Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead. Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Simplify Your Morning Routine to Get More Out of Your Day
(Family Features) Some people wake up each morning refreshed, bright-eyed and ready to take on the day. Others slap the snooze button repeatedly and drag themselves begrudgingly from a cocoon of blankets. Whether you embrace the morning or muddle through, there’s little doubt that those early moments set the stage for the day ahead.
Give yourself the opportunity to focus on what matters most each day with these tips to simplify your mornings.
Prepare the night before. Many of your morning tasks will flow more smoothly if you take time to plan the night before. Consider what you’ll wear and ensure your outfit is clean and ready for the next day. If you brought work home, collect everything back into your bag or briefcase so nothing gets left behind in the morning rush.
Stick to a routine. Especially when you’re groggy, it can be easy to miss important steps. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your routine, but make it consistent. If you follow the same general pattern every day, habits will form so you can cross each task off your list in order.
Fuel up naturally. Busy mornings make it tempting to skip a morning meal, but a nutritious breakfast can help you reach optimal physical and mental function. When pouring your morning cup of coffee, consider non-dairy creamers. Simple, easy-to-pronounce ingredients like almond milk, coconut cream and real vanilla go into natural bliss Half and Half, providing an innovative, plant-based twist on the classic coffee creamer. Additionally, Oat Milk creamer is another non-dairy option that can replenish your body for the day ahead. Each flavor is crafted to offer simplicity and bliss in your morning routine.
Build in time for exercise. Get moving with some light exercise to get your blood pumping and metabolism revved up. Exercise need not be strenuous or lengthy. Even a half hour of yoga or brisk walking can jumpstart your system. Remember part of exercising is the nourishment that takes place before and after to refuel.
Unplug at breakfast. Once you find the discipline to regularly enjoy your breakfast at home, take the enjoyment one-step further by declaring the breakfast table an unplugged zone. Consider stirring an option like natural bliss Toasted Coconut creamer into your coffee, which offers a flavor that can transport you to an island oasis. Use the time to enjoy a moment for yourself or mentally prepare for the day ahead without the interruption of electronic pings.
Make your commute count. A lengthy commute can make a long day seem even longer, but those moments don’t have to be wasted. Use this time to find your workplace state of mind or review tasks and meetings to prioritize your plan of attack once you reach your desk. You might even use this time to give a presentation one last practice run.
Transform your mornings and find the full creamer portfolio at Coffeemate.com.
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To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs.
(BPT) - If you’ve ever felt tense, anxious or simply unable to relax while performing your job, you’re far from alone.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Stress found 80 percent of U.S. workers across industries have felt stress in the workplace; nearly half say they could use help dealing with it and 42 percent said their co-workers could use some relief.
To the delight of animal lovers everywhere, awareness of the physical, mental and emotional toll taken by stress is leading progressive employers to create take-your-pet-to-work programs. For example, for the past 20 years Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, and in a typical week hundreds of dogs and cats enjoy spending time with their owners at the pet food maker’s St. Louis campus.
"Pets bring a wealth of benefits — both physical and emotional — to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," notes Dr. Kurt Venator, Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina we experience the benefits of pets at work every day, and want others to as well."
As more and more companies adopt a pets-at-work policy, consider these facts based on a recent Purina report about the many advantages of such programs:
* They can benefit health: Pet-employee interaction has been shown to reduce the employees' blood pressure and cholesterol levels in addition to alleviating anxiety.
* They can improve employee retention: Sixty-three percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say they’re very satisfied with their work environments — nearly twice as many as those in other workplaces. In fact, respondents rank the option of bringing pets at work as the second most-valuable employee perk — more valuable than free coffee and parking. Overall, three in five survey participants wish their workplace would institute a pet-friendly policy.
* They can alleviate loneliness: Eight in 10 employees who can bring pets to work say that activity makes them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable. That's partly because talking about pets can be an ice breaker, making it easier for people to approach co-workers and get to know them better.
* They can promote physical activity: Many employees spend breaks and lunchtime playing with their pets or taking them for walks, boosting their own aerobic activity at the same time.
* They can increase pets’ happiness: Rather than staying home waiting for their owners to arrive, pets get to socialize with new people, play with other pets and enjoy more activity. Nearly nine of 10 people in the survey agree that bringing their pets to work strengthens owner-pet bonding.
In light of the proven benefits, Purina encourages other employers to consider allowing pets in the workplace. A toolkit with tips and information is provided at Purina.com.
“Our goal with our report is to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of taking pets to work and to arm employees and employers with insights that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies,” notes Dr. Venator.
It’s time for America’s workforce to wake up. If you are one of the tens of millions of adults sleeping fewer than seven hours each night — the amount recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) — you are likely jeopardizing performance, increasing accident risks and putting everyone in danger during commutes. Getting enough sleep every night is key to improving productivity, safety and quality of life. Here are some tips to make sleep work for you.
