3 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety Before Going to Sleep

Having a lot of stress and anxiety is harmful for anyone during the day. Having a whirlwind of negative thoughts when you lay down to sleep is even worse! These anxious thoughts make it so difficult to get the sleep that your body and mind desperately need. My past experiences with living in unsafe neighborhoods and moving multiple times after eviction, have caused me to have negative and anxious thoughts every time I lay down to sleep.
After working on reducing my own anxiety for many years, I have found these three strategies help me fall asleep when I am having anxiety before bed.

Take a warm bath or warm shower

calming my anxiety at night

It is ideal to take a warm bath, but not all of us have a bath tub. I surely have had apartments that do not have the option to soak your stress away. A warm shower would do the trick as well. The warm water helps you relieve tension in your muscles and leaves you feeling fresh.

Set yourself up to relax by making the environment calm and peaceful. Create dim lighting with candles or a lamp. The bright lights of a bathroom can be overwhelming and prevent you from truly taking time to rest. Reduce the noise and turn off your phone. It becomes too distracting when my phone keeps ringing or notifying me about emails and social media. Allow yourself during this time to disconnect from those distractions and, let’s be honest, worries.

Also, add some bubble bath, a bath bomb, or epsom salts for an aromatic bath experience. For a relaxing shower, use a fragrant soap or body wash. Take your pick from the variety of products that are meant to promote stress relief and good sleep.

Laugh

Find a way to add humor to your evening plans. Laughing has a similar effect as exercising. They both increase the flow of oxygen in your body and release endorphins to help your mind feel more relaxed. An activity that helps make me laugh is to watch a funny sitcom or one of my favorite stand-up comedy specials.

Another way to laugh is to call up a relative or good friend and remind them of a funny memory you two shared. It is so helpful to share a laugh with someone else. For instance, there are many memories from school years that my brother and I love to chat about.

If you prefer a non-screen option and do not want to pick up the phone, then dust off an old photo album and remind yourself of happy memories. Pay attention to the scenery and people in the pictures, trying to remember how you felt at that time. The hairstyles and fashion of your past will likely help you reminisce and laugh out loud.

Make a gratitude list

calm my anxiety at night

As you lay in bed, say the names of people and things you are grateful for out loud. It is helpful to close your eyes and visualize the faces of the people you are thankful for.

Imagine them feeling happy and fulfilled. Once you start with one person, it causes a waterfall effect and keeps going. You will find that it is easy to imagine many more people in your life that have been helpful to you.

Allow yourself to focus on these people and extend the list as far as you can go. Remember that all of these people and things that you are grateful for are real and true. Some of your anxious thoughts are not true but are actually worries about the unclear future. When stating this gratitude list out loud, you might notice that you start to smile and your anxious energy melts away.

In closing, those negative thoughts that come up at night might be for a good reason. However, anxious thoughts do not get to control how much you sleep. My sleeping patterns were impacted by worries and made me more tired and less focused at school and work. Reducing anxiety before bedtime can improve your sleep and increase your energy during the day. By releasing muscle tension, laughing, and reminding yourself of who you are thankful for, you can reduce your anxiety and enjoy your sleep just like I do!

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5 Career Tips for Project Managers Post-Pandemic

It is said that difficult times bring out the best in people. Time and again, people, communities, and businesses have proved the same. All across the globe, nations are facing economic uncertainties while businesses are finding it difficult to manage challenges due to the current world crisis.

While the initial disruption was clearly unpredictable and a major setback for all, as we struggled to adapt to the new world; however, we can slowly see how many are rising to the occasion.

Every professional, project manager, and industry leader is making radical and positive changes in their working style, culture, pattern and thought process to mitigate the crisis and do what needs to be done to jump start economies.

Being project managers or business leaders, we are not an exception either, we have also felt the shock equally. The projects had to cancel, postponed, or delayed. In the first quarter of the year, we survived through supply chain disruptions, team management, collaboration, and connectivity crisis and are still striving to keep afloat.

As we see the crisis far from getting over, here to stay for the rest of the year 2020 if not beyond, we must look for ways to revive, endure changes, and develop effective survival plans for the future.

There are professionals who were furloughed amidst the current health crisis or are still uncertain about their need within the organization. Hence, it is time for some introspection. The relevant questions to ask oneself during this trying time are: what are the ways to become indispensable in the organization? How do I future-proof my profile for post-pandemic business? And If you are laid off: What can I do to attain another job quickly?

