Protecting Your Privacy

Ok, so in previous articles, we’ve looked at the military-grade encryption iStratus provides because it goes without re-emphasizing it, we highly value protecting your information. Yes. We do our part, but we feel it is also important for us to look at how you can do your part to protect yourself from “online gremlins” too. 

And stay cyber safe.

It is no surprise that technology is pretty savvy towards what we do.  — By basic definition, marketing technology, in particular, is the industry devoted in part “to tracking people” and merging their information, so advertising can be tailored to suit our interests more effectively.

This tracking occurs on multiple levels: There’s physical tracking, because we carry our cell phones everywhere we go. And virtual tracking, of all the places we visit online.

The more that is understood about how the information is being collected, shared, and sold off, the more people tend to want to protect their privacy. Still, in practice, it’s difficult to know what is effective and what is a waste of time.

Everyone wants to protect their stuff, don’t they? So here are some ideas of what we should do.

Employ Good Security

This makes sense for most of us. We’ve all seen the words and rating scales of “strong passwords” at some point when setting up an online account. Passwords are the obvious thing we need to protect, so that doesn’t need repeating here. We think you understand the importance of this.

There has been much debate surrounding online privacy within the last decade. And it must be noted there’s a definite distinction between ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ when it comes to your data.

Generally speaking:

  • Security: refers to protecting against unauthorized access of your stuff — such as phishing credit card information, or hacking bank accounts.
  • Privacy: relates to preventing your movements from being tracked for purposes of advertising or monitoring.

Download The Latest Security Updates.

You know those pesky reminders you receive from your computer or phone to install the latest security update? Download those.

As App Designers we at iStratus know Apps can be compromised by problems that people know exist and publicly report. Security “bugs” are always worked upon so such situations can be avoided at a high standard. Thus, update, to get the benefit of security.

Beware of Phishing.

There’s that word again” phishing” 

Not every attack on our security arises through malware or hackers invisibly breaking into your account. Commonly, we’re hoodwinked into divulging our passwords or personal information to some shockingly awful actors.

Bear in mind, iStratus won’t send you anything. So if ever you receive anything claiming to us, it’s not us. And please let us know!

We all recognize, scammers enjoy hitting up our phones, in calls, texts, or emails and there are also signs that these messages aren’t legit. ALWAYS check for spelling or grammatical errors, links to third-party websites other than those these should be linked to, or emails coming directly from a strange domain.

If it feels fishy, it usually is! Trust those instincts!

It’s difficult to protect your privacy online if there aren’t exactly laws to protect it in the first place.

However, in truth blocking some advertising options on major social media platforms does help. It’s a dead giveaway when things you Google show up in Social Media Advertising!!

That said, privacy settings are only so effective, without any actual laws for privacy protection itself.

There are laws involving health and credit and financial information, however, there is much evidence available online that suggests, nationally the U.S. and other countries such as Australia don’t have a universal data privacy law safeguarding our everyday online privacy.

Numerous cyber-security experts propose avoiding “blockers” and so forth as they are frequently inadequate in their effectiveness anyway because of the attention such technology requires. Besides this, it is a multibillion-dollar Ad Tech industry out there. 

Like all values of communication we’ve spoken of, you would probably be better off to advocate for rights to inform policymakers that you wish to see change with today’s online privacy.

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take One Step at a Time…

When faced with this daunting issue, digital privacy and security can feel uneasy – we understand that. 

Services such as our iStratus “Password Vault” help – even just employing the basics to strengthen and protect your passwords makes a difference. Always having a vigilant eye for scams will make your accounts and information more secure. 

The Internet is not going anywhere – that’s the reality. Thus, the more aware each of us becomes towards understanding how our data is collected and used — the more we can tackle our privacy to keep it private. At iStratus, we want you to feel better and safer in mindset regarding how our digital lives will be for years to come. The only way is up!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

The Importance of a Password Vault

The gist of Password Managers (PMs) and encryption in applications is to provide users with a safe and secure way to store credentials. This process typically includes applying a password, or pin to correctly verify data whenever access to personally sensitive information within an application or on a device is required. In this article, we’ll explore some of the mechanisms in our “Vault” that make password storage secure and easier.

At iStratus we know that security is a top priority for everyone. Hence, it’s the thing we value within our App most of all. We want you to feel secure in the way you store your credentials in our database for future reference and use. 

So, How Are Storing Passwords?

A “simple” approach to storing passwords is to create series of algorithms or tables in our database which maps use. When a user logs in, the server receives a request for authentication with a master password and, if things don’t match up in our vault, it’s a no-go. Again, the safety and security of your information are our primary focus. We keep things locked tight (no puns intended) and rest assured to access files and sensitive information your master password is immediately compared with the password provided and stored within the iStratus database. A secure match then provides the user access to the application.

