I don't know anyone who isn't pressed
for time. The existence of the popular phrase "work-life balance" grew out of
the time crunch of our always-on-the-go world and implies that sometimes one or
the other is out of whack.
True "balance" may be a moving target
but finding time for family time must be a priority, especially during summer,
when kids have downtime from the rigors of school and sports. Don't let Labor
Day dawn without having carved out some quality time with your loved ones.
Time in a Packed Schedule
Erin Doland of the organization blog The Unclutter takes a step-by-step, list-driven approach to organizing both her home and her
time. Read her post on organizing your household routine for strategies on
finding more time in your day for family time.
No in Order to Say Yes
Finding time in a crowded schedule
requires the fine art if saying no. Too often our schedule fills up with play
dates, sports, camps and social outings. Protect family time by saying no to
some of these distractions. Read this piece by the BBC for making the most of family time. The top piece of
advice? Guard family time carefully.
a Family Vacation
Ah, the open road. Or is it, oh no, the
backseat bickering? Sometimes travel with toddlers and teens can seem so
daunting that we stay put. Instead, put the notion that family travel is too
taxing behind you and read ParentDish's tips for family
travel. Go ahead, make a memory.
do you make the most of family time? Share your thoughts here and at
the Pendaflex Facebook
out: two simple words that elicit such joy in kids and corresponding dread in parents,
especially working parents. How to fill those summer days when school's out but
In The Cost of a Working Mom's
Summer Non-Vacation, ,
Post blogger Stephanie Losee estimates that it costs her approximately $1,400
in babysitting and camp fees per summer week to keep her three kids, aged 2 to
12, occupied so she can work. That's a pretty hefty price tag.
and babysitting may work for some families but not all can afford such
arrangements. Other ideas for childcare include staggering vacations with your
spouse to maximize parental (i.e. free) childcare blocs of time. This may not cover the entire summer but can
buy you a few weeks. Likewise, tap willing family members for "Camp Grandma" or
trade weeks with a working sibling; kids get quality family time and the adults
get needed coverage.
consider creating a babysitting co-op with working families in the same boat.
If two or three families team together, it can be possible to reduce childcare
costs by splitting them several ways or to have participating parents cover the
days. Creative neighbors can also band together to create a mini-camp within a
neighborhood. Read Turning a Neighborhood
into a Playground to learn how two Palo Alto moms run a
neighborhood camp a week at a time.
can also broach flexible work schedules with their jobs. By working longer four
day weeks, it's often possible to take Fridays off. Some jobs may even be open
to summer sabbaticals.
we leave you with an article with ideas on
summer activities to keep kids engaged and learning while on break from school.
While these ideas won't help solve the summer childcare conundrum, they will
help make whiling away the long days a tad easier.
do you balance your children's summer schedules with work? Share your thoughts
here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Imagine if memories could be retrieved
with the flick of a switch. Scientists have recently
made that very breakthrough with
rats. But since the nascent technology is a long way from use in more complex
mammals, anyone looking to boost memory is better served with the tips we've
rounded up from across the web.
Desks & Mind Games Make Sharp Memories
Clinical psychologist and author of the
Total Memory Workout, Dr. Cynthia Green, has eight tips for helping your
memory rival those elephants who never forget. We like the first: keep your
desk clean. Studies show organized individuals can better remember.
Green also advocates simple steps such
as aerobic activity and stretching breaks to enhance memory. Other ideas
include using "neurobic" activities such as mind exercises, puzzles and teasers to
keep the brain's cells firing away. For more, read about Dr. Green's eight
Interested, Be Visual & Be Well-Rested
It's probably no surprise to learn that
the better rested your body and brain, the better your memory, says Dr. Alex
Lickman in Psychology Today. Sleep
deprivation causes all cognitive functions, including memory, to dive off a
cliff. But you may be unaware of the link between memories and images.
Memory making is primarily a visual
process so if remembering where those car keys are is a challenge, create a
visual memory by zooming in on the details, colors and dimensions of the spot
where you put them.
Lickman also emphasizes that interest
plays a role in memory-making. The more interested you are in a person or
information, the easier it is to make and maintain a memory. For more
strategies, read Linkman's article How to Remember
Things: Proven Strategies to Improve Your Memory.
do you remember not to forget? Do you have a foolproof means for remembering
important items? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
Summer is in full throttle. Have you taken time
to enjoy it? Downtime is critical for reenergizing and rebooting productivity.
If scheduling a vacation (or packing for one)
sounds like just another to-do list, we're here to help.
We've created a
get-you-to-the-beach-without-your-Blackberry guide that will have you kicking
back for some needed R&R in no time.
It's Not Too Late: No
vacation booked? Travel web site lastminutevaction.com offers deals and destination ideas.
Packing Tips From Travel Pros: Can
you fit 40 garments and two pairs of shoes in one overhead suitcase? Read this article and you may soon be able to say yes. Tips include rolling,
not folding your clothes.
for Family Vacations:
Need to pack for the entire gang? Travel web site, wejustgotback.com has advice for packing and thriving (not
just surviving) for family travel.
Leaving Work at the Office: Worried work will
encroach on your vacation time? Read 5 Key Tips to
Avoid Working on Vacation.
Still on the Vacation Fence: Not sure if you
can spare the time (or cash) for a vacation? Think your boss or business can't
survive without you? Read New York Time's reporter Jay Glotz take on taking a vacation: it may help you
see the wisdom of vacationing when you can.
you have tips for taking a break? What are your favorite travel tips? Share your thoughts
here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Summer is a time for socializing. And while
much of your mingling may be at beach BBQs or outdoor events, don't neglect to
work your network during the lazy, hazy days of summer.
Need a little kick in the pants to move you
from beach chair to business cards? Read our round-up of networking advice from
across the web.
