10 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
February marks National Time Management Month. Use this celebration to encourage your employees to rethink their time organization and make changes that improve productivity and satisfaction. Here are some tips you can implement this month.
Identify Time Wasters
Time-tracking software helps you determine exactly how much time you spend doing various tasks throughout the day. Use the data to make tweaks to your schedule.
You decide how to spend your hours at work, so create at least one time management goal this month. It should be SMART:
Schedule your Day
Always create a schedule either on paper or online as you organize your day. Plan your day or it will plan you.
Remember to prioritize important tasks that must get done today. Otherwise, urgent tasks will take over your time, leaving important tasks unfinished.
Set a Timer
Racing the clock to finish a task within a certain amount of time can encourage you to work harder and smarter. A timer can also remind you to take breaks, which are proven to improve productivity, focus and creativity.
Respect your Energy
Like you have limited hours in a day, your energy has limits. Schedule important or tough tasks for high-energy times, and use low-energy times for easy or mundane jobs.
Every interruption affects your focus and wastes valuable time. Close your office door, turn on soft music or wear noise-canceling headphones as you limit distractions and solely focus on each task.
You’re in charge of your time. Learn to say no to tasks that don’t fit into your schedule. You may also need to learn how to advocate for yourself if your boss assigns too many tasks.
Allow Extra Time
After you calculate how much time a task will take, add a few minutes. This extra time serves as a buffer in case you encounter a delay or other issue.
Consider which tasks on your to-do list you can give to someone else. Delegating frees you to focus solely on the projects you alone can do.
Organize your Office
Looking for a misplaced paper or file wastes valuable time. Keep your desk and office area tidy so you everything you need is within easy reach.
Before you schedule a meeting, decide its agenda and invite only essential personnel. Enforce time limits on meetings, too.
Give employees a reward when they achieve their time management goals. A leather planner, clock or timer promotes ongoing efficiency.
Managing time is one way to improve productivity and job satisfaction. Encourage your employees to implement these time management tips this month.
10 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
Businesses are shrinking or expanding constantly. Start your renewal process today by comparing your policy estimated payrolls with the summary W-2 sheet produced by your accounting department (must be completed by February 1).
Review the 1099s and check these recipients against your files to assure certificate compliance and proper risk transfer techniques.
After reassessing your payroll exposures for the coming year, estimate your current premium. Talk to your agent about optional markets at that premium level, insurance companies have different appetites for different size risks. Find several appropriate insurers.
Many insurers now demand loss control inspections prior to commitment to offering any quote. Get your reports in order. Make sure loss control measures are in place and working. Order loss runs from your current carrier to have on hand.
Most important: leave enough lead time for the inspections to occur. At least ninety days, so new insurers can inspect your operations.
The insurance markets retool every few years and create new identities, new brands within the industry. Currently, insurance companies are deciding what size accounts they will seek, single lines like workers’ compensation or general liability, or supporting lines requirements: like workers’ compensation, general liability or automobile liability. Ask your agent what the current view is among their companies.
The key to having choices is starting early now. Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the renewal carrier.
While your reassessing your policies, rethink your program as well. Your program consists of the risk management decisions that have subtle but important impacts on your insurance costs. For example: what is your best expiration date? In the construction industry, January first or April first are popular choices in a well-managed risk management program.
One secret within the insurance industry: rates tend to change on calendar quarters. If rates are increasing on April first, you can always renew on March thirty-first if you have enough lead time. But you need to know in advance and have friendly underwriters, and proactive agents.
Calendar quarters allow for government filings to be used as a basis for the insurance auditors, and audits go smoother. Corporate financial years can be good, especially if they fall on calendar quarters. Decide your best expiration date (and you want all liability lines to share that date)and begin 120 days in advance gathering quote information and loss data. Shop early.
11 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
One in five people resolve to lose weight or get healthier every January. If you choose to adopt this resolution in 2018, you could live longer. Several additional New Year’s resolutions can also prolong your life, so consider adding them to your resolution list this year.
Eat Fewer Calories
Food fuels your body, but when you eat fewer calories, you lose weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Choose a smaller plate, chew each bite carefully and stop eating when you start to feel full to eat fewer calories and prolong your life.
Add Brain Foods to Your Diet
Certain foods help your brain and body function properly. Plan to add these brain foods to your diet as you live a healthier lifestyle this year.
- Nuts and seeds
- Pomegranate juice
- Whole grains
- Wild salmon
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves your mood and boosts your brain’s grey matter, which helps to regulate your sensory perception, muscle control, decision making and self-control. Listen to a meditative CD or simply sit still and relax as you add this practice to your daily routine and gain its benefits.
Learn Something New
When you learn a new skill, you stretch your brain and improve your memory. Resolve to take a college class, learn to edit photos or watch TED talks that enrich your life and your brain with new thoughts, ideas and lessons.
Move Every Day
Regular movement helps you stay fit, improves your overall body function and reduces stress and depression. As a bonus, moving outdoors in nature could lower your blood pressure and boost your immunity. Whether you take a walk, sign up for a dance class or join a sports team, aim to move at least 10,000 steps per day and live longer.
Start a New Hobby
Hobbies like gardening, cooking and reading improve your quality of life. Many hobbies also reduce your stress levels, improve your focus and boost your brainpower. Start a hobby or two, and you increase your enjoyment of life and life expectancy this year.
Play helps kids develop properly and learn essential skills, and play gives adults important benefits, too. Relax your body and stimulate your mind when you put together up a jigsaw puzzle, join a bowling league, shoot hoops during work breaks and play more in 2018.
Get a Physical
During your annual physical, you and your doctor review your current health and address any ongoing health issues. Prioritize this visit to stay healthy now and into the future.
Resolve in 2018 to live longer thanks to these resolutions. They improve your life and your health.