A far more secure way to store a password is to transform it into data that cannot be converted back to the original password. Thus, at iStratus, we apply advanced encryption techniques to ensure your private/secure information is trolled all over the world of the Internet. Let’s learn more about the theory behind encrypting, its benefits, and its limitations.

Setting Your Master Password

We all have little memory space outs. In case that occurs iStratus has a sweet featured where you send yourself a nice little email with a few hints.

You don’t have to worry, you’re not superhuman you don’t have to remember everything!! We don’t necessarily like the impossible, it is just unrealistic, to think occasionally there is that chance you may forget.

As usual, iStratus akin to other elements within the app, ensures your passwords are neatly organized into categories so you have the option of deciding what goes where.

It’s all up to you. You decide which direction you wish to take.

It’s not surprising to hear the question: “Are password managers (PMs) safe to use?” The short answer is “yes.” The vast majority of cyber-security specialists agree that password managers are indeed the most secure way to protect your passwords.

Further research suggests, “123456” and “password”— are two of the most widely used passwords on the web for security. We might be biased but this is all the more reason to adopt and use our “Password Vault” in iStratus, because like the healthy fruits and vegetables of the Internet. Essentially, everyone knows these foods are good for us; however, most people are happier snacking on a password equivalent of a Snickers bar. 

Stay Safe & Sound

Despite the reliability of the PMs, the technology industry as a whole always takes a hit when media covers the latest vulnerability or security breach. Therefore, we hope this blog helps you feel confident about using our password vault without the fear-mongering often associated with these tools.

Of course, in this technological era, we need to always be conscious and aware of how we store our sensitive information. So we must emphasize whilst use iStratus, even if “hackers” do attempt to have a field day, we used military-grade encryption so that even with a “cyber attack” your data will be protected.

Let’s face it, the safest way to store them in your head is to memorize them all, keeping them all long, strong, and secure as a rule of thumb!

We’re joking. That might be possible for a unique genius but for the most part, we need to offload our data into secure vaults so that we make room in our minds and give our overworked memories a decent break.

The iStratus Password Vault offers convenience and, more importantly, helps you stay organized and keep them, which makes your online existence less vulnerable to password-based attacks. 

So yes, we’re advocates for using a password manager as a handy tool. In one click, as well as securely storing other types of data like your credit card or home security information, you can instantly print selected pieces of data you have stored. As always, our App is designed with organization in mind. And we want the sharing of your data with family and friends to be safer. We feel this is a significantly better way to share your login details than in an email or some unencrypted messenger. This approach also ensures you won’t lose anything should the unexpected happen. Breathe easy.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Encryption Explained.

In today’s world and advancement in the use of technology over the past decade, there’s an ever-growing potential for escalation of hackings, and security breaches in our private data are pervasive. To protect technology (and ourselves) now, more than ever before, encryption has a stronghold key towards our security online.

There has been quite a debate recently regarding Internet regulation pertaining to access to data. However let’s not digress here, that is another story for another day, as they say really. 

The Need For Encryption

Bottom line: We want and need encryption, and if you read our previous article associated with using iStratus’s “Password Vault” you’ll understand why we apply encryption every day to ensure your personal data doesn’t land in the wrong hands.

In this article, we’ll address the encryption script and why it is central to the security we offer you when using iStratus. Needless to say, but we’ll say it repeatedly anyway because we want you to feel assured: The safety of your data is paramount to us!

The Encryption Script

Encryption is exactly that – cryptic. It transforms data into an ambiguous message to prevent unauthorized access to your information within our app. Many technologies use this approach from emails to bank details, by keeping communication secure between the parties involved.

Within iStratus, our security is military grade. So any information used within the “vault or cloud” becomes ‘scrambled’ when any information is sent from one recipient to another. A lengthy code turns information unreadable for anybody else that may attempt to access it.

When the data stored and sent is encrypted, the user or the sender and the receiver are the only people that can decrypt the scramble. Simply put encryption is like translating your information into a foreign language only you or an intended recipient understands, and most importantly, vernacular cybercriminals cannot translate.

When implemented effectively, encrypted data potentially ensures hackers would require hundreds of years to crack the codes applying repeatedly brute force cyber attacks, upon the complex mathematical algorithms and long numerical sequences that are arduous to decrypt, using software that scans through billions of combinations.

Of course as just as there are different types of technology, there are different types of encryption, each with varying levels of effectiveness. 

This process is essential measured in “bits”. We’re not going to get into all of that technical jargon here, as that involves numerous pages and lots of numbers. However in simple terms of the theory: The higher the number of “bits” involved in encryption, the harder it is – a general rule – for a hacker to crack the code. We’ll say it again, iStratus uses Military Grade encryption, so yes, we’re sure – you get the message on that.

