Health and Wellness

How To Deal When Everything Feels A Little Crazy

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Sometimes everything gets a little crazy, you know the times I’m talking about. When you show up to work on a Monday, and even though everything was perfectly fine on Friday, it has all gone up in flames. You yourself have 30 unread emails and 8 missed calls, every single one of your account reps has problems that require your immediate attention, and your office manager is gone this week. So what can you do to not lose your mind? We have a few tips to help get you through.

Take A Deep Breath

While this may seem obvious, it can make a big difference. Taking a minute to take a few deep breaths allows you to slow down and reduces stress immediately. Taking the time to dial back your stress levels lets you move forward with a clearer head to deal with the problems at hand.

Do A Quick Evaluation

Next do a quick evaluation of what needs to be done, making a list usually helps the most. It shows you exactly what all needs to be done and gives you a quick reference as you move forward. Making a list also makes everything feel a little more manageable; when you can see what your priorities are it is easy to get more things done, without feeling as overwhelmed.

See Who Really Needs Help

You know your people best, so take a moment to see who actually needs your help right away. If your most efficient, highest ranking guys are asking for you, it’s probably pretty important, especially if they don’t usually need you. If it is lower level, the problem might be able to be addressed by someone besides you. Ask your higher-ranking employees to deal with some of those questions while you work on the more pressing issues.

Take It One Thing At A Time

This is where your list will really come in handy, take each task one thing at a time. When there are a million things that need to get done, it can be easy to try and work on as many of them at once at possible, but all that accomplishes is a bunch of tasks that are half done or not done well. Taking each thing on its own means that you can get it done, and get it done right the first time.

Accept That Not Everything Is Going To Get Done

This might be the hardest part of dealing with work when it is crazy, but it is important! Not everything is going to get done, and it doesn’t need to. When things go crazy quick, it feels like it all has to be dealt with immediately, but it doesn’t. Use your list here again, see what can wait a day or two, or a week or two. If it isn’t going to matter tomorrow, don’t let it make today harder.

Using Small Steps To Make Big Changes

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The New Year gives people an opportunity to make changes. While you can make changes at any point in time, the beginning of the year gives some people the motivation, determination, or whatever else it is that they need to actually get up and change. But that doesn’t actually make changing any easier. Making changes to your life, no matter what kind of change it is, is hard. There really is no other way to put it. But even though it can be hard, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible; you just need to take little steps in the right direction.

No matter the type of change you are making, little steps and small goals are the most effective way to succeed. The best way to set this up is to write it all down, so you remember what you are working towards and how you are doing it. Start by writing your big goal down at the top of the page, and then follow it with 3 or 4 “steps” or mini-goals you can take to reach your goal. For example:

Goal: Be healthier

  1. Gym 3 days/week
  2. Drink tea instead of soda
  3. Eating out 1x/week

These mini-goals will help you to reach your big goal, and will make it easier to get you there. Start with step one and focus just on that for as long as need. Some people like to set dates they want to have each mini-goal completed by to keep themselves moving; so you could say you want to go the gym consistently three days a week and have it be a habit (or be completed two months after you start). The timeline is totally up to you, with the point being that it makes you keep moving forward with your goals.

This set-up can be used for any sort of goals, personal or professional, individual or as a company. It gives every one the opportunity to successfully make changes and improvements and move their lives forward. Use this tried and true template (trust us, we tried it!) to get to work on creating the best you for yourself and for your company in 2019!

Three Tips For Handling Stress At The Busiest Times Of The Year

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Depending on the region you live in work can ebb and flow based on the weather. For the most part, summer and fall are the busiest times of year for most contractors and public adjusters because the weather is best for building, and storms are usually the most damaging. That also means that you are your busiest during those times as well, and things can get crazy in a hurry.

Regardless of when your company is at its busiest, it can get difficult to get everything accomplished and not feel like your hair is on fire 99% of the time. Handling stress when almost everything you’re working on needed to be done yesterday, and you have more and more tasks coming in daily can be difficult, which is why we compiled our top three tips for handling stress at the busiest times of the year.

Take Little Breaks)

When you are really stressed taking a break can seem like a waste of time that is only going to make your day harder, but more often than not, taking even a small break can make your day a lot easier. Giving yourself even five minutes to step away from work and clear your head will help you to re-focus and feel more capable when you sit back down at your desk or head to your next inspection.

Some of the ways that our employees take little breaks are:

  • Going to fill-up their water bottle and taking a lap around the office
  • Focused deep breathing your car
  • Having a snack or actively taking a quick lunch break
  • Stepping out to get a coffee or tea

Most of these things take only a few minutes but they give you a chance to step away from work a few times each day, and remind yourself that you will be able to get everything done.

Find Time For You)

For a lot people, work isn’t the only thing that demands your attention. Family, friends, and other plans are there as well, pulling you in different directions and adding to your workload. When work gets stressful, it can make your other obligations seem more stressful as well (and make it easier to take your stress out on them). One good way to combat all that stress, is to find time for you when things get crazy.

While it might seem like that means doing more things, taking even 10 or 15 minutes for yourself can be a game changer. Some of the things Scoperite employees like to do for themselves are:

  • Get up early to have time drink your coffee by yourself
  • Stay up a little later than your family to read, watch TV, etc.
  • Meditate or deep breathe using a guided app
  • Pick a household chore that you don’t mind doing to do by yourself and focus only on that

You know what works best for you, what puts you in the best mood, so find the time to do it every day. You will thank yourself later.

Don’t Over-Plan)

When there is a lot to do, it is easy to over-plan your days and over-estimate your ability to get things done. During busy times of the year, new tasks pop-up and demand your time every single day, despite the tasks you already had planned for the day.

For every day, plan out the few things that absolutely have to get done; whether it is appointments with homeowners, sending out invoices, or getting an estimate written, plan what has to be done that day and nothing else. That way if other things come up you still have time for them, and if nothing else happens, you can add a few more things to your list and knock those out early. When things get crazy, it is easier to go with the flow rather than feel overwhelmed with each new task that gets added to your to-do list.

Why It’s Important To Unplug From Work

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How frequently have you included that you will “still have your phone on you” in your out-of-office message? Or checked emails when you get home from a Saturday night out with friends? When was the last time you actually unplugged from work entirely?

Phones, tablets, and mobile technologies have made work easier in a lot of ways; you can work from home rather than the office, get calls when you’re away from your desk, and make sure you don’t forget about that Saturday at 8AM phone meeting your boss scheduled you for. But all the technology has also made it a lot harder to unplug from work and walk away every once in a while.

Taking the time to truly unplug from work is becoming more and more important as people’s lives continue to get busier and more stressful. Being constantly connected means work is happening when you are at dinner with your friends, watching a movie with your family, and at 2AM when you get up to respond to a note you received earlier that day. It makes work the most present thing in your life, which can wear you down really fast. Even if you greatly enjoy your work, when it consumes most of your time you start to miss out on other things you enjoy, and sometimes, you stop liking your work as much as well.

Unplugging, and we mean really unplugging, can help you get back to enjoying work and enjoying your life. Whether that means turning off your notifications on Friday at 5 and having your weekend to yourself, or going all the way out-of-office with no emails and no phone calls that can be received. Taking the time away isn’t going to end your career or set you years behind, but it will make you more motivated when you return; when you haven’t spent all weekend thinking about problems you need to solve on Monday, the problems are easier to solve because you are approaching them with fresh eyes.

Disconnecting lets you get back to being just you, and giving work you a break; take advantage of that. Let yourself do what you love when you have the time off, so that you can you enjoy your work when you are doing that.

Managing Your Expectations: What You Can Do In A Day

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, home restoration and insurance claims are time-consuming. The work seems almost never ending most of the time, and it can get complicated and stressful trying to get everything done.

More often than not, we stretch ourselves too thin; we plan too many tasks for each day and end up overwhelmed and frustrated. When there are so many things that need to get done, it is easy to look at it and think “Yeah, I can do that all today,” but in reality we have a tendency to overestimate our abilities and overestimate what we can actually accomplish in a day.

What you can do in a day is very dependent on you, how you do your work, and what tasks you have to complete; be it running around to inspections and appointments with homeowners or spending the day in the office cranking out estimates and invoices, you know how much you can get done. Most people like to think that they can get more done than they really can. They don’t account for traffic, computer updates, client phone calls, and whatever else takes you away from your to-do list.

Learning how to factor in all those problems and potential set-backs into your day is how you start to truly manage your expectations, and realize what you can accomplish in one day. If your day is filled with appointments, you allocate the hour for each appointment, but you also allocate drive time, or if you know a customer is difficult you allocate additional time for their inspection. Planning for the likely hindrances means that you are more likely to accomplish all tasks you set for the day, and you may still have time for additional things.

When you set too many things to be completed in one day, you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything at the end of the day; if the list is only half checked off, it looks like a failure and that is what people tend to dwell on. Even though you accomplished a lot and did what needed to be done, if you over-booked yourself, it seems like you didn’t accomplish enough and you add more stress to yourself. Setting a reasonable number of tasks for each day makes it easier to check all of them off, and feel like you did accomplish everything you set out to do, which will reduce some of the stress and make your workload feel more manageable.

