Tuesday, January 30, 2007

12 Ways to Renew Yourself

Want to boost your productivity? Just as batteries need recharging, our minds and bodies need recharging as well. If you don’t take that time to recharge, you’ll likely experience burnout. It’s important to find ways to rejuvenate and refresh ourselves. By taking renewal breaks, you’ll be more productive, effective and satisfied with your job.

What are some ways to renew yourself? Through vacations, daily personal time, and real-time renewal and relaxation breaks.


Some workaholics boast about not taking a vacation for years. Others take vacation, but stay in contact with work on a daily basis by checking voicemail and e-mail. This is not a real vacation! We need time to unwind and totally relax. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and with more energy to tackle your work. Give yourself the gift of time off work. The organization will survive without you for a week or two.

Daily Personal Time

Take some time each day just for yourself, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes. Take time to pray, meditate or say affirmations. Spend time doing something you really enjoy, like reading or walking in nature. Do something that relaxes you, like soaking in a hot bath or enjoying a neck massage. Just 20 minutes will energize you and help you maintain a better frame of mind.

Real-time Renewal Breaks

When you’re feeling overloaded with work, it’s tempting to skip breaks and work through lunch. However, research shows that those who take frequent breaks are actually more productive in the long run. If you work too long on tasks, the time you need to solve problems increases five-fold. When you start to feel fatigued, take a quick renewal or relaxation break. Here are a few ideas. These will only take a few minutes and will increase your productivity throughout the day.
• Repeat positive affirmations. Keep affirmations on your desk. Repeat them regularly. This will help you stay positive.
• Express gratitude. Remind yourself of all the things you’re thankful for – your family, friends, your home, and even your work. Remember to say “thank you” to those who help you at work.
• Look for larger meaning and purpose in work activities. Keep the big picture in mind. Remember why you’re performing your work and who you benefit.
• Perform small acts of kindness. What can you do to show kindness? Maybe you can buy your co-worker a cup of coffee, bring someone flowers from your garden, or simply hold a door open for someone. Performing acts of kindness will help you to feel better about yourself too.
• Be playful at work. Tell a joke or tell a co-worker about a funny experience. Laughter can be great medicine.
• Take a short walk. Get outside to get some fresh air or just walk the halls to stretch your legs. The exercise, however short, will do you good.

Relaxation Techniques
You can also apply relaxation techniques right at your desk. Here are a few to try.
• Deep breathing – After an especially stressful situation, take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Inhale and count to five and then exhale slowly. As you exhale imagine all your tension leaving your body.
• Stretching – It helps to stretch tight muscles. If you feel self-conscious stretching in your cubicle, then go to the restroom and do your stretching there.
• Muscle tension and relaxation – Most people carry their tension in their neck and shoulders. Tense up those muscles, and then relax them. Repeat this a few times.
• Visualization – By using visualization you can take a little vacation in your mind for a few minutes. Imagine yourself on a warm, sandy beach soaking up the sun as you hear the waves crashing.

The next time you’re feeling fatigued, try out one of these ideas. And don’t forget to plan your next vacation too. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll boost your productivity as well.
Kathleen Barton is a keynote speaker, workshop presenter, and coach who heads her own firm, The Success Connection, specializing in purpose/passion, maximizing potential, career success, and work/life balance. She is also the author of Connecting with Success, Finding Your Purpose & Passion in Life and The Balancing Act: Managing Work & Life audio/workbook. Kathleen can be reached at http://www.the-success-connection.com

