Category Archives: Productivity

How to keep staff motivated this Christmas

How to keep staff motivated this Christmas

December can be one of the most challenging months of the working year, and keeping employees engaged and focused on their work can be tricky. According to a recent study, two-thirds of employees will use paid time to do their online Christmas shopping at their desks, meaning that businesses could stand to lose hundreds of hours in productivity. There often ends up being fewer man hours to get the same volume of work accomplished, and for some, end-of-year targets need to be met and budgets and planning for the year ahead finalised. Juggling work with personal family commitments can create a number of pressures and distractions, and so it’s no wonder that during the festive season, employee morale and motivation can dip.

The top things you should aim to achieve before Christmas

The top things you should aim to achieve before Christmas

I’m aware there’s a certain irony in me writing this post, as I still have an awful lot to accomplish before Christmas! I’m sure it’s the case for many, and so before we get swept up in the usual Christmas panic, here are some ways in which we can maintain our normal pace of work, and focus on the things that really matter. Once we’ve cleared the decks, it will mean that we can leave the office with a clear conscience, switch-off from work and have a truly restful Christmas…

10 practical ways to improve yourself professionally

You’ll need yourself at your best if you want to succeed in any type of job. Of course, no one is born perfect, so you’ll have to go through some trial-and-error before you start noticing your mistakes and improving upon them. You shouldn’t feel discouraged because you made some mistakes; you should look at them as lessons for the future! Luckily, there are ways that you can improve yourself without having to learn through errors. Here are 10 practical and proven ways to improve yourself professionally!

10 hacks to help you appear smart in meetings (infographic)

10 hacks to help you appear smart in meetings (infographic)

For reasons that I’ve never been able to fathom, some companies just love to call meetings, for the most trivial to the obscure of reasons. I’ve even been known to receive an invite to a pre-meeting, to discuss what we will be talking about at the actual meeting! Very often these meetings, which lack any true purpose, generate very little in the way of action points and are promptly forgotten or sidetracked once everyone has left the room.

How to get more done in an open plan office

How to get more done in an open plan office

The open plan office was set up to encourage disclosure, discussion and debate. At the time it broke down traditional office hierarchies, sitting managers among the ‘workers’ and promoting a more flexible and democratic way of working. It saved companies money too, as the need to construct large, fancy offices for senior management was drastically reduced, as was the overall volume of office space needed.

5 ways to ensure you are consistently operating at your peak

5 ways to ensure you are consistently operating at your peak

The Christmas season gives many of us a chance to take a break from routine, spend time with the family and recharge our batteries. As January looms and the start of a new year is upon us, it’s an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and set goals for the year ahead. That sense of a fresh beginning and new challenges has never been lost on me, and now is a good time to be evaluating whether you’re consistently performing at your peak, or whether day-to-day distractions and the demands of others are too often getting in the way.

5 easy steps you can take to become a morning person

Morning person

Are you the sort of person who bounces out of bed when the alarm goes off, excited to begin your day? Or maybe you’re a little more like me…hitting the snooze button, dashing around the house frantically trying to get everyone organised, running out the door, and needing a strong coffee before you can really get started with your day? Well at least that’s the way I used to be, but recently I’ve been working hard to become more of a morning person, and I’ve discovered some valuable lessons along the way.

5 things to do at the start of your working day

5 things to do at the start of your working day

Do you frequently have that realisation that it’s 10am already, but you haven’t really accomplished anything yet? You might have made a coffee, browsed through a couple of articles, jotted down a quick ‘to do’ list, had a chat with a colleague and responded to a few low priority emails…but really, in that first hour or so, you know you haven’t begun to tackle anything substantive.

7 strategies to help boost your concentration at work

Help concentration at work

When I began working from home 10 years ago, the lack of office distractions and my newfound freedom to focus on a piece of work for an extended length of time, was a revelation. It was a novelty that has never worn off, and I look back on my years of office-filled banter, sitting within a busy newsroom among journalists who were continually talking on the phone, and I wonder how I was ever able to get anything done!

How top managers motivate and energise employees

How top managers motivate and energise employees

People typically leave a company for one of three reasons. The first is that they don’t see themselves as a good fit for the business, or feel that their work matters. The second is that they haven’t forged close enough bonds with their co-workers, or established enough respect for them. But the third and most common reason is that they’re unhappy with their boss, which in up to 75% of cases is the single driving factor.

Is a daytime nap the secret to business success?

Nap during business day

According to Google…yes! So much so, that its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, are kitted out with high tech sleep pods, where employees can go to recharge their batteries. These EnergyPods are said to incorporate NASA science, enclosing the occupant within a private space which shuts out any external stimuli, and reclining them in the optimum resting position to provide maximum blood flow throughout their body. If that’s not enough, there’s a built-in Bose music system for those who like to drift off listening to something relaxing, and a timer system gently wakes the occupant using light and vibration when it is time to get up.

The one productivity killer you’re overlooking

Productivity killer

“You’re not watching with me.”

“I am! I can do both, I have to check something.”

“Then check and then we’ll watch the show.”

“It’s fine, just keep watching, I’m paying attention.”

“But it feels weird to watch alone while you’re doing something else.”

“It’s fine, I’m watching. Here, I’m putting it down, you happy?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“So catch me up.”

25 daily habits that are killing your productivity

Habits killing your productivity

Some days it seems almost impossible to be productive.

There are beeps and buzzes coming from your phone and calendar notifications on your laptop for upcoming meetings. These are just a few of the distractions that small business owners and employees experience on a daily basis. To fight the distractions and stay on top of things we try different productivity hacks. Most of the time they’re ineffective.

Six things I discovered from giving up Facebook for a month


I have been a member of Facebook for well over a decade. To begin with it was a mild distraction which I would log into every few days, to contact a friend or look at some photos. But over the years I have become acutely aware of my growing addiction, and at times I would find myself scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I should have been focusing on a piece of work, or giving something else my full attention. It was wasting time and my concentration was suffering, and it was obvious I needed to do something about it. The perfect opportunity presented itself when my six-year-old daughter suggested I give up something for Lent…