NEW COURSE LAUNCHED: Human Resource Skills for People Managers with Wits Business School  View Course | WhatsApp

Why some of us don’t have just one true calling

Career coach Emily Wapnick explains

While most of you have your careers mapped out for the next 5 years there are a few of us that don’t. There are plenty of us that get bored and want to try something different every few years or even months.

What’s right for you.

For those few, online short courses are perfect. They are great career enhancers. It allows you the time to work while building on your knowledge and skills in your new venture. Whether you are looking for that quick win when you approach your manager and go; “I want to start assisting the company project manager. Here is my certificate and this is what I’ve learnt.” Or just feel like a career change needs to happen soon, taking an online short course is one way of doing that.
It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to, even if you end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated. 

Be Inspired & Challenged

The below TED Talk by Emilie Wapnick has been viewed over 6 million times. It delves into those individuals that have multiple interests and creative pursuits. She’s even provided us with a name for them, multipotentialites.

Emilie explains three multipotentialite super powers.

  • Idea Synthesis – Combining two or more fields and creating something new at the intersection.
  • Rapid Learning – Multipotentialites are less afraid of trying new things and are always used to being beginners. Many of their skills are also transferable across disciplines.
  • Adaptability – The ability to morph into whatever you need to be.

Who is Emilie Wapnick?

Emilie Wapnick is an award-winning author, artist, career coach and community builder. Her work with multipotentialites has resulted in her published book Renaissance Business.  She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps people with many passions and creative pursuits integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University.

She’s been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Lifehacker. Her book How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up was published by HarperCollins in 2017 and won a Nautilus Book Award.

What are the five leadership styles?

top leadership styles

Not all leaders are created equal. Each business has different requirements and effective business management need varying leadership qualities to ensure success.

There are five different leadership styles that entrepreneurs and managers usually use. It is important for any aspiring leader to know the different styles in order to identify their own, or to be able to adapt should the business require it.

The five leadership styles

1. Participative
2. Autocratic
3. Laissez-Faire
4. Transformational
5. Servant

what is your leadership style

What is a participative leader?

This leadership style involves input from all employees, resulting in a decision that reflects the majority’s views. For example, if there is a company-wide problem, managers will inform the staff and a majority vote will determine the solution.

Why this works

It’s a lengthy decision-making process, but it has its benefits. It improves employee morale as they are given a voice and feel like their opinion matters. With participative leadership, employees will start taking an active role within the company and are more willing to accept workplace policies.

Famous participative leaders include Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America. When Toyota vehicles were recalled, Lentz appeared on a website Q&A to field any questions customers had.

The downside is that if a decision needs to be made fast, the participative style might not work as the participation process takes time.

What is an autocratic leader?

Autocratic leaders will inform everyone of a clear goal and will tell you how to get there. Everyone understands what role they play and are provided with guidelines if they need. Unlike participative leadership, if a new strategy is implemented, there is no input from subordinates. All goals, procedures, and tasks are decided by the leader and will be delegated amongst everyone. The team faces dire consequences if goals are not met.

Why this works

Firstly, if decisions need to be made quickly, autocratic leaders can make decisions without any pressure or stress. If there is a clear chain of command in the workplace, tasks get done more efficiently. This leadership style is also beneficial if you have employees who need extra guidance and rigid processes. The disadvantage of an autocratic leader is that there is often a divide between employee and employer in the workplace. This often leads to a hostile work environment and high staff turnover.

Famous autocratic leaders include businesswoman Martha Stewart, who was once described as a “scrupulous and meticulous boss”. However, Stewart has built a global empire using this leadership style. Director Ridley Scott is also considered an autocratic leader. He is known to be a perfectionist and expects his actors to know their positions and lines. This has worked well for him considering his box office success.

What is a Laissez-Faire leader?

‘Laissez-Faire’ is French and loosely translated it means ‘do as you will’. In terms of leadership style, it’s more laid back. This approach allows teams to explore creative strategies and drives innovation. You will usually find this kind of leader in a creative environment, where deadlines are not crucial and team members manage themselves. Employees are given the resources they need and what they do with it is up to them. The leader will provide the information and trusts the team to achieve a great result.

