All posts by Abby Miller

Use Your Calendar App to Snag the Best Bargains

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Calendar App

Everyone at some point sees a garage sale flier and takes interest, only to forget about it minutes later. With so much going on in your life, these little bargains are easy to miss. The same goes for any kind of sale, really — thrift stores, clothing brands, bake sales, etc. Whenever you come across an exciting sale, you can integrate it seamlessly into your schedule via your calendar application.

1. Follow Public Sale Calendars

Organizations that regularly hold these events (recreation centers, religious communities, etc.) usually have a publicly-viewable calendar. This can be a physical one on a bulletin board in town or an easily-accessible digital one. The latter is more common as time goes on and is incredibly convenient to follow. Then, depending on the app, you can subscribe to be notified of new postings or upcoming events.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a fully-integrable calendar for you to add to your app alongside your personal one. Remember that many people have similar interests as you, and you may find some helpful bargain-hunting communities online. Along with these opportunities come plenty of resources on the subject. If they have a shared calendar, they’ll do a lot of the work.

2. Note Every Sale That Catches Your Eye

Even if it draws you at first glance, not every sale will grab you enough to want to go. But you never know what you might find sitting in the back of a thrift store or outlet mall. So it’s worth taking a slight detour to see what a sale is all about, if it’s even of tangential interest. Then, whether you end up going or not, just jot down (or snap a picture of) the information for later.

Then, you can enter it into your calendar and reconsider as it approaches. Is it worth fitting the potential bargains in among your other duties? You can also take this time to look into the event a little more and get more information. If you end up removing it from your schedule, this experience will still help you learn more about bargain-hunting.

3. Separate Them Into Categories

Once your calendar starts to fill up, the different events can get confusing. Ideally, you’ll want to know which are higher priority and what types of items you’ll find just from a glance. Most calendar apps have multiple categorization options to make this happen. Depending on your platform, you can label events by type, color, tag, importance/urgency, topic, etc.

You can, for example, mark all sales of your favorite categories (like video games or cookware) as a specific color. Then, when you open your calendar for the month, you can see that color and immediately recognize what it stands for. Adding a textual tag (“church,” “garage”) can help you separate these events even further based on location or type. The more identifiable each category is, the easier it is to differentiate sales without reviewing each one visually.

4. Fit Sales Events Into Your Established Schedule

You can decide which events you want to move forward with, fitting in among your other responsibilities. Luckily, you don’t necessarily have to do the math if your calendar app has a visual editing component. You only need to click and drag things around to reschedule them in many instances. Then it won’t feel like you’re wasting time (which you aren’t!) by going to a sale — it’s already scheduled.

The mental effect of this is perhaps the most powerful part. People often don’t devote the time they need to the things they love without doing something similar. Your responsibilities are already set in stone, so there’s no reason not to fit these things around them. Scheduling free time helps balance work and life and gives it relative psychological importance for completion.

5. Get the Important Things Out of the Way First

It’s not always possible to fit the exciting things in among your more essential duties. However, it is possible to get the latter done first to open up your schedule later on. This is the objective of the MIT time management strategy — prioritize more essential tasks to complete them before moving on. This helps particularly if you get overwhelmed easily because you’ll only focus on a few tasks at a time.

As a result, you’ll be able to be more productive in completing what you need to complete. In addition, it saves mental bandwidth so you don’t burn yourself out early and time you can spend shopping afterward. The best part is lessening your anxiety when taking that time— you know you’ve already been productive today.

It sounds unnecessary to track sales on your personal calendar, but it is perfect for saving money. As long as you spend consciously, it can make a big difference in your finances. And calendar apps are genuinely well suited for such a task, so it’s a no-brainer if you’re passionate about saving. So next time you see a garage sale flier, put it in your calendar, and you may discover something wonderful.

Image Credit: by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!

Use Your Calendar App to Snag the Best Bargains was originally published on Calendar by Abby Miller

COVID Personal Wellness Program

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Personal Wellness

Personal wellness isn’t something we usually prioritize, but would certainly benefit from. The world seems like a completely different place than it was a mere couple of years ago. For many, it’s almost unrecognizable. To make matters worse, there is so much uncertainty on when things will go back to being “normal.” COVID-19 and now the riots — suffice it to say — this whole thing is really doing a number and all of us emotionally, mentally, and physically.

There is, thankfully, a silver lining. You can create a COVID personal wellness program that can help you cope with everything that’s going on while building up your resilience.

Attend to your physical health and safety.

The first place to start when it comes to developing a COVID personal wellness program is obviously your physical health and safety. I’m sure you’ve come across this information countless times in the past. But, it certainly bears repeating.

Health and safety.

For starters, wash your hands! You may be tired of hearing this. But, that’s a simple reason why. Soap annihilates the virus. Well, as Pall Thordarson, a Professor in Chemistry at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, in The Guardian that this is “because the virus is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer. Soap dissolves the fat membrane, and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and dies – or rather, we should say it becomes inactive as viruses aren’t really alive.”

Another way to keep yourself protected? Limit your time around others. I know. Staying at home can be tiring. But, social distancing is imperative right now. So, postpone non-essential appointments and try to stock up on groceries two weeks at a time. If possible, have them delivered to you or chose curbside to go.


Speaking of food, fuel your body mindfully right now. That means eating foods that reduce anxiety and strengthen your immune system. That means limiting meals and snacks that contain high amounts of sugar and fructose corn syrup, as well as vegetable oil and refined carbohydrates. Instead, consume items that contain mainly Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc, such as fruits and veggies, nuts, fatty fish, and yogurt. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Physical activity.

Besides a healthy diet, make sure that you get enough physical activity. Even though your gym might be closed, there are more than enough exercises that you can do from home. You may also want to upgrade your home office by investing in a standing desk that you aren’t living a sedentary lifestyle.

Even better, though, get outside and go for a walk or bike ride. It’s actually been found that spending 120 minutes outside per week is associated with good personal health and wellness. And, as noted in TIme, even light activities like walking and housework can be just as effective.

Staying physically active doesn’t just your body in top-tip shape. It also bolsters your immune system and combats stress and anxiety. It also gives you an energy boost so that you’ll remain productive.


Finally, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. I think this is often overlooked. However, getting a good’s night rest is vital to your health and safety. That’s probably easier said than done though with so much going on right now. But, you can try the following techniques to help you fall asleep:

  • Shut off screens at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Eat a snack like a slice of cheese or apple slices.
  • Write out a to-do-list for tomorrow.
  • Don’t overdo it with the afternoon naps.
  • Set a bedtime time and stick with it.
  • Exercise, preferably in the morning.
  • Meditate.

Make your mental health and well-being a priority.

Let’s not sugarcoat this. COVID-19 is taking a serious toll on our mental health. As such, you need to make this a priority.

Physical activity, eating healthy, and sleep will help with personal wellness. But, for many of us, these typical ways to cope with stress and anxiety aren’t cutting it. After all, we’re in a completely different world than a couple of months ago.