(BPT) - It’s time for America’s workforce to wake up. If you are one of the tens of millions of adults sleeping fewer than seven hours each night — the amount recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) — you are likely jeopardizing performance, increasing accident risks and putting everyone in danger during commutes. Getting enough sleep every night is key to improving productivity, safety and quality of life.
Here are some tips to make sleep work for you.
Don’t burn the midnight oil
Working late nights might impress your boss, but restricting your sleep can lead to trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling emotions and more, severely affecting your productivity at work. The National Safety Council reports that workers who sleep fewer than six hours per night cost employers six days a year in productivity.
Sleep for safety
Workers who sleep less than six hours per night are also at higher risk for injury, according to the Sleep Research Society. Cognitive and motor performance impairments caused by sleep deprivation can be comparable to drinking alcohol. If you make it a daily priority to recognize the signs of fatigue before, during and after work, and refuse to drive drowsy, you can reduce the risk of serious injury for yourself and others. This may be especially true if you work a job that involves manual labor or heavy machinery.
Strategies for non-traditional work hours
Some of the more high-risk professions involve working irregular hours. Shift workers — who can be nurses, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, transportation operators and more — work overnight or early morning hours with irregular or rotating shifts, causing upheaval in the body’s circadian rhythm and natural sleep/wake cycle. According to the AASM, shift workers may sleep up to four fewer hours per night than those working traditional hours, increasing the risk for injuries, accidents and drowsy driving. The CDC reports that serious long-term health problems are a concern, too.
However, there are ways for shift workers to combat this problematic sleep schedule.
Tips for 'wake time'
* Avoid exposure to sunlight if you need to sleep during the day, and wear sunglasses if you must go outside.
* Use moderate amounts of caffeine in the early part of your shift.
* Use public transportation, rideshare or take a cab, or arrange rides from friends or family after a work shift.
* Take a 20- to 30-minute nap during a work break or before a night shift.
* Get help from a sleep specialist to reinforce your body clock with strategically timed bright light therapy.
Tips for 'sleep time'
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours before you go to bed.
* Plan for any major changes in your shift schedule by altering your sleep time a few days in advance.
* Try to keep the same schedule on workdays and days off and create an effective “wind down” routine before going to bed.
* Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature, turn off all electronics and only do relaxing activities like reading or journaling.
Use the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project’s bedtime calculator, which helps you find your ideal bedtime based on when you need to wake up for work — even if that’s in the middle of the night.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep isn’t just a matter of feeling alert for productivity and safety on the job; it’s a necessary component of good health and well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you should talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a board-certified sleep medicine physician at an accredited sleep center for help. For more information go to www.sleepeducation.org.
Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities. However, it also comes with challenges. A collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging can help address remote working woes.
Make Working from Home Productive and Liberating
(Family Features) Working from home is a reality for a fast-growing portion of American workers. It can add flexibility, drive higher productivity and reduce company costs related to maintaining physical facilities.
However, it also comes with challenges. If you have worked from home, you have most likely encountered issues collaborating and communicating with colleagues in multiple locations. While there are multiple technologies aimed at helping remote workers and increasing their productivity, they can at times thwart it.
All too familiar with productivity, remote working woes and how to address it, CyberLink created U, a collaboration tool that integrates online presentations, video meetings and instant messaging whether working remote or down the hall from one another.
“It’s a place to hold online meetings, have presentations and chat with your colleagues that doesn’t come with the messy installation fuss and technical errors associated with other options out there,” said Richard Carriere, CyberLink’s general manager and senior vice president of global marketing. “It brings the best of social media, such as emojis, ease of use and the flexibility to have impromptu interactions, to a business environment, in a unique way that heightens communication and collaboration across users.”
According to commissioned research by polling firm YouGov, nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. office workers think it’s harder for remote workers to be seen in the workplace than non-remote workers. Office workers think it’s twice as difficult, when working remotely, to make strong relationships with bosses and coworkers while collaborating effectively. In fact, 1 in 6 think remote workers are less valued by the company, more than 1 in 3 think remote workers miss out on office culture and 1 in 5 think they get promoted less often.
There are also technical difficulties workers can encounter when using the technology solutions of the past. Of office workers who said disruptions and working with a solution that’s incompatible with the demands of a remote workforce today had impacted their work, the most prominent included:
To help address these issues and others, all of U’s offerings create virtual counterparts to in-person scenarios, in turn allowing workplace culture, creativity and dialogue to resonate beyond the physical workplace and to all workers, despite location. Learn more at u.cyberlink.com .
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Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge. Take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
Plan to make productivity a priority
(Family Features) Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge.
