Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Time: Men & Women

I first saw this about 6 months ago, but wanted to save it for Valentine's weekend:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


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Thursday, February 11, 2010

23 Ideas

for your work life from the DLM Blog:

Hack Your Work: 23 Ways to Get Ahead, Work Less and Achieve More

Posted: 08 Jan 2010 08:11 PM PST


It's something we're all looking for - the perfect solution that will minimize our work life while still getting the stuff done that we need to get done. Well, that one solution doesn't exist, but with a combination of strategies, you can get to where you want to be.

Now, none of these tips will turn your life around. But they can make a big difference, and when used together, your work life might just be enjoyable, productive, low-stress and high fun. And these tips won't work for everyone. They're not meant to be used as a step-by-step guide. It's a list of strategies that work -- choose your favorites and give them a try.
  1. One goal.
    Set a single goal that you want to accomplish this year -- I know that we probably want to do 12 goals, but it's too difficult to maintain your focus on more than one goal, and it diffuses your energy. Pick one goal for the next 12 months, and then a single 3-6 month goal that will lead to your 12-month goal. Then choose something you can accomplish within the next 1-2 weeks that will lead to the 3-6 month goal. Now focus on that short-term goal, giving it all your energy, and when it's achieved, set your next short-term goal until you've accomplished your medium-term goal.

  2. Find your passion.
    All the rest of these tips are just window dressing if you find work you're passionate about. If you're not in a job you love, start your quest to find that job now. You don't need to quit your current job right away, but start doing some research on the web, think about what you're really interested in, talk to others who are doing what you want to do. Make this your one goal for this year, and it could turn out to be your best year ever.

  3. Work from home.
    This is not a miracle solution, but it's something many people would love to do. And it's completely possible -- more people are doing it every day. Is it something you want to do? Give it some thought, and find a solution that works for you. You could telecommute for your current job -- plan your pitch to your boss today, making sure to focus on how it will benefit your company. Or you could find another job that allows you to work from home -- even if the pay is a little less at first, you will have reduced costs from not having to commute or eat lunch at work or buy expensive work clothes, and you will also have increased satisfaction.

  4. Come in early.
    If telecommuting isn't your thing, try getting to work 30-60 minutes before the rest of the crowd. Or even more. This might require you to learn to wake up early, but the benefits are many: you skip the morning traffic, you can work without distractions until the rest of your coworkers come in, you can get a jump start on your day, you can be ahead of the crowd and get more done. Getting an early start is a great way to start your work day and to become more productive.

  5. Work 4 days.
    If you can control your work schedule (or can convince your boss to change it), try working fewer days. Working four days a week not only gives you an additional day off, but it forces you to be more productive in the days you do work. Think about it: if you knew that you had to get your work done by the end of Thursday, you will focus more on what really needs to get done, and goof off less too. What would you do less? Email? Read stuff on the Internet? Chat? Play solitaire? Those unimportant things fade away when your time is limited.

  6. Work 6-hour days.
    Same concept as above, but reconfigured. Personally, I'd choose the 4-day workweek, but that can't work for everyone. Get in early and leave even earlier -- imagine the 7 a.m.-1 p.m. work day. With focus, it can be done.

  7. Work 20 hours.
    This might sound impossible. And if you are a full-time employee somewhere, it might be. But you could either 1) telecommute, and get your work done in fewer hours; or 2) work for yourself. Now, I'll admit that these options won't work for everyone, but they can be done. And I'll also admit that in working for yourself, you tend to work more hours, not fewer. But if you limit your hours to 20, it will force you to focus in the same what that working four days a week does. And if you focus on only those tasks that are truly important (see next item), you can get a lot done in 20 hours a week.

  8. MITs.
    Each day, make a list with only three items: the three Most Important Tasks you want to accomplish today. Make at least one of them related to your One Goal. The others might be something you've been procrastinating on, or a big project that's due today, or something similar. Ideally, these MITs are really important tasks -- ones that will gain you longer-term recognition or income. Now focus on these, making sure to accomplish them. It's best to do your MITs first thing in the morning, before you get interrupted by a bunch of other things. If you do only three things today (you could choose more or less than three MITs, but I've found that three works for me), make it your MITs.

  9. Batch process.
    There are usually a bunch of smaller tasks that we have to do that aren't that important. Email, paperwork, phone calls, things like that. Instead of doing those little things throughout the day, giving you busywork to interrupt and distract you from your important tasks, batch them together and do them at one set time each day. Write these tasks down on a small list, and with an hour left in your work day (or whatever works for you), start processing them as quickly as possible, ticking them off your list.

