Take Breaks Why It Is Important To Take More Breaks

Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Here’s why it's important to take breaks.

As humans, we are usually limited to two-digit life spans but need to accomplish a lot. You may feel like you have to do too much and shoulder too many responsibilities that need to be taken care of within a small time span. Breaks may appear as shedding away your responsibilities. However, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Without breaks, you can’t keep a check on your stress level and it becomes a bit too much for your brain to keep up. Here’s why breaks are an absolute necessity during your work and study hours:

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1. Process & Retain Information More Efficiently

Our brains function in two different ways – focused and diffused. In diffused mode, your brain is relaxed and is almost in a wandering or “daydream” state. In her book A Mind for Numbers, Professor Barbara Oakley explains how we can’t function in a focused mode for too long and need to take breaks to shift to diffused mode. While in diffused mode or the “daydream mode”, our brain works at a subconscious level and is able to solve problems more efficiently and helps us to form connections. Focused mode helps us to master the details, while diffused mode helps us to figure out how things work with each other.

With short breaks throughout the day, you can switch between both modes to maintain a harmony that combines execution with creativity. Think about reading a book or watching a movie. You don’t really ponder over the details in every scene or line. After you have finished reading the book or watching the movie you are able to draw connections and make sense of a brilliant piece of work.  

2. Increased Productivity

In his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Tony Schwartz has researched the physiological fatigue that humans have to suffer through after working for prolonged durations. According to his research, it kicks in after 90 mins of work and can make us lose focus. Like a well-oiled machine, your brain needs to rest a bit to recharge itself and refocus on your work. Short and planned breaks throughout the day can help you to achieve that.

You can divide your workday into small targets that can be achieved within less than an hour or a bit more. As you complete your targets, you can take a small breather and relax to allow your brain to juice up and move on towards the next target. This helps you to boost your productivity since you aren’t distracted from work fatigue and get more work done at the end of the day. According to research conducted by DeskTime on a group of employees, the most productive workers take numerous breaks during the workday.

3. Better Health & Overall Well-Being

Sitting on your desk throughout the day is the easiest way to shift away from fitness. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, short 5-minute walks during your workday can be good for you in more ways than one. It doesn’t just reduce lethargy, but lifts moods and improves your overall health. Researchers in the study found out that brief walks every hour is more effective compared to long and intense workout sessions. Sitting at your desk for too long can also have an adverse effect on your blood circulation and expose you to risks like obesity, heart disease, and chronic joint pains.

Moreover, eating your lunch at the desk is more inefficient than you may think. You don’t pay attention to your food and chewing is reduced by drastic levels. This can lead to poor food choices at best and poor digestion at worst. A lunch break away from your desk without the stress of work can boost your afternoon productivity and even prevent the sugar crash in your body that inclines you towards an afternoon nap.

4. Emotional & Mental Health

A Swedish office tradition known as “Fika” involves you grabbing a few of your mates with a sugary snack and a cup of coffee. This may seem odd, but is, in fact, a well-accepted office culture in the Scandinavian country. Employees aren’t questioned by their superiors when they enjoy a “Fika” with their colleagues away from their desks. It helps employees to reboot and promotes good mental health. However, according to a study conducted by the National Charity Partnership, it was found that most employees utilize their allocated rest periods for work.

Half of the respondents admitted that they don’t leave the office during lunchtime. This doesn’t just leave a toll on your physical body but also affects your emotional health since you experience increased levels of anxiety, stress and become easily irritable. Employers understand this as well and last year on 15th May, over 60 companies participated in National Mental Health Break, a campaign launched by Shine, a startup that targets negative mental health problems.

Conclusion

When you study or work for too long without a break you may pull through that day, but it will have a bad effect on your physical and mental health that may lead to burnout. According to research conducted by Gallup, one in five employees feel burned out quite often while almost half of the participants in the study admitted to feeling burned out sometimes. A report from Harvard Business School estimates that companies lose $125 billion to $190 billion each year from healthcare spending for physical and psychological problems of burned-out employees.

Short and planned breaks are very important for both studying and working. It is an inexpensive way to keep health problems to a minimum and maintain high levels of productivity. Both individuals and organizations need to emphasize on the importance of breaks at the workplace and in their curriculum. The goal should be to achieve productivity instead of being bound to the old traditions of long work hours. You can take breaks and choose to work smarter, not longer. 

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How To Complete A Time Audit & Why It’s Useful

The day has already passed by, and you couldn’t complete your work. Learn how to conduct a time audit to improve productivity.

The day has already passed by, and you couldn’t complete your work. Most of us suffer from such problems or something else that makes us willing to trade almost anything for just a couple of hours more. To avoid these situations, a time audit is one of the best and simple solution that you can follow. It lets you assess your time intention, the things on which you actually spend most of your time every day and set up protocols to check your progress towards the things you intend to spend your time on. The following easy steps would guide you for conducting a time audit.

Step 1: Setting Up Intentions

First of all, you need to set up time intentions. Basically, imagine your ideal workday and write down the amount of time you would ideally spend on activities throughout your day. You can set yourself some goals and allocate time accordingly. For instance:

  • Goal 1: Projects and assignments (50 percent of your time)
  • Goal 2: Research and skill improvement (25 percent of your time)
  • Goal 3: Work-related communication with clients and colleagues (8 percent of your time)

You won’t reach these goals some of the time since everything isn’t under your control. However, you get a target that can be approached.

Step 2: Track Your Time

It’s time to track your time data with a time tracking tool. It can be any popular and reliable resource like RescueTime, Hubstaff, or Time Doctor. Use the time tracking tool to look at the way you spent your time compared to your intended goals. Most of these apps have dashboards that will show you how far you lag behind or over achieve your goals. You can dig deeper and see the frequency of failure of the goals and more.

Step 3: Review Your Audit

Once you have a gauge of your time spending, you can set new goals and realign them to fit your active hours when you are most productive. For instance, you can allocate most of the time to work in the morning, do research and improve skills during the lazy hours, and spend less time on social media and emails to be more concise and precise with your communication.

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Step 4: Create A Time Management System

Finally, place a solid time management system by adjusting your schedule and planning out every moment of the next day with time blocks. Everything from breakfast to work and even entertainment. This allows you to gain more control over your own time and lets you make quick decisions regarding the extra flow of meetings and requests. With previous assessments from the time tracking tool, you can also set up your own time management system more efficiently.

The importance of doing Time audit is increasing as our daily schedule gets more busy and overwhelming. However, it can only offer guidance. Improving your time management and gaining lost time requires you to change old habits, introduce new routines, and progressively apply new schedules. The human brain tries to resist any kind of change in our ordinary life. So, to pull through and reap the benefits of time management, you can also introduce someone to whom you would be accountable for these changes.

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How A Timetable Can Help You Reach Your Goals

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Time management, the most vital role in your everyday life. It is one of the most essential and powerful parts of the day for every individual. No matter if you are an employee, a student or a business person. Managing time is a very important thing. This can be done by preparing a proper timetable. Especially, in the business organizations. This helps in improving the productivity of the company. Let me tell you one thing, if you are not sure either you are using your time wisely or not, there is a little chance that you’ll reach your goal. 

