Thursday, December 27, 2012

Super Charge Your Energy at Work: 10 Ways

Feeling tired at work? Forget the triple shot latte and try these 10 tips instead. You'll be raring to go!

Chris Schmidt/Getty


You may have read the stats. Workplace productivity is up and employment is down. That can only mean that fewer people are in the workplace but now they have to work harder and longer. No wonder so many people are always tired and sucking down coffee and energy drinks.
Since there are still only 24 hours in a day you not only have to be more productive, but also maintain high energy and stay happy. Otherwise you'll drag yourself down, end up a miserable, grumpy, scrooge, and take a lot of folks with you on the way.
The demands of work are keeping people so busy these days sometimes they forget the simple things that make them feel energized. Here are some tips to keep your energy soaring that don't require the use of drugs or an unlimited Starbucks card.

1. Start Your Day With a Workout

You would think a big workout would make you tired, but actually getting that blood pumping first thing will keep you going for the day. Don't forget a good breakfast as well, solid fuel to stoke the day's fire.

2. Take a 20-minute Power Nap

Of course you don't want your colleagues to see you sleeping on the job, but studies have shown that a brief power nap can help revitalize you for the whole day. One employer I know actually set up a motorized massage chair in a designated "nap room" for employees and requires they use it for breaks. Check out Inc. columnist Jessica Stillman's power nap primer.

3. Remove All Personal Grudges

All that emotional baggage takes its toll day in and day out. Whether it's anger you feel for a coworker or even someone who is distant from work, the emotions can be distracting and absorb energy. We like to think we can ignore the feelings, but often we just mask them and that takes energy in and of itself. Make a list of your grudges and commit time to reconcile each of them until they are gone. Soon you'll feel like someone added minutes to your clock every day.

4. Take a 15-minute Humor Break

Laughter is a natural energizer. Those endorphins from chuckles are as good for you as a solid workout. Sign up for the joke of the day, or cruise YouTube for some funny videos. Grab some colleagues and have a joke pow-wow. You'll lighten the atmosphere all around, and help everyone feel good about the rest of the day. This is a good one for 2:30 in the afternoon when the classic after lunch doze is coming on.

5. Take a 15-minute Walk

Sometimes we just need to get out. It doesn't matter if the weather is hot, cold or rainy, getting up from that chair and computer can rejuvenate your body and your mind. Leave the smartphone behind as well. Stretch, breathe and take in the outdoors to feel refreshed and awake.

6. Read Something Fun During Lunch

A little escape is good to clear the mind and reset your energy. Short stories are my favorite for lunch breaks. Not only are they entertaining, but finishing one at lunch gives you a sense of completion which helps boost your confidence to get back and fight through the day. Try a classic like Mark Twain or Rudyard Kipling, and you'll feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your time. 

7. Resolve Any Conflicts With Your Boss or Colleagues

Concern over conflict can eat away at your attention and tire you quickly. Don't hold back.  Confront issues head on. If you are open, empathetic, and diplomatic in your approach you may forge a closer bond that will make coming days easier to enjoy. 

8. Do Something Nice For a Colleague

Energy is easily transmitted from person to person. This tip helps on so many levels. It's energizing to think about someone else, the actual act of giving creates a natural high, and of course gratitude provides plenty of energy as well. Try this hat-trick every day for a week and feel the surprising buzz.

9. Call a Good Friend and Chat for 15 Minutes

Nothing perks up my day more than time with a close friend. Whether it's quick catch up, or a chance to vent some of the day's frustrations, this short, fun reconnect will recharge your batteries and give you the support required to battle any tough day. The best part is that you will give your friend the same benefit.

10. Make Sure Your Work Activity is Fulfilling

If you hate what you do then none of my suggestions and no amount of caffeine will energize you enough to grind out depressing workdays continuously. Find a way to get paid doing what you enjoy. No need to make yourself and everyone around you miserable. Life is short and you are entitled to enjoy every day of it.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Five top tips to start a successful business

As LinkedIn is a business that started in a living room, much like Virgin began in a basement, I thought my first blog on the site should be about how to simply start a successful business. Here are five top tips I’ve picked up over the years.

1. Listen more than you talk

We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.

2. Keep it simple

You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

3. Take pride in your work

Last week I enjoyed my favourite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.

4. Have fun, success will follow

If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it's time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will fluorish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.

5. Rip it up and start again

If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful businessperson has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyse where you can improve, rip it up and start again.

Related post: Super Charge Your Energy at Work: 10 Ways

Friday, December 7, 2012

CSS - Background image gradient

background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear, 0 0, 100% 100% ,
 color-stop(0.25, red),
 color-stop(0.25, yellow),
 color-stop(0.5, yellow),
 color-stop(0.5, red),
 color-stop(0.75, red),
 color-stop(0.75, yellow),