Here are 5 most critical career tips for project managers [for both PMP training and certification holders and non-holders] for the foreseeable future:

Update Your Profile on all the Professional Network Platforms

better project manager

Let’s get things straight here, professional social networking sites and other virtual platforms are important. In these platforms, you are most likely to find your peer groups and potential employers. You must keep your profile updated in these places. Mention your elegant skills, achievements, job responsibilities, and goals clearly and concisely.

This will show the headhunters your updated profile and get you the right kind of offers right away. Besides, seniors from your current company will also be aware of your credentials and where they can utilize your multifaceted skills in the organization during critical times if needed. Most importantly, in the current scenario, when we are working in a remote setting it is pertinent if you are required to manage teams virtually.

Continue Professional Development with Virtual Learning programs

When you update your profile, you will find out how many technologies you must acquire in order to be relevant for the times. And now, since you are spending considerable time indoors, it is always lucrative to acquire the latest industry-relevant skills rather than binge-watching another digital series.

There are many EdTech companies offering the latest Project Management courses in Virtual Instructor-led training mode. For example, a PMP course [Project Management Professional] will provide you with apt knowledge and resources that are beneficial to handle dynamics of changed projects during the pandemic and equip you with skills required for post-pandemic business dynamics.

Besides, PMP online training fee is also nominal and does not burn a hole in your pocket. You will get to learn from a variety of resources, videos, manuals, series of virtual events, and webinars which will keep you abreast of your game and prepare to advance.

Achieve that long-pending PMP Certification

If you have been laid off during these times and want to get into the workforce quickly, this is the shortest way. PMP certification demonstrates to hiring mangers your long-term commitment to your career and validate your learning journey.

Recently, PMI announced that they are extending access to the current PMP exam until 31st December 2020 by postponing the launch of the new PMP exam. They have launched online proctored testing for PMP aspirants. Now, you can take the exam online from home.

Build Genuine Professional Network

be a better project manager

Become a part of the virtual groups on the most relevant platforms and online networking sites. Being a PMP certification holder and project management professional, you may also join the local PMI chapter or try networking on other relevant forums. This collaboration will help you to keep updated with the latest in your domain and offer access to better job prospects.

Keep Connection with Recruiters

While recruiters are equally feeling the anxiety for their ability to provide suitable candidates in these volatile times, we must also keep a few trusted recruiters in the network. You may send an updated resume or profile to the trusted few who might be able to assist you if any viable opportunity comes up.

In addition to the above-mentioned tips, slight self-reflection is needed from each one of us. We all know that the post-pandemic world will be a changed world with respect to careers and jobs along with our personal lives.

Project managers are known for their quick strategic moves during stressful times, now when the industries all across the world need us we all must come together and deliver what is most expected from us – sound mind, good humor, and delivery.

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How To Develop Self-Discipline

We start something new with the best intentions. We have great aspirations and a clear vision. We feel inspired. How could we fail?

And yet, we do. Over and over.

Things don’t go the way we planned. We get discouraged. Maybe things are even going well, but somehow we just run out of steam. We try again, and even if we manage to avoid the old obstacles, new ones take their place. We end up where we started.

What’s happening here?

A Bumpy Road

mastering self-discipline

We will always encounter obstacles in anything new that we do.

Some people imagine that if they could only overcome the obstacle they are currently facing, things will go smoothly from that point onward.

These people are bound for disappointment. Another obstacle is always around the corner.

These people should stop trying to externalize the problem; blaming the obstacles won’t help. Instead, they should develop their personal ability to overcome obstacles at a systemic level. When this is accomplished, perpetual obstacles can be perpetually overcome.

Getting There

We may have an image in our mind of something that we would like to be or do. Whether we are prepared for the long road ahead is another question.

Our vision won’t come true right away. If we are really determined, we need to be ready and even eager to make mistakes.

Mistakes are, as everybody knows, one of the most important parts of the learning process. Even so, many people forget this. They see the mistakes as a threat to their value as human beings. They judge themselves as incompetent before there is any opportunity to develop true competence. They are impatient with themselves.

Those who are unwilling to make mistakes cannot learn. They will never develop skills, and their sense of self-worth will sink even lower.

Eventually, they quit.

These people need to reconsider their conception of failure. Mistakes (even large-scale ones) are not failures. Failure is only possible when potential is squandered. If we feel defeated and make an emotional decision to give up, only then has potential been lost.

