Think spring cleaning is just for the home? Look
around your work space. Is it shipshape or in sorry shape? After a long winter,
many of us need to refresh our offices with a good spring cleaning.
Ready, Set, Spring
Toss: Spring time is a period of renewal, so get ready
for "out with the old, in with the new." It's time to toss: good-bye old
newspapers, magazines, coffee cups, unused office accessories and clutter. Take
out the shredder and give your desktop pile and cabinet files a thorough onceover.
Shred what's not needed.
Clean Slate: Give your desk a spring make-over. Take everything
off, creating a clean, blank slate. Move personal items such as framed photos
or children's arts and crafts to your shelves. Consider adding new pencil
holders or attractive desk accessories. Little changes can transform your
Purge Drawers: Organize your desk drawers,
tossing unnecessary items and grouping like supplies (i.e. post-it-notes, pens,
staples) together. Go drawer, by drawer, until your desk is in tip top shape.
One and Only: Keep office supplies in one
drawer only. Buy a dozen of your favorite, inexpensive pens and keep them in a
tray in the drawer. Store back-up supplies in a clear storage box. And say no
to junk; free cups and pens and other free giveaways are distracting clutter.
Purge Post-Its: Use post-its sparingly, so
they catch your eye, not obscure your monitor. For a running to-do list, keep a
notebook by the phone. Jot down phone messages or notes here.
Weed Piles & Files: If
you're a piler, try to move them off the desktop and onto a side
table. Desks should have no more than a three tier in-box: one slot holds items
not yet reviewed, one for items "on hold" that you have reviewed and
need to act upon soon and a third for items needed on a daily basis over the
short term. Documents not falling into one of these categories should be filed
permanently or tossed.
Keep At It:
Once your desk and office are squeaky clean, keep things
shipshape with a nightly ten minute spruce up. Make a clean sweep each night,
tossing trash, sorting paperwork and readying must-have-documents for the next
Do you give your office space a
spring cleaning? Do you have any tips or strategies for keeping your workspace
in top shape? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Carly Fadako
Gone are the days when employees spent their entire
work life at one job, retiring with a gold pocket watch. In today's work world,
it's not uncommon to change jobs, or even careers, repeatedly.
People move jobs for all types of reasons: money,
desire for new challenges, boredom, and bad bosses. Knowing when it's time for
a change is tricky. In today's uncertain economy, a job in hand is not to be
taken lightly. So how do you know when it's time to go?
We've assembled some resources that can help determine
if it's time to pound the pavement, resume in hand. Take these Q & A's and
see if you're ready to move on:
Before You Go
Once a move is in the works, set
yourself up for a seamless transition by following the advice in these
Finally, take pains to leave
your current job on a good note. We like the advice in USA Today's How to Leave a Job
How do you know when it's time
to switch jobs? Do you have any tips or strategies for leaving on a good note?
Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Candie Harris
you are like most Americans, you went into the New Year armed with well-intentioned
resolutions only to have your motivation fizzle out during the winter doldrums.
Now, it's time to renew those resolutions. After all, spring is the perfect
season for succeeding at many of the most popular resolutions.
Lose Weight: Whether it's
dropping a few pounds or dropping several dress sizes, losing weight consistently
ranks among the top New Year's resolutions. Take advantage of fresh spring
produce to whittle your waistline. Healthy eats such as asparagus and beets are
front and center this time of year along with delicious treats such as
tangerines and strawberries. For more low cal, high nutrient dishes visit Fitness.com.
Exercise: Take advantage of the longer days
and warmer weather to walk, run, swim or bike your way to better health. The
user-friendly advice from Prevention.com,
arms you with everything
from tips on stretching to gear to workouts; you'll be out and about and fitter
in no time.
Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle: Whether it's the
desire to kick cigarettes or alcohol or merely to adopt healthier habits such
as an "early to bed, early to rise" lifestyle, spring is a time of
rejuvenation. Reboot your circadian rhythms to promote
energy and decrease stress and replace
unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption with healthy
alternatives. Think about reaching for a picnic basket for al fresco dining after
a tough day of work, rather than a cigarette. Replace unhealthy habits with
healthy stress busters. Read on for healthy, fun spring
activities that can help give
bad habits the boot. C'mon, you can do it!
Save Money: Who doesn't want to
squeeze value out of every dollar?
