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On the go, the fast path is how many of us live our lives; it is important to, in the midst of everyday, take time for yourself and maintain a healthy balance between work and play. Making time for yourself is necessary in order to succeed in all areas of your life, as well as your work life! Here are a few simple ways to limit stress induced by work.

Find a Hobby  

Whether it be painting, hiking, or cooking, it’s important to find something you are passionate about and enjoy in order to get out of your work mindset and relax.  Career is important, but your mental health is equally as important. Everyone needs an outlet after work or on the weekends to step away from their jobs and into their happy place.

Walk on Lunch

 

For those who sit in office chairs majority of the day, your lunch break might be your only opportunity to get up and get moving for an extended period of time. Exercising is proven to reduce stress and release endorphins, and getting a friend at work to take a few laps outside can get you away from your screen and your mind off of meetings and deadlines. Incorporating this healthy habit into your daily routine is an easy switch and especially important if you find yourself struggling to make enough time to workout before or after work.

Practice Deep Breathing

 

Stress causes fast breathing, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. All of these things can be controlled by incorporating deep breathing exercises into your day. Right before you fall asleep or right after you wake up, take a second to notice how relaxed and at ease your body is. That is the result of deep, controlled breaths and recreating those deep breaths is something you can do right at your desk, in traffic, before a meeting, or even in the evening before bed to wind down. Be sure to follow proper techniques to avoid becoming light headed or dizzy.

Treat Yourself

 

Everyone deserves to be spoiled once in a while and an occasional splurge can leave you feeling less stressed out more ready to take on your work life. So go on that shopping spree and treat yourself to trendy stylish office outfits that leave you feeling confident and fresh. Be spontaneous and book that dance class with a friend you’ve been wanting to try. Take a vacation to visit family or old friends and catch up to feel at home. Maybe even plan an exotic trip overseas to totally get out of your comfort zone and feel excited. If you’re looking to relax, book a luxury cruise and soak up the sun with friends.

These are just a few of the many ways to reduce work stress that may be affecting you both in and out of the office. The good news is, you can start with small changes like fitting in a little more exercise and focused breathing all the way up to bigger more drastic changes like booking a vacation getaway to decompress. Whatever steps you take are steps forward to managing how you handle stress, and knowing what your mind and body needs.

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Blue light has recently come to the forefront of many conversations surrounding eye health. It comes naturally from the sun but now with more use of digital devices, research has found that it is also emitted from screens and at a higher frequency.

If you are an entrepreneur, blogger, or office worker, you likely are exposed to blue light for an extended period of time from a computer screen, often with little to no breaks for your eyes. So what can you do to protect yourself from harmful amounts of blue light? Find out more about this type of wavelength below and how to block it from penetrating your eyes.

What is blue light?

Blue light is a short, high energy wavelength that naturally comes from the sun but artificially comes from LED bulbs, televisions, computer screens, smartphones, and tablets. It can cause harm to your vision, psychological health, and sleep. Because blue light regulates the sleep cycle, when we are exposed to it during the day from the sun, it’s great! It helps keep your body awake, alert, and energized. However, the higher level of artificial light coming off of electronic screens can be damaging to our eyes. If you have to use your computer or tablet for an extended period of time for work, you may feel the symptoms of digital eye strain which can be uncomfortable and painful. These include headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision, and even neck pain. Have you ever felt any of these effects yourself, while working on your computer, tablet, or phone?

 

How can you protect against it?

Again, natural blue light being absorbed by your retinas is normal and good for the body. However, the issue with our vision comes from artificial blue light emitted from digital screens. There are a few things you can do to help lower the amount of blue light coming into your eyes, which can affect your vision and overall quality of life.

  1. Invest in blue light glasses: these types of frames help filter out most of the blue light that can be absorbed by your retinas. They are especially useful while watching tv or if you work at a computer for an extended period of time. If you ever feel like you get headaches, blurry vision, or dry eyes after hours of computer use, these glasses may be for you.
  2. While you’re working, it can be hard or annoying to take frequent breaks. However, taking breaks from looking at your screen can help reduce any discomfort from digital eye strain. Practice the 20-20-20 rule – look 20 feet away from your computer, every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds at a time to help keep your eyes moisturized and prevent headaches.
  3. Use screen protectors on your electronics: much like blue light glasses, blue light screen protectors for smartphones filter out the blue light emitted from your devices before it reaches your eyes. The best part? Screen protectors act as a continuous layer of protection. Essentially you are eliminating the burden of having to remember your glasses each time you use a device because you have already armed it with a long-lasting defense. So, think of the devices you use the most and see if there is a screen protecting option!
The conclusion

Next time you’re at your desk working, on your phone for a few hours straight, or watching television before bed, take time to think about how you feel. Are you getting a headache or are your eyes feeling dry? If so, these are likely the uncomfortable symptoms of excessive exposure to blue light and digital eye strain that can be avoided. Be sure to take a break from your electronics, invest in glasses or screen protectors to help and see if you feel better.

Not all blue light is bad, but the stronger, artificial blue light can be damaging to your vision and overall health. Be aware of the effects and how you can protect yourself to live your best, healthiest life.

Picture credit: Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

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Even if you strive to consciously make healthy decisions, time may not always be on your side. With such a hectic schedule every day, it can sometimes be a lot easier to grab something that’s quick, fast and affordable to eat, like fast food, on your way out or during your short lunch break.

Meanwhile, the gym may be the last thing you have the energy for after a long day at the office or on the job.

However, it doesn’t have to be a tradeoff. Being healthy and being busy is possible, it just takes a little work to turn these choices into a habit. It can be difficult at first, but there are small changes that you can start implementing into your daily routine to live a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips that can make a big impact and won’t be too hard to stick to!

  1. Designate time for meal prepping

Making a new meal each night for dinner or thinking of a lunch to pack for the following day can seem like a monotonous chore. If you designate an hour specifically to cooking and prepping meals for the week, or by ordering a meal kit online, you’ll save yourself loads of time. Then, when it’s time to eat, all you’ll have to do is take ten minutes to reheat or prepare. Eating healthy doesn’t have to require a lot of effort!

  1. Make being active a lifestyle

Getting physical activity doesn’t just need to be an hour session at the gym. Exercising shouldn’t be a chore, it’s about making it into a conscious lifestyle. If you lack the time to do a full-on workout, try squeezing in little ways of staying active throughout the day. Go on a walk when you take a phone call, take the stairs instead of an elevator, or even do a small yoga routine right before bed. Be mindful of where you could be more active in your daily routine and take advantage.

  1. Address deficiencies

With a fast-paced lifestyle, getting all of your required nutrients each day can be incredibly tough. Common vitamin deficiencies like iron, vitamin B, and magnesium can have a huge effect on your overall wellness. This is why it’s important to address any deficiencies with a doctor and to take supplements or a daily multivitamin to keep yourself balanced.

  1. Develop a relaxation technique

Eliminating stress as a whole is a near impossible task. Once you’ve come to terms with this realization, you’ll understand that you should be focused on how you cope with stress and what relaxation techniques work the best for you. What may help your friends or family deal with their anxieties may not benefit you the same way. It’s crucial to try out different coping mechanisms to find the right one for you and your unique situation. Techniques such as meditation and yoga are just a couple of ways you can learn to relax and deal with your stress, but there are many more methods you can try as well.

  1. Create to-do lists to stay organized

Have you ever found yourself running a bunch of errands but end up forgetting something along the way, just to run back out later? It happens to all of us but this is a huge time-waster and can be extremely frustrating. By organizing your to-do lists, you’ll be better able to stay on top of all of your to-do’s and feel more in control of your life. It’ll allow you to visualize all the things you need to get done while also prioritizing and planning when to do them.

  1. Set realistic goals

One of the biggest complaints of chronically busy people is that there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done. Striving for long-term goals is essential for growth, but it’s just as important that these goals be realistic and achievable. Instead of aiming for that six-pack by summer, start off with making a small workout plan and build your way up over time. Want that promotion? Work on one project at a time instead of trying to take on everything at once. By setting realistic goals, you’ll get to where you want to be over time and feel less overwhelmed while doing it.

  1. Fill up your water bottle five times a day

Most people don’t drink enough water each day to stay hydrated. If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink water, you’ve already let yourself get dehydrated. When you drink enough water, you’ll have a stronger immune system, feel more energetic, and you’ll cleanse your body from the inside-out. Start by getting a great reusable water bottle and fill it up at least five times throughout the day. With a goal, you’ll feel more motivated to drink water and therefore become healthier in the process.

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by Brooke S. Jackson

I always get asked how exactly I get so much done in my business, and there’s really one secret: Systems. Yes, I’m serious — Systems!

Think about it. If you’re constantly re-inventing the wheel (not following a process or having any automation), then you’re losing valuable time to do even more business-building tasks.

According to Forbes, a market research firm IDC reported that companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year due to inefficiencies. Having a system set in place for every single recurring task in your business saves time, ultimately saving money, and ensures consistent quality output produced.

Systems make for a smoothly operating business (including the team)! But what systems and processes do you absolutely need? I’m going to reveal a few (but not all) types of systems you definitely need to get work on in your business ASAP.

1. Marketing

This one is VITAL – If you’re not properly marketing consistently then how are you going to get those clients or customers? Here are some sub-categories you should consider:

Social Media

For this one, think of all the channels you use for social media marketing, and have you or a team member write out processes for each one including: how the captions are made, how the pictures and graphics are made, and how to properly schedule the posts on your designated scheduler tool.

Blogging & Email Marketing

If this is a big part of your business, note this one and get it done ASAP. Creating blog posts will be SO much faster and more streamlined. For example: How would you write the outline for the post? What’s the process for self-editing and proofreading? Exactly how should the post be inputted and formatted on your website to have a consistent format? Same thing can be applied to email marketing.

Public Relations

I can’t give you specific examples for this one, because everyone’s public relation tasks look different – but to get those gears grinding: How would you systematize podcast guest pitching & outreach? How would you go about getting guest blogging spots?

2. Administrative & Tech Maintenance

These types of systems often get overlooked and never made but are so, so important! Why? Simply put: This takes up tons of time without you even thinking it does, especially if you’re the only one doing it in your business.

Don’t believe me? Check out this list of recurring tasks you should consider:

  • Maintaining your CRM or customer database
  • Financial Tasks
  • Cleaning Up & Organizing your Cloud Storage Tool
  • Back-Ups (Files, Website, LastPass)
  • Paying the Team & Invoicing
  • Any Ongoing Tech Tasks
  • Updating Your Calendar
3. Team-Related

Team-related systems are HUGE! Your team is one of the core foundations of your business – Without them, you wouldn’t be as far as you are now so making sure you get systems down for managing the team is super important.

  • Consider these recurring tasks for team leading & management:
  • Onboarding & Offboarding
  • Any Ongoing Team Tasks (Time-Tracking, Reporting, etc.)
  • Hiring & Vetting

There are other types of systems you should definitely get in place, but I’ll tap on those at some other point. This should be enough to get you started, and I really hope this gave you some insight and clarity on business systems!

About the Author

I’m an Online Business Manager (OBM) for female entrepreneurs who are ready to take their business to the next level. I genuinely help female online-business owners by taking over almost all of their current operations, business systems, team leading, planning & timelines, launches, and project management. I have a passion and love for animals, worldly cultures, and online business.

Website: www.BrookeJacksonOBM.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BrookeJOBM
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brookesjackson/

This post originally appeared on the Secrets of Success blog.

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A while back I shared 5 Netflix docs to watch when want a break from your work.

Now I’m sharing some shows I recommend for those times you want to turn off your laptop and put work aside for a bit.

Troy – Fall of a City

Entertaining re-telling of the epic without being boring or predictable (because if you’re familiar with the Iliad or the Odyssey, you know how it ends).

Surprisingly modern with inclusive casting and new twists on the characters. Even better, the well-designed (and visually stunning) settings and costumes give the series a sometimes scruffy (and real) feeling that’s not like the usual, overblown Hollywood production.

If you like mythology, action and adventure, add this to your queue.

Tidying up with Marie Kondo

Thankfully I saw a few episodes before hearing about the “backlash” to her supposed advice about books. Her advice for clearing clutter and creating comfortable spaces seems well-intentioned and extremely positive. Judge for yourself.  If nothing else, her very sweet and relaxed vibe is a balm all by itself.

20 Feet from Stardom

Not a new movie, but a very inspiring one. I saw this years ago and was uplifted by the stories behind some very familiar voices. You might not know them by name, but you’ve probably heard the singers in songs, commercials and soundtracks. Watching this reminded me how so many of us are just trying to get ourselves out there, and what we’re willing to sacrifice on the way.

Maya Angelou – And Still I Rise

Even though I’ve read all of her biographies, I was still surprised by some revelations in this documentary (originally broadcast on PBS). A fascinating, creative woman who lived (arguably) an improbable life considering how it started out. Ms. Angelou showed how to be creative and entrepreneurial long before it was a thing.

FYRE – The Greatest Party that Never Happened

A cautionary tale about following people who appear to know what they’re doing just because they’re good at making people believe in, well, b.s. This is something all business people should watch, just so that you know what not to do. Having big, splashy ideas is fine. Not being able to execute – and throwing other people’s lives in to chaos – is not.

This is what can happen when you follow people who claim to be successful (or set themselves up as gurus) while behind the scenes, they’re just shady, though charming, liars.

Picture credit:

Tracy Thomas

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by Author Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone,

It’s the start of another year, and everyone is talking about making changes and setting goals for themselves. And why not? We have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come.

But do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar and wondering, “How is it 2019? Where did last year go? I had all those plans…”

If so, don’t stress out. Not everyone accomplishes every goal they set for themselves. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for 2019.

Perhaps you took time off from writing and want to get back in the swing of things. Maybe your writing muse went on vacation to Hawaii and hasn’t come back yet. That’s okay. It’s fine to take a break from writing for a while—but not too long. (If you rest too long, you’ll rust!) Writing exercises, journaling, and freewriting story ideas are great ways to revive your motivation.

Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?

If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)

Write fiction? Have you found any new markets? Signed up for online market newsletters? If you’re published in one genre (say, romance or horror), are you going to expand your horizons and write a different type of story this year?

Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Explore writing-related websites and blogs, Yahoo Groups, social media groups, and advertising opportunities for your work. Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?

Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track. For example, if you want to explore new markets for your short story, put “find new markets” on your list.

If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

When you write down your goals, start your sentences with a positive statement, such as: “I will finish the rough draft of my novel by June 1” or “I will submit six articles to magazines.” After you’ve made the list, note what you need to do to get started. This could include setting aside specific times to write each day, getting writer’s guidelines, or sending out query letters. Then, pick one project (the most time-sensitive one, or your personal favorite), and get to work. Spend time targeting your goals now, and you’ll be on your way to success!

But keep a balance. Don’t let yourself become so goal oriented that you burn yourself out, stress yourself half to death, and let the writing life take the place of your real life. (Believe me, I’ve been there and I’ve learned.)

Family, friends, pets, neighbors, and having fun are all important parts of being alive. Make time for your writing, but also make time for yourself and those you love. (Yes, it’s perfectly okay to leave the husband parked in front of a movie and go write for two hours. But make sure when you turn the computer off, you focus on the present moment.)

Every new day is bursting with hope, possibilities, and opportunities to make this year really great. Set some goals for yourself. Write as much as you need to (or want to), and then sit in the yard and watch the world go by for an hour. You’re worth it!

If you’re interested in learning more about the writing process and want expert tips and writing advice, why not check out my online writing course? Fiction Writing for Beginners is designed for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing.

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

Each class is self-contained and self-directed. This way, you can learn about a specific topic at your own pace, and not worry about completing the class by a certain deadline. Short writing exercises at the end of each class highlight the subject matter and get you writing.

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners gives you all the tools you need. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

Enroll today and start writing tomorrow!

Happy Reading and Writing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.
In January 2019 Kelli released the second half of her new flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

She also authored her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.
Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here’s a full list of where you can find Kelli on the web.
Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/
FREE READS: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelliwilkins2/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelli-a-wilkins

Books2Read: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/
Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins
iStock: https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Teachable Online Writing Course: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

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Continuing my tradition of sharing Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King quotes that have inspired me. You can see the posts for 2018 here, 2017 here and for 2016 here.

“To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.”

People may believe “evil” is some type of comic book definition of what a villain does in a story. Or actions that are so horrible, that there is no other definition to describe them.

But it can also be the small things. The injustices and hurts and cruelty that are often ignored by most people. Ignored because they seem small.

And, therefore, of no consequence (unless you are the target of those actions).

What people don’t get is that the so-called, small things add up to be the bigger things. And then when it’s too overwhelming to ignore, suddenly there are people who ask – what could we have done? Why didn’t someone warn us?

Well, where were you when these things were happening in front of you? Did you speak out? Or did you pretend not to see them?

And, if you ignored them, are you any different than the perpetrators? This is what I believe this quote is asking.

“Almost always the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Usually the people most invested in change are the ones who aren’t comfortable. Or who can’t afford the solutions that are being offered.

Consider if you are someone starting a business, but you don’t have a big bankroll funding you. In that case, you get creative. Maybe you have less money than you need to cover bills and expenses. You get creative.

Creativity doesn’t have to mean art, it can also mean thinking outside the box.

Innovations come when someone asks, how can I do this in a better way? What if? Is there another way to accomplish this task that no one is doing right now?

Those inventions can help everyone, even if they were created because one person had a need that wasn’t being met.

Think about it. What can you create today that can not only help you, but serve others?

“I have learned this art: when I have nothing more to say, I stop talking.”

If only more people on social media (and in life) followed this! There is a time for talking, and a time for listening.

But first, you must accept that you don’t know everything. That your worldview is not the only worldview. That you cannot speak for everyone, no matter how intelligent or knowledgeable you believe you are.

Listen and learn.

“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”

Often women get the message that we must remain silent. Be supportive, but don’t step into the spotlight. But you have something to say. Don’t hide your light. Balance is achieved when there is masculine and feminine.

Each society and culture defines those things differently, though. So, you might have a different understanding in mind than I do, or your neighbor, or your relative, or your partner.

Nurturing has been, traditionally, assigned to the feminine. Of course, that’s not a given in every case. And by feminine, I don’t mean only women have that quality. Certainly not.

But, I feel that this quote says we must give voice to that energy. The energy of nurturing, and supporting, and of taking action to protect our families and communities.

You see, we can be fierce as well. And, now is the time to step into that. Just as Mrs. King did after the murder of her husband. We must stand up for ourselves, our families, our communities and the world.

Save

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Guest post by Lydia Wilson

Having trouble balancing all the upcoming projects and responsibilities looming in your calendar? Try checking your bedtime. The average adult should be getting around eight hours of sleep a night and getting any less could be holding you back from reaching your maximum productivity. The impacts of a restful night are numerous and shouldn’t be avoided. Here are just four of the ways that a good night’s sleep can make you a better worker.

  1. Beat writer’s block

Clear up any creative blocks with a good, old-fashioned sleep. It will not only boost your ability to focus, but also help creative juices flow. This combination is a powerful tool in accomplishing tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In fact, studies have shown that people who spend more time in REM sleep are better able to connect ideas and come up with creative solutions. This should significantly cut down the amount of time wasted at work trying to think clearly and brainstorm effectively.

  1. Improve problem-solving

Along with more creativity, a good night’s sleep can also vastly improve your problem-solving skills, specifically when handling a complex issue. Researchers have found that a well-rested mind is better able to analyze situations and come up with solutions than one that is sleep-deprived. This boosts productivity by cutting down the time to complete tasks and ultimately makes you a more efficient worker.

  1. Enhance multitasking

If you ever find yourself really struggling to check multiple tasks off your to-do list, reconsider your sleep schedule. High-quality rest is needed for high-level cortical functions, such as multitasking, because it takes a lot of brain power to divide your attention between separate tasks without jeopardizing the quality of execution. A well-rested brain is better equipped to split focus and stay energized enough to complete several jobs at once. This ability to multitask can make it much easier to get your work done, especially on a deadline.

  1. Boost motivation

There’s no better way to kill motivation than exhaustion and bad temperament. Proper rest can improve your interest in work by bettering your mood and boosting your energy levels. Overnight, your body restores the systems it uses every day, like hormone and temperature regulation, while also cleansing the brain and muscular tissue. This restoration helps you wake up feeling energized, refreshed and ready to take on the day. It also helps lower your stress levels and improve your mood. Overall, sleep helps keep you motivated by clearing your mind and allowing you to concentrate on work.

Whether it be getting in your eight hours on a new mattress, or taking a pillow to work for a lunch break nap, there are a lot of different ways to ensure you get the sleep your productivity and career need. Try out some new tactics to get better sleep and see how it affects your work. It will likely make you a more productive, effective and marketable employee, and could launch you up the career ladder.

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by Tiffany Rowe

If you want to achieve top-tier financial and lifestyle goals, you’re probably thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, so you can be self-employed and hopefully earn more.

While this is certainly one way to get where you want to go, keep in mind that building a successful business isn’t easy. It’s often very different to the dream and typically a whole lot harder than you can imagine. Unfortunately many entrepreneurs also end up losing a huge amount of money rather than making it.

It is possible, though, to hand in your resignation, walk away from a job you don’t like or are sick of and build the business that will make your dreams come true; you just need to take some important steps first, so you protect yourself and make success more likely. Read on for some of the most vital things you must do before you put up the “Open for Business” sign.

Research Extensively

Too many people end up with a business that doesn’t work because they don’t take the time to do research first. There are many elements to look into, but in particular you need to understand who your direct and indirect competitors are and what they offer to the target market.

Know how they sell their wares and at what price points. You need to know what kind of customer experience they provide, where they advertise or otherwise market their wares and the pain points they solve for people or benefits they provide. You should also get clear on exactly who they’re targeting their goods or services to. Once you have all this data, you will know how to ensure what you offer is different. This is the only way to stand out and gain traction.

Similarly, spend time finding out about the people you want to sell to. Who, exactly, are your ideal customers, and what are they looking for? Will there be enough of them to give you a decent-sized market? Where, when and how do these people like to browse and buy, and what kinds of work do they do? What about their family status and lifestyles? The more you know the better, as this will help you to tailor your business and its processes accordingly.

Get Educated

It’s certainly tempting to jump right into a business because you’re excited about the idea and about working for yourself, but you need to have knowledge about a variety of topics if you want to be a successful leader and manager. For example, you’ll need to understand things like customer service, finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, sales, technology and more.

There are numerous ways you can get the knowledge you need to set yourself up for success. One top way is to enroll in a relevant degree, such as an MBA or other type of business and/or management course. You might wonder how much does an MBA cost, but in truth this kind of preparation probably isn’t as expensive as you think and will also likely save you tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, in costly mistakes.

Network and Learn on the Job

Next, to give yourself the best possible chance of success, it’s also helpful to do some networking before you launch a business.

By making helpful connections in your industry, with related companies and entrepreneurs, you will have people there who you can turn to for advice or support. Plus, these people might end up becoming your partners, investors, employees, suppliers, customers, contractors or other key stakeholders as time goes on.

Wherever possible, try to spend time working in the sector you plan to open your business in. If you’re already employed in this field, that makes life easier, but if not, see if you can do some work experience or get a part-time or short-term role, so you can learn about the industry and how it works.

You may also want to spend time in a business that’s in a different industry but still doing things in a similar way as you plan to. For example, another firm may be disrupting a sector with technology like you want to or have a complete focus on customer service or the like. By working for a venture like this, you will pick up a wide array of tips which you can then implement in your own business. This will save you time, money and energy in the long run.

About the Author: Tiffany is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

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by Tiffany Rowe

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

This saying is famous, and for many people, it is incredibly true. Work doesn’t feel as much like work when you are doing something you enjoy, something that inspires you to clock in and be better every day.

However, as much as you might want to do what you love, identifying what you love isn’t always easy – and transforming what you love into a career can seem nearly impossible. If you are eager to have passion for your job, read on to learn how to find your passion and build a career around it.

Change Your Perspective

“I hate that.” “I don’t want to do that.” “No.”

A negative attitude closes you off from the world and prevents you from trying new things. However, to find your passion and use it, you will need to venture out of your comfort zone. Often, a negative attitude stems from fear of the unknown or fear of failure. Thus, you should change your perspective from one of fear or hatred to one of openness and enthusiasm. When this happens, you should find more opportunities available to you.

Scour Your Life

Undoubtedly, there have been times in your life when you have been happy. What caused that happiness? What about excitement – can you remember ever not being able to sleep due to your excited anticipation for the events of the next day?

Throughout your life, there have been signs of passion, but you might have been too busy to notice. Now, you can search through your memories to identify activities or environments that brought you joy. You should make a list of these potential passions and consider pursuing them further.

Play, Practice, Seek

You should devote some time to experimenting with the different items on your list to determine what you wouldn’t mind doing for the rest of your life. Some people call this play; others call it practice – as long as you are exposing yourself often to related activities (which could turn into work) you are helping weed out things that you enjoy but aren’t your true passion. Eventually, you will land upon one or more activities that you never grow tired of, and it is these you should consider transforming into your career.

Determine Your Hobbies

All passions can turn into careers, but not all should. For example, if you can’t get enough of playing video games but you don’t have any interest in learning how to design them, (or if you are older than 25) you probably should keep video games as a hobby.

After playing around with your interests for a while, you should have a more manageable list of potential passions that you can perform deeper research on. Using the web, personal and professional contacts and any other fonts of wisdom you can think of, you should look into potential careers related to your interests. Then, you should understand what those careers require from you in terms of talent, skill, knowledge and credentials. Doing this – and seeing all the work you need to put in to achieve your dream – you should be able to whittle your passion-career options down even further, maybe even to one.

Invest in Training

It’s almost time to commit to a passion – but not yet. First, you might consider enrolling in some training programs for your potential careers, so you can get a better sense of whether you will continue to enjoy your interest when it becomes work. Plenty of sports fans are happy watching from the sidelines, but only a select few thrive in a sports management online master’s program and make it to the big leagues. At first, you might gain a few credits at your local community college or a related MOOC while you sample your passions in academic study, but when you make a final choice in the direction of your career, you should enroll in a program that will provide you with adequate education and credentials.

Be Flexible and Brave

Even though you will love what you do, the path of your career won’t always be easy. You should plan for challenging periods in your career, such as landing your first job in the field or striving toward major milestones, and you shouldn’t be discouraged when you don’t rise to the top right away. Some days will be a slog, but if you build up the courage to pursue a career in something you feel passionate about, you are more likely to find meaning in your work and feel satisfied by a day well done.

About the Author: Tiffany is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

Picture credit:

rawpixel

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