At work on the Fourth of July? Move the party from the backyard to the break room

The Fourth of July is on a Wednesday this year and for you, that may mean being stuck at work. Wahh, wahh. Not everyone gets to celebrate our nation’s independence with a day off (24% of employees across the nation, in fact, do not) — especially when it falls right in the middle of the work week.

But that’s OK. Think positive! You can still celebrate. Move the party from the backyard to the break room (or the parking lot) and spread some cheer for your fellow employees so their morale stays high and they know you care about the things that matter to them.

Here are four ways to light up the workplace with Independence Day cheer:

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6 must-adds to a teacher’s summer break

The countdown is on, teacher friends. That last-day-of-school mark on your wall calendar gets closer and closer with each crossed out day. We know you love your job (and that you’re darn good at it), so we will not be judging when you do a little happy dance after all your kids walk out the door for summer break.

via GIPHY

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Strategies for achieving work-life balance that’s best for you

With the constant presence of technology in our lives — smartphones, computers and tablets that deliver notifications at any time of the day — it’s easy to remain attached to your job well beyond closing time.

And it can happen with the best of intentions. At first, you decide to respond to just one e-mail. Shouldn’t take too long, right? But then that e-mail turns into an hour of responding to e-mail. Then you get lost in a spreadsheet a coworker, who’s also burning the midnight oil, has questions about. Before you know it, your family has long been asleep and you’ve allowed yourself to be virtually on-call 24 hours a day.

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Introducing a new world to students: Meet School Lunch Hero Allison Sobieck

Make sure to order shirts to celebrate School Lunch Heroes by April 12! School Lunch Hero Day (May 4) showcases the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through the cafeteria. It’s a great time to say thank you to those hard-working professionals who provide food education and experiences in your school.

When she left her hometown of Somerset, Kentucky, in 1998 to get her degree, School Lunch Hero Allison Sobieck always thought she would have a job offering five-star dining experiences.

After earning an associate’s in culinary arts and a bachelor’s in business with an emphasis on hospitality management from Sullivan University, Allison and her husband, Chuck, returned to Somerset to bring everything they learned to their community. They started construction on the Doolin House Inn bed and breakfast in 2003 and launched 2Chefs Catering, plating beautiful meals and introducing new food culture to downtown Somerset. (Photo above by KSD: Chuck and Allison Sobieck in their kitchen at the Doolin House Inn in Somerset, where they also operated 2Chefs Catering.)

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Putting it off? How to overcome procrastination

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

This advice from founding father Ben Franklin seems pretty straightforward. Just do the work. Get it done. No problem, right?

Except for millions of people, procrastination IS a real problem in their daily lives. Research shows one in five people are chronic procrastinators — consistently putting off tasks in multiple areas of life, threatening their productivity and confidence.

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Create a positive customer experience in your lobby

Your brand is more than just your company’s logo. Your brand is what other people say about you when you aren’t in the room (thank you, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).

Every interaction a customer has with your company needs to leave a good first impression, because if it doesn’t, the customer is likely to share their bad impression with others. In fact, one study showed 75% of customers interviewed indicated they would share a negative experience with their friends and colleagues.

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5 unique ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

Heads up! Today, March 22, is the last day to order our Get Your Cray On shirts — perfect appreciation gifts for teachers! National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11.

My mom is a teacher.

I feel proud to type that. Though she’s now retired, once a teacher, always a teacher — she carries that badge with honor, rushing to help or advocate for many causes to support the profession even though she no longer does the day-to-day work.

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Why we should encourage children to play outdoors

Hellooooo spring. We’ve missed you.

We may not be out of the cold weather woods just yet, but today, the first official day of spring, we have license to celebrate. We can start counting down to all the fun outdoor things — Spring Break, the last day of school, opening day of the local swimming pool, SUMMER. It’s just like the late actor Robin Williams said: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”

Preach.

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Honoring our Florence Nightingales during National Nurses Week

She is a “ministering angel” without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

— The Times, London

This ministering angel was Florence Nightingale, and the story told is of her tireless efforts to improve unsanitary conditions and reduce the death rate for the wounded during the Crimean War in the mid-1800s. National Nurses Week — May 6-12 — was inspired by her legacy and ends on her birthday (May 12, 1820), and recognizes the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

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Great (and fun, and rewarding) awareness activities to support your cause

The committee you tasked with finding the right cause for your business has finished its discovery process — and your team finally has a fundraising purpose. High five! Now it’s time to set some goals and activities to help further your company’s mission of helping others.

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