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Could Your Diet Be Affecting Your Focus?

How many times do you hit the 3pm wall? Most afternoons, even on a fairly light work day, can seem almost impossible to get through without feeling fatigued and unfocused. You’re ready to call it a day and veg out in your favorite spot on the couch. The problem may not actually be your energy levels. That 3pm wall could be a result of the food that you’re eating for lunch.

The food that you eat during the day affects you more than you might think. A bad choice at lunch or extra snacks at your desk could be having a direct impact on your mind’s performance.

What Are You Choosing To Eat During the Day?

Many workers tend to grab a fast lunch when they’re hungry because they have limited time. Fast lunches generally mean a burger, a sandwich, or maybe some pizza. It is pretty common to follow these foods up with a soda. The result is that you feel energized for a couple of hours, but the glucose that is created from these foods ends up burning away very quickly. By 3pm, you’re not only feeling hungry, but you are feeling tired because the glucose has peaked and now it’s very, very low.

Healthy lunch options aren’t always feasible. Fast lunch options feel like they are the most efficient option that there is. Saving 15 minutes because you grabbed a double cheeseburger through the drive-thru, however, could be costing you 120 minutes or more at work thanks to the weaker performance your body has with the weaker fuel that you’ve given yourself.

How Can This All Be Changed?

It is important to plan out your day’s eating choices before you end up getting hungry. When the body gets hungry, temptations tend to dominate the choices that are made instead of the healthy foods. In other words, when your stomach is growling, you’re more likely to eat junk food than a salad with low-fat dressing. Choose where you’re going to eat when you get to work instead of making it a last minute decision.

When plans are made, it becomes a lot easier to resist high fat, high sodium foods that taste delicious, but are terrible for productivity.

Changing how you eat at work can also help a lot. Your body has a relatively small gas tank, which means a large meal is only going to get you so far. The spikes in blood sugar make you feel great, but then you feel lousy. Smaller meals that you can eat throughout the day, instead of a high sugar snack or a few crackers or chips, will help you get past that wall much more effectively.

That’s not to say snacking is a bad thing. Healthy snacking, when it is planned out, will dominate your eating habits. Place visual cues to eat healthier foods, such as placing a can of nuts on your desk. Have some fruit around. The vital nutrients will help you think more clearly and limit the temptations to eat unhealthy foods at lunch.

In return, you’ll break down that 3pm wall and stay strong throughout the rest of the afternoon.

6 Habits of a Successful Job Seeker

Habit 1: Be Responsible for your own Job Search

 There are many things that can be learned when searching for a job, like what types of positions suit you best and what aspects are important when it comes to a job. This is why you being responsible for your own job search is so vital; if you let others take the reins when it comes to this step, you might miss out on some important information and overall, you will be more lost and confused when it comes to the actual interview process itself.

Habit 2: Set a Goal

Along the job search, there are many things that can happen that can stray you off the right path. This is why it is so important to set a goal when it comes to seeking a job. Make sure that you tell yourself that you want to complete the job searching task by a certain date or time period. By setting this goal, you are telling yourself that you respect your job search and that you take it seriously and as a priority. Without a goal in tow, you job search could lag on for longer than is necessary.

Habit 3: Stay Focused

There are several things that could happen when you are searching for a job, family troubles or someone getting married or wonderful vacations that you have not taken yet could be on the horizon. The point is to not deviate from the job search at all and stay focused as much as possible. Looking for a job can be very stressful and this is why focus needs to be your top priority. The only way to complete a successful job search is to stay focused until your job search goal has been met.

Habit 4: Be Organized

There are many things that have to be noted and remembered and taken into consideration when searching for a job that is why being organized is such an important aspect in successfully finding a job. Stay organized by writing down every interview that you go on, every job that you apply to and even every person that you talk to. Write down what was said and the name of the person who said it complete with a date. When you look back on your notes, you will notice that the organizational aspect of everything will make your job search that much easier.

