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In Office In Office is the newsletter for the staff of the Department of Housing and Residential Life.

FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Welcome back! Hard to believe we have begun another calendar year. 2014 is poised to be an important year for the Department of Housing and Residential Life. We are in the final stages of completing a Housing Facilities Strategic Plan that will provide the outline for the renovation of our current facilities and the addition of new student housing to the Coral Gables Campus. Once complete the plan will go to senior University Administration for review. If approved the plan will go on to the Board of Trustees for their review and endorsement. Should the plan be accepted we will move quickly to implement the plan and provide an updated home for our Freshman Year Experience Programming as well as our developing Upper Class Experience. As returning staff knows all too well the spring semester is a busy one filled with staff selection, SportsFest, housing signup, and a plethora of programs and transitions as another academic year comes to a close. Thanks in advance for all of your hard work, creativity, persistence and service to our resident student body. In countless ways we provide an environment which helps students learn, succeed, and manage the trials and tribulations of student life. Enjoy what you do. Take a little time for yourself, every once in a while, and have a great semester!

Spotlight of Patty Martely

IT’S JUST ANOTHER PACKAGE!

The hiring of new Resident Assistants is a process that takes months of preparation. It requires hard work, dedication and a cheery disposition; qualities that Patricia “Patty” Martely embodies. Most of the candidates on the other end of the process won’t get to meet her, but she is responsible for gathering and organizing the materials used during RA Selection. Before transferring to the Housing & Residential Life department in 2011, Patty worked in purchasing and made the move in order to receive more variety in her workload— “which [she gets] plenty of now,” she said. Known for her commitment, Patty is always willing to go above and beyond in her duties to get a job done well. Her duties cover, but are not limited to, assessing and completing special assignments handed from the Director of Residential Life, monitoring and preparing budgets, coordinating training, maintaining payroll and editing most Housing and Residential Life publications. Patty’s exuberance knows no bounds and is a crucial component in what makes her

Did you know we received over 82,000 packages last year? That is 6,000 more than Sun Life has seats. It’s amazing that we only have a few issues a year of missing packages. While we do utilize an electronic system to log and keep track of all of them, the biggest reason we have so few issues is because of our staff. Keeping track of, signing in, checking out - it is a lot! While we receive those 82,000 packages, UPS ships over 16 million a day and FedEx ships over 8 million a day. While we

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IN THIS ISSUE Message from the Executive Director Staff Spotlight - Patty Martely It’s Just Another Package Customer Service Highlights Thinking Critically Game Center Upcoming Events

In Residence Fall 2013

In1Office Volume I, Issue I February 2014


T H I N K I N G CRITICALLY How To Use If-Then Planning To Achieve Any Goal by Heidi Grant Halvorson This article first appeared on 99u. com

CUSTOMER SERVICE by Chris Brown Whether you are a Resident Assistant, Desk Assistant, or worked for Walt Disney World like Oscar, customer service is very important in your workplace. Customer service is a term that refers to much more than just the service provided to a customer, but it refers to the way the service is provided, the quality of that service provided, the satisfaction of the customer, and the reputation of the company providing that service. As HRL employees, we provide services to long term residents and students. We must pay attention to our residents, treating them with respect and courtesy. Working diligently and efficiently toward our jobs and their experience and success. Such customer service should not only be directed toward providing a quality experience to our residents, but it should be directed to create and maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to education.

Education at the

University of Miami extends far beyond the classroom. We, as HRL and UM employees, must postulate a holistic approach to education, realizing that we are in an unique position and place of duty to continue the education of our residents beyond the classroom, by stretching the college experience beyond books and papers through teaching life skills and cultural competency.

In Office Volume I, Issue I February 2014

There’s a big gap between knowing what you want to do and actually getting it done. We want to be focused with laser-like precision on critical tasks and make the best, most efficient use of our time. Instead, we get distracted, we procrastinate, and we wind up getting too absorbed by unimportant aspects of a single project when we’d be better off turning our attention to other things. Fortunately, there is a very simple strategy that has been proven to help us deal effectively with the distractions. It’s called if-then planning, and it’s a really powerful way to help you achieve any goal. Well over 100 studies, on everything from diet and exercise to negotiation and time management, have shown that deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal (e.g., “If it is 4pm, then I will return any phone calls I should return today”) can double or triple your chances for success. Making if-then plans to tackle your current projects, or reach your 2012 goals, is probably – without exaggerating – the most effective single thing you can do to ensure your success. If-then plans take the form: If X happens, then I will do Y. For example: If I haven’t finished the grant application before lunch, then I will make it my top priority when I return. If I am getting too distracted by colleagues, then I will stick to a 5 minute chat limit and head back to work. If it is 2pm, then I will spend an hour reading and responding to important emails. How effective are these plans? One study looked at people who had the goal of becoming regular exercisers. Half the participants were asked to plan where and when they would exercise each week (e.g., “If it is Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I will hit the gym for an hour before work.”) The results were dramatic: months later, 91% of if-then planners were still exercising regularly, compared to only 39% of non-planners! A recent review of results from 94 studies that used the if-then technique found significantly higher success rates for just about every goal you can think of, including monthly breast self-examination, test preparation, using public transportation instead of


