Are These Things Sapping Productivity At Your Business?

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There are many things that go into a successful business, but productivity is one of the most important. If you’re not keeping up standards in productivity, then you’re going to risk falling into bad habits as a CEO, and allowing your business to just keep ticking over without really going anywhere. Strangely, the upper management of any business can often be pretty disconnected with the things that end up sapping productivity in the workplace. Here are a few that you should be looking out for.

Chaotic Emails

If your employees are living in their inboxes, then it may be time to make some changes. While it’s true that email is pretty much essential to any modern business, if your employees are spending too much of the working day sorting through a chaotic slew of emails, then they’re going to be spending less time actually fulfilling their roles! If workers are drowning in emails, or using them as an excuse not to work, it may be time to find more efficient communication method.

Hazy Work-Life Boundaries

This is one that can work either way. If you’re being too lax with your employees and letting them take personal calls in the middle of the work day, or you’re always calling them at home and getting them to polish off little tasks, then it’s invariably going to sap efficiency. Depending on what the problem is, your workers are either going to be dragging themselves through the work day, or be so over-worked that the unnecessary stress leads to a burnout. Make sure you’re not letting laziness slide, and that workloads are being spread out fairly over everyone.

Untidy Working Environment

While some people would still be able to work in a literal pigsty, a dirty or disorganised office is going to have a negative impact on most people’s productivity. Aside from the added risk of sickness (and therefore sick days), a clean, tidy office has been proven time and time again to have a positive impact on staff morale, which in turn makes it easier for them to get stuck into their work. Take a moment to look around your office. If you know that it’s seen better days, then have a word with your cleaning staff, or look into outsourcing the job to a professional office cleaning company.

Lax Deadlines

Are the deadlines you set individual workers being treated more like guidelines than non-negotiable rules? Sure, someone occasionally slipping five or ten minutes over to polish off a piece of work isn’t going to make much of a difference. However, if extensions are taken as a given, and nothing’s being delivered on time, then you may be breeding a company culture where laziness is no big deal. No one wants to be a dragon of a boss, but if you keep letting deadlines slide it’s seriously going to harm your company in the long run. Start cracking down on people who are going over deadline, and make sanctions if necessary.

If you’re worried about your business’s productivity, scour it for these issues, then stamp them out!

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Drive Away Stress: Avoid These Common Road Frustrations

In many cases, driving makes your life less stressful. Having a car makes it easier to get to work in the morning. You can also take fun road trips and holidays with it. Sometimes it can even be an enjoyable hobby to take a drive. But at other times, being on the road can drive you crazy.

Studies reveal that road rage is rising, especially in busy city areas with congested traffic. Issues such as car breakdowns and rude motorists can quickly send drivers into a tailspin. No one wants to be stressed out, so use these methods to avoid common road frustrations.

Avoid Busy Traffic

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One of the biggest sources of frustration for all drivers is getting stuck in traffic. When all you need to do is get somewhere, congested roads holding you up can make your blood boil fast. That’s why it helps your stress levels if you avoid busy traffic.

You might want to plan your journey around how busy the roads are. Some apps can give you information on current traffic. If the route you need to take is too busy, it might be worth waiting for the roads to die down.

Of course, this isn’t always practical. For instance, you can’t waste time when you need to get to work in the morning! Another method that can help is simply taking a different route. Find quiet roads to cruise through. Even if the distance of the route is longer, avoiding traffic will save you time.

Prepare For Car Problems

In an ideal world, you’d never have to deal with a flat tyre or a broken windshield. But accidents happen, and sometimes car faults can emerge out of nowhere. The best approach to take is to prepare for these things happening.

Make sure you know where you need to go if an issue occurs with your car. Knowing the nearest mechanic will also help. You might also want to find an auto electrician in case you need help replacing a car battery.

You can also save some stress by handling some repairs yourself. Keep a spare tyre in the boot of your car in case one of yours goes flat. It’s also simple enough to replace windshield wipers or lights as long as you have spares handy.

Cut Down Costs

The costs of a car can also be stressful. Having to fork over your dollars for regular fuel refills can be frustrating. There’s also insurance and repair expenses to deal with, as well as the cost of the vehicle itself!

If your car is costing you too much every month, consider a replacement. Using an old banger until you get on your financial feet can save you a lot of money. Make sure you also compare all insurance deals and protect yourself against high insurance fees.

Ditch The Car

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Want to know a surefire way to avoid the stresses of driving? Don’t get in the car! By finding other ways to get around more often, you can save yourself a lot of frustration.

For instance, is your daily commute driving you mad? Consider cycling to work. It’s a healthy way to travel that also reduces stress. You could also consider public transport or you might even want to take a Uber ride.

Only driving when you need to will also reduce your fuel costs. Of course, it also makes car faults less likely to happen. It’ll save you all kinds of road stress, so take a walk more often.

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The Best Ways To Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

So you’ve built a successful business, but running one is hard work. You’ve got countless things on your mind, clients, staff, machinery upkeep, fees, rent, the list goes on. Here are a few nuggets of information which you can use to help keep your business running just like it should.

Keep Your Colleagues Happy

It goes without saying, but there are many companies which put their colleagues at the bottom of the pile, with high staff turnover draining funds and time. If you keep your guys happy then they won’t leave, meaning their experience stays with your company. Invest in their training and upskill them as often as possible, It’ll only benefit your business in the long run.  Make sure you use team building days to keep things fresh and allow each and every colleague a chance to put their own suggestions forward. Some of the best ideas come from those on ground level, meaning you could increase productivity.

Outsource Your Administrative Work

Human resources and administration can become a time-consuming task, one which requires expertise and sensitivity. So why not outsource certain aspects of your business administration to the professionals. For example payroll services can be acquired to ensure your team’s pay is always on time and never late, meaning they stay happy. It also means your colleagues are less burdened by admin tasks and can focus on the work at hand.

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Keep Your Equipment Up To Speed

It’s a simple one, but not all businesses abide by it.  How hard is it to upgrade to the newest iteration of your operating system, or get a specialist analyst to come in and take a look at exactly what you need. You can hire them freelance so it isn’t that expensive and can increase your workforce productivity exponentially. It also means keeping simply office based equipment at hand, pens, pencils, paper etc. Your colleagues can only work if they have the tools to do the job.

Ensure Your Break Room Is Top-Notch

Having a quality break room for your employees is understated. If they have a great place to take a break then they come back feeling refreshed and get straight back into work. But if they come back feeling like they haven’t had a break their work will likely be affected. It also means they get a chance to talk about something else entirely, letting them truly take a break. It fosters a team mentality and allows each and every person to have that distance from work. The positive effects or significant.

Lead By Example

If you lounge around watching your employees work, then they aren’t going to work as hard for you. If you lead by example, showing them a great work ethic they’ll follow suit. No one wants to annoy the boss, but if he’s lazing around they’ll think they can too. To get the best out of your guys you need to show them you’re willing to get your hands dirty.

Keeping your business running to a high standard isn’t easy, but by following some simple loose rules you can make it easier for not only yourself, but your colleagues too.

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How To Have THAT Conversation About Ageing (And What To Do After It Too!)

Talking about ageing with your family can be far from easy. From your perspective, it can be upsetting. After all, most of us are very emotionally close to our family members, and the thought of them leaving us can cause trauma. On the other hand, it can cause your aging relative themselves to become distressed or even offended. The current aging population are very proud and some of them will be offended if you try to offer them extra care – even if you mean well. This is why it is vital that you approach all topics tactfully and in a calm environment. All of us age and that can’t be helped. But what we do have control of is how we deal with it and what measures we put in place to make sure that our lives, and the lives of our relatives, remain as good as they can be.

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Maintaining independence

Due to various health problems that can arise in the elderly, many older people are unfortunately unable to continue to live independently. This can be a daunting prospect for someone who has been independent all of their life, so approach the topic with caution. Essentially, you will need to decide, with your relative, what the plan should be if they are no longer able to live completely alone. There are quite a few different options here. One that some families take is moving their ageing loved one right into their own homes. But this is not always the best option, as it can lead to family conflict and a disrupted home life for you as well. It may be worth considering a Live -In Care Company who will be able to care for your loved one professionally. Plus, this can allow your relative to stay in their own home too – something many seniors feel passionate about.

Keeping healthy

A lot of older people want to try to deny the fact that their health is deteriorating. But unfortunately, there are no two ways about it. We are simply more prone to illnesses, such as dementia and osteoporosis, the older we get. There are, however, measures we can put in place to help delay the onset of such illnesses. Make sure your relative is eating well – lots of fruit and vegetables, and normal amounts of candy or alcohol. As people age, they may not always be able to cook for themselves anymore. So make sure they always have healthy food on hand that they can snack on, and offer to help them with cooking an evening meal.

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Keeping active

Keeping active in old age relates to both physical and mental activity. It is vital that you encourage your elderly relative to keep walking or even doing sports if they are able to. Choose low-intensity exercises to recommend to them, such as pilates or golf. Walking soccer even exists these days, to help ageing soccer players keep enjoying their game. If a class doesn’t exist near you, why not set one up yourself? As far as mental capacity goes, being socialized helps to keep the brain sharp. So continue to visit your elderly relative on a regular basis, and encourage them to join a local community group where they can gather with old friends too.

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When To Worry About Moles

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No, I’m not talking about those furry little animals that dig up the garden. I’m talking about those little brown blotches that we all have dotted over our body – beauty spots to some, ugly sunburn marks to others. We’re all told to keep a keen eye on our moles, because in rare cases they can be signs of an infection or, at worst, skin cancer. But when should you really be worried? This guide should hopefully help to clear things up.

Which moles should you worry about?

Moles comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. Most are brown or grey, and the majority are flat. They are made up melanocytes – cells that give skin its colour and pigment. Most melanocytes are spread evenly through the skin, but occasionally they grow into clusters, which in turn become moles. Adolescence and pregnancy can cause them to darken.

The types of moles that should be of concern are ‘dysplastic moles’, which can turn into melanomas (cancerous moles). The more dysplastic moles you have, the larger the risk of developing a melanoma. You should look out for moles that are noticeably bigger than all the rest, uneven in colour or smudgy in shape. Moles that change shape or become itchy or start to bleed should also be of concern.

What to do if you think you have a melanoma?

Go and see your doctor, of if you’re worried about wasting their time, talk to a doctor online who is able to set up a video chat. Show them the mole that you are worried about and they will be able to properly diagnose it for you.

You may be recommended to a dermatologist who can provide a full body scan. This unfortunately means getting every part of your body examined (even the parts where the sun doesn’t shine), but if you want to prevent any risk or have previously suffered from skin cancer or problems regarding melanomas, it is your safest bet. Sometimes it may take a year to get the all-clear. In the meantime keep doing regular examinations of your body to make sure there are no changes.

If you don’t get the ‘all clear’

Don’t worry! This doesn’t automatically mean you have the big C.

You will probably be first invited in for a biopsy, which will be able to further tell if a particular mole is benign or a melanoma. A small part of the affected skin will be taken and examined for further detail.

If treatment is needed, know that a melanoma is almost always curable when caught early. The doctor may have to take a larger area of skin than the mole covers just to clear margins.

It is important to know that most moles aren’t melanomas and that sometimes the weirdest-looking of moles can in fact be perfectly healthy. Still, it always pays to check and if you ever have a hunch that one is not right, it is always best to seek medical reassurance.

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3 Interesting Ways Businesses Benefit From Remote Access Technology

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With technology advancing fast, there are many tech tools you may not even know about. It’s hard to keep up with everything new, and your business may be missing a trick! One of the great modern technology features that businesses can benefit from is remote access technology.

All Windows computers have built-in remote assistance features. Macs also feature the Apple Remote Desktop tool. But you can also find software designed for businesses to make remote access even simpler. It’s a highly practical tool well worth considering. But just how can it benefit your business?

