Featured

The Great Leadership Failure

People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. Many leaders have been afraid up until this pandemic to allow team member to work from home, n

Read More
The Great Leadership Failure

Eight Ways to Increase Your Work/Life Ba

Work-life balance is a concept that describes the ideal of splitting one’s time and energy between work and the outside work aspects of their life. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challen

Read More
Eight Ways to Increase Your Work/Life Balance in 2020
19 Ways to be a Pro at Home

The Ten Most Underrated Skills Today

1. Few would disagree that self-awareness is unrelated to leadership success, but it rarely makes the top 10 list of key leadership competencies. Self-awareness is the starting point for authenticity

Read More
The Ten Most Underrated Skills Today

Getting Things Done Using Influence

In today’s business environment it seems like having influence is becoming more and more important. Without influence it’s difficult to accomplish what you really need to get done. It coul

Read More
Getting Things Done Using Influence

Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

So the key to emotional intelligence is to develop your awareness of your emotions, then understand them, then how to manage them. Once you master this then you can better recognize and understand oth

Read More
Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

The Great Leadership Failure

0
by on May 1, 2020 at 10:03 am

People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss.

People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. Many leaders have been afraid up until this pandemic to allow team member to work from home, now they have no choice. A great leader should realize that it should be his or her goal to set-up those working from home, to be successful.

The failure starts with planning and communication. Planning & organizing is becoming one of the most promotable management skills. Why, just because someone is a manager, doesn’t mean that he or she is well organized.

Effectively planning and organizing your team (working at home) start with setting your team up for success. (Failure starts when this isn’t properly done.) Here are the necessary steps:

1. Make sure your team sets up his or her home office correctly

2. Communicate your expectations (i.e. work hours, daily/weekly goals, etc.)

3. Set-up communication technology and communication channels

4. Establish ground rules and communicate your expectations clearly

5. Create a positive climate of meaningful accountability by tracking results

6. Plan and facilitate consistent and effective virtual meetings

7. Set up a system of recognizing and rewarding remote team members

8. Encourage team members to communicate with each other

9. Build a culture of consistency, trust, and respect

10. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you said you’re going to do it

This is your opportunity to grow as a leader! Build your team from the ground up. With trust comes influence and a loyal, engaged team.

in Time Management

Eight Ways to Increase Your Work/Life Balance in 2020

0
by on December 30, 2019 at 9:00 am

Work-life balance is a concept that describes the ideal of splitting one’s time and energy between work and the outside work aspects of their life. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, church, personal growth, the activities you really enjoy, and children/older parents, in addition to the demands of the workplace. Here are seven ways that will have an immediate impact on improving your work/life balance:

1. Make Sure Your Master List Includes Your Personal Life

Better work/life balance starts by including your personal life on your “Master List”. You are thinking about it so why don’t you write it on your list? I didn’t get a personal life until I put my personal life on my list. I then look for ways to integrate my personal to-dos into my work day when I need a break. Some examples would be; call the doctor, make an appointment for my car, check my checking balance, etc. Since most people are visual, when you see checkmarks next to personal to-dos, you are more likely to feel you have actual work/life balance.

2. Put Your Personal Life on Your Calendar

Since there is a direct correlation between the quality of your personal life and your productivity at work, you’re making a stronger commitment to your personal life when you put it on your calendar. Though it may feel strange to formally schedule activities like “family dinner” or “workout at the gym,” doing so will make it far more likely that these activities actually happen.

3. Coordinate Your Schedule with Your Family and Vice Versa

Every Sunday, (I recommend at dinner) get out a calendar and go over the planned activities for the coming week so that you are prioritizing the greatest needs of your family. Discuss travel plans, meetings, events, etc. If you have children, discuss carpooling, transportation responsibilities, tests, etc., and who’s responsible for what. This advances planning and communication should eliminate miscommunication and make your family life smoother.

4. Make Time to Unplug from Work

Your mind and body need rest from work on a regular basis in order to recharge. Set aside time each day and week to block out thoughts of work and focus exclusively on the people and activities that matter most to you.

5. Make Time for Yourself

When you are not at work, you have to learn to put yourself first. When you get home from work take some time to decompress by yourself. Go for a walk, go to the gym, or maybe read something that interests you. Schedule time to do the things you enjoy like golf, tennis, exploring new places, etc.

