SOS…I need to manage my time better

Time management is hard. The week starts, and all of a sudden, we find ourselves juggling with so many different things. So many things to do, so little time. But it is important to learn how to manage our days in a way that will help us be more productive and fruitful. This is why time management is a tool that we all, especially entrepreneurs and employees should take the time to develop.

Plan your days

Having an agenda is they key to a better planing. If you do not feel like managing your own calendars, hiring an assistant might be a good alternative. When you plan out your days, you will feel less tired and find it easier to prioritise.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Instead of doing more at work, you can manage your time better by taking the time to list your daily activities and see what should be done differently, what should be eliminated and what could be done at a different time of the day. Remember it is not about how much you do but about how well you do what you do that will set you apart as an employee.

Focus more

Focusing on one thing at a time will help you manage your time better and make sure you finish what you start. While multitasking is inevitable sometimes, it is best to concentrate our focus and energy on one thing and get it done properly.

Get some rest over the week-end

Week-ends are the best guarantee that we will start our week on the right foot. Instead of overdoing it and feeling even more drained throughout the week, take this time to rest, do things you love and clear your mind. Taking time to renew your strengths over the week-end will help you mange your week better and have a clear idea of what your goals should be.

Learn to say “no”

Nothing is as freeing as realising you do not need to say Yes to everything. Often, at work, we feel overwhelmed because we think that we need to do it all. There is nothing wrong with telling your colleague you can’t help them with a particular task or to ask your boss to push back a deadline that is unrealistic to respect. By learning when to say No, you will have more time for the more important things and as a result, manage your time better.

Start your days early

Being late at work has the power to negatively affect your whole work schedule. Showing up early will help you feel more relaxed to tackle the day instead of rushing as soon as you enter the office.

Delegate

Delegating gives you more time to breathe and helps create harmony between you and the members of your team. When there is a task you need to accomplish, letting your teammates partake in the decision making and execution can help you manage your time better and have more time to focus on your area of expertise.

Take advantage of technology

Technology can help us save so much time if you take advantage of the wide list of services available to us on a daily basis. Try some of the many personal scheduling software programs that allow you to keep a calendar, “to-do’ lists, and phone and address books on your computer. Master Excel so that you can save precious hours when working on complicated documents.

Take small breaks

Take small breaks between tasks. This does not mean that you need to be in the bathroom for 30 minutes or that you should leave the office. Reward yourself after each task with 2 minutes to walk a little around the office, going to get some water at the water cooler or exchanging a few words with a colleague. This will help you relax your mind so you can be refreshed before attacking the next task. When you jump from one task to another without taking breaks, you increase your chances of burnout, which will decrease your productivity and result in bad time management.

 

By managing your time properly, you will reduce stress and feel more relaxed and energized to tackle your responsibilities.

 

For more tips, sign up today on Shortstints.com!

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

 

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Causes of stress in the workplace

 

Today, most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress. Only 40% of Americans rate their health as very good or excellent according to the American Psychological Association

And work-related stress is a growing problem around the world. This issue affects not only employees’ health and well-being but also the productivity of businesses.

Some physical symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscular tension
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

These symptoms can lead to other psychological traumas: Depression, anxiety and irritability. There are many factors causing stress in the workplace. The quicker you can identify them, the faster you will be able to prevent or cure them.

Excessive workload: When an employee is constantly trying to respect deadlines and feels overwhelmed, it increases the stress level in your workplace. When employees are not able to cope with the demands, it will not only affect their self-esteem but also negatively impact their relationships at work. This can also be caused by a lack of communication between managers and colleagues. When employees are able to freely communicate their concerns and suggestions, they are able to find common ground and avoid unnecessary stress. When your employees have too much work, it keeps them from spending enough time with their family, which can lead to more stress at home and affect their overall performance in the workplace. Make sure employees have enough time to balance their personal and work life, as this will help them be more focused and productive at work.

