Tips for Being Productive at Work When You’re Running on No Sleep

From The Muse

Step 1: Proofread Everything

When I say everything, I mean everything. That includes obvious things like reading the body of an email aloud before you hit send. Keeping your emails polished gives off the impression that you still have it together, and have enough resources to communicate effectively. No one will know if you spend an extra five minutes on everything you write, but they will notice if you skip this step.

Step 2: Only Write Things You’d Make Public

Before I hit send, I also double check the “to” field. Have you ever accidentally sent an email to the person you’re talk about instead of the intended recipient? Well, situations like this are all the more likely when you’re exhausted. Since you’re not at the top of your game, make sure absolutely everything you say reflects the best of you.

Step 3: Allow for Response Time

Speaking of not being at your best, there’s a higher likelihood your initial take on things won’t be your final take. Give everything some time to process and sink in. You’ll seem just as on top of things as ever as opposed to reacting to things.

Step 4: Save Tough Tasks for When You’re Better Rested

Give yourself a few minutes to think on whatever idea was stumping you earlier that day.


Your Brain Processes 720 Possibilities At Once – Except When You’re Stressed

Brady Wilson for inc.comvacastress_intro

When you’re stressed, your creative, nuanced, higher-order thinking disappears. But you can return to 720 possibilities by restoring your higher-order thinking in a matter of seconds. Here are tips to practice.

Tap into gratitude.

Psychologists say that focusing on your “gratitude anchor” releases a cascade of potent feel-good hormones that flush out stress chemicals, giving you back your smarts.


Name your state.

When are you experiencing significant internal tension and anxiety, you can reduce stress by up to 50 percent by noticing and naming your state. When you name your state, you reduce the stress load and give yourself access to your social smarts.


Take three deep breaths.

When you making your breathing slow and deep, this signal to your limbic system that you are no longer in threat. When nothing is in your way, you’re tapping into all your latent capabilities. You’re equal to the task, functioning at your full ability to perform.”

Be an Effective and Trustworthy Leader



You want to be a leader who thrives. You can’t thrive if people don’t trust you. If you as a leader want the most ‘bang for your buck’ to strengthen trust in your relationships, focus on these seven things first:

Ask what you can give.

Leadership is not about you. Stop focusing on the skills you need, the gaps in your knowledge, your missing credential. Your people are over there right now, bucking at the bit, waiting to set the world on fire. Get in the trenches and help them.

Facilitate breakthrough conversations.

Tune in to misalignment and mixed signals. Untangle situations where people are working at cross-purposes. Help unearth misconceptions and untested assumptions. No one wants to waste their time and energy, and you can build trust through helping people conserve their most precious resources.

Let people know what they can count on.

No one expects you to have all the answers, and everyone knows that change is inevitable and difficult. But what they don’t accept is not knowing what’s going on, not understanding what’s expected of them, and not being certain that you’re on their side.

Provide whole person feedback.

Your poorest performer still has poignant gifts to bring, and your highest performer still has unproductive habits to address. They both deserve your gratitude and acknowledgment for their contributions. Instead of wielding feedback as a weapon, use it to genuinely support steps forward.

Draw the line against gossip.

Don’t participate in it and don’t let it slide. Help people learn to talk with, instead of about, one another when they have issues and concerns.

Speaking of mistakes…embrace yours!

I’ve learned there are key trust building behaviors leaders feel they practice far more often than they actually do. Number one among those behaviors? Admitting their own mistakes.

Know Thyself.

Trust is built behaviorally. Your best intentions aren’t enough. You’ve got to back up those intentions with how you show up

Do You Listen to Music While Working? Here’s What It Does to Your Brain

By Tom Popomaronis for

When the office is almost too much to stomach, music can deliver much needed relief. Before you press ‘play’, however, have a handle on when music will be most beneficial.

Learning = Stop

Learning requires your brain to analyze and remember. When music is on, your brain also has to process auditory data on top of the new material. Because of this multitasking, your brain can interpret the new information and facts improperly or associate them in odd ways. This can be amplified if the music has lyrics.

Noisy = Play

If your workspace is noisy, the brain will try to handle all the individual pieces of data in the noise. All that data processing takes energy you otherwise could use to focus on your job. A noisy workplace can also increase stress levels and negatively impact executive function and productivity. In this scenario, listening to music can block out the potentially overwhelming noise and keep you calm and focused.

