TIPS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Job responsibilities and time constraints in the workplace calls attention to the importance of productivity. This is essential for individuals in professional roles were company success is co-dependent on leadership performance and accountability. Having more time to accomplish tasks doesn’t necessarily yield better results. On the other hand, using allotted time efficiently and effectively can bring about even greater positive outcomes.

LEADERSHIP TIPS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

1. Focus on one project at a time. It’s difficult to concentrate on any given assignment when your attention is split on numerous tasks. Rather than multitasking, thoroughly complete one project before engaging in another.

2. Schedule times for correspondence. Not all messages and calls need immediate attention. Wait for an opportune time to address correspondence, and then address each message and phone call in order of importance. Being quick to respond to incoming emails and calls can disrupt creativity and workflow.   

3. Take care of important jobs first. It’s easy to procrastinate least enjoyable assignments or those requiring great effort. As the day evolves these projects seem all the more dreadful when a time crunch is in place. Instead, place important tasks on the top of your daily to-do list.  

4. Do what can be done today. If taking care of an assignment today alleviates tomorrows workload, then it’s best to finish the same day. Do take into consideration other work responsibilities and job roles. Don’t overload yourself to the point of exhaustion, which can potential decrease productivity the following day. Use discretion when considering additional assignments.

5. Take breaks. Skipping breaks and lunch time may seem like the best way to get the most out of your workday. Yet, depleting your body of nutrition and rest can have negative impacts on work performance and health. Take a breather from time-to-time throughout the day. Recharging your mind and body promotes creativity and productivity. 

HOW TO STAY CALM & COLLECTED ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF WORK

The first day on your new job has arrived! You’re anxious, scared, and intimidated by more experienced employees. Everyone knows you’re a new graduate and the look of fear on your face clearly spells out “rookie”. There are ways to create an atmosphere that promotes business relationships and a positive first impression. Yes, even if you are fresh out of graduate school!

STRATEGIES TO STAY CALM & COLLECTED ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF WORK:

1. Keep your cool. Literally. No one likes to share an office with a sweaty and stinky co-worker. Although it may be nerve wrecking to start the “job of your dreams”, anticipate all possible scenarios by selecting comfortable and airy attire that fits your job position. This will keep you looking and feeling fresh.

2. Maintain your confidence. There are many employees, which can attest that longevity doesn’t always amount to a qualified employee or to better work performance.  There are new hires including graduates, which are just as skilled and perform better on the job than employees with seniority. Be confident in yourskills and area of expertise, knowing you have much to contribute to the company.

3. Don’t be intimidated to ask questions. Many times new employees want to be self-sufficient from day one, with the idea of not burdening others or delaying the work flow. In all truth, everyone expects new hires to have lots of questions and to go through a period of training. During this time mistakes may occur, but they can serve as a springboard for future success.  I’m not referring to negligence or lack of professional conduct, but rather to a general expectation that new hires are in a process of learning and becoming acquainted with the workplace.

4. Familiarize yourself with the work environment. Arrive a few minutes early and get acquainted with the work setting. For example, locate emergency exits, restrooms, employee lounge, meeting rooms, storage rooms, and employee login area. Becoming acquainted with your job setting is one less stressor that can be addressed early on in your work day. Some employees are privileged to attend orientation prior to the first day of work, yet regardless all employees can arrive a few minutes early and explore the environment.

5.  Greet everyone with a friendly attitude. For the most part people like the company of other positive individuals. There’s a lot to learn and mentally digest on the first day of work, and there may be little time left to interact with co-workers. Break time is a great opportunity to become acquainted with other employees in your workplace. 

Wishing you much success on your first day of work! 

TIPS TO BECOMING A MORNING PERSON

Throughout the day we experience fluctuating periods of increased alertness and sleepiness. For some individuals creativity and mental focus intensifies in the early morning, while others are more proficient in the evening. A person’s internal biological clock or circadian rhythm influences periods of wakefulness at various times of the day. Working against one’s internal biological clock can be challenging, particularly for employees who are most productive in the evening and hold daytime positions. Fortunately implementing a few strategies can yield positive results when seeking to increase morning productivity.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) comments further on the role of internal circadian rhythm and wakefulness:

The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day, so adults’ strongest sleep drive generally occurs between 2:00-4:00 am and in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 pm, although there is some variation depending on whether you are a “morning person” or “evening person.”

Having adequate sleep each night is a good starting point to increase daytime energy. Allow a period of adjustment as your body adapts to a new sleep schedule. Also, avoid long naps even if the previous evening you slept fewer hours than desired. Limiting hour-long naps contributes to better sleep and increased restfulness at night. As noted by the NSF, “The sleepiness we experience during these circadian dips will be less intense if we have had sufficient sleep, and more intense when we are sleep deprived.” Recommended sleep hours vary depending on the individual’s age, lifestyle, and health needs. In general, adults should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Tips for Adjusting Your Biological Clock:

1. Get a good night’s rest and limit hour-long naps during the day.

2. Adhere to an exercise routine.

3. Limit consumption of caffeinated foods and beverages in the later afternoon and during the evening.

4. Develop a sleep schedule that’s suitable for your lifestyle and health needs.

5. Monitor times of the day when you are most alert and plan your workday accordingly. If possible, plan important work projects during times of the day when energy spikes. On the other hand, tedious tasks can be scheduled when feeling sluggish, as they tend to require little if any mental exertion.

6. Don’t run on empty. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast each morning before heading to work.

7. Incorporate a motivational boost. Mediation, spiritual practice, or preferred activity can be introduced to bring enjoyment to the start of your day.

HOW TO STAY FOCUSED & RELAXED WHEN LEADING MEETINGS

For some individuals leading presentations comes quite naturally, while others hesitate to express a word in public. With preparation, practice, and use of the strategies listed below your next meeting can be a success! Get ready to capture your audience, while keeping focused and relaxed!

TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN DIRECTING MEETINGS:

1. Prepare ahead of time. Planning and preparation are key elements for success when conducting business meetings and presentations. Depending on the intent of the meeting you may want to research company information, gather statistical data, collaborate with other professionals, or prepare a PowerPoint presentation to name a few suggestions. Allowing ample time to gather needed information and resources can alleviate stress on the day of your meeting.

2. Explore your surroundings and greet people. Arriving a few minutes early provides an opportunity to explore your surroundings and meet other people. Use this time to introduce yourself in a causal manner and to become acquainted with your audience. It’s also a great opportunity to sit back and relax, while envisioning yourself presenting successfully.

3. Maintain eye contact and smile. Avoid reading directly from PowerPoint slides or notecards, rather concise reading material and explain in your own words. Also, glance at your audience and smile periodically.

4. Involve your audience. Encouraging input from your audience promotes feedback and attentiveness. This is a great way to determine if your audience is grasping your message, and a time to give attention to areas needing clarification.

5. Keep presentations on topic. Stay focused on the message you want your audience to take home at the end of the meeting. If unrelated questions come up, simply redirect your audience to the subject at hand.

6. Pause and breathe. If you begin to feel nervous take a deep breath, pause for a drink of water, and proceed with your meeting. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts can help decrease anxiety and maintain focus. 

JUMP FOR NEW & EXCITING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES!

Pressures in economic demands cause some individuals to place professional aspirations aside settling for first available job options. Income, passion, purpose, or all of the above are driving forces influencing career decisions. Whether you’re investigating employment opportunities or pursuing your “dream job”, it’s crucial to remain optimistic and not lose sight of your goals. It’s never too late to revamp or initiate a new vocation! With just a few strategies you can ignite professional ambitions.

1. Create a visual aid on how your professional life will look five years from today. Envisioning your future is a good starting point when mapping career paths. Provide as much detailed information as possible and get creative. This is your canvas to explore and create all sorts of professional possibilities.

2. Network with other people. Speak with professionals in your field for direction, career advice, and valuable resources. Human resource personnel can also provide assistance with resume creation and interviewing tips.

3. Take inventory of occupational goals. Career ambitions may change over time depending on life circumstances and personal interests. Make time to examine important factors influencing career choices as often as needed. This can help alleviate stress and narrow career options to those that best fit your lifestyle and financial needs.

4. Research your current salary. Familiarize yourself with standard pay rates for your work industry. The United States Department of Labor Statistics outlines average income per state for various occupations.

5. Investigate job opportunities. Before investing extensive time and energy in any given profession determine job availability. Can you afford being unemployed for some time before earning stable income? Are you pursuing a career that’s in high demand? Will it be easy to get a job in your field of study post graduation? These are some questions to consider when considering career options.

6. Remain optimistic. When career passions start to dwindle take inventory of your professional aspirations. Doing so helps keep dreams alive as you advance in your career or work towards your dream job.

7. Stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and breakthroughs in your field. Keeping informed is fundamental when seeking career advancements.