23. 09. 2021

5 tips to get more out of your working day

5 tips to get more out of your working day Do you ever get the feeling that there are simply not enough hours in a day to get everything done? That feeling when you make your morning coffee, barely manage to get your admin under control, and somehow its 3pm already. Worry no more – we are here to help!Here are 5 tips to help you become a little bit more productive, work smarter (without longer hours) to get more value out of your working day...Step 1. PrioritiseEach morning, take a few minutes to go through the list of tasks set for the day, then try and evaluate their priority. These should be based on the urgency of the said task, time they might take, but also on how challenging or complex they may be. Start with the toughest, most time consuming first.Step 2. Time blockMake sure you set yourself time for each task and try and stick to it. I’m not going to lie, this does require some discipline, but trust me – it pays off. When setting time blocks be realistic and don’t overcommit - If you think a particular task will take minimum of an hour to complete, don’t block less than that, as you end up putting yourself under unnecessary pressure and by rushing, you run the risk of making mistakes. Oh, and I almost forgot, make sure to block some time for a little ‘’you time’         Step 3. is just as important: Breathe and take a breakIt is important to remember that breaks play a vital part in the building of an efficient working mind set. Walk away from your computer, grab some fresh air, socialise with your colleagues, or do anything else that you enjoy, that does not involve checking your email every 3 minutes or eating your sandwich by your desk. Recharge your batteries, so that when you return to working you are near a full tank and you have all the energy and brain space needed to finish the day with consistent momentum. Step 4. Complete what you startedThis ties in quite well with blocking your time and is just as important. If you start something, make sure to finish it before moving on to the next task. Focus on one thing at a time. Break down bigger projects into time blocks, especially if its ongoing or overwhelming at the start. Step 5. Remove distractionsSome tasks require laser focus, so turn off your email, shut down your Teams, turn your phone on Airplane mode, and let your co-workers know that you will be unavailable. According to a study by Microsoft researchers, it takes the brain 15 minutes to re-focus after switching our attention to something else. So if you’re constantly being interrupted, it’s going to take you a long time to get your work done. What tips would you recommend to get more value out of your working day?
09. 09. 2021

Why you should talk to a Recruiter

I’m happy and not looking for a new job right now. Why should I connect with a recruiter?Another InMail in your inbox… beginning to feel a little fed up? You’re not actively searching for a new opportunity so why should you spend your time answering recruiters and connecting on a call with them?Read on to find out why it might be more beneficial to connect than you think…*N.B. Before we get started, it’s important to clarify that I don’t recommend being in touch with every recruiter that contacts you, especially if their message isn’t personal to you or job offers irrelevant, and certainly not if their outreach includes ‘send me a CV’. I’m talking about connecting with the good ones who try to make a deeper connection, focus on you as an individual, and work in your specialist area.   Thinking ahead. Sure, you’re not looking for the next opportunity right now. You have a project that you worked so hard on, and you just cannot imagine leaving before it’s finalised. But what about 6 months, or a year down the line? Situations can and do change and wouldn’t it be great if you had already connected with someone who had asked you those all-important questions and knew about your interests, wants and, not only that, your personal requirements, the locations that fit best and the flexibility you need to fit around your family life. It’s never a bad idea for someone to know these things and have you in mind for when a great opportunity comes up. What’s even better? When the time comes to consider a new opportunity, which it likely will someday, you might not even have to search at all if someone with all this knowledge is doing so already. Give yourself visibility.Some individuals believe that there is little point in connecting with a recruiter; in their mind they think, “if I want to find a job, I can simply look online for job advertisements!” - but did you know that a huge number of job opportunities are not even advertised? Many companies rely on recruiters to support them as it saves a lot of time having to filter through huge pools of candidates who may not be the right fit for the position. This means that your dream job could be waiting for you to be discovered but you would never even know. Clarity.Even if you are not actively looking, speaking to a recruiter about your career, sharing more on the aspects of your career that you love and the elements that perhaps aren’t so satisfactory can really help to you to clarify things and realise what you want. A good recruiter doesn’t have the sole aim to just place you at a company and move on, a good recruiter wants to build long-term relationships and will take time to understand your goals and help you get closer to achieving them – they are passionate about driving your career forward. Take time to connect with a trusted recruiter and you will reap the benefits. It’s a common feedback after an initial conversation that voicing things really helped a candidate to visualise what could be next for them in their career pathway.  Support.If you do decide to explore an opportunity through a recruiter, you’ll have a support system throughout the entire process. Someone on your side with “insider knowledge” about the company, who can prep you before any interaction, tell you all about the personalities of the hiring managers and share information with you about the interview structure and questions that will likely be asked - use it to your advantage! This takes away so much pressure and the “fear of the unknown” that you usually have before that first meeting with an interviewer, allowing you to focus on having those interesting conversations and making new contacts in the industry! Hiring for your own team.Perhaps you really are not considering a new opportunity but are in a leading role at your current company. By connecting with a recruiter, you can see the approach they take to working with candidates and decide if this is someone you want to have onboard to represent the growth of your department. Did they motivate you, show real interest, have industry contacts, and add value to your career even from a first call? Work with this recruiter to meet your company and professional goals! Especially if you are often recruiting in a limited candidate pool, building these contacts and a list of excellent recruitment partners will help speed up the process when you come to hire, since you’ll already know who to trust to get the job done and give candidates an excellent hiring experience. There really is nothing to lose.The bottom line is, there is nothing to lose from connecting with a specialist recruiter in your industry. Avoid buying into the thought process that you should only talk to recruiters if you are actively looking - this is simply not the case (it’s almost better to connect when you’re not in a rush to find a new job). There is no need to feel pressured, as a recruiter will simply be there to ensure that you are informed and have visibility of great opportunities within your industry.  
09. 09. 2021

