hunches you want to confirm with data, people you want to talk to – left over when it’s time to go home.

13. You help without thinking.

You like seeing your colleagues succeed, so it’s second nature to help them out. You pitch in automatically.

And they do the same for you.

14. You can’t imagine being somewhere else.

You’re having too much fun.  Learning too much.

How many of the above statements apply to you and your job?

If you said:
0-3: You may want to find a new job. Life is too short.
4-6: You don’t hate your job… but you don’t love it either. What can you do differently?
7-10: You really enjoy your job and the people you work with
11-14: You are deeply, madly in love with your job! (and your friends are definitely jealous!)



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8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday

by Ilya Pozin

Forget about your job title or profession – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work. It’s time to set down your gallon-sized container of coffee, toss out your three-page to-do list, and put an end to those ridiculously long emails you’ve been sending.

Experiencing a highly productive workday can feel euphoric. But contrary to popular belief, simply checking tasks off your to-do list isn’t really an indication of productivity. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

Recently I spoke with project management and productivity genius Tony Wong to find out the secret to a more productive workday. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded productive individuals do during their work week.

Harness your productivity by taking note of these eight things:

1. Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about piling together a slew of tasks in the form of a checklist. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through tasks for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose. Too many people mistake this for a good feeling, rather than a signal to take a break. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday: they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, on a project, systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Set yourself in the right direction by ignoring your emails and taking the morning to focus on yourself, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.

6. Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate – don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.

7. Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you check your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.

What’s your secret to productive workdays?

About Ilya Pozin:

Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay up-to-date with his articles and updates!




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Tips On How To Stay Focused at Work

Focus is a fundamental element when in the work place. The need to focus is important as it lets you complete the task at hand in an efficient manner without being disrupted by other things. It lends itself to productivity and array of other positives. Focus can be a difficult thing to incorporate into one’s life, especially in our work environments but this article aims at helping with ways to stay focused, whether it be at work or with goals in life.

Tips On How To Stay Focused at work

1. How to stay focused- Do not multitask

Multitasking has been seen as productive measure to get many tasks done at the same time. Some people may be efficient at multitasking but many of us are not and it has been proven that multitasking hampers focus. Focus and complete the task at hand completely before moving onto the next. As you do this more frequently, it will train your mind to rather focus on the task you are handed with, rather than try and do something else thus breaking that focus.

2. How to stay focused-Manage your time and plan

A great tip in how to stay focused at work, which can also apply in reaching your goals, is the need to take control of your day and manage your time. Fail to plan and plan to fail. Effective time management is essential to stay focused. If you have a particular plan, stick to it and manage your time efficiently, this will only further enhance your focus. When everything is a mess and you don’t even know where to start, how will you focus on anything?

3. Eliminate as many distractions as possible

How to stay focused at work? Easy, eliminate all distractions. You need to first identify the distractions that have the most impact on your focus and productivity and then eliminate them. This can be numerous things from chatting with other people you work with, social media or even personal things that need taking care of.  One obviously needs a break from the routine to get away for the desk and avoid burnout but when these breaks become a more frequent occurrence, it distracts you from your work.

4. Reward yourself

A great tip in how to stay focused is to evaluate when you are the most focused and in what situation. If you are able to see when and how you focus the most, then you can apply that behaviour continually. Also, remember to reward yourself for your focus and productivity. This does wonders for your overall attitude and everyone deserves recognition, even if it’s from yourself.

Jemma Scott is a business freelance writer that looks at tips and advice in the world place. She has spent much time in a managed office looking at ways to improve focus.


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How to Make Time to Promote Your Business

As a business owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to juggle all of the tasks associated with just “running” the business from day to day. It’s very easy to get caught up in all of these things, but you must not forget that you need to make sure you are reaching out to new people, and constantly growing your bottom line.

How often do you get to the end of the day, and as you reflect, you can’t really remember the individual things that you accomplished, or anything you did to attract new business? The entire day was just a blur of random tasks that you took care of as they arose, and now the day has come and gone. I am guilty of this much more often than I would like to admit. It comes down to time management.

Your sales are the lifeblood of your business, and so it’s extremely important that you allot some time to take good care of your current customers, as well as gain new ones. That’s the only way your business will grow.

I was reading a blog post recently about tips and tricks to stay organized and clutter-free around the home. One of the tips they offered made complete sense. If you want to keep your home clean and clutter-free, try spending 15-20 minutes each night, cleaning a different room in the house. This will keep all (or most) areas of your house clean all the time, and it eliminates the thought of having to spend your Saturday or Sunday cleaning your entire house. Knowing that there is such a large task ahead of you is what keeps people from doing it in the first place. Instead, do it little by little.

Ok, enough of my Martha Stewart moment. But this same technique should be applied to your business…especially when it comes to promoting it. You should be setting aside an hour per day to focus on promoting your brand.

Eliminate all distractions, and use this time to hop on the phones, create an email marketing campaign, hand out fliers, update your social media profiles, or write a blog post. These are just a few things that you can do to generate some leads and get more traffic through the door (or computer).

You’ll be surprised at how much business you can gain from just 1 hour of promotion each day, and eventually it won’t even feel like you’re putting in a whole lot of effort.

John Ehlenbeck is a small business owner, and contributing writer for Aprimo Integrated Marketing Management software.


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Get ‘Er Done: Stop Procrastination

Procrastination is at the center of every college student’s life.  Let’s face it, if you didn’t procrastinate every now and then, you wouldn’t have any life at all.  Of course, if you want to continue attending college, at some point you are going to have to do some work.  When you’ve been having a great time it can be hard to trick yourself into really wanting to get back to work, but it can be done.  As with everything else, there are a few tricks that you can use to get yourself back into work mode.

Reward Yourself For Working

While the eventual goal of a good grade and graduation is lofty and appealing, it really isn’t a great in-the-moment motivator.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t be motivated – you are just going to have to find something that does work.  Try to reward yourself after a certain amount of work with M&M’s, movies that you like, or just a break to walk outside.  Of course, you have to stick with your plan.  If you struggle for control, ask a roommate or friend for help policing it.

Start With The Easy Stuff

Staring down a problem that you don’t understand is only going to make your legs give way and you flee from the room.  That doesn’t mean that the problem can’t be solved, it is just easier to do it once you have your momentum.  Try to find aspects of the work that are easy and start there – whether it is formatting your page for the essay, or writing a section you understand really well.

End With The Easy Stuff

Just like the beginning, the ending of a huge project is murderous.  You stare at the remaining space to be filled, or the problems left to be done, and they loom huge and intimidating.  If you are prone to giving up at the end, save yourself a little something for the end as well.  Maybe it is just reviewing the work or re-formatting the paper, but there is bound to be something light that you can use to keep yourself going at the end.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes we get so caught up in procrastination that we forget that we have real commitments going on in our lives.  Unfortunately, those commitments only ever seem to rear their head just when you need to get work done.  Take into consideration future events and move your deadline up accordingly, so that you don’t wind up writing your thesis during your cousin’s wedding.

Remove Distractions

Even when you have the best rhythm going, it can all be shattered in a single instant through the sound of a good friend calling, or just the friendly ‘bing’ of Facebook.   Life is going to do it’s best to keep you from getting work done.  When you sit down to work, eliminate those temptations – turn off your phone and log out of Facebook so that you can focus on the task at hand.

About the Author

Pan B. is a writer for Becoming a police officer can be a challenge. But if you visit this website, it can help you stay informed with this great career.


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