We get exactly, 86,400 seconds in a day, and we should make sure that we use these seconds productively and accurately.  Here is a complete guide to time management and making a timetable for all the organizations out there.

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How To Plan An Active Timetable For Your Organization?

1.      Set goals and Prioritize

The primary and most critical part of any good time managing strategy is to set your goals. You need to make sure that the timetable you are making must include the activities that support the goals of your business. Prioritize sanely. Keep the most important things at the start of your timetable.

2.      Manage the Breaks

It is essential to keep the tasks and activities managed.  If you lack the balance in your timetable and jam-pack it with work only, employees will get stressed out, and stress can never lead to productivity. So keep in mind to give breaks at the right time.

3.      Plan Ahead

Once you have the idea about where to set your priorities and breaks, now you are ready to plan ahead. It might be a little tricky and time-taking to make a to-do-list. However, once you are done with this, it’ll relax you for days.

4. Don’t Burden

This is very necessary for your organization. Employees hate working in a suffocating environment. Try to lessen the burden of your employees. Manage wisely and make sure that you make the timetable by keeping everyone else in your mind, rather than the company benefit only.

How Can A Timetable Benefit Your Organization?

Now, as you have the guide to managing a good timetable, let’s see the benefits that it can give your organization;

1.      Meeting Deadlines

Allocate limited time for every task, and you’ll get the work on within the deadlines. When the employees would get the time-boxed functions, in the timetables they complete it no matter what. Especially when they are given relatively enough breaks, daily activities, and an enjoyable environment to spend the time. Besides that, accomplishing the task in a given time will not be a very difficult job, as you are not burdening anyone.

2.      Better Work Quality

Being a devoted employee to the company, the company expects you to provide the absolute quality of your work, along with good criteria. With the precise use of deadline and prioritization according to the timetable, one can effectively convey a framework of more high-grade quality. This assists in concentrating on essential tasks very easily. It allows you to work on them with full focus. Hence, the quality of working is improved day by day.

3.      More Productivity And Efficiency

It is no magic. Time management makes you more effective and productive, naturally. As you have the timetable in your hand, you know how to manage the tasks. This will make you a working professional. Some of the skills are essential in making you achieve your aim as briefly as possible. Complete the tasks without negotiating on the work quality. Your overall struggle and capability to work is tossed away when you’re working on tasks that are not your priority, but adequate skills to manage tasks let you do the assignments that are urgent and high-priority on time.

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4.      Less Stress And Anxiety

When has your work led, it’s pretty obvious that you won’t feel much stressed out and depressed, at least at your workplace?  You know the deadline and you know your task. Just sit back, enjoy your coffee, and concentrate on the specific job. Once completed, you’ll feel so much better and relieved.

5.      Say No To Procrastination

Procrastination is a very bad habit that almost most of us have. “Will do it later” is a big no. The meaning of time management is the effort to reduce the urge to delay. Never procrastinate over essential priorities. Practicing specific time management skills qualify you as a founder, manager, or employee to serve more energetically and smarter rather than harder. It immediately kills the delay by assuring that you’re comfortable with the tasks added in your to-do list and when it needs to be completed.

6.      Improved Quality Of Life

The adequate timetable doesn’t just help your professional life circle, but it can further enrich your life outside of the workplace. Being punctual is a big thing, and not everyone can do that effectively. If you grip everything beneath your command on the professional side, you get more time to enough time to appreciate your personal life too. You don’t have to sit late in the office and ruin your plans. Knowing the fact that assignments and projects are on the right track will bring a sense of peace and tranquility in your life.

7.      More Time For Leisure And Creativity

 Can you remember the last time you took time out for yourself? If yes, then impressive. You have your personal life and professional life under control. But if that is not the case, believe me, time management will help you a ton.  An organization can’t grow until its employees are satisfied with the working criteria and atmosphere. This enables you to create the perfect blend of working smart all day long.

Timetable effectively helps your organization to achieve the goal. It will shed a positive light on the productivity of the company. When the employees learn to take control over time management daily, the organization will automatically gain the strength to get things done in the boundary of the deadlines. Make healthier choices and most importantly, opt for ultimate restraint of your chief priorities.

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Meet the Author

Claudia Jeffrey is the author of this article. She is an excellent Content Strategist, works with Crowd Writer, which is a renowned and fantastic platform to buy assignments online. Claudia is an independent lady who loves to write and travel the world. Being a Content Strategist, she is a great person to talk to.

7 Time-Wasters That Are Stealing Hours from You

If you're sick of wasting time on useless tasks, read this. We'll discuss 7 time wasters that you should cut out of your life if you want to be more productive.

Check out these seven-time wasters that are stealing precious hours from you. It’s time to stop wasting time once and for all!

As much as we try to stick to a schedule, time always seems to slip through our fingertips. In a world saturated with smartphones and social media, it’s no wonder it’s hard to get anything done. 

But, you can’t allow these distractions to get the best of you. You have it in your power to turn down the noise and focus. Whether you’re a busy student or a working professional, it’s vital to stay on task if you want to do well in life. 

1. Television

With the rise of social media, people aren’t watching as much TV. But if you do happen to enjoy the occasional Netflix series, you have to be careful not to watch too much.

To cut back on watching TV, try to limit the number of hours you watch each day. Work on watching your favorite programs only after you’ve completed everything else on your to-do list.

2. Smartphones

We’re all guilty of peeking at our cell phones throughout the day. After all, it’s how we stay connected to the rest of the world. But, checking our smartphones and getting absorbed in social media is a huge time waster. It turns out that we spend an average of five hours a day on our phones! 

It’s easy to look up and realize that you’ve been surfing on Instagram for an hour. How did that happen when you were supposed to be cleaning the house? Oops! It’s important to be aware of how much time you’re spending on your phone. And you need to set some boundaries in order to focus on the task at hand.

Keep your phone away from your desk while you’re busy. You should also put your phone on silent so that notifications don’t distract you. And, set a time to put your phone down before you go to bed each night. That way, you won’t lose out on sleep because you’re reading Twitter threads.

Implementing simple techniques like these will help you spend less time on your phone. You’ll find that you’re a lot more productive when your phone is out of the picture!

3. Poor Organizational Skills 

Are you lacking in the organization department? If you’re having a hard time keeping your apartment organized, figure out ways to solve that. 

Try setting aside 10 minutes or more to straighten things up each day. If you already have a big mess, try to knock it out during a single weekend. Cleaning is a lot easier if you tackle it in one go.

Get your phone, laptop, and calendars organized, too. A clean computer desktop and an orderly calendar will help you plan and work more efficiently.

4. Distracting Activities With Friends

Spending time with friends is normal. But if you use your friends as a way to avoid work, then you have a problem. Quit making excuses and stick to a schedule. If you don’t, you’re never going to get anything done. Eventually, you’ll find yourself falling behind in class or at work.