6. Cut Down on Commuting Time

If working within close proximity isn’t possible, see if you can do some of your work at home first thing in the mornings and afternoons and commute to and from work when traffic is lessened.

7. Put the Phone Down

When you are with partner or family, put your phone in a different room for an hour. Try to create quantity time. You can’t truly give someone or your family your time and attention if your phone is within eyesight. Maybe give your phone to a loved one to lessen the temptation (that’s what I did.) Stop checking email all evening! Turn off notifications on your phone to better focus on family time.

8. Stop Talking about Work All the Time

When you get home the first question you might get asked is, “How was your day?” Resist the temptation to go into great detail about how bad (or good) it was. Turn it around on the other person as soon as possible. I believe people would much rather talk about something they can relate to, and it provides you with a much-needed break from talking about work. 

19 Ways to be a Pro at Home

0
by on August 21, 2018 at 10:00 am

In the past, not all have been successful when given the opportunity to work remotely. Working from home means that you must have discipline, plus motivation, and organize yourself. The world has shifted with the coronavirus! Your child’s schools are closed for several weeks, universities are moving to remote learning, your kids are moving home, and many of us for the first time are working remotely.

Utilize these 19 habits from our new eLearning program so you can make your transition go more smoothly and get more done. Ask for details:

1. Change Your Mindset

To be more productive while working away from the office, we need to change your work mindset to a work/home mindset. This involves customizing your structure from work and adding the necessary “artificial” discipline to stay on task when work and home collide. It’s training our brains to focus on work during our scheduled work time. When your day ends, its time to shift to family and your time.

2. Create a Productive Workspace

Create an environment that will allow you to operate in a business-like manner. This includes having a properly equipped home office and organizing your work schedule in ways that will discourage others from interrupting you and keep you motivated when you’re working at home. Have a designated space to do your work.  Turn a spare room into an office. If space is limited, find a desk or table that’s specifically for your work(not your kitchen table or the couch) . One’s physical workplace has a positive or negative influence on happiness and productivity. An inspiring or interesting environment will make you feel happier; more importantly, it results in more energized, purpose-driven work. A designated workspace matters for a few reasons.

Working at your kitchen or dining room table can seem logical. But that means any time you want to use your table for other things (like eating, or a game night with friends), you have to clean up and put away your work. At the very least, figure out where you can put a dedicated desk that isn’t used for anything else. If you have a spare room to use for an office, even better. But even a closet or unused corner of a room can work great!

First, you’ll have room to spread out your work materials — such as papers, books, and reports — and leave them out the entire day. This is far better than working at the kitchen table. Then, you have to clean up your materials for lunch; get everything out to work in the afternoon; and clear everything away for dinner. Second, a dedicated workspace can help your motivation. When you go to this designated space, you know that it’s time to work.

3. Pretend Like You’re Not at Home

One of the most common mistakes people make when working from home is to act, well, like they’re at home. This translates into behaviors like getting up to do dishes, putting in a load of wash, or checking out Facebook. As such, it’s important to create a distinction between “home” and “work,” even when they are technically the same. You wouldn’t bring your laundry in and fold it in the office while talking to your boss, so don’t do that during work hours at home, either.

To create this separation, select spaces in your home that are designated for “work.” When I’m in my designated work space it signals “work time.”  Once you establish your rituals, it’ll be easier to settle in and focus. For me, I found a room, added walls and a door, and my home office came to life.

4. Dress Like You’re Going to Work

Separate work from home with the clothes you wear. Maybe you have a handful of casual “work” shirts, which are different from the shirts you wear when you’re relaxing on a Saturday afternoon or in the evenings. Having designated “work from home” clothes can get you into the right frame of mind.

5. Set Dedicated Office Hours

Setting explicit office hours, and keeping to them, allows you to separate home life from work life each day, and lets your team (and family) know when you’re available and when you’re not, no matter what your icon might say. This is especially important with family. It is critical to set and maintain boundaries. In addition, discuss those exact boundaries with family and colleagues and agreement to observe them is vital. Trust me, those boundaries will be tested.

6. Create a Master List that Includes Work and Personal

I like to “blend” my work and personal tasks when working from home. Roughly every fifty minutes I can feel I’m running out of energy. That’s when I look on my list for personal tasks that take ten minutes or less. I choose a personal task (put a load of wash in the washer, do the dishes, make Doctor’s appointment, etc., then return to my work. This blend must be disciplined with set times or you’ll lose track of time and fall behind. This is the Master List concept from Organizing for Success 2.0.

