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6 Proven Methods Which Maintain Your Professional Focus

Do you feel like you don’t ever seem to get things done at work? You might plan the perfect day as you’re getting ready, but once you get to work, emails, emergencies, and co-worker distractions change your plans. By the time lunch rolls around, you’re lucky to have even started when you had planned to have finished.

This desperate push and pull on your time doesn’t have to rob you of your focus. These proven methods can help you stay on schedule, stay adaptable to changing work needs, and not feel guilty about taking a 15 minute coffee break if you get a little thirsty.

#1. Take your work offline. Most workplace distractions originate from an online source. Your email and the internet are massive time killers. You can spend 15 minutes composing and email and not even realize it. If you need to stay focused, then unplug your internet connection. Turn your smartphone off. Should someone need you to do something, they’ll come find you.

#2. Swap out your office chair. Sitting at your desk can be incredibly taxing on your body. If you have neck, shoulder, or back pain after a day at work, then this is evidence that your chair is giving you some trouble. Try sitting with proper posture, but that might not be enough if your chair isn’t being supportive. Consider swapping out the old chair for a new one… or try a modern stand-up desk where you don’t even need to sit at all.

#3. Create a list and stick to it. This method has some pros and cons to it. If you fail to accomplish your list, then you’re going to feel even worse about your focus. What a list can do, however, is help you to prioritize what needs to get done. Put items that aren’t due for a few days at the end of the list. A daily and a weekly list can help you stay focused because the required tasks stay within your field of vision.

#4. Install your own deadlines. If a project isn’t due until next week, there’s a good chance you’re not going to start it until next week, right? At work, we are a deadline orientated people. When there is a strict deadline in place, our focus increases because we feel a need to meet that obligation. Instead of looking at the final deadline, try creating daily deadlines for specific tasks to improve your productivity.

#5. Change how you work. Many professionals work in linear terms. This means they start at 8am and keep working until their first break, starting at the beginning and working until the end of what needs to be done. If there is a particularly large task, then the work can seem overwhelming when you get started in the morning and cause you to lose your focus. Break your time and your projects into chunks that are more manageable so you can benefit from a sense of accomplishment every time you achieve something.

#6. Improve your foundation. If you didn’t get much sleep the night before, then your day at work becomes more difficult. The same is true for your lifestyle habits which may alter your energy levels, brain power, and even your emotional stability. Try to add some daily exercise to your routine, look at your eating habits to see if improvements could be made, and establish a bedtime routine if needed. Having a huge caffeine intake to get started shouldn’t be your go-to solution.

Maintaining your professional focus in the hustle and bustle of modern life can be difficult, but it can be done. Look to these 6 proven methods for inspiration to find your focus today.

6 Proven Methods Which Maintain Your Professional Focus

Do you feel like you don’t ever seem to get things done at work? You might plan the perfect day as you’re getting ready, but once you get to work, emails, emergencies, and co-worker distractions change your plans. By the time lunch rolls around, you’re lucky to have even started when you had planned to have finished.

This desperate push and pull on your time doesn’t have to rob you of your focus. These proven methods can help you stay on schedule, stay adaptable to changing work needs, and not feel guilty about taking a 15 minute coffee break if you get a little thirsty.

#1. Take your work offline. Most workplace distractions originate from an online source. Your email and the internet are massive time killers. You can spend 15 minutes composing and email and not even realize it. If you need to stay focused, then unplug your internet connection. Turn your smartphone off. Should someone need you to do something, they’ll come find you.

#2. Swap out your office chair. Sitting at your desk can be incredibly taxing on your body. If you have neck, shoulder, or back pain after a day at work, then this is evidence that your chair is giving you some trouble. Try sitting with proper posture, but that might not be enough if your chair isn’t being supportive. Consider swapping out the old chair for a new one… or try a modern stand-up desk where you don’t even need to sit at all.

#3. Create a list and stick to it. This method has some pros and cons to it. If you fail to accomplish your list, then you’re going to feel even worse about your focus. What a list can do, however, is help you to prioritize what needs to get done. Put items that aren’t due for a few days at the end of the list. A daily and a weekly list can help you stay focused because the required tasks stay within your field of vision.

