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10 Small Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

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‘Work smarter, not longer.’

This is the attitude more and more employers are adopting as flexible and part-time working becomes increasingly normalised by businesses. There are only so many hours in the day – to avoid taking work home with you, it’s important to be productive in the time you have. In a world of short attention spans and incessant distractions, however, that can be difficult. Here are 10 small ways you can increase your productivity at work and better attain that mythical work/life balance.

 

1. Document Your Time

Humans’ awareness of time is historically warped. In very few scenarios can we accurately estimate how much time has passed, with our perception able to be distorted by factors such as temperature, season, time of day or emotional state. It’s therefore a great idea to document how much time a day you actually spend on completing certain tasks. Having an objectively clear picture of how your day tends to be spread out will help you better structure your time in the future.

 

2. Set Deadlines

Now you know where your time is going, try limiting the amount of time you spend on one task. ‘Perfection is the enemy of good,’ so they say. You can always return to an activity and polish it up later. In the meantime, however, it’s a good idea to keep up momentum and move onto a new task when you can – you may be surprised at how much you can achieve if you’re strict with yourself!

 

3. Hold Standing Meetings

This one may not be for everyone, but the results behind it are interesting. It’s been suggested by research that standing meetings (literally meetings where everyone is standing) are more time efficient and productive. Without seats or tables, there tends to be less territoriality and increased group collaboration, not to mention quicker meeting times. One study found their average meeting length was reduced by 25% when participants were standing throughout.

 

4. Act, Don’t React

It’s easy to let your day be dictated by phone calls and emails, putting out fires with every response. While this reactionary attitude is a great way to simply ‘cope’, it stops you making headway of your own with projects that require you to be proactive in how you handle them. While it’s difficult to ignore a pop-up notification or a blaring ring tone, carving out time in your schedule when everybody knows not to disturb you, or turn your notifications off.

 

5. Delegate

Many busy leaders tend to believe it’s quicker to complete a task themselves (and definitely get it right first time) rather than explain the task to a co-worker and have them complete it (maybe not quite right first time). This can result in complete overwork on the part of the leader, and perhaps an unhealthy environment of mistrust or micromanagement in the workspace. Instead, consider assigning tasks to colleagues based on their strengths, and take the time to explain to them clearly what exactly you’re looking for from them. You might be pleasantly surprised when they do it as well, or better, than you could!

 

6. Stay Healthy

One of the most effective ways to increase your productivity is to keep your brain in top shape. Some things you can do to maintain energy levels and sharp thinking are:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep healthy, nutritious snacks in your desk drawer
  • Exercise regularly, particularly in your breaks
  • Take a full lunch break
  • Don’t take work home with you when you can avoid it

 

7. Take…Breaks?

Taking breaks to improve productivity sounds somewhat counterintuitive. However, scientists have suggested that taking regular mental rests from work actually makes us more productive in the long run. As University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras elaborates:

“Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused…From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”

Why not give it a go? Try working in 90-segments with a 10-minute break between each. Really disconnect from your desk during this time – take a walk, get some fresh air. When you return to the problem at hand, you’ll be forced to think about it globally rather than specifically for a few minutes, perhaps enabling you to see solutions and perspectives previously hidden from you.

 

8. Avoid Multi-tasking

When your to-do list is overwhelmingly long, it can be tempting to hop from task to task, generating an illusion of control for your own benefit. However, studies have consistently suggested that we are most productive when we set our minds to one job at a time. While you might feel you are getting more done while multi-tasking, in reality you are wasting time as you jump between headspaces, losing the clarity that comes with continuous focus.

 

9. Try Listening to Music

Research suggests that certain types of music at the right time can really boost productivity. There is disagreement as to why exactly this is – some credit the boost in mood, some claim it is the ability to drown out office chatter. Regardless, music can be really useful in helping workers eliminate distractions and power through a task, particularly repetitive ones.

Instrumental music is particularly praised as a focus-tool. The lack of lyrics means it’s hard for you to get distracted by words and meanings, enabling you to dedicate 100% of your concentration to your work. Similarly, the soothing effects of classical musical can help alleviate stress, helping you be more productive.

If you don’t have a work playlist ready to go, you can find some great ready-made ones on most music streaming sites, such as Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music.

 

10. Prioritise

We all have most productive hours. If you’ve followed our first tip and documented how you spend your work time, you should know what hours those are for you. Therefore, it’s only logical that you should assign yourself your most difficult tasks, and the priorities, in those ultra-productive windows. That way, a task that would otherwise take you an entire morning could theoretically only consume half an afternoon, if that’s how you work.

