TIME Careers & Workplace

4 Super Simple Ways to Save Huge Amounts of Time

work
Getty Images

You don’t need additional hours in a day to get more done

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

How do some entrepreneurial leaders get more done in a day than the rest of us?

Here are four simple strategies, used by the world’s most successful people, that will increase your productivity and save you an hour — or more — each day:

1. Reduce Decision Fatigue

Decisions are costly.

Making an unnecessary decision not only wastes time while you’re doing it, it also saps mental energy for later, which means the next decision you have to make will take even longer.

Save your decision-making power for things that actually matter by reducing the need to make decisions on mundane tasks you repeat everyday. The more things you can put on autopilot, the more efficient you will be throughout the day.

President Obama wears the same color suit all the time because he doesn’t want to waste a decision on thinking about what he should put on each day. Steve Jobs was another famous example of a leader who wore the same thing everyday, as is Mark Zuckerberg.

But wearing a uniform is not the only way to reduce decision fatigue.

For those who prefer a bit of wardrobe variety, try finding other parts of your daily routine that could benefit from some decision-trimming, like what you eat for breakfast and lunch.

Find a routine that works for you, and save your mental energy for the stuff that counts.

2. Go on an Internet Diet

Focus, focus, focus. You probably know you should be focusing on just one thing at a time because you’re unlikely to be one of the lucky 2 percent who can actually multitask effectively. But odds are that you’re multitasking more often than you should be, and that it’s killing your productivity.

There is one very simple way to get yourself to focus on the task at hand: unplug.

You may be wondering how that’s even possible in this day and age, but the truth is that many of the world’s most successful people are able to achieve so much precisely because they’re better at unplugging than the rest of us.

Some people go to great lengths to avoid wasting time browsing the Internet. George R. R. Martin, for example, writes on a DOS computer that has no Internet access at all.

Unplugging entirely may not be practical if your work requires you to use the Internet, like it does for many of us. But that doesn’t mean you have to be constantly checking email, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, all at the same time, and all while trying to get some real work done.

Try scheduling designated times during which you allow yourself to read email or social media, and be disciplined about keeping your browser tabs closed otherwise.

3. Just Say No

Most of us are bombarded with requests for our time. It can be tempting to say ‘yes’ to every interesting opportunity that comes your way, and tell yourself you’ll just buckle down and work harder to fit it all in. But overcommitment is the enemy of productivity.

You can’t do it all.

Instead of letting yourself be pressured into overcommitting, have the courage to say no more often than you say yes.

Sheryl Sandberg ruthlessly prioritizes in her own life by being proactive about deciding what matters most to her, at the beginning of every month, and saying no to anything that does not fit within that.

4. Get a Hammock

When was the last time you let yourself swing aimlessly in a hammock, and just do nothing for a while?

Most of us only allow ourselves that sort of luxury when we’re on vacation, because swinging in a hammock seems like an utter waste of time. But giving your mind time to wander aimlessly can actually be great for productivity.

We often think that high-powered CEOs are going nonstop from morning to night, but many of them are careful to fit ‘lazy time’ into their crazy schedules.

Arianna Huffington is a big believer in the power of breaks to improve productivity, so much so that she’s had nap rooms built at the Huffington Post office.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break — go for a walk, swing in a hammock, listen to music, take a nap, have a beer. Do something that will allow you to truly relax.

You might be surprised by how much more you’re able to accomplish with a fresh mind.

MONEY Careers

These Are Glassdoor’s Best Companies To Work For

Glassdoor serves as something of a Yelp-for-employers, allowing employees to rate their companies anonymously and the online service has released its annual list of the top 10 places to work.

TIME Business

How to Answer This Difficult Job Interview Question

job interview
Getty Images

This question is almost always asked towards the end of an interview

Answer by Jason Ewing on Quora.

The best answer to this relies on you having done your setup work over the course of the interview. You need to have probed the interviewer for their needs. You need to have had a conversation about what the job and mission is so that you can tell them what singular quality about you makes you the best for what they need.

If you’ve nodded through the interview like a bobblehead, answering only what is asked, this question will doom you because you won’t know what to say.

If, however, you’ve done your part over the course of the interview to understand the company, the position, and their needs, then this becomes an easy question to answer.

“That thing you said you really need someone to do? I do that, I’ve done that before, I have proven success doing exactly that, and I can exceed your expectations doing that.”

I know that sounds generic, and it’s meant to because it’s more about the formula than about the specifics. When I ask this question, I want a candidate to give me something that makes them jump off the page… that will set them apart from the rest of the stack of resumes in the pile. The best answers leave me saying “If I don’t hire this person, I’m going to regret it.” Those answers always come in the context of how their skills and experience can be of direct benefit to my needs. Even if you’ve never done that, telling me how your skills will allow you to be successful doing that will help. But it needs to relate to how you best fit what I need!