  10. Telecommute 1 day a week.
    If you can't convince your boss to let you work completely from home, try one day a week. You could start out by calling in sick, but still getting a lot done from home. Or tell him you want to give it a try, just for one day this week, because you think it will make you more productive.

  11. Freelance as a 2nd job.
    This is something I do, and I earn an extra $2,000 a month doing it. It's extra work, but it helps me to pay the bills (and pay off debt and save). Eventually, if you get good at the freelancing gig, you could make it your full-time work. To do this as a second job, set aside some time each day for freelance work. I've used early mornings (I get up an hour earlier and do one assignment), my lunch hour, work time (with permission), or evenings. If you could do 1-2 assignments a day, you will be making a decent extra income, and starting yourself down the road to working for yourself.

  12. Brown bag it.
    This isn't life-changing, but I take my lunch to work every day -- leftovers or a sandwich, usually, with snacks such as fruits on the side. How does this help? Well, it saves me a lot of money (a few thousand a year) and it allows me to work through lunch, giving me time for that freelancing gig I talked about above or perhaps allowing you to leave work early.

  13. Cycle to work.
    Again, not necessarily life-changing, but if you can commute even just a couple times a week by bike, you will save money on gas, reduce the stress of rush-hour traffic, and get your daily exercise done at the same time. A shower at work (or at a nearby gym) helps make this easier.

  14. Take high-profile projects.
    If you just take the grunt work, your boss might or might not appreciate it, but it certainly won't make you a star and you won't go very far. Instead, volunteer for the big projects, the ones that will make a name for both you and your company. If there aren't any available, make your own. Be sure you can do them well, but if you do, these projects will have a huge impact on your life. The tasks on these projects should be your MITs every day. If you take on high-impact projects, you can be more productive working a half day than if you worked 10 hours a day on tasks that won't matter next week.

  15. Automate your business.
    If you have your own business, or set one up on the side, find ways to make it automated as much as possible. Everything can be outsourced, from manufacturing to mailing to advertising to taking orders to customer support to credit card processing. Put your business front online, with online ordering, and give your outsourcers the ability to make decisions (with certain limits, following rules you set) without your approval, removing yourself from the bottleneck. If it's completely automated, your business will require minimal work from you once you've got it set up. Now all you have to do is check now and then to make sure things are running smoothly, and make sure your money is being deposited in your bank account. Nice.

  16. Bank your raise.
    If you get a raise (and if you haven't in awhile, you need to make it happen by taking on high-profile projects and then asking for the raise), don't increase your spending. Take the raise and put the entire amount in the bank, making it automatically deducted from your paycheck or checking account and sent to a high-interest online savings account. Doesn't increase your productivity, but it can increase your financial stability.

  17. Clear your desk.
    A messy desk might be the sign of a creative mind, but in my experience (I've tried both messy and now clean desks), having a desk that's clean is much more calming, much more productive, and more organized. Most importantly, it reduces visual clutter and allows you to focus on the task at hand, increasing your productivity. Clearing your desk can take a chunk of time, but it's worth it: take all your papers (everything!) and put them in your inbox, or in a pile if they don't fit. Now process through them, one at a time, from top to bottom, filing, acting upon, delegating, trashing each document or noting tasks on a to-do list for later (and filing the to-be-acted-upon documents in an action folder). Remove other knick knacks and put any office supplies or tools in a drawer (and empty out your drawers while you're at it). From here on out, everything goes in your inbox, and you process it to empty every day using the steps outlined here.

  18. Granularize.
    If a project or task seems too intimidating, split it into smaller tasks, and just focus on the first task you need to do. For example, instead of "Research report", just find three sources on the Internet. You can read each of these sources and take notes after that.

  19. Delegate.
    Get out of the habit of thinking you need to do everything yourself. Relinquish control and learn to trust others. If you don't think a person can handle a task, take the time to train him to do so. It will save you tons of time and headaches later. And by delegating, you empower others while shrinking your to-do list, leaving you to focus on what's really important.

  20. Eliminate.
    Your to-do list is a mile long. You'll never be able to do all those things. Cut it in half by crossing out stuff that doesn't really need to be done, or delegating others. And from that list, just choose the three most important things that you need to do today. Get in the habit of eliminating as many of the tasks and processes you normally do as possible, and your work life will be greatly simplified.

  21. Clear distractions.
    In addition to clearing your desk, you can allow yourself to focus more by eliminating all distractions: email or IM alerts, Twitter, other websites (in fact, turn off the Internet), phones, visual clutter around you or on your walls. Wear headphones so your coworkers interrupt you less, or let them know that you're not available right now. Focus more, and you'll get more done.