It is possible to quit without giving up. We may make a realistic appraisal of our talents and decide that our potential lies elsewhere. In this case, there is no potential to be lost.

But there is a fine line. Don’t make excuses.

Slacking Off

What about when things do go well? What about when we are getting results, and mistakes are not part of the problem? Why then do our efforts sometimes fizzle out?

This phenomenon is a product of short-sighted thinking. When we begin our new endeavor, we do so without really being committed to it.

Maybe we’re not fully convinced that it’s necessary. Maybe we think we can get away with less. Maybe the results of our efforts make us complacent, and so we lose our sense of urgency.

In all these cases, we can see that we were fighting ourselves all along, trying to force ourselves into something we don’t enjoy.

Why, then, were we trying to do this thing in the first place?

Living Up To Expectations

Perhaps we were motivated by insecurity. We may be working to meet someone else’s standards or expectations. On the other hand, we may face criticism from others, causing us to become ashamed of our efforts.

The answer, simply, is to target the insecurity itself. Pushing ourselves into an activity that we don’t like doesn’t solve the real problem. The problem will only emerge later in some other form.

Instead of trying to meet the external standards of others, choose to meet the internal standards of yourself. The need to do this unwanted task will subside.

A Rock And A Hard Place

Another possibility is that we are faced with a dilemma. We have a problem, and we don’t like the solution. But even if we don’t enjoy the solution to our problems, the problem doesn’t go away.

The answer is to adapt the solution, and explore the variety of options available. In the event that we have no options at all, we must adapt ourselves.

If we are unwilling to make any adaptations, we must be prepared to accept the consequences of the problems we choose not to fix.

Often, a direct awareness of the potential consequences will inspire a durable change in people. This is why it is critical to confront the dilemma without rationalizing it away.

Mixed Signals

master self-discipline

Our emotions send us messages that are often contradictory and counterintuitive.

One moment, we’re motivated and take action. The next, we crash, and we allow things to slip away.

But long-term commitments don’t run on short-term emotionality. They are fueled by a long-term sense of resolve.

The ability to make sustainable resolutions is determined by emotional stability. Emotions are capricious; if we allow them to make our decisions for us, we will constantly flip-flop.

Commitments that stand the test of time are often made quite calmly and unemotionally, without any burst of inspiration to act as a catalyst.

The Broader Picture

Developing enough emotional stability to abide by our commitments is entirely its own journey.

It involves self-esteem and self-actualization. It requires that our life circumstances be relatively developed. It requires us to cultivate positive habits and positive thinking.

In short, learning self-discipline is part of a holistic process. Committing yourself to this broader process will require you to be self disciplined at the same time as it teaches you to be self disciplined.

So if you’re setting out to improve your life, why not start with self-discipline? You’ll be needing it.

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How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different

These are tough times. A pandemic is upon us; social issues are dividing us; and partisan politics is inescapable. Chances are that opinions on some of these problems may differ, extensively, within your workplace. Does that mean you can never have a casual lunch with colleagues in the break room again? Must we always avoid those who don’t share our perspectives to keep the peace?

Fortunately, the answer is no. If you’re willing to take the lead and model some patience, tolerance, and empathy, you could broker a successful and lasting truce among the people at your job. Here are a few suggestions to maintain a happier and more harmonious atmosphere when you’re on the clock.

Employ the “tell me more” technique

In Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, she suggests those three words to not only encourage the people in your life to open up, but to also give yourself the opportunity to listen. If someone brings up an upcoming election or a controversial article she read at the lunch table, instead of automatically shutting it down to prevent conflict or biting our tongues to avoid disagreement, we could just say “tell me more”.

It may be hard at first, especially if the person who is speaking is negative or irritable, but those simple words can really soften people up. Everyone likes to be heard; everyone appreciates respect. Prompting others to “tell me more” doesn’t mean you have to listen to a three-hour soliloquy; it just means that you’re willing to hear them out and that you’re interested.

When discussing differing opinions, find at least one thing to agree with

what do you do if you have a disagreement with someone at work

One of my pals at work is the polar opposite of me politically. The two of us have no problem discussing any topics, however, because we both know that nothing is all black or all white. We respect each other as intelligent, well informed people and often find ourselves saying things like, “well I’ll grant you that” or “that’s certainly true.” When practicing the “tell me more” technique, you can probably find at least one tiny thing your speaker says on which you could comment positively.