This question is almost always asked towards the end of an interview, it’s an opportunity to recap just a little, to demonstrate you’ve been paying attention and to leverage the insight you’ve been able to gain about the company’s needs.

If you’ve done that, the question is easy. If you haven’t, then you’re doomed.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is the best answer to the question, “Why you?” asked in an interview?

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Jobs for People Who Spend Way Too Much Time Online

computer
Getty Images

Check out a selection of jobs for people who spend more time online than offline—and love doing so

The Muse logo

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Looking for a new job? Or, just want to do some window shopping? Check in every week for a hand-picked selection of awesome jobs from our partner companies.

It’s no secret that our world has been taken over by the recent explosion of online activity. This week, check out a selection of jobs for people who spend more time online than offline—and love doing so. Whether you’re enthralled by social media, fascinated by the potential of digital marketing, or love to engage with the online community through web design, these companies have the right position for you.

1. VP of Marketing

Nitro, San Francisco

Does your heart skip a beat when someone follows you on Twitter? Here’s a chance to experience that excitement every day. Nitro’s VP of Marketing manages new user and customer acquisition programs and must be passionate about engaging with a growing audience.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Nitro

2. Community Support Representative

Uber, Chicago

If you’re used to answering a crazy amount of emails every day, you’ve met the basic requirement of becoming Uber’s Community Support Representative. Seize this opportunity to join a fast-growing startup and connect virtually with Uber’s riders and drivers.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Uber

3. Director, Monetization Communications

Facebook, San Francisco

Can’t stop yourself from checking Facebook every 10 minutes and love the online platform a little too much? We’ve got exciting news for you—the company is hiring a professional to manage its monetization communications team and lead its marketing efforts that reach over a billion users.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Facebook

4. Customer Operations Templates and Design Specialist

Squarespace, New York

Have no shame if you’ve been living your social life online rather than offline, because Squarespace is hiring someone who thrives in virtual interactions. Providing quick and accurate responses to customers over live chat and email will be an integral part of your role.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Squarespace

5. Social Media Profile Manager

Main Street Hub, Austin

Are you slightly obsessed with perfecting your online profile? Main Street Hub has the perfect position for you. The company is looking for a social media evangelist who can make its customers look their best online and help them grow their brands.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Main Street Hub

6. Publisher Development Manager

Virool, New York

Want to change your passion for watching, making, or sharing online videos from a hobby to a job? This is your chance. Virool is looking for a digital advertising enthusiast who can lead its publisher acquisition strategy.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Virool

7. Front-End Developer

HomeAway, Australia

If you’re a programmer hoping to see your web design used across the world, don’t miss this chance. HomeAway’s Pyrmont location is seeking a Front-End Developer who loves great user experience and wants to build something amazing for the global online community.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at HomeAway

8. Presentation Designer

Praytell Strategy, New York

Do you hate looking at not-so-aesthetically-pleasing graphics on the web? As the Presentation Designer for Praytell Strategy, you can make sure that never happens for your company.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Praytell Strategy

9. Field Sales Executive

LivingSocial, London

LivingSocial’s is looking for someone to sell its daily deals to millions of socially active consumers through online channels, so if you have expertise in getting people to pay attention on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, this could be the ideal place for you.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at LivingSocial

10. Senior UX Designer

BrightRoll, San Francisco

Attention anyone with interaction design skills: Get excited, because BrightRoll is hiring a Senior UX Designer to manage its product design and make it coherent and cohesive. If you love making online users happy, then this job might be for you.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at BrightRoll

More from The Muse:

TIME Careers & Workplace

30 Things You Should Never, Ever Say in an Interview

job interview
Getty Images

Start by banning: “I just wanted to follow up—again”

The Muse logo

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

In an interview, your primary goal is to get across to the hiring manager why you—above all the other candidates—are the right person for the job. That you have the right set of skills, a great personality, and the drive to really make things happen in your new role.

But as you’re preparing answers to interview questions that’ll let you do all of those things, it’s equally important to know what the hiring manager will consider a red flag. After all, a wrong move or two, and it won’t matter how great your sales numbers at your last job were.

To help you out, steer clear of these 30 messages. You’ll make sure that your awesome abilities and accomplishments—not a totally avoidable faux pas—will be what your interviewer remembers.

1. “So, tell me what you do around here.”

