10 Tips For Returning To The Workplace Safely

10 Tips For Returning To The Workplace Safely
10 Tips for Returning to the Workplace Safely

With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 is opening the door for many businesses to consider a partial or full return of employees to the workplace. While small and medium-sized business owners feel a sense of urgency to return to business as usual, there are facts to consider about where we are now in the pandemic and practices that can help to ensure the safety of everyone in your workplace.

By March 15, more than 38 million Americans had been fully vaccinated, or 11.5% percent of the country’s population. The Biden administration has announced goals to get all Americans eligible for vaccinations by May 1 and to get the nation “closer to normal” by July 4. While vaccinations have helped to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and many of those at high risk for serious health consequences have been vaccinated, 88.5% of the country is still waiting (or worried about taking the vaccines). There is still much to be done before we reach herd immunity, but progress is happening quickly.

So where do we stand now in terms of what we should and should not do in our workplaces? The CDC recently advised that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physically distancing. They may also gather with a small group, such as coworkers, even if that group has not been vaccinated. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are advised to continue to minimize the number of people they are in physical contact with and to wear masks in public.

If your business is like most others, most of your employees, customers, and visitors have not yet been vaccinated. With this in mind, here are some key safety considerations for gradually returning employees and visitors to your workplace:

1. Promote vaccinations: Over the next few weeks, the Biden Administration will deliver vaccines directly to up to 700 community health centers and will double the number of pharmacies and community vaccination centers operating. Simply communicating the availability of vaccines in your local area and the eligibility criteria as they are announced will maximize the number of employees who can gather without masks or physically distancing.

2. Require face masks for all employees and visitors, including those who are vaccinated, since the findings on whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus are still unclear. Keep spare face masks on hand and educate employees on the proper way to wear and handle masks. Noses must be covered!

3. Stagger a return to work: Some of your employees have been vaccinated. Others can only work effectively in the workplace. Bring these two groups back to work first, then stagger the rest according to vaccinations and need to be in the workplace in order to execute their roles. If an employee lives in an at-risk community or immune-compromised household, extend their ability to work from home.

4. Have a pre-screening policy: If you can prevent sick employees from putting others at risk, you are taking the most important step in ensuring a safe workplace. Consider having someone check temperatures at the door and turning away employees running a fever. Ask all employees to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms including body aches, a fever over 100 degrees, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.

5. Seek emergency medical attention for anyone in your workplace exhibiting sudden signs of trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

6. Routinely sanitize and disinfect the workplace, carefully following these CDC guidelines for the materials to use, surfaces to clean, and frequency of cleaning.

7. Adjust your floor plan to reduce congestion and the potential for face-to-face contact as people pass one another. Consider using tape to mark areas where people can walk to ensure that there are six feet of width between people as they pass one another, especially in intersections. If there are areas where congestion or face-to-face contact is almost impossible to avoid, use partitions to reduce the potential for viral transmission.

8. Promote physical distancing by not holding meetings in closed rooms, if possible. Use open spaces instead. If this isn’t possible, use the largest possible rooms for in-person meetings and limit the number of attendees to only those that must be present. Consider holding virtual meetings or hybrid virtual/present meetings.

9. Post signage reminding workers of proper protocols including individual mask-wearing, handwashing, avoiding handshaking, not sharing objects, and other hygienic practices.

10. Be ready to adjust your protocols and plans as the situation changes. While it is highly likely the pandemic will continue to subside as more people are vaccinated, there is a possibility that COVID-19 variants could complicate the situation. Be prepared to reverse course and let your workers return to remote work temporarily, as necessary.

There is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest for smaller businesses. As a small-to-midsize business, you have fewer resources to deal with an unexpected crisis. These ten guidelines can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. When put into place as a matter of policy, they should be all you need to gradually and safely return employees to your workplace.

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5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity
5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

The warmer weather and the longer days intensify our desire to clean and organize. While many people take the time to clean out their wardrobes and organize their homes, one area that is often neglected is an office or desk space. Since your work area is a place where you spend 8+ hours per day, it is important to take the time to clean out these spots, as well. Use these tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning and prepare yourself for the rest of the year.

