The end of the year can be a hectic time for most of us. Office festivities, get-togethers with family and friends, travel plans, and shopping for your loved ones can take a toll on your productivity at work. 

In a Fast Company article, Lisa Evans (the author) looks to Kory Kogon, a global productivity practice leader for Franklin Covey and coauthor. In order to survive the holiday season, Kogon suggests turning your attention inward to focus on what you need to be successful rather than giving into the demands of the holiday season’s demands. 

Below are Kogon’s six tips, in the words of Evans, to staying productive during this busy time:

Be Intentional

“Staying focused in the midst of the hectic holiday season can seem a daunting task, which is why Kogon recommends implementing the 30-10 promise. ‘Before the week starts, find 30 minutes to think about the things that need to get done in the coming week and prioritize that list,’ she says.

Schedule the most important items in your calendar, allowing the smaller tasks to fill in around them. Then, at the end of each workday, reconcile your calendar. ‘If something didn’t get done, move it to another place; reschedule it,’ says Kogon. Having a plan means you’ll be less likely to fall off track by seasonal distractions.”

Take A Break

“The holiday season is a great time of year to take a break. ‘Research shows that taking even a 10-minute break during the day increases productivity,’ says Kogon. Take advantage of the seasonal slowdown to give your brain a much-needed rest. You’ll return to work more energized and ready to be productive in the new year.”

Take A Personal Day for Errands

“Between get-togethers with family and friends and holiday shopping, you no doubt find your personal calendar encroaching on your work life during the holiday season. Rather than trying to cram personal errands into your workday, schedule a personal day to focus solely on those domestic and personal holiday preparations. This will allow you to focus 100% of your energy on work while you’re there.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

“Is your holiday calendar jam-packed with invites to festive networking events? While you may be tempted to attend them all, Kogon says this can cause unnecessary stress and hinder your productivity.

The key to managing holiday invites is being intentional. Clarify what’s most important for you at the moment. For every invitation you receive, ask whether that event is going to help you to achieve that goal. Accepting an invitation because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings can have you burning the candle at both ends and falling behind in meeting your goals.”

Avoid Procrastination

“During the rest of the year, you may find you get an adrenaline rush from pushing deadlines, but Kogon says maintaining this mindset during the holiday season is dangerous. There’s a good reason many of us perform at our best while under pressure.

‘Procrastinating gives us a rush of dopamine–the body’s feel-good chemical,’ says Kogon. But during the holiday season, too many distractions and crises may come up, causing your stress levels to be elevated to an unnaturally high level. This can make the holiday season truly unbearable.”

Set Expectations

“Be realistic with yourself and others about how much you will be able to do, when you will be available, and when others can anticipate a response from you.

If you normally respond to emails promptly but are facing a particularly taxing day, you may want to set up an email notice to alert others that you may take a little while longer than normal to respond. This not only helps others know what to expect of you, but helps to ease your anxiety over a cluttered inbox.”

Published in Coworking Blog

No matter the industry or stage in your career, stress is inevitable. If you allow that stress to perpetuate, it will eventually hinder your productivity. 

In a Forbes article, written by the Forbes Coaches Council, the Council created 12 tips on how to manage stress while staying productive.

 

Pause, Process, Proceed

Grace Totoro, a career transitions coach, states:

“Set aside time in your day to handle phone calls, texts and email. If necessary, use auto-reply and voicemail In between work on the functional aspects of your role. When stressed, apply this strategy: Pause, breathe and ask yourself, ‘What is happening now to generate these feelings?’ Process possible solutions to pull yourself together, then proceed with what needs to be done.”

Do The Hardest Things First

John M. O’Connor, the President and CEO of CareerPro, suggests leaving the smaller tasks towards the end of your day or week. 

“… It helps to tackle a portion of a harder project before doing the more common work that needs to be done. When you put off a larger project like a talk, a written piece or a looming project deadline, it weighs on you and makes you less productive on the more normal, basic, but still important tasks.”

Make a List

“The best solution for being productive and alleviating stress is to make a list of things that need to be completed each day. If it is a big project, be sure to break the deliverables down into manageable pieces. It also might make sense to complete a few of the easy things early to feel more accomplished. Another solution is to keep a calendar and backfill the tasks from today until the project is actually due, filling in a timeline of when each step should be completed so that the final piece is completed on-time. Remember is always best to underpromise and overdeliver.” – Kathleen Houlihan, the Founder and CEO of Dream2Career

Turn Off Alerts

Trellish Usher of the T.R. Ellish Group, suggests:

“One of the best productivity tips I recommend and implement, which also reduces stress, is to turn off the notifications on your mobile phone for at least two hours during the workday. …”

Pick Three Essential Things

MJ Impastato, of H2H Systems, suggests reading Essentialismby Greg McKeown.

“… Pick three essential things you must get done that day and focus your energy there. You’ll soon realize your long list of to-dos get done much quicker and with more efficiency. Say goodbye to overwhelm.”

Plan Your Day Around Your Productive Times

Kyle Elliott, of Kyle Elliott Consulting, recommends:

“… Regardless of what your schedule looks like, you need to own it and plan your day to accommodate your energy levels. For the times of day when you are most productive, schedule your most important meetings and projects. Then, for your less productive times, focus on administrative tasks that need to be tended to but require less brain power.”

Spend An Hour On Each Project

“…set a timer and work on it for an hour. Turn off all distractions. Then, take a break and transition to another project. Set that same timer for 60 minutes and take another break.” – Meghan Godorov, of Meghan Godorov Consulting.

Set People Up For Success

Gordon Tredgold of Leadership Principles LLC, suggests:

“If you want people to be productive, set them up for success. People are not afraid of hard work; they are afraid of failure. If they can't see how they will succeed, productivity will go out of the window. A simple approach is to ask them if they have everything they need to be successful. Just asking this question helps. If they say yes, they have taken ownership; if they say no, give them what they need. Having everything you need to be successful is a great way of relieving stress and increasing productivity.”

Put It On Your Calendar

Jane Zaretsky, a corporate trainer and business coach, recommends:

“Your calendar should be the guiding force in your work. If you have everything, including personal time, in your calendar, you use your calendar to tell you what you should be doing and when you should be doing it, and manage that with integrity, you will not stress. …”

Give Your Employees More Autonomy

“To increase productivity and reduce stress, give employees a flexible schedule. As long as employees do their work, they should be given autonomy. People are more productive and out sick less often when they feel trusted and respected.” – Beth Kuhel, Get Hired LLC

Manage Your Internet Time

“By nature, humans are curious. And the internet is the biggest curiosity out there. I employ software on my PC that tracks the sites I go to, and then I can determine a website as distracting, productive or neutral. I then set a limit for 15 minutes maximum of distracting site access over a 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. period. … It regulates me; it's my own censor. Freeing up time that I would burn through otherwise allows me to get tasks done and reduce the overall stress and anxiety of work.” – Tyron Giuliani, Selling Made Social

Align With Your Values

“Make sure an activity you do is aligned with your top five values or priorities. If it's not, ask yourself why you are doing it. Maybe you'll still do it, but it needs to be modified to honor your values. When your activities are aligned with your values, you can feel assured that you're going to achieve your deepest desires. Then, put time on your calendar for each activity to confirm they will get done.” – Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching

Published in Coworking Blog

Recently, a City Lab article named Salt Lake City the third fastest growing population of the creative class. From 2005 to 2019, Salt Lake City has seen a 43.6% growth, just trailing behind San Jose and San Francisco (47.2% and 45.2%, respectively). 

Richard Florida, the author, discusses the concept of “the rise of the rest.” The concept is described as, “a result of both increasingly unaffordable housing in established hubs and the improvement of the economies in less-established hubs.” 

The dominate hubs, like San Francisco, are notorious for the presence of fast-growing tech companies and extremely unaffordable housing units. Less-established hubs, like Salt Lake City, offer more affordable housing units, cheaper labor, and the ability to attract college graduates. 

So – Florida wanted to visually analyze this ever-evolving growth onto maps. 

With the help of Todd Gabe, an economist at the University of Maine, they collected data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS).

“I decided to take a closer look at what is actually happening to the geography of talent. I zeroed on changes in the location of the creative class for a period immediately before, during, and post-recession. While most studies equate talent with the share of adults who hold college degrees, my creative class metric is based on occupation. About nine in 10 Americans with a college degree are members of the creative class, which is made up of up of knowledge workers in education, healthcare, law, arts, tech, science, and business. But, only six in 10 members of the creative class hold a college degree.”

Florida and Gabe compared the concentrations of creative class growth and shares at 2005 and 2017. 

In 2005, Salt Lake City had one of the smallest shares of the creative class (at 31.6%), compared to the largest share, Washington D.C. at 47.8%.

Although from 2005 to 2017, Salt Lake City is at the top of the list for the fastest growth in creative class shares, at 24.1%

Salt Lake City shows no signs of slowing down. If your business is looking for a new place to grow, come join an inspiring community of the creative class at Work Hive located in the heart of Salt Lake City!.

Published in Coworking Blog

As a small business owner, what keeps you up at night? Is it the lack of sales? Not enough money? Issues with employees? Or something else?

Unfortunately, the stress will never go away, but learning how to manage it is vital to the success of your business.  

In an Entrepreneur.com article, Mike Kappel, a serial entrepreneur, gives five tips on how to manage and combat your stress as a small business owner. 

Remember what’s going right.

“You can improve your stress management in business by reminding yourself of the things that are going right. List out all your accomplishments and any small business milestones you’ve achieved. There are probably more than you realize. Don’t neglect even the smallest accomplishments. Put your list somewhere you can easily see it, such as on your desk or the wall. Whenever you feel stressed about all the things that are going wrong, look at your list. Take a moment to remember all the things that have gone right.”

Prioritize your goals.

Write down everything that you need to complete. Then, rank your tasks from greatest to least. The things you need to do first should be at the top of your list. As you work, focus on the most important tasks. Once you finish those, you can move down the list. You’re essentially creating an agenda for yourself.”

Kappel discusses the anxiety that might come with seeing a long to-do list. He suggests trying to not get overwhelmed with the list and to focus on the next item on your list. 

Purge your brain.

It is critical for your well-being to separate work and home, but sometimes it’s impossible. When work will not leave your mind, Kappel suggests writing everything down. 

When my brain won’t shut down, I write everything down that my mind is trying to process. I’ll write down my problem, possible solutions and miscellaneous notes. Sometimes writing everything out can take a while, but it’s worth it. After I write everything down, I can relax and sleep. My brain doesn’t have anything to process because I put all my thoughts in a safe place. I don’t have to worry about my business for a time because I know everything is waiting for me later, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.”

Take breaks.

Sometimes when the stress is beginning to overwhelm you, take a break — step away from the stressor! Kappel suggests that even a ten-minute break can do wonders for you. 

“When you take a break, do something that relaxes you. Go for a walk. Get some coffee. Call a friend. Watch a funny video. Don’t do anything business related. When you get back to your business, you will have a clearer mind. You will have fresh energy to tackle the task. And, stepping away might even open your eyes to a new and better way to complete the task.

Take care of yourself. 

“Good health is important when you’re an entrepreneur. Running a business takes a lot out of you. Your small business comes with long nights, early mornings, no weekends and no sick days. Your nonstop life puts strain on your body, and then you add stress on top of that.”

Kappel suggests drinking water, eating regularly, sleep, and exercise! Exercising can help release some of your anxieties and stresses, while contributing to your physical health. 

Published in Coworking Blog

When designing your brand identity, did you think about the psychological effects that different colors have on people?

In an article by G2 Learning Hub, the author discusses the importance of this often-overlooked topic.

Whether you already have your branding figured out or are stuck on the design; it is essential to understand how color plays a significant role in how people will react to your brand / product. Color can determine a person’s gut reaction, purchasing behavior, and problem-solving skills. 

The Fundamentals of Color Theory

Different colors can evoke a range of emotions, moods, and atmospheres. Below is the list of standard colors and the types of feelings they tend to project:

  • Red— aggressive, urgent, passionate
  • Orange— energetic, playful, affordable
  • Yellow—friendly, happy, attentive
  • Green— growing, prosperous, natural
  • Blue— trustworthy, inviting, calming
  • Purple— luxurious, royal, sensual
  • Black— sophisticated, edgy, mysterious
  • White— clean, innocent, healthy
  • Gray— formal, gloomy, traditional
  • Pink— youthful, feminine, romantic
  • Brown— rustic, stable, manly

Researchers have found that the psychological connotations change depending on where the color falls on the rainbow (also known as a hue). A bluish-green hue has different connotations than its parent colors and a greenish-blue. 

Tintscan affect the properties of colors. Whether you mix the color with white or black, you can change the tint by making it darker or lighter. 

By using different hues, tints, and shades, your company can create an entirely customizable brand.

Now, How Do I Decide?

A recent study found that 48% of business owners did not research the implications of different colors before choosing them. Another 65% chose colors based on their personal preferences, rather than what the color might mean for all. 

A business must begin to understand what type of emotions they want their brand / product to evoke or who to appeal to. Who is your audience?

Some suggestions for figuring out your business’ colors:

  • If your brand is not clearly defined, make a list of 30 or more adjectives to describe your business. These adjectives must encompass the brand’s ideal personality and the audience you are trying to communicate to.
  • Research other businesses in the same industry to see how they use colors. You can choose to follow suit or stand out with a different color. 
  • The website 99designs.com can help businesses who are either re-branding or just starting. The site offers an interactive tool that assists a business in finding their primary color. 

When you find and decide on your brand’s colors, it is crucial to stay consistent. Use your primary colors in your logo, website, in-store décor, product packaging, advertisements, and promotional materials. Being consistent with your color throughout your business will strengthen consumer’s association with your brand. 

Is it time for your business to re-brand? Or if your business is in the beginning phases, will you consider color theory when coming up with your brand identity?

Published in Coworking Blog