Spring is the perfect time to get more bang for your buck. Vacation
getaways are more wallet-friendly as the end of Easter marks the start of discounted
vacation packages in warm weather getaways like the Caribbean. And think
long-term: refinance your mortgage before rates head up this summer and if you
received a tax refund, adjust tax withholding to ensure that more money is in
your paycheck each month, rather than going to Uncle Sam.
Get Organized: At Pendaflex, we are
advocates of year-round spring cleaning but spring is a great time to double
your efforts. Swap out winter clothes and gear for warm weather goods and be
sure to donate or recycle items no longer in use. Purge your paperwork and
piles while you're at it. A lighter load around the house translates to a freer
mind. Declutter to destress!
How are your New Year's resolutions holding up? Will
spring's season of renewal restore your resolution motivation? Share your
thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
just using your iPad for Angry Birds? Take a break from
that most addictive of pastimes for a quick productivity update.
latest iPad 2 boasts a larger screen and faster processor, making switching
from apps zippier than ever. Put that processor to good use with productivity apps
such as 2DO and Reeder which streamlines
RSS feeds for the iPad. For more ideas read The iPad 2:
Ten Best Productivity Uses.
you know women prefer iPhones to any other brand of smartphone? When we read Top8 iPhone Apps for Busy Women we can see why.
Productivity apps ranging from Snapp!, a rolodex-like app
to Dropbox, an app which lets
users store 2GB of data, free are major productivity enhancers. And then there
is the iPeriod, an app that tracks
Cloudy With A Chance of Productivity
Cloud computing is getting
more air time, with Amazon.com's recent announcement that
it is rolling out Amazon Cloud Drive an online media locker that allows users
to store and stream media from any computer, anywhere. Take advantage of Cloud
technology with the free storage apps featured in Top 5 Free Cloud
What's your favorite tech tool? What app can't you
live without? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Carly Fadako
on CNN and the news is full of world leaders who didn't get the message: change
is afoot. From Hosni Mubarak to Muammar el-Qaddaffi, world leaders are waking
up to their people in the streets, demanding change.
lesson can business leaders derive from current world events other than autocrats never win; they
eventually lose their stranglehold on power? According to Washington Post
columnist and leadership consultant John Baldoni, strong leaders,
unlike autocrats, know when it's time to change.
defines strong leaders as individuals
that are "open to alternate points of view and are willing to act on those
points of view if they believe change is necessary."
The Times They Are a Changin'
when to say when to the status quo and yes to change? Change management gurus
use an acronym-ADKAR- to define the various stages of change: awareness,
desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement. ADKAR promotes successful and
Awareness, the first stage, is critical. Without awareness, change
never gets off the starting blocks. To help nurture awareness, experts
recommend listing the reasons why change is necessary. Next, leaders need to
communicate this awareness throughout the organization. Awareness
must be shared to be successful. Nobody works with mind-readers so get ready to
transmit your vision for change with your staff and organization through one-on-one meetings,
department meetings, interviews, surveys, brainstorming sessions, meeting
building awareness of the need for change, the communicator is as
important as the message. Studies show employees prefer two communicators:
is a two-way street so use these sessions to solicit feedback by asking pointed
questions. For example, rather than asking "what needs to be changed?" ask "how
can we increase sales by spending X dollars?"
Targeted questions will produce answers that illustrate the need for
change in the organization.
remember in all things be patient. Change won't happen overnight. Creating and
spreading awareness takes time; allow awareness to firmly take hold before
tackling the next phase of ADKAR.
Have you helped lead your organization through change?
Do you have any tips or strategies for effecting long-lasting change? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Bradley Eggers
professionals keep the business world humming. So this April 24-30, take time
to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week with
gestures as simple as a "thank you" card and as meaningful as offering tuition
reimbursement for professional development coursework.
Did you know that there are
more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the
United States and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support
roles? These numbers from the Department of Labor underscore the fact that
office professionals represent a significant bloc of workers in the economy.
This April take time to recognize their vital contributions to the work world.
According to industry group IAAP (International Association of Industry Professionals), administrative support personnel prefer recognition coupled
with opportunities for learning and growth. Ideas include:
your office do anything special to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week?
What is the most meaningful recognition you've received for your contributions
as an office professional? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
winter is at long last giving way to spring. The days are getting longer; are
you putting the extra hours to good use?
most of us, time-management is a constant juggle. No matter how clever, no
matter how industrious, one cannot actually create more time. One can only try
to make more effective use of the 24/7 we are all allotted.
High Tech Help
technology can help us make better use of time. We recently stumbled across a
wonderful round up of time-management tools, ranging from the who-would-have-thunk-it?
to the have-to-have. Check out 15
Time Management Gadgets You Never Knew Existed or tools including a time-is-money clock that calculates
the cost of the time you spend on certain activities, to a color-coded
time-tracker and clock geared towards kids. The list also includes useful apps
for iPads and iPhones as well as Google gadgets for use on Android operating
Not all time-management tricks require high
tech tools. In fact one standard bit of advice from the experts is to schedule
a "tech free" hour of your day. This email/text/cell phone free block can be
used to power through work requiring concentration and attention to detail,
which are often derailed by the ping of an incoming email or the buzz of a
For more simple solutions for making the best
use of your time, read Three Tips for Managing Your Time at Work.
Making the Most of Minutes
extra hours out of a jam-packed day isn't always feasible. If minutes are all
you've got, you can still spend them wisely. Read 20
Productive Ways To Use Your Free Time for ideas for optimizing
time blocks as short as five minutes including quick bursts of sit-ups or
The Art of Me Time
remember that effective time-management is not just about creating extra hours to
fill with to-do lists and work, but rather carving out time for family and
friends, relaxation and self-expression. Read 10 Ways to Take Time Out for Yourself for tips on adding
"me time" to your longer days.
How do you make effective use of spring's longer days? Do you have any
tips for maximizing me time? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
20 million workers in the U.S. punch the clock part-time. A large portion of
this part-time workforce is composed of women. For moms of young children or
women acting as care-givers for elderly parents, part-time work holds the
allure of a paycheck and time to tend the fire on the home-front.
when happens when work fires need to be out? Or when your boss puts you on
their speed dial 24/7? Successful part-time employees make use of five
strategies for setting boundaries:
Communication & Clarity: Communication is
key. Employees need to clearly communicate their life-work priorities and
schedules. Likewise, companies need to be clear upfront about the requirements
of a specific role. When both parties are unambiguous and in sync, there is
less likelihood that either party will feel taken advantage of.
Make the Case: Employees need to
make the case for part-time work, helping companies see the bottom-line return
of part-time roles. Employers will be more fully committed to making part-time
roles work when they understand their value.
Master Time-Management: By definition,
part-time employees have fewer hours to get the job done. Prioritization and
productivity need to be your twin watch-words. If you drill down and get the
job done at work, there is less chance of it bleeding over into your downtime
Develop Allies: Smart part-time
employees recognize the value of mentors and allies who can advocate for their
work, especially in their absence. Be sure to continually educate your advocates
about your role and your contributions.
Evangelize: Keep your work
colleagues abreast of your work and contributions as well. If your peers
understand your contributions, they will know you're pulling your weight. Take
pains to cultivate harmonious work relationships, going the extra mile on your days
on will pay dividends in good will for your days off.
How do you keep work from encroaching on your days
off? Do you have any tips for establishing boundaries as a part-time employee?
Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
a deadline looms what gets your nose to the grindstone? Is it: A) the treat you
promised yourself for a job well done, B) fear of the missed deadline's consequences,
C) innate desire to master the task or D) all of the above?
it surprise you to learn there is no right answer? Experts agree that they cannot agree on what truly motivates an
individual to achieve success or goals, be it weight loss or career
advancement. Different tools and motivations work for different people at
different times. We've gathered some interesting new reading on the matter of
motivation. Read on and see which method clicks for you.
Carrots & Sticks
you're in the carrots and sticks camp, you're a believer in incentives and
rewards-carrots-balanced with punishments-sticks-for failure. Yale professor Ian Ayres, author of Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get
Things Done, posits that
"commitment contracts" can steer individuals to success by offering reward or
punishments. Ayres crafts his academic outlook into an actionable, free web site that let's others
in on the action. Visit www.stickk.com to get started on
and speaker Dan Pink has made
motivation his business. In his best-selling book Drive:
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Pink argues that
carrots and sticks are "so last century." Pink argues that while carrots and
sticks can produce change, that in today's complex world they aren't enough to
inspire creativity and transformation. Tapping into our drive-our innate desire
to direct our own lives, experience autonomy and to connect to something that
matters and inspires-produces the most meaningful change.
more on Dan Pink, view his lively, engaging remarks at TED Talks here.
How do you motivate yourself? Do you have any tips or
strategies for long-lasting change or short-term motivation? Share your
thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Facebook recently overhauled its
brand, or business, pages, adding increased functionality and an updated
design. Now, more than ever brands and businesses should be staking their claim
on the social media platform. In a three-part series of posts about optimizing
Facebook for business, we've looked at how to get a business page up and running and steps to drive traffic and engage your user
base. Today's post takes a look at what-not-not-to-do as a brand.
Don't Let This Be You
Page, Not Profile: Experts agree that a
classic mistake many businesses, particularly small businesses, make is to
launch a Facebook profile rather than a business page. Doing so limits the
ability to attract users (profiles are capped at 5,000 friends, pages are
unlimited), offers limited functionality and analytics and prevents your
Facebook identity from benefiting from search engine optimization. Facebook has
designed individual user profiles to offer a modicum of privacy, in contrast,
brands and businesses want to be found on Facebook during online searches so
should opt for a "page" identity which can be found through search.
Engage Users, Don't Spam Them: Too
many businesses fail to establish a plan for consistent, compelling
communication or neglect to be responsive to their users. Facebook is a social media platform, anyone on it,
including businesses, should be prepared to interact regularly and be
responsive to posts from users. Establishing a consistent communication
schedule helps prevent a page from withering from inattention. Likewise, be
sensitive to spamming your users with a barrage of marketing materials or a
hard sell. Do you enjoy cocktail party interactions where people entertain you
with interesting or funny stories and offer wonderful advice and unsolicited
treats? Or do you prefer interactions where people spend the entire party
yammering about their interests, failing to ask you questions and trying to
persuade you to buy their used car? Enough said.
Boring? Argumentative? No Thanks: Facebook
is a conversation and smart communicators know that boring or arguing with
people generally reaps negative outcomes. Keep your Facebook page fresh with
engaging, relevant content, contests and giveaways. Posting the same-old,
same-old will turn users off. The more people stop interacting with your page,
the lower you will sink in Facebook measurement metrics, thus your own postings
will rank lower on your users feeds. And take a lesson from mega brand Nestle, which got into a postings spat with
some Facebook users. Remember, Facebook is about making friends, not
For more ideas of errors
worth avoiding, read 6 Things NOT to Do
On Facebook As a Brand. And to close, we leave
you with more inspiration of businesses doing it right: 20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages.
Have you had any bumps along the road with your Facebook efforts? Have
any what-not-to-do advice to share? Post your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Remember Sally Fields famous "You like me, you really
like me!" Oscar acceptance speech? The speech lives on as one of Oscar's most endearing
because we all could relate: who doesn't want to be liked? In today's global
economy being "likeable" is now a crucial business proposition.
In our most recent post, we provided resources to get a
Facebook business page up and running. Now we've assembled a list of resources
to drive fans and traffic to your Facebook page again and again.
5 Tips for Optimizing Your Brand's Facebook
Includes information on creating the perfect profile picture and why establishing
a publication schedule for Facebook content keeps users engaged and coming back
Optimizing Facebook's News Feed to Get More "Likes." Tips from a social media marketing expert including posting early in the
morning for increased views and stragetgies for capitalizing on Facebook's new
product launches which are more likely to crop up
in user news feeds.
Optimizing Facebook Status Updates for Local Marketing. Terrific post about "tagging" status
updates with links to related Facebook content to increase traffic exponentially.
How we Got to 40,301 Fans in 4 Days. Who
wouldn't want to go from zero to more than 40,000 in less than a week? Great piece
on strategies such as why running ads asking fans to "like you" pays huge
dividends and why creating an incentivized "like" page is an absolute must.
Finally, don't overlook easy steps such as adding a
Facebook icon to your web site and any emails you send. Keep in mind, it's
possible to connect your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts so posts are
shared across the three platforms simultaneously. Of course, this only makes
sense if you have a separation of church and state between your personal and
business accounts. You won't want to be sharing personal posts across business
Before signing off, we leave you with an article on
Facebook fan pages doing it right, assembled by well-regarded social media and
marketing consultant Chris Brogan. Check out the post for ideas of what works.
Have you helped your business create a Facebook page? Do you have any
tips for driving Facebook traffic? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.