10 Ways Lazy Stupid Coworkers Can Help Boost Your Career

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 1:26am by Site Administrator

Lazy coworkers may seem like a nuisance, but in reality, they offer a number of excellent opportunities to improve your professional life. Whether you’re simply outshining them, or being forced to innovate, those dolts you work with might actually be doing you a favor. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 ways they’re giving you a hand.

  1. You’ll look better in comparison: First and foremost, a lazy coworker makes it easy for you to look good. Assuming you’re not just as lazy and stupid as your coworkers, having a few fools around can raise your perceived value. Yes, your boss really does notice.
  2. Picking up the slack: By doing the work your coworkers are too incompetent to do, you’ll shine and be praised for your willingness to help out the team. Just be sure to make sure this doesn’t go unnoticed.
  3. They’ll motivate you to do better: Chances are, your lazy, stupid coworkers of today were just like you yesterday-they’ve just become accustomed to a routine of slacking and underperforming over the years. You can use their attitude as a motivator to do better things, whether that means working harder to advance yourself, or breaking out of the rat race to create your own business.
  4. They don’t bother recognizing opportunities: If your coworkers are too stupid and lazy to even do their own jobs, you can bet there’s a good chance they wouldn’t notice or care if an opportunity smacked them in the face. That means that you’re more likely to stumble upon and take advantage of a great idea, such as volunteering to head up a new and much needed committee that will grant you high profile success.
  5. You’ll be able to work less: Working with slow coworkers often means that your work tends to trickle in as well. You should be able to run laps around them, freeing yourself up for career-advancing special projects.
  6. Your suggestions for improvements will be noticed: If no one else cares enough to say anything about improving your workflow, bringing these issues to your boss can raise you to the level of confidant, and it shows that you care. These are great seeds to plant for future advancement.
  7. You’ll become everyone’s new best friend: Again, underperforming coworkers often give you an opportunity to do things beyond your normal job scope. This leaves you open to help out in other departments and become more helpful and visible to your entire organization.
  8. They’ll fill you in on the latest gossip: There’s one thing lazy coworkers are great at keeping up with, and that thing is gossip. Use them to keep informed about who’s leaving, what positions are opening up, and where your company is going in the future.
  9. They’re open mikes: Another way gossip-loving lazy coworkers help is through their gift of gab. Pass along a rumor that you’re doing well or that you’re expected to receive a specific promotion, and this information just might land upon and influence ears that matter.
  10. Sharing credit makes you look like a leader: When you swoop in to save the day after your stupid coworker did something inept, you’ll be the hero that got the job done. This is especially useful if you share credit with the dummy that started it all, because you’ll be perceived as the leader that brought everything together.

25 of the Most Expensive Gifts Known to Man

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 6:21pm by Site Administrator

Even though Christmas season is over, everyone knows the gift giving never stops. From birthdays to Valentine’s day, it’s hard to come up with original ideas for those who already have everything. If you’re looking to impress your loved ones this year, take a look at this list of 25 of the most expensive gifts known to man, from the truly outrageous to the impossibly indulgent.

  1. Bombardier Global Express XRS Executive Jet: $48 million: If you’re constantly booking last-minute plane trips to exotic locations, this may be the gift for you. Back in February, TeamSugar posted Jim Trippon’s annual list of the Most Expensive Valentine’s Day Gifts in the World. The Bombardier Executive Jet topped the list at $48 million, so that you and your honey can fly off into the sunset to celebrate in style.
  2. First G.I. Joe: $200,000: G.I. Joes were meant to be tossed around and buried in the dirt by rough and tough little boys, but the buyer of this action figure will probably want to keep it locked up in a glass case. Setting a world record for the most expensive toy soldier, the buyer purchased the G.I. Joe in 2003 directly from the creator for $200,000.
  3. 3D Motion Simulator: $300,000: Forget Nintendo and Wii gaming systems: what your kids really want this year is a 3D Motion Simulator from FAO Schwartz. At $300,000, it’s included on the Forbes list of the Most Expensive Toys, and this ride "seats eight for CD-ROM-driven excitement, including space trips, roller coasters, slot car races… and more."
  4. The Christian Hammer: $3.5 million: The most expensive Stradivari violin ever auctioned off, this gorgeous instrument is three hundred years old. No word on how well it still plays.
  5. Ferrari Go-Cart: $50,000: If your kids are too young for a real Ferrari, ease them into the luxury auto market with a $50,000 Ferrari go-cart, also from FAO Schwartz. Your children will be the toughest, coolest kids on the block and will put all those Barbie-mobiles to shame.
  6. Marks and Spencer Christmas Basket: $1,500: Christmas baskets are usually last-minute gifts thrown together for your kids’ schoolteacher or the hostess of your next holiday party and can consist of everything from gift certificates to baked goods to scented bath soaps. The British department store chain, Marks and Spencer, decided to up the reputation (and price) of traditional Christmas baskets by offering this gift of champagne, wine and gourmet goodies for a grand total of $1,500. According to The Most Expensive Journal, "the most expensive gift basket appears to have been a limited item" and is no longer offered.
  7. Most Expensive Champagne: $17,625: What would a holiday or birthday celebration be without a little bubbly? If you’re feeling extra generous the next time you’re invited to a party, why not try to get your hands on this bottle, which was sold in 2005 at an auction for over $17,000.
  8. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head: $8,000 each: Luxury department store Neiman Marcus publishes its annual Christmas Book each year to tempt the world’s elite with outrageously expensive gifts and goodies. In 2004, a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head collector’s set was offered for $8,000 per figure, which were covered in dazzling Swarovski crystals.
  9. Bugatti Veyron: $1.7 million: In 2006, Neiman Marcus included this super charged car in its annual Christmas Book for the price of $1.7 million. According to Wikipedia, the Bugatti Veyron "is the most expensive and fastest accelerating street-legal production car in the world." In other words, it’s just perfect for the speed-obsessed millionaire on your list.
  10. Boeing Business Jet: $35.2 million: In 2002, About.com reported that the Boeing Business Jet was "the most expensive item ever offered" up for sale in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. With its swank interior and unbeatable reputation, it’s no surprise that the big boys’ toy was a tantalizing item even in its unfinished form.
  11. Neil Lane 15 Carat Diamond Earrings: $750,000: Jim Trippon isn’t just mad about Valentine’s Day: he’s also released his list for the Top Ten Most Expensive Christmas Gifts of 2007. Number two on the list is a pair of Neil Lane 15 carat diamond earrings, sold for a whopping three-quarters of a million dollars. Often considered one of Hollywood’s preferred jewelers-to-the-stars, Neil Lane has designed engagement rings for celebrities like Kate Walsh, Brooke Shields and Kate Hudson.
  12. YSL Crocodile Uptown Bag: $26,995: Wealthy women love luxury purses, and the Yves Saint Laurent crocodile uptown bag is no exception. Customers who don’t mind buying real crocodile skin probably won’t mind the exorbitant price tag either: $26,995 at Neiman Marcus for the 10"H x 14 1/2"W x 6"D tote.
  13. Baby Shiloh 3-Carat White Diamond Pacifier: $17,000: If you’re welcoming a new baby into the family, you’re probably loading up on diapers, bibs and cozy blankets to spoil him or her. If, however, your tastes are a little more extreme, er, expensive, the baby aisle at Target probably won’t cut it. Instead, consider treating your baby like a movie star, or at least like one of their offspring. Shop5thAvenue.com now offers the same 3-carat white diamond pacifier that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie received as a gift for baby Shiloh. Friends and family can personalize the pacifier by choosing different jewels like rubies, sapphires and emeralds and by adding the baby’s initials to the shiny bauble.
  14. Vertu 7.2 Carat Pink and White Diamond Phone: $75,000: $75,000 for a cell phone? Well, it does work in more than 150 countries and features a 24-hour one-touch concierge service just waiting to indulge your every fantasy. According to NeimanMarcus.com, only 100 exist in the entire world, and each phone comes encrusted with 7.2 carat white and pink diamonds set in 18-carat. rose gold. Your jet-setting pre-teen just can’t wait to get her hands on one of these.
  15. Triton 1000: $1.44 million: Perhaps the most bizarre gift featured in the 2007 Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is the Triton 1000 submarine, just in case your holiday plans include plunging into the ocean for research, top-secret military missions or, you know, sightseeing.
  16. 10 Acres in Paradise Valley: $2.3 million: Many people agree that land is the most precious possession, especially as humans continue to overpopulate even the most remote areas. If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway for your family, try bidding on "10 acres of secluded land among the mountains of Paradise Valley in Montana, up for grabs for $2.3 million" and included in the 2007 Christmas Book.
  17. Diamond Studded Lipstick: $62,000: If you think all lipsticks are equal, you are highly mistaken. Spoil your wife or girlfriend this holiday with the lavish gift of $62,000 diamond studded lipstick, courtesy of beauty and cosmetics company Guerlain. Appropriately named KissKiss Gold and Diamonds, Luxist.com reports that "you’ll get a consultation with Guerlain’s artistic director Olivier Echaudemaison and a lipstick shade customized just for you that comes in an 18-karat gold lipstick tube encrusted with 199 conflict-free diamonds, plus rubies and emeralds."
  18. His and Hers Double Portrait in Chocolate: $110,000: This gift is for the truly indulgent. If you long to see a portrait of you and your honey hanging in the hallway, why not have it created in chocolate? Artist Vik Muniz will create a "60" x 48" museum-quality photographic" portrait of any couple that purchases the gift, and all proceeds will be donated to his personal charity, Centro Especial Rio de Janeiro.
  19. Diamond Barbie: Around $85,000: Many little girls find Barbie dolls wrapped up under the Christmas tree, but this extra special doll is a true collector’s item. Named the world’s most expensive Barbie, Diamond Barbie was co-designed by De Beers and "comes with a gown sporting 160 diamonds," as reported by CanUAffordIt.com.
  20. Clive Christian No. 1: $2,350 per ounce: Perfume is a popular holiday gift, but if you want to set yourself and your sweetie apart from conventional gift-givers this season, splurge on a bottle of the world’s most expensive perfume. The blog, The Lifestyles of the Rich, reports that Clive Christian No. 1 is currently the most expensive perfume available, on sale for $2,350 per ounce. The high cost has not deterred buyers, however, as the perfume is sold out online at Nordstrom.com and SaksFifthAvenue.com
  21. World’s Most Expensive Cat: Around $40,000: Cute and cuddly puppies and kittens may suddenly find themselves rescued from pet shops and animal shelters during the holidays, as pets are traditional Christmas presents. This Bengal cat won’t be discovered at the local pound, however, as it is generally regarded as the world’s most expensive cat. Purchased in 1999 for around $40,000, this exotic kitty probably won’t find herself topped with a bow underneath the Christmas tree.
  22. Rothschild Faberge Egg: $18.5 million: Faberge eggs have been a tradition in aristocratic Russian families since the times of Alexander III, but none have received such a high bidding price as the Rothschild Faberge Egg when it was auctioned off at Christie’s this year. Originally "created in 1902 as an engagement gift for Baron Edouard de Rothschild," the pink Faberge egg was sold for $18.5 million to a Russian art collector.
  23. Amour Amour Dog Collar: $1.8 million: Even if your pooch is one of the family, would you spend almost $2 million on a sparkly diamond dog collar to hang around its neck? The Love Dog Diamonds company believes that dogs deserve to lounge around in luxury just as much as their wealthy owners, and the Amour Amour 18-carat white gold dog collar will go perfectly with that fluffy pillow.
  24. Ronde Island: $100 million: Don’t bother mixing with the common riff-raff during holiday resort season; instead, purchase your own island as a gift for your family so that you can enjoy a unique vacation in private luxury. The website Gifts.Infoniac.com advertises the Ronde Island in Grenada in the Caribbean, which, for $100 million, could be yours to enjoy.
  25. World’s Most Expensive Diamond: $7.98 million: If you’re planning to pop the big question during the holidays, why not do it with the world’s most expensive diamond? In November 2007, the Moussaieff Jewellers of London purchased the blue diamond for nearly $8 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. How could anyone turn down that kind of a proposal?

