Top five traits of the best employees

Top five traits of the best employees

Whether you’re looking for a raise or on the hunt for a new job, you’ll want to be sure you demonstrate the five traits of the best employees. We’re telling you, they’ll get you places. And, if you’re an employer in pursuit of your next new hire, be sure to ask questions that will help you to determine if your potential talent will be your next best hire. Only the best employees will last!

Passion. Without passion, your job is just another daily grind. Without passion, there is no point (other than the money). Without passion, you’ll be able to see the end at the same time you see the beginning (or get your job offer). Passion is the most vital trait employers should be looking for in new hires. They are looking for someone with skill. Sure. But they’re also looking for someone with drive, someone who will love their job and work with their heart, not just their head. If you love your job, you’ll be more dedicated to the operation, to finding that cure, to doing whatever it is that the job at hand entails. If you’re an employer, be sure to ask your job candidates what they’re passionate about. And if you’re in a job just to pay the bills, take a look around. Look at our job board. See how you can make a change that makes more sense and while you’re making cents.

Motivation. Your boss doesn’t have time to tell you what to do all the time and chances are he or she hired you because they don’t want to and they trust you. So take initiative. Use that pretty little mind of yours. Think outside of the box handed to you from day one (within reason) and see where a little initiative takes you. With a little self-motivation, our bets are on a raise and promotion!

Confidence. You were hired for a reason. That’s because you’re just the man or woman for the job. So go about it with confidence. It’s key in good decision making and building trust among your peers and higher ups. Do what you do boldly. No need for second guessing. Confidence is key.

Prompt. Time is of the essence so use it wisely. No one likes a slow-poke when it comes to getting the job done. That being said, more than a slow-moving employee, employers really don’t have time for someone who moves so fast they make a lot of careless mistakes. So arrive on time and by that we mean five minutes early. And when you get there, find a pace that makes sense for you to be most productive.

Easy-going. This one should be just that––easy. No matter how smart or hard-working an employee is, they must be easy-going for things to work out. Be easy to work with. Your workplace is your second home. Oftentimes, we tend to forget one of the biggest pieces of the HR puzzle––personality. Let yours shine.

Looking for a new employee? Contact us to see how we can help you find your next best employee. Or are you looking for a new job yourself? View our current job pharmaceutical and biotech job listings to see if we have one for you.

Five habits of the highly successful

five habits of the highly successful

It’s time! That’s right. It’s time to say goodbye to your bad work habits and say hello to the five healthy habits of highly successful people so that you can move on up the ladder with your current employer or find better luck with a new one.

Routine. Let’s begin with the basics––eating, sleeping, waking, exercising. We live in the land of the free and oftentimes we want to exercise our rights to do what we want when we want more often than not. We say, save that for your days off if you can and try to plan and establish a routine that you can have down to a science at least five days a week. Most successful people get that way because they have a specific recipe for making the most out of their time. In a recent survey of more than 200 millionaires, research showed that 50 percent of those folks woke up three hours (or more) prior to setting foot in their place of work to prepare for the day ahead, work on personal projects and create time for eating (and perhaps packing) healthy meals and exercising. Waking up early or staying up late to work are often imperative but be sure to get your seven to nine hours of sleep in each night as prescribed by the National Sleep Foundation. Recharging our batteries is just as important as keeping them going.

Exercise. Speaking of routine, it’s been said that exercise is the number one common thread between highly successful people. Getting the blood flowing throughout the body also gets the blood flow just right in the brain to complete (and excel!) in daily tasks. It also helps to rid the body of kinks that would otherwise make it miserable to stay in one place for most of the day.  Another advantage of exercise is that as movement within the body occurs, endorphins are released which help to develop a sense of confidence, a competitive edge and drive which can be applied in the workplace too.

Get Inspired. If you’re well-read on what it takes to be a true success, you’re already on the right track. In the same survey polling millionaires we mentioned above, 88 percent of the 200 and some wealthy people polled said they take the time to read at least 30 minutes each day. Whether it’s self-help, biography or even fiction, we can learn a great deal from real folks and characters who have overcome odds, gained new perspectives or conquered unimaginable quests.

Take Time. It’s important to make time to take time out of the office or lab where you spend most of your time on the job. One recent study showed an 80% in-office and 20% out-of-office split is the ideal way to divide your work time. A change in scenery has actually proven to reactivate optimal brain functioning after a long period of time spent in the same place.