Rule #1 of interviewing: Do your research. You never want to walk into an interview knowing next to nothing about the position or company—you want to show that you’re excited enough that you’ve done some homework and thought about how you’d fit in. To get started, do some online research (here’s your game plan), and try to find a current or past employee you can talk to before the big day.

2. “Ugh, my last company…”

No matter how bad a job was, you never, ever want to badmouth a former employer in an interview. Keep your tone somewhere between neutral and positive, focusing on what you’ve learned from each experience and what you’re hoping to do in the future. This especially applies when you’re talking about why you’re leaving—here are a few tips on how to do it right.

3. “I didn’t get along with my boss.”

Similarly, you don’t want to speak negatively about anyone you’ve worked with in the past. Even if a previous manager could put the characters in Horrible Bossesto shame, your interviewer doesn’t know that—and could wonder whether you’re the difficult one to work with.

4. “I’m really nervous.”

Even if you’re more nervous than you’ve ever been, no company wants to hire someone who lacks confidence. “So, in this case, honesty is not the best policy,” says Amy Hoover, president of the job board TalentZoo. “Fake it ’til you make it!”(Via Business Insider)

5. “I’ll do whatever.”

Most hiring managers are looking for people who are incredibly passionate about the role they’re taking on. So when you say something to the effect of, “I don’t care what jobs you have available—I’ll do anything!” that’s a big red flag. Instead, target your search to a specific role at each company, and be ready to explain why it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

6. “I know I don’t have much experience, but…”

This mistake is easy to make, especially if you’re a recent grad or career changer. Problem is, when you apologize for experience you don’t have, you’re essentially saying that you’re not a great hire, that you’re not quite the right fit for the role, or even that you would be starting from square one. And that’s just not the case! Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, stay positive, focus on your strengths, and immediately launch into your transferable skills and infectious enthusiasm for the position. Here are a few better phrases to try instead.

7. “It’s on my resume.”

“Here’s the thing; I know it’s on your resume, but if I’m asking you about a particular job or experience, I want you to tell me more beyond a written word. I’m actually evaluating your communication and social skills. Are you articulate? Should you be client-facing, or are you someone we need to keep hidden in the basement next to the IT lending library?” says Nando Rodriguez, Head of Employment Branding at Ogilvy & Mather. “If a recruiter is asking you about a certain skill, don’t reference your resume, and instead use it as your moment to shine.”

8. “Yes! I have a great answer for that!”

Practiced your answers to some interview questions? Great. But don’t memorize them word for word. When you’re hyper-prepared and hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for certain questions for which you’ve prepared to be asked, you will likely have a very hard time engaging in genuine conversation with the interviewer. And interviewers don’t tend to hire detached people who can’t seem to have a genuine conversation. Certainly, walk in prepared, but force yourself to not memorize or over-rehearse the practice questions.

9. “Perfectionism is my greatest weakness.”

Here’s the thing: Chances are, telling a hiring manager that perfectionism is your greatest weakness won’t surprise him or her—and it might come off as sounding like an overly rehearsed cliché. It also doesn’t offer much of a true insight into your work style or personality (especially if half the other candidates are giving the same response). Try a more genuine response (here are some ideas)—and if perfectionism really is your greatest weakness? Use these tips to spin it right.

10. “I’m the top salesperson at the company—and I have two semesters worth of Spanish.”

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson gives an excellent example of a case in which less is more: Instead of stopping after describing your degrees from Harvard, your relevant internships, and your technical expertise—you tack on your two semesters of college-level Spanish. Maybe Spanish is relevant to the job, but even so, according to the “Presenter’s Paradox,” rather than seeing that as a bonus, our minds tend to average out the impressiveness of the listed achievements. Try to keep any string of accomplishments you mention within the same range of impressiveness as others, and either leave out the outliers or wait for a better opportunity to talk about them (when they won’t be stacked against your highest achievements).

11. “I think outside the box.”

Resume buzzwords make hiring managers’ eyes glaze over, and similarly, using clichés in an interview won’t get you very far. Skip these overused business phrases, and describe your skills and abilities using stories about things you’ve actually done.

12. “I, like, increased our social following, like, 25%…”

Filler words like “like” and “um” can make you look like you lack confidence—or worse, the ability to communicate clearly on the job. Try these tips to erase “like” from your vocabulary for good.

13. “On my third goose-hunting trip to Canada…”

Stories are a great way to connect with the interviewer—they’re more memorable than facts, help you build rapport, and can help you to quite literally share an experience with your interviewer. But, as highlighted in this SlideShare (see Mistake #4), you need to tie that story back into what the company’s needs are, your interviewer’s experience, or, more specifically, to the position he or she is trying to fill, or you risk being forgotten (or looking a bit strange).

