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Work Like: ElRe7la’s Dalia Said

By | Uncategorized, Work Like

Work Like is a series of articles dedicated to interviewing star performers to find out what they do to stay on top of their game.

Who?:

Dalia Said

What?:

Co-founder, CEO & Learning Director

Where?:

ElRe7la

First of all, tell us about your professional background and how you got to where you are today.

Graduating from Harvard with a Masters in Education and a focus on group learning and adult development helped me pursue my passion: building memorable learning experiences for different communities and unlocking the potential of effective networking.

Since 2005, I’ve been working in curriculum and event design through different organizations, such as AIESEC, Namaa’ Initiative for Sustainable Development, ElMashrou3 and now in ElRe7la.

ElRe7la hosts four-day camping experiences outside of the city, to bring together different communities of leaders, corporate teams and entrepreneurs. The experience is connective, reflective and habit-changing.

'Dalia Said: @ElRe7la 's experience is connective, reflective and habit-changing.'Click To Tweet

Why do you do what you do?

Long ago, what motivated me through every day’s challenges is the starfish story I heard as a student in Namaa’s Summer School for Development. In short, it recounts how a wise man was walking on the beach and saw a little kid bending down and throwing a starfish on the shores back into the ocean. When he asked him why he was doing that although there was thousands of starfish down on the coast and he probably won’t be able to throw them all and make a real difference, the young man just picked up another starfish and said that right now he made a difference to that one.

It made me feel that I don’t need to make a huge change to feel that I matter. Every good deed makes a difference, and that I should try to make a difference whenever it’s possible.

In addition to that, I put in the extra mile at work in order to honor the people that I have lost along the way. The loss ignited a sense of awareness and commitment in me to create projects from which they would have been proud of.

Night owl or early-riser?

Early riser.

I spend the three hours between 6-9 AM in either reading or work that requires focus and creativity; then at 9, I have breakfast. I’m most productive in those early hours because the whole house is asleep, so I try to use them well.

What was the last thing you read?

Throughout the summer, I read 600+ articles relevant to our service at ElRe7la, which gave us enough insight to make some improvements at work.

What is a time-saving shortcut or life hack you use?

Multiple Tabs Search.

I usually need to open many research links while working or search for several topics at the same time; this tool helps me open them all in one go.

What are applications that you cannot live without?

I use “News Feed Eradicator” for Facebook and “Remove Recommendations” for Youtube.

They’re extensions that hide Facebook’s feed and Youtube’s recommendations, so that you can use them for work, but not get distracted for hours.

To-do list, on paper or do you use an app?

I use excel sheets, but my weekly calendar is in a DOTS planner.

Do you listen to music while you’re working, or do you prefer the silence?

I don’t follow specific trends, but I can sometimes put on this background music while working. The following channel puts on movie soundtracks that I like.

Cinemix – Radionomy

How often do you take breaks while working?

Usually, I follow the Pomodoro technique. My focus level is for 45 minutes, then I take 2-5 minute breaks during my peak working hours. After that, breaks prolong or are inconsistent. However, when I’m fully immersed in a project I go through it until it’s done.

How do you avoid burnout?

Every once in a while, I go on consecutive days where I don’t meet people. This helps me get some “me time”, to reset and get ready for the next phase.

What’s your favorite snack?

Carrots..or desserts. It depends on what’s in the fridge, really.

What is your favorite TV show?

Currently, it’s “This Is Us”.

What's your idea of a perfect holiday?

A perfect holiday is visiting a close friend overseas and exploring the city together, while catching up on all the years we’ve missed from each others lives. These conversations are on another level.

What is your superpower?

My edge is my work: retreat design and management, opportunity curation and benchmarking.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Responsibility lies with he who knows”. In Arabic, it’s “المسؤول هو من يَعلم”.

I heard this back in 2007, and it changed so much in me. This saying sums up how I feel about the privileges in my life and the sense of responsibility that accompanies them. Whoever has the knowledge should constantly use it to add value wherever possible.

'Dalia Said: Responsibility lies with he who knows.'Click To Tweet
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Here’s what you Missed at Quora Meetup

By | Break Room, Uncategorized

On Sunday, the 24th of June, WUZZUF partnered with Quora to hold the second Quora meetup in Egypt. With 50+ attendees, the event was very successful in establishing nine Quora circles in different fields; namely, Business and Career, Start-ups, Engineering and Programming, Philosophy, Learning and Teaching, Literature and Languages, and Psychology and Relationships.

We have talked with some participants who attended several circles along the event day, and here is what they thought of the event.

