Does Perfectionism Help or Hinder Business

Are you a perfectionist? Many of us are!  Perfectionism can help to keep us motivated, work harder, and achieve more, but will it always help your performance or can it hinder you too? If you find yourself focusing too much on getting the perfect outcome or debating and changing things repeatedly, then you may be walking the line of extreme perfectionism. This can lead to wasted time and resources, particularly if you are managing people. In the end, the end result doesn’t justify the effort and stress it can cause. Here are some great ways to keep yourself out of the net of extreme perfectionism.

Make a Decision and Stick to it
You make good decisions; that’s the reason you’re managing the projects you are working on. So when you make a decision, stick to it. Try not to second-guess yourself – this just wastes time. Who’s to say your fourth or fifth decision will be any better or beneficial? If you start that second-guessing game, it can spiral out of control!

Trus t your Employees
When you unveil your plan to your employees they will inevitably have opinions. Hear what they have to say! If they tell you it’s a good idea, trust them. This will stop you from falling into the questioning game. Also, their skills are your resources, so trust them to execute their part of the plan well. You hired them because you trust their stills, right? And lastly, prior to getting settled into your plan make sure you…

Have a Plan B
You never know what’s going to happen! An obstacle may arise that can’t be overcome, so make sure you have a plan B. A backup plan will help you from getting entrenched to deeply in your first plan and devastated if things go wrong. The more flexible and ready for change you are, the easier it is to adapt to things life throws at you.

There is a fine line between perfectionism and having a critical eye. It’s important to always strive for the best, but obsessing about getting something perfect is harmful to the project and your mental health. The steps I’ve outlined above will help you to free yourself from the perfectionist mindset, if you find yourself there. Here is a great article about avoiding the pitfalls of perfectionism completely.

Training Day – October 28th

In order to continue improving our services, Servcom USA will be conducting a training day for our technicians and employees on Friday, October 28th. Please be aware that our technicians will be limited in their availability to respond to non-emergency service calls during regular business hours. As always, please call our office to report service disruptions, or go online to our Client Access Portal and submit a ticket.

Some Surprises at the T3 Gadget Awards

As new technology pops up around us daily, it’s human nature to want to know which is the most innovative and revolutionary in the gadget world.  Well, the T3 Gadget Awards quench that thirst.  The awards, voted on by more than 960,000 online users, were given out last week.  Because the tech community is primarily casting the votes, “obvious” winners to the masses weren’t the case.  Below we’ll show you a number of interesting and even ironic choices – and be sure to check out the full list of categories and winners.

Ironic Winners

One of the most interesting aspects of the Awards are the categories themselves. They run the gamut of technology, and aren’t completely focused on gadgetry. For example, there’s the Best Retailer award and even the Gadget Personality of the Year award.  It is in this category that one can find an ironic choice: Mark Zuckerberg.  Although his influence on modern communication can’t be ignored, few would debate that he’s got Clooney-like charisma. And then there’s the category of Best Commuting Device in which anything that helps you get from here to there can be included. So, the electric bicycle nominee may appear like an obvious choice. The winner, in fact, was the Amazon Kindle — which makes “getting there” easier, as long as you’re not riding the electric bicycle while reading it!

Influential Winners

Perhaps another surprise winner this year was found for the Digital Media Service of the Year award.  Yes, Mark Zuckerberg won Personality of the Year, but it was Twitter that walked off with the more important gong.  Twitter beat out the likes of Facebook and Google .  Certainly the heads of Apple, Google and Facebook are certainly not crying themselves to sleep over their crushing defeats. It is important to consider that these awards are voted upon by the tech community and therefore the very people who are most in tune with and most influential in this realm and should be taken seriously by the giants in the industry.

Surprising Winners

One of the most surprising winners to the average observer could be seen in the Phone of the Year.  While most would think that the iPhone 4 would run away with the award, the Samsung Galaxy S II actually impressed the voters more.  Likewise, the Brand of the Year surprised a few as Google took top honors.  Surpassing giants like Apple and Facebook, Google’s place as the top brand can’t be taken for granted.  Again, it is just the T3 Gadget Awards, but the reality that those in-the-know are voting makes it a significant win for Google.

From Google and Samsung, Apple and Microsoft, to Facebook and Twitter, the list of nominees is a “who’s who” of technological innovation.  Please take a moment to look over the complete list of nominees and winners, of which the Gadget of the Year and Innovation of the Year weren’t even mentioned here.  It’s truly interesting to see how fast the gaming world is evolving, how fast technologies are being created and, consequently, becoming outdated. For fun, check out the candidates from the first Ceremony held in 2008, a lifetime ago in technology years!