14. “I built a synergistic network of strategic alliances…”

If your interview answers sound a little too much like Weird Al’s song, “Mission Statement,” you’re probably not going to be the most memorable candidate. Turns out, listening to abstract words (think “strategic alliances” and “cutting-edge technology”) only activates areas of the brain related to language processing. Alternatively, concrete words like “carrot juice,” “smoking car engine,” and “stood in front of 150 people” are easier to picture, activate more areas of the brain, and are therefore more memorable. Pull in the five senses and describe actions taken. You’ll be remembered positively rather than for being a jargon bot.

15. “I pulled together the STF reports.”

Unless they’re absolutely industry-standard terms, don’t use acronyms or jargon when you’re describing your responsibilities. You’ll be much more compelling (not to mention interesting) using language that everyone gets right off the bat.

16. “Um, I don’t know.”

Even if you practice, and practice, and practice, you could still get a question that stumps you. But saying “I don’t know” is rarely the right approach. Two strategies that work well are repeating the question thoughtfully before answering or saying (slowly), “Now, that is a great question. I think I would have to say…” Still stumped? Ask for what you need—whether that’s a pen and paper, a glass of water, or a quick minute to think.

17. “How much vacation time do I get?”

When you bust out with an immediate litany of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) questions, you look both arrogant and, frankly, unappealing. Guess what interviewers want to know when they meet with you? First and foremost, they want to know what you can do for them. What can you do to make that company money, improve businesses processes, grow the organization and, importantly, make their lives easier? Making you happy will be important if they want you, but you’re not even going to get to that stage if you make your list of demands clear too early.

18. “How soon do you promote employees?”

“An individual asking this question may come off as arrogant and entitled,” says recruiter Josh Tolan of SparkHire.com. A better way to ask this? “I’m really interested in staying at a place for a while. What do career paths within the company typically look like?”

19. “Nope—no questions.”

Not having any questions for the interviewer basically says that you’re not interested enough to learn any more. Have some thoughtful questions prepared (here are more than 50), and your interview will feel more like a conversation than a firing squad.

20. “Then, while I was at happy hour…”

Is your underwear riding up your rear end as you sit in that interview? Did you totally run a red light (and nearly sideswipe a school bus) so that you could be on time? Did your husband lose $15,000 at a craps table in Vegas last weekend? How interesting—yet all completely off-limits conversation topics while you’re in the interview. Even if you’re interviewing for a role within the most free-wheeling, fun-loving organization, the fact remains that you are in an interview. Never, ever get wooed into believing that the casual nature of the environment frees you to enter the TMI zone.

21. “I’ll have the steak and a glass of Cabernet.”

If your meeting takes place over a meal, take the lead from your interviewers. Casually ask if they’ve been to the restaurant before and what they think are good options—hopefully their recommendations will give you a sense of an appropriate price range. If not, try to have your interviewer order first and choose something at that price point (or less). And put down the drink menu—even if your interviewer imbibes, you should stay on your best behavior.

22. “I’d like to start my own business as soon as possible.”

Entrepreneurial ambitions are great—but if you’re applying for a job to work for someone else, you probably want to downplay the fact that you’re trying to get funding for your burgeoning startup. Most employers want to hire people who are going to be around for a while, and if there’s any suspicion that you’re just collecting a paycheck until you can do your own thing, you probably won’t get the job.

23. “What the hell!”

You’d think not swearing is Interviewing 101, but you’d be surprised how often people still do it. Even if your interviewer drops a few S- or F-bombs, you’re better off keeping your language PG.

24. “So, yeah…”

“Even with the most prepared interview candidates, I’ve found that a lot of people still make one critical mistake,” says career counselor Lily Zhang. “They’ll deliver absolutely fantastic and relevant stories, and I’ll be completely hooked—all the way up until they end with, ‘and… yeah’ or just an awkward pause.” Instead, try one of these three approaches to perfectly wrap up your answers.

25. “Do you know when we’ll be finished here?”

You should never give the impression that you’re in a hurry or have somewhere else to be. “What could be a 30-minute interview might turn into a 90-minute interview if all goes well, and if you seem like you have somewhere more important to be, the interviewer will definitely be turned off,” Hoover explains. (ViaBusiness Insider)

26. “I’m going through a tough time right now.”

Yes, most people would be incredibly sympathetic to someone who has been laid off, is going through a divorce, or is dealing with family drama. And even if your interviewer is, he or she may also wonder how your personal life will affect your performance on the job. So, keep your problems under wraps and keep the conversations focused on your professional life.

27. “Sorry I’m so late.”

Just be on time. Enough said.

28. “Sorry I’m so early.”

