5 Ways To Make Super-fast Decisions Today

Do you ever struggle with indecision?

Sometimes, right? And I’m betting it’s usually about something small too, like what to eat for dinner or if you should finish your work tomorrow when you feel more rested.

It’s really no surprise, life is nothing more than a bunch of small-scale decisions. But here’s the thing, all those decisions eventually add up.

And together, they can drastically alter your life, especially when it comes to productivity.

How so?

Decisions can occur before, during, and after work sessions. And a single decision alone can throw your productivity out the window if it’s handled inefficiently. All it takes is that you spend a few precious minutes weighing a decision, and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour doing nothing.

Luckily though, there are some simple tips that can prevent this from happening to you ever again.

You don’t make fast and effective decisions

Maybe you think it’s smarter to carefully weigh your options and scrutinize every single detail. Well, that “sort of” works, but ultimately it ends up costing you more time than the outcome warrants.

The truth is this – the majority of decisions you make only need to be “good enough.” If you make a string of “good enough” decisions, you still get great results out of it because you accomplished something, so long as you acted on those decisions.

But considering the time and energy it takes to go beyond making a good decision, and the fact that slow and thoughtful decision making doesn’t always lead to significantly better results, makes slow decision making the lesser choice in most situations.

Most people don’t drastically alter the way they make decisions in life. Some people don’t think their decisions through at all, leading to reckless behavior. Others though, can spend all day on a decision and still having nothing the next day.  You, of course, are the latter (or else why would you be reading this?). The question is – how do you fix it?

Slow decision makers struggle because they don’t know how to leave the “information gathering” process of decision making.

1. Limit decision making time

To the slow decision maker, extra time is useless. It’s just going to be spent gathering more information not really needed.

Instead, you should force efficiency by establishing a time limit. A time limit will urge you to restrict thinking to only the most important criteria (see tip #2 for more info), streamlining your decision making process.

The limit should be dependent on the importance of the decision, but in general 2-5 minutes should be adequate for 90% of decision making.

This time limit works because most decisions are small-scaled; try not to increase it if you can.

2. Establish the minimum criteria

If you’re a stickler for needing “more information,” then you should focus on the most basic, essential criteria needed to make a decision and no more.

Just say “I only need x,y, and z.” If one of your options has those essential characteristics, then that’s the correction option. Don’t see if something else is “a little better,” make the decision and move on with your life.

3. Keep a backup decision in mind

Some decisions we make on a regular basis (e.g. what should I have for dinner?). In these cases it’s best to have a backup decision in case you find yourself wasting more time than you should on a small-scale decision.

Example, don’t know where to eat? Mcdonald’s is your backup decision. Simple, right?

(That’s just an example, I don’t recommend making Mcdonald’s your backup decision for food).

This is a perfect tip if find yourself making the same decision on a regular basis, especially if it costs you time.

4. Make many small decisions

The best decisions are the ones based on experience. If you can, make as many decisions as you can and learn all you can from each outcome.

This way you’ll build up a knowledge base that lets you naturally make quicker and faster decisions over time.

5. Favor action over perfection

Finally, be of the mindset that action is more powerful than a perfectly crafted decision.

Sure, a well thought out decision can be a great thing. But here’s the thing, unless it’s a big-picture decision, it isn’t worth expending the energy.  Like I said, 90% of decisions are small-scale. Over time, though, they can add up and become something big. But if you aren’t constantly refining your decision-making through practice, those decisions won’t amount to anything great.

Over to you

Are you a fast or slow decision maker? Do you have any decision-making tips to teach me? Leave your answer below because I’d love to hear it. 🙂

*** The article was from Team Colony. 

WILKIN GROUP’S FUNDRAISING FOR MOVEMBER

With donations to date, plus known extra commitments coming in, Wilkin Group is well on the way to achieving its target of $1,000.
Whilst we only have two MOs being grown (or at least obvious) there is still time to promote the concept around the coffee machine to ensure we meet the target by the end of November.  Many of those making donations are either survives of cancer, or more sadly have lost a loved one due to prostrate or testicular cancer.  The $5 mill planned to be raised this year will go towards worthy research in these areas.  All donations are gratefully received.