You might have a friend who pressures you to spend more time with them. In that case, you’ll have to say no. Explain that you’d love to hang out but that you need to do some other things first.

It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But before you go out with friends, you have to get ahold of your schedule.

5. Surfing the Internet 

How many times have you caught yourself surfing the internet instead of staying focused? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a lot.

The problem with surfing the internet is that it’s easy to click from one link to the next without stopping. You start by reading Wikipedia articles and before you know it, you’re looking at menus for local restaurants. 

Instead of getting pulled away from what’s important, set some boundaries for yourself. When you’re supposed to be working, ban yourself from visiting websites that tend to distract you. Yes, that means you’ll have to stay off of your favorite celebrity news blog for a while. 

Time management isn’t easy. But after you get into a rhythm, it’ll become a habit. Before long, you’ll find that it’s easy to stay away from non-work sites when you’re busy. And when you have free time, you may find that you don’t even want to spend it on your smartphone or watching television! 

6. Traffic

Last year, the average American spent roughly 97 hours stuck in traffic. That’s more than four whole days! So, if you have a long commute to work, it’s draining a lot of your time.

To solve this problem, consider moving closer to work. Even if you’re saving on rent by living further away, you’re wasting hours and hours of your time. And you’re spending money on gas!

Do the math and figure out ways to cut back on traffic time. If you can say goodbye to a long commute, you can say hello to productivity time! 

7. Parking

Sometimes it feels impossible to find a good parking spot. Whether it’s at school or work, you can spend hours driving in circles. And when you do happen to find a space, it’s often so far away that you have to walk a mile to get where you need to be.

To avoid this, try showing up early when there are still spots available. You’ll have some time to kill, so bring a coffee and a good book. You can also use this time to prepare for something important. It turns out you can free up a lot of time by finding a premium parking spot early!

Carpooling with friends can also help you save time. This means one less vehicle in the parking lot, which is helpful for everyone!

In Summary

Now that we’ve identified the time-wasters in your life, you can start reprioritizing! It may take a bit to form new habits, but you’ll feel better knowing you’re making better decisions. Stay aware of what activities are eating up your time. As you figure out what’s killing your productivity, you can limit those activities. 

Now, it’s okay to reward yourself with some TV or Instagram at night. But, only reward yourself after you have completed your goals for that day. You and you alone are in charge of your time, so make every moment count!

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Meet the Author

Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place KSU. He can be reached by email at lincoln@myprimeplace.com or by call or text at 402-858-2858.

Why Time Management is So Important to Executives

There are good reasons for just about anybody to find ways to improve how they use and manage their time, and most people find that when they start working on this, they can become more productive. For people who work in senior capacities in businesses, however, managing time well can be the difference between success, and disaster.

Time Management and Executives

Executives have to oversee progress on multiple projects, make time for lots of meetings and discussions, and dedicate some time to keeping their skills fresh, and keeping themselves on top of the latest news in their industry. This is all on top of other work they might have to do, such as preparing proposals and presentations, and of course, on top of their personal lives and self-care.

Because of this, executives need to use every means they can to track their time and how they use it. Here are some of the other reasons why, if you have your sights set on becoming an executive, you should work hard on time management skills.

How Well Executives Manage Time

In addition to time management making an executive more effective, it is one of the personal skills that senior people in leadership positions are judged so strongly on. Especially when it comes to things like hiring decisions. Someone who is applying for an executive position is likely to be asked what processes they use to make sure that everything on their plate gets dealt with in a timely way, and that they are efficient when it comes to knowing where they’re supposed to be, and who they need to make time for.

People who are looking to become candidates for good executive vacancies will need to be able to convince their contacts at the executive staffing agency dealing with the post they want that they are strong in this area, even before meeting with anybody at the hiring company. Most external applicants for senior roles find opportunities through an executive search firm. Someone like TruPath Search can look into the suitability of candidates before putting them forward for roles which will help the process to move along smoothly.

Executives Can Innovate in Terms of Company Time Management

Executives in some roles may be expected to innovate and lead in terms of company culture and help to boost productivity in general. It is important, then, that they have a good grasp on what makes managing time easier, and which tools and processes can help, so they can make good recommendations that will be implemented throughout the business. Things like meeting scheduling tools, time tracking software and even personal productivity apps can be brought in across teams and even whole companies to create improvements. So, an executive who values time management is well placed to do this.

There are lots of expectations of people in senior roles in business, and this can lead to a stressful working life. However, everything can become a lot more organized and successful when you empower yourself with good time management approaches, such as some of the things we talk about on this site.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

Simple Methods That Will Boost Your Productivity

Simple Methods That Will Boost Your Productivity

Work isn’t just about working. It’s about the best method of using your time and effort to get your tasks done. Of Course, to be able to achieve this consistently, you really need to have your productivity under control. A topic you can find out all about in the post below.

Create TouchPoints During the Day

One thing that can really help to boost your productivity is to have touch points through the day. These are short sessions of time where you either write down your goals and focus for the day or come back to them and check how you are doing.

A bullet journal or planner is the perfect place to record your goals for the day.

In fact, by knowing precisely what you want to do each day, and monitoring this, you can really boost your productivity. Even if you have get distracted or get in too deep with some research, you can reassess where you need to be and return there.

Simple Methods That Will Boost Your Productivity

Find Out Where Your Time Is Going

Do you ever go through a day and wonder where all your time has gone? If so, you are not alone. In fact, one of the biggest drains on our productivity is that we waste time unknowingly.

Of course, when you are working at a computer as a vast majority of us do now, this problem only intensifies. After all, it can be effortless to fool ourselves that we are doing work related research, or tasks when we are doing things for our entertainment.

Luckily, there is you can do something to find out where all of your time is going. In fact, all you have to do is go to sites like https://setapp.com/apps/timing that offer automatic timing apps. Then you can use the app to track exactly how you’re spending your time when working on your computer. This then allows you to get a much clearer picture of what needs less attention. This also makes it more evident which areas need more of your attention for productivity improvements.

Pomodoro That Work!

Another straightforward way of increasing your productivity is to only allow yourself a certain amount of time for each task you need to do. After all, it is so easy for tasks to expand ad infinitum and something that may only need an hour of time spent on it can end up taking you a day or two!

In particular, using a simple Pomodoro timer as described at https://lifehacker.com can work well for this. Especially if you give yourself a quick break in between times of focus to allow you, mind to rest and refresh.

Say NO to Unnecessary Distractions

Finally, in the digital age, we live in it can be all too easy to become overrun with distractions in the form of notifications. In reality, however, there are very few things that you need to know about straight away, even on social media or email.

To that end, as the post at https://www.inc.com suggests it is a wise move to turn off notification distractions. In fact, doing so can help you keep your focus on the task at hand, and so have a very positive effect on your productivity.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I may receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

In today’s world, it’s crucially important to continue growing professionally. For this reason, so many people try to balance work and studying at college.

If you also have chosen this challenging path, you should learn how to cope with the stress to live your life to the fullest. If you are looking for useful tips on how to improve your overall performance and better your state of mind, keep reading.

