The typical American worker is stretched too thin. We have more to do in a day than anyone could possibly accomplish. We feel besieged by an ever-evolving list of action items that drain our intellectual and emotional resources, and our time. Here's how to reclaim control of time at work, as well as work smarter and maybe not so darn hard.
In a perfect world, we'd be able to walk away from less-than-awesome jobs, preferably after making a well-scripted scene that somehow has no lasting repercussions for our professional futures. In real life, however, being able to ditch an unwanted job at a moment's notice is as rare as a meet-cute on public transit with the love of your life. It's the stuff of romantic comedies, in other words. If you want to improve your life immediately, your best bet isn't ditching your job; it's learning how to make your life better while you sneakily make long-term plans to secure new employment.
Doodling, an act as old as note-taking itself, is better understood than it once was. It turns out, there may be some real benefits to this activity that could make you more creative, productive, and focused. Here's why the practice is gaining acceptance and popularity in more and more workplaces.
When's the last time you wrote a letter by hand? If you're like many of us, it was probably the last time you had to write an actual thank-you note -- your wedding, perhaps, or a childhood birthday. If you are already short on time, the idea of adding such a labor-intensive project to your to-do list can seem overwhelming. But taking 10 minutes a week to send at least one handwritten letter can provide a networking boost that email can't offer.
If only we could combine all those five-minute segments of time while we're on hold or idling in a meeting room, waiting for the other participants to appear, we could knock another item off our to-do lists almost every day. (Or, at least, take lunch away from our desks now and then.) Failing major changes to the way time and space work, the best we can do is take advantage of those minutes where we find them.
What have you done for your career lately? Chances are, not enough. Much like a relationship, your career also needs proper care and attention in order for it to flourish. If you're guilty of being neglectful, here are five creative ways to help you rekindle the fire and fall back in love with your career.
There is a lot of talk these days about balancing our work lives and our family time. Parents are torn between professional and personal pulls and too often feel as though one priority is pushing another onto a back burner. Also, family dynamics have changed in some big ways in recent decades alongside increased pressure for workers. These days, both fathers and mothers value a high level of involvement in raising children, and often both work full-time. We are just beginning to explore how these changes have impacted working fathers.
Is your office a den of negativity? If you're constantly complaining to co-workers about how much you hate your job, looking for any and every excuse to get away from your desk, and gossiping more than talking about work projects, the problem might be you. Find out if you possess any or all of the 13 most common traits of a disengaged and toxic employee, and change your ways before you tank your career.
Live by technology, die by technology -- or at least, be forced to deal with inconveniences created by the very tools that were intended to liberate us from extra work. For an example, look no further than email, which can save precious hours of face-to-face meeting time and provide an instant record of conversations, but also become a time-suck in its own right. Here are a few of the biggest problems with the productivity tool everyone loves to hate, and how to overcome them.
Have you ever noticed that you hit the wall at work around the same time every day? It's not just because you had a big lunch, or didn't get enough sleep last night. Some times of day are just better for productivity than others. It might have to with our circadian rhythms. Read on to see what times of the day your body and mind are most alert, and when you just need to call it quits.
Do you listen to music at work? A recent study suggests that you might be doing more than just drowning out your neighbor's incessant chatter. You could be relieving stress, boosting productivity, and even improving your mood, all of which can make you a better, happier, more efficient worker. If you still need to convince the boss that you're not goofing off every time you don those headphones, consider the facts.
Changing jobs is a natural part of building a career in today's world. Many things motivate our desire to try something new, including necessity, desire for new challenges, and the need to make more money. But, for some, there is more to these professional shifts. If you sometimes feel like you're in the wrong profession altogether, you understand. How does this happen, and how did you get here?
If you're a reasonable person -- and let's assume that you are -- you probably don't expect to love every single one of your co-workers. On the other hand, unless you're a terrible pessimist, or having a really rough patch in your career, you probably also don't expect to hate them all, either. Now, a new study argues that perhaps your most valuable co-worker is the one who inspires both positive and negative emotions in somewhat equal measure: the office frenemy, if you will. Here's why you need the folks you (occasionally) love to hate.
Working in groups is part of everyday life, both personally and professionally. For instance, a family must work as a unit to maintain an orderly household, and, likewise, professionals must utilize teamwork to accomplish company goals. So, what makes a group successful? One study found the secret ingredient: the more women, the better.
We're all looking for ways to improve our productivity, and if it helps with that pesky resolution to get into shape, so much the better. So, when you read about treadmill desks, you might just find yourself jumping up and down with joy. Unfortunately, the productivity end of the equation may have more mixed results than you hoped for.
You like your job, maybe even love it, but you don't like going to work. You feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done, and you are frustrated by the lack of time you're able to devote to the most crucial tasks. You feel less autonomous than you'd like, and you don't get the appreciation or acknowledgement you deserve. Some days it feels like all of your hard work isn't making much of a difference, for you or your company. And, worst of all, you're exhausted. Trying to face a day of work, (especially one that's full of so many challenges), with so little energy, can be a terrible feeling. So what's going on?