Concerns about productivity are broadly founded. They may be related to your self-assessment of your own performance, or it could be that a manager is demanding more. Or maybe you’re collaborating with a team of peers and are struggling to find your footing, and collectively productivity is down.
Productivity is not only good for business; it’s good for worker morale, too. A productive work day can produce a sense of accomplishment and pride, and may result in a less stressful work environment. You can take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
1. Face a challenge head on. Procrastination can be the ultimate roadblock to productivity. For many, that means saving the least desired task on your to-do lists for the end of the day. However, by the end of the day, it’s too easy to delay the task until tomorrow. Instead, start the day with your least desired task. This is when you’ll have the most energy and you’ll kick off your day feeling accomplished, ready to tackle whatever comes next.
2. Be intentional with your time. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can help you have a more productive day. When you feel your energy start to wane, give yourself a timeout. Take a 15-minute walk, run the stairs or spend some time drawing in your notebook. Over the course of a week, pay attention to your schedule and start to plan your meetings and tasks around breaks so you’re working during periods of the day when you’re the most energized.
3. Capture ideas when they come. Let’s face it: not every great idea arrives at the ideal moment. While it’s possible to key your ideas immediately into your smartphone, that can come with multiple obnoxious distractions. However, trying to recreate that flash of inspiration at a more opportune time more often than not falls short with missing details.
An option like the Bamboo Slate smartpad allows you to write naturally with pen on any paper without the social media notifications and email alerts. With the push of a button, you can then convert your handwritten notes into “living” digital files. With Wacom Inkspace, you can organize, edit and share your notes and sketches on your enabled smartphone, tablet or other devices. In case you’re not near your mobile device when inspiration strikes, you can store up to 100 pages on your smartpad and sync later. Learn more at bamboo.wacom.com.
4. Identify areas for collaboration. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The key is knowing yourself well enough to know when you need to ask for help to be more productive. Wasting time on tasks you don’t excel in can slow everyone down. Rather, find others whom you can collaborate with and learn from to help you improve your productivity over time.
5. Stay organized. When you’re working under continuous deadlines, things can really start to pile up – literally. Digging through a mess to find the report containing the data you need or the invoice to cross reference is a waste of precious time. Allow the clutter to build during the work day if you must, but make it a goal to never leave the office without bringing some order to the day’s chaos. Coming in each morning to a desk that is de-cluttered and ready for the day ahead can be a big productivity booster.
Learn to Make Lists with Purpose
List-making has long been revered as the classic time management tool, and technology makes it easier than ever to blend this analog task with your digital world by using smart notebooks like the Bamboo Slate to create an online to-do list.
Consider these three list styles to determine the approach that best fits your work style to put you on your way to more productive days:
Categorized lists. Most people start with a daily to-do list, focusing just on the most urgent tasks for the day. Once you’ve mastered that approach, try looking ahead to the future to help you meet your goals. For this technique, you might consider an annual list or even a life list to help put the big picture in perspective and make it more manageable to accomplish your desires. Others go so far as to categorize their time to focus their attention on different types of tasks on different days.
To-do vs. done lists. Another option is to use lists to catalog both the items you need to do and those you’ve already completed. A “done list” can be a motivating factor in pushing forward with your to-do list by letting you see your accomplishments in writing.Bullet journaling. The bullet journal approach is a four-step process designed to make the to-do list less of a chore and more efficient. A step-by-step guide shows you how to create more productive lists you can easily reference in the future.
(BPT) - Did you know that in an average week, 75 percent of Americans skip doing something for themselves because they didn’t adequately plan or allow enough time for it? Does looking at your to-do list feel so daunting that it discourages you from making any progress at all?
You’re not alone. A new Post-it Brand productivity study found that more than 1 in 4 Americans feel completing everything in their weekly to-do list is harder than running a marathon.
Juggling multiple tasks at one time, along with a never-ending to-do list, is a common challenge for everyone — even those at the top of their game. Two professionals in the culinary and fitness industries share some of their tips to help you take control of your to-do list and increase your productivity.
The ‘write’ way
You’re 42 percent more likely to get something done if you write it down, according to research from the Dominican University of California. Creating a to-do list is an efficient way to visualize and prioritize your tasks, both short-term and long-term. Celebrity chef Russell Jackson is always looking for ways to be more productive and stay inspired. “Writing items down helps me feel that I’ve taken the first step in conquering the task,” he says. “I like to think of lists as a roadmap to help me visualize what I need to achieve.” Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 4 inches x 6 inches, are a perfect tool for jotting down tasks, goals and to-dos, and when paired with flags and tabs, it’s easy to keep important information at your fingertips, stay organized and take your to-do list wherever you go!
Break it down
Too often people attempt to improve their productivity by tackling large projects in a single session. The results may be disappointing and, in many cases, the project is left unfinished. Instead of getting bogged down in the entire scope of a project, take time to break down to-dos into digestible actions, and goals into specific, manageable categories and tasks. This allows you to focus on handling each of these smaller objectives so you can transition some goals from to-do to done.
Toss your tech
“Technology isn’t always the answer to checking things off your to-do list,” says Jackson, adding that even a tech lover such as himself needs a tactile method to spark creativity. Without a screen limiting you to seeing only the small tasks at hand, take advantage of a large surface and use Easel Pads to move big ideas around so you can see everything you are trying to accomplish. Seeing how fluid tasks can be can relieve some stress.
Clear your mind
If you find your current strategy isn’t working, don’t be afraid to switch it up. Go for a walk or clear your head by taking 15 minutes to do something you enjoy. For world-renowned fitness artist and celebrity trainer Nicole Winhoffer, even a 10-minute jog can help bring fresh ideas. She uses Post-it List Notes to write down her post-workout inspirational thoughts. “When you come back to your task after that quick sweat session, write down the first things that come to mind — those can spark ideas that you might never have thought of.”
Post-it Brand created a quiz to help you learn more about your list-making style and to find solutions and tools to help you be productive, tackle your to-do lists and achieve your goals. Visit www.post-it.com/quiz to take the short quiz and find solutions tailored for you to boost your productivity.
Survey details: The Post-it Brand Productivity Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,021 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between March 30 and April 5, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey.
(BPT) - If you feel like you're working more, but getting less done, you're not alone. Employees are working an average of 44 hours per week, of which only 29 were considered to be productive, according to a new survey of 1,200 full time office workers.
The recent "Productivity in the Workplace" study commissioned by Fellowes found respondents feel the key to productivity is making adjustments within the existing workday versus working more hours. Chatty coworkers top the list of productivity killers, with unnecessary meetings, cell phone disruptions and problems with office equipment also on the list. Respondents identify productivity boosters as cutting back on meetings, having more quiet spaces to work, schedule flexibility and more up-to-date technology.
Laura Stack, also known as "The Productivity Pro," travels the country helping organizations of every size improve their employee and team productivity. She shares the following tips to help people make the most of their hours in the office so they can get back to business.
1. Give disruptions the boot. Resist the urge to constantly check email and turn off email notifications. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, instant messaging on Do Not Disturb, and let calls go to voice-mail.
2. Speak up. Need something new in the office to help your coworkers and you stay more productive? It never hurts to ask. Office equipment, like printers and shredders, are now being made with advanced technologies that can make your job easier and help you get back to work.
3. Cut down on meetings. Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting. Can you cover agenda items via email? Cancel meetings if face time isn't imperative and give colleagues more time to get their jobs done. Also, try to schedule one day a week on your calendar that is meeting-free.
4. Don't multi-task, single-task. When you do have a meeting, make sure you are 100 percent focused. You don't want to miss crucial updates and next steps on projects, it will only hurt your productivity later on.
5. Practice "on, in, around, or shred." Eighty-eight percent of people use paper in the office. Keep items you work with daily on your desk, those you work with weekly in your desk drawers, and those you work with monthly around your desk, in archives, or filing cabin Use an automatic shredder for everything else, like Fellowes' line of AutoMax shredders, which shred up to 500 sheets of paper at a time with the simple touch of a button -which helps avoid disruptions.
6. Break it down. If you have trouble getting started with a big task, break it into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, "What is the next action step I need to take to see progress on this project?" Then set a timer, leap into action, and focus on the next step.
7. Vary activities. For mental and physical alertness, vary sitting activities with standing ones, mental activities with physical ones. It will help prevent fatigue and keep your efficiency high.
8. Put some fun into your work. Turn boring tasks into a game. Make a deal with yourself that when you complete the activity, you will do something fun afterward - like taking a walk or having a piece of chocolate. By creating internal enthusiasm, you can stay focused longer.
9. Change of scenery. Try to work in a different setting once a week. Whether you work from home, the library, or a nearby park, new surroundings can inspire ideas and give you the energy you need to tackle your to-do list.
To learn more about Laura Stack and the "Productivity in the Workplace" study, visit www.fellowes.com or www.TheProductivityPro.com.
With appointments and meetings to remember, tasks to complete and jobs to finish, life can get crazy in the business world. To help limit the stress and anxiety of everyday business life, here are a few “hacks” for you and your busy colleagues, including keeping a calendar, getting rest, utilizing technology and keeping a clean workspace.
Flexible Savings Accounts
Flexible Spending Account
Health Care Costs
Health Care Jobs
Health Savings Account
Health Savings Accounts
Work And Family
Work Life Balance