Daily Life Hacks to Make Your Commute Stress Free

Graham Zahoruiko Daily Commute

 

Commuting to work is a mundane task that most drivers dread. Your hour plus time on the road is your least favorite way to start the day, but is somehow unavoidable. You’re not the only employee that travels quite the distance to and from work on a daily basis. On top of your heavy workload, your commute only adds to your stress level. Follow these simple life hacks to make your commute more fun and stress free!

Eat Breakfast

It’s no cliche that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast will only cause harm to your body. By getting into the routine of eating breakfast daily, you will find yourself feeling more energized and generally happier on during your commute. Eating breakfast is a way to jumpstart your metabolism each day, and fill your body with vitamins and nutrients it needs to make it through the day. Your commute will be much more enjoyable with your stomach full and your mind not wandering about what you’ll be having for lunch.

Listen to a Podcast

Successful businesses leaders recently shared one of their hacks– many successful leaders will start their day by listening to a podcast. There are easy ways to listen to podcasts like downloading them from iTunes, listening to them on Spotify or subscribing through various apps. For those seeking daily motivation and learning, Ted Talks, The Upgrade, and The 5am Miracle are great places to start. Other podcast genres vary from discussing your favorite television shows to murder mysteries and more.

Carpool

Fun fact– you don’t have to make your commute alone! If you know a coworker or friend that live near by, reach out to see if they’re interested in combining commutes. Sometimes people who live near each other and work near each other will join together for the morning commute. Not only does this save time, but it also saves gas and reduces the carbon footprint too!

Create Your Daily To-Do List

Okay, so you won’t be able to have a pen and paper in hand while driving, but there are great apps for hands-free planning. Dragon Dictation is an app that types out what you speak into a recorded microphone. Evernote is another app that has the same kind of function. Using these apps while you drive is a great way to write out your thoughts and plans.

For example, you can plan out your meals for the week or jot down the tasks you need to complete for the day. Some use this time to journal and simply get their thoughts out. It’s also great if you need to leave yourself a quick note while remaining hands-free so your full attention is on the road.

No matter your choice in what you do with your commute, these easy hacks will make your commute noticeably less stressful and easier on your daily life!

Here’s Why Employee Morale Matters More Than You Think

Employee morale is not just a passing trend or something that you should pay mere lip service towards. While there might be a distinction between work and home for you and your employees, employees need to feel cared for and supported in their position at your company. Low employee morale means that your workplace can feel hostile in many regards. The guide below will walk you through reasons why employee morale matters more than you think.

 

Health

People are focused on staying healthy in many ways, from what they eat to what they touch, the workplace is a major part of that daily routine. Work-related stress (as well as other factors) can trigger depression, anxiety, and much more. No workplace should push employees to the brink– making them feel worried and unwell. No company should ever expect a good output from an employee who is working under tremendous pressure. Improving employee morale can reduce work-related stress factors and increase the overall health of employees.

 

Productivity

Having people work more doesn’t mean that they’re going to be more productive. It might seem like they get more done, but in reality, the quality is inferior. Demanding employees to meet intense quotas means they’re going to be harried and unlikely to adhere to quality. Productivity should be championed in a proper manner. Employers should take pride in employees for not how fast they work but rather, how well they work.

 

Feeling Welcomed

The workplace needs to be distinct from other aspects of an employee’s life. There are things that shouldn’t be discussed at work, such as off-color and divisive topics. However, employees should feel comfortable in their work environment. In highest priority, proper treatment and respect of people in the workplace is a great way to improve morale. Managers should take the time to learn about their employees and invest in understanding them as individuals. Even if it’s just a casual acquaintanceship, a manager can forge a decent bond with employees and make them feel like they are known and cared about.

 

Retention

If employees aren’t satisfied in a workplace, they’re going to leave. While it may not be instantaneous, their dissatisfaction can easily be spotted. High turnover is a huge indicator of low morale. It’s crucial to promote employee morale in order to keep a business thriving. This isn’t just for the benefit of a company; it’s also for the benefit of the people.

