The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be. Focusing on where we can improve and making a plan to get there is imperative. Here are 3 steps to getting your year off to a great start.
The new year is a great time to get organized. Start with your desk. If your desk is messy, it will keep you from being productive. Keep only what’s necessary on your desk such as a to-do list and the current project you are working on. Create a filing system for everything else so that you can work without the distractions of everything else.
Once your desk is organized it will help you focus better on your tasks at hand and motivate you to organize other areas.
Once you’ve gotten organized, set some small goals. Goal setting can be intimidating. Who wants to set some monumental goals only to never achieve them? You may have a big goal but you may find it easier to break it down into small daily goals. Once you have those set, you can add weekly goals and monthly goals.
Take some time and think about the different areas of your life (self-care, marriage, kids, health, fitness, career, spiritual, social, etc.) Now set aside a few minutes to set some small, achievable goals. Next turn those into a daily to-do list.
By setting monthly goals, you won’t be overwhelmed. And you won’t feel like quitting if you have a small set back. It’s all about making progress not expecting perfection.
If you aren’t familiar with time blocking, it is a way to schedule your time for maximum productivity. You take your to-do list and create blocks of time on your calendar to complete those tasks. It reduces interruptions and allows you to focus on that one task until its done. You can start by setting up one day for time blocking which may consist of a 30 minute block for email, one hour for social media, and a two-to-four hour block for writing or a project that you want to complete. The idea is to focus exclusively on the task at hand so you are not starting and stopping and wasting time. If you’d like more insight on time blocking, watch this video.
So there are your 3 steps to an amazing new year in 2019!
Success looks different for everyone, but it’s something we all strive for. Whether success is a career goal, or a certain way of flexible living for you and your family, you can take specific steps to get there. With a clear plan and a few tips, you can achieve the success you’re seeking.
What does success look like to you? Just because someone you know feels successful in their life, doesn’t mean you ought to achieve the same things just because. This can lead you down a path of striving for things that truly don’t mean much to you.
How do you enjoy spending your time? What would a successful life look like to you? Take some time to write these thoughts down. Once you know what you’re striving for, it makes it easier to prioritize and eliminate those things that don’t fit on your path to success.
Goals are always very important and very motivating! Start by breaking down your vision of success into achievable goals. For example, if one of your definitions of success is more flexibility in your workday, you might strive to work from home. Goal #1 would be finding work from home sites, Goal #2 could be applying to at least 3 jobs per week, and so on.
Working on yourself first is the best way to gain momentum and improve your outlook. A positive outlook is always conducive to greater success! Start by doing what you really want to be doing, as much as possible, even if it’s on the side at first. For example, you could start a side job or business, or paint or do another hobby on the side.
Another way to work on yourself and make yourself happy first is to work on self improvement, if that’s your thing. This can look like a spiritual practice, getting deeper in your faith, meditation, etc.
According to Time.com, “socially isolated people are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those with a solid social circle.” Despite your outlook on what success means, maintaining a healthy social life is key.
When you’re focusing heavily on your goals and successes - career or personal - you can start to neglect your social world. It’s a really important part of health and life, and may even be another key to success. Socializing is another part of networking as well, which can lead to job opportunities, business ventures, and so on.
The smartest, most successful people are lifelong learners. You can start a book habit - one new book per week (or month), depending on what works in your schedule.
Take time to read news or pursue an interesting hobby on a daily basis. Take interest in new things. Subscribe to information magazines and publications. Take a local course. Always work to grow your knowledge base! You never know what will strike a cord, change your path, or simply boost your perspective on your way to success.
Leadership is a hot topic these days, and if you’re a boss or manager, it’s very important to be the best leader possible. There’s something to be said for effective leadership - it produced happier, healthier employees, keeps retention rates high, and encourages your employers to work more effectively.
Although there are so many ways in which one can be a great leader, we’ve compiled some of our best, most effective ways to do so. Read along for our tips and advice to be a successful leader!
So many of us listen with the intent to respond, instead of listening for the sake of listening. Whether receiving a complaint, listening to a client issue, or simply discussing something mundane, it’s important to be a good listener as a leader.