Is the topic climate change? Perhaps you could offer something as simple as, “Well the weather has been crazy this year.” Arguing about an election? Try offering, “It just seems like everyone running has something wrong with them.” Such statements, though not exactly worthy of a Nobel peace prize, are nonetheless bridges to those around us. Keep them generic, simple, and true and they’ll have remarkable results.

Model how to communicate and disagree professionally

People who work together usually mind their manners quite well when they are involved in their everyday tasks or teams. They are busy; there may be quotas; time is money. If you want to have friendly conversations with your coworkers at break or over lunch, you need to interact with consistent professionalism throughout the day. Show them how you can communicate a difference of opinion without judgment or rancor. Be aware of your tone. Assume the best about someone who might be making a mistake.

Instead of, “You’re doing that wrong,” try “We’ve found it usually works better like this.” Know that most people are just like you: doing their best and, sometimes, having a bad day or experiencing personal distractions that make their work a little less than optimal. When people know you are sensible and even-keeled they frequently offer you the same treatment. Such behavior is much more likely to extend to down time when it’s practiced all the time

Have a go-to phrase that changes the subject

Even when polarizing events aren’t in the news, conversations among coworkers can sometimes get heated. It may be a project that’s not going well or someone who is not pulling his weight. Whatever it is, however, people get ticked off about it. This is when investing in getting to know your colleagues pays off. In my work place we have numerous older employees who have grandchildren. Whenever words get raw in the break room, I just throw in something like, “So, Chris, how are those grandkids!” or “John, isn’t your daughter-in-law pregnant again?”

If you don’t know your coworkers very well, you could use another statement that is suitably neutral like, “Thank God the weekend’s coming up!” (even if it’s only Monday.) Or tap into everyone’s love of sports, “How ‘bout them Knicks?” The idea is to have some kind of bait ready; anything that will turn the conversation in a better direction. Others will almost always appreciate it and follow your lead.

Don’t be afraid to close down a conversation or excuse yourself assertively

disagree with someone at work

This goes along with (4) above. I’ve used my safe phrases (yes, I have several) numerous times early in conversations just to avoid the possibility that things might go south. There are certain people among my colleagues who just can’t resist the opportunity to bust one another’s chops and I refuse to be in the middle of that. Sometimes, however, the best played safe phrases fail.

When that happens I have literally said to people, “Hey, guys, it’s time to get back to work.” Or “Let’s not do this.” Pair those remarks with getting up to leave and throw in something like, “Hey, Bill, can you help me with something in my office?” Those tactics always work for me. If you’re not confident enough to execute them, however, simply excuse yourself. Don’t run away, but make sure people know you’re leaving. A simple and straightforward “I’m going to go” is enough. No one is allowed to intimidate or frighten you.

Over my numerous careers I have always found that everyone appreciates good manners, even the most curmudgeonly. You don’t have to be fake or a doormat to get along with your colleagues. You do, however, need to be aware that you’re not the only one on the job. That means you need to offer some consideration for others and not just vent about everything or everyone who irritates you. Practicing some patience and being polite is guaranteed to improve your productivity and work experience, whether in the break room or the board room. You will almost certainly find it does the same thing for everyone else.

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The Ins and Outs of Cloud-Based Gaming

Everyone likes picking up a video game from time to time – whether you’ve caught the Fortnite bug and play for hours on end, you have a round of Super Smash Bros every now and then with your friends, or you’re getting out your phone for a bit of PUBG or Pokemon Go. These days, video games are available across so many devices and platforms that it can be hard to keep up. The latest really innovative concept in the gaming world is cloud-based gaming. But what’s that?

What is cloud-based gaming?

Cloud-based gaming is video games streamed to your device – almost any device – through either the browser or a gaming platform app. Instead of the processing power being over on your device (the CPU/s and GPU on your console or PC) it’s in the cloud. All operations are simply streamed over Wi-Fi or cellular data. This is great news for gaming fans who either want to play on the go or don’t want to splash the cash on a full gaming setup.

stadia future of gaming
Is this the new normal

What this means is that people can now play console-quality games without the hardware that was necessary in the past. The only requirement? A super-fast network connection so that you can stay in the game without choppy gameplay. For example, Google Stadia, one of the main cloud gaming platforms, recommends a network speed of 10Mbps or more. While these numbers aren’t available to just anyone, if you live in the appropriate area and have a good internet plan, you might just be able to take advantage. And for everyone else? These type of speeds should be coming soon to your door.

