April 2012 - Posts

Dealing with Bad Work Days
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:39 PM

Even at the best of jobs, on the best of days, work can be stressful. Deadlines, budget crunches, juggling multiple demands and work styles: some days things just run off the rails. The next time you have a lousy day at work, reflect on these tips and ensure that even the worst day at work is just a temporary blip.

Bad Day at Work? 10 Tips to Help You Make It Through: This article offers nuts and bolts tips such as not skipping breakfast and lunch (hello! No one can function, let alone remains stress-free on no food!) as well as big picture advice such as taking time to focus on what truly matters in life. Best tip? Asking for help when you need it.

How to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work:  Practical tips for rough days including a true gem: allow yourself be in a bad mood as long as you don't take it out on others. Other good ideas include taking a time-out: before you explode, or do and say something you might regret, take a walk, a long lunch break or just sit in a quiet conference room and regroup.

50 Tips for Surviving Your Worst Work Days:  A comprehensive list offering tips on managing stress, just saying "no" and avoiding negative people.

How do you deal with bad days at work? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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Dealing with Missed Deadlines
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:37 PM

Life throws curveballs. Problems pop up and deadlines go off track. Do your best to keep one step ahead of botched deadlines with a little contingency planning.

While not every problem can be anticipated and planned for in advance, having a general game plan for dealing with missteps will get you back on track faster. The next time a missed deadline looms, reflect on these tips and power through.

Fess Up: If you have missed, or are going to miss a deadline, the first step is coming clean. Let your boss or client know that the deadline isn't going to be met. When possible, give advance notice that the deadline is slipping. By coming clean in advance, you may be able to renegotiate the deadline.  At the very least, your client or boss will appreciate not being blind-sided.

Mea Culpa: Missed deadlines generally mean apologies are in order. If your client or colleague dropped the ball and this resulted in the unmet deadline, this may not apply. But if the responsibility for missing the mark lies with you, a sincere apology is in order.

Get Cracking: Missed deadlines require an action plan for getting the project back on track. Determine if more time, additional staff or new resources are needed to right the course. Having an action plan in place when you reveal a deadline is likely to be missed can help soften the blow and allow you to still appear in control.

Not Again: Once a deadline has been missed, do your utmost to ensure it doesn't happen again. Chronically missing deadlines reflects poorly on your work and time-management skills. Do whatever it takes-work late, get up early, subcontract the work-but get it done on time.

How do you deal with missed deadlines? Do you have tips to ensure you never miss them? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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Evernote Can Organize Your Life
Monday, April 23, 2012 8:33 PM

Tired of juggling streams of digital data, paper notebooks and zillions of yellow post-it notes to keep track of to-dos, appointments and all the random bits of information required to make it through your day? Add one-stop organization to your life with productivity app Evernote.  Called the "killer app"  by former Mashable editor and Silicon Valley insider Ben Parr, Evernote is an app and web service that will organize your life: period. 

With Evernote, users can keep track of notes, web clips, images and bits of data on virtually any device or computer. Evernote syncs with the cloud making it useable on any device, anywhere and allows for simple searches by key word, tags or even handwritten text inside images.

Wondering how this app could work for you? Check out these first-hand accounts from devoted users.

How I use Evernote for Work: This MacWorld writer uses Evernote for everything from corralling info on work trips (i.e. itinerary, PDF images of boarding pass and airport shuttle tickets, maps, as well as trip notes) to keeping track of favorite teas (he snaps photos of labels which can be searched by key words.) Read on for tips on making this tool your own killer app.

10 Tips On How to Use Evernote To Its Fullest:  Ten simple steps that will make Evernote your own go-to app. Tips include using the merge feature to search across various notes for common topics as well as info on how to encrypt text so Evernote can be used to store sensitive passwords.

8 Great Ways Couples Can Use Evernote Shared Notebooks:   Evernote is more than a work productivity tool; this article examines the ways couples can use Evernote to keep the home front running smoothly. Ideas include sharing recipes and grocery lists, to keeping tabs on home improvement projects.

Finally, with tax day right around the corner, check out this useful read  on how Evernote makes tax organization easier than ever.

If you're an Evernote user, what is the most useful or surprising way you've used the app? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex  Facebook page.

 

 

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Making the Most of a Long Commute
Monday, April 02, 2012 8:34 PM

Long commute got you down? You're not alone. The average American commutes almost 50 minutes a day says the Census Bureau. And the number of "super-commuters," who live far outside a metropolitan area, but commute in for work is growing fast.

Commuting isn't fun, virtually everyone agrees. In fact Time Magazine  last year ran a health piece called Why Commuting Sucks the Life Out of You  which cited all sorts of depressing statistics including the fact that couples facing long commutes have higher divorce rates than those without.

While long commutes, often in crowded conditions, will never make anyone's list of a good time, we've rounded up some tips to make commuting more bearable and perhaps even productive.

Finish up Work: Technology means commuting time can be used to finish up work that might otherwise cut into home time. Laptops let you send emails, proof reports or read documents. Bluetooth technology allows for hands-free meetings from inside your car.

Get to that Book: Reading is probably one of the most popular commuting pastimes and e-books, read on the slim iPad or e-readers, makes reading even the weightiest tome manageable. Car commuters can get in the action with audio books. Or collect useful articles in your e-reader for subway or train perusal.

Advance Your Career: Use your commute time to fit networking into your busy schedule. Update your LinkedIn profile; send networking e-mails to industry contacts and schedule future lunch and drinks dates with peers. Keep abreast of industry trends by reading useful articles or listening to podcasts. If you commute in the car, use your hands-free device to schedule calls with your mentors.

Scheme, Daydream: Downtime is a rare commodity. While you may not have chosen a long commute, you're stuck with it, so make the most of the idle hour to let your mind wander. Keep a notebook handy or download a note-taking app on your smart phone to jot down any inspiration that strikes.

Unwind: Can't find time to get to that crossword puzzle? Squeeze in a nap? Download that new album and play it from start to finish? You're in luck - you're commute provides a window of time to devote to the little leisure pursuits that you enjoy. Hey, it's not 18-holes of golf but it's a start!

How do you make the most out of your commute? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

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About Beyond Folders™

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.

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