When your employers feel heard, they’re more likely to keep you in the loop and trust you. According to a study by IBM, “83% of employees experienced a more positive work environment when they felt there was trust in their managers/organization.” It’s clear that trust is important, and listening is one way to gain and maintain trust within your organization.
Whether positive or negative, feedback is highly important! If employees have no idea if they’re working effectively or not, they can’t improve very easily. You can give negative feedback in a positive, constructive way that shows your employees where they can improve. It’s never helpful to put employees down or compare employees to each other.
On the other side, employees need encouragement when they’re producing positive work and ideas. If no feedback is ever given in this space, they start to feel underappreciated. Take note of the work quality of your employees - the good and the bad. Speak up and help your employees improve or feel encouraged.
Supervisors who are never around, behave inappropriately, or ask employees to do things they will not do are not successful leaders. It’s highly important that you lead by example in attitude, work effectiveness, and leadership ability.
If you hope to encourage a workplace that works in harmony and produces great work, it has to start with you. Your employees will feel far more inspired to bring their best to work when they see their leader as a beacon of example. When you also do what you’re asking them to do, you’re also seen as more fair, trustworthy, and hardworking.
There’s nothing worse than a boss who doesn’t communicate! The work environment truly starts to suffer, morale is lowered, and business organization starts to drop. As a leader, you’re in charge and responsible, and this begins with communication.
Keep your employees in the loop when you won’t be available, communicate all kinds of feedback, and encourage effective meetings and conversations. When issues pop up with clients or products, take the time to communicate about them as soon as possible. Keeping tabs on all items and having those conversations will keep your business moving much more smoothly.
Being a successful leader takes a lot of vigilance and effort. It’s a fulfilling job that has the opportunity to bring out the best in your employees and business. Take the time to build up your skillset as a leader, and you’ll find that you have engaged employees who truly want to do great work for your company!
It’s something that every business owner dreads in today’s digital world - the negative review. Between Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other directory sites, reviews are everywhere - and they’re very important. We do our best work to avoid the negative ones, but sometimes customers aren’t satisfied, whether rightfully so or not. Although negative reviews can and do often happen, the way we respond makes all the difference.
Since we can’t stop negative reviews from happening, read along for some best tips to handle them effectively.
It can be tough to want to respond to harsh words about your business, but it’s very necessary. Responding to the negative review shows that you care about your customer’s experience and your reputation. Future clients and customers put a lot of stock in online reviews these days, so it’s important to have a response presence.
It’s always better to have negative reviews with responses versus unhappy customers that appear to have been unattended to.
Although responding to negative reviews is crucial, it’s also nice to respond to the positive ones! Give your raving fans some attention too, and show them that you appreciate that they took the time to give you a glowing review.
When you see a negative review, you probably feel angry, hurt, or disappointed - or all three! It would be easy to respond with emotion and anger in the moment, but that won’t fix the problem or make you feel any better.
Once you spot the review, take a minute to calm down. Take a deep breath, step away if you need to, and come back when you feel that you’re able to respond calmly and rationally. Focus on the points that the unhappy customer made, instead of seeing it as a personal attack on you and your business. Express understanding and acknowledge the complaint, while taking the next steps to listen and fix it.
If your customer’s unhappiness is fixable, do your best to fix it. Sometimes, they just want to be heard and your response can do that.
Can you offer a coupon? A free meal if you own a food establishment? A consultation to address their concerns and move forward? Offering something small can make a world of difference, especially if your offering is based on their specific concern.
In the case of most negative reviews, the customer just wants their frustrations to be heard. If you can offer something of value, do so! Remove emotion from your responses and address each review with concern, understanding, and professionalism.
We all hear about the elusive “work-life balance” concept. It’s the place where our careers and personal lives become balanced. We don’t feel overworked, we have enough time for friends and family, and so on. While this is a great concept in theory, and one we should strive for, it can be quite difficult to make it happen.
Since reducing stress and making more time for those things that are important to you is truly crucial, read along for some of our best tips in increasing your work-life balance, and hopefully, your quality of life.