Keeping Things Locked for Security.

End-to-end encryption is imperative because it provides of course provides security for files, data being sent moment to moment and it is scrambled until it is accessed by the user on “password” or it is something received by an intended recipient. This also ensures that no third party or hacker can read the exchanged information.

Services like Gmail or Microsoft for example, enable the provider to access the content of users’ data on its servers because they possess copies to the decryption keys. With the terms and conditions, we essentially grant permission to read emails and files. In Google’s aka Gmail’s past, it’s these keys that have allowed them to share information and this is why we often receive targeted advertisements. 

On the contrary, well-constructed end-to-end encrypted systems, such as iStratus, means that providers never have to access to the decryption keys.

Advantages of End-To-End Encryption

The National Security Agency (NSA) recently issued revised guidelines (2020) for using certain collaboration services during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Leading Number One on the NSA’s list of Criteria was the recommendation to employ end-to-end encryption, to reduce the risk exposure of confidentially sensitive data and becoming harder targets for a “cyber invasion.”

So in summary encryption:

Safeguards your confidential data against hackings: With end-to-end encryption, the service user is the only one who has the private key to unlock their data. The information these web servers store cannot be read by hackers because the private keys are required to decrypt it.

Protects your privacy: If data features decryption on these servers, then obviously your privacy is also protected.

Safeguards Administrators too: With no holds on the decryption keys to the data, any attempted attack that could potentially target admins like iStratus will come up short.

Today, it is no surprise that hundreds of defense companies and businesses rely on this approach to protect user’s most sensitive data. At iStratus, the end-to-end encryption approach is at the core of how we protect you best. Stay safe always.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Organize. Transform. Standout. 

If you’re not an inherently organized person, iStratus is here to help you apply critical organizational skills daily that will be transformative to your career. We want you to stand out and separate from the pack. Read on to discover five key strategies that will improve your organizational skills within the workplace.

Planning

Plan for accomplishment. Thinking as far ahead and establishing a thoughtful plan of attack allows for the value-added organization each day. Be proactive! The easiest way to be productive for the day is to plan and prepare, for it.

Being an efficient planner entails utilizing lists. 

Use iStratus to make a list of all the tasks you must cover each day. This will ensure:

  • Fewer tasks are forgotten
  • You experience the satisfaction of checking things off from your to-do list throughout the day.
  • You have a concrete way to keep track of the tasks for completion.
  • You will potentially stay motivate to commit and there will be a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment from finalizing tasks.

Regardless of which list or calendar method you use on iStratus, the application of a list will help you focus and structure your day.

Time Management

Begin by viewing your time as valuable. Life will pull you in different directions at times; feeling like you’ll never get atop your job. However, effective time management will allow you to address those moments of havoc with added intention and intelligence. We can view interruptions as a minor annoyance as opposed to something, which controls your day.

Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive – if you function better early in the morning, consider that your prime time use iStratus to highlight and schedule your most demanding and challenging work during this time. Try to coordinate your prime time with others to minimize unnecessary and avoidable interruptions. 

Typically significant time is wasted dealing with interruptions during the workday. From emails to those constant “dings” that occur on our mobile phones and those distractions steal valuable time. Focusing on key tasks noted on your iStratus calendar in time blocks will help you track your day effectively.

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule

The scheduling strategy goes hand in hand with creating checklists. While you are creating “To-Dos” or Checklists of tasks and projects, align it all with a schedule. Give each task a designated timeframe in which to accomplish it. That way, you can ensure deadlines are met and nothing is left undone or by the wayside. 

Be generous and allow some flexibility with your time estimates for each task or project. The schedule must be realistic. Try not to compile a list and schedule that results in feeling low and unaccomplished because you “failed to meet” your own presets for work.

Appreciate your calendar with an eye upon the bigger, wider picture. Sometimes it’s important to focus on what’s happening today, for today, and then deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. Following this to take a few steps ahead at once towards a broader view will help you thrive.

Kick Goals

Nothing feels better than setting a goal and smashing it. Go for fulfillment. It’s a genuine energy boost!

Set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals for yourself. Prioritize both smaller and larger goals to stay motivated and disciplined to finalize tasks.

Remember flexibility is key. Adding new goals to your agenda in iStratus throughout the year or adjusting an existing goal is perfectly okay. Life is unpredictable, thus it’s important be open and willing to redirect the course as required. This doesn’t equate to failure. Sometimes, there is simply a need to pivot to keep moving forward. Moving forward is what counts.

You are in charge of your organizational domain.  Arrange your digital workspace into folders within iStratus for maximum efficiency. Anyone can diminish the time and effort it takes to accomplish tasks. 