Why this works

In a creative working environment, independence is valued. Teams are highly motivated and usually meet requirements and deadlines without any guidance. A hands-off approach makes employees feel that they are trusted and in return, feel confident in their ability to perform the task.

Famous examples of Laissez-Faire leadership include Warren Buffet, who rarely intervened in the workplace and allowed employees to perform tasks without his help.

The leadership style does have its disadvantages, especially in an environment where deadlines need to be adhered to. With the leader uninvolved in many of the procedures, employees could often mistake this as disinterest, which could result in a poor performance.

What is a transformational leader?

Transformational leadership is someone who actively communicates any changes to employees and is always motivational. Team leads are good examples of this. Once they receive a task from management, they communicate what is needed and inspire the team to achieve this goal and maximise productivity. They also offer support to individuals in a team and encourage an open communication space.

Why this works

These leaders tend to be supportive and loyal. As a result, team members will mirror this attitude. No matter the workload, tackling this project and achieving the desired outcome will be the main priority of the team. This also results in a high retention rate, as employees feel that they have an ally within the company.

Sir Richard Branson is a famous transformational leader. His approach to management is that the key to success is to ensure that all employees are motivated: “If you can motivate your people, use their creative potential, you can get through the bad times and enjoy the good times together… if your employees are happy and smiling and enjoying their work, they will perform well.”

While it is the most common style used by management, this approach could backfire. The leader needs to be sure of the decisions made. If not, the team is put in the line of fire, not the leader. Employees are also increasingly motivated to achieve their goals and will work long hours and burn out while doing so.

What is a servant leader?

Servant leadership puts the spotlight on the employees, while management is usually working behind the scenes. Like participative leadership, decisions are made by a group instead of one person. Servant leadership toes the line between leader and servant. In a nutshell, they lead with the others in mind. You’ll find this approach at non-profit organisations, where the mission is key.

Why this works

A servant leader values diverse opinions and everyone’s contribution is taken into consideration. People working under this leadership will feel that they are contributing to something meaningful and always feel encouraged in the workplace.

Famous servant leaders include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, and Mahatma Gandhi – people who put the needs of others before their own.

This type of leadership is rare in a business environment and may not work, especially with deadlines. However, certain characteristics of this style can be used when motivating a team.

How do you find your leadership style?

Leadership style depends on personality type and playing to your strengths. You can also combine the above styles or switch between, depending on what the goals are. Online courses in management can also help you focus on finding your leadership approach.

Technology in the classroom is essential today

technology

Technology has become an essential part of our daily existence. We look to the palm of our hand to inform our daily routine. So, it should come as no surprise that technology in the classroom is essential for teaching in a world that keeps demanding constant change. Technology in the classroom holds major benefits for both students and teachers alike. Educational technology benefits the new dynamic online learning space, as the world keeps leaning towards teaching with technology as it makes our lives easier and the content we engage with, far more exciting.

Technology in the classroom has made learning more interactive

Technology has made learning more engaging and interactive than ever before. The traditional pen and paper was far mightier than the sword way back when, however, the world has changed rapidly over the past ten years. The new-age world is swamped with content. Whether it be Facebook or YouTube we constantly engage with online content and this is why technology in the classroom is so important.

Technology in the classroom keeps learning fun and fresh, adding new angles to content daily for more interactive learning experiences, which allows students to have fun while learning. The technology for teachers allows for a better classroom experience and with new educational apps, learning material can be accessed on demand and on the go, giving the world access to learning material quickly and easily.

Teaching with technology prepares students for the future

We are living in the future. The advent of the digital world has consumed us and as technology evolves and adapts, we constantly race towards the future at dizzying speeds. Technology in the classroom is crucial, as teaching with technology prepares students for the future.

Just think how scared older generations are of technology, some can not even muster the courage to turn a computer on. By infusing technology in the classroom we automatically prepare future generations for the next generational leap in human advancements.   

