Monday, December 27, 2010

Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution – Create a Vision

It's that time of year again, making the dreaded New Year's resolution that we will eventually forget about or fail to meet. It can be quite depressing and feelings of frustration and failure can occur. Do something different for 2011 – create a vision or two to

A vision statement allows you to specifically state where you want to see yourself and lets you see the clear picture of how to obtain your goal by the end of the year.

For example, the most popular resolution is, "I want to lose weight." This is very vague and can seem difficult because you are not sure how to accomplish this goal. Yes, you may need to join a fitness club, stop eating fast food, or even hire a dietician, but the fact is the resolution does not give you a clear picture of what you will gain by losing weight. Here is an example of a vision statement for those who wish to lose some extra pounds:

"I see myself being two sizes smaller so that I can get into that size 10 dress I have my eyes on at the mall."

The difference in the resolution and the vision is that you are visualizing your goal which will give you more motivation to pursue it. In the above example, it states specifically how much weight you wish to lose (2 dress sizes), why (wear a size 10), and the reward when you reach the goal (purchase). In other words, now you have a purpose.

Here's how to create your vision statement for 2011:

  1. Start with the words 'In 2011, I see myself…..'
  2. Be specific.
  3. Be realistic.
  4. List subgoals that are related to the vision.

    In the weight loss example, list what you think you will need to do in order to achieve your goal.

  5. Reward yourself.

    As you get closer to achieving your vision and complete each subgoal, reward yourself. This serves as a motivator to reach your achievement.

  6. Be prepared to revise the vision statement at any time.

    Vision statements are not etched in stone and can be revised as needed. When you lose the weight you initially stated, you may wish to lose more, so revise it and begin again – don't forget to list the subgoals and reward your accomplishments.


The good news is you have 365 days, 52 weeks, and 8,760 hours to accomplish your vision. Use the time wisely, achieve your goals, and feel good about your triumphs.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

10 Ways to Organize Your Office with Labels

Do you dread going into a file cabinet because it will take you longer than necessary to sift through the endless files to find what you need? When a co-worker asks you for a document, do you become frustrated because you can’t find the information? Dymo labels can help you organize your office and make you an organized dynamo! Here are 10 ways you can organize your office with labels:

1. Find files easier and faster.How many paper cuts have you gotten from trying to find a file in a cluttered drawer? Using labels to identify folder contents is going to make your life a lot easier and reduce the use of band aids.

2. Organize the supply room.Walking into a storage room is like venturing into the jungle; it’s scary and will take a long time to get through. Placing a label on each container, box, and shelf will help you identify items so that you won’t waste valuable time searching for items.

3. Personalize your work space.Staplers and calculators are the top office items that become missing from the desk. Using a label to identify desktop items will keep the “office thieves” from helping themselves to your supplies.

4. Creating notices for instruction.“Do not turn off the lights.” Or “Dial 0 for the operator” are examples of labels that can be made for creating notices for instruction. Post it notes are useful; however, the longer they stick the more they become crumpled and fall off.

5. Labeling tabs, dividers and notebooks.In a meeting, it is very embarrassing to be asked to look for information in a 3” binder with more than 200 pages and need to go through each piece of paper to find it. Using labels to note tabs and dividers in notebooks will assist in finding the information more quickly.

6. Label computer hardware (tower, monitor, keyboard, etc).When you need to send your computer software to the ITR department, labeling your computer hardware with you office number, will make their job a lot easier to identify where the equipment will be returned.

7. Identify CDs/diskettes/DVDs.You will have professional looking audio library and be able to find what you need faster by putting customized labels on each.

8. Reference resource manuals and books.
In a vast library filled with resources and manuals, it can become cumbersome looking for specific information. Placing labels on each book will reduce the time it takes to find what you need.

9. Designate holders and boxes.The ‘inbox’ and ‘outbox’ are always getting confused. Placing a label to distinguish between the two will make your job a lot easier.

10. Customize binders, presentations, and portfolios.
Placing a label on the binder’s spine and cover will add a professional look and you will be able to locate what you need faster, especially if you have binders that are the same color. Presentations will portfolios will also look more professional and creative with customized labels.

When I was asked to try out the Dymo products, write an article about my experience, and receive compensation, I was impressed with the many ways I could organize my work space. An organized office means increased productivity, efficiency, and professionalism. Labels can add creativity to office equipment, documents, supplies, and any other items or materials you wish to personalize. You can make your worklife simpler by using Dymo labels.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How Lucky are Potlucks?

'Tis the season for potlucks. The company potluck is always a favorite of mine because I enjoy socializing with employees in a setting that is relaxed and fun and the smorgasbord of great food to choose from seems endless.

Even though potlucks are fun, they have some negative experiences. A few years ago, I chipped a tooth on someone's homemade cookies. A co-worker had an allergic reaction to the bean salad because it had peanuts in it. These and many other horror stories can make a potluck event not so lucky. Here are a few tips on how to keep potlucks lucky for everyone:

  1. Place identification cards on all dishes.

    Even the obvious chicken casserole can be something else. Naming each item will let attendees know what they are eating and remove guess work.

  2. Seperate the dessert, salads, and entrée tables.

    Grouping identical items on separate tables will lighten the lines and give people options as to where they would like to start their feasting.

  3. List ingredients for dishes that include highly allergenic foods

    Studies show that 90% of the following foods account for allergic reactions: peanuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, and tree nuts. Listing food ingredients will eliminate allergic reactions and illnesses.

  4. Go easy on the salt.

    When making a dish for others to enjoy, remember that all taste buds are different. Some employees may have illnesses or conditions related to salt content (ie. high blood pressure). If the recipe calls for high salt content,  

  5. Compile an employee potluck cookbook

    This is a great take-a-way from the event. Employees get to sample different foods and can make them at their leisure.

Potlucks bring employees together in a social setting, using the ideas listed will keep these events enjoyable, safe, and away from emergency rooms for the holidays. Happy eating!