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  1. When it comes to setting goals, don’t let obstacles hold you back

    October 14, 2014 by Jenna

    We have all been guilty of setting a goal and getting side tracked. But when it comes to your career progression it is important to break through the barriers that may be preventing you from achieving success.

    So what are some of the main obstacles that could be holding you back from achieving your goals? Is there something that you can think of right now? More importantly, what can you do to overcome them?

    While conducting research on the topic, I sourced an article on the top obstacles to your goals and added my personal perspective on ways you can overcome the obstacles:

    1. Procrastination – Are there certain items that you have been avoiding and you notice the paperwork and emails are slowly piling up? Do you keep telling yourself – I’ll do it this afternoon, tomorrow or next week? Does it suddenly become urgent and you wish you had tackled it sooner?

    Try this instead:

    – Firstly, be aware of it, admit it to yourself, and take action to change it.

    – If it is a tedious task that you don’t enjoy doing, get it out of the way first and don’t keep putting it off.

    – Set up a list of tasks and put them in order of priority for the day.

    – Set a timeframe in which to complete it, this will give it a sense of urgency and a deadline for you to achieve the task.

    – Repeat this process for longer term goals as well

    2. Lack of time – Whether it is work, family commitments, the daily commute etc. Different commitments will pull at your attention and dedicating time to your goals can be difficult. However, it is important to make sure that you are managing time to balance everything on your plate before you add more to your to-do list.

    Try this instead: Firstly, establish what you currently have on your to-do list and narrow down your top three priorities of the day. By setting yourself three realistic priorities to accomplish you will feel a greater level of satisfaction completing those items as opposed to trying to tackle 54 items at once with no results.

    3. Lack of organisation/motivation – Sometimes when we let projects and paperwork build it can appear overwhelming and you often don’t know where to begin.

    Try this instead: Pick one project and work on a specific goal around it. Get clear on what you need to do to achieve this goal – do research, seek training, and then write out a time frame in which you need to achieve it by. And most importantly, hold yourself accountable for it so that you are continually driving yourself and not losing focus on the task at hand.

    4. Distractions – Meetings, phone calls, emails, reminders, social media connections or a colleague or manager asks you to drop what you are doing to complete and urgent task. Does this sound familiar? Wish you could block out the world long enough to complete that project? But how?

    Try this instead: Sometimes it can be as simple as advising your colleagues that you are working on an important assignment for the next hour or two and to approach you only if it is urgent.  You may need to divert your calls to voicemail for a period of time or put an out of office reply on your emails until you are done. And if your phone or other devices are set to make noises to remind you of appointments or when you receive a message, it may be best to set them to silent. Allocating the amount you wish to shut out distractions is up to you, as long as you can make the most of that time to be productive and achieve your desired results.

    What do you find are some of the major obstacles that you find come up with goal setting or pursuing a goal in your career? What steps have you taken previously to overcome them? What did you learn from the experience?


  2. What Makes A Perfect Team Player?

    October 3, 2012 by Jenna

    We are all different. Based on our recent poll for the month of September opinions were at 50/50 on teamwork. Some love teamwork others loathe teamwork. But let’s face it, whether we like teamwork or not, it is likely that at some point we are going to have to work effectively within a team.

    Teamwork essentially is a group of individuals working effectively together in a way that will achieve better outcomes than what could be achieved individually. Too often when we get busy, rather than using the power of the team, we take on too much ourselves, and start thinking “if I just do it myself I will get it over done with quicker”.

    Every time we do this of course we take on more and more work, get busier and busier, and actually reinforce our own opinions of why we loathe teamwork. Teamwork works when team members help it work, people don’t just magically operate effectively in a team. While it is important to be able to be able to work autonomously at times, one thing that we should also focus on is how we can contribute to our team with the skills and abilities that we have. Not only that, but the more support and trust you build with your colleagues, the more you can gain in return when you need it most.

    So what does it take to be a great team player?

    • Demonstrates reliability
    • Communicates constructively
    • Listens actively
    • Functions as an active participant
    • Shares openly and willingly
    • Cooperates and pitches in to help
    • Exhibits flexibility
    • Shows commitment to the team
    • Works as a problem-solver
    • Treats others in a respectful and supportive manner

    We conduct group interviews on a weekly basis for candidates and part of the reason we do this is to see how individuals interact with one another in a group environment. We know that everyone has to work effectively in a team at some point within their careers. We want to know how team members help their peers, how do they help other team members and share the information?

    Each individual is like a puzzle piece and without that missing link the team isn’t complete. What piece of the puzzle is your team missing? How will you help your team achieve their vision for success?


  3. What are the ways in which you effectively manage your time?

    May 2, 2012 by Jenna

    Time Management. Isn’t that the word we all love to hate sometimes?

    Let’s face it, we can all be guilty of it from time to time. I’ve been reviewed in previous jobs for time management because I wouldn’t handle those difficult tasks first and by not speaking up soon enough which would result in it coming back to bite me.

    But we need to effectively manage our time, otherwise, when will we be able to find balance in life outside of our working environment? We are not machines, so why not get the most out of our time at work so that we can then find the time for our families and friends (and a life!)

    Everyone will have a different tactic or strategy that they like to follow, and for some people time management comes more easily than it does to others.

    I used to work for a company that tried the use of a GO ZONE, where we would take an hour at the same time every day to strictly work on the very important tasks on our priority lists without allowing any distractions. This meant we would have to close our emails if need be, set our phones to voice mail, and not make any attempt to interrupt our fellow colleagues until we set that time for our tasks. For a while I found it was working too, but in the world of events it was not an easy strategy to follow, because as you can imagine, every event held is different, and there is always something last minute or urgent that pops up that you have to drop what you are doing to look after.

    One website I reviewed called smallbusiness.chron.com outlined the common signs of bad time management:

    • Procrastination – avoiding the bigger issues/tasks of the day
    • Tardiness – being late for work or appointments as a result of too many tasks to complete or lack of sleep due to stress
    • Stress and Fatigue – Not having enough hours in the day, therefore longer hours result in less sleep and stress will also prevent a good night’s rest.
    • Lack of Preparation – Poor time management can result in reports not being in on time, presentations not being properly researched, or meetings with clients/customers not going as planned because of the lack of preparation.

    Recently I attended a breakfast event on Managing Your Time – The Recruiters Guide. Even though it was targeting our line of work specifically, there were still a lot of ‘common sense’ steps that could apply to any business and it was good to be reminded of this. The presenter stated, ‘Productivity is a measure of how much you accomplish, not how busy you are.’ Haven’t we all been there where we have so much work and yet it doesn’t feel like we are getting anywhere?

    He also mentioned about our body and how we have natural highs and lows in our energy and motivational levels and we should prioritise the client face to face time or telephone calls during that high period and perhaps set aside the paperwork, data entry, and more routine tasks to our low periods of the day. I have a friend that told me that he doesn’t officially wake up until midday, so I guess you could say his client/customer time would be in the afternoon!

    Another good point which I am often guilty of is ‘Deal with the worst/hardest task of the day first’, something I think we are all aware of but often avoid. And to be honest, if we did those hard tasks first then we would not have to think about it and let it distract us and build up until we finally take the plunge and do it.

    And of course diary management, especially when multi-tasking, is always the best reminder of how are working day will be set out, not to mention a helpful reminder for appointment times. And really there is no excuse when it comes to diary management. We have Microsoft Outlook Calendars, Phone reminders, Written Diaries, Wall Calendars, you name it! At any quiet time of the day you can lay out a plan of your working week, even set appointments way in advance.

    I put together these key points in last week’s poll to see what you as the respondents would rate them on in terms of importance:

    • By doing the most time consuming and least favourite tasks of the day first, allowing you more time to effectively manage the rest of your day – 58% agreed to this
    • Having a GO ZONE where you set aside an hour or two to do your tasks without checking your email or phone allowing distractions – only 21% agreed to this
    • Setting your diary for meetings so that you can better balance the time period in which to complete the remaining tasks – 47% agreed to this
    • You don’t have time to come up with set strategies, you take on the tasks of each day spontaneously – 16% agreed to this

    Everything has a different deadline, I prioritise according to the size of the task and proximity to that deadline. Hasn’t done me wrong in the past! Or if nothing is particularly urgent… I do the fun stuff first. I find it motivating to be able to mix my day up so that it suits me.

    Another website I reviewed called www.thundersgarage.com listed some top tips for effective time management:

    1. Spend Time Planning And Organising

    2. Set Goals

    3. Prioritise

    4. Use A ‘To Do’ List

    5. Be Flexible

    6. Consider Your Biological Prime Time

    7. Do The Right Thing Right

    8. Eliminate The Urgent

    9. Practice The Art Of Intelligent Neglect

    10. Avoid Being A Perfectionist

    11. Conquer Procrastination

    12. Learn To Say ‘No’

    13. Reward Yourself

    While a lot of these points may seem very straight forward to you and you may have heard this all before, as we can sometimes slip out of the organisational stream or become easily distracted I think it is important to often be reminded of effective time management skills.

    This blog will link with this week’s poll: What are the best ways to cope with workplace stress? which will put you in the draw to win a Hoyts Cinema Double Pass so don’t delay!

    Haven’t had your say? Why not add a comment below.

     

     

     

     




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