Technology in the classroom has improved learning results

One of the biggest educational technology benefits is the improved retention rate amongst students. Not only are students engaging with learning material, they understand it and so they remember it, committing it to their long-term memory.

The online learning edge

The world is constantly online. Huge leaps in technology allow companies to communicate across continents in real time with unique tools like Skype. The online world has given power back to the people. We can access a vast array of information on demand, quicker than ever before. A multiplicity of devices can connect to the internet and this has changed the learning environment.

Technology in the classroom, is not just in the classroom. New-age tech allows us to take the classroom with us at all times. This allows for minimal downtime from the workplace and cuts out annoying commutes to traditional learning establishments. Teaching with technology has also allowed people to learn very specifically focused skill-sets, which can be incorporated into a current role or used to tackle an entirely different job within an organisation.

Take time for an online course

Studying online short courses is easier than ever before. If you’re on the lookout for quality education that can propel your skills and your career to new heights in 2019, then MasterStart has a vast array of top online short courses.

Our unique packages offer course participants the opportunity to learn practical, real time working knowledge that can be implemented on the job, almost immediately.  

Keep checking back on our blog page for more informative Ed-Tech news that will inspire you to reach new heights in your professional life.

Importance of e-learning in organisations

importance of elearning

Only a mere 8% of companies currently make use of online learning platforms but that number is expected to almost double in the next year. The importance of e-learning can no longer be swept under the rug, it offers the kinds of benefits that traditional establishments just can’t keep up with.

The importance of e-learning in organisations is essential for growth and development. Companies have a responsibility to upskill staff and help them remain relevant in a world that is constantly shifting through dynamic, digital change. Companies are starting to recognise the importance of e-learning for the longevity of the organisation as a whole.

Can the workplace really transform into a classroom?

Thanks to technological advances, the importance of e-learning can be recognised and implemented into the workplace seamlessly. The workplace can be transformed into a classroom effectively to teach and upskill all sizes of staff compliments.

Traditionally, training needed to be outsourced entirely. This meant that a training area had to be hired and a lecturer needed to be present to teach people the learning material. Different types of tools of e-learning have this covered and truly transform the workplace into a classroom. All the course material is presented online and at the most appropriate time. Large groups can learn the same content at the same time, in the same space and interact with the material in real time. 

E-learning as an individual

Online learning is far more practical than attending traditional land-based establishments. The importance of e-learning particularly as an individual is highlighted by the reduction in costs incurred from studying, less downtime at the office resulting in higher productivity rates and the right tools to keep yourself updated in today’s digital age.

MasterStart recognises the importance of e-learning as an individual. Our unique courses are packaged and tailored around the users needs, providing you with on demand learning that is flexible and practical based. Our array of exciting online short courses will develop your skills and help you grow as an individual, allowing for career progression effortlessly.

Importance of e-learning as an organisation

Every organisation has a responsibility towards its’ employees when it comes to learning and development. MasterStart’s online learning platform for business allows any organisation to upskill multiple employees effortlessly.

We have an array of exciting packages that we can tailor towards your specific needs and goals as an organisation. We are dedicated to see the importance of e-learning grow to help Africa reach its full potential, with transformed, forward-thinking future leaders.

Getting to know MasterStart

MasterStart has a forward thinking online learning platform, which is easily accessible and effortless to use as an individual or business entity. We have devoted professionals who recognise the importance of e-learning and the benefit it holds, particularly on the African continent.

Our online short courses allow for flexible online learning that provides course participants with practical working skills that can be implemented on the job almost instantly. We cater for individuals as well as organisations, providing you with tools of e-learning that equip you or your business for the digital future.

Contact us now to learn more or keep checking back on our blog page for more exciting online learning news.

What is Project Management? Everything you need to know

project management guide

What is project management?

Project management involves overseeing the opening, planning, implementing, and closing stages of tasks done by a team with the intention of successfully completing specific goals in a specific time frame.

The project management process

Project management is centrally focused around achieving goals within a process. As a project manager, one needs to ensure that resources work together in cohesion to achieve the project’s goals, and that all team members involved perform their function flawlessly. The purpose of any project is directly linked to it achieving its goals successfully and efficiently.