Habit 5: Be Good to Yourself

When searching for a job, you might get so focused that you forget to be good to yourself. Remember when you search for a job that you are the most important instrument for the job, so you need to be in tip-top condition. That means that you must get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, maybe learn yoga/meditation, and spend your downtime in nature. When you take care of yourself, you will notice your stress level going down and your overall outlook becoming more positive, which is vital to the success of getting a great job.

Habit 6: Never Give Up

At the end of the day, it can be difficult to get job that you like, even if you follow all of these habits religiously. The secret is to never give up! There are always new jobs on the horizon and new and interesting people to meet that might be your ticket to getting your dream job. Don’t give up on your search and don’t give up on yourself. If you told yourself that you are going to get a wonderful job, then stick to your goal and follow the habits until you do. Sooner or later, you will find yourself with a great job and it will be because you did not give up.

Do You Work From Home? Here’s 4 Ways To Make Better Use of Your Time!

Working from home is the dream experience of many professionals today. Instead of putting in the typical 9-5, the work-from-home professional can set their own hours, schedule vacations when they want, and earn their full potential. The one problem that creeps up with working from home, however, is time management. Because work is always around, work begins to feel like an obligation or an expectation. You end up spending more time working and less time enjoying the home environment!

If you’re struggling with time management, here are 4 proven methods to make better use of your time from other work-from-home professionals who have been there as well.

#1. Keep up with a regular schedule. Even though you can set your own hours, it pays to set a regular working schedule. This allows people to know when they can reach you and it will keep you motivated. Sure – emergencies can let you be a little more flexible. With regular hours, however, you can set a good rhythm that will keep you productive.

#2. Have very clear boundaries. When you’re working at home, the boundaries between home and work can blend into some very gray areas. It can feel like you’re always at work… and then you’ve got no escape from that stress. When you’re done with work, shut it down. When you are working, keep it professional.

#3. Make sure you’re taking breaks at defined times. Sometimes it feels like you should just keep working to make sure that you’ve got free time at the end of the day. The only problem is that there will always be some more work waiting for you after you get the next task done. Take a break, let your mind have some rest, and then get back at it. A good rule of thumb is to take a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of work that you put in.

#4. Always celebrate. When you’re at home on your own consistently, it can feel like you don’t every really win. The busy days make you skip the laundry; forget about the dishes, and all of the other stuff going on. Instead of negative self-talk for not getting to all of the other chores, celebrate the small victories. Acknowledge how much work you’ve already done instead of having a negative fixation on what needs to get done. Your to-do list can wait another 30 minutes before you start doing the household chores.

Most importantly, you need to take care of yourself. Don’t get into the habit of not showering or taking care of your personal hygiene just because no one else is around. How you treat yourself is how you’ll treat others. By feeling good, you’re work will be incredible, and that’s the most important tip of all!

Got a Difficult Boss? Here’s 7 Easy Ways to Manage That Relationship!

 

Your ability to do your job at work isn’t the only thing that is being evaluated. Your performance evaluations are often dependent on how your boss feels about you and your work at any given time. If you’ve got a boss that isn’t your biggest fan, your raise or promotion could be on the line! That’s why it is just as important to manage a difficult boss as it is to manage your daily job responsibilities.

Here are 7 ways that you can mange that relationship better right now.

#1. Stay true to your word. If you always fulfill your promises, then even the most difficult of bosses is going to begin trusting you. Breaking a promise or coming up with excuses is just going to put you on the list of people whom your boss will try to micro-manage instead.

#2. Minimize the surprises. Bosses don’t like to be surprised with bad news. Difficult bosses don’t like to be surprised with good news either. Keep open lines of communication at all times, give your boss frequent updates, whether good or bad, and you’ll limit the amount of headaches that will be headed your way.

#3. Be serious. A difficult boss takes his/her job very seriously. You will never be deemed an equal if you don’t take your job just as seriously. Now that doesn’t mean you need to work Saturdays and 60 hour weeks, but it does mean that you’ve got to put 100% of your effort into every task that you’ve got to do every day.

