Business

5 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” – Thomas Edison

Work-life balance is a term used to describe the balance between time allocated at work and time allocated for other aspects of an individual’s life. While work-life balance looks different for every individual, studies have proven that too much time spent with work leads to overall unhappiness with life.

Only you can find the perfect work-life balance ratio for yourself, so here are five tips to help you along your way.

1. What Matters

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “go” of life, that we forget what is important to us. Consider making a list of the values you hold vital to who you are. After making this list, compare it to what you are currently doing. If your actions don’t match, it is time to consider changes to your life that will increase your passion and happiness.

2. Schedule Your Passions In

Whether your passion lies in yoga, lifting weights, or writing poetry, it is important to schedule time for activities that fulfill you. The human mind and body require time to unwind. By constantly bombarding yourself with work stressors, you can start feeling drained. Taking time to partake in activities that make you happy will allow for you to relieve stress and ultimately perform better at work.

3. Say No

Opportunities present themselves on a daily basis. Living in a fast-pace society has taught us to make decisions quickly. Consider taking more time before committing to opportunities. While taking this time, think about how the opportunity will benefit you. Will it provide more reward than a previous work experience? Are the rewards worth my time and dedication? By considering important factors to you and your business, you can say yes to the rewarding opportunities and no to those that are unfulfilling.

4. Hard Stop Time

Whether working in the office or remotely, it is important to schedule your day. By scheduling a specific leave time or “hard stop” time, you can hold yourself accountable to the things you must accomplish before you leave work. By telling co-workers, family or friends your hard stop time, they can assist in holding you accountable for leaving work at work.

5. Unplug

Technology has allowed us to become available at nearly any time to our professional capacity. As a result, we check our emails, text messages, and notifications every waking hour. To improve work-life balance, turn your phone off when surrounded by family and friends. It is not enough to be physically present, while mentally at work. Doing so will improve the quality of time spent with those close to you, fulfilling both you and them.

Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate

Strategies for Managing Multiple Projects

Sometimes it may feel as if you are drowning in deadlines, projects, and work. How do you stay on top of the mounting list of tasks while creating a quality product you are proud to stand behind? These five tips will help you better manage your projects.

1.    Prioritize

Some projects will take extended lengths of time. Other projects will have an enclosing deadline. By using a calendar to set times of when you should be working on which tasks, you will be able to better prioritize. Setting reminders on your phone, using Google calendar or a traditional planner, will help decide what needs to get done when.

2.    Make a Check List

A check list is a great way to visualize what needs to get done from your calendar. You work hard! A checklist is a great way to reward yourself for that hard work. Physically checking something off your list will allow you to see how much closer you are to finishing your goals. It will make working hard even more rewarding! 

3.    Delegate

While it can be hard to assign tasks to others, it is a must to meet deadlines. It is key to surround yourself with individuals who hold a similar work ethic to your own. When you can trust the people around you, managing multiple projects becomes easier.

4.    Stay Organized

When working with multiple clients on multiple projects, it is important to have your ducks in a row to maintain good relationships. You do not want to send the wrong material to the wrong organization! While mistakes happen, staying organized through tools such as Asana, Trello, and Dropbox will help eliminate common errors and keep everyone happy.

5.    Communicate Openly

If you are aiming to improve your life in any area, chances are open communication can help. Being able to come to people with your concerns, issues, and challenges will make for stronger and longer lasting relationships.

Life is a balancing act, and how you choose to balance it is half the battle.


Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate

 

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5 Ways Highly Successful People Stay Positive

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

It’s nearly impossible to stay constantly optimistic and on cloud nine at all times of the day. However, learning to dance in the rain is an important skill to master. When it comes to success in life, it’s critical to understand your mindset is in your control, and great success is truly achievable when positivity shows through in times of adversity.

The most successful people in society seem to have this skill grasped. Here’s a list of how highly successful people stay positive.

 1.    They believe in their abilities.

Failure is a scary thought. It’s important to remember that everyone, even the most successful people have failed at one point in their career. Trust in your abilities and take risks. Learn from your mistakes and know that failure is not what defines someone. Approach new tasks with confidence and believe that you can either succeed or learn from your mistakes.