The platforms

ins and outs of cloud based gaming

There is a wide variety of platforms on the market that specifically do cloud gaming, however not all platforms are made equal. Making sure there is a data center near you will ensure smooth playability, no matter the platform. Here are some of the best.

Google Stadia

Google’s Stadia offering is the latest release in the cloud gaming ecosystem. While the service entered the field with a bang, it’s still suffering some teething problems – namely enough players to play with in cooperative games. It works via the Chrome browser on most devices and plays best with a dedicated controller.

GeForce Now

Nvidia have long been known as titans of the GPU and gaming card space, regularly topping the charts of gaming PC builds for the best of the best. That’s why it should come as no surprise to gamers that they have their own gaming platform – GeForce Now. GeForce goes across most devices and can plug in to your Steam, Battle.net or Uplay library.

Shadow

Shadow is often touted as the best allround platform for cloud gaming. Why’s that? Because it can connect with pretty much any game library that Windows supports, such as Steam, GamersGate, and Discord, offering the most games to play, as well as mods. The only issue with this platform is its currently limited amount of worldwide servers.

The games

The games that you will encounter depend on the platform you decide to go with. For instance, Shadow only has BYO games, linked up to your existing library. The same goes with GeForce Now. Google Stadia, on the other hand, has the Google Stadia Store, which includes titles like The Elder Scrolls Online, PUBG, and Borderlands 3 for purchase, or you can subscribe to Stadia Pro for access to a range of games on a subscription basis.

One of the interesting aspects of cloud gaming is being able to do virtual reality gaming with just a headset and a cloud gaming platform that supports VR games – so long as you have the bandwidth to support it! This wasn’t very common before. For instance, online casinos tried to take slots into the virtual reality realm, but this has not worked as expected. We expect this to change as more people get headsets to take advantage of cloud gaming potential.

The verdict

gaming cloud based

If you are already a gamer but want to expand your gameplay to other devices, or don’t have a console or PC to play with right now – then cloud gaming could be a great option for you.

You will need to assess whether there is a close data center to your location provided by the platform/s of your choosing, as well as check whether your internet speeds match those required. You’ll also need to assess whether you want to bring your own library or games or whether you’re happy purchasing titles, or accessing them on a subscription basis. Getting the right controller may also be something you will need to consider. All these choices will inform the best platform for you.

Once you have picked a few cloud gaming platforms that fit your needs, then have a play around and see which one you like best!

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Why Your Small Business Must Have an Internal Employee App?

An internal employee app is a great way for organizations to engage with their employees. This is more so for small businesses, where employees play a critical role. Large businesses have regular inflow and outflow of human resources. Small businesses work with a small team of people and it is very important to retain the employees to avoid business disruptions. Employee engagement can play an important role here. Engaging with employees helps in making them more committed to the job. This helps in employee satisfaction and retention.

While there are multiple strategies to help in employee engagement, one of the simple and effective ways to do it is through an employee app. An internal employee engagement app would be effective in doing this. Such an app would run on the smartphone of the employee. It is known that people like to use their own devices. Most organizations prohibit using personal devices at work. With an internal employee app, employees are encouraged to use their phones at work to access the app. This is definitely a move that employees would be happy with.

What an Internal Employee App Can Do?

A small business can have many benefits by using an internal employee app. These benefits illustrate the importance of having such an app.

It Ensures Open Communication

employees internal app

Communication is very essential in small businesses. An organization that encourages communication and allows free flow of information will improve its effectiveness. An employee communication app can help with this. The app allows employees to interact with each other using a single channel. Using multiple channels like e-mail, chat, social media, etc., can lead to some messaging being missed out.

When everyone uses an internal app, communication is improved. It ensures transparency as everyone knows what is happening in the organization. It ensures people are constantly engaging with each other and with the management. This creates a better work environment, which would help in improved productivity. Above all, this can ensure better feedback for the management which can be used to improve business operations.

Helps in Recognition and Reward

Employees do not work just for a salary, they work to achieve goals. An employee who achieves goals needs to be recognized. A simple word of appreciation can be very effective in motivating employees and, thus, helping them be better engaged with their work. An internal app can be used to recognize work achievements. A transparent reward system can ensure that hardworking employees are suitably rewarded. Such a system motivates everyone in the organization.