Rapid I.T. Support

Dealing with computer problems is one of the biggest hassles in the workplace. Network connectivity issues and software usage problems can bother everyone in your company. Hardware faults and security breaches are even more stressful! Avoiding these problems helps with business efficiency, and that’s where remote access helps.

In-house I.T. support is often costly and not always the most practical option. It’s helpful to outsource your I.T. services, but you might worry about getting slower support. The good news is many I.T. companies now provide instant support with remote assistance software. Modern businesses like WesTec services and many others can help your business remotely.

A lot of modern I.T. companies even offer remote monitoring to identify and solve problems before they slow down your business. You can browse all over the internet and restart your computer without having to worry about annoying errors causing you stress!

Remote Working

It’s helpful to have people in their office at all times, but it doesn’t always happen. You might need employees in your business to travel sometimes, and workers often take days off for appointments. The same applies to you. What if you need to get work done, but you’re not at the office?

Remote access software lets you access a computer from anywhere. It’s a technique Universities often use to let students complete work on their student accounts from home. Many businesses are also making use of this nowadays to make remote working possible.

Many studies point towards the benefits of flexible working. It exemplifies why remote access is a valuable asset for businesses. You can allow employees to take a day off from the office but still get all their work completed from home! But bear in mind remote access software isn’t the only method for this. You can also submit work from anywhere using cloud collaboration tools like Google Docs.

Customer Assistance

While remote access helps you get instant I.T. support, you can also provide immediate customer help. Fast customer service is vital in the digital age, and remote help can go a long way!

If a customer emails you telling you they have problems using your website, writing out instructions isn’t practical. Instead, they can give you access to their desktop so you can show them how to use your online shopping cart or where to find your products.

It’s a vital tool for companies who develop software or apps. Remote access is possible on smartphones as well, so you can show customers how to use your product on computers or portable devices.

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Can You Really Make Your Own Happiness?

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It’s one of life’s biggest questions: can you ever be completely happy and content with your life? Some people will think that it is totally possible. But what if you always seem to be on the receiving end of bad luck and always go through unhappy situations? This then leads us to the next important question in life: is it possible to make your own happiness?

Many people agree that if you go through life with an optimistic outlook, then you are more likely to enjoy your life and feel a lot happier as a result. But how exactly do you make happiness in your life? It isn’t always easy to do. Especially if you are currently going through a rough patch in your life. However, that doesn’t mean that it is completely impossible. You just need to try a little harder! Are you now intrigued to learn how it is done? Here are my top tips that can help you find it easier to make happiness in your life.

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Be Proactive With Happiness

If you want to go from unhappy to happy, you need to make a conscious effort to change. And that means being proactive in your search for happiness. There are a number of ways that you can do this. Firstly, you could think about using self-help books and courses from life coaches such as Bob Doyle. These types of books inform you of many strategies you can use to feel a lot more happy with your life. Not only that, though, but they will also include some ways in which you can improve your work life and wealth. Secondly, you need to get used to changing your relationships and way of life. If you don’t, you will find it very difficult to try to be proactive to increase your happiness in life.

Lose The Bad Links

We all have some bad links in our lives. And by bad links I mean those people who drag us down no matter what kind of mood we may be in. There is no doubt that these people are detrimental to our mental health and happiness. So it is in your best intention to try to cut them out of your life. It could be a particular friend who is always off-loading their own problems onto you. Or it could be another friend who is always asking to lend cash from you and never pays you back. However they may be bringing you down, it is important to cut them loose so that this friendship doesn’t bring your happiness down with it.

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Reassess Romantic Relationships

You also need to reassess your romantic relationship. After all, it isn’t just your friends who can be bad for your happiness levels. Your partner could also be having a negative effect as well. Are you not completely happy with your current relationship? Then you should either consider working to improve it or getting out. Don’t feel bad about ending the relationship if it is causing you to feel unhappy or distressed. If this is the case, it will be in your best interest to bring things to an end. You deserve to live a happy life with someone who truly makes you happy and cares for you. If your current partner isn’t that person, then it is time to get out there and find your one true love!