It can be hard to switch to a system where you are appearing to do less in a day, so setting routines for managing your time can make it feel right. Try sitting down either the night before or first thing in the morning, and writing down the tasks that need to get done that day. If there seem like a lot, see what can be pushed, if it seems like not enough finish them first and if you have more time, do more then. This can also be done for the week if your schedule and tasks are not likely to change. Sit down and plan out each day; be realistic in what you know can be accomplished, and don’t stray from your plan as the week plays out. If things come up add them, or push them to a later date; you manage these tasks, so doing them in the most efficient way for you is going to make your life a lot less stressful and, hopefully, seem a lot less complicated.

Sick of Sitting? Check Out The Benefits of Using A Standing Desk

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At Scoperite, we value a healthy lifestyle, both at work and outside of work. For many people sitting at a desk all day makes feeling good at work a little harder, which is why we partnered with our friends at Attollo Desk to bring you the benefits of using a standing desk for parts of your day!

Attollo Desk was created to allow people to move more throughout their day and look great in your office! Attollo Desk isn’t too large or too clunky or too big of an eyesore like some other standing desks can be. Keep reading to see some of the benefits that the makers of Attollo Desk have found from using a standing desk!

1) Reduces Neck and Back Pain

Standing, instead of sitting crouched over the computer, can immediately reduce neck and back pain.

2) Lowers Risk of Cancer

More movement throughout your day can boost anti-oxidents that combat cancer causing agents.

3) Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Extended periods of sitting can increase your risk of heart disease to 147%

4) Increases Energy

Standing enables blood flow and sends oxygen to your muscles, giving you more energy and negating the need for that afternoon cup of coffee!

5) Increases Productivity

Studies have found that standing desk users are 54% more productive on a daily basis.

6) Can Make You Smarter

Prolonged periods of sitting reduces the thickness of the part of the brain that is critical for learning and memory.

7) Prevents Weight Gain

Excessive sitting is linked to excessive weight gain, because sitting inhibits an enzyme.

The Value of Taking A Vacation

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You know that feeling, the one where you really, really need a break? Like work and life have you so busy and wrapped up in everything that you would love to just walk away from it for even a day or two? How often have you acted on that feeling?

We are going to guess almost never.

Why though, why do people never act on that feeling? Never take the break, the vacation that they know they need. If you ask, most people will say it’s because there is too much work to get done, too many other commitments, too much to do.

But people never acknowledge the value of taking the vacation, of saying this will all be here in three days or a week and I can deal with it then. While the lead up to actually taking a vacation may be stressful, and add to your work load, there are so many more benefits to taking the vacation than there for not.

1) Disconnecting

Taking a vacation allows you to disconnect. It lets you set your email to out-of-office, leave your work phone at home, and not have to deal with constant contact. It gives you a chance to exist outside the world of technology and enjoy the moments that you are in. While it is easy to ignore the emails and phone calls on the weekends, it isn’t the same as being disconnected from them altogether. Being able to not hear the phone ringing versus just ignoring it ring, gives you an opportunity to forget and let work go for a few days.

2) Time with Family and Friends

It’s easy to say you see your family and friends enough. You have dinner with your spouse and kids every night, you see your friends for happy hour every Friday, but there is nothing like getting quality, uninterrupted time with the people you love. Getting to spend a few full days hanging out, doing whatever it is you and your family/friends enjoy doing does wonders for your mental health, and gets you feeling happy and good again.

3) Re-Set Your Brain

Being able to turn off your phone, be with your favorite people, and re-set has unprecedented value. Everyone’s brain just needs a break sometimes, to think about things besides safety reports, spreadsheets, budgets, and the list goes on. Taking a vacation lets you re-set your brain, and do things you enjoy like reading a book on the beach, hiking until you’re too tired to string together a sentence, and not think about work. That way when you go back, your brain is refreshed and reenergized, ready to take on tasks and problems in ways you may not have thought of if you hadn’t had the chance to re-set.

4) Remember Why You Like Your Job

Even when you love what you do, sometimes you don’t love your job, and that’s okay. Work can be really frustrating, whether it’s the people, the deadlines, the tasks, or even your drive there every day. Taking a vacation, getting away from all those frustrations can remind you what you do like about your job. More often than not getting to take a step back, seeing what other people do and have to deal with, can make you appreciate your job more, and remind you why you like what you do. Getting to not think about work for a few days can help you remember which tasks you like, which people you need to work with more, what you can do to solve more problems, and make your job better for you.