Three Simple Choices Which Can Create Workspace Satisfaction

Most of us spend a reasonable chunk of our working week within the four walls of our office, so it makes sense that we do whatever we can to maximise the level of satisfaction we feel inside our workspace. Flexibility is quickly becoming a buzzword in workspaces across the world and with it, the ability for employees to design a workspace specific to their needs has increased.

A recent e-book from Office Depot – A Quick Guide to Collaborative Workspace Design – explores how creating the right office can lead to increased employee satisfaction and productivity. In it the experts agree that offering employees choice over how their workspace looks and feels – even regarding mundane issues like chairs, desks and personal items – can lead to increased morale, employees that report feeling healthier at work and even employees feeling they are getting more work done.

Choice 1: Make The Space Your Own  
Too many offices and cubicles look the same. White walls and bland furniture colours and an apparently ergonomic chair with very little else. Research is showing that allowing employees significant choice over how their workspace looks and feels has a deeply personal effect. Furthermore allowing employees to personalise their workstation helps them to feel ownership over ‘their’ space and leads them to be more comfortable in their working surroundings. To add some personality to an office things like photographs, momentos from past holidays and other things that remind you of life on the outside are great options. Allowing staff to do this, will not only help them feel more satisfied within the space but may also help them to communicate their personal side potentially leading to stronger inter-personal relationships between employees.

Choice 2: Furnish The Space To Suit You 
It’s a fact – each employee is going to have a different requirement from their office furnishings. Whether this is due to their storage requirements or personal health considerations, it just makes sense to allow everyone some control over their office furniture needs. Beyond the obvious of allowing employees to have easy access to all the tools which they require to do their job, tailoring furnishing to employees specific needs can also make them feel much more comfortable at work. A popular trend is the use of height adjustable furniture in workspaces. There is evidence that indicates that sitting for several hours each day can have adverse effects on your health and even increase the chance of certain health issues. Adjustable furniture allows each employee to easily ‘adjust’ their whole office layout to meet their specific needs on demand – either weekly, daily or hourly. Such control can also allow them to determine how much to sit and stand each day which can provide significant health benefits.

Choice 3: Make Sure Your Office Support Your Outside Life 
With employees spending an increasing proportion of their time in the office, it is more important than ever that their workspace supports how they live away from work. Many people today are committed to living a healthy lifestyle, so it is important that the office supports these choices. Considerations like providing employees access to natural light, working in a space which allows for occasional movement away from the desk, and providing healthy eating options – within the office environment or available nearby – are just a few examples of how workspaces can support the lifestyle choices employees make away from the office. Research suggests that such design can assist employees to feel more focused and productive while they are at work – providing mutual benefit for the employee and employer.

Whilst at the end of the day the responsibility for ensuring that employees feel satisfied at work falls upon employers, there are significant benefits for both the employer and employees if the later is empowered to take some control over these factors.

Wilkin Group is an independent provider of Workspace solutions in the Adelaide CBD for small and medium businesses. Much of their success is driven by offering flexibility to their clients in all aspects of the office space.

 

Are Face-To-Face Meetings A Thing Of The Past?

We Think Not … and here are the Reasons.

In today’s age of technology-fuelled remote workforces and virtual teams, the age-old ritual method of a meeting (face to face) may be seen to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Go To Meetings & conference calling is rife. But often, the problem with virtual conferences is that most people “aren’t there”, that is they are not actually present. By this, I mean they are probably doing something else. Be it planning the weekend, reading the news or putting themselves on mute to carry on another conversation, 60% of conference call attendees admit to “multitasking” during these meetings. Is having over half of your attendees not fully engaged in the meeting really that productive?

Traditional face-to-face contact has power; this is where the work gets done. There is something about sitting around a table to thrash things out, it drives accountability, outcomes and in turn productivity.

It often makes sense to meet face-to-face despite the fact that it may be perceived as

more expensive,

more inconvenient and

taking longer.

However it actually drives outcomes and after all, that is the purpose of communication.

