Back-to-School Season is Upon Us

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Endless school supply commercials, frantic-looking parents running around Target for the right type of dry erase markers and kids of all ages cramming in their summer reading can only mean one thing: back-to-school season is in full effect. While I’m sure there are plenty of reasons students can give on why this is time of year is stressful, I’m here to point out that the beginning of the school year is a great time to start fresh whether you’re a student, teacher or a small business owner.

Here are some ideas you can use to give your company a fresh face to finish the year strong!

  1. Set new goals

By setting new goals you’re encouraging your employees to dream for their company. There’s something so refreshing about having new goals to work toward.

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2. Check in with your clients- make sure you’re meeting their needs!

It’s good to do this several times throughout the calendar year. However, if it’s been a minute since you’ve asked, “How are we doing?” then now is the best time to start! Clients love to feel valued and heard. By asking if you’re meeting their needs it’ll give them a chance to voice what they like- and about what needs improvement.

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3. Launch a new marketing campaign

One of the many ways to expand as a company is a fantastic marketing campaign. As people start to get into the “back-to-school” feeling and fall weather comes upon us, an updated or brand new marketing strategy can really carry a business to the end of the year.

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4. Implement a new internal rewards system

Offering incentives to reward your employees is a great way to promote healthy competition and help your employees reach new heights they didn’t even know they were capable of!

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5. Evaluate the year-to-date data

When determining the best course of action to take for the remainder of the year it’s good to look at how you’ve done so far on paper. Are you on track? Do you the statistics show a promising end-of-year? Or is it time to make some changes for a better outcome?

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There’s something about the start of a new quarter that breathes creativity and hope into a business. Maybe you’ll reset your projections for year’s end goals or setup a new marketing strategy. Whatever the case may be, change is upon us.

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Written by Tayler McCrabb

Is Summer Vacation Really That Important?

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Are you are workaholic or do you think taking a summer vacation is more stressful than just working? It might be hard to realize but taking a break from your strenuous work routine is actually good for you! Read more below to find out why.

1. Vacations are Good for Your Heart

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The Chronic stress of work has a toll on the body including your arteries. According to a 1992 Framingham Heart Study ” men who don’t take vacations were 30% more likely to have heart attacks and for women it went up to 50%.” Chronic work and stress have a negative effect on the body when no breaks are taken. Vacation is a great way to reset your mind and get away from the constant stress that attacks you.

 

2. Vacations Help Make You More Productive

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Any stress especially the constant demands of work can cause major harm on your productivity level at work. In order for you to regain this productivity, you need to step away from the desk and relax on your vacation. A stressful vacation will not improve your energy levels but make you even less productive. Make sure to relax and catch up on your much needed sleep.

 

3. Vacations Build Family Relationships

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Working 40+ hours a week leaves little time at the end of the week to spend with your family. Taking a family vacation can reestablish family connections and draw your family closer as a whole. Whether at the beach or hiking, you will learn more about your family and come to love them more than you already do. Family happiness can bring joy back into your life even when you do have to go back to work.

 

Don’t waste those paid vacation hours this summer but take a vacation. Enjoy life instead of working 24/7.

Hats of the Derby

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Almost a week has past since the Kentucky Derby. The traditions remained the same including the wearing of beautiful, ornate hats. The video below, from the Lexington Herald Leader, shows the best hats seen at the Kentucky Derby this year!

 

Kentucky Derby Hats

Popular Kentucky Derby Traditions

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“The most exciting two minutes in sports” is more than just a horse race but a culture. With rich traditions dating back to 1875, the Kentucky Derby vitalizes Kentucky’s biggest industry- Horses.

Below are some of the traditions that make the Kentucky Derby so great.

Roses

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Every year, the winning horse of the Kentucky Derby is given a garland of more than 400 red roses. Thus, the Kentucky Derby has the nickname ” Run for the Roses”.

 

Mint Juleps
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The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby. Made with Louisville’s own Old Forester Bourbon, more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are served during the weekend of Derby.

 

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Kern’s Kitchen makes the official Derby-Pie. Filled with chocolate chips, bourbon, and walnuts this pie is a tradition not to miss.

 

Hats

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Probably the most well- known tradition of the Kentucky Derby are the over-sized women’s hats. Getting bigger, more colorful, and more extravagant every year, viewing all the hats is part of the entertainment of the day.