Signs it's time to look for a new job

How do you know when it’s time to look for a new job?If you’ve clicked on this article, that might be the first sign… maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something? It’s understandable, everyone has bad days, weeks, even months at work and we all sometimes face burnout, but when you can’t remember the last time you felt happy or fulfilled at work, it might just be time to change that!You often think about a new jobIt might sound obvious, but many people overlook having these thoughts, even when it’s on a regular basis. If the prospect of a new job feels exciting to you or even brings a wave of relief, perhaps it’s time to stop ignoring that and trust your gut. Do you find yourself scrolling through job adverts on the weekend or stopping to check what a recruiter has shared? It might be time to take action to at least know what’s out there.Your work-life is eating into your personal lifeHave you started to realise that even when you’re at home, all you can think about is work? Perhaps you’re always irritable and have even taken out work-related stress on a friend or family member? Or you just can’t remember when you had the time or energy to enjoy life outside of the office? Maybe you need to start considering an opportunity that offers more flexibility and a better work/life balance – believe it or not, they’re out there!Lack of development and resources Do you struggle to remember the last time your company invested in training and development initiatives? You’ve even tried to voice your concerns, and nothing has changed? Situations like these can make it hard to see a future at a company and impossible to envision achieving growth in your career. Perhaps it’s time to start polishing that CV! There’s surely a company out there who will offer you the well-deserved support and growth opportunities that you’re missing now.Got the Monday blues?Of course, no-one really wants the weekend to end but if you find yourself spending the majority of Sunday dreading the thought of Monday morning, that’s a clear sign that you’re not happy and a red flag that you need to look out for your well-being too!Lack of motivationCan’t remember that passion and enthusiasm that you had when you first started? If you’re struggling to find motivation, and even feeling like you’ve lost your sense of purpose at work, it might be sign that you’re not feeling challenged enough and you need something more mentally stimulating to keep things interesting!You’re underpaidMany different factors come into play when it comes to salary and it’s not a clear-cut conversation, but if you’re an asset to your company, clearly delivering your objectives (even surpassing them) and you never see any indications of progression in terms of salary, it’s not surprising that this can lead to feeling undervalued and demotivated. Toxic workplace relationshipsPeople are different, so it’s expected that we cannot be best friends with everyone in the workplace. However, when you notice problematic relationships at work are having an impact on you, you’re likely not in the best environment to excel, both professionally and personally. If you find yourself feeling lost in a new workplace culture (and you can’t make it better), it might be time to consider a fresh opportunity.Are some of these points sounding all too familiar? No need to panic!Now is the time to start the process of making a change for the better, and although it can seem daunting it should be exciting too! Maybe you could start by updating your CV or connecting with a trusted head-hunter in your industry who could support you on your way to the next step in your career.“Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck
16. 06. 2021

