Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are YOU a Multitasker?

Why no one should multitask — and how I finally stopped

Usually, at any given time, I have about 10 to 20 tabs open on Chrome. I'm also juggling several tasks at once: answering emails as they come in, updating my organization's social media channels, writing an article, browsing the news — you get the picture.
I used to think this method of tackling everything at once made me more efficient, but I've started to notice that it actually takes longer to finish anything. I'll write a couple lines of a piece for The Muse, jump over Twitter and churn out a tweet, think of a message I need to send and finally jump back to my Word doc — only to have completely lost my train of thought.
This is called "the myth of multitasking," and I'm not the first to realize that it harms our work. In fact, research shows that multitasking lowers productivity by up to 40% and increases errors and stress.
Why, then, is multitasking still a thing? And, more importantly, how can multitaskers like me stop once and for all?

It feels good

Just like eating an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting (guilty) can give you a temporary boost, it turns out there's a positive emotional response associated with multitasking.
A study from the Ohio State University found those who multitask feel better — not because they got more done (their performance was actually impaired) but because they perceived they were getting more done. The subjects, explains study author Zheng Wang, "seem to be misperceiving the positive feelings they get from multitasking. They are not being more productive — they just feel more emotionally satisfied from their work."
So by recognizing that my multitasking is holding me back, I've already made some progress.My next step (and yours)? To eradicate it. When I sat down to think about it, I pinpointed three key reasons I multitask: The nature of internet browsing making it easy to flip-flop between web pages, my lack of organization and my propensity to get bored when I spend a long time on one task.
Here's how I tackled them, one by one.

One tab

Remember all of those open tabs I mentioned? Well, I'm not alone. According to a Mozilla Firefox study, most people have around five to 10 tabs open at one time.
I often leave websites open if I know I'll have to go back and reference them while I'm working. However, that's no excuse for having Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook up — especially because I've gotten into the habit of instantly checking them whenever I see a notification pop up in their tab.
To force myself to focus, I downloaded OneTab a Chrome extension that converts all of your open tabs into a hyperlinked list.

It's amazing how even just the visual effect of reducing my browser to one website improves my concentration, like the virtual version of cleaning my desk. Plus, it's much harder to do three things at once when I'm only looking at one.

Make a list

One of the reasons I skip from project to project throughout the day is because I often remember something I have to do midway through something else. Suddenly, I feel compelled to complete this new task — either because it's more urgent, or I don't want to forget it again, or simply because what I'm currently working on isn't very entertaining.
However, I've found I can solve all of these problems by making a better to-do list.
I'm far from the first professional (or Muser) to champion the power of a task list, so this is not revolutionary advice.
However, if like me, your to-do list is scattered across various platforms — a physical planner, an app like Evernote, a desk calendar, Google Calendar, a notepad, an extension like Any.Do, and so on — you may want to consider concentrating them into a single source.
That's what I did. I decided to exclusively use my planner — since I can use it for scheduling both dates and assignments — and refused to write reminders anywhere else.
Similar to OneTab, this instantly made me feel more organized. It also guaranteed I never suddenly realized I was forgetting a deadline or project, so I could work on one thing in peace.

Chunk it out

Another reason I multitask is because I crave variety. While the "addictive nature" of multi-tasking hasn't been well-studied, one researcher has likened it to skydiving or playing video games, activities in which we "get a buzz from novelty and variety."

Fighting against my impulses reminded me of the Pomodoro Technique, a work method that has you work in set increments, then take periodic breaks. For example, you complete three cycles of working for 25 minutes and then rest for five. It's designed to fight procrastination, but I wondered if assigning myself to work solely on one project for a set amount of time could have the same effect on my tendency to multitask.
It definitely did. For longer projects, I found my momentum around the 20-minute mark, whereas before I had been jumping to something different every five or 10 minutes. And with the shorter tasks, after a couple of days I didn't even need a timer — I could just work until they were done.
When I began this article, I was a chronic multitasker. However, as I write these last sentences, I'm proud to report that not only do I have just one tab open, but this is the sole thing I've been working on for the past 20 minutes. I may still have an obsessive need to check my email — but I'll save that problem for next week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Worlco?... Whats Worlco?

