Destress

All Work And No Play… Creating Balance In Success

With all the convenience and flexibility that a mobile office provides, this time of ultra-connectivity and a global business place can also mean that it’s almost impossible to create a clear separation between work and home.

Long gone are the days that people clocked off at 5pm and left their work at the office. Instead, we respond to emails as they arrive on our smart phones, catch up on work reading on the laptop or Skype with colleagues in other time zones – often late into the night. Stan Gordon, CEO of Franchised Food Company and international businessman offers his tips on how to find the all-important balance between work and home:

Prioritise

Spend just five minutes at the start of each day prioritising your tasks and save yourself valuable time throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple ‘to do’ list is sufficient. Lists are great way to determine what needs to be achieved for the day, and will enable you to work more proactively rather than reactively, highlight the things that are urgent, and reassess the not-so-important tasks. Mark off tasks as you complete them… There’s something extremely satisfying about ticking off the boxes!

In any working day, there’ll be minor interruptions – that’s just life – but you can put methods into place to ensure you stay on top of your workload. Just like any business, sometimes there are bumps in the road, but it’s learning how to overcome these roadblocks that is key. Work out how you can handle these situations whilst keeping on track.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

Once you’re in the routine of prioritising your work, delegate certain tasks to others. Be realistic – you can’t do it all – believe me I’ve tried! By delegating tasks, your immediate workload will be reduced. And whilst your input may be required to oversee some tasks, your focus can be turned to the important projects that need your full attention – the real nitty gritty stuff.

Done well, delegation is a win-win. Your team will feel valued at the opportunity to take on new challenges, while you can move beyond the smaller details of your business, allowing it to grow. Step back from the smaller things and find balance within your projects. Take note of people’s strengths and weaknesses and assign tasks accordingly. Be aware of your own abilities (and sometimes inabilities) – don’t waste time on something you’re not good at, especially if there’s someone else who can do a better job! Remember you surround yourself with people for a reason. Give them the tools and freedom to excel; it’ll benefit you and your business in the long run.

Play by the rules

Set yourself some hard and fast rules about what time you’ll leave the office, and how you will use your portable devices when you are at home. Depending on your commitments and values, these rules will vary from person to person. The reality is that sometimes you might have to work late… Just don’t make it a habit. All work and no play isn’t good for anyone. Running a business can be stressful, and everyone needs down time to ensure you’re more productive when you’re actually at work.

Once your rules are set in place, commit to playing by them. If you can’t help yourself, put your phone in a drawer for an hour during dinner – or even better, turn it off. When you are at home, set a time to check your voicemail and reply to emails. Not only will you be more productive, you’ll also be able to focus on enjoying your family time. At the end of the day, they are the ones that count! Never forget, you need to have balance!

Just say no

In an ideal world, we would all love our business’ to grow quickly, our brands to get maximum exposure and our personal brands to be recognised in the right industry. It’s important to remember that sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and your business’s longevity is to say no to that additional project, that extra piece of work or another networking event. Be smart, assess your workload and ask yourself the question: is this really important? What are the benefits in the long run to me and my business, and what sacrifices will I have to make? It’s simple; do the pros outweigh the cons? If you’re already at capacity and struggling to keep that elusive work/life balance, then taking on another task is probably not the best idea.

Remember that sometimes, it’s perfectly ok to say no. If it’s a project you really want to be a part of, ask for help, shuffle your schedule around and delegate some of your work. Keep in mind that too much on your plate can mean important things fall by the wayside. As the saying goes, many troubles in this life stem from saying yes too quickly, and not saying no soon enough!

Learn to switch off

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you don’t need to be contactable all the time. It’s ok to switch off every now and then. For me, Friday nights is family time. So, on a Friday night, I leave my phone in my bag – on silent! Voicemail was created for a reason, and if it’s that important, they will call back! Remember most of the time, everything can wait a while (unless you’re a doctor or fireman on call).

