Taking Control of Your Workspace

Taking Control of Your Workspace

Let’s face it: it’s HARD to always be "on" when you’re at work. No matter how much you try, even the best-laid plans and schedules break down; sometimes it seems like all the forces are against you. You can get discouraged, weary, frustrated and unfocused. You can blame your boss, your spouse, interruptions, computer crashes, too much work, too little time…the list goes on and on.
When it comes right down to it, though, we each have to take responsibility for our work environments. It’s up to us to create pride and excellence in our workplaces. We need to take responsibility for our own productivity, morale, creativity, motivation and sense of humor that we bring to our work.
You say "but stuff just happens that I have no control over." That’s true. "Stuff" will happen, so it’s your job to come up with disaster prevention and back-up plans. Interruptions and snafus don’t need to become setbacks. Lists and schedules make the world go round. Be sure to prioritize, and take note of a few things that could be realistically postponed, if need be. Speaking of realism…be realistic in estimating how long it will take you to do the tasks at hand.
Computer maintenance can make a big difference in minimizing downtime. Regular virus scans, firewalls, defragmentation, and file back-ups are crucial to maintaining computer health and well-being.
There are a few well-known organizational tips worth repeating. My personal favorite is not touching mail more than once. I sit down with the mail at my desk, waste basket on one side, file cabinet at the other, and sticky notes in front of me.
If it’s junk, toss. If you can deal with it right now, do it, then toss it or add a sticky note with the details and file it. You aren’t going to deal with it right away? Then sticky note and file it. Do NOT just add it to a pile on your desk. Can you tell piles of papers are my personal Waterloo?
My other favorite is standing up when someone comes into my workplace. It doesn’t matter who it is or what’s the reason. The message to myself is: this is my workplace and I am here to work. If I’m not seated, chances are my guest won’t sit down either. It’s a bit more polite than just continuing to work without looking up…and if you do that, chances are the guest will still sit down.
Here is where a back-up plan is important. Have it already in your head what you will say if you are interrupted. "I’m busy at the moment, can you come back in____ minutes…hours"…whatever works. "Would you like to make an appointment?" "I’m taking a break at_____, would you like to join me?" And so on.
This even works when I’m working at my computer at home and the cat comes in. She loves to sit on my hands on the keyboard! or my lap, or right in front of the monitor. I stand up (no lap) and I even make an appointment with her (in my own mind of course!)…to play, feed her, watch tv for a few minutes so she can sit on my lap; sometimes we play Catch the Cursor for a couple minutes…something. She quickly leaves or curls up somewhere else if I’m not sitting down.
You may be thinking that productivity and organization are a lot easier to take responsibility for than motivation, morale, creativity and humor. Maybe your boss is stubbornly refusing to give you a raise, no matter how well you do your work. Maybe the job is "straight and narrow" with no room for creativity, and humor is ok in small doses, but not really appreciated. Maybe its your own work ethic nagging at you to work, work, work, no time for play. Maybe its your spouse nagging you with money worries, or feeling neglected.
You need to realize that in order for you to be a healthy, balanced, satisfied, and fulfilled human being, you need these things in your life. Rather than just going to your boss and complaining, you need to creatively bring your own suggestions and solutions to the table. You need your sense of humor to maintain a healthy perspective. The ability to express yourself creatively is as important as the ability to support yourself; so brainstorm with others, research, its up to you to find the innovative solutions. You need the breaks: 5 minutes; 15 minutes every hour or two; weekends; or a REAL vacation, so take them. And if your spouse misses you, take the vacation together.
If no matter how hard you try, you can’t get a grip on your lifestyle, then its time for YOU to change it. Consider a new workplace, or possibly being your own boss. Pride and excellence are up to YOU. It’s YOUR life.

Charity Bingo

Charity Bingo

Charity Bingo is one of the most popular fundraising methods today. Because charities are so important to many players, they prefer to play charity bingo when playing land-based bingo.

Today more people are informed and conscious of helping others. Most charities have their own websites and some even advertise. To some businesses and celebrities, donating money to charities has become an important marketing tool. Fortunately, to many people charity bingo is still a sincere way to aid those in need.

Most bingo halls cater for a specific charity or group of charities. Players donate money by buying their bingo cards. Charity bingo is also a fun way of donating money – players get value for their money by having the fun and entertainment of playing bingo.

Many charity bingo halls also offer great prizes, and sometimes even cash prizes. These prizes are important, because it serves as an incentive to players to buy more bingo cards.

Other incentives include free food like popcorn at doors, or receiving a free bingo card after purchasing a certain number of cards.