Repetitive Job = Play

Various studies have indicated that people who listened to music while performing repetitive tasks performed faster and made fewer errors. Music you like releases feel-good neurotransmitters which can help you feel relaxed and happy and focus better.

New Music = Stop

When you listen to music that’s new to you, the activity involves an element of surprise of novelty. This can ultimately make the music more interesting or appealing than whatever other task you’re trying to do.

New Travel Apps

By John Brandon for

These new apps can help reduce some of the stress involved in travel.

Audi On Demand

You can book the car and have it delivered to any destination you want, and when you first book the car, a driver shows you how everything works. It’s spendy – around $300 per day for an Audi S5 convertible-but handy. For now, it’s only available in the San Francisco area but it will expand soon.


It works like AirBnB for bikes. You find someone around you willing to rent a bike, then pay a rental fee. For relatively cheap, it provides transportation and some fun for an entire day.


This service works a bit like Audi on Demand yet it works more like a traditional rental car company. Using the app, you can rent a car and have it waiting for you. You can use the app to unlock the car and go – it’s that simple.


This is a human-chatbot collaborative app that looks up flights and hotel rates and searches for deals based on your travel preferences. When you travel, the bot also reminds you about the flight and tells you about any delays. You can also ask about public transportation schedules.


The app looks through your calendar and can dial all of the numbers you need for a conference call, which is helpful if you are in a hurry.”

Handling Pet-Related Nuisances

According to The Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO), Boards need a basis for differentiating valid noise complaints from unreasonable ones. To that end, boards should adopt definitions in their governing documents regarding nuisance animals.

 Most HOAs require owners to put their complaints of a nuisance in writing, either in a letter or by filling out a form created by the association. They will then send a letter to the dog-owner letting him/her know that neighbors have complained about the nuisance.

 If the problem continues, the board must hold a hearing with the owner and make a determination that a nuisance exists. Once that is done, penalties can range from fines to banishing nuisance animals from the association.

dog cartoon

What have you done to mitigate issues?  Leave us a comment.

Work Effectively With Your Boss

Knowing your type of boss can help you navigate your working relationship.

“The Hands-Off Boss:

They take pride in giving their workers freedom and flexibility – maybe a little too much so. They won’t interfere with your projects, but at the same time, he may give you limited direction with which to start. Know that communication is going to be key; if you need help, you’re going to have to ask for it. Otherwise, you’ll be left on your own to deal with it.

The Power Tripper:

They may be desperate to climb the corporate ladder and only focused on how work makes them appear in the eyes of their superiors. They may be narcissistic. They may also just like the feeling of power. In any case, you can deal with it by making compromises where you can, and communicating openly about how this style affects your working ability.

The Micromanager:Spending time

They like to dig into the details, stepping on your toes on occasion by telling you what to do and how to do it. It’s best to keep your distance for the tasks you care most about, give feedback, and try to build more trust – most micromanagers are born out of internal anxieties!

The Buddy:

They want to be your friend in the workplace. They’ll always greet you with a cheery disposition, be soft when it comes to feedback or advice, and won’t set strict deadlines. You’ll get more flexibility in your tasks, but you’ll have less constructive criticism on which to build. You will have to ask for feedback directly and build up the discipline to set limits and goals for yourself.

The Shiny Object Chaser:

They lack focus, or at least consistency in focus. They’ll start the week demanding one set of goals, but change their mind by mid-week. They have a lot of energy, but priorities shift far too often for any reasonable person to keep up. The best approach here is to communicate frequently about priorities, hedge your bets by only investing fully when you’re sure a priority will stick, and not taking decisions personally.

The Apathetic Boss:

They share some similarities with the hands-off boss, but they are somewhat more destructive in their processes. They truly don’t care about their job. If you’re the type who thrives on feedback, this will be difficult, so the best approach is to gather feedback from peers.”


Make Meetings More Productive

By Quora

“Below is a process to follow to help in achieving the meeting’s goals.

Have somebody take notes. It normally shouldn’t be you because running a meeting properly takes too much attention to also take notes.

lways keep the goal in mind. Tell people the goal of the meeting at the beginning.

Keep discussion on topic. Sometimes that means cutting people off and sometimes it means specifically asking for input from someone who has not yet talked.

Keep people aware of the time and the goal.

Start to wrap up 5 minutes before the end. Summarize the meeting by repeating the goal and hopefully the decision or progress made.

Identify next steps with owners and due dates of the next steps.


Pokémon Go

How are you handling this in your community?  Leave a comment and let us know.