Navigating Difficult Conversations at Work

Dealing with conflict or tough conversations at work. It’s comparable to the ‘we need to talk’ dread all of us have undoubtedly faced at some point in our personal lives.Whether it’s addressing distracting behaviours in the office, challenging your colleague on the accuracy of a report or confronting a long-overdue company problem – these conversations need to happen, and they need to happen for a few reasons:-         The problem can’t be fixed if there is no awareness of the problem in the first place.-         Get that weight off your shoulders, its liberating!-         It’s how we achieve professional and personal growth – your company will benefit from this too. The art of conversation is like any art. With continued practice you will acquire skill and ease.Finding the right words, and the right moment – it is no easy task in the fast-paced commercial world. Step 1) Conquer your fears and just do it.Here are some tips to make the conversation easier…Set a Positive Tone -         Mindset matters. Frame the conversation in a different way and put a positive spin on it. Be constructive, not negative. Can you offer an alternative solution to the one currently on the table? Make sure there is an action plan in place when a consensus (or even just an understanding) is reached to ensure you move forward.Keep Your Cool-         Don’t forget to breathe! Taking this brief moment to focus on your breathing will allow you to refocus and absorb any information. It’s important that whether you are the recipient or provider of a challenging discussion, that you make a conscious effort to slow down the pace of the conversation, listen, collect your thoughts, and respond rationally.Plan with Emotional Intelligence-         Think ahead. What do you anticipate the response will be to the discussion? Put yourself in the shoes of your counterpart to mentally consider their possible responses. You can have some flexible strategies to hand on how to move the conversation forward in a productive way. If you don’t feel confident on the recipients view beforehand, ask them.Be Concise and Direct-         Difficult conversations need to be clear and to the point, otherwise the message gets lost in a muddled delivery. To avoid receiving objections, be prepared with concrete examples. Focus on facts, not feelings. Try not to let your emotions get the better of you when you are trying to find a resolution.Make It a Conversation-         Feedback shouldn’t be a monologue - there should be two-way communication. Make sure there is an opportunity for an open discussion and questions to allow the meeting to end with unwavering clarity on both sides. Do you fully understand each other and what will happen next?  “Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”- William Ellery Channing, American Theologian
10. 06. 2021

Occupational Burnout - Recognizing the signs

“Self-care has become a new priority – the revelation that it’s perfectly permissible to listen to your body and do what it needs.” ― Frances Ryan Burnout - lets talk about it!It’s one of those subjects that often gets mentioned, but never really discussed. I think it’s time to change that.I am actually quite surprised that in today’s day and age it has not been classified as a medical condition yet, because let’s face it – it is.Burnout is very popular and happens more often than people would like to admit. It’s that state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, caused by prolonged, work-related stress. In order to come up with ways of avoiding it, let’s break down the definition to see how each of the factors can be FIXED!Emotional exhaustionEmotional exhaustion is a state of feeling emotionally worn out and drained. This can be easily improved by ensuring we eat right, take technology breaks, meet with our friends, and of course exercise. Yes, many people could argue that exercise is a suggested remedy for almost everything nowadays, but in this case it is true. Exercise releases chemical endorphins to the brain which triggers a positive feeling in your body. So there, we have proof that going for a run or taking that HIIT class is worth it!Mental exhaustionMental exhaustion is similar, but the symptoms can be more severe, as the person experiencing this feeling starts to be detached, showing apathy towards their work colleagues and the work itself. The first thing to do if possible is to remove the stressor. If it is an overwhelming task at work, perhaps speak to your Supervisor – see if they could offer you some help. Don’t feel that you have to go through this alone.Again, try to eat well and stay active, but also practice relaxation techniques like yoga, massage, or mindfulness – all scientifically recognized to lower stress and anxiety.Physical exhaustionPhysical exhaustion is an extreme state of unrelenting fatigue and sometimes it can be brought on by the previously mentioned mental exhaustion. Being in this state can cause dizziness, chronic tiredness, and headaches, which if untreated can lead to moodiness, slow reflexes or even bad judgement/decision making.Get some sleep! Clocking in your 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night can restore well-being. Set aside some time each day to stretch and try eating foods that improve your energy level, like nuts, fish, and cheese. Magnesium is an essential mineral to promote a healthy nervous system, energy production, and for muscle relaxation.Also, if you ever notice that someone around you is starting to display any of the above signs, see if they are ok, offer them help. Trust me, it will make their day!
10. 06. 2021