Ensures Employee Development

An internal employee app can be used not just for communication but also for training. Employee training, which is crucial for organizations, can be delivered through an app. This is easy and convenient for both the organization and the employee. Small training modules can be delivered through the app. This allows employees to upgrade their skills periodically. Such a move would help in improving employee engagement.

Better Work Scheduling

Service organizations work on tight schedules. The absence of an employee can affect work. Work scheduling plays an important role. When an app is used, work scheduling can be managed more effectively. Managing work shifts, assigning jobs, etc., can be done using the app. When someone goes on leave or wants to change their shift/schedule, they can do it easily through the app. It would also ensure that everyone is informed about the change in advance, so there is no confusion.

Monitor Employee Satisfaction

internal app for employee

A satisfied employee is unlikely to quit the organization. Small businesses need to work hard to retain talent. An internal employee app can help them do this. The app can be used to get regular feedback from employees through surveys, questionnaires, and feedback forms. All these can be easily administered. The feedback from employees can be used to solve employee problems and act on their suggestions. This can be very helpful in keeping employees satisfied, which will reduce turnover.

The benefits listed explain why a small business must invest in an internal employee app. The app would improve communication, and help in effective employee engagement. All these would help a small business improve employee retention and enhance its business effectiveness.

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Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home

Working from home has become the new normal, but it’s something that not all businesses and individuals can immediately jump into. There are things to consider, such as new technology and employees used to working on site.

The transition can take time if your company is not prepared for it. Sometimes, situations like this cause confusion and uncertainty among the workforce. However, technology is always one step ahead, so there’s no need to worry.

There are numerous tools available online, both free and paid. These make the process more convenient for you and your employees.

Whatever it is you need, there’s almost always a tool available for it, like video conferencing tools, audio tools, productivity tools, and even project management templates.

Choosing one from the many is challenging, so it’s vital first to find out your choices. Here are some tools to help your employees make working from home more comfortable.

Tools for Productivity

productivity tools for remote work

One of the things businesses worry about when working from home is employees’ productivity, and several tools can help with this.

● Google Online Suite

If your employees use Microsoft Office for many of their tasks, Google Online Suite is what your business needs. It’s Office’s online version, and it has Google Drive, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Docs, Hangouts (now Google Meet), Slides, and Gmail. It has everything your employees need to be productive.

Google Online suite also makes it easy for teams to communicate, share, and collaborate.

● Trello

Teams tend to achieve more when using a collaborative task management tool like Trello. With its easy-to-use dashboard, monitoring your employees and their progress is simple. There’s an editorial calendar that shows what all the tasks teams are working on – writing, designing, editing, and publishing.

● ProofHub

ProofHub allows you and your teams to work together in one central place. Its main difference from some of the other project management tools is that you and your employees can also communicate and collaborate with clients.

Communication Tools

Most work from home tools have communication components, but using a tool intended solely for communication is essential. Here are some choices to consider.

● Skype

There are now numerous communication tools available online, but Skype is still popular and used by many businesses. It’s highly functional and equipped with a variety of features that help make communication convenient between teams and individuals.

Aside from chat and video conference functions, Skype also works efficiently for online interviews and meetings. Sending photos, videos, and files are likewise easy.

● Intercom

Intercom is another online messaging tool for you and your employees. It’s not as popular as Skype, but it’s just as useful. It’s not only for communications; it’s also an app for customer acquisition. Your employees get to answer clients’ queries, work on email campaigns, and perform various functions.

Video Conferencing

video conference tools for remote work

Video conferencing tools are different from chat or communication tools because they allow you to perform tasks you usually do when you’re in a meeting or conference with your employees. Here are some choices to consider.

● Zoom

Zoom is probably the most-used video conferencing tool nowadays. It’s simple to use and comes with features that make an online call look like it’s happening inside the conference room.

There are two ways to use Zoom – for free with no time limit but with only 100 participants, or paid with unlimited time and up to 1,000 individuals. It has tons of features like scheduling calls/conferences, text chat, recording conferences, and sending individual private messages.

Zoom also allows users to share their screens, either a part of it or the whole screen.

Even if you or your employees have internet connection problems, Zoom will keep working, albeit at a reduced quality.

Zoom is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Web, and Windows devices.

● Google Meet

The best reason for using Google Meet is your free access to and use of Google apps such as Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Classroom, Slides, and Gmail. Likewise, you can schedule video conferences ahead of time and mark them on Google Calendar.