One marketer is saying it a business opportunity that cannot be missed…

By Larry Kim

Larry Kim is the founder and CTO of WordStream,

I’ve enjoyed watching the conversations happening on Twitter and Facebook this past week between adults–mostly parents–debating the merits of Pokémon Go.

Some are super excited to get involved and catch Pokémon with their kids, thankful they’ve found some common ground. They like the idea of enjoying time outside doing something the kids actually want to do. Others think it’s a complete waste of time.

Whatever side of the fence you fall on about Pokémon Go’s merits as a children’s game, you can’t argue its impact on local businesses and marketing.

Here are three reasons you can’t ignore Pokémon Go–in fact, you’re missing a massive opportunity for your business if you do!

The local marketing potential is amazing.

Inc. columnist Walter Chen wrote an awesome column last week with tips for local businesses to take advantage of their proximity to PokéStops and Gyms. You can throw down a lure to attract gamers to your location, offer thematic specials with signage visible to those visiting Gyms, and more.

You might also want to check out PokéStops and Gyms in your neighborhood or city and see if there are  good opportunities for advertising with brochures or signage.

Of course, all of this assumes you’re actually in the game. You need to know how to throw a lure and see what Stops and Gyms are nearby.pokemon go

Pokémon Go is a marketing gateway drug.

This crazy-addictive game has just blown the doors open on public acceptance of  augmented reality. Users are now spending more time in the app chasing down Pokémon than in their Snapchat, Twitter, and even Facebook apps!

As I said above, we’re actually seeing adults get excited about running around town playing a video game with their kids.

What this means for marketers is that the next time those adults are asked to interact with an augmented-reality interface on their mobile device, it’s no longer a foreign concept to them.

They’re growing comfortable with it.

They even enjoy it.

That’s super important, because pushing new marketing technology on consumers before they’re ready typically spells instant rejection of the concept.

Virtual- and augmented-reality devices are expected to become a $4 billion market by 2018. Pokémon Go just ramped up adoption in a massive way, helping pave the way for businesses that will use this technology in the future to connect with consumers.

It’s important to understand what you’re dealing with.

When something as impactful and popular as Pokémon Go comes along, marketers need to jump in with both feet and get to know it.

We’ve already learned that there are a few potentially serious security risks with Pokémon Go. If you use Google Drive in your business, you’ll want to at least be aware that you’re giving developer Niantic access to your entire Google account by registering to play. You might want to consider using a different Gmail account for experimenting with Pokémon Go.

The second issue identified in Joseph Steinberg‘s article linked above is that hackers are already spreading malware with shady downloads. Because Pokémon Go isn’t available on the App Store in all countries, users are turning to less credible sources to download.

Steinberg wrote, “One variant of such a malevolent version of the app was discovered by the security firm Proofpoint and is quite serious: it infects Android devices and allows hackers to access the infected devices via a backdoor.”

As a business owner and marketer, you need to lead the charge for your team by making sure you understand any risks with new augmented- reality apps. Can you imagine pitching and winning support to use them on a company device, then infecting an internal network?

It would be pretty difficult to get support for trying out new marketing technologies after that.

Pokémon Go is a game changer in the marketing arena. And it’s just now coming out in Japan! We don’t even understand the full impact yet; it’s early days. But smart marketers will be at the forefront, leading their employees and clients confidently forward as augmented reality evolves.

Are you ready for it?

Empowering Your Staff is Mutually Beneficial

By Gorden Tredgold, Founder and CEO, Leadership Principlesprofessionals

“What I love about empowerment is that it’s mutually beneficial.

I Am Not The Source of All Great Ideas

As much as I hate to admit it, I have not cornered the market in expertise. I don’t know everything, and I certainly don’t have all of the best answers. By empowering people and giving them the opportunity to contribute and to solve problems opens us up to the collective knowledge we have.

It Frees Me Up to Work on Bigger Things

When a team is empowered, they take much more ownership and become much more self-sufficient. This, in turn, gives me much more time to work on more strategic or more important things.

It Makes Me Attractive to Work For

No one likes to work for a micro-manager, and I find that the more I empower my teams and give them the freedom to achieve success in their own way, the happier and more productive they become. I then start to attract talented people who are looking for exactly these kinds of opportunity.

It Generates Better Results, Which Puts Me In Demand

Having a reputation for having happy, successful teams also makes you more attractive to other companies and clients. This can lead to bigger and better opportunities.

It’s More Fun

I enjoy work so much more when I get to work in a happy, enthusiastic and successful environment!”