The Hidden Aspects of Burnout

Graham Zahoruiko Burnout Blog

 

Many people who enter the business world are hard driving go-getters. They want to succeed, and are willing to push themselves in order to gain this success. In the business world, this type of attitude is generally applauded. After all, who wouldn’t want to go into business with someone who is hardworking and proven their business hustle?

 

As with all efforts, however, there is a price to pay. Even if someone enjoys their work, constant work and stress definitely has consequences. The tricky part about these consequences, however, is that many times they are cumulative. In other words, it takes a while for their true effects to be seen, and their source may not even be obvious because they’ve slowly increased over time. What is the actual source, however? The answer: burnout.

 

So what is burnout, exactly? In her article in Psychology Today, Paula Davis-Laack defines burnout as being out of sync with one or more aspects of your life chronically. Many times in business, this means that your work is taking over your entire life, and other aspects of who you are could be threatened and neglected. The article cites research that showed how work over-load was one of the common ways that people reach burnout, among other reasons.

 

In many ways, what relates the different paths to burnout is similar: chronic stress. Stress can come from a variety of sources, be it relationships, careers or negative encounters with people. With the level on connectedness that technology offers today, many people are simply overwhelmed by thousands of small stresses that occur over the course of a day. When days add up into weeks, and then months, the level of stress can build to a burnout. Burnout can have negative impacts on relationships and motivation due to its affect on your body and mind.

 

Because of how long burnout takes to develop, it can remain hidden for quite a while. Soon enough, however, the negative consequences of constant stress on your health and state of mind, as well as relationships, will start to show. At that point, its best to take a pause, relax and evaluate your life. Do you really need to be working 75 hour weeks? Are there toxic relationships you need to cut out or drastically modify? These types of questions can help recenter you on what is important and what is not.

Entrepreneur Tips to Make Your Holidays Stress-Free

Graham Zahoruiko Entrepreneurs Tips for Holidays

It’s that time of year where stores are blasting Christmas music over their sound system, decorations of reds, greens, and golds are everywhere you look from streetlights to the exterior of homes in your neighborhood. Along with the holiday festivities comes the fun of food, family, and gatherings. While the holidays truly are a happy time of year, many tend to overlook the stress that builds up throughout this season.

For business owners, entrepreneurs, and even employees, work during the end of the year can cause anxiety, sleepless nights, and rising tension along with pressure. Don’t let the stress of the holiday season keep you from ending the year on a great note. This guide below will provide you with a grounded approach to handling the holidays in a stress-free manner.

 

Take a Break

During the end of the year, businesses have high pressure and a demanding time frame of deadlines. It’s not unusual to see people over-extending themselves during each workday. While getting in as much work as you can may seem necessary, you could be hindering your own productivity. To avoid burnout, make sure you give yourself a break.

Your brain and body will ease from stress if you take a break even just for a few moments. Rather than working endless, non-stop hours until the project is done, give yourself a 5-minute break when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Taking frequent breaks is the key to productivity because it gives your mind a moment to refresh.

In addition to frequent breaks during your work day taking a moment to breath, use your PTO days if you have them. Not every company allows PTO to roll over to the following year, and you definitely shouldn’t let those days go to waste.

 

Keep Personal Life and Work Separate

You can easily become distracted during the work day when your personal life interferes. To avoid losing focus during your workweek, keep your personal life at home. Forget about the holiday parties you are invited to while working on a project. You can make time to schedule your personal parties and festivities after your work day. This may seem hard to do but here are a few solutions:

  • Don’t connect your personal calendar to your work calendar
  • Keep your personal phone off of your desk
  • Take a personal day if you need time to focus on life outside of work

While you gear up towards holiday festivities, don’t let the weight of stress drag you down. Be aware of your time, your effort, and your priorities and you will surely see that weight lifted for an enjoyable end of the year.

