5 Important Lessons We Can Learn from ‘Failure’

Failure is inevitable. You are going to experience it many times in your life. However, it’s what you take away from it that really determines whether you failed or not. While it can be hard to go through, there are many important lessons that you can walk away with. Some people choose to let failure hold them back. But the most successful people see it as a learning opportunity.

Know your motivating factor.

Often times, we fail because we’re doing something for all the wrong reasons. We don’t feel personally invested in the outcome. When you’re thinking about your goals, understand the reason behind them. What’s motivates you to do something? If there’s nothing you can come up with, it’s time to reevaluate and redefine your goals. You won’t get very far when you can’t motivate yourself.

Hard work will eventually be rewarded.

Sometimes, it may seem like no matter how much hard work you put into something, you never get it right. That feeling can be very disheartening. But know that hard work will eventually be rewarded. Regardless of whether or not you succeed at the task at hand, you tried your best. And someone will notice that.

Risks are worth taking.

Have you ever asked yourself ‘what if I had just done that?’ The thought of not knowing what might have been can be a tough one. And it really doesn’t go away unless you try. That’s why risks are worth taking. If you succeed, you made a good choice. If you don’t, you at least know that you tried. You won’t ever have to think about the ‘what if’.

Try again.

There are very few things that done right the first time. Some things takes multiple tries to get it right. If you fail, try again. Don’t view it as the end of the road. It’s just a setback. Whether you realize it or not, you always have the opportunity to try again. There’s a time and a place to call it quits but define that for yourself.

Failure doesn’t really exist.

Even though we’ve discussed failure up until this point, the funny thing is that failure doesn’t really exist. There are hiccups, setbacks and roadblocks. But those aren’t failures. They only become failure when you let it stop you from pursuing whatever it is you want to pursue. So the next time you think you failed at something, just brush it off. Instead, learn from it and become better than you were before it.

How Some Companies are Rethinking Employee Productivity

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For any company, employee productivity is a crucial metric in understanding how efficiently your company is operating. But how exactly do you measure it? Understanding employee productivity isn’t just adding up how many hours are spent in the office. There’s a common misconception that the most productive employees are the ones that spend the most time at their desk. But that’s an outdated notion. In the past, companies were most focused on how an employee could help them. And while it’s important to understand output, you also have to think about it from another angle. How can you help your employees be more productive? Many companies are beginning to experiment with new ways to strengthen their teams. And most of them aren’t conventional.

Open office layout

When you think about cubicles, the first thing that might come to mind is a small little confined space where employees spend a lot of time (possibly being unhappy). While there are some benefits of a traditional closed office layout, more and more companies are doing away with it. Instead, they’re opting for an open office layout. This help promotes communication amongst employees and drives teamwork. It also makes everyone much more approachable, from the employee lowest on the totem pole up to the CEO.

Unlimited vacation.

Unlimited vacation may sound like a dream but for many employees, it’s a reality. Many companies believe that if you treat employees well, they’ll produce more results. Good employees should be rewarded, starting with unlimited vacation. Companies who have adopted this practice have seen that employees don’t actually take more vacation. But the appreciation of having that option is tangible in their work.

Flexible hours.

The common 9-to-5 workday is becoming a thing of the past. Some people work better in the morning and some work better in the afternoon. So why put a timeline on how many hours your employees have to be sitting at their desk? What matters is the work their producing, not whether they’re at their desk by 9AM.

Telecommuting.

The option of telecommuting is becoming more and more popular. With technology, it’s literally possible to work from anywhere at anytime. While it’s still important to meet face to face, it’s not always necessary to be physically in the office. Giving your employees the option to telecommute saves them time and it also saves you money.

360 review process.

One common way to analyze employee productivity is through the annual review process. But many companies do it wrong. While it’s important to understand what a manager thinks of his/her direct reports, it’s crucial to also get a 360 review. Understanding what an employee’s colleagues and peers think can really help you gage the impact they’re making.

The workforce is always evolving and that’s why it’s important for any employer or small business owner to constantly redefine their own practices. What worked a couple years ago isn’t necessarily going to work today. Innovation is always key, even when it comes to employee productivity.

 

 

6 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

ThinkstockPhotos-99509291Many of us are very reliant on a cup of coffee in the morning to get us going. In fact, we might need a couple. But a boost of caffeine only lasts so long and before you know it, you’re in a slump and about to fall asleep at your desk. No matter how organized you are, it’s difficult to be productive if you just don’t have the energy to do anything. Instead of relying on a cup of joe to get your through the day, there are other habits you can practice to help you feel more alert and alive. Here are 6 easy ways to boost your energy:

Sleep well.

One of the most crucial keys to having energy is sleeping well. In order to maintain your health, you should get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. You should also try to make the most of your sleep. Studies have shown that staying away from electronics an hour before you sleep can help you fall asleep faster. Create an ideal sleeping environment as well, paying attention to things such as room temperature. I tend to function best when I go to bed early and wake up early; you may find different times work best for you.

Take a cat nap.

If you didn’t get a good nights sleep, try to take a cat nap. It’s certainly not recommended to doze off at your desk but if you can, try to take a power nap on your lunch break or in your car. A quick 20 minute nap can help you feel refreshed and refocused.

Get moving.

Even though you might dread cardio, getting even a few minutes of exercise can give you a boost of energy. While this might seem counterintuitive, exercise can really invigorate you. As you get moving, more blood is pumping through your body and your brain releases chemicals that make you feel more energetic and happy. So instead of sitting at your desk watching the clock, get up and get moving.