5 Ways to Get Rid of Headaches

Since I have a migraine heading my way, I decided this would be a good topic. Headaches are one of the most common afflictions we can have but fortunately, they're often one of the easist to get rid of. So in that vein, I offer you my experience on what will help get rid of headaches.
  1. Drink lots of water - I can't stress that enough. One of the most common causes of a headache is dehydration. This is a big contributor to the headaches that often accompany hangovers as well. Also, we've become a society of caffeine addicts and one problem with that is that caffeine is a diuretic and instead of quenching your thirst, it will actually make you more thirsty because you will be expelling water that your body needs to maintain balance. In other words, don't let coffee, tea, and sodas become a substitute for water. Your body will thank you. I'm not saying that you need to avoid all caffeine, just make sure you drink water, too.
  2. Make sure you're not withdrawing - Along with our caffeine consumption is addiction. You may be addicted to caffeine without even realizing it. Fortunately, if that is what is causing your headache, it's easily solved with more caffeine. It doesn't fix the root of the problem, but it does fix your headache.
  3. Stretch your muscles - When we are under tension or stress, we feel it a lot in our shoulders and our necks. That's what causes tension headaches. Take steps to directly relieve some of that tension by slowly stretching each muscle from your waist to your head. Be methodical and massage each joint. Yes, it will take 5 minutes, but it could be part of your headache solution. Besides, it just feels good.
  4. Go for a 5 minute walk. This has a number of effects. First, if gives you fresh air. This could clue you to any sinus problems that are causing your headache. Also, it will force you to refocus your eyes. We often forget that eyestrain is also a prime cause of headaches. The best way to get rid of eyestrain is to focus on something far away once in a while. And the best way to focus on something far away is to step outside.
  5. Know your over-the-counter pain relievers. Personally, I've found Excedrine® (or the generic alternative) is the best for headaches. It's even got approval by the US FDA to specifically claim it's recommended for migraines. It has the the ingredient in Tylenol® as well as aspirin and a little bit of caffeine. If your headache is sinus-based, you probably want Sudafed® or Sudafed-PE®. If allergies are making your headache worse, Claritin© is your friend. Just follow the directions on the bottles and don't take too much or whenever it's not indicated. Used safely, over-the-counter medications can be a big help if you're taking the right medicine for the right symptom.

Lastly, I can't stress enough that if you have headaches that persist for days or are too severe for you to handle, don't be afraid to see a doctor. A headache can be a symptom of something more. Also, there are medications for migraines that could be helpful if your doctor recommends. One such drug, Imitrex® is even available (by prescription only) to be used on an as-needed basis with not only pills but with a quick-acting nasal spray or a faster-acting injectible pen.

Remember, if you're in pain, it's your body telling you something isn't right. If you're in ongoing pain, you deserve to find out what is causing it and what can be done to relieve it.

Nobody should accept pain as "just the way it is".

Previous articles:

8 Good ways to exercise your brain

5 Ways To Stress Relief

7 Ways Fighting a Hangover

10 ways to have an Active Mind

10 Ways to get a Good Night's Sleep

Source: http://alwaysuseful.blogspot.com/

5 Ways To Find Products To Sell On eBay

I was part of an eBay Roundtable discussion recently with six other experts and we all agreed that the number one question most new (and even old) eBay sellers ask is:

"Where do I find things to sell on eBay??"

To help answer that question I have compiled 10 ways that anyone can use to find products to sell on eBay. This is by no means a definitive list and depending on your situation, some of the ways may not apply to you. However, if you're a beginner and don't know where to start, this list should help you get on track.

1. Look Around The House:

We all have items lying around the house that we no longer use or need. Have you grown or shrunk in size? If so, you have clothes you can no longer wear and can sell. Did you get a gift for Christmas or your birthday that you will never use? If so, slap it on eBay (just don't let the person who gave you the gift find out). Do your kids have toys they no longer play with? Just looking around your house and garage should give you plenty of things to get your eBay ball rolling.

2. Garage Sales and Flea Markets:

When it comes to eBay, remember this old adage: One man's junk is another man's treasure. Now this is not to say that you should sell junk on eBay. You should only sell products in good condition. The point is you can find items in good condition at garage sales and flea markets that you can pick up cheap and resell for a profit. Remember, nobody wants to buy your old Beanie Babies that no longer have eyes and noses, but they may buy "gently used" items if they're in good shape and offered at a good price.

3. Talk To Your Friends and Relatives:

After you've gone through your own in-house inventory, contact your friends and relatives and tell them you have started an eBay business and will sell their items for a piece of the sales price. Chances are they have as much excess stuff lying around their house as you did. Offer to list the items for them and if they sell, take half the profits. You will probably have to pay the eBay fees out of your pocket up front, but you can then deduct the eBay fees from the sales price before slicing up the pie.

4. Consignment Sales:

Consignment sales are a great way to find a wide range of products to sell on eBay. Consignment selling means that you offer to sell an item that belongs to a company. In exchange for your trouble you get a percentage of the sales price. You can charge up to 50% plus fees for smaller items like clothing, lamps, jewelry, etc. and around 15% for larger items like cars, boats, and bulldozers (yes, I said bulldozers).

Contact every business in town and offer to list their excess goods on eBay for a piece of the action. Most businesses have returned items, liquidated products, used equipment, etc. that they would love to get rid of, but don't have the time to do so. Many will see you as their hero if you can help them get rid of this merchandise and you'll make a pretty profit for your efforts. For business customers you should have them pay the eBay fees on the front end, not you.