Maintaining Morale: A Great Reason To Change The Office Culture Around The Holidays

Graham Zahoruiko Office Culture

 

It’s that time of year where office happy hours and parties begin to take place as employers and employees gear up for the holidays. Rather than complain about the time and effort parties take, think about it from a new perspective. Office culture changes throughout the holidays and if office parties are done right, they can be a huge boost to employee morale.

 

Company Culture

A lot of companies like to talk about how they are different than other competitive businesses in their industry. One of their biggest bragging points often showcases their office culture and employee morale. If that is true, then they should have no problem incorporating a positive office culture for their employees– especially during the holidays. A holiday party is a great time to give everyone a taste of what makes their job great!

According to zip recruiter, holiday work parties are a great time to bring people together because it provides employees a time to take a break from their work and get to know their co-workers in a out-of-work-mode perspective. When employees have the opportunity to mingle in a more relaxed atmosphere, it can build their co-worker relationships and create stronger team bonding.

 

Meeting Others Who They Don’t Often Talk With

Holiday parties are a great time for people to speak with others who they do not necessarily come in contact with on a regular basis. The different departments within the company can all come together to celebrate the holidays with food, drinks, and non-work related conversations. After all of the hard work and time employees put into their jobs all year long, the holidays at the end of the year are the perfect time to take a break and celebrate.

 

A Chance To NOT Talk About Work

One of the best things about a holiday work party is that work is not the topic up for discussion. This brings fresh conversations allowing employees to get to know a different side to their co-workers. Employees shouldn’t spend this time worrying about their work. A break from work helps employees come back from burning out in their job. It’s great to see all of the different units of a company come together and just enjoy their time over food, drinks, and laughter.

5 Leadership Quotes Everyone Needs to Read

Graham Zahoruiko Leadership Quotes

Quotes are an always trending topic. People go to quotes for inspiration, to lighten the mood, and even to prove a point. 2017 is a new age with easy access to a digital world where hundred years worth of quotes are waiting at your fingertips. Here’s a list of various quotes that everyone can use in their lives, and what you should get out of them.

 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams

The 6th president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, brought this famous quote that shapes the way we view leadership. This shifting perspective opens our eyes to see that anyone of any kind of inspiration is considered a leader. When you are the reason someone else does an action of good, you are connected to that action in a form of leadership.

 

“Don’t find a fault, find a remedy” – Henry Ford

Leaders should be the last person to point fingers. Rather than wasting time trying to find out who to blame or the reasons things went wrong, leaders innovate to make things go right. Then they move on.

 

“A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” – Mark Yarnell

Sometimes leaders have to get out of their comfort zones. Leadership is something that pushes people to do better and be better than they thought possible. Leaders are the people who take that first step off of the ledge and learn to fly.

 

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

One of the world’s most favorited influences, Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. said this quote to showcase just how leaders aren’t a solo concept. To be a great leader, you need a team. Without any followers, you wouldn’t be a leader. Leadership requires more than just one person. If you’re a good leader, you’re leading an entire team.

 

“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander” – Aristotle

One of the most important things to remember in any leadership position is that you were once a follower. If you’re a leader, remember that you were once in the same position as all of your followers. You can relate to their position and experiences. You can’t become a leader without being a follower first.

5 Barriers to Breach: Don’t be a Good Leader, Be a Great Leader

Graham Zahoruiko Barriers to Break

There are key factors that distinguish a good leader from being a great leader. Leaders are everywhere you look. Your boss, your friend, your CEO, and even your dog could be a leader of any environment. Great leaders successfully manage their day to day tasks, engage with their followers, and embody a high level of credibility among those who know and follow them. Why wouldn’t you follow a credible leader?

In every area of life, there are aspects that hinder people from living up to their full potential. Whether you consider yourself to be a good leader or not, take a look at what could be your barriers to going from good to great.

 

5. Failure

Failure poses as a big red stop sign whenever anyone reaches a certain point in their mistakes. It can be hard, extremely difficult even, to face up to failures and mistakes made in a leadership role. Without acknowledging failure, leaders could potentially set themselves back or worse, damage their reputation. Great leaders accept and embrace failure. When something goes wrong, it teaches leaders how to make things go right.