Mahmoud El Magdoub, a Quora event organizer, introduced us to the idea saying:”Quora meetup week is a yearly event held in many cities all over the world.” After the massive success of the first Quora event held in November,  Mahmoud El Magdoub, along with other seven volunteers, decided to organize another meetup that includes active Quora members to ensure that all the discussions are fruitful, and all the participants can share and enrich their knowledge, which is one of the main objectives of Quora meetups.


Discussion in one of Quora circles

“As Quora is now expanding the language versions, they want to build a base for Quora in MENA region before investing in the Arabic version,” said Wassem Ahmed, Quora Event Volunteer. He elaborated people will always want to put a face on the account they are following on Quora and sit face to face to hold a discussion. He ended his words with: “As a Quora user, it is interesting that quora have some presence in Egypt.”

Aya Alaa Eldin, 22 years old, came from Luxor in a nine-hour train trip to attend Quora meetup.  Aya was so excited to participate in a quora meetup event, just like the ones have been happening all around the world. She added “I started to search and ask on Quora more than before. It is my alternative search engine now.” Currently, Aya is trying to identify the areas she is passionate about to kickstart her career, so she was very excited to participate in the Career and Learning Circles.

Quora circle

Kareem Atef, 20 years from Assiut, is a second-year student at Assiut University. He moderated the Engineering and Programming circle, and it was his first time to moderate. “The event was an opportunity for me to build connections with and get introduced to people with different interests and personalities, who are interested in the technology as well.” The Technology circle was so unique as it had the highest number of high schoolers in the event. Kareem also participated in the Startup circle, and he got answers to what he was thinking about through the discussion and sharing experience from the other participants.

Quora moderator

Ahmed Meselhy, a recruiter who moderated the Business and Career circle, shared his views on the event: “As a recruiter, I believe that to succeed, you have to build a strong wide network in many fields. This event helps undergrads and highschoolers network and get more insights on different topics, which will later enrich their careers.”

We at WUZZUF are always supporting meetups. Partnering with Quora is always an opportunity to express this message stronger.

Even if you missed it, here are the highlights of the Quora day:

 

#MoreThanAJob: Find your WHY!

By | Explore Career Path, Find Your Passion, Kick-start, Managers, Team Culture, Uncategorized

It’s very important to have a purpose in your career. We all get up in the morning and go to work for a reason. What motivates you?

Watch INJAZ’s Program Supervisor Nayra El-Berry, our first guest on #MoreThanAJob, talk about how to find purpose at work. And share your thoughts with us in the poll below.

More than a job is a series of videos that help you deepen the meaning beyond your work, so you can lead a better work life and develop a stronger career.

If you like this article, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to the blog to get more of this content regularly.

loud colleague quiet silence deal solution

Office Drama: How to deal with a LOUD colleague

By | Break Room, Managers, Productivity, Skills Lab, Team Culture, Uncategorized, Workplace

If you know your coworker is having lunch with a second cousin in two weeks after a doctor’s appointment because you heard them arrange all this over the phone, then you have a problem. You have a loud colleague.

We all know these people. You can hear their voices walk into the office before their feet do. Having a loud colleague only adds to the noise you already have to deal with at work, and that can affect your performance, motivation, and productivity.

How noise affects us at work

  • Noise increases stress

loud colleague stress

Research has shown that exposure to loud sounds and noise in general increases our blood pressure, heart rate, and the level of stress hormones in our bodies. This issue is even bigger if you’re an introvert or a highly sensitive person, who is not comfortable with even the slightest of noise or movement around you, or if you’re working in an open-plan office.

While the debate of open-plan offices versus closed ones or cubicles has been hot for a long time now, everyone agrees on the fact that open offices are definitely noisier, which is not good news because they’re the norm nowadays.

  • Trying to block the noise takes away from your energy

Recognizing all the noises around you and actively seeking to deal with them require effort and energy. This means you’re not 100% focused on the work task at hand; instead, there’s a part of your brain that’s exerting effort and using up your energy to help you stay focused. That’s just one more task added to your to-do list, isn’t it?

  • Noise affects productivity

loud colleague no work no productivity

This is a big one. Being constantly surrounded by noise affects your productivity. A task that normally takes an hour could take you double that because you’re trying to ignore everything happening around you and to muster the focus to complete your work.

This effect is compounded when you’re working on a creative task or one that requires dealing with numbers. Research suggests that prolonged exposure to noise impairs proofreading, mental arithmetic, reading comprehension, and serial recall, among other things. And if we can’t be productive at the office, why do we go there in the first place?

If we can’t be productive at the office, why do we go there in the first place? #DealWithOfficeNoiseClick To Tweet
  • Noise affects both our motivation and ergonomics

A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found out that stress affects both motivation and ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in their working environments.