Quality, not size, matters most says the author
of Managing Yourself: A Smarter Way to Network. Networks that are too large
don't allow relationships to be properly nourished. Instead, rely on a group of
12-14 core contacts that provide developmental feedback and new sources of
information and expertise. The article also provides tips on winnowing your
network and making sure you are using your contacts most effectively.
We recently posted about networking wunderkind LinkedIn. Click here for their useful primer on
how to optimize their service and network within their 100 million plus
And of course there's always what NOT to do. Inc.com
offers "don't let this be you" advice in 6 Social
Networking Faux Pas To Avoid.
Finally, for something fun (hey, it's summer!)
we like the tips in 10 Apps to Up Your Social
you make regular time for networking? What are the most productive ways for you
to work your network? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
What sets a top salesperson apart from
merely an average one? Are top sellers born with a set of innate qualities that
allows them to outperform their peers? Or can a successful salesperson be
nurtured over time to develop the traits that add up to a star seller?
In a recent post we rounded up tips
from top sales people including the importance of forging personal connections
with customers and listening first, selling second.
In this post, we look at what experts call
the traits of successful salespeople. If nature didn't deal you a strong hand,
time to work on nurturing those must-have qualities.
After interviewing 1,000 top salespeople at
global business leaders, sales expert Steve W. Martin identified seven traits
that he says define successful salespeople. See how you stack up.
Modesty: Turns out that glad-handing, over-the-top
salespeople only succeed in movies. Customers prefer a more modest approach, one that puts their needs
front-and-center, rather than a salesperson's over-the-top efforts.
Conscientiousness: Top performers are driven by a
sense of responsibility and duty. They are detail-oriented and feel an
obligation to do their best work and care about the results they provide for their
Achievement Orientation: No surprises here; top
sellers are driven to succeed. Many top sellers played sports and carry a sense
of drive and competition with them into their careers. They get results because
they expect results.
Curiosity: Inquiring minds do more than want to know:
they seal the deal more often than not. When an effective salesperson trains a
curious mind on a customer, they can unearth information that helps sell
solutions to their client, this closing the deal.
Lack of Gregariousness: Again, glad-handling
and over-the-top friendliness can get on the way of a sales pitch. Salespeople
that remain professional and dispassionate can better finesse a transaction
than a salesperson that has become too personally connected to a customer or
who is hamstrung by their need to be liked.
Lack of Self-Consciousness: Top salespeople are
less likely to feel bashful or embarrassed than their counterparts. A lack of self-consciousness makes it easier to cold
call or push to close a deal.
For more on the personal qualities of
successful sellers, read Seven Personality
Traits of Top Salespeople.
qualities make a successful salesperson in your book? Share
your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
abreast of business trends is a goal at Esselte. But one trend worth avoiding
is rampant title inflation which is alive and well across the globe.
leading business magazine The Economist jokingly referring
to Korea's dictator Kim Jon IL as a trendsetter for his over-the-top take on
title inflation: the Korean
dictator boasts a whopping 1,200 titles.
no one is going to confuse the average job-hunter with a megalomaniac dictator,
careful scrutiny of titles is necessary for today's job-hunters and hiring
What's in a Name?
inflation can spring from many wells: job hierarchies have become more complex,
therefore more diverse roles and titles are required to parse differences; when
money is tight, new, fancier titles are often awarded in lieu of cash; and
lastly, cultural shifts have companies assigning titles such as Chief Diversity
Officer, CEO of Sustainability and even, yes its true, Minister
A Rose by Any Other Name
title inflation has taken hold, hiring managers need to carefully suss out a candidate's
true experience, rather than assuming a set of responsibilities based solely on
title. Smart HR pros will match job descriptions against experience, and view titles
as just one set of criterion. Hiring managers will benefit from the insight in Title Inflation Emerges With A Vengeance.
hunters should recognize the dangers of puffery and consider functional resumes
that highlight accomplishments and expertise rather than soley relying on titles
to convey worth. HR pros can sniff out embellishment, so keep it
straightforward and simple.
that simplicity, is well, too simple? Make sure your job descriptions showcase,
rather than show off, with the advice in Does Your Job
Title Get the Job Done?
is the wackiest, most embellished title you've come across? Does title inflation
make it hard to discern an employee's true experience? Share your thoughts here and at
the Pendaflex Facebook
entrepreneur John Osher invented a $5
electric toothbrush that became the world's best seller in 15-short months.
Osher then sold the company for $475 million dollars: talk about a smile.
Clearly Osher was doing plenty right when he built his toothbrush
company. Yet the entrepreneur is almost as well known for his business
"don'ts." Osher created an informal list of business pitfalls, "17
Mistakes Start-Ups Make," that is a
must-read for the entrepreneurially-minded.
Osher's list of don'ts includes:
For more on Osher's list, read the Harvard Business Review case study of
Finally, entrepreneurs would do well to keep in mind one of
Osher's "do's." Osher suggests entrepreneurs view the start-up as a potential
product in and of itself. After all, Osher sold both millions of toothbrushes
and ultimately the company that produced them: a double-win.
you have start-up don'ts gleaned from first-hand experience? Share
your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
a start-up requires constant juggling. Keep your eyes on the right balls with six tips for starting out from Inc.com senior
contributor Norm Brodsky.
advice boils down to six core principles:
endeavors come with a learning curve so bone up on the basics with resources
such as Inc.com's soup-to-nuts primer on start-ups and at Entrepreneur.com.
resources include Work.com which features
nearly 2,000 how-to segments and Startup Nation, a web site offering a community
where entrepreneurs can share information.
resources proved helpful to you as a start-up? Share your thoughts here
and at the Pendaflex Facebook
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.