Storing your files digitally with iStratus is designed to organize them in such a way so that everything you require is stored adequately and named appropriately. This will save time looking for those “lost” files. Create a master document of all your files to save time in the long run. 

Ultimately, we recognize that life is not a checklist, to rule your world. We do, believe in allowing the process to flow. We say that organizational skills are crucial for success and increasing your productivity so that you can breathe and focus on those things that matter to you most.

We hope these tips assist in helping you – Organize and transform your daily routine to stand out amongst “the crowd.”

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”

~ J. K. Rowling

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Your Attention is Valued: Eliminate Information Overload

The world’s technology revolution and information overload explosion have placed our daily attention under siege of sorts. On a given day we absorb more than quadruple the information than we ever did four decades ago. Information, thanks to the virtual world, is merely a few finger taps away.

Our brains, as governed by Darwin’s theory of biological evolution — advances gradually. Thus, our “attention intelligence” must effectively join the race to maintain productivity across the board.

Attention Intelligence? Really?

Yes. Really. With so much bombardment of information we all require some strategies to boost attention spans. It is no surprise that rapid change can become overwhelming. If you feel this way, right now – you’re not flying solo there.  First and foremost we need to de-clutter the mind to improve brain functionality or circuitry and ultimately boot productivity more successfully.

Knowing When to Switch Thinking Up or Off

The operating principle behind this idea is to enhance self-awareness to lead to greater productivity.

This is where we must address tasks that benefit from sustained concentration. These are things that typically involve, step-by-step problem solving, gathering and analyzing information (for example, organizing weekly schedules, expenses, To-Do Lists, and so forth). 

When we have been problem-solving for a meaningful period and our tight focused attention begins to feel counterproductive, as evidenced by lethargy, wavering concentration, and feeling stuck in gridlock.

To combat such things we believe that reducing distractions is key.

You can efficiently use iStratus to build a routine that capitalizes on reward circuitry within the brain. In short: By addressing goals, tasks, and checklists, one element at a time, we come to feel some sense of relief and fewer overloads.

Free Up Attention: Unload Info to Reduce Stress

Every day we have countless things to keep track of, that anytime we can dependably unload any of it, we free up our attention. If parts of the mind are preoccupied with our ‘To Do’ lists, we’re unable to fully engage in problem-solving or relax. We often unload by creating a contact list on our phones or recording our passwords. So we already acknowledge there are benefits to such “downloading”. 

Numerous studies associated with productivity, indicate we should be embracing as many opportunities as possible to unload stored information. Over decades, our brain circuitry has transitioned more towards being vigilant and constantly “pinging” reminders of our endless responsibilities and commitments. Ultimately, we are stuck with minds that are compelled to churn over such responsibilities – to what neuroscientists refer to as “rehearsal loops”.

Now more than ever, we recommend that besides unloading a trusted person, we also need to utilize an operational App or system such as ours to “mind sweep” and prioritize responsibilities and open up our capacity for responsiveness (and gain some much-needed sleep)!

You’ve no doubt heard of the “mind-sweeping” technique which is intended to capture all the tasks, responsibilities, commitments and those “should dos” that interject into our minds daily. Essentially it is all “the stuff” we feel obligated to complete.

  • The first step towards progress is to identify and list as many of these items in iStratus so that information is readily available.
  • The second step is to add new items that pop up (your can voice record them on your phone and transfer these across to iStratus).

By doing so, these items are “downloaded” onto a trusted external system, which can be reviewed periodically. In turn, we also “down the volume” on those rehearsal loops, become more relaxed, and have more capacity to focus on tasks at hand and the things we love.

As You Know, Prioritizing Is Meaningful. 

To de-clutter our minds, we also need to cultivate the habit of putting these tasks on a daily calendar. And any business that can be in the electronic trash upon reflection, 

De-clutter our attention and working memory and transfer some of those worries into our worlds. 

And as we noted in some of our previous articles: Sleep! – Don’t forget to catch a good night’s sleep, the most significant booster of productivity!

If you wish to save your mental energy for the important stuff to increase productivity, we recommend adopting the ‘good enough’ principle, with the unimportant stuff. President Obama knew what he was doing by limiting his wardrobe, depending on his schedule. This gives our attention spans space for more essential objectives.

With so many choices at our disposal, we can often feel that is our fault for not applying the best one.

However, with all the research on focus and excellence, consider it another reason to “dump” unnecessary information. It’s not as complicated as it seems. 

Why not use iStratus today, to help kick a new direction, preserve your time and cerebral energy for invaluable productivity? Start the change. Leap. Unload. Redirect your attention – 

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Learn. Organize. Create.

Super-organized people are not born that way, as humans, we have to cultivate healthy habits, which help us stay organized.

So even if you think you are a very disorganized person, you can learn to be organized with iStratus. By jotting things down, ditching the unnecessary and systematizing things that matter, you will become an organized person as long as habits are put into practice.

