Posts tagged "balance"

Can You Achieve More by Doing Less?

April 5th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Community, Newsletters, Staff 0 thoughts on “Can You Achieve More by Doing Less?”

The eternal quest to achieve perfect work-life balance. We all know it. We all want it. None of us ever seem to get it. But maybe, just maybe, that’s not the point.

 

What if merely trying is?

We all have a tendency to throw ourselves into our work – time out to do the things we love slides further and further down the list as the real world demands that you ‘live your business’.

On the other hand, we all know that a more rested mind is a more productive mind – psychological studies have proven it time and again. And it stands to reason that more well-rounded individuals with a good social network are more resilient to the obstacles life throws our way.

The rub lies in how to (realistically) fit it into the busy schedule that is modern life.

However, taking a step back to give yourself some ‘me time’ can do a world of good. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how to charge those batteries.

 

Let it go

The first step to reclaiming your life – and maybe even growing your business – is to let others help. We’re all guilty of ‘de-delegating’, asking a team member to complete a task and then doing it ourselves ‘because it’s easier’, but trusting your team to look after things while you take time to focus on yourself is the only way to successfully build your business. Ask yourself if you really need to be doing repetitive tasks and try focusing your workload down to the essentials. If you don’t have a team, you might be surprised how many apps and cloud software solutions can help you move tedious admin work off your desk.

 

Face to face

Social media is a blessing and bane. It both widens and shrinks our world. Remember to take time each week to reconnect with those nearest and dearest in person, perhaps through hobbies, sport or just over a coffee. And make sure all phones are out of the way (first one to pick theirs up also picks up the tab!).

 

 

Just do it

An iconic line with a great deal of truth to it. However daunting the idea of a new exercise regime may be, moving your body can be one of the best ways to turn the mind off. It boosts moods, trims waists and helps you sleep better. Just 15 minutes a day can do wonders!

 

 

Silence the mind

Speaking of wonders – ever tried meditation? Think of it like defragging the hard drive of your brain. Meditation doesn’t mean chanting monotonously in some far-flung monastery somewhere; just five minutes (mid-commute even) of closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing will do. Let all other thoughts slip away and feel your breath. You’ll be amazed how focused you are after.

The modern world is packed with things that demand our time and energy, and it can be all too easy to get swept away. The next time you’re feeling daunted while planning your day, try to remember, time you enjoy wasting is never wasted time.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Tech Tips for the Business Professional – Keyboard Shortcuts

March 29th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Internet, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “Tech Tips for the Business Professional – Keyboard Shortcuts”

Time is money for most business professionals and you want to utilize every second that you have. It may not seem like a big time saver, but when you add up all the times you have to move your hand away the keyboard so you can “select”, “copy”, “paste” or any other similar functions, it starts to add up quick.

Memorize Keyboard Shortcuts

Memorizing shortcuts can be intimidating at first, but remember you don’t need to know every shortcut. You only need to learn and use the ones that are most important to you. Check out the shortcuts below to greatly improve your productivity.

Copy, Paste, and Other General Shortcuts

Press this key To do this
Ctrl + X Cut the selected item
Ctrl + C (or Ctrl + Insert) Copy the selected item
Ctrl + V (or Shift + Insert) Paste the selected item
Ctrl + Z Undo an action
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps
Alt + F4 Close the active item, or exit the active app
Ctrl + F Search for a word within a web page
F2 Rename the selected item
F3 Search for a file or folder in File Explorer
F4 Display the address bar list in File Explorer
F5 Refresh the active window
F6 Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop
F10 Activate the Menu bar in the active app
Alt + F8 Show your password on the sign-in screen
Alt + Esc Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened
Ctrl + Y Redo an action
Ctrl + A Select all items in a document or window
Ctrl + D (or Delete) Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin
Ctrl + R (or F5) Refresh the active window
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager

The Shortcuts Don’t End There

There’s plenty more shortcuts then what we showed you above. If you want to check them out then you should follow these links:

Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

22 Best Shortcuts You’re Not Using

We hope you found these tech tips handy! Remember, it’s not just about technology solutions. It’s about partnering with our clients to drive business success.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Create a Workstation with Purpose

March 17th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Newsletters, Staff, workstation 1 thought on “Create a Workstation with Purpose”

Eight hours a day, five days a week – we all know what it’s like to feel tied to our desk. Considering we often spend more time at work than we do with our own family, how we feel at our desk has a huge influence on our day.