#4. Install your own deadlines. If a project isn’t due until next week, there’s a good chance you’re not going to start it until next week, right? At work, we are a deadline orientated people. When there is a strict deadline in place, our focus increases because we feel a need to meet that obligation. Instead of looking at the final deadline, try creating daily deadlines for specific tasks to improve your productivity.

#5. Change how you work. Many professionals work in linear terms. This means they start at 8am and keep working until their first break, starting at the beginning and working until the end of what needs to be done. If there is a particularly large task, then the work can seem overwhelming when you get started in the morning and cause you to lose your focus. Break your time and your projects into chunks that are more manageable so you can benefit from a sense of accomplishment every time you achieve something.

#6. Improve your foundation. If you didn’t get much sleep the night before, then your day at work becomes more difficult. The same is true for your lifestyle habits which may alter your energy levels, brain power, and even your emotional stability. Try to add some daily exercise to your routine, look at your eating habits to see if improvements could be made, and establish a bedtime routine if needed. Having a huge caffeine intake to get started shouldn’t be your go-to solution.

Maintaining your professional focus in the hustle and bustle of modern life can be difficult, but it can be done. Look to these 6 proven methods for inspiration to find your focus today.

5 Ways To Stop Workplace Bullying Right Now

Kids that are bullies generally grow up to be adults who are bullies. This is why many people feel like going to work is comparable to their 4 years of high school. The problem with workplace bullying, however, is that it tends to be subtle and passive aggressive, so it can be overlooked, ignored, or dismissed by many, allowing the bully to leave a destructive path behind them.

There are ways you can stand up for yourself so you can stop the workplace bullying without being a bully in return. Which of these options could help you take control of your office environment?

#1. Take a step back.

Sometimes workplace bullying is excused because we feel like we’re being overly sensitive to a situation or someone triggers a defensive mechanism within us unintentionally. Misinterpretation of a comment or an action may not be bullying, but having someone single you out and intentionally try to harm you in some way is almost always bullying. Confirm first that you are seeing the situation accurately.

#2. Don’t be an easy target.

Bullies pick on easy targets because there isn’t much of a chance they will fight back. If you huddle in your office and allow the bully to tear you down, it’s just going to keep happening. Be polite, but also be firm, and tell the workplace bully that their actions are professionally unacceptable. Tell them they are being inappropriate. Stay calm, stay out of an argument, and set clear boundaries. Do that a few times in a row and most workplace bullies are going to leave you alone.

#3. Document everything.

If you don’t write something down, then it doesn’t really exist. If you have a workplace bully bothering you, then document the interactions you have with this person. Mention everything said and done, along with whatever your response happened to be. Note the date and time these things happen. If the workplace bully goes to your boss and tries to say that you’re conducting yourself inappropriately, this documentation becomes a way to protect your paycheck.

#4. Talk with an HR, union, or management representative.

Sometimes you might be seen as the easiest mark in the office for a workplace bully even when you do stand up for yourself. If you have your documentation in order, talk with a representative that will have your best interests at heart. Getting additional representatives involved won’t necessarily stop the bullying behavior right away, but it will give you some additional legal options if the situation should escalate for some reason because you’ve reported the situation.

#5. Change your environment.

Bullying that doesn’t stop will add a lot of stress to your life. If you’ve tried everything to stop a workplace bully and the situation continues on even when you’ve involved other representatives, then it is time to leave. Some might say that means you’re letting the bully win, but it’s more important to take care of your needs. Because you’re leaving due to bullying behavior, your documentation may also help you take legal action to protect your financial best interests.

Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is safe. If you are dealing with a workplace bully, then take these actions so it will eventually stop, one way or another. That way you can limit the stress you experience when it’s time to go to work.

Why You Can Expect Success When You Dress For It

Have you ever noticed that people treat you differently when you “dress up” for the day? You also treat yourself differently when you dress in your best. Your productivity goes up, your confidence goes up, and your self-esteem increases. That doesn’t mean you can close a deal if you’re wearing casual clothes, but it does mean that you may have a tougher journey ahead of you if you prefer hoodies and sweats to suits and ties.

If you don’t like the idea of dressing up every day for work like you’re going to a church with your grandparents, there are some small tweaks you can make to your wardrobe that can still give your these benefits. Would one of these ideas work for you?