 

4. Delegation

Do you have a tight grip on control? Let go. Good leaders appoint responsibilities. Great leaders delegate tasks. Perhaps you need to come to the realization that one person can’t possible take on every role on a team. You must have team players. Whenever tasks and responsibilities arise, ensure there’s even delegation. Not only is this importance for the leader themselves, but it can give a sense of importance to the team or members of the office as well.

 

3. Communication

Time in the spotlight for leaders is completely unavoidable. Leaders have a presence to fulfil to others. Communication is a key part of standing in front of a company, a team, or even followers. When it comes to communicating with your audience, there is more to it than just speaking. To be a great leader with good communication, you have to take time to not only speak, but also to listen.

Communication should be clear and specific. You can get personal with your audience, hear what they have to say, and then take into account the communication between both yourself and other parties involved. Have an open mind when communicating and you’ll notice improved leadership skills in yourself.

 

2. Motivation

Lack of motivation can ruin a team. It’s easy for leaders and team members to burnout and even shut down from stress or having too much on their plate. As a great leader, you must serve as a motivator. Give reason for people to follow you, but also give reason for people to take action. Your behaviors should inspire motivation among your audience.

 

1. Confidence

Confidence is key. The number one thing that makes a leader go from being just good to great is believing not only in themselves, but also in what they do. True leadership does not exist without confidence. In the same way, a leader can have too much confidence and portray an arrogant attitude. This also hinders leaders from becoming great. While it’s vital that you believe in yourself, believing in your followers should also be in equal priority.

Allow this to serve as the foundation to your leadership. Self confidence is more than a skill one can attain. It’s an asset to reaching your full potential.

 

 

How to Prepare for Your Next Speech

 

Graham Zahoruiko Motivational Speeches

Getting a crowd of people to listen to what you’re saying is difficult enough, but inspiring a group of people into action is even harder, especially as an entrepreneur. Motivational speaking can be a challenge and with the right tools and mindset, you will succeed in creating interest in your speech and inciting the action you want to leave the listeners with. Whether this is your first speech in front of a large group or you are a seasoned speaker, these tips will help you prepare to deliver an effective speech.

Start Early

Unless you’re exceptional at coming up with material or you’ve already delivered this kind of speech before, chances are you’ll need to set aside a good bit of time. Start with a brainstorming session and have goals in mind of what you’d like to achieve. Try to keep a small notebook with you at all times, just in case an idea pops into your head that you can use for the speech.

Make Sure You’re Committed to the Subject

One thing that is going to set you back is choosing a subject and working on the speech, only to change it because you’ve lost interest in the subject matter or don’t have enough material to work with. This is another reason why having a productive brainstorming session is crucial; it will eliminate the need for you to redo the speech after working on it for a time.

Listen to Other Motivational Speakers

Tune into a motivational TED Talk or try to attend an event that features a motivational speaker. This is not to get ideas from that you can use as much as it is to pick up on nonverbal cues and see how the crowd reacts to what the person is saying. Hone in on how they stand, what gestures they use, how they deliver anecdotes, and how they build their speech from beginning to end. Much like comedic stand-up, motivational speeches should be relatable and get the audience thinking.

Make it Memorable

After you leave the stage, the people in the audience should still be thinking about the words that you said. Keep them engaged by making the speech memorable. One way to do this is by injecting comedic elements to the speech. These anecdotes and observations should flow naturally and be related to the subject matter, and they are typically effective in both engaging the audience and allowing the speech to stay on their minds long after the speech.

How You Can Become an Approachable Leader

Graham Zahoruiko Leadership

In every company or organization there are key elements to the leadership that directs each team. Strong leadership skills are required for a good leader, but also to create a good team. One extremely important key to strong leadership is approachability. This takes leadership beyond standing in front of a team by allowing anyone on the team to openly approach with ideas, concerns and enough comfortability to talk to their leader. Leadership is more than telling a team what to do. Here’s how you can become an approachable leader.

