Archive for July, 2014

Got Summertime Sluggishness? Wake Up and Try This!

July 23, 2014

With temperatures soaring, days lengthening and folks posting pics Summer season - two chairs on beach of cool vacations on FaceBook, productivity takes a 20% dive in the average workplace this time of year.

So how do you avoid the seasonal sluggish thing in these lazy hazy crazy days of summer?

Some professionals are taking time out to regroup and refresh. Tackling to-do lists that get ignored in busier times such as updating websites, creating a plan for better work/life balance, catching up with friends, exercising (tennis anyone?), host dinner parties, sharpening skills with further education, trying something new to be revved up for fall. As a motivational speaker I’m taking time out to create new programs and networking with peers.

Cartoon - yoga

You can do this, right?

One company in Florida uses summertime to boost teamwork and collaboration by closing at 1 p.m. on Fridays, catering a two hour lunch on Thursdays and having the whole staff take a yoga class once a week.

A single Mom entrepreneur takes a vacation with her daughter that would not be possible any other time. She packs a journal because she says “with rest comes creative ideas” for business.

So what are YOU going to do to beat the summertime blues?

I’m thinking about dance classes……….Cartoon image - couple dancing tango
in between tennis, of course.

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How to Come Back to Work After Vacation without being Miserable

July 16, 2014

Folders work pileWork after a long vacation is like Monday on steroids.
Here’s how to tackle the work that’s piled up–even your overflowing inbox.
Vacations are great, but they exact a price. You come back to such a pile of work that you wonder if going away was worthwhile.The answer is probably yes, but even so, there are ways to make re-entry less traumatic.
1. Plan ahead.
Managing the post-vacation plunge starts before your vacation does. You may be tempted to pile on meetings and projects as soon as you get back to make up for lost time, but a better approach is to stagger the catch-up work over a longer period. At least don’t aim to do it all on the first day. Accept your limitations. A lot of stuff can wait.
2. Set boundaries you can live with.
I work for myself, so no one ever “covers” for my vacations. That’s why I don’t see anything wrong with working for a few hours, especially over longer trips. If you really need to get away, or if vacation work upsets the people you’re vacationing with, then disconnect. If that doesn’t describe you, then maybe every other day you get up early, and work for half an hour on only the most urgent matters. Then you disconnect for the next 47.5 hours. That trade off can make the post vacation plunge less plunge-like.
3. Come back before you absolutely have to.
If you’re going away for a week (or two!), there’s a lot to be said for returning Saturday instead of Sunday. Not only do you get a chance to unpack, catch up on the laundry, and sleep off jet-lag, you can do a few hours of work on Sunday night. Getting a grip on the week’s schedule, and triaging your inbox, can help you feel more on top of things.
4. Keep the out-of-office message on.
Speaking of that inbox, if you’ve created an out-of-office message for your vacation, keep it on for an extra workday. Sure, the people sitting next to you know you’re there, but there’s no need for the world to figure that out. An extra day gives you space to get things sorted out without new expectations piling on. Of course, you can also just . . .
5. Delete everything.
This technique is only for the brave, but you could just make a quick skim of the inbox stack-up, flag a handful of messages you do want to read, and delete everything else. Chances are, if it’s still important, someone will follow up with you. And if they don’t, you can just miss an opportunity. Getting to take a real vacation may be worth the trade off.
6. Schedule something fun after work.
The first day back can feel like a slog. Plan something you genuinely enjoy for that first post-work evening–even if it’s just watching a favorite TV show–so you have something to look forward to. It’s not quite as good as a vacation, but it’s not a bad way to end the day, either.
Written by Laura Vanderkam nationally known writer and blogger for Fast Company.

 

Why You Need to be Like the World’s Favorite Clay Boy

July 9, 2014

Who doesn’t love Gumby? Gumby with arms in air
Children love his adventures,
adults love the art form and
people everywhere love his kind heart and good nature.

Flexibility and Gumby are synonomous.

Last week I got a call at 9 a.m. from a distressed man who said the motivational speaker he had booked for his company’s quarterly executive meeting was stuck on a plane in Mexico and couldn’t make it. Could I fill in for him and deliver a 45 minute keynote after lunch that day? And by the way, we can’t afford your full fee.

No worries, said I.

With no time to prep or customize we lunched together so he could brief me on his organization Uchi Restaurants and explain the purpose of the meeting. The group consisted of managers, chefs and corporate executives from Austin and Houston.

Piano cartoon mouse playingWe talked about HOW TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF WORK PERFORMANCE using the same principles that it took for me to master the piano:  Passion, Persistence, Attitude, People, Focus and since I included the company’s core values the young (and very cute) guy that booked me was over-the-moon happy. Whew!

 
In today’s competitive job market we need to be flexible with a ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to help out.

AHA Indiana - Theresa acknowledging audience applauseBeing a GOOD team member is about collaboration. Being a GREAT team member means going above and beyond what you’re asked to do. Why does it matter?

Effective teamwork is crucial to any organization’s success.

And let’s face it, the bottom line is what pays YOUR bills.

Gumby is one smart piece of clay.

I wonder if he’s single…..?