But don’t be too punctual. When you arrive more than five or 10 minutes before your meeting, you’re putting immediate pressure on the interviewer to drop whatever she may be wrapping up and deal with you. Or, she’s going to start the interview feeling guilty because she knows she just left you sitting in the lobby for 20 minutes.

29. “Would you like to see my references?”

“Interviewing is a lot like dating,” says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter of CareerTrend.net. “It’s important to entice with your value and attract them to call you for the next ‘date.’” Offering up your references too soon may hint at desperation. Plus, you don’t want to run the risk of overusing your references.(Via LearnVest)

30. “I just wanted to follow up—again.”

As with most relationships, looking interested is good, but looking too interested makes you less desirable. You may think you’re showing your future company that you’re ready to hit the ground running, but if you come on too strong post-interview (think “checking in” to restate your interest less than a week after the interview or double communicating—emailing and then emailing again without a response from the other party), you look less like a candidate they’d be lucky to hire and more like someone who’s anxious to leave your current role.

More from The Muse:

TIME Careers & Workplace

Yes There’s a Secret to Success, And It’s This

office
Getty Images

Don’t let past successes lull you into putting tradition before innovation

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

Tradition is safe, easy and has brought your business success at some point. So why change it now?

All too often, the urge to uphold existing methods can be detrimental to a company’s growth. Times change, and if you want your business to stay current it has to change with them or risk being left behind.

Just look at Google. In the late ’90s, Microsoft dominated the PC space to the point that there was an antitrust suit leveled against it for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. A few years later, Google exploded onto the scene when it revolutionized the search engine. It wasn’t long before the technology giant created Chrome, one of the most popular web browsers out there, busting the myth that a browser coupled with an operating system restricts competition.

If Google hadn’t broken this tradition, it probably wouldn’t be the massive, influential company it is today. But this isn’t just for giants. Your company can successfully break tradition and achieve tremendous growth, too.

Identifying Outdated Practices

When you’re analyzing where to abandon tradition to pursue growth and innovation, there are three main things you should do:

  1. Examine your industry. Identify traditions and ways of doing things that are begging for re-examination.
  2. Look internally. Find practices that once made perfect sense but have become unnecessary or detrimental due to company and industry maturation.
  3. Get help. Involve your employees, customers and stakeholders in uncovering traditions that are no longer serving you well. As a leader within the organization, sometimes you’re too close to the traditions to spot the outdated ones. When you involve employees and customers in the discussion, they might recognize opportunities for growth that you would not have seen.

Moving Forward

Once you’ve identified the traditions that must evolve or be left behind, there are a few things you need to do before moving forward:

  • Determine whether a tradition is still valuable. Sometimes, long-standing traditions still offer a great deal of value and don’t need to be done away with entirely — just revamped. In other cases, traditions have to be gently moved to the museum. Be intentional about deciding whether or not traditional practices are still useful.
  • Remember that change is not an attack on the past. Just about every process and method can be refined, leading to waste elimination, reduced cycle time, improved customer satisfaction and a number of other benefits. The initial difficulty is sometimes simply recognizing that there might be a better way of doing things. But just because there’s a better way of doing things doesn’t mean that people were doing it incorrectly up until that point. Be careful to honor the past, but also learn from it.
  • Rely on an expert. Once they recognize the need for change, many business leaders struggle because they don’t have the in-house expertise and resources needed to implement that change. You may need to call in someone from the outside who can guide and train your staff to carry the torch and continue changing for the better.

Change is scary, difficult and there’s no guarantee that it will bring success. So why do it now?

When you let go of unnecessary traditions, you’re seizing the opportunity to push your business into the future. If you involve your staff, customers and stakeholders in the initial evaluation of what needs to be improved, it will be much easier to identify weak areas and develop innovative ways to revamp them. It’s risky, but it’s worth it. The proof will be in your bottom line.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Reasons CEOs Should Offer Unlimited Vacation in 2015

vacation
Getty Images

The results could build a better company

Inc. logo

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

As a CEO, do the words “unlimited vacation” cause cold sweats and an overwhelming urge to hide all your employees’ passports? If so, you aren’t alone–most CEOs have some discomfort around the concept of unlimited vacation, which explains why only 1 percent of U.S. companies offer this program.

Among these 1-percenters is Netflix, an unlimited-vacation pioneer and the company that inspired Richard Branson to recently announce a similar policy for Virgin. As Reed Hastings explains in the 2009 Netflix “Freedom and Responsibility” practices, his company exercises a “trust policy” when it comes to scheduling their vacation days. It’s a policy that puts control in employees’ hands.