Establish Healthy Eating Habits

When you immerse yourself in work and studying, you burn lots of calories. For this reason, you should eat healthy food and control your calorie intake. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your body gets enough nutritive elements to keep functioning effectively.

Doctors and scientists state that individuals who experience physical and mental stress must avoid eating junk food and fast food. Further, it’s highly recommended to increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. If you feel exhausted, you should add the following products to your grocery list:

Must-Have Groceries

  • Blueberries
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Quinoa

These products contain vitamin E and A, omega-3, antioxidants, copper, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Therefore, if you consume them regularly, you will boost your vital energy.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Exercise Daily

Only a person, who is physically and mentally healthy, can cope with the balancing work and study. So if you want to be healthy, you have to exercise daily.

It doesn’t matter whether you attend Zumba classes or work out at the gym – be sure that you enjoy the process. The sport will help you to decrease the stress level, and you will feel yourself much better.

Don’t say that you can’t go into the sport because you don’t have enough time. However, it’s not an excuse. You can always find at least 20 minutes a day to make some basic exercises or practice yoga at home.

Get Enough Sleep

Your mind and body require at least 7 hours for recovering after the long day. Further, a lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression and even more severe mental health issues. So, if you want to live a happy life, you shouldn’t sacrifice your night’s sleep under any circumstances.

Moreover, it’s okay to take a 30-minutes nap during the day. It will not affect your nighttime sleep but will improve your mood and performance.

Spend Time with Friends and Family

Balancing is all about setting the right priorities. First, find your priority number one:  your work, studying, family or friends? You need less than a second to answer this question.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let your busy schedule ruin your relationship with your loved ones. Further, you should always find a little time to talk to your close people on the phone or to meet them in person. Even if you live far away from your family, you can use Skype or any other services to have an in-depth conversation.

You should understand that the people whom you love provide you with great emotional support. They help you to overcome all the difficulties in your life. If you ignore your family and friends, you will not feel happy while working and studying.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Take Time Management Seriously

Time is the most precious resource, which people have. Do you agree with this statement? Try to imagine that you get 24 precious hours every day. Then, you have to decide how to invest them in building a happier future.

You should learn more about modern time management strategies and apply them to your real life. Doing so will help you to become the best employee and the best student.

The problem is that if you have poor time management skills, your attempt to balance work and study can turn to be a disaster. Further, to prevent the troubles, you should learn how to create an extra hour in your day.

Work Remotely, If Possible

If you are a waitress or cashier, you can’t work remotely. However, if you are an accountant or web designer, it’s likely that you can perform some of your tasks from home.

Be brave and talk to your boss. You should clearly explain why you would like to work remotely. If you are good at negotiating, your boss will allow you to work from home at least one day a week.  As a result, you will get a more flexible schedule and will save a few precious hours.

7 Tips for Balancing Work and Studying in College

Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Sometimes, when you have to work and study all day long, it feels like your life is passing you quickly. This is a terrible situation, and you have to find a rational solution.

Don’t pretend that you are a superhero, because you are not. You are an ordinary person, so you shouldn’t feel awkward asking for help.

Do you lack time to walk your dog early in the morning? Well, you can pay $5 to your 12-years-old neighbor, and he will do you a favor.

Do you want to go to the friend’s birthday party, but have to write a research paper tonight? It’s not a problem! You can get help from the best college writing services online.

Conclusion

Professional growth is essential for your success, and it’s a fact. However, there are a lot of beautiful things around you, which makes your life better. Make sure that your work and studying at college don’t take all of your time. Additionally, be sure that you can enjoy all the beauty the world has to offer.

Author Bio:

Daniela McVicker is a blogger and writer with a degree in social psychology from Durham University. Daniela primarily focuses on writing about self-improvement. Additionally, she has authored several insightful and motivating articles like “Making The Right Choices Every Day” and “7 Steps To Open Yourself To New Opportunities & Possibilities”.

Disclosure: This post is a guest post. Another anonymous party authored this guest post. All posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

An Introduction to SMART Goals | What Are They and How to Use Them

We’ve all got goals, some big and some small. While goals may be as seemingly insignificant as finishing a cup of coffee the first time without having to microwave it, goals also might be as broad as growing a business. Whatever your goal is, think about it. How did you create this goal? What are your steps to achieve this goal? I know this can seem daunting at first, but there is a way that will allow you to create worthwhile goals, just the right amount of challenging, and that you can accomplish and set out to achieve! If you’ve never heard of SMART goals, you’ve come to the right place. If you have heard of these, you’re still in the right place. Let’s dive in!

What does SMART stand for?

When creating a goal and the ways you will achieve it, using this acronym can help you get started. The “S” stands for Specific, the “M” stands for Measurable, the “A” stands for Attainable, the “R” stands for Relevant, and the “T” stands for Time-bound. These are all things to consider when coming up with your goals and how to tackle them.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“S” is for Specific

Break down the goal. In this stage of SMART, you’ll ask yourself what exactly your goal is aiming to achieve. Come up with a list of specifics, including the exact things that to accomplish. It’s also important to recognize if others are needed to complete this goal as well as where it will take place. You can also ask yourself the “why” question of why you want to accomplish this in the first place.

Example: I want to grow my small business by taking on two new clients per month so that I can have a fuller workload and pay my rent. Doing this will involve me, my assistant, and future clients.

“M” is for Measurable

How will you know if you complete the goal? It’s essential that you come up with a way to measure your success and where you stand in your journey to achieve your goal. You will need to recognize what your future action steps are, how much more needs to change to reach it, and how you will measure success.

Example: I will know I succeeded when I have two new clients per month. To get here, I will need to set up checkpoints with myself each week to see if I made any progress. I may only be halfway there, but I know the next two weeks I am capable of completing the goal.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“A” is for Attainable

It is finding the balance between what is challenging and do-able. You will want your goal to be right in the middle of the “This is too easy” and “This is too hard” mindsets. Just like Goldilocks, find the goal that is just right. Try to avoid jumping to extremes, but also avoid going too easy on yourself. It’s important to challenge yourself positively. Think about the resources you have or will need to achieve the goal, if it is of reasonable difficulty, and if it is something you will be able to complete.

Example: If I were to aim for ten new clients per month, I know it would be impossible because I don’t have the time to do that. If my goal were to get one new client per month, it would be too easy. Landing on two allows me to focus on my goal, and I can always edit my goal moving forward. If I focus my time on reaching out to new clients, I can reach this goal.

“R” is for Relevant

Is this really what I should be aiming to do right now? Your goals should come into play at the right time. If you’re still in school, don’t make your goal something that isn’t relevant to your next steps. Make sure your goal is something meaningful to you as well, as it will make it difficult to work towards a goal that you are just doing to impress others or because you feel like you “should” do it. We’ve all been there! You have to recognize whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to complete the goal.

Example: This goal of two new clients is something I want to commit to achieving. Others told me to just wait and let new clients come to me, but it is meaningful for me to put myself out there, and I am committed to achieving this goal.

