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Steps to Stop Procrastination

October 20th, 2016

Procrastination is a common scourge for us all. It is a part of being human. We procrastinate for a very simple reason – it just feels better than having to do the work. That is, in the short term, anyhow. In fact, many people make a virtue of it. They procrastinate, they say, because they work better under pressure with a deadline looming. They seem to ignore the anxiety that is produced by waiting all that time.

In fact, putting things off can take a heavy toll on us mentally, according to psychologists, possibly causing depression, low self-esteem, and other health problems. So, how do you avoid procrastination, and get started on your projects? Here is a step-by-step approach.

1. Establish a goal.
Your goal needs to be as detailed as possible, that is, what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. Your goal needs to be specific. You need to spell out exactly what you want to accomplish. Avoid vagueness. Then, write your goal down.

You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, like you have a hundred things to do and not enough time to do them. So, it may be difficult choosing just one thing as your goal, realizing you have all of those other things to do as well. But this is how you tackle procrastination – by focusing on that one goal, achieving it and then moving onto to something else.

2. Break big goals down into smaller ones
If your goal, for example, is to finish a major project, you are going to need to break it down into more manageable parts, a subset of smaller goals. Some psychologists suggest beginning with the smallest task that you can do that will move your work forward.

3. Give yourself rewards
When you complete a task, give yourself a reward for doing it. Go take a short walk or grab a cup of coffee.

4. If you backslide, just begin again.
You may find yourself falling back into old habits. It will happen. If you do, just start again. If you are having difficulty picking up where you left off, think about what could be causing your problems.

Trinity Staffing offers the most comprehensive workforce services and solutions in the San Antonio area. We have the expertise and experience to find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

Behavioral Psychology and Procrastination

October 13th, 2016

Procrastination is something that afflicts many people. According to behavioral scientists, it is something that has an innate element to it within us. It has to do with not wanting to make an effort now for some vague reward in the future. Our minds are affected much more by the unpleasant tasks we need to accomplish in the present rather than the abstract benefits those actions will produce down the road.

So, from a behavioral perspective, the key to fighting procrastination is to somehow increase the reward that goes with those present tasks, to make them seem less unpleasant. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

1. Picture in your mind how good it will feel when you have finished the task.
Think about how it will feel to not have that particular task hanging over you anymore, now good it will feel to know you mustered the discipline to power through it. This may just be enough to get you moving.

2. Tell others.
This may also give you the nudge you need to get going. We all value the good opinion of other people, especially those who are our colleagues and friends. So, you don’t want to put yourself in the position of telling a colleague you are going to do something and then not follow through.

3. Think about the consequences of not doing something.
We all consider the consequences of doing something, the effects it will have, what it will mean. But we seldom consider the consequences of not doing something, what effects that will have. Behavioral scientists call this proclivity omission bias.

So, for example, you are putting off the research you need to do for a presentation, doing other things that are more interesting. But think about what the consequences will be of not doing the research until later, what effect that might have.

It will probably prevent you from doing the in-depth study you will need to do and to find all of the sources you will need. Thinking about the problems you create by not doing something may get you moving.

4. Establish a first step
This goes back to the advice of breaking down big projects into smaller manageable parts. And if you are having trouble beginning something, come up with a first step that is small and easily doable, something that will reduce the unpleasantness of the present action and make the benefits outweigh the costs.

5. Reward yourself.
Then, reward yourself for taking that first step. Again, this increases the benefit of taking the present action.

Don’t procrastinate in looking for a job. Trinity Staffing can help you find employment in the San Antonio area. We are one of the leading firms in the Lone Star state. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Get Moving on Your Job Search

October 6th, 2016

It’s time to look for a new job. Your current position has become a dead end. There is no challenge to it anymore, no opportunity for professional growth or development. It’s become routine.

It’s been this way for some time. And you have been planning on beginning your job search for some time. But other things keep getting in way. Or you are just too tired at the end of the day. There always seems to be some excuse to procrastinate. So, how do you overcome this and get started on your job hunt? Here are some ideas.

1. Make your bed.
You are probably wondering what in blazes this has to do with a job search. Actually, more than you think. Research has shown that doing little things like making your bed helps to instill a sense of discipline and even helps improve your mood. Doing this first thing will get your day off to a good start and put you in the right mindset for getting to work.

2. Treat your job search like a job itself.
Whether you are currently working or not, you need to treat your search like a job. You should set up a work station at home, complete with desk and files. Set aside a certain amount of time when you will do your work uninterrupted.

If you are not working, get out of your pajamas and wash up, just as you would if going to a job.

