Office Party

BREAK!

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 | 0 comments

pool-break.3We all need a break at one time or another. Today I needed a break so badly I had to remove myself from any proximity to technology: computer was powered down, iPhone was turned off and left at home. And I couldn’t get into my little guacamole-colored Subaru fast enough. Thankfully I am mature enough to not screech out of the driveway, but the thought did cross my mind. It was as if I was escaping some terrible threat to my sanity safety.

In reality, I was maxed out. I had hit the wall. I needed quiet, space, food, and a break. This happens to all of us, but what do we do about it? I stumbled upon this great article that shows clearly the warning signs of someone who needs a break. On a scale of 1 – 10, I was approaching total insanity. How about you?

So, TAKE A BREAK and read through this great article from LifeHack. It’s about 10 WARNING Signs You Definitely Need A Break and it’s a wake up call from that much-needed nap you aren’t taking.

We all need a break at one point or another, but perhaps you need one NOW. You may say that you are absolutely too busy to take a break or there is no way that you can let go right at the moment. These are both signs that you need a break TODAY.

If you find yourself saying any of the following, it’s time to take a day off and turn off the computer and all of your notifications and get away.

1. There are Only 24 Hours in a Day

Are you one who says that there is never enough time in the day to get everything done? Are you running around somewhat like a chicken with its head cut off? If you continue at this pace, you will always be behind. You are putting tons of items on your plate and only a few items are getting completed.

2. Your Social Life is Non-Existent

If this phrase rings true, then you definitely need a break. It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds. Do you want that to be you?

If you are missing your children’s events, missing momentous occasions from your best friends, and your family has no idea where you are at, then a break is long overdue.

3. A Change Throws You for a Loop

Are you flexible? Do you hate change? Change is what should bring you opportunities and a chance to see life in a new perspective. However, if you are continually trying to be in charge of every single aspect of your life without allowing room for change and absolutely detest when someone asks to change a meeting time, then you definitely need to take a deep breathe and schedule a day off.

4. You Have Dinner at the Office

Does ordering in for dinner and having it delivered to the office ring a bell? Or what about eating in front of your computer telling yourself that this last deck must get out tonight? If you cannot take 30 minutes to de-stress and eat in a peaceful (note: mobile and work free) environment, then you must start to ask why and make yourself distance away from work. Lastly, schedule a day to disconnect. No email. No calls. No thinking about the to-do lists.  A day to yourself.

5. The Gym Hasn’t Seen You in Months

You have not had any injuries. You used to be at the gym five out of the seven days a week, and now you are so busy working from sunrise to sunset. If anytime fitness was closer, then you would try to squeeze in a twenty minute workout, but it is a balancing act between sleep and working out.

6. Phone Calls Anger You

Hearing the ring of your telephone just sends an overall sense of more work. The words “it never ends” continues to go through your mind. Work is constantly calling or if it is your best friend that you have not talked to in months is calling, you sadly slide the notification to decline. Sighing and saying, “One day, it will be better.” I’m here to tell you that it’s time to take a break and realize that a phone call may just be what you need from your best friend.

7. What Used to Bring You Joy is Now A Hindrance

That hobby and job that you once loved seems more like an obligation than something that makes you smile. You regret every item that has to deal with the job. It feels as if you are chained to it and cannot escape. As my friend AJ Leon said so eloquently, “I have met many entrepreneurs that leave a job they feel is a prison, only to find that now the door is locked from the inside and they are holding the key.” No more smiles and happiness.

8. You Answer Emails as You Go To Bed and Right When You Wake-up

Are you answering work emails in your bed at night and then checking your email immediately upon waking? Taking work with you to bed is a recipe for a high stress lifestyle. Having it by your side 24/7 is a recipe for disaster. You are always thinking about work and adding it to your to-do list, which is not giving you any time to yourself. It’s time for a break.

9. You Have a Quad Americano Three Times a Day

Does your barista know your orders based on the look that is on your face when you walk? Do you have a morning, afternoon, and evening order all with at least four shots of espresso? Maybe it’s time to step back and realize that all the caffeine in the world is not going to make your work go away.

10. You Are Never Home

Your roommates don’t believe you exist. They get the rent check but never actually see you. Your house looks impeccable because you have not had enough time to spend there to make it dirty. You have just a couple of groceries in your pantry, and the refrigerator is empty with the exception of condiments that have a two year expiration date. You are literally home to sleep and wake up early to do it all over again. It’s an unsustainable lifestyle. You live and breathe work.

It’s time for a break if you can check off one of these items. It’s time for a week vacation if more than two apply to you. If you have all ten, then you need to take a break, go on vacation, and reexamine this lifestyle because you only have this one and is this how you want to live?

Want a break? Take one! I did, and I’m feeling better.

