Work requires diligence and dedication to excellence but this does not necessarily mean your life has to be work, work and more work. I learnt early in life to work and to pay attention to all other things that matter. It is your responsibility to plan your future before you clock the retirement age.
It’s a cold Wednesday here and today we continue our series on the balanced work week.
Schedule appointment with your TV
The days you will catch all the buzz on social media and the need to wait for the nine o’clock news is fast disappearing but there are other things to do with your television. Identify trending and very interesting soap opera to watch or some entertainment programmes. There are exciting programmes you can watch regularly and this can be an escape from your life of stress and work. You will find out you’ll have something to look out for and you could really use the excitement and suspense and anticipation.
Read a book
In this part of the country we have little attraction to books. Except for purely academic texts, very few would walk into the library or shops to pick books for their reading pleasure. When you read, you gain insight, learn new things, imagine concepts, compare settings and sometimes generate ideas. Make a decision to find time for books, read a novel, a religious literature, a book on motivation, history or a biography of great and successful people and you will be glad you did.
Exercise your body
I am also guilty of this but I sometimes decide to take a walk instead of driving to a nearby location. It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate. “Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert,” Brooks says. “And I’ve noticed that when I don’t exercise because I’m trying to squeeze in another half hour of writing, I don’t feel as alert.” So try to take a walk, register at a gym, engage in indoor exercise and keep fit. Exercise is a good way to stay healthy and to sweat which is equally good for your health.
The Balanced Work Week continues tomorrow (Thursday). Don’t miss it….
At no time in the history of Nigeria has life expectancy been this low and the number of death resulting from workplace incidents, stress and unhealthy living places premium on the need to dwell more on the health and safety of employees not only during work but their lives outside the office setting must equally be taken into consideration.
This Tuesday we will continue our discussion on how to ensure a balanced work week focusing more on stress at work.
When your job evolves new challenges, it can be very tiring to brainstorm and to investigate and proffer possible solution to such emerging challenges but you can do yourself some good buy consulting people who could be of help. There is no harm in consulting and asking people for ideas especially those who have passed through similar stages or who operate in the same industry. You should just swallow your pride and remember that two heads are better than one. Save yourself the stress of spending hours in front of your laptop or attempting to write a report when there are people whose experience can be highly resourceful.
Working together as team can be a great way of reducing the amount of stress you are exposed to weekly. You can have a balanced work week when you work with people and not in isolation. We know you don’t like sharing and we are aware that you love what you do but delegating responsibilities will do you more good than harm. You will not only be building others you will also be increasing your capacity to handle more pressing assignments successfully. Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. So instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Delegating can be a win-win situation, says Stewart Freidman, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life. Freidman recommends talking to the “key stakeholders” in different areas of your life, which could include employees or colleagues at work, a spouse or a partner in a community project. “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow,” he says. This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.
6. Don’t skip meals.
According to Kathleen M. Zelman, breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day. However, many of us have little time to prepare breakfast and even when we do, we hardly have time to eat until its noon. Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight. Weighting on the pros and cons, its pertinent to develop a healthy eating habit of making breakfast a priority.
Remember that work will come and go but your health and well being is your responsibility.
The Balanced Work Week continues tomorrow (Wednesday). Don’t miss it …..
I want to work less hours and make more money summarizes the desire of many Nigerians but with the appalling state of the nations economy very few will be able to afford three square meals without sweating their brows.
The question then is how can you manage to retain your life when you work up to 50 hours per week. How can you manage to retain a smile, retain your beauty as well as physical and mental balance after a hard days work. The truth is nobody is going to help you achieve a balanced work week, it is a personal affair and you have a duty to take care of yourself.
This Monday we will look at what to do to ensure you have a balanced work week.
Sometimes my Mondays can be very hectic and I can be as busy as a beaver. But what I do which helps a lot is to go into every week being positive and optimistic. Embrace every Monday as a unique gift from your creator and another opportunity to make something out of your life and career. Don’t wake up grumbling about how Monday as come too fast and how long it will take before another weekend beckons. For some of us our week never ends and yet we try our best to catch fun.
Include yourself in your diary
Before your start making appointments, scheduling meetings and conferences and all work related commitments, include some “Me” time into your work week. No matter how short there should be time for you to do something else outside work. According to Jen Uscher, when you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge. If you can’t be with them physically, give them a call or catch up with them on social media, chat them up and discuss matters outside work and career. This will help your brain relax and also relax your tightened up muscles.