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image credit: IvoryMix

“T” is for Time-bound

There’s never a perfect time – but it does matter! Set deadlines for reaching this goal, or set up milestones along the way. Outline exactly when you will reach certain milestones, and come up with a plan (if you need ideas, check out my planning section here). There should always be a time frame; otherwise, it will be hard to stay motivated to get things done. Think in baby steps: what to do today, in a week, in a month, and beyond!

Example: My goal for two new clients a month needs to be reached by the end of six months. Then, I can calculate exactly how much more work I am able to take on and see if I need to change my goal. Today, I can start by reaching out to potential clients.

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In Summary…You’ve Got This!

No matter what your goals are, I hope you were able to use this introduction to SMART goals to help you see just where this method of goal creating can take you. I’d love to hear from you about your methods of using SMART goals, and if you have any tips or tricks to share.

As always, thanks for reading!

This post was written and researched by Caroline Johnson of Line Writing Co. Editing and formatting done by Elizabeth of Jihi Elephant

Daily Activities That Can Help Raise Motivation

Motivation in human beings is incredibly important. It is the thing that makes most things in our lives happen. In other words, if we don’t have the will to do something, we won’t do it at all. And motivation is what drives our will, what makes us do things to change something in our lives.

That’s why it’s essential to master motivation on a daily basis, to be able to inspire ourselves even if sometimes nothing goes our way. Motivation is what will move you to create new experiences and grow as a person. So, you need to know how to evoke motivation through a number of daily activities and help yourself.

1. Eat some chocolate

The effects that chocolate has on our brains are no myth. The release of dopamine it causes increases your heart level, which then increases your motivation. And not just that – it also increases serotonin and phenylethylamine that bring you both calm and the much-needed stimulation. So, in just one minute after eating chocolate, you’ll be feeling positive effects.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home house plants houseplants

2. Surround yourself with green

We all know certain colors affect our mood, and in only 10 minutes you’ll get a boost in motivation if you surround yourself with color green. And how can you do that when you need it? Well, easy – go outside! Take a short walk in your garden or go to the nearest park. Just go to a place filled with bushes and trees, and you will feel the motivation rising in you

3. Connect motivation to good feelings

It’s hard to feel motivated if you’re doing something you don’t like. The trick is to connect that annoying activity with something positive, like a favorite song. So, every time you need to do something you’d rather skip, just play your song and soon the feeling you get when you listen to your favorite song will prevail the feeling of annoyance because of the activity, and you’ll start feeling motivated.

4. Change the question

Sometimes when you get stuck, and your mind runs out of ideas, an easy solution could be to just change your focus. And in order to change focus, you need to change the question you have been asking yourself. It is usually a negative question, for example, “What is wrong with this situation?” or “What am I doing wrong?” Of course, you’ll find tons of answers to that, meaning just listing negative things and you won’t get motivated that way. Instead, change it to a positive question, like “What is good/right about this situation?” You will quickly start finding all the good things about it and slowly feeling your motivation is back.

5. Split your to-do list in half

If you take on too many things to do on a daily basis, you are bound to be disappointed, demotivated and angry at yourself. You need to be more realistic about how many things you can get done in one day, so the road to success is to cut that list to half. That way, you’ll enable yourself to do all of the things on the list, which will make you feel good about yourself and instantly motivate you to take on the tasks of the following day. It’s easier to be motivated when you have already achieved something and empowered yourself.

6. Move your physical boundary

To be a complete person, you need to awaken your motivation when it comes to testing your physical limits, no matter how small they are. Start with giving yourself a task on a daily basis that includes, for example, crossing a bicycle route that you’ll frequently change and maybe even make longer as the time passes. To avoid any problems like a flat tire (that will affect your mood and, of course, kill the motivation flow) and bad terrain, you should be prepared for all conditions. Buy high-quality tires, carry a bike pump with you and get a good mudguard – there won’t be anything to interrupt you daily motivation route.

7. Get your focus

This modern tech time brought us 24/7 connection with the whole world, making us constantly swarmed with messages, emails and video calls. The internet and all the gadgets we carry in our pockets and keeping next to us while working distract us from what we are trying to do, interrupting our chain of thoughts and preventing our motivation to spread its wings. So, next time you are trying to do something meaningful and are in need of motivation, disconnect from all the sources of unnecessary information and fun and get to work. Focus.

Final words

Small tricks that you do in 5-15 minutes can do wonders for your everyday motivation. Of course, they won’t all work with the same intensity for you, and maybe some of them won’t work at all. You just need to find out which ones do you well the most.

Meet the Author

This post was written by Audrey Taylor. Audrey was born in San Francisco and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include home decorating, fashion, travel, music, old movies.

Keep Productive All Day With These 7 Tips

Being productive throughout the day can be such hard work when you got to organize your day and plan your day thoroughly (which takes time). But really, it isn’t! Sometimes, even if you don’t feel productive in those days, try to experiment with what works best and what doesn’t and keep it a daily habit in your life.

Tips to Stay Productive All Day

Don’t be afraid when you missed a day or two. I know it took me some time to get used to the habit and when I failed to do so, I start again and continue on these habits. Seriously, I’m only just a student! Sometimes, work can build up, and I have to have late-nighters writing up two essays equalling up to 2500 words and a project that I need to complete within the next week. But the reason you’re here is that you want to find out ways to be more productive throughout the day and end the night feeling accomplished.

1. Wake up early

The recommended time to wake up is 5 – 7 am. If you want to wake up early, then you got to sleep early (that’s how it works, folks). I’ve tried waking up at 5 AM before, and the end result came to me finishing off more work than I usually did waking up at 8-10am.  Oh yeah, I also got more time to myself later in the afternoon, and I felt much more accomplished. And can we talk about watching the sunrise? It’s so uplifting to see the sun waking up with you. Oh, nature. And when you use an alarm, make sure you don’t snooze or hit that snooze button!

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2. Use a Planner with a To-Do List

Having a planner is a great way to keep you on the right track when it comes to planning out your day. You can either use a physical, digital or even just a piece of paper for writing down your to-do list. There are plenty of free digital planners that are available in the app stores that can be installed on your phone and computer.  I personally like to use physical planners because I don’t have to worry about losing my data if my phone or computer crashes (this actually happened back then when I forgot to back up my data. Oops).

3. Eat a Good Breakfast

Start the day off by making breakfast with food that is high in protein like eggs, beans, dairy products and meat and add in vegetables and fruits (of course). You got plenty of time to do this because you’ve wakened up early. Protein helps repair cells, builds tissues in our system and is important for our bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, and skin. With Protein, you’re also inputting energy into your system so you can focus on what you’re doing.

7 Ways to Keep Productive All Day

4. Meditate after you wake up

Ever since I started meditating at 6 AM each morning, the way I handle my day better improved. It helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia that I use to have. Start meditating in the morning after waking up because you’re well rested and ready to start the day. Everyone is still asleep giving you a reason to have peace & quiet with no distractions.