5. Thrift Stores:

Thrift stores are an excellent place to look for things to sell online. Stores maintained by the Salvation Army and non-profit%

Tim Knox - Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker
Tim Knox is a nationally-known small business expert who writes and speaks frequently on the topic.

For more information or to contact Tim please visit one of his sites below:

Top 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Computer Viruses

As more and more people are becoming comfortable using their computers at school, home or in the office it’s only a matter of time before they encounter a computer virus. Here are our top 10 steps to protect you from computer viruses.

Use a high quality anti-virus program. There are many different anti-virus computers programs on the market some of them are better than others. Look to reputable computer magazines or websites for ratings to help you find the one that matches your needs.

Always use your anti-virus software. Make sure your anti-virus software is always turned on and scanning, incoming and outgoing email messages, and any software programs you run.

Keep your antivirus programs up to date. Most programs come with a yearly subscription make sure you take advantage of the updates. More advanced programs allow you to schedule updates or full system scans for “off hours” like 2AM when you aren’t likely to be using your computer.

Keep your computer up to date. From time to time operating systems fall victim to security holes or issue updates. Make sure you check periodically to make sure you are running stable up to date versions of your software.

Backup your data regularly. Most windows computer users keep their documents in the “My documents” folder. This makes it easy to back up all of your important documents. Make weekly or monthly copies to CD or USB drives.

If you use floppy disks or USB drives on public computers like your school computer lab, Kinko’s, or even digital photo printing store make sure you scan them for viruses. Public computers are notorious for not being up to date and properly protected.

Be wary of email attachments. Treat any email attachment as potentially dangerous. Never open attachments from people you weren’t expecting. Also be careful of attachments from people you know but weren’t expecting. Many computer viruses replicate themselves by reading the contacts from an infected computer.

Use text email if possible. While HTML email is prettier and allows you more control over formatting it also can carry computer viruses. If you use text based email the only way to get a virus is by opening an attachment.

Use downloaded freeware and shareware files or software with caution. Try to download them from popular reputable sources that scan the programs before they are uploaded. To make sure you are safe scan the program before you install it on your computer.

Be wary of links in IM or instant messaging software. Don’t accept invitations from people you don’t know and never click a link from someone you don’t trust, they can easily redirect you to another website that will try to install a virus on your computer system.

© Computers.6ln.com, All Rights Reserved.
This article was written by Jim Faller of http://computers.6ln.com a website with information about viruses, spyware, adware, backups, data recovery and computer security.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jim_Faller

10 Ways To Increase Your Free eBook Downloads

1. Anticipate the objections your visitors might have about your free ebook offer. You should research your target audience's needs and wants.

2. Allow your visitors to feel good about themselves by giving them compliments. If they feel good, they will also feel good about downloading your ebook.

3. Tell your visitors the emotional and logical reasons why they should download your free ebook. It can be the goals they'll acomplish, positive feelings, etc.

4. Publish a list of respected or famous people that have downloaded your free ebook. Just remember to get their legal permission first.

5. Tell people what they're thinking and feeling as they read your ebook ad. Most people will start to actually do it, statements should back up the ebook.

6. Make your free ebook offer very rare. People perceive things that are rare as being more valuable. You could use a limited time offer or free bonuses.

7. Create rapport with your visitors by telling them something they already know is true. They'll know for sure you're not lying and download your ebook.

8. Show your visitors how much enthusiasm you have for your free ebook. Most people will start to feel the same and download your ebook.

9. Make your visitors curious about your free ebook by telling them they need to sign-up to get access to a password protected site in order to download it.

10. Motivate people to download your free ebook. Tell them a lot of positive things like: "You can now reach your goals and change your life forever!"
About the author:

Rojo Sunsen is a specialized bounty hunter who prefers to work quietly/confidentially for the benefit of her clients.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rojo_Sunsen

5 Ways To Prevent Credit Card Late Fees

Paying a credit card late fee is the same as throwing your money away. Late credit card payments can also hurt your credit score. The payment tips and strategies here will show you how to prevent these costly fees.

When credit card companies process credit card payments, every single detail is extremely important. Get even one of these small details wrong and you will have to pay credit card late fees.

The Fair Credit Billing Act requires credit card companies to credit payments the day they are received. However, this law also allows each credit card issuer to set their own specific payment guidelines. If any of these guidelines are not met, the credit card company can take as much as five days to credit the payment.

That means you can get your payment to your credit card company on time and it could become late during that five-day period. The credit card company could legally charge you credit card late fees. So it's in your best interest to follow their payment guidelines carefully. The payment guidelines are usually on the back of your credit card bill.