Manage Your Emotions

In the workplace, it’s very easy for stress levels and tension to rise. This quick action can cause unnecessary conflict, and often makes employees feel uncomfortable. Unmanaged emotions are a sign of a weak leader. One of the most important rules in leadership is to keep your emotions under control. When frustration brews, it’s easy for leaders to show their emotions on their sleeves. However, in terms of approachability, any member on the team will avoid an easily frustrated leader.

If you want to be approachable, learn to get your emotions under control. This is a sign of strength, and will make employees more willing to come to you with their questions, needs and other work-related matters.

Build Trust

As you build trust in the workplace, you’ll notice your employees are more motivated and confident in their ability to do their jobs. Establish trust by encouraging other employees. One of the best ways you can keep your employees encouraged is through remaining actionable to the words you say. If you make promises, ensure that you keep them. If you come across failure, admit it instead of hiding it. Transparency is key to getting employees to trust you and believe in you as their leader.

Always Say Thank You

Notice the hard work and effort employees do on a daily basis. This expression of gratitude is comforting and mood boosting, not only to your employees but also to yourself. Try to pay more attention to the details. Always thank your employees for their hard work and point out a job well done. When you build a sense of confidence, your team will feel more motivated and that will reflect upon your approachability.

Remove the Pedestal

Leadership is an important role, with mounds of pressure on anyone in a high position. It’s all too easy for leaders to get a big head, making employees often resentful of a leader as their respect diminishes. Approachable leaders know when to step down and place themselves on the same level as their employees. This builds respect and trust between leaders and employees on a team.

If you’re looking to be a more approachable leader, know when you need to step up and when you need to lower yourself. Approachable leaders encourage their employees to openly come to them to talk, encourage employees by noticing their hard work and most importantly keep the success of not only the company but also the employees in priority.

Food You Need to Maximize Your Productivity

Do your work days feel like they’re dragging? It might be because of what you’re eating, or not eating. Your body needs a good source of vitamins and nutrients in order to function properly. To maximize your productivity and stay on top of your work, here are the foods you should eat.

 

Berries

Along with other fruit, berries are high in antioxidants which provide your body with anti-aging effects and prevent brain damage. Various berries contain different antioxidants that will give your body benefits to aid for a healthy body.

Eggs

Eggs contain glucose, which your brain needs as a source of energy. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, they’re a good brain booster. Your body needs high-quality protein with chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine that tell your brain cells to communicate.

 

Dark Chocolate

Brain food is something you eat that benefits your body in order for you brain to run on maximized energy. Dark chocolate is another good source of endorphins that make your feel good. On the plus side, it also tastes delicious.

 

Bananas

For a well-balanced snack to pack for work, you want bananas. With benefits such as potassium, vitamin C, fiber and more, bananas are a healthy option.

 

Almonds

Any food that lowers your cholesterol improves your blood flow which not only reduces your risk of heart disease, but it allows for more oxygen to reach your brain. Almonds are a good source of healthy fats that improve your brain function for better productivity in your workplace.  

 

Salad and Dark Greens

To ensure your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs to properly function, you want to find a well-balance meal. Salad is an easy, healthy meal to take to work. Remember if you’re choosing a type of lettuce, the darker greens have more benefits than the lighter greens.

 

Fruits and Veggies

To improve your productivity at work, you need to make sure your body has the energy it needs. Fruits are a good source of natural sugars that will help your body run without making your body crave more sugar. Vegetables will give your body the vitamins it needs. Both fruit and vegetables are great foods for work productivity.

Stay Away From:

 

  • Sugar
  • High Carbs
  • Skipping Meals  

 

 

In addition to tracking the healthy foods you put into  your body, you want to make sure you watch out for foods that will hinder your productivity. The worst thing you can do for your body is skip a meal. Your body will function slower because it’s running on low energy. High carbs are another factor that slow your body down. Lastly, sugar will give you a rush followed by a crash which will lower your productivity at work.
It’s important to pay attention to what you’re putting in your body for maximized productivity during your work week.