The build and set up of a workstation can make a real difference – better workflows, better ergonomics and better tool sets can prevent physical and emotional issues. It’s surprising how a few small changes can have a dramatic effect on employee productivity, mental health, and physical well-being.

Every workplace (and workstation) is different, but there are a few common denominators that should be considered across the board.

Me, Myself, and My Workstation

Let’s pause for a moment and focus on you. Most likely you’re at your desk right now. Think about your body. Any aches? Perhaps in the neck, shoulders, or wrists? Melt away discomfort with these easy ergonomic tricks:

  • Imagine how you sit in a car – knees level with hips, shoulders upright and your backside sticking out slightly. This is close to your body’s natural pose, forming your lumbar spine into slight ‘S’.
  • Reach out and touch your screen with your fingertips – any closer or further away and you run the risk of eyestrain.
  • The top of your desk should be roughly level with your elbows so that you’re not hunching to reach up or down to the keyboard and mouse.
  • Keep the phone within arm’s reach. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, consider investing in a headset to save crunching your neck.
  • Keep the monitor at eye level so you’re not craning your neck downwards. (Hint – close your eyes, when you open them they should fall on the address bar in your browser.)

Tension Points

While these ergonomic principles will go a long way towards easing the work day, there are ways to adapt office-wide furniture situations to cater for individual needs – all with the benefit of boosting productivity.

For example, recent studies have shown that having multiple monitors can dramatically boost productivity by streamlining workflow and processes – showing that multi-screen arrays are no longer the domain of programmers and filmmakers. An ergonomically sound multi-screen setup can help any employee work across multiple programs, track email and documents, monitor data flows, and transcribe or check information. With the cost of flat-screen monitors continually dropping, this can be a surprisingly low-cost way to increase productivity.

Another thing to consider when it comes to monitors is eye strain. In the same way that Apple’s iOS now automatically shifts to ‘night mode’ after a certain time of night, many computer monitors have settings that reduce blue light emissions. Look for monitors with a range of settings for different situations, so employees can set the brightness and light type for their own comfort. One thing to note here is the tendency of workers to sit down at a desk and accept their computer’s settings as they are. Make sure everyone is aware of the options available, and encourage them to make changes to settings, positioning and format to suit their needs.

Foot rests, ergonomic mouse devices, screen stands and standing desks, while perhaps once considered a luxury, are fast becoming the norm. These ease pressure on the back, neck, wrist, and anything that can enable staff to keep focus for longer and perform more effectively pays for itself in the long run.

A lot of people are increasingly focused on wellness, and sitting has been widely denigrated as ‘the new smoking’: bad for your back, bad for your heart, and bad for your life expectancy. Offering staff members the option of a standing desk will not only help them focus and keep them well, they will appreciate the gesture of concern for their wellbeing.

To summarize, a carefully designed workstation pays for itself many times over in productivity and efficiency, so ensure you put the time in during the planning stage to get the most from your investment.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

T-Cloud Hosted VoIP

March 17th, 2017 Posted by Cloud, Hosted Services, Newsletters, Phone, VoIP 0 thoughts on “T-Cloud Hosted VoIP”

Reduce IT Costs with T-Cloud VoIP Hosted Phones

The business environment in today’s world is always changing. New technologies, developing consumer behaviors, and a wavering economy accentuate this fact. Continual change introduces real and constant challenges for businesses of all sizes, so flexibility is crucial. But flexibility is more than a management mindset. Your infrastructure needs to be flexible too and that includes your phone system. A flexible VoIP phone system should cover and form to fit your current and future needs.

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Join everyone together wherever they are – at the office, at home or on the road!

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Managed on our secured Data Center.

Email Integration

Your system will send voicemails to email for easy sharing.

Increase Your Productivity

  • Call Management & Routing
  • Automated Attendant
  • Hunt Groups
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Instant Messaging & Presence
  • Video Conferencing
  • Music on Hold
  • Voicemail to Email

Let’s Get Started!

Call us at 1-888-98-THINK or email us at sales@thinknettech.com. We will answer your questions and prepare a personalized quote for your business.

The Surprising Secret of Happy Workers

February 22nd, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Internet, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “The Surprising Secret of Happy Workers”

When the gurus talk about their recipes for happy workers, they seldom mention technology. Information technology is normally only discussed in terms of productivity. But it turns out employers looking for a happy (and productive) workforce ignore technology at their cost.