Happy-medium. Confidence is key in business. No one doubts that. But a truly successful person also takes other points of view into perspective and doesn’t act like a know-it-all. So take time to listen to others. Hear them out. Open your ears to new ideas or ways of thinking. Time will tell that being a good listener will also get you places when it comes to relationship-building and we all know that the more well-connected we are in the workplace, the more likely we are to be eligible for promotions and bonuses. And if you’re not sure that there is room for upward movement where you are, use your confidence to ask for help. Use those connections! Send your resume to recruiters like Phil Ellis Associates and let us do a little work on our end of things to see how we can help get you where you’re trying to go.

Looking to find success in a new job opportunity? Check out our list of current job openings to see if there’s one for you.

Three reasons why to apply for a new job every three years

Reasons to apply for a new job

A change will do you good. Yes, we know. Change isn’t always easy. We all tend to get stuck in the same rut and that’s because the comfort zone is the easy route to take. What we don’t often do when we’re in the comfort zone, however, is fully realize our potential for increases in pay, job satisfaction, growth and overall quality of life.

Use it or lose it. With repetition comes ease. Jobs that become easier to us by the day are great for that reason. Ease is probably one of the most common reasons why we get stuck where we are rather than thinking about moving up. But as with most things we do repetitively, it’s also easy to get bored, lose sight of our end goals, let the rivers of passion running through our veins dry up and stop using our minds to build off of what we studied in college and through our careers. Rather than getting stuck, look at each step along the way as a building block. Once you’ve been at a job for about two or three years, more than likely, you’ve reached your peak for expansion if you haven’t been promoted. That means it’s time to move on to the next, learn a new skill and make more money.

Making paper. This might sound shocking but according to Cameron Keng, a contributor at Forbes, employees who stay with the same company more than two years will end up getting paid an average of 50% less over their lifetimes than someone who job hops. If your eyes are popping out of your head, that’s a sure sign that it’s high time for a move. Most often, by staying with the same company, you’ll be rewarded a one to three percent raise each year. If you take the risk of moving on to the next job, however, you’ll be better able to leverage your increase in pay with the skills you learned from your previous job that your new employer has been in search of before finding you.

Fruits of labor. Working with passion almost always leads to a fruitful pocketbook and, more importantly, an improved overall quality of life. Doing stuff we don’t love isn’t fulfilling on any level outside of putting bread on the table. But the world is vast and opportunity is endless so we have every right to be picky! We deserve to spend our time doing things that we enjoy rather than things that make us dread the sound of the alarm clock in the a.m. If you’re unhappy, it’s time to get yourself out of the comfort zone to fulfill your passions. Get out your resume and update it so that you can upgrade your work and home life with one fell swoop.

Is it about time for you to go on a job hunt? Check out our current list of job openings and shoot us a line. We’ll be happy to help you on your journey to the next best thing.

Sealing the deal: Two things you should and should not do to land the job after the interview

Phil Ellis Associates Interview Keys

How many times have you been interviewed? And, how many times did that work out in your favor? You nailed the phone interview. Got the call back. Went on to round two which required a comp’d flight across the States and a one-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. You crushed the continental breakfast which gave you the energy to kill it during the round-table in-person interview. All six team members fist-pumped in-sync to the tune of the Rocky theme song and high-fived you on the way out. Yeah, that just doesn’t happen. Well, if it does, we’ve never heard of it.

More often than not, no deal is truly sealed until there are two signatures on the dotted line (yours and theirs), moving trucks have long-since moved your belongs to your new home where you’ve settled and the anxiety-ridden 90-day trial period has passed with flying colors.

Please and thank you. No matter how good or bad you think the interview went, please say “thank you.” It’s a common courtesy we all too commonly forget once we’ve said our goodbyes. The interview doesn’t really end with the nice-talking-with-you shake of the hand in the HR office. It ends when we take the time to get home, recount the way the conversation went and shoot our interviewer(s) something from the heart. Short and sweet is all that’s needed. Simply thank the guy(s) or gal(s) you were with for their time and consideration. It will go a long, long way.

More money. More problems. Don’t let the caption be a buzzkill. We’re not saying not to ask for more money. An increase in your pay is always a good thing. Always. If you’ve earned it and your new employers sees that. You got it. No problem.

