Thursday, September 22, 2016

Notorious Work Elements that are Killing our Creative Juices

Creativity is fleeting. It's what most artists believe. This is exactly why modern employees need a constant inspiration boost or ritual to get things started. They have deadlines to catch and ad hoc tasks to consider. Relying on the inconsistent, sporadic burst of creativity isn't practical in the typical nine-to-five work setup.

The issue of staying creative for long hours is even made more difficult by the following notorious elements that are dragging us down. Have a quick look. 

Dull working environment

You can never underestimate how your working environment affects your overall performance. Research has proven that the place where a person works is a factor that contributes to his or her productivity level. This is exactly why several businesses invest on creating a conducive environment fit for their workers.

The demand for a highly convenient location is even more amplified in the case of creative industries like android app development. A boring working station with minimal chances of improvising or customization can significantly affect a developer’s creativity which is essentially in dire need of constant inspirational boost.

Hard-to-deal-with colleagues

There are toxic employees. Whether we like it or not, they sometimes exist. They are those who can’t seem to find happiness in what they do but chose to stay anyway. Sometimes you question why they even continue if they look like they’re ready to snap at any moment’s notice.

In as much as how productive workers ignore them, there are times when they just get in the nerves and eventually affect the performance of those who are serious in getting something done.

Too much overtime

Working overtime is inescapable. There are times when we really have to render extra hours work to finish something. However, it’s an all new different matter when you are already asked to work consecutive overtime beyond what you are capable of.

Keep in mind that our brain has its own limit. Once it gets exhausted, you can’t expect creativity to keep on rushing in and give you all of those brilliant ideas you need to get the task done.

Low salary

Sometimes, employees say yes to overtime because of an additional pay, which is ultimately a good thing as it would mean bigger income and more money to pay for regular expenses. But don’t be surprised if you hear workers who complain about not getting the due salary they deserve for the quality of work they deliver.

These times, people need money. In fact, it is one of the basic motivations for workers to accept an offer or not. Once they see that their efforts are not well compensated, they will most likely not exert effort and commitment in doing their tasks too.

Lack of professional growth opportunity

Whether one admits it or not, there is a certain part of a person’s personality that craves for growth. It naturally comes in the more we age. Professionally, this can be provided by those companies we choose to work for.
Unfortunately, not all employers invest on giving something back to their workers by allowing them to grow in their career paths.

The moment workers start to feel stagnant, unless the pay is really too good to give up, is the same time when they would start looking for viable options that could give them better avenues to improve their skills and learn something new.

Of course, being stagnant meant lesser creativity as well.

Indefinite company goals

A company’s mission and vision are more than just written tenets for the sake of having it. They are supposed to be an overview of what the company hopes to achieve.

If these things are absent and employees start to question the point of what they are doing, their perception also changes. If they can’t see the bright side of their efforts, they would feel less motivated to giving out their best.
This, in result, is a huge negative blow to a person’s overall creativity.

Lack of mentoring

This is somewhat related to the need for professional growth. Part of growing is having a mentor who can assist and support you all throughout your career journey in the company. The lack of which could sometimes make one question if he or she is doing the right thing or not.

Usually, this confusion leads to a dramatic decrease in the creativity of a person.

Examine your working environment right now. How is it? Have you experienced some creativity killers we have on this list? 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Top 5 Reasons Why a Vacation is Needed for Marketers

"You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life."
-Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto

Forget about clients and deadlines – a vacation for workaholics is a must. Yes, it is understandable why most marketers cannot immediately leave their work considering how hectic and demanding their jobs are, especially when working in an SEO Company Philippines. You need to come up with engaging and effective strategies to achieve quality traffic – not to mention the right marketing approach to avoid disappointed clients. And yes, this requires a lot of work to do. And as a result, most marketers forget to have their work-life balance.

Taking a vacation does not mean you are slacking off at work. One way or another, you need to take a break from a stressful day at work to ensure a productive outcome on your daily performance. To give you some idea of why vacation is helpful for marketers, we list down the reasons below.

