A change is as good as a holiday, they say, but a holiday is in fact what many people need. Office burnout happens more than you may think, and there are many workers, both professional and volunteer, who would gain a lot from some good old-fashioned time off.

With computers in our homes and networks in our pockets we are increasingly working longer hours. We try to be efficient and are tied to these devices, until we get to the point we need to ask ourselves, “How effective can all 80 hours per week of this “work” actually be?”

Being able to truly ‘get stuff done’ relies on clear, positive, critical thinking. Higher processing skills function better when a person is well rested and relaxed, so it follows that someone who is sleeping well will perform better at work than someone who is anxious and suffering insomnia. Likewise, people returning to work after a holiday are really more productive than those who try to slog it our for months or even years on end.

There are a myriad of benefits to taking a holiday besides the simple rest and relaxation. Getting a change of perspective can make the world of difference to the way someone approaches work problems. Solutions can sometimes be found ‘outside the box’ when an individual takes the time to look at things a different way. A change of perspective and a little space to breath from under a heavy workload can help a person live a little lighter, and encourage them to get more creative with their approach to work.

The big thinking required for growth of a company or other organisation can happen during periods of rest. Taking a breather also creates space in which it is more difficult to grow resentment and can improve morale of workers more than almost any other measure.

If stress is piling up and work is seeming impossible, it might not be that you are falling short or that the work is too difficult. Perhaps it is simply time to take a break.

Portrait Of Happy Woman Who HasLow self-esteem and low confidence go hand in hand. If you are going through a phase of not feeling comfortable in your own skin, see what steps you can take to get your confidence back. It is too valuable a quality to go without for long.

Being too self-conscious or feeling anxious or awkward in social settings can have ongoing consequences, but as you rise out of your self-confidence slump you will feel a greater sense of well being and have energy to face life’s peaks and valleys. Take a look at the following ten steps and see how to develop your self-confidence without any further delay.

1. Good self care is integral to feeling confident. Take time to properly groom. Look after your health and establish a regular exercise routine.

2. Take care of your back and practice good posture. Consciously stretch to realign your spine and learn body work systems like yoga to keep your muscles and organs healthy.

3. Set a small goal, and bask in your own self approval when you reach it. Be proud of your own accomplishments and congratulate others on theirs. Rinse and repeat.

4. Never stop your own self improvement. Study. Learn and upgrade skills. Over time investing in your own self development will pay off.

5. Practice gratitude. Be grateful for the things that go right and the things that are going in your favour. Pack up the pity party and save the small stuff for really rainy days.

6. Let go of worries. Write down things that bother you, tear the page to pieces and dispose of it. Regularly write down things you are grateful for and things you are proud of and leave the lists where you will see them.

7. Reduce clutter in your life. Simplify your wardrobe, desk and diet. Shred old documents and dust living and working quarters. Reducing visual clutter can help clear your thoughts and help you perform better.

8. Meditate. Take time to get some mental space and a clear perspective. Welcome order and rituals into your life.

9. Let troubled thoughts rest, and think positive whenever you can. Small moments, free from negativity add up. Smile as much as you are able. Keeping good posture sets off endorphins to lift your mood.

10. Work with people you trust. “Surround yourself with competent people and remind yourself regularly of the times you’ve succeeded in the past.” professional workforce contractor Matthew Franceschini says.

If you are trying to increase your professional confidence, surround yourself with like minded people who reflect the traits you are seeking to embody. Before you know it you will be feeling confident and flying towards your goals! Confident people are more productive and report more satisfaction in all facets of life.


Sometimes it seems like the day is over before it has begun. You look back to see what you’ve achieved and there doesn’t seem to be a lot. Being busy and being productive are two very different things, but often all it can take to turn busy-ness into productivity is the right tool.

We’ve found these three tools to be very effective at helping us make better use of our time. We hope they work for you, too.

Todoist is a clever way to keep track of your to-do list. It lets you manage your tasks anywhere and on a range of devices. You can even work on shared tasks with your teammates, no matter where you are. You can set up projects, add due dates for tasks and include notes. Then just tick them off as you go.

The Pomodoro Technique is a way of managing your time so you actually get more work done. It involves working to a cycle of 25 minutes and then taking a 5 minute break. On the 4th cycle, take a longer break of 15 or 20 minutes. The idea is that you work with your body’s natural focus, and take a break when you need it to refresh and revive.  We can only concentrate properly for short times before we need to rest. The theory says that by working in natural cycles, you can produce your most effective work.