In this article, we’ll address some essential habits for organizing your life more effectively with iStratus.

Lists Are Your Best Friend

We all know someone that remembers every birthday and anniversary. It’s not magic, more often than not dates are noted somewhere. Trying to remember things will not help you stay organized. Making a list of things stimulates our working memory. Recording important things via iStratus becomes a way of remembering, itemizing externally, and it’s much more permanent. 

Life doesn’t need to be complicated and stressful by retaining content in your head. iStratus can support lists for everything: shopping lists, holiday wish lists, and important dates like meetings and birthdays. Having that visual helps us remember far more effectively.

Stick to Schedules and Deadlines

Organized people don’t waste time. Keeping things organized goes hand-in-hand with staying productive. Stick to schedules for the day and week. It’s essential to make deadlines and set goals, and most importantly, stick to them!

Similarly, living a cluttered lifestyle inhibits the time or space you have to meet your deadlines or achieve your goals.

The objective of the iStratus calendar is there to help you keep track of those deadlines, leaving more time for the things you love. 

Do yourself a favor think about things you want to achieve this year and record what you need to do to achieve them. This sets the ball rolling. It’s a positive. Life is short; we’ve also got to do what matters to us most. 

Avoid Procrastination Now

Speaking of what matters most, the longer we wait to undertake something the more difficult it becomes to achieve it. In some way, we all want less stress and fewer demands in our lives. Being organized helps to combat this. Investing the effort to finalize tasks as soon as possible will take the weight off of your shoulders. Consider the steps you need to take and tick them off that iStratus checklist. If you can get something finished right now, then go do it!

De-clutter Your Spaces Regularly

Find time to organize your spaces regularly, including your electronic ones! Highly organized people make sure they find time every week to clear things. Ultimately, this helps us to breathe. It is not new news, staying organized doesn’t happen on its own. Set those alarmed reminders in iStratus to continuously and consistently uphold structure.

Have you ever felt like you don’t have the space you need? 

Convert to an electronic application like iStratus rather than being mountains of physical paper. This way, files can be effortlessly tailored to suit your needs. They also become transferrable, portable, and best, you avoid the paper overload, which can feel suffocating to our spaces.

Everything Requires a Home

Maintaining an organized life means keeping things in specified places. Organized people keep order through color-coding or filing. Whether it’s electronically or physically, be creative, yet structured about finding places for things utilizing a system that works for you.

Delegate Responsibilities Equitability 

An organized life is one not overfilled with responsibilities, meetings, and deadlines. In truth, these responsibilities are lessened, because they have slowly organized out through reasonable delegation. In this regard, there are two things we recommend for achieving this effective change:

  • Check out your to-do list or create one. 
  • Choose one task that you can remove or allocate with help of someone else within equitable limits. 

Can you already feel the stress immediately falling away at just the thought of this? Taking small steps today, plants seeds of change for the future.

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’”

~ John F. Kennedy

Focus On Systemizing and Create Peace

Invest a little effort. Well, make that a lot, when necessary. Upon effective delegation of responsibilities and scheduling, systematizing our priorities becomes easier to focus upon.

Staying organized is not a breeze. It requires commitment, recognizing that it all will pay dividends for long-term benefit later.

Sometimes you might feel like giving up, it seems tough and understandably so. But remember, what you are investing in is learning, organizing, and creating change in ways that are meaningful to you. Let’s go for it.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Guarding Our Time

Time is one of our most precious resources and often the most challenging one to protect as life begins to return to post-pandemic “normal”.

We might have felt more productive while isolated and working from home.  As it turns out most of us worked longer, but somewhat less efficiently. 

Let’s face it, emails, messages, news articles, and social media continued to hack our attention.

The new “hybrid” phase of balancing in-office and remote work adds even more complexity. There is pressure to address things such as responding to emails quickly, check out the latest news on Twitter, or even walk the dog. 

Ultimately, the distractions that can imitate productive uses of time, are far less productive than we think.

The iStratus App aims to protect your time against noise and distractions. In this article, we will provide some practical ideas to optimize your time and stay productive as well.

Define Your Goals 

Outlining distractions is rather challenging and varies with each individual. Thus we suggest beginning by identifying your goals. 

A goal might be to finalize a pressing project or search for a new job. Essentially a distraction is anything that sidelines you from achieving that core goal.

Use iStratus to evaluate your “To Do’s” and record reminders of ways to moderate your work time and objectives against your goals and the distractions that become immediately obvious. Could emails, for instance, be moderated? These can easily begin to merge into looking a lot like someone else’s checklist if you allow it.

Identify Focus

Defined goals are one thing, however, the reality is, it’s unlikely you allocate the time to address your priorities. You’re not alone. It happens to the best of us.