Employees who worked in noisy environments were “less likely to make ergonomic, postural adjustments.” This indicates inevitable physical damage. The same study also found decreased motivation in employees in noisy environments and fewer attempts to tackle difficult puzzles. This means you would be physically and mentally exhausted at work, and that can only negatively affect your productivity and job satisfaction.

So now that you know all the effects of noise in the workplace, you’re probably ready to deal with at least one of its contributing factors.

How to deal with your loud colleague

Let’s agree right from the start that no one can change an office environment on their own. That’s why we’ve split these solutions into things you can do on your own and things in which you’ll need to involve management.

What you can do

  • Talk to your colleague directly but politely

loud colleague talking privately

The most obvious and straightforward way is to directly talk to your colleague. Make sure you pull them aside and discuss the issue clearly but politely. Bear in mind that they might not even realize they’re causing trouble to anyone, and you don’t want this issue to strain your work relationship with that colleague going forward.

  • Ask your manager to speak to your colleague

If you find the previous solution too confrontational, you can always ask your manager to speak to your colleague about the issue. Point out to your manager the negative effect this has on your productivity, and your manager will surely rush to your help. After all, your manager wouldn’t want your output to suffer. But be very careful not to speak ill of your colleague to your manager. That would only make you look unprofessional.

  • Use noise-canceling headphones

loud colleague noise canceling headphones

You can also try to block out the noise by using a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Listening to music while you work might actually increase your productivity. But not all kinds of tasks can benefit from this. Also take into consideration that this is only a stopgap. Prolonged use of headphones can cause hearing problems.

  • Find somewhere else to work

If all else fails, try to find some other place in the office to work, maybe a quiet meeting room or an unused office.

  • Make sure you’re not overreacting

A good point to keep in mind through all of this is to be certain you’re not overreacting. You could be stressed by other things at work and this loud colleague just had the misfortune of being the last straw. You might be too sensitive to noise or too tired that particular day. The important thing is that you shouldn’t project any of this when dealing with the issue and you should keep matters separate.

Make sure you’re not overreacting. #DealWithOfficeNoiseClick To Tweet

What management can do

  • Discuss the matter with the whole office

You can always ask for someone from management (e.g., an HR member) to speak to the whole company about the issue. This way, you don’t point out the specific loud colleague who’s bothering you. And a bonus benefit is increasing the awareness of the whole office because some people are not even aware this is an issue, let alone that they’re part of it.

  • Designate a quiet area

loud colleague quiet area office

Your company can get inspiration from us here at WUZZUF where we have a quiet room designated for focus. This area is complete with a door sign that outlines the Quiet Room rules. This way everyone can have a suitable place to either escape the noise or just have some alone time to complete a certain task.

Likewise, there should be designated meeting rooms or spaces for work that requires collaboration. This way the team handling such work doesn’t feel limited or restrained either.

  • Match the workspace with the work needs

A room full of journalists working on their latest articles for the next issue of a magazine or a newspaper should be different than a place where a team of HR people is discussing the best ways to improve learning and development inside the company.

Your company should ensure that every team member is working in a space that suits the nature of their job. So, in the previous example, the journalists should be working in a quiet, closed room, where what’s outside the room has no leverage on their work. And, likewise, the HR team should work in an open-plan office where collaboration and back-and-forth communication are easy.

  • Implement policies that prohibit noise

loud colleague office rules stop

Depending on your company’s culture, there can be policies set in place that dictate the rules of the office. Whether it’s having to put your phone in silent mode or being required to take calls outside the office or not take personal calls at work at all (unless it’s an emergency), company policy can help in putting a limit to the noise around the office.

Just remember: You have to take action and not just accept this as reality. Considering we spend a great portion of our lives at work, we all have the right to be comfortable there.

Have you had any experiences with a loud colleague at work? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 tools that will help you take control of your email inbox by WUZZUF

10 Tools That Will Help You Take Control of Your Email Inbox

By | Apps, Email & Communication, Productivity, Skills Lab, Uncategorized

We’ve all fallen in the ‘100+ unread emails’ black hole before. It’s an overwhelming and sometimes haunting experience.

Here are 10 marvelous tools that will help ensure the email galaxy doesn’t swallow you whole.Click To TweetHere are 10 marvelous tools that will help ensure the email galaxy doesn’t swallow you whole.

  1. SaneBox

When it comes to handling email insanity, SaneBox knows best. Using smart algorithms that automatically filter out unimportant email from your inbox based on your past behavior, the tool helps keep your priorities in check.

Key advantage: SaneBox divides your inbox into smart priority-based folders such as SaneLater, which includes emails that can wait, SaneBlackHole, which contains emails you no longer want to receive, and SaneNoReplies, which includes emails you sent that haven’t received a reply yet. This allows you to dedicate your time and attention only to the emails the matter.