Going Green: Energy Monitoring

Many people are interested in “being green” in recent times. Whether it’s to avoid the impact technology has on the environment or to save money, many companies are following suit and looking into green tech and ways to save energy. When looking to conserve energy, one of the first things a company or individual must know is, what is consuming the most energy?

The CEATEC conference was held recently, just outside Tokyo Japan. During this conference, Toshiba and Intel announced plans to release new technology that helps monitors energy usage. With the conscientious turn the world is taking, it doesn’t come as a surprise that two major tech companies would have plans to develop something that gives transparency to energy consumption. The following is a brief synopsis of the ecologically aware features these two companies will be implementing in 2012.

Intel

Intel has created an application that allows PC users to monitor the energy consumption of their PC. The application has an easy-to-read dashboard that organizes the information into graphs, charts, and statistics, which make it very user-friendly.

Toshiba

Toshiba is using it’s recent purchase of Landish Gyr as part of its “smart home” offering. Landish Gyr specialize in smart-meters for homes. With this offering people can monitor the amount of energy consumed throughout their homes. Also on the agenda is the development of “green cloud” technologies for a number of different industries covering anything from city infrastructure to healthcare.

Japanese technology companies are currently highly dedicated to monitoring energy consumption. That being said, it is interesting that many companies in the US are pulling away from this. Microsoft and Google are just two examples. Microsoft announced in June that they’re discontinuing their energy-monitoring service called Hohm. While Google announced it is taking a break from the green game by shutting down Google Powermeter.

We will see what he future holds for the green technology world. It could head further in the direction of energy monitoring or turn to something different entirely. If you have any ideas or speculation on how technology companies will become greener; please share them with us.

A Quick Take on the iPhone 4S – Is It Worth the Upgrade

Do you remember hearing the initial disappointed comments right after the iPhone 4S announcement?  Simply put, everyone was a bit let down that the new iPhone wasn’t going to be a full-blown revamp of the iPhone 4. Some were concerned that it would just be an iPhone 4 with a few simple upgrades, suckering gadget-junkies to stand in line for hours only to discover that the 4S was fundamentally the same as its predecessor, with only a few more bells and whistles.  Well, the truth is, the new iPhone is a bit of both. It is not a revolutionary product like the original iPhone – or even the iPhone 4.  Rather, it’s more evolutionary with several impressive upgrades.  Here’s a quick look at 3 of the upgrades Apple has created in the 4S – and whether or not they’re worth standing in line for.

Software

One of the most noticeable areas of improvement can be found in the amount of speed and power that the 4S commands.  Apple announced that the iPhone 4S has seven times the graphical prowess of its predecessor and is twice as powerful. It features the iPad 2’s dual-core A5 chip making opening apps, loading the web browser, scrolling through home screens and countless other operations smoother and faster.

Siri

One remarkable difference between the iPhone 4 and the 4S is the addition of  your very own “personal assistant” named Siri.  When it works, it is an amazing feat of technology. You can just tell Siri to contact a colleague and tell her you’re running late.  Tell Siri, “I’m feeling like Indian food,” and she will tell you where the nearest place serving Sag Paneer is located.  Even so, the caveat is “when it works.”  When Siri cannot understand a particular command, area or specific person, she will tell you humorously, if not annoyingly after a while, that she can’t process the info.  Inevitably this will be fixed in the future, but it would be wonderful if it worked flawlessly now.  See this article for another take on Siri.

iCloud

Similar to MobileMe, iCloud allows you to access all of your most important data, pictures, apps, music and photos from any device, whether you access it from the device the content was created on, or if you want to use your iPad to show your friends a picture you took using your iPhone. One downfall, however, is that for users used to MobileMe’s specific syncing procedures, the user id it created doesn’t “play well” with iCloud. At the same time, iCloud doesn’t recognize email accounts like Yahoo or Gmail as they don’t contain a me.com email address.  Although it’s fantastic technology, the reality that it still has what seem to be fairly obvious faults makes it that much more frustrating to Apple enthusiasts.

