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9 Tips for a Better Life, Better Work

Maybe try a guilty hour?

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MANAGEMENTTry a Guilt Hour

Try this experiment: A weekly Guilt Hour dedicated to uncompleted jobs. Creative consultant Nick Jehlen explained the idea recently to lifehacker.com. “Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., we sit together and look at our task lists [and] identify the one thing we feel most guilty about not having done yet. Then we go around the table and name our One Guilty Task and commit to spending the rest of Guilt Hour working on it.”

CUSTOMER RELATIONPrep for the Game

It’s Super Bowl party time, and if you’re looking for advice to pass on to pet owners, consider these tips from Beagles and Bargains (petsplusmag.com/2202), which among other ideas suggests preparing them snacks so they don’t get fed table scraps, taking them for a walk before the big game, and ensuring they have somewhere quiet to rest — if the excitement of a party gets to be too much.

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SUCCESSAlways Raise Your Average

It’s still early in the year — still time to digest this wise post from Seth Godin, which is succinct enough to include here in its entirety: “Everything you do is either going to raise your average or lower it. The next hire. The quality of the chickpeas you serve. The service experience on register 4. Each interaction is a choice. A choice to raise your average or lower it. Progress is almost always a series of choices, an inexorable move toward mediocrity, or its opposite.” Ask yourself in 2020: Which direction do I want my business moving in? And then spend each day, and each decision, acting accordingly.

PRODUCTIVITYGet Creative at Home

Here’s a neat rule to get the most out of your workday: Do creative work at home and boring work at your business. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, researchers found that when it came to creative tasks, people were 11 to 20 percent more productive outside the lab. For rote and repetitive tasks, however, they were 6 to 10 percent less productive when not in a formal work environment.

MARKETINGShow Your Human

In 2020, there are some jobs that could probably be handled in large part by computers or machines, but that people have shown that they want a human touch. To the list you could add pet pros. Wags to Whiskers in Plainfield, IL, appreciates this, holding regular “meet our team members” promotions. “Each week, I introduce a new team member and their favorite things so our clients can get to know them a bit better and see the person behind the interaction they have each time they come in,” explains owner Janelle Pitula. “Relationship worker” can sound like cheesy corporate speak, but it’s what humans will increasingly value in a business.

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LIFE-WORK BALANCEWhat Gets Measured …

Silicon Valley’s obsession with measuring data can be useful in a surprising number of areas … such as getting home for dinner in time to eat with your family. “It’s great to know how to recharge your batteries, but it’s even more important that you actually do it,” venture capitalist Vinod Khosla told Fast Company. “I track how many times I get home in time to have dinner with my family. Your company measures its priorities. People also need to place metrics around their priorities.”

SELF-IMPROVEMENTFight Bad Habits

When it’s too difficult to deny yourself that cigarette, donut, or new coat, tell yourself to instead wait just 10 minutes before you give in. This “mini” delay in gratification will help you build more self-control over time, says Kelly McGonigal in her book The Willpower Instinct. “Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but with more practice, 10 minutes can turn into 20, 30 or 60 minutes, and soon you might be able to put off gratification for as long as you want.”

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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