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10 Things Everyone Always Forgets That Are More Important Than Their Job

10 Things Everyone Always Forgets That Are More Important Than Their Job
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Let’s face it. We have so many work priorities that we simply forget about life’s real priorities and we easily get lost in the pursuit of making more money. And it is a never-ending circle. As we make more money, our appetites increase, and we think we need more money, and so on and so forth. Once we get lost in this jungle, getting home tired each and every day, years pass by, and before we realize it, we have become old and have nothing else except our career to show for. So, here is a list of things that you should pay more attention to. These things will ultimately bring your more joy and personal satisfaction than your work.

1. Family Bonds

You’re already quite lucky if you have a family that loves you and that supports you. Whenever we think of business people, we assume that they have no time for their children. But that does not have to be so! Make time! It is essential to participate and be a big part in your family’s life. This balance between making money and participating in family activities can be hard, but once you achieve it, you will feel your bonds with your loved ones become stronger

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2. The Elusive Love

Finding a love partner is already hard as it is. And if you work from 9 to 5 (or usually more), it can be even harder. You can quite easily slip into thinking “I don’t need anyone,” and while it is important to know how to enjoy life when single, it is also important to at least give love a chance and try and find someone that will make your life a bit more fulfilling. Finding that perfect someone can take a lot of work, and it will require a lot of compromise on both sides. But once you find yourself in such a relationship, you will have another support pillar in your life, a person who will always be there to give you a helping hand, or a kind word – whatever you need.

3. The Flow of Time

Time management skills are really important for any working professional, and they are essential if you want to have a balanced lifestyle, where you have enough time for everything. This should be on your priority list, but most people just throw it away and dedicate themselves to only a single aspect of their lives. If you succeed at balancing your work and social life, you will easily create more space for your hobbies or other activities that make you happy. Get up early, but also remember to sleep well. Spend your weekends wisely. Yes, get to work on time, but also get home on time, as both of those things are equally important.

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4. Philanthropy

I know that the economy is not what it used to be, but guess what – it never is, was or will be! The economy is changing all the time, and no one can deny that money is tight; so many of us ask a simple question: why should I help others? Probably even people like Bill Gates, who gives a lot of his own wealth to charity, ask themselves this question from time to time. But the answer is simple: you are defined by how you treat those less fortunate than yourself. Not only will you feel good by helping others, but you will be changing lives all around you. And similar to Superman, you should not be doing this for selfish reasons. You can help out both financially and practically almost any charitable organization. You could find a local animal shelter and donate some money, or you could buy some food for a local homeless shelter. The possibilities are endless. Just imagine how the world would look if everyone were to help out others once in a while.

5. The Importance of Friendships

Without friends, life would not be as fun. You wouldn’t have anyone to laugh at your jokes or anyone to ask for advice. Not to mention that you wouldn’t have someone to share your secrets with. But friends, nowadays, are taken for granted and are seen as a means to an end. This is why you must maintain your friendships, and this can be done easily: invite a few of them over for a coffee, where you can talk about life and share your experiences. Everyone knows that we are all busy, but making time for your friends is actually the most clear indication to them how much you deeply care about their friendship, something that will prove to be the brightest of candles in the darkest of times.

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6. The Need to Improve Yourself

Every day you are alive you learn something new, something interesting and something practical. You should never neglect your personal growth. Make time to fine tune your skills and knowledge. In this age of practicality, you can learn so many new things online. There are courses for everything, so something like learning a new language has never been easier. This is really important for two simple reasons. Firstly, you will become a better person by learning new things, which will broaden your horizons and open you up to new experiences. Secondly, sooner or later you will probably be in a situation where a particular skill will be really useful or even necessary, especially in a work environment.

7. Proper Exercise

The same way you need occasional mental exercise for your mind, you need physical exercise for your body. This can be achieved easily, as no one is asking you to become a body builder but just to visit a gym a few times a week. With the help of a professional, this can quickly become an easy and fun task. If you do not like overcrowded gyms, you can go for a jog, and even invite a friend or two. This can turn into a nice social event and will also be healthy for your body. Exercise has been shown to ward off depression, so whenever you are feeling down, or the stress at work is simply killing you, then maybe you need to grab those sneakers and run a few circles.

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8. A Healthy Diet

We all know how tempting fast food can be and how hard it can be to avoid things like bacon because… well… bacon. But having a balanced diet will not only improve your health but it can also improve your work performance. The next time you have free time, prepare a healthy meal for yourself. Bring it to work the next day for lunch. This way you can avoid cheeseburgers. The same thing goes for snacks, as the over-consumption of sugars is the main cause of obesity in developed countries. So make your own delicious home-made substitutions that are not loaded with sugar. Eat fruits and greens in larger quantities. And remember, fries do not count as vegetables.

9. Adventure

What is the purpose of life if it is not in some way fun and exciting? Remember to travel, read, explore and interact with new people and situations. Do not be afraid of new experiences. People are generally afraid of becoming stuck in a rut, but many people, ironically, find safety there and fear leaving their comfort zone. Be stronger and smarter than that. Dare to try new things! Go on a vacation – alone, if no one wants to go with you. A few days abroad can open your eyes more than a year of doing your same old job. This will give you the courage necessary to take more risks. And who knows, some of them might change your life for the better in a way you previously thought was impossible.

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10. Personal Satisfaction

All of these things we have mentioned above have one thing in common: they make you realize that there are more important things in life than work, and that we are quick to forget about them. But they are actually more important to your personal feelings of satisfaction. You work hard. You try your best and this is why you need to ensure that you feel happy and satisfied, and it is your duty, and a duty to others, to be content. Spend time with the right people, have understanding, love and patience for your family, and nurture your health and your body. Try and focus on the more important things in life, even if they do seem small and insignificant. There is much more to life and happiness than your job. You should never neglect your life for the sake of a paycheck.

Featured photo credit: Hastening businessman against office. The modern business man. via shutterstock.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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