5 Reasons You Need To Meet Face-To-Face

Body Language
Studies show that 65% of communication is nonverbal. It is not what you say, but how it is said, both in tone and visually. This aspect of communication is completely lost in a phone call. Face-to-face communication allows you to more accurately gauge the impression you are leaving and will result in a more measured and meaningful conversation.

Clarity
Face-to-face meetings are much more conducive to sending a clear message. Some other communication mediums are just not appropriate for clarifying misunderstandings. You generally don’t get much of a response when you raise your hand while on a teleconference.

Drives Participation
When in a room together, participation is more easily encouraged. People cannot easily turn their back on the meeting like they can during a phone call. If someone has not provided much input to the meeting, the chair can much more easily bring them into the conversation if they are actually sitting there.

More Efficient Delivery of Outcomes
Face-to-face meetings often demand and encourage outcomes. As time is a premium for people these days, there is pressure to get to the point. A sense of achievement needs to be fulfilled for attendees to walk away from a meeting feeling that it was a productive use of their time.

The Creative Flow
Face-to-face meetings are ideal moments to encourage creativity and “on the fly” thought processes. Using visual aids like a whiteboard allow you to quickly change your tact and begin exploring new ideas with a “sketch pad” mentality. As they say, some of the best ideas and business deals were first scrawled on the back of a cocktail napkin!

Wilkin Group in the Adelaide CBD have numerous meeting spaces for rental. By the hour, By the half or full day, Our role is to help you organise productive meetings as painless as possible.

We can be contacted at info@wilkingroup.com.au or (08) 7071 7071.

Where Have All The Walls Gone?

By Andy Will

For many years now, open plan offices have become part and parcel of the way many people work. Their popularity with organisations has increased massively over the last 30 years to the point where the vast majority of workers will spend some of their working life in the maze of workstations and partitions which generally make up an open plan office. Studies show that an estimated 70% of organisations now have at least some of their workforce working from areas with no or low partitions between workers. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of benefits offered by an open plan office design including:

  • Ease of communication between staff

  • Its ability to foster a collaborative culture

  • It is much more cost effective to set up initially than partitioning for many small offices.

However, to offset these potential benefits there are some other factors which may not be so positive and should be taken into consideration when determining the best office layout for your team.

Can anyone concentrate?

One of the most obvious drawbacks to an open plan office is the fact that many people find it difficult to concentrate on their work when operating amongst many other people in an open plan office. The effect of this on productivity can differ greatly depending on the type of work people are doing, but issues can arise where quiet is required in order to get a successful outcome. Issues such as employees sitting on the corner of your desk for a chat, the constant coming and going of people to the coffee machine and the incessant hum of the copy machine in the background can all make concentration near on impossible. This assault on the senses can really affect peoples’ concentration and their ability to be productive. A Cornell University study found that even the low-level noise which is common in most open plan offices can increase stress and decrease motivation which is not a great combination when trying to maximise productivity.

Pleasing everyone, helping no one.

Trying to find a balance that works for all employees is also a major issue in open plan offices. Employees appreciate the ability to control the small aspects of their environment and tailor them to their specific desires. Having an office dedicated to you gives you the ability to adjust things like the level of lighting, potentially adjust the temperature in the room and manage the level of sound to your liking, ensuring the space is set up to allow you to be as productive as possible. According to the Harvard Business Review, the more control people have over their environment, from where they sit to how they arrange their seats the more productive they will be and the more satisfied they will feel at work. Obviously, in an open plan environment, this level of control is diminished greatly and in most instances, you need to bow to what works for the majority.

A sneeze can become an epidemic

A recent study of over 2000 workers found that the more people working from a single room, the more sick days these employees took. In this study, the occupants of an open plan office took 62% more sick days compared to those in smaller regular offices. When working from open plan offices it becomes significantly harder to avoid germs and regular illnesses such as cold and flu particularly when everyone is working from the same confined space. Obviously this increased level of sickness affects people on a personal level and they can become frustrated by constantly being sick, however, there is also a significant cost to an organisation when large numbers of the workforce are regularly out of the office sick. In 2013, $27.5bn was lost to the Australian economy due to sick leave costs and lost productivity. This equates to about $2,700 per employee per annum, a cost any business will be keen to minimise.