Project management in 2020

Today, project management organisations have built upon the process that has been developed over time and has become more streamlined than ever before. The roles that people fill in modern times have become flexible and encompass a great range of tasks.

General project management is a skill required for people to stay on top of their work. To ensure you are making yourself the best you can be, take a short course, earn a project management certificate, gather new skills and stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing.

MasterStart has an array of exciting, time flexible online courses that will keep you up to date in today’s modern world while offering flexibility.

Project management in industry

Project management in construction

At the core of construction project management, there is planning, coordination and the execution of a construction project. The construction industry handles an assortment of various projects including agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil and environmental.

Project management in finance

The project manager in a financial project is responsible for making plans, leading and taking control of activities within finance-focused tasks, systems changes and technology improvements in the department of finance.

Project management in the insurance industry

As an insurance project manager, one is expected to collaborate with team members effectively to keep an eye over project scope, ultimately reducing scope creep.

Project management in healthcare and social assistance

Healthcare project managers are primarily concerned with lowering cost outputs. However, the biggest benefit of a healthcare project manager is the ability of the institution to be a step ahead of any potential risks.

Project management in science and technology

At the core of the scientific and technology world is the aim to improve life. Project management in these industries allows for greater control and execution of tasks. A project plan is implemented and executed accordingly on time and within the budget constraints, mitigating any potential risks in a project.

Project management in mining

As a mining project manager, one is required to ensure that the relevant project management phases are completed in a timely manner. Ensuring that the right people with the relevant qualifications and experience are on your site is critical as well as seeing that the mining equipment used on site is well maintained and upgraded constantly to achieve the best results in all the project phases.

Project management in retail

The retail market is highly competitive, within local, regional, national and international markets. This leaves the gate open to an assortment of potential challenges, so a project manager needs to be constantly up to date in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) project management industry.

Project management in education

Project management in education aims to promote the quality of learning to make it more interactive and enjoyable. Web based tools allow for real time communication and collaboration, enhancing learning experiences.

What to study if you want to change your career to become a project manager

If you are interested in a career change or if you would like to incorporate project management skills into your C.V, a project management course from MasterStart can help you achieve new heights effortlessly. Download the brochure here.

Technology in project management

The digital world has taken the pressure off emerging businesses for physical project managers. Now, business owners and startups can use project management software to run plans efficiently.

Online project management tools offer the user a variety of unique benefits. This includes the ability to plan projects on demand while keeping everyone in the loop, time management through constant communication and sticking to the company’s culture all while building the business. Useful online tools keep track of what’s ahead; effectively creating a space where project management can exist for non-project managers.

Project management in small to medium sized businesses

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are important to any economy, offering employment and fresh innovation. Project management is significant in enabling this input smoothly. Unlike larger corporations, SMEs require less administrative procedures of project management than those used by larger, traditional organizations.

Project management in large organisations

Project management is essential in big companies. Industries like construction and mining are the backbone of a country’s infrastructure and bring in a wide variety of investments.

The dedicated project manager in a large organisation will manage the entire company’s workforce effectively, to achieve the best project management life cycle.

Project management steps

Project managers require a very specific set of skills. They need to implement distinct project phases to help them achieve their goals. There are a few project management phases to consider which are essential for successful outcomes:
1. Set clear project expectation
2. Define clear goals in project phases
3. Communicate effectively
4. Plan around project risks

Project management careers

Starting out in project management can be challenging. If you are on the lookout for careers, there are numerous factors to consider. Entry level jobs require some sort of project management certificate to get your foot in the door.
Show potential employees’ dedication to your chosen field by undertaking a project management certificate. This will help you get started within project management coursework that could ultimately lead to a project management internship and then, steady project management jobs

Finding project management jobs

If you are really interested in learning project management, a short hands-on course could be just the boost you need to secure a project management internship. MasterStart in collaboration with the WITS Business School (WBS) have a Project Management online short course that provides participants with real workplace skills that can be implemented on the job almost immediately.

Are project management jobs right for me?

