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Do you have a co-worker who feels he is compelled to contribute something to every single topic that the group is discussing? Is there a friend who has never encountered a problem she can’t solve and isn’t open to other ideas? Does your uncle ramble on about what he knows about a subject to another family member who actually studied the field? You might be dealing with a know-it-all.

Keep it positive. A know-it-all can single-handedly create an unhealthy working environment. But don’t take it personally by assuming the person is attacking you or challenging your co-workers. Some of them have underlying personal problems that they’re covering up or they’re the type who just love to show off.

Set a boundary. Sometimes the know-it-all likes to intervene while you’re talking, so cut him/her off and say you appreciate their advice but you already have a better solution in mind. Be firm but polite when refusing their suggestion.

Don’t argue. Arguing with them is like talking to a wall. It’s a waste of time and energy. Even if you want to correct the person and say something not so nice, avoid it. You can also ignore the person and make up an excuse to leave when he/she starts to ramble on.

Be prepared. Know-it-alls love to show off especially during meetings. Make sure that there is an agenda for the meeting including a set amount of time for each speaker. Come in the meeting prepared with all the statistics and facts so that the know-it-all doesn’t hog all the attention.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to test the person’s knowledge about the topic. Go for detailed questions like their sources for the information.

Listen and talk calmly. Even if you want to hit the person on the head for underestimating your skills and knowledge, don’t get into a fight. Be calm when you ask probing questions to challenge their ideas and listen to what they have to say.

Practice empathy. Yes, they can be annoying, but the know-it-all might have some underlying self-confidence issues that he/she is trying to cover up by talking.

Offer a feedback. Sometimes you have to be assertive if you don’t want to create an awkward situation in a group where only the know-it-all is talking. Tell them that everyone should have a chance to speak and not to interrupt. There is a time for comments and corrections and that you’re not in a debate.

Talk to the person. Ask for a private conversation with the person to tell him/her about how the behavior is affecting the mood in the workplace. The result could be that the person will feel offended because know-it-alls are highly defensive, but remind them that their opinions are still valuable. Point out, however, that not everyone appreciates his/her method of giving feedback or advice.

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  • Filed under: Socializing 101
  • We all have our own favorite activities to spend the weekends with. For one, I am a big fan of taking time to clean my apartment and work on a cross-stitch project I am invested in for almost a year and a half now. Others like to meet up with friends and catch up with the many happenings in each other’s lives, while there are some who would prefer to stay at home and watch the latest soccer game.

    Regardless, weekends are our time in the week to do the things we want. Sure, we might have tons of pending paper work and summary reports to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t allow ourselves to take a break and recharge at times. Keep in mind that a sound mind and body greatly contributes to the improvement of our overall work performance.

    1. Gardening
    Get back in touch with nature through tending to a small garden in your backyard. Or if you live in a condo, invest in potted plants and don’t forget to water them regularly. Spending some of your weekends gardening can be therapeutic. It is also one way to cultivate your creativity by combining your plants’ texture and color and moving your pots around your home.

    2. Preparing healthy meals
    Sometimes, there are snacks you want to indulge in yet restrain yourself from doing so during the entire week. Though sweet treats are relatively high in calorie and sugar content, you can always consume them in moderation without putting your health at great risk. The weekends can be the perfect time to snack on some healthy treats such as frozen yogurt or fruits.

    3. Yoga
    Yoga is different from exercise mainly because it integrates meditation in the process. A lot of business executives are practicing yoga since it is one effective way to re-orient their outlook in life, as well as give them time to think — and just think. With their hectic work schedules, sometimes they don’t even get enough time in the day for silence. This makes yoga one perfect outlet for stress and all pent-up work related frustration.

    4. Brunch
    If you have no urgent commitments over the weekend, allow yourself to sleep a little bit longer and wake up in time for brunch. Give yourself a few additional hours for rest to greatly help in recharging your system. Going out for brunch can be both fun and relaxing, and if you invite your close friends over then it can provide you time to catch up with each other. It can also be one great opportunity to network yourself out there.

    5. Any creative outlet
    Finding a creative outlet is one way to relax your mind. If you’re into the arts, you can opt to paint over the weekend. Start with something simple, like painting the interior or other small things inside your residence. If you have a way with words, keep a journal and write regularly. If you want something more interesting, adult coloring books are trending lately since the creative activity offers the mind some relaxation and peace.

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  • Filed under: Hobbies
  • Let’s face it, as much as we want every workday to be productive, there are just some days when you find yourself falling short of your usual productivity. Downing cups of coffee doesn’t merely do the trick. Sometimes there are days where you find yourself staring at a blank computer screen itching to type just a single paragraph but to no avail — because all the words and your writing juice has left you.

    Regardless of wherever we are in the world, there are just best and worst days for dealing with just about anything. For one, Mondays are considered the best day to apply for a job or go for an interview. Tuesdays are considered the most effective day to send your customers emails because they are likely to check and open through them on this day of the week. Other than that, Tuesdays are also conducive for holding an efficient team meeting.

    In order to maximize work productivity for the entire week, it is ideal to pinpoint the best and worst days for efficiency. Note that this doesn’t absolutely apply to all cases at work, but generally, there are days found to be best at getting work done compared to others.

    Wednesday is for productivity
    The middle day of the workweek is found out to be best for working on projects. This is your best shot at achieving maximum work efficiency if you start on something new with your team, but this also doesn’t mean you must begin every project merely on Wednesdays after then. Generally, immediately working on new projects during the earlier days of the week is likely to yield satisfying outcomes.

    Wednesday is also for collaborations
    If you’re planning to set a meeting with your team, best schedule it on a Wednesday. Working with others in the middle of the week is regarded as an effective strategy — may it be working with people on your team, people from other departments, or external collaborations with consultants and potential customers. It is this day of the week when employees are observed to participate better in sharing their ideas out loud along with the others.

    Friday is deemed as least productive
    As the workweek comes to a close, employees are either mentally fatigued to begin working on a brand new project or busy finishing up their current tasks at hand. In such cases, they are too swamped to even deal with an entirely different project from scratch. Team members are also less inclined to participate in collaborations. Most are caught up on working independently to get their own tasks done and wrapping things up prior to the weekend.

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  • Filed under: Work Productivity
  • Caffeine is a substance extracted from coffee beans. When ingested, usually through coffee, it increases alertness by blocking receptors in the brain that receive the signals that tell you it’s time to go to sleep.

    As much as caffeine has positive effects in your system, it also has its negatives depending on how much you consume it. The higher the intake, the more tolerance you build to it, which can lead to what you know as “coffee jitters”.

    Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the effects of drinking too much coffee:

    1. Drink lots of water
    After five hundred milligrams, your body will start to signal that you are dehydrated. Your urine will start to look dark yellow or even orange, which is a sign that you need to drink more water.

    Caffeine doesn’t trigger dehydration unless you drank 500 milligrams. As long as you stick to one or two cups of coffee a day, you should be able to steer clear of heart palpitations and jumpiness.

    2. Do mild exercises
    A little bit of stretching might help here and there, as well as a walk down a hallway or a flight of stairs. Doing mild physical activity will help your system calm down, and will allow your heart to return to its normal rate.

    3. Eat a banana or two
    … or other foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium, including dark leafy greens such as bok choi.

    If the symptoms of drinking too much coffee, such as elevated heart rate, migraine, and nervousness, are relatively mild, you can easily wait them out by avoiding coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

    4. Take a few deep breaths
    Once you start experiencing the effects of too much caffeine, the first and most immediate method of calming down is to breathe deeply. The increased intake of oxygen in the lungs will counteract the antioxidant effects of caffeine and help your system return to normal.

    It also helps you to calm down psychologically. While it may not have any immediate effects, taking in more oxygen will allow your brain to return to a more normal rate as it is using up a lot of nutrients in the body.

    5. Get some shut-eye
    The best way to deal with the symptoms of drinking too much caffeine is to simply get enough sleep and limit your coffee consumption.

    The most common reasons for drinking more than three cups of coffee include not getting enough sleep the night before, which in turn leads to an increase in the signals in the brain telling you to sleep.

    While blocking them with increasing amounts of caffeine will give you a temporary boost of alertness and energy, your system will eventually crash once the effects wear off.

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  • Filed under: Health and Wellness
  • Whether it’s because your dryer isn’t working or that it’s raining heavily outside, chances are that you’ve had to line dry your clothes indoors. This makes rainy days quite the headache for anyone at home who’s ever had to do the laundry, especially for those who can’t afford dryers in the first place.

    However, there are still a few ways to dry your clothes indoors, such as:

    1. Keeping your house warm
    Heating your house (or the area where you will be drying your laundry) will help to pull out the moisture out of your wet clothes. However, if your house is still humid, it would still take a long time for your laundry to dry.

    2. Giving everything enough space
    A folding rack may work well for small things, such as socks and undergarments, but may not be cut out for bigger items such as shirts, pants, or even towels.

    When drying clothes indoors, the trick is to give everything enough space for air to flow, which means allowing space between them. One of the ways you can do this is by using the curtain and shower rods to hang your laundry, or even drape your jeans, dresses, and towels.

    3. Using a hairdryer
    A hairdryer may work well for smaller articles of clothing, such as socks, handkerchiefs, and undergarments. However, this may still take up a lot of power, and could result in your dryer overheating. Be sure to only use your hairdryer sparingly to keep it in good condition.

    4. Using a dehumidifier or an electric fan
    An electric fan will work fine when run on full blast, but this only works for moist (not wet) clothes, and will take just as long to dry. What you really need from an electric fan is to make sure the air constantly circulates around your clothes. If it becomes stale, your clothes could start to smell.

    This leaves you with a dehumidifier. Not only does this keep a room from being filled with mildew and dampness, but it also works great for drying large amounts of laundry. With a dehumidifier, laundry can be dried indoors with ease, and it’s also very easy to use.

    5. Use cold water when doing laundry
    Lastly, when doing laundry during the rainy days, it may seem counter-intuitive to use cold water if the weather itself is cold, but doing so could save you a lot of time and energy later on.

    Because doing laundry in bulk during this time will make it more likely for clothes with bright colors, such as red or orange, to bleed into other clothes, using cold water will prevent this from happening. Color-safe bleach will also be a big help to you in this case.

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  • Filed under: Smart Living
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