Unbridled PTO power is what makes some CEOs worry that their staff will shirk work responsibilities and opt for a four-day work week every week. As it turns out, employees do just the opposite. This vacation policy is not about giving employees the go-ahead to be lazy or unreliable. It’s about trust. It empowers them to best meet organizational and individual goals in the hours that make sense for both parties–and it works. Let’s face it, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. hours are not the hours of the digital age.

At SmartRecruiters, we’ve seen fantastic results from offering unlimited vacation and flex hours. It has driven employees to take greater ownership of their roles, collaborate better with their teams and work smarter while in the office. Success is measured not by how much time everyone spends in the office, but rather by “have I achieved my goals?”

Growing an organization-wide sense of trust has been the biggest benefit of an unlimited vacation culture at our company. Here are five more benefits you could see at yours:

1. It creates better connected teams and an agile workforce.

According to a 2014 Glassdoor survey, three out of five employees admit to doing work while on vacation. According to the survey, the main reason is that they are afraid of getting behind. This speaks volumes about the existence of unsupported team members. An open vacation culture encourages your employees to pitch in and cover one another’s work load, which then builds stronger, more versatile teams.

2. It shows you think of employees as adults which, in turn, makes them more responsible and valuable.

Empowering employees to define their schedule shows that they are valued and trusted peers. Say an impassioned employee works 40 hours in a week, yet they want to keep plugging away on a project. Without the ability to “get back the hours” at a later date, that employee will either have to push their work to the following week or forever lose their personal time to meet goals. This can lead to resentment and reduced eagerness to go the extra mile in future projects.

3. It boosts employee morale, happiness and productivity.

Studies have shown that employees perform better when they take time off to rejuvenate and have less stress in their daily lives. Unlimited vacation gives them the flex hours they need to harmonize work with other aspects of their lives. Besides, committed employees are always “on,” even during their time-off. They might come up with the next great idea for your company while relaxing on the beach or driving to their kid’s Little League game.

4. It can save your company money.

An unlimited vacation policy saves the cost of tracking and managing your organization’s PTO schedule. It also eliminates the liability and unexpected expense of paying out accrued and unused vacation days when employees leave (if you’re among the companies that follow this practice).

5. It will help recruit and retain the best candidates.

An open vacation culture can be a strong competitive differentiator for recruitment. Candidates, especially millennial job seekers, look favorably on unlimited days vs. the 16 days most U.S. companies provide. The impact can last long after recruitment. Netflix, for instance, saw an increase in employee engagement and retention after introducing its unlimited vacation policy.

Let me be clear, I don’t think there is a magic number of vacation days that businesses should all adopt. What I am advocating for is more freedom for employees to integrate their careers with the other pillars of their lives, such as getting to know their kids, discovering new perspectives through travel, and fueling creative thinking through passion projects –all things that lead to happier, more innovative and more committed employees.

In 2015, I hope unlimited vacation policies catch fire and more CEOs think of it not as merely a benefit or perk, but as part of crafting a high performance company culture built on trust and respect. The question to ask yourself isn’t “how many days off do my employees deserve?” but “how do I empower smarter, more responsible employees in 2015?”

Go ahead, take some time off to think about it.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Thoughts That Will Totally Crush Any Chance of Success

Businessman holding his head at desk
Getty Images

Using a lack of contacts or connections as an excuse for failure is a self-limiting thought

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

You’ll hear that successful people think differently — that they are somehow hard-wired for high performance. There’s the notion that some entrepreneurs perfectly combine analytical and reasoning skills with optimism, creativity, problem solving and people skills.

But successful people entertain the same kind of negative and self-limiting thoughts that everyone else has. What differs is their identification and reaction to them.

Here’s a roundup of thoughts that absolutely limit, kill, crush and smash success. Catch these thoughts as they arise and flip them on their head.

Related: 4 Ways You Are Your Own Worst Enemy

1. “I’m not an expert.”

Do you tell yourself over and over again, “I’m not an expert”? No one starts off doing anything as an expert. Expertise is built up over time. You have to make yourself an expert. When considering a project or business, don’t ask if you’re an expert. Rather, ask if you love the subject matter.

If you’re passionate about the subject, you’ll do everything you can to soak in as much information as possible.

For most fields of business, two years of intense learning can make you a top expert. The process starts with your accepting that learning experience as a journey. Make sure it’s one that you enjoy and that you want to spend a lot of time on every day. Change this thought into a question, “Where do I find what I need to know?”

Related: Act Like the Leader You Want to Be

2. “It’s already been done.”

Have you ever told yourself the self-defeating thought “It’s already been done.” Yes, it’s true that some ideas are actually new. The futuristic proton beam that destroys cancer cells without touching other cells comes to mind. But if you’re coming up with an idea for an app, probably similar products already exist.

