We are all prone to some procrastination, especially around doing things that are new or unfamiliar. However, procrastination can also indicate that the task we are aiming to accomplish needs to be further broken down into sub-tasks.
For example, we may aspire to publish a video on a subject of our expertise, only to find that it never comes to fruition. Breaking down the goal into small, achievable sub-tasks may help generate the momentum we need to reach completion.
Work forwards. Working forwards from the beginning point of a project is about preparing to do the primary action required for completion. In the example of publishing a video presentation, working forwards tasks for the actual video capture itself include:
Staging a production area with good lighting
Selecting an uncluttered – or virtual – background
Writing an outline and/or creating a slide deck for the presentation
Selecting a platform for presentation delivery and recording. Nynja’s Cloud Recording allows you to record and download video files that can then be uploaded to your channel.
Doing a dress rehearsal and watching it back for lighting, sound, or visual adjustments
Work backwards. Working backwards from the endpoint of a project requires that you know what completion looks like. Continuing with the video example, completion could mean that your video is live on YouTube and other video platforms. To that end, working backwards tasks include:
Selecting and logging into/signing up for relevant platform accounts
Learning how to use the creator studio and upload functionality
Documenting potential titling, tags, and description content for the video
By working forwards and backwards a seemingly singular task became as many as 8 individual sub-tasks that could all be addressed in parallel to help move the project closer to completion.
That is why – in addition to promoting serious productivity – companies and working groups should introduce the idea of fun to their to-do list.
The good news is it’s easy and often free to introduce fun into the work week, and Nynja can support your efforts whether teams are working remotely or in the office. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Movement. Everyone benefits from moving, especially after sitting for long periods of time. Blocking out 20 minutes on your calendar to get up and move – whether for a short dance party, walk outside, or 20 minute yoga sesh – can give you the energy boost you need to get through the afternoon. Use the Nynja meeting function to invite a fun accountability buddy.
Competition. Healthy competition can provide positive motivation, especially during the middle-of-the-week doldrums. Team leaders can create a contest, like a sales target or a timeframe for completion of a task, and incentivize with a reward. The reward can be as simple as taking the afternoon off or busting out of the office for a fro-yo with all the toppings.
Field Trip. Remember field trips? Those special days where if you got your permission slip signed on time and dressed appropriately you got to escape school for greener pastures…
Well, adults need field trips too! Give yourself or your team something to look forward to by planning an afternoon at the local zoo, aquarium, or a historical site using the Nynja event function. You can be sure that the sights, sounds, and camaraderie of being in an unfamiliar place will translate directly into new ideas and innovation when you’re back in the saddle.
Whether working from home, in the office, or at a neighborhood coffee shop, the art of the Nynja requires flowing with distractions to stave off a potential drop in productivity. These disruptions can include but are not limited to dogs barking, kids running amuck, cubicle chatter, and cappuccino frothing. The bottom line is: things are going to get noisy.
That said, we can keep our energy focused and our mind at ease – even in the midst of chaos – with a few simple strategies:
1. Align environment to tasks. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of the work day evaluating what kind of work you need to accomplish – and which environment would best support that.
Choose a dynamic environment like a coffee shop or coworking space when you want to network, collaborate, and bounce ideas off other people; on the other hand, if you have multiple video or conference calls, you may need to shut yourself away in a home office or other quiet spot.
2. Generate white noise. Sometimes unexpected distractions can arise, even in your dedicated workspace. Playing ambient music or sounds provide white noise to maintain your zen, even through the construction project next door.
When said noise occurs during your team meeting, remember to activate Nynja’s patented Background Noise Cancellation so nobody has to know.
3. Go with the flow. When distracting noises or interactions with colleagues (or family members/pets) can’t be ignored, it might be the universe telling you it’s time for a break. Put the mouse down and take a walk outside, do a chore, or take a snack break until things settle down.
It often takes multiple tries to figure out a winning approach to a goal. And, since every situation is a little bit different, our natural tendency is to play out all the scenarios we can think of before we decide what to do. Sometimes we even delay our progress waiting for the perfect plan to materialize, when “good enough” would have been good enough to get started.
To ensure that perfection doesn’t become the enemy of good, we can develop a practical plan using a simple and repeatable formula. Through this formula, we break down what we want to accomplish into 4 digestible components, and create a logic model that bridges us from where we are to where we want to be.