How can you take care of your mental health and well-being during these uncertain times? Well, here are some suggestions:

  • Stick to your routine since it provides structure and sense of normalcy. If your previous routine has changed, start a new one.
  • Keep contributing. If you’re fortunate enough to work from home, then keep on trucking. Just remember to set boundaries and not work around the clock. If you aren’t working as much, then look for ways to share your unique talents with friends, family, or nonprofits. My sister, as an example, is crafty. So, she’s been making masks and selling them online with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
  • Reach out to others. Technology has made it incredibly easy to interact with others remotely. Check-in with friends, family, and co-workers so that you can fight back again the risks of isolation. If no one else is around, then hang out with your pet.
  • Do meaningful things, such as learning, getting around to a project you’ve been putting off, or volunteering virtually.
  • Keep doing the things that you love like a hobby or indulging in a little self-care.
  • Use this time as an opportunity to start a new and healthy habit.
  • Focus on the positive by writing in a gratitude journal or reading uplifting and inspiring news stories.
  • Keep your sense of humor. Yes, this is a serious time. But, Gallow’s humor has long been a way for people to cope with a crisis. Some would even say it can be cathartic.
  • Download an app like Calm or Headspace to help you meditate.
  • Make use of teletherapy or emergency hotlines if you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you’re going to harm yourself.

Keep your environment clean and organized.

Things are already tense enough, so why add any additional stress and anxiety to your life right now?

But, that’s precisely what clutter can do. As Deanna Ritchie wrote in a previous Calendar article, one “study shows a link between clutter and procrastination.” Several others “have also found that clutter increases stress, decreases productivity, and makes it difficult to unwind.” As if that weren’t enough, “clutter can encourage bad habits, such as unhealthy eating and sleep problems.”

“And, most worrying to me is that clutter can clog neural networks,” adds Deanna. “As a result, you’ll be slower and less efficient in processing information.” Moreover, decluttering can provide you with a sense of control — which is certainly in short supply these days.

Oh yeah, Keeping a clean environment, like wiping down high-touch objects, such as doorknobs and faucets, is another way to protect you against the virus.

Make decluttering and cleaning a part of your routine. For instance, tidy up your workspace. During your downtime, clean an area of your home (and your vehicle) and either trash, recycle or donate the items you longer need.

But, clutter isn’t just restricted to physical items. You could also clean out your inbox, unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer need, and remove unnecessary files from your computer.

The same is also true of toxic people. Instead of spending your valuable time with those who drain you emotionally, surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive.

Address your financial and insurance concerns.

Before COVID, Americans were most stressed about money. Considering how this pandemic is negatively affecting people’s work and finances, these concerns will only get worse. However, there are ways that you can manage financial stress during COVID-19.

  • Create a budget and stick with it.
  • Avoid adding additional debt.
  • See if any government programs can help.
  • If applicable, find ways to add revenue streams. Maybe you could make masks online and sell them like my sister or deliver takeout orders during the weekend.

For more information, turn to trusted sources like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You should also speak with your accountant or financial advisor to develop a plan.

On top of getting your finances in order, know what your health benefits are during this crisis.

Stay informed, but also make time to unplug.

There is a lot of misinformation being spread around regarding COVID-19. And, that could be potentially dangerous — for some even life-threatening. What’s more, as more research is being conducted about the virus, we’re finding out new information almost daily. Besides, you also want to stay informed on how the pandemic is impacting both your work life and personal wellness.

At the same time, we all deserve a break from all things COVID. I mean, between the news, talking to others remotely, and writing articles like this, I feel like I’ve been wearing down. There’s just no reprieve. And, it’s been really taking a toll on my well-being.

Fortunately, I have found easy ways to give myself a break. For example, I take my dog for a walk every afternoon after lunch — sans phone, smartwatch, or any other piece of tech. I’m usually not that productive at that time anyway. So, I use this time to get the blood flowing, enjoy the outdoors, and clear my head.

You can also try establishing tech-zones in your homes, such as the dining room and bedroom. I’m also a fan of blocking apps at certain times or just turning off my phone completely when I’m working or enjoying a downtime activity like reading. But, if that makes you uncomfortable, then set time limits for news and social media consumption.

Here’s something else that’s helped me out a lot. Talk about something else other then COVID-19! Let’s say the next time your talking to a friend on the phone, ask them if there are any new podcasts or documentaries they can recommend. Talk about a new hobby you started.

If you need help with personal wellness, seek it out immediately. Heck, make plans about getting together once you physically can.

If you’re at home with family or roommates, go around and ask if they learned anything new today. What are they grateful for? And what are their plans for tomorrow?

Image Credit: Pixabay; Pexels; Thanks!

COVID Personal Wellness Program was originally published on Calendar by .

9 Tips: Cultivate a Green Thumb With an Online Calendar

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Your Online Calendar

It’s so fulfilling to watch something grow under your care. Whether it’s your business or your kids, raising something from scratch is a whole lot easier with your online calendar.

Gardening is another great way you can capture those feelings. Planting a seed and watching it grow into an entire plant is a miracle of nature. But as any gardener can tell you, a thriving garden takes time and attention to detail.

Cultivating Your Online Calendar

If you’re looking to work that green thumb of yours, these nine tips for using an online calendar can get you growing in no time:

1. Prepare Your Plot of Land

First things first: You need a spot to plant your garden. You can start small by growing a few plants on the back porch or tilling up a patch of dirt in the yard.

Schedule a day in your online calendar to get this done. You don’t want to put this off because it can affect the entire growing season if you fall behind.

2. Know the Best Planting Times

There are so many varieties of flowers, bushes, and crops that you can grow. Each plant has an ideal time for planting.

Do your research, and consider your climate zone. Generally speaking, plants can go in the ground earlier if you live closer to the equator.

Think about whether you’re starting from seed or working with sprouted plants. Seeds need to be planted a few weeks earlier than existing plants.

Set reminders in your online calendar once you’ve picked what you’re going to plant and found out when the best time for planting is. It’ll push you to get going when the time is right, so your gardening can have the best possible start.

3. Get a Head Start

Some plants can begin to grow indoors before being transferred outside. So why not get a head start? Plant some seeds in a cup next to a sunny window, and you’ll have shoots already coming up when planting season begins.

Use your online calendar to plan a timeline for your little indoor plants. Don’t let them live in pots too long, or they may not bear flowers and fruit as they would if they were planted in the ground. Timing this correctly will make all the difference in the outcome of your plants.

4. Set a Watering Schedule

Your plants won’t grow without plenty of water. On the other hand, too much water can be just as damaging. Different plants might need watering schedules tailored to their needs. For example, tomatoes need a lot of water in order to grow, while succulents can easily be overwatered.

Set up a watering schedule to ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of water — no more, no less. Find the right balance for your garden, and use recurring reminders to tell you when it’s time to turn on the hose.

5. Keep an Eye on the Weather

The elements will significantly affect how your garden grows. Staying up-to-date with the Weather will let you know the conditions your plants will be growing in and any steps you should take to protect them.