Thus to discover what’s working and what isn’t, perhaps adding undue stress, we suggest creating a list in iStratus of everything you undertake at work and how much time you usually spend addressing each item. 

Do this for at least a week to track details. This process should help to identify the specific distractions that evaporate time you could otherwise spend working towards your main goals. This helps us stay motivated to keep taking one step at a time.

The Social Media Diet

The algorithm of “likes, comments, clicks, and click bait” of other users within our social media networks determines what emerges in our feed. 

Automatically, this becomes your information diet. 

Do you find this a distraction that eats into your time? 

Use this tool to network amongst experts. Quality journalism has high expectations to clear. It’s not a newsflash that random news posts across social media don’t follow this same protocol. 

To help you avoid the distraction blues and advice on how to maintain productivity follow us at, iStratus on Facebook here.

Routines Reduce Distractions

Often people think productivity equates to motivation. However, establishing strong habits and routines is just as central to the process of combating distractions, as motivation is. Even the most disciplined, ambitious people succumb to their devices. No doubt you’re tempted to check certain apps every time you grab the phone. 

  • Set those time blocks and reminders in iStratus, before you pick your phone up to check that email app or Facebook. 
  • Try your best to check off those necessary slots first.
  • Perhaps, create a folder known as “distractions.”

Be OK, With Saying NO.

“No” is an important word. We’ve mentioned this a couple of times in previous articles. However, it is worth repeating because it truly is a central rule for success and depletion of distractions.

By saying “No,” you are saying “Yes” to important goals and leaving more time available to execute them. 

Use iStratus to define workplace goals, and redirect and brainstorm objectives easier amongst all team members. Having a clear direction helps to easily identify when saying “no” to a new project or task that competes with or overrides those higher priorities.

“Working from home meant we could vary snack and coffee breaks, change our desks or view… meet to gossip or share ideas.

On the other hand, we bossed ourselves around…demanded longer hours than office jobs usually entail.

It was the ultimate “flextime”, in that it depended on how flexible we felt each day, given deadlines, distractions, and workaholic crescendos.”

 

~ Diane Ackerman

So, if you have read this article through and take no action, you will have lost about ten minutes of your day. The pandemic bubble arrived and in many ways became a guard. However, we must embrace this world we’re in. Be social and schedule instances to do the things that are important in your life. Set the bar high for the value of your time. By focusing on what matters, you’re more likely to experience improved outputs and maintain productivity. 

Set some new goals and ruthlessly protect them from those distractions around you.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

What Day Is It?

Forget Monday-itis, we have seemingly evolved into “days-itis”, of who-knows-what Thursday of the week, or month it is. 

Yes, we will dub what we will call the “Covid-19 Effect” which has taken hold of our lives. Between the masks and social distancing, it has become a fight to even remember life before the Pandemic, let alone what day it is. 

And like to many, you are probably finding yourself immersed in the struggle of staying focused. This “temporary” work-from-home experiment that began with high hopes of seamlessly regulating both your employment responsibilities and your downtime ambitions has blurred lines. By being at home you are simply continually distracted and disrupted by everything.

You are not alone.

The logistics of finding a silent, and comfortable space, for the perfect focus and carving chunks of time out to concentrate solely on your work, is next to impossible. 

We want to provide reassurance that the idea of working productively is a specifically learned art of juggling, as opposed to a formulated scientific theory, that runs like a tight ship.

We’re here to support that.

We know that sometimes, productivity feels like it is going out the window. The truth is, the “norm” of what we knew has evaporated. Yes, we are experiencing what some may call the “personal disconnect.” However, all is not lost.

Together, let’s look at multiple ways to maintain focus and lessen those remote-working distractions, and hopefully, this will help you feel like you have some direction and peace of mind.

You Can’t Control Everything

Carpe diem, live and let live, or whatever philosophy it is that you choose. While clichés might appear to be extracted directly from a self-help book – it applies directly to effective time management skills just as much releasing the emotional baggage that we hold within.

It’s common sense, the more you try to gain control over situations that are completely out of your grasp of control, the more stress and pressure you will feel.

Our minds will naturally seek out distractions, rather than address the root of these feelings. Hours later you find yourself wondering how you ended up so off task for what accumulates into hours.

Goals are not achieved like this. iStratus, recommends setting yourself personal deadlines. Place reminders and on your calendar and stick with it step by step. By letting go of external factors you can’t control, you will open up to a feeling of freedom.

Schedules Matter 

Being free means prioritizing. Clearly attributing chunks of time for tasks is one easy way to limit distractions. 

If you break up your day into defined blocks of time, One, two, or 3 hour increments, you’re less likely to get distracted.