A place to call their own

Another element should be considered in workspace design is the fact that humans inherently like to have ownership over their environment and when it comes to a workspace people appreciate having your own personal space and space they can call their own. People want to have the ability to personalise and tailor their workspace to fit their needs, the ability to do this is significantly limited when working in an open plan space. In personalising their space, people may want to display family photos and personal belongings and they may not feel comfortable doing so in the public forum which is a cubicle. When people are able to personalise their space and have a place to call their own, they feel empowered and safe, which in turn will lead to greater productivity and improved quality of work.


The concept of open plan office design has become quite a hot topic as organisations consider the way they design their office space to best suit their organisation. There are both pros and cons to dedicating some of a business’ office space to open plan design and it is important that organisations consider both sides of the coin in determining the best use of space. Whatever office space design an organisation chooses, the most important aspect for the organisation to consider is what will work best for their team and the work they need to do.

Andy Will is a Director of Wilkin Group and works with organisations and individuals on a daily basis to develop workspace solutions which support the way they choose to work.

Don Will is the MD of Wilkin Group, which has a number of Business Centres which have offered Virtual Office Solutions for over a decade, and hence understands the changing nature of workspaces.

Wilkin Group can be contacted at info@wilkingroup.com.au or +618 7071 7071.

We Can Learn Plenty From Kids About Work

We all have our different ways of getting things done at work, but at the end of the day, most of us battle the common issues of feeling like there are not enough hours in the day, possibly not really enjoying what we are doing and feeling burnt out by the end of the week. However, there are plenty of 3-4 foot tall case studies running around which can teach us a lot if we simply take the time to look at how they engage with the environment and people that surround them. While (thankfully) kids don’t spend much time in an office environment, the principles that make them so effective at play can certainly translate into our work styles and provide some guidance in terms of how we can improve the way we work.

They Make Do With What They Have

At heart, kids are really resourceful. While they will often pester their parents for the newest this or a bigger that, when they are left to their own devices they will always make do with what they have. If you sit back and watch kids play in the backyard for long enough, you’ll be amazed by how they use their imagination to turn even the most mundane household item into the perfect prop for their play. All too often at work, we are focused on whether we have the all of the resources and information to complete a given task rather than thinking a little outside the square and utilising what we have to get the job done. Granted this may take a little more creative thinking than just going back to your manager for more resources, but you’d be amazed by what can be achieved with what you already have at your disposal.

They Love To Push Boundaries

As anyone who has kids knows, they are always looking to push the boundaries. If you tell your child that they can watch five more minutes of Peppa Pig, they’ll push for ten. If you ask them to only climb up to the second branch of the tree, you can rest assured they will manage to scale at least a few more limbs. While this pushing of boundaries can be frustrating for parents (who are generally trying to establish the boundaries), it speaks to the inquisitive nature of most kids and the fact they are always asking ‘why’. Too many people at work just blindly follow the procedure which has been laid out before them, never questioning whether it is actually the best method. Only through pushing the boundaries of how things have always been done, can things actually improve. As the old saying goes – “if nothing changes, nothing changes”, and a lack of change is not good for a business or its employees.

Everything They Do Has An Element Of Fun To It

Give them half a chance and kids will turn anything into a game or at the very least they will respond much better to a request when it has an element of fun to it. Anyone who has ever tried to get a five-year-old to eat their peas or asked them to get in the bath knows the job gets much easier if you make it fun.  At the end of the day, kids just want to have fun and there is nothing wrong with that. Adults aren’t that far removed from kids in this way, however, we seem to forget this when we get into a work environment. There is a significant amount of research which shows that adding a little fun to the workplace can dramatically increase the levels of engagement, collaboration and productivity of employees. You don’t need to completely gamify your workplace and turn it into a circus, however in most instances there is a very little downside to adding an element of fun into workplace interactions and the upside can be significant. Beyond the obvious benefits for the business outlined above, adding some fun to the workplace will also often have a positive impact on the mental health of employees.