How to have a boost in productivity - working from home edition!

Working from home has become the norm for many of us during the pandemic and it looks like it might just be here to stay for a lot us too! It’s great to have the flexibility that comes with working from home, but it’s also a totally different ballgame and something that we need to adapt to as it certainly comes with its challenges. Whether you’re a work from home pro or are still struggling to get accustomed to this new way of life, here are some top tips and reminders to help keep productivity high on a work from home day without compromising your wellbeing: 1.     Try to get into a routine. It can sometimes be tempting to sleep in on a home office day and just roll out of bed and get straight into work, but it’s far more beneficial to get into a routine and have time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. It’s also nice to have some time to yourself before diving into work. Use the time that you would usually spend commuting in a positive way, you could try yoga, meditation or even just spending extra time treating yourself to a lovely breakfast! Did someone say pancakes?2.     Create your designated workspace. Whether you have an office room or not, you should avoid working from your bed or sofa as these should be your spaces for relaxation. Try to create a working space with a desk/table and a comfortable chair and make it YOURS, add items to make it an enjoyable space to be in, this could be your favourite plant or some artwork but try to keep clutter to a minimum because, after all, a tidy space = a tidy mind!3.     Don’t overwhelm yourself. Making a plan for each day can be really valuable and help to give your day some structure but be realistic about the how much you can get done. Make your to-do lists reasonable and be flexible! If you give yourself too many tasks to complete in one day, the thought of even starting the first task can be so daunting that you’ll be more likely to procrastinate and have to rush through your tasks later on. Figure out what works for you for instance, some people like to work to a schedule and adopt time management practices such as the Pomorodo Technique (work for 25 minute intervals, followed by a 5-10 minute break).4.     Take a proper break! When you’re working from home, it can be strangely easy to just keep working through lunch and not step away from your desk for a proper break and change of scenery, but studies have actually shown that taking time away from your desk can directly increase productivity and creativity! Going for a walk or spending time outside is even better for your well-being, soak up that Vitamin D!5.     Hydration, hydration, hydration. Okay, you’ve heard this 100 times before but it never hurts to be reminded. An easy way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water is to buy a time marked water bottle. Fill it up in the morning, set yourself a challenge and make sure that you finish it before the end of the day. You might just notice that your concentration is better, and it will help to keep headaches at bay, particularly when you’re on screens all day!6.     Limit distractions. Of course, we can’t always control everything but do try to control what you can. If you have a particularly demanding project or are under time constraints, you could try removing distractions; let friends/family know not to disturb you, close the door, put your phone on airplane mode or in another room and switch off that TV!7.     Try a productivity tool/app. Utilising productivity tools can be the extra push that you need; they give you incentives and motivate you and there are so many to choose from! Try an app such as Forest, where you plant a virtual tree that takes, for example, ten minutes to grow, and if you can stay off your phone long enough, the tree will finish growing and be added to your on-screen forest, but if you return to your phone too fast, the tree withers and dies. It’s a light-hearted way to avoid digital distractions and gives you a sense of satisfaction! What tips do you have to stay productive at home?