2.    They continuously set goals.

Set goals. Some prefer setting smaller goals, such as daily or weekly intentions. Others prefer long-term goals. Whether your goals are small or large, they’ll keep you focused, motivated, and on track.

3.    They practice gratitude.

It’s easy to continuously look towards your future plans and dreams. However, it’s still imperative to remember how you got to where you are now, and give thanks. Take time to appreciate the people who have helped you succeed thus far, and know that practicing gratitude creates positive emotions, ultimately helping you on the road to success.

4.    They look at the bright side of situations.

Nothing is dark forever. There’s sunshine right around the corner. Another chance, another choice, another possibility, and another opportunity are up ahead. You have the choice to look on the bright side and look for silver linings. Optimism pays off.

5.    They’re dedicated mentors and learners.

Successful people don’t just settle. They’re not afraid to learn and are constantly seeking new advice, concepts, ideas, and skills. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to do better and work harder, and those who teach you valuable lessons. Push yourself to think outside of the box and never stop learning.

 

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” –Helen Keller

 

Love & light,

Alex 

Network Your Way To Success

Networking may come easier to some than others, but it is an essential way to build relationships for a long-term investment.  We live in a connected world, making networking an essential way to gain professional opportunities. People like to do business with people they know and trust. If you are curious about the preparations and expectations that come along with networking, here are four things to know.

Networking is Constant

Every person you meet could lead to a potential network opportunity. Networking never stops, so be ready to make a good impression. Be ready to interact with anyone at anytime. You never know who you may run into to network with, it could even happen at the grocery store.  

Relate

Actively engage in conversations - you’re searching for inspiration, knowledge, and advice in every person you meet. Find a topic of interest to help connect and build an even better, more relatable relationship.  It is easier to remember someone if that person is connected to something else, for example, with a similar interest. It is also important to remember good conversation comes from being a good listener.

Follow Up

It is important to understand the power of communication and relationships. It is difficult to have a relationship without communication. After meeting someone at a networking event, connect with him or her again. A good way to do this would be via email or through social media, like LinkedIn. Message them along with comment on posts to stay engaged and help continue to build the relationship. This will grow your networking database even more.

Tip: Gather business cards at network events so it is easier to connect with those your meet.

Meet People Through People

When meeting someone new, take the time to make a real connection. The person you meet has hundreds of other connections that may be relatable to you, and likewise. Ask contacts and people you meet, selectively, if they know anyone that may be able to help you. The goal of networking is to not only meet people but to tap into the network of the people you meet as well.

 

All the best!

Rebecca

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

De-Stress During your Workday

It’s completely normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed at times in the office. Workdays can be chaotic, challenging, stimulating, and busy. However, it’s important to step back, relax, and take some time to ease your mind to be productive to your fullest potential. Here are a few simple tips to help you calm your nerves and chill out. 

1.     Turn on mood-boosting music. Music has a natural way of boosting positivity, providing inspiration, and calming anxiety. If your office is quiet, bring headphones with you every day. Music can stimulate productivity too, so it might even help you complete your tasks quicker.

2.     Buy a small essential oil diffuser for your desk. Natural essential oils like lavender, rose, ylang ylang, bergamot, and chamomile can provide relief as a natural remedy for anxiety. Put a couple drops of oils in your diffuser and take a few slow, deep breaths. You can even close your eyes, picture yourself at your favorite place stress-free, and try to mediate for a couple of minutes.

3.     Socialize. Social interaction will help give your mind a break from work and help you step away from the screen for a bit. Try to avoid strictly talking about work and change the topic to something fun and tension-free.

4.     Write it down. If your mind feels overwhelmed with a million thoughts at once, write them down in a bulleted list. By writing them in a list format, you’ll be able to focus on tackling one task at a time.

5.     Remember you can accomplish anything. Take a few minutes to remind yourself that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to. Have confidence in yourself and know that you can and will accomplish your goals.

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and relax. Stress and anxiety in the office is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Always remember to take care of yourself and take control.

 

Love & light,

Alex 

 

 

Increase Your Productivity

On their own, they are not as efficient; when practiced together they will change the way you work. It can be hard to constantly be productive throughout the day. These four tips give high-quality insight on a few ways to help keep you moving efficiently.

 

Remove Distractions

Distractions are circling around us daily. Doing what we can to remove distractions can be beneficial, specifically when it comes to technology. With constant social media updates, it is easy to get sidetracked when unneeded technology is in eyesight. Place the phone out of view and set a goal to only visit social media for 10 minutes out of your day. If lacking self-control, try using an app like Onward, which allows you to selectively disable apps and limit phone use for a specific amount of time.

Plan Ahead

Stay organized by creating a daily and weekly to-do list to help stay on track with the important tasks that need to be done. This will help prioritize your time effectively. To-do lists not only provide you with focus but also reward you with satisfaction when you complete items on the list. Know the three most important tasks and focus on those each day before working on the others.

One Task At A Time

Dedicate yourself to one task at a time to help you accomplish more while bringing more attention to your work individually. It is more time consuming to start, stop, and switch tasks leading to less productivity. Focus on one thing at a time to best accomplish more in less time. With single tasking, your focus isn’t distributed so you are working more efficiently with less distraction.

 

“Productivity is like any skill. The more you practice it, the better you get.”     

–Michael Hyatt

 

All the best!

Rebecca

 

Stop and Smell the Sunflowers

When’s the last time you said thank you?

Each day, we wake up and experience some degree of a routine. We somehow end up going through the motions and not stopping to look around and be thankful for what we have. It’s easy to get caught up in life’s commotion, but don’t forget to take a moment to stop and smell the sunflowers.

If you’ve found yourself complaining about having to wake up and go to school or work, remember that you were once hoping to get that opportunity. Maybe it’s time to say thank you to your boss for everything he or she does for you or thank a co-worker who helps you through those Mondays – you know the ones.

Maybe you have some family members who are there for you no matter what, and they deserve to hear a thank you.

It can be as simple as a text message or as extravagant as a random delivery of flowers and other goodies.

Not only will thanking people in your life make others feel better, but it will also have a positive effect on you. This creates an opportunity to think about all of the good things in your life and allows you to value people and experiences more.

It doesn’t have to take much time or any money. Saying thank you to those who help make your life a little easier creates a world of a difference!

Cheers!
Ashleigh

3 Simple Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Life

Going out of your way to show you’re grateful for others leaves a positive, lasting impression. Whether it’s your co-workers or friends, it’s important to find little ways to let people know you appreciate their help. Here are a few ways that take little effort but make a big impact.

  1. Thank you cards
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it again: thank you notes are extremely valuable and underrated in the business world. This is a secret weapon when it comes to professional networking or just making someone’s day in general. When someone does something kind or helpful, it’s important to always reach out and take the extra step to show your appreciation - bonus points if it’s handwritten.

  2. Random acts of kindness
    At A. Victoria MAE, we’re all about sunflowers. Any chance you get to make someone’s day – make it happen. Spread positive vibes in little ways like words of affirmation, holding the door open for someone, giving compliments, and just asking yourself, “how can I make this person’s day better?”

  3. Don’t complain for 24 hours
    This may seem difficult once you first start, but you will really be surprised when you realize the difference it makes. Not only do negative thoughts have an impact on your attitude, but when you share them aloud it brings others down, too. Avoid negativity for 24 hours and instead vocalize what you’re grateful for!

It’s not always easy or going to be the first thing that comes to mind, but showing gratitude spreads more positivity than you think. Even if it seems like no one else is doing it, be the person to make someone else’s day! If there’s one positive attribute to be remembered by, let it be the one who is grateful.

Cheers!
Ashleigh

Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Each new internship and job-hunting season is a learning experience for both sides of the table. The potential employer is learning what the current trends for resumes and cover letters are, as well as what is being taught to students. The students are learning to first dip their toes into the world of being a professional.

I’ve seen a fair share of resumes, portfolio pieces, cover letters – you name it! Each lands on various parts of the spectrum. If there’s one thing that sticks out to me when looking for a potential new hire, it’s a student with a business card!

Most students may not think they need a business card until later in their careers, but this is an important tool when looking to network and show off your professional side. It helps establish your brand as well as credibility.

"Once you’re in the professional world, you sort of make the assumption that people have a card--if you want to play in that world, you have to have the tools,” says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.

You may be asking yourself, “But what should my business card look like?”

Here are a few tips:
1. Keep it simple.
Include your basic contact information such as name, phone number, and email (recommended to use a personal email address not school-related one). Don’t go over-the-top by trying to squeeze your whole resume and qualifications on here.

2. Stand out.
This is an opportunity to show your creative side – if you want. Business cards range from plain to flashy. Find what works best for you and make it unique!

3. Make it count.
Take the time to create something you’re proud to distribute.

“Experts agree there is nothing more undesirable than a flimsy business card with ink that smears. There are many deals that offer business cards for free or at a highly-discounted price, but cheap cards make students look unprofessional,” according to Fox Business.

When you’ve created a business card to match your professional personality, use it confidently, and get ready to “wow” the next potential employer (or client) you encounter!

Cheers!

The power of gratitude: Shout Out to Young Professionals

Picture this: You just left the best interview you’ve ever had with your dream company. You spent hours perfecting your resume, practicing your best smile, and crafting all the right answers to their questions. You are certain you’ve got this job offer in the bag, and all you have to do is wait for that phone call, right? Wrong!

All too often, job seekers leave the conversation without a follow up and wonder why they didn’t hear back. This is because sending a thank you is the final, and most crucial, step in a successful interview.

Saying thank you for someone's time is important; it shows you are a person who has empathy, emotion, and appreciation. This is incredibly valuable to a future employer.

At a bare minimum, send an email thank you. It takes little time and energy.  If you really want to set yourself apart from your competition, hand-written notes are the way to go. This shows that you care enough to put in those extra few minutes of your time to show appreciation and genuine interest in the company you’re interviewing for.

"The best timeframe to send a thank you email is within 24 hours after your interview," says Whitney Purcell, associate director of Career Development at Susquehanna University.

A hand-written thank you note shouts passion to me.

Remember:

  • Send within 24 hours of the interview.

  • Be genuine.

  • Take advantage of this time to make yourself stand out.

  • Wow them!

A good thank you can go a long way. This is your time to shine!

Cheers!

Are You Hitting Your Target?

You have a business because of an idea. You want to see the idea continue to grow, so who are you directing your business strategies towards?

Knowing your target market is the difference between huge success within your business and a good idea without direction. If business owners cannot describe how their ideal consumer thinks, acts, looks, decides, eats, sleeps, and breathes, they have not done their homework and aren’t maximizing their potential success.

It may seem like a lot of work, but no one can afford to target everyone, so learning to target the right people at the right time is critical. As Inc. notes, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.”

So, how exactly do you go about defining and delivering to your target market? Here are some helpful hints:

Do some internal reflection.

What are some things your business is doing really well at right now? Who seems to be engaging with the company and providing feedback? Are there areas where you feel need a little more attention? Knowing where you are versus where you want to be is a great first step in catalyzing change.

See what else is out there.

Checking out the competition, or just similar businesses, is a very effective way to compare and contrast. This allows you to evaluate your strengths compared to others, as well as brainstorm possible things to improve on or add to your business.

Define your unique characteristics.

What products or services do you offer? Try making a list of what your business specifically does. Then, think about who or what kind of person would need or want these services.

Making a list of specific demographics and psychographics that align with your business’ services makes it much easier to simplify your search for a target market. Some demographic factors include:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Education

  • Occupation

  • Income level

While some psychographic factors could be:

  • Interests/hobbies

  • Personality

  • Values

  • Lifestyle

The important piece to think about is understanding how your customers think. If you can do that, you will then understand how to successfully reach them to keep them coming back for more.

Reflect.

After you’ve gathered a well-thought out list of your target market, ask yourself if it’s realistic. Do you have a substantial number of people who are a good fit? Will they benefit from my services? Do I truly understand how to reach them?

Reach out!

Re-evaluating a huge part of your business such as the target market can seem a bit overwhelming and maybe even complicated. It’s not something to be done overnight – it takes time and strategy.

A. Victoria MAE specializes in business growth strategies such as marketing and public relations. We make it easy to help you define your sunshine and make your ideas happen. For more information and ways to define your target market, contact A. Victoria MAE today! #MakeIdeasHappen

Cheers!