In the final analysis, the iPhone 4S will of course be a huge commercial success. But, are the upgrades worth the wait?  In the end, it depends on who you ask. If you’re a Mac-addict, forever in need of the most up-to-date and coolest toy, then of course, it’s worth the wait.  With its improvements in power, efficiency, speed, software and upgrades, the 4S is an impressive machine.  However, if you’re able to get everything you need from your old 3G(S), there’s really nothing completely revolutionary about the iPhone 4S.  As an evolutionary device, it’s still pretty cool.

How the Cloud Supports Creative Collaboration

When you think of the ways the cloud has changed businesses, creativity is not what usually comes to mind first. You may be surprised at how beneficial the cloud has been for those in creative industries. The cloud allows for a massive amount of information to be stored and accessible to people easily from virtually any location. And thanks to the popularity of tablets, people can access that information and share it at the simple touch of a button. Here are a few ways that the cloud and tablets as a team have improved the way that creative people conduct business.

Portfolios
The size of someone’s portfolio used to be limited to what they could physically carry.   Due to this size limitation, there were limitations to the content as well. Now, thanks to the cloud, they can create separate files tailored to every client’s needs, which they can quickly access from a tablet. This mobility can lead to more business more quickly.

Creative Collaboration
Collaborating used to be limited to people around you. This meant that highly skilled people across the globe did not have much possibility to collaborate on a project. If they were a part of the collaboration process, it meant sending large files back and forth, which produced duplicate copies and a slower working pace. When files are store in the cloud, you can work on them simultaneously and update only one copy. Tablets allow you to pull the project up anywhere and work on it, so creative inspiration isn’t stifled.

Brainstorming
Brainstorming and mind mapping are other things the cloud has improved as numerous people can input their ideas into one file. People can access these mind maps on tablets, get input from local collogues, and update the shared file that everyone can see. This kind of connectedness breaks down the distance barrier, which used to be such a limitation in business.

When the mobile capabilities of tablets are paired with the cloud, creativity can happen with anybody, anywhere at anytime.

How to safeguard your computer

Computers are prized possessions, no matter what you use them for. They provide a practical value with regard to the processes they help us automate, but there is also an economic value that should be considered. The high price tag carried by computers means they are tempting targets for any thief. Here are some quick tips to consider when beefing up your computer’s security.

Physical Security

All computers are portable, even if they are desktop models. A thief is more than happy to do a quick grab and run, leaving you with nothing but a few cords and a monitor. To further secure your computer, try adding a security cable. These cables are generally locked with a key, and cost only $40. They are both easy to install and straightforward to operate, and add a level of physical safety to your computer that is priceless.

Data Security

A computer is a valuable target for a thief, not only due to the material worth of the device but also because of the data stored within. Encrypting data is always a great protective measure to help ensure your data is safe, but there is certain data you should never store permanently. Such information includes your credit card information, social security number and checking account. Having your identity stolen will only add insult to injury.

Keeping Track

There have been a large number of great computer tracking apps developed in recent years. While these apps require the hard drive to remain intact to be able to work, if you act quickly, they highly increase your chances of recovery. There have been numerous cases in which a stolen laptop has been discovered using one of these services. While your laptop’s return may not be promised, it’s still a great safety measure to take.

While all of these tips are useful in keeping your computer safe, there is no replacement for common sense and reasonable vigilance. Make sure to take good care of your computer; chances are it takes good care of you.

Your Business Can Benefit from Workplace Education

Creating workplace education programs (WEP) within your company can be a successful way to improve morale. Whether it’s done in a small or elaborate way, education keeps employees sharp, challenged, and inspired. Workplace education can also support employee’s individual goals of furthering their careers and that investment can bring about stronger commitment from your employees.

A word of warning: if classes aren’t challenging or interesting, workplace education can be boring and feel like a waste of time to your employees. This will negate the beneficial effects you were attempting to achieve.

Here are a handful of ideas to keep education programs interesting and fun.

Create Teams – Dividing employees into groups will lead to collaboration and healthy competition. This may also build a more supportive workforce overall, as individuals will get to know each other better and develop stronger working relationships.

Use IncentivesIncentives can be a great motivator. They can be used for groups or individuals.

Make Learning Playful – Working games into your workplace education programs helps make learning fun and with help content retention. Games can also develop team-building skills.

Developing workplace education programs for your company can keep the work environment fresh and fun. Sometimes providing full or half-day classes is not possible. Offering something as small as holding an educational meeting can also be effective. You can then implement incentives or games for your employees. The benefits of WEP, when done right, can be great and have a strong positive effect on morale on the job.