Google Meet is available for free or for a fee. Some of its most exciting features include live stream support, real-time captions, 250 participants at once, call recording and mic muting. It’s also easy to share your screen whether you want the participants to see your entire desktop, one window, or a tab.

Social Media Management

Social media plays a significant role in ensuring business success. There are several tools to choose from.

● Hootsuite

Hootsuite is probably the most popular among all social media management tools. Its features include content management, filtering social conversations, analytics, and reports. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media networks. Hootsuite is also easy to understand and use.

● Buffer

Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool used by reputable businesses, individuals, agencies, and brands. It’s perfect for collaboration, engagement, publishing, and analytics.

Helping your employees transition to working from home is not a walk in the park, but using the right tools helps make the process easier. Spend some time studying which options are best for your business before settling for one or two (or more).

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How Tech And Remote Work Will Turn The Economy Around

Necessity is the mother of invention as the old saying goes, and our inventiveness during this economic downturn has led to modernization of a lot of processes and industries. The Great Depression brought inventions like the chocolate chip cookie, electric razors, and car radios, so what great advancements will come out of the current economic downturn?

The Work From Home Revolution

economic recovery by technology

For years workers have been clamoring for work from home options. While the United States has officially been in a recession since June, companies that sent their workforce home to continue to do work are keeping the economy chugging along.

Since the advent of the internet, everyone from working parents to disability advocates have been asking for flexible work arrangements. For working parents, being able to be home when the bus comes reduces the need for before and after school care and leads to fewer days off because of sick children. It makes working fit a worker’s lifestyle instead of trying to make a worker fit into a company’s rigid expectations. What’s more, people who work from home report greater work/life balance and feel more energetic about and engaged with their work.

For disability advocates, work from home arrangements are an opportunity to have reasonable accommodations made in the workplace. Think about the difficulty of finding a job that is a good fit for your skills and needs – even under the best circumstances it’s a challenge. Now imagine you find the perfect job but the bathroom isn’t accessible or your desk won’t accommodate your needs or it’s an open concept office and you have ADHD or an auditory processing disorder.

Finding an appropriate job under such circumstances becomes impossible, and working from home is a great solution. Now that we have seen that most jobs can be done remotely, it will open doors to greater employment opportunities for those in the disability community.

So what does all this have to do with the economy? Because remote work has kept the economy going, it’s likely that this is going to be the exact mechanism that kicks off our ascent out of the economic recession. We have the technology to lean in to remote work and get the economy strengthened and ready to recover if we would just use it.

How Tech Is Aiding Work From Home

economic recovery technology

Have you tried to buy any piece of computer or communications equipment lately? It’s sold out across the board at almost every retailer. Home office tech sales are increasing rapidly:

  • 400% increase in Chromebook sales
  • 179% increase in webcam sales
  • 138% increase in monitor sales
  • 134% increase in headset sales
  • 64% increase in keyboard sales

In addition to equipping home offices with the hardware that is needed to keep the work from home boom going, use of software and apps is also growing rapidly. People are communicating differently, which has meant greater reliance on apps like Slack and Zoom has grown. Even cloud-based enterprise software like the G Suite, which allows workers cloud-based access to spreadsheets, documents, slideshare, and more has gained 1 million paying businesses in February alone.

Microsoft got their start in the oil crisis of the 1970s, and today they are one of the two largest companies in the United States. Part of their success was because they offered services businesses needed to rebrand and rebound from economic instability.

During the Great Recession of the early 2000s, companies like AirBNB, Uber, Groupon, and WhatsApp were invented to serve a need, which was to extend needed services to people who were suddenly struggling to make ends meet because of a recession.

Innovation Is The Way Forward

We’ve all heard the saying that we can’t get out of a mess by using the same thinking we used to get us into that mess. The same goes for the economic recovery. If you are waiting for things to go “back to normal”, you’re going to be waiting forever. It’s time to realize the economy is going to have to modernize in order to bounce back. Working from home and the technological advances in the digital workplace are a key component of the economic recovery. Learn more about how tech will aid in the economic recovery from the infographic below.
How Technology Will The Economy Recover
Source: TradeShowCareers.com

The post How Tech And Remote Work Will Turn The Economy Around appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic)

I don’t know about you, but 2020 easily ranks #1 Strangest Year of My Life. Our attention spans inevitably get sucked up by news headlines and the constantly changing city and safety ordinances as a result of the pandemic’s infection rates. Even as I write this from Los Angeles, just today we’ve begun Shutdown 2.0, and I frankly cannot believe it. More businesses crippled by the current health emergency, and more uncertainty about how the economy will fare. Yet despite all that noise, despite the whiplash of changes this crazy year has presented… life goes on.

