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  • feedwordpress 15:00:00 on 2018/03/30 Permalink
    Tags: , Organizational Skills   

    Make a Connection with Vacation 

     vacation_planning

    Connection with vacation

    A few years ago I was out of the office for 12 days! The first 3 days, I had business in Cincinnati.  I then went from Cincinnati to Ft. Myers, Florida to join my 86-year old (active) father and my stepmom for a 9-day vacation.  This was a long-awaited and much-needed vacation and thank goodness for my Dad and Liz who are fun!  We did everything from just chilling out on the beach to sightseeing, shopping, eating and more eating, laughing and reminiscing.

    I tried my best to not be tethered to my phone, emails, texting and more.  It really is important to take a vacation when you are on vacation. Many of you may have already taken your spring break or might just be getting ready to go on vacation so I’d like to provide some tips either way.

    Post Vacation

    Of course, when you get home from vacation, you feel like you never even went away. But if you have had a good rest, you should be full of energy and ready to jump into your work.

    Those first two days back can feel overwhelming.  Emails have backed up or even if you were checking email, you still go back through to make sure you didn’t miss anything or you now have to take action on your emails.  Keep in mind that you can only do so much in 8 hours. Be easy on yourself; pace yourself; and take one item at a time.

    Prioritize and then focus.  As you view everything that has come across your desk whether they are phone calls, new assignments from your executive or your own project work:

    1. Assess all of it.
    2. Prioritize — seriously!  Ask yourself, “What is the impact if I don’t get this done in the next 48 hours?” That should help you sort your A priorities from your B and C.
    3. Focus.  That is key.  Stay focused on each task as you move through them.
    4. Cluster your time. For example, you would work on your Item A Priority; then make a few telephone calls; then sort through emails. This is far more effective than jumping around like a bouncing ball.
    5. Communicate realistic deadlines and when you can accomplish tasks that have been requested of you.  If you know you won’t have “X” done until Thursday,     don’t promise it for Tuesday at 5:00.  Be real with people.

    Pre Vacation

    There always seems to be last-minute chaos just before going on vacation.  I knew in plenty of time that my March vacation was coming up.  My initial thought (months out) was that I would take my time and pack over several weekends; meaning just pulling some clothes here and there or shoes and beach attire so I wouldn’t be rushed at the last minute.  Not so.  I was so busy with work, traveling, and teaching full-day workshops that I did not really start pulling clothes and packing until the night before my flight was departing.  Considering I was rushed, I did a fairly good job other than I brought more clothes than I needed, which I regretted after being on vacation and purchasing several items to bring home to family, Jasmine, and Michele.

    The one item I was good at was arranging who would handle mail, papers, watching my dogs and house, etc.

    Some words of advice, if you are traveling soon for vacation.

    1. After you have pulled all your clothes and shoes, put back 25% of it. Most likely, you will never wear them.
    2. Always leave some space for the goodies you buy on your trip.
    3. Be sure the individual(s) at the office who is/are covering for you or occasionally assisting, are briefed on important meetings, information, resources, who to reach and how to reach that person in an emergency situation.
    4. Pack a good book to read or grab your Kindle.  Vacations are a wonderful time to catch up on your reading.
    5. Take business cards.  Even though you are on vacation, you may meet people on the airplane or at a restaurant.  We made several new “friends” on our vacation. By the way, be willing to talk to people who are sitting next to you. It is a really small world.

    (During Vacation–remember coworkers who might be holding down the fort for you or filling in for you.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  A little souvenir or gift goes a long way.)

    I could list about 20 more things, however, I think you get the message.  The most important advice I want to give is to relax as much as you can when you are on vacation. If you are traveling with family or friends, pay attention to them.  Don’t be texting at the dinner table or during conversations.  Be fully engaged and take advantage of that special time, which you will never live again.

    – Joan Burge

    The post Make a Connection with Vacation appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:21 on 2018/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , Organizational Skills, , ,   

    How to Maximize Time with Your Children 

    time_with_your_children

    Like most working mothers, I just never seemed to have enough time with my two children. Trying to balance work, with raising a family, keeping up with laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking (the list is endless) was always a challenge.

