Feeling Happy (or Sad) Affects Your Productivity

Feeling Happy (or Sad) Affects Your Productivity

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Does happiness make people more productive? Yes, say researchers at the University of Warwick and IZA. In a series of experiments, randomly selected individuals who were made happier exhibited approximately 12% greater productivity, as measured by a standardized task of correctly adding combinations of numbers for 10 minutes. In one experiment, a comedy movie clip was played to a group of subjects. Their subsequent productivity was found to be substantially greater (approximately 13%) than the control group that did not see the clip. In another experiment, the researchers gave treatment subjects chocolate, fruit, and drinks. Those subjects’ productivity was higher, by approximately 15%, than the control group’s. A fourth experiment found that subjects who had recently experienced a family tragedy, such as recent bereavement, were noticeably less happy and less productive. To find…
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Protect Your Non-Work Time

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off.” But when you work in a role where the lines are blurred — or potentially nonexistent — it’s important to protect your non-work time. If you feel like work is taking over most of your waking hours, start by clearly defining what “after hours” means for you. Take into account the number of hours you’re expected to work each week, as well as personal commitments like taking your kids to school, making a certain train, or attending an exercise class you really enjoy. When do you need to start and stop to put in the appropriate amount of work time? Then, develop mental clarity about what needs to get done and when you will do it.…
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Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
We should all strive to do our best, but if you always aim for perfection, you may blow deadlines, annoy your colleagues, and miss out on opportunities. Instead of never being satisfied with “good enough,” talk to others about their standards. What does a good job look like to your boss, peer, or client? Seek their feedback on expected results, costs, and timelines rather than trying to meet your extremely high standards. Then check in regularly with these colleagues. Don’t wait until you think the project is finished, build in checkpoints where you share your progress at 50% or 80% done. Your boss or client just might tell you that the work is good enough at that point. You can also try small experiments where you relax your standards slightly.…
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If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Often I meet someone at a networking event who tells me they are a consultant. I follow up by asking what kind of consultant. They will toss around all kinds of buzzwords. They won't say what company they work for. They are vague about what they actually do. Finally, they will state that they work for a network marketing company. There isn't anything wrong with working for a network marketing company per se. Many of them offer excellent products at good prices. If you are too embarrassed to say you are selling their products, or worse, if your focus is on getting other people to sell rather than selling the products yourself, you are in the wrong business. There is nothing wrong with sales. Most of us, in one form…
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Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Whether it is fear of failure, fear of a virus, or just general fear, the worst thing you can do for your business or yourself is to operate from a place of fear. No one has ever succeeded by giving in to fear. While it can be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of failing or making mistakes, operating your business in a constant state of fear could be the reason your business is unsuccessful.  Of course, you should always be trying to protect your business and your livelihood, but be aware of the consequences when unhealthy fear begins to take over your mindset. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. The best way to avoid fear is to plan for what frightens you. If you…
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Misunderstanding Value

Misunderstanding Value

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
The show Wicked Tuna follows tuna fisherman off the coast of Massachusetts. These fishermen are trying to catch enough tuna to cover their costs and bring home money to live on. Each boat is its own business. In recent episodes there are more tuna than can be sold, prices go down and as a consequence, each boat needs to catch more to cover their expenses. One fisherman was complaining that he wasn't being paid what the tuna were worth. This is a common complaint of business people and it is because they misunderstand value. Value is not determined by the seller. It is determined by the buyer. The law of supply and demand states that if supply is high and demand is low the value goes down. The same happens…
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The “New” Normal Isn’t New

The “New” Normal Isn’t New

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
There has been a lot of talk about "the new normal" during the Covid-19 crisis. This seems to be a favorite phrase in media. In 1977 the new normal was that oil and gasoline would be scarce. In 1999 the new normal was that retail stores would go out of business and all shopping would be done online. In 2009 the new normal was that there would be high unemployment and if you were older than 50 you may never work again. None of these predictions were accurate and neither are the current ones. The reason for this is that they all fail to take into consideration what "normal" really is. If you've been in business for any amount of time, you should already know that normal is adapting to…
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What Small Businesses Can Do To Reduce Employee Stress

What Small Businesses Can Do To Reduce Employee Stress

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
This article originally appeared in The Philadelphia Enquirer Are the employees at your small business stressed out? They probably are. But if that’s the case, then you’re not alone. Last year, 94% of American workers reported that they experienced stress at their workplace, according to a study from Wrike, a collaborative workplace management application. At least 23 percent of the respondents described their stress levels as high, and 6 percent said it was unreasonably high. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t getting any better. Just last month, a whopping 88 percent of professionals surveyed by executive-search firm Korn Ferry said that, compared to five years ago, the stress level in their workplace was higher, with 51 percent saying it is “much higher.” Stress can come from many sources — a bad boss, tight deadlines, uncomfortable working…
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Strategies to Use When You’re Feeling Anxious

Strategies to Use When You’re Feeling Anxious

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
It’s normal to experience occasional anxiety — for example, when we’re faced with a high-stakes meeting, a stressed-out boss, or a conflict with a colleague. Feeling anxious can make you more vigilant, engaged, and productive, but it can also exacerbate negative thoughts. To regain control of your internal monologue, there are a few strategies you can try. First, take note of any physical cues: a churning stomach, sweaty palms, or flaring nostrils. When you experience these systems, divert your attention away from the stressor. One technique is to do a tough math problem in your head. Then, identify the “thought trap” you’re falling into. Are you catastrophizing (i.e. imagining the worst possible outcome)? Mind reading (i.e. imagining what others might think?) Or black-and-white thinking (i.e. considering only two possible outcomes)?…
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Lean Into Adversity

Lean Into Adversity

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
When times get tough, many people think the first thing they need to do is minimize the pain. It's a reasonable idea. No one wants to suffer after all. If you minimize the pain it's easier to get through the adversity. That may or may not be true but minimizing the pain, can actually make the situation worse. Adversity brings out who people are. It breaks people and organizations down and builds them back up. Thins about the worst things that have happened in your life. You would not be the same person you are today if they didn't happen. To be stronger you need to lean into adversity. Focus on solving the problem: What caused the adversity? Fix it.Deal with the fallout: What's the fallout from the problem? Accept…
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