 

“My Old Kentucky Home”

As the Kentucky Derby races horses walk onto the track before the race, more than 160,000 people sing along to “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster. This song, performed by the University of Louisville Marching Band since 1936, shows every Kentuckians pride for their state. Click the link below to listen to Judy Garland’s version.

My Old Kentucky Home- Judy Garland

*Photos and figures provided by kentuckyderby.com

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Desk

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Have you been letting papers pile on your desk since Christmas? Do you have so much on your desk you can’t work? If so, these easy cleaning tips will help you get organized this spring!

Tip # 1- Clear EVERYTHING off your desk!

If you can’t see the desktop, you probably aren’t sanitizing the desk and germs are accumulating! By clearing off the desk, you can give it a good wipe down with several Clorox wipes. Don’t forget to clean your keyboard, and telephone as well.

Tip # 2- Throw Away Old Papers!

The paper pile up has to end! You might think you need that paper from a project that was completed two years ago. But you don’t! Get rid of anything that is no longer serving you.

Tip # 3- File and Label Everything Else!

After the purge, don’t throw the important papers back on your desk! File them in your desk drawers. Keeping them off your desk and in a drawer will help the desktop stay neat and tidy. Don’t forget to label all your files and papers for easy access.

Tip # 4-  Designate Certain Spaces for Certain Things! 

Now that everything is labeled, take the time to alphabetize all those pesky files. This will make sure you never loose a paper again. On your desktop, have a place for your computer, office supplies, and telephone. All of which should be placed close to you for easy access.

Tip # 5- Personalize Your Desk!

Your desk doesn’t have to be boring now that it is clean. Have fun with your space! Spruce up your desk with photos of your family, your favorite comedic calendar, or your favorite houseplant. These little things will ensure you feel more at home each time you sit down to work.

Tip # 6- Set Aside 5 Minutes!

Set aside just five minutes before you leave the office each day to clean your desk.  These five minutes will keep your messy desk at bay and spare you hours of cleanup later!

 

Remember: A Tidy Desk Makes For a Tidy Mind! 

Food Truck Friday

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Today is the opening day of Lexington’s best summer traditions… Food Truck Friday!

Our office is beyond excited to make the short trip over to the Lexington Herald-Leader parking lot to grab an amazing lunch. The lineup includes Porterhouse BBQ, Repicci’s Italian Ice, Duck’s Food Truck, and much more. Not only can you grab some great bites but a portion of today’s profits will go to United Way of the Bluegrass.

Come join us in supporting local businesses by getting a great lunch!

4 Habits of People Who Are Always Learning

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With the Month of January almost over, the New Year’s Resolutions you made January 1st might have fizzled into nonexistence by now. However, there are still some of you who keep chugging towards achieving your goals. These few individuals are always learning because they have 4 highly effective habits to keep them going. From focusing on emerging skills to setting a golden benchmark, these habits keep individuals learning their entire lives. To read more on developing into a life long learner read the article below.

4 Habits of People Who Are Always Learning New Skills

* Picture from eduadvisor.my

How to Actually Work from Home on a Snow Day

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The impending winter storm is making it hard for employees, working parents, and managers alike to get any work done. Being sent home early may be the last thing any parent or employee wants especially with work still needing to be done. However, productivity does not need to go down the drain while being at home. From making a schedule to having a dedicated work space, there are always ways to be productive even on a snow day. Check out the article below for more helpful hints!

How to Work From Home on a Snow Day

Stop Work From Ruining Your Vacation

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With Holiday Vacations fast approaching, a much needed break from work is in store. However, the stress of going back to the office with a pile of tasks can cause many to work on vacation or forgo their vacation all together. According to the U.S Travel Association’s Project,  54% of Americans did not use their allotted vacation time provided by their employer (projecttimeoff.com). It is time to stop letting work life affect your personal life. The tips below will help you manage work stress while you are on vacation.

Four Tips to Stop Work From Ruining Your Vacation

Holiday Work Party Etiquette

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The holidays are fast approaching and so are the inevitable work parties. Every year, there is always at least one person who forgoes all forms of social etiquette. From asking for a raise to flirting with the boss, making a fool of yourself can happen. Below are some easy tips to avoid embarrassment at your holiday work party. Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

15 things you should never do at the office holiday party

* Image from anyboat.com