  22. Kill meetings.
    One of the biggest time-wasters in our work lives. Most of the time, a meeting could have been accomplished with an email or a phone call. Beg out of meetings (or if you're the boss, eliminate them) by claiming you have a project due that you need to work on. Then be very productive during the time you would be at the meeting, and show your boss how much you got done.

  23. Email once a day.
    Don't do email throughout the day. Set one time during the day to process email, then crank through it, getting your inbox to empty (use the same steps in "clear your desk" above). If you check email throughout the day, you are allowing yourself to be distracted and at the mercy of anyone who sends you a request. And by sending out emails all day, you are generating even more responses in return, compounding the problem. Batch process, and you will get a lot more done. Same applies to reading your RSS feeds and checking your blog stats and reading your forums.
Written for Dumblittleman.com on 06/14/2007 by Leo Babauta and republished on 1/8/10. Leo offers advice on living life productively simple at his famous Zen Habits blog.Photo Credit: Torley

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


I saw these folks this week! Click on Pic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Video Time: Celebrate Your Birthday

doing what you love to do...


Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Your Breath

Helpful advice from the DLM Blog:

8 Foods That Will Hide Your Bad Breath

Posted: 06 Feb 2010 06:03 AM PST


There’s nothing worse than having bad breath and not knowing about it!

There are certain foods that are guaranteed to cause bad breath. Most people are quite aware that eating foods such as curry, garlic, onions or coffee before a meeting or function might be the kiss of death when it comes to social etiquette.

You can try chewing gum, but you’ll have to chew for a long time because until that bad-breath-causing-food clears from your system (which can take up to 24 hours), you’ll be stuck with that bad breath. That’s unless you know which foods you can eat to mask the problem.

When it comes to finding a relief to bad breath, these 8 foods will help:
  1. Parsley
    This might seem like a decoration more than anything else, but if you are eating a dish that is loaded with garlic and see that it’s been decorated with parsley, you might want to chew on it at the end of your meal to cleanse your palate. If you have basil leaves those will also help and chewing on strings of rosemary will also help.

  2. Spices that pack a crunch
    A few exotic spices have been known to help alleviate bad breath. You might want to consider carrying a small packet filled with cardamom, coriander (aka cilantro) and fennel seeds. These spices will you get rid of your bad breath quickly and they will leave your month feeling fresh.

  3. Berries
    Berries are not only amazing antioxidants that will help you age better, but they will also help freshen your breath!

  4. Oranges
    Oranges are not only ideal for your morning breakfast or as a snack, they are amazing at refreshing your breath because the vitamin C helps deter bad breath. So next time you have a meal chock full of garlic, try to eat an orange a few hours after you’ve digested!

  5. Lemons
    Lemons are great at neutralizing garlic odor on your hands and they also do wonders at killing your bad breath as well. If you are going to drink sparkling water, why not add a slice of lemon to help deal with your bad breath.

  6. Apples
    Think of apples as a natural toothbrush for your mouth. You see when you chew an apple it produces quite a bit of saliva production and the combination with the high fiber content of apples will help cleanse your mouth.

  7. Mint
    This list would not be complete without adding mint! Nothing freshens your mouth like mint and that’s one reason why mint-flavored gum is so popular!

  8. Cinnamon sticks
    Chewing on cinnamon sticks will release essential oils that will help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath very quickly!
If you have a buddy that occasionally makes you eyes water while he's talking to you, share this on Facebook and help the guy out!

Written on 2/6/2010 by Krizia. Krizia (aka MissK) is an international author of an acclaimed food guide. Her approach to healthy eating is about keeping it simple, approachable and REAL! In June 2009, two months after launching Eat Smart Age Smart, Krizia was awarded with the nomination of ‘Top 200 Health Blogger’ in the Healthy Eating category by Well Sphere.Photo Credit: Jeff Karpala

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Are You Movin & Shakin?


I've had some on going conversations with a couple of good friends about a distinct difference between us and others that we know.

And I've tried to come up with some common traits, but I find contradictions in the standard labels we often use.

There are certain people who simply do not take responsibility for themselves. Instead they try and "work the system".

The system might be government hand outs, welfare, unemployment, medicaid/medicare, etc.

The system might be homeless shelters, rescue missions, soup kitchens, etc.

The system might be a church or ministry but instead of giving, all you do is take.

The system may be disguised as a job where you put in your time, but you don't put in your real effort and heart.

These people do not understand that the world is not there to serve them, we are to serve the world.

Yet when I see people who are working the system simply for what they can get without giving back, it is irritating.

Most of the systems I mentioned are in place to help people temporarily until they get back on track are becoming "lifestyle systems".

Each one of us has so much potential, even those that have accomplished a lot, have tremendous potential for even more.