“Lifestyle IT” Reaches the Office

Technology is marketed as aspirational. Phones are not sold to consumers as something they can use to make calls. New computers are not marketed in terms of being able to open Microsoft Word faster than their predecessors. Consumers are persuaded to buy technology because it will enhance their lifestyle.

That idea of technology offering something more than plain functionality infiltrated the office a few years ago. Just over 40 percent of employees say having the latest and greatest technology is “very important” to them.

Use It or Lose Them

One out of four employees say the quality of the technology in the workplace would influence their decision to stay with one employer or move to another. This is even truer at the management level. Management expects the best technology. If they do not get it, they are more likely to leave.

What To Do?

IT decision makers had plenty to juggle before being told their decisions affect employee happiness and retention. There are some quick fixes.

First, Hear Them

Employees report being disgruntled when not included in IT decisions. Less than half of employees feel decision makers take their views into account when selecting technology.

A simple first step to improve employee engagement is to talk to them about the technology they need to do their jobs. You don’t know until you try whether consulting employees will cost you more. They might want something different, not something more expensive. Even if it cannot be done, you have provided a forum to explain why.

Second, Enable Them

More than half of employees are using their own devices for work or expect to do so in the future. Letting them do so could relieve some of the pressure on you. It is one reason 54 percent of companies globally are allowing BYOD.

The key is to allow it in a structured way. If you forbid it, there is a chance employees will do it anyway. That opens holes in security. Even of companies that formally allow BYOD, only 27 percent are securing the personal devices. Policies, permissions, and structure are important.

The idea of engaging employees in dialogue about a subject as involved as business technology might not seem appealing. The financial rewards, however, can be attractive. In some organizations, even the slightest uptick in retention rates can be significant.

The same is true when it comes to employee happiness and productivity. And with consumers being better educated about technology than ever, you might just learn something too.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Page Versus Screen – Is There a Balance?

February 8th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Internet, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “Page Versus Screen – Is There a Balance?”

For years, the debate has raged, but research hasn’t been able to prove one way or another if we retain information better when we’ve read it from a physical page – in a book, magazine or newspaper– than when we’ve read it online, with a tablet, mobile device or other screen.

And hopefully it never will, with ‘screen time’ such a big part of our lives. Computers and mobile devices are versatile and make information more accessible, so striking a balance between children’s appetite for information and their ability to digest it is crucial for primary, secondary, and even tertiary educators.

So, is the page mightier than the screen? Should we choose one over the other, or can we still find balance?

Page or Screen?

Leading researchers believe that there is a tangible relationship between text written on a physical page and the way the brain responds to and retains what is written on that page. Studies in the early 2000s indicated that students performed better in exams when they had studied the information for tests from textbooks and other printed sources. However, a 2013 survey by the UK National Literacy Trust found that over 52% of students aged 8–16 preferred reading on electronic devices, and only 32% preferred print. In fact, research indicates the next generation of students are reading well on digital devices.

In reality, banishing the screen is a near-impossible task. With students issued laptops at all ages, and doing more of their research and homework online, the screens are here to stay whether they’re helping or not.

So, the question becomes: How can educators deploy screen time for best effect?

Technology in the Classroom

Implementing simple strategies like giving students extra time to familiarize themselves with the devices they’ll be using before reading texts mean they won’t be distracted by functionality while trying to concentrate.

Screens and e-readers should be used in the same way as printed text – one device per student, not one shared among a group. This way, students will be more easily immersed in learning – without the distraction of tussling with a neighbor over ownership.

Although it can be both a blessing and a curse, connecting devices to the internet allows for more collaboration, enabling students to compare how their fellow pupils are engaging with a text. For example, sharing information online (for example, by allowing students to see which passages in a text their peers have highlighted, or by making students’ digital annotations visible to their classmates) can help the whole class to improve their understanding of a text.

This should be balanced with an emphasis on the importance of each student developing their own understanding, so teachers need to keep track of their progress by continuing to ask questions of individual students.

The future success of ‘digital natives’ using devices more frequently in their learning will rest in the same place it always has done – in the quality of the materials, in the ways educators implement them and in the way students are nurtured to use them effectively.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at sales@thinknettech.com if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

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