10 Tips for Time Management Within the Workplace

May 24, 2017 / no comments

On average, we spend 8 hours a day at work. We show up at 9am, and leave by 5, that’s 480 minutes, or 28,800 seconds! Yet we complain that there is never enough time in the day. We’re rushing to complete tasks at 4:30 because we desperately want to leave on time. Soon enough, we realize it’s 6 p.m, and we still have work to finish, that we later put off and say we’ll get to tomorrow. It’s a vicious cycle that occurs in every workplace, regardless of what industry you’re in. It’s up to you as an individual to find tips and tricks, so that we can be our most productive self at work.

As a Project Manager, it’s my job to be efficient and organized. Here are 10 tips that I use to manage my time more productively, which I hope you find helpful. Continue Reading…

Writing, Uninterrupted: the Rise of Distraction-Free Writing

December 10, 2015 / no comments

Here’s an idea; hop onto your preferred search engine right now, and run a search for “distraction free writing applications.” Almost immediately, you will be greeted by a vast selection of applications which can help “mute” your desktop. The idea of cancelling out all of the potential distractions on your screen is a growing trend in the world of online writing — based on the idea that writing in its purest form is based on a complete lack of distractions.

photo cred: lifehacker.com

photo cred: lifehacker.com

What has taken so long for these applications to really take hold, though? The answer could be that distraction-free writing tools give you the opportunity to cancel out the influx of other applications available on your computer. It’s not just writing applications available to the average internet user, but countless other apps to help your organize your life, schedule your time, and do anything and everything in between. Given the sheer number of options, applications that “tune out” these potential distractions are in-demand — instead of adding to the mess of business, distraction-free writing tools are replacing the variety of options with only one option: to write, and then to write some more.

While there is no lack of options to do some distraction-free writing, there are certainly some that stand out from the crowd. Consider some of these apps before you undertake your next manuscript, screenplay, or blog:

Draft 

photo cred: ghost.org

photo cred: ghost.org

Draft offers an aesthetically pleasing interface where you can cut out distractions. The added twist is the Hemingway mode, which doesn’t allow for editing on the fly. It forces you to type without using the backspace button, only allowing for editing after the mode has been disabled. Hemingway mode is meant to facilitate the flow of writing, without the at-times debilitating process of going back and tweaking everything you’ve already said.

Hemingway Editor 

hemingway editor

photo cred: brit.co

Hemingway Editor began as an easy way to evaluate whether or not your writing was “plain language” enough — allowing for an instantaneous knowledge translation exercise. The application itself also offers a useful interface for writing, which combined with the evaluative aspect of seeing how relatable your writing is, provides for a unique and productive experience for writers of all kinds. We all want to be understood, after all.

Calmly Writer 

Calmly Writer is another attractive application that allows for distraction-free writing. The twist for this app is the fact that it provides a laser-focused approach to the writing process, highlighting the specific paragraph you are currently writing. It focuses on exactly what you are writing in that moment, and allows for better concentration.

This is just a taste of what’s going on in the world of distraction-free writing, so don’t be afraid of experimenting and trying out new applications as they are released. Every writer’s process is different, so it is important to use exactly the right medium to express yourself.

New Year, New You: 6 New Year Applications For 2016

November 26, 2015 / no comments

The beginning of the year is often a mixed bag of emotions: first there is the inevitable holiday comedown, followed by the injection of promise and hope that comes from sketching out resolutions for the New Year. Often people lay out their goals with an eye towards remaining organized, bettering themselves, or maintaining that aliphone holdingl-important balance between work, family, and self-improvement.

What typically gets in the way? Our ability to follow through!


Thankfully, we have the technology to organize and maintain our goals! The following is a list of six new year applications which can help you maintain these goals, whether they are saving up for a trip to a faraway land, or simply remembering the day of the week:

Mint (https://www.mint.com/)

Many resolutions revolve around money;  There are many apps out there to help you keep in control of your finances, whether it is saving, budgeting, or simply tracking how much you’re spending. Mint provides the opportunity to intuitively keep track of your finances, coupled with tips and tricks about keeping your finances in order.

wunderlistWunderlist (https://www.wunderlist.com/)


The New Year application for to-do list for pros, Wunderlist offers the opportunity to sketch out all of your to-do’s in an intuitive and attractive space. Whether they are putting together a grocery list, compiling a list of action items for work, or simply remembering to walk the dog, it is easier to regiment and maintain everything you have to do for the day/week/month.

Wonderful Day (http://www.wonderfuldayapp.com/)

If repetition is the key to success, the app Wonderful Day will help make sure that you are tracking your consistency no matter how small the task. Wonderful Day is based simply on the idea of practice, where you make a list of activities and mark its accomplishment (ideally) every day. The streak alone will keep you motivated!


Headspace (
https://www.headspace.com/)

Maybe you’re looking to jump into 2016 with a more holistic approach to your health. Headspace is a meditation app designed to help make meditation simple. In only ten minutes a day, your “gym membership for the mind” can start off strong.

Sunrise (https://calendar.sunrise.am/)

photo cred: imore.com

photo cred: imore.com

In keeping with the theme of organization, Sunrise is a calendar app designed to streamline your day-to-day actives in a way that is effective and aesthetically pleasing. It can be combined with your other calendars, via Facebook or Google, to keep all of your appointments in one handy location. It’s a new years application made to keep you as organized as possible! 