1. Your office is not the place for inspiration

Unless tomorrow is a payday, then working in an office is hardly the place you want to get inspiration. It 's hard to find an inspiration when you are under enormous pressure due to strict deadlines and other factors that contribute to your stressors. However, a change of scene is one thing that can help you regain your creative and productive side. Moreover, vacation is also perfect for finding new ideas that can be useful for your work.

2. Leave your comfort zone

Some marketers would prefer their usual work-home routine. Perhaps, it is the only thing they can do as of the moment. But do you know that this kind of method is also one of the reasons why you are stressing out? Why don't you take some time to leave all the stressors behind for the meantime, and get back to your usual self? Through taking a vacation, it allows you to breakthrough with the things that keep you from being productive. This is also an excellent way to try new things besides doing the usual tasks at work.

3. Your health benefits enormously

Although marketers are taking some multi-vitamins to keep them from their everyday lives, there is nothing more satisfying than taking some break. Always remember that money is nothing when you cannot even enjoy it. Right? That means you have to know how to discipline yourself when it comes to balancing your life from your work. When you do, you will eventually realize that work is much easier done when your mind and body are in conditioned.

4. Give your brain a break

There is nothing more tiring than an exhausted mind. And mind you, it is not advisable to abuse your brain no matter how demanding your job is. A tired brain is one of the many factors of unproductive work performance. Give your brain a break by going on a relaxing and satisfying vacation. With this, it allows your brain to shut down from any stressful things that are going on around you.

5. Keep yourself and your workers happy

There are studies have proven that vacation can give a significant impact not just on your work, but also with your self-esteem. Moreover, having a good and positive vibe is one of the results when you tend to give yourself a break. It helps you keep yourself and your workers happy. With this, it would give a significant impact on your productivity at work.

There will always be advantages when you go on a vacation. If you want to keep your career as a marketer and have a better performance, then take a break. You need it to ensure a better and productive outcome on your performance at work. Take time to enjoy once in awhile too!

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Content Marketing 101: The Recipe for Blogging Success

“Marketing is telling the world you are a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.” –Robert Rose 

Undoubtedly, content marketing is one of the most difficult tasks in the world. It is not a one-time endeavor that would instantly catapult to your success. It requires constant dedication, continuous commitment and a remarkable skill for keeping audiences engaged and interested in you riveting blogs and contents. Regardless of whether you are working for a digital marketing agency or are doing your own freelance work, enough experience with blogging and content marketing would easily tell you just how much of a challenge it is, and you would need a sense of enduring determination for you to succeed.

One of the many reasons why some would fail in their attempts at successful blogging is because they commenced the task without fully comprehending the full implications of what blogging entails. As a result, they would fall short at accomplishing their intended objectives. Fortunately, identifying the pivotal elements, a blog would need to succeed can assist you in blogging success. Here are some of the elements you would need to take a closer look into.

1.)    Core Values 

Any business would have core values and likewise, so should your blog. These core values should be fashioned in a way that they should extend beyond an individual. These values would propel you forward and commit to doing contents.  True enough, a blog can be commenced and kept going by a single individual, but blogs that aim to drive sales or support them or are media entities should be a team effort united by these values. Put your selected blog’s core focus on paper, not hidden in your computer files.

2.)     Set big goals 

While it is good to be realistic, when it comes to blogging it is important to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and commit to accomplishing stuff that is quite beyond your reach. This means you have to show up at the page on a regular basis and at the very bare minimum, you should publish at least two blog posts a week to keep your audiences engaged. Aim for objectives that are aligned with your business goals. This can be anything from building your brand to celebrating fans or driving more traffic to your website.

3.)    Create a “cult” culture 

One thing you have to keep in mind that the Internet is teeming with blog posts that while your blog might be individually created, it would take time before it can develop its own unique identity. Your goal should be to create a brand which your audience can feel comfortable associating with themselves to. This goes hand in hand with deciding the values at the heart of your blog for you to use these in developing your blog’s brand.

4.)    Plan for both the short and long term 

Blogs are not one-time coup attempts; they are on –going entities that would require social media and content marketing at the same time. To ensure you have a steady engagement with your audience, it is critical that you have content that is centered around annual events as well as newsworthy announcements and regular columns. Have an editorial calendar included in your blog which would continuously provide fresh content for the blog and in a sense, think like a magazine.