Yup, even in a pandemic, you’re hard-pressed to meet a guy who still doesn’t want a woman to become both his companion and lover. That never changes. But how do you meet women during or following a crisis of this magnitude? What’s the right way? Well, here are 3 approaches to try — and note: whenever you read this article, these approaches apply because they’re rooted in basic social truths, not fads.

Check the #1 most important thing (that all women have a radar for)

meet women during a pandemic

Hands down, if you do NOTHING else, make sure your intentions are clean and clear. Whether you’re online dating, meeting a girl six feet away at a restaurant, or passing her on a trail while wearing a mask, women innately possess a keen radar for men who are just after that one thing. So what should your intention be? Should it be to get that date? Her number? Nah. None of those, which obviously excludes sex… but stay with me.

Your intention needs to be to have non-threatening, friendly interaction with her. That’s it. Your first, second, third, etc. interactions with a girl should not be riddled with dating or sex vibes. She can sense that, and the girl who wants that isn’t the girl you want. Treat meeting women and dating as if you’re out just to have friendly conversations with new people. Don’t DM or talk to women like you’re a hound on a fox hunt. That’ll push her away, and likely, invite situations where you just get rejected. But if you make your intention just to meet women for the sake of meeting new people, you’ll eventually find someone with whom the communication and vibes work, and from there, you can gradually grow the interaction to one with chemistry.

Avoid men’s greatest fear by ditching these

Men obviously have many fears, but in the dating sphere, let’s be honest: no one enjoys rejection. Oh yes, rejection is the chokehold of dating; just one bad rejection from a hot girl can cut your confidence and recalibrate what you think you deserve from a relationship.

So how do we avoid rejection in dating? Ditch your expectations. Expectations are the trap of dating because by having expectations, you pigeonhole yourself into how the interaction, night, or date should go. By placing a “should” on any dating scenario, you automatically get sucked into your head, and worst of all — out of the environment. When your attention is not on and in the environment, you cannot experience the girl, or see clearly if she really is a good match for you.

Also, let’s be honest: you don’t know how the future will go when you start dating. You have no idea who you’ll hit it off with! I had no idea I would hit it off with the girl I am with, but in the beginning, we just kept hanging out, talking, and talking some more. My expectations with her were not to have sex, get serious, or build a future… but funny, that’s eventually (over time) what happened. When you have etched-in-stone expectations about how a conversation or date should go with a certain girl, you cut yourself off of what could be. And, when things don’t go exactly how you planned? You just end up feeling rejected… but you’re feeling rejected by your OWN ideas. Get that?

Stop creating expectations around dating, and just adhere to #1: adopt a clear intention just to meet people, hot or not.

Follow the flow and never use force

tips on how to meet women during a pandemic

I know that sounds like something a sailing instructor would tell you, but in dating, you want to keep the flow light. What do I mean? Don’t force interactions that aren’t easy, and that aren’t wanted. I’ve read advice from other guys stating that they called their girl every month for a year before they got a date. Maybe that works sometimes (in rare instances), but I’d liken that approach to forcing something that maybe should not be forced.

You want to meet a girl who adds to your life, and with whom life is better — not more work. So if you’re talking with a girl online or offline, and the conversation feels awkward, or maybe she’s just rude? Maintain good manners and keep it moving. Just because she’s hot doesn’t mean she’s worth pursuing. The right girl who evolves from a simple communication into a longer conversation into a hang-out, into a date, and so forth will ultimately be one with whom everything flows. I can’t think of any relationship or human interaction that results well from using force. Have you ever been screamed at? That’s force… and how did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Use flow. Give attention to interactions that run well with no drama, only good vibes.

Now, do you notice something?

I didn’t mention anything about using online dating apps or making sure you hit up the hottest clubs. That’s because the most effective dating and communication tactics work well anywhere — online or offline.

The truth is, achievement in any area of life starts with you, not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you need to check your motivation and goals when it comes to dating. So get your head right, and stack the odds in your favor. Meet many women just to be friendly and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the joys of life!

And if you occasionally meet people who suck? No worries. Follow the flow, keep it moving, and remember: if you keep your positive attitude and keep your eye on the top of the mountain, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

The post 3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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