Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Do you go to bed at night feeling like you’re wiped out, but you didn’t accomplish everything you needed to? That might be because work days are long and life is stressful, but sometimes a few changes can make all the difference. Try these 5 small changes that make a big difference.

Work in Chunks

It feels like you need to multi-task to get everything done, but that’s like slicing your focus into ineffective slivers. The American Psychological Association found shifting frequently between tasks cuts productivity by as much as 40 percent.

Think about how many times during the day you click over to email or pick up your cell phone because you hear it vibrate. It seems like only a few seconds, but in the course of the day it adds up.

What tasks are you behind on? Where could you stand to be as much as 40 percent more productive? Set aside chunks of time during which you give them your undivided focus.

Don’t just silence your cell and throw it in a drawer, turn it completely off or the vibration will pique your curiosity until you can’t resist checking. Sign out of your email and close the tab so you don’t receive notifications of every incoming message. Whether your chunks are 15 minutes or an hour, you’ll complete more work in that time frame than you would if you were multi-tasking.

Set a Two Minute Timer

Use this strategy to knock out tasks you find yourself dreading or putting off. When you arrive at work, before you leave for lunch or at the end of the day, set a timer. Do it at the same time every day.

Then for two minutes, sprint through your filing, pay those invoices or respond to one or two of the emails you’ve been putting off. When the timer sounds, you’re through with the unpleasant task until the next day.

Use Technology for Good

Turn your morning commute into a productivity booster by using voice-to-text technology to compile your to-do list for the day. Get a jump on meetings by turning them into teleconferences if others are available.

The online tool Rescue Time monitors how you work and lets you know how much time you spend on email, in meetings and browsing online. Rescue Time Lite is available for free and can provide insight into how you currently work.

Beat the Afternoon Slump

In countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, many employees go home for an afternoon rest. If your employer doesn’t offer a siesta after lunch, that can be a tough time of day. Instead of reaching for a coffee or energy drink, get your blood pumping to invigorate your brain with fresh oxygen.

It’s the last thing you’ll want to do when you start to feel sleepy, but leave your desk. Jog up and down the stairs a few times. If you need to communicate regularly with a co-worker, agree to have that meeting on your feet as you walk around the building or circle the parking lot. Health and fitness blog Greatist provides an extensive article on ways to get moving at work if you need more ideas.

Find a Job You Love

The best way to stay productive and focused every day is to work at a job you enjoy. Let’s sit down and talk about your career objectives when you get in touch today.

Sources:
https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/15-ways-to-increase-productivity-at-work.html
https://www.developgoodhabits.com/how-to-be-productive-work/
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/more-productive-4-ways-that-really-work.html

5 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attack

How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attack

Recently both KETK and KLTV reported on a Michigan audit that should concern employers everywhere. Auditors planned a covert cyber-attack to discover their vulnerability, and the results were stunning. They sent a fake phishing email to 5,000 employees and almost one third of them opened it. A fourth clicked on the link that, had it been real, could have downloaded malware. One fifth put in access or other personal information. No matter what the size of your business, cyber security should be a top priority.

One problem employers have is you can’t always control what your employees are doing online. Attempts were successful not because an insider had malicious intent, but because people just got in a hurry. Distribute these tips as a reminder for long-term employees and an onboarding tool for new hires.

Know Your Vulnerabilities

Here are the most common types of cyber threats:

  • Phishing – Cyber attackers send fake email to try and fool recipients into providing information. It may look like it came from Bank of America or Tyler Water Utilities. It may have the appropriate logo and the same font that business uses. Recipients click on the link provided and the site prompts them to enter their passwords, account numbers or other personal information.

 

  • Malware – This type of program looks like it came from a trusted source. It prompts users to install fake antivirus software or download an update and often instructs them to click past security warnings from their antivirus or browser. Viruses, Trojans and spyware are all forms of malware. Some lurk on your computer and record keystrokes; others hide in the background and store credit card numbers. Imagine the damage if malware goes undetected while it steals your clients’ financial information.

 

  • Ransomware – This is a type of malware that takes over your computer, network or server and denies access to your data until you have paid a fee. Cybercriminals charge Bitcoin to remove encryption, and the price can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s typically delivered as part of a phishing scam or as an email attachment. The files can’t be encrypted without the key provided by the attacker, so if you don’t have a recent backup you either have to pay up or lose your data.

 

  • Botnets – It sounds like sci-fi, but Botnets are networks of infected computers under an attacker’s control. The infected computer functions normally, but works to corrupt as many devices as possible.

How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attack

Communicate With Staff

This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect your data, but it requires an ongoing effort. Your employees are busy doing their jobs, so they aren’t always thinking about cyber-security. Train them not to open unexpected attachments, and then remind them regularly. Set a reminder on your calendar to have a cyber-security refresher course.

Viruses often arrive in email that looks like it was sent from family members, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. The email might have genuinely come from that person without their knowledge.

Avoid files with the extension .exe, but all extensions can hide a virus. Unless the attachment is expected, call or text the sender to see if it’s legitimate.

Test Their Knowledge

Find out which employees are paying attention and who needs additional training by sending your own phishing attack. Show employees what just one click can do and, if they continue to repeat their mistakes, implement repercussions. Test them once a month using one of these phishing simulators.

Safeguard Passwords

Remind employees to keep their passwords in a safe place. A post-it note on their monitor is not a safe place. Security is about control, and the only way to absolutely control who uses your computer is to be the only one who can log in.

Regularly Update Your Anti-Virus

Cyber-attackers continually develop more sophisticated technology. They make money at it, and they’re very intelligent. Regularly updating your anti-virus software makes it equipped to handle threats as they evolve.

Brelsford Personnel stays consistently up to date on the challenges faced by East Texas employers. When candidates work with us to find a job, we make resources available like our Employee Cyber Security Handbook. Contact us to find out more.

*Missy Ticer is a blogger and East Texas resident who found her dream job. Content is exclusively for use by Brelsford Personnel.

5 Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

[Courtesy of LinkedIn.com]

Five Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

Everyone agonizes over their resumes. We all worry that if it’s not perfect, we may not get a call from a recruiter. However, when you constantly gather feedback from peers and experts, you may end up making the job search too confusing before you even start.

Ultimately, you only want to consider one thing when you write your resume: the reader. The reader isn’t the evil applicant tracking system that throws out your resume according to some algorithm. The reader is a real, live person. Your task is to make it easy for them to understand what you do and what your accomplishment are in 1-2 pages.

Trust me, I’ve read my share of resumes. In the last four years, I’ve averaged between 20-35 open technical jobs that I was responsible for filling. In each, I selected between 5-10 candidates to interview and put forward. This equated to between 200 and 350 people I spoke to – every week. Not to mention every hiring manager I spoke to as well. Over a year, this equals 16,800 resumes. That’s just the ones that I selected, not counting all the others I declined.

Take it from me: Here are the five things you want to cut from your resume, if you haven’t already:

1. Multiple Fonts

For the most part, recruiters aren’t going to read your whole resume. They’ll look at your title, company, and dates of employment for each job, and then move on.

The human eye is a funny thing. If you have several different fonts on the page, it may mess with the reader’s comprehension. They’ll have to reread certain sections of the resume just to make sure they understand – if you’re lucky, that is. If you aren’t lucky, they will just move on to the next candidate.

Plus, all those fonts are making my eyes hurt. Please stop.

2. ‘References Given Upon Request’

We know they are. We will ask you for references if we decide to give you an offer. This is premature in the relationship. All you’ve done so far was send a cover letter and resume.

3. Long, Boring Bullet Points

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a sixth grader can read your resume and understand what you do for a living, than a non-technical recruiter can, too. The odds that the person reviewing your resume doesn’t fully understand what you do for a living are high. That’s why you want to write punchy bullets with accomplishment statements woven in. Use a simple format to present your tasks and achievements quickly. White space is your friend. I promise.

Five Things You Need to Remove from Your Resume In 2017

4. Funny or Odd Email Addresses – or Worse, Your Company Email Address

It’s a job search. Be professional. I once had a job seeker list “foxylady@gmail.com” as her email address. After 15 years of doing this work, I still remember it. Enough said.

5. Industry or Company Jargon

The reader has no idea what the “Tiger Team” or the “Eagle Project” were. Be safe and drop anything highly technical and industry- or company-specific – especially acronyms. If you must use such language, spell it out. High-tech companies are known for having special languages that don’t translate to anyone outside of the company. Years ago, I read resumes from candidates who were let go from Intel. It was confusing and time-consuming. They were lucky, because I ended up calling them and asking a lot of questions. Most recruiters won’t do that. They’ll just skip over you entirely.

Job seekers often write too much (and never too little) out of fear. They are afraid if they don’t list every little detail on their resume, they won’t get a call to interview. This approach often backfires. If you put your resume “out there” for 30 days and no one responds, stop sending it out. Chances are what you wrote on your resume works just fine, but you should also know when it’s time to pull the document and refresh it.

Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes?

[Courtesy of MurrayResources.com]

Gone are the days of the initial interview being a face-to-face one. Most employers today first conduct a phone screen. These are usually shorter and less in-depth than a full in-person interview. But they give the employer enough to go on to decide whether a candidate should move forward in the hiring process. We see some candidates make the same common mistakes in phone interviews, which impact their job search success. What are they – and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes

1. Not setting aside a quiet, private time to talk.

When it comes to successful phone interviews, it’s important to schedule them at a time when you can focus and will have total privacy. That means doing phone screens while you’re driving, or while your kids are all at home isn’t a good idea. Nor is it wise to schedule one while you’re at work, sitting at your desk. Keep in mind, if the environment isn’t quiet and distraction-free, you’re not going to be able to focus and provide the best answers.

2. Not preparing.

Just as you would for an in-person interview, it’s important to prepare for a phone screen. That means researching the company ahead of time and developing a list of questions you’d like to ask. That also means reviewing the job postings again ahead of time so it’s fresh in your mind and thinking through how your background and skills are a good fit for the position.

3. Eating and drinking during the interview.

It’s ok to keep a glass of water next to you in case your throat gets dry. But other than that, don’t eat or drink during the interview. Nothing makes a worse impression in a phone screen than the sound of chewing or slurping.

4. Using call waiting during the interview.

If another call comes in during your phone screen, ignore it unless it’s an emergency. You should never put a hiring manager on hold, unless you want to send the message that you don’t really want the job.

5. Talking too much or too little.

It’s up to you to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the job. That means providing persuasive answers that showcase your strengths and proven record of success. That does not mean droning on, or giving one-word answers to interview questions. If there’s a pause in the conversation, don’t jump to fill it with mindless chatter. Let the hiring manager take control.

Phone screens are the new interview. So, avoid the mistakes above so you can ace yours – and move onto the next step in the hiring process.