5.)    Be prepared to change

True enough, you should be able to adhere to the core values you have established, but you have to consider that times would change and so would your audience tastes. As a competent blogger, you should be able to adapt to these. Continuously provide information related to your core topic that would also be relevant to your reader’s need. Additionally, you can place a suggestion box on your blog.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Four Ways to Discover Whether Your Audience is Bored With Your Content

Content marketing can get pretty challenging.

Anyone in link building services would tell you that. Regardless of how long you have been in the business, it remains as a fact that your audience is a diverse set of individuals who has a varied set of tastes. And no matter how experienced you are in this field of business, it is an uncontested reality that the audience of your content can be some of the most exacting people on the planet. Not exactly in the literal sense, but in a figurative one wherein if you no longer produce riveting content, you no longer have their complete apt attention.

And with the competition so rigid, you cannot afford to lose even just a handful of these audiences.  However, there are ways of telling whether or not your audience is getting bored with your content and when they are, it is high time you do something about it.

1.)  You get few comments to no comments at all 

Take a gander at the social media posts, guest posts, blog posts, etc. you have done over time, are you getting any reaction at all? Are these responses consistent? Seeing how many comments you get in a single post is a cardinal sign that your post is being read. If there is little to no signs of comments in your post, then that is a warning sign. The comments in your post would serve as the barometer of how much attention your posts are getting and if there are no comments at all, that might be a sign for you to change things up.

2.)  Your content is not getting socially shared 

One very informative metric in content marketing is social shares. One look at the number of likes, tweets, shares would serve as a test how your content was received by your audience (whether favorably or unfavorably). Realistically, though, each content you write would not exactly get impressive amounts of shares and likes, but if your content is not getting any sort of attention at all, it could be an indicator that your audience is bored of your content. Your readers are not captivated by your content, and if you want to hold their attention, you better figure out a good content strategy.

3.)  You have low Twitter engagement 

It is not exactly possible to gauge what your exact engagement level is on all social media platforms, but Twitter makes it exceptionally easy. For you to get an accurate grasp of your engagement levels, try Twitter Analytics and compare the number of impressions, your content has received with the number of engagements. This would invariably include link clicks, favorites, retweets, etc. In addition to that, it has a lot of features which are incredibly nifty such as telling you your top tweet, your profile visits, your top mentions and so on. This feature allows you to get a broader perspective of who is engaging with you which you can use to your advantage.  When you are provided this much data, it helps you appropriately create content for the audience who is engaging with you.

4.)  Your unfollow rate is increasing 

If you are noticing a rather steady decline in your followers or perhaps a steady incline of your unfollowing rate, then this is a sign that something is wrong. If you get more unfollows with each update rather than follows, then it is a clear indication that your audience no longer wants any updates from you. Social media savvy individuals are incredibly meticulous on what they see in their feeds, and if they have unfollowed you, it means that you no longer hold their interest. There are free tools which could assist you in finding out how many followers you used to have before they dropped out and who they are which can be used on a variety of social media platforms. Ufollowerstats will give you a detailed report on who is currently following you, who has unfollowed you, etc. on Twitter.

If your content is no longer engaging, perhaps it is high time to change something up in your content strategy. Remember, if you are not writing any stimulating content, you are not helping your brand grow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

5 Doable Ways to Stop Procrastination

"Procrastination is like a credit card: It is a lot of fun until you get the bill" -Christopher Parker 

Regardless of where we are in life, we always have some deadlines to meet. Hustling and bustling at the last minute in getting ready for school, getting creative with a work task, cooking dinner for the family--these are everyday routine tasks that get done without so much of an issue. However, imagine a different scenario wherein you need inspiration to get yourself to the gym, or take up a new hobby where you have virtually no skills in undertaking, doing an office report for a subject you absolutely loathe--these are just some of the things we tell ourselves to delay doing until we are totally "committed and ready" to them. But, needless to say, if we keep on putting them off, we might never get around to doing them.

This may seem like a harmless habit when you are at home; but in an office milieu, your so-called harmless habit could potentially be the cause of why you would lose your job. The truth is, every single one of us procrastinates. Regardless of whether we are a university student trying to graduate or an SEO specialist skilled in link building services, things that we hold no passion for would cause us to delay. However, making a habit out of procrastination can be very detrimental; it causes stress and would likely overwhelm you with so much to do at the last minute. If you are trying to find ways to overcome delaying tasks, read on below for some tips.