Everyday Is A Fresh Start

Remember how when you were a kid, the time between each Christmas felt like an eternity? This was in part because kids see each day as being so full of possibilities – opportunities to make friends, explore new adventures, learn new things – each day was such a big deal. But it was also due to the fact that as a kid you don’t carry baggage from one day to the next – which tends to link days together for us as adults.  They start each day afresh, in some cases almost as if the previous one never happened. Imagine if you were able to do the same with your workdays. How would leaving the stress of that unfinished report at the office or not worrying about the big presentation you have coming up in a few days time affect your mindset and the way you look at each day? The mentality which we take to work at the start of the day has a massive impact on the way we feel about our work and in turn our productivity and performance. Compartmentalising each day and treating them as individual parcels of time can be a great strategy for improving your mental health and avoiding burnout.

Nothing that kids do as they go about their days’ is rocket science (it would be a bit of a worry if it was) in fact it is quite the opposite – it’s really simple. The issue is that as adults (particularly at work) we forget these basic elements of what makes us tick and just fit in with the crowd. Rather than trying to get kids to act more like us, it may be worth acting a little more like kids from time to time – maybe you could even try for an afternoon nap.

What else do you think we can learn from kids to improve the way we work?

 

Don Will is the MD of Wilkin Group, which has a number of Business Centres which have offered Virtual Office Solutions for over a decade, and hence understands the changing nature of workspaces.

Wilkin Group can be contacted at info@wilkingroup.com.au or +618 7071 7071.

Tuesday At 3pm, I’ll See You Then.

When is the best time to hold a meeting? Is the early morning sales meeting really productive?

So when is the ideal time to hold a meeting?

Forget about Friday afternoons. Don’t even bother with Monday morning. Try Tuesday at 3pm!

You may think that this time slot is just plucked out of the the air, but studies have actually been done on this topic and this is the golden egg of meeting times. (Appparently!)

Research done by WhenIsGood.net revealed that over 50% of respondents had a Tuesday at 3 pm time slot available for a meeting. In that same study, only 30% had a morning slot available. Interestingly, the same study done five years ago revealed almost the same results.

So why is Tuesday at 3pm the magic time slot?

One theory suggests that Tuesday is best because that is the furthest you can get from the deadlines at the end of the week, without bumping into the missed deadlines from the week before.

Or how about the fact that Tuesday reigns supreme for meetings because people will more often than not take a sneaky Monday or Friday off to create a long weekend and it is far enough away from the end of week productivity sliding scale.

On a more scientific level…..

Circadian rhythms are the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. These body rhythms have a dramatic effect on when we are most conducive to any form of concentration required for a productive meeting.

Everyday our bodies go through ebbs and flows in energy and behaviors. Early morning until midday are generally quite productive, but then our bodies quickly lose interest. This is an ideal opportunity to take time out and have lunch. Once we have had time to recuperate, mentally and physically, our bodies quickly attain the same levels of energy as experienced in the morning. So by about 3pm each day, we often find that we feel more productive and willing to engage again.

So why not meet in the morning? Generally speaking, most people like to be able to spend time on their own personal work and plan the rest of the day in the morning. If you do hold meetings first thing, you may run the risk of your attendees not engaging and their minds may be elsewhere.

So… lets meet, shall we say Tuesday 3pm?

Wilkin Group in Adelaide run a number of Business Centres, and have numerous meeting spaces for both existing and new clients.  Out of interest they have done some research regarding meeting times and outcomes.  Wilkin can be contacted on (08) 7071 7071, or info@wilkingroup.com.au  to find out more how they are able to meet your meeting room needs.

 

A Virtual Office Solution Creates TIME…. & EFFICIENCY !!

This Blog follows on from last week’s when we concluded that for many people WORKING FROM HOME SUCKS.  WE now look in more detail how working from home can … Work.

In this article the words ‘Virtual Office’ are used in the broadest sense, and relates to people working from home  …. or wherever, but linked to the business world through a Business Centre offering Virtual Office Solutions, such as a CBD address, phone answering and meeting room facilities to bring people together as the need arises.

When business calls for flexible work hours, virtual offices create an opportunity for people to work whenever they like from wherever they are.

