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How Official Is Your Official Dressing?

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Dressing is one of the most important things in business. As a marketing Representative, the way you dress when meeting your clients and potential customers tells them more about you and your company, so you need to prove that you hail from a professional organization just by them looking at you. It is obvious that you have to be in an official dressing when meeting business leaders, but the question is, how official is your official dressing? The fact is this, before you start marketing your company, you need to start by marketing yourself first. Just imagine Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore attending Safaricom’s AGM on a short, how will the attendees react? Or President Uhuru Kenyatta giving a state of the nation address putting on a t-shirt, a pair of jeans and rubber shoes, will anybody take him seriously? Even the media houses in their respective news bulletins will focus more on the type of attire these two gentlemen were putting on at the expense of what they were delivering. The way you dress accounts for whom you are.

When dressing up for interviews and business meetings, always prefer putting on suits if you have any in your wardrobe, your suit should be well ironed and of good quality, The color of your suit matters a lot because you are going for business meeting not an entertainment party. Black, grey, navy blue and brown are my most preferred colors. The reason for dark colors is that they are less shinny and don’t attract much attention, they are worn by almost everybody making you feel at home when it comes to dressing thus you don’t look like a lost sheep in the midst of goats, dark colors also represent the business mood. Wearing shouting colors like purple, orange e.t.c creates unnecessary attention towards you and this might irritate you affecting your concentration.

It’s also advisable you blend your suit with nice pair of shoes, well fitting shoes with low heels can allow you walk freely without any struggle, shoes that can allow you withstand any challenges that might occur in meeting halls i.e. slippery floors. Let your shoes compliment your suit or trouser to make you professional.

When it comes to business meetings you have to be complete and belting up is a must. Belts helps a lot, they make you a presentable, official and fashionable, Imagine you are in a business meeting, in the middle of your presentation when your trouser accidentally falls off just because of a small mistake which could have been avoided by wearing a belt. Whom will you blame? A belt or yourself?

Wear good quality shirts, avoid too much fitting shirts which might make you feel uncomfortable, long sleeved shirts both plain and checked are the most preferred. You can make yourself more professional by adding a tie on your shirt. The tie should not be to too slimy and should blend either with your shirt or trouser.

The first step of winning your clients’ confidence is how you present yourself to them. Before heading to those meetings always ensure that you dress to attract customers not to kill their confidence in you’. The ball is now in your coat, play it well.

 

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Time Management Hacks That Will Help You To Earn Extra Cash

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The time to create multiple streams of  income has never been more urgent. The challenge that people with ‘regular jobs’ face is to find time to actually do that. I put regular in quotes to distinguish eight to five-ers from full-time entrepreneurs.

A regular job demands set time in a work space doing  assigned tasks. And so a regular worker will have to set aside time and make sacrifices to be able to earn from other streams of income. Work place terms and conditions have to be considered before getting excited about a side hustle or self-improvement program.

Make sure you review your contract because this delicate balancing act involves you dedicating at least eight hours for work.

Be meticulous in this and set daily goals you have to meet for your job. You can go an extra step and fill in a performance review form every week to keep track of your work life.

John, 38 is the Head of Operations at an electronics store in the city centre. He has learned how to artfully manage his time between his job and side hustle. Since he does most of his hustle online, it doesn’t take away too much of his time. He reckons employment is not the ideal way to live because of uncertainty and encourages people to take on one or two income generating hustles if they can manage to do them well.

Online work could be what you need to do to supplement your income. In fact most of the time you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home since you just need access to a computer and an internet connection. You could do product reviews, write academic papers, contribute to online magazines or rate apps for a small but steady income.

When reviewing terms you could decide to renegotiate your employment contract. Blended work forces today have seen permanent employees and freelancers work hand in hand. This could free up some time for you to take on a side hustle or go back to school.

Make realistic goals for what freelancing could mean for you. It could take a while before you see returns from the work you do. Be ready to do many free jobs or earn meagre wages before you can establish your reputation as being good at what you do.

Lydia, 27 and Office Administrator at an upmarket security firm, has been attending evening classes to get her degree in Finance. She has come to an agreement with her employer who lets her off early so that she can do that.

When considering a career upgrade that will consume, save for it. This money will help you avoid dipping into your regular income which could then strain you financially. There are many ways to go on about this, the most popular one this season has been the fifty-two week savings challenge (#52weeksavingchallenge). The challenge ensures you put aside money on a weekly basis so that it accrues to a huge sum by the end of the year. The beauty of it is that it is small amounts of money that you could be using to do other things anyway.

A vibrant community has been built around this challenge to help you stay motivated and to keep you accountable.

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Stress Management At The Workplace

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Majority of the working class experience stress more often than not. Statistics according to Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist, shows that modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working in large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainty about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.

Causes of stress in offices are derived from financial breakdown, workload, incomplete assignments, scandals and crises among others.  What to do when stress arises

Track your stressors

Sit back and try and analyze what makes you get stressed up. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Your response to them should be positive to avoid building up more stress.

Take Action

In most cases, we experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control. When this happens, other factors like concentration and confidence are interfered with. If your organization for instance gets a scandal maybe for selling illegal goods, it’s advisable to take action instead of reacting to it. An immediate press conference could be held to give the side of the company’s story, instead of getting anxious or angry.