1.) Do it first thing in the morning 

More often than not, dreading to do something causes us to create excuses as the day goes along and delay doing it until it gets forgotten. Doing it first thing in the morning prevents you from creatively making up alibis as to why and how you cannot do it and it effectively ticks one thing off your to-do list. Additionally, the feeling of accomplishment in having done what you were dreading to do is incredibly rewarding.

2.)  Break your work into little steps 

One reason why people procrastinate so much is because, at the back of our minds, we find a task particularly overwhelming that even just starting is already wearing us down. If this occurs, break it down into parts and focus on one part at a time. If you find yourself unable to do it and still procrastinating, break it down even further until it is simple enough for you to do. Make enormous and difficult tasks manageable to do.

3.)  Eliminate things that tend to make you procrastinate 

If you find yourself procrastinating a little too much, then maybe it is because you have made it easier for yourself to procrastinate by surrounding yourself with things that distract you. Finding yourself browsing social media for hours at a time, or jabbering away at the office water cooler for more than your allocated time are cardinal signs that you are getting easily distracted. Come up with strategies for overcoming them such as blocking non-work related websites for at least four hours or so while you are working and giving yourself only three minutes max at the water cool station.

4.)  Commit to your goals 

A universal rule to accomplishing your goals is to list them down. Seeing them on paper gives them a sense of urgency that would enable us to get the inspiration to do them. Similarly, if there are things you find difficult to do or things that you tend to delay day after day, incorporate them into your goals and make them a priority. Accomplishing them and crushing them off your to-do list will give you a sense of achievement.

5.)  Stop over-complicating things 

Looking for the perfect time to do a task or to do something is just a creative way of putting things off. There will never be a perfect time other than now. Get a grip and just do it as if you keep waiting for the right time or delaying it for countless reasons, you are never going to accomplish anything. If you are truly committed to change, start whatever it is you are delaying today. Remember, do not do tomorrow what you can do today!

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Six Fail-Safe Ways to Eliminate Job-Related Stress

“Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens and response is something we can choose.” –Maureen Killoran 

Stress has often been thought and perceived to be an ignorant state.

This is because stressed people view every little thing as an emergency.  In the workplace, stress seems to be multiplied. Regardless of whether you are working in an accounting firm or a digital marketing agency, your office is a teeming pot full of potential stressors. Stress is not always necessarily bad, though. Within your comfort zone, it can help an individual stay focused, energetic and rise to meet challenges in the workplace. However, excessive stress can be overwhelming and may not only be detrimental to your physical and emotional health, but it can negatively impact your productivity and emotional health.

More often than not, your ability to deal and handle stress can mean the difference between your success or failure at work. Though there are innumerable factors influencing our stress levels, one crucial thing to keep in mind that you cannot always control everything in your environment. However, this is not to say that you are powerless to change it—regardless of how extremely difficult a situation can be.
Though stress can come in varying degrees at your workplace, it is imperative that you need to take measures to protect yourself from the potentially damaging effects on your health and your job satisfaction.  The items below are some of the six steps you can take.

1.)    Take breaks 

You must remember that first and foremost: You are human. This means that you are susceptible to feeling exhausted after taking on so many tasks. No matter how busy you may seem, it is crucial to take little breaks now and then. Additionally, if you have quite a lot of tasks to do for the day, do not be afraid to ask for assistance. You might just be surprised who would be willing to give you a hand.  If you want to stay productive throughout the day without the feeling of being worn-down, take a break for a few minutes. You will see just how much your productivity will improve.

2.)     Resolve your concerns 

Identify what causes your stress and find ways to come to terms with them. One example would be, if you are stressed out about a complicated work task, consider asking around for some clarification or assistance. If you have a particular conflict with a co-worker, think of some ways you can both resolve it. Try to fix what is within your power. Remember, if there is something you can do to fix it, do it.