Specific skills are needed to ultimately excel in the workplace. If you are interested in project management jobs, see if your personality fits these ambitious characteristics:
· Detail-oriented
· Communicative
· A concise planner
· Efficient at delegation
· Natural leader

Project management salary summary

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.
According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.

According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

Occupational levelAverage annual income
Entry levelR159,950
Project manager professionalR400,000
Top-end manager professionalR767,740


Furthermore, bonus remuneration in the project management industry varies according to your experience and ranges from R4,862 – R101,030.

Project Management certification

The project management online short course offered by MasterStart in partnership with the WITS Business School (WBS) will provide course participants with the confidence and knowledge to create a successful, extensive project plan. The course will guide participants from the inception of project management phases all the way through to final execution of a given project.

MasterStart’s project management online short course aims to bridge the gap between a lack of practical working experience and project management theory. By embarking on this online short course you will obtain a problem solving mindset, where you will learn new and exciting skills from each module.

All skills acquired in this short course will help you build a solid portfolio that can count towards your professional designation as a project management professional.


Grow into a project management role in just a few short weeks, download the Project Management brochure.

The project management process

Costing in the project management process

Cost management in the project management process is estimating, allocating, and controlling the costs of a particular project. It allows a business to predict future expenses in order to reduce the chances of going over the project’s budget. Projected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work even begins. As the project plan is executed, expenses are documented and tracked so all costs stay within the budget.

Quoting in the project management process

As a project manager you would need to constantly interact with suppliers. A quotation is a supplier’s response to a customer’s request for goods or services. Once a quotation has been issued the supplier is legally bound to the price of the initial quotation for the time period that it is valid against.

Client management in projects

Client management in the project management process is about improving the project experience, simplifying the processes, exceeding expectations and reducing stress for the client. It focuses on creating powerful client relationships and puts the client first.

Communication in project management

Leadership and communication are key to the project management process. As a project manager, you need to have strong leadership and mentorship abilities, not only to help people accomplish project tasks but also to help them grow and learn practically.

Reviewing the project management process

Reviewing project tasks is also apart of briefing people. The project manager will review tasks and work on deadlines with the team accordingly. In the review process the project management phases start to take shape and the goals start to build towards the end result holistically.

Resourcing in the project management process

In the project management process, resources are required to complete the project life cycle. Project managers need to ensure that the correct resources are used appropriately, so as not to waste, keeping the project plan within the specified budget. Resources are machinery, workers, equipment, facilities and even financial capital. Resources ensure that the project management phases run smoothly and efficiently. Without resources the project would ultimately fail.

Time management

Time management is crucial as a project manager. You will need to organise and plan the time spent on tasks each day. Mastering the art of time management will boost your team’s effectiveness and productivity. The easiest way to achieve effective time management is through strategic planning in all the project management steps.

Efficiency and profitability in the project management process

The project management process is built on efficiency and profitability. These core values allow the project management lifecycle to play out as planned. A project management professional needs to achieve goals efficiently, utilising resources effectively in order to achieve maximum profitability.

A day in the life of a project manager

A project manager has a vast array of responsibilities and daily tasks that he or she must implement on demand daily. The daily project management process encompasses many activities including:
· Planning and Defining Scope
· Activity Planning and Sequencing
· Resource Planning
· Developing Schedules
· Time Estimating
· Cost Estimating
· Developing a Budget
· Documentation
· Creating Charts and Schedules
· Risk Analysis
· Managing Risks and Issues
· Monitoring and Reporting Progress
· Team Leadership
· Strategic Influencing
· Business Partnering
· Working with Vendors
· Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
· Controlling Quality
· Benefits Realisation

Tips for project managers

Tip 1: Successful project managers learn to observe their surroundings

Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work smart and solve problems

Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise tools effectively

Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the project’s goals.

Tip 4: The customer is king

You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers’ needs and adapt the project management strategy around that.

Tip 5: Successful project managers sharpen their skills

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age. You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project manager’s mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

What does a business manager do daily?

what business managers do

What does a business manager do in an organisation daily? Essentially a business managers job description is to oversee the company’s productivity. He or she will manage all the processes and staff to ensure that the organisation runs at optimal capacity. Business manager skills are important because they keep employees actively involved in all aspects of the business. From small businesses to large organisations, all companies require the skills of a professional business manager.