Make a note of important weather updates in your online calendar. For example, if heavy rain is in the forecast, you can postpone your watering schedule for a day or two. Likewise, if high winds or hail are on the horizon, you can take precautions to protect your plants from injury.

6. Weed Ruthlessly

Weeds: the bane of every gardener’s existence. They need to be removed from your garden constantly so they don’t overrun what you’re trying to grow. This can be tedious and unforgiving, but it’s part of the gardening experience.

If you can’t bring yourself to weed frequently enough, use calendar events to invite other members of the household to your weeding schedule. You can set reminders for them, just as you would with any other chore.

7. Keep the Creepy-Crawlers Away

Little bugs can create big problems. For example, they’ll eat away leaves and kill plants before they can fully blossom.

To combat the little monsters who threaten your crops, you can use different types of insecticide to keep them away. Use your online calendar to schedule spraying times: Apply chemicals too often and that will harm your plants and make fruits and vegetables inedible. But, on the other hand, doing so too frequently can hurt your harvest.

8. Beware of Jack Frost

Some plants grow best toward the end of the warm season. The trouble is, cold snaps can freeze their leaves or outright kill them.

Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Mark your online calendar with frost dates to be aware of when your crops might be in danger of freezing.

Do some research to learn the best way to protect your plants: Will simply covering them cut it, or should you take them indoors if the temperature dips into the 30s?

9. Time to Harvest

Your labors’ fruit, or vegetables, will be harvested at the end of the season. Add harvest dates to your calendar to make sure you pick them at their peak.

For some plants, this may be multiple times a season. Record when you pick from each plant and put a reminder on your calendar — that’s timed for the next harvest.

The best part of gardening is enjoying what you’ve grown, but the process is rewarding. So put gardening chores on your calendar, and get ready to put lots of fresh produce in your pantry.

Image Credit: by Sasha Kim; Pexels; Thank you!

9 Tips: Cultivate a Green Thumb With an Online Calendar was originally published on Calendar by .


Slash These 10 Work-From-Home Habits to Build Productivity

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work from home

Did you know that 16% of companies globally are fully-remote? Even if you aren’t a part of that percentage, there’s a good chance that you occasionally work from home. ‌After‌ ‌all,‌‌62% of employees between 22 and 65 say they work remotely ‌occasionally.

Although WFH can boost productivity and happiness, your habits will determine the success or failure of your ‌experience. ‌Because of this, remote workers need to be on the lookout for unhealthy, unproductive habits. And, more importantly, know which habits to replace them with.

So, with that in mind, here are 10 work-from-home habits you need to slash to build productivity.

1. Taking “flex time” too far.

Often, work-from-home jobs come with more freedom. ‌After‌ ‌all, there’s no set time to show up‌ ‌to work in many cases. ‌So, it’s certainly awesome to have this “flex time.” But you also don’t want to overdo it.

Two possibilities can sabotage your productivity in the absence of a schedule for your work hours.

The first is starting work too late in the day. This might not be a problem if you’re a night owl and working later anyway. But what if you’re a parent? Let’s say that you don’t get into work mode until 11 a.m., but have to get the kids at 2:30? That doesn’t give you much time to get as much done as you would like to — or need to get done.

Secondly, you can lose‌‌ ‌‌your‌‌r downtime ‌‌to‌‌ ‌‌overwork. ‌According to The Economist, people in April and May of 2020 reported working 30 minutes longer than they did from‌ ‌January‌ ‌through‌ ‌March‌ ‌of‌ ‌2019. Over the past few years, working after hours and on weekends has become more common. ‌In addition, those commuting minutes might‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌consumed‌ ‌by‌‌ ‌‌paperwork‌‌ ‌‌or‌‌ ‌‌video‌‌ ‌‌calls.

You need to set regular hours when working from home in either case. This will create consistency and a routine, but it will also help you establish boundaries.

2. Living a sedentary lifestyle.

Even before the pandemic, it was found that, on average, we sit daily for 7.7 hours. The problem has only gotten worse since the pandemic. ‌An Upright Pose survey of 2,000 remote and hybrid workers in the US found alarming ‌results.

  • Since working remotely, 60% of employees have reduced their mobility by over 50%.
  • Remote workers average 16 steps to their workstation from bed.
  • On‌ ‌a‌ ‌typical‌ ‌remote‌ ‌workday,‌ ‌one‌ ‌in‌ ‌three‌ ‌workers‌ ‌sits ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌work‌ ‌chairs‌ ‌the‌ ‌entire‌ ‌day, and‌ ‌63%‌ ‌walk‌ ‌only‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌the‌ ‌bathroom‌ ‌or‌ ‌kitchen. ‌Additionally, 24% of remote workers never leave the house.
  • Despite the 8,000 steps per day recommended by health experts, nearly half of remote workers take fewer than 1,000 steps during work hours.
  • 50%‌ ‌of respondents report pain in the lower back, 48% in the shoulders, and 52% in the eyes.
  • Around 82% of workers under 35 reported experiencing a physical health issue for the first time over the past year, and 70% of them sought medical treatment.
  • 78%‌ ‌of respondents say they are concerned about the long-term health effects of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

How can you counter this sedentary lifestyle?

Well, the obvious answer is to be more active. “If possible, create a daily routine to become second nature, like brushing your teeth,” suggests Deanna Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief at Calendar. “For example, working out first thing in the morning or going for a long walk after lunch.”

Deanna also suggests the following:

  • Use a sit-stand desk.
  • Stand or walk during calls.
  • Set ‌alerts to remind you to stretch.
  • Make chores, like yard work or vacuuming, more intense by picking up‌ ‌the place.
  • Keep moving‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌the‌ ‌day. ‌You can, for‌ ‌example,‌ ‌do‌ ‌heal-raises‌ ‌or push-ups‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌counter‌ ‌while‌ ‌your‌ ‌morning‌ ‌coffee‌ ‌is‌ ‌brewing.

3. Choosing the wrong workspace.

The key to successfully working from home? First and foremost — choosing the right‌ ‌place‌ to work.

For example, you’ll want a quiet and more private space when taking calls or doing video conferences. If you don’t want to get distracted by others, find a room with a door. ‌Keeping it closed signals to others that you don’t want interruptions. ‌Consequently, you are more likely to go about your day as if you were at the‌ ‌office.

What if you don’t have a spare room for a home office? Could you convert another area in your home into an office? Perhaps the garage or basement would work for a cozy office spot? Do you have a yard to place a tiny house or insulated shed?

If not, there’s nothing wrong with working with what you’ve got—for instance, designating your kitchen table as your workplace during working hours.

Or, consider occasionally getting out of the office. For example, you might get more done if you set up shop in a cafe, library, or coworking space.

4. Multitasking.

Could you talk on your phone and fold laundry or walk the dog simultaneously? ‌Of course. ‌This is probably not a great idea when dealing with tasks like deep work, which are more challenging. ‌You’re in the minority even if you think you’re an expert. Only 2% of people are actually proficient at‌ ‌this.