  1. UnrollMe

Newsletters are the root of all evil. Every time we subscribe to one, we end up to 20, only to find that we just read one. UnrollMe helps you avoid this mess of regret. The tool allows you to clean up your inbox by instantly unsubscribing from all newsletters you don’t want.

Key advantage: Unroll Me allows you to see a list of all your subscription emails so you can unsubscribe from all the ones you don’t want at once. Also, it combines all of the subscriptions you do want in one email called The Rollup that appears in your inbox once a day at the time you choose.

  1.    IFTT (If This Then That) for email

Although IFTT is more of a general productivity tool that works with a variety of services, it’s one of the best tools out there to make email management an extremely productive process. Using what they call Applets, IFTT connects the different platforms you use in an automated way to avoid you having to do manual tasks.

Whether it’s automatically updating your phone’s wallpaper from your favorite Instagram account or getting a text when a specific person emails you, IFTT can do anything and everything.

Key advantage: IFTT can automatically save email attachments from Gmail to Google Drive, tell Google Assistant to trigger an emergency email blast, schedule reminders for your starred emails, and do just about everything else you can automate in your inbox.

  1. Inbox

Developed by Gmail, the email management tool was built on everything Gmail learned about how their users interact with the service. Inbox is an excellent way to organize your emails using a task-oriented approach. The tool groups emails into neat Bundles that help you navigate them easily according to category or task. It also provides you with a Snooze option so you can silence the emails that don’t matter the most right now until you have time for them.

Key advantage: Inbox helps make your emails easy to navigate through Bundles, Highlights that preview important updates without you having to open the message, and Reminders that incorporate your to-do list into your inbox.

  1. Sortd

Voted the number one app for Gmail on Product Hunt, Sortd is one of the best tools to organize your inbox. It transforms the mess that is your inbox into neatly organized lists that put together your email conversations, tasks, and priorities all in one place. It also does this directly from Gmail without you being directed to another app. As they’ve put it, Sortd is “a smart skin that lives inside Gmail.” It’s also available on mobile which is super handy.

Key advantage: Sortd prevents important emails from getting lost in the undocumented black hole we talked about because it organizes them into priority-based lists and merges them with the tasks on your to-do list.

  1. Boomerang

If you struggle with scheduling your emails in Gmail, Boomerang is the tool for you. It allows you to schedule emails to be automatically delivered at any time, even when you don’t have an internet connection.

Key advantage: Boomerang makes automatically scheduling emails and setting up reminders quite easy. It also allows you to schedule certain emails to magically return to the top of your inbox at a later time when you need them.

  1. FollowUpThen

If you tend to forget to follow up on specific emails, FollowUpThen is what you need in your life right now. It’s a brilliantly simple tool that allows you to schedule reminders to follow up on emails after a specific period. You can use it to remind other people to follow up on emails as well.

Key advantage: FollowUpThen lets you schedule reminders by merely emailing “followupthen.com.” So you don’t have to install or download anything to use it, and you can use it on any device. For example, when you type “4days@followupthen” in the bcc field and send the email, you get a reminder precisely four days later without your original recipient being notified.

  1. Checker Plus

If you have trouble managing more than one Gmail account, Checker Plus is a tool you should try out. The Chrome extension is the fastest way to manage multiple Gmail accounts without having to open them all individually.

Key advantage: Checker Plus allows you to get desktop notifications without opening Gmail in a browser. It also gives you the option to read or listen to an email without opening Gmail. So it can read an email out loud to you while you’re working on something else.

  1. HubSpot Sales

If you work in sales or any other industry where you can benefit from knowing useful information about the people you email, HubSpot Sales is an excellent email tracking tool. The Chrome extension allows you to know who opens your emails, when, how many times and from where. It also provides you with contact information about whom you’re emailing that pops up when you open an email thread; this includes past contact history, social media content and mutual connections.

Key advantage: HubSpot Sales tracks your emails through Gmail and lets you get live notifications the second someone opens your email or opens an attachment so you can follow up with them in a relevant and timely manner.

  1. MailDrop

If you struggle with an overly spammed inbox, MailDrop could be your savior. The tool allows you to create a disposable email address to use when you don’t want to give out your real email address.

Key advantage: MailDrop saves your inbox from drowning in a variety of spam emails. You can use it when you want to sign up for a website but worried that it might share your email address with advertisers. You can also use it when you have to provide an email address to a mobile app that you don’t want to get messages from or when you have to give your email address to a company that doesn’t have the world’s best security.

Has your email chaos got in you in trouble before? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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