The role of a business manager in various sized organisations

When you think about it, what does a business manager do in various sized organisations? A business managers job description can vary from company to company, especially when you consider the size of the organisation. The role of the individual will also affect a business managers salary range.

What does a business manager do in small businesses?

In small companies a business managers skills will be applied to overall operations. A small company may even subdivide the work, where the business managers job description is to run operations and the office manager will deal with all clerical concerns and oversee the staff compliment.

What does a business manager do in large organisations?

What does a business manager do differently in large organisations as opposed to small businesses? Bigger companies require more targeted business manager skills. Large organisations will make use of a business manager to oversee specific departments such as marketing, sales or even production. This targeted approach makes use of specific business management skills to optimise individual departments in large organisations for maximum productivity.

What does a business manager do, the tasks, duties and responsibilities

Business managers are responsible for overseeing the activities of workers, from hiring, training and even evaluating the performance of new employees. The business managers job description is never set in stone, as the company grows and changes the responsibilities may change dynamically to suit the expanding needs of the organisation. Most importantly, a business managers job description is to ensure that a company or specific department is on track to meet its financial goals and expected growth.

Aside from managing staff and running operations efficiently a business managers job description may also include other activities. These include developing and implementing budgets, preparing reports for senior management and ensuring that each department complies with official company policy. A business managers skills also need to be devoted to the company holistically. This means that they can’t just expect people to work without the necessary resources, it’s part of the business managers role to ensure that the staff have the necessary resources to maintain a high standard of work at all times.

Considering a career in business management?

If you’ve been pondering what does a business manager do in a company daily, then you have more than likely considered a career in business management. As a business manager you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills to direct employees and lead departments.

The majority of employers require a business management qualification

You can opt for a formal business management degree, or if you would like essential skills to start you off consider a business management short course to break into the workplace. MasterStart has a multi faceted Business Management and Leadership online short course that will provide you with practical working skills, which you can implement in the workplace almost immediately.

If you want it, grab it

If you are a natural born problem solver that loves leading teams and accomplishing goals then business management may be the perfect career for you. Keep checking back on our blog page for more insights into business management courses, careers and skills.

Advice for successful project managers

successful project managers

Successful project managers know how to be a jack of all trades, all the time. You need to develop strong business acumen, outstanding leadership/mentorship skills and a level head that can plan, control, execute and mitigate risk all at the same time, on a daily basis. If you are just starting out as a project management professional, these essential tips on successful project management will help you get the ball rolling for a fundamental grasp of project management basics.

Tip 1: Successful project mangers learn to Observe their surroundings

As a project manager you are going to be running a team and they are going to be constantly looking to you for guidance and mentorship. Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work Smart and Solve Problems

Successful project managers are apart of the solution rather than the problem. Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise Tools Effectively

Whether you’re a traditional pen and paper enthusiast or if you make use of project management software, as a project manager you need to know your working tools extensively. Online project management software brings team members together. Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the projects goals.

Tip 4: The Customer is King

Your customers may be individuals or organisations as a project manager. You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers needs and adapt the project management strategy around their wants. Once you learn to satisfy the needs of your customer while performing the project management steps you will grow rapidly within the industry.

Tip 5: Successful project managers get educated

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age.  You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project mangers mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

Bad habits you must break now to be more productive

breaking bad habits

They creep up on you slowly like a silent little whisper in the back of your mind, intertwining with your thoughts and, ultimately, dragging you down. Bad habits are soul destroying, oozing out your thoughts and clouding your judgement with self loathing and guilt. This slows you down, decreases your creativity, which in turn will eventually affect your overall productivity at work and in your personal life.

Break bad habits now and start living a successful life. Strive for career growth. Own your destiny and grab life by the horns, taking that promotion you desire or empowering your life through that all too contemplated career change. Follow us as we explore some of the worst bad habits that could be holding you back in life.