If you’re already entrenched and working inside a particular industry, you may see your ideas unfold elsewhere in the marketplace and be developed by other people. But that doesn’t matter one bit.

If you know that a lot of people need your product or service, the fact that competitors exist validates your plans. In business, it’s good to be first, but as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has said, it’s better to be last.

Bringing an idea to life and then executing your plan better than others matters a whole lot more than the uniqueness of your concept. Challenge this thinking by asking, “How can I do this better?”

3. “I don’t know the right people.”

You’ve probably had “it’s all whom you know” beaten into your head since birth. It’s true to a certain extent that knowing key people matters. But the problem is that many people accept their current circle of contacts (their colleagues, clients, friends and social media networks) as the limited resource they have to work with.

Using a lack of contacts or connections as an excuse for failure is a self-limiting thought. Tap the contacts you have. But if you don’t know the right people, make it a point to get to the right people. Contrary to what you may have heard, reaching out to the right people can work if you try hard, even if you don’t have a special connection. Turn this thought into “Whom do I have to get to know — and how?”

Related: 3 Practical Ways to Connect With Millionaires

4. “You need money to make money.”

It’s easy to think that there’s some reason that other people are successful — that it’s because they went to better schools or have superior personal skills. Indeed many people point to others’ success by noting that they had the money and resources.

It’s easy to use lack of money as an excuse for lack of progress but in many business areas, limited resources can be a blessing.

Lack of resources might prompt you to keep your operations lean and mind fresh and sharpen your focus. You can be extremely successful by being smart about expenses and business planning.

You don’t need money to make money. You just need to come up with the exact cost of your first product, which might be completely free. Think instead, “How can I do things better because my operation is small?”

5. “I always …”

When you run your own business, the lines between your personal and professional life blur. Your personal attributes often dictate the success of your business. When you think about yourself, you often think of what you are now.

But when you think of your business, think of what it could be. The trick is to think of yourself much the way you consider your business — as a growth vehicle.

When you catch yourself saying, “I always . . .” (such as “I always mess up when I talk in front of people”), know that you’re chiseling that negativity into stone.

It’s your job to expand your definition of yourself. To grow a business, grow yourself first. Bet on your becoming capable of positive change. Remember to consider this: “I’m not who I once was.”

Mastering the way you think is the first step toward success in any business. It’s a target that’s always moving and a goal that you may never fully reach. But trying to catch and turn these thoughts around is what drives entrepreneurs forward in their journey.

Related: How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

TIME Careers & Workplace

9 Ways to Take Your Networking to the Next Level

Close up of two businessmen exchanging business cards
Getty Images

With a few pointers, anyone can leverage the power of networking to improve their business

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

Question: Share one great tip and/or tool for networking.

Give a Handshake and Repeat the Person’s Name

“Give a firm handshake as an initial impression. Say the person’s name three times in your first conversation, and it is likely that you will always remember his or her name.” — Eddie Lou, Shiftgig

Use Bizzabo

Bizzabo is an excellent app to use at networking events. Often at those events, it’s hard to know which people would be the most beneficial for you to meet. Bizzabo solves exactly that problem and lets you easily connect with other people.” — Ben Lang, Mapme

Find the Most Interesting Person

“Networking is sometimes a drag, but I always approach it like an investigator: I try to figure out what makes someone tick, what they are passionate about or what they have to offer the world. Pick an individual and try to figure out why he or she is the most interesting person in the room. Approached from this angle, it almost becomes a game, and you win when you have put the pieces together.” — Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

Follow up Consistently

“The most important part of networking happens after an initial meeting when you have an opportunity to follow up and start to really build a relationship. If you have a great conversation with someone at an event or over coffee, be sure to pave the way for future communication. A simple thank-you message is great; offering an intro or resource related to your conversation is even better.” — Martina Welke, Zealyst

Utilize Rapportive

Rapportive is a Gmail plugin that quickly allows you to connect with everyone you email on social networks. Enter an email address, and it allows you to connect on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList and more with one click. When doing sales, it allows you to reach the prospect via different channels, which is far more effective.” — Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

Use Business Card Readers

“We collect tons of business cards at nearly every networking event we attend. To help us manage this, we use a new app from Infusionsoft (our CRM system) that allows us to scan the business cards on our iPhones and import them directly into our CRM database while also keeping notes about our interactions. It eliminates the paper clutter and helps us keep great records.” — Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