Current Situation. Describes the conditions of the here and now, and why we want to change them. Example: Unclear boundaries between work and life due to work from home, technology, etc.
Strategies. General ideas of how we think we can transform the conditions described in Current Situation. Example: Create – and adhere to – a schedule with set office hours.
Actions. Specific to-do’s relative to what we want to change and how we think we can change it. Example: Calendar short breaks for exercise or other healthy habits during the day.
Outcomes. What we want to happen, our ultimate vision or goal. The net results of Strategies and Actions. Example: A healthy work/life balance.
When we implement a plan of our own creation, we empower ourselves to become the architect of our own successes. This entails taking responsibility for our actions, making appropriate adjustments, and monitoring our progress along the way. If we don’t give up, we are sure to achieve even our biggest dreams.
Speaking of adjustments, NYNJA understands that your typing hands can get ahead of your brain. No need to panic – with real time editing, you can course correct in a flash. Now, if only it were that simple in life.
In a world where smartphones provide access to infinite information and instantaneous communication at all times, it can be as important to unplug as it is to stay connected. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Americans check their smartphones an average of 96 times a day – or once every 10 minutes of our waking hours!
Although you may not be able to go analog cold turkey, these 3 tactics can help counterbalance the effects of electronics overload:
1) Turn off audible notifications.
We are constantly being alerted to a new email, social media notification, or message; however, aside from an actual emergency, there are few alerts that require one’s immediate attention. Rather than reacting to every blip and beep, turning our notifications to silent mode – if only for a period of time – can help us to stay focused on a specific task at hand.
2) Take a break from digital media.
While we may value staying informed by checking our favorite news and social media sites, it can also be mentally and emotionally cleansing to pause consumption for a period of time. In its place, we can connect to what is happening in our immediate environment – and find positive ways to affect our sphere of influence.
3) Limit smartphone use to specific times/places/occasions.
It can become habitual to have your smartphone in hand morning, noon, and night – also known as phonehand. Mitigate this compulsive tendency by creating healthy boundaries between you and your device such as:
Create a beginning/end time to device usage for the day; for example, at the start and end of your work day.
Maintain your bedroom as a place of rejuvenation by leaving your device at the door before you enter the room; or, if you need it as an alarm clock, set it to airplane mode.
Resolve to put your phone away while interacting in-person with colleagues, friends, or family members; giving them your undivided attention demonstrates that you respect their time.
We all know, intuitively, that an organized workspace can help us to be more productive, creative, and focused. However, while we may have an established habit of sorting and cleaning our physical office, we may be neglecting virtual workspaces like our computer desktop, hard drive, and applications folder. This digital clutter, left to fester, can hamper our productivity.
For example, we may default to saving files on our desktop for quick access – only to find that our desktop has become a cluttered mess, and we no longer know what’s what. Likewise, our main hard drive folder may have become a catch-all for every little thing, instead of creating a logical file directory where everything has its place and is labeled accordingly.
Not to worry. Just like in the physical world, when you need to organize a space, you begin by pulling everything out and identifying, labeling, and sorting things into piles and categories. At first, it will seem like a giant kerfuffle, and you may turn to the bottle in regret; but once complete, everything you need will have a place, and everything you don’t need can be discarded or donated.
Digitally, this means opening each file, individually, and assessing what it is and whether you still need it. Before moving on to the next file, be sure the file has a name that accurately describes its contents so you won’t have to open it to identify it moving forward. An easy naming convention is something like: What it is-Who made it-Date (applied as Resume-MarkJones-April2022).
Lastly, move the file into a folder that makes sense – even if it’s the trash. On the other hand, if you are retaining a file, using the example of a resume, you might name the parent folder “Resume and Professional.”
In the case you want to free up hard drive space while digitally decluttering, populating your file library on NYNJA Drive lets you manage files and folders securely, economically, and easily – as well as share and send files and folders with both internal and external users. Beautifully integrated into the NYNJA platform, you can get a fresh start – and stay organized – with NYNJA.
The reality of remote work is that some colleagues may never have the opportunity to meet in person. As well, in a world where your digital first impression may precede your physical first impression, it’s practical to have your public-facing profiles, platforms, and websites professional and up-to-date. That way, you’ll be a familiar face even from a distant place.
