Sleep Deprivation and Success

In many careers, people wear their lack of sleep as a badge of honor. Proof of their dedication to the success of the company, their baggy eyes and disheveled hair show to the coworkers how far they are willing to go for their job.

However, the long-term effects of this behavior are striking and overwhelmingly negative. Chronic sleep loss damages the brain as well as the body and can hurt your overall performance on the job. To improve at work, it seems, requires a good night’s sleep.

One of the brain areas that sleep deprivation has the biggest effect on is the hippocampus. This area is responsible for storing memories and encoding new information. This is bad if your work requires you to be constantly leaning new skills and processing new information. When you sleep, the brain replays events from the day, helping information to stick. Without adequate sleep, yesterday’s meeting may be lost forever.

Without sleep, you also tend to make riskier decisions during the day and are less able to judge your own state of mind. This is dangerous for people in leadership, as businesses depend on these people to make the right call in high-pressure situations. Being a leader requires trust and it’s difficult to trust someone who consistently makes risky calls against the benefit of the other employees. So, while you may feel obliged to show your work ethic by pulling late hours and still making it to the office early, make sure you are reaching your full potential by getting a full night’s rest.

Ken Wargo is a veteran project manager with experience in sales and finance. He has the ability to accomplish challenging goals no matter the workload.

Ken Wargo

How To Maintain Professionalism in the Work Place

Ken Wargo

It is important to be professional at work reasons that both affect you, your colleagues, and your employer. Professionalism in the workplace leads to promotions and raises for you, respect from your colleagues, and excellent evaluation reports from your employer. Here are three tips on how to maintain professionalism at your workplace.

  • Always make sure that you are on time for work in the morning and on time for appointments throughout the workday. Timeliness is expected of you and punctuality shows that you care about your job. You should make a habit of being on time to everything.
  • Read the company memos that circulate the office, read the website updates, ready the company mailbox, and stay on top of company news. This will make a point of information for your colleagues and a good resource for your bosses. You will gain respect from your colleagues and bosses if you are a point of information for them.
  • Do your best to stay away from office politics and gossip. If you participate in workplace drama, you aren't likely to grow in your company because opinions of you will be divided. You want to establish a reputation as a professional and reputable colleague. People will see you as more reliable this way too.

Ken Wargo has close to a decade of leadership and project management experience. He thrives in team building projects and takes his employment for seriously. He is an excellent analytical thinker, has a strong work ethic, and excels in exceeding company expectations.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills are essential if you want to have a successful career. Lots of people tell you this, but not everybody can explain to you what those skills are exactly. Here are three important critical thinking skills that will aid you in your career development.

The first critical thinking skill is the ability to evaluate. You need to be able to determine if the information you are receiving is accurate and useful. You determine this by evaluating the person you are receiving it from. You should evaluate that person's experience, background, past success, or their opinions to determine if what they are presenting is useful and accurate. You should not act on every piece of information that you receive because not everything will be useful. This is where evaluating comes into play because it will allow you to determine what to consider and what to discard.

The second important critical thinking skill is the ability to explain. Explanation means that you not only understand and can restate information but that you can add a new perspective and additional clarity to the information that you are presenting to other people. Essentially, this is the ability to explain information to others so that they fully understand that information. Explanation is not simply restating what you have been told, it is explaining information in a way that shows you have a clear and developed understanding of that information. A good way to measure you explanation skills is to see if you can present the same information in two different ways.

The third critical thinking skill is the ability to self-regulate. An example of self-regulation could be when you are helping a customer, but you realize that you have a colleague that is more knowledgeable in an area that will serve the customer better. You decide to transfer that customer or introduce that customer to your colleague because you understand that your colleague will be of better service. You have to be able to separate your personal bias and self-interest for the betterment of the greater good. Thus regulating yourself.

Ken Wargo is an excellent critical thinker whose career has benefitted significantly from his critical thinking skills.

Ken Wargo

Ken Wargo - Overcoming Fear

Overcoming fear is a huge challenge that many people must face on the road to becoming successful and happy in life. Fear, especially fear of failure, is often the root cause of someone choosing not to try a new hobby or explore a new career path. This is unfortunate, as people often learn more from their failures than from their successes.

This means constantly choosing to take risks instead of playing it safe; leaving the comfort of a secure job to pursue a passion; and, treating each failure as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Think of one area of your life that you wish you could change. What is keeping you from making the change? For nine out of ten people, the answer is that they’re afraid to leave the comfort zone of doing something they are familiar with to try something where the outcome is uncertain. All this will leave you with is the regret of not knowing what might have been.

You’ve heard the age-old question many times before, “What’s the worst that can happen? Is it going to kill you?” Death may not be the worst thing that can happen,. The worst thing just might be never reaching your full potential as you let opportunities fall through your fingers. It’s a difficult step to take, to take that risk, make that first step, but you will never know what you are capable of without at least trying to take the risk of chasing your dreams.

Ken Wargo is a veteran project manager with experience in sales and finance. He has the ability to accomplish challenging goals no matter the workload.

Reducing the Influence of Toxic People

Everyone has to deal with difficult people at some point in their lives. Some have to deal with a difficult and toxic person every single day. These interactions can be emotionally draining, especially if you dwell on these interactions well in advance of the actual encounter. The keys to success when it comes to managing hard-to-deal-with people are having a clear purpose, controlling emotions, and finding common ground.

In order to limit the effect of the toxic people in your life, it is best to go into each encounter with a clear purpose. This way you will be able to be direct and forthcoming about your needs and keep unnecessary small talk to a minimum. The goal is to keep the interaction as short as possible, limiting the impact the person has on your day. Often, especially in work environments, hard interactions are unavoidable, but if you know what you need and can state it as clearly and directly as possible, then you will be better able to control the influence of these people on your life.

It is also important to control your emotions when dealing with toxic people. Many times, toxic people will try to use your emotional state to draw you into their world, transferring their emotional stress onto you. By keeping a level head and staying focused on the task at hand, you will negate their ability drag you down.

Ken Wargo is a veteran project manager with experience in sales and finance. He has the ability to accomplish challenging goals no matter the workload.

Ken Wargo

  Tips for Maintaining Work/Life Balance

Getting ahead in today’s work environment can seem like an impossible task. There are always more things to do, more problems to solve, and every step forward feels like it takes the whole day. In light of this, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between work and personal life. Without this balance, work can become all-consuming, leading to more stress and less happiness in the long run. Here are some tips for finding the right work life balance.

Build your social life into your calendar. When you plan your downtime in advance, you are more likely to manage your work time better to avoid having to cancel on people. Having fun events on the schedule also gives you motivation to work harder in advance to have time.

Spend less time on wasteful activities. If you find yourself browsing social media or gossiping with coworkers while at work, you may be spending more time at your job than you have to. Making an effort to focus on what needs to get done will get you out of work faster, with more time to spend on activities that enrich your life.

Exercise in the morning. It may seem counterintuitive to spend more time on an activity like working out, but by exercising you will have more energy later to do the things you love. Regular exercise also increases your focus, helping you finish tasks more efficiently.

Ken Wargo is a veteran project manager with experience in sales and finance. He has the ability to accomplish challenging goals no matter the workload.

Ken Wargo