Virtual Offices allow for reduced commute time, lower technology costs and lower overhead costs (with no lease to pay), which leads to increased productivity, lower overall costs and hence increased profitability.

Benefits for Everyone

Here are seven ways your employees, and your business, can benefit from a virtual office:

1. No commute time.

We’ve found the two or three hours every day that used to be spent getting ready for work and traveling to the office can now be spent as productive time.

2. Employees are easily more active.

Researchers at University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia released a study that found sitting at your desk for more than 11 hours a day increased your risk of death in the next three years by more than 40 percent, regardless of other activity. Interestingly, people working with a virtual office concept naturally move around more as they’re not chained to a desk at an office every day.

3. Flexibility means using less leave days.

Want to have “donuts with dad” in your child’s school class? It’s not a big deal because you can make up the time later. Prefer to work out at lunchtime? No problem—you have a shower in your office now. With flexibility at work the urgent need for a leave day is eliminated.

4. Access to worldwide talent.

Gain a customer in Hong Kong and need someone to be there once a week? That’s no problem if you have a virtual office. Not being tied to just one location means a business can acquire a world-wide presence via a virtual network. Let technology be your slave, rather than the other way around.

5. Less overhead.

There’s no office lease, no utility payments, no furniture  and none of the associated costs that come with having a brick-and-mortar space. All that savings can not only be passed along to clients, or retained as extra profit. There is no limit to the speed that you can grow..

6. Save money on technology.

While BYOT (bring your own technology) started in the school system, it’s quickly made its way into the business world. By working remotely, employees can have the technology they prefer, and they’re responsible for upgrading it when it’s convenient for them. While there are a few cyber risk concerns with not having company-provided technology, that’s fairly easy to manage with a password tool, monitoring and employee training.

7. Productivity increases.

Because you go from monitoring when people arrive to work and when they leave to establishing specific goals, you’ll see an increase in productivity almost immediately. If employees meet or exceed their goals, they keep their jobs. If they don’t, you’ll quickly see that—and be able to weed them out—because no one is around to save them. Letting employees work remotely should also decrease turnover because people are generally happier to be able to do their jobs and not have to deal with the drama that comes along with putting a bunch of people in an office together.

While the virtual office doesn’t work for every business—many companies need people together in one location to get work accomplished—in those businesses where technology truly allows you to work from anywhere, a virtual office offers a strong alternative to a traditional office environment.

Don Will is the MD of Wilkin Group, which has a number of Business Centres which have offered Virtual Office Solutions for over a decade, and hence understands the changing nature of workspaces.

Wilkin Group can be contacted at info@wilkingroup.com.au or +618 7071 7071.

Working From Home Sucks

On the face of it, working from home seems like a great idea. No need to face traffic on the morning commute, no need to line up for an over-priced baguette at lunch and no boss looking over your shoulder as you try and clear your to do list during the afternoon. Technology and changing corporate perceptions have led to more people working from home and it looks like it’s a trend which is here to stay. However, as many home office warriors have discovered, working from your dining table may not be all it cracked up to be and isn’t the answer to all workplace issues that some would have you believe it is.

Your Kids Don’t Understand You’re Working

Even if you speak to your family and lay down the best plan for how you are going to work from home it can still be difficult to get the clear head space you need to be truly productive. As much as your family say they will respect the fact you need to work, they will always find it difficult to give you the actual space you need because they can physically see you all the time. The fact you are physically present, even if your mind is on the job, gives people the impression that you’re available to walk the dog, build a LEGO castle or whatever other job may spring to mind.

Distractions Everywhere You Turn

You won’t notice them when you are at home on weekends, but there are distractions at every turn when you are trying to get work done. That load of washing that needs to be hung out, the midday news on TV, checking the mail as soon as the  postman has been – they’re things which somehow become urgent when working from home. One of the underrated roles of an effective workspace is to put you in an environment which is conducive to actually getting things done – distraction free.

You Lack Real Interactions

Thanks to technology, working from home is no longer the sentence to solitary confinement it once was. Between talking on the phone, teleconferencing and interacting on social media you are able to keep in touch with your colleagues whenever you need to from home. However, even with all of this technology we all still need to have ‘real’ face to face interactions from time to time. Unless you fancy inviting co-workers over to share the couch, this is something working from home just can’t provide.