1. Digital Declutter

Digital clutter slows down your computer over time and leaves you with little space to store your work files, which is why a routine e-cleanup is necessary for top performance. Start by going through your files and transferring ones you want to keep but don’t actively use to a server or an external hard drive. If there are files that you do not need at all, go ahead and delete them! After completing these steps, organize your desktop and folders to simplify your file search.

2. Clear the Unnecessary

Your desk should hold your most important items such as a computer, phone, notepad, and a reliable pen or mechanical pencil. If your desk has drawers, use them to sort any paperwork you have on the top surface away, to keep your surface clear and streamlined. The trick is to keep your most used items within arm’s reach. Being organized and having a clean slate can help you become more productive during the workday.

3. Wipe it Down

Now that your workspace is tidy and streamlined, it is time to clean it. Start by using a disinfectant wipe to sanitize your work tabletop and then move on to using a screen cleaner spray for any electronical surfaces like your computer and phone screens. One area you’ll want to make sure not to forget—your keyboard! Using a microfiber towel and cotton swabs can help you get into all the spaces between the keys. Try making cleaning part of your weekly routine to truly feel a difference.

4. New Supplies

Now that you have gotten rid of all the clutter, it is time to take inventory of your supplies and make a list of what you still need. At the top of that list should be new pens and mechanical pencils for the rest of the year. The Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen comes in 6 aesthetically pleasing barrel colors and rapid drying gel ink for an effortless writing experience. For a mechanical pencil option, try out the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil. Its lead won’t break under pressure and is refillable.

5. Add Some Pizzazz

Finally, don’t forget to make the space your own by injecting your personality into it. Show off your style with a potted faux plant, sleek metal mousepad, or a few framed photographs. No matter how you do it, adding your own personality to your workspace is a great way to breathe in new life and help you (and your desk) feel refreshed.
Even if it isn’t spring, adding some personality to your newly cleaned and organized office can help you refocus and improve your productivity. We hope these tips help you organize, clean, and refresh your workspace.

All the supplies mentioned here are available from Penny Wise Office Products.
Call to Order – (800) 942-3311 or Shop Online www.penny-wise.com

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4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break

4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break
4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From

If Wellness in 2021 is your goal, we’ve got 4 great Work Day Wellness Activities for you, even if you are working from home.

Most of the work from home guides you may have read focus on productivity, with tips about how to concentrate on work and better utilize tech, such as external monitors or laptop docking stations. But productivity is just one half of the recipe for WFH success.

Wellness is also a crucial ingredient. After all, it’s not easy to perform at your best if you’re feeling unhealthy or stressed-out. There are some easy wellness activities that you can take advantage of during your lunch break to stay active and engaged.

Activity #1: Eat Lunch Somewhere Other Than Where You Work

When you work from home, time can seem very fluid, with no clear boundaries between work and leisure periods. Similarly, the lines between “workspace” and “leisure space” can become blurred.

But you still need clear differentiation as well as regular breaks to avoid long, uninterrupted periods of staring at a screen in the same spot, which can quickly put you into a lull. In other words: Don’t eat lunch in your WFH workspace, or deprioritize doing so just because you feel like you’re “in the zone.”

A survey from hygiene and health company Tork found that employees who regularly took lunch breaks felt more engaged on the job than those who did not. It might seem counterintuitive that people who work fewer hours overall, and do so more sporadically with interspersed breaks, are more productive than ones who just power through all day at their desk, but it makes sense in a way:

Leaving your workspace for a kitchen or patio table lets you switch contexts and can help recharge your mental energy.

It also spares you from literal multitasking – for example, trying to eat and respond to emails simultaneously – that taxes the brain and decreases the quality of any attempted work.

By really focusing on your lunch, within a non-workspace, you can also avoid the tendency to overeat, which is a common effect of distracted eating.

Activity #2: Take a Walk or Do Other Exercise During Your Break

Going for a walk offers multiple benefits to productivity, health, and wellness.

First, like eating lunch somewhere else, it provides a clear break from sitting in front of your computer. That’s important for resetting your mind. Walking helps sharpen the senses and improve key brain functions for memory, learning, and cognition.

Second, if you can walk outside, you can give your immune system a boost. Georgetown University researchers once found that sunlight boosts T-cell activity.

Third, it’s good for keeping up with a formal health and wellness program or regimen, if you follow one. Specific requirements of these programs – such as getting in a sufficient number of steps each day or achieving a certain heart rate – can be more easily met with some lunchtime physical activity.

If walking isn’t your favorite thing, you can still do some other beneficial exercises with minimal setup:

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups require nothing but a little space and can pay dividends right away in how physically and mentally alert you feel.

Consider getting a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat to add more challenge and create a more comfortable surface, respectively.

Track your time so that the exercise routine doesn’t run too long or make it more difficult to fulfill your work-related commitments.

Activity #3: Eat a Prepared Meal

Activity 3 Eat a Prepared Meal

Switching from a commute-based job to working remotely can dramatically change your eating habits, and not necessarily for the better. Since snacks might be readily available from your WFH workspace, it can be easy to eat junk food throughout the day. On top of the risks already present from sitting for too long (like higher blood pressure), there are possible downsides for your health.

Planning your meals is one way to avoid falling into this trap of impulsive and stress-induced snacking (plus, it’s good dietary advice in general). Enjoy a meal that was prepped in advance, like you might have done before if you packed your own lunch for the office. This helps instill structure in your workday, too, helping avoid the boundary-less work-life muddle discussed earlier.

Consistent hydration is also important, so keep a water bottle nearby as well as grab your favorite drink of choice at the beginning of each workday. Making these kinds of preparations benefits your health as well as your productivity, since they reduce the time you spend on tasks such as getting up from your desk to get a drink.

That said, do take breaks as needed, perhaps on a schedule aligned with a time management technique like the Pomodoro Technique. This particular technique entails intentionally breaking the workday down into 25-minute increments, with frequent 5-minute breaks and less frequent 15- to 30-minute ones.

Activity #4: Listen to Music or Look at Art

Every lunch break is an opportunity to do something positive for your health and wellness – and that “something” doesn’t have to be physically strenuous.

If you don’t listen to music while working (maybe because it’s disruptive to others at home, or has to be paused/stopped frequently for meetings), try doing so during a break to give yourself a boost of endorphins that elevate your mood. Music may be good for productivity because of its mood-enhancing effects. A study of software engineers found that programmers who listened to music while working felt better and produced higher-quality code.

Likewise, looking at art or – better yet – creating it is a proven health and wellness activity. Even a 10-minute art break with just a pencil and some paper can get the creative juices flowing, with a spillover effect on your productivity and your overall wellbeing.

Check out all our Work From Home Products for Improved Productivity and Comfort at www.penny-wise.com

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Organizing Everything With Lists

Organizing Everything With Lists

How lists make productivity skyrocket.

Why do lists seem to magically help get everything in order? According to The Guardian, people perform better when they have written down what they need to do.

It’s usually easier to remember what you need to get done at work when you write (or type) it out – even if you’re not actively looking at it. That concept can apply to nearly every facet of your life. Here are some tips to make the simple list, an effective professional productivity tool for you.

 

Organizing-Everything
Master List

Your master list should be a broad brain dump of short and long term goals you want to accomplish in your professional life. Don’t over-complicate this list. It can be messy and updated whenever you want.

Weekly List

This is where you start to break down your to-do’s into more manageable chunks. First, collect all the items you want to achieve this week. Include small and big accomplishments like “respond to emails” or “complete part 1 of X project.”

Daily List

Now you’re ready to make a daily list. This list should be very specific and can be broken down chronologically or you can assign priority to each item. Start with higher priority projects and leave the smaller stuff for later in the day. If you don’t get to the lower priority items, just be sure to add them to tomorrow’s daily list.

Go Digital

Going old school and writing down your lists on a piece of paper is effective (and feels great when you get to check them off). But papers often get lost in the busy shuffle. Consider using a digital tool to keep track of your short and long-term goals. Many phones already have a list app built–in – and you can refer to them any time!

Include Yourself

Lastly, make sure you schedule some time for YOU. Ideas include: coffee breaks, a 15-minute walk, or stretch, and video chats with your career mentor.

Penny Wise Office Products has a huge selection of List Trackers and Notebooks.
Visit us at www.penny-wise.com or call 1-800-942-3311. We’re happy to help!

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Printable Checklist for Simplifying Your Life

Printable Checklist for Simplifying Your Life

While we are all staying at home and slowing down, this may be a good time for you to plan future ways to simplify your normally busy, chaotic life.

Please use this Printable Checklist as a helpful guide, from your friends at Penny Wise Office Products.

PrintableTips_to_Simplify_YourLife_PennyWiseOfficeProducts

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4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Home Office

4 Tips to Make the Most of Your Home Office

In these uncertain times, many of you are now finding yourself working from home. Our friends at Smead Manufacturing have shared these helpful tips on how you can create an enjoyable workspace at home.

Make-the-Most-of-Your-Home-Office

A home office is meant to be a place to work, whether you’re managing the business of life for you and your family or are lucky enough to have an employer who allows you the privilege to work from home. Creating the proper environment and spending your time wisely in your home office will save you time and stress.

1. Make It a Space You Enjoy – You probably spend a lot of time in your home office and you’ll want to create an environment that attracts you, versus repels you. Your space should be inviting as well as functional. Things for you to consider:

o Proper Lighting – Take advantage of natural lighting if you can. However, if you’re someone who prefers to work late in the evening, you’ll need good task lighting in order to lessen eye strain.

o Comfortable Chair – When you work from home, much of your time is spent sitting. Invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair. You’ll feel better and your back will thank you in the long run.

o A Desk Tailored for You – What do you plan to do at your desk? If your work is primarily done on a computer and entails very little paper, a small desk will do you well. However, if you like to spread out with paper reports and reference material close by, you might choose a larger desk or an L-shaped one. If it’s more comfortable for you to stand and work, consider an adjustable desk.

2. Keep Clutter to a Minimum – It can be a challenge not to have piles on your desk. There’s always more work than you can keep up with, and mail and paperwork are part of that. To lessen the impact:

o Inbox – Ensure you have one place for paperwork and other items to land until you can deal with them, i.e. an inbox. Incoming items like meeting notes, business cards, and items to read should be placed in your inbox, rather than dumping them in a pile on your desk. Set a weekly appointment on your calendar to go through your inbox and process the items inside — add items to your to-do list or calendar, enter into your contacts, create a project file, put in a portable “to-read” folder, etc. Keep in mind your inbox is a holding spot that’s meant to be emptied. It’s not a file cabinet!

o The 2-Minute Pick Up – Before leaving your office, spend two minutes throwing away obvious trash (coffee cups, food containers, random sticky notes, etc.), putting supplies like pens and paper clips back in their drawer or container, and jot down notes about what you need to do the next day. Clearing your head is just as important as clearing your physical space.

o Schedule File Time – No one likes to file paper, but it won’t magically file itself either. Create a file system that is easy to use and easy to access so that you can find what you need when you need it. Then schedule regular intervals to file the paperwork you need to keep.

3. Have the Right Tools – Sometimes having the right tool is half the job. If your home office includes outdated technology that you constantly have to troubleshoot, you could be wasting a lot of time. Yes there is a monetary cost to keeping up with current devices, but you won’t have to deal with the time cost (in addition to the frustration from a slow computer or internet connection) when everything is working properly. Besides your basic computer and printer, other good tools to consider:

o Office Supplies – These should be within easy reach and you should have a supply on hand so you don’t have to head to the store or await a delivery when you run out of something. A well-supplied office contains: pens, pencils, sticky notes, paper clips, binder clips, a stapler, a tape dispenser, file folders, mailing supplies, etc.

o Label Maker – Keep it close by and as common place as your stapler. You can label files folders, containers, shelves, drawers and other areas for easy identification of where everything goes. Your 2-minute pick up will be a breeze!

o Scanner – If you’re aiming to have less paper in your office, a good quality scanner will help get you there.

4. Create Structure and Routine – There are so many distractions when working in a home office, it’s easy to lose focus. Set-up routines that work for you and your particular situation.

o Determine your office hours and stick to them.
o Process emails at scheduled times rather than letting them overtake your day.
o Allow for breaks in your day so you can refresh and recharge.
o Have a system for tracking tasks and projects. (Random notepads and sticky notes are not a system.)
o Know your priorities so you’re less overwhelmed and can put time and energy into what is important.

Follow these 4 simple steps and you will find your home office can be a productive and stress-free environment!
Lori Krolik


Lori Krolik is a professional organizer and productivity specialist and founder of More Time For You. For over 18 years she’s helped residential and small business clients create systems out of their most serious clutter challenges. Whether its piles that prevent a home from functioning the way it should or paper piles that impede office productivity, Lori brings the expertise and insight needed to create an organized system that is personalized to a client’s space and lifestyle. Lori became a Certified Productive Environment Specialist in 2010 and is a long time member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers).

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Double A Paper Grows over 500,000 trees with help of farmers in Thailand.

Double A Paper Grows over 500,000 trees with help of farmers in Thailand.
Boonrung Jumpang



Penny Wise is proud to announce that our partner, Double A Paper, has successfully planted 500,000 trees, meeting the goal of their fantastic One Dream, One Tree Campaign! Throughout the campaign, Penny Wise has helped to provide sustainably produced Double A Paper to our customers while also helping Double A to save the planet.

What is Double A Paper?

Double A Paper is a paper production company based in Thailand. With the sustainable movement gaining traction across the globe, Double A has been dedicated to producing quality paper in a completely eco-friendly way, involving a production process that leaves no negative impact on the environment. The process begins with Thai farmers planting Paper-Tree saplings on their KHAN-NA, the unused land between rice paddies. This allows Double A to source from high-quality trees without contributing to deforestation or taking up large amounts of land. Not to mention, all the waste from the pulping process is made into a renewable biomass fuel that provides electricity to fuel their paper mill!

The planting process of the Paper-Tree also allows the partnering farmers in Thailand to earn extra income as Double A compensates them for the use of their land. This money allows the farmers to meet many goals of their own, such as providing for their families, paying for their children’s education, and putting more money into their local economies. Double A Paper believes in promoting economic and environmental sustainability, and their One Dream, One Tree campaign has allowed them to make a major difference.

Double-A-Paper-Grows-over



What is One Dream, One Tree?

To promote environmental sustainability and help make Earth a greener place, Double A Paper kicked off their One Dream, One Tree campaign in November 2019. During One Dream, One Tree, for every ream of Double A paper purchased, one tree is planted by a Thai farmer. These trees will fully mature in only three to five years, and in the meantime, they will provide much-needed shade to the Thai farmers and much-needed oxygen to the world. Double A set a goal when they launched One Dream, One Tree: they wanted to plant 500,000 trees by the end of February, and thanks to partners like us and customers like you, they finally met that goal!

What is the Value of Each Tree?

Every tree contributes to the environment by helping to combat global warming and climate change, absorbing carbon from the air and producing oxygen. Planting trees could remove as much as two-thirds of the carbon dioxide that humans have put into the air from daily life, helping us all to breathe a little easier. With these trees growing on the KHAN-NA, Double A also helps reforestation efforts by not requiring trees from forests, allowing that land to be restored over time. Reforestation will help to restore damaged lands, bringing life back to the environment and promoting biodiversity.

Double-A-grows-trees-with-the-help-of-over-farmers-Thailand



If you want to help Double A’s cause, you can buy their high-quality paper and support a company that is making a difference. Contact Penny Wise (www.penny-wise.com) to place an order for Double A Paper today, and help improve the world, one ream at a time.

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The three best colors for a successful, productive office

The three best colors for a successful, productive office
Three Best Colors for a Successful

Is the overall energy and output of your office dragging, leading to a loss of output and – of course – profits? If so, you could benefit from changing up your office’s color scheme.

The paint color you choose for your office can make a big difference in your employees’ work performance and, more so, your business’ success. Want to stimulate creativity, productivity, or a sense of balance in the workplace? Then consider painting your office in one of these shades of color:

Yellow to Stimulate Creativity

More and more businesses rely on an “out of the box” way of tackling situations, making creativity a necessary quality for any workforce to possess. Unfortunately, unlike pure manpower, creativity is something of an elusive creature – one which may not always be at your employees’ disposal.

While you can’t simply pull creativity out of thin air, you can make steps to coax it out of the recesses of your staff’s minds. To do that, have your office painted in shades of yellow. Shown to stimulate creativity, this shade of paint will do wonders to keep your employees thinking and performing in innovative ways.

Blue to Stimulate Productivity

What’s the good of a workforce that’s inventive if they can’t produce the output you need? The most creative ideas in the world won’t stuff your business’ coffers if they aren’t getting put out there to make you money. That’s why you also need to maintain a productive workforce.

If you find that your staff’s productivity is lagging, then you could definitely benefit from painting your office in shades of blue. Blue is shown to stimulate employees’ productivity. While it’s not as effective for creativity-driven businesses, blue is great for offices that focus on number-crunching.

Green to Stimulate Mental Balance

You need to be careful about how much of the above-mentioned colors you use for your office. After all, too much of a good thing is just too much, as they say, and the saying certainly applies to colors that stimulate your employees’ productivity and output. Too much of them could quickly lead to mental exhaustion.

If you find that your employees are feeling a bit mentally fatigued, try breaking up these stimulating colors with a much more calming one such as green. Green inspires a sense of mental balance that will give your staff the mental calmness it needs to maintain a consistent output that can be far more effective in the long run than bursts of extreme creativity and productivity.

Color matters. Penny Wise carries a huge selection of colorful office products to help keep your business running smoothly. Visit us today!

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Five Strategies to Cope with Stress and Avoid Burnout

Five Strategies to Cope with Stress and Avoid Burnout
Five Coping Strategies to Avoid Burnout

Which list would you like to describe you?

– Option 1: Energized, invigorated, focused, passionate, balanced, strong

– Option 2: Run-down, sluggish, brain-fogged, stressed, depressed, anxious

I’d choose Option One and I’ll bet you would, too. As we start the new year, and a brand new decade, I thought I would shake things up a bit and write about a different topic that is of interest to us all – reducing stress and avoiding burnout.

Before writing Competitive Selling: The Guidebook to Being Proactive in a Reactive World in 2019, I got about 70% finished with a book focused on nutrition and good health for the super busy professional. Notice I said only “70%” finished. I never completed the book for a number of reasons, but it is still a topic I feel passionate about.

Besides being a writer, I’m also a passionate reader. I’ve read countless books on business and the profession of selling. In my pursuit of living a balanced life, I’ve read an equal number of books on improving nutrition, relieving stress, and strengthening relationships.

On the active side of things, I’m an avid runner and mountain biker. Work-wise, I travel most weeks and put in long hours on the job, as you probably do, too.

Life can be very busy. A busy life can easily lead to burnout, but with focused daily habits, it can largely be avoided. Here is my advice on how to do just that in 2020:

1. Get the list out of your head before you hit the bed.

We’ve all been there. Your mind is racing and you can’t sleep. One strategy that works is to make sure you compile your master list of things to do before you hit the sack. This can be done before you leave the office or even later in the evening. It frees up your mind to truly rest and helps you prioritize tasks much faster in the morning.

One of my all-time favorite books on time management is Brian Tracy’s book, Time Power. The author boldly promises you’ll learn how to get more done than you ever thought possible. It’s a great resource. I think we can all improve in this area!

2. What you track improves.

Just like I would advise a salesperson to track their sales activities, I would also suggest tracking your physical activity and your food intake.

The more conscience you are of your daily habits the better you will do. Life is stressful. Eating the right foods can help. They can truly be medicine to the body and build up your immunity and stress-tolerance. One way to tap into more tracking this year is to try out an app like MyFitnessPal. Other good ones are available, too.

Most nutrition gurus say for an active person, your diet should be made up 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. These percentages can shift depending on your fitness goals, health needs and doctor instructions.

Whatever the numbers are, how do you know if you are hitting them if you don’t track them?

Along with tracking nutrition, track your exercise. Let’s get physical…every single day. We have all seen the rise of the sale of standing desks and for good reason. Stand up. Get your body moving!

3. Take your vacation time this year and lose the guilt.

Without regular rest periods, your mind quickly fills up and the hard drive of sound thinking can be disrupted. When I started my business 16 years ago, my father-in-law, a successful business person, told my husband and me to get away every ninety days, whether we had the resources or not. That’s something we’ve stuck to and it has paid huge dividends in avoiding burnout and feeding our marriage.

For me personally, taking a vacation is an act of faith. There is always a long list of tasks to tackle and it never stops. But give yourself permission to rest guilt-free. Come back re-engaged and even more focused. Go ahead. Look at the 2020 calendar and plan your time off. If you don’t, it will be 2021 before you know it!

4. Get off the Complain Train.

There is a great book by Jon Gordon called The Energy Bus. In the book, he describes a great “No Complaining Rule.” Aspire to hold yourself to this rule and encourage others to do the same. Be conscious of this energy and time sucking activity and stop it in its tracks!

As the old hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Work on driving up your awareness of how much there truly is to be grateful for!

5. Find passion in your work.

You have been gifted with certain skills, talents and abilities that are uniquely yours. Do you know what they are? Here’s a quick question to figure out one of your gifts: “What is something you can do almost effortlessly, without much planning, and still perform it with excellence?” The “without much planning” is not advised but it’s still a way to think of your most natural gifts! (The Gallup Poll Strengths Finder is a great tool to use to create a more comprehensive list.)

Recognize those parts of the role you play at work that give you the most joy versus those that drain you. For a salesperson, it is helpful to look at things you do that are proactive vs. reactive (often draining activities). Analyze how much time you are spending in each area. Then make it a point to be more proactive in the areas you are gifted in the most…the areas where you find your passion.

So, reflect on these coping strategies and see which ones make sense for you. Remember, people love to do business with someone who loves what they do.

Are you that person?

Reignite that passion, take good care of yourself, and make it a fantastic 2020!

Marisa Pensa is founder of Methods in Motion, a sales training company that helps businesses execute training concepts and create accountability to see both inside and outside sales initiatives through to success. For more information, visit www.methodsnmotion.com

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The Importance of Kindness in a Fast Paced World

The Importance of Kindness in a Fast Paced World

As we enter into the holiday season (yes, brace yourself, it’s that time of year again) we thought this would be a great time to reflect on the importance of kindness.

Kindness in the office, at school, in traffic, or at home, can change a bad situation into a tolerable one.

In a world that moves so fast, and is digitally driven, ironically, we are less connected with one another on a deeper level than ever before. Since we only see the surface (or the highlight reel) we have no idea what another person is going through in their lives. They may have just lost a loved one, or a job, or may be dealing with pain or an illness. Those who treat others poorly or fly off the handle, are more likely to need our kindness than we can possibly imagine.

Being a little kinder than necessary is always a great way to go through life. Even ONE person can make a difference. Will that person be you? Or maybe you will be the recipient of another’s kindness?

We’ve included a few ideas for random acts of kindness here. We’d love to hear some of your ideas.

All of us at Penny Wise wish you a peaceful season filled with goodwill and kindness.

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