As most workers grow increasingly unproductive throughout the day, it makes sense to reserve the easiest tasks for the afternoon. You won’t have to channel the same level of energy into these tasks, while also ticking items off your list.

 

These are just 10 ways you can increase productivity in the workplace. While these are useful tips you can enact in your everyday working life, it’s important to remember that productivity is primarily a state of mind. If you love your job and find your daily workload rewarding, you’ll likely be considerably more productive than someone who does not. If you’re struggling to maintain productivity across the working week, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and assess whether this position is really the right one for you, or perhaps consider that you are suffering from Burnout (just this week classified as a diagnosable illness by WHO).

Posted by Susannah Hunt on 16 July 2019

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Guide to Irish Immigration Stamps and Permissions

Guide to Irish Immigration Stamps and Permissions

This content is copied from The Department of Justice and Equality. ​ There are several types of stamp with different names, eg Stamp 0, Stamp 1, etc. Each one indicates a type of permission, including the activities you can and cannot do in Ireland and the time period you are allowed to stay. You must be familiar with your stamp and the conditions that apply to it. If you break these conditions, you may have to leave the country. The time you accumulate on certain stamps may be used to calculate your 'reckonable residence' (subject to conditions) if you apply for citizenship by naturalisation. Stamp 0 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period, subject to conditions. Summary of conditions You must be of independent means, ie fully financially self-sufficient. Alternatively, your sponsor in Ireland must be of independent means and can support you fully. You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg be treated at a public hospital. You must have private medical insurance. You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 0 if you have permission to: Retire to or live in Ireland as a person of independent means Be a visiting academic at an Irish university or college Live in Ireland as the elderly, dependent relative of a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen Extend a short term visit here due to exceptional humanitarian circumstances Work here for an overseas company to carry out a specific task for a limited time Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 0 Stamp 1 indicates permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions. Stamp 1 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You must not start a job or enter employment unless you or your employer has obtained an employment permit for you. If you do not have an employment permit you must not engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1 if you have permission to: Work here based on an employment permit Operate a business here Work here based on a Working Holiday Authorisation Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1 The Immigration Rules for non-EEA Stamp 1A Trainee Accountants of 1 June 2017 are currently under review. Until this review is completed the following conditions apply in order to qualify for a Stamp 1A. Stamp 1A description Stamp 1A indicates permission in full time, paid accountancy training (with a named organisation such as CPA Ireland, ICAI or regulated by the IAASA and with a training contract with a company based in Ireland) for a specified period, subject to conditions. Summary of conditions You must not engage in any other business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from INIS. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1A if you have permission to: Study accountancy as a trainee & be employed as a trainee accountant Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 1A 1) Graduate Student who currently holds a Stamp 2 or 2A permission Stamp 1G indicates you have finished your studies in Ireland and have permission to look for employment here under the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to conditions. Summary of employment conditions for graduates You can work for a maximum of 40 hours per week. If you wish to continue working after Stamp 1G expires, you must find a job that requires an employment permit and then follow the usual application process. While on a Stamp 1G, your other permissions and conditions remain the same as for Stamp 2/2A. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 1G if you have permission to: Look for work as part of the Third Level Graduate Programme 2) Spouse/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a Spouse/de facto partner of Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements From the 6 March 2019 the Stamp 1G will also provide for the change in policy to both visa and non-visa required non-EEA nationals, who are Spouses and de facto partners of persons who are currently resident in this State, on Stamp 3 conditions, as the family member of a person resident in the State on the basis of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a Researcher in the State on a Hosting Agreement. The requirement to obtain a DPSEP has been removed for this group by DBEI. INIS will grant eligible de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission, to reside in this State on Stamp 1G Conditions without the need to obtain a DPSEP from DBEI. This will allow access to the labour market without an Employment Permit. Summary of employment conditions for spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission Permitted to work in the State without the requirement to obtain a work permit Not permitted to establish or operate a Business Not permitted to be Self- Employed Renewal of the Stamp 1G registration should be applied for annually, and after 5years on a Stamp 1G, you may apply for a Stamp 4 Periods spent on Stamp 1G are considered as reckonable residence for the purpose of making an application for Citizenship/Naturalisation Stamp 2 indicates permission to study a full time course on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 2 is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services (e.g. public hospitals) unless you have an entitlement via other means. You can work in casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours per week during holidays. You must not engage in any other business or trade. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 2 if you have permission to study the following: English language Higher national diploma Degree (undergraduate) Master's degree (postgraduate) PhD Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2 Stamp 2A indicates permission for full time study in Ireland for a course that is not on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP), for a specified period. Stamp 2A is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You cannot receive any benefits or use publicly funded services, eg public hospitals. You must have private medical insurance. You must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 2A in the following circumstances: Semester abroad (ie at an Irish university/college) Study at a private secondary school in Ireland Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 2A Stamp 3 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions Recently revised to: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/revised-immigration-arrangements-for-the-spouses-and-de-facto-partners-of-critical-skills-employment-permit-holders If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 3 if you have permission to: Volunteer, eg with a charity or non-profit Be a minister of religion Join your non-EEA/EU/Swiss spouse/civil partner or family member who is here based on a work permit Other Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 3 Stamp 4 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period, subject to conditions. Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. Summary of conditions You can take up employment and are not required to hold an Employment Permit. You can work in a profession, subject to conditions of the relevant professional or other bodies. You can establish and operate a business. You may access state funds and services as determined by Government departments or agencies. If you wish to stay in Ireland past the expiry date of your immigration permission, you must apply to renew your permission and registration before they expire. Examples when used You may be given Stamp 4 if you have had permission to work in Ireland: With a valid Critical Skills employment permit for 2 years With a valid employment permit for 5 years As a researcher (ie with a valid Hosting Agreement) for 2 years You may be given Stamp 4 if you are granted permission: To join your Irish spouse, civil partner or de-facto partner To join your EU/EEA or Swiss family member based on EU Treaty Rights To join a family member who has immigration permission based on Stamp 4EUFAM (ie EU Treaty Rights) To join your family member who is a recognised refugee or has been granted subsidiary protection To remain with your child who is an Irish citizen Under the Investor and Entrepreneur Programme (including spouse/partner & family) For Long Term Residence As a convention or programme refugee, or based on subsidiary protection Register or renew Register for the first time or renew based on Stamp 4 Stamp 5 indicates permission to stay in Ireland without limits on the time you can remain here, subject to other conditions. Stamp 5 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation. The stamp will be valid up to the expiry date on your passport. You may be given Stamp 5 if you have permission to: Remain in Ireland 'Without condition as to time' (WCATT) Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual-citizenship. You may be given Stamp 6 in your non-Irish passport if you have applied for permission to: Remain in Ireland 'Without condition'

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Our Staff Share Their Experience & Give Advice To Anyone Disappointed With Their Leaving Cert Results

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Future Jobs For Irish Youths

Future Jobs For Irish Youths

While the future is uncertain, what is certain is that by 2025, Irish workers and enterprises will be operating in a completely changed economy. Technology continues to herald new ways of doing business and new economic opportunities. This will present us with challenges, but also new possibilities. Lots of job roles will disappear or be redefined and emerging job roles will require new and different skillsets. In this blog we look at the sectors that hold the best chances for economic and job growth in the near future. Broadly the global economic performance and Ireland’s position are positive for the foreseeable future. With unemployment now at 4.8% and decreasing quarterly, all signals point towards continued, sustainable improvement. ICT Sector Ireland has become the global technology hub of choice when it comes to attracting the strategic business activities of ICT companies. This has earned Ireland the reputation for being the heart of ICT in Europe. The industry employs over 37,000 people and generates €35 billion in exports annually. With Ireland being the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. With a highly creative and talented workforce, an open economy and a competitive corporate tax environment, Ireland has successfully attracted eight of the top 10 global information technology companies to establish a significant presence here. Some facts about the ICT sector: Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Global leaders such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland. They have been joined by newer leading-edge giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter. Dublin is Europe's leading hub of innovative games companies with Big Fish, EA, Havok, DemonWare, PopCap, Zynga, Riot Games and Jolt all having a significant presence here. Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry “Ireland is now operating in the same ballpark as major science-funding countries around the world” - Professor Mark Ferguson, SFI Director Already one of Ireland’s best performing industries, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is set to grow even further in the future. With a growing and ageing population worldwide, the number and degree of health-related issues is continuously on the rise. People will always need medical care ensuring a continued demand for research, development and production of new drugs. There are now over 30,000 people employed in the industry. This trend looks set to continue into 2020 with major expansions of many of the big pharma players across the country. The IDA reports the biopharmaceutical industry has made a capital investment of approximately €10 billion in new facilities in Ireland, in the last 10 years. This represents one of the largest investments in new biotech facilities anywhere in the world. As a result of the growth in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device industries in Ireland, it is very likely that a student about to graduate with a third level qualification in science will find interesting employment in one of the following areas; research, manufacturing, regulation or sales and marketing. Some relevant facts about pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector: No. 10 of the top 10 world's pharmaceutical companies 7th largest exporter of medical and pharmaceutical products in the world in 2014 €39 billion in annual exports of pharma, bio and chemistry produce 75 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland 40 FDA approved pharma and biopharma plants Financial Sector The financial services jobs market for accountancy and finance professionals continued its upwards growth trend last year. Even without the added benefit of companies relocating to Ireland post Brexit, the confidence of both employer and employee alike has produced a healthy landscape with more opportunity for those who wish to change jobs. There is no doubt Brexit has been a major contributor to the growth in the financial services jobs market. We have seen major international companies relocate operations to Dublin and others who already have a presence here have laid out plans to significantly increase their headcount. This is all positive news for students studying in this area. Not only does this create opportunities that would not have existed without Brexit, it also increases churn in the market involving more established financial services companies in Ireland who subsequently end up with more vacancies themselves. Particularly for accountants, regulatory reporting accountants and in funds if you specialised in fund accounting, risk & control, depository, compliance and AML you will find interesting and worthwhile employment when you graduate. 42,000 people employed in the Financial Services Sector in Ireland 4th Largest Exporter of Financial Services in EU No. 1 location worldwide for Alternative Investment Funds All stats referneced from Future Jobs Ireland2019 Goverenment Doc and IDA.ie

