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

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Job interviews are stressful. The more you want the position, the more pressure you’re going to feel. Practicing helps settle your nerves, identifies your areas of weakness and helps you be your best when you sit down with a potential employer. Find a job in Tyler when you follow these tips.

Enlist Help

Ask a friend or family member to act as your interviewer. Your spouse or best friend might have trouble remaining objective, so select someone else if possible. If you’re a student, your advisor or career services department might give you an unbiased view.

Set up a time for your practice interview so you can test drive your answers to common interview questions. A mock interview will help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety and help improve your confidence.

Choose someone you can trust to be honest with you. Give them the job posting and any information you’ve gathered about the company. Let them know ahead of time you want their constructive feedback and that their contribution might be the difference between landing your dream job and making mistakes that cost you the position.

Ask them to evaluate not just what you say, but your body language. Do you make eye contact? Do you fidget? Are your answers thorough without being too long? What could you do to more clearly showcase what you’re capable of? When they give you that feedback, really listen.

Find a Job in Tyler With These 3 Interview Tips

Make It As Real As Possible

You may know exactly where your new blouse or your best blazer is hanging in your closet, but that’s not enough. You don’t want to find out your shoe has a broken buckle five minutes before you have to leave for your interview. Get dressed like you’re actually meeting with your interviewer to avoid any surprises and the stress that goes with them.

Print or gather any resources you’ll take to the actual meeting. Refer to them when you practice as you would at your real interview to re-familiarize yourself with their contents.

Start the interview like you will in real life, with a handshake and a greeting. It feels strange to begin that way with someone you already know, but the first few seconds of your real interview can be stressful. It’s easier if you’ve walked through it before.

Practice Common Questions

Some interview questions are common in any industry. Spend some time preparing to answer questions like, “What can you tell me about yourself?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Other questions are industry specific.

Create a list of common interview questions for your industry and give that list to your friend or family member. Even if they aren’t the exact questions your interviewer asks, you’ll gain experience answering similar ones.

Be specific in your answers. Employers don’t just want to hear you’re good at your job, they want to know specific situations where you’ve handled difficult personality types, overcome challenges or developed new solutions that increased profit.

For more on writing your resume, dressing for interview success and communicating effectively, see our resources page. Start looking for your next job when you check our online East Texas job listings today.

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

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/job-interview-practice-how-to-rehearse-for-an-interview-2062803

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-do-a-practice-interview-thatll-actually-help-you

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/Practice-Makes-Perfect

Why You Need To Hire Job Candidates With These Three “Weaknesses”

Why You Need To Hire Job Candidates With These Three “Weaknesses”

BY TOMAS CHAMORRO-PREMUZIC
[COURTESY OF FASTCOMPANY.COM]

One personality expert says hiring managers need to stop downplaying candidates’ flaws.

Facebook’s Head of People told Fast Company last week that her team of recruiters works hard to uncover candidates’ strengths. Most companies try to do much the same. They assess the qualities and skills they believe job performance depends on, and they design interviews to test whether candidates are likely to display those qualities once on the job.

This isn’t exactly a mistake, but it’s only part of the puzzle. Everyone has weaknesses and drawbacks that they’ll invariably bring with them, too. What hiring managers usually do is just try to decide whether a candidate’s strengths will outweigh those detriments.

But what they don’t often do is systematically determine which types of “personality flaws” they’d rather have on their teams. After all, some are a lot worse than others, and some can even be assets under the right circumstances.

WHAT YOU WANT VS. WHAT YOU’LL GET

There are millions of different jobs, and each company has its own culture, so what employers actually want in job candidates varies widely. But personality research suggests that all strong candidates tend to look rather similar, in the sense that there’s a limited number of attributes that make them strong: They’re generally more rewarding to deal with, more capable, and more willing to work hard than others are. Employers may use many different names for what they want–grit, adaptability, emotional intelligence, entrepreneurialism–but what they always need is ability, likability, and drive. You can ride those qualities to the bank any day of the week.

But while these three competencies predict future job performance and career success with remarkable accuracy, they don’t tell the full story about a candidate’s potential. In fact, no matter how attractive a candidate’s “bright side” may be, they’ll always have a “dark side,” too–a set of undesirable or counterproductive traits that hinder their ability to work well, mostly because of their disruptive effects on others.

Hiring managers tend to focus on attributes that predict positive career outcomes–like teamwork, engagement, performance, and leadership skills–and neglect the ones that predict derailment and failure: coasting, underperformance, antisocial behaviors, and the like. But whenever you hire somebody, they’re bringing a combination of these qualities with them through the door every single time. And your standard “What’s your biggest weakness?” job-interview question isn’t enough to help you assess the total package.

More often than not, questions like that are simply meant to evaluate candidates’ social skills and preparation; they’re basically an invitation to fake modesty or disguise additional strengths as weaknesses. Asked about her worst habit or character trait, an astute candidate will confess to being “a perfectionist,” “too altruistic,” or “too humble.” Then she’ll deliver a handy anecdote pretending that those qualities aren’t actually valuable in most workplaces–which astute interviewers know they often are.

Just think what would happen if a candidate answered by candidly listing their real faults, like being lazy, grumpy, selfish, or dim. At best, they might earn points (or even sympathy) for bold-faced honesty, but their chances of landing the job would fall to zero on the spot. Most people would wisely decline an invitation to hang themselves, but employers would assume no responsibility for those brazen or foolish enough to accept it. In practice, asking about weaknesses is just an easy way to eliminate some candidates without having to think too hard.

Yet none of this changes the fact that certain weaknesses are preferable to others. So if you want to assess the whole person and make sure you hire people with the best overall personality profiles, you can’t pretend they’re flawless. Instead, you need to look–intentionally–for the least problematic weaknesses a candidate might have. Here are three of them:

1. CONFORMISM

We live in a world that celebrates “originals” and rule-breakers, but no organization (or society) could function if such individuals made up the majority. In fact, any collective system requires the bulk of its people to follow rules and norms, and employers know this.

While many companies say they need innovators and disruptors, what they truly require is people who will do what they’re told. As Susan Cain recently pointed out in the Times, this isn’t a bad thing; “followership” is a skill set we need just as badly as leadership. (“Perhaps the biggest disservice done by the outsize glorification of ‘leadership skills,’” she adds, “is to the practice of leadership itself . . . It attracts those who are motivated by the spotlight rather than by the ideas and people they serve.”) And yet you’ll find no job listing out there that includes terms like “obedient” or “dutiful,” except perhaps in the military.

Still, a great deal of psychological research suggests that rule-bound and conscientious individuals tend to perform better–even when they are leaders (presumably because they can still please their own bosses). As I show in my latest book, a large number of bosses would rather promote obedient and easygoing employees than talented but difficult ones. And in fact, many actually do.

2. ATTENTION-SEEKING

We might be fascinated by narcissists, but the common view is that great employees and leaders let their achievements speak for themselves. If two people are equally talented or productive, most of us would say that we’d rather work with the one who avoids self-promotion and seems humble and modest.

Yet meta-analytic studies show that attention-seeking individuals emerge more often as leaders, and they’re often perceived as more effective once they do, according to 360-degree feedback data. The danger, of course, is that many attention-seeking job candidates may also be narcissistic, so the best-case scenario is someone who enjoys performing and being the center of attention but isn’t actually self-obsessed or entitled.

In other words, it isn’t always a bad thing to hire an altruistic exhibitionist–a selfless clown.

3. (A DOSE OF) DISHONESTY

Make no mistake: Pathological dishonesty is harmful, particularly when coupled with low integrity. You don’t want to give a job to a lowdown liar.

But dishonesty isn’t a categorical evil in practice. Not only is it minimally problematic in small doses, but most of us know how it can even be useful, as the phrase “white lie” indicates. People who are brutally honest straight-talkers may even struggle more in their careers than those who are able to fake it–within reason–particularly if they seem authentic in the process.

That may not sit well with you, but there’s research to suggest, additionally, that dishonest people tend to be more creative (perhaps because lying requires creativity and imagination). So if you’re hiring someone for a creative role, there’s a better chance you’ll be interviewing candidates who are adept at bending the truth. But most of them probably won’t be doing it maliciously. After all, the premise that we should “just be ourselves” is both naïve and foolish given what we know of human psychology.

Behaviorally, full authenticity describes acting without inhibitions or constraints, as we do when we’re partying with our friends–not a great formula for the workplace. The ideal employee is capable of exercising diplomacy and adhering to social etiquette, and this inevitably requires being at least somewhat dishonest: telling people that they’ve done well when they haven’t (especially if they’ve tried hard); telling your boss she had a great idea when in fact she didn’t; making a client feel like the most important person in the world when they’re actually really irritating.

So don’t stop looking for candidates’ strengths. If you are lucky enough to attract employees who are able, likable, and driven, just make sure that they have the best possible flaws. Sometimes a dose of dishonesty, attention-seeking, and conformism may be the most tolerable defects you can ask for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is an international authority in psychological profiling, people analytics, and talent management.