So,‌ ‌instead‌ ‌of‌ ‌attempting‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌the‌ ‌impossible,‌ ‌‌‌commit to monotasking.

“We’ve been sold the myth that multitasking is a valuable skill, giving us the ability to get it all done – but this couldn’t be further from the truth,” explains business coach Ryan Jackson, author of The Success Rebellion.

“A more productive approach is to devote days or half-days to themes or closely related tasks,” ‌he‌ ‌says. “That way, it’s easier to knock jobs down one at a time, and even if you do get distracted, it’s quicker to pick up the thread again.”

5. Temptation to evade work. surveyed 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older who currently or have worked from home for its report titled Work From Home Wrap Up 2021: The Expected, the Bad, and the Naughty. And there were some interesting findings.

77% of respondents used their work computers to use social media and shop online during work‌ ‌hours. Over half said they played video games or streamed shows ‌instead‌ ‌of‌ ‌working.

Also, inevitable distractions easily lured most survey respondents ‌away‌ ‌from‌ ‌work. ‌When asked what types of distractions they encounter:

  • 29% ‌attributed it to food
  • 23% to entertainment
  • 19% to household tasks
  • 9% ‌to‌ ‌caring for‌ ‌family‌ ‌members‌ ‌or‌ ‌pets
  • 9% to miscellaneous activities
  • 6% to sleeping or staying in bed

Following are some specific types of distractions mentioned by respondents:

  • “I mine for crypto several times a day to give myself a break.”
  • “I eat and drink my fruit punch and play ‘Call of Duty.”
  • “Eating popcorn.”
  • “Wish to abolish capitalism.”
  • “I pretend I’m not home and don’t answer the call.”

It’s not easy to fight back against distractions. But when it’s time to focus on work, turn off your phone and even unplug your TV or gaming console. Also, schedule time to eat healthy meals and snacks, have downtime and attend to your pets and yourself.

6. Working from bed.

“Beds are designed to make you feel relaxed, supported, and ready for rest,” notes Drew Miller for Coworker. “They’re not designed for work or prolonged sitting up periods.” ‌As a result, working in bed may harm your health and well-being in unexpected ways, such as aches and pains. It can also interfere with your sleep.

Moreover, working from impairs your productivity. For example, you may get distracted by having the TV on in the background. Or, maybe, you’re just so comfy that you take an extended nap. And, you also don’t have easy access to the tools you need to get your work done.

In short, work anywhere else in your home except your bed.

7. No transition between work and home.

A commute home or a workout after work would signal the end of the workday — and it also signals the beginning of‌ ‌downtime‌ ‌at home. ‌Unfortunately, today, many people have no‌ ‌such transition‌. ‌That poses a challenge to maintaining your energy.

“Our commutes used to serve as a transition, and now that period of time has evaporated,” says Sarah Ohanesian of SO Productive, productivity coach, speaker, and trainer.

Again, creating a designated “work area” inside your house can also help you separate work from home life. ‌Will your home office resemble a traditional office? Probably not. But keeping all your necessary items in one spot can help you separate your workday from your personal‌ ‌life.

Additionally, you can establish after work transitions, such;

  • Setting up a wrap-up routine like reviewing your schedule for tomorrow or tidying up your workspace.
  • Turning off your work laptop.
  • Creating an evening intention.
  • Listening to a podcast.
  • Going for a walk or exercising.
  • Changing your clothes.
  • Cooking dinner.

8. Being uncalm.

The ongoing pandemic definitely has taken a toll on us. ‌Gallup’s 2021 State of the Workplace report found that 45% of people felt the pandemic significantly impacted their lives. ‌Additionally, 57% reported feeling stressed on a daily basis.

As a result, it’s essential to have some tools to help cope with ‌stress. Examples include deep breathing a few times a day, calling a friend, laughing, or working out. ‌Chronic stress can cause burnout and many health problems.

Observe any tightening of the shoulders or a raised heart rate. And, if possible, relieve‌ ‌the‌ ‌stress. For me, that’s making self-care a priority by scheduling it in my calendar.

9. Poor personal hygiene.

“Remote work offers you flexibility, but some people carry it too far,” says Vartika Kashyap, Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. “Working in pajamas all day long, for example, does no good for your productivity or morale.” Moreover, when sitting continuously for hours, it’s not unusual for remote workers to neglect their personal hygiene.

“You may not realize, but there is a strong connection between what you wear and your mood,” adds Vartika. ‌For example, if you work without taking a bath or wear wrinkled clothes, you feel lousy, unorganized, and unkempt.

How can you slash this unhealthy habit? It’s pretty obvious.

Wake up early, shave regularly, take a bath before you start to work, and put your neatly ironed workwear on,” she recommends. “You will see how it makes a world of difference to your overall mood.”

10‌. ‌Failure‌ ‌to‌ ‌detach‌ ‌and‌ ‌disengage.

If you disconnect from work and ignore the emails in your inbox until tomorrow or later, you will grow as a person and be a better employee. Here is a fascinating study from‌ ‌the Journal‌ ‌of‌ ‌Experimental‌ ‌Social Psychology. The findings suggest that people who can’t stop feeling like they’re being lazy and unproductive while relaxing tend to feel less happy and more anxious, stressed, and depressed.

In other words, leisure and relaxation should not be considered‌‌ ‌‌a‌ ‌waste‌‌ ‌‌of‌‌ ‌‌time. Make sure to take frequent breaks throughout the day to catch your breath. You also should block out your calendar for non-work activities, like yoga or dinner with friends.

And I would also strongly advise establishing “tech-free” zones in your home. Examples could be the dining room or bedroom. These areas should be reserved for undisturbed meals or rest.

Image Credit: Pixabay; Pexels; Thanks!

Slash These 10 Work-From-Home Habits to Build Productivity was originally published on Calendar by John Hall

5 Ways to Measure Remote Employee Productivity

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Apps to Boost Productivity

There are countless statistics claiming that remote employee productivity is greater than its in-office alternative. For example, one study published not long into the pandemic claimed as much as a 47% increase in productivity thanks to remote work.

The question is, how do you know that your team has increased their productivity by half? How can you measure the effectiveness of a remote team — at least, how can you do so without becoming an invasive, micromanaging boss?

If you’re interested in monitoring your team’s productivity without compromising their independence and empowerment, here are some tips to help you out.

1. Set Clear Expectations

Expectations are key. If you don’t know what you’re expecting, you can’t judge if something is productive. In a workspace as asynchronous as remote work, personal interactions are few and far between. In that setting, expectations take the place of overseeing an in-office workforce.

Even when you’re operating in person, it’s essential that you communicate how you expect a project or activity to go. If you’re in the same physical space, though, you have the opportunity to update, add to, and even tweak expectations as you go along.

When your workers are laboring in isolation, they often complete a project — or at least put significant effort into it — before their productivity is ever considered. As global HR solution Remote points out, clear, detailed expectations set from the beginning of a project are necessary when managing remote teams. It ensures that everyone starts on the same page and is oriented toward the same end goal.

2. Utilize OKRs

There are many ways to break down expectations. Standard options include setting clear objectives and utilizing KPIs (key performance indicators) to make productivity measurable.

However, one of the best productivity measurement tools out there is OKRs. OKRs (which stand for “objectives and key results”) is a goal-setting methodology that approaches productivity from a holistic perspective. Rather than just saying, “There’s the finish line. Find a way to get there!” OKRs consider both the final objective that you’re working toward and the critical results required to accomplish it. In essence, this brings both goals and milestones together into one shiny package.

OKRs are powerful productivity motivators. They tie goals to day-to-day work and make it much easier to evaluate if work is getting done. For example, if you just set a goal, you may have to wait days or even weeks to see if an employee has accomplished that task on time. With OKRs, you can measure results as you go along.

3. Track Outcomes

It’s tempting to value time over output. That is always a bad idea when remote work is involved. Even if you ask your employees to report time spent working “on the honor system,” you still don’t know what that time looks like. Instead, focus on the deliverables that come from your employees’ overtime.

Every project has deliverables. Those might be a clear, defined item, such as a piece of content or a prototype of a new piece of hardware. However, it could also come from the work process itself. For instance, if you train someone for a position, the deliverable manifests through the learning experience.

Regardless of the project at hand, it’s important to identify the deliverables involved. This gives you an objective way to measure the success or failure of something. For example, you can consider the outcome of an employee’s work, compare it to the expectation (which should be clearly defined), and then decide if they are productive.

4. Use Employee Feedback

Internal feedback is an invaluable resource. Whether it’s recurring questionnaires, real-time opinions, or exit interviews, receiving input from your team can be a powerful refining tool.

It can also indirectly help with tracking productivity, as well. Have your employees fill out surveys asking for honest, anonymous feedback about their coworkers from time to time. This isn’t an opportunity for employees to snitch on one another. On the contrary, make sure to provide questions that don’t evoke charged responses.

For instance, don’t include a question like “Is employee X productive?” Instead, try phrasing the inquiry, “What are one strength and one weakness of employee X?”

This won’t give you a direct way to measure productivity. Nevertheless, it can yield valuable insight into each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, including how productive they are as seen by their coworkers.

5. Ask for Asynchronous Updates

Finally, You can also ask employees to track their own productivity when they’re on their own. Again, never underestimate the power of talking to your employees directly. As you define objectives and OKRs, ask your team to measure how they’re doing every few days or at the end of the week.

Of course, they aren’t machines that will objectively assess their own productivity, but posing the question can lead to insightful conversations. Even if this leads to biased data, it can have a much more powerful indirect impact on productivity.

Asking your staff to evaluate their own output regularly forces them to remain aware of themselves. This can help them stay motivated and focused on KPIs, OKRs, milestones, and whatever other measurable objectives you might use.

It can be an empowering activity when you engage in regular conversations with each employee to assess their effectiveness together. You’re turning the “gotcha” element of the productivity question into a positive, joint endeavor. You’re inviting them into the process of helping them be more productive. But, of course, having open and honest discussions about productivity is easier if you have measurable OKRs and clear expectations in place.

Remote work is here to stay. This makes it imperative to find ways to measure remote employee productivity without overstepping as a manager. Remember, micromanaging often tends to do more harm than good.

Instead, use the tips above to quietly assess your team’s productivity over time. That way, you can identify areas that need to be addressed without squelching existing productivity through an overly hands-on approach.

Image Credit: Ivan Samkov; Pexels; Thank you!

5 Ways to Measure Remote Employee Productivity was originally published on Calendar by Abby Miller

Get It Together – Ways to Use Google Calendar for Remote Teams

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google calendar

Remote teams can take advantage of online calendars such as Google Calendar to better manage their time. If there was a way to keep your team on track and improve their focus, wouldn’t you give it a try?

Google Calendar has several great features that remote teams can utilize to stay organized and plan ahead. Additionally, it can increase your team’s productivity and help with collaboration.

When your remote team has the tools to work as efficiently as possible, you instantly notice results. Google Calendar is one of the most popular and accessible calendars available for teams worldwide.

In this guide, we will show you several ways you can empower your team by using Google Calendar. This includes using features such as appointment slots for better scheduling. You can also create an advanced search to help you track down any specific event on-demand.

Let’s dive in and explore how Google Calendar can help your remote team thrive.

Empower Your Remote Team with Google Calendar

To thrive, remote teams need to be equipped with the right tools. After all, remote work wouldn’t even be possible without the technology we have today.

It’s time to step back and consider which tools you’ve given your remote teams to date. For example, do they have a reliable planning tool like Google Calendar? What collaboration tools are they using most frequently? By understanding their needs, you’ll be able to help them move forward.

In the sections below, we’ll explore Google Calendar’s best features for remote work. You’ll learn how each of these features can benefit your team and what their best use cases are. Let’s begin!

Set up appointment slots

Appointment slots are a powerful Google Calendar feature that lets you block off specific periods for appointments. Instead of having someone send you a meeting invite and accept, these time slots make things much easier.

When you create appointment slots on your calendar, these become “reservable” blocks of time. Anyone who has access to these slots will be able to book a time to meet with you.

This has been used by professors looking to create reservable office hours for their students. It’s a great way to let others know your availability each day and allow them to choose a time.

Appointment slots were created as a way to offer teams maximum flexibility with their schedules. Instead of being required to schedule events wherever they “seemed” to fit, it provides a better solution. Your team can see the exact blocks they can reserve, take action and reserve them, or ask for time modifications.

If your team hasn’t been using appointment slots up to this point, let them know it exists. This excellent Google Calendar feature gives you a good amount of time flexibility.

Use calendar meeting rooms

While remote work is gaining in popularity, hybrid work is also increasing. A hybrid employee is defined as someone who works several days in the office and the remainder remote.

If your team is only remote a fraction of the time, setting up calendar meeting rooms may be worth setting up. This feature in Google Calendar lets your organization create and label meeting rooms. Every room you create can then be added to calendar events and meetings and is shown to all participants.

Based on who you invite to an event or meeting, Google Calendar will help you choose which room fits best. This is established on the data you’ve provided about each member of your team.

Find anything with advanced search

Google Calendar’s advanced search functionality makes it easy to find any event or meeting. If you’ve never used this search feature before, it can be accessed from the magnifying glass. Once you click on the magnifying glass, a menu will drop down with multiple parameters.

Based on what you’re trying to find, enter the appropriate search parameter and wait for your results. For example, even if you’re trying to find a meeting years ago, if the record still exists, Google Calendar should find it.

This is a feature your remote team should consistently use to find past communications quickly. We see duplicate efforts being completed fairly frequently, meaning someone did additional work. You can save both time and money with your remote team by teaching them to use advanced search effectively.

Online and offline notifications

When team members are working remotely, it’s essential to know when each of their coworkers is available. This is made remarkably easy with Google Calendar and the Google Suite of tools.

Whenever a member of your organization is online, they show up as available. This lets other team members know they can finally reach out and ask a question.

When somebody is busy in a meeting or away from their computer, an appropriate status will be shown. If you want your remote team to be as effective as possible, don’t forget to enable online/offline notifications.

While it may not seem like a big deal at first, remote teams can have trouble communicating effectively. If you’ve just recently put together your remote team and begin to run into issues, these notifications help facilitate communication. There’s no faster way to save time and get your questions answered straight away than making the most of notifications.

Zoom out with a year view

Most of your planning will be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, but not an entire year. Has your team ever sat down and planned an entire year ahead, time blocking important events and activities?

Google Calendar features a year-long view of calendar events, helping you see where you spent your time the most. You’ll also be able to look further ahead and make better decisions based on how projections change into the future. If a holiday or critical event is coming up, you’ll have everything you need to plan around such events with sufficient time.

Your remote team should understand your company’s vision and the value your company is providing by the year-long view. Scheduling events in this manner ensures nothing gets missed and makes sure you plan around major holidays far in advance.

Concluding Thoughts

Google Calendar can be an excellent tool for remote teams, improving both their productivity and efficiency. If you have a team that needs to collaborate and work together, ensure you give them the right tools.

We’ve walked through several ways to use Google Calendar within a remote team for maximum effectiveness. This includes setting up appointment slots, where anyone interested can schedule a time to meet or chat.

We discussed using the meeting rooms available in Google Calendar for ease and simplicity. Additional features were the advanced search function, enabling online and offline notifications, and zoom out to a year view.

All in all, Google Calendar is an excellent tool for remote teams to utilize to maximize effectiveness. It can help remote workers become more efficient and improve productivity substantially over the long run.

Image Credit: Caio; Pexels; Thank you!

Get It Together – Ways to Use Google Calendar for Remote Teams was originally published on Calendar by .

How to Help Your Peers Be More Productive

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For your team to be at its best, each member must be working productively. And that doesn’t mean just thinking about your own productivity: When was the last time you evaluated your impact on the team’s productivity?

For most of us, that answer is somewhere between “not recently” and “never.” And what we see as being friendly may actually be throwing a wrench in our colleagues’ productivity.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help your coworkers perform to the best of their abilities. Here are some easy ways to support your peers’ productivity:

Make Sure You’re Following the Project Timeline

We work in an age of project-based work. And in the game of projects, deadlines are everything.

Because of the deadlines, it’s essential to make sure you’re handing in your deliverables on time. Your teammate may need your deliverable to be able to move on with their own project. Are you holding teammates up without understanding your role in the overall success of the team?

Staying aware of all factors in the game (your work perimeters) can make all the difference to your teammates.

Missing a deadline can create a cascade effect. If you fail to plan ahead, you may put others in stressful, down-to-the-wire situations. So help your team avoid the waiting game by making sure you stick to the project schedule.

Don’t Interfere with Their “Off” Time

It’s all too easy to become a workaholic, and it’s even easier for workaholics to export their bad habits to others. Working all the time puts pressure on others, and we all need breaks.

That’s why it’s essential to respect your teammates’ time off the clock. Maybe your colleague takes lunch at a different time than you, or perhaps they’ve decided to dip into their PTO benefits.

Whatever the reason you and your colleague aren’t in the office at the same time, you shouldn’t be contacting them for work-related issues. That means no text messages or phone calls asking for files that you could have asked someone else for, or worse, found yourself.

Keep a Positive Attitude

Having a bad day? We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, the workplace or sometimes home life can come with stresses that put us in less-than-good spirits.

Bad attitudes hurt everyone’s productivity. Studies have shown that individuals can ruin their day of productivity just by being in a bad mood when they come to the office in the morning. It’s essential to try your best to remain positive throughout the workday because your attitude impacts not just you but also your wider team.

Human beings are social animals. Just like a cold, a lousy attitude spreads. Something as small as your Monday morning blues could affect the whole team’s productivity.

Minimize Unnecessary Noise

No one likes distractions, and noises are a particular culprit. The rattling A/C, the bustling of the traffic, the buzzing of a fly outside the window — the number of noises that can cause a distraction are endless. But what if the noise problem is you?

Frequently, we aren’t aware of how loud we’re being when we’re performing tasks. The noise factor is particularly true for those of us that work in an open office environment. Anything from shuffling papers to slamming drawers can be much louder than we intend it to be. It can also be valid for the phone calls that we take and, for some of us, the music we listen to.

Try to keep this in mind when you’re sitting at your desk, especially if it’s in an open area. If possible, try to take phone calls elsewhere, make sure your music isn’t playing too loudly from your headphones, and help keep the noise level to a minimum.

Limit Your Visits to Others’ Desks

Speaking of distractions, while we all love to engage in some water cooler talk now and then, it’s important to limit the number of conversations you have with your coworkers.

You read that right.

It’s crucial to build relationships with your team — but you need to make sure you’re doing so at the right time and place. Stopping by your colleague’s desk or stopping them in the hallway for a prolonged conversation probably isn’t the best idea. A recent survey shows that 80% of people consider chatty coworkers to be one of their top work distractions.

Approach Conflict in a Healthy Manner

Finally, make sure you’re addressing office conflicts in a healthy manner. Just like all relationships, you’re bound to find some conflict at some point when in the office. What matters is how you approach the situation.

Are you upfront? Are you respectful? Are you working to find a solution? Avoid bottling up your grievances or resorting to passive-aggressive behaviors. Personal behaviors can escalate the situation and upset both you and your colleague. And we already know what happens to productivity when you’re upset: It plummets.

When you’re working in a team, you must find ways to support your teammates. While there are always ways you can improve your own productivity, don’t forget to be conscious of how your actions impact your colleagues as well.

How You Can Run Your Business More Efficiently in 2022

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Run Business More Efficiently 2022

2022 is the year for growth, with economic conditions improving, consumers back in the buying game, and the pandemic waning. Growth may happen to organizations that plan to run their business more efficiently.

Looking ahead over the next 12 to 18 months, companies may be hoping to see substantial growth. It may be possible, especially if organizations do the hard work now to prepare for opportunities to bound ahead of the competition.

In 2021, a great deal of transformation happened for many organizations. Economic and political climates changed, but so did the priorities of consumers, many of whom were faced with limited product access due to supply chain shortages.

One way to improve growth opportunities is to improve efficiency in operations. It’s not just about seeking sales increase but also trimming back and improving the overall business model to boost bottom lines.

How to Run Your Business More Efficiently With 6 Steps

There’s plenty to look forward to in 2022. Companies need to consider these strategies and tips to take advantage of it.

1. Evaluate employee wages and benefits

As the New York Times notes, the labor shortage impacting many businesses today is pushing up pay for many Americans. Wages at numerous companies – like Amazon, Chipotle, and Bank of America – have increased significantly. While the Federal Reserve is working to monitor wage growth (if it’s too fast, inflation may rise too quickly), for companies, it’s critical to consider the competition.

To improve operational efficiency, companies need to have productive employees. Those are often employees that feel valued and respected by the organization they are a part of. Contrary to many beliefs, workers are willing to work, but they want to be treated fairly and compensated equally.

Does that mean increasing pay? Not necessarily all of the time. However, companies should look at how well their pay scale matches that of their competitors. That’s going to bring in the best talent.

2. Outsource key operations

You don’t have to handle all your business operations in-house to retain control of your company and turn a profit. Plenty of operations are ideal for outsourcing to an individual or provider. In fact, you may already outsource occasionally, such as hiring independent marketing consultants or freelance graphic designers from time to time. However, you can’t overlook the value that you can get by making outsourcing a bigger part of your operational workflow.

Take your fulfillment process, for instance. If you sell products over the Internet to consumers, you need to handle all the associated warehousing, shipping, and receiving elements. These centers can become points of friction and expense. A potential outsourced solution is to partner with a full-service, third-party logistics (3PL) e-commerce solutions provider.

For best results, look for 3PL partners that utilize technology that will integrate with your current tech stack. As Tradefull, a 3PL complete e-commerce solution provider explains, having access to a single dashboard to manage everything from product descriptions to returns gives you the transparency you need to stay in the know.

There’s little doubt that outsourcing operations can provide a huge improvement to your company over time. The transition doesn’t have to be difficult to make, either. Take a look at your current operations. Evaluate which ones are causing you the most obstacles or chewing up profits. Then, consider ways to overcome operational inefficiencies with help from an outside source.

3. Recognize what’s holding employee productivity back

Employee productivity is hurting in many organizations. That directly translates into lower profits and limited efficiency. The question is, why?

One core reason is uncertainty. Political and economic conditions continue to be less clear than in years gone by. Consumers are facing inflation and are worried about their futures. At the same time, they are working to improve themselves by becoming more diversity-focused and supportive of those of different lifestyles. Employees are also battling different needs and desires, with many continuing to face the toll of the pandemic and the losses it brings.

All of that uncertainty doesn’t remain at home. It comes to working with employees. There are solutions that may help alleviate this.

  • Encourage employees to be productive even when they struggle to do so. Do so in a positive and motivating way. Offer tools to help them, such as improved scheduling.
  • Provide mental health and emotional support services to employees to encourage them to seek the support they need. Ensure it remains anonymous.
  • Open the conversation to find out what their needs are. Are they worried about childcare? Do they struggle with focus because of unmet needs? Talk about what’s holding them back.
  • Provide opportunities for enrichment, growth, and promotion. Often, employee productivity improves when they see the good that may come from it.
  • Offer benefits that employees need and want. They may appreciate shorter workdays, flexible schedules, improved health plans, or other services. Open the door to communication to find out what those needs may be.

Improving employee productivity may help you run your business more efficiently, especially in your company’s day-to-day operations. It may also help improve employee retention rates, which means less time and money spent on training.

4. Be ready to tap into supplier product rollouts

The pandemic continues to impact supply chains for many organizations. The Wall Street Journal reports that supply chain shortages and their increasing costs are driven by strong consumer demand for goods. For many businesses, that increasing cost is hurting growth and efficiency opportunities.

Companies must be aware of scarcities within their supply chain. More importantly, while not only noting when these are present, they also need to work closely to find alternatives. Some businesses are working to offer new solutions and products to help accommodate those unavailable products.

Turning to suppliers to ask for accommodations for supply insufficiencies is necessary. Some suppliers are working to source products from other locations or offer alternatives. This could help to increase the ability to produce goods. Working closely with suppliers to manage shortages is critical to helping you run your business operations more efficiently. Without a plan to deal with a lack of materials, companies grind to a halt, pushing their customers to find their own alternatives. Be proactive in seeking other supply options.

5. Work to automate operations as much as possible

With good time management, companies can do more and achieve bigger results. One way to boost time management is to improve automation. Often, organizations see automation as a big-ticket investment they have to make in their operation. Initially, it seems cost-prohibitive, but there are real opportunities to automate small tasks to see big results.

Consider the benefits of automation in various sectors of the company. Automate operations where possible. Automating that task could mean efficiency improvement if a machine can do it and a person does not need to oversee the process. That may include marketing, sales processes, customer service, and other areas.

Moreover, you could automate repetitive tasks such as the hiring process or application process. Work to eliminate tedious tasks that take too much time and yield very little insights.

6. Improve your business’s online footprint

It’s also beneficial to companies to get more of their business online. With this in mind, small businesses are specifically at risk for being left behind when it comes to efficiencies because they don’t provide consumers with access to online and mobile shopping.

Widen the online footprint of the company to move more operations online. That includes selling directly to customers on a website and not just relying on retailers to manage product sales. It may also mean working to bring more marketing efforts online where they are more likely to pay off through social media and brand building.

Improving an online presence may help in numerous ways. First, it helps to streamline both marketing and sales strategies. At the same time, it provides a much higher ROI because of the less demand on third-party retailers.

Additionally, building an online presence builds the company’s credibility and brand recognition, meaning less money needs to go towards educating the public about the company and its products. In turn, this enables you to run your business more efficiently.

Improving efficiency means taking a hard look at business models

Most importantly, organizations ready to embrace all that 2022 has to offer need to focus heavily on running their business more efficiently. It may be a good time for a business to put some money and time into increasing sales or launching new products. It may be time to expand to new countries in an ever-expanding global marketplace.

Yet, at the heart of every business’s growth strategies is finding ways to be more efficient. Consider the value of outsourcing key tasks to professionals who can do it for less so you can focus on strategies that take your company to the next level this year.

How You Can Run Your Business More Efficiently in 2022 was originally published on Calendar by Abby Miller.

Image Credit: Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!

Maintaining a Schedule Can Help You Live Longer

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Maintaining Schedule Help Live Longer

Some may go on and on about how a schedule of activities or routines inhibits creativity or spontaneity. Of course, there may be a situation or two where that would be true — however, there are other situations in which this is not the case. Maintaining a schedule frees up time for your creative ventures.

People who do not adhere to a schedule, are more likely to skip appointments, postpone necessary work, live or work in an unorganized environment, and haphazardly finish projects if they finish at all.

It’s a recipe for catastrophe in every sense of the word. So how do you plan for uncertain times?

If you want to be successful, you must recognize the importance of having a schedule – one that sets dates and times that will allow you to arrive on time, finish the duties at hand, and prepare for extra successes.

The Best Way to Get Started With a Schedule

So, what is the best way to get started with a schedule? One of the most important things you can do is ask crucial questions. It is to ensure that you fully comprehend the timetable given to you.

For some individuals, keeping a timetable is as easy as checking off the items on a to-do list as they come across them on their computer. On the other hand, others may find that more specifics allow them to simplify a timetable or completely integrate a calendar into other parts of their lives.

Asking which activities on the schedule are the top priorities or which items on the plan may be postponed or swapped with other things are examples of questions you would ask.

