Practice these holiday stress reducers so you don’t just survive the season, but enjoy this special time of the year.
- Schedule “you” time for at least 15-30 minutes each day doing something that you enjoy.
- Just say “No”. No excuses necessary.
- Ask family members which traditions they really enjoy, then think about altering those traditions to better suit today’s busy lifestyle.
- Don’t buy into bigger is better. Whether shopping for a gift, creating a warm evening for friends or cooking or baking, think of ways to simplify.
- Schedule your other activities around your workout routines.
- Get to bed at your usual time or earlier.
- Eat properly. Don’t use the holidays and stress as a reason to over eat.
- Although some people believe alcohol decreases your stress, it is only a temporary solution.
- Cut down your gift giving list. If you have way too many people to buy gifts for this year, try having a family, friend or work gift draw.
From job interviews to strategy sessions, it’s important to make a good impression in any meeting. Making a good impression starts with careful planning and preparation. So, here are a few tips to help you get ready for your next meeting:
Always be punctual. This way, you won’t have to catch up following a meeting and you won’t waste time on irrelevant pre-meeting discussions.
Confirm if your attendance is mandatory. You may have received an invitation out of protocol or courtesy, or you may be able to send a representative.
Have to leave a meeting early? Let people know at the start of the meeting so your departure is not disruptive.
Layout any materials you need for the meeting before it gets underway to prevent unnecessary interruptions.
Keep all materials related to any meeting organized in a labelled file folder or binder so you can find the documents you need when you want them.
Ask if there is any background or related material available for you to review prior to the meeting. This will allow you to focus on the agenda at hand.
Help keep the meeting on track by offering to take notes or by occasionally recording the time on a blackboard.
There is always the potential for delays or unforeseen interruptions in the meeting. So, why not take along a work item? This will allow you to accomplish an important task during any downtime.
If you are an executive or manager, delegate duties to someone on your team during your absence. This will help keep your office or department working at full efficiency.
End Your Week on a Positive and Productive Note
When you arrive at work on Monday morning do you feel rushed, disorganized and scattered? It’s not a great way to start the week. End your work week on an organized note and you’ll start your Monday’s feeling confident and ready to work. You may just feel more relaxed on the weekend too.
Organize Anything has six great ways to make sure that you wrap up your work week in a way that sets you up for success come Monday morning.
1. Look ahead. Before you leave on Friday afternoon, look at your schedule to see what’s coming up for following week.
Do you have a big meeting first thing on Monday morning or a presentation on Tuesday? Research shows that you will sleep better if you have reviewed your calendar.
If you do, take your briefing notes home with you so that you can review them over the weekend and feel prepared when you walk into the office on Monday morning.
2. Confirm it. Take half an hour on Friday to confirm your appointments for next week. Better to find out on Friday afternoon that your three hour appointment on Wednesday afternoon is going to have to be rescheduled than on Wednesday morning. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your schedule.
3. Clear your desk. Arriving to a messy desk on Monday morning elevates your stress level before you even start your day. Take the time to properly file any papers left on your desk, return materials to their proper place or owner and empty your garbage and recycling.
It will be easier to sort out the junk mail you receive over the weekend and you’ll be able to start your week with a clean inbox.
5. Follow up. Do you have colleagues that said they would get back to you, but you have not heard from them? Now is a good time to check in with those people and see if they need anything from you before the you leave the office. A quick phone call can help you wrap up a project for the week.
6. Close the loop. We often have a bunch of unfinished tasks hanging at the bottom of our to-do list.
Often they stay on the list because they are not urgent. Often these non-urgent things can become urgent later, or they are truly important things we just don’t get to. Pick one thing that fits in this category and complete it every Friday. It feels so good.
7. Back everything up and shut it down. The last thing you should do before you leave on Friday afternoon is back up your week’s work. Save it on an external drive, a memory stick or try a free program like DropBox . This way if there’s a power fluctuation or a network breach over the weekend you won’t have lost any of your valuable work. Be sure to turn off your computer, printers and any other office electronics before you leave as well. Not only are you saving energy, you are less likely to arrive to malfunctioning equipment on Monday.
Working from home, or ready to join the thousands of Canadians who already do? Home-based businesses offer considerable advantages, but many challenges. Here are seven strategies that will make your home office experience more productive and rewarding.
1) Select a dedicated workspace. If possible, select a room with a door to block out distractions. Also, choose your space based on how you will use it. For example, locate it near the main entrance to your home if clients and suppliers will be visiting frequently.
3) Purchase office equipment based on your needs. Consider all-in-one equipment with fax, printer, copier, and scanner functions to save money and space. Invest in a business phone line with voicemail so you won’t miss any messages.
4) Set a schedule and stick to it. Early or late riser? Business or casual? Find the routine that works for you and keep it. Remember to set daily goals to avoid doing household chores when you should be working. Regularly scheduled breaks are also important, allowing you to stay fresh through the working day.
5) Outsource and delegate. It’s easier to stay efficient and focused on your work when you make use of support service providers, such as accountants and couriers.
6) Plan your outings. You’ll save time by picking one day during the week to run errands.
7) Take time to network. It’s important to interact with friends and associates on a regular basis. Plan weekly lunches or join a networking group to make new contacts and learn new business techniques.
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© 2011 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.