How to Be Productively Lazy

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12:33am by Site Administrator

We’ve all had good days and bad days at the office: days when we’re feeling particularly

ambitious

and can work our way down a to-do list before lunchtime, but also days when we can’t stop looking out the window (if we have one) and dreaming about life on the outside. On the bad days, it’s not just a challenge to make ourselves do some actual work. We’re also stuck trying to come up with ways that make us look busy so we won’t get caught wasting time. If we can get by with as little effort as possible, but still have something to show for the eight hours we’ve been at the office, we know we’ve made it. Below is a little guide that includes some of our favorite tips for being productively lazy at work.

Make to-do lists: Just because you don’t feel like doing any of your work doesn’t mean you aren’t well aware of your responsibilities. To give your productivity a valid but painless boost, make to-do lists to get yourself organized. If you really want to waste time, make several lists that are extremely detailed. Consider using a Web-based system like Remember The Milk or Ta-da List to avoid cluttering up your desk with more paperwork. When you come into the office the next day on a hopefully brighter note, you’ll be able to get more work done than if you hadn’t made any lists.

Conduct research: Block out a chunk of time and devote it to doing research on your biggest project. You’ll look extremely busy shuffling around papers, going through your files and browsing websites for information. The best part is that all you really have to do is bookmark pages that look interesting and tab a few key file folders to come back to later and you’re all set. Whenever a coworker or supervisor walks by to ask what you’re doing, just mumble something about really getting into your research. With any luck, you’ll be left alone.

Answer e-mails: Go through your e-mail inbox and respond to messages that have been staring out at you for the past week. Pass up e-mails that require you to do any real thinking and go straight to the ones that have to do with scheduling meetings, need only a yes or no answer or simply want your opinion. All that typing will make you look busy, but you won’t be wasting your energy on any actual work.

Organize your file cabinets: Organizing your file cabinets shows others that you care about your work and are willing to sacrifice precious work time to sort through your documents and refresh your memory on older projects. Or, in some cases, your coworkers will catch on to your lazy procrastination, but only because they’ve probably used the same tactic to avoid doing their work. If you really want to impress your boss, order colored file folders and make new labels to give your cabinet a professional, coordinated look.

Organize computer files: Once you’ve organized the hard copies of your files, jump back onto the computer and set up an online filing system. You can scan documents onto your computer, rename folders, send files to clients or coworkers and other organizational tasks. Transferring your files onto the computer will also help you save time in the future. Instead of having to fax, make copies or mail a particular document, you can just e-mail files to colleagues with only a few clicks.

Outline a proposal or project: Outlines are easy and they really give the impression that you’ve been busy all day. Plus, once you do get around to doing the real work, you’ll be glad you have some sort of organization in place. All you have to do is develop a basic outline that includes the project’s title, a tentative timeline for each stage of the assignment, contact information for coworkers and vendors with whom you need to collaborate and set up meetings and plenty of brainstorming ideas. You can turn it into your boss at the end of the day to prove that you actually got something done during the day — even if it only took you half an hour.

Check over your work: Proofread every e-mail, memo and outline you send out to look productive. You’ll appear conscientious and detail-oriented, characteristics that supervisors treasure in their employees.

Go ahead, read the list again. You’ll look busy and focused and can buy yourself an extra twenty minutes or so of procrastination.

Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #4

Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 9:58am by Site Administrator

Greetings! Welcome to the 4th edition of the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship. The New Year edition has come up with 51 solid posts that talk about business and entrepreneurship. Here you go:

Ryan presents Writing Your Business Skills posted at Academia-Research blog everything about how to write a good paper.. Your business online should be tough. But you can mange them.

John Crenshaw presents Mindless Zombies Attack Will Smith, And I’m Not Talking About His New Movie posted at Dominate Your Life. John says, You may or may not have heard of the recent comments Will Smith made about Adolf Hitler in an interview with The Daily Record in the U.K., in which he said, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today. I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.”

Ralph Jean-Paul presents Hunter,Scavenger or Prey:Which Life Are You Living posted at Potential 2 Success. Are you actively pursuing your goals or passively waiting around for them to come to you? Learn to how passionately achieve your goals with the skills of an efficient hunter.

Andrew784 presents Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid as A Blogger posted at >> Personal Hack <<. Anywhere from Big time wasters to useless bad blogging habits. Are you spending a lot of time on SEO, on social networks like digg & reddit, always trying to write the perfect post, sharing the good in your blog posts but leaving out the bad, or constantly checking your blog’s stats? If so this post is for you.

Richard Lee presents Internet Business » Business Ideas For 2008: Uncommon Advice posted at Richard Lee.

Nubby Twiglet presents Successfully Selling Yourself: How To Build A Press Kit posted at Nubbytwiglet.com. Are you an artist, designer, a musician, or a small business owner? Do you have a product or cause you’d like to promote? A press kit is an invaluable resource if you want to take your vision to the next level and set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.

Jim Sansi presents Business Performance And Profit posted at The Kaizen Business.

GWN Lifestyle presents Giving Your Clients What They Want posted at GWN Lifestyle. What you can do to ensure your client’s and customer’s happiness and how to generate several streams of revenue for your business.

Ed Rivis presents Discipline: Number One Success Tool for 2008. posted at Ed Rivis.

Holly Ord presents Calling All Women Entrepreneurs posted at Menstrual Poetry. An online magazine for women entrepreneurs and a website dedicated to women making a six-figure income.

Changeyourtree presents Five Things Racquetball Taught Me About Succeeding in Business posted at Change Your Tree. No matter what business you’re in, this article is for you!

Dr. Joe Capista presents Can You Really Achieve Total Success? posted at The Success Triangle. Dr. Joe Capista shares insights into what needs to happen to achieve Total Success.

Emmanuel presents 10 Great Business Opportunities with little or no capital | PACE with Emmanuel Oluwatosin posted at Emmanuel Oluwatosin: Inspiring Excellence, Realising Ambitions.

Aruntheace presents Make money online with automated Youtube niche video sites – Made for Lazy people! posted at www.aruntheace.com.

Ingrid Cliff presents Marketing Tip – What you can learn from Wii posted at Small Business Ideas. What business can learn from Wii’s marketing this past Christmas.

Iamawahm presents Be A Balanced Mom posted at Mom Works at Home. Tips for balancing being a stay at home mom and a work at home mom.

David presents I Love a Success Story – From Homeless to Millionaire posted at Worldwide Success.

Kingsley Tagbo presents HOW TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION IN 8 EASY STEPS posted at HOW TO LEARN COMPUTER PROGRAMMING FAST OR GET A JOB EASILY.

Robert D Flach presents STARTING THE YEAR OFF RIGHT posted at THE FLACH REPORT.

Lorraine Cohen presents Powerfull Living » Celebrate 2007 By Doing A Year-End Review posted at Powerfull Living. Taking time to reflect on the past year by acknowledging your successes, uncovering obstacles opens space for new intentions to actualize.

James Alenteal presents A subtle conversion rate & response booster from 3 masters. posted at James Alenteal’s Conversion Rate Clinic. Article on increasing sales site opt-ins.

Bill presents Shocking Course Correction Secret Revealed posted at The Bubble Planner.

GP presents The Path in 2008 posted at Innside Montana-Your Home at the Range. Reflecting on last year as we move into the new, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will. We like to believe that doing good will be rewarded with equal rewards—right here and now in this life.

Edith presents Bring the Love Back posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act.. Are you listening to your customers? Do you really know what they want? It is time to bring the love back? Watch this video.

Ryan Healy presents What Terry Dean Reads posted at Ryan M. Healy. Just because someone has subscribed to your RSS feed does not mean you have earned his or her readership. It only means you have the opportunity to earn that readership. Here’s how.

Idfnl presents Want to Lend Money? Here is How to Get $25 FREE to Do It posted at Peer to Peer Lending with Prosper.

Alex Marlin presents Coaching A Team Of 25 To Success posted at Jason Mangrum.

Fred Black presents My Courses Are Now FREE! posted at Fred Black: Internet Business Blog..

Praveen presents Rapper 50 Cent’s Recent Business Windfall posted at My Simple Trading System. Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent) used his rapping skills and thug image to build a business empire. He shrewdly traded his image for an equity stake in the drink company Glaceau and ended up earning a windfall.

Hill Robertson presents It’s a New Year – Get Your Butt in Gear posted at Hill Robertson. Start the new year out right by setting goals and establishing successful habits.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Don’t Miss This Web 2.0 Dot-Com Boom posted at The Digerati Life. Are we really in a new tech boom? My thoughts on the latest wave of activity in the startup capital of the nation – Silicon Valley.

Raymond presents Cheap and Affordable Ways To Create A Virtual Office For Your Small Home Business posted at Money Blue Book. How to run a small home business without having to spend a lot of money.

Tali presents How Do Small Blogs Make It Big? – The Story of Search for Blogging posted at The Marketer Review. How do you grow your small blog? A case study.

Dan-O presents Learn the Proven Money Making Keys to Successful E-commerce posted at Danogo.com – Discover. Inspiring . Media. Outlines the critical factors used by sites like Amazon and eBay that can be used to put together an online money making business.

Ted presents Best Business Schools posted at CampusGrotto. A look at the top 10 undergraduate schools for business.

David B. Bohl presents Small Business Trends Column – Entrepreneurs: 5 Sure-Fire Business Resolutions for 2008 posted at Slow Down Fast Today!. As a small business owner, this is the perfect time of year to make a list of resolutions of things you can do to help grow your business in the coming year. Think of it as reinforcing your business plan -– or in some cases, rewriting your business plan to take advantage of new opportunities.

Dave Westwood presents My Million Dollar Mission posted at www.davewestwood.com.

Chris George presents Buy a domain name, sell a domain name posted at Small Bucks to Big Bucks. Short intro for beginners to the business of buying and selling domain names for profit.

Chris Harris presents Data or Algorithms? – New venture outsourcing blog posted at New venture outsourcing blog. Coming from the data mining and machine learning field, a few friends of mine have been kicking around the idea of whether data or analysis is a more valuable asset. Obviously the two have a symbiotic relationship to be valuable together. If you can have both you’ll take it, but what if you had to choose?

Value Seeker presents Are Mutual Funds For You? posted at Stock. Complete stock investing resource featuring advice on how to pick stocks, mutual funds tips, and stock broker reviews., Mutual funds and index funds are often good investments. But are they for you?

Wanda Grindstaff presents Does Your Business Model Support Your Income Goals? posted at Creating Abundant Lifestyles. Does your business model support your income goals?

Michelle Cramer presents How to Issue a Press Release posted at GreatFX Business Cards. A press release is a relatively inexpensive way (typically free, or close to it, depending on what you do with it) to get the word out about your business. But it is a process that many small business owners are not familiar with.

Christine presents Monetizing Your Website Through Inspiration and Desire posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France.

Steve Lafler presents Is Print Dead? Or Does it Just Smell Funny? posted at Self Employment for Bohemians. Is print media dead? With the rising tide of “New Media”, do the classic print media revenue models still work? These publishers of indie Graphic Novels & Comics report that print is indeed alive and well.

Steven Lohrenz presents Can Your Business Survive A Major Failure? posted at Steven Lohrenz. Building redundancy into your business systems helps you to survive major events smoothly. It is imperative to the health of your business and you that you have backups in place before the unexpected happen.

Ryan-Careonecredit presents Digging out of Debt is the Beginning of Building your Savings posted at Care on Credit. Financial planners often point out that getting out of high-interest debt is in itself a substantial investment-hence the standard advice that if you have money in savings you should use it to pay down expensive credit-card balances, which cost more in interest than your savings earns.

Investing Angel presents Common Stock Investing Mistakes posted at Stock Tips. As we go into 2008, let’s recap some of the common mistakes we all make and strive to avoid making them in 2008. 1. Trading too often. This largely depends on the size of your asset base.

GreatManagement presents 7 Quick Tips For Managing Your Friends At The Workplace posted at The GreatManagement Blog. Have you been promoted recently? Is some of your staff also your friends? Do you know how easy it is to loose all respect when you show favoritism?

