Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Manage your time while working from home.

Photo by Alessandro Bianchi on Unsplash

With the Corona Virus pandemic, almost everyone is working from home!

Although Working from Home sounds pleasant, there are quite a few challenges that come with it. The major challenge includes time management. At workplace, the ambience motivates us to be productive. There are less distractions, set time for lunch and tea break and set time for meetings.

While at home, distractions are always on the prowl to make us less productive. So, how do we handle that? Here are some tips.

1. Start your day early: This is one of the major steps to ensure you are productive. It’s all in the mind. The reason we wake up late is because we tend to have a preconceived notion in our mind that since we are working from home, we have ample amount of time for all the tasks. Well, that is certainly not the case. Time flies. Hence it is always wise to pretend that we are going to work and hence finish our daily chores, have breakfast, get ready and go to our workstation.

2. Make a To-Do list and follow it:  Have a To-Do List ready and follow it diligently. Set your timer for every task that needs to be completed. That way, you will be focused throughout.

3. A proper workstation: Well, working from home can never be motivating if you laze on the couch or lie on the bed and work on your laptop. Please ensure you have a proper workplace. Find a nice corner at your home, arrange a desk and put in your laptop and other work stuff there.

4. Lessen Distractions: Stay away from social media while you are working. No matter what, till you have accomplished all your tasks for the day, tell yourself that you won’t indulge yourself in unnecessary social media.

5. Communication: Work from home should never be a reason to avoid communicating with your team members. Ensure you are logged in to the collaboration/communication tools of your office. In case there is an immediate need for official conversation, talk to your team member/supervisor over phone.

6. Take scheduled breaks: In between your tasks, give yourself breaks. However, in the process of taking breaks, don’t forget that you have tasks to complete. Treat yourself to a quick cup of coffee, or take a quick walk around the house or do some quick stretching exercises. Also, don’t forget to give yourself a proper half an hour lunch break. All the same, these breaks are meant to energize yourself, not to distract. Hence, keep in mind your goals while taking breaks.

Work from home can sometimes be mundane and sometimes be rewarding. It’s up to you how you manage it. In this season of scary pandemic, use this opportunity to make yourself super productive and tell yourself that where there is a will, there is always a way.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Negotiation Skills

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

What is negotiation? When we talk about the term ‘Negotiation’, we understand that literally it means mutual discussion and thereby arrangement of the terms of an agreement or transaction.  At some point of time, all of us need to go through some deals wherein negotiation skills can be immensely beneficial. We may need to negotiate for business deals, negotiate with clients, negotiate with new hires, negotiate with employers and so on and so forth. So, what are the things we need to look at while negotiating:

  1. Preparation: It is very important to prepare well before a meeting. Know the facts and rules of the organisation and ensure there is a set time frame for the meeting.
  2. BATNA: There is an important term in negotiation, and that is termed as BATNA. BATNA refers to Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Before any negotiation, it is very important to evaluate and consider the best alternative.
  3. Goals: Be specific about your goals. At times people are not aware as to what they would agree to and what they would want to take home. For example, when it comes to selling a product, ask yourself, what is the least amount you would like to accept and what would be your alternative if you are not happy with the amount offered to you.
  4. Listening: Negotiation is not about putting only your views. It is also about listening to the perspective of the other party. Only then the areas of compromise could be understood.
  5. The winning vibes: When negotiating, it is very important that both the parties are happy about the feeling that there was something positive about the negotiation. It is not necessary that the outcome is what we really wanted, however, if we gained something positive in the process, that also matters a lot.
  6. Agreement: If the negotiating parties are happy with viewpoints and interests, it is possible to come to an agreement. There must be perfect clarity in the agreements so that the parties are aware of the decision.
  7. Collaboration: In any negotiation, it is important to create an environment of collaboration. No one can reach a suitable solution to a problem without working together as a team. Although, there would be disagreements, the whole idea is to understand the fact that the reason both the parties are here is because of the disagreements. Patience, understanding and collaboration would lead to a mutually acceptable solution.
  8. Ethics. Never forget the fact that no matter what, one should never compromise with work ethics. Trust and ethics carve the niche for a long and wonderful business relation.