    As with all working mothers, my biggest concern was for my children. I knew that the time with them had to be quality time well spent. I needed to maximize every moment we had together, just as I know you want to maximize your time with your children.

    Drive time seemed to be the best opportunity since it seemed that a lot of time we spent together was in the car. I decided not to let the kids play with their video games, I turned off my cell phone (NOTHING was more important than my children – whoever it was could wait), and any other distractions.

    One simple thing you can start doing to maximize time with your children.

    I had their full attention and they had mine (of course, I kept my eyes on the road)! So, we started playing quiz games. I would quiz them, they would quiz me. For fun, we kept score. “What is the capital of Florida? Who was the first president of the USA? Annapolis is the capital of what state? If I had $5 and bought a book for $3.75, how much change would I get back? Name five animals that are mammals.” It became so much fun for them (and for me) that they would race to the car so we could start playing our game.

    After school, they couldn’t wait to quiz me on information they had learned that day. I must say, some of their questions really stumped me! This was even instrumental in building their self-esteem. We did this on road trip vacations, as well.

    Amazingly, they grew to become excellent students, with a high level of self-confidence. (At the time of this post.) My son is now finishing his second year at Johns Hopkins Medical School and my daughter has her master’s degree from Northwestern University.

    This post was contributed by Office Dynamics Certified Trainer and Speaker, Kathy Tosoian.

    Working parents, we’d like to hear from you. This is just one idea but there are so many ways we can build stronger connections with our children and maximize our time together. What are some special things you do to maximize time with your children? Please share in the comments below.

    The post How to Maximize Time with Your Children appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:38:01 on 2017/10/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Organizational Skills,   

    How to Improve Your Presentation Skills 

    How_to_Improve_Your_Presentation_SkillsAs you climb the corporate ladder, delivering a business presentation becomes one of the most important skills that you need to learn. A business presentation has to be informative, engaging, influencing, and entertaining at the same time. If one of these four key objectives are not covered well, the effectiveness of the presentation falls down immediately.
    It is a well-established fact that planning and preparation are the two steps that cannot be compromised, and are often not overlooked but most newbie presenters fail at the delivery step. Having a dull opening with a nervous demeanor might throw your audience into an irrecoverable state of disinterest. Showing that you are passionate about the topic and delivering the presentation with full-confidence is quite important.
    Usage of visuals can help expand horizons of your presentation for far better outcomes. If you open your presentation with a jaw-dropping statistics, the chances for your audience to pay attention to the rest of content go up, drastically. The audience tends to remember these figures for a long time and your views also find better acceptance.
    Check out this infographic from Malcolm Andrews to learn how to deliver a presentation effectively and improve your presentation skills. Also, check out various things that you should adopt on and also many others that you need to avoid while delivering a presentation.
    How_to_Deliver_a_World_Class_Presentation

    The post How to Improve Your Presentation Skills appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:41:42 on 2017/07/21 Permalink
    Tags: Organizational Skills,   

    Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter 

    Admin_TrainingPhysical clutter can damage your health. In a study done by the University of California Los Angeles, women who described their houses as cluttered, disorganized, disordered, or haphazard had daily patterns of the stress hormone cortisol that are normally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue, and early mortality. These women were also more likely to feel depressed.

    If you’ve ever spent a morning trying to track down a lost file on your hard drive or searching through a decade of email, you know that digital disorder can also take a toll on your wellbeing. Most people handle a constant flow of text messages, emails, photos, videos, and other digital information. When all that digital data piles up, it can slow you and your devices down. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to downsizing and organizing your digital clutter.

    Get organized

    Does your documents folder or email inbox resemble a junk drawer with everything tossed in together? Do you usually rely on your search box to help you find files? An organization structure can help you declutter, share, synchronize, move, and easily track down files. Follow these simple steps to get your digital life organized:

    Designate Categories

    Browse through your files and emails and determine the major and minor categories they fall into. For instance, you may be able to divide photos into “work photos,” “family photos, “head shots,” etc. Within those categories, you may have subcategories.

    Make Folders

    Once you’ve determined what categories and subcategories you want to use for each type of file, make folders or subfolders for them.

