StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Making a Success of Your Next Big Meeting

When you hold a meeting of any sort, it’s highly likely that you will feel a little nervous beforehand. This is to be expected. Meetings are relatively intimidating situations, and the pressure is on to perform to the best of your capability. However, there are certain steps that you can take in order to ensure that awkward situations are avoided, and you make a success of the entire venture! Here are a few to consider!

Be Prepared

It’s extremely rare that a meeting will pop up last minute. Generally speaking, you will have an extended period of time in advance where you can prepare for the event. But surprisingly, so many people leave planning and work towards their meeting until the last minute. Sure, it’s easy to procrastinate and put things off, but you’re just making things more difficult for yourself in the long run. Rather than driving yourself into a pre-meeting frenzy of research and work, make sure that you are fully prepared well in advance. Not only does this help you to get the bulk of the work out of the way early on, but it also gives you a chance to work out any tweaks or flaws in your proposals and to familiarise yourself with your facts, figures, and other material.

Rent a Professional Space

The space in which you hold a meeting can have a profound impact on its results. So make sure to host your meeting in a professional environment. This will help to form the kind of atmosphere that you want to be associated with in your partner, client, or other professional associate’s mind. Another reason to consider conference room rental is that there will be equipment and tools on hand (such as projectors and flip boards) to help you propose your ideas as easily and smoothly as possible.

Arrive On Time

Good time keeping says a lot about an individual. It shows that they are serious about the meeting and it also shows that they are trustworthy and reliable. It also displays their respect for the individual that they are meeting. Leaving people to wait can be deemed extremely rude. So no matter how close you may be to the place where you’re meeting, make sure to leave early in order to guarantee that you are there on time.

Dress the Part

While casual clothing might be fine for day to day wear while you’re building your company up from the ground, you might want to consider putting something a little more formal on for a meeting. As the old saying goes, first impressions count, and you never get a second chance to make one. So look smart and like the professional you want to be taken for. The person you’re meeting with is much more likely to take your proposals seriously if you look like you take yourself seriously too!

If you follow the above pieces of advice, everything should go exceedingly well. Be prepared, be confident, and be the professional that you know you can be!

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals

4 Must Haves for Your Next International Trip

Whether you’re headed to an exotic destination for your romantic honeymoon, spending a summer backpacking across Europe or planning a fun filled family vacation; you’ll be busy applying for a visa to whatever country you are planning on visiting, obtaining a passport and much more. These are vital to any international trip and should be done ahead of time so that no sudden surprises stand in the way when it comes time to leave the country. It’s a big deal to be traveling outside of the country and you need to make sure you have everything planned and packed accordingly. So, you’ve completed your travel checklist; made hotel arrangements, bought your plane tickets, have your passport and are ready to go! Making sure that you have packed the essentials is a large part of traveling comfortably and will allow you to enjoy a hassle-free trip. Of course, you packed your clothes, shoes, toiletries, money and legal papers; like your visa and passport. Did you make sure to bring the other important must haves along? Let’s look at 4 must haves for your next international trip:

1. A Travel Pillow

You may think that a travel pillow is not necessarily a ‘must have’ for your next trip but bringing along this always needed and often forgotten item can make a world of difference when it comes to international traveling. On average, most international flights are at least 10 to 16 hours long. Having a travel pillow with you will allow you to have additional neck support while sleeping during long flights. A travel pillow can also be used to provide extra lumbar support for extended periods of sitting. Travel pillows have also been known to reduce the symptoms associated with jet-lag. You can also make effective use of a travel pillow during layovers at the airport in between your flights. Don’t forget to take along a travel pillow for your next long trip;

you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without one!

2. A Pair of Ear Plugs

Another frequently forgotten must have for long trips are ear plugs. You may think you don’t need them or maybe haven’t even thought about them, until now. Sleeping is a terrific way to kill time on a long flight and prepare you for arrival so that you are ready to go. However, it can be difficult to do that with all the noise from other passengers, especially if you are a light sleeper. It can be hard to sleep when you hear other passengers talking, the person next to you snoring or a baby wailing from a few seats back. Taking along a pair of ear plugs will help keep the noise to a minimum and provide the peace and quiet you will need, to get some shut eye.

3. A Money Belt

While traveling internationally you will have to keep important documents on you at all times. You also will be carrying cash and other important items with you that you won’t want lost or stolen. Money belts come in many assorted styles and designs to compliment any outfit, without looking conspicuous. Pickpocketing can happen to anyone and unfortunately, most times pickpockets target unsuspecting tourists. Wearing a money belt means, you won’t have to worry about the risk of losing important documents or money, if your wallet or purse is stolen or misplaced. A money belt is a must have for your next international trip. You’ll be at ease during your trip knowing that your money and important documents are safely stored away in your money belt.

4. A Universal Travel Adapter

Not all electrical outlets are created equally. Meaning, most international destinations do not have the same electrical outlets that you may be used to. Do a little research and find out if you will need a travel adapter. If you do need one, it is best to purchase it before your trip to not only save money, but also to get the right one to fit your electronics.  Give yourself time to research exactly what you will need and speak with experts at the store or call the product manufacturer. There are many different travel adapters and you may not know which one you really need. Purchasing a universal travel adapter will ensure the proper outlet design and will come in handy during other international trips. Having this simple device will make traveling easier. When you arrive at your destination you will be able to plug up your phone charger, laptop, blow dryer and more.

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Work, Rest, Sleep – Does It Ever End

It is nice once in a while to remember the good old days when I was a kid.

Nothing too much was expected of me, except to be cheerful, happy and get a good night’s sleep. Years went by and all the stress started to build up. School and college were still the fun part of my past.

But, after that I became a grown up. Now that’s a completely different thing.

From grownups just a few things are expected and in a nutshell it is in fact just 1 thing – work.

A word we all know too well. Work is the basics of everything we know. It pays our bills and rent. It brings food on the table. Working pays for those nice vacations and trips I like to take once or twice a year.

It seems the cycle of working and resting is a whirlpool! That’s how I see it. Just as every day we witness sunrise and sunset, we also go to work and rest.

And this goes on forever. Or it goes on at least until the weekend – then after 2 short days, back to the old routine.

Why is work such a crucial factor in our lives?

I said it already and you surely know it too. Unless I’m a celebrity or a royal heir that gets money for basically not doing much or anything, I’ll be silent and go to work daily.

Still, it is not as tragic as it seems. Maybe sometimes the media brainwashes people?

Until recently I thought work is a terrible thing to do, a horrible experience.

Well, I could be a bit wrong. Working developed me as a grownup person. Now I know the meaning of obligations. I follow a schedule and set priorities first. Not only that I saw interesting post on and they mentioned that our work energy can be effected by not sleeping on the right type of mattress.

I am aware that getting up for work will make me smile at the end of the month when I get my paycheck. I am independent and don’t ask for money. I make the money myself.

That first snooze on the alarm clock I hear doesn’t bother me that much anymore. I can walk to the kitchen blindfolded and make myself some coffee. Get dressed, wash up and go out the door.

It is a never-ending process, but a weirdly pleasant one. After some time, you’ll understand it too.

It will become a nice daily habit.

Look on the bright side – when ‘life gives you lemons’ you can always work harder to forget about the problems and get a raise at least! Grind and succeed!

You can always change something and make things easier for you

Most of us think we chose the wrong education or wrong jobs. It is somewhat true. But this shouldn’t limit you or your potentials.

At first I had a totally boring job, but it was my first job so I wanted to see how paychecks are made. I was curious to know how adults get by.

I finally understood the challenge all adults had – making ends meet with a job they dislike.

To make it even worse, those same adults surely hate their first morning coffee. They complain on sleepless nights. Then they come back home, take a nap and complain about their office hours until nighttime!

Exactly this negativity is the never-ending tragic process. If you change the thinking perspective, it is way much better – trust me!

I sip my coffee with joy, because I have it at my own home before I go to work. In the background I play my favorite music as I get dressed. At least this is 1-2 hours less negativity for the whole day right?

If you think you are so stuck in some job you dislike and don’t want that negative loop until you get old – change something!

Look for a new job. If you can’t be picky, choose the next job that seems better than the one you have.

And for once, please try to go to bed earlier. Just go ‘off grid’ with the Facebook, Twitter, Netflix or whatever.

Lack of sleep is another thing that makes all days seem gloomy and depressive. If you have sleep problems as I did, educate yourself more on sleep from sites like

Your worth is different and you feel useful not just for you

This cycle of work, resting and sleeping goes on and on. And it will keep going that way.

But, people think different of you. You are responsible. You work hard for your money. And because you do that, you can and must feel proud.

I have never met a person that is proud to be lazy and do nothing. You know what’s ‘cool’? Saying to everyone you know that you’re the one that makes the money. Boasting a little bit about what you do and how hard you work for it.

All of these things are not just about you – that’s the point. If you work and feel useful and independent, you also contribute to society. Others will benefit from what you do or will get inspired and motivated.

That’s the reason why elderly people always find something to do when retired. Look up to them. the life cycle of working and resting that goes on forever is not such a bad thing!

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article

Struggling with Stress: How to Have More Fun at Work

According to an Everest College Survey, 83% of US workers are suffering from stress at work, which is often related to a low salary, too many tasks, a lack of job security, a poor work-life balance, or a lack of professional developments.

Unfortunately, stress at work can eat into a worker’s personal life, as they may feel defined by their chosen career. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can combat stress in your job. Find out how to have more fun at work.

Go for a Walk

Whenever your job becomes a little stressful, take a walk to clear your mind and distance yourself from the tasks. The small break will not only help to clear your mind, but it can reportedly increase creativity. You’ll return to work with more passion and determination for a project, so you’ll feel happier in the job role.

Play a Game

Games have been proven to alleviate anxiety and stress both inside and outside the workplace. It can, therefore, be a fun and helpful activity during a lunch or coffee break. So, play a video game in the office breakout room, or enjoy a Unibet game to relax your mind and have a little fun. It could potentially lift your mood, which will make the working day seem less of a chore.

Personalize Your Workspace

Do you have your own office, cubicle, or desk? Put your own stamp on it with a little personalization. Create a fun space you are proud to call your own. For example, you can add stress balls, family photographs, decorative accessories, or you can decorate it with postcards or cards. It will be your own mini home away from home, and it’s bound to capture the attention of other colleagues – so it could be a good way to make new friends at work.

Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun

While it is important to maintain professionalism at work, nothing is stopping you from having a little fun with your colleagues, too. So, stop being afraid to have fun and simply crack a joke, laugh with others, share funny articles, or smile at your colleagues. You will help to create a happier workplace – and you’ll feel happier as a result, too.

Compliment a Colleague

A compliment could potentially make a person’s day, so don’t be afraid to give a colleague some positive feedback each day. For example, genuinely compliment them on their presentation, or ask where they bought their clothing. It will make others feel good, and it will, in turn, make you feel good. They’ll also be more likely to compliment you in the future, too, so you can help to create a more positive working environment for everyone. You’ll be surprised by how something so small can make such a big difference to both yours and another person’s day.

Do you have any helpful tips on how to have more fun at work? Please write a comment below.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

8 Tips for Organizing Your Busy Office

With a large in-house team, it’s inevitable that your office will get into a bit of a mess every once in a while. We know as much as anyone that in the midst of a busy project, paper will get strewn around, files will end up stacked on every available desk space and tables will become buried under office stationery junk.

There are plenty of solutions to this problem which will ensure your office stays a calm haven during busy periods rather than a chaotic heap. Check out these fun and functional office organization ideas that will keep everything in its place and stress levels low.

1. Organized storage

Storage is key – and effective storage at that. Label all drawers and cabinets for easy location when you need to find things. Explain the new system to all employees so that they know where everything should go.

The more storage you can get that fixes to the wall, like shelving units, rather than standing on the floor, means you have more floor space and gives the illusion of a larger area (plus makes it easier for people to get around).

Draft in more filing cabinets and in-and-out trays for mail if you need to have physical files – the most efficient way is always to look into digital filing solutions and give up all paper where possible, to keep your office completely free of unnecessary clutter. There’s nothing that can’t be computerized these days.

2. Combine your appliances

Check out companies like CDS for their Complete Document Solutions, offering office appliances at the best prices. Xerox machines that combine printing, copying, scanning, paper storage, print-from and scan-to USB capabilities and more, mean that you don’t have to take up valuable free space in your office with multiple clunky machines.

3. Cable organizers

This is not only a space-saver but a health and safety savior! Tangled cables lying around are not just a trip hazard but really annoying to navigate. Ensure all your staff can walk around the office freely and quickly by clipping all cables under desks or covering them with floor covers, both of which can be bought online or from office stores inexpensively.

4. Message & pin boards

Pin important documents and messages that the whole team need to see on a big office pin board. This way, need-to-know messages won’t get lost and will be positioned at eye level for all to see.

5. Desk tidies

Give everyone in the office their own personal desk tidy, like a small cabinet or a computer screen platform with built-in drawers. Give each person their own coat and bag hook to avoid personal belongings being dumped on the floor. This means everyone is responsible for their own tidy desks and there can be no excuses!

6. DIY organizing

If you’ve blown your business budget for the month but can’t stand the mess any longer, there are plenty of temporary DIY solutions you can turn to. Use old shoe boxes for filing papers and jam jars as pen pots. Clip cables and wires together and out of the way with crocodile clips and use a long line of parcel string fixed to the wall to clip papers onto and keep desk space clear.

7. Have a spring clean

You’re guaranteed to have TONS of old paper, junk, cardboard boxes, empty wrappers, old appliances, and much more littered around the office that you no longer need and have probably been meaning to throw away for a long time.

Set aside one morning for the whole team to clear out their desks and throw out anything that is no longer needed – you might need to hire a skip! Afterwards, you should all have much more space to breathe and the whole office will be fresh, clean and clear of clutter.

8. Cubby holes

Give each employee a cubby hole for their mail so that parcels and personal mail doesn’t end up littering the office, or worse, getting lost. Try to ensure that everyone keeps their cubby clean and neat – maybe install a bin beside the area so people can throw away any rubbish instantly.