Rescue Time shows you where you really spend all your time. Think you worked flat out? Hm, what about all the time you spent exploring that new site? Rescue Time a great little tool that shows you where you’re spending your time. It also tracks your productivity levels and can reveal what hours are your least and most productive. You can then map your times and days to find out when you get your best work done.

There are many productivity tools available online and many are free to use, so keep checking to see what new options have been created. You will be amazed at the amount of time you can end up saving for more productive uses.

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and represent

While some organisations focus solely on their clients, others realise that their people are their most important asset. Team building exercises have long been recognised as a great way to help groups break down barriers between associates and foster greater levels of communication and trust while boosting morale.

When most of us think of ways to build teams, shared activities such as a retreat or cookout often come to mind. Events like these provide a relaxed and informal space for workers to get to know one another on a personal basis. Unfortunately, due to the time and expense involved, these types of events are often only held on an annual or semi-annual basis. If your organisation is suffering from a lack of morale and cohesion, you really can’t wait for the next group picnic to turn things around!

Why the best education is all fun and games

A great way to quickly get everyone on the same page in your organisation is to have a little fun and play some games. Before you dismiss this suggestion, think back to your early school days. When was learning and cooperation the easiest? Why, when you and your classmates were having fun while trying to achieve a shared goal, of course!

The benefits of team building games

Make time on a regular basis for some fun and games in your organisation. Choose games that require members to step out of their comfort zones and routines and ask questions as well as actively listen. Playing games not only shakes up the routine and breaks up the monotony in your organisation,  it will help your associates to develop their problem solving skills, and creativity, and help them to feel free to open up and discuss ideas.

As your associates have to rely on one another and work together to find a solution, they will build bonds that they will carry over into their regular work space, increasing cooperation, innovation, efficiency and productivity regardless of what specific work they happen to be doing at the moment.

Suggestions to get your game on

A recent article in the online journal, Call Centre Helper, offered some suggestions for fun and challenging games that many teams might enjoy trying to tackle. A simple online search for the term ‘team building games’ can also help you to find appropriate team building exercise for your associates.

In general, role playing games, or games where associates must cooperate and share information in order to solve the puzzle, generally work the best to help associates step into one another’s shoes and see different perspectives.

Don’t resolve yourself to traditional thinking when it comes to picking out a team building exercise for your group. Even something as simple as dividing your associates into groups that have a friendly competition to raise money for a favorite charity has the power to bring people together and focus on doing their best to achieve a common goal.

Woman showing a happy emoticon in front of face against a green background

The following four steps will help you to get started developing your persistence and mastery so that you can be more successful in all of your endeavours.

1. Listen to your inner voice. You might not realise it, but there is an internal conversation going on in your mind at all times. While most of us are too busy going about our day to notice and listen to this self-talk, taking time to stop and listen to this internal monologue is the first step in changing your mindset.

When you are going through a difficult time, or are facing a challenge that you can’t seem to overcome, if you stop and listen to your self-talk it is likely that it’s pretty negative if you have a fixed mindset. You will hear yourself thinking things such as, “I am not smart enough, talented enough, or pretty enough”, or some other self-criticism. You may also hear yourself say that it’s not your fault, or you may even become frustrated or a bit angry with those who offer help, advice or suggestions for improvement. All of these attitudes come from a fixed mindset, and you must learn to listen for it, and recognise it for what it is, if you wish to change your attitude, reaction and results.

2. Make a Conscious Choice. Up until now, it’s likely that you’ve either been ignoring this negative self-talk, or going along with it in agreement when you were aware of it. Just because you are thinking these thoughts, however, doesn’t mean that you have to agree. You can fight back, by making a conscious choice to look at the situation objectively and seek ways to turn it around. This might involve seeking the aid of others, working hard to improve specific abilities and skills or searching for another solution. Realising you can choose to disagree with these negative feelings and false beliefs is the second step to changing your mindset.

3. Replace the Negative with the Positive. As you learn to listen to your self-talk, and identify the limiting myths and false beliefs that come from a fixed mindset and begin to look for proactive solutions, you will need to also learn how to combat the negative, critical inner voice of your fixed mindset. Fight back with learning how to replace the thoughts from a fixed mindset with the positive tones and encouraging words of a growth mindset.

When the voice of your fixed mindset points out that you don’t have the right skill or talent to accomplish your objective, acknowledge it. “Yes, I might not have what I need right now.” Then, flip this negative into a positive by replacing it! “But, I don’t have to leave things as they are, I can work hard and persist until I do have what I need to get the job done! I can learn, I can improve and I can succeed!”  Learning to embrace challenges and face fears and combat negative, self-limiting thoughts with affirmations and statements that identify the actions that you can take to achieve a solution will help to give you the confidence, inner strength motivation and determination to not give up!

4. Take Action! Now that you’ve begun to learn how to see challenges and other issues with a growth mindset, and to identify areas for change and improvement, make plans and take action to achieve your objectives. Setting goals, and making a list of the steps that you need to take to achieve these goals is helpful during this stage. Over time, as you begin to experience some success, your confidence will grow. Eventually, your inner self talk will become more positive, your determination and persistence will grow and eventually you will experience fewer incidents of negative self-talk.

The level of success that you experience in your life is really up to you. You can use the power of your mind to improve your life by taking action to change your mindset into one that is more growth oriented and positive.

Happy smiling business woman with okay gesture, isolated over white background

Were you born lucky? Do you believe that you are in control of your own destiny? Do you believe that any skill or talent that you need can be learned, developed and improved? How you answer these questions provides insight into the type of mindset that you have.

Why having a certain mindset is important

Research being conducted in the field of psychology increasingly shows that more than one’s  intelligence, educational experience or talent is taken into account; it is one’s mindset that actually determines how much success we experience in school as children and later in life as an adult.

In an article published in Psychology Today as well as The Science of Success, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson discusses how children, particularly bright girls, set themselves up for failure when they assume that their abilities are something that they are given at birth, a gift of genetics that is determined by gender, rather than a skill that can be learned and honed.

Having this fixed mindset results in students giving in too early on difficult problems and subjects, and attributing the failure to a “lack of talent”. This fixed mindset then follows us into adulthood and leads us to give up control for our actions and results and blame others, or circumstances, for our performance level.

Halvorson’s comments mirror the results of research conducted in the areas of achievement and success by the psychologist Carol Dweck with the well-respected Stanford University. According to Dweck, individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to persist in their efforts and seek to learn from their mistakes. This persistence leads to eventual mastery of skills which in turn helps us create an environment where our abilities and performance are recognized and rewarded. Through this persistence and mastery, we experience greater success throughout our lives, whether it’s in school or the workplace.

According to Dweck, having a growth mindset doesn’t just increase the level of success we experience in our academics and careers. It also points to how successful we will be in our relationships, both at home and in our communities.

How to change your mindset

It is a bit unnerving to realise that something as simple as having a certain attitude about our abilities can impact how we perceive ourselves and others, as well as influence the actions that we take. Perhaps the best news from this research into mindset is the fact that regardless of what has happened in the past, none of us are confined to keeping the same mindset.

It really is possible to use the power of our minds to change our mindset and change the way that we interpret ourselves, others, events and the world around us. It’s also not that difficult, or time consuming, to begin to understand our current mindset and take steps to change it.


To be successful, it is essential to have ambition. Unfortunately however, ambition may not always be a good thing. There are three types of ambition, the good, the bad and the good with a bad side. Confused? Let me explain…

Good ambition is the driving force behind people like Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, and Oprah. People who utilise their ambition to rise to the top of their field, become extremely wealthy but then turn that wealth into ways to help others. When you not only utilise your ambition for personal success but for the success of others then you have a healthy dose of good ambition.

Bad ambition is that drive to succeed at all costs. It’s the driving force behind someone who reaches the pinnacle of their career without a second glance towards the people they may have had to step on along the way. Their success is not directly related to the ambition to help others, it is purely ambition for their own success and, in the end, greed.

Good ambition with a bad side is the one a lot of people get caught up with. You start out with the ambition to be not only the best in your field but with grand plans to help others along the way. You might invest money in social causes and help the less fortunate at every turn. The reality of this type of ambition however, is that it can become addictive. By that I mean that you become addicted to your work, your passion for your job and your passion for helping others. Whilst that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does actually impact your life in a negative way. You may become a workaholic and sacrifice family time for the sake of your work. You may sacrifice your health by working far too many hours and not eating correctly to maintain your own health. This is the bad side of good ambition.

What starts out as a good intention can end up with the worst of outcomes because we lose sight of what the aim was from the start, to help others. You may be helping others on a grand scale but are you helping those closest to you, your family and friends by being present in their lives. This type of good/bad ambition can often be recognised by everyone but the person at the centre of it.

Ultimately, it is important to be very clear on why you do what you do and to set boundaries for yourself from the outset. We all want to save the world but when we do that to the detriment of our own health and our relationships, then it becomes a cost nobody should pay.


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