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Archive for December, 2016


Have a Happy, Productive New Year!

The holidays are almost over, and like many people, you may be thinking about resolutions for the New Year. We often start each year full of determination to achieve our resolutions this time, but we quickly find ourselves slipping back into old habits. Here are some tips to turn those resolutions into positively productive actions.act

  • Set a SMART goal instead of a resolution. SMART goals are more motivating and likely will deliver more results. SMART stands for:
  • Specific. Clearly spell out steps that contribute most to the performance of that goal.
  • Measurable. Establish criteria by which you can evaluate the goal and determine when you have achieved it.
  • Attainable. Goals must be flexible and respond to personal, professional, business and environmental changes.
  • Relevant. Blue sky, but keep both feet on the ground. Set goals to stretch and grow your abilities, but are not so difficult that you become discouraged.
  • Timed. Put a deadline on each goal.
  • Take small steps. Set yourself up for success by breaking down your SMART goals into small actions that are easy to take. Focus on the steps where you feel the least amount of resistance to make quick progress and fire up your motivation to stay the course.
  • Tell a friend. A little peer pressure can be just what you need to stay on track. This works especially well if you mutually support each other. You don’t even need to have the same goal to make this work. The key is to hold each other accountable.

SMART goals are not easy to achieve, but you reap great rewards when you attain them. In addition to the pay-off the goal represents, you increase your self-esteem, and your self-confidence grows stronger. Start now to set your SMART goals for 2017.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to You, Your Staff, and Your Family!



Be On Time

Waiting for someone to arrive is frustrating and annoying, especially when you have made an effort to arrive early for an appointment or meeting. Sometimes being late just happens—there’s an accident on the freeway, the cab never arrived, there was a long line slowly moving through security check-in. But when tardiness becomes a habit, it’s time to change. See my post Don’t Be Late for more information.shutterstock_3805825

  • Estimate how much travel time you need, add a few minutes for unplanned delays, and set a notification or alarm for five minutes ahead of the time you need to leave.
  • Prepare everything you need an hour or so before you must leave, so you can just grab it and go.
  • If someone is accompanying you, send them a reminder the day before and check in with them 15 minutes before you must leave to see if they will be ready on time.

If you find yourself always waiting for chronically late people, bring something to work on. I recommend keeping “To-Read” folders for paper documents and electronic ones. Waiting time is also good for tackling your e-mail in-box.

If you are a manager, you need to address this issue when members of your team are frequently late arriving at work in the morning, returning from lunches or breaks, or attending meetings. Be assertive about the need to honor time, describe your expectations for punctuality, and explain any disciplinary action that might result from frequent tardiness.



Take a Break to Be Positively Productive

Sitting at a desk for long hours without taking a break can make you less productive! That’s right. Pushing through when you should step aside and recharge diminishes your performance and productivity. Here are some easy ways of recharging your energy, so you can keep going.he_sitting-at-work-thinkstock_s4x3_lg

  • Set an alarm or notification every hour. When it goes off, stand, stretch, and move around for a few minutes.
  • Do some leg raises. Hold on to your desk and raise one leg. Extend it, hold the position, then return to standing position. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Stretch one arm as if reaching for something on the ceiling. Hold the position, then relax that arm, and repeat with the other arm.
  • Just walk around, visit with your team, do the photocopying, take a drink of water, step outside, and get some fresh air.

There also are things you can do to raise your energy between your hourly movement breaks.

  • Stand when you talk on the phone and walk around if possible. It not only boosts your energy, but ramps up your voice, so you sound more energetic to the caller.
  • Consider a standing desk or a desk that can be raised to a standing position for part of the day. If that’s not possible, raise your keyboard by placing books under it and stand more often while you work.
  • Take a breath. That’s right. Stop what you’re doing and concentrate on your breathing for a minute or two.

This time of year can be stressful, so it’s even more important that you move and stay active instead of hunkering down and pushing forward when you need a break. See my post Slow Down in order to Speed Up and Easy, Safe Exercises to Do at Your Desk for more information.