Most people don’t expect a response to an email they sent at 10pm on a Friday night, nor should they!  Don’t fall into the trap of responding during out-of-office times, it only creates unrealistic expectations. I never answer calls after 9pm, as I said there’s not much that can’t wait for a while!  Answer emails during business hours and set a precedent for everyone with which you interact. Be firm with yourself – you have the power to make these decisions – and stick to them!

Get a hobby

It might sound simplistic, but find yourself a hobby – have fun in your own time! Whether it’s playing golf, cooking, joining a special interest club, wining and dining or just spending quality with your family, set aside some ‘me’ time.

I love crazy, cool and fun ‘gimmicks’ and enjoy spending time adding to my collection of toys… anything from a novelty USB to a jet ski. If it’s different and fun – I want it – and am known in my household for driving everyone a little crazy! It’s also really important to me to always allocate down time to spend with my family. After all, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for their support.

The benefits of having a hobby means that instead of spending time answering emails, you’ll find yourself focusing on bettering your golf score or branching out to try new things… or even looking for the latest gimmick! Give yourself the time to achieve something non-work related. It’ll benefit your business interactions come Monday morning, and anything that helps you ease into the working week is a plus!

Stan Gordon is the CEO of Franchised Food Company, the umbrella company encompassing the brands Cold Rock, Mr Whippy, Trampoline Gelato, Pretzel World and Nutshack. Ever thought about owning your own business? For info about owning your very own franchise visit http://www.ffco.com.au/buy-a-franchise.html

August 17, 2014

6 Liver Cleansing Tips To Help You Slim Down

You may not know it but the liver is very important when it comes to losing weight and detoxing. This often overlooked organ acts as a filtering system by cleansing the body of toxins, breaking down hormones and food by products. 

When the liver is overworked, toxic residues can build up causing inflammation and the build-up of fat, especially around the middle. Detoxing your liver helps it to function better by relieving the burden on it. A stressed-out liver can’t break down fat as well, so this affects your body’s ability to digest foods, too. The result can be bloating and sluggishness as well as weight gain. Cleansing your body can help your liver to work more effectively.

According to expert nutritionist for USANA Health Sciences, Ravinder Lilly: “Contrary to common belief, it’s not just alcohol that leads to a fatty liver, there are many factors that can compromise it such as a bad diet, and lack of exercise. A liver detox is a great way to improve your overall health and get your body bikini ready.”

As well as regular exercise and sticking to moderate alcohol consumption, Ms Lilly shares her 6 top tips for the ultimate liver spring clean:

1. Get your downward dog on. Everyone knows yoga is great for your health, but most people don’t know it’s particularly good for your liver. So, not only do yoga poses make you fitter and more flexible, they also stimulate the liver and help with the body’s detoxification process. Time to roll out that yoga mat!

2. Go green. We’re not talking green frogs and peppermint chocolate here, but spinach, avocado, kale and broccoli neutralize heavy metals within the body that put a high level of strain on the liver. Increasing the amount of green vegetables you eat is an easy way to detoxify your liver.

3. Wake up and smell the water. Drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning helps kick start your liver’s detoxification process. People often limit how much liquid they drink; fearing it will lead to water weight, but water actually has the opposite effect thanks to its cleansing ability. If weight loss is what your main priority is, then drinking water (and lots of it) is the way to go.

4. Try some curry. The Indian spice, turmeric which is a relative of ginger and gives curries their golden glow is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curcumin, its active ingredient may also protect the liver by helping to expel toxins via phase liver detoxification reactions.

5. Less of the sweet, more of the sour. It may be surprising but the flavour of your food affects your liver function. Try and incorporate bitter foods into your diet every day, ideally at each meal. Foods like lemon, vinegar and olive oil are important for assisting and increasing the bile flow. Sugary foods and drinks are broken down into a type of fat called triglycerides and excess are stored in and around the liver, making liver function sluggish. Cutting out sugar helps the body breaks down the fat in your liver and thus it will work more efficiently.

6. Crack more jokes. Laughter naturally increases the production of an antibody that is responsible for protecting us against infections. It’s a great way to stop yourself from getting sick.  So whether you think something is funny or not, best to laugh anyway!

August 13, 2014