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Image of two people having a meeting

Are your weekly meetings long and unproductive? Does the announcement of yet another meeting leave you with a feeling of dread? Your time is already limited, and you have to spend more than an hour in an ineffective meeting. Unnecessary meetings waste time, cost money, decrease morale, and cause an increase in employee turnover. Here’s how you can make the most out of all of your meetings.

 

 

Have an agenda.

Make your objective clear. Each meeting must have a defined, specific purpose. What are you looking to accomplish? If it’s just a general meeting, such as a status update, it will probably not be a good use of anyone’s time. Have a purposeful agenda and stick to it.

 

Understand time is valuable.

Start your meetings on time and end them on time. Be prompt and courteous to others’ time. When people see that you are valuing their limited work time, you’ll be amazed at how many people show up to every meeting you schedule, and they’ll do so eagerly. Try not to schedule any meetings lasting longer than one hour because any meeting longer than one hour will not be an engaging meeting.

 

Ban technology.

Allowing your colleagues to bring their cell phones or computers into the room will result in an ineffective meeting. They will not be focused on the topic at hand, but instead be focused on the technology in front of them. Ban all technology from your future meetings and encourage your colleagues to contribute and focus on the meeting.

 

Consider the attendee list.

Look at your list of attendees and ask yourself if all of them need to be in the meeting. By cutting down the meeting to those whose presence is necessary, you are saving your company time effortlessly.

 

Schedule meetings for half the time than originally intended.

Chances are, if you have an allotted time for a meeting, you stretch it to fill all of the time, even if that means adding useless chit-chat to fill that time. Try cutting the intended meeting time in half to cover everything you need to in a tighter time period. You’ll be surprised by how much time you have probably wasted in the past.

 

Stay focused on the goal.

Present your issues and maintain your focus. Have everything ready and in order before the meeting begins so you’re not wasting time shuffling through papers or searching for documents on your computer.

 

Consider holding stand-up meetings.

Research has shown that stand-up meetings are more effective than sit-down meetings. In certain cases, decisions can be reached faster without decreasing the quality of the meeting. If it is practical for your office to hold stand-up meetings, it’s worth considering.

 

Encourage everyone to contribute.

If someone isn’t participating in the meeting, there is a good chance the meeting is a waste of time for them. If the meeting gets off topic, quickly bring the focus back on the intended purpose of the meeting.

Remember, long meetings aren’t just using your valuable time, but everyone’s valuable time, so use that time wisely. If you feel all of your meetings are necessary, consider a change of scenery, like transforming your meeting into a team brainstorm/exercise session with a brisk walk, or renting a large meeting space quarterly to discuss the past and future of your company. Any ideas to make your meetings more effective should be considered.

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Meetings are an important part of any business - whether it’s with your team members, potential clients, or investors - when they are used effectively. If you always have your meetings in the same boring place, they will never be effective. It will be difficult for the people in the meeting to stay focused, and your office distractions will always be there. We have 5 reasons why you should step out of the office for your next meeting.

 

 

Energize team members.

Think about it, your team members already have to spend 40 or more hours each week in the same environment. Help stimulate the minds of your colleagues by stepping outside for a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery. Doing so will also boost morale and overall happiness in the office.

 

Increase space.

Holding meetings in your own business space may limit the number of people who can attend each meeting. The ideal way to ensure everyone can be in your important business meetings is to hold them in open spaces.

 

Increase focus and creativity.

Think about the last time you had a great idea about a new project. Your best idea probably was not born in your conference meeting room. The most productive meetings often take place outside of the office. Motivate your colleagues by taking them outside of the office to boost creativity and focus. Bringing them to a new environment will inspire new ideas, and will ultimately help your business.

 

Decrease interruptions.

With phones always ringing, buzzing, and vibrating and colleagues interrupting, it’s hard to keep the meeting productive and keep everyone’s attention. Meetings shouldn’t have to be stressful or unproductive, so consider holding your meetings outside in a nice, quiet spot or in a large, open meeting space with less distractions.

 

It’s not always easy to find time on everyone’s schedule to get together for company meetings, so when you finally do find time, you want it to be as productive as possible as to not waste anyone’s precious work time. Consider taking a walk around the block and discussing ideas if it’s nice out, or renting a hall once a month or quarterly and discussing months in advance. Only call the people in for meetings related to the subject at hand so you’re not wasting other colleagues’ time. It’s time to take control of your meetings, and that begins with changing the environment of your meetings.