Be Happy With What You’ve Got

I’m sure most of us will have looked at someone else’s life and felt slightly jealous. Maybe it was because they have a beautiful home or have been very fortunate in their career. However, all this jealousy isn’t going to do your happiness levels any good. In fact, the jealousy could even make them decrease. That’s why it is very important to learn to be happy with what you have already got. So you may not have a large house or a fabulous career. But you will have many other things in your life that you should feel happy with and lucky to have. We all have something that we can be thankful for. By focusing on these and ignoring the lives of others, you will start to be truly happy and grateful for the life you have.

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Get Healthy

Good health goes a long way towards being happy. So if you are completely dedicated to your quest for happiness, you will need to also look at improving your health. Starting to take more care about what you eat will be a great first step in improving your overall health. And so will trying to get fit.  It’s very important to follow a balanced diet and have lots of regular exercise. This way, your body will be in peak condition, and you won’t need to worry about certain health conditions getting you down.

Forget About Treats

Quite a few people treat themselves whenever they are feeling slightly blue. They may allow themselves to have a glass of wine, cigarette or slice of cake. These treats can help to comfort you during distressing times and can give you an instant boost of happiness. This may be great in the short-term, but it won’t be doing your long-term happiness levels any good. And it’s all to do with guilt levels. Most of the treats we allow ourselves aren’t that great for our health. So we are often consumed with feelings of guilt after indulging. In some cases, you may even experience feelings associated with a loss of control. The best way to combat all these negative feelings is to stop with the treats altogether. Focus on long-term goals rather than these quick-fix treats. You will notice a great improvement in your overall happiness levels if you do.

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Learn How To Forgive

Do you always hold on to your grudges? That certainly won’t be doing your happiness levels any good at all! Instead, you need to learn how to forgive. Even if you can’t forgive and forget, just doing the former will do you the world of good. That’s because you won’t be nursing your grudges forever and will find it a lot easier to move on with your life. By forgiving, you will find it very easy to let go of any bitterness and resentment in your life. Which is great news for your happiness. So why dwell on something when you could work on forgiveness and let go of all the anger?

Learn How To Deal With Negative Emotions

Sometimes, no matter how hard you may try, certain negative thoughts and feelings will prevent you from feeling happy. It is important to learn how to deal with these negative emotions. Most people find that the best way to overcome all these upsetting emotions is to practice mindfulness. Don’t worry if you are completely new to mindfulness and other similar meditation techniques. There are many apps that can help to get you started such as Headspace. Mindfulness won’t completely eliminate all of these bad thoughts and feelings.  But it will help teach you how you can cope with them and prevent them from affecting your life. Once you are more in control of all these unsettling emotions, you will find that they rarely affect your life anymore. And you will be able to enjoy being happy.

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Forget About Money

We all know the saying ‘money can’t buy you happiness’. And it is completely true! So one of the most important steps that you need to take on your journey to happiness is to forget about money. Sure, money can help you lead a comfortable life. But it isn’t going to bring you all the happiness in the world. So if you are currently trying to work on increasing your pay package, you may want to take a break and reassess the rest of your life. Are you sure you want that promotion? It might only bring you a lot more stress and anxiety in the workplace. This can greatly affect your happiness, and no amount of money will be able to help you! So rather than focusing solely on money, take stock of your life and try to fix the more fulfilling areas.

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Take Responsibility

No matter what happens in your life, you shouldn’t blame others for your unhappiness. Your life is yours and should be in your own hands. Even if someone is trying their best to make you unhappy, you need to remember that you are in control of your own thoughts and feelings. And you can control these to make sure that you aren’t too affected by the actions of others. There is also another great advantage if you do take responsibility for your life. And that is that you will be able to feel completely proud with all of your achievements. After all, it was you who achieved them and no one else!

So, as you can see, happiness isn’t completely out of reach. In fact, it can be very easy to work towards. You just need to be prepared to put in a little effort so that you can get into the right frame of mind!

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