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The Better Late Than Never 2017 Reading List

Late December and early January have turned out to be very busy, so my plans to put together a post outlining my 2017 reading list has been languishing on my to-do list. No longer though as I have finally found a few minutes to stop and put together the list. Why did I bother to put together a list for the upcoming year especially when I almost always have a book "in progress" at any given time? It was mainly driven by the suggestions on goal-setting that I recently wrote about. One of those tips was putting your goals in writing, so I did that with regard to what I hoped to read in 2017.

Sleep Smarter Book Review

When I last posted here, it was to share my 2017 reading plan and list. Things have been quiet since then as I've been dealing with other, higher priority items in my life. The good news is, even though I wasn't posting, I was reading and making progress on the reading list. I'm still just a bit behind schedule, but catching up fast - partly thanks to the first book on the reading list. That first book was Sleep Smarter and this is my brief review of it.

Are You Ready To Set 2017 Goals?

I know most folks are probably in the midst of preparations for the holidays and are busy with all of the tasks that go along with that. However, as the year is drawing to a close, now is the time to start thinking about goals for 2017, especially since you may be getting some time off from work (I hope you do). Hopefully, you may even find some time for some personal reflection and can spend some of that effort thinking about what 2017 may bring.

I recently attended an online webinar about goal-setting for 2017 (or any other time for that matter) that was hosted by Michael Hyatt. I also came across an article about some unconventional tips on setting goals (6 Tips for Goal-Setting That, Trust Me, They Don't Teach You in College). Hopefully, some of this will help you move beyond the typical mantra of setting SMART goals (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based). Since goal setting is such a personal matter,  don't feel like you need to stick to these methods …

Positive Caring

The concept of caring being something positive should be fairly obvious, but the title of this piece is not meant to be redundant. Instead, I hope it emphasizes the importance of a positive attitude and how it can impact those around you, notably your co-workers that you likely spend a lot of time with in your life. Besides helping to relieve stress, which can in turn enhance productivity, efficiency and effectiveness, positive attitudes can help people perform better when dealing with customers. Hopefully you realize that helping improve the customer experience ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line for a business or organization.

Mindsets in the Workplace

The other day via one of my newsletter subscriptions, I came across this article (Carol Dweck on Creating a Growth Mindset in the Workplace) that surveys a book from 2007 - Mindest: The New Psychology of Success. I thought it had some really interesting points - to the point that I decided to jump in and order Mindset from Amazon (should be here in a few more days). The idea behind Mindset is that different mindsets impact not only how we do our jobs, but the mindsets of our employees can impact the ultimate success of an organization.

Productivity Killing Words

Today I came across an article (6 Phrases Secretly Sabotaging Your Team's Productivity) with a bit of an odd mix of information, but all of it was really good. Opening things,  Karla Cook covers some stats regarding productivity killers for workers. This is based on a study conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and their American Time Use Survey completed for 2015. One of the things that I liked about the information from this study is that it quantifies some truths that we all know.

Spreading the Load

Last week I shared an article about some potential problems that can crop up if collaboration efforts are not managed effectively. One of the issues that may surface is the stress and burnout for top performers when they are continually sought out by others in the organization. Likewise, as managers we likely have certain employees who are considered stars and it can be tempting to turn to them on a frequent basis to get the work done in an organization. However, it is important that we proactively manage the work that is being delegated so as to avoid overloading some employees and at the same time taking steps to help raise up lower performing employees. Although management may be as much art as it is science, we can still bring some structure to this delegation process as discussed in the article Make Sure Your Team's Workload Is Divided Fairly.
The article brings up several steps and actions that managers can take when delegating assignments and projects. The main thing is to…