Posts tagged #Productivity

Helpful Career Habits For When The Time Changes

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Spring is in the air! The weather is taking a warm turn and daylight saving time is among us. That means we’re rapidly approaching the second quarter of the year. How are you doing on your 2019 goals? What changes need to be made to help you stay on track?

While good career habits should be practiced year-round, daylight saving time is a great time to re-energize your productivity at work.

Stay (Pro)Active

Springtime means we can get active and spend more time outside. Carry this momentum into work and be proactive with your projects. Jump on opportunities for responsibility even if they’re outside your job description. Check passivity at the door and take the driver's seat in your career. Not only will this help you learn, but your boss will likely take note the next time performance reviews come around. If you are eyeing a promotion, this is an amazing way to get a foot in.

Practice Time Management

Do you have an important project with a looming due date but you can’t get past your email? Activities like checking your inbox, rewriting to-do lists, and unnecessary meetings can derail your productivity.

Take control of your days by employing effective time management practices. Aim to complete the most important task first thing in the morning. Not all tasks are created equal, so organize your tasks based on importance and urgency using the Eisenhower Principal.This will help you identify the “fires” among the flames.

Another great time management tool is the Pomodoro Technique. For this method, you eliminate all distractions and interruptions during a timed 25-minute period. At the end of the 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this four times, then take a longer break. You’ll be surprised how much you can get accomplished with laser focus on one task per Pomodoro.

Cut Bad Work Habits

Bad habits are just those, habits. And habits are hard to break. Start by identifying them, then work on correcting them. Do you give into office gossip? Or maybe you procrastinate on your projects? We all have bad habits, and it’s how you overcome them that makes the difference. With proactive behavior and a positive mindset, you can overcome your negative patterns and instead create productive actions. Need more help eliminating bad habits? Here are some more tips.

Build On Good Habits

Many thought leaders of our generation have certain habits that boosts their productivity and creativity. Try these examples and see if they work for you. Who knows, maybe waking up at 5 am to workout before heading to the office is exactly the habit you need to start work refreshed and productive.

What work habits do you want to work on this season? At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we’re committed to helping you achieve your career goals. Our blog is one way we do that! It’s full of helpful articles post to peruse to keep your career on track.


Posted on March 12, 2019 and filed under Career.

The 3 Week Slump - What To Do When You Hit A Wall With Your Goals

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We’re three weeks into the new year. Many of you have set goals to land a new job, earn a promotion, switch careers, or improve your skill set.

How’s it going?

Are you on track to reach your goals? Or have you already started to derail?

Regardless of your answer, everyone experiences obstacles and internal resistance when implementing new habits and striving to reach challenging goals. While it’s to be expected, it can be very frustrating.

5 Ways To Get Through The Slump When You’ve Hit A Wall

If you feel you are hitting a wall when it comes to your new year’s goals, you’re in the right place. Let’s chat about 5 ways to get through the slump when you’ve hit a wall with your goals.

Be honest. Don’t pretend that you are on track with your goals if you aren’t. There are no heroes when you’re only limiting yourself. Most of your goals aren’t shared with anyone, so take the opportunity to really be honest with yourself and analyze how you’re doing.

Question yourself. What obstacles are getting in your way? Did you create these walls, or are they out of your control? Spend time brainstorming the issues the you’re facing, keeping in mind that some may be more obvious than others. Once you think you understand what is getting in your way, talk it out with a trusted mentor. Sometimes it’s easier to see problems from the outside.

Tap your creative side. Doing what you’ve always done is only going to yield similar results. How can you change what you’re doing to get back on track and reach your goals? Consider setting up an accountability partner, changing your routine, or even reframing your goals. The solution will be different for every person, and every goal. So be creative and figure out what will truly work for you!

Target smaller steps. It can be overwhelming to tackle your goals, especially if you’ve created challenging goals that are going to stretch you. Stretch goals are good (and healthy!), but if you find yourself hitting a wall, step back. Make smaller goals to reach your bigger goal and then focus on one step at a time. Set yourself up for success and target that first small step.

Keep going. Take a deep breath and release any guilt you feel over hitting the wall. Put one step in front of the other. Keep going. The first three weeks are always the hardest! Don’t let a detour or backstep deter you from reaching your goals.

If you need an extra boost, we’d love to coach you through the process. A career coach may be just what you need to keep going and make it over the three week slump. Contact us today!


Posted on January 22, 2019 and filed under Career.