 

Conflict: When employees from the same company do not get along, it has the potential to give birth to all sorts of stress. It is important for the HR department to make sure they provide assistance in case two or more employees need to resolve their conflicts. – Conflict in the workplace will not only affect their own performance but also the well-being of people around them.

 

Micromanagement: Micromanagement is one of the highest causes of stress in the workplace. When employees are micromanaged it creates tension between them and their supervisors and they feel undervalued. Plus, micromanagement makes employees uncomfortable and unsure about taking initiatives. This will lead to an unhealthy environment full of tension and uncertainty.

RELATED: 

Diagnosed with micromanagement? Here is how you can cure it.

No space for growth: When the company does not provide any space for employee growth and development, it produces stress as they do not feel like they are really advancing in their career and personal goals. This leads to a lack of motivation and sometimes isolation. Employees who do not feel like they have a chance to grow inside the company quickly become disengaged.

Remember that there are ways to reduce stress so that you can increase productivity and create a healthy work environment. Also keep in mind that being at the right company and finding the right job for you will greatly contribute to your overall well-being as an employee. Find the right job today on Shortstints.com

How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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Employed and pregnant : Things you need to know

Pregnancy in the workplace is a greatly discussed subject. While measures have been taken throughout the years for equality in the workplace, there are still some obstacles women face when it comes to certain areas. As a woman, it is not only important to know your rights but you also need to be prepared for the things that are not mention in the “law”.

 

When it comes to pregnancy, many things can be subliminal and taboo. An employer, for example cannot fire a woman because she’s pregnant. However, some employers will try to find discrete ways to hide their discrimination. Some women have reported having been fired because of “the dangerous environment” when in reality, the boss simply did not know how to handle the situation. An employer cannot refuse you a job because you are pregnant except if the job itself will expose you to chemicals that could be harmful for you and the baby. But some recruiters tend to ask illegal questions during interviews.

If you are planning on getting pregnant, here are some ways you can plan ahead so it does not negatively impact your career.

Plan ahead/know your rights

Pregnancies are not always planned. However, if you think you might try to get pregnant in the near future, it is important that you plan ahead. You can start by talking to someone you trust in the HR department to tell them about your plans.

Get informed on your rights as a pregnant employee, how many sick days you are allowed to take during the year and the benefits that are offered for this case. If a company has a policy in place that, for employees with special needs (no matter what these needs may be), the company is also expected to provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant woman who requires special attention (light duty, longer breaks) during her pregnancy. Make sure you know what your rights are ahead of time.

The United States is the only developed country that does not mandate some sort of paid maternity leave. While the Family and Medical Leave Act does require some employers to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to female and male employees for the birth and care of a newborn child, about42% of American workers are not covered by this law.

Respect your obligations

If you want to be treated fairly, it is also important to respect your obligations. There are times when your health might not allow you to work as much as you usually do. However, make sure you identify colleagues who will be able to help out. Be honest about how you feel. Do not hesitate to ask to push back deadlines if you realize you will not be able to finish the work.

Before you can say goodbye to work, you need to plan your maternity leave. About 4 weeks in advance, tell your boss the precise day you expect to stop working and a approximate date that you’ll be back. This will help your team prepare for your leave and see who can take on some of your responsibilities. Let them know how they can be able to contact you (and the time of the day they can contact you of course) in order to communicate important information with you. Truth is, you will have some days where you will probably be able to take care of certain things from home.

Manage your symptoms at work

You could ask to be placed not too far from the bathroom if this is something you need to use often during your pregnancy.

Remember everybody knows what symptoms comes with being pregnant. It is not a bad thing to prepare your bosses and colleagues. However, it is up to you to communicate clearly so that everybody knows what to expect (even to expect the unexpected).

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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These 3 things are keeping you from being a great employee

 

Image found on LinkedIn

There are many things that can cause you to not be the employee you could be. Your work environment, anger, frustration…they can all contribute to it. However, it is important to identify the problem and solve it before it becomes a burden that steals your joy and motivation.