#4. Look for solutions. A difficult boss hates complainers. It’s not that they don’t understand the complaint, but they’re coming to you for solutions. If all they get are complaints, then the boss feels like they’re on an island with no help and that’s just going to make matters worse. Look for solutions and if you can’t think of any, just tell your boss that you’ll look to find a way out.

#5. Be clear and concise. Do you know why parents use three word sentences with their kids? It’s because it is an efficient way to communicate clearly for a variety of purposes. “It’s bed time,” is clear and concise. Now you don’t have to use three word sentences with your boss, but the point here is the same. “I need 3 days to be finished,” is clearly understood. “I’ve got several tasks to complete before I can be done,” is going to put you on your boss’s radar instead.

#6. Don’t give 180%. Jut give 100% to putting in your best work every day. Anything else is just a catchphrase. Always do your best and your difficult boss won’t think that your skills have jumped the shark. You’ve got your job because you’re the best at what you do. Prove it.

#7. Work for mutual success. When you make your boss successful, you also become successful. It’s a two-way street because even the most difficult of bosses will help those who help them. If you’ve got a selfish boss that won’t reciprocate success, however, then it’s time to pack up these tips and take them with you to a new job.

5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Boss In a Job Interview

Many people enter a job interview trying to impress the hiring manager on the other side of the table. The interview is really a two-way street that allows an applicant to see if a company really is a place that they’ll want to work! It’s also the chance to spot a bad boss before you accept a job offer. When you use these 5 methods to avoid a bad boss that you can spot in any interview, then you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary misery.

#1. There’s Bad Energy In the Office

My favorite job interview question was this: “How would you respond to an employee who was upset about their health care benefits being raised?” There were four other people in the room and after the question was asked, they all sat back in their chairs and crossed their arms. Two things became apparent: health care benefits at this company were being slashed AND no one was happy about it. If there’s bad energy in an office, there’s bound to be a bad office. Say a quick “Thank you!” and don’t look back.

#2. Your Interviewer Doesn’t Care… or Cares Too Much

On my very first job interview, the hiring manager asked if I wanted a soda. I declined. Then he asked me if I liked the sandwiches from the local deli in town. I did, so he offered to share part of his sandwich. I declined that too. Then he asked if I wanted to go out for drinks later. I got up and left. When an interviewer is disinterested, then he doesn’t care about the company and that’s a bad boss. If your interviewer is trying to be your buddy, then they’re desperate and that’s a sign of a bad boss as well.

#3. Where Do You See Yourself in 12 Months?

It’s a popular question that an interviewer will ask an applicant, but it’s more fun to turn that question around when you get the chance. “How would you define success in this position in 12 months?” I asked during an interview once. Her response was surprising. She’d drawn up a complete outline of her expectations for the new employee and what they would achieve. A bad boss has assumptions and preconceived notions about you that you’ll never really end up meeting. Stay far, far away.

#4. Does Your Interviewer Ramble?

The worst question I’ve ever been asked in an interview was this: “If you were a road sign, then which sign would you be and why?” Questions like this have no bearing on an interview unless the hiring manager holds a doctorate in psychology. For the average interview, it means that you’ve got a bad boss on your hands because they don’t know how to build an effective team. There’s a good chance you could become the boss in this situation, but there’s an equally good chance you’ll be treated for migraines in 3 months too.

#5. High Turnover Is Bad News

Some jobs have high turnover rates, like child protection workers. Other jobs have high turnover rates because of bad bosses. The interview is your chance to find out why the position opened up and what the company expects of the new employee. Try to chat up the team to see what is going on as well. If everyone is negative, defensive, and avoids you at all cost, then avoid that job at all costs.

These 5 signs can sometimes be hard to spot and you can still end up working for a bad boss, but these tips can reduce those chances dramatically. Use the interview as your own tool and you’ll be able to find your dream job sooner rather than later.

Do You Ignore the Right People Every Day?

