Is MatchPace All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Is MatchPace All It's Cracked Up To Be?

MatchPace officially launched over a year ago, and we’ve had some great success working with organizations and individuals to optimize their pace at work so they can both work hard and live well. But for many people, the idea of creating a work environment that encourages focus and effectiveness so you can do important, meaningful work and achieve a healthy work-life integration sounds like a pipe dream.

We get it. If you’re one of those hanging in there with us but silently thinking “MatchPace isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” you’re not alone!

I’ve heard that exact sentiment, or some version of it, quite a few times. Many people think MatchPace is a reasonable idea, and have tried some variation of it, but found it just didn’t work.

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Do I Really Need To Track My Time? Demystifying Time Tracking

Do I Really Need To Track My Time? Demystifying Time Tracking

Gone are the days of the old pen-and-paper timesheet. We no longer work strict 9-to-5s, and many of us juggle side hustles or run our own businesses where keeping track of our time on the clock means getting paid our due. But even if you are a salaried worker in an office setting, understanding how you spend your time (which translates to your attention, which demonstrates your priorities) is one of the keys to unlocking productivity, cutting back on wasted minutes (or full hours), and walking away at the end of the day confident you achieved your goals.

Not only are there great, affordable tools to help you keep track of billable hours or sort through time spent on different work-related tasks (business development, client meetings, deep work), but after a few weeks or months of tracking your time you will start to see trends in how you spend your time, what you might be wasting your time on, and which hours of the day you do your best work.

But isn’t tracking my time more work than it’s worth?

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How Planning A Vacation Can Make You More Productive

How Planning A Vacation Can Make You More Productive

How do those words make you feel? Giddy with excitement over big summer plans and a chance to relax? Or stressed out knowing that you’re behind at work and it’ll be even harder to catch up now that colleagues and clients are on “summer time”?

Or maybe you’d love to take a vacation - a real, no-smartphone, relax-on-the-beach vacation - but you’re afraid you’ll fall behind at work or end up looking less committed to your job than you coworkers.

Over half of Americans feel that way, with studies showing 55 percent don’t ever use their vacation time.

But what if taking that vacation actually made you more productive?

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What Does Memorial Day Have To Do With Work?

What Does Memorial Day Have To Do With Work?

With summer right around the corner, it’s easy for many of us to think of Memorial Day as a kickoff to the season of BBQs, baseball and fireworks. While spending time with friends and family over your favorite warm-weather activities is meaningful, is there more to Memorial Day than that?

Whether you’re planning for a three-day weekend or will be showing up at the office the morning of Memorial Day, this is the perfect time to reflect on what Memorial Day means and how it affects our workplaces.

You may have noticed we’re passionate about growing and honoring diversity in the workplace, not for its own sake or because it’s the right thing to do (though it is), but because it gives your team the opportunity to learn from differing perspectives and ultimately arrive at the best decisions, directly impacting your bottom line. We’ve talked about moms and honored Black History Month and International Women’s Day, but what about those who have died for our country?

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The decision to work or stay home should belong to moms—not their employers

The decision to work or stay home should belong to moms—not their employers

This article was originally posted on Motherly.

For years, there has been talk about the opt-out revolution where women who are well-situated in their careers voluntarily stepped back to raise families. What much of the conversation overlooked, however, is that the decision for many is more about feeling forced out.

According to a survey of nearly 1,500 women for the book Work PAUSE Thrive, only 11% of women planned to step back from work when they became mothers. But 72% actually did. Author Lisen Sromberg concludes, “Something had forced these women out of the workforce.”

That was the reality for Amy Mason, a mother from Washington D.C., who worked on labor compliance and living wage issues for more than a decade.

“I was the first person at my organization to take multiple maternity leaves, and the first person to ask for a flexible schedule,” Mason tells Motherly. “They gave it to me, but I felt like I was asking for ‘leniency.’ I remained on the senior leadership team, but was no longer in the inner circle.”

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What Would You Do With A Break From Work?

What Would You Do With A Break From Work?

What would you do with a break from work?

Not just a long weekend or two weeks of paid vacation, (which is usually spent on a trip that’s anything but restful.)

Instead, we’re talking about an extended period of time away from your day job: a month, six months, maybe even a year. We’re talking about a sabbatical.

When we think of sabbaticals, we often think of academics taking a year off from teaching for research or writing. But what if the concept of sabbatical is more universal than we think?

The word “sabbatical” actually comes from a Biblical concept called “the Sabbath,” which means “to rest” or “to cease.” Wikipedia gives us a more modern definition: “In recent times, "sabbatical" has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something.” Sabbaticals can be about more than rest: it’s about giving yourself space to get those creative juices flowing and inspire fresh ideas for your job. What we’re often craving is creativity.