These 3 things might be keeping you from being the best version of yourself as an employee

 

You do not have a sense of purpose inside the company

One of the best ways to be happy with your job is to love what you do or to find a sense of purpose in doing what you do. If you do not find the “why” you do what you do, it will be easy for you to get bored and get into a routine while feeling empty inside. This is why it is important to pick a career in a field for which you have at least a minimum of interest. Doing what you like or solving a problem that truly bothers you will increase your energy and productivity. You will not be content with doing the bare minimum but you will thrive to exceed what is expected from you. This is what separates OK employees from great employees.

 

You take things too personally

Sometimes, your boss will not be in the mood and sometimes colleagues will be difficult to work with. In order to be a good employee, it is crucial to know when not to take things too personally. The company will go through rough seasons that will cause the team to be tensed. It is important to know when to separate yourself from your feelings in order to get the job done. You won’t be able to control everything and sometimes it is ok to simply let it pass.

Also read:

How to feel relaxed and energized at work?

You do not feel valued and appreciated

Yes, it is important not to take things too personally but there are also times when your work environment can affect your general well-being and therefore, your performance. There are many factors that might keep you from being a great employee. First of all, if your boss and supervisors and colleagues are always disrespecting you, they’re actively talking over you during meetings, ignoring you in the office, it will inevitably drag your motivation down. If you are dealing with difficult pears, you can either work things out and avoid conflicts or choose to leave this environment

Also read:

3 simple tricks to help you deal with difficult bosses

Looking for a job that will leave you fulfilled and happy? Search today on Shortstints.com

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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5 Questions to ask yourself before giving up on your startup

The road to success is not easy. When starting a business, you will experience setbacks and discouragement along the road but it is important to keep going with your eyes fixed on the prize.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you feel like giving up:

Are you following your dreams?

Did you start this business with a purpose in mind? Is this purpose linked to the core of who you are? If you started this because you wanted to follow a dream deep inside you, then you should remind yourself of this when times get hard. List the reasons that motivated you to start in the first place, put them somewhere you can see them and read them every day.

Will it be worth it in the long run?

Sometimes, we are just too impatient when it comes to starting a business. We want quick results when we should really be focused on putting in the work and waiting patiently for harvest season which comes in due time. Even though you might not see quick results, the work might bear fruits in the long run. Ask yourself if you’ve given your business time to grow. Did you invest wisely in your startup? Do you see potential for the long run? If you do, then you should not give up. Instead, focus on the big picture.

Also Read:

How to start your business with very little money

Can you change your strategy?

Maybe you are doing something wrong. Do not be so focused on one way of doing things that you close your eyes to other possibilities. A businessmen needs to be flexible and open. The market changes, trends changes and sometimes, your idea might just need to use a different strategy to penetrate the market.

Have you given it your all?

Good things rarely come easy. Have you really given it your all? Are do you need to try one last time? Do you know how many times Thomas Edison felt discouraged before coming up with the electric light bulb? How many time Michael Jordan felt like a looser before becoming one of the world’s best basketball player? Sometimes, what it takes is just someone who refuses to give up.

Is it costing you your well-being?

If this is costing you your well-being, ask yourself what you could do differently to make the situation better. Maybe you need to delegate a little, or maybe you started too many things at once. It is important to have a work life balance even when starting your business. Yes, starting a business requires work but you also need to stay healthy in order to do the work!

RELATED: 3 THINGS TO DO WHEN NOBODY BELIEVES IN YOU

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints.

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How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?

With everything happening in the world, employees are feeling the effects of anxiety and stress more than ever before. With the pressure to make ends meet, the changing economy and the stress of everyday life, employees can find themselves struggling to keep a balance between their peace of mind and delivering great results at work. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress a top priority.

