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Exact Staff News

  • Feeling Overwhelmed? These Tips Will Help Change That

    02/23/18 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone:

    • A Families and Work Institute study cited in this ABC News article showed that more than half of U.S. employees feel overworked or overwhelmed at least some of the time.
    • Research compiled by The American Institute of Stress show that job stress has escalated progressively over the past few decades – contributing to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.

    And we pay a big price for that stress – over $300 billion annually for U.S. businesses – due to accidents, absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, workers’ compensation awards and more.

    As a nation, we’re stressed out. Burned out. And feeling generally overwhelmed by the lives we lead.

    Where did things go so wrong? And more importantly, what can you do to alleviate that awful feeling that you’re being crushed by the weight of your work?

    There’s no “quick fix,” but small changes can have a big impact on your ability to relax, focus and cope more effectively. Here are a few ideas to try:

    Don’t Believe the Hype

    “I’m soooo busy.” “I’m buried.” “I have too many plates spinning.” You probably hear phrases like this all the time at work, right? Have you ever considered why? As a society, we’ve been programmed to associate busyness with success. In a weird way, stress has become a status symbol: If you’re busy (or present yourself as such), people assume you’re smart, competent and worthy of admiration.

    Don’t buy into it! Change your self-talk, as well as how you speak to others about your workload. Unless you relinquish the notion that overwhelmed = successful, you’ll never be able to make the changes you need.

    Record and Prioritize

    Get all your to-do’s out of your head – and onto some form of list, whether you choose a cloud-based organization tool or a low-tech notebook. Writing down everything that’s on your mind instantly reduces your worry and is the first step in getting organized.

    Then, get ruthless. Accept the fact that you probably won’t accomplish everything on that list, today, without help. Decide what’s most important, what can wait and what you need to delegate. Resolve to tackle your highest priority items first.

    Adopt Better Productivity Habits

    Boosting productivity is essential to achieving work goals. And when you check more things off your list, you’ll be less overwhelmed (no surprise there, right?). In this post, our team shares 5 productivity hacks that will give you a little more breathing room each day.

    Improve the Way You Start and End Each Work Day

    If your office looks like a bomb hit it when you leave in the evening, guess what? You’re going to walk into that same whirling vortex of entropy the next morning. If you’re looking for tips to make your day more sane and productive, bookend it with the habits we share in this earlier post, “How Successful People Begin and End Their Workdays.”

    Make Time for Yourself

    One of the best ways to combat feeling overwhelmed is by carving out time to do things that you truly enjoy – whatever those may be. And when you schedule time for yourself, make it non-negotiable. Do what you must to feed your spirit and take care of yourself.

    Are you or your staff members overwhelmed at work?

    Adequate staffing levels can alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed, improving focus, productivity and engagement throughout your organization.

    Whether it’s a single temporary for a day or an entire project team, Exact Staff delivers exceptional talent to meet your local or national requirements. What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

How Filler Words and Tiny Pauses Keep Conversations from Going off the Rails

02/16/18 3:21 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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Umm…

So…

Mmhmmm

In this earlier post, “Words and Phrases Smart People Never Use in Conversation,” we explained why filler words like these can make you sound less intelligent than you really are.

But hold on a second (well, 200 milliseconds, to be exact). According to N.J. Enfield, a professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney, filler words and tiny conversational pauses are actually important communication tools.

Yep, you read that right.

When interviewed by The Atlantic’s Julie Beck, Enfield elaborated on how little words and short silences act as “traffic signals” to keep dialogues from going off the rails. Here are a few interesting takeaways from the interview:

  • When one person asks another a question, it takes approximately 200 milliseconds for them to respond – which is faster than the half-second it takes the human brain to retrieve the words needed to respond! In other words, humans put the conversational cart before the horse, relying on contextual cues (e.g., tone, content of speech) to anticipate when it’s their turn to talk next.
  • Conversational minutiae – things like filler words and pauses longer than 200 milliseconds – are indispensable tools that keep the wheels of the “conversation machine” greased and steer communications in the direction people want them to go.
  • If there’s more than a 200-millisecond delay from when one person stops speaking and the other responds, it’s a sign that the person responding either:
    • is having trouble finding the right words to say – typically because the question posed is difficult;
    • is delaying their response, because it’s likely not what the speaker wants to hear.
  • Words like “mmhmmm” and “uh-huh” can greatly smooth the operation of the conversation machine. One study showed that distracting listeners from using these words appropriately caused the speaker to circle back more and repeat themselves when telling a story. In essence, offering a reassuring “mmhmmm” to a speaker makes them a more proficient, fluid storyteller.

Should you eliminate words like “uh” and “well” from your vocabulary?

Unless you habitually rely on them to introduce or bridge ideas, probably not. Instead, pay attention to how you use filler words, or ask someone you trust for their candid feedback. If you find that your speech is riddled with “ums,” for example, try mixing things up a bit – or opting for the occasional pause to keep your conversations on track.

Need temporary employees or new hires who are articulate and professional?

Exact Staff moves beyond job descriptions to uncover what candidates truly need to thrive in your organization. Whether your requirements are local or national, temp or direct-hire, we’ll deliver the exact talent solution you need.

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Three Important Things Great Leaders Do Every Day

02/9/18 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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At Exact Staff, we’re continually searching for ways to improve the effectiveness of our organization’s leaders. And when we find great new ideas, we share them here!

Over the years, we’ve written dozens of posts to help you grow as a leader by:

In today’s leadership wisdom post, we’re sharing three more fundamentals from Mary Ann McLaughlin, Managing Partner with Butler Street.

After being flooded with advice and information while attending a three-day leadership conference, McLaughlin had an epiphany. While each of the speakers in the presentations she attended had a slightly different approach and message, she realized that leadership success boiled down to these three basic elements.

Clear, Written Goals

The most effective leaders use SMART goals to keep their sights on the future and aligned with their organization’s big picture. In this post, we review how you can create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based goals to achieve more.

Action Plans

Leadership success is the direct result of intentional decisions, choices and actions. Those who are most effective at leading others make every move in support of their overarching goals. They make plans, they follow through on their commitments, and they make adjustments – not excuses – when they miss the mark.

Disciplined Habits

What separates great leaders from wannabes? Disciplined leadership habits, even in the face of distractions, crises or triumphs. Successes and failures come and go. Opportunities and threats continually evolve. Markets, industries and economic conditions can change on a dime. Great leaders are consistent and disciplined in how they conduct themselves, no matter what the world throws their way.

Every leader has a unique approach, and each takes a different path to success. Regardless of their personality, background or management style, however, all leaders can become more successful with the right goals, action plans and habits.

Want to be a better leader – or hire better leaders for your team?

 Choose the Right Staffing Partner

A national staffing and recruiting partner like Exact Staff can improve your leadership effectiveness by delivering the exact staffing solutions you need – exactly when you need them. Ready to get started? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

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