When you figure out what’s most important in your life, it becomes easier to figure out where to place your time. If you’re working very hard to advance your career, perhaps that’s your priority for the next six months. On the other hand, if you’ve been pulling 60 hour weeks and your priority is family time, you may have to re-evaluate a bit. Everyone will have different priorities, and they will often change depending on the season of your life.
To start to create that feeling of satisfaction and balance in your life, start by examining priorities and place more of your time there.
It’s important to unplug when you aren’t in “work” mode! And it should be noted that work mode should not be 24/7. This can be difficult as work from home moms, but it’s a necessity in gaining balance.
Take time for yourself: schedule something exciting, keep weekends for friends, family, errands, and fun, and generally create space for the good things in life. Yes, work is important and a huge part of our lives, but if that’s all you do, you’ll quickly feel out of balance. Don’t feel guilty about making yourself a priority; you’ll be a better mom, friend, and employee for it!
Are you spending more time than you thought on work tasks? Keep track of your time for a while - both business and personal. Once you see some patterns forming, create a solid schedule. This will allow you to keep things in order and allow you to see where your free time is. WHen you know where you’re spending too much (or not enough) time, you can readjust.
A lot of the work of establishing a solid work-life balance is in seeing where your time is going. If you don’t keep track for a while, how will you know? Put in some of the effort in the beginning and you can truly see where your time is being spent.
For most people, a large part of work-life balance will include relaxation, family and friends. You still have to have fun, even if your current priority is work or career advancement. It’s crucial to stay social, especially if you work from home. Keep those social appointments and work them into your busy schedule whenever possible!
It’s important to stick to your guns regarding vacations, time off, and breaks. Vacations and breaks don’t need to be elaborate, but there needs to be a definitive break from work on a consistent basis.
In our current culture, it’s easy to put these things off because so much needs to be done. Fortunately, these things will still be there when you return! This isn’t to say that a great work ethic isn’t a wonderful thing, but too much of anything isn’t useful.
Work towards a balanced sense of work and life by following the tips above. When you see where your time is going, focus on your priorities, and stay committed to what’s best for you, you’ll find these things are much more balanced in your life.
While we’re still in the middle of winter, we can definitely see the light of spring! Although many places have had a very mild winter, it’s still a more cozy and chilly time of year. Additionally, people tend to suffer from bad moods and darker days during this season. We often talk about spring cleaning, but how can we refresh ourselves in the winter?
We’ve compiled some tips and ideas to press on throughout the rest of this winter season.
If you’re able to free up the time, schedule some time for yourself. Whether you enjoy a nice spa day, massage, or a new yoga class, select something that promotes relaxation.
This is the time of year of sickness and feeling a bit rundown, so it’s imperative to keep yourself relaxed and pampered.
Look into a new office supply or something fun to look at in your office. This is small, but adding a new touch, paint color, or item to your workspace (or home!) can really brighten up your mood.
Another option is to re-evaluate your furniture situation and look into something that will make you more comfortable. Finding something new and exciting can also be about function, and it’s important that you stay healthy and happy at your workstation.
Take a look at how you’re currently working - your schedule, to do lists, family scheduling, and so on. Do some research here and look at some different options if you’re feeling a bit stuck. You may find that another option is more productive than what you’re currently doing.
‘Tis the season for illness! Even though we’re moving into spring, there’s still a lot of cold and flu going around. Do your best to boost immunity and increase your family’s health as we move into these final weeks of winter. Whether you prefer supplements, exercise, eating healthy, or lots of fluids, amp up the efforts to stay healthy.
In addition to relaxation, scheduling something fun can keep your spirits high this time of year.
Even if you can’t always get away on a caribbean vacation, you can plan a smaller trip or weekend outing with your family. You can also look into setting up a few weeks of play dates and lunches with friends, or scheduling a dinner party for an upcoming weekend.
Spring is coming very soon, and it’s best that we enjoy and utilize these final weeks of winter. Soon, we’ll be enjoying time outside and will get busier with schedules. Use this time of year to refresh your mind, body, spirit, and work life and you’ll be ready to tackle the next season!
Between being a working mom and juggling home, family, and other obligations, weekdays can be a mad rush of timing and scheduling issues. It’s important to keep the peace as much as possible, but that’s tricky when there’s so much going on Monday thru Friday. Read along for some best practices in saving time during the bustling workweek!
