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Why It Is Important To Step Out Of Comfort Zones

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The startup life is a tough life to lead, but to become successful, one must be prepared to take the plunge. The main difference between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur, is the difference between actually doing something and the want to do something. While one is open to new experiences, the other gets cozy inside their comfort zones. Therefore, confining to comfort zones and not venturing into new areas can be toxic for the company. If you feel overly comfortable with where your company stands at right now, then this article is a must read.

Simply put, a comfort zone is a state of mental security that routine behavior and generalized patterns give to a person. It’s the feeling of being protected from and not exposed to risks of any kind. Humans, in general, are creatures of comfort seeking a neutral state where stress and anxiety are minimal because of a fixed regimen. This sense of familiarity, security and certainty is unhealthy for an individual and for a company.

The first step necessary for moving out of the comfort bubble is to realize the advantages of breaking free. You learn to deal with life better. Every wave in the ocean won’t phase you and you are able to easily sail rough waters. It becomes easier to analyze better, look at the different options and choose the best possible solution or path for yourself and for your company. On the spot decisions, which are a part and parcel of being an entrepreneur become second nature. Taking risks and conquering fears becomes an everyday activity and growth becomes a by product of the company.

Stepping out of your comfort zone involves making a conscious choice to take the harder, riskier route that you would generally avoid. Begin with small changes that won’t majorly affect your lifestyle. Instead of jumping into the deep end and finding out you can’t swim,  step into shallower waters and check the temperature of the pool. The basic idea is to place yourself in new arenas. Use a different contractor, try a new approach, use a different tool, try out the latest technology, essentially doing anything you haven’t done before.

If you are unable to make a different decision for yourself then consider other point of views and make snap decisions once in a while until you get used to the idea of experimentation. Flick a coin over smaller decisions, ask people not related to your company for their opinions and eliminate the need to mull over a decision thereby increasing self trust. Debate with your friends, employees, colleagues and staff over new ideas to listen to the different point of views and their pros and cons before coming to a decision. This will also involve the employees in the decision making process and bring in new ideas as two heads are always better than one.

Unless and until you try new options, you won’t know what you are good at, where you can improve and if there’s a better option out there. Saying yes to new choices, volunteering for jobs you are unfamiliar with and slowly pushing your boundaries will let you be comfortable with everything in general, eliminating the need for a narrow and focused safe zone.

Trust yourself to know your limits and take things slow. While entrepreneurship is all about the hustle, big steps can make you fall. Know how far you can push your self before it becomes too much and take baby steps before you attempt the jumps. Learn to walk before you run to finish this journey you have begun.

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Strike The Perfect Work And Life Balance!

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It’s always important to strike the perfect work and life balance if you want to be healthy and happy through your prime years. Last year, about 39% of work related illnesses were attributed to stress, depression or anxiety. In order to take that out of the equation, here are a few tips you could follow to make your work and personal life stress free!

1. Work on time management 

Instead of working for harder and longer hours, make sure that you stick to the time you’re supposed to be at work for. Learning how to better-manage your time can go a long way in cutting down hours spent at work.

2. Establish boundaries 

To have the perfect work and home life balance, it is important to set boundaries both at home and at work. Don’t let your work issues affect you at home and try as little as you can to take your work home. Boundaries work and if you set them from the very beginning, they help create a harmonious situation.

3. Get a required amount of “me time”

You can’t be the best version of you if you’re run down and don’t get a chance to recharge. Self-care is imperative. Even when you hit a rough patch and your calendar seems like it’s on steroids, don’t give up the time that you have dedicated to yourself.

4. Exercise regularly 

There’s no point in working so hard that you become a lazy and unhealthy lump of lard. Remember to exercise atleast once a day and try to get in 8 hours of sleep. You could lower it down to 6 hours of sleep a day, but not lesser than that. A healthy and well rested body and brain is always more effective than a tired and wrung out body and brain.

5. Don’t multitask 

This is the most important point on the list. Do not ever try to do your work tasks at home and your home tasks at work. This isn’t solving the problem for either situation and just makes things even more worse than they already probably are.

 

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How To Say No At Work Politely

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We live in a time where good work is rewarded with more work. Not appreciation, but with more burden and an increase in shift timings. When this happens, we often tend to lose sight of the bigger picture and forget to say no when it’s necessary. To make your work life a little easier, we give you 5 tips to help you say no politely at work!

1. Negotiate your way out a sure fire way of yes! 

“Are you okay to do this meeting for me?” “Can you finish this task for me?” “Could you please get in touch with that annoying client? I just can’t.” Are these some of the questions you find yourself saying yes to even if you don’t have the time to? Then it’s time to stop, evaluate and figure out what is the most important task at hand. Even you can’t say no directly, negotiate your way around the yes to a maybe. Try saying things like “I could but maybe you could finish this report I’m working on.” This way, you can get your work done AND help the other person!