driving, buying organic foods, being more helpful to others, not drinking alcohol, not starting smoking, losing weight, recycling, negotiating fairly, avoiding stereotypic and prejudicial thoughts, and better time management. Why are these plans so effective? Because they are written in the language of your brain – the language of contingencies. Human beings are particularly good at encoding and remembering information in “If X, then Y” terms, and using these contingencies to guide our behavior, often below our awareness. Once you’ve formulated your if-then plan, your unconscious brain will start scanning the environment, searching for the situation in the “if” part of your plan. This enables you to seize the critical moment (“Oh, it’s 4pm! I’d better return those calls”), even when you are busy doing other things. Since you’ve already decided exactly what you need to do, you can execute the plan without having to consciously think about it or waste time deliberating what you should do next. (Sometimes this is conscious, and you actually realize you are following through on your plan. The point is it doesn’t have to be conscious, which means your plans can get carried out when you are preoccupied with other things, and that is incredibly useful.) So if you are finding, day after day, that too many important tasks have gone unaccomplished, and you are looking for a way to introduce better habits of time management into your life, look no further: try making a simple plan. By starting each morning making if-thens to tackle the day’s challenges, you won’t actually be adding hours to your day, but it will certainly seem like it.If-then plans take the form: If X happens, then I will do Y. For example: If I haven’t finished the grant application before lunch, then I will make it my top priority when I return. If I am getting too distracted by colleagues, then I will stick to a 5 minute chat limit and head back to work. If it is 2pm, then I will spend an hour reading and responding to important emails. How effective are these plans? One study looked at people who had the goal of becoming regular exercisers. Half the participants were asked to plan where and when they would exercise each week (e.g., “If it is Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I will hit the gym for an hour before work.”) The results were dramatic: months later, 91% of if-then planners were still exercising regularly, compared to only 39% of non-planners! A recent review of results from 94 studies that used the ifthen technique found significantly higher success rates for just about every goal you can think of, including monthly breast self-examination, test preparation, using public transportation instead of driving, buying organic foods, being more helpful to others, not drinking alcohol, not starting smoking, losing weight, recycling, negotiating fairly, avoiding stereotypic and prejudicial thoughts, and better time management. Why are these plans so effective? Because they are written in the language of your brain – the language of contingencies. Human beings are particularly good at encoding and remembering information in “If X, then Y” terms, and using these contingencies to guide our behavior, often below our awareness. Once you’ve formulated your if-then plan, your unconscious brain will start scanning the environment, searching for the situation in the “if”

THINKING CRITICALLY

part of your plan. This enables you to seize the critical moment (“Oh, it’s 4pm! I’d better return those calls”), even when you are busy doing other things. Since you’ve already decided exactly what you need to do, you can execute the plan without having to consciously think about it or waste time deliberating what you should do next. (Sometimes this is conscious, and you actually realize you are following through on your plan. The point is it doesn’t have to be conscious, which means your plans can get carried out when you are preoccupied with other things, and that is incredibly useful.) So if you are finding, day after day, that too many important tasks have gone unaccomplished, and you are looking for a way to introduce better habits of time management into your life, look no further: try making a simple plan. By starting each morning making if-thens to tackle the day’s challenges, you won’t actually be adding hours to your day, but it will certainly seem like it.

IT’S JUST ANOTHER PACKAGE continued from page 1

work miracles to make sure we do not lose our resident’s (or your) packages. The two major delivery companies are working on a scale that is out of this world. So when you see that delivery truck roll in and they unload 4-5 moving carts of packages for you to log in. Just remember, that is took a very coordinated act to get that package to your desk on time. The delivery drivers have a very tough job and deserve a lot of credit. With out them, how would we get our next package from Amazon, or our books for the semester. Say thank you every once in a while and know that they are doing the best they can. It is all about perspective. STAFF SPOTLIGHT continued from page 1

an essential member of the HRL team. Her workload spans the entirety of the department—from student staff payroll functions to providing administrative support for the Director of Residence Life as well as five Area Directors and four Assistant Area directors. Patty’s job allows her to interact with just about everyone within the department and beyond, perfectly suiting her social personality. “I really enjoy being able to work with so many different kinds of people. I get to meet different students, faculty and staff members as well as coordinating with vendors [for materials].” When asked what was the one thing she would like people to know about her Patty said: “That I’m here to make things easier for them. Whether it’s paperwork or even walking them through a process I can help explain what exactly needs to be done prior to working as a student [in Housing].” We would not be able to pull off what we do, if it was not for Patty. She is an excellent resource and is always willing to lend a hand. Next time you are in the Housing Office, please say thank you to Patty for what she does. In Office Volume I, Issue I February 2014


Housing Sign Up Dates Feb 7 Housing “Opt-In” Ends Feb 12 Info Meeting for Summer Employment (7pm, ERC Classroom 148) Feb 13 Info Meeting for Summer Employment (7pm, MRC Classroom 101) Feb 17 Lottery results announced, if necessary. Feb 19 Summer Employment Application due by 5:00pm to the Central Office

GAME CENTER:

March 5 Notification of Summer

(for answers, email

Employment status

housing.area51@miami.edu).

Have you read an interesting article recently? Do you want to RECOGNIZE a hardworker?

March 18-20 Same apartment sign up in the UV, and pulling in requested roommates

Submit your content to In Office! Send an email to housing.area51@miami.edu

March 22-23 Selecting a new space in the UV March 25-27 Same room sign up for the suite-style areas. March 29-30 Sign up for a new

LIKE US?

room in the suite-style areas.

Get your HRL news via our social pages

April 1-3 Late sign up for any remaining space that is available.

We’re hiring!! We are looking for experienced Graphic Designers to join our team. If you have experience with Adobe Creative Suite Email Richie at rjkenney@miami.edu today! In Office Volume I, Issue I February 2014


IN Office