3. Do some planning
The first thing you need to do is make some decisions – what kind of job do you want, and what companies do you want to work for? Are you looking to change careers? What are your career objectives? Narrow down the number of companies you want to apply to. This may involve some research online and talking to people.

Then, you need to set some goals for yourself. You need to develop a strategy.

4. Create a schedule
Once you have come up with the tasks you need to complete, you need to make a detailed schedule for doing those tasks – what you are going to do and when you are going to do it, with dates and times. For example, from 9am to 11am, rework resume. Make every effort to stick to your schedule.

Then, once you have completed your tasks, be sure to record what you have done. This will help you to see what you have accomplished — what you have done and what you need to do.

If you want to get moving on your job search, the people at Trinity Staffing can help you. We work with honesty and integrity with your best interests as our number one priority. Contact Trinity Staffing today.

More Ideas to Combat Procrastination

September 29th, 2016

Procrastination. It is something that afflicts just about everyone at some time or another. For some, it can become more of a problem. Regardless of who it affects, it can be debilitating, lowering productivity, increasing stress, negatively affecting our mood and attitude. How to combat it? Here are a few ideas.

1. Review your to-do list.
First of all, it probably is a lot longer than it should be. When you see all of those tasks on the list, it doesn’t spur you to get them done. It more often has the effect of deflating your energy when you see how much you have to do. Try to shorten the list to just the most important things that you need to do.
And don’t put things on the list that you know you are going to do. Put tasks on the list that you are likely to procrastinate doing. Writing them down may actually give you a little psychological push to get them done.

2. Figure out why.
When you are procrastinating with something, try to determine what is causing you to put off doing it. Is it because you don’t feel you have enough time to get it done, because it looks too big and intimidating, or because you don’t feel you will be able to do a good enough job on it?

If you can identify the reason behind your procrastination, it may help you to focus on the cause of your procrastination and get moving. For example, if you are procrastinating because the project seems too big and unmanageable, break it down into smaller parts.

3. Time yourself.
This does really work. In fact there is a well known system that uses this technique called the Pomodoro Method. Set a timer for a certain amount of time, say 25 to 30 minutes, and then work intensely for that time. Then take a break. Repeat this as needed.

4. Do the nasty stuff first.
Sometimes we put off things simply because we find them difficult to do for one reason or another. If you get the tough stuff out of the way first, you are more likely to get done what you need to.

5. Take breaks
Some people think they need to force themselves to work as long and hard as they can without rest is the only way to get things done. But this is actually counterproductive. Your mind and your body need breaks to rest and recuperate. It is necessary for resilience.

If you want to stop procrastinating in finding a job, get in touch with the people at Trinity Staffing. Trinity is among the best at what they do, which is matching good people with good jobs. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Finally Get Started on That Big Project

September 22nd, 2016

At one time or another, we may be beset by procrastination, particularly when faced with a big, hairy project. We put it off for days or even weeks because it just looks too daunting. Here’s how to get started.

1. Determine why you are procrastinating.
Are you putting it off simply because you cannot find the time? You don’t feel you have the mental stamina to tackle such a big project? You don’t even know how to begin? Identifying why you are procrastinating is the first step in accomplishing your goal.

2. Do something to confront the obstacle
Just take a small step toward overcoming the obstacle that has been standing in your way. It should be small, because you are not going to change the world all at once – the obstacle is obviously a big one if it has been causing you to put off your project for so long, so you are not going to simply vault over it all at once. You tackle it little by little.

For example, if you are not sure how to begin the project, talk with other people for advice on the problem as a first step.

3. Set aside five minutes a day
Each day, take five minutes to work on your project without fail. Make these five minutes a priority. You won’t get a lot accomplished in five minutes, that is true. But you will begin to develop a habit of daily work on your project. And you will find that you will often work longer than just five minutes.

4. Set little goals.
The first thing to do with any big project is to break it up into smaller parts, and then tackle those parts one at a time. As you do this, set goals for yourself, but make the goals more immediate and for simpler tasks. As you reach each of these little goals, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and build a momentum toward your larger goals.

5. Just dive in.
Even if you are not sure you are heading in the right direction, dive in and get started anyhow. There is no shame in going down some blind alleys – they will help you better determine where you need to go. The important thing is movement, action, doing something, anything. As the great Spanish writer Baltasar Gracian wrote many years ago, “Things turn bad more often in repose than in motion.” So, keep moving.

If you need to get started on that job search project, begin by contacting Trinity Staffing. There is no better staffing agency in the San Antonio area, one that works with you to find a job that fits your skills and abilities. Give Trinity a call today.