Schedule and routines are helpful for everyone involved. Start by setting a general weekday schedule that’s appropriate for the whole family. Write out a list or calendar that features everything that needs to be done in a typical week. From here, create your schedule for what needs done, who needs to be where, and where free time is located.
When you have a schedule that is fairly the same week-to-week, it’s much easier to handle spontaneous changes, as well as find the time that you can be more productive or spend with friends and family. When you don’t know where your time is going, it can feel chaotic and things can begin to get missed.
Weekdays are characterized by work and a lot of running around, so cooking can be a time-consuming process. To eliminate some of the time spent prepping and shopping during the week, ensure that this is done on the weekends, or a specifically designated day.
If you have several free hours on Wednesdays, maybe that’s your time to shop and food prep. Find out what’s best for you and your schedule. Take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to plan your meals for the week. Utilize Pinterest and other cooking sites to find recipes or ideas, then build your shopping list and get everything done in one trip. It’s also helpful to spend a few hours prepping the food, or at least the items that can be done ahead of time. This eliminates a lot of day-to-day thinking about meal prep, and can also save money!
Plan your weekends! Although weekends are typically used for family, friends, and spontaneous adventure, they can also help you a lot during the workweek. Spend an hour or so on the weekends to set up for the week ahead.
Create your to-do lists, schedules, meal plans, and anything else that is part of the forecast for the upcoming week. This is a great mental exercise as well, as it keeps things much more calm and organized.
Sometimes saving time involves others that are available to help you. Set up a carpool for your kids, which will give you more time to work or run errands during the week. There are also meal exchanges, play dates, and other family set ups that give your family a break during the week. It can be helpful to look into some of these options, especially on your busiest days. Babysitters and caretakers are also incredibly useful to free up your time during the week. Although it’s an investment, typically your time will be worth it to ensure that you’re able to get done what needs to be done during that time.
Facebook is an important and useful tool for promoting and sharing as your business. Whether you’re a business owner, post content for other companies, or simply promote your services via social media, using Facebook effectively is key.
Read along for some top tips to ensure that you’re utilizing Facebook in the most effective ways.
Consistency is key, and it’s the way to keep your readers engaged with your brand and its content. If you’re posting very sporadically, no one gets to know you. Try to avoid posting five times per week, followed by once per month, followed by 3 times per day. Get into a routine that suits your content and schedule, and make sure that it’s realistic.
To start, figure out how much time you have to create content. If it’s one hour per week, determine how long it takes to create each post. You’ll also want to factor in consistency here and determine if this will be feasible as an ongoing schedule. From here, create a content schedule that includes the content that will be posted with the date and time. If you’re able to do this weeks or months in advance - even better! Do what you need to do to establish a routine that is consistent and doable for your schedule.
Your posts can’t simply be informative, they must also look nice. Articles can simply use the attached photo or a stock image, but your quotes, tips, and customized posts need to look their best and match your branding. Facebook is a very visual platform, and posts containing graphics often per
You can utilize programs such as InDesign or Illustrator to create graphic posts, or simply use free online tools like Canva, Pablo, or PicMonkey. These sites allow you to upload images, add text and/or shapes, and so on. You’re able to create stunning posts in a matter of minutes, and it’s much better than constantly borrowing graphics from others.
If you have a business, your first reaction in using Facebook for business is likely for sales. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best course of action for social media. It’s tempting, especially with a large, engaged audience, but it’s not ideal. This doesn’t mean you can never feature your products and services, but they should always include the benefits to your prospects. Additionally, you’ll still want to keep these posts to a minimum.
Your goal, in using Facebook for business, is establishing a presence, as well as establishing yourself as an expert in your line of work. Provide a generous amount of valuable information to your readers, and they will realize that you have a lot of knowledge in your area. You can also provide tips, advice, product usage information, benefits of using your type of services, inspirational quotes and information, and much more. Keep your information varied and interesting, but ensure that 75-80% is valuable versus salesy.
When you do post something that could lead to a sale, your audience will be more likely to receive this favorably, since you are the expert and they’ve valued your free information so much so far.