 
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The Do’s and Don’ts of Chore Planning with your Spouse

 

If you recently got married or even if you’ve been married for awhile, you probably know that finding a way to organize and get chores done can cause a lot of tension between you and your spouse. Both of you may have different preferences and both of you probably want equal recognition and appreciation for the work that you do. Planning chores and getting them done doesn’t have to be something that affects the relationship that you have with your spouse; follow these tips to make the chores in your home a breeze.

 

 

Don’t split work evenly. Do work together as a team. It might sound weird, but dividing the chores 50-50 is actually a bad idea. There was actually a study done in 2012 that found that couples who divided chores evenly were more likely to get a divorce. It is better to work as a team, meaning both of you put in 100% of your efforts on making your home what you want it to be. Don’t divide work into “your work” and “my work.” Make it “our work.”

 

Don’t be selfish. Do take your spouse’s preferences into consideration. Think about the chores that you like to do, and take the time to figure out the chores that your spouse wouldn’t mind doing. If you hate doing dishes, see if your spouse will take over that job. If your spouse hates doing the laundry and you don’t mind it, you can take that job. There’s no use in doing the chores that you hate when your spouse might not mind doing those chores.

 

Don’t assume. Do try to understand your spouse’s definition of clean. Everyone’s definition of clean can be a little different. To some, dirt matters, but to others, clutter matters. Figure out what your spouse considers a clean and happy home. You want to make sure your home is somewhere that both of you feel “at home.” It may just be some small changes here and there that can make all the difference for the both of you.

 

Don’t divide chores by stereotypical lines. Do embrace the things you’re both passionate about. Be flexible with your responsibilities. You don’t have to abide by the stereotypical norms that you’ve probably heard before; the woman takes care of laundry and dishes, and the man takes care of the lawn and handyman work. If these tasks work for the both of you, then that’s great! But it will all work the best if you both are doing the tasks that you are most passionate about. If you love mowing the lawn, take over that task. Each of you can know your task, get it done, and show appreciation to your spouse for the jobs that they completed.

 

Don’t do it all yourself. Do recruit help. If you have children, you should recruit them to help. Giving your children responsibilities is going to help them out in the long run and help create a positive family atmosphere in your home. If you don’t have children and you have the money, you could consider hiring a maid or another kind of outside help.

Again, household chores should not be driving you and your spouse apart or creating a negative home environment. Working together as a team and appreciating one another can have  positive effects on your relationship with your spouse. Get a plan in place which involves both of you working together as team, valuing one another, and showing the love that you have for each other in everything that you do.

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Planning and hosting a bridal shower can be pretty overwhelming, especially when you want to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for the bride. Whether you’re the bride’s sister or the maid of honor, you care for the bride and want her bridal shower to be a happy and memorable day for her. There are many small details throughout the planning process that cannot be forgotten. Here are a couple of extremely important tips to follow to plan the perfect bridal shower.

 

 

1. Choose a theme that the bride would like. Of course, do not forget that this day is all about the bride. The event doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; it just has to be something that the bride loves and will always remember. What kind of theme fits the bride best? What colors and decor fit the bride best? Include some of her favorite foods and drinks. Take into account if the bride is more laid back or more upbeat. Will the bride want cocktails and games or more of a casual hangout? This is where it is important to get some input from the bride herself.

 

2. Don’t plan alone. You do NOT have to plan alone. This is where you enlist an army of bridesmaids, friends, and family members. This is going to save you time and money. Any of the bride’s friends and family are going to be willing to help out. The best way to do this is to assign each person a different task. Maybe someone is only in charge of drinks, someone is only in charge of invitations, and so on. Don’t overwhelm yourself; ask for help.

 

3. Be cautious when sending invitations. When sending invitations, there are many details to be aware of. When it comes to the guest list, it is best to get this from the bride. By having the bride create her own guest list, everyone will be there that she wants there, and there won’t be any unwanted guests. Plus, the bride will most likely already have the addresses of all of the guests so you won’t have to mess with this. It is best to mail an invitation rather than send an evite invitation. Although most people like to be online today, the older party guests might not. Plus, a paper invitation can be used for a scrapbook item if any of the guests would like to use it for that. The last item to remember is to include the bride and groom’s registry information with the invitation. This way, guests can get a list of exactly what the bride wants quickly and easily. None of the guests will have to guess what the bride and groom want, and then have the bride having to return something that they don’t need.

 

4. Personalize the bridal shower. As mentioned above, make sure the shower represents the bride and who she is. Make her shower unique to who she is. Try to avoid playing the common games that are played at most bridal showers. Find a game that can make the shower more personal and that highlights all of the great qualities of the bride; everything that you love about her. For example, you could make up a fun list of questions about the bride and see which guests can answer the most correctly. You could have each guest write down a story that they experienced with the bride, and the bride will have to guess which guest the story came from. Games like this add a more personal touch because they are focused around the bride and her experiences with those that she loves most.