Pillow (https://neybox.com/pillow/)

photo cred: geekwire.com

photo cred: geekwire.com

Trying to get better sleep, or to track your sleep patterns? Pillow is an effective app to keep track of your sleep, with detailed reports and an alarm component built to wake you up at the exact right time for your body.

With the help of these productive apps, your 2016 resolutions might become more than ideas floating around if your brain. These apps will help keep your organized, motivated, and hungry for more this year.

Should Your Boss Be on Twitter?

July 30, 2015 / no comments

There is no doubting it that the most influential and effective leaders throughout history have been great communicators. Often the way they speak with humbling yet powerful tones is what captivates the people they lead and inspires us to build for a better tomorrow.

Communicating on Twitter

In the digital world however, the traditional rules of communication don’t necessarily apply. Great leaders are forced to condense their thoughts into 140 characters or less and the luxury of Teleprompters and hours of practice are absent.

The question that social media marketing departments often have to answer is “Will having our boss on Twitter add value to the brand or will one comment cause us to crash and burn”. Twitter as we know is a great tool to add a face or humanize a brand and allow brand advocates to feel personally connected to the decision makers. On the other hand if your boss is not well trained on proper social etiquette, a PR disaster may be on the horizon.

According to a survey conducted by Weber Shandwick, only 10% of the chief executives running the world’s 50 largest companies regularly tweet. This may also have to do with the fact that the majority of today’s business leaders are aged 50-60 and are perhaps too old to understand social media fully.

Twitter for the Leaders of Tomorrow

Personally I believe that depending on your company and organizational goals, having a strong Twitter presence isn’t necessary. But, it will however become essential for the future business leaders of tomorrow to maintain a well-kept social media presence. It will almost be expected of them having grown up in the digital age.

A strong Twitter presence for leaders can definitely enhance their brand even when they aren’t talking about things related to the business. People are interested in who the leaders of their favourite brands are and their values and opinions. Users on social media expect full transparency from companies and look to social media to gain insights. It is important for brands to open up a two-way dialogue with their customers and fans and provide them with benefits and incentives to remain loyal.

Although there have been many train wrecks on Twitter from some of business’s top leaders, when trained and executed properly your bosses words of wisdom could translate into valuable earned media your the brand.

How to Work in Unison with your Team

March 20, 2015 / no comments

We all know that in order to run a smooth operating business, each member of the team needs to work with one another with open communication, towards a common goal. This is sometimes easier said than done, especially when office politics come into play and corporate hierarchy is unclear.

Working in Unison

It may be easier to look at the individuals in your work teams like gears and rods. Each gear and rod has a different role in order to make the machine work, but you need all of them working together in unison to achieve proper movement. There is one thing that a well-oiled machine and your team should have in common, every part has an important role in the overall purpose.

So how do you build and keep a team unified? Let’s take a look at just 3 of the top ways.

Alignment

Teams that are in proper alignment with the company vision and values will often be more motivated and productive as a unit.

Grow Together

Teams that grow together, stay together. Growing as a team where each member is excelling can show that they have worked towards a common goal, produce more energy and enthusiasm for their work.

  1. Providing each team member feedback and opening up the conversation to them, will help you get to know your business and practices better as well as assess each individual’s skills and abilities.
  2. Invest in the learning of team members allowing them to learn in groups will increase morale and generate new ideas.

Build a Community

Create a work environment that feels more like a community or a small family rather than just a place of work. This type of environment develops highly motivated teams.

  1. Work in collective groups, break out into brainstorm sessions
  2. Take the time to have fun and enjoy team member’s milestones. Celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and other achievements.
  3. Create an open dialogue with everyone and encourage the same among the team. Communication at every level is key.

A team unified is a team that is set up for success. Each member will be “solopreneurs” working collectively in the community for a grand purpose. Momentum and passion will occur through growth and all will be rewarded.

Time Management

February 4, 2015 / no comments

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle with staying on track at work. While juggling a busy schedule it’s difficult to complete daily tasks. Over the years of completing college and the time I’ve spent in the work place, time management was a crucial element for me to be able to complete each task at hand. I have gone through many different ways to get work done on time and still be able to achieve the top quality work I am looking for. Of course everybody has there own way of managing each day, and completing work on a busy schedule. I’m sure they even went through the same sort of process I did.

During my college years, I tired to manage being social and getting work done at the same time. Like most students this is a week-to-week struggle. I finally came up with the idea to time block my day. Knowing I had a ton of work to complete and still wanting to go out with friends, to me there really was no other way. Going out with friends acted as a reward for my hard work in my room. I told myself if I don’t complete this project, then I don’t go out. That was very difficult to stick with. Especially when your roommates are huge partiers.

This time block consisted of four columns. One column for the project, one for what I had to complete, one for the time I had to complete it, and the last was for the due date. Once I had each project written on paper I felt my head become much more clear. I was able to think clearly about what was asked for each project and the best way to complete them. Before I knew it I was getting projects done on schedule AND going out with friends.

Still today I use a variation of this time blocking system. With multiple projects going on at once is very hard to find time for each one. Sticking to this schedule has helped me get the most out of each day. One big part of time blocking is to give yourself a buffer zone of at least one hour. This is to make it as flexible as possible if projects over lap one another.

This has really helped me stay on track and get projects done on time. Time management is something that everybody does differently. I would love to hear some of your ways of time management.