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…

Avoiding Screen Fatigue with F.lux

January 7, 2016 / no comments

It’s a tale as old as time, one where you’ve been plugging away at your computer for hours without looking away. All of a sudden you turn to look out the window, and it’s as though your whole life is flashing before your eyes. You’ve successfully entered the mid-afternoon computer screen fatigue panic! Your eyes may feel like the surface of the sun, but you must persevere.

Luckily, screen fatigue doesn’t have to be the rest of your life; F.lux is here to change this daily struggle.

F.lux is a completely (yes, completely) free application which you can access online that will alter thephoto cred: www.justgetflux.com“temperature” of your screen depending on the time of day. Particularly when you work in an office environment with lots of natural light, F.lux alters your computer screen’s warmth to accommodate outside changes as the day progresses. This is especially important after the sun goes down, where your screen will adopt a yellow-orange hue that might throw you off at first. Don’t worry though, as this is supposed to help facilitate pre-sleep. This is especially helpful if you’re a fan of watching Netflix, working, or canvassing eBay for collectible action figures right before bed.

Screen fatigue (and eye strain) from staring at your screen is only going to become more and more of a

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

problem as the work we do becomes more and more computer-centric. While we have discussed taking breaks away from your screen in previous blogs, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of your day will be spent in front of your screen’s warm glow. Simple changes, like the one F.lux is providing, are monumental in their day-to-day effect on user’s lives. While it is important to ensure that you aren’t (literally and proverbially) glued to your screen, F.lux is a useful way to successfully complete your work and avoid the piercing pain of the 2 o’ clock screen assault.

F.lux is another example of applications making minor adjustments to our everyday lives, with life-changing results. 

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.

How To Boost Your Creativity At Work

April 10, 2015 / no comments

Connecting with your inner creative self at work can be challenging sometimes, so here are some tips on how to boost your creativity in the workplace!

Stop Checking The Clock

 

You’ll be surprised how much your sense of time affects what you think you can accomplish in a workday. Constantly checking the clock is a key contributor to stress in the workplace, and effectively works to destroy an employee’s ability to think creatively. Try taking off your watch and letting your internal clock take over for a while, you’ll notice a difference in your overall productivity, efficiency and relaxation level.

 

Listen To Music

 

Listening to music at work can help you feel calm and relaxed, subsequently encouraging your brain to think more creatively and openly. Studies have established that listening to music creates emotions and a change in your overall mood through shifting brain waves. This shift works to anchor creativity by attaching certain feelings with certain songs. Essentially, these emotions evoked by listening to different types of music work to foster creative thinking and can even boost efficiency.

 

Take Breaks

 

 If you find yourself in a creative slump, try taking a constructive break. Spend some time doodling, reading, or doing a mental puzzle – anything to get your mind working more imaginatively. You’ll find that the distraction will help you approach your task with more clarity and inspiration. Planned breaks maximize efficiency, creativity and generally improve focus to complete the task at hand.

 

Collaborate

 

 Brainstorming is a tried and true method for producing creative ideas and stimulating creative thought. It is best for a brainstorming group to freely generate as many creative ideas as possible, without holding back. Once everyone has been given a chance to express his or her creative thoughts, the group should work together to evaluate each idea and come to a consensus on a final concept. Creativity is fostered when employees can effectively work together and feed off of each other’s ideas.

 

Be Positive

           

Being engaged and optimistic at your job will lead to more creativity and innovation while completing various projects. Being an engaged member of your organization contributes to increased motivation in the workplace, improves performance and the quality of your work. Basically, to be creative you need to care about your job and the work you are doing. If you participate in ‘self talk’ that asserts that “I’m not capable of creative thought,” then you are pigeonholing yourself and limiting your own ability. Everyone has the ability to be creative, partake in creative thought processes and be an innovator!

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.