    Develop Naming Guidelines

    Librarians who manage large digital collections use consistent, meaningful, and descriptive names to identify what’s inside each file. Follow suit, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to track down specific files and photos when you need them. For documents, designate a naming structure such as “descriptive keywords-type of document.” For example, this article might be named “digital-decluttering-article.” For images, create a structure such as “descriptive keywords-month-year.” For example, vacation photos might be named “Hawaii-vacation-March-2017). For emails, use descriptive subject headings.

    Automate Email Organization

    Email inboxes can become unmanageable quickly. Depending on your email provider, you can automatically filter incoming emails into certain folders. For instance, all newsletters can be sent to a “newsletters” folder, and emails from colleagues can automatically be sent to a “work” folder.

    Declutter Your Digital Past

    Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve sorted through your digital data, you may need to do a major purge to get back on track. As with any big organizational project, the hardest part can be getting started. Set aside plenty of time, and commit to going through everything saved on your computer, mobile devices, external hard drive, or in the cloud, including photos, files, and personal records.

    How Long to Keep Digital Files - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Decluttering can be an emotional process. Set a relaxing tone by listening to music and treating yourself to your favorite beverage. Repeat the decluttering motto: “If in doubt, throw it out,” and begin sorting files into folders. If you find yourself deliberating for more than a minute about keeping any item, create a “maybe” folder, and put it there.

    Most of us accumulate a lot of photos and videos, because it’s so inexpensive and easy to snap and upload them these days. Photos and videos can hold a lot of sentimental value and can be difficult to downsize. However, it’s worth it! Not only are these files large and expensive to store; you don’t want to have to scroll through hundreds of files to find the photos that are meaningful to you.

    Start by purging the following:

    • Blurry photos
    • Duplicates
    • Extremely similar photos
    • Photos with poor lighting
    • Poor quality videos
    • Photos or videos that no longer hold sentimental value
    • Photos or videos that are no longer meaningful to you

    Back up Important Files

    Once you’ve purged and organized, you’ll be left with only those files that are important and meaningful to you. Ensure that they’re safe! Computer hard drives don’t last forever and are susceptible to mechanical defects, virus and malware attacks, accidents, and other threats. Most experts recommend saving important data in three locations. For instance, you could save one copy on your computer’s hard drive, one in a cloud service, and one on an external hard drive.

    Digital Decluttering Schedule - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Make a Plan

    Digital clutter builds up quickly. Get out your calendar, and schedule regular recurring dates with yourself to keep your data in order.

    Keeping Data Safe Long-Term - Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    Destination Peace of Mind

    Decluttering, organizing, and securing your digital data can be a big task, especially if you haven’t dealt with it for a while. However, your efforts will pay off. You’ll not only keep your computer and devices running well; you’ll likely enjoy greater productivity and peace of mind.

    http://repettilab.psych.ucla.edu/no%20place%20like%20home.pdf

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/15677/zen-and-the-art-of-file-and-folder-organization/

    http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/systems/digitalinitiatives/docs/filenameguidelines.pdf

    https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6579?hl=en

    How long do hard drives actually live for?

    Author: Abby Quellen

    Original Source: eReplacementParts Blog

    Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter

    The post Downsize and Organize Your Digital Clutter appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:51:50 on 2017/07/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Organizational Skills, , , ,   

    Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) 

    administrative_assistant_trainingTo end my 4 part series, I wanted to share my quick list of tips with you. In case you missed the rest of the series, you can read part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here. Remember that doing several little things throughout your day can also improve your productivity. You can pick and choose which ones you would like to try. Best of luck.

     

    1. Standardize processes.

    2. Focus on tasks of high value.

    3. Clarify objectives.

    4. Learn to think on paper.

    5. Anticipate upcoming work events or projects.

    6. Avoid backlogs of work by keeping information flowing.

    7. Flexibility leads to control. Use your “to do” list or other tools, but don’t let them control you.

    8. When given a project or task, get all the information you can at once.

    9. Excuse yourself from idle chatter after a few minutes.

    10.When involved in discussions, stick to the issue at hand.

    11.Finish what you start; avoid jumping around (multitasking).

    12.Keep an organized workspace.

     

    I hope you enjoyed this 4 part Series.

    The post Build Structure out of Chaos (Part 4 of 4 Part Series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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