 

5. Use shower time wisely. It is very important to have a plan in mind for how you are going to run the shower. It needs to run smoothly, transitioning quickly from one activity to the next. For instance, don’t let too much time be spent on the bride opening gifts. No one wants to be stuck there for an hour or more watching the bride open gifts. Keep the gift opening moving along, and don’t forget to make sure someone is recording who gave what gifts as the bride is opening them. The bride will need to know who to thank you for what later on. Aside from the gift opening, keep the games to a minimum. There is no need to try to fit more than one or two games into shower time. Stick with one or two so that guests still have time to relax, eat, drink, talk to the bride, and socialize.

 

From the time you are enlisted as the bridal shower hostess, make sure you stay organized. Meet with the bridesmaids, family, and friends right away who want to help with planning the shower. Having a team is going to make your life a million times easier. What is most important to remember when planning a bridal shower is that the day is about the bride. Her opinions are most important. Take her opinions, her likes, her favorites, and incorporate them into the bridal shower. Make her bridal shower a day that she will remember forever.

 
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So you’ve been asked to be the best man at your buddy’s wedding. This can be a very daunting task. You know the groom will be depending on you, and you have a large part in his big day. While it is an honor to be selected as a best man, it can also be nerve wracking, especially knowing you’ll have a moment at the reception during which all eyes will be on you. The speech. Probably the most dreaded duty of the best man and maid of honor. If you’ve been to many weddings, you’ve probably seen that there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a best man speech. The best man may get too drunk and ramble. He might tell an embarrassing story about the bride or groom that might not be meant for family and friends to hear. Whatever the catastrophe, it can be avoided. Here are 10 tips for giving a killer best man speech.

 

 

1. Prepare. Even if you’re a person that likes to fly by the seat of his pants, for this occasion, that’s probably not the way to go. Take the time a couple of weeks before the wedding to jot down some of your ideas. Think about any stories, jokes, or quotes that you might want to use. It would be best to at least have a general outline in your head before the day of the wedding. A general outline will be super important to have in order to keep the speech short. No one likes to listen to a ten minute speech at a wedding reception. Plan out a speech that will last between 2-5 minutes. In addition, if you don’t know much about how the bride and groom met, make sure you take the time to research.

 

2. Stay sober. While alcohol can take a little bit of the edge off, it’s important to not go overboard. You don’t want to drink too much prior to the speech and end up saying something that you might regret later. The worst thing to do would be to embarrass the groom on his big day.

 

3. Express gratitude. Be sure to thank everyone who made the day possible, especially the parents of the bride and groom. It’s also important to thank the guests for joining the bride and groom on their big day.

 

4. Tell a story. Think about one of your greatest memories of the groom; a story that shows what a great guy he is. Make a connection to both the bride and groom. You can tell a funny story about when the bride and groom first met or started dating. How did you know the bride was the right girl for your buddy? Or maybe you think she’s too good for your buddy? This is where the humor can come into your speech!

 

5. Avoid controversial topics. Stay about from topics that could be controversial, embarrassing, or offensive. These kind of things may seem funny in theory, but they never end up going over well with the guests at a reception. It may make both the bride and groom and the guests feel uncomfortable.

 

6. Avoid inside jokes. As funny as the inside jokes are to you and your friends, no one else will get them. Telling inside jokes is not the way to keep the attention of the wedding guests. Find other ways to make your speech funny so that it’s something that’s funny to everyone.

 

7. End with a quote. A simple quote is one of the best ways to wrap up a best man speech. Find a quote about love or one that you believe fits the bride and groom and their relationship.

 

8. Give a toast. At the end of your speech, make sure you raise your glass and give a toast to the bride and groom. Wish them love, happiness, or whatever toast you think works best.

 

9. Be yourself. Make sure you don’t memorize your speech. You want the speech to sound conversational and sincere. Speak from the heart and be yourself, and you’ll be good to go.

 

10. Don’t forget the bride. No matter what, make sure you do not forget to mention the bride. Even if you don’t know much about her, find a way to include her in the speech. You can’t go wrong with simply complimenting her and mentioning how great she is for the groom.

 

10 + 1. http://www.thebestmanspeech.com/ is also a GREAT start!  

These tips will give you a good start on creating a great best man speech. Remember, you don’t have to follow these guidelines exactly; you should make your speech your own. Create a speech that will show perfectly the love that you have for the bride and groom and the love that they have for each other.

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