Category Archives: News

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To make your business dream a reality, you need to take realistic steps. You may want a spacious office with the lake view, private secretary, and cappuccino machine, but that may not be what your business needs. Below are some tips to help the dreamer in you get your startup….
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To make your business dream a reality, you need to take realistic steps. You may want a spacious office with the lake view, private secretary, and cappuccino machine, but that may not be what your business needs.

Below are some tips to help the dreamer in you get your startup out of the clouds and into the competition.

Be honest with yourself.

You know your business best. Work with the budget you have, not the budget you want. There are resources available that provide big-business advantages at half the cost. For example, instead of blowing your budget on full-time office staff, hire a virtual office company to bundle your professional needs into a customized service that is flexible and cost efficient. Your small business can keep up a prestigious appearance without getting sloppy or acquiring unnecessary debt.

Think outside the cubicle.

Your office space doesn’t need to be confined to mortar and brick. If your dream is to one day see your business in a building of it’s own, that is an excellent goal. But your business may not need a full-time office space right now. Perhaps you only need a physical space once or twice a week, so why pay for more? Renting, coworking, shared office space- there are plenty of options to choose from.

Trim the fat.

Your business needs you. Avoid any unnecessary stress or management obligations that distract you from running your company. Business travel can easily consume your time and money. Of course, it’s necessary to interact with your clients and colleagues, but it doesn’t always need to be in person. Videoconferencing can be an effective service that cuts down stress and eliminates travel costs.

Love your business well. 

Entrepreneurs are big dreamers; we have to be. But when it comes to building a business you love, the trick is putting its needs above your wants. Your small startup can keep up with the big competition as long as you are utilizing your resources the right way. Run your business the way you need to now, so it will run the way you want it to later.

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“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your self.” -Aldous Huxley It’s 3:00 pm and you’re sitting at your desk staring mindlessly into your computer screen. You’re on your second coffee, you’ve read a million self-help books, but you still can’t….
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“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your self.” -Aldous Huxley

It’s 3:00 pm and you’re sitting at your desk staring mindlessly into your computer screen. You’re on your second coffee, you’ve read a million self-help books, but you still can’t find the will to keep working. Motivation evades you. No matter how hard we pump ourselves up on Sunday night, the Monday blues quietly creep up around 9:05 am. Here are five simple ways to increase motivation at work.

  1. Create your own, personalized routine. It’s important to create daily rituatls to keep you motivated. The same practice works for toddlers, it keeps them happy and content in the world.
  1. Write your motivation goals down. Jot them down on a piece of paper or open a new Google doc. Brainstorm what your perfect work day would be. Write down 3 – 5 goals about what you want to get done today, tomorrow, next year, 10 years, etc. Create a plan on how to meet these goals.
  1. Become your own life coach. When you feel yourself falling into your dark place, become your own personal life coach. Learn how to be optimistic and see the glass half full. Keep a collection of positive quotes handy (or this blog post!).
  1. Face your work fears. Are you avoiding a certain project at work? Are you worried about making your boss angry? Work fear is one of the leading causes of demotivation at work. Face your fears and you’ll be surprised with the results.
  1. Find your passion. You should enjoy your work. Some people don’t consider their work “work”. What do you love doing? When are you in your element? If you aren’t feeling it at work you should consider switching jobs or going back to school.

The best way to increase motivation at work is to keep at it. Stick to your routine and don’t give up. Reevaluate your plan every 3 – 6 months to see how it’s working for you. You should also think about your career choice if you’re consistently unmotivated for years at a time. We all have our down days but you should generally enjoy your job.

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Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?  You’re not alone. In fact, 50% of Americans admit to feeling overwhelmed in their daily life. But as they say life is only as hard as you make it, and the secret to increasing productivity and reducing stress in your….
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Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?  You’re not alone. In fact, 50% of Americans admit to feeling overwhelmed in their daily life.

But as they say life is only as hard as you make it, and the secret to increasing productivity and reducing stress in your day-to-day life is about making efficient lists.

