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'Washington Business Report' – March 15, 2015

Marissa Levin. (WJLA photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – On this week’s edition of “Washington Business Report” with ABC 7 News National Correspondent Rebecca Cooper:

Maximizing productivity

Do you feel like a prisoner to your to-do list? When you have so much to do in a day, or just feel like you do, productivity can take a hit. Workplace specialist Marissa Levin says you can maximize your time and achieve peak productivity by paying careful attention to time, energy and prioritization.

Time:

Take control of your own time—“No” is a complete sentence.

Do not meet with individuals who do not have a specific agenda.

Delegate work.

Energy:

Distance yourself from negativity.

Create mental barriers between you and negative energy.

Prioritization:

Single task—work will be more effective and efficient.

Set realistic goals.

Create an accountability partnership with someone.

The benefits of a professional mentorship

The support of a respected professional can make a big difference in the fast-moving world of business. Many companies integrate mentorship programs for new employees. But even in similar relationships that form organically, as they often do, there is still much potential benefit to both parties. Rachel Kronowitz, Rosie Allen-Herring and Jennifer Nycz-Conner stopped by to discuss the importance of mentoring and how to approach potential mentors.

Why mentoring is important:

Business is about relationships.

A mentor can provide encouragement, advice, and further connections to their mentee.

Mentors can benefit from fresh perspectives and ways of thinking.

Approaching a mentor:

Many experienced professionals will appreciate the opportunity to spread their wealth of knowledge.

Allen-Herring and Kronowitz both accept cold calls for mentors (not that this is an invitation).

Be thoughtful and clear in your approach—make a potential mentor feel his or her time will not be wasted.

Round table: Maternity leave and race relations

Jennifer Nycz-Conner of the Washington Business Journal, Rosie Allen-Herring of United Way and Rachel Kronowitz took part in our weekly Round Table discussion to debate maternity leave and race relations.

Maternity leave:

Vodafone recently announced it will offer employees a 16-week paid maternity leave followed by 6 months of 30-hour work weeks with full pay.

Kronowitz says with proper planning, benefits like Vodaphone’s should become common.

Employees who know their employers truly care for them will feel more connected to their work, Allen-Herring says.

Race relations:

Leaked video of fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma engaging in racist chants raises questions about race relations in the workplace.

Our panel was surprised and disappointed that this conversation is still taking place in 2015.

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