  • Wasting time on the Internet

You may be surprised to learn that engaging in a proper work flow can take up to fifteen minutes to achieve. If you allow yourself to be distracted by the endless amount of content on the internet you may spend an entire day at work completely out of sync with the important tasks at hand. The same goes for your personal life.

If you constantly waste time on the internet you may never achieve the things you want to do around the house or in your personal life. Keep yourself engaged and set time aside for meaningless content surfing for a slight distraction, but don’t let distractions rule your day.

  • Perfectionism and general bad habits

You have to start somewhere. This saying applies to everything in life. If you scrutinize every piece of work then you simply won’t get any work done. A lot of people focus on perfecting their idea or plan so much so, that they only ever end up plotting their plan. You need to take action and resolve glitches in the work later. Cross bridges as you come to them and avoid being a complete perfectionist from the word go to start making progress in your life and avoid bad habits.

  • Hitting the “Snooze” button

This is a tough one as we are all guilty of it. Our brains lie to us and tell us that a small amount of time delayed won’t make the world of difference. In reality by allowing your brain to shift back into sleep mode you only make yourself more tired and groggy than you started your day off with. If you want to be more productive jump up at your alarm and embrace the initial endorphins your brain triggers when it first wakes.

  • Taking on more tasks than you can handle

Tackle one task at a time. Research shows that your brain stops functioning optimally when it is bombarded with too many thought processes. By completing a single task at a time you are more focused and your productivity curve remains around the same loop.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can achieve more by taking on more. Stick to one task at a time and you will deliver quality work consistently rather than producing mediocre work quickly.

  • Delaying tough tasks

We are naturally programmed to deal with tasks that are easy, first and foremost. That is human nature. In life, you need to challenge yourself and stimulate your brain, otherwise your brain pattern becomes comfortable and this in turn will make you lazy.

People love to work through the easy stuff at work first and leave the more complicated tasks for later on in the day. Rather begin your day with a more complex problem and devote all your brain power to difficult tasks. You may even find that the easy tasks have just become a walk in the park and not even seem like tasks at all anymore.

The above bad habits can destroy your progress at work and your personal goals. Cultivate new habits that help you break old traditions and move forward in life. For new and exciting insights into empowering yourself check back on our blog page.

9 ways to boost productivity that will make you a better teammate

boost productivity

Employee performance is the foundation your businesses success is based upon. It’s a tricky task to keep a large and small scale staff compliment happy at all times. A happy employee is a productive employee. We would all love to work from home and own our destinies, however, the nature of traditional businesses demand that employees be in the office at all times.

There are companies disrupting the status quo and challenging this outdated mentality. We live in a new age where modern technology has bridged the gap between vital communications within an organisation. Useful online tools like Skype or Slack can help your business communicate with companies in other countries in real time.

Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand challenged linear thought and started working outside of the box. By implementing a 4 day working week instead of a 5 day one, they successfully boosted employee productivity and alleviated stress levels.

Your organisation may not be there just yet, but we have uncovered some useful skills to keep you motivated and boost your productivity levels at work.

  • Keep track of your time consistently

One of the most valued assets on the entire planet is time. Time is money in the business world and if you can consistently keep track of your time, and manage it, you will become a greater asset to your organisation.

There are a few nifty tools to help you keep track of time. You can use something like Toggl or Nutcache. These tools can provide you with useful insights to show you where you have devoted your time to, on any specific project.

  • It’s okay to use do not disturb sometimes

We all love our sleep, however, we are also glued to our smartphone’s screen just about 24/7. All modern smartphones have a “DO NOT DISTURB” feature. Why not use it at work, flip it on and reduce the amount of outside interference in your day, giving you more time.

  • Take breaks

Nobody is a robot and you can’t keep going at the grind all day. Taking breaks keeps your brain sharp and motivated to keep working on a project. Allow for some down time with a cup of tea or a ten-minute walk.

  • Say no to pointless meetings

We are not suggesting that you go to your line manager and say “No Barry, I simply refuse to come to the Annual General Meeting today!” But you do need to decide what is relevant and what isn’t. If you feel you are involved in meetings that have no relevance towards you, then simply say you disagree to the meeting because it is ultimately a waste of time for you to be there.

