Yes, “done.” Apparently, saying (out-loud) this little word after you complete a task sets off some kind of magical chemical reaction in your brain that boosts your confidence and increases your productivity. Cool, right?
According to Lisa Evans’s recent article, “Why Saying This Four-letter Word Can Transform Your Productivity”, “when we’re concentrated on a task, the brain’s electrical activity is heightened. But the moment we say we’re done with something, the electrical activity in our brain shifts from being activated and engaged into a more relaxed state…. This new relaxed state then allows us to take on the next task and builds our confidence. The more often you complete a task, the more confidence you build to achieve the next item on your to-do list, allowing you to take on even more challenging tasks.”
To really capitalize on the power of “done,” Evans suggests we prioritize our to-do lists not by importance, but by difficulty and time required — start with the short, easy stuff then move on to the harder stuff that takes longer. Or, if we have one huge project that seems overwhelming, break it into tiny parts, saying done after each step, creating momentum that will carry us through to the end.
Hmmm, does it work?
This blog post is…DONE.
I feel better already
What will be your practice area when you graduate? Who do you want to work for? These are questions that you should carefully consider before choosing your internship and first position as an accountant.
I know, right now, all you’re worried about is actually getting a job and finally making money. But resist the urge to just take whatever comes your way. Take the long view — what practice area will give you the most opportunity to advance? Choosing a path that gives you the best possible future will keep you interested and optimistic about your career (and prevent the burnout that makes you want to abandon ship and start over).
So what are the practice areas with the greatest growth potential? Watch this short featured video on the Journal of Accountancy website to find out: “High-growth areas in accounting”
Many business students avoid writing courses, thinking that writing is only important for English or history majors. They are annoyed when professors assign work that requires more than a paragraph or so — how well you know the subject matter is more important that how you write about it, right? Nope.
The greatest concern expressed by business executives today is that the latest wave of graduates and entry-level associates are strikingly inept at writing correctly and effectively. Why does it matter so much? As the team at Grammarly explains in their article “Think Grammar Doesn’t Matter? It Could be Holding You Back from a Promotion”, “Few areas of the workplace are untouched by grammar in some way; even if your job doesn’t directly involve writing, chances are you’ll still need to communicate in writing with your coworkers, management and clients or customers at some point. It all comes down to the impression you make.”
You do your best to look professional when you’re in the office, to sound professional when you speak with your boss and clients. Writing is equally important. How you “sound” in an email, how well you convey your point in a memo, how clearly you communicate your ideas in writing — all of these things create an impression. Writing poorly detracts from your true competence. Your boss and clients will think twice about the quality of your work, and you may find that you are given fewer opportunities than your peers who write well.
It’s not hopeless, however. Even if you’ve run out of time to take some writing courses before you graduate, there are still things you can do to improve. Check out the Grammarly article for several practical suggestions, and don’t forget that I am always here to help. I’m happy to sit down with you and look over anything and everything you have written, whether it’s an assignment, something for your internship, or anything else you have questions about. Come on in and see me!
March is Women’s History Month. It’s the time when we look back at the ever changing roles women have played in society, and we consider where we are now — what is the status of women? While women make up a little more than half of the world’s population, they continue to trail behind men in leadership positions. Why? What can we do to change this?
In her Ted talk, “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders”, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shares her experience as one of the few women at the top in the business world. She suggests that women need to “sit at the table, make their partners real partners, and not leave before they leave.”
Her insights are important not only for those of you who are women about to begin your careers, but also for the men who will be their collegues, friends, and partners. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to her talk and become a little more aware of the challenges women continue to face in the workplace.
Even if you don’t pay much attention to the news, you have no doubt heard of the many protests stemming from police killings of young, unarmed, black men across the country — Florida, New York, Missouri, Wisconsin, Georgia — it seems to be everywhere. And you have probably heard of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, most notably embraced by many actors and musicians at the Academy Awards last month. The issue of racism and racial bias is receiving more attention now than it has since the civil rights movement.
But while institutionalized racism on the part of law enforcement is garnering most of the media’s attention, equally important is the racial bias reflected in corporate America. There remains a startling disparity in the numbers of minorities being hired and advancing to executive levels. In the age of corporate “diversity” efforts, how is this possible?
As finance executive Mellody Hobson explains in her Ted talk, “Color Blind or Color Brave” our cultural adoption of “color-blindness” is the culprit. When we are color blind, we “ignore” race. But, Hobson explains, race is not something we can ignore because racial bias is a subconscious, internal bias (to see your own bias check out Harvard’s Project Implicit survey). By “ignoring” race, we are simply hiding from the problems racism creates in our society, hoping it will just go away on its own.
So what’s the solution? Hobson calls us to be “not color blind, but color brave.” We need to “get comfortable having the uncomfortable conversation about race.” This means we should reject the notion that it isn’t “PC” to talk about race. We have to openly talk about it — with everyone, especially people who are different from us. And don’t stop there — we should deliberately seek-out and cultivate relationships with people who are different from us. The best way to dispell bias is to reform our thinking about others.