The to-do list is inescapable.  It’s our attempt to create order in our chaotic lives.  The trick to creating and maintain a healthy work/life balance is by staying organized and on task with lists.

Below are the most common mistakes people make when creating list and the best approach to making lists that will elevate your productivity.

  1. You Mix Your Lists

Just like your drinks, it’s not good to mix your lists.  Keep separate list for different areas of your life.  If you need toilet paper and want to write a business plan – these two don’t belong on the same list.  A solution is to make a home to-do list, a work-to-do list and a bucket list that are all separate.  This way you aren’t overwhelmed nor will you waste time prioritizing your chaotic list of tasks.

  1. You Misplace Your Lists

As we get older, the mind well it becomes more distracted and we don’t always remember where we put things.  Create a dedicated place or spot to put all your to-do lists.  Maybe keep them all in a notepad, or sticky notes that you take on the go.  Maybe it’s time to go digital, try some apps like Evernote, Wunderlist or clear.

  1. Your Lists Have No End Date

Make a daily list where you prioritize what’s most important.  Determining what tasks need to be dealt with first.  Having smaller, more tangible list will make you feel less out of control and overwhelmed.  Crossing off daily tasks on your list, making small victories as you complete your to-Do’s boosts confidence and keeps you motivated.

  1. Your Lists Keep Containing the Same Items

Outsource the task or get rid of it.  You know what they say, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  Analyze your list and figure out which items can be given to someone else to free up your time for items that you can and want to do.  You know that item on your bucket list, something about bungee jumping… maybe it’s time to cross that off forever and move on.

  1. Thinking About Your Lists Makes You Cringe

Most likely your list is jumbled and disarranged.  You have tomatoes next to scheduled work meetings, coffee with friends, next to tasks to be done for a work presentation.  No wonder you feel agitated and anxious.  Organize your list one day at a time or even one hour at a time.  Try out different list techniques; see what fits your work identity.  By day, by project, by deadline are a few examples.  Try one system for at least five days before moving on to another.

This blog post gives you everything you need to know about the dos and don’ts of your to-do lists.  Remember lists are created to make your life easier, keep you motivated and accountable.  If you find that you are making any of the above mistakes try out our tips suggested and see if they make a difference.

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Today, we’re discussing how to set up and organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. A cluttered, disorganized desktop can zap your motivation and, in turn, make you and your team less productive. To get more out of your workspace, check out the following tips: Clean up your entire office at….
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Today, we’re discussing how to set up and organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. A cluttered, disorganized desktop can zap your motivation and, in turn, make you and your team less productive. To get more out of your workspace, check out the following tips:

Clean up your entire office at least twice a year. Get rid of every item you don’t want or need. If you haven’t used an item in six months, throw it in the trash (or give it away). Take inventory of all the items you’re keeping in your office. Do they each have a function? Are they working properly? Make sure everything has its place (and its use).

Create homes for every item on your desk. This could include baskets for pens, in and out boxes for projects, and a dish for your keys. Strive to keep everything in its place. Keep big projects in filing cabinets under your desk.

Hands down, this is my favourite tip – get a good labeler! Don’t buy the cheapest one either. Choose a model that’s easy to use and has the functions you need. Label everything in your office space: shelves, drawers, bins, etc. It will keep you in line and it will also keep your employees in line.

Lastly, how do you manage your files and paperwork? Are you paperless? Do you keep hard copies of all your documents? Depending on your industry, you might be able to keep everything electronically, and this would save you a lot of space!

A tidy office enables employees to be more productive because they aren’t wondering where everything is. Test out the above tips and let us know what you think. We’re sure you’ll be spending more time working and less time organizing!

Employee Disengagement

Some people just exude negativity.  Everyone has encountered these negative nancy’s or ned’s in the work place. The Nitpicking, mean, negative, rude, gossiping, conniving co worker.  Who is always at your desk, sitting through meetings with you, hovering over you at lunch.  The effects of their criticism drift through the….
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Some people just exude negativity.  Everyone has encountered these negative nancy’s or ned’s in the work place.

The Nitpicking, mean, negative, rude, gossiping, conniving co worker.  Who is always at your desk, sitting through meetings with you, hovering over you at lunch.  The effects of their criticism drift through the office like poison, threatening your own peaceful temperament.

Unfortunately you can’t escape these people, they are a part of your everyday routine.  If you allow it, these toxic people will sabotage everything and everyone around them.

What can you do about it? Plenty.  Here are some ideas on how to effectively deal with them.

Poster person of Bad News

These people can’t wait to to tell you who in the office made a mistake or which person is getting fired.  They thrive on this information, and more so in sharing it.  For normal people this is incredibly draining. The best solution for these situations is to exit the conversation in a diplomatic and swift way.  Excuses like I have an important call to make, or a presentation to prep for.  The possibilities are endless, and your sanity will be intact.

Gossip King or Queen

In the work force the rumor mill never seems to stop.  Whispers of an office romance, someone is going to be laid off, talk of a new manager.  As rumors have it, they are repeated multiple times and often by the same person.  They just love stirring the pot watching the show.  What can you do, set boundaries.  When the gossiper comes to you with some juicy information just tell them you don’t talk office politics and continue on with your business.  They will get the point.

Drama Diva’s

These co workers seek attention and attention they will have.  Complaining about how they have the most work, or the worst clients, no matter what they will always one up anyones complaints..  As much as they complain they thrive on the turmoil, and the sympathy its brings.  The best quick fix is not the respond.  The more you feed the attention the worst the diva.  Give off the message that you’re not interested and they will find another victim.

Debbie Downer

No matter what good news you share, they will always find a way to ruin it.  With these types of people its best to confront the situation.  Point out gently how their negative view on things affects those and the energy surrounding.

Victims

Nothing is ever their fault.  A deadline was missed must be someone else’s error.  Victims complain about everything bad that is happening in their lives and are oblivious to their own control over the situation.  A victim never take ownership, and everyone is out to get them.  It can be hard to  help someone out of their black hole of negativity.  Without draining yourself suggest to your coworker that focusing on the positive rather than the negative can be much more uplifting.  Ask them how you can help to avoid miss deadlines, or help stratigize a better system to meet deadlines.

It only takes one person to derail a good day at work. But it also only takes one person to put that day back on track.  No matter your role or level, you can choose how to react to what’s going on around you.  Set your boundaries and always bring a positive attitude to your workplace.

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Do you feel unhappy at work? Do you lose sleep over work stress? You’re not alone. According to a recent NIOSH Report, 40% of employees reported that their job was very stressful. Additionally, 25% viewed their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Here are a few tips….
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Do you feel unhappy at work? Do you lose sleep over work stress? You’re not alone. According to a recent NIOSH Report, 40% of employees reported that their job was very stressful. Additionally, 25% viewed their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Here are a few tips to reduce stress while at work.

  1. If you’re feeling stress, take three to five slow deep breaths. Concentrate on pushing air out of your lungs when you exhale. This breathing method improves stress immediately.
  2. Sit down while eating and eat in the company kitchen if possible. Do you eat on the way to work? Do you eat while working at your desk? Stop! Focus on relaxing and talk with colleagues while eating. You can ignore your coworkers if they focus on gossiping.
  3. Listen to enjoyable music/podcasts on the way to work. During your drive or commute to work, put your headphones on and listen to something enjoyable. Look for motivating podcasts and/or audiobooks. Listen to your favourite music as well!
  4. Focus on the moment. Live today as if it were your last day. This can be tricky but if you really focus on it, this can drastically improve your mood.
  5. If you receive a negative email, don’t immediately respond. Most Americans obsessively check and respond to work email. In fact, the average worker spends 28% of their workday checking email. A 2013 survey found that 81% of Americans check their work email while away from work.
  6. Change your stress perspective. Your body releases hormones like cortisol and epinephrine when it feels stress. This process actually makes your body become faster and stronger. Continued stress is unhealthy as long-term exposure to these hormones can trigger numerous health problems. Instead, you have to work on your relaxation response. This can include exercise, journaling, gardening, meditation and yoga.