Be up-front and respectful and you may just find that your manager respects you more for making a choice, which affords you with more time to do what you need to for your organization.

  • Ask for help if you need to

Everyone wants to impress their boss. It’s a natural reaction when you work hard. This can become challenging though, especially if you’ve bitten off a little more than you can handle. This will only make you feel overwhelmed. You have a team, use the team accordingly.

Allow each component within your team to work effectively, like a well-oiled machine. This will increase proficiency and productivity.

  • Stay focused on the essentials

Don’t overthink it. Stay focused on the essential requirements and then fill in the less important parts later. By getting the big stuff out of the way, you clear a path for your team to start perfecting the project.

  • If you have the opportunity to work remotely, take it

With the internet in nearly everyone’s home, it’s more than possible to take a breather from your desk, and work remotely for the day. This helps to refresh you and keeps your head focused for the future.  

  • Keep yourself and others around you optimistic

Don’t be the type of person to create a negative office environment. Rather stay optimistic. Even if you think that you may be buckling just a little bit, crack a joke here and there. ‘Fake it until you make it’, and keep the optimism going around the workplace.

  • Establish your most productive time, and work it  

If you are fortunate enough to get into work early, then you may notice that you get more work done without the distraction from the daily hustle and bustle. Capitalise on these hours and schedule your most important tasks for those times.  

With these nine helpful tips, you’re sure to become a more valuable employee. Keep checking back on our blog page for disruptive content that can change the way you do business.

5 ways to improve business efficiency

improve business effeciency

The lifeblood of any efficient company depends on the way the business is run, not just from a top level management perspective, but filtering through, all the way down to the baseline employees. The following suggestions to improve company operations will provide you with top tips to improve business efficiency in the workplace.

Your business deserves to run at 100% all day. It is up to upper level management to ensure it does so. If you are in quest of methods on how to improve business performance, you’re in luck, follow us as we tackle the best work efficiency tips.

1. Automate tasks to save time and improve business efficiency

There are numerous tedious tasks that can be fully automated, in any organisation. Something as simple as sending a receipt can be automated. The automation process adds to an overall efficient company in the long run, by providing employees with more time for critical thinking, therefore increasing productivity.

2. Encourage employees to chat face-to-face, rather than over communication tools

Challenge and disrupt the status quo. Nearly all large organisations rely too heavily on technology to stay up to date with their peers in the workplace. A face-to-face, hands on approach goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

Encouraging a face-to-face approach allows for employees to communicate more regularly, ultimately leading to better trust and therefore better communication. This hands on approach also allows for no mixed signals or crossed wires, adding to an efficient company policy.

3. Hold a daily 10 minute meeting

Daily meetings are a necessity and vital to efficient company dynamics, however, they can also drag on and on, leaving staff with less time in their day. Daily company meetings can be extremely useful, however, learn to keep them short, concise and effective.

Encourage efficient business practices for an overall efficient company, so that employees are constantly aware of what they need to do, and how exactly to do it. By holding daily meetings of around ten minutes long you can get everyone up to speed and going quickly. This process goes a long way to improving efficiency in the workplace.

4. Use task management software to keep track of productivity

Task management tools are helpful resources that help your organisation’s employees stay on top of critical projects and their objectives. Even though you may feel an email is sufficient, it is not always the best way to encourage staff to keep following the flow of a project. Task management software like Asana helps by improving efficiency in the workplace via its useful and friendly user interface, which allows everyone to collaborate on tasks in a single location.

5. Promote a company culture that allows for open communication

These work efficiency tips may seem repetitive, but learning how to improve business efficiency at work is interlinked to constant and stable communication within your organisation. You need to be promoting and endorsing a culture that not only allows for open communication amongst peers, but also amongst top level management.

It’s simple; everyone wants to be valued. A valued employee will be far more effective and play an invaluable role in your efficient company. Open the lines of communication and propel your company’s mission forward constantly. Do some team building, involve your employees in your company’s vision constantly. If you ready to take your career to the next level, download our Business Management course brochure.