Tips for Communicating Better

September 15th, 2016

It is common knowledge that employers value people who can communicate well, both verbally and in written form. In fact, employers value this skill the most, according to some surveys.

For job hunters, that means you need to pay special attention to spelling, grammar, and style when putting together your cover letter and resume, because they are examples of how well you can communicate and express yourself. Simple mistakes in grammar will not make a good impression and could even knock you out of the running for a job.

Here are a few of the more common grammatical errors to watch out for.

1. Confusing there, their and they’re
There is a place. Their is a pronoun that shows possession. They’re is a contraction for they are.

2. Comma splices
This is combining two sentences with a comma instead of separating them with a period. Example: I went to the store, I bought some bread. Correct way: I went to the store. I bought some bread.

3. Confusing its and it’s
Its is another one of the possessive prounouns – The dog scratched its tail. It’s is a contraction for it is – It’s going to rain this morning.

4. Splitting infinitives
An infinitive is a form of a verb, specifically, “to” plus the present tense of the verb. Example – to go, to walk. When you split an infinitive, you put another word, usually an adverb, between “to” and the verb – to slowly walk. But this is wrong, it should be “to walk slowly”. That way, you keep all of the parts of the verb together.

5. Passive voice
This is where you turn the direct object of a sentence into the subject, making the sentence less direct and weakening the force of the statement. For example: passive voice – The entire boat was cleaned by him. Active voice – He cleaned the entire boat.

6. Confusing affect and effect.
Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. Example – The blackout affected the whole city. What kind of effect did the shot have on you?

7. Pronoun antecedent agreement
A pronoun has to agree with its antecedent noun in gender and number. Example – Paul gave his toy to the charity. Tim, Scott and Susan gave their toys to the charity.

8. Confusing fewer and less.
Use the word fewer for things you can count. Example – I have fewer apples than I had last week. Less is used for something you cannot count. I have less juice than I did this morning.

If you are looking for work, use your communication skills to contact Trinity Staffing. We are one of the best in San Antonio, with more than 20 years experience, working with hundreds of employers and placing thousands of people. Give Trinity Staffing a call today.

What to do When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

September 8th, 2016

Your supervisor dumped a big, hairy project in your lap. It has a lot of moving parts. Looking at it, and going over it in your mind, you are feeling just a wee bit overwhelmed. There is so much to do, you just don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Break it down
Looking at it all at once, your project may seem like this huge, unapproachable monolith. The secret is to break it into smaller parts and then work on each of those parts. This will make it easier to handle, and you won’t feel like you are going down for the third time.

Doing this also helps you to establish a plan of attack. If you break it down into smaller steps, you have to analyze what needs to be done and in what order. You develop some structure and method in how you are going to approach the work.

2. One thing at a time.
Then work on just one thing at a time, and focus on just that one thing. Yes, there may be many steps to follow, but each in its own time. It may be hard to do at first, but you need to make that one thing your priority.

And you will actually be more productive if you focus your mind completely on the thing you have to do, if you give it 100 percent of your attention and effort. What really hinders productivity is that too often people are not fully in the present. Half the time they are thinking about the past or the future, not the here and now.

3. Get psyched.
This may sound a little juvenile, but it works. Think about how football teams get themselves psyched for a game. Put on some cheerful music that you like. Get out of your chair and walk around a little. Talk to yourself a little – that’s right, it really helps. Do some deep breathing. Whatever will improve your mood and get you energized to get started. Remember the saying, “Well begun is half done.”

4. Use the timebox
This is how it works. Decide on the amount of time you are going to spend on a single task. Set your alarm for that amount of time. Then work on the task until the alarm sounds. Then you are finished. You can either take a break or do something else.

Setting a deadline like this really focuses your mind and effort, and you actually get more done than if you had no deadline.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in your job search, Trinity Staffing can help you. We have the network and the know how to find a job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How Volunteering Can Help Your Career

August 25th, 2016

If you are like most people, between your job and your personal life, you have little time to spare. But even though you may be very busy, you may want to think about taking the time to add one more activity to your schedule – volunteering.

That’s because the benefits of volunteering clearly outweigh the inconveniences. Volunteering really is one of the best things you can do for your career and your personal life. Here’s why.

1. It can help your career
It looks great on a resume. When an employer sees someone who takes the time to volunteer, they see a person who cares about more than himself, a person who sees himself as part of a larger community and a person willing to help and lend a hand. These are all values that look good to any employer.

2. It is a good way to network.
When you volunteer, you will very likely meet other people in your professional field. These are people whom you can learn from and add to your list of contacts. You will also meet people from other walks of life who can broaden your perspective on things. And you learn more about the place where you live and work.