But all around me, I often see wasted lives, people who drink too much, party too much, spend too much, work too little, look for work too little, etc.

You need to stop where you are now and...

Stop the destructive behaviors now.

Stop playing Farmville and MafiaWars on Facebook for hours on end.

Stop watching hours and hours of stupid tv every day or night.

Start thinking better of yourself.

Start giving of yourself. Not just money but time too.

Become a Mover and Shaker in your world.

This is not limited to any particular political persuasion. I know Conservatives, Liberals, Democrats, Republicans and everything in between who are Movin & Shakin.

I know Atheists, Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Pentecostals, and others that are Movin' & Shakin'.

Pessimists, Optimists, Rich, Poor, it does not matter. I've seen it all, from all walks of life.

It's not easy. There are times when I feel lazy, so I may take a break. It could be an hour, or a day. But if you really love what you do, you want to continue your life mission.

Perhaps that is what this is about, a life mission. It might change as the years go by. Mine has.

But no matter what I did with my life, I have been driven toward a goal bigger than my next meal, bigger than just my selfish wants.

Will you join with me and start Movin' and Shakin?

The world needs us, our neighbors need us, our families need us.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


They roast the beans for the Firefly & others. Click on Pic.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Chill

7 ways from the DLM Blog:

Seven Ways to De-Stress Instantly

Posted: 31 May 2009 08:47 AM PDT

Imagine it’s Monday morning. Over the weekend, you had a major argument with your partner (and you’re both still sulking), your alarm clock fails to go off, you try to get your usual breakfast only to find that the cereal box is empty and the milk’s gone sour, and then the car won’t start. By the time you get to work, you’re already feeling frazzled – and then your boss dumps an “urgent” project on your desk. You know you’ve got a backlog of emails to deal with from last week and you can feel your stress levels and blood pressure going through the roof.

Now, it’d be nice if you could de-stress by following some of the great advice you’ve no doubt already heard. You know, take a long bath, have an afternoon off, enjoy a long weekend’s vacation, go for an hour-long jog, etc. Unfortunately, you can only afford five minutes. Can you de-stress in five minutes? Yes, you can; just try one of these.
  1. Go For A Quick Walk
    Even if you can only spare five minutes, go for a walk (it might just be to the water cooler and back). The aim here is to get yourself away from the immediate source of stress and to calm down. A few minutes to gather your thoughts is all you need to get some perspective.

  2. Read Some Fiction
    If I’m seriously worked up, upset or stressed, one of the best things I can do is to grab a book. Fiction is ideal (especially anything funny or uplifting). Reading fiction takes you out of the here-and-now and into a different world. You can forget everything that’s troubling you, for just ten minutes, as you concentrate on the story.

  3. Meditate or Pray
    Often, the best thing we can do to instantly de-stress is to simply stop. Many life coaches and stress advisors recommend meditation: there’s no mystery to it, just sit and try to clear your mind of thoughts (perhaps concentrating on a calming image or a word or phrase, if that helps you). I also like to pray – if this suits your religious/spiritual persuasions, it can be a very powerful way to get outside of your own head and call on a higher power for some much-needed help!

  4. Watch A Funny Video
    I don’t know about you, but I just can’t stay stressed out when I’m laughing. (It’s like trying to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time...) If you have a favorite YouTube clip, or if LolCats make you giggle, then give yourself five minutes to indulge. You’ll find that you return to your work – or whatever the source of the stress is – feeling much better equipped to handle it.

  5. Make A Herbal Tea
    If you’re feeling uber-stressed, caffeine isn’t going to help. A warm, soothing mug of herbal tea might, though. The act of making yourself a drink can be calming: it gets you away from your desk, and it gives you a chance to concentrate on something physical. You’ll probably also feel a psychological boost from doing something positive and nurturing for yourself.

  6. Punch A Pillow
    Depending on where you are when you’re feeling stressed, and on your personality, throwing a few punches at a pillow might help. Think of the stress leaving you through your fist with every punch. (If you’re in the office, please don’t be tempted to use a co-worker as a substitute pillow ... even if said co-worker has caused your stress.)

  7. Take Slow, Deep Breaths
    When we get stressed, we tend to breath more quickly, taking shallow breaths. Concentrate on your breathing (you might want to do this in conjunction with meditation or prayer). Imagine breathing from your stomach, not your chest. Take slow, deep, fulfilling breaths. Calming your body down physically in this way is likely to have a knock-on effect on your frazzled mental state.
Do you find yourself getting overly worked up on a regular basis? What are your instant fixes for when you’re feeling stressed?

Written on 5/31/2009 by Ali Hale. Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line (ali@aliventures.com) or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


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