Blog Archives

Magic Monday: Presenteeism

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

Oy, the past few weeks have been murder. Between work craziness, the unexpected death of a friend, and a springtime cold that I am almost over finally, my productivity has been seriously compromised. I am operating at half-caff today, and working from home, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things, and I missed interacting with all of you! Here’s a new Magic Monday for you. I hope you won’t have to use this advice, but here it is just in case.

This week’s video is about presenteeism. I know that nonprofits like ours are often putting in long hours with fewer resources and trying to make magic happen for our constituents. Sometimes we are tempted or feel obligated to show up to work when we are feeling under the weather, either because of our workload or because of our employer’s compensation structure for sick days. There are several reasons that showing up when you are sick is a bad idea. Your capacity to accomplish our work is stunted; we may spend four days at diminished productivity instead of taking a full day to rest and recuperate. You also increase the likelihood that others will be exposed to your illness. And of course, the obvious: You’re not going to get better any faster by expending what little energy you have on doing what amounts to substandard work.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to call in, especially if you’re the type of worker I suspect you are. You’re passionate and dedicated. But you’re also not feeling well. You owe it to yourself to look out for #1.

Is presenteeism a problem in your workplace? Have you gone to work sick in the past? Why or why not?

Magic Monday: Getting Back on Track After a Break

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

outofofficeemail2Well, I wasn’t on vacation this week (hahaha I wish), but there certainly is a lot of great information out there for people who are trying to get back in the work swing of things after some well-deserved time off. (This advice also works if you’ve been away from something for a while, which is very helpful in my case.) Here are some articles on the topic that may interest you:

And before you decide that getting back to work after a vacation seems like a lot of work, and that next time you might not take a vacation, don’t forget that vacation is good for you:

And a bit of a funny: A slightly sarcastic (and rather candid) away message breaks the mold. (I also got the image for this post from this article.)

Hope the rest of your week is happy trails and sunny skies.

Do you feel more productive after a vacation? Have you worked for a company that has an unlimited vacation policy?

Magic Monday EXTRA: 7th Inning Stretch

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

If I am working predominantly in the office on any given day, I often find myself looking up at the time to find that it is mid-afternoon and I have been sitting in pretty much the same position for several hours. Because my work environment is self-structured, I sometimes forget to take breaks and lunch if I am in the zone. Fortunately, on the days when I have off-site meetings or donor visits, I get a little more activity.

If you find yourself working diligently at your desk, taking the time to move and stretch would be good for you. The detriments of “sitting disease” can’t be overstated. Moving and refocusing is great for consistent productivity and helps prevent fatigue. The next time you need a short movement break, check out this video about stretches you can do in your office. (You can also read the accompanying article here.)

Do you have any favorite stretches that help you get through the day?

Magic Monday: Stop Multitasking

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

I am the world’s worst multi-tasker. Some days I can’t even walk the 10 feet from my assistant’s office to the time clock without getting distracted. I am very guilty of trying to do too much, in which case everything I am trying to accomplish suffers. Studies have shown that multitasking isn’t worth it for most people. If you have trouble single-tasking, here’s a short video that may help. The difficult part may be focusing on the video without trying to do something else at the same time!

Have any of you largely eliminated multitasking from your work day? Have you noticed a difference?

Magic Monday: Routine Maintenance

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your time to startmind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” -Gustav Flaubert

Who has two thumbs and is so not a morning person? That would be me. I am even worse in the wintertime; I think one of my parents must have been a grizzly bear. Most people, however, think that I am generally pretty well put together and pretty “with it” at work. Routines are the secret to my success, both in development and in life.

There was a time when I thought routines would mess with my creativity. Artistic, imaginative people don’t need routines, I told myself. Routines are for stuffy corporate types with nannies and personal assistants. I am super, and amazing, and should have no problem being über competent. Then, surprise surprise, real life happened. Let’s just say I’ve seen the light and hope to never stray again.

I would assert that the first and most important routine you can put in place is an evening routine, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a night owl. Though it sounds counter-intuitive, a good evening routine helps take the pressure off your mornings, so that you can arrive at work on time, relaxed, and ready to be a superhero for your organization.

Read on to Start Your Own Routine…