You Can’t Collaborate With Your Kids

As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one” and this is especially true when considering tough business issues. Unfortunately your 4 year old (if they’re anything like mine) is unlikely to come up with a new marketing idea or ways to improve your cashflow, so you need a resource which has a little more knowledge and experience. One of the perks of having a work environment where you have co-workers or other people around is that you always have a human knowledge bank at your disposal to assist when issues get a bit tricky. The human resource built into your work-space can also work for business development, as you never know who you might meet while making a coffee and what they might need that you can provide.

Do You Want To Meet At Your Kitchen Table?

 As I am sure you appreciate, perception is everything and a big part of setting the right image for your business is how you meet with people. Even though there are a multitude of different digital technologies which provide remote meeting options, face to face meetings are still a critical part of any business. You can’t exactly bring a new client to your kitchen table to sign a contract or hold a sales presentation in the rumpus room while the kids are at school – you need to be able to set the right image for your business and you need to have somewhere professional to meet people.

Don’t get me wrong, there are real benefits to working from home which can certainly offset some of the issues outlined above.

The good news is that there are also a range of solutions which can support home workers and assist to make it a viable way to work. From Virtual Offices to FlexiWork, Wilkin Group works with a number of clients who spend the majority of their time working ‘out of the office’ to fill the gaps and make working from home a joy rather than a chore. Check out the Wilkin Group at www.wilkingroup.com.au, or ring them on (08) 7071 7071

Avoiding The Afternoon Energy Cliff

We’ve all experienced the ‘Afternoon Energy Cliff’, when all of a sudden it feels like you have hit a brick wall and even the simplest work related task seems insurmountable. People generally fall off the cliff during the mid-afternoon, around 3pm, as the energy from their lunch meals wears off and they naturally start to fatigue as the day drags on. As Steven Covey put it so well with his ‘Sharpen the Saw’ analogy, rather than trying to battle through this state everyday, it is much more productive to make some small tweaks to your workday routine to renew and re-energise yourself in order to get the most out of the last few hours of the workday.

Take A Walk

To combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus, take a walk during your lunch hour. Studies have found that even a gentle stroll at lunchtime can boost people’s mood & ability to handle stress and heavy workloads in the afternoon. Beyond helping to clear headspace and getting some air into your lungs, walking also provides an opportunity to interact with co-workers in a social setting outside of the office environment – which can be beneficial in improving teamwork and collaboration. A walk can be just as productive when everything gets too much in the afternoon. As little as 10 minutes away from your desk, out in the sunshine and fresh air can set you up for the rest of the day.

Eat Right

During a busy workday, reaching for an unhealthy snack can appear to be the easiest option when your stomach starts to rumble. However, the fuel that you put into your body can have a huge impact on your afternoon productivity. Sugary soft drinks, sweet biscuits or a chocolate bar may give you a quick energy hit, but this will quickly wear off and you will be right back where you started soon after. By carefully selecting your afternoon snack you can give yourself the boost you need and the best chance to power through to the end of the day. Bananas, berries and nuts are great snack alternatives which can be just as convenient as their sugar laden cousins.

Schedule Work Around The Waves

Within each of our jobs, we have tasks which we really enjoy and energise us and those tasks which we need to complete but can we find real drag. How you schedule your daily tasks can have a huge impact on your energy levels. If you leave tasks which you consider to be mundane until the afternoon when your energy starts to flag, even the simplest task can seem all too hard. Alternatively, if you schedule something which you really enjoy for this time it can really assist to keep you engaged and on the ball. A little bit of planning at the start of the day can really help to match the timing of work with your energy cycles.

While none of these small tweaks appear groundbreaking, they can each make a huge difference to how you make it through the day. With a little bit of pre-planning you can avoid the Afternoon Energy Cliff and power through the day knocking things off your to do list.

What other tricks do you use to help fight through the afternoon as your energy starts to wane? Feel free to write a comment to share your tips.

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