CREATE SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Find ways to bring your team together in a fun environment by playing a game, inviting a motivational speaker or going out for lunch. You could even plan some meeting outside of the office! The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity, creativity and collaboration.

PROVIDE A RELAXATION SPACE

It could be a room where employees can have time to breathe, sip some tea and relax. Make sure it has some relaxing music and even some snacks. Many employers avoid doing this as they fear it will make employees lazy and less productive. However, it is better to find ways to monitor the time they spend in the room than not providing a chill out space for them to decompress.

ALSO READ: 4 ways to feel relaxed and energized at work

COMMUNICATE

The lack of communication can create many damages in the workplace. Take the time to talk to your employees. As busy as you might be, it is crucial to make some time to listen to what they have to say. This will stress in the workplace. Also, communicate your vision and ideas with them. Open communication is critical in leadership . As an employer, it is important that you take the time to keep your team abreast of the latest developments and departmental changes.

ALLOW FLEXI-TIME AND REMOTE WORKING

Allowing employees to work remotely, or even on a flexible time scheme is proven to increase productivity. Not only does it shows that you trust them, by allowing them to manage their own time, but you are also taking away added stress such as child care considerations from working parents. Just make sure you use open communication to manage this flexibility.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

As a leader its critical you keep a lid on your own emotions; don’t let negativity, anger or stress rub off on your employees. You have more power than you think, as your mood can affect your employees. Practice what you preach and ensure you give yourself enough time to de-stress at the end of the working day. In the mornings smile to your employees in order to set the tone for the day.

 

As an employer, your employees well-being is an important indicator of your success. Find out more ways to keep your employees happy on Shortstints.com

 

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4 things to do on Sundays to have better Mondays

A Sunday well spend brings a week full of content

Making sure you spend your Sunday well will set the tone for your week. There are things you can do on Sundays to start your week right.

Grocery shopping for the week

Something as simple as meal prep will make a huge difference in your life. take some time to go to the grocery store over the week-end. Having tons of pre-made munchies for the week means you won’t have to dip into a convenience store every time you’re hungry. This will also help you feel healthier!

Filling your agenda

Start your week with a good planing. This will give you a sense of direction.  Make a list of all that needs to be done but do not forget to prioritize. Make sure you put unfinished work on top of the list and keep your list realistic.

Take time for yourself

Taking time for yourself and your loved ones is very important. This will allow you to keep a healthy work-life balance. Make sure you recharge your batteries before the new week.

Treat yourself

Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself a little! Take a long hot bath, order delivery from your favourite restaurant, or watch a few episodes of that Netflix show. You’ll be more productive during the week if you feel good.

 

What do you do on Sundays to have better Mondays?

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5 Easy ways to make money on week-ends

 

A little extra cash never hurts right? Here are 5 ways you can make money over the week-end:

Do Data Entry

There are job opportunities that allow you to do data entry or transcription work from home in your spare time. Just make sure you check with the Better Business Bureau first or look for company complaints online that warn of scams.

Recycle

Recycling is a great family activities for week-ends. Plus, it keeps the environment clean! Grab a trash bag and collect cans and glass bottles for recycling.

Rent Out Your House

Consider leaving your home for the weekend and rent it out to someone else. Airbnb is a great platform if you are considering this option!

Ask for Overtime

Ask your employer if there is any work that can be done over the weekend. Catching up on work tasks may be legitimate reasons for you to earn extra cash on your days off.

Garage sell

Garage sells are a great weekend activity that will allow you to make some money while cleaning up you house! Consider this option if you want to make some extra cash in your free time.

 

The options are not limited when it comes to making some extra ash and staying on top of things…yes, even on week-ends. Find the best options for you!

 

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5 reasons why you are still poor in 2017

 

Wondering why you seem to remain poor as your income increases? Truth is, it is not only about how much money you make but about how well you are able to manage your money. Many people are still not reaching their financial goals even though the amount of money entering their pockets seems to increase. Why is this? What are the bad habits that keep you poor?