Eat a healthy breakfast.

As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And a cup of coffee hardly counts as a healthy breakfast. Many skip the first meal of the day because they simply don’t have time to prepare anything. But there are many healthy breakfast options that take only a few minutes to make. Next time you’re in a rush, make a smoothie-to-go by blending some green leafy vegetables and your favorite fruits.

Enjoy the outdoors.

As the weather is getting warmer, find any excuse you can to get outdoors. Aside from enjoying the beautiful spring weather, you’ll also get some Vitamin D, which can help with your energy level. You can get Vitamin D right from the sun so try to spend as much time outdoors as you can. Just be sure to wear sunscreen.

Stay hydrated.

When you’re dehydrated, your body tends to feel very fatigued. On top of that, your skin may start to become itchy and look dull. Your body needs water to run properly. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to properly fuel yourself. If you find water boring, infuse it with some fruit.

Energy can be hard to come by. But with these tips, you can get a little boost to help you finish your day.

 

3 Ways To Work Less But Get More Done

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Putting in 40 hours a week at work is the norm but for so many, that’s the bare minimum. 50+ hours in the office per week is becoming not only more and more common but expected. Many of us have the mentality that the more hours we work, the more we get done. But that’s not always true.

Many people don’t consider the effects of burnout and fatigue when thinking about productivity. But it’s a real issue and it’s something a cup of coffee can’t cure. Working more doesn’t mean you’re being more productive. And there’s actually proof behind it. Recently, John Pencavel of Stanford University did a study on this exact topic. One interesting point he discovered was that productivity drops off significantly at 50 hours of work a week and exponentially after that. So do you just work less to counteract this so-called burnout? No but you do need to be more cognizant of what you do with your time in order to be more productive. Here’s 5 tips to help you find some more balance with work:

Disconnect & unplug

While you may think being connected 24/7 will make you more productive, it can actually do you more harm than good. For the vast majority of your emails, you don’t need to respond immediately. When you check them constantly, you’re just wasting time. You’re also throwing away a great opportunity to just unwind and relax. Don’t be a slave to your phone and email. Disconnect and unplug in the evenings and on the weekends. You also want to set reasonable expectations. If you respond at all hours, people will contact you at all hours.

Delegate what you can

You can’t do everything yourself. That’s why you delegate what you can. The most successful people usually don’t do the bulk of the work themselves. They analyze, assess and then delegate. It’s important to find good and reliable help so that you can feel comfortable handing tasks over to others. Even though it can cost you more, your time is much, much more valuable.

Cut down on meetings

Meetings can take up the entire day. But are they really that important? Most of the time, no. If you’ve even gone into a meeting just to talk about having another meeting, you know exactly how frustrating that can be. Cut down on unnecessary meetings. Most communication can be done over the phone or through email. If you must have a meeting, make sure there is a concise agenda so that everyone knows exactly what needs to get done.

Pursue your passion

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. It’s true. You can spend all the time in the world at work but if you don’t love what you’re doing, it’s difficult to be happy and find purpose. You don’t necessarily have to be passionate about your job. But it is important to make time for something you’re passionate about, whether during work or after. Cut down on your working hours so that you can spend time on yourself doing something you’ll enjoy. These moments will make a drastic impact on everything in your life, both personal and career.

5 Tips to Help You Get Over ‘Hump Day’

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It’s Wednesday … sometimes known as “Hump Day”.

If we think of the entire week as a proverbial hill, then Wednesday is almost at the tip. You really have to push to get through it but once you’re on the other side, it’s downhill from there and the weekend is on it’s way. But the question is: how do you get through Wednesdays without exploding from all of the stress? Here are 5 ways to help make hump day easier:

Have something to look forward too.

Generally, most people find Wednesdays so difficult because the next weekend is far away, yet the past weeked is already a distant memory. To get through hump day and the week in general easier, plan your weekends with meaning so that you have something to look forward to. It’s nice to just relax sometimes on weekends but you can also use it to try new things you’ve never done before.

Get your most dreaded tasks done first.

Typically on Mondays, we quickly make a mental list of to-dos for the week. As the week progresses, we tend to push the most dreaded tasks back. When Wednesdays come around, you realize you have to get to it but time is quickly running out. It’s a vicious cycle. Instead, get your most dreaded tasks done as early in the week as possible. This way, you won’t be spending the rest of the week worrying about it.

Reward yourself.

We can get stuck in monotonous routines week over week. Some things just have to be done and they’re not very fun. But make some time in the middle of the week to reward yourself. Treat yourself to a nice lunch or even just an ice cream on your way home. These little things can really make your day.

Get out of the office.

Are you the type of person that stays in your office all day long without taking a break? If so, makes Wednesdays the day to get out of the office. Breaks are crucial to productivity and can help you re-energize your mind. Take an hour for lunch and enjoy some fresh air. You’ll come back rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Treat it just like any other day.

While all the tips we just talked about can help make hump day easier, there’s one inherent flaw in all of them. Yes, you’re addressing the issue but only for the time being. Another Wednesday will just come and you’re faced with the same problem. Instead, treat Wednesdays just like any other days. It’s all just really in your head so stop thinking of your week as a proverbial hill. Once you learn to utilize your time efficiently, there is no hump. It’s just smooth sailing from there.