3.)    Focus on one thing at a time 

When you are inundated by innumerable tasks, multitasking may seem like the logical thing to do. Unfortunately, multitasking can be very counterproductive. You end up committing more errors; your attention is all over the place, and you get stressed out a lot more quickly. Instead of attempting to deal with everything at once, focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. This would effectively minimize stress and would help you zero your focus on the objective at hand.

4.)    Adjust your expectations 

Work challenges are imperative to encourage professional growth and keep us motivated. However, taking much more than you can handle can create unnecessary stress. Have a realistic view of what you can handle and what you could not and avoid creating needless stress by taking on more than you can chew.

5.)    Think ahead 

The foundation of a stress-free work experience is effective time management. One great way to manage your time is to think ahead of work tasks that ought to be done and deadlines to be met. From your standpoint, tasks with faraway deadlines can be pushed for later. However, you need to take into account that you may be given other necessary tasks to complete in the days leading up to the deadline. So, do work tasks as soon as you can to prevent yourself from scrambling to get things done at the last minute.

6.)    Breathe and relax 

When you feel rather overwhelmed with work tasks, take a brief moment to stop and breathe. Relax and release the stress and allow yourself to calm your mind and body down. Reconnect with the present by solely focusing on your breathing and try to breathe with your bellow for just 1-2 minutes. Focus only on the air you are breathing in and out, and you will have a much clearer head.

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Five Reasons Why Multitasking Kills Productivity

 "In the modern desktop environment, with multitasking and alerts and constant activity, there are always more distractions. When you are at a computer, your hands are always on the controls.” –Marco Arment

Multitasking has been widely considered as a form of distraction by itself; yet surprisingly, a lot of people would still do it in their endeavors in doing more productive work. Unfortunately for chronic multitaskers, studies have shown that the brain, however, prevailing and powerful, is still human and thus limited. It does not have the same multitasking capacity as your computers do and overworking it past its breaking point—say, focusing on five things at once can cause detrimental damage to your work tasks. No matter how skilled you may be, if you split your attention to more than what your brain can handle, chances are you would be committing a lot of errors along the way and would instead be putting fires out throughout the day.

From that perspective, multitasking is indeed counterintuitive to productivity. Regardless of whether you are working for a law firm or an SEO company in the Philippines, multitasking should not be a core technique in improving productivity. Here are the top reasons why multitasking runs counter to work efficiency and productivity.

1.)    It is slowing you down

Contrary to popular belief, you do not achieve more tasks in lesser time by multitasking. On the surface, it may look like you are speeding through tasks. But when you are jumping back and forth from task to another, it will take you longer to finish two tasks than it had been if you attempted to complete each one of them separately. Instead of doing things at one time, do things in batches and you would effectively save more time. Send your emails all at once, pay your bills all at once and the like.

 2.)    You are making more mistakes

Essentially, because your attention is split and your focus is fragmented, you are likely to commit more mistakes than focusing solely on one task. In fact, experts have estimated that switching between tasks can cause you about 40% loss of productivity. From this standpoint, you can readily see how multitasking would hardly help you at all, most especially if what you are doing requires critical thinking. The brain can handle as much as only two tasks to do at once. Adding a third more, however, would overwhelm it and likely increase the number of errors you commit.

3.)    It causes you unnecessary stress

The physical act of multitasking causes stress, but incidentally, so will its consequences. Additionally, multitasking is potentially precarious to your health. This is because the rush of adrenaline and other stress-related hormones into the blood stream can cause permanent damage to the brain cells that store memories. If multitasking is something you chronically do every single day, you might eventually find yourself having trouble completing tasks even just one thing at a time.

 4.)    It tends to make you overeat

Distractions occurring during mealtimes have been proven to prevent your brain from fully processing what you have eaten. Mainly, this is the reason why you would not feel as full and may be tempted to scoop more food into your mouth or eat again after a short while.  One way to make sure you are paying enough attention to what you are eating is to refrain from turning on the television when you are eating. During meal times, let your focus rest on the food alone and nothing else.

 5.)    You are missing out on life

It all boils down to this: When you are focused on doing so many things at one time, you will neglect to see the most obvious things right in front of you. You may be looking at your phone while still taking stock of your surroundings, but chances are, you would not even notice what is truly going on in your environment. This phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness” and though you may be looking at your surroundings, it would not register in your brains.

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