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Four Steps to Stop Procrastinating by Tax Day

Four Steps to Stop Procrastinating by Tax Day

April 15 is just 20 days away. Have you filed your taxes yet?

Maybe you were eager to find out how big that tax refund will be (or learn just how much you owe Uncle Sam) and filed your taxes last month. Good work! But for most Americans, taxes are messy, dredging up financial realities we try to ignore but once a year. We naturally procrastinate, filing them at the very last minute.

If we’re honest, we procrastinate a lot, about all kinds of things… especially at work.

While procrastination can feel like a major personal shortcoming, procrastinators aren’t alone: we’re psychologically hardwired to put off difficult tasks and decisions. It’s another symptom of “fight or flight” - we’ll do what it takes to avoid an emotionally draining or mentally complex situation, making excuses along the way.

Of course, procrastination can be lethal at work. Apply these tips to help you have the greatest impact during your workday - or even to finally finish your taxes!

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Why Your Workplace Needs More Diversity

Why Your Workplace Needs More Diversity

February is Black History Month, and we would be remiss if we didn’t address the importance of race and culture in the workplace. If we want to both work hard and live well, understanding differences in how we act and think - and why - is crucial.

We all laughed at Michael Scott’s bungling of “Diversity Day” in the second episode of The Office. But there’s always truth in comedy, right? Frankly, honoring diversity in the workplace is easier said than done.

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Do You Love Your Work?

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Do You Love Your Work?

It turns out the origin of Saint Valentine is a little… well, nebulous to say the least. Nonetheless, we use the name to celebrate love on the 14th of February! I remember my parents buying us small gifts for Valentine’s Day, I’ve celebrated “Galentines” Days, and I now enjoy the nudge Valentine’s Day provides to tell my husband, children and friends how much they mean to me.

I hope you are able to love and be loved next Wednesday!

That love is part of the “why” behind MatchPace. I love my family, and I also love my work. But I struggled to do work I loved in a way that didn’t interfere with my ability to be present with my family. I didn’t want to be away from my children 40-50 hours a week, but I found it hard to find a part-time professional position because in our workplace culture, “part-time” usually communicates “partial effort.”

But I know that’s not true. This study of nearly 2,000 white-collar professionals in the UK in 2013 showed our time spent doing actual productive, content-related work is less than 3 hours each day. Other studies show 61% of our time at work is spent managing our work, not actually completing it.

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Don't Set New Goals Before Doing These Four Things

Don't Set New Goals Before Doing These Four Things

Earlier this month, we encouraged you to start 2018 by looking back at the year behind you and asking some key questions to evaluate your goal-setting track record and set yourself up for success.

Have you set any goals for 2018? It’s not too late - the best time to start is now!

Whether your goals are in place or you need a jump start, here are four strategies to creating no-fail goals that will catapult you forward in 2018.

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Ready to Win 2018? First, Look Back

Ready to Win 2018? First, Look Back

Here we are, a week into 2018! Have you made any resolutions? How are they going? Still going strong, or have you already “screwed them up?” Maybe you think if you didn’t set your resolutions on January 1, it’s too late to bother (like me!). Or are you someone who doesn’t bother with resolutions because you think they’re silly, or just a chance to beat yourself up?

There’s something fresh about something new - a new year, a new job, a new place to live. It’s a opportunity to reflect, to consider, and to try to do things differently.

So even if you think New Year's resolutions are silly, you likely still feel a slight pull to consider what has come before and how 2018 might look different.

Even if you don’t call them “resolutions,” are you ready to do the work to achieve bigger and better things in 2018? When you’re intentional about refocusing and setting smart goals, a new year can mean a fresh start - with or without resolutions.

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All I Want For Christmas Is Time

All I Want For Christmas Is Time

I went for a walk with a friend a few weeks ago. She said her in-laws had asked what she wanted for Christmas. She sighed and said, “All I want for Christmas is time.”

She’s not alone. We’re working longer hours, concerned about the future, and struggling to check off our to-do lists each day.

The holiday season in particular is ripe with opportunity to feel overwhelmed and stressed by shopping lists, social commitments, family dynamics and the race to meet those annual goals at work.

Can we really give ourselves the gift of time?

The short answer: yes. When we view time as a valuable, non-renewable resource, we can start to organize our days, including our workdays, in a way that respects the limited time we have each day and give us some of those precious hours back to spend on family, friends, and making our world a better place.

Here are three steps to give yourself the gift of time this holiday season:

The Outcome-Focused Workplace: “Try It For A Week” Week

The Outcome-Focused Workplace: “Try It For A Week” Week

As workweeks stretch 50, 60 or more hours long for many Americans, we’ve got to wonder if these extra hours spent slaving over a desk or chained to our smartphones is actually helping us be more productive. In fact, research tells us that working excessive hours actually makes people less productive, not more.

