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What We're Sacrificing to Achieve Work-Life Balance

loveA recent Consumer Reports study showed that almost 70 million of us don’t get enough of it. We spend about $16 billion a year trying to get more of it. Fifty percent of us didn’t get enough of it yesterday.

What are we talking about?  Sleep.

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You go to work. You’re there all day. You drive home. You have dinner. You do some household chores. You finish up some work that you brought home. Now it’s late. Looks like another night with too little sleep. Oh well, you’ll catch up this weekend. But that rarely happens.

marylynn I’m a total insomniac. Every stinkin’ night, I toss and turn. I’ve tried using Melatonin. Even a CD of waves crashing on the beach. Nothing works consistently.

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georgeI spend all day trying to get my brain to turn on and then, when I go to bed, I can’t get it to shut down! What seems to work for me is something everyone says you shouldn’t do. I can fall asleep watching TV. It gets my mind off of my work.

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6 things you definitely shouldn’t do if you want a good night’s sleep

#6 – Turn your bed into your home office.

#5 – Be the guitar hero and immediately turn in.

#4 – Chug a Red Bull right before you turn out the lights.

#3 – Variety is the spice of life. Mix it up and never go to bed at the same time.

#2 – Have a big bowl of super spicy chili with beans just before bedtime.

#1 – Wear pajamas that fit as tight as an aging rock-n-roll star’s leather pants.

If you want some real tips on how to get more sleep, check out the article at Consumer Reports. They also have a great quiz that lets you see how your sleep pattern compares to others.   

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Next time, we’ll talk about when a saver and a spender become husband and wife. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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How to Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Talent

soft_skillsBeloit College recently published their eleventh annual Mindset List about this year’s crop of incoming freshmen. Check it out to understand the perspective of the Class of 2012.

For example, Jay Leno has always been the host of The Tonight Show for this group. Bring up Johnny Carson only if you’re prepared to explain who he was!

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Putting it into con-text

We have a friend who thinks they lack social skills. He believes they’re so busy texting that they’ve never developed the ability to communication personally.

We disagree – we think they’re very social. A generation before, we e-mailed or called someone on their cell phone instead of texting. In our mind, the only difference is the medium used.

We wanted to dig a little deeper to fully understand the perceptions of young people in their late teens and early twenties. After all, they’re the ones who will be coming to us for employment in the near future.

The Media Center at the American Press Institute calls this group of people the “Content Generation” – they use text, videos, and photos (often generated from their cell phones) to connect and inform.

Understanding the paradigm

They have witnessed September 11, corporate scandals, mass layoffs, sweat shops, the burst of the dot.com bubble, and now the subprime mortgage crisis.

When they think of the future, they realize that they will have to fund their own retirement while they start and raise a family. Since their parents are older than previous generations, they will also likely have to care for them at some point in their lives.

The workplace for the next generation

All of these things impact the jobs they will choose. They don’t expect to stay at the same company for their entire career. They won’t necessarily take the job that pays the most either – they’re looking for more than money.

This generation grew up with Tom Peters and the idea of Me, Inc. They understand personal branding and seek lifelong employability. So two of the most important components of a good job are:

  • Personal and professional growth – They want a job that helps them develop skills that will be valuable in their career and at home.
  • Work – life balance – They want a job that allows them to enjoy their lives now. They’re not willing to wait until they retire to “live”.

They want to work for people in a company that truly values its employees. These people live the values they talk about. They follow through on what they say. They’re authentic.

For example, if you say you’re “green”, you better be green. You recycle. You use energy-efficient light bulbs. You work to reduce paper use. And that’s just the start!

We admire them because they’ve figured out some important things already that we didn’t have worked out at their age. They have a lot of potential. Time will tell if they live up to it.

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

Next time, with the Democratic Convention wrapping up, we’ll talk about donkeys. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Mixing Business with Pleasure

las_vegas
We took the Bigg Success Show on the road for today’s post. Here’s what we talked about on the show …

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We’re in the Bigg Success Mobile Studio, broadcasting to you from Las Vegas. We’re here for the New Media Expo, which started yesterday.

This is the fourth annual New Media Expo, but it’s only our second. Last year, when we attended, Bigg Success was just an idea. We had our name, an idea and some business cards – that was it!

Now we’re recording Show #200!!

What a difference a year makes!

This year, the New Media Expo is so much different for us. Last year, we were completely green. It seemed like we didn’t know the first thing about launching a site or doing an online show. We got back to our room every day just exhausted.

Thinking is hard work!

Just like last year, we’re splitting up because there are so many great sessions with fantastic speakers. We’re learning a lot about the business side of our online venture. 

A chance to connect … and reconnect

Just like last year, the fun and education doesn’t end with the daily sessions. Every evening, there’s a networking party or three. We’ve already made some new friends – people we admire who are doing great things. They gave us some great advice!

We’re also reconnecting with people we met last year, as well as meeting some people in person for the first time who we know from networking online.

All work and all play

We’ve said before that work – life balance doesn’t work for us. We do better integrating the two together.

That’s what we’re doing on this trip. When we booked it, we found out that it was a lot cheaper to fly out of Vegas two days later than we originally planned. So much cheaper in fact that it paid for our hotel!

So we took the cue – we’ve planned a little extra downtime into this trip. We have a couple of days after the conference just for fun. For time together away from work. Yet it’s because of our work that we’re able to do it.

We feel lucky to get to work together and play together. That doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for us. That’s the important thing – find what works for you and go for it! 

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You Will Enjoy Your Vacation if You Know This

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

You probably have a good grasp of your daily pattern. The bigger challenge is understanding your patterns for refreshing yourself, for getting away and recharging.

With vacation season upon us, we thought it would talk about these patterns. Obviously, your ability to fully control how you take time off depends upon your flexibility at work. 


George said that his dad was always looking for a job with two paid vacations a year … six months each!

3 questions to make time off more rewarding

#1 – Do you need a long break or a series of shorter ones?
Some people are so stressed by the time they take a break that a short one just won’t do. They never get past the stress so they can relax and enjoy their time off. If that describes you, then take a long vacation!

Others get more stressed if they’re away from their normal routine too long. They start worrying about getting further and further behind so they don’t relax. If you’re one of these people, take a series of long weekends.

#2 – Do you need a day or two to get back in the swing of things after a break?
Do you need a vacation to recover from your vacation? If so, plan your vacation so you get an extra day or two to “unwind from unwinding”. If that’s not possible, try to schedule your daily routine a little lighter for your first day or two back in “the real world”.

Others get back from vacation, whether long or short, and are immediately ready to jump into daily life again. If that describes you, you can max out your days at your destination.

#3 – Are there certain times of the year when you really need some time off?
Some of us have extremely busy seasons. A break immediately after the season is often the best medicine! You’ll be able to keep pushing, knowing that some needed time off is on the horizon.

Another example is people who live in areas where the winter months are cold, long and dreary. Time away in the sun is just the prescription to cure their winter blues.

“Vacation is what you take when you can’t
take what you’ve been taking any longer”
Author unknown

Our top 5 signs that you need to take a vacation

#5 – The last time your phone rang at your desk, you picked up your stapler and started talking.

#4 – You’re secretly hoping to get sick so you can take a day off.

#3 – You’ve been at the airport so much, security is greeting you by your first name.

#2 – You had to call your spouse and ask for directions home.

#1 – When you look in the mirror, you realize that you actually look like your passport photo.

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