Anna Farmery presents How brands will win in 2008 posted at The Engaging Brand.

Dorian Wales presents Personal Financier: Motivation Through Job Enrichment: What Are The Key Components? posted at Personal Financier.

John Crickett presents Evaluating A Business Opportunity posted at Business Opportunities And Ideas. A guide to evaluating business opportunities.

That concludes this edition. Next edition of this carnial will be hosted here on January 15, 2008. Submit your blog articles using our Blog Carnival Submission Form. Only one submission per blog/author will be acepted.

Comments (2) | Filed under: carnivals

Balancing Work and Family: 100 Resources for Pregnant Career Women

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 6:10pm by Site Administrator

Congratulations! Now that you’ve found out you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot of exciting planning to do: set up the nursery, notify friends and relatives and start saving your paychecks for all the added expenses your new family will accumulate. Career women, however, have extra responsibilities when it comes to prepping for the new baby. How soon should you tell your boss the good news? Do you qualify for paid maternity leave? What if you’re currently searching for a new job and aren’t sure how your pregnancy will look to potential employers? Read below for all those answers and more in our list of 100 resources for pregnant career women.

Blogs and Websites

During your break time, check out these helpful blogs and websites, which are full of valuable resources for working moms and moms-to-be.

  1. PregnancyandBaby.com: This website has all kinds of resources for pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant, and women who have recently given birth. If you’ve got a quick question about morning sickness or just want to update your "countdown to baby" calendar, jump onto this site during work for a quick and easy search.
  2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Blog @ Suite101: Read the pregnancy and childbirth blog at Suite101 for resources to help you estimate the cost of your pregnancy, how your professional life will affect your pregnancy and more.
  3. WebMD Health and Baby Center: The Health and Baby Center at WebMD.com has lots of articles, tools and other resources to help busy women celebrate pregnancy.
  4. Black Pregnancy Blog: This blog focuses on pregnancy issues for black women. Read posts about health conditions, managing your life after the baby comes and more.
  5. BlueSuitMom.com: This blog has lots of "advice to help executive working mothers balance work and family." Browse through existing posts or submit a question of your own.
  6. Work and Maternity Leave: The Work and Maternity Leave resource on Babycenter.com is full of posts and advice for pregnant career women.
  7. iVillage Work and Pregnancy: The favorite women’s website iVillage has a special page with articles, resources and links that are all about managing pregnancy in a busy office environment.
  8. Pregnant at Work: The website Pregnancy-Info.net hosts a Pregnant at Work section to help pregnant professionals figure out maternity leave, discrimination suits and more.
  9. WhatToExpect.com: The author of the bestselling book What to Expect When You’re Expecting posts articles and tools on this site to help prepare moms-to-be.
  10. Type-A Mom: Busy women now have a place to go to get advice, support and ideas on how to balance work and family.
  11. RollerCoaster: This website is all about general pregnancy and parenting issues, but frequent posts and message board chats from working moms make it a must-read.
  12. YouandMeKid.net: This site is an excellent resource for single pregnant women and single moms. Find out how you can manage a career and a baby, all on your own.

Career Advice and Support

These resources are full of tips and ideas to help you survive the work week when you’re pregnant, from beating morning sickness to figuring out how to break the news.

  1. Working During Pregnancy: Before you make an official decision to continue working or to quit your job because of pregnancy issues, take a look at this post from Families.com to help you evaluate your situation.
  2. Sharing News of Your Pregnancy: This post gives tips on when to tell others (including your boss) the good news and what to expect when you do.
  3. Investigating Maternity Leave Options: It’s important to have a solid plan in place when deciding how and when to take advantage of maternity leave. Let this guide help you figure things out.
  4. Quick Food Fixes for Moms-to-Be: Hopefully, your boss will make some allowances for you during pregnancy; however, if you have to show up to work late everyday due to morning sickness, you might get yourself into trouble. Use this list to help you beat morning sickness and get your back on track.
  5. 40 Healthy Snacks for Moms-to-Be: Keep several of these healthy but appealing snacks in your desk to curb overwhelming cravings.
  6. When to Tell the Boss You’re Expecting: Use this post to help you find the right moment to tell your boss that you’re pregnant.
  7. How to Manage Morning Sickness at Work: This post from eHow.com has more advice for pregnant moms with morning sickness.
  8. Being Pregnant at Work: BabyCenter.com answers questions like "What should I do if I work around toxic substances?" and "How can I stay comfortable on the job?" to help pregnant women manage their professional careers amidst a changing lifestyle.
  9. Working During Pregnancy: Check out this guide designed to help career women safely and comfortably continue working while pregnant.
  10. Working During Pregnancy: The Proudly Pregnant blog encourages women who can’t take extra time off from work to "look for ways to ease the burden of working" by working only 40 hours a week and taking advantage of breaks.
  11. Planning for Working Mothers: Getting Pregnant and Dealing with Work: Use this resource to help you plan for your pregnancy by negotiating maternity leave, reworking your schedule and being prepared to face discriminatory comments and coworkers.
  12. Pregnancy and Your Job: This post from the Monster Career Advice website walks pregnant women through the process of creating a new work/life balance.

Legal Advice and Discrimination Resources

Make sure you’re aware of your rights as an expectant, working mother.

  1. Family and Medical Leave Act: Writer Alison Doyle discusses the details and eligibility issues for the Family and Medical Leave Act in this post. Find out what benefits your employer provides and whether or not you will be able to take time off during your pregnancy.
  2. Women Filing More Pregnancy Discrimination Claims Nationally: The South Carolina Lawyer Blog explores why more pregnant women have been "filing pregnancy discrimination claims with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission" in 2007.
  3. National Advocates for Pregnant Women: This national organization posts articles and information about the legal rights, advocacy events and other important resources that affect pregnant women.
  4. Verizon Pregnancy Discrimination Settlement: Verizon Wireless was ordered to pay over $48 million to female employees who filed discrimination suits against the cell phone company.
  5. Just Found Out You’re Pregnant?: Dawn Rosenberg McKay writes this post for career women who aren’t sure how to discuss their pregnancy at work. Check it out for legal advice and other discrimination issues.
  6. Terminated While on Maternity Leave: One woman seeks advice after being let go while on maternity leave.
  7. How Long Can I Wait to Tell the Boss I’m Pregnant?: CNN Money’s Ask Annie column advises that "the sooner you break the news, the better — especially if your boss can keep a secret."
  8. Maternity Rights: TotalJobs.com shares information about maternity rights in the UK, answering questions like "what terms and conditions apply during ordinary maternity leave?" and "what rights do I have as a pregnant employee?
  9. Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publicizes information about pregnancy discrimination here.
  10. It’s Hard Being a Pregnant, Working Mom — Even if You’re Elizabeth Vargas: After former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas revealed that she was pregnant, she voluntarily gave up her anchor position and agreed to continue only a co-hosting job after giving birth. This editorial explores the ins and outs of her decision, as well as ABC’s position on pregnant employees.
  11. Pregnancy Discrimination: PregnancyEtc.com posts valuable information about "accommodating pregnancy in the workplace," including issues regarding maternity leave, telling your employer about the pregnancy and more.
  12. Dealing With Unfair Treatment at Work While Pregnant: The BabyCenter doles out advice for pregnant women who are discriminated against at work.

Pregnancy and the Job Search

Looking for a new job is tough enough without having to worry about discriminating hiring managers. Use these resources to prepare yourself for the questions, rejections and eventual successes that are sure to come your way.

  1. A Pregnant Pause: Career Pregnant Women at Job Interviews: "Can being visibly pregnant during a job interview hurt my chances of getting hired?" This Q & A from Black Enterprise discusses how pregnant women can prepare themselves for an in-person interview.
  2. Why is Pregnancy Discrimination on the Rise?: The Monster Blog publishes this post in an attempt to figure out why pregnant women are still discriminated against in the workplace.
  3. Pregnancy and Your New Job: What do you do if you get pregnant soon after starting a new job? This post explains why some women may not receive paid time off if they find themselves in this situation.
  4. When Will I Start to Show?: If you’re wondering how to plan your pregnancy around your job search — or vice versa — read this article for help predicting when you will start to show.
  5. Advice for Women Trying to Balance a Career and Pregnancy: ABC News publishes this report that helps pregnant women survive the job search and figure out when to tell the boss the big news.
  6. When to Tell Employer That You’re Leaving: Find out what advice this career coach has for a woman who receives a great job offer while she’s on maternity leave from another company.
  7. Pregnancy and Mothers in the Workplace: JobDig posts this Q&A about looking for a job while several months pregnant.
  8. Tips for Job Seeking When a Pregnancy, a Handicap or Other Personal Needs are Part of the Package: The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes this article to help pregnant women and those with disabilities conduct a successful job search.
  9. Job Hunting While Pregnant: Writer Liz Ryan offers advice for pregnant women in their first, second and third trimesters as they try to find employment.
  10. Can Pregnancy Hinder a Job Search: Northeastern Illinois University Coordinator of Career Counseling Dr. David P. Helfand reviews legal options and office culture trends for pregnant women looking for a job.
  11. Interviewing While Pregnant: Find out how to master a face-to-face interview and conquer discrimination even when you’re several months pregnant.
  12. The Pregnant Job-Seeker: What to Say, and When?: This article from the New York Times considers several questions pregnant job-seekers may have as they are about to begin the interviewing process.

Taking Time Off

Read below for resources on maternity leave, figuring out how much time you need or want to take off from work and finding support when it’s time to return to the office.

  1. Will You Work or Stay Home with Baby?: Families.com helps pregnant moms make the decision to stay at work or take extra time off after the baby comes.
  2. Pregnancy and Your Career: Taking Maternity Leave: This post helps women prepare for the conversation they’ll have with HR about taking maternity leave. Find out how to research the affects of maternity leave on the rest of your benefits, outline your salary and pay schedule for when you leave and more.
  3. Proposal for Part-Time Work Schedule: If you need advice on pitching a part-time work proposal to your boss during or after pregnancy, check out this post.
  4. Career Breaks: Find out if it’s time for you to take a career break and spend more time with your family with the tips and advice listed here.
  5. Family-Friendly or Freeloader-Friendly?: This article from CNN Money questions how family-friendly companies need to be when making allowances for their employees.
  6. Taking Leave After a Miscarriage: Most pregnant women know about maternity leave, but what about taking time off to grieve after a miscarriage? This article explains the rights of parents who find themselves in this situation.
  7. Should You Go Back?: After taking time off, do you know whether or not you should go back to work? Let this article help you make the best decision for you and your family.
  8. Extending Maternity Leave: When your maternity leave is up, you may or may not be ready to get back to work. This article provides "tactics to stretch out that precious maternity leave with your new baby."
  9. U.S. Stands Apart From Other Nations on Maternity Leave: USA Today explores why the U.S. has such a bad reputation for being chintzy with maternity leave.
  10. Maternity Leave: The Basics: Find out everything you need to know about taking maternity leave from this resource, from dealing with denied requests to details about short-term disability leave.
  11. Returning from Maternity Leave: Tips for Working Mothers: After spending a couple of months at home with your new baby, going back to the office can be jarring. The Mayo Clinic provides this guide to help working mothers make the transition as smoothly as possible.
  12. 7 Tips for Keeping Your Career on Track During a Maternity Leave: If you’re going crazy being away from the office for so long, check out this list of tips that will help you keep close contact with the outside, working world.

Work/Family Balance

Read these posts to find out how other parents have managed to maintain a healthy work/life balance after welcoming a new baby.

  1. Life After Birth: Blending a Career and a Family: Career counselor and author Robin Ryan reveals the challenges of combining a professional career with life with a new baby.
  2. Working Mom Secrets to Happy Evenings: This article is a valuable resource for helping working moms who want to make the most out of their evenings with the kids. Get tips on keeping your energy up, maintaining an after-work schedule and more.
  3. Balancing Work and a New Baby: Time Management for New Parents: Revolution Health offers detailed tips for adjusting your work schedule once the baby comes.
  4. Work/Life Balance: This article from the Washington Post reveals current trends in American office culture and how companies may or may not improve their employees’ work/life balance by making allowances for families with young children.
  5. Negotiating Work/Family Issues: Women concerned with taking extra time off once they give birth should read this article for tips on proving your value at work, setting goals and priorities and more.
  6. Work/Life Balance: Pipe Dream or Possibility?: This blogger takes a look at those professionals who have successfully mastered the art of a work/life balance. Read the post for tips on how you can incorporate their practices into your lifestyle.

Finding Child Care

If you’re unsure how to decide where to keep your kids while you’re at work all day, use these guides to help you determine what form of childcare is best for your family.

  1. How to Choose the Right Childcare for Your Baby: This post from About.com lists several questions parents should consider before deciding where to drop their kids off each day.
  2. Child Care Options: The What to Expect website has lots of great tips for finding an appropriate, cost-effective child care solution for working moms.
  3. Daycare Coping for Working Moms: This article helps new moms go back to work by getting used to the idea of dropping their kids off at daycare.
  4. Child Care Checklist: How to Find the Best Option: It’s never too early to start searching for adequate child care services, especially if the centers you want your baby to attend have wait lists. Take this checklist with you when you start researching day care facilities around town.
  5. Tips for Staying Close to Your Children When You’re Away: If your job takes you out of town or overseas, read this article for tips on coping with separation anxiety.
  6. Day Care: Choosing a Good Center: FamilyDoctor.org lists questions that new parents should ask day care centers before dropping their kids off for the day.

Staying at Home

Whether you’ve decided to quit your job or you operate a business from home, check out these resources for tips on balancing your pregnancy with other responsibilities.

  1. The Office Plan for Pregnancy: This post reveals how one woman started her own Virtual Assistant business so that she could stay home during her pregnancy.
  2. Working From Home: Read this testimonial from a mother who managed a home-based career during her pregnancy and continues to work from home while raising a daughter.
  3. Work at Home Ideas for Pregnant Women: If you’d like to start working from home during and after pregnancy but aren’t sure how to make ends meet, check out this article for tips on how to get paid for working from home.
  4. Should I Work or Stay Home?: This article helps moms-to-be make "the decision on where to work after baby."
  5. Confessions of a Pregnant Work-at-Home Mom: This stay-at-home mom gives tips on finding reputable job opportunities that allow her to work from home.
  6. Mother Guilt: This post explores the sense of isolation and guilt that many stay-at-home moms feel after giving birth.
  7. FrugalMom.net: Read this blog for ideas on how to make money from a home-based business.
  8. Help for Pregnant Moms Who Can’t Work and Need Money: Pregnancy.LovetoKnow.com provides links and information for moms who need financial and rental assistance during pregnancy.
  9. HireMyMom.com: This website specializes in connecting businesses with stay-at-home moms looking for outsource projects.
  10. Mommy Enterprises: This work-at-home blog offers moms and moms-to-be support and advice for maintaining a work/life balance and finding great job opportunities.
  11. Daycare vs. Being a Stay-at-Home Mom: Check out this chart of the pros and cons of daycare vs. being a stay-at-home mom to discover which balance works best for you.

Medical and Safety Information

Even if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, there are certain safety issues that you should consider when working in the office or out in the field. Check out this list for health information that will keep you and your baby healthy and comfortable during the entire pregnancy.

  1. Night Work Linked to Increased Risk of Late Pregnancy Loss: This post from PregnancyandBaby.com reports the findings from a study that links miscarriages to a late-night work schedule.
  2. Pregnancy and Work: Dr. Robert Warnock from WebMD writes about the health risks and stereotypes associated with women who decide to work during pregnancy.
  3. Pregnancy and Work Safety: Parents.com details what you can expect if you’re a pregnant woman who decides to continue working as long as possible before giving birth.
  4. Working During Pregnancy: Stay Healthy and Productive: CNN.com publishes this article full of tips and ideas to help pregnant career women avoid nausea, stay alert and comfortable and reduce stress.
  5. Health Hazards in the Workplace: Pregnancy-Info.net details "what you need to know for a healthy pregnancy," including chemical and physical hazards in the workplace.
  6. Working During Pregnancy: The Caremark Health Resources site answers questions that pregnant career women may have, including "Is it okay to work right up until I go into labor?" and "How can I keep comfortable and safeguard my and my baby’s health on the job?"
  7. Working While Pregnant: This guide from PregnancyEtc.com lists tips for staying comfortable and healthy during a busy day at work.
  8. Mommy’s Minute — Working While Pregnant: Watch this AOL video to get tips on how to manage a healthy pregnancy while still retaining your professional responsibilities.
  9. Coping with Stress While Pregnant: Managing a work/life balance when you’re pregnant can be difficult. Use this guide from Yogaholistics.com to help you reduce stress and focus on the positive side of pregnancy.

Miscellaneous

From buying an appropriate pregnancy wardrobe to being prepared for pre-partum depression, these resources will keep you prepared for anything that comes your way.

  1. Seven Tips for Creating a Pregnancy Work Wardrobe on a Budget: Buying an entirely new wardrobe during pregnancy can cost a bundle. Use these tips to make the most out of your shopping trips so that you look and feel good at work.
  2. Pregnancy Over 40: This blog is full of support and advice for women who become pregnant after the age of 40.
  3. How to Work During Pregnancy: Your office and work schedule may need a makeover once you find out you’re pregnant. Follow these tips to help you remain comfortable at the office.
  4. 10 Tips to Working While Pregnant: These tips from AskDr.Sears.com include "explore your options," "know your rights" and "review your company’s policy."
  5. Flying While Pregnant: If your job requires you to do a lot of traveling, take a look at this post to find out at which point in your pregnancy you should stop flying.
  6. Pre-Partum Depression: Discover ways to guard yourself against pre-partum depression so that your professional and personal lives don’t have to suffer.
  7. Working Around Your Pregnancy: Tips like "expect good and bad days" and "think comfort and safety" will help career women prepare for pregnancy.
  8. Guidelines for Working During Pregnancy: Use this list of guidelines to make sure you don’t injure yourself or your baby at work.

Profiles of Forbes’ Top-Earning Supermodels

Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 1:46am by Site Administrator

Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful. Hate them because they’re rich and beautiful. Just when we’re starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, Forbes likes to burst our bubbles each year with its annual lists of the world’s wealthiest individuals, most powerful celebrities and of course, the highest paid supermodels. This list is especially unfair, yet somehow tantalizing, because for once, our everyday sloppy selves are allowed to peek into the glammed-up worlds of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. Do they deserve the millions they’re worth? Maybe not, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to know as much as much possible about the photo shoots, television ventures, campaigns, and of course runway shows, that keep these women at the top.

  1. Gisele Bundchen: $33 million: Just when exactly did Gisele Bundchen sneak into the fashion industry and start to dominate American pop culture? Was it in 1999 when Vogue heralded her as bringing sexy back by naming her entrance into the fashion world as "The Return of the Sexy Model?" Or was it when she began dating Leonardo DiCaprio and became one of the most recognizable Victoria’s Secret Angels? None of it matters anymore, as Gisele has ditched Leo, moved on from Victoria’s Secret after a disagreement over salary, and now tops Forbes’ 2007 list after making a whopping $33 million due to campaigns including Dolce and Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli, plus an appearance in last year’s The Devil Wears Prada.
  2. Kate Moss: $9 million: International style icon Kate Moss has been a model for nearly two decades, a career that has survived everything from pregnancy and childbirth to a much-publicized cocaine scandal. Those who thumb their noses at the too-skinny trend have Kate to thank, who ushered in heroin-chic with her Calvin Klein ads in the 1990s. No longer an androgynous-looking teenager, Kate is still a modeling force to be reckoned with, as she makes more money today from campaigns and design stints than she did before that nasty coke habit got her fired from companies like H&M and Burberry.
  3. Heidi Klum: $8 million: Forget supermodel, Heidi Klum is a modern-day superwoman. As a mother of three, Victoria’s Secret powerhouse, television producer and jewelry designer, this German-born glamazon is a fashion magnate. Despite having a difficult time breaking into the industry (which at the time was obsessed with waifs a la Kate Moss), the curvy Klum is now the producer and host of Project Runway and continues to make millions in her campaigns and runway shows for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Jordache.
  4. Adriana Lima: $6 million: Take one look at this Brazilian beauty, and you’ll understand why she’s more than just your everyday model. Her seductive eyes, gorgeous hair and sexy pout have won her coveted spots with Victoria’s Secret and Maybelline, making her one of Forbes’ highest paid supermodels. She was also named "The World’s Most Voluptuous Virgin" by GQ after pledging, "sex is for after marriage…[Men] have to respect that this is my choice."
  5. Alessandra Ambrosio: $6 million: The Brazilian trend in the modeling world isn’t fading anytime soon, thanks in part to Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio. Not just another sexy Angel, Ambrosio has racked up contracts with The Limited, Armani Exchange, and Next U.K., and is also the National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  6. Carolyn Murphy: $5 million: Carolyn Murphy’s quiet but sexy elegance has lent itself to Tiffany & Co., Estee Lauder, Versace and other prestigious fashion and beauty clients, earning her a top spot in the industry. Winner of the 1998 VH1/Vogue Model of the Year award, Murphy has worked almost continuously since the age of 16. After high school, though, she famously bleached her hair so blonde that it began to fall out. According to an interview with Murphy on BellaSugar, "many photographers took notice of her brave, boyishly short haircut and she began getting work in high profile magazines" like Harper’s Bazaar. The rest is history.
  7. Natalia Vodianova: $4.5 million: She’s only 25, but the Russian beauty Natalia Vodianova is already a modeling veteran. Forbes.com reports that this fashion chameleon "has been a Calvin Klein muse for longer than any other model, including Kate Moss." But just ten years ago, Vodianova was on the streets of her Russian town selling fruit to help support her family. Once she started modeling, however, Vodianova won campaigns with Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and of course, Calvin Klein. She is also married to the Honorable Justin Portman and has two children.
  8. Karolina Kurkova: $3.5 million: Karolina’s bombshell beauty has made her a favorite with both high fashion magazines and the Victoria’s Secret camp. According to Forbes.com, Kurkova was one of the youngest models to ever appear on the cover of American Vogue: she was just 16 when she landed the spot in 2001. In addition to modeling and supporting several youth-oriented nonprofits, Kurkova also has a part in the upcoming movie My Sexiest Year.
  9. Daria Werbowy: $3.5 million: Daria Werbowy’s name might not be recognizable outside the fashion industry, but her enchanting looks have graced the covers of Vogue Italia and other top magazines. In 2003, the hardworking Canadian "appeared in more shows…than any model had ever walked in a single season," according to Supermodels.nl. Her current campaigns include Versace, Chanel, Lancome and many others.
  10. Gemma Ward: $3 million: Don’t let Gemma’s babydoll face fool you. At only 20 years old, this Australian supermodel is a pro at winning over clients, marching down the runway and causing fashion heavyweights and the general public to fall in love with her. Designer Karl Lagerfeld calls her “a great model,” claiming “she has the look of the moment, the attitude of the moment. She is really the model of the moment," as reported by AskMen.com, and many industry insiders credit her with issuing in the new look and standard for ethereal beauty. Open any fashion magazine, and you’ll see Gemma in ads for Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and more, not to mention shots of her commanding the runways at Celine, Prada and Jean Paul Gaultier.
  11. Liya Kebede: $2.5 million: Liya Kebede makes fashion history as the only black model on this year’s list and as the first black model ever for beauty giant Estee Lauder. In addition to working with clients like Anne Taylor, Gucci and H&M, the Ethiopian-born Kebede is a powerful activist and Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
  12. Hilary Rhoda: $2 million: For many in the modeling and fashion industries, Hilary Rhoda symbolizes a return to the American ideal: classic, elegant sexiness. Often compared to Brooke Shields, Rhoda, 20, just landed her big money-making contract with Estee Lauder, as well as staying busy shooting campaigns for Donna Karan, Zara, Gucci and others. Supermodels.nl reports that "in the Fall of 2006, Models.com announced that Hilary was one of the most sought after Top Ten New Faces," after dominating ads for Balenciaga and appearing in editorial shoots for magazines like American and French Vogue, W and Harper’s Bazaar.
  13. Shalom Harlow: $2 million: Shalom Harlow’s statuesque figure and feline looks have kept her at the top of the fashion industry for nearly 15 years. Besides her modeling work, Harlow has appeared in movies like Melinda and Melinda, Vanilla Sky, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and In and Out. Forbes.com believes that "she is making a comeback this year with new contracts with Chanel and Tiffany & Co.," but we’re not sure if she ever really left.
  14. Doutzen Kroes: $1.5 million: If Brigitte Bardot came back as a Dutch-born supermodel stomping down the runway at Michael Kors or Yves Saint Laurent, we bet she’d do it in the form of Doutzen Kroes. Doutzen’s pouty lips and curvaceous figure give her an edge over some of the wan, malnourished-looking models in the pack, and top designers have noticed. In 2005, Style.com named her its Model of the Year, and this year alone, Doutzen "bagged contracts with Calvin Klein’s Eternity fragrance and L’Oreal."
  15. Jessica Stam: $1.5 million: Simply known as Stam, this Canadian farm girl-turned-supermodel has a look that combines ferocity and provocative allure with an innocent sweetness. One of fashion’s new cool girls, Stam dated a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was discovered by legendary photographer Steven Meisel, and is known for having an edgy-luxe personal style that inspires fashionistas everywhere. Seen on the runway and in shoots for Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Dior and Bulgari, we predict that Stam will shoot up to a higher spot on next year’s list.

If you could be rich or beautiful, which would you be? How about both? For these 15 ladies who book contracts with top designers, hosting gigs with successful TV shows and appearances in popular films, making millions just comes with the gorgeous territory.

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The Planet Express Guide to Management – 33 HR Lessons from Futurama

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 1:37am by Site Administrator

While you might not actually work with a rag-tag group of aliens, robots and incompetent but well meaning former pizza delivery boys, sometimes you feel like you might as well be. Turns out that in the future, managing employees hasn’t really gotten any easier, but you can take away a few lessons on what works-and what doesn’t-from Futurama. While this isn’t a replacement for real management training, it can help to give you a little insight into employee relations and, if nothing else, a few laughs. Here are a few lessons, in no particular order, that you can bring to your next HR meeting.

  1. Always have a disaster plan. While the Planet Express crew usually sets out with the best intentions, things more often than not quickly degrade to the worst possible scenario. Whether it’s fighting off giant Amazonian women or a planet full of human-hating robots, the team always comes up with a plan to get out of harm’s way unscathed. Your worst case scenario for a new product launch or a corporate reorganization may not be quite as dramatic but you should always have a "Plan B" just in case something should go wrong so you won’t be left high and dry.
  2. Diversity is important. You would think that it would be difficult for a robot, a cyclops, a human from 1000 years prior, a doctor from Decapod 10, and scores of others to work well together, but Futurama proves that it is possible. While there are few cases where the team remains entirely conflict free, their individual talents, from sewing hands back on to bending just about anything, each help the crew to ultimately be successful on their mission. Your own crew can benefit from this kind of diversity, something you should consider when you’re hiring your next batch of employees.
  3. Support good communication. One thing that remains virtually unchanged in the future is the importance of communication when working with employees. Make sure employees have all the details about how to do their jobs, what you expect, and how they are doing so they won’t accidentally open a box that leads to another dimension, forcing you and your team to close all portals to other universes. That’s just good common sense!
  4. Plan fun company sponsored events. The Planet Express crew took their company outing to a remote campground, but you could plan company picnics, trips to theme parks and much more that could be just as fun and may not result in the alien abduction and mutilation that the Planet Express trip did. Employees appreciate being rewarded and motivated for their work, so do your best as management to get them moving and working as a team.
  5. Develop strong work relationships. Bender and Fry are the best of friends even though they are as different as they could be. This relationship carries over positively into work where each has saved the other from a variety of perils numerous times. While your workers don’t need to be willing to lay down their lives for each other, they’ll likely be happier if they can be friends with coworkers and more willing to help each other out if need be if there is a friendship behind it. Don’t discourage employees from chatting with each other and even taking their friendships outside of work.
  6. Encourage teamwork. The members of the Planet Express crew would likely never complete a mission if it wasn’t for their dedication to teamwork. Instead of ending up like previous Planet Express crews who perished trying to retrieve space honey, this team worked together to successfully steal the sticky, golden goodness from the bees. Get your worker bees to work in harmony by promoting teamwork, even between areas with different specializations. You’ll get better and more cohesive results when everyone is on the same page.
  7. Be willing to give to get. Employees aren’t going to work for nothing, nor are you going to find great new hires by offering half-baked benefits and paltry salaries. What it takes to keep or get new employees will vary. Like Bender, some might be satisfied with a broom closet and a steady supply of energy providing alcohol while others may want recognition and compensation for their work like Leela.
  8. Support continued education. Whether your employees are returning to college after a thousand year hiatus like Fry, or just want some additional training, you should support their decision to improve themselves. After all, they’re not only helping themselves out-your business will benefit from having more qualified and better trained employees. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always hire a super intelligent monkey instead, providing those get invented in the next few years of course.
  9. Check references when hiring. While someone like Zapp Brannigan might look good on paper, a quick background check would reveal his destruction of a $400 billion dollar headquarters, lack of respect for the lives of subordinates, dislike of wearing pants, and propensity for sexual harassment. It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter someone so grossly incompetent in your search for new staff, but don’t just go by what appears on a resume. Make sure to check around to see if your potential employee really is what he or she professes.
  10. Make clear rules about office romance. One of the key elements of Futurama from the beginning is Fry’s constant and often unrequited love for Leela, which makes for some awkward moments at work and also some reckless decision making. So whether it’s human to cyclops, robot to robot or any other combination, make sure the rules about employees dating one another are clear so you won’t end up with a pickle of a situation on your hands if things turn sour.
  11. Give employees personal time. All work and no play makes for some bored and seriously stressed out employees. Whether it’s taking time out for a space cruise or a trip back to their home planet, make sure employees have a little balance in their lives. It will make them happier and healthier when they are at work.
  12. Establish retirement plans. As Fry learns when he checks his bank account from a thousand years prior, even the tiniest bank accounts and investments can add up if left alone for long enough. Help your employees secure their financial future by setting them up with 401K or other IRA plans. They may not end up billionaires, but they will get to spend their retirement years relaxing instead of taking on part time jobs.
  13. Make sure you and your employees know the product. Don’t have a "poppler" disaster on your hands. Before you release any new products or services make sure you know them forwards and backwards and that your employees do too. You wouldn’t want to be caught later, realizing that your new snack was made of baby aliens from Omicron Persei 8, and that they have very, very angry parents. Do your research ahead of time, no matter how great the product seems.
  14. Don’t abuse your power. If Futurama can teach us anything it’s that the universe is full of opportunities to go mad with power, whether by drinking the liquid ruler of a planet or becoming a robot celebrity. You might have the ultimate say over who stays and who goes at your work, but you don’t have to act like it. It’s good to have employee respect but you don’t want them to be terrified you’ll fire them for the slightest infraction.
  15. Emphasize employees’ strengths. At first glance, delivery personnel Fry and Bender would appear to be entirely inept and overall pretty poor at doing their jobs. True, they are lazy, abusive, and sometimes not the brightest. But both have qualities that make them great employees as well, including loyalty, determination, and the ability to bend large metal objects. You likely have employees that are weaker in some areas than others. While you should definitely try to help them improve, make sure you play up their strengths as well when assigning them to projects.
  16. Hire good management. When it comes to leading a team, good or bad management can make all the difference. Half-witted managers like Zapp Brannigan tend to lead their missions into disaster through incompetence and treat their underlings with a complete lack of respect. Other managers like Leela, while not perfect, bring their teams together to succeed and work well under stress to get out of a jam. Make sure you’ve got managers on your staff that are more like the latter than the former or you may find your business headed for a black hole.
  17. Encourage curiosity. While curiosity has gotten the Planet Express crew into many a jam, it has also helped them to learn more and discover things about the universe, themselves, and human (and robot) nature that they wouldn’t have otherwise. While you don’t want employees who sacrifice getting work done to their creative nature, it’s better to have those who are curious about new business ventures, ideas, and applications than to have those who simply drone on through their day-to-day actions without questioning anything.
  18. Promote innovation and streamlining. Whether it’s coming up with new inventions like the Smell-o-scope and the Finglonger or just finding a faster e-mail client, encourage your employees to help you find a better and more efficient way of doing business. After all, who better to come up with ideas than those who use your existing processes and program on a daily basis?
  19. Trust your staff. In one episode of Futurama, new employee and Bender look-alike Flexo is blamed for the theft of an atom of a valuable substance, which in actuality was stolen by Bender. You most likely won’t face any robot espionage in your line of work, but you might have to face cases where an employee adamantly denies wrongdoing in a situation where it looks clear that they’re lying. Before laying blame, make sure you have all the evidence and that your own biases aren’t clouding your judgment.
  20. Develop a conflict resolution program. Like any business with such a diverse staff, disagreements are likely to occur eventually. Your employees will likely be lucky enough never to have their head grafted onto the body of another employee they were trying to avoid due to the skills of a lobster-esque alien doctor, but you can help them find much less painful ways to resolve their differences. Enlist the help of a mediator and set up places where employees can feel safe talking about disagreements.
  21. Respect the environment. While your business likely won’t face environmental issues like giant honey bees, oil spills in a penguin sanctuary on Pluto, or a planet full of delicious but adorable "popplers", you can still have a bigger impact on the environment than you think. Encourage paper recycling and the use of electronic documents. While you won’t have to face the wrath of the aliens of Omicron Persei 8 for eating their young, you will make your office greener and also save some money in the process.
  22. Know your competition. In one episode of Futurama, a recently suspended clone of Professor Farnsworth and the son of Hermes decide to create their own delivery service that ends up being so good it overtakes Planet Express. While in the end the boys’ success is the key to their ruin, you might not be so lucky with your competitors. Make sure you know what the other guy is up to in selling, hiring and advertising so your business won’t fall behind and be overtaken.
  23. Make sure the punishment fits the crime. To an alien, the flag might look like a delicious treat. After all, freedom is quite tasty. That was the case for Dr. Zoidberg who unwittingly ate an Earth flag and was sentenced to death as a result. Many mistakes employees make will be just as unwitting and just as stupid as Dr. Zoidberg. Just make sure the reprimand for these mistakes fits the magnitude of the mistake. Do you really need to fire an employee for not catching a typo in your monthly newsletter?
  24. Train employees on new technology. Even in the future, new technology can be overwhelming. With spaceships, robots, and constant new inventions from the Professor, the staff of the Planet Express has a lot to keep up with, especially Fry, who has a thousand year disadvantage. Don’t just expect employees to know how to use the latest software or gadgets. Give them a little training instead, it will save you time later and multiple calls to IT when they can’t figure it out on their own.
  25. Cultivate loyalty. Whether it’s between coworkers or for the business as a whole, you’ll be better off if you make employees actually want to be loyal to your business. The employees of Planet Express aren’t without their faults, but at the end of the day their loyalty is always to the company and to each other. Give employees benefits and incentives to keep them happy and loyal to your company.
  26. Keep good records of personal data. The owner of Planet Express, Professor Farnsworth, keeps impeccable records of the identity and doings of his employees with samples of every bodily fluid, their identification cards, personal records and even their DNA on file. While you can’t legally go this far, and probably shouldn’t anyway, you should keep track of what is going on with your employees inside and outside of work. Learn their work history, special needs, and a little about their family lives to make work a little friendlier and also to make sure you’ve got them in the right job for their skills.
  27. Respect generational differences. You may not have to deal with the complications of being a 160 year-old company owner with everything from 12 year olds to people from the last millennium running around, but you more than likely will have to deal with older and younger workers within your company. Generational gaps can sometimes be hard to bridge, as older and younger employees struggle to understand one another. Realize that each age has its own wisdom to offer and incorporate both into your plans for your company.
  28. Help improve leadership skills. Whether it’s taking the initiative to save another employee from giant bees, seducing the evil leader of a competing corporation, or saving the world from giant bouncing brain invaders, the Planet Express crew have all exhibited their leadership abilities. If you have employees that exhibit good leadership skills, don’t take it for granted. Help them to develop these abilities.
  29. Realize that even your lowliest employee can make a big difference. Leela’s pet Nibbler might seem too tiny to do much besides sit around and look adorable, but as viewers of the show learn, he’s actually part of a super intelligent race, the Niblonians, determined to protect Earth from a scourge of evil-knowledge hungry brains. While your corporate underlings may not mastermind a plan to save your company, that doesn’t mean you should ignore what they have to say. Take stock of what every employee has to say.
  30. Bring in fresh blood with interns. Planet Express has Amy Wong as its resident intern, and while she is partially kept around because she shares the Professor’s blood type, she also has successfully piloted the Planet Express spaceship a few times and helped out around the office. You can get some low-cost work done, and help a young mind get some work experience by bringing in interns to your office through a program or on an invitational basis.
  31. Always motivate your workers. There are many ways to motivate your staff. From fear of annihilation or takeover by hostile aliens, to a free trip on a luxury space-liner, the Futurama crew is familiar with a wide variety. Don’t forget to give your employees a little motivation now and then too. Offer incentives to those who work hardest or reward a job well done with outings, free lunch, or even just a pat on the back.
  32. Help prevent sexual harassment. Zapp Brannigan just can’t seem to get it through his head that Leela isn’t interested in his advances. But that doesn’t stop him from coming on to her, even when the two end up being coworkers. Make sure your staff have the ability to fight back if they are caught in this situation whether they are a man or a woman. No one should have to feel uncomfortable coming to work, and it’s your job as HR to make sure they don’t have to.
  33. Make sure employees leave on good terms. When Fry and Bender take a joyride in the Planet Express spaceship, it leads to them as well as Leela losing their jobs. If you do have to fire employees or employees decide to leave of their own accord, make sure everything is done in a highly professional manner. You don’t want angry former employees bad mouthing your business and you don’t want to lose out on getting a great employee back if he or she decides to return.

Futurama may take place in the future, but little has changed when it comes to managing a staff and taking care of a business. While many of the examples set by the show shouldn’t be followed, you can use it to learn a little bit about what it takes to be a good leader and a good boss.

25 Web-based To-do List Solutions

Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 1:20am by Site Administrator

How can you possibly manage all of your to-do lists when you have Post-It notes cluttering up your computer screen, shopping lists scribbled down on old receipts and a calendar full of parties, errands and other "do not forget" items? To help you minimize your to-do list mayhem, we’ve put together this list of 25 Web-based programs that feature all-in-one project and task management solutions.

  1. iGoogle To-Do List: Now iGoogle users can set up a personalized to-do list with this new and simple application.
  2. Zoho Planner: As a part of the free OS Zoho Suite, Zoho Planner allows users to upload files and images to your to-do lists for optimum personality.
  3. Ta-da Lists: This program boasts that "Ta-da is the web’s easiest to-do list tool." Create lists for work, vacations, household chores and everything in between. Users can check off items as they are completed and share lists with family and friends if they need a little help with responsibilities.
  4. Bla-Bla List: This task management system lets you share your to-do lists with others to encourage project collaboration. You can also e-mail yourself a copy of the list with the help of a simple application.
  5. Remember the Milk: Use your Remember the Milk account in conjunction with MilkSync, Twitter, Google Calendar and with your iPhone. Other features include a map to help you plan out your errands in detail and e-mail update and reminder applications.
  6. Backpack: This tool from 37signals serves as an online to-do list and an online calendar so that you can accurately track all of your duties, events and chores. Backpack also lets users organize photos and set up reminders through e-mail and text messaging.
  7. Tudu Lists: This free Web-based system can be shared and updated with RSS so that your employees or friends can work together on projects, party planning duties and more.
  8. Orchestrate: Orchestrate is a task management solution that lets users set up lots of different lists to keep you organized.
  9. The Online CEO: This program helps individuals and offices become more productive by assisting them with organizing Web-based to-do lists. Features include a timer for time-sensitive projects, a point system that awards efficient workers and more.
  10. ListPool: This basic but attractive to-do list features lists in the following categories: groceries, movies, music, names, special dates, vacations, wish lists and more. Or, you can custom create your own for a more personal look.
  11. Voo2Do: Create "simple, beautiful Web-based to-do lists" with Voo2do by viewing your lists and tasks in different formats, updating and editing tasks with tools and e-mail updates, assigning and publishing tasks for project sharing and more.
  12. Sproutliner: Sproutliner lets users "store data your way," in columns, checkboxes, drop-down lists and other display options. This program also supports realtime editing and an automatic save application so that you don’t have to click submit each time you add an item.
  13. Task Freak!: This online task manager is GTD compliant and allows users to "order tasks by priority and deadline" and "organize by project and context."
  14. Pageflakes: How would you like to "customize the Internet and make it yours?" Pageflakes offers its users the opportunity to do just that by managing games, gossip, food, news, finance and other personal preferences and to-do items.
  15. Toodledo: Toodledo helps users "get organized, stay motivated and be more productive." Use their task management solution to add, edit and check off items from your computer or mobile phone, share items with coworkers and customize your list to find a design that works for you.
  16. Netvibes: Netvibes urges its users to "remix the Web" by inviting individuals to set up their own personal page, complete with weather updates, e-mail connections, news stories and of course, to-do lists.
  17. HipCal: This online calendar and to-do list features calendar sharing options, automatic alerts so that you never forget an appointment or miss a deadline, an address book to manage your contacts and a media center where you can find buddy icons, wallpapers and more.
  18. Google Calendar To-Do List: Download this script to add a more "functional version" of Google’s to-do list that works with the company’s calendar application.
  19. TaskTHIS: This Web 2.0-based to-do list has been "designed to be more interactive than a traditional web application." Have fun creating and designing your own to-do lists by adding notes to each item and sharing lists with others.
  20. Crowd Favorite: The Crowd Favorite company offers this task management software for individuals or businesses. The Task Jr. software is free and is described as "a basic, few-frills task manager."
  21. 30 Boxes: 30 Boxes is primarily an inclusive online calendar, but it also supports a to-do list and several task management solutions like timelines, RSS reminders, sharing capabilities and more.
  22. TODOIST: Manage your to-do lists with this easy-to-use solution. Features include a built-in calendar, Gmail integration, QuickSilver plugin, iGoogle widgets, reminders, mobile access and more.
  23. Joe’s Goals: If you’re having trouble fitting in your exercises, personal writing time or other goals, try out this "free online habit tracker" to manage your goals and more important to-do items. Users can manage lists in a calendar-like format or list their top 10 daily goals in a list.
  24. iPrioritize: Manage your to-do list by moving around items based on their priority. You can also e-mail your lists, view them on your cell phone and update them via RSS.
  25. Workhack: This to-do list solution is based on using a white board to manage tasks. Users can organize their items by using different colors and sizes, just as you would if you were to actually write down the items on a white board with erasable markers.

Using these online tools will help you get a handle on your busy lifestyle, both at work and at home. Instead of trying to remember all of your meetings, shopping lists and errands, unload your brain by uploading your to-do lists onto one of these Web-based programs.

Against the Grain: 50 Unconventional Ways to Increase Productivity

Friday, January 4, 2008 at 1:36am by Site Administrator

With the huge number of programs, books and websites claiming to help you boost your productivity, there really isn’t any dearth of information out there when it comes to finding ways to get more done in a day. Yet for some, these tips simply don’t fit the way they work. While these tips may not work for everyone, for those who have tried just about everything else, there’s no harm in trying a few more things. Here are a few less conventional ways you can help boost your productivity.

  1. Work in sync with your body. Many people think that in order to be productive that they need to work set hours, from 9-5 usually, or that they need to get up at the crack of dawn to get started. Unless you’re a serious lover of mornings, this may not be the best route for you. Work at times you’ll know you’ll be able to get the most things done, when you’re the most alert, happiest, and at your energy peak.
  2. Eat better. Studies have shown that certain foods can actually help you be more productive. So for a boost of energy and just to keep yourself in good health in general fill up on whole grains and fruits like blueberries.
  3. Have layered to-do lists. Most productivity sites advocate making to-do lists, but you can take it to another level by layering them. Have a master project list and within that list several smaller to-do lists so you keep track of the smaller things without losing sight of the big picture.
  4. Take a break. It seems odd that you can aid your productivity by not actually doing anything but so long as your day doesn’t turn into one long break you can actually give yourself a boost by taking a few minutes for yourself every few hours so you don’t get bogged down.
  5. Decorate your office. There is nothing less motivational than working in a plain white room or a dingy gray cubicle. Spice up your work area with organizational products, photos of family, and if you can, even a new coat of paint in a color that makes you happy.
  6. Crank up the tunes. Many people find music distracting when they are working, but for some it provides the mood lift and energy that they need to get more done. Choose your tunes carefully as some will work better than others at getting you in gear.
  7. Listen to motivational tapes. When you’re not working, use a little of your free time when you’re preparing dinner, driving around, or running errands to listen to books or speeches by people who inspire you. They can give you the motivation you need to find your own success and see a little more of where your work fits in with your life.
  8. Go on an information diet. The Internet is full of information and resources, much more than you could ever possibly use. For this reason, it can also be a huge source of distraction. Pare down your daily reading so you have more time to concentrate on what you should be getting done instead of distracting your mind with thoughts of other things.
  9. Take a nap. Feeling sluggish and like you just can’t concentrate on your work? A nap may be just what you need. Most people experience a mid-day slump, so if you’re feeling pooped, don’t try to force yourself to work. Take a cue from the Spanish and give yourself a little siesta.
  10. Have fun. Chances are pretty good that if your find your work to be a horrible drudgery that makes your life a living hell, you aren’t going to be too motivated to do much of anything on the job. Try to make your job as fun as it is possible to make it. Listen to music, make finishing tasks a game, and tell yourself little jokes throughout the day to keep your mood on the light side.
  11. Go slow. Slowing down to get more done may sound completely silly, but it can work. You may be going more slowly, but the slackened pace will help you to concentrate on what you’re doing more fully and keep you from making mistakes. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed out as you’re completing your tasks.
  12. Challenge yourself. If you find your work boring and lack motivation, try making your work a little harder than it needs to be. It will keep it interesting and allow you to improve your skills and learn new things you wouldn’t otherwise.
  13. Decaffeinate. Drinking a cup of coffee (or ten) may be a quick fix to your productivity issues, but in the long run it can actually make you get less done as you get jittery or experience the post-caffeine drop. Avoid using coffee or other caffeinated beverages as a crutch. Instead, try waking up by eating a hearty breakfast.
  14. Procrastinate. Procrastination isn’t always your enemy. It just depends on how you do it. Some kinds of procrastination can actually be helpful. For instance, if you put off one kind of work for another you’re still getting things done, even if they’re not the ones you planned on. Plus, sometimes your mind just needs a break. So long as it’s not a habit, it won’t be your undoing, and can help improve your concentration when you do get back to the job.
  15. Get lovey dovey. Bringing a little romance into your life can be a great way to nudge yourself into productivity mode. Chances are that if you have a sweetie you’ll want to knock out those pesky assignments and projects quicker than ever so you’ll have more time to spend cuddling.
  16. Use minimal programs. Sometimes the most feature laden programs aren’t always the best for those looking to get more done. Fancy animations and add-ons looks neat, but can be very visually distracting. Try using programs like jdarkroom, a basic text editor, that are pared down to the bare essentials to eliminate all those pesky features.
  17. Pick up the phone. Emails sometimes give the illusion of taking less time but depending on what you need to say it can actually be easier, and more time efficient to simply pick up the phone and give your clients or boss a ring. This will prevent numerous emails going back and forth for a simple conversation on the phone.
  18. Randomize. Spice up your task list by doing tasks randomly off the list. This way, you won’t know if you’re getting something big or little or something that you like doing or don’t so you won’t be able to avoid any particular task.
  19. Start out by being terrible. If you’re having some trouble getting started on a big report or even writing an article for your blog, start out by just putting down everything that comes to mind no matter how terrible. Once you get that out, you’ll have nowhere to go but up, and at least you’ll have something to work with.
  20. Cut corners. There are some parts of projects that may just not really be necessary. It may sound more lazy than productive, but if you don’t really need to be doing something you shouldn’t be wasting your time on it. Eliminate things that aren’t as important to concentrate on things that are.
  21. Have a snack. Having a snack can help give you a bit of a boost and keep your blood sugar from getting low and you from getting sluggish. Healthy foods are the best snacks, of course, but if you’re feeling like you need it, let yourself have a bit of chocolate or another treat you really enjoy.
  22. Pet your pet. For those working at home, spending time with a pet can be a big productivity booster, and it will give you and your pet some much needed time together. Stroking the fur of your puppy, kitty, rabbit or other furry friend can lighten your mood and make you feel better when you sit back down to work.
  23. Take a vacation. If you feel you could be headed for total burnout don’t hesitate to take a vacation. If it’s not possible to get much time off, just spend a couple of days at home where you do no work and just let yourself relax and do things you enjoy. When you return you’ll be better able to focus and won’t resent your job for stealing so much of your personal time.
  24. Upgrade. Using old equipment may be saving you money, but it isn’t likely saving you any time. Old computers, printers, and programs that don’t work well can be a serious drain on your time not to mention your patience while you wait for them to load and complete tasks. If it’s at all financially possible, upgrade your systems. It’ll save you some headaches and even some time on the phone with IT professionals.
  25. Lower your standards. Realizing that not everything you do has to be completely and totally perfect can help you stop focusing on the small details and get more of the big tasks done. This doesn’t mean you should churn out shoddy work, just that you should accept that sometimes good enough really is good enough.
  26. Imitate someone else. Know someone that’s a productivity master? If you don’t have the skills yourself, just try imitating someone else. At first it might feel a bit awkward, but eventually you’ll learn to adapt it to your own needs and hopefully it will work for you. If not, pick a new mentor and try again
  27. Hang out at the water cooler. Maybe not literally, but drinking more water can help give your motivation a lift. Being dehydrated can cause you to experience a slump in energy not to mention give you headaches and make you prone to distraction. Best of all, you’ll not only increase your productivity but also make your body happier and healthier at the same time.
  28. Learn to speed read. If you have trouble getting through long reports or information you need to condense, perhaps you could benefit from some classes on speed reading. Sign up for classes or get some quick tips from the Web on how to get through more material more quickly.
  29. Eat some meat (or peanut butter). Studies have shown that proteins like those found in meats and peanuts can help aid in concentration and energy levels. Make sure to include some sort of protein in each of your meals throughout the day to help you out. If nothing else, it will help you have a more balanced diet.
  30. Get comfortable. Sitting in an old lumpy office chair or slouching over a desk that is too low isn’t going to do much to help you concentrate on your work. Invest in comfortable and ergonomic set up, or if you are really in the mood to get comfy, try working from your bed. Just don’t fall asleep!
  31. Do some pushups. A little bit of exercise can go a long way. If you’re feeling the strain of work, take a break to do a few push-ups or jog around the blog. It’ll give you a much-needed boost of energy, wake you up, and help you focus once you get back on task.
  32. Find something funny. Laughter really is the best medicine, even when the sickness is low productivity. Try to find a few things each day that make you laugh. They will improve your mood and in turn improve your job performance.
  33. Go to the beach. If you don’t live by a beach, don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out. All you need to do is to get out in the sun. The sun’s rays help you to produce vitamin D and raise levels of serotonin making you feel happier and ready to get to work.
  34. Interact with others. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is to spend some time talking with coworkers, clients, friends and neighbors. Interacting positively with others plays a big role in overall happiness, and the happier you are, the more willing you will be to face your workload with a good outlook.
  35. Get an ionizer. Most of us feel invigorated when we breathe in cool, ocean air full of negatively charged ions. You can get a similar effect at home by purchasing an ionizer. More negative ions in the air can help with problems like stress, depression, and even irritability– all productivity killers. Even if you aren’t sold on the productivity angle, there can be no argument that improving the air quality of your workspace will have a positive effect.
  36. Adjust your thermostat. Research has shown that room temperature has a big impact on worker productivity. When rooms are too hot, workers become sluggish and underperform. When they are too cold workers slow down, as hands and fingers are often the first parts to feel the chill. Make sure your workspace stays a comfortable temperature year round for optimal productivity.
  37. Light a candle. Studies have shown that aromas can have a big impact on how we’re feeling. Whether you need to reduce stress, increase energy or raise your productivity levels try putting accompanying scents in or around your work environment. If nothing else, your desk will smell good.
  38. Splash your face with water. If you’re feeling a bit sleepy and not quite on your game but don’t have time for a nap, try giving yourself a brisk splash of water on your face. It should wake you up enough to improve your alertness.
  39. Embrace tea time. Think tea and biscuits are only for the Queen? Think again. Having a break as well as some antioxidant-rich green tea can help improve your mood, benefit your health, and make you happier at work.
  40. Don’t multitask. Getting more things done at once is the key to being super productive, right? Well, not really. While some people are good at it, most of us find it incredibly distracting and overwhelming. It’s much better to take your to-do list one thing at a time and get it right the first time around.
  41. Suck it up. Everyone has things to do for their job that aren’t fun or that they just don’t want to get to. One way to get productive is just to quit whining about how you don’t get anything done and just do it already. Give yourself a little tough love the next time you start feeling sorry for yourself and see if it doesn’t help you turn your attitude around.
  42. Get off the computer. Computers are great tools for productivity but they are also great tools for procrastinating in a very bad way. If you need to get things done, try taking a computer break for awhile and do everything you need to do without the help of the Internet.
  43. Outsource. If you’re working at home or if you own your own business, realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can save yourself some stress by outsourcing some of your smaller projects or more menial work to someone else. Try online sites like GetFriday, eLance, Guru and ScriptLance to find some help. You’ll have less stress and more time to concentrate on important tasks.
  44. Take shorter showers. It might sound silly, but if you shave 10 minutes off your shower each day that adds up to over an hour of extra time each week that you could be spending doing something else, even something else that’s fun.
  45. Make work more exciting. Even if you have the dullest job in the world, try giving it a little spice. It will make it more interesting for you, and as a result you’ll be more willing to focus on it and the things to you need to accomplish.
  46. Shop online. While this can easily become more of a productivity leech than a help, used correctly it can save you time. You won’t have to drive to the store, wait in line, or hunt around for what you’re looking for, and you can even have gifts sent to you pre-wrapped, allowing you to use this time to attend to more pressing issues.
  47. Learn to type faster. Make everything from typing emails to writing reports go faster by improving your typing skills. There are many free programs online that you can try to help you speed up your fingers and not have to look at the keys when you type.
  48. Spend less time cooking. There is a way that you can eat better without having to cook every night or every afternoon. Try spending one day a week cooking your meals for the week ahead and freezing them so all you have to do is heat them up when you’re ready to eat. You’ll save time and be less tempted to eat fast food and frozen pizzas.
  49. Try a polyphasic sleep schedule. Just got too much to do that you can’t waste time sleeping a solid eight hours at night? You might want to try out a polyphasic sleep schedule instead. Polyphasic sleep involves sleeping for several short periods throughout the day instead of getting all your sleep in one big chunk. It can take some getting used to, but some productivity gurus have used it effectively to give them more hours to work, relax and get things done in a day.
  50. Do a crossword puzzle. Keep your mind engaged even when you’re not doing work. Do crossword puzzles, sudoku or any other games that are fun but require use of your brain. You’ll gain valuable memory and recall skills that can be a great productivity boost when you’re on the job.

The GTD Resource Motherload: 100+ Links

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:12pm by Site Administrator

The popular "Getting Things Done" principle is a valuable tool for organizing, prioritizing and actively completing all of the tasks and responsibilities that weigh us down each day. Invented by David Allen, this "groundbreaking work-life management system" relies on four methods of clearing the brain of endless to-do lists so that it can focus more effectively on the job at hand. These methods are: "capturing anything and everything that has your attention, defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps, organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way" and "keeping current and "on your game" with appropriately frequent reviews…of your commitments," according to the David Allen website. In order to implement the GTD system in your life, we’re helping you out by listing over 100 links to articles, guides, information about special events and other resources related to "Getting Things Done." Read below to find out more. Resources from David Allen Refer to this list for links connecting you with the official GTD resources, company background information and more from inventor David Allen. 1. The Definition of David Allen’s Getting Things Done: Read this extended definition of the GTD system to understand all of its principles and methods. 2. The David Allen Company: This link will bring you to the homepage for The David Allen Company, the organization that teaches individuals and businesses "a smarter way to work and live." Learn more about the history of the company and GTD, shop for helpful tools and other GTD-related products and find out what other special services the company offers. 3. Productivity and the Bottom Line: The David Allen Company offers businesses special training seminars and coaching sessions to teach the principles of GTD in professional settings. Find out more by visiting this link. 4. Your Life is an Investment: This site shares GTD information "for individuals at work and home." Learn about how you can make simple, personal improvements in your life each day. 5. GTD Connect: This members-only networking group is made up of GTD enthusiasts who want to stay "on track and at peak motivation with daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly features." Receive special access to unique tools, articles and other resources when you sign up. 6. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: Purchase David Allen’s popular book at Amazon.com by visiting this link. 7. Between the Lines: David Allen no longer updates his personal blog, but readers can visit the archives to find helpful tips for organizing and prioritizing. 8. Interview with GTD’s David Allen on Procrastination: Watch this podcast for an interview with David Allen and the 43 Folders team to learn what he has to say about procrastination. 9. Roundup: 17 Interviews with GTD Master, David Allen: Visit this great index of David Allen interviews to get some insight into how you can make GTD work for you. 10. The Oracle of Organization: This Time Magazine article chronicles the history and success of GTD inventor David Allen. 11. Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency: This article from Wired Magazine explores David Allen’s intense popularity and how his "work has become the touchstone of the life-hacking movement." 12. Lecture by David Allen: View this YouTube video for a broadcast of one of David Allen’s lectures. Organization Follow these links for tips on organizing your life the GTD way. 13. Projects and GTD: This forum post from 43 Folders has great ideas for tweaking David Allen’s official principles for small, medium and large time management projects. 14. Minimize Your Inboxes: Lifehacker has several great solutions for minimizing stacks of papers and at-capacity e-mail inboxes. 15. GTD Cheatsheet: The Workflow: According to LifeDev.net, the workflow method of GTD is "the hardest one to put into practice." Use this cheatsheet to help you make sense of the workflow so that you can more effectively organize your to-do lists. 16. GTD Desktop Image Keeps Me on Track: Once you’ve mastered the workflow, add a diagram like this one to your desktop for optimum organization. 17. How to Fail at Getting Things Done: This post urges GTD followers not to forget about doing weekly check-ins and reviews, or else their entire GTD system could come crashing down. 18. DIY Planner: This website is "a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas." Read articles on GTD, journaling, time management and more, and reviews and learn about products that help productivity. 19. The 5 Reasons Why the Weekly Review is Difficult: If you’re feeling frustrated about doing your weekly reviews, read this article to help you get back on track. 20. Kinkless: Learn more about organization, GTD software, shortcuts and more great topics that will make your life easier by visiting this website, which promotes "productive creativity." 21. Don’t Manage Time, Manage Yourself: The key to getting things done is knowing how to manage your unique lifestyle. Read this article for tips on how to do just that. 22. Getting Things Done!: This post from the MarkTAW blog outlines the dos and don’ts of productivity and organization as they are related to the GTD philosophy. 23. Getting Things Done with Google Notebook: This link takes readers to a review of the Google Notebook application which helps GTD users stay organized. 24. Getting Things Done in 60 Seconds: Writer Mike Elgan gives readers a quick and easy crash course in mastering the GTD principles in this informative article. At the Office Read below for links to articles and resources that will help you get things done in a professional environment. 25. 10 Tips to Help Keep Your Desk Clean: Tips like sort your mail, schedule filing time and "keep nothing on your desk unless you absolutely need [it] fall neatly into the Getting Things Done philosophy. 26. Getting Things Done on Office Zealot: Check out the Office Zealot website for articles, reviews and other resources about GTD. Recent posts include "How to end a productivity conference unproductively: and "iMac 24, or the world through another prism." 27. How to: Fix Leaks in Your GTD System: How can you possibly manage your task lists, weekly reviews and other GTD tools during a hectic day at work? This guide helps readers make sense of their productivity plan and patch it up when necessary. 28. Getting Back to Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit: If you’re having some trouble staying motivated at work, read this post for tips on staying focused and inspired. 29. Keep Getting Things Done – Slow Down the Queuing!: The staff at FreelanceSwitch urges readers to stop putting off simple tasks "that take up time and cause worry but don’t actually create value down the line." Follow the link for advice on how to eliminate this unnecessary stress and remain productive. 30. Getting Things Done with iGTD: Find out how this simple tool can help "capture pop-up thoughts without disrupting [your] flow" at work. 31. Getting Things Done: This blog promotes various GTD tips, tools and systems to help you get more things done at work each day. 32. My Office: The Art of Getting Things Done: Watch this video of a GTD user’s office space to inspire you to get organized. 33. Actually Getting Things Done with Getting Things Done!: This post from Matt’s Idea Blog chronicles several "surprises and learnings from [his] implementation" of the GTD system, including the discovery of valuable productivity tools. 34. Getting Things Done with Palm Desktop: Bring your GTD system to the office by setting up this tool on your computer. 35. Getting Things Done Using Outlook 2007: If your office e-mail account is set up with Outlook, check out this guide to find out how to use it in accordance with the GTD principles. 36. Laura Stack, the Productivity Pro: Let the Productivity Pro help you "leave the office earlier" by reading her GTD and time management tips here. Getting Things Done at Home These tips will give your day-to-day responsibilities a boost by helping you increase your productivity. 37. Productivity @ Home: This blog is all about "personal productivity and getting things done at home." Blogger Lisa M. Hendey discusses organizing, scheduling, running a household and other GTD-related topics. 38. Are Your Lists Really Complete?: This guest blogger writes about tweaking to-do lists in order to give your GTD system a boost. 39. Use Completed Task Lists as Motivators or Artwork: This article suggests tacking up completed task lists to give you added motivation. 40. 18 Tricks to Instantly Improve Your GTD System: Every individual GTD system can benefit from these 18 tricks, like "create your own shorthand or notational system" and "track down the bottlenecks in your setup." 41. Top 10 Benefits of GTD: Follow this link to discover the many ways GTD can benefit every aspect of your life. 42. 15 Tips to Cope with a Demanding Life: GTD principles like taking charge of your own personal development and simplifying tasks are found in this valuable list of 15 "tips to cope with a demanding life." 43. Getting Things Done in Apple Mail: Rework your personal e-mail account with the tips provided in this handy how-to. 44. Productivity Tips for the Home Office: Tips including "write goals down," turn off your phone and instant messaging service, and maintaining a tidy office will help you be more productive even when you work from home. 45. Getting Things Done With Tracks: The Linux website posts this review of the smart GTD tool Tracks. 46. More Than a Chore: Getting Things Done the Right Way: This article demonstrates how parents can teach their children how to be productive and organized at a young age by implementing GTD principles into daily chores. 47. Challenges for Single Parents: Balancing Nurturing and Getting Things Done: Single parents have a unique set of responsibilities. Find out how to get things done on time so that you have more time for your kids. 48. The Difference Between GTD at Home and at Work: This post outlines why creating separate GTD systems for your professional and home life is important. Prioritizing and Productivity Get your priorities in order with these helpful links so that you can get more done each day. 49. Five Simple Hacks to Get Your Email Inbox to Empty: Be more productive at work and at home by emptying out your inbox. This post has five simple ideas that will do the trick. 50. Dumb Little Man: The Dumb Little Man site publishes all kinds of useful "tips for life." Readers will find lots of articles about GTD and productivity. 51. Are Your Action Steps to Complex? Or Too Simple?: Give your GTD method a review after reading this article, which helps break down action steps. 52. Time Management, Simplified: This post teaches readers "how to be productive with no worries" by simplifying the GTD system so that it works for your life. 53. The GTD Mastery 100: Checklist for Greatness: Grade yourself on your GTD skills and successes to find out just how organized you really are. 54. GTD Palm-Oriented: Discuss your prioritizing and productivity ideas and success stories with other GTD enthusiasts on the GTD Palm-Oriented page at Yahoo! 55. You Can Do Anything, but Not Everything: Fast Company gets together with David Allen for this article, which "offers…unique advice on how to keep up the pace– without wearing yourself down." 56. Don’t Take a Break Unless You Need One: You’ll never get through your task lists if you keep breaking for a snack, a nap or a walk around the block. Read this article for help on determining whether or not you actually need your next break. 57. How to Prioritize: If you’re having a hard time prioritizing all of your daily duties, use this guide to help you make sense of endless to-do lists and responsibilities. 58. How David Allen Mastered Getting Things Done: This article from CNN Money explores how David Allen has managed to transform the way individuals and companies organize, prioritize and of course, get things done. 59. 10 Steps to Better Meetings: Use this guide to plan more productive meetings at work. 60. 6 Types of Email and How to Deal With It: Don’t let your inbox run your life. Learn how to identify different types of e-mails so that you can more efficiently respond to the ones that matter and delete the ones that don’t. GTD Blogs Visit these blogs for more organizational and productivity tips related to the Getting Things Done philosophy. 61. Simple GTD: Organize Your Stuff Online: This blog offers members access to GTD tools and other Web-based resources that increase productivity. 62. Getting Things Done: My experiences with GTD: Visit this blog for a wealth of guides, reviews, products and other GTD-related items. Recent posts include "Results of 1 Year of GTD" and "My Weekly Review Checklist." 63. The Getting Things Done: Check out this blog for advice on implementing GTD principles and methods. Visitors will get tips on software, time management, time tracking, workflow and more. 64. Palm Based GTD: Palm Based GTD shares links and ideas for maximizing GTD principles. 65. Productivity 501: If you want to be more productive, read the posts on this blog, which address everything from cleaning your desk to organizing your e-mails. 66. What’s the Next Action: Totally devoted to David Allen and his GTD principles, this blog discusses the perks and challenges of staying true to the methods, reviews and tools of the productivity system. 67. GTD-Tools.com: GTD-Tools.com publishes articles and reviews of the "best GTD tools and productivity software tips." Readers can also catch up on the latest GTD-related news. 68. Ririan Project: This blog is great for checking out posts that help readers create "a brand new life that represents maximum achievement and inner peace" through personal development and task management. 69. Did I Get Things Done?: This blogger tracks his progress in mastering GTD by posting articles that review technology, share tips and provide other resources for upping your productivity. 70. David Seah: This popular blogger and inventor of The Printable CEO productivity series is all about making your life easier with simple hacks and organization tips. 71. Trizoko: Trizoko is "your business journal." Read innovative, informative posts for tips and inspiration on organizing your life. 72. Matt’s Idea Blog: Check out this blog for a professional viewpoint on integrating smart productivity practices into your own life. Tools and Resources Utilize these clever tools to enhance your GTD system. 73. GTD Basic Bundle: This link connects readers to the official GTD toolbox, where you can find software, learning tools, books and other GTD resources that will enhance your productivity. 74. Getting Things Done on a Macintosh: This tutorial explains how Mac users can adapt their operating systems to GTD principles so that they are more user-friendly and productive. 75. Leopard GTD Icons: This 43 Folders user shares productivity-oriented icons for Leopard. 76. Best Gmail Applications, plugins and extensions for GTD and Productivity: Transform your Gmail set up with these GTD hacks, including the GTDInbox and the Sent to Gmail application. 77. Behance Action Series: Lifedev.net reviews the Behance Action Series, which pitches a productive creativity for another way to get things done. 78. TaskToy: An Online GTD Tool: This Lifehack.org post reviews TaskToy, "a new task management web system" that will make your life much easier. 79. The Getting Things Done Phenomenon: An Update Primer: Follow this link to connect to a list full of great GTD tools, like the GTD Tiddly Wiki and the Nozbe. 80. List of GTD Tools: The Download Squad publishes this collection of links to GTD tools so that everyone can start their own productivity system. 81. Comparison of GTD Software: Use this guide from Wikipedia to learn more about different tools and software that enhance the practice of GTD. 82. TiddlyWiki: This link displays an example of the My Monkey GTD TiddlyWiki tool and provides another link to download it. 83. Productivity Toolbox: 37+ Tools for Taking Action and Getting Things Done: Smallfuel.com publishes this fantastic list of tools and resources that will help you get things done more quickly. 84. Top 5 GTD Computer Tools: Nozbe, Tracks, Thinking Rock and Stikkit are all on this list of the best computer apps for maximizing GTD. Helpful Guides For more ideas on how to develop your own GTD system, turn to these how-to guides. 85. The Ultimate Getting Things Done Index: Find all kinds of GTD articles and guides with the help of this inclusive index. 86. Getting Started with Getting Things Done: Allow this post from 43 Folders to ease you into the GTD system by sharing helpful tips and ideas. 87. Sylvia’s Getting Things Done (GTD) Resource List: Check out this collection of links to GTD resources if you need support or just want to learn more about the principles. 88. Four Tricks That Save You Time: This article from Fast Company reviews four of David Allen’s "tricks that save you time," including make lists, remember the two-minute rule and always do a weekly review. 89. Managing Your Life with GTD, Online Tools and a File Cabinet: Whip yourself into shape by getting organized the GTD way. This article will show you how to utilize the right tools and software programs to transform your life. 90. CrankingWidgets.com: Find all kinds of "GTD, productivity lifehacks" posts on this great resource. 91. Getting Things Done on Wikipedia: For a comprehensive tutorial on the GTD history and principles, check out its Wikipedia page. 92. Time Boxing is an Effective Getting Things Done Strategy: This post outlines the ways in which time boxing can help increase productivity by "fixing the time we have available to work on a given task and then doing the best we can within that time frame." 93. 5 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals: Dave Cheong’s useful guide reveals the way to apply GTD principles to organizing and setting personal goals. 94. The Basics of Getting Things Done: GTD newbies can check out this simplified post to better understand the Getting Things Done movement. 95. How to Create a Personal Productivity Scaffold: The blogger Steve Pavlina documents the best way to create a simple set up that will support all of your productivity tools and resources "to redirect your time and energy back onto the “straight” course and away from the crooked one." Miscellaneous Students, academics and environmentalists will find unique GTD solutions here. 96. Zen to Done: Addressing the Shortcomings of GTD: No system is completely fail proof. This post proposes a more Zen-like approach to productivity by keeping your organization system simple. 97. Tips for Environmentally Friendly GTD: Use this list how you can go green with your GTD system but using recycled paper, using both sides of each sheet of paper and more. 98. Getting Things Done in Academia: This blog helps graduate students understand and activate their own GTD systems that complement an academic lifestyle. 99. A Roadmap to Spectacular GTD Failure: This article tells readers what NOT to do if you want to implement a successful GTD system. 100. Getting Things Done for College Students: The Full System: Study Hacks provides this article to help college students stay productive, avoid procrastination and make better grades. 101. Microtasks: Steve Pavlina’s advice for procrastinators rests on the idea of microtasking, based on David Allen’s system for writing down simple action items and next items. 102. Profile of Getting Things Done Author: This BoingBoing article profiles David Allen, going into his background as a "junkie, mental patient, trainer, consultant," and of course, "bestselling author." 103. Getting Things Done with Automater and Spotlight: Check out this post for two more tools that will help your computer-based GTD system.

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