What We Do...
WORLCO is a Total Information Systems staffing 

organization founded in 1982. Our company specializes in 

Permanent Placement, Contract Consulting and Customized 

Staffing Solutions for Information Technology organizations

 and the technical pre-screening of the employment 

marketplace on behalf of the candidates we represent.

Worlco provides a full range of recruiting and consulting 

services relating to the computer industry. Contingency fee

 placement, executive search, contract consulting services 

and customized staffing programs are some of the services    

we provide locally, nationally and internationally. Through

our worldwide affiliates, we are able to present a selection of 

qualified candidates when a client is interested in relocating


Be on the look our for our job posts! You can also visit 

Our Website ANYTIME to see what job opportunities

 we have available!

Be sure to "LIKE" us on Facebook to see weekly job advertisements!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Long Should Someone Stay at a Job?

How Long Should Someone Stay at a Job?

Answer by Quora user Michael O. Church, programmer and engineer.

It depends on how much you're learning and what the job is doing for your career.
In general, the numbers you want to remember are 8, 18, 48 and 72.

Future employers may perceive staying at a job for under eight months as a negative mark on your resume, unless you can point to an objective reason for your short stay (such as a large corporate action). This time period suggests that you didn't pass your six-month review or the first performance cycle. You may want to omit the job and move any accomplishments to your freelance section if you stayed for a shorter time period.
One exception to this rule is if you're affected by a news-making layoff in the first year, or ever. An unannounced small layoff (under 5% of your division) will probably look performance-related, and you should probably omit it, but when you're affected by a known layoff (such as a plant closing), there's no shame in it. With, say, a seven-month job that ended due to a large-scale, non-performance layoff, you are better off to list it on your resume.

18 months is the socially accepted minimum for staying at a job. It suggests that you survived at least one review cycle — reviews are typically annual, and employees aren't generally reviewed until they've been at the company for six months; that's where the 18-month derivation comes from — and that you achieved something in order to be retained for that long.

You can go down to nine months if you have a really good explanation, like a corporate action (merger, upper management change) that affected the nature of your work, or a family-related reason. If you come in under 18 months for some reason, it helps if you can establish that you did pass at least one performance review. (A bonus, or a round of layoffs that you survived, would suffice.)
If you had one job where you were (possibly unintentionally) bait-and-switched and you left at eight months, that's understandable. If you have five of these jobs, it looks like you're the problem. Similarly, if you leave every time the nature of the work changes, HR cynics will likely be skeptical.
Ideally, you should try to make a job span, at the minimum, 15 months spanning three calendar years (e.g. October 2014 — January 2016) or 18 months spanning two. All else being equal, two years is better than 18 months, and three years is better than two, and four is better than three. The advantage gained each month isn't enough to merit passing up obviously superior opportunities, but it does mean that you're best off to avoid movements that don't have an obvious benefit.
Four years (48 months) will get you "full credit" for working at a company, unless something makes it clear that you were an under-performer or stagnating. If you have an increasing scope of accomplishments, and preferably at least one title change, you're in good shape. If you haven't been promoted and your projects aren't getting better, you're still okay at this point — but you have approximately two years in which you can make your next move.

Six years (72 months) is the point at which it starts to hurt you if you're not getting promoted or receiving better projects. Four years with an on-boarding year and then a flat trend or lateral moves is fine; four years means you did your job, gave the company a thorough chance, didn't piss off too many people and moved on. Six or more years without an obvious record of promotion may suggest that you're unambitious and, while not necessarily expendable, thoroughly mediocre. If you keep getting promoted, however, there's no upper limit on how long you can stay at a job

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