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LBD Meets Coworkers: 10 Tips on Surviving the Office Holiday Party

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 | 0 comments

Mixing Christmas and the OfficeWe’ve all been there. The dreaded company holiday party. Where Judy (think tailored beige suits and no makeup) suddenly transforms at the part-AY into Jud-AY in a very LBD (little black dress), 4 inch stilettos, 1-inch eyelashes, and sparkling foundation, and where Paul (think office nerd with horn-rimmed glasses) shows up in a beautifully tailored European suit with slicked back hair and dreamy eyes. Who knew!?

Don’t panic! There is a way to maneuver through the packed room of glitz and champagne without losing your sanity. And  I couldn’t have said it better, so please enjoy this blog entry originally posted at hitchedmag.com. This blog post was written by Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert.

 10 Tips On Surviving the Office Holiday Party

Making conversation is the key to shining like a sparkly star at the office party. Chatting only with your spouse or your buddies from your department will earn you a lump of coal for a missed opportunity.

When you are stepping outside of your comfort zone and talking with people, you don’t see often or know very well, the art of conversation takes a little preparation. Here are a few tips to get ready for the office party or any other event where you’re mingling with a mixed crowd:

1. Show genuine interest. Make sure you’re paying attention to the other person by nodding your head, responding with related comments and asking questions. Don’t let them see that you are really studying how fast the buffet line is moving and counting the shrimp in the dwindling shrimp bowl.

2. Be aware of what your body language is saying. Face the person you’re talking to, slightly lean in and make eye contact. Use your facial expressions to show you are involved in the conversation. If your toes and hips are pointing away, it sends the message that you are planning your escape. 

3. Do your homework. Good conversation requires a little forethought. Have a few topics up your sleeve, avoiding politics, religion, office gossip or anything depressing. Sports, movies, food and plans for the holidays are good alternatives. It’s easy to make conversation with people you see every day—your job is to mix and mingle with those whom you are less familiar. 

4. Listen. If it were easy to follow this rule, we’d all be brilliant conversationalists. Many of us are so busy talking about ourselves—or thinking about what we’re going to say next while the other person is talking—that we fail to engage in real conversation. How many times have you been in a conversation where someone asked the same question that was just answered only minutes earlier? A good rule of thumb: Listen 60 percent of the time and ask questions the other 40 percent. 

5. Ask questions. Being a great conversationalist is not all about spewing an endless stream of stories or witticisms to amuse an audience. A question shows the other person you are interested in what they have to say and, ideally, they will answer your question and then ask a question in return. This “discovery” phase will hopefully lead to a common area of interest for you both to explore further and voila, a bond is forged. If you know a little something about the person—for example, if they have kids—start there. “How old are they? How is school going for them? Are they in any sports or activities? What are the hot toys for Christmas this year?” 

6. Team up with your spouse. While you shouldn’t stick to your spouse like glue, don’t abandon your spouse to fend for him or herself at the office party, especially if he or she doesn’t know anyone from your office very well. Work together. For example, if your husband is a football fan and you’re not, he can help break the ice with a fellow fan. Always introduce him to whomever you’re speaking with and include him in your conversation even if you have to bring him up to speed. 

7. Practice the art of excusing yourself from a monologue. We all know people who spout off at length on random topics, ignoring all signs of discomfort in others. If you’ve been trapped in the corner for 10 minutes listening to a guest drone on and on, jump in when the rambler takes a breath, “Well, you certainly know a lot about the company’s servers” or, “Sounds like you’ve really turned a corner with that lactose intolerance issue;” immediately followed by, “If you’ll excuse me I think I need to freshen my drink… nice chatting with you. Enjoy the rest of the party!” After freshening your drink, head for the other side of the room and strike up a new conversation with someone else. 

8. Do talk about the holidays. The fact that this is a holiday party lends itself to all kinds of discussion topics. “Are you traveling for the holidays?” “Have you done any holiday shopping/decorating yet?” “Do you know a good place to see Christmas lights this year?” 

9. Don’t talk about work. This is not the venue to complete a project or plan a client meeting for the following week. It is okay to mention upbeat news briefly, “Hey, I heard we had record sales last month!” but the holiday party is not the time to try to analyze departmental efficiencies. It’s definitely not the time or place to gripe about anything or anyone from work. 

10. Say thanks. Before leaving, be sure to thank both your boss and those who planned the party. And remember to thank your spouse for coming with you and being such a good sport throughout the evening. 

Remember that the festive atmosphere of the holiday party creates a great environment to connect with coworkers you’d like to get to know better. The ability to engage in conversation with a wide variety of people is a skill that will serve you well not only at the office holiday party, but throughout your career. 

Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.protocolschooloftexas.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @:www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman.

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