Track Your Time — do Some Research

After completing your research, you may find that you need to change certain aspects of your life. You may find there is no link to your work or school schedule. As you would expect, not all of these activities are time-suckers; instead, they merely need a reorganization of your time.

Taking a two-hour lunch break, for example, may need to be shortened to one hour or half an hour to complete other tasks on your to-do list within that period.

If your goal is to spend the early Saturday morning hours with research at the library it may be necessary to shift your shopping habits to Sunday nights if you have been used to doing it on Saturday mornings. And remember that not all timetables are etched in stone. For example, you may change your schedule to accommodate new jobs or projects that need more or less time to complete than initially planned.

Following your experience, a few well-placed questions, and some minor rearranging, you will have a timetable that you can safely follow—knowing that your new schedule will lead you to achieve the essential tasks vital to your life. Much less effort has to be expended when you make a reasonable plan for your essential work.

The times, they are a-changin.’

Yes, the times change. Our schedules reflect this volatility — or they should. But sometimes, we keep our heads in the sand. Like the ostrich, we do not wish to see what’s happening around us, and we may try to duck out on reality. With careful observation, you’ll be able to see what types of procrastination are interrupting your schedule. Don’t be one that refuses to schedule in needed changes in your life. Go ahead and admit that your time management skills need a little refurbishing and just do it.

Being Flexible is Not the Same as Being Careless

When scheduling conflicts arise, as they will, a quick response is usually best. However, hemming, hawing, and beating around the bush is an excellent way of alienating others. Instead, be decisive with what commitments you say you will make, then stick with your decision. Opportunity melts like frost, and, especially as an entrepreneur — you have to take the reins and move quickly.

The most significant fatality to time management success is being noncommittal and deciding not to decide. After all, who looks back with pride at all the appointments they didn’t keep — and the decisions that were put off? There never seems like enough time, but actions that were never planned won’t be something you are proud of in the future.

It’s all in the timing

Professional comics say it’s all in the timing and point to the times to speed up and when to slow down. When the comedians hold a pause or stomp the punchline at the right moment — it’s magical. Timing can basically be applied in the same way for business leaders and organization managers. Timing is everything.

The Bible intones “there is a time and season for everything.’” So it is in business — there’s a time to start — and a time to end. A time to let go. A time to meet — and a time to lock the door and go over the audit yourself.

The trick is to know when to do what. And that trick is simple. Psychology Today has a great time management test. IF you follow basic time management principles, you can adapt to your particular circumstances. And IF you take advantage of the latest time management technology and theory, you will be a lot further ahead than if you don’t.

Basics of Time Management and Living Longer and Peacefully

Every MBA course offers dozens of classes on how to untangle the basics of time management.

Nobody has an easy schedule. Nobody. Not the janitor. Or the CEO. Not even the poet in her ivory tower. But once you learn to dance to the tune that time plays for you, life becomes more bearable and more your own.

Some say that minutes are hard cider, hours champagne, and days become flagons of the finest mead. Just ask those who seem to have nothing to do. An accident? Nope. They have come to grips with their time and they wrestle it to the ground.

If you plan correctly and make time yours — you’ll come out on top. You shouldn’t dream of doing anything less!

Image Credit: Jess Bailey Designs; Pexels; Thank you!

Time is All We Have

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Time is All We Have

When we say time is all we have, we’re not just talking about showing up to work on time every day all year long. Punctuality really means getting to work ahead of time.

Punctuality, or being on time, is essential for workplace efficiency (and especially job interviews), but it might be even more critical for your personal branding.

“You can set your clock by him (or her)” is a phrase not heard much anymore. But it is still one of the most valuable compliments an employee can be paid. With modern technology like smartphones and GPS, it ought to be a no-brainer to make it to scheduled appointments on time. Yet so often, managers complain of workers who are still an ‘a day late and a dollar short.’

With this in mind, here are five compelling reasons why timeliness is a vital soft skill to strive towards.

Punctuality equals time equals efficiency.

Few things scream “disorganized,” like being late all of the time.
While being chaotic in social settings may appear eccentric and odd, it is terrible news in the business.

Employers want to know that their employees are productive, and wasting time looking for files, tracking down client notes, or looking for a missing invoice costs the organization money.
Being organized makes it much simpler to accomplish projects, arrive at meetings, and fulfill client needs every time.

You’re on time: so you’re a trustworthy coworker and employee.

When it comes to job advancement, your personal reputation is valuable.
When your coworkers think you’re on time, they’re more inclined to include you in new and exciting tasks.

After all, no one wants to entrust a crucial project to someone who is prone to miss deadlines.

You improve the image of your organization.

It’s a safe assumption that your boss values timeliness.
Customers quickly lose faith in organizations that do not regularly deliver on time in today’s competitive industry.

Whatever position you play in the supply chain, sticking to a schedule helps maintain your company’s excellent image, which is a benefit for its success – and your involvement in it.

Punctuality demonstrates professionalism and detail-oriented thinking.

Let’s face it: storming into a meeting room five minutes late with papers flying and a sweaty brow isn’t a good image.
Furthermore, you are denying yourself the opportunity to test out beneficial techniques.

Whether it’s a client meeting, a team debrief, or a staff training session, being on time allows you to double-check that you have everything you need (iPad, pencils, agenda, etc.) and go over your notes.
It’s also an opportunity to figure out the optimum sitting location for you – one that allows you to maintain eye contact with the primary speaker while also maximizing your personal visibility so you can make a meaningful contribution.
It’s difficult to be seen as a serious contributor when you’re locked in the back of a conference room, bobbing and weaving amongst coworkers simply to see what’s going on because you arrived late.

Being on time implies you’ll have all of the knowledge you need to finish a project.
Even being a few minutes late to a meeting might result in you missing out on essential data that provide the groundwork for the remainder of the conversation.

You hold your coworkers in high regard.

Few things are more aggravating than having your own fine work sabotaged by a colleague’s tardiness.

With good reason, teamwork is a fundamental driver of modern organizations. Being on time is the fuel that runs the machine. Moreover, workplaces are interconnected; when everyone completes duties on schedule, workflows smoothly across the company.

A snag in one location, on the other hand, slows down the entire line, causing everyone else to suffer.
Setting a deadline for yourself to complete your part of the process on time indicates your respect for your coworkers’ ability to fulfill their own deadlines.

Simple strategies to incorporate timeliness into your personal brand

There are several solutions available to help you reach your aim of timeliness. Here are just a few to consider:

  • A simple written diary note or an alert on your smartphone or computer may serve as a handy reminder of scheduled appointments, phone calls, and deadlines.
  • Use a time management tool like Remember the Milk or Time Doctor to keep track of your tasks.
  • Also, avoid attempting to outwit the clock.
  • Learn exactly how long a task, a meeting, or a phone conversation will take — and manage your time better.
  • Setting unreasonable, strict deadlines will almost always result in you falling behind.
  • Allow for unforeseen disruptions by allowing some wiggle room.

These tips might assist you in maintaining your timeliness without being concerned about falling behind schedule.

Image Credit: DS Stories; Pexels; Thanks!

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