Numerous studies indicate that job stress is a major source of stress for most Americans. Increased stress can lead to a greater chance of suffering heart attacks, hypertension and other detrimental disorders. The above tips are meant to stop your stress, increase your happiness and help improve your work performance. Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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Take a look around you. The birds are chirping, you can smell the spring blossoms and people are shedding their bulky winter coats. It’s Spring! According to recent statistics, 72% of Americans partook in spring cleaning in 2013 (10% up from the previous year). There isn’t data regarding how many….
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Take a look around you. The birds are chirping, you can smell the spring blossoms and people are shedding their bulky winter coats. It’s Spring! According to recent statistics, 72% of Americans partook in spring cleaning in 2013 (10% up from the previous year). There isn’t data regarding how many people clean up their office space each year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! Here are some spring cleaning tips for your office.

Change your passwords. Has it been 90 days since you last changed your online passwords? If the answer is yes, make sure you change them. A strong password contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols and is at least 8 characters long. There are a variety of online apps that can help you create strong passwords.

Get rid of old papers on your desk and in your drawers. Take some time and go through all of the paper in your space. If you haven’t looked at it in the last month, chances are you don’t need it right now. Don’t throw it away but itemize each item in a filing cabinet.

Organize the files and folders on your computer. There are so many places to store your online data: on your computer, in Google Drive and DropBox. Chances are, you’ll probably be using all three in one way or another. Choose one system and stick with it. Organize your folders in an easy to understand way so that everything is easy to find.

If you have a home office, it’s important to separate your business from pleasure. Keep your office free of distractions and encourage family members to steer clear. Set business hours and stick to them. Your routine is vitally important.

Our last tip regarding spring cleaning your office is to slow down. Don’t try and be “productive” all the time. Take time to complete one task at a time. It’s Spring. Take some time to enjoy nature; you could even take your laptop outside and do some work in the sunshine.

Overall, Spring is the time when most American clean up their house. Don’t forget to clean up your office space too!

According to Dictionary.com, a perfectionist is an individual who adheres to or believes in perfectionism. He or she will also demand perfection of himself, herself, or others. My best friend used to be a hiring manager at a large law firm. She always told me to answer the question, “What….
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According to Dictionary.com, a perfectionist is an individual who adheres to or believes in perfectionism. He or she will also demand perfection of himself, herself, or others.

My best friend used to be a hiring manager at a large law firm. She always told me to answer the question, “What is your biggest weakness?” with, “I’m a perfectionist.” This personality trait translated to a loyal employee who would move heaven and earth to finish a task on time and, of course, perfect. Interestingly, I claimed perfectionist status during a few interviews and I always got the job.

Fast forward to today. I would never tell a hiring manager that my worst trait was being a perfectionist. Perfectionists suffer from failed businesses, relationships and goals. The perfectionism plague doesn’t discriminate. New business owners are especially prone and it can even kill their business dreams.

A common perfectionist trait is to become paralyzed when a certain business task doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed too. Instead of rolling with the punches, a perfectionist will do everything possible to complete the task as described. There’s no thinking outside the box. If they can’t do it perfectly, they won’t do it at all. For example, let’s pretend you always print your business cards on a certain paper type. Prior to an event, the printer tells you that they ran out of that paper. Instead of choosing a new paper, you’d pout and not attend the event. In other words, you’d be missing out on business opportunities due to your perfectionism.

If the perfectionism plague is affecting you or a loved one, don’t fret. The first step is admitting you have a problem. After that, you need to tell yourself that done is better than perfect, use obstacles to your advantage and focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. You should also delegate tasks you don’t enjoy and take as many breaks as possible. Perfectionism tells our brains to go, go, go! We have to slow down and go one step at a time.

I used to be proud of my perfectionist ways. I would stay up late working, forget meals and miss my family to get the job done. Luckily, I dropped this behaviour early on in my career. The above steps will help curb your all-or-nothing thoughts.

Do you have any tips to share about avoiding perfectionism? Please share them in the comments below.