5. Exercise

Exercising releases adrenaline, keeps you fit and makes you more motivated and more likely to be productive. Say, go for a run, jog or stroll in the morning or later during the day. I take a stroll later in the day because depending on the weather, mornings are always freezing! You don’t have to go to the GYM all the time (unless you want to). You can exercise at home using free apps or looking up on Pinterest.

6. Make Your Bed

We can agree than organizing, or spring cleaning is like the best way to feel motivated, confident and happy. Being organized can also increase your productivity. You will start the day off more accomplished since you just did your first task; making the bed! Decluttering helps you reduce anxiety. It involves physical activity, so you’re keeping fit. Decluttering is also mindfulness because it doesn’t take a lot of thinking and creates confidence and self-efficacy.

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7. Set a Goal

Lastly, set at least 3-5-day goals or make a weekly goal that you want to achieve that day. The purpose of setting a goal is to make yourself feel accomplished, motivated, satisfied, focused and confident. Confident that you could achieve anything as well as point you in the right direction toward being more productive. Isn’t that what life’s purpose is?

I always set a weekly goal and write down things that I have accomplished every Sunday. Sundays are like my only days off, but depending on you, you can either do this at night or whatever time fits you best.

7 Ways to Keep Productive All Day

Meet the Author

Bio: This post was written by Ellen of ZyraKuma. Ellen is a blogger and owner of her lifestyle site ZyraKuma. She writes posts about lifestyle, self-care and blogging tips. She is currently a student in Australia who is pursuing a career in Illustration or Graphic Design. Ellen loves to draw, play video games, read and help people. She also has a pet duck. You can view more from ZyraKuma on Instagram, Pinterest and, Twitter

A 3-Layered Study Plan to Green Light Your Education

The fact you’re reading this post suggests you’re struggling to get your head around college organization. Fear not. A shocking number of students feel as though they could drown under that pressure. And, it’s no surprise when you have teachers telling you that how well you do here will dictate your life. Talk about stress! Read on for more on our 3-layered study plan!

3-Layered Study Plan

One of the main things we struggle with as students are finding the time to study. Sadly, that’s about the most critical part of your college career. Even if you attend all the lectures and their extras, not making time to study could see you struggling to survive your first year of college.

But, that knowledge may leave you asking, how can you find the time? If you’re already struggling (and most students are), how can you create space for even more work? It might seem like an impossible task, but trust us; it isn’t. In truth, all you need to do to get on top here is a bullet journal and a three-layered study plan like this one.

Layer 1: The Time You Don’t Have

The blank page is the most daunting thing about starting a bullet journal. How do you even begin to section your life into a workable plan? Well, jotting down the times when you know you’re busy could be a good start. This will help you develop at least some idea of your timetable, and that’s most important of all. So, step one is to create pages which outline everything from your class times, any educational trips you have in the pipeline, and even planned social occasions. After all, meeting up with friends is also essential if you want to keep your sanity. Use a red pen for these areas to show that they’re no-go’s. You won’t need to worry about those hours because they’re taken and accounted for.

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Layer 2: The Time You Could Have

Next, move onto the time you could use for study. By this, we meantime which isn’t strictly free but could still be put to good use. You know the type of stuff; lunch hours, commute times. These are periods of your day which are taken, but only loosely. Fill these in yellow. Then, you can leave aside quick-fire study tasks for occasions like these. If you have an activity which will only take half an hour, set it aside and don’t pick it up until there’s a yellow square on your study horizon.

Layer 3: The Time You Do Have

The hard part is out of the way. You’ve separated the time you spend doing stuff in your day. Now, grab a green pen and get into the body of your study plan. If there are white squares left on this journal page, consider using them for your studies. Of course, we all need downtime. Make sure to leave yourself at least one blank space a day. But, the rest of your schedule should be used to get your studying done!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

4 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Working from Home

Working from home is not for everyone, and it is important to keep these points in mind when you’re thinking about the possibility of switching from a regular 9-to-5 desk job to a self-employed career.

Business can be a scary thing. There are so many different things to keep in mind when starting a company. But it is arguably one of the most popular ways to earn a living and still have plenty of time to yourself. There are many advantages such as being able to work in the comfort of your own home, having more time to take care of your kids and it gives you far more job security if you’re willing to invest the time into creating a solid career.

You Will Be Transforming Your Home

It is important to create your own office space at home if you want to be more productive. While many people believe that you can just move around the house with a laptop or at a local coffee shop, this is still your job. It’s important to remember that work is serious and you need to set up your very own office. Having your own office will help you if you want to be more efficient with your work.

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There Will Be Down Periods

Every at-home business or career choice is going to have periods where you are not making much money. For instance, a freelancer (at least, when they start fresh) is going to have weeks or even months with a work drought, and at other times you’ll be getting more jobs than you can take on. To remedy this, you should learn about how a working capital loan works so that you can better prepare your financial situation to overcome this problem. As you become more experienced, you will have more opportunities to balance your workload as to have fewer downtime periods. But at the start, it can be difficult to stay afloat if you do not save your profits.

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You Still Need a Schedule

While working at home is a great way to achieve more freedom in life, it does not mean that you can just work whenever you feel like it. You are still going to need a schedule, and you are still going to need to set working hours where you focus only on work and nothing else. It is easy to get distracted especially as you work from home, so make sure you’re taking it seriously by maintaining a set schedule and trying your best to stick to it. Learn more about time management here.

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The Beginning is the Hardest Part

While working from home is a lucrative career choice that has the potential to be a large source of income, you need to remember that the start is slow. Whether you want to be a freelancer or if you want to start your own company, the beginning is where you’ll be spending more money than you make, or earning pennies compared to what more experienced at-home workers are pulling in. Don’t let this discourage you and make sure you do your best to stay afloat and build experience to grow.

If you plan on starting your own business at home, it is important to follow these pointers for success!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Working from home is not for everyone, and it is important to keep these points in mind when you’re thinking about the possibility of switching.

How to Boost Productivity Working from Home

More and more people are choosing to work from home. Whether you have a home-based job, you run a business from home, or your employer offers flexible working options, it is important to be as productive as possible. There is an assumption that working from home is easy, but this should not be the case. Working from home suits many people, but others prefer the structure and formality of an office. If you are switching to a home office or you are spending more time at home, here are 3 simple ways to fulfill your potential and maximize productivity away from the office.

Establish A Routine

When you have an office job, you know that you have got to sign in and sign out at certain times. With a home-based role, there is more flexibility, but that does not mean that you should throw routine out of the window.

Most of us work better when we have set patterns in place. Establish a routine that works for you. If you are an early riser and you are more productive in the mornings, start early and tick off the most arduous or complex tasks first. If you do not feel alive until 10 am, consider a later start and work until later in the day.

You may also need to factor in time zones. If you negotiate with clients in different countries or states and the other person’s schedules. Similarly, if you participate in meetings or catch-ups with colleagues on a regular basis, take note of time zones when establishing your routine. If you are not used to working at home, it may take you a few weeks to figure out what works best for you. But you may find that this more flexible approach to working hours suits you perfectly.