Bullet Journaling for Peak Productivity

A paper planner can be a powerful tool in the digital age. The market for planners certainly offers a wide varieties to meet your individual needs. What works for me has been the infinitely flexible Bullet Journal. The system, created by Ryder Carroll, has transformed the lives of creatives, professionals, and overwhelmed multitaskers.

Why would I go back to paper when so much of my life is managed using my phone? For one thing, the act of writing helps me remember what I wrote. Research suggests that writing by hand engages the brain’s motor pathways, expanding the connections between what you intend to do and your working memory. Have you ever written a grocery list and then left the list at home, but you remembered what was on it? Writing it out helped you.

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Another reason I love planning on paper has to do with the picture superiority effect, which means that our memories have better recall with pictures than words. I don’t get too fancy with my layouts (check out Instagram and Pinterest for some super creative inspiration), but I do mix up my utilitarian style by changing colors schemes each week. The colors transform the week’s information into a mental picture, making it easier for me to remember the notes I’ve taken in my notebook.

So with science backing up the power of paper planning in recall and working memory, what is the Bullet Journal exactly? First, I recommend going directly to Ryder Carroll’s tutorial to see his process for “rapid journaling” to basically dump all of the thoughts from your brain onto the page, and then later track what’s been done. He has also just released a book on using his system that you can check out if so inclined.

The main features of the Bullet Journal system that attracted me:

  • A dot grid journal with numbered pages

  • Blank pages - no pre-printed pages that I won’t use taking up space

  • Index for tracking what goes where in the journal

The major reason my Bullet Journal works for me is that I keep everything together in one place: my to do lists, my meeting schedule, plus notes for personal and professional happenings. The pages are numbered and I keep track of what’s where by filling in the index as I go through the year. Because the pages aren’t pre-filled out, my meeting notes are adjacent to the current weekly planning layout.

Pro Tip: I have categories for my index, such as my list of months, meeting notes for the Wilbanks Consulting Group, meeting notes for another organization, and my personal-related notes. Keeping these together in my index makes it so much easier to find what I need!

With some experimentation, I’ve figured out that I am most productive when I use a Gantt-style task list that faces my weekly schedule on the next page:

Bullet Journal

Guess what I never use? The monthly calendar page. Since I don’t use this type of page, I don’t include it in my journal. The great thing about the blank dot grid pages is that whatever you need a page to be, it can serve that purpose.

In today’s world, I’ll never operate without my electronic devices. But the truth is that I’m so much more productive when I pair my digital life with the power of paper planning.

Posted on November 13, 2018 and filed under Career.

Practical Tips To Improve Your Focus At Work

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Any given time of year has distractions, but the summer months make it especially difficult to keep your mind from straying to blue sky, green grass, and poolside lounging. Warmer weather is inviting us away from our work, and if we aren’t careful, a lack of focus can greatly hinder our work/life balance.

Keep work at work. One of the greatest bits of advice is to discipline yourself to keep work at work. If you let work bleed into your time at home, you’re more likely to never be fully focused at either place. While at work, don’t book your vacation travel and don’t browse photos of your friend’s recent trip to the beach. Aim for maximum productivity so that when you are at home, you can leave it all behind and enjoy doing whatever it is that helps you relax.

Practical Focus Techniques You Can Implement Today

Saying it is one thing, doing it is another. Here is a summary of practical focus techniques from LifeHacker:

  • Find fun in what you are doing at work.

  • Choose a great desk/chair combo. Be comfortable!

  • Organize your workspace. Cluttered desk = cluttered mind.

  • Make your computer distraction free. Only have your current projects on your desktop. And don’t have shortcuts to social media sites!

  • Have water and food nearby so you don’t have to get up frequently.

  • Make a to-do list and stick to it.

  • Prioritize your tasks and complete them accordingly.

  • Set up a personal work structure/flow and let others know about it.

  • Put in headphones (if you’re allowed).

  • Set your messaging systems to “away, busy, or invisible” for chunks of productive time. Mute your email notifications during these times also.

  • Stay away from social media during work hours!

  • Organize your emails.

  • Redesign your phone use. Every call or text doesn’t have to be answered immediately.

  • Choose suitable music. Instrumental is great!

Once you’ve mastered the art of truly focusing, you’ll be efficient, productive at work, leaving plenty of time to take that vacation you’re dreaming about!

Would you add anything to the list of practical ways to improve focus at work? Let us know by commenting below!

Posted on June 26, 2018 and filed under Career.