Get some support

Normally, it’s better to share an issue with someone other than keeping it to oneself. If you happen to feel stressed up, identify the best person to approach first. A fellow colleague here would be appropriate or an immediate supervisor.

Take A Deep Breath

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or tensed because of an issue, you need to clear your head. A few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance. “Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose,” says Melnick.  You can even go ahead and get some fresh air to cool down. This helps you calm down and be in a position to reason out with a sober mind.

Learn how to relax

Too much work without play makes Jack a dull boy. During lunch breaks join a friend out for lunch, stretch at your desks, engage in informal conversations or listen to music. Music is known to be a great stress reliever, one can plug in headphones to the computer and listen to soothing music. Most workaholics are very antisocial and get stressed up easily, which then makes them become arrogant and rude.

Eliminate Interruptions

Most people usually have much to do during the day; responding to emails, phone calls, pop-ins, instant messages, urgent deadlines and receiving visitors. You may not have control to neglect all these duties but you can control your response.  For instance, you can schedule different hours when to handle visitors. Eliminate those tasks that are not urgent or are irrelevant.

If you are a director or a manager, you can advise your personal assistant when you need to focus and therefore at that time he/she will put other things on hold for you.

Eat Right And Sleep Well

Eating badly will stress your system and you will not sleep enough as well.  Do not sleep so late and get up very early at the same time. Deficit of sleep deteriorates your energy level during the day, thus making you less productive.  Ensure that you don’t miss meals like lunch, the brain functions slower on empty stomachs, but again don’t eat too much for it calls in for laziness or even sleep.

Winding Up

Managers need to motivate their employees in their work places. There are professions such as medical practitioners whose duties are very demanding and always present. It is likely for such people to get stressed up because of too much work; attending to many patients and running numerous tests.

Once in a while, managers should hold end of year parties, organize for trips to celebrate their work. This gives doctors and nurses an opportunity to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You notice that even when they return to work, they have so much energy and work to the best of their ability without having to be pushed.

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On Evaluating Your Productivity, Set Your Priorities Right

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I got a lot done this past two weeks, work wise.

While I’m glad I made headway in projects not related to my creative work, I saw this as an opportunity to learn. To evaluate what exactly I did. So, I made a time-monitoring schedule which excluded hours taken to sleep, cook and eat, respond to emails, catch up with news and catch up on social media.

I set priorities like doing class assignments, reading while on the daily commute and meditation or as I like to call it ‘mind rejuvenation’ time. Because these were activities I did daily, I set apart about four hours to do them regardless of how the plan for my day was. Now I was down to about seven hours or so to plan for.

When you’re targeting to accomplish things at the end of the day, you will have to check on how you have performed these tasks in the past. This will help you know how much time to allocate to it and how to speed up the process. If you’re anything like me, short intense time slots work best and so I put tasks that need all my concentration around this time. Other tasks like emails and follow-up calls can be slotted for when the pressure isn’t as high.

In a work setting, things change and you will have to be flexible. Those staff meetings and site visits are important for business as well as professional growth. The trick is to make up for that time by cutting back on something else. You won’t just find time, you’ll have to create it.

Creatively speaking, we have been made to believe that as artists we have to work constantly to improve on our craft. Isn’t that an unrealistic fallacy we propagate! We have family, friends and other commitments to honour as well. And when your art becomes intense, time-consuming and mind-numbingly boring then it makes you despise it more than appreciate it. Create. Exhale. Reflect. Repeat.

The home front could suffer if cleaning and cooking are not put into consideration. I believe I’m speaking to budding entrepreneurs who have not set hiring a cleaning service in their budget, though if you have that’s great. Besides, stacking dirty clothes until the weekend could be detrimental as I have come to learn. Instead I have do mid-week cleaning and tidy up before putting my feet up.

I also learnt of meal preps quite recently after scouring the net for easier nutritious recipes. You plan out your menu for the week, and then do grocery shopping. Have a huge “cook-out” and after the food cools down you store it in separate dishes for the week and pop into your freezer. Voila! You don’t have to slave over your jiko all night trying to cook a meal after a hard day at work.

Now that you’ve reviewed all these hours and time spent doing tasks, the next step is to plan the following days’ activities. One thing you may overlook is as soon as you wake up you spend thirty minutes rifling through your closet for clothes to wear. And while I’m fascinated by the monochrome outfits of t-shirts and jeans that Silicon Valley has advocated, I prefer more elaborate getups. Getting those decisions out of the way the previous night will give you clarity of tasks to look forward to.

In dealing with productivity, evaluating measurable results will help you move around the proverbial ‘pieces on your board’ to get the maximum results. You will notice that you spend too much time replying to comments on social media throughout the day while you could schedule to do it once in the morning and again in the evening. Or that your house gets cluttered easily when you can clear it out before going to bed. It is all about the “small things” and adjustments to find a good manageable routine to work with.

I’m emphasising on manageable because there’s no use achieving daily goals while you’re miserable. While I realize that there is so much more to be improved on, I strive to make the most of my time. I watch TED talks on productivity, read books and use apps that help me keep up with the responsibilities to be done. In this day and age there’s an app for everything, really.

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