April 20, 2018

How to Make Your Next Business Trip More Productive

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When traveling on business, it can be hard to be productive. After all, there are a lot of factors you need to balance while away. But if you use the tips below, you can get more out of your business trip, so you can be both productive, relaxed, and happy at the end of it.

How to Make Your Next Business Trip More Productive

Car Rental

If you spend time waiting for public transportation, it could really eat into your trip itinerary in a big way. Furthermore, you might risk missing an important business meeting or an event. The small amount you might save by not getting a car will pale in comparison to the downsides. Car rentals allow you to have complete control over your time, which when you’re doing business is essential. Plus, renting a car is easier than it ever with online booking and confirmations.

 

Coworking

Having stable WIFI access is becoming more crucial for business travelers today. Without the internet, you can’t hop on to live calls or send important emails. Sometimes you can use the data from your phone, but if you’re out of the country, this strategy might not work. Coworking spaces allow you to rent an office or at least access to WIFI internet for the day, week, or month (or however long you’re traveling).

 

Sleep

Don’t think you can get results if you don’t get the right amount of sleep. It could be tempting to try it all while traveling by working, partying, and getting less sleep. To stay productive, get your hours of shuteye and you won’t regret it. Space out your schedule and be sure you have accommodations where you’ll feel comfortable sleeping.

 

Relax

Aside from simply sleeping, you also need to make sure you don’t work too hard. Take moments for yourself to relax and take in the new environment. Consider a massage or a trip to the spa. Whatever puts you in hour happy place, make sure to make it a priority.

 

Proximity

Book a hotel close to your event or meetings. The faster the commute time, the better. That way you can spend more time practicing what you’re going to say, and less time rushing around from place to place, even if you have a car.

 

Business travel can be taxing if you don’t have the right strategy to make it worth your while. So use the advice above to make your business travel productive for the present moment and the long term. Then, you’ll be able to have peace of mind that you made the most of it and didn’t waste precious time during your travels.

Would love to hear your tips and tricks for traveling.

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How to Streamline Your Company’s Clunkiest Processes

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If you run a business of any kind, then you already have several processes in place that help you get work done in a more efficient manner. Sometimes you may not have defined exactly what these processes are, but you’re doing some kind of process whether it is efficient or not. The key is to find out which processes are necessary for your business and streamline them as much as possible. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here’s how to make it happen for your own company.

How to Streamline Your Company's Clunkiest Processes

Define

Without a clear definition of your end goals, you are prone to run your business in circles. Start with a defined purpose for each task, not just a to-do list. For instance, emailing five customers or calling five customers might each be on your daily list, but they might support the same outcome: getting more sales. If you turn the sales steps into a documented process, you can stay focused on the end goal. This is an example of defining what you want before getting busy.

 

Assign a “Why”

Knowing why your outcome is what it is will help clarify your clunky processes as well. For instance, perhaps sales are important to please the shareholders and get your bonus this year. Or perhaps it’s because you need the extra capital to buy a new building. This motivation will help you keep going through the process even when it seems mundane. This can also help employees grasp a bigger picture and help them feel connected to the business as a whole.

 

Get the Right Tools

Without the right tools, even the best workers will suffer in terms of productivity. That’s why you need to have key systems in place that help you do more in less time, such as manufacturing software. Instead of having your projects spread out and bouncing between people or places, your project lead can delegate all manufacturing stages from one central dashboard, share files, and keep tabs on the progress of each project in real time in the cloud.

 

Review Regularly

Once you’ve defined what your goals are for your process and have the right tools in place, you still need to maintain it. Periodically perform a review of your systems. Make sure they are still meeting your needs and aren’t wasting more energy than necessary.

 

When it comes to business, efficiency is everything. Without efficient business processes, you risk wasting not just time but also money and energy from your employees. By streamlining your processes with the tips above you can enjoy a competitive advantage that puts you miles above your competition, and saves your company resources for the places you can really leverage them.

Share your favorite tool or program and how it helps streamline your processes.

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Productivity Hacks for Improving Professional Performance

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We all have our days where everything runs smoothly, and we achieve an outstanding amount of work. We also have our days where it seems that nothing is going our way. Despite our desire to perform flawlessly every day, there will always be days where we are not performing as well as we should be. If you’re dealing with one of these days, here are some productivity hacks to improve your professional performance.

 

Clear Your Plate

stress, sales, business, exhaustion

Believe it or not, the problem you are having is most likely due to an excess of tasks. When we have too many things to do, we become overwhelmed and stressed, which makes us want to procrastinate and avoid our work rather than tackle it. For example, you can outsource some of your marketing tasks to specialists. Simplify your to-do list and only focus on the things that you must get done today. With less on your plate, you can focus and utilize your energy effectively.

 

Take Breaks

professional young

We live in a busy society that glorifies people who can work all day without resting. Unfortunately, this is not how our bodies and minds function. Instead of forcing yourself to work for hours on end, give yourself a break when you finish a major task. This will give your mind time to rest and energize before taking on the next big project.

 

Batch Tasks Together

It can be distracting to go back and forth between similar items. For example, let’s imagine that you have to write a few emails, tackle a project that is coming due, and then write another email later on. Breaking your focus by separating tasks like this is sure to ruin your productivity. Batch similar tasks together and accomplish them all at once to get them out of the way. Using this method, you will get all of your emails out of the way and you will have an easier time devoting your focus to your project later.

 

Boost Your Energy

office team

Sometimes, our slow performance is because of our energy levels. If this is the case, consider taking more caffeine throughout the day or even nootropics. According to MindLab, nootropics encompass “a huge variety of different compounds, including simple things like vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal extracts and even some synthetic substances. Most specifically, they’re supplements which improve things like brain power, focus, memory, and reaction time.”
The most important thing to remember is that bad days will pass, and that’s good news. As a hard-working professional, you need to bring your “A” game every day. For more tips about improving performance, schedule your coaching session with Shannon today!

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an “Office Family”

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an "Office Family"

You spend at least 8 hours every day at the office. You work with them, chat with them, eat lunch with them, and more — they’re basically your family away from home. But just like any family, creating an environment where these people actually feel like family takes effort. You need to have a shared sense of purpose that everyone is striving to achieve. If you’re feeling stumped, here are some ways to get started:

Foster Productive Open Dialogue

Part of building a team is being able to communicate effectively with one another. This means that all members of the team need to contribute to achieve success. Evaluating employees’ communication skills first can help you determine areas of weakness that may need training. There is a difference between talking to fill the silence and engaging in meaningful conversation. Productive dialogue involves the give and take of ideas. When dealing with hurt feelings, modifiers need to be added to the conversation. This means that one person states how the other person made them feel without laying blame for the situation.

Establish Rules for Interactions

Just as in a family, there must be rules that lay out ways to have positive interactions with each other. There also needs to be clear avenues for how to address grievances. You want your team to feel as though they’re valued. Everyone has something different that they can contribute to the team. Having ground rules can make these interactions more productive for the entire workplace.

Participate in Team Building Workshops

Team building workshops are a good way to get everyone on board. It’s most effective if you do this by signing up for structured courses. These programs are designed to engage everyone that attends, often involving group activities. The point of the activity is so that your team can learn how to work together to achieve a goal. The instructor can observe the interactions and make suggestions to correct behavioral problems. After the workshop, teams often experience “improved productivity, greater bottom-line results, and more quickly attain organizational goals” (CMOE Corporate Team Building Workshops).

Encourage Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Those that practice active listening are more likely to be successful at work. This means listening to what the other person is saying before formulating your response. Repeat back what you think you heard. This way there won’t be any misunderstandings. This can lead to a more harmonious workplace and can also foster an environment of respect and trust.


Even the best technology and business models can’t succeed with successful relationships (Forbes). Having good workplace dynamics improves productivity, employee morale, and the quality of work produced. A large part of this involves communication. In order for your team to be successful, pretend you’re a family and work together.

We offer business and marketing consulting to increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes. Book a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with Shannon today!

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