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August 13, 2014
For success on the job, few can argue against the notion that staying focused and being efficient are key components. But how do we pull this off effectively? Dr. Joelle K. Jay, principal at the Leadership Research Institute and author of The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership, offered us some insight. Finding focus, she said, can be as simple as taking five minutes out of your work day to craft a to-do list. "The defined parameter can help you find focus and slow down and take control," she explained.

Next, advised Jay, prioritize your list by "energy level" -- that is, how much time and effort it will take to accomplish each task, so that you can quickly tick off things like sending an email or set aside an appropriate amount of time to meet with a colleague about an intensive project.

Finally, make the most of the time you have -- and escape if you need to. "Try removing yourself into a quiet space or empty conference room where you won't be disturbed, at least long enough to get focused and be productive," said Jay. By sticking to this routine, before you know it you'll see the fruits of your labor -- and others will likely take notice as well.

Valerie Berrios
Managing Editor, Mediabistro

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Jobs Recovery Marches on, But at Slower Pace (CNNMoney)
The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number was a bit disappointing after 298,000 jobs were added in June, but still the broader trend remains "respectable," economists said. Over the past six months, the economy has added 1.5 million jobs, marking the strongest six months for hiring since 2006.

Some 16 Percent of Large Employers Plan to Still Offer 'Skinny' Health Plans (TLNT)
A survey released Aug. 13 by the National Business Group on Health reported that nearly one company in six plans to offer health coverage that doesn't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements for value and affordability. Many thought such low-benefit "skinny plans" would be history once the health law was fully implemented this year.

The Busy Recruiter's Guide to a Great Job Posting in 30 Minutes or Less (The Hiring Site)
Things you can do in 30 minutes or less: have a pizza delivered, squeeze in a power workout and, yes, even write a smashing job posting. We know you're swamped, and finding the time to sit down and craft a compelling job posting can be elusive. But now you have a handy guide that can help get the job done in less time than you may have previously imagined possible.

Managing Morale, Productivity Amid Looming Change (Workforce)
When news broke in mid-July that technology giant Microsoft Corp. planned to cut roughly 18,000 jobs -- or 14 percent of its workforce -- in the next year, one can only imagine the sinking feeling many of the company's employees must have felt. As a result, talent managers have to walk a fine line: help communicate the change while maintaining the productivity and morale of employees throughout the process, especially those whose jobs are not threatened.

4 Signs You're Too Smart for Your Job (Business Insider)
If you're always bored at the office, your coworkers don't inspire you, or you don't feel challenged by your work, you may be too smart for your job. It might not seem like a bad thing -- maybe the work's easy, or you don't have to overexert yourself -- but being overqualified can leave you frustrated and angry after time, especially if your manager never utilizes your skill set or gives you challenging projects.

Retention -- The Top 10 Ways a Manager Can Identify Who Is About to Quit (
There are few things that are more shocking to a manager than to have one of his top-performing employees suddenly quit on them. Some managers have described it as the equivalent to a "kick in the gut." It is a shock not only because losing a key employee will damage your business results, but also because managers hate surprises, and as a result, they frequently wonder how they missed the signals that this person was going to leave.

Six Subtle Signs You're About to Lose Your Job (WSJ)
Jill Abramson got abruptly fired in May as executive editor of The New York Times -- an ouster that she didn't see coming, she said in a TV interview. About 70 percent of unemployed executives now counseled by Shields Meneley Partners overlooked or ignored cumulative clues about the falling ax, estimates Gail Meneley, co-founder of the career-transition firm. Increased time pressures further hamper executives' awareness about an imminent job loss.

5 Lesser-Known Email Etiquette Rules You Might Be Breaking (U.S. News and World Report)
In the two decades since email began saturating most American workplaces, most people have come to agree on some basic etiquette rules, such as don't reply-all when you don't need to and avoid using all caps unless you're screaming at someone. But there are finer points of email etiquette that aren't as universally acknowledged but can make you a far more effective emailer. Here are five lesser-known email etiquette breaches that you might still make.

Say 'No' to Interruptions, 'Yes' to Better Work (ScienceDaily)
Modern office workers are expected to multitask regularly, often juggling multiple projects and priorities over the course of a day. Studies have shown that the typical employee in an office environment is interrupted up to six times per hour, but how does that impact the finished product? New research published in Human Factors evaluates how ongoing interruptions can negatively affect the quality of work.

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