Get Your Working Environment Right

When people say they are working from home, it is easy to envision them lying around in loungers with a laptop balanced on their knee and the TV on. The reality is that you are not going to be able to make working from home work for you unless the environment is right. No matter what you do and how much time you spend out of the office, you need an area that is geared towards work. This space should be a place that affords peace and the ability to focus, concentrate, and enjoy some privacy. Spare rooms, attic rooms, and garages can all work well as home offices.

Once you’ve chosen a space, think about how you want to decorate and present it. Choose furniture that will provide comfort, as well as a style. Add touches that will help you feel relaxed, but also energized. You might add houseplants or a scent diffuser machine. If you can, position your desk close to a window, as natural light is proven to increase productivity. It is also a lot more pleasant to look out over fields, ocean waves, or a garden than it is to stare at blank walls.

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

Be More Organized

When you work from home, you need to be organized. You can use the same scheduling tools as you do at the office, or you can use a wall planner or an in and out tray system that will enable you to keep track of what you have done. Establish a list of tasks and jobs every day and work on them. For more information about office organization check here, and for more information about time management check here.

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It is perfectly possible to be as productive at home as you are in office. Simply apply these tips, and you will be cruising through your to-do list in no time!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to write a post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

3 Ways to Boost Your Productivity Away From The Office

How to Create Effective Goals | Includes Free Worksheet

With every new year comes new goals and hopes to achieve these goals. Unfortunately, many of us create goals that never get completed. Why is this? One reason you might not achieve your goals is that the way you wrote it is too vague, not realistic, or has no deadline. This post is all about how to write effective goals that you can achieve. This post may contain affiliate links.

Learn how to write Long-Term Goals HERE or Learn more about SMART Goals HERE.

How to Create Effective Goals

Define Your Goal

The first thing you need to do when writing effective goals is to define the goal. What do you want to achieve? This is the easy part—getting your idea written down. However, there is more to a goal than just writing it down. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, time-sensitive, achievable, and realistic.

Make Your Goals Specific

An effective goal is a specific goal. If you do not clearly define your goal using measurable terms, you will be less inclined to complete it. Your goal needs to be so specific that it might involve smaller more specific goals to achieve the overarching goal. Read more specifically about these smaller step ladder goals here.

Make it Measurable

An effective goal needs to be measurable. This means that you need to define how you will measure your goal. Are you measuring your goal by smaller tasks or deadlines within your large goal, are you measure with time or an amount? No matter how you choose to measure your goal, measure it.

How to Create Effective Goals

Set A Realistic Deadline

If your goal does not have a due date, you will feel no pressure to complete it. How can a goal be effective if you are not motivated to complete it by a specific time? Make sure this deadline is realistic and that you have used the specifics and measurements define above to create your deadline. Having a realistic deadline can make a goal that might otherwise not be effective.

How to Create an Effective Goal

Is Your Goal Achievable and Realistic?

How likely is it that you can reach your goal by the dates you have set for yourself? To determine achievability, you must be honest with yourself. It’s common that our expectations are unrealistic, thus, making them unachievable. We get excited and don’t think about how our goal will fit into daily life. It’s often the issue that we set a date that is too soon so that we feel overwhelmed. It’s also common that we set dates that are too far away and we put off achieving our goal, leaving it to the last minute.

Effective goals written in this format are commonly known as SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Follow this format, and you are sure to have an effective goal!

Now that you know how to write an effective goal, sit down with a pen and paper, and create your goal!

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4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Whether it’s a whole room in your house or apartment, a carefully proportioned square in an office building, or something in between, odds are you’re spending a substantial portion of the day in your office. Because of that, your office space – like you – has a lot of work to do. It has to be a productive space, but also one that inspires, keeps you healthy, and is generally as pleasant to be in as possible.

There’s no reason to spend 8 hours a day in an unpleasant space. So, if you feel like your workspace isn’t all it should be, read on to find out a few areas you can look to for improvements.

Hang It Up

First things first: No matter how big or small your office is, one thing you’re always in absolute control of is what’s on your desk. And if that’s a bunch of clutter, it could actually be hurting your productivity. Learn more about decluttering your desk here.

One way to fix that is adding storage, of course. But if you’ve got limited space, and no room for shelving? Try hanging things up – keys, headphones, and similar items can go straight onto hooks. Get a hangable container for your pens and other writing utensils. Anything that helps you get the random items off your desk immediately improves your workstation. 

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Write It Down

In some ways, this is a lifestyle change. I won’t spend a lot of time convincing you; I remember a time in my life when I laughed at people for being so organized to carry a planner. Now? My planner never leaves my side. Let me at least say this: Writing things down gives your important tasks a physical space and keeps them from zooming around in your mind all day.

This is another simple upgrade because it’s hard to start writing things down if you don’t have the materials. And those materials come in many forms: a planner, a calendar, sticky notes – it’s all a matter of what works for you.

Feel like you’re wasting paper? Try a whiteboard for your lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than erasing items one at a time until everything’s cleared.

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

Add Some Life to Your Office Space

This isn’t an organization technique – it’s a way to improve your mental state. You could take this literally, and grab yourself a potted plant. If your office lacks much light, a shady plant is great – alternately, it’s hard to kill a cactus.

Of course, pictures take a lot less effort. You could hang up scenic photos, an image of your favorite painting, or even a movie poster of one of your favorites.

Adding life could mean adding bits of your own life, too. Try dedicating a space in your office to some personal effects. Photos of hobbies, a statuette of a musical instrument you play. For me? It’s a small shelf just above my desk with a handful of my favorite novels that I’ve read dozens of times.

Get creative with your space, and it’ll be a much nicer place to be.

Take A Stand – Or A Better Seat

On a more sobering note, the research is in – and sitting is truly terrible for you. To that end, I can’t stress enough the wisdom of investing in a standing desk – or, for flexibility, an adjustable one.

Still don’t like the idea of standing? You can at least make sitting healthier and more comfortable. If your back is hurting while you work at your desk, it could mean you’re not sitting correctly. Sitting properly depends on a number of factors, and it can at least be partially addressed by getting a better chair. So, make yourself comfortable in your office – it’s good for you.

Is your office space hurting your productivity? Pick at least one of these simple upgrades to implement into your own office!

Meet the Author

This post was written by Issac, a Director at 3 White Hats, a New Zealand based online marketing agency.



4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Office Space

5 Tools to Improve Time Management

We live in a fast-paced society surrounded by incredibly busy people. And when you are an incredibly busy person, it is hard to keep everything straight. A lot of the time this internal chaos is the result of poor time management. This article provides 5 tools for improving time management.This article utilizes Amazon Affiliate Links

Sleeping

#1 Sleep

The first step in time management improvement is to get enough sleep. When you are running on less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep your brain isn’t functioning at its highest capacity. Because of this, you become more easily overwhelmed, exhausted, and lazy feeling. Learn more about designing your bedroom to get a good nights sleep here.

When you are able to get 7 hours of consecutive sleep you will feel amazing! You will be more capable of handling the crazy chaos each day brings.

To Do

#2 Daily To-Do List

There are a million ways to improve your time management and one of the most common methods is a daily to-do list. While I prefer a planner with everything all laid out in one portable spot, a to-do list is super simple and easy for anyone to use.

A to-do list doesn’t have to be anything fancy or costly. All you really need is a pen and some paper.

When it comes to utilizing a to-do list, I recommend referring to it each morning. Before you get anything done, read over your to-do list and revise it if you need to. Now you know what your goals are for the day and you can get started!

#3 Planner

My favorite time management tool is my planner! There are, again, a million types of planners. You can use a bullet journal, premade planner, notebook, or an app on your phone or computer.

Bullet Journal & Notebook

I currently use a bullet journal (see my 15 simple bullet journal page ideas post or the bullet journal beginners challenge for more detail). Before making a bullet journal, I recommend looking at other bullet journals to give you some ideas. You can see a wide variety of page ideas over on my Planners and Calendars Pinterest board. Once you have figured out how you want your journal to work, you’ll need a notebook. I highly recommend the Essentials Grid-lined Notebook.

Customizable Hand-Drawn Bullet Journals

The bullet journal is one of the most customizable planner options. A notebook is very similar though. If you choose to go the notebook route, then good for you! Each person is different and the important thing is that you find something that works for you and your needs.

Premade Planners

The third option is a pre-made planner. There are a million brands and styles out there to choose from. Check out these planners by At-A-Glance, there are some great options!

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Apps & Websites

The final option is phone or computer apps. There are so many apps nowadays that it is hard to keep track. Some apps that I use and love for time management assistance include myhomeworkapp.com, Google Calendar for Android, and Microsoft OneNote.

myHomeworkapp

myHomeworkapp.com

I like myhomeworkapp.com because it is explicitly for homework and delivers customized notifications to my phone to remind me to get my projects done on time. Myhomework is also amazing because it works on both my phone and my laptop, providing me with access to my homework no matter where I am. Lastly, the myhomework phone app is amazing because it comes with a widget that displays my homework right there.

google calender

Google Calendar App

Google Calendar for Android is nice because it links right up to my google account making it accessible both on my laptop and on my phone. I used this app more before I discovered bullet journaling but still tend to keep it around for the reminders feature.

Microsoft One Note

One Note

OneNote, like the other two apps, is mobile and laptop friendly. Here I can make quick notes or to-do lists from my phone when I do not have access to my bullet journal. I can then see these lists on my laptop.

With all your lists, to-do’s, and appointments in one place, you are now better prepared to take on everything the day wants to throw at you.

#4 Calendar

This next time management tool was already touched on a little bit, but I’ve decided to talk about it separately because of how useful it really is. Calendars provide a nice monthly overview and can include a variety of things and come in a variety of shapes.

Like I mentioned, I use my bullet journal calendar and Google Calendar for Android. However, my most-used calendar is a whiteboard. I’ve had my whiteboard calendar for so long, I don’t have a single clue where I got it. However, I was able to find a similar one, you can check that out here.

My whiteboard calendar is a life saver. I love it because it doesn’t waste paper, mounts right up on the wall with Command Strips, and can be easily accessed by everyone in my household. I usually put appointments, work schedule, and events up on this calendar, so it is less about detail and more an overview.

#5 Have an Organized Space

The final time management tool is having an organized space. If you are living in clutter, then you will feel cluttered. Having a space that is designated for your work and has all the supplies you require within reach is essential. If you would like to learn more about how to declutter your workspace head on over my 6 Ways to Declutter Your Desk Space post.

My Time Management Tools Resource List

Sincerely Elizabeth of Jihi Elephant

How to Create Do-able Long-Term Goals

When it comes to making a long-term goal, we are often discouraged by a goal that is too broad, seems to have no purpose or no roadmap. This post is meant to provide a step-by-step process for creating a do-able long-term goal.

Having a goal to work towards is so important, I cannot stress it enough. Goals are what keep people motivated to survive. Think about it, if you did not have a goal (even teeny-tiny ones), what would you be doing right now? Nothing, you’d probably be doing nothing. You wouldn’t need to do anything. You wouldn’t be motivated to.

More About Goals

Everyone has their own unique concept of goal-making. Some people write a daily checklist or to-do list, and others have long-term dreams. Even if we don’t notice or realize it, goals exist everywhere.

To Do List

You go to the grocery store and your goal is to get groceries, maybe you have a list, maybe you are winging it—either way, it’s a goal! You go to school, your goal is to get an education, or maybe to make friends. When you lay around the house all day and your goal might be to relax after a hard week—maybe the goal is to do nothing. There is a goal motivating everything that we do.

The Makings of a Goal

There are several components to a well-written and doable long-term goal. First, you must understand what the goal is. Next, identify the purpose of your goal. Then, identify several step-ladder goals. And finally, do it!

Recognize Your Goal

To create a quality goal, you must first know exactly what you want the outcome to be. This is essentially your goal. For example, my goal is to get a Master’s degree in clinical mental health.

Your goal can be as specific or as broad as you would like it. All that is required for this step is to know the desired outcome and to write it down.

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Identify Your Goal’s Purpose

Now that you have identified your goal, you need to know why that is your goal. This is called the purpose. A goal’s purpose influences how the goal is created and accomplished. The purpose is also the factor that motivates you to achieve your goal.

The purpose of my goal (getting a Master’s degree), is to be able to work as a counselor. An alternative purpose could be to further my education.

Whatever the purpose of your goal is, identify it and write it down.

Creating Specific Step-Ladder Goals

The final step to creating an effective long-term goal is to come up with a list of smaller goals or step-ladder goals. Step-ladder goals are meant to make the main goal seem less overwhelming and more doable.

 To complete my long-term goal of getting a graduate degree, I must first complete other smaller goals. My step-ladder goals include getting into graduate school, completing my required courses, completing my practicum, completing my internship, and completing the necessary requirements for state licensure.

For the alternative purpose (furthering my education), I have different step ladder goals. These might include taking a variety of courses, building a good professional relationship with two faculty members, getting involved in at least one club, and participating in at least one research study.

Generally, step-ladder goals are very specific and include more detail than my simplified example lists. These goals are meant to make your life easier and to provide a step-by-step process to complete your main goal.

It is important to remember that you may not know every detail for each step-ladder goal right away. Sometimes other steps must be achieved before others can be identified. For my example, details to most of the goals cannot be specified until I have chosen a graduate program. Once I have chosen a graduate program, I will input the nitty-gritty details into my list.

It is also important to recognize that these steps are not set in stone. Life happens and things change, so cut yourself some slack. If you get working towards your goal and realize that one of your step-ladder goals aren’t helpful or that something else would be more valuable, then change it!

Implement Your Step-Ladder Goals

It is one thing to have your goals written down, but it is an entirely different thing to actually do them. I can provide you with a nice organized PDF to help you organize this information, but I cannot motivate you to go through with it. That is up to you and you are more than capable of doing it!

Just remember to write it down, make it realistic, and be specific.

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Doable Long Term Goals