The fall and winter holidays test willpower
like nobody's business. No sooner has the last piece of Halloween candy been
consumed than we succumb to stuffing-and-pumpkin-pie season. And it's a mere
blink between that last bite of turkey and the first candy cane. Next up, eggnog,
hot chocolate and New Year's champagne. Do you think it's possible to boost
one's willpower before the chocolate Easter eggs and jelly beans start rolling
Experts are divided on whether willpower is
fixed and limited, dictated by biology and our brain's hard-wiring, or if
willpower is self-renewing, capable of being increased through consistent
application and hard work.
We're no experts, but we like the findings
of a recent New York Times article Willpower: It's in
which concludes that willpower is only limited if you believe it is so. When people
believe that willpower is self-renewing, that hard work provides energy to work
even harder and that resisting one temptation makes resisting the next even
easier, we see that boosting willpower is possible.
Ready to get started? We like the advice in
How to Boost Your Willpower.
Do you agree that
willpower can be strengthened with practice and mind over matter? What are your
favorite tricks for exerting willpower? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Making a list, checking it twice. Santa
isn't the only one with a long to-do list this time of year. Make the most of
your to-do lists this holiday season, and throughout the year, with our tips
for a better, more effective list making.
All You Need to Know:
We love the advice in How to Write an Effective to-Do List.
From advanced planning, to color-coding, to what not to include, this article
has virtually everything aspiring list makers need to know. Follow the advice
here and you'll be ticking off the to-do items lickety split.
Real, Get Bite-Sized: Get smart with the savvy advice in Work Smart: How to Write a To-Do List. First, don't clog your list with goals, stick
to action items. Putting "learn French" on your to-do list doesn't work.
Instead, create realistic action items by putting "sign up for French lessons"
and "get French DVDS" on the checklist. Break tasks down into small blocks, so
that "write 50-page report" becomes "brainstorm ideas for report" and "draft
report outline." You get the idea.
Show Me The Way: Want to see an
effective list? In To-Do Lists: The Key to
Efficiency you can check out list templates and list-making software and apps. Who can
resist an app with the name "Remember the Milk." Now that's an item on top of
Do you write
effective to-lists and if so why do they work? What are your favorite tricks
for crafting an effective list? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Looking to create a little family
togetherness this holiday season? Nothing brings people together like celebrating
beloved traditions, those special rituals that help shape your family and
provide a sense of closeness. Your family may already have a rich history of
traditions or you may be looking to add some treasured traditions to the mix.
All That's Needed
Traditions don't need to be extravagant or complicated
to be special. The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to create simple, cherished
memories. Consider picking a signature dish to serve annually: holiday cookies
are fun to bake each December or a New Year's Eve fondue dinner is a festive
annual tradition. Or choose an enjoyable outdoor activity to do year-in and
year-out such as celebrating January 1st with an annual ice skate or ski run.
Or enjoy a sunrise walk on the beach to watch the dawning of the New Year.
Keep in mind that family rituals are not
just for the holidays. By establishing rituals that you do nightly or weekly,
you begin to knit together a cohesive family identity. Rituals also transmit
values to your children and provide a framework for learning, growing and establishing
a set of values that can be taken into adulthood and used in their own
Simple family rituals can include:
For more ideas, read Family Traditions: 10 Ideas To Get You Started.
How do you nurture
family traditions? What favorite holiday tradition always puts a smile on your
face? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
Chances are your Thanksgiving table was groaning with
goodies, leaving plenty of leftovers to tide you over for the weekend. For
countless of Americans who rely on food banks for their meals, turkeys were in short supply this year. Donations to food banks have been
drying up, even as demand for their services increases.
This holiday season, as you count your many blessings,
you may wish to share your good fortune with your fellow Americans who are down
on their luck. We've rounded up a selection of national organizations that
match volunteers to organizations in need.
Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what
we get, but we make a life by what we give." This holiday season make it a "wonderful
life," by extending yourself to others.
VolunteerMatch: National non-profit that connects "good people and good causes." Volunteers can
search by location, interest or ability; the organization serves both
volunteers, organizations and corporate participants.
HandsOn Network: The
largest volunteer network in the nation; HandsOn includes a powerful network of
more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations. Annually, the
network delivers approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service.
Feeding America: Non-profit
leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Helps feed America's hungry through a
nationwide network of member food banks.
Do you have a
favorite charity you support at the holidays? How do you work volunteering into
your holiday calendar? Share
your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
'Tis the season for holiday gifting at
the office. Making a list and checking it twice just got a whole lot easier
with our round-up of ideas from across the web.
for Everyone: Clients, colleagues, your CEO, your
recipient list is long and varied. No worries, 7 Great Gifts for Everyone on Your
Business Gift List
has you covered. From wine, to caramels, to customized business books, this
list offers fun, festive ideas for all. Time to get wrapping.
Green: For your green work colleagues, personal carbon offsets: and as a bonus, no gift wrap required,
making this gift even more ecco-friendly.
Sized: Know a road warrior or two? Gifts including
a portable power charging mat and polycarbonate luggage will make braving the
airlines, not to mention the TSA, a whole lot more palatable. For more ideas,
read The Best Gifts for Road Warriors
and Practical Traveler: Gifts for the Compact Traveler.
Toys: Your officemates know a thing or two about
technology. Make their year with one of these latest devices. For the latest
and greatest gadgets, check out 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Hot Tech Toys.
a Gift to be Simple: Gifts don't need to be pricey to be
thoughtful. Gift cards to Starbucks or popular lunch spots always come in
handy. Or consider giving that most priceless gift: time. Giving your
administrative assistant or members of your team a paid day off will garner major
What gift item tops
your giving list this year? Do you have any sure-fire gifts? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex
When faced with an unpleasant task do you 1) procrastinate,
2) secretly hope it'll go away or 3) tackle it head on?
You probably already know that tackling a tough task head on
makes the most sense: procrastinating only puts off the inevitable. But you
might not realize that crossing a dreaded task off your list early in the day makes
moving thorough your remaining to-do list easier and faster. Studies show that
confidence and enthusiasm is generated by completing difficult tasks.
Need advice for tackling those tough tasks first thing? We
like the advice from New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin who says
that "without delay is the easiest way" when a tough task looms. Other tips
include facing unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning or using the buddy
system. Read 7 Tips for Avoiding Procrastination for more.
Other tips for dealing with tough tasks include:
How do you tackle
tough tasks? Share your thoughts here
and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Does 3pm find you yawning and in search
of caffeine? Combat the midday slump before you even get to work with these
tips. Your afternoons are about to get a lot more productive.
Forty Winks: Early to bed, early rise, you know the
drill. Going to bed at a consistent time and getting a solid night's sleep is
crucial for operating at peak capacity. Experts recommend adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Breakfast of Champions: There's a reason we
tell our kids to eat breakfast; a healthy meal to start the day fuels the body
all day long so stave off the afternoon yawns by beginning with a hearty
breakfast. Ideas include:
For more ideas, read 9 Fast, Healthy Breakfast Ideas.
Pack a Snack: Be sure to head out
the door equipped with healthy snacks for refueling throughout the day. Having
healthy snacks readily on hand can prevent binges at the vending machine or the
conference room pastry plate. We have healthy snack ideas for every eater to
get you started: 8 Healthy Office Snacks.
How do you combat the
midday slump? 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.