Of course playing bingo is not all charity bingo is about. Some charity bingo halls offer much more. Most charity bingo halls sell food and drink. Many are equipped with a full bar! At some charity bingo halls you can buy hot-dogs, burgers and fries. At some you can even buy a full catered buffet if you come early.

There are also opportunities for bingo lovers who want to do more than just donating money by playing bingo. Most halls are always in need of volunteers. Charity volunteers do work such as selling cards, circulating around the floor and/or from a booth. They count the number of players, check the winning numbers and keep the tables and ashtrays clean. They also help to clean at the end of a charity game. Some can even act as callers and gain valuable experience!

For those bingo players looking for something more than just a charity bingo game, there is rock & roll bingo. Rock & roll bingo is hosted by celebrities and rock stars. Some of the celebrities are Tom Morello, guitarist of Audioslave, and Flea, or Michael Balzary, from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

When choosing a charity bingo hall to play at, bingo players should be careful. Most charity bingo halls are registered charity bingo halls and must be able to prove their legitimacy, as most charity bingo halls are registered.

Charity bingo plays an important role in our society as it provides many with an opportunity to do something for others in need. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Music in the Digital Age

Music in the Digital Age

We are on the brink of a major change in the way the music industry operates. Digital music will not just change the way people purchase music, but it will also change the way musicians approach creating albums. Digital music gives people the opportunity to instantaneously purchase a song they like – without having to purchase the rest of the album. Artists and executives are both going to have to look at how music is released, and if it is worth producing an entire album if people aren’t going to buy it.
Piracy of course is another major issue that the music industry will have to look into and examine. Currently, it is so simple to download a single song – everyone does it and doesn’t feel that what they’re doing is illegal. Laws are being put into place in an attempt to stop downloading illegal music, but technology always appears to be one step ahead of the law. Some companies have found success offering music downloads for a price, but this practice only enforces the concept of downloading one or two songs from an artist, and not buying the entire album.
This trend may force the music industry to change the way they package music to the masses. People’s tastes will become a larger factor and will affect the finished product. Personalized CDs and play lists will have a larger influence. Instead of artists creating new albums, they might focus their attention on one song, or perhaps executives will look into theme compilations – give a number of different bands and artists one theme, and then release that music all together. Whatever the music industry decides on, the next few years are going to revolutionize the way we view – and listen – to popular music. The music industry will never be the same.

Free DVD Movie Downloads

Free DVD Movie Downloads

The DVD player is one of the latest in internet technology gizmos that has revolutionized the concept of home entertainment. Millions of people depend on their DVD players to watch movies, pause and rewind live television or to listen to music online. In fact, you can download free DVD software from the net to make your player the ultimate experience in listening to music, watching movies or playing games. Because the DVD player can stream music from the internet, it is a feasible option for listening to music at work or watching movies in the comfort of your home.

For free DVD movie downloads, you need certain system configurations. These include 256 MB of RAM, plenty of hard drive space and a good video card. This allows you to store the movie on your hard disk. If you have a CD writer, you make a copy.

Another software program for audio content is the Winamp — a standard Windows MP3 player that is a free download at www.winamp.com. The player has a great sound, and the volume, bass and treble can be adjusted to your liking.

You can also download QuickTime media player — a product of Apple Inc. This too is available for free download. Cross-functional, QuickTime provides unmatchable viewing and audio qualities for various multimedia products.

By downloading VNC Remote PC access software, you can remote access movies. This software is available for free download from realvnc.com

For free DVD movie downloads, you need certain system configurations. These include 256 MB of RAM, plenty of hard drive space and a good video card. This allows you to store the movie on your hard disk. If you have a CD writer, you make a copy.

Another software program for audio content is the Winamp — a standard Windows MP3 player that is a free download at www.winamp.com. The player has a great sound, and the volume, bass and treble can be adjusted to your liking.

You can also download QuickTime media player — a product of Apple Inc. This too is available for free download. Cross- functional, QuickTime provides unmatchable viewing and audio qualities for various multimedia products. By downloading VNC Remote PC access software, you can remote access movies. This software is available for free download from realvnc.com

Free movie downloads require different software for making the experience of watching movies and recording TV shows a worthwhile experience. You need ample space on your PC. While 256 MB RAM seems like a good option, nothing beats having 512 MB of RAM. The more memory space the better.

Mother In Good Humor

Mother In Good Humor

Children – the little buggers can drain your energy, break your valuables and absolutely send you to the moon sometimes. The range of trouble can go from babies with their high decibel crying to toddlers with their never-ending, cluttering curiosity to your preschooler with his gripes and whines and on to your grade-schooler with her indignant attitudes. I have not yet the privilege of the higher ages yet, but I hear it escalates to over-sensitivity and highly dramatic meltdowns. With all this chaos, you have to wonder sometimes why we make the commitment to enter into motherhