Posts

6 Ways to Stay Motivated and Productive on the Night Shift

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals | 6 Ways to Stay Motivated and Productive on the Night ShiftMany Americans are snug in their beds once the clock strikes the witching hour. This, of course, doesn’t apply to employees who are required to work at night. Some remote workers, security guards, health care professionals and call center agents of companies that offer 24/7 customer support have to work the graveyard shift.

A lot of people wince at the idea of working at night. After all, staying energetic when the city is dark and quiet is difficult to do. If your job or employer requires you to work on a graveyard schedule, don’t fret. You can take steps to make your nights on the job relatively enjoyable.

Here are a few strategies to stay positive, energized throughout the graveyard shift and maintain optimal performance at the workplace:

1. Stay Hydrated, But Moderate Your Caffeine Intake

Coffee is the best friend of night shift workers. The caffeine in this popular beverage can help you stay alert during your shift.

Just make sure that you don’t drink too much coffee. Too much caffeine in your body could prevent you from getting some shuteye once your shift is over. So make sure you drink your coffee at the start of your shift.

If you’re looking for other options, consider drinking fresh juice (or sugar-free, fruit-flavored sparkling water if you’re not a fan of sugary beverages). Staying hydrated will help keep you awake and reduce the risk of dehydration.

2. Commit to a Solid Routine

If you see yourself working the graveyard shift for quite some time, you’ll need to create and stick to a nighttime routine. Switching between nights and days will only make things hard for you and prevent you from being productive.

Here’s an example: let’s say you wake up at seven in the evening to prep for your graveyard shift. Then, you go to sleep on or before 11 a.m. During your days off, follow that routine. Avoid the additional stress of altering your sleeping patterns on weekends.

3. Make Friends with People at Work

As the saying goes, best friends make the difficult times easier and the good times better. If you’re going to work a long, graveyard shift, you’ll want to spend it with people who can make you happy and motivate you to succeed. Great work friends offer an outlet for healthy social interaction. What’s more, connecting with friends helps relieve work-related stress and makes going to work fun.

4. Get Quality Sleep

Staying productive at work is next to impossible when you lack sleep. If you’re having trouble obtaining quality rest time after your shift, try out these suggestions:

  • Minimize the Noise – Although nights are generally peaceful, you can’t say the same during the day. If you live in a busy neighborhood, you’ll likely be distracted by children playing outside, construction work and honking car horns. If these noises are driving you crazy, use a sound machine to minimize or drown out the unpleasant sounds. Alternatively, wear earplugs or wireless comfortable headphones with a noise-canceling feature.
  • Set the Ideal Sleeping Temperature – The temp usually dips at night, making you crave for your favorite blanket. The opposite, however, can happen during the day. You can prevent waking up in a messy sweat by regulating the temperature in your bedroom. Your goal is to replicate nighttime conditions, so that you can sleep soundly and comfortably.
  • Implement Light Control – Sleeping is difficult when you have bright, morning sunshine entering your windows. Regulate the amount of light in your room by installing blinds or curtains that effectively block the sun. If you’re on the budget, put on a sleeping eye mask.

5. Adhere to a Healthy Diet

Fueling your body with the right food can keep you energized and motivated throughout a long graveyard shift. Unhealthy sweet snacks, such as donuts and cookies, won’t do much to get you through the night.

Although sugary treats provide an energy spike, they’re temporary. You’re likely to experience a serious sugar crash hours after eating. This could sap your motivation and make you feel miserable for the rest of the night.

Instead, munch down on small, healthy snacks throughout the night. Foods, such as nuts, raw veggies and fresh fruit, can provide your brain with the nutrients and energy it needs to keep you going.

6. Work Out Regularly

Staying active outside of your work shift helps prevent fatigue at work and keeps you physically and mentally fit. Before your shift, do some light exercises and stretching to get your blood pumping and prepare your mind for work. Also, make sure to work out regularly on weekends.

These suggestions will help you stay pumped and energized during the graveyard shift. Although working at night is hard, it does come with a few benefits, such as higher pay and a shorter commute time.

Ways Of Helping Your Parents After They Retire

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | Ways Of Helping Your Parents After They RetireAt one point in our lives, everyone will get older and dace their own challenges. But with many of us wondering how we can help out parents when they get older. However, with just a few simple steps, it is possible to make sure you are financially stable whilst helping your parents. In this article, we will be providing you with a few simple ways that you can successfully aid your parents in achieving a peaceful retirement.

Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About It

When you are looking to help your parents after they retire, it is important to make sure that you have an open line of communication. Though it may seem strange or even difficult to talk about the later years of their lives with them, this will help you to sort out important things such as care homes should they need it and even funeral arrangements. By having these conversations and ensuring that you are prepared and have a will in order will prove hugely beneficial as difficult as it can be this is vital to keep you happy.

Make Sure Finances Are In Order

In addition to an open line of communication, it is important to make sure that the finances are in order. Whether this is paying off all the outstanding debt that you have or taking the time to put together a savings account to pay off the mortgage a bit faster, this will all help to ensure that your family are happy when it comes time for them to eventually retire.

Consider A Care Home Or At Home Care

Though there are several elements that you need to consider, perhaps one of the most important is the care that they may need as they get older. Though we would love to believe that we can look after ourselves as we get older this is sometimes not always the case. Therefore, looking into some of the care homes Chelmsford options as well as other care homes in the UK, these should be compared to at-home care to determine which is right for you. Though this will take time to show around for, this can provide several benefits throughout retirement.

Consider The Future Of Their Condition

Though this is something that may be hard to think about it is also important for you to consider any medical conditions that they have. Whether this is arteritis or dementia or another disease that worsens over time, it is important to make sure that you have a plan in place should their conditions worsen. Though this may or may not happen, it is important to make sure that you have a -plan to make sure they are getting the care that they need should they become really ill in the future and you be unable to look after them.

With this in mind, there are several elements for you to consider when it comes to helping your parents throughout their retirement, regardless of the savings that you have at the time. Where will you begin?

3 Tips to Take Charge of Your Finances

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | 3 Tips to Take Charge of Your FinancesIf you feel as though you’re not doing enough to save and plan for the future, you’re probably right that you could be doing more. It’s surprisingly common for people to let years elapse before making any life changes that will affect their financial status. In many cases, people simply aren’t able to exercise forward thinking because their expenses are continually in excess of what they earn. The cost of living continues to rise, yet wages remain fairly static. Nevertheless, even when people aren’t earning enough to pay for basic necessities, they often put money towards less important expenditures. Also, they don’t look for savings where they can or make an active effort to achieve better financial health. They simply accept that money is tight and they give up on trying to effect change.

Despite the difficulty of making changes or the realities of having to go without the things that you want, there’s a lot that you can do to take charge of your finances. Small steps towards being more attentive to spending and saving will ultimately give you better control of your financial future.

1. Preserve Your Credit

Even if you’re not planning on buying a home or taking out a loan, your credit score can be a huge factor in your overall financial health. When you apply for a new higher paying job, a poor credit score may be a red flag to a hiring manager. If you want to move into a more affordable apartment, poor credit may make you an unappealing tenant. Furthermore, your credit score can subject you to higher interest rates on monthly expenses such as your credit cards or car payments. Make it a point to check your credit regularly so you can stay on top of any reporting mistakes. Pay your bills on time, and avoid letting outstanding account balances fall into collections.

2. Plan Ahead

Even when you have a lot of outstanding expenses, you still need to think about savings. Having some money put away is extremely important to your financial security. You need two different types of savings accounts. First, you need a rainy day fund that can go towards emergency expenses or help you withstand a sudden loss of income. Second, you need to save as a part of your retirement planning. Although retirement may still be many years away, your efforts to plan for it now will have a considerable impact on when you can retire and how comfortably you can live when you do. Determine what percentage of your income you can set aside each month for both accounts, and don’t deviate from your savings plan.

3. Avoid Frivolous Spending

It’s okay to get yourself some of the things that you want, but you simply can’t buy everything that you want. Put some reasonable limits on unnecessary expenditures. In particular, it’s essential that you don’t spend more for things than you really need to. Avoid paying full price for items that you can purchase at a discount by shopping around or waiting for a sale.

How to Make Your Emails More Professional

StrategyDriven Business Communications Article | How to Make Your Emails More ProfessionalRegardless of who you’re conversing with and who you’re having an email exchange with, it’s important you conduct yourself in a professional manner when using email. Making your emails professional looking will help you attract clients and keep existing ones and will also help your communication be far clearer and easier to understand when conveying information between team members.

There are many things you can do to keep your emails looking professional. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Use an Email Signature

An email signature is a great way to sign off on an email and make it appear organized, professional, and important. To make a great email signature, you can either create one yourself, or use many of the wonderful templates available on this email signature software for Office 365. A good signature should provide all the information an email recipient will need to contact you and connect and may include a name, job title, office number and business address.

Signatures can also be a good way to display a bit of personality and to display your brand in a better way. You can do this by making use of awesome themes, color schemes and fonts that convey your business or your own personal brand.

Avoid Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

There’s not many more worse email offenses than having spelling and grammar issues within the body of your message. This gives off the impression that you’re not professional and that you haven’t put enough effort into your correspondence to make sure everything is in order. A simple typo can easily be offensive and could make whoever you’re emailing with view you in a worse off light.

With tools such as Grammarly, making sure your emails are spelled correctly and formatted well is simple, as the application will scan through your email as you type it, highlighting potential issues. The premium version can also help you write to fit a certain tone of voice, which can be helpful when you’re dealing with different clients and people of different seniority.

Keep Things Short and Sweet

A professional email is one that gets straight to the details and isn’t overstuffed with pointless sentences and phrases. This is because saying the bare minimum will help to avoid misunderstandings as it keeps the content and the instructions within the email clear.

Of course, you’re allowed and are encouraged to ask how people are and be friendly, and it’s critical that you include all the relevant information, but you shouldn’t be writing essays for your emails. In addition, it’s also a good idea to have a line break between each paragraph, to make it even easier to digest.

Make Sure Your Email Address Is Suitable

If you’re using an email address that you created back in your early teens, then it might be worth evaluating it and making sure that it gives off a professional vibe. Too many working adults are using addresses like ‘[email protected]’ and it’s sending off a bad and childish impression. To ensure that you’re professional, change the email to simply your name.

How to successfully work from home

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | How to successfully work from homeThe transition from office to home is almost irresistible. According to Stanford News, the culture of working from home is going to continue even after the CoronaVirus pandemic.

As usual, the home space can be relatively small and the unforgiving environment of destruction. You need to have an ideal working space to increase your productivity. In this article, we have provided some tips on how you can successfully work from home.

Let’s have a look at them.

Create an official workspace

Having in mind that destruction is almost inevitable at home, it is wise to inform your friends and family members that you are at work. Treat it with the seriousness it deserves just like when in office.

However, it is healthy to give yourself a healthy break to prevent boredom and muscle inactivity. You can also empower yourself with office-like tools to facilitate your work.

To deviate from the norm, you can dedicate a working space within the house or a room to enable you to feel different from the typical house set up.

Set office hours

For you to be productive, you need to be disciplined with your time. Working remotely with no organization can cause you to underperform. Create a schedule with breaks like time to eat, rest and time for the family. This will help you get used to that schedule, and you will avoid boredom.

Use a sit-stand workstation

Sitting in one position for a very long time can be toxic to your health. Changing positions is helpful to your muscles and the trunk. With the spine being part of the central nervous system together with the brain, changing position is needed.

It’s important to have a special work space at home, and just the desk could make all the difference. You can use a desk from HADO to help you avoid sitting in one position. An adjustable standing desk allows you to raise it to a comfortable height.

Docking station

You could be having a laptop, and that’s what you have to work from home. Nevertheless, it’s usually hectic to stare on the tiny screen all day, no mouse with a keyboard that demands hunch over.

A docking station will be your best choice that will assist you in converting your laptop to a desktop. This will help you have a mouse, a keyboard and speakers in a separate way.

Chair

The chair plays a vital role in your locomotor nerves, especially with the current trend of working remotely. This, therefore, becomes an essential tool in your efficacy. The choice of your chair will determine your well being because of muscle mobility and blood supply.

A steady blood supply to your system makes your body feel great, and you become productive. A chair that allows you to change postures is usually the best.

Excellent communication skills

Communication is very vital in virtual work. Now that you are not in office to give a physical report, you need to brush over your communication skill to improve on efficacy. Conveying your message clearly and precisely makes the work smooth.

You need to save yourself embarrassment due to poor communicating by polishing your virtual communications skills.

Organizational tools

Averagely, your working space at home is likely to be smaller than the office working space. You could have a room but not big enough or a space at the corner of your living room. This will need a super organization to have your office tools at the right place.

It also entails the creation of enough space for an ambient working environment. If it is a room, you better make it private under lock and key to prevent a lot of destruction. On the other hand, if it’s at the corner of your living room, you will have to arrange it in a way that it doesn’t destroy the aesthetic appearance of the whole room.

Proper lighting

Are you having trouble with your sight or unending headaches? This is the proper time to consider redoing your lighting system. It is advisable to have layers of colours at the comfort of your eyes. This must also blend with the colour of the walls.

During the day, natural light is preferably the best, and so your room should be well lit. Consider all options from ceiling lighting to desk light stand to suit your preference. This must be comfortable for your eyesight and to allow you to get details to the core.

Keep the supplies you often use within reach

To avoid a lot of destruction and unnecessary movements, it is noble to put all you need at your reach. This will save you a lot of time and also keep you professional in all you do.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Weight gain is a common issue among most people working remotely. Having in mind that you are a reflection of what you eat, then it is a good and noble thing to have a healthy eating habit.

This will include having healthy snacks around you and most importantly taking enough water. Having regular exercise on your schedule is one part that most telecommuters don’t consider. Don’t be enslaved by work without exercise because it is toxic to your health.

There is so much in terms of working remotely. There are a lot of innovations about making working at home bearable and productive. It is good to put into consideration all these factors because they are so beneficial.

What else do you do to work from home successfully?