You spend more as your income increases

Are you the type to upgrade your Iphone as soon as your pay check increases? If you are guilty of this, it might be the reason you still do not feel like you are on your way to financial independence even though your income increases. If you continuously raise your expenditure along with any increase in your income (or even without it), it would be hard to have any real savings.

You do not think about the future

Not thinking about the future is a mistake many of us make. We live day by day without thinking about a saving plan for the tougher days. It is never too early to save a portion of your income, no matter how low or high your income is. Saving will provide a plan B for unexpected life events (which are inevitable) and avoid you spending all of your money at once.

You do not keep a record of your money

keeping a journal for all your income and expenses will help you have a much better idea for controlling your finances. Keeping a record will allow you to take a step back and identify the things you spend too much money on. It will also help you identify ways to save up more. For instance, by keeping records, you might realize that you spend way too much money on gas. This might lead you to invest in a bike that will help you save up a lot of money while staying in shape.

You ignore the elephant in the room

Debts do not just disappear because you are very good at ignoring them. First of all, make paying your debt a top-of-the-list item on your agenda. Work out a plan for this and stick to it, no matter what. No matter how much your income increases, you will end up spending all of your money on interests if you do not take care of your debts.

You do not budget

It is important to know your daily needs and budget for them. Failing to budget is setting up yourself for failure. Budgeting has a huge impact on how you manage your money. Make sure you do not always cover your basic needs but also leave space for leisure and things that make you happy. Being too strict on your budget will increase your chances of slip ups. Give yourself the luxury to enjoy things in moderation.

 

Looking for more ways to reach financial independence? ALSO READ > 4 Ways to be debt-free in 2017
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Stressed at work? Learn how to cope with it and be a happier employee

In the work environment, we mostly all have experienced stress at some point. We all fall under the pressure of one or many of these factors:

  • Low salaries.
  • Unclear performance expectations.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.

Stress at work is inevitable but not impossible to manage. It is all about learning how to cope with your mistakes at work, and taking the necessary measures to limit your stress level.

There are ways to help you feel more relaxed and energized at work:

Identify your stress factors

It is important to put the finger on what triggers your stress. Is your supervisor asking too much of you? Do you feel unappreciated by your colleagues? Most often, we do not take the time to identify the problem and make a mountain out of a problem that can be quickly fixed. Take the time to keep a journal and note the things that cause you stress throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to find solutions that will directly attack the problem and bring effective solutions.

  • If your workload is bringing you stress, maybe you need an agenda
  • If your low salary is stressing you out, it might be time to discuss with your supervisor and HR and discuss a raise
  • If you feel misunderstood, maybe planing a meeting to make sure expectations are clear will help out.

Take the time to know yourself and your environment so you can take the appropriate steps.

Be strict about boundaries

Is your stress level out of control because you have failed to set the proper boundaries? Today, it is easy to work close to 24 hours because it is so easy to work from home and  from our mobile phones. We keep working beyond regular working hours, reply to emails and messages while we are in bed and should be communicating with our significant other, wrap up some work instead of enjoying our meals…. Take the time to set boundaries between your work life and personal life. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.

Bring some changes to your work environment

The environment you work in plays a very important role in the way you feel at work. Is your desk stressing you out? Are your papers and documents laying around everywhere? It might be a sign that you need a clean up! Decompressing your space will help you clear out the atmosphere so that your ideas can flow more freely.

  • Start throwing away unnecessary things
  • Place your documents in folders
  • Add a personal touch to make you feel more at ease (Family pictures, flowers, scented candles)
  • Have some soft music playing in the background

Identify someone you can talk to

Do not keep all your worries to yourself! Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available: counselling, support programs and more. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified. (see point 1)

Your work life does not have to be draining and unpleasant. Yes there will be challenges along the way but it is important to do your part in order to make sure you keep a healthy work and personal life balance!

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