2. Honesty is the best policy! 

Being honest really does go a long way in earning brownie points at work! Make your reason for saying no in a clear manner. Be direct, straight and to the point, without adding a lot of drama to the story. If you are a nervous talker, then it would help if you wrote down the points before hand and rehearsed it to yourself. This way, you are prepared and ready for the task ahead!

3. It does not accomplish your goal 

When you take on more than you can accomplish at one time, the end goal is extremely ineffective. Not only does your work get affected, but the extra work you take on doesn’t get the desired result either. When you receive a proposal that may be a distraction, the best thing to do is hear it out fully and then directly and politely explain why it’s not a fit for you and possibly even for you at this particular time.

4. Take time to consider the project

Determine how much time is needed for the project. Then look at how much work you have on your plate. Evaluating the two will help on giving you an idea of what task is more important thereby helping you. While this may sound a little selfish, it is extremely important to look at how advantageous the extra task is for you as an employee. Weigh the pros and cons and only then say yes if you truly think it is going to be effective.

5. End the conversation with confidence 

After you’ve done the hard work of saying “no” to something, make sure you end the conversation in a way that doesn’t leave room for further prodding. For example, after you end the conversation, you could sign off by saying something like “Thank you for understanding!” This way, your colleagues and your employers know that you only say yes when they really count and don’t say it for anything and everything!

Follow these five simple steps and help create a successful and friendly environment for yourself and your colleagues at work. Make work not just a strategically growing place but also a fun place to be at!

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How To Get Employees To Take On More Responsibilities

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One of the most difficult parts of running an organization is delegating the work to employees and the team. Every employee working for a company will face the decision of taking up the responsibility and ownership for the work and lead the others in line with the vision and objective of the organization. However, this is not always to accomplish.

People tend to duck responsibilities and ownership for various reasons, ranging from fear of failure to downright laziness. Whatever the reason, companies also have the power to motivate such people to step up and do more. Instead of hoping the problem will go away on its own, managers, CEOs and founders can help in creating an environment where it is easy for the employees to take charge.

Smaller organizations tend to give certain additional tasks to the existing employees for lack of a functioning human resource department. While this does provide employees with the opportunity to take on the additional responsibility, it is important to make sure that such employees are not overburdened.

Here are a few ways to motivate employees to stand up and take charge!

Incentives
One of the simplest ways to motivate people is letting them know what they will get out of the entire experience. Especially when it comes to adding responsibilities, make sure that employees taking on additional workloads are rewarded for their contribution and additional efforts.

Explain what needs to be done and let them choose the best path forward
Instead of spoon feeding or setting up strict rules, explain the essentials of the situation and let the employees choose the next best step forward. Make sure the employees understand why the tasks need to be completed, give them the entire information to make their work easier and trust them to handle the rest.

Delegate clear roles
Let everyone in the company know what additional responsibilities are being placed on whose shoulder and why. Only when employees know what is expected of them will they be able to step into the role and generate results.

Promote cross departmental teamwork
Encourage the collaboration between various departments to ensure the entire company is on the same page. This will also help in increasing the communication in your company, create greater ability to capitalize on opportunities and develop better solutions to very difficult problems. Ease of communication between different teams will make it easier for team members from different departments take on the responsibility for various projects.

Have confidence
Have confidence in the abilities of the employees and encourage them to do more. Recognise and name the characteristics of people in such leadership roles and help them build their self belief as well. Let your employees know why you think they are capable to take on these responsibilities based on their performances and positive qualities.

Take baby steps
Instead of dumping a major workload on one individual, allow them to grow into the role by giving them a few responsibilities at a time. Identify the small steps they can take now and give them a chance to prove themselves in these situations. Once they have perfected the smaller steps, let them choose the bigger and bolder moves.

Constructive Feedback and criticism
Let the employees know what is working and why they have been giving positive results. At the same time, make the mistakes with constructive feedback to help the employees avoid such faults in the future. Provide them with whatever coaching they require to improve and further develop their knowledge and skills.

Resources
Try to make sure the employees have all the resources at their disposal to work well and generate positive results. From providing training, equipment, access to mentors and coaches, give the employees all the means to succeed.

Micromanagement is not your friend
While you want to ensure that the employees are working to the best of their abilities, micromanaging work will only alienate the employees. Managers looking into every step of the process or hovering over their shoulder and second guessing decisions are neither healthy or helpful. Employees tend to be reluctant to do anything or take charge with managers overlooking their every single work.

Acknowledge those who step up
Let those people who take on the added work know that they are appreciated and their work is a crucial part of the company. Acknowledgment reinforces a sense of belonging to the employees that their work matters and is respected by the management.

Small steps taken at the right time and at the right place will help the company in the long run.

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