What if the solution to inefficiency and burnout isn’t simply working less, but working differently? How would your workweek look if your goal wasn’t to clock a certain number of hours, but to achieve specific outcomes and then go home and unplug?

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Employee Burnout Is Sabotaging Your Workforce

Employee Burnout Is Sabotaging Your Workforce

Happy November! We can’t believe 2017 is rapidly coming to a close. On the blog this month we’re talking about burnout: why it happens and how to avoid it. Stay tuned for a special Thanksgiving-themed blog later this month, too!

Burnout.

We’ve all felt it. Exhausted, overwhelmed, depleted... burned out.

In fact, 95 percent of HR leaders reported that employee burnout is sabotaging their workforce.

What is behind such pervasive burnout? Are we simply working too many hours each week, or is the way we work the problem?

Here are some of the reasons why your employees are burning out like a firework.

Three Easy Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged

Three Easy Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged

We admit: our last two blogs have been pretty negative. But knowing that nearly 70% of American workers are tuned out at work, we felt it was important to help employers and managers understand why employees are disengaged and how employee disengagement hurts your business.

Now that we’ve identified the problem, it’s time to turn to solutions. We don’t believe employee disengagement has to be the new norm, so here’s how we can all be part of the solution.

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Here's Why Your Employees Are Disengaged At Work

Here's Why Your Employees Are Disengaged At Work

Employee disengagement hurts your organization. From team morale to the bottom line there are emotional and financial costs to having a disengaged workforce.

Last week, we gave you five ways employee disengagement is hurting your organization. That’s the first step to attacking your problem - understanding why it is a problem for you. The next step is to understand why these employees are feeling unmotivated at work. Until you know that you can’t create an effective strategy for re-engaging those employees.

While each team is unique, the fact that so many people (70%) are anywhere from less than enthused about their jobs to outright seeking to sabotage their place of employment, means there are some key trends that can help you diagnose and treat the problem.

Take a look - do you think any of these issues are living beneath the surface at your organization?

Read the five common reasons employees are disengaged at work.

Five Ways Employee Disengagement is Hurting Your Business

Five Ways Employee Disengagement is Hurting Your Business

We’ve all heard the staggering statistic: according to Gallup, only 33 percent of all American workers feel engaged at their jobs. That means 67 percent - nearly 7-in-10 - workers in America are somewhat disengaged at work, if not disengaged entirely.

Look around yourself, at your job, or at the next business you walk into. Does your team have engagement issues? What about the team at your doctor’s office or your mechanic shop - where quality work greatly influences your life!

Chances are - your team, and organizations that you care about and need in your life, have an employee engagement problem.

Here are five reasons your employees might be disengaged and why it's hurting your business.

How to Achieve Your Goals Without Trying

How to Achieve Your Goals Without Trying

Earlier this month, we talked about setting SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This is a tried-and-true strategy for setting goals that you can achieve and a plan to make them happen.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes setting goals simply isn’t enough for me.  What happens when you set SMART goals and find yourself getting frustrated or falling short?

Knowing what you want is one part of the equation towards accomplishing your goals. And systems can be the missing link between goals that remain unattained and those that are achieved or even exceeded.

Read how to implement systems that make achieving your goals painless. 

Why You Should Set "New Year Resolutions" in September

Why You Should Set "New Year Resolutions" in September

Several years ago, I started doing something a bit unusual: setting my “New Year Resolutions” in September. My birthday is in September, so it feels natural to start *my* new year this month. And September feels like a fresh start for many ways: a transition out of summer, when schedules and routines were relaxed for fun in the sun; back to school (or re-focusing at work); cooler nights and fresh autumn mornings.

In fact, I think you should be setting goals in September regardless of if you set them at the start of the year. This is a great time to reassess your progress for the year and realign how you’re spending your time to ensure you accomplish what is necessary by calendar year’s end. This is especially true at work, where you likely have year-end goals for yourself and your team (and maybe even bonuses contingent on achieving them).

But simply moving your goal-setting to September won’t guarantee you set good goals and achieve them. That’s why I rely on SMART goals - goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely - to help me make a plan for success. Here’s an example. (Click to read more!)

What Does Labor Day Mean to You?

What Does Labor Day Mean to You?

For most of us, Labor Day is the summer finale, knowing that once the holiday has come and gone, fall is upon us and it’s once again time to focus on school and work.

Growing up, we wouldn’t miss the first high school football game of the season on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend. It was also our last chance to get a new outfit for school, new binders or a new lunch bag. Finally, we enjoyed a quiet Monday at home before the big yellow school bus would arrive the next morning like clockwork.

But did you know there’s a greater significance to Labor Day beyond one last chance to savor summer?

Click to read how Labor Day inspires us work hard and live well.