Start by doing an inventory of all your active online profiles. Use this as an opportunity to ensure you can log in to each, deactivate or cancel accounts you no longer need, and consider a password manager like LastPass so you can clear high-value headspace from password variations like capitalizations, numbers, and punctuations.
Once that process is complete, set a time to get camera-ready from the neck up for a selfie, enlist a family member to snap you in portrait mode, or consider supporting a local photographer to elevate your professional image. Whichever route you choose, a clean look, good lighting, and an aesthetically pleasing background can help build confidence when you enter the (virtual) room.
Here is a handy reference guide for professional profile image do’s and don’ts, in case you get confused:
Go for a friendly, approachable look (smiling with or without teeth is OK)
Wear a work-appropriate neckline and flattering color
Ensure good lighting and an uncluttered background
Use a photo that is outdated, poorly cropped, and/or pixelated
Feature your pet or favorite cartoon character
Shoot in dim lighting or with personal items in the background
Even though NYNJA may not be the only online platform you’ll ever need, it can greatly streamline your virtual presence, with 4 mission critical applications all in one place. Follow the steps above, then visit web.nynja.net/profile to upload – or update your profile image.
With remote work now mainstream, and virtual teams scattered throughout the neighborhood and the globe, it can be a challenge to create a cohesive work environment. Furthermore, work from home professionals can start to feel like robots when their day is devoid of the hallmarks of human connection previously experienced on-site.
That being said, there are a few tactics both managers and workers can engage in to build and sustain collaborative camaraderie – even when they can’t connect in person.
Connect 1:1 Although working remotely comes with innumerable benefits, it can also feel isolating at times. That is why both managers and workers should carve out a few minutes a week to check in one-on-one with a colleague or employee – either verbally or via chat. Before diving into work-related content, hold space for some personal sharing, which could include (non-controversial) topics like fitness, hobbies, or pop culture. Leaders, in particular, are responsible for setting the tone – and showing genuine interest in and listening to one’s team members as unique individuals helps to create a work environment where people feel whole and valued.
Create working groups Assembling working groups who have either shared functions or outcomes may seem like an obvious way to cohere a team in a virtual work environment – and it is! What may not be as obvious is making the group tangible and functional by creating a virtual group – which can be done easily via the NYNJA group function. This makes information-sharing seamless and transparent for all.
Host a (virtual) happy hour Rare are the days that teams are all in one place, and can walk across the street to the local pub for a pint and some appetizers. However, that doesn’t mean happy hour can’t happen. Arranging an (optional) hour or two toward the end of the work week for teams to connect in a non-work-related context is another way to generate positive vibes and give everyone a chance to blow off steam that might otherwise carry over into their weekend. Just be sure to check in with HR before endorsing the consumption of adult beverages.
The transition from in-person to work from home – or WFH – means letting go of daily, face-to-face interactions; from fellow commuters on the train or bus, to a friendly (or not-so-friendly) barista, to our colleagues in the office. For some, we can feel at a loss for human interaction; while for others, this is a welcome state of zen.
Either way, nature abhors a vacuum, and we can’t sit alone in solitude forever. To fill the socialization void and resist going full hermit mode (yes, we know working in your pajamas is great), WFH professionals can test out new ways to network and build relationships – from the comfort of home or out and about in the neighborhood.
If your schedule is jammed, and you can’t make it out for a breather, make it a regular point to look over your contact list and reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. A simple “how are you?” is an easy conversation starter, and helps keep your relationships up to date. It may turn out that person was also thinking of you, or that a once-dormant opportunity gets uncovered.
Hello fellow Nynjas! Here are a few more tips on how to get the most out of your Nynja communications tools!
Did You know?
1) Unlimited Meeting Length
Sometimes meetings run longer than expected. When that happens it’s vital to stay connected…Did you know? Nynja offers Unlimited Meeting Length for all PAID users!
2) Starred Messages
Starring a message is a great way to find messages, notes and other files you have stored on the NYNJA platform quickly and easily…Did you know? Starring your message works just like a Bookmark or Favorite in your web browser!
3) Share My Location
Need to let someone know exactly where you are in real time? Did you know? After allowing NYNJA to access your device’s location, you can choose to Share Starred, Recent or Current Location! Here’s how >