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Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding

Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding

Not happy with your leaving cert results? Don’t worry, have a look at these famous people who received some painful rejections before they accomplished some amazing things. Walt Disney The man whose cartoon characters have given so much to generations of students and are still a huge part of peoples’ lives today. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”, according to his editor. And his bad luck didn’t end there, when he finally managed to get his own production company he had to file for bankruptcy because he couldn’t manage his money correctly. Luckily, he didn’t give up, moved to Hollywood and went on to become one of the greatest animators in the world. His creations have gone on to touch the lives of many and as well as being a successful production company, Disney also operates theme parks, a streaming service and stores worldwide. JK Rowling People know JK Rowling as one of the most successful female authors in the world. What people aren’t aware of, is the tremendous struggles she faced before Harry Potter was published. In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter but that same year her mother passed away and writing was put on hold. In 1992 she moved to Portugal to teach English where she met her husband and had a daughter. Sadly, in 1993 her marriage ended and she moved to Scotland to be close to her sister. At this time Rowling saw herself as a failure, she was divorced, jobless and broke. Rowling then began to focus her attention on Harry Potter. When her manuscript was completed, she sent it to 12 publishers and was rejected by all 12 before it was accepted by a small publishing company, Bloomsbury and the rest as they say is history. Photo: Daniel Ogren Flickr Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey had an extremely difficult start in life, she was raised in rough conditions and was the victim of sexual abuse from the age of 9. When she was 14 however, she was given the opportunity to live with her father who encouraged her to pursue her education and later she went on to university to study communications. Her difficulty didn’t stop there, as after gaining a job as an evening news reporter, she was fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Her boss told her she was “unfit for television news”. Oprah laughs about this now and even admits she wasn’t cut out for news reporting because she became too emotionally invested in the people and the stories. She was then given a talk show slot on the same television network and the rest is history. Photo: Ian Evenstar Flickr Katy Perry Most people know the name Katy Perry but few know of the struggle she went through to be the success she is today. In 2001, Katy Perry who was then Katy Hudson released an unsuccessful Christian album that only sold 200 copies and was subsequently dropped from her label. She then went on to sign with Island Def Jam in 2003 where she was also dropped. Then she was set to be the front woman of a band called The Matrix and that contract was also terminated before they released any music. It wasn’t until she signed with Capitol Music Group and released, I Kissed a Girl that her music career really took off. Photo: Joella Marano Stephen King One of the world’s most famous authors, Stephen King has written over 50 novels and has had many of his novels produced as films. However, King didn’t always have it easy. In fact, before his first novel Carrie was published, he threw it in the bin. It had been rejected 30 times and King decided he’d had enough. It was his wife that retrieved it from the trash and told him to keep trying, which is a good thing considering how successful that book became and his other books to follow. Photo: Rogelio A. Galaviz C.​