Here’s the thing. Know what you want. And, most importantly, know it from the get-go (maybe even before you start your job search). Consider the amount of money you’re currently making. Consider any higher or lower costs of living or the difference in taxes from your current town to the one that you’re thinking of migrating to and then consider the market. (This post may be helpful!) Do your research to find out what others are making in that town, at that company and in the position you’re looking at. It’s all supposed to be a big fat secret but money isn’t the elephant in the room anymore. Come on folks, that’s what Google’s for! And, you also have real people you could talk to like us. Recruiters are oftentimes your best resource for revealing point-blank (after reading your resume first, of course!) what a person like you, at a time like this, in a place like that could possibly make for a job listed in their current openings.

So back to the point. After you’ve done your research, come up with a number. Let’s be reasonable now. Don’t just pick a number, any number from the top of your head that sounds like it could be enough to take that trip to the Bahamas with your wife and upgrade from the Honda CRV. Come up with a base number or your minimum. How low will you go in order to work for a company that takes you closer to your career goals and financial views of success. And, now, how much do you actually want to ask for that is not out-of-the-question? If an employer offers you anything in-between (or above) these two numbers, you know this job is a financial fit. If the number they come up with is less, there could be some negotiation but it might be a time to weigh out your options. If the number they come up with is too close to your minimum goal, there’s a chance to come up a bit to find a happy medium but here’s where your timing comes into place. It’s easiest when working with a recruiter like PEA. We usually have a much better idea as to whether the feast is movable or not. Just like buying a car, there is typically a bit of wiggle room. But, unlike buying a car in which you are the buyer and the other guy (or gal) is the salesman, in this case they can walk away and never look back if a few extra dollars seem to be more important to you than putting in the good work and finding say the cure for a debilitating disease that they’ve been working on for a decade. So play it smooth. Work with your recruiter (if you have one) to come up with the best approach. In some cases, it’s best if we do the talking. Whatever you do, don’t ask for more money once the paperwork is in the process. Be upfront when money is the topic of discussion. Don’t second guess yourself. Remember the bottom line you came up with earlier and say it like you mean it or walk away from the offer if they go too low. Keeping your self-worth (based on your previous pay and experience) at the top of your mind is one of the most important keys in keeping up with your pursuit of happiness. Seal the deal.

Looking for a job now? View our current pharmaceutical and biotech job openings.

How to find a job you really love

Finding a job you love

The quest for truly satisfying work, competitive pay and a rewarding environment isn’t just for the dreamers off in La La Land. In fact, it really isn’t all that much of a challenge to find a job you really love if you know where to start. Try our five step approach below to help you on your search.

Dream on. The first step to finding your dream job is to actually dream it. We aren’t talking about sleeping away your sorrows about your current position. We’re talking about sitting down seriously and taking the time to really delve deep about what it is you want to do, what kind of pay you think you reasonably deserve and the type of people and company you want to spend most of your waking hours with five days a week. It’s so simple that it’s a step many of us tend to forget. More often than not, when looking for something new, we bypass our true career desires by simply looking online to see what’s out there rather than really fine-tuning and defining what it is we want. So, first things first. Dream. And, write it all down. Set it in stone. Studies have shown that simply writing down goals usually equates to a higher success rate in actually achieving them. Sharing those goals with someone else who will help hold you accountable increases those odds.

Build it up. Buttercup, if you want to shine before you meet the HR manager face-to-face, you better look good on paper. If you’re like most of us, updating your resume is like reading a dictionary–it takes a long time and it’s not particularly as fun as it could be useful. So as much as you may dread it, take out that old out-dated resume and update it. Don’t just brush-up the dates. Really tailor your resume to catch the eye of someone looking for the particular job you’ve been dreaming of all this time. There are many ways to say the same thing and oftentimes one way is more befitting than another for particular circumstances. Once you’ve updated your resume on Word or Pages, be sure to keep up with the times. Update your LinkedIn profile too using your resume as a guideline.

Work the network. Think about it. Who do you know? And who do you know that knows someone who knows someone at the facility you have your heart set on? Many times it’s the direct (or even not-so-direct) relationships that we form within our communities, during our travels and in our current work places that play a major role in getting our feet in the door for an interview. Connect the dots. Then, make some phone calls, shoot some emails and text your buds to find out what they can do to help.

Go pro. No fancy film equipment needed here. Just a well-written resume and a computer. When it comes to finding a tailor-made job, sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source and consult with the pros. Niche pharmaceutical and biotech recruiters (like us) have their hands on hundreds of jobs, know all of the ins and outs and higher-ups that you’ll want to have access to when you’re looking for the job of your dreams. View our list of current job openings or contact us directly to find a job you really love.

Ready. Set. Go. No, but really. Are you ready? Once you get in the door for an interview, it’s too late to consult with us, your friends or google. Chances are those doing the interviewing are going to want to be sure you know a little bit about them to check in on how serious you are. Get down to the nitty gritty. Troll the company’s website. Put it to memory. If this is really your dream job, it won’t be too much of a challenge. Prepare yourself for those tricky questions. (Need help? Read New year, new job: Four keys to answering those tricky interview questions.) Feel sure of yourself and go about chasing that dream job with interview confidence.

New year, new job: Four keys to answering those tricky interview questions

Tips for Interviewing

Interviews are like snowflakes. Each is unique in it’s own way. Some interviews may be over the phone. Others may be in person and out-of-state. Some are on a whim while others are planned months in advance. Some are with an employer you already know from a previous position and some are in a room full of strangers. No matter the case, interviews can be more of a challenge than the actual job you’ve applied for but the key to landing the position is being able to handle those tricky interview questions like a pro. Here’s how:

When in doubt, press pause. When we’re in doubt of ourselves or not so sure we have the right answer to an interview question, we have a tendency to overcompensate by rambling on and on. Rather than digging yourself deeper into a hole, try this: breathe. Take a moment to collect your thoughts. Pausing doesn’t indicate stupidity. It illustrates intelligence. Your potential employer doesn’t want to hire someone who jumps by the seat of his or her pants just to complete a task (in this case, answer a question). They want to see someone who is prompt but precise. Precision is key and it’s ok to take a few seconds to think about your answer. When it comes to the juicy questions, press pause.

Don’t be fooled. Not all employers use this tactic, but some believe in real trick questions. Remember that some questions may be asked just to analyze your critical thinking skills. It’s not always the correct answer that the interviewer is looking for. So don’t hesitate to follow up the question with your own questions to come up with your best answer. Think before you react.

Be prepared. Don’t act like you aren’t sure what hit you when it comes to those hard-to-answer questions. The reality is that many employers use the same questions to see what their candidates are made of and how they view themselves. Familiarize yourself with the typical questions and think about your answers prior to interviewing. Take a look at our 5 interview questions every employer should ask & every applicant should be prepared for and search google for others. It wouldn’t hurt to role play at home. Have your wife, husband, roommate or friend play the interviewer while you play yourself and see what they have to say about your answers. Try really tough questions like:

  • Tell me about your worst boss.
  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • What is your greatest weakness?

Turn the negative to positive. Many of the questions you’re asked (like those aforementioned) may ask you about negative situations. The key to answering these tough questions is to answer them in the reverse. Sure, tell the truth about your worst boss or your greatest weakness but then flip that into how you’ve overcome that greatest weakness or how you were able to positively work with a boss that wasn’t doing the best job. Never end your part of the conversation in the negative. End on a high (and positive) note.

If you’re looking for a career change, be sure to check out our job openings here.

In good company: The gift that keeps on giving

Company Culture

Whether you’re in HR, a senior manager, team lead, CEO or the low man on the totem pole, there’s no greater gift than a good team. The people you work with and the culture within the workplace can make or break a business.

Positive company culture creates a win-win environment within the workplace and breeds success. Since many of us spend more of our waking lives with our peers at work than we do with our own relatives at home, it’s imperative that we work together like a well-oiled machine but also like a family. So how is it that you as a top dog within a company or as an employee can be in good company? Read our 5 steps below.

The why. This is first on our list because it’s just that–number one, numero uno. It’s our MVP (Most Valuable Point) for your team of MVPs (Most Valuable Players). What is your why? If you’re on the hiring end of things, it’s important that you illustrate your passion for the company from interview day on.

What’s your mission? Why would someone want to work with you? Is your team working on a cure for a life-altering disease? Is your staff like a family? And when you’re on the receiving end of job offers, ask the same question–why? Be sure there is passion behind the man-hours you put into your work. It’s not all about the Benjamins.

Power of the people. Authority and responsibility are imperative in getting things done in an efficient manner. Hovering over employees rather than trusting them to do their jobs does two things: wastes time and creates a sense of incompetence for those being observed. So start from the get-go. Hire only the best no matter how long it takes you to find good talent. Teach your staff how you want things done and trust that they’ll do what you’ve hired them to do.

Squad goals. One of the greatest hardships for professional sports teams is when an MVP trades teams. The same goes for the members of your corporate team. So how do you keep your MVPs on board? Build a ladder. Then, let it be known how to get to the top. When promotions are frequent for top performing employees, the whole team notices and follows suit. Give your squad goals.

Go for the gold. Whether it’s an extra day of vacation, a fat bonus check at the end of the year or a coffee just to say thanks, reward your staff and coworkers. Coffee and donuts can go a long way! When the members of your team know there are rewards for results, they tend to work longer, harder and smarter. Let your team know there are rewards for achieving certain goals and see what happens.

Bad eggs. You know how the saying goes. One bad egg (or apple) will spoil the whole bunch. So when the going gets tough, recognize that apples are apples and oranges are oranges. If there’s an outlier in your group of apples it might be time to let the orange know they’re just not the best fit for your team.

Are you looking for the next member of your team? Or are you looking for a new job yourself? View our current list of job openings here. Or contact us here.

Thanks, but no thanks: Finding clarity in the workplace by saying no

business, people, fail, paperwork and technology concept - businessman with laptop computer and papers working in office

Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir. Yes, boss. We say yes all the time. Now it’s time to work up the courage to say no. No to that last day-to-day task that will send you over the edge. No to the change in work hours. No to the decisions being made in a process that works just fine. No to the new promotion if it’s not quite right. No to hiring a new employee who doesn’t fit the bill. And no to the new job if it doesn’t scream yes.

We’re not suggesting you say no to anything and everything you’re asked to do in the workplace. We are, however, suggesting that you express your opinion when it comes to major decisions that will affect the workplace, the outcome of the product or service you create or provide and your personal life.

Take it personal. Saying yes to everything is good for people pleasing but it’s not always so great for end results. Oftentimes, the big yes or no questions actually affect our personal lives. A yes may keep us at work an extra hour each day or keep us so busy that we’re unable to concentrate on everything else we’ve said yes to over the years. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re not a team player. It means you’re taking the lead to call the shots because if you’re being asked a question the ball is in your court, after all.

Plan b. If you’re a good employee, the reason you’re saying no in the first place isn’t because you’re lazy. It’s because of the impact saying yes will have on your ability to perform in the workplace or on the company as a whole. If you say no because you don’t have time to take on a new project, give an alternative suggestion as to how you can still be of help. If you say no to a promotion because you see the new position as a step in the wrong direction, consider and speak out about the reasoning behind the no while providing answers as to how you could grow into a different area in the department. If you say no to hiring a particular new employee, throw out the names of other people who you feel do fit the bill. Providing reasoning behind the no and suggesting a plan b is key to legitimizing your answer.

Express yourself. You were hired for a reason. Your decision-making skills and authority in the field are part of that reason. So choose to give an honest answer when being asked a question. If there is any fear that your thoughts could be misconstrued, make time for an open, honest and in-person conversation. Emails and texts all too often go misinterpreted due to the lack of tone. Also, be sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to be heard. Thanks can go a long way.

Say it like you mean it. Going against the grain can be a challenge. Accept it. There is a fine balance between being inappropriately demanding or bossy and expressing an opinion in a manner that demands consideration. Choose your words and tone wisely. Speak calmly rather than out of spite, anger or fear. Look your boss, peer or employee in the eye. Demand to be heard. Call for a discussion. See what happens when you ask for clarity and careful consideration rather than just being a yes-man or woman.

Finding yourself in a position where your opinions and decisions aren’t being valued or considered? Take a look at our current job openings to see if there’s a fit for you here.

Trick or treat: Five things to consider before making moves for money

Moving for money job tricksTaking on a new job oftentimes involves making moves for money. A change in scenery can be nice and when a bigger paycheck is involved, well, that’s all the more reason to type up that letter of resignation on the fly and set a date with Two Men and a Truck. But before you do all of that, take a little time to consider these five things to be sure your job offer makes both sense and cents.

Two men and a truck. Did you know that in 2010, the average professional household move cost more than $12,000? That’s about enough to buy your teenager a car for their 16th birthday! When negotiating your salary, be sure to keep moving costs in mind when agreeing upon making a move. Oftentimes, along with your salary, you’ll be offered a relocation package. Crunch some numbers. Be sure you won’t end up losing money when you think you’re making more.

Rent or own? Do you rent or own your current home? If you’re renting, you have it easy. See what kind of costs might be associated with breaking your lease if needed, search online to find a new rental and that’s that. If you own your home and need to sell it in order to take on a new position, the cost of moving can really add up. When purchasing a new home, closing costs to sell a home are typically between two and five percent of the purchase price. If your new pad won’t be available to move into right away, there’s also a temporary housing that you may need to include into your cost of leasing or purchasing a new home.

State Income Tax Map 2016
Map by

Relaxation or taxation? After the interview comes the job offer. It’s easy to see the number behind the dollar sign and think you’re coming up in the world. And you might be doing just that. Before you see your new potential salary as a plus, just be sure to check out state income tax rates for the state you’re considering moving to in comparison to your current location using the map to the left.


Cost of Living. If you moved from New York, NY to Raleigh, NC, you could make about 39% less a year and still maintain the same standard of living. Between groceries, healthcare, housing, transportation and utilities, when moving there can be an enormous difference in the cost of living state-to-state. Sometimes receiving a job offer with a lower salary than you are making now, can actually mean more money in your pockets at the end of the day when making literal moves. If and when you have a job offer that means you’ll need to move to accept the position, take a look at one of our favorite cost of living calculators here.

Relationship status. Are you married with school-aged children or single and ready to mingle? We’re not asking to invade upon your privacy. We’re asking because if you’re thinking about making moves, family is the most important thing to consider. More often than not, it’s spouses and children who are the deciding factor on whether an offer is signed or not. And it’s important for your entire family to be in on your decision. Some of our previous recruits have taken their entire family on a trip to visit their new prospective home for the weekend to be sure everything checks out with Tommy, Jake and Sally before saying: yes! It’s a great idea. If you do have a family, take into consideration your spouse’s job and income. Search Google to see about public and private school options or take a look at to get an A-F grade on education and crime in the area. While higher rank and more money is a plus, you want to be sure everyone involved is happy with the decision before making the commitment above all else.

Thinking about making moves for money yourself? Take a look at our current job openings here and submit your resume to us if you think you’ve found a fit. We’ll be happy to help you find a new gig and once you receive an offer, talk you through the pits and/or perks of moving for money in the biotech or pharmaceutical world. Moving for a new job should be a treat, not a trick.


Time management tips: How to work smarter, not harder

Time Management

We can’t buy time. Now, that’s a fact. So how do we save it? Try our time management tips to help you work smarter, not harder and save you a little time in the workplace so you can get it all done.

The power of one. We all have a million things on our plates. Oftentimes, this means we have a phone glued to one ear, one hand on a keyboard and the other checking off our to-do list. Trying to multitask sounds like a good idea but studies show we actually get a lot more work done when we do one thing at a time.

Break time. We don’t want to admit it. Especially at work. But the mind wanders. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Just like our stomachs need time to digest our lunch, our brains need time to digest that which is processing in the mind.

Check out this mind-altering data: A group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a study to see which group of people would out-perform the other during a 50-minute brain-intensive task. Guess who’s mental stamina earned the highest score–the group that keep at it or the group that stopped to take breaks throughout the test? Yep! The breakers for the win! Point proven.

The United States Army Research Institute says we should break every 90 minutes based on our body’s natural ultradian rhythms. Other professionals and research institutes say 50 minutes of work is enough before it’s time to break. Ultimately, there’s no prescription when it comes to taking breaks. Measure your own tendencies to be distracted. Take breaks when necessary rather than trying to make it through the long-haul knowing that your mind will be better apt to serve you and your place of work with a little time away.

Don’t feel guilty! Taking breaks doesn’t always mean you’re slacking. When you feel distracted (if possible with your given job) get up, take a walk to the break room or, even better, go outside. Take a load off. Then, when you’re ready, get back to the task at hand ready to rock and roll.

Save the date. Deadlines are never fun but they serve a purpose. Take out your calendar or planner. (If you don’t have one, buy one.) Create deadlines for assignments and projects. Depending on how you operate, some find it helpful to lay everything for the day out with deadlines. Check email from 8-8:30am, conference call from 8:30-9:30am, short break from 9:30-9:40am, etc. It’s your schedule. It’s up to you. Just be sure to have your calendar somewhere very visible to keep you at task and on time.

Be the early bird. The early bird usually catches the worm because he or she has more energy in the morning. You’ve had your coffee, maybe gone for an early morning stroll with the pup. Now, you’re at work and it’s time to seize the day. Schedule your most important things for early on and reward yourself with the easier portion of your workload for that latter part of the day when your energy levels might be a bit lower.

Just say no. It’s one of the first words we learn as infants but the word “no” is one of the most powerful words we’ll ever know. Why? Because “no” gives us the authority over what we do (or don’t do) and what we commit to. We’re not suggesting that you make “no” a habit but when push comes to shove, if you simply don’t have time for another thing “No, I’m sorry. I can’t help today.” is a good backup plan to keep you on track and get the imperative things done.

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