Remember you ain’t perfect
Growing up I struggled with this a lot. I never wanted to make mistakes or forget an important assignment. I loved it when people shower encomiums on my efforts and I always wanted to keep it that way. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive, says executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, who wrote The Office Survival Guide. So try to understand and embrace your imperfection as a human being. The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.
The Balanced Work Week continues tomorrow (Tuesday). Don’t miss it ……
I had my share of failure pretty much early in life. Growing up and having to compete to retain my relevance was a tough battle I had to fight. I never knew life had a bitter sweet taste until I was so down I considered giving up on my dreams. I wanted to prove to the world I wasn’t useless, I wanted to prove to those who wrote me off I could make something out of my life but after several attempts at success, it seemed failure and I were just another set of Siamese twins.
School leaving certificate was the highlight of my struggles and after writing WAEC, NECO, GCE and NECO GCE, my back to back failure was no longer breaking news. All my friends made it to the university and I was lonely, felt inferior and could no longer raise my head in church. Our society places so much premium on university education such that those who couldn’t make it are considered inferior to other kids who did. It didn’t matter how they got admission, parents were willing to offer bribes for their kids to go through.
When I was about to write the exam the fifth time, I met Tumi a colleague in the struggle for university admission. My brain wasn’t totally empty, it just had a wrong configuration that spelt F9 (Failure) anytime I wrote Mathematics exam. My parents never gave up on me and Tumi told me I could break the yoke, I could do anything and achieve anything if I set my heart to it. This came at a time when I had lost my identity and the confidence I had in myself and disappeared completely.
I summoned courage and after endless hours of studying at the library (Oyo state Library Old Bodija Estate) and nights reading amidst painful mosquito bites, I cleared all my papers and mathematics became a plaything. My greatest fear of ending up a failure was eliminated; I graduated from the university in 2010 and became an Associate of the Chartered institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria in 2014, completed my MBA in 2015 and Msc. Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management yesterday June 4 2016, I feel like I have made enough statement and have nothing else to prove, I am not a failure, I am a success and I can go on to be whoever I want to be.
Tumi passed away in 2007 after a brief illness, he even taught me to play Bass guitar.
Today as I add another year, I give thanks to God for the gift of life and I celebrate Tumi whose brief stay on earth affected my life and the lives of many friends immensely.
We can defy the odds and rocks when we set our minds to be whoever we want to be.
Towards a better me and you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME !!!
As we conclude the series on the ingredients of an Ideal Workplace, the last ingredient on our I-D-E-A-L list is Love.
A workplace is not complete when love is absent. Love can be explained as a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment.
Spending eight hours of your day with complete strangers can make you feel lonely but it gets even worse when such hours is spent in the company of colleagues who are always looking for your downfall. They set traps for you and when you fall short no one seems to be interested in looking out for you. This can be very unsettling and people often quit their jobs when they feel unloved by their boss or co-staffs in the organization.
When there is no love, team work becomes almost impossible and the possibility of optimum performance becomes slim as a result of the strained relationship which affects work flow. The mission and objectives of an organization cannot be achieved when people fail to work together as a team.
Studies have shown that employees who feel loved at work tend to perform better. According to Barsade and O’Neill (2014), It may not be surprising that those who perceive greater affection and caring from their colleagues perform better, but few managers focus on building an emotional culture. That’s a mistake.
Hence, Love becomes a vital ingredient in any Ideal workplace and it would be safe to conclude that a workplace is not an ideal place to work when there is no love.
Picture Credit: http://www.madamenoire.com
The sole aim of every organization is the actualization and attainment of set goals and objectives. While organizations gather efforts towards achieving these goals, not all organizations eventually achieve what they set out to do. This is affected by several factors which has either been ignored or not given requisite attention. This will lead us to the next ingredient for an Ideal Workplace which is ALLOCATION.
As simple as it sounds, allocation of people, jobs and scarce resources defines the failure and success of any workplace. In Nigeria today, many firms have recognized the strategic role played by Human Resource Professionals in the efficient management of people towards attainment of corporate goals. Hence, the days of just administrative officers keeping employee records has faded away. Today, the focus is on performance management but very few actually understand that you cannot manage or accurately assess employee performance when you have not sufficiently allocated to them what they require to do an efficient job. From allocating supplies and materials, project deadlines, tasks, resumption and closing hours, break time, staffs to departments, promotion slots amongst many other variables, you will need to allocate and be responsible for your decisions. Sometimes to avoid envy in the workplace, you need to explain why Mr A was assigned to handle certain assignments and why Mr B was sent on another assignment to represent the firm.
Understanding the concept of allocation is a strategic effort which is done with careful analysis of the needs of the workplace as well as the available resources required to meet the needs identified. It is not enough to put the right people in the right positions, you also have to allocate to those people the right set of responsibilities based on their identified skills and expertise.
To allocate is to disburse, to share and it is important to note that such allocation may not necessarily be equal. You need to identify what each employee or department needs for optimal performance. For every team, for every project and for every department, you need to allocate and be careful in managing resources.
Allocating requires decision making and as a result must be carried out with utmost rationality. The success of your firm depends on it.
This article series will discuss the five ingredients of an IDEAL Workplace from the I-D-E-A-L
Staying ahead of the competition is a big challenge for many organizations, sometimes you find your way to the top through hard work and innovation but to remain a leader in your industry is more of a challenge which is not often anticipated.
Building an ideal workplace and one that can constantly attract the right talents as well as the right clients cannot be effective without paying attention to the underlying ingredients. The third ingredient of an IDEAL workplace is Excellence.
The word excellent portrays two salient features that need to be examined.
- Exceed: For every industry, there exist some certain preset standards of operation. This is often inherited from experience and unconsciously it dictates the process and procedures we employ to carry out our work. From the days of cable telephone lines to mobile phones and to the use of the internet, advancement in technology has evolved new ways and procedures for promoting business activities. To exceed means to go beyond a particular amount or level and for your firm to be an Ideal place to work, you will need to exceed the expectations of your clients.
When every firm on the block provides the same services you render, you have to constantly evolve ways to exceed the expectations of your customers. If they expect you to deliver within two working days, how can you deliver within 24 hours? If they expect you to charge the standard fee, how can you constantly deliver cost reduction while ensuring qualitative service?
What are your clients thinking? How can you exceed their expectation?
- Excel: It is almost the end of the year and several awards of excellence will be given out to firms who have been perceived to deliver up to and beyond expectation. The word excel means to be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject and as we move towards the year 2016, you will need to imbibe the culture of excellence.
An ideal workplace is one that delivers all round excellent service. This means from the security man to the MD/CEO, everyone must absorb an excellent mentality.
An ideal workplace is not one where your support staffs wouldn’t work without a tip, your key employees would find excuses to delay and your management team will perform poorly and still be appropriately remunerated. Promoting mediocrity is the foundation for business failure. You have to sound the alarm and exert deliberate effort to promote excellence in every aspect of your firms operation.
An excellent culture in the workplace is key to customer retention, builds business goodwill, and tags you as an employer of choice.
This article series will discuss the five ingredients of an IDEAL Workplace from the I-D-E-A-L
Several ingredients make up an ideal workplace and having discussed the first ingredient last week, the second ingredient sounds simple, but encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more.
One of the old issues in our workplace which over the years has remained a trending topic is the issue of workplace diversity.
A colleague from Kogi State was constantly being bullied. He was not perceived or accepted by his co-workers as a core Yoruba man. He was often called all manner of names which causes strife. I know of people who have being at a disadvantage in their job search as a result of their ethnic group, gender or religious belief.
Everyone loves to be accepted according to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and this feeling of love and acceptance in the workplace is very germane to employee productivity.
However, some firms have played down the need for workplace diversity often arguing that it leads to confusion and lack of cohesion.
You may be doing business with customers and vendors around the world, but even if you’re not, chances are that the demographics in your neighborhood are also becoming more diverse.
Josh Greenberg on Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions opined that an organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues, develop and implement diversity plans, multiple benefits are reported.
To make your firm stronger and at a competitive advantage, you need to constantly think of ways to be outsmart your competitors. This can be achieved by evolving strategies that will improve or broaden the service range of your firm. The collection of skills and experiences available in your team will be crucial to improving or broadening your service range.
The variety of ideas and viewpoints your team provides will give you a large pool of vital business strategies to draw from.
According to KIM ABREU on The Myriad Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace, to be profitable in a diverse, globalized marketplace, savvy companies are making efforts to look more like the community around them. If you employ only those who identify with a small portion of the market, you just don’t have access to the insights, experiences and worldviews of the full marketplace.
I leave you with the Wall Street Journal tips on How to Increase Workplace Diversity;
- Develop a hiring strategy to make your workforce resemble the community you operate in.
- Ask existing employees for referrals.
- Talk to community organizations to help find candidates.
- Provide diversity training in your workplace.
To have an ideal workplace, you will need to make deliberate effort at harnessing the gains from a diverse workforce and manage such diversity efficiently.
This article series will discuss the five ingredients of an IDEAL Workplace from the I-D-E-A-L
Is your workplace an ideal place to work? Is your workplace the best it can possibly be?
I have often wondered why certain organizations fade out of the scene over the years. Some organizations grow to become famous, affluent and productive such that they evolve into price makers and pace setters in their respective sectors of the economy but over time, something happens and they begin to lose the pace and efficiency required to stay ahead in the competition.
Some names still cause our ears to tingle as a result of the goodwill such organizations built over the years but which has now become history.
Many organizations have failed today not because they lack the people or resources to perform their tasks but because overtime time they have built a culture inconsistent with their mission statements. Policies and strategies employed to ensure competitiveness has evolved into a disadvantage which spells business failure and loss.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having high moral standards. People often define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one else is around. It is the ability to act with honesty and be consistent in whatever it is you are doing based on the particular moral, value or belief compass you have.
Building business relationships is key to the success of any organization but you cannot successfully build such beneficial relationships when the two highlighted ingredients (honesty and consistency) are missing.
To have an ideal workplace, you will need to work on your honesty. People easily build business relations with organizations perceived to be honest in their dealings. Many firms today have soiled their goodwill in certain dirty engagements and when a firm has lost its integrity, it has lost its clients.
To be consistent is indeed a battle every organization must strive to win. Almost everybody starts out good, they offer quality products and services, record significant growth and high sales which diminishes over time. Such consistency can be measured from product quality, timeliness of operation to customer service.
Is your workplace Ideal? What is the level of honesty? What is the level of consistency?
It is very hard to keep up with the competition today but whatever sector of the economy and whatever service your firm sets out to provide, you will need to be honest and consistent.
You cannot have an IDEAL workplace without Integrity.
This article will discuss the five ingredients of an IDEAL Workplace from the I-D-E-A-L
I called a friend this morning to wish her the best of luck as she had an interview scheduled for 12pm. Jokingly I remember telling her, if they ask you any question you do not have answers to, tell them you want to “phone a friend”.
The changing perception of what an interview should be never stops to amuse me and the fact that employers are at liberty to ask any question is not enough an excuse to embarrass applicants. Cindy Perman on CNBC published 25 of the most outrageous interview questions and going through some of these questions makes me wonder what interviews of today has evolved into.
The case of Nigeria is not in anyway different and recently i was surprised when I received a call to send my resume to an email also stating my current take home pay. Of course I sent my resume since my take home pay wasn’t the best offer possible but I excluded my pay package as that should not serve as a yardstick for ascertaining the offer to be made.
Interviewers have the tendency to go off the line when interview questions are not focused on the job and how the applicant best fits the open position. Sometimes its best to just focus on the job-related questions and avoid making a fool of ourselves.
Questions like where are you from?, Is your father the Oba of Lagos? What religion do you practice? How many kids do you have? amongst many funny others tends to amuse rather than impress applicants. While not all interviewers are experts, those who claim to be certified professionals tend to commit the same errors.
No one has to beg. If the interview requires a job-seeker to beg for the job, then only people with low self-esteem will be hired. You will have a pen full of sheep, and fear will reign. If that works for your organization and its customers, God bless you. Lizy Ryan
The unemployment situation in Nigeria and the wrong perception that offering a job to an applicant is equal to saving their lives should be thrown out the window. Your employees are your assets and anyone coming into your team should be seen as another arsenal to give you a competitive advantage.
Finally, when next you are interviewing for a position, be sure to stand your ground. Don’t look vulnerable and be confident as you are going into that firm to turn things around positively beyond expectation.
Boost your self esteem, you are a priceless asset, not a liability !!!
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