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4 Habits to Increase Your Productivity

The definition of “productivity” often differs between people depending on aspects like their job function and what they are looking to accomplish. To some, productivity is simply crossing a task off their to-do list, while to others it is about measuring the success in completing a specific task. Whatever your personal definition of productivity is, there are life hacks you can incorporate in your daily routine that will increase your efficiencies, but have little to do with requiring you to work harder at your desk - Here are 4 habits that will set you apart from the rest of your colleagues and enhance your overall performance.

Get Ahead of Your Schedule
Often times, your schedule is planned as the hours go by in the day versus confirming ahead of time. This results in stress and lack of proactive thinking on action items you know must be completed by close of business. While it’s hard to predict what the following day’s workload will look like completely, try to make a habit of looking at your calendar the night before and organize your tasks by priority. By doing this, you will have mapped out your personal goals for the following day and will allow you to manage both you and your colleague’s expectations on upcoming deliverables.

Recap Meetings
Whether this is for yourself or your wider team, recapping conversations will benefit you in various ways. While we like to think our memories are indestructible, it is likely that you will not retain 100% of the content covered in a meeting - In order to avoid asking for redundant information or peers questioning your focus, carry a notebook to each meeting and write down key takeaways. Remembering specific aspects will show your attention to detail and elevate your end product.

Set Aside “Me” Time
Devoting long hours to your career shows your dedication, as well as passion to succeed and will only push you further towards your goals. However, while we are committing our lives to the office, we often forget to give that same amount of quality time back to ourselves. Setting aside time for reflection and relaxation in your life is also crucial for success. Be intentional in how you allocate your downtime by spending it doing things you enjoy and that will bring you happiness rather than stress - This will tremendously help decrease the possibility of burning out at your job.

Invent a Healthy Lifestyle
Along with taking time for yourself comes implementing a healthy lifestyle to increase your energy, your focus, and, ultimately, your productivity. While it may sound cliché, make a conscious effort to pay attention to what you eat and how often you exercise. Both areas affect your mind, specifically where it tends to focus. Following a healthy regime will help your body to recharge naturally and set you on a path to purpose.

4 Habits to Increase Your Productivity

How to Make a Competitive Job Offer in Finance

With the abundant career options available for finance and accounting professionals, combined with the low unemployment rate in today’s market, identifying a candidate that has both the right skillset and fits well with your team can be very challenging. Identifying that perfect candidate can bring a huge sigh of relief – until it comes to negotiating an offer that is difficult to refuse.

For an employment offer to be attractive, not only should the core components such as base salary, bonus and monetary benefits such as 401(k) and paid time off be included, but also non-monetary perks. Not putting together a competitive offer – and extending it quickly - could result in a lost candidate.

Realistic Compensation
Where do both parties usually start? With annual compensation. Generally speaking, valuable candidates know their value. Employers should assume this and be sure to offer a compensation package that is based on solid market research. It is critical to incorporate several factors beyond qualification for a similar role – geography, size of company, industry and competitors, to name a few. In order to seal the deal with this sought-after candidate, you need to present them with a salary proposal that aligns with their potential other offers or, at minimum, their outside research. From there, you can offer additional benefits, setting it above the rest.

Perks of the Job
Be cautious not to overlook or downplay other benefits the organization has to offer. What were previously viewed as “perks” by job-seekers are now often expectations. Benefits such as insurance, matching 401(k) contributions and paid time off are now considered fairly standard. What other perks does your organization offer – outside of those standard benefits - that you could actually include in a written offer? Many job seekers today are also looking for non-monetary, quality-of-life benefits such as remote work or flexible schedule arrangements and even a day or two of time off for charitable opportunities. And, just as compensation, they are quick to look elsewhere if these do not match the market. Be sure to explore these areas and include in an offer letter where feasible. Putting these perks in writing – versus only verbally offering – demonstrates to the candidate that these aren’t just “possibilities”, but very firm elements of their employment offer.

Act Quickly
Time is of the essence. In today’s market, candidates can be available one day and gone the next. Allowing too much time to pass between identifying a candidate and extending a formal offer could mean starting your search over. If the candidate is strong enough to warrant an offer from you, chances are you aren’t the only one. Once the offer has been extended set a deadline for the candidate accepting it, building in a window of time for negotiation. This will help eliminate unnecessary time to pass between conversations and will also keep the potential employee engaged - with your offer top-of-mind.

How to Make a Competitive Job Offer in Finance