One of the most common pieces of advice that is given to everyone in the business world every day is to prioritize. You do your best to give the most critical tasks more attention throughout the day and allow other projects to sit on the back burner until you’re ready to handle them. The only issue is that once we create our priorities, we tend to ignore them. Items stay on the back burner and don’t get done!

Here’s a thought: instead of ignoring certain tasks that might require our attention, what if you ignored certain people who typically want our attention when it may not be needed?

Is It Possible To Ignore People Sometimes?

Absolutely! Although no one ever really likes to be ignored, the harsh reality of modern life is that there are way too many people who can demand attention throughout the day. If you responded to every email or phone call, then half of your day would already be gone before you got anything else done! Our attention and our time is a finite resource. When too many people need something, then people must be ignored.

It’s all about creating a certain line in the sand when it comes to needs that must be met. If certain needs cross this line, then take care of them. If they do not, even if that person has a personal relationship with you, then they should be ignored until you can move where that line should be drawn. This is what the most successful people do every day. They prioritize their people management, not their work management.

Do You Have a Coffee Stalker Near You?

Why is managing people more important than managing work? Because people are an intense distraction that stops any work from being done. Take that guy who has a cup of coffee in his hand every morning and wants to talk to you about the shows he watched on TV the night before. Not only is he not getting anything done, but he’s preventing you from working while he’s talking to you.

That distraction goes beyond the conversation, however, and this is also time that must be accounted for in some way. Maybe you feel frustrated by the interruption and you spend time centering yourself. Maybe you laughed at his joke and the memory of the joke is distracting you as you try to get to work. The effects of the coffee stalker last longer than you might realize!

What Is Your Threshold?

That’s why finding ways to ignore the right people who don’t meet your threshold of need must be ignored. Slap on some headphones, play some classical music so your mind doesn’t want to sing along with the lyrics to your favorite song, and don’t give the coffee stalker any attention. Eventually they will go away… as will everyone else that doesn’t meet your threshold of priority.

Does this seem like it will make you feel guilty? The result when you tell people “No” is actually quite empowering. You are taking control. You are being the one who creates results. This one decision of planned ignoring excites your active consciousness and actually helps you to work harder! So consider your options: you could put a task on the back burner… or you could just ignore those people who are robbing you of your full potential.

Are Your Habits Leading You To Make Bad Decisions?

Does it always seem like certain people get to taste success, but you never do? Would you love to know what the secrets of these successful people are so you can get similar results? Believe it or not, it is the habits of an individual that will lead them toward consistently good or consistently bad decisions. If the following habits are part of your overall routine, then you could be setting yourself up for failure before a task even begins.

#1. Being Lazy

Laziness is the #1 destructive habit there is. A lack of desire to do the simple things can mean facts don’t get double-checked or standards won’t be maintained. There is no initiative to do something more or even provide additional input that may be necessary. Laziness isn’t procrastination. It is a complete unwillingness to get something done.

#2. Being Caught By Surprise

Unexpected events happen all of the time, but certain people always seemed to be surprised by them. The worst case scenario isn’t always going to happen, so assuming that it can be destructive. Not planning for difficult situations, however, can quickly lead to failure. Do you have a life insurance policy that can help to protect your loved ones? Is there a backup plan in place in case your new investments tank?

#3. Being Indecisive

The worst decision that someone can make is to not actually make a decision. You don’t want to make assumptions and decide on something before you get all of the facts, but you do sometimes need to make quick decisions. Being indecisive means that someone is worried about the consequences of a decision and that ultimately means there is a fear of risk.

#4. Being Stuck In the Past

Were the 4 years of high school pretty great for you? Have you always done something a certain way at work and now you can’t do things that way? Being stuck in the past means you’re looking at memories instead of potential success. Memories are a good thing if they keep us out of repetitive mistakes or provide a pleasant interlude for a daydreaming break during the creative process. Being stubborn about change because you like the old ways or just want to stay in the fond memories of yesteryear? That will lead to destruction.

#5. Being Isolated

Leadership is a naturally lonely position, but it isn’t an isolated position. Leaders are lonely because they have to be the one to make the choices. They aren’t isolated, however, because they solicit different points of view so that the best decision can be made. If you don’t let anyone in, then you’ll never benefit from their experience!