7. Make a Schedule

Give your day some structure and make a schedule for tomorrow at the end of each day. I make an hour-by-hour schedule for tomorrow that includes my priorities and when I’ll work on them. So, on Tuesday, I make a schedule for Wednesday. I also schedule ten-minute breaks and add time for lunch (don’t eat at your desk.).Taking short ten-minute breaks is an important part of managing your energy throughout the day. Leaving your home or apartment at lunch time and taking a walk is a great way to boost your energy levels for the afternoon ahead.

8. Break Your Day into Hourly Intervals

We’re far more effective when we focus on what we can accomplish one to an hour rather than “by the end of the day.” This hourly approach will help you get into a rhythm and break your day into manageable pieces. Try my 50/10 Rule: Work hard for 50-minutes, then take a 10-minute break and recharge. This will increase what you’re accomplishing each hour.

9. Develop a Routine

To develop a more effective routine, start by questioning the way things have always been done. This routine may or may not be the same as the one you had at work. Question your “typical” routine and habits. There is a huge difference between being busy and being productive. Excellence and productivity, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Keep track of your time for a week using the Timekeeping Journal I developed and evaluate your routine. Maybe it’s time for a new routine.

10. Batch Like Tasks

Batching is the second fastest way to increase both your focus and productivity. Group emails, phone calls, similar tasks or projects, trips to certain parts of town, or shopping at different stores (personal) from your Master List. Set up times each day to work on like activities you have to accomplish, and you’ll have more discipline.

Batching will help you to do things more quickly because you’ll get into the flow of the task and won’t lose time in refocusing like you do when you’re jumping from task to task all day long or being interrupted. Analyze your tasks and see which ones you can group.

Tip: Turn off your email notification and set-up times each hour to batch your responses. You will actually respond to more than if you left it open all day!

11. Use Breaks and Lunch to Keep Your Mind Fresh

It’s important to keep your mind fresh throughout the day. The mind can only go so long before it “hits the wall.” That’s why lunch and short breaks are important. Studies show that the concentration cycles usually last 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, take a 10-minute break and recharge. Eat a lunch that will add to your afternoon energy cycle, not put you to sleep. If you have a heavy lunch, that will defeat the purpose of using lunch to increase your productivity.

12. Reduce Distractions

One of the benefits of working from home is escaping workplace distractions that are imposed on you. So, don’t inundate yourself with “home” distractions, like turning on TV and scrolling through newsfeeds on Facebook. Forty-eight percent of respondents to the Regus survey reported that children or family demanding attention was the number one issue when working at home. If you have a family it is important to let them know when you are working and therefore unavailable. Switching between tasks can result in as much as a 40% loss of productivity. Even consider turning off the notification sound when you get emails or electronic notifications.

Concentration killers include everything from noise from family or neighborhood activities to just observing that beautiful view of your backyard from your home office window. Block out excess noise from family or outside your house with noise cancelling head phones or ear buds. Studies show that soft, soothing music helps you concentrate, lowers your blood pressure.

13. Create a Group Power Hour or Use “Do Not Disturb”

When you’re remote, nobody knows the best time to reach you. Don’t be afraid to protect your time, as others won’t. Tell others the best time to reach you and when you’re typically unavailable because it’s your “veggie” time.

Do Not Disturb. If you’re using Slack, then you can set yourself away or DND for an hour. Same process for IM. This will tell the rest of your team (and others) that you aren’t around or are working on something important. Your team (and others) will quickly learn when you can be disturbed and when not, and adjust their communication accordingly.

14. Use Your Peak Hours Effectively

It’s important to determine your peak work cycles. Each person has three in a day; one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the early evening. Do you work best first thing in the morning? Do you start to feel energized after 12 noon? 

The answer to such questions can help you determine your peak work periods. I’m a morning person; I prefer working early in the morning and immediately after lunch. I prioritize my important tasks for these periods and the save less-important stuff for when I feel like I’m “out of gas.” Knowing when you work best (and not) can help you get the most out of your day. This is very strategic thinking.

