Harvard Business Review Articles

Establish An Evening Routine To Put The Workday behind you

march 14th, 2018

It can be tough to leave work behind when you go home for the day, but having a routine can help. Before you leave the office, make a short phone call, sign a document, or respond to an email. This way you’ll end your day on a positive note of completion, and you’ll have one less thing to do the following morning. Then do a specific action that symbolizes the end of your workday. It might be locking your office door, turning off your computer, or calling home to say you’re leaving work. Each night, treat this action as the equivalent of clocking out with a timesheet, and remind yourself that it’s time to shift your mental state away from work. Having a routine like this helps you create a psychological barrier between work and home.

 

 

What is your most urgent and important work?

February 27th, 2018

We all think we have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. But you’ll never feel on top of things if you don’t have clear priorities in the first place. Start assessing your priorities by taking inventory of the work you do: Which tasks are more (or less) urgent? Which are the most (or least) important? This inventory will prepare you to make concrete to-do lists for the tasks that truly need your attention. It will also help you answer the question, “How is my time best spent right now?” Focus on the tasks that are both urgent and important, and get rid of tasks that are neither by delegating them — or not doing them at all. And don’t neglect the tasks that are important but less urgent. Be sure these activities move up on your to-do list, or they may never get done.

 

 

 

Unplug from Work by Focusing Your Brain on Something Else

February 19th, 2018

Most of us know that staying productive in the office requires recharging away from it. The hard part is doing it. Even if you go home at a decent hour, you may find yourself checking email or reading one last report. To forget about what’s happening at work, focus on what you’ll do instead. Framing it the right way can help: A negative goal (“I will not check email at dinner”) may be harder to stick to than a positive one. For example, you could set up a personal training session for 5:30 PM at a gym near your office. Or you might pick up the kids at school every night this week. Or you can volunteer at a charity on the weekends. If your mind still turns to work during these activities, have a plan to bring it back to what you’re doing.

 

 

 

Finding Commonalities With Co-workers from Different cultures

February 13th, 2018

When working on a global team, it’s easy to focus on the ways that you and your colleagues are different. But rather than thinking about what sets you apart, emphasize what you have in common. This will draw you closer to your colleagues and make you more receptive to — and less frustrated by — cultural differences. For example, a French employee might bond with Japanese coworkers by recognizing that both cultures are results-oriented and prone to analyzing processes for how they could be improved. When you encounter rules and norms that seem odd to you, think about analogous norms in your culture. You’ll feel warmer toward your colleagues, which will improve collaboration and teamwork.

 

 

 

Assessment: What’s feeding your Fear of public speaking

February 13th, 2018

Fear of public speaking tops the list of common phobias, ranking just above fear of death. But there’s a spectrum of feelings about presenting. Yes, some of us would rather be in the casket than deliver the eulogy, as Jerry Seinfeld put it, but others take the stage every chance they get—and most of us fall somewhere between those extremes. That’s because this particular fear has several different sources. The more of them we struggle with, the more intense our dread. But by addressing those worries and obstacles one by one, we can learn to present with greater ease and control.  Communicators who feel most at ease with themselves, their material, and their audiences tend to be least fearful when presenting, and vice versa.

Here’s how you can start managing your emotional response and become a more effective presenter, given your answers in six key areas:

1. Confidence in Expertise

2. Extraversion vs. Introversion

3. Ability to Empathize

4. Self-Esteem

5. Optimism vs. Pessimism

6. Response to Perceived Threats

Click here to take this assessment. After you complete this assessment, you will be aware of  issues you can address to quell your fears and improve your stage presence. The questions are drawn from scientifically validated tools used in psychological research. At the end, you’ll receive advice based on your responses.

Stay In Touch With Your Friends, No Matter How Focused You are On your Career

January 16th, 2018

Many people let their personal relationships fall by the wayside as they focus on their careers and start a family. Yet research shows that we are more successful in our careers when we’re supported by a foundation of strong, stable friendships. Don’t run the risk of losing touch with your closest social connections. Career and friendships can reinforce each other — friends can share big-picture career insights and even inspire your passion for professional growth. Counteract the natural drift away, and make the effort to maintain your friendships. Call a close friend instead of just clicking on their Facebook page. Make plans to see them (and don’t cancel!). It’s OK to set ambitious career goals, but don’t sacrifice close ties in the process.

 

Don’t let immediate Concerns Rush Your Strategic Meetings

January 15th, 2018

Executives need to constantly balance the long- and short-term demands of their businesses, but it can be difficult to remain strategic when you’re facing immediate concerns. To keep your next strategy meeting focused on the future, slow down. Issues that need to be addressed over a longer time frame benefit from exploration. Before jumping in to solve strategic issues, consider them from multiple angles. Ask for opinions from everyone in the room; it’s possible that each person has interpreted the challenge differently. You may also need to spread the discussion over several meetings so that you can better understand the data, discuss the various points of view, and examine the implications of different strategies. When strategy is on the agenda, it’s important to adopt a slower, more deliberate, and participative approach.