Here is the five best ways to prevent credit card late fees.

1. Follow Credit Card Payment Guidelines Carefully

This includes everything from a specific payment address to the time of day the payment has to be received to be credited that day. Some companies even require that payments arrive in their preprinted envelope they sent you with your bill. To be safe, always use the preprinted envelope provided by a credit card company.

Include the billing coupon, and write the amount you are paying in the box provided. Make your check legible, don't forget to sign it and double check that the payment amount is correct. Write your credit card account number on your check and send the payment with the proper postage to the payment address requested by the credit card company.

2 Pay The Minimum Payment Immediately

The best way to prevent paying a credit card late fee is to pay your bill as soon as it arrives. Even if you can only make the minimum payment, it's better than paying a late credit card payment. You can always make additional payments later to keep your interest costs down.

3 Change Your Due Date

Most major credit card companies allow you set your own due date by just asking. Set your due date so your credit card bill arrives right after you get paid.

4 Automatic Online Payments

Paying bills online is also another good way to avoid paying a credit card late fee. Most major credit card companies are accepting credit card payments online. Just sign up for the service on the card company's web site. Make sure to choose a payment amount that automatically covers the minimum amount due on your credit card each month. You can always make additional payments later to keep your interest costs down.

5 Make Your Payment By Phone

Most major credit card companies will accept payments by phone. Some of them will charge fees, ranging from $5 to $15 for the service. But credit card late fees cost you much more so it's better to pay the small fee than a late credit card payment fee. Call the toll-free number on the back of your credit card. They will ask you for a check number and the bank routing number, which is printed at the bottom of every check.

If you do get hit with a credit card late fee, try calling the credit card company and ask if they will waive it. Many credit card companies will waive late credit card payment fees as a courtesy to customers with good payment records.

Copyright © 2005 Credit Repair Facts.com All Rights Reserved.
This article is supplied by http://www.credit-repair-facts.com where you will find credit information, debt elimination programs and informative facts that give you the knowledge to correct your own credit and credit report. For more credit related articles like these go to: http://www.credit-repair-facts.com/articles_1.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gary_Gresham

5 Ways To Neutralize The Dominantly Negative Co-Worker

It was the tale of two airlines, though in each case the planes carried the same insignia and the personnel were paid by the same corporate coffers.

During my first trip to Florida, I was on a flight where the attendants were noticeably cheerful, enjoying themselves, each other, and the passengers, and they seemed genuinely eager to please.

On my second trip, a few days later, a different crew was grouchy and nonverbally venomous.

All of those flight attendants seemed to be in a siege mentality, barricaded behind frowns, and eager to be offstage, as far as possible from the customers as they could get.

“What made such a difference?” I wondered, as I was strapped into my seat, observing the second crew as it went about its sorry business.

Then I noticed the most senior member of the staff was the most acerbic. He looked peevish, prickly, and totally out of sorts, and his mates, who were co-hosting the serving carts, took on his demeanor.

In fact, they seemed to be playing up to his dour personality, almost trying to outdo his displays of contempt for the passengers.

I caught myself wondering, “Could one person have such a negative impact on the whole team?"

And without hesitating, I knew the answer was “Yes.”

I was watching it happen.

In fact, sourpusses spoil lots of workplaces, but this time it was obvious because we were all confined, coexisting in a flying tube. There was no escaping the negativity.

Of course, it got me to thinking, what can we do to at least neutralize the impact of a negative personality, a venom spitter?

Here are five things that come to mind:

1 Ask them directly and quickly after observing their bad vibes: “Is everything all right with you?” Then, if they disclaim any problems, explain briefly “I just thought maybe you weren’t feeling so well because you seem so, uh, SERIOUS!”

2 Boldly walk up to them and say: “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!” They’ll be baffled, temporarily, but it may be enough to bring a grin to their lips.

3 Tell them a joke.

4 Say: “You look like I feel; so cut it out! Let’s put on a happy face, shall we? The show must go on!”

5 You might offer to fill in for them for a few minutes. “You look like you could use a break, a little attitude adjustment. Can I help? Want to take a few minutes to yourself?”

Each approach gives the offender feedback as to how he’s coming across to others, and he might be oblivious to it, until you bring it up.

So, don’t suffer in silence.

By taking action you’ll do everybody a favor, including those negative people!
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 900 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered "The Gold Standard"--the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: gary@customersatisfaction.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Gary_S._Goodman