#6. There Is No Skill Development

The worst habit of all is to pretend you can so something when you just don’t have the technical skills to do so. Sometimes you can fake it by spending some time going through YouTube videos or reading websites, but eventually you’re pretending will get found out. Develop real skills and you’ll be able to develop real success.

Don’t let your bad habits keep you back from the success that wants to come your way. Avoid these bad habits and you’ll have the secret to success that you can share with others in the future!

Do You Apply For Jobs Even If You’re Not 100% Qualified?

It has been said that men are from one planet and women are from another. From a career standpoint, it might be more accurate to say that men will apply for just about any job where they meet some of the qualifications, but women will only apply for jobs where they feel like they’re 100% qualified. It’s something that is often quoted when giving women career advice and is usually the foundation of a criticism: women should be more confident!

Women don’t take this attitude because they are lacking in confidence. They are instead applying for the job because they are confident that they’ll get the job! It’s all about time conservation, not a lack of self-esteem. Why waste time applying for a job that the odds say you’re not going to get?

How Can Women Improve Their Chances To Get Hired?

Many people apply for a job simply because they feel like they can do the job based on the advertised job description. There are a number of qualifications listed in this description, including educational degrees, job experience, and even leadership experience. Here’s a harsh reality: these screening tools aren’t always in place to invite applications.

This affects women more than men because more than 1 in 4 women admit that they don’t want to waste their time applying for a job just to be told that they don’t meet the qualifications! Women more than men feel like the workplace follows certain rules and these rules guide the hiring process, how a career can develop, and even how much money can be earned.

Many employers, however, don’t follow these rules. Most employers make up their own rules.

Are You Ready To Start Playing the Employer’s Game?

If you’ve ever had to sit in a waiting room for 20 minutes after your interview was scheduled, then you’ve already started playing the employer’s game. The hiring process is a game for most employers and it is designed to help weed out people who might not be around in a year or two. Today’s employer wants someone dedicated, loyal, and willing to work for less than someone else if they’ve got the right skill level.

This can work to your advantage, no matter what gender you happen to be! It’s all about finding the right combination of compensation and skill for the longest period of time. If you’re willing to play the employer’s game, then you can win if you’re willing to take a calculated risk here or there. Could you do that job if you don’t have a degree? Do you have the job experience needed and the proven leadership skills, but in a different field? Then apply for the job and you might just get it!

Confidence is often considered the key to a successful job application, but self-esteem plays just a small role. Your ability to recognize what an employer wants and then be able to communicate that you can provide this need in the most affordable way is what will help you land that dream job.

Does Your Boss Hate You? Here’s 7 Ways You Can Change That!

Working for a tough boss is one thing, but working for a boss that seems to hate you is a whole different set of problems! It creates tension at work, keeps you thinking about work problems when you’re at home, and ultimately affects the quality of your work. Here’s the good news: you can turn that frown on your boss’s face upside down! Here are 7 ways you can make that happen.

Make Your Word Your Bond

1) When you do what you say you’re going to do, then you create a level of trust that surrounds you. This aura of trust, if you will, is something that doesn’t go away – unless you break your word. The more trust that you can build up when you make your word your bond, the better off your experiences will be with your boss and the less hate will be involved.

Stop Making Excuses

2) Mistakes are going to happen because they are simply part of human nature. A boss hates mistakes, but bosses hate excuses for mistakes even more. Instead of trying to come up with a convincing lie, just be honest. If you’re late because you overslept, say so. If you made an error, apologize and fix the problem. Once you do, make efforts to prevent the issue from happening again.

Stop the Complaints

3) Misery loves company more than a dog loves free sausages. It’s easy to complain about a difficult situation, but you’ll show true leadership skills if you can make requests that will resolve the issues at hand. Putting in a request to get new pencils helps everyone a lot more than complaining about an ineffective boss who forgot to order pencils on the last supply run.