#1. Make a small change to your accessories. Something as simple as wearing a nice watch or a favorite piece of jewelry can make all the difference in the world. Maybe you can’t afford a Rolex or 24K earrings that are studded with diamonds, but you can put on your best and rock it. If that means you’re wearing a sterling silver chain from Kohl’s, then so be it.

#2. Add one formal element to your outfit. Maybe you don’t want to wear a tie. You could choose to wear just the jacket and still get some of these benefits. You can even customize your look a little bit if you wish. If there isn’t a policy against wearing a lapel pin to work, throw on that Hydra pin you got from your Lootcrate awhile ago and see what happens.

#3. Take it up a notch for your big moments. If you’re closing a multi-million dollar deal, then dress in your very best for that day only. When you take your wardrobe up a notch for your biggest moments, you’re mentally preparing yourself for success. According to a study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who dressed in their best could earn 3x more profit on the deals they were making and required 3x fewer concessions to make it happen. If you think you can dominate, then you will.

#4. A change of color can create a change of attitude. Ever notice how looking at a beautiful green lawn can relax you? Or how looking at reds and oranges can make you feel energetic? Sometimes the easiest way to plan for success at work is think about what the color of your wardrobe says to others. There’s a reason why politicians like to wear a white shirt with a red tie. It says they are confident and can do anything. You can do the same thing.

#5. Success really comes from you. Guys like Mark Zuckerberg prove that sometimes it isn’t what you wear, but what you expect that counts. If you’re in a creative enterprise, sometimes dressing in sweats and a t-shirt is the best way to dress for success.

Even the quality of what you wear can help boost your chances of finding the success you want. Think cashmere and fine wool. Have your clothing tailored if you can. In doing so, you’ll have the confidence to close any deal – and your grandparents will think you look awesome too.

Why the First Impression Isn’t Always the Right Impression

When you’re a hiring manager or part of your supervisory duties is to interview candidates for your team, then there’s a good chance that you pay attention to the first impression someone gives you. If someone comes into the interview looking tired, disheveled, or they send you a negative vibe, you probably won’t put much weight on their answers. Yet far too many hiring managers are finding that candidates are able to “fake” a good first impression, causing what ends up to be a big hiring mistake.

Just about everyone who is responsible for hiring has made a bad hire or two over the years. It can rob you of your confidence, cause long-term problems for your team, and then there’s the financial costs of training someone you end up not wanting to keep. Here’s how you can avoid the trap of only seeing one side of a candidate during an interview.

#1. Don’t focus on their traits. Focus on the candidate’s behaviors instead. Anyone with a few bucks can polish an application to make it look like a million bucks. Look at their behavioral cues to see if they match. If they say they’re energetic, is the interview room filled with positive energy? Or do you feel like you need an IV filled with scotch once you’re through?

#2. Focus on what they perceive to be failure. Questions about a candidate’s weakness or how they responded to failure are common during the interview process. The goal here is to see if the candidate was able to learn from their mistakes. If all you’re hearing is a bunch of excuses as a response, then maybe it’s time for your dog to “accidentally” chew up their application.

#3. Handling conflict is more important than being a “team player.” Every job requires some level of interpersonal interactions. Instead of talking about the need to work with others, listen for labels that they may assign to people with challenging personalities. Relationships are more complex than someone “being difficult” or “micromanaging me,” so look for complex answers about how conflict is handled for better results.

#4. Listen to the body language. It is easy to confuse confidence with arrogance. It’s also equally easy to confuse defensiveness or indifference with confidence. Sometimes the most competent people sit back, cross their arms, and listen more to what you have to say. That’s because they’re reading you to see if you’d be a good candidate as an employer. If someone is invading the space of others, not making eye contact, or disguising a smile with a sneer, then what you’ve got on your hands is an attitude of contempt. You don’t want that in the workplace.

#5. Look for something substantive. Many people are skilled enough to adapt their personality, body language, and overall attitude to what they think you’re going to want in an employee. Many managers see this and stop looking for substantive answers because they’ve been seduced by how articulate and eloquent the candidate before them happens to be. If someone can edit themselves in an interview, then they can become a very manipulative employee in your office.

The goal of an interview is to make sure you get the assessment of a potential candidate as correct as possible. We all have gut feelings that we follow and other subconscious influences that affect our choices. With these tips in mind, however, you can help to make sure that the first impression you receive is an authentic one instead of one that was created for your benefit.

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