Balance is everything; so create a mix of both work and social interactions to break the monotony and potential distraction. Perhaps check your emails or take 5 to call Mom.

Brain Gym

Rev up your internal engine, before getting started on your to-do list.

Have that cup of coffee, read a few articles from your favorite magazine, or send a few texts, to allow your brain to warm up a bit before “hitting the hard yards.” This way, you will feel more motivated to start your tasks and less tempted by distractions.

Set Boundaries

Do external forces—often dictate your schedule? 

Develop strict boundaries for yourself when working from home, guard time when you’re “on the clock.”

Consider the times when you are usually most productive. Save intense work periods for when you tend to feel at your best. Don’t forget to mark off your objectives from your iStratus checklist as you achieve them too.

Triggers?

Ok, we all have weaknesses and are aware of things that cause us stress.

Time wasting is a big one. The guilt associated with that catches up. Thus, a purposeful amount of space to breathe will prevent you from falling down a rabbit hole of Facebook pointlessness instead.

Multitasking Zone

As mentioned earlier, there are a thousand and one distractions, in the four walls of the home – a load of dishes from the dishwasher to the foghorn of Netflix calling, or that buzz of our devices with exciting notifications. 

We’re in for a ride of distractions. People who commonly multitask are not, as assumed, short on attention spans. It is more about prioritizing. Make sure you pinpoint the important tasks and try to address them before the day is over. And breathe.

Body Talk 

We all hit walls. When your brain has reached its limit and your body feels much less energetic, listen. Know when you’re no longer able to focus. Stop. Pay attention. Wind down. Your body needs time to reset. Take the time to decompress to be more productive long term

Remember, stay focused; you’re not alone with the “days-itis.”

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Technology in Action: How It Improves Workplace Communication

Workplace Communication is vastly different than it was years ago – let alone, decades. The days of faxes and paper memos are long over. Today, technologically connected office spaces are central to how we function.

There’s almost always constant feedback and availability, and as such office communication technology has been both applauded and frowned upon. Either way, you perceive it, when used correctly, it’s an essential part of effective communication within the workplace.

We hope you’ll read on as iStratus explores how it brings you into a technological world and improves communication today, we certainly hope it is something iStratus will continue to evolve for the future.

Communication Technology: The Face of Change

In days gone by, when employees departed the office, they were no longer connected to the business for a certain period of time. Nowadays, however, thanks to communication technology our location is irrelevant and connectivity have fundamentally changed on demand.

Like all modern-day technology, iStratus aims to improve communication, regardless of the distance between employers, employees, or workplaces.

Communication across distances, for the immediate formulation of new ideas, document editing, and file-sharing abilities, effectively allows businesses to utilize new digital solutions in the workplace. The opportunities provided by technology are endless, with the rise of instant messaging and video conferencing; we can “drop” files for instantaneous delivery and collaboration.

Furthermore, flexibility is spawned by this connectivity as people now work from home. 

These changes have no doubt had an impact on how communication at work functions, for better or worse, iStratus aims to increase effective workplace communication, with ease.

Connecting Employees Globally

Useful communication is paramount to the success of organizations. No matter how workplace communication is executed, there is a key element to effective communication regardless of the medium. 

With iStratus the clarity of the content is everything. We provide an organizational tool for efficiency, rather than wasting time communicating unnecessary information.

Connecting people regardless of the location immediately also decreases the chances of miscommunication that could become costly in terms of money and time. 

Keeping Conversations = Clear Team Objectives

Chat logs, Checklists, or To Do’s that can be referenced at later dates provide meaningful documentation to operational teams. With notes from meetings, teams can scroll up to have direct access to the content addressed to meet objectives within the workplace, from perhaps days before.

The key is: 

  • Segmenting information into categories so that conversations or content doesn’t become buried. 
  • Maintaining distinct guidelines for discussion when using these tools.

Managing Projects, Communicating with Simplicity 

Depending on how you prefer to utilize iStratus, it can become a central hub of project activity that everyone can reference from wherever they may be. 

iStratus ensures it easier than ever to:

  • Track projects.
  • Overview deadlines or what is or coming up on the agenda in the future.
  • Document any important comments and identified issues, effortlessly accessible in one place. 

iStratus is a functional tool to meet the demands of your company or job requirements. 

Effective communication is central. Any project will feel inefficient if the process and flow of objectives are not established and communicated clearly and simply with your team.

Communication technology like ours also improves workplace productivity by simplifying time-consuming tasks. For example, using iStratus for document management/storage replaces the need for manual file retrieval, data entry, or filing.

The key to productivity is to know when and how technology should be used and when.

Bottom line: Having immediate access to mass amounts of data in the cloud on-demand means we can be more productive, than ever before as a functioning society for the human race.