Leverage ‘Friends’ Into Relationships

“With so much buzz about social media these days, it’s easy to lose track of one tried-and-true networking tactic: real-world interaction. By making physical, face-to-face connections with your online “friends,” you become more than just a “like” on a page. Leverage your online network into true relationships by arranging for lunch dates, social events and other opportunities for meaningful contact.” — Jay Wu, A Forever Recovery

Share Personal Interests

“Talk about your real interests that don’t include work. If you’re a less-experienced entrepreneur hoping to impress a legend in the startup space like Jason Calacanis or Steve Blank, or if you’re courting a tech writer for a story, don’t start with shop talk. You won’t get anywhere unless you’re THAT amazing. Talk to their personal interests so the connection is authentic and less transactional.” — Danny Wong, Blank Label

Offer Something in Return First

“Reverse the traditional process of networking where you ask for help and then offer something in return. Instead, show the person you want to establish a connection by demonstrating what you can do for them before inquiring about what they can do for you.” — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Jobs for People With Little or No Experience

keyboard
Getty Images

These gems are rare

The Muse logo

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Whether you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job or a working professional looking to change careers, we get that things are tough. After all, how do you get experience if nobody will hire you without experience?

Well, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve put together a list of jobs for people with little or no relevant work experience. From college internships to entry-level jobs, we’re sure that you’re going to find a role that piques your interest.

1. Software Engineer

Birchbox, New York

To all college seniors graduating next spring (don’t be shy, we know there’s a bunch of you out there): We have exciting news! Birchbox is hiring class of 2015 graduates to join its rapidly growing tech team. While a solid educational foundation in software engineering is important, the company is especially looking for people with a passion for disrupting the beauty industry.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Birchbox

2. Enterprise Business Representative

Boost Media, San Francisco

Having no prior work experience should not discourage you from applying to Boost Media’s Enterprise Business Representative position. If you have a bachelor’s degree, a passion for technology, and a lively phone presence, then you’ve met half of the requirements for the position. Apply now before you miss this opportunity to seriously develop your sales skills.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Boost Media

3. Content Manager Co-Op

Comcast, Philadelphia

You know those huge firms that only take seniors as interns? Comcast isn’t one of them. The company is looking for college sophomores and juniors to apply to its six-month internship program based in Philadelphia. If you’re passionate about marketing, public relations, communications, or all of the above, check out the role and see how you can help manage the content of this Fortune 50 company.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Comcast

4. Executive Assistant to Managing Director

The Standard, Miami

If you have one year of experience in a hotel and in a HR role, then rejoice—you’re the perfect candidate for The Standard. And although it’s an entry level position, the Executive Assistant role will give you plenty of opportunities to impact the experiences of new hires who hop on board.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at The Standard

5. Art Production Intern

TED, New York

Are you as familiar with posting content on Instagram and Tumblr as you are with brushing your teeth? Great, because TED’s Art Production Intern position might just be your calling. The intern’s responsibilities include managing visuals for the company’s social media platforms and creating high-quality animated gifs.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at TED

6. Sales Development Representative

Swipely, Providence

Even if you don’t have much customer service experience, you have a shot at becoming Swipely’s Sales Development Representative. The company makes it very clear that enthusiasm and optimism are the most prized qualities in applicants. So, if the idea of instantly impacting the way restaurants do business sounds exciting, then be sure to apply for the position.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Swipely

7. Content Intelligence—Weapons Engineer

Tumblr, New York

As long as you’re well-versed in Javascript or PHP, work experience is not required to join Tumblr’s Content Intelligence team. In fact, instead of work experience, Tumblr is looking for an enthusiastic user who knows the site’s features a little too well.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Tumblr

8. Human Resources Coordinator

Quantcast, San Francisco

Don’t worry if you’re not too proud of the “Relevant Experiences” section of your resume, because passion trumps experiences when it comes to applying for Quantcast’s HR Coordinator position. The coordinator will take ownership of the company’s HR data administration, so if you genuinely enjoy problem-solving and dealing with data, click below to learn more about the role.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Quantcast

9. Engineering Intern

YPlan, London

Attention computer science majors who have yet to find a job: YPlan wants you. The startup’s engineering team manages all things code and is seeking graduates with a can-do attitude. While experience with Python and web development are nice-to-haves, the willingness to get stuck and learn things is a must.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at YPlan

10. Startup Partnership Associate

Venture for America, New York

Do you have a knack for making friends with strangers or for connecting with startup founders? If you do, then forget about what you’re lacking, and know that you have more than enough skills to apply for VFA’s Startup Partnership Associate position. Your job, apart from developing relationships with new startups in the city, will be to write, speak, and travel with passion and purpose.

Apply Now

See What it’s Like to Work at Venture For America

More from The Muse:

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser