How to Enjoy Driving

I really admire people who enjoy driving. They live for the open road and happily spend much time and money on their cars to ensure the best experience behind the wheel.

The rest of us consider our cars to be a costly piece of equipment that transports us from one place to another. Alas, the abilities of the people piloting those vehicles vary widely and when everyone decides to come out on to the road at the same time, well, let’s just say that my frustration factor increases dramatically.

I do want to feel better about driving, however, and have been advised that the following can help in that goal:

Taking the Scenic Route

I’m constantly stuck in a commuting grind where I have to see the same ugly highways and grey industrial areas day after day. The next time I get out of the city for a trip, I will make a point of taking the scenic route. Looking at nice fall forests and scenic farmland will no doubt help me to relax and provide some nice visual stimulation.

Taking My Time

Everything in life is rush, rush, rush these days. In my off time, I plan to schedule enough wiggle room that this aspect of driving can be more leisurely. I won’t have to speed or pass people just to get where I’m going on time. Taking my time will be a nice change from the norm.

Taking Another Look at My Car

Up until now, my car has been that thing I mentioned above: a means to an end. If I take the time to better maintain it, keep the interior clean, and regard as something more than just a tool, I will no doubt enjoy spending time behind the wheel. That will help to reduce any negative connotations that have arisen for me regarding driving.

Working at Heights

As I write this, a team of workers is doing repairs on the church across the street. That does not sound like anything special, but there is actually quite a bit of danger involved as the repairs need to be done to the top of the church steeple. A couple of months back, lightning struck the steeple causing it to briefly catch fire and then fall off. This church has been here for over 100 years and to my knowledge, this is the first time that something of this sort has happened.

While a crane will be involved in lifting the steeple to its proper height, the rest has to be done by human beings. As someone who is afraid of heights, and feel queasy just watching the process from across the street, this got me thinking as to just what sort of inner strength is required to do that job on a regular basis.

Many years back, Native Americans were often hired to do bridge construction because they tended not to have the same phobia about heights as other groups. Safety standards were far more lax back then compared to what they are nowadays. People working at heights must undergo specific training to learn all of the risks and safety gear involved in the job. This training can only be done by people who have undergone special training and examination themselves. It is not acceptable for one worker to train another unless the worker doing the training has undergone the same level of certified preparation.

That makes me feel a bit better about the safety of the workers I am now looking at. However, this remains a job I simply could not do because I get queasy standing on top of a step ladder. Thankfully there are men and women out there with the mettle to do this sort of important assignment.

Suffering from Terminal Boredom? Don’t Worry, You Can Be Saved!

It is not unusual for a person to be bored at some point in the day, but that does not make it any more fun. Boredom is a real drag and if you have a lot on your plate, it can also be a real waste of time. Do you feel guilty because you feel unmotivated and are not getting anything done? Here are some things you can do about that:

Give your friends and family a call

Does your mother always complain that you that you never phone her? If you are not doing anything anyway, why not get on the phone? She will appreciate hearing from you. These conversations with her and others may even lead to something else that will keep you occupied for the time being.

Get some of those mundane chores done

Dirty dishes in the sink? Dirty clothes in the hamper? Junk lying all over the living room? It may not be fun, but here is a chance to get these tasks done and out of the way. That way, when you are feeling more motivated, you can put that energy toward something more much interesting.

Scratch one of your creative itches

Do you have a hobby? Time spent on hobbies is never time wasted. Do you paint? Draw? Have some other artistic hobby? Pull out that paint set, sketch pad, or easel and get cracking.

Plan ahead for the next time you are bored

There will likely come another day when you are feeling bored and unmotivated. If you have a list of things you could be doing already done and right in front of you, you will not have to waste any time wondering about what you could be doing right at this moment. Take a few minutes and draw one up right now.

Improving Your Writing

Whether you write for pleasure or as part of your job, you likely wish to improve and expand your skills. There are a few different ways you can do this.

Practice

Yes, this is obvious, but many people don’t do it to the extent that they should. When practicing your writing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be for something important. Just jot down things that come to mind and revisit them later. This can be a great way to cultivate ideas that prove extremely useful later on.

It also helps to establish a time when you will practice. If the inspiration seems like it is not there, try anyway. You might be surprised by what you come up with.

Have the Basics Down

Programs like Word can help you with basics like spelling and grammar, but to truly be a good writer, you need to know these skills on your own. Also, there will be times when you will have to write and, horrors, not have a computer program to point out your mistakes!

Be Patient

Inspiration can be both fleeting and hard to come by in the first place. Don’t expect the magic to happen every time you sit down at the keyboard.

Also, learn to accept that your first draft often is not so hot. There may be good components there, but they need finessing. Accepting criticism with good humor and understanding also helps. View it as a learning experience that improves your writing.

Self-Edit

Some writers whip through a draft and immediately send it to editing. First off, you should go over your work at least once before submission because it is not the editor’s job to refashion something that is bad. Second, self-editing allows you to clearly see areas where you are weak. Tightening your work can make a real difference and if you are the one doing so, you know it will not stray from your original intention.

How Music Stimulates Our Brain

Love of music is universal. Have you ever run across anyone who does not love at least one form of music? Probably not. In fact, it can be a truly huge part of a person’s life. You no doubt have many songs that you enjoy on a regular basis, but have you ever wondered just why music makes you feel so good?

Mood and Productivity Enhancer

During low periods, have you ever found yourself instinctively putting on some music that you love? Listening to energetic, upbeat music can help to improve mood. It can also make you more productive during times when you are not feeling sufficiently focused. You can also help to diffuse periods of stress with the right choice of tunes.

Learning Enhancer

In addition to helping you do things you already know, music can also assist people in picking up some new skills. While loud, fast music can help people get things done faster, slower and lower is the accompaniment to choose when learning new things. In fact, even ambient noise works in this regard. Some crave total silence when working, but this may not actually provide the best results.

Motor and Reasoning Skills Improve When Learning an Instrument

Listening to music is great, but making your own may be even better. Scientists have revealed that children who learn to play a musical instrument at a young age do better in school than those who don’t play anything. They also demonstrated an above average vocabulary, plus better reasoning skills and superior visual attention.

Better Exercise Results

If you listen to music while exercising, you are less likely to heed your brain’s signals that it’s time to take a rest. Also, energetic music with a good beat is more likely to motivate a similar level of response from participants.

Finding Another Job While You are Still Working

Are you unhappy with your current job? Thinking of quitting? Hold off on that. While it may seem odd, the best time to find another job is when you are still in the workforce. This is because it demonstrates to potential employers that you have skills and they are valued enough that someone else is making use of them. It also gives you an advantage: since you already have a job, you don’t necessarily have to sign on for a lesser one, which increases the chances of a better offer.

If you do decide to look for a different position while still working, here are some tips to consider:

Do It on the Sly

Don’t announce to your boss or even your co-workers that you are looking for another job as this will likely backfire on you. If your employer learns that you will be leaving in the near future, they will start looking for a replacement; when they find that person, they will let you go. Thus, you may be out of your current job before getting a new one.  Also, keep this a secret from your fellow employees, unless they are longtime friends you know you can trust.

Don’t Perform Your Job Search While at Work

You want to keep your current job until a new one is secured, so you need to keep up with your current responsibilities. Don’t spend work time sending our your CV, filling out applications, or doing anything else related to job search. Getting caught doing so means awkward explanations.

Watch What You Say at Interviews

It can be tempting to badmouth your current boss and company at job interviews. However, this is a bad idea all around. Not only does it make you seem unprofessional, it can backfire: if you don’t get that job, word can get back to your employer. Avoid taking the low road and mention in your interview that you would like your job search to remain confidential.

How to Improve Your Networking Skills

Networking is a major factor in attaining success in both business and the everyday working world. Whether you are a high roller looking to engage partners for your latest venture or a regular working stiff interested in finding a new position, the ability to network effectively can open many doors and lead to new and exciting possibilities.

Not everyone has an innate ability to network. Some of us are better on paper than in person, while others are introverted and soft-spoken, finding it uncomfortable and alien to be aggressive in starting conversations. If you fall under either of those categories, the following tips can help you improve your ability to network:

Comfortable Areas

When starting out, choose areas where you already feel comfortable and at home. For example, the gym, or clubs and organizations where you are a member. Talk to people there that you already know and then gradually expand your reach, based on the tips you get.

Baby Steps

Whether it involves going to a get together with a lot of people or attending an actual networking event, don’t go overboard at first. Do what you feel comfortable doing. As you get more experienced and have successful encounters, your confidence will increase.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

When you are ready, start putting yourself out there. For example, instead of spending time with just one person at a networking event, push yourself to go out on your own and strike up conversations. If this is awkward at first, don’t worry, it will eventually seem more natural and effective for you.

Remember Names

People really appreciate when you remember their names and details of past conversations. It proves that you were interested and engaged; that will make them more likely to remember your details and pass along any leads they come across.

 

Three Tips for Business Success

Attaining business success can mean trying out a lot of different strategies and discovering what works. Some of these can be quite specific to that industry, while others have general application across a number of different organizations.

Here are three success tips that will apply to most any business venture:

Capitalize on Your Strengths

Chances are it was a particular set of skills that set your down your current path. You saw an opportunity, realized that you had the ability to capitalize on it, and surrounded yourself with people who could help you achieve you goal. However, in the thick of things, it can be easy to forget that considerable resource. Unsure of how to proceed in a certain area? Talk to your team and solicit their advice. The best solutions are often crafted from multiple contributions.

Craft a Plan, but Be Ready to Improvise

No successful business venture ever arose from a plan that was completely inflexible. No one has a crystal ball that allows them to fully predict how the market or relationships with other businesses might change without warning. Come up with a master strategy, but supplement it with a contingency plan. Putting all of your eggs in one basket may seem feasible and cost-effective, but it’s very risky and displays a lack of forward-thinking that can trip you up down the line.

Don’t Forget the Big Picture

We always have a master goal when entering into a business venture and keeping it in mind throughout the development stages is important to ensure efficiency and overall success (e.g. how will each phase of development lead to the desired result?). Remembering your overall goal can also help during times when things are not going to plan. The problems and potential strife still have to be dealt with, but the pain you encounter during the process will be tempered, if you keep that final result in mind.

How to Be Motivated on the Job

One thing that every employer looks for in a worker is motivation. Employees who are motivated show up every day ready to work and looking to do the best job possible. A good supervisor will also be able to encourage his or her workers, providing the sort of coaching that will give them the spirit and energy to perform to the best of his abilities.

Gaining employee motivation is an excellent skill for any manager, but for those who do not have this skill or are concerned that some staff members are not putting in their best effort, workplace productivity motivators are an alternative solution.

employee-motivation

The latter can be tricky. Amazon received much negative publicity when an undercover investigation revealed that employees are very strictly tracked and only had so long to perform certain tasks. Their movements were tracked by computer and if they did not show a certain job had been done before the time ran out, they were docked for that failure.

I understand both stances. If I was on a system like the one Amazon uses, I would feel stressed and dispirited. There needs to be a bond of trust between a worker and his or her employer for the relationship to be fruitful.

However, with some employees looking to game the system or just unwilling/unable to meet their job requirements, workplace productivity motivators can be a way of finding out who is not putting their weight.

Fortunately, workplace productivity motivators need not be so draconian. They could take the form of a contest for the person who makes the most sales in a month, or maybe the promise of a vacation to a team if they are able to meet a certain target. This approach is much more appealing to most people as it represents a fun sort of challenge, rather than a threat to their continued employement.

Mobile Banking in The Office

With the development of today’s mobile technology, options in banking are continuing to establish with amazing possibilities. In simply a few short years, banking has actually evolved from strictly brick-and-mortar operations to include phone transactions, ATMs, the Internet, and now cell phones and gadgets. With each progression, clients have the capability to conduct their financial company from greater remote areas.

According to a current research study by a financial consultancy, it is predicted that 35 percent of U.S. online banking families will be making use of mobile banking by 2010. Casting an additional look forward, eventually users will have the capability to make point-of-sale payments right from their mobile devices.

The wireless and mobile markets represent some of the fastest growing industries on the planet today. While European and Asian nations have typically experienced higher saturation in these markets, the United States is starting to recognize these full advantages. Financial organizations, in certain, intent on positioning themselves generally in the market, are eager to develop and promote value-added services such as mobile banking. Banks worldwide has actually invested billions of dollars to construct exceptional Internet banking abilities for their consumers.

MOBILE BANKING Taking benefit of the growing market for mobile phones and cellular service, some banks have introduced mobile banking services enabling clients to carry out banking transactions using their smart phones. HDFC has actually presented an SMS service.

Continuing On With Mobile Banking

The advanced technology permits clients to bank from anywhere and whenever they select with any web-enabled phone device whose network enables Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic. In layperson’s terms, SSL is a protocol that offers a secure channel in between 2 devices running over the Internet or an internal network. For Internet users, the presence of SSL is displayed through a padlock icon on an internet site.

Thanks to this technology, end users are gaining a really helpful and simple experience. From a mobile device, a user might view their bank account balances, deal history, and receive bank signals. Particularly hassle-free, users might likewise transfer funds between accounts and pay costs to existing payees.

Signing up for this sort of service typically starts with an activation procedure through a bank’s website. Users pick the accounts they wish to access from their mobile device, which can be modified at any time. After getting in a mobile phone number and showing the wireless provider, the bank customer is nearly prepared to begin banking from a mobile device. Following any payments or transactions, a SMS text is sent to the device to verify the activity. This is particularly practical in the event of a lost signal or dropped call. If the customer does not get confirmation with a SMS text message, he can check an account and re-submit any transactions that did not process.

Secure online banking is a major issue for both banks and their company banking clients. When it pertains to mobile banking, the real account data is not saved on a mobile device, making it impossible to for the info to be taken from a lost or lost phone. Consumers merely modify their Mobile Settings and make modifications to the wireless provider and phone number as needed when it comes time to change a mobile device. For those who change phones, but keep the very same provider and number, no changes are needed. Those who switch over wireless carriers or contact number only have to customize the settings through their online checking account.