“Time Track” – Stay Organized

 

For business management, the seamlessness of online productivity, time tracking, and collaboration options available are invaluable. 

iStratus allows organizations to communicate progress, projects, and the time allotted for task completion. 

If employees are not on track, it becomes immediately apparent. Thus, the opportunity arises for a timely solution-based approach – and there will be no more surprises following project completion, as every piece along the way has already been collected, recorded, and addressed with efficiency and collaboration.

“Business success requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”
~ David Rockefeller

We feel that our technological innovations have the ability to improve your business’ overall to execute, pivot, and scale, projects, objectives including long-term goals be they big or small. 

Our main goal of quality assurance is that we will keep growing our approach towards technology, to be increasingly efficient and innovative for what the future holds. 

And with your investment into combining “technological” theory with actual practice, you’ll be 100% ready to tackle the communication evolution head-on.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Juggle Everything Well with iStratus

In today’s world, parents are juggling a myriad of activities, responsibilities, work commitments, and family affairs more than ever before.

Life is continually becoming busier, and one thing that will make all the difference between having a relaxed and peaceful household rather than a chaotic and overwhelming one is, our favorite iStratus feature: Organization.

If you’d like to incorporate a bit more order into your family environment, iStratus has ways in which you can become an organized parent whilst simultaneously increasing harmony at home.

Everyday Life 

Let’s face it; most of us spend large chunks of our days in the car—driving back and forth to work and shuttling kids to their activities. 

Often it’s difficult to keep track. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your “To-Do List” accessible and ‘on the go whenever you leave the house. Given its portability on your device, iStratus is simply perfect for that.

You’re unlikely to forget a task or project to tackle while on the move, or waiting in line, which saves you time in the long run – and when home there’s more time for family. 

The Weekly Menu

How often do you shop for your groceries?

Are you constantly roving in the supermarket pretty much daily simply because you’ve overlooked some ingredients in that recipe or have no clue what you’re serving for dinner? 

The biggest sanity saver for any family is meal planning. It does not have to be complicated or fanciful. It can still be convenient and healthy.

Most families enjoy staple meals upon the table such as spaghetti meatballs (which you can incorporate veggies, like grated zucchinis and carrots into) roasted chicken and rice, or more relaxed foods like Tacos Tuesdays.

iStratus recommends:

  • Creating a list of about 10 or 12 meals that your family enjoys regularly and incorporate those into your weekly menu.
  • Shop with your dinnertime plan handy so that you don’t overlook any key ingredients on the list.
  • Leave nights open for leftovers, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or take out.
  • Try not to stress over “What’s for dinner?” every night

This way, there’s less stress and you will have some extra energy to spend focused on your projects, which will be of additional benefit to your family.

Resourcefully Organize a “Cheat Sheet”

As you probably well know by now, we at iStratus believe that having a calendar system is a must to keep your family organized, it’s not new news. 

However, in addition to that idea, you can create some “cheat sheets” which can be shared electronically. Information is right there in a few taps.

By all means, transition these into concrete form to be laminated and kept on the fridge or inside the kitchen cabinets, for quick access.

Include emergency numbers for police/fire and any of the following essential info:

  • Work numbers for Mom and Dad, 
  • The pediatricians, neighbors, extended family, and friends nearby 
  • Contact details for anyone who is back up in an emergency. 
  • Notes regarding over-the-counter medication dosages that are required for family members, particularly the younger ones, who have any allergies.
  • Record and safely store social security numbers on the cheat sheet, which is always required for one form or another.

Create a separate memo in iStratus, which can be shared with sitters, grandparents, older children, and so forth, 

  • Record full names
  • Age, weights, and dates of birth of your kids’.
  • Details which doctors and emergency personnel frequently request, on a need-to-know basis).
  • Document important relevant notes following each consultation/check-up – and update them regularly.

That Morning Rush

Besides meal planning, the second-best organizational habit is to checklist what helps you and your kids prepare for school the night before, like: 

  • School lunches 
  • Reminders of the outfits, and extra things needed, such as gym clothes or after-school practice equipment.
  • Library bags, reading folders, anything else needed to head out the door without feeling like headless chooks aka chickens.

Learning to Say “No”

This idea is something we’re mentioned in our previous article: “When Working and Caregiving Are Pulling You Apart” [hyperlink].

One of the main reasons people become disorganized and stressed out more than necessary is because of the difficulty in saying one word: NO. 

You name it, from over-volunteering time to a myriad of duties, too many people over-commit. 

Use iStratus to prioritize your social obligations and civic duties clearly towards multiple play-dates and birthday parties for the kids.

“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life… the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act and in acting, to live.”
~ General Omar Bradley

Be honest with yourself in what value these things truly hold you and your family. Eliminate the tasks you can and you’ll free up time, be less overwhelmed, and feel more organized.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.