3. You learn
By volunteering, you get to use your skills and knowledge in different situations and in different ways from those at work. This in turn can teach you new things, helping to grow your skills set. All of this in turn adds value to you in the eyes of an employer.

4. It makes you feel good
Knowing that you are giving back to the community and helping others can give you a sense of fulfillment that you did not have before. It can enhance your mental and emotional well being and relieve stress.

But, again, the stumbling block here may be time constraints. To get around this problem, you may first want to inquire if there are any volunteer programs at your company. Some companies have such programs where employees volunteer during regular work hours. Other companies allow workers to give a certain amount of their time each month for volunteering.

If this is not an option, look at your schedule and see where you might find time. For example, could you give up the time in the evening spent reading the newspaper or surfing the web to volunteer?

Volunteering is a good way to network for job leads, and another good way to get job leads is to work with Trinity Staffing. We have the network of employers and the know how to find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Focus Better

August 18th, 2016

Getting focused can be difficult at times. Getting yourself into that flow where your total awareness is only on the task at hand can take some doing. But, if you are having problems focusing, there are a few quick tricks you can use to help get yourself on track.

1. Practice mindfulness
This is something you should do every day because research has shown that it really helps you to focus. Being mindful is not difficult. It can be doing something as simple as concentrating on your breathing. Pay attention only to your breathing as you inhale and exhale; block everything else out of your mind. If stray thoughts creep in, just push them out and focus on only your breathing again. Do this for about 10 or 15 minutes each day.

2. Breathe
This may look like mindfulness, but it is a little different. These are simple deep breathing exercises, where you inhale slowly and deeply for a count of four, hold for a count of four, and then exhale for a four-count.
This helps to relax you and to get focused. It’s a method practiced by CEOs and even the military.

3. Get moving
Anything that involves physical activity will also help you to focus better. It gets more oxygen to your brain. So, take a quick walk, do some push ups, stretching, or just jump up and down, whatever works for you.

4. Get outside
This may not always be possible, but if you can do it, getting outdoors also helps with your concentration. Studies have shown that getting closer to nature has benefits for our mental health and emotional well being.

5. Chat with a coworker
Taking five or ten minutes to talk to the person in the next cubicle will also help you focus. If something is on your mind, you can talk about it with your colleague. This can help you get your mind focused on what you need to be doing.

6. Do something else.
Switching to another activity can also help you focus. If you are stuck on a certain task and no ideas are coming, doing something else will actually give your subconscious mind time to assimilate and ruminate on your problem, making it much more likely that you will come up with a solution.

7. Get a shot of caffeine.
We saved this one for last because this is something just about everyone does anyhow. But getting that jolt of caffeine can help get you moving and help with your concentration.

If you need to focus on the job search, Trinity Staffing can help you. We have the network and the experience to work with you and to find you a job that you will enjoy. Give Trinity a call today.

How Long Should You Keep Documents?

August 11th, 2016

Your human resources department produces a large number of documents, all related to employees and their relationship to the company. Needless to say, these documents are important to the operation of the company, both legally and financially.

So, it is also important for the company to have some type of policy on document retention. If you do not have such a policy, human resource employees have no guideline for when to destroy documents. As a result, they may keep some documents too long, and destroy others before they should. This could lead to problems if the company becomes involved in litigation. If you hold onto the documents for too long, you may have to produce them, even though you should no longer have them. If you get rid of the documents too soon, you may expose yourself to additional legal problems, namely, destroying evidence.

How long you keep records will depend primarily on the statute of limitations for statutory discrimination claims in your state. The statutes will vary among different states. For this article, Ohio will be used as an example. The statute of limitations for Ohio is six years. You should consult with legal counsel for advice on this.

Here is a list of documents and how long you should retain them based on Ohio law, as recommended by legal officials.

1. Resumes, applications, interview records and notes, and other employment documents – six years from date of termination for employees
2. Background checks, drug test results, company employment verifications, letters of reference – six years from the date of termination
3. Written contracts – eight years after expiration
4. Employee handbooks – six years after expiration
5. Collective bargaining agreements – six years after expiration
6. Compensation and time records – three years after termination
7. Performance appraisal and disciplinary records – six years after termination
8. Benefits records – six years after filing date
9. Workers compensation records – 10 years after the injury or illness or the close of the claim, whichever is later
10. OSHA and other employee safety records – five years after termination
11. Affirmative action plans – two years after the close of the affirmative action plan year

If your company is looking to hire and retain employees, you need to see the people at Trinity Staffing. Trinity is one of the leading staffing firms in the Lone Star state, with the expertise to help your business find the people you need. Give Trinity a call today.

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