5 Ways Scoperite Employees Deal With Stress

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At Scoperite, one of our goals for the software is to make life simpler for contractors and public adjusters who choose to use our system. We hope that by making life simpler, it will take some of the stress out of your day, because let’s face it, this industry that we work in, is a high stress one.

Finding ways to deal with stress isn’t hard. Finding ways to deal with stress that work for you is hard. There is so much information available about how to deal with and minimize stress, but deciding which methods are right for you and your job can be confusing.  Scoperite employees have all worked in the construction/adjusting industry, and know how difficult it can be to deal with sometimes. In this article, we will dive into some of our employees tried-and-true methods to reduce stress, and hope that maybe one or two of them can end up working for you too!

1) Setting Hours for Yourself

Many construction companies have broad hours that they designate as “business hours.” These are the hours that clients and potential clients see on websites and contact materials, and they can be long; 7AM-7PM, 8AM-6PM, 6AM-8PM, or even 24 Hours A Day. While it is important to be available to your customers when you say you will be, you don’t always need all those hours every day.

If you have the capability to do so, setting your own hours within the designated workday can alleviate the feeling that you are constantly working, and never taking a break. It allows you to create a routine for yourself (that may have to change sometimes) that makes it easier to plan your days, get everything done, and not feel like you are wasting time waiting for the clock to hit closing. In the experience of our employees, setting hours for yourself motivates you to get more done when you are in those hours, rather than letting tasks run on and on because you feel you have to be working for 12 hours each day. Obviously, there are exceptions to this where you might need all 10 or 12 hours, or there is a crisis that requires your attention outside when you normally work, but for the most part setting hours for yourself helps ensure that you get time away from work, and reduce the stress from feeling like you need to be working all the time.

2) Turning Off Your Phone or Letting It Die

Phones and mobile technology have absolutely revolutionized how people work. It has allowed for more mobility, easier communication, and near constant contact with anyone. All that connectivity can be stressful, however, when you are trying to enjoy dinner with your family and the phone just won’t stop ringing. Several Scoperite employees have found that turning their phones off, or even just letting it die, when the business day is over helps to alleviate some of their stress.

When you are getting emails at 9:30 at night, it can be hard to actually turn your mind off, relax, and get a good night’s sleep, so taking away the ability for those emails to reach you for the time being will allow you to be more prepared to deal with them the next morning. More often than not, whatever someone needs, doesn’t need to be done right that moment, and it is healthier and less stressful on you to wait until the next day to deal with it; when you are rested, reset, and ready to deal with whatever needs to be taken care of.

3) Taking A Full Lunch Break

When the days are busy, and you are running from appointment to appointment it can often be easier to just swing through a drive-through, and eat a cheeseburger while you are en route instead of taking a break to actually eat lunch. While it might seem easier to eat as you go so you can get more done and, potentially, be done with work earlier, taking an actual break for lunch can be very beneficial.

Taking an actual break gives you a little bit of time to reset, even if it is just 15 minutes. When you are running and running all day, you wear yourself down, and a normal day can feel overwhelming because you just never stop. Taking a break lets you plan out the rest of your day, prioritize your next few tasks rather than letting them take over. If it’s been a bad morning, it lets you start over with a better afternoon, rather than continuing to run the day down the drain. Taking an actual break for lunch gives your body and mind a moment to relax, to de-stress, and gives you the opportunity to eat something healthier than a fast food cheeseburger as well.

4) Making A List or Using A Planner/Calendar

We know, we know, most people gave up paper planners about 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that some sort of planner can’t help you deal with your stress. Whether you have a computer calendar, an email calendar, a paper planner, or even a list on a sticky note, making a list of your tasks for the day can really reduce your stress.

Taking the time, even just 10 minutes, to sit-down each night or before your day starts in the morning to sort out and write down your tasks for the day makes your day more manageable. Having the list saves you from being overwhelmed most of the time; sure there are days where things pop up that have to get added to the list, but having a general idea of what you need to accomplish in just that one day can reduce the amount of stress you feel at work. It can also help on days where you feel like you need to be doing more because there is so much, to look at the list and see all the tasks you have accomplished, and to know that you are doing everything that needs to be done. Plus what is more satisfying than being able to cross off or delete a task once its done!

5) Using Meditation Apps

For several of our employees, meditation apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” have made a huge difference when it comes to reducing stress. The apps walk you through meditation and relaxing whether you have five minutes or twenty-five. Regardless of whether you do it at lunch, before bed, or when you just need a minute or two to relax, taking the time to clear your mind and reset yourself can help you deal with stressful situations and make you better at handling them when they happen.