15. Stay Connected and Communicate with Colleagues

You will work in large chunks of uninterrupted time. Add time each day to communicate with colleagues. This is important to do when you’re working remotely. When creating your daily schedule, make sure you schedule a time to call a colleague, check your social channels. When you’re in an office, most conversation involves talking about nothing. Sports, TV, movies, anything but work. This is just a natural part of human behavior. But when you’re remote, it can feel like you shouldn’t bother with any communication that isn’t work-related and vital. Create a channel on Slack for non-work related, social talk to fill this void.

I find it helpful to check digital communication tools at designated times during my day. When I create my daily schedule, I note when I’ll check email and Slack, for example. Use the “Out of Office” feature on Outlook to alert colleagues when they should expect a response. If you’re a leader, tell team members in advance when you’re available to talk or respond to emails.

16. Create Communication Channels for Different Needs

Since you can’t ask the person who used be sitting next to you for an answer or help, you need to choose an effective communication channel or channels if you need something or are stuck. Slack offers the ability to set up different channels for different teams, add integrations to make life easier, and keep everyone in the loop at all times, so you can communicate anything that the team needs to know. Consider a five-minute chat over video when a discussion is needed instead of going back and forth on Slack trying to answer questions. Batch everything that you want to talk about into a single video call and reduce time.

Staying connected by using a combination of different communication options helps assure the success of a remote worker. It is important to feel like you’re part of a team, to be engaged, and not feel like you’re on an island all be yourself. In addition to email, texts, IM, and the phone, there is Skype and other cutting-edge video collaboration tools. Discuss the various options with your fellow collaborators and manger. Other suggestions would be Facebook and Twitter.

17. Determine the End of Your Workday

A common challenge is working too much when you’re working remotely. You see your computer nearby, and you have a nagging urge to check your email constantly throughout the evening. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance when your workday will end. Include this in your daily plan discussed above. Then, close your laptop and place it in your book bag or close your office door so your computer is out of sight. (I close my office door and turn off my phone.)

18. Add Closure to the End of Each Day

Update your Master List at the end of each day. Approximately 15-30 minutes before you plan to leave work, stop responding to e-mails, phone calls, requests from others, and your work. With your calendar open and your Master List in front of you, let your mind wander. Brainstorm: write down whatever pops into your head in no particular order. This will create an ending point for each day or closure, so you develop mental separation between work and home.

You don’t want to come back to your home office the next day and feel like you never left! This process will allow you relax and focus on your family. Have you ever thought about work while watching TV, talking to family, or in bed (when you should be sleeping?) You must also avoid the temptation to seek back to your office when others are looking. It is important to make a commitment to your personal/work balance. The evening is your time to recharge and spend time with family or just yourself.

Finally, each Friday, repeat this process. Each Friday, from 3-5 pm I start to “wind down” and organize for next week. I empty my head of work thoughts, evaluate what I did (and didn’t) get done this week, and plan next week. This process will allow your mind to relax so you can focus on and enjoy your weekend!

19. Build Trust

Trust building is relationship building. If you don’t build trust, you don’t build relationships and this is key when you’re working remotely. How do you provide evidence that you want your leaders, peers, or stakeholders to give you their trust? You must first demonstrate that the relationship matters.

  • • Show willingness to learn new methods, procedures, and take on new tasks
    • Show initiative & self-reliance.
    • Look for new ways of doing things and to achieve objectives.
    • Make suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of changes.
    • Be resourceful with a positive, ‘can do’ attitude to change.
    • Respond with energy to new challenges, the unfamiliar and the unexpected.
    • Adjust your methods to deal with a changing situation or emergency.
    • Shift your priorities in response to the demands of a situation.
    • Not be frightened to improvise.
    • Be tolerant of time pressure, working well close to deadlines.
    • Keep an open mind and see the bigger picture.

Integrity is also essential for trust and credibility. You need to be known as someone who does the right things for the right reasons (especially when you’re working remotely! A clear understanding of what matters most to your leader and team members is essential for building trust and credibility.

Questions like?

  • • What are your expectations for replying to any communication you send me?
    • What hours to you expect me to be at my desk? Breaks? Lunch?
    • What are your expectations regarding daily accomplishments?
Note: Ask for more details immediately so your leaders and employees can start making the transition today.

, , , ,

Contact Us

Zeigler Learning LLC
15825 Northstone Dr.
Huntersville, NC 28078

Toll Free: 1-800-835-6839

Email: KZeigler@KZTraining.com