Be Solution Orientated

4) Sometimes you’ve got to take the initiative and just come up with a solution to a problem on your own. Who cares if it isn’t within your job responsibility? Unless you’re a sole proprietor, you’re working with a team of people. When they benefit, you benefit. If they fail, you fail. Find solutions to the issues at hand, share them with your boss, or even implement them on your own if time is an issue. Your boss will love you for it.

Be Willing To Grow

5) If there’s one thing that a boss hates above anything else, it’s an employee that just sits in their chair every day without caring about anything else. You don’t need to be ambitious and try to climb the corporate ladder. You do, however, need to take care of yourself, manage your growth, and follow your dreams and goals. It’s not your boss that needs to get your scheduled into new opportunities or training classes – it’s you!

Find a Way To Be a Team Player

6) A boss is stuck in a position where they must be a team player, no matter what their personal feelings happen to be. Complaining about corporate policy is just going to frustrate your boss even more, especially since they probably agree with you! Stay out of the gossip and just be upfront about your concerns. If your boss can do something about it, then they will. If not, then those in the drama mill will be hated more than you.

Be Proactive About Your Job

7) Most bosses feel like they need to micromanage because jobs just don’t get done on time or with a good quality. If you can be reliable with your job performance, it’ll make the life of your boss easier. Support their success and you’ll have your success supported too! You might even find that some of the drudge work you’ve been doing will get delegated to others.

Why is it important to have a beneficial relationship with your boss? Because one day you might find yourself in a similar leadership position. You’ll want a little help here and there, which means being proactive about providing help can stop hatred before it ever starts.

6 Tips To Be Happy At Work

It’s easy to follow the negativity at work because misery loves company. If you’re tired of the negative and want to be happy at work, then here are a few ideas that can help you change up your routine, shift your focus, and maybe even help you look forward to going to work in the morning!

#1. Make an effort to smile more. It can’t be one of those fake smiles that shows a lot of teeth, but not a lot of emotion. In making an effort to smile more, you’ll need to look for the good that is around you so that you can see and experience the joy that comes with an authentic smile. That means you’ll also need to focus on rejecting the bad and finding ways to be content in all things.

#2. Push the reset button on your brain now and then. We’ve all had those moments where one thing after another after another after yet another thing all come crashing down in bad ways. The stress builds up in your chest, makes your neck ache, and then the worries begin. Instead of succumbing to the pressure, take a moment and just push the reset button on your brain. It takes just a minute and can be a favorite poem, prayer, or chant. There may be no better way to increase your energy levels immediately!

#3. Don’t talk down to yourself. Nice job, you idiot!” “What were you thinking, you moron?” “What on Earth were you thinking?” Self talk works in good and bad ways depending on what it is that we say to ourselves throughout the day. Many of us use the negative version when we make a mistake, but rarely use the positive version when we do a good job. If you give yourself the credit you deserve, you’ll actually give yourself a measure of mental durability that can prevent you from being overwhelmed in the future.

#4. Take time to celebrate. Make one of your goals in life to learn something meaningful every day. Will learning the Peter Capaldi has always been a lifelong Doctor Who fan change your life? Not necessarily, even if you are a big fan of the show! Will discovering a new way to flag your emails so that you can be more efficient with your time change your life? Possibly.

#5. Be human. It’s fine to be strange. It’s actually part of the human experience! You could choose to be irritated, frustrated, or righteously angry… or you can choose to be bemused by the strange things that people do and realize that you probably look pretty strange to others too. The best part about being human is that our limitations are the strengths that others have and by finding creative ways to work together, we can all be stronger and happier for it.

#6. Use the manners that Mom taught. There are a lot of people who do a lot of thankless jobs every day. It’s not fun to clean vomit from a toilet seat or craw through a dusty HVAC system to restore a building’s air conditioning. How about those customer service agents who get belittled by angry customers every single day? Get into the habit of saying “Thank you,” whenever you see a job well done and not only can you change their day for it, you can make your own day a lot happier as well.

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