January 19, 2017

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The Reality of Meeting (and Not Meeting) Your Goals

3166085824_d93fe8c5c5_zA new year means new resolutions. But before you go ahead and write down a list of new goals, you have to take a crucial step: look back at last year’s goals. There’s a chance you didn’t meet those goals. There’s also a chance you did. The important part is that you take inventory of what you met, what you didn’t meet, and why. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which of my 2016 goals did I meet?
  2. Which of my 2016 goals did I not meet?
  3. Why did I not reach those goals?
  4. What roadblocks can I overcome in 2017?

Take time to reflect and think about why some of your ambitions fell flat and while others were a success. Were you falling victim to self sabotage? Were you making excuses? If you have a few outstanding goals that you didn’t meet last year, what will you do differently this year to make those things happen? Write down your responses and your plan of attack. Your success is in your hands! Make this year the best one yet.

Image via mt 23/Flickr.

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January 17, 2017

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How to Work with Type A Personalities

62429852_0235b5dd0b_zKnowing your personality type can help you perform better at work, and it can help you identify how to best work with others. That means better relationships and communication with your boss and coworkers. One of the most well known theories of personality types is Andrew Goldsmith’s Theory on Type A and Type B Personality. According to Simply Psychology, Type A people tend to be:

  • competitive
  • self critical
  • highly involved in work
  • ‘wound up’
  • prone to overreact
  • under a constant sense of urgency
  • impatient with delays
  • overcommitted
  • multitaskers
  • easily angered

Does that sound like you or someone you know? Whether you fit under this personality type or you know someone who does, here are some things to keep in mind according to Psychology Today:

  1. They don’t like to waste time.
  2. They want you to get to the point.
  3. They don’t like to be late, or wait for someone who is running late.
  4. They love timelines and deadlines.

Still not sure if you’re Type A? Take this personality test at Psychology Today to determine if you are.

Image via Mike/Flickr.

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January 12, 2017

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Our Top 10 Productivity Posts

8499752998_3cb54fe872_zProductivity. It’s one of those things that we keep writing about and keep reading about because — why else? — no one has perfectly cracked the code. But reading different productivity tips and strategies is the only way to find out what works for you. After all, maybe something that worked for you in the past has stopped being effective. And maybe there’s a new trick hidden in one of the following blog posts that will change you life. Hey, it’s worth looking!

  1. Top 5 Productivity Killers
  2. Why Doing Nothing is Good For Your Productivity
  3. How to Get Rid of Digital Clutter and Boost Your Productivity
  4. Take Note: The Simplest Productivity Hack Ever
  5. 7 Productivity Apps that Will Keep You Focused
  6. 3 Habits that Will Instantly Boost Your Productivity Level
  7. One-Minute Productivity Tips You Can’t Pass Up
  8. Productivity Hacks That Work
  9. How to Delegate Effectively at Work
  10. A Guide to Good Posture (It Boosts Your Productivity!)

Image via Flickr/Vic.

 

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January 10, 2017

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Can’t Find Work-Life Balance? You May Have One of These Problems.

5242760927_cc8f6ca24d_zWork-life balance is not an easy achievement. It’s a skill you’ll have to constantly improve throughout your career. But your first step is to figure out why you can’t achieve it. Read the descriptions of these following three personas and see which sounds familiar to you.

You could be a… workaholic.
If you’re the first in the office every morning, the last out each night, and one of those people who prides themselves on rarely taking a vacation day, you may be a workaholic. There’s a difference between being dedicated to your job and letting it take over your life.

You could be a… micromanager.
You know you could do the job better so you just do it yourself. Every. Single. Time. Or, you simply cannot not make an edit or change when you’re approving the work of others. You may need to learn how to delegate more effectively. You can’t be a solid leader until you learn this skill.

You could be…unproductive.
You may not realize it, but there are lots of little things you do each day that seem productive but are the exact opposite. For example, multitasking and emails are just two “productive” tasks that aren’t really productive. You need to learn how to use your time more efficiently. After all, more hours doesn’t mean that you’re more productive.

Image via Firesam!/Flickr.

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January 5, 2017

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5 Tips That Will Help You Stick to Your Resolutions

31229389133_8cd3c235cf_zGoal setting is easy. Keeping those goals is a whole other story. If you want to keep your 2017 goals on track, you need a plan of attack. Here are a few tips that will help you stick to your resolutions and goals for the new year.

  1. Visualize.
    Thinking? That’s it?! Visualizing may seem silly, but it’s not. The world’s top athletes use visualization to help them perform their best, and you can use this technique too. Learn more about how visualizing can help your career.
  2. Give your goal the respect it deserves.
    One of your goals may be to pick up a new hobby like an instrument or a new language. It’s easy to let these commitments fall to the wayside. But did you know that hobbies can actually help your career? You’ll be less likely to quit your goals when you realize just how good they are for you.
  3. Get rid of the distractions.
    If you’re often saying, “There’s never enough time!” or “I’m busy!” think about how you really spend your time. As the saying goes, if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. That may mean giving up TV time every night, logging out of Facebook, or avoiding one of these popular productivity killers.
  4. Get quality sleep.
    You can’t get through the work day confidently and efficiently if you’re tired. There are many things you can do to improve your energy during the day but it all starts with a good night’s sleep. Cutting out caffeine in the afternoon and exercising daily are just two tips that will help you fall asleep.
  5. Live smarter.
    There are many ways to work smarter, not harder from to-do lists to goal-setting. Delegating is also a key strategy for working efficiently. Revisit our list of 10 ways to delegate at home and at work, and you may just find a few ways to give yourself a bit more time to focus on your priorities.

Image via Donald Kautz/Flickr.

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January 3, 2017

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FREE! The Ultimate Guide to Career Mentorship

11320869875_3ea5ce02d3_z2017 is a great year to take your career to the next level: and a career mentor can help. Whether you find someone inside or outside of your organization, this person can help you define your career path, grow your skills, and stay motivated throughout the year.

We’ve compiled a free guide to career mentorship with a few of our best posts on the topic from our blog. Download it now and let us know what you think!

Image via JD Lasica/Flickr.

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December 30, 2016

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Spectrum Brands 2016 Year in Review!

spectrum-year-in-review2016 was a banner year for Spectrum Brands. Here are just ten highlights from the past 12 months:

  1. Our Dayton, Ohio facility opens in January! Read more about it on our blog here and in the Dayton Business Journal. We’ve been hiring like crazy and can’t wait to get a running start on 2017.
  2. Madison’s favorite newspaper The Isthmus went behind the scenes at our Remington Shave Lab at our world headquarters in Middleton, Wisconsin. Check out the feature here.
  3. We held an amazing Community Volunteer Day in both Middleton and St. Louis, Missouri. We helped the Clean Lakes Alliance pull up invasive weeds and assisted Gateway Greening with their community gardens. Check out all the photos here.
  4. Our Pet Home and Garden Lowe’s Team was recognized as 2016 Lawn and Garden Innovation Partner of the Year.
  5. Spectrum Brands took on the Zika virus with Cutter Insect Repellent and Repel. We donated 55,000 units to areas and people most in need, including pregnant women in the USVI.
  6. Our George Foreman brand was a big hit on QVC. We debuted the The George Foreman® Five Serving Grill & Broil™ with Five Nonstick Plates as a Today’s Special Value.
  7. Cutter Insect Repellent was named the official sponsor of the men’s and women’s U.S. Soccer teams. Read more about the partnership in this news release.
  8. Rayovac celebrated 110 years! The brand is still going strong after all this time with partnerships with major players like Walt Disney World.
  9. Most importantly, we celebrated another banner year at Spectrum Brands! Our stock price has doubled in the past three years and this is the 7th consecutive year of financial growth.
  10. With all this growth, it’s no wonder that we are expanding. The expansion of our world headquarters should be done next year!

What a year! We can’t wait to see what 2017 brings us.

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December 20, 2016

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How to Delegate Effectively at Work

4579520419_5897bf9f8f_zDelegating isn’t always easy. If you’re a perfectionist, it’s hard to let go of even the most menial task. If you’re a little more unorganized, it’s hard to plan ahead and assign tasks to others. But think of delegating this way: it’s all about empowering others. And it frees up your time, allows you to focus on other tasks, and showcases your leadership skills.

The other key takeaway to remember when it comes to delegating is that you’re not just delegating a task. You’re delegating the “responsibility and authority” too. This article by Forbes does a fantastic job of outlining the necessary steps for successful delegation. It showcases advice from Jan Yager, in her book Work Less, Do More. Here’s a recap of how to delegate effectively at work:

  1. Define what tasks can be delegated (What tasks don’t require your personal touch?)
  2. Pick the best person to assign those tasks to and trust them completely. (Who’s a natural fit with the right skills?)
  3. Create a clear assignment and deadline. (Build in a check-in point to ease your fears.)
  4. Give credit to that person publicly. (Remember, this is a mentor relationship and you should aim inspire loyalty.)

Read the full article at Forbes.

Image via john.schultz/Flickr.

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December 14, 2016

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Why a Hobby is Good For Your Career

11063709844_657849bc43_zHobbies can be simple like reading a new book, learning new recipes, or buying some art supplies. Or, it could be a bigger commitment like taking guitar lessons, training for a marathon, or learning a new language. Here are a few reasons why hobbies can make your personal life and work life even better.

  1. You won’t dread Mondays.
    Life isn’t all about work, and you may start your work week on a more positive note if you have something exciting to look forward to. Those Sunday Scaries will be overshadowed by that awesome thing you have planned later this week.
  2. You’ll be more productive.
    When your free time is already filled with something you love, they’ll be no time for work to creep into your personal life. It may be a lot easier to stay focused when you have no choice but to get the work done in the time allotted.
  3. You’ll feel energized.
    Doing something you love is, well, energizing! It may make you happier and more confident. There’s nothing wrong with that!
  4. You’ll have something (else) to talk about at work.
    We would go so far as to argue that hobbies make you more interesting. Not only are you learning new skills but you’re also likely meeting new people, which makes for good conversation.
  5. You’ll feel less stressed.
    Hobbies are a good source of relaxation. It’s essentially a mandatory “me time” that’s scheduled somewhere consistently within your work week.

Image via Angela Quitoriano/Flickr.

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December 8, 2016

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10 Ways to Delegate at Work and at Home

10519508175_f3ced9dfc2_zDelegating your tasks is no easy feat. There are many reasons why: you may be a bit of a control freak and think you can do the task better. Or you may be so overwhelmed that you don’t even have time to explain the task to somebody else.

But there are many more reasons why delegating is good for you. For one, burnout is real. When your brain is frazzled, every task you perform thereafter will not be your best work. Secondly, you can’t do everything alone–and you don’t need to. Work life and home life blend into each other, and something has got to give.

Sometimes delegating costs a little bit more time up front. Sometimes it costs more money up front. Other times it costs a bit of your power, control, or recognition. You’ll have to analyze if these costs are worth the sanity and extra time you’ll get in the long run. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

AT WORK:

  1. Outsource specific portions of projects to trusted freelancers.
  2. Redefine processes and responsibilities so the best and most appropriate people and team tackle each step.
  3. Start an internship program so smaller projects that have previously been overlooked can get a jump start.
  4. Hire part-time temporary help to overcome an especially stressful time of year.
  5. Establish clear “assembly line”-type processes with specific step-by-step directions to, in a sense, “automate” projects where possible.

AT HOME:

  1. Sign up for a laundry pick-up and delivery service.
  2. Order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door.
  3. Hire a weekly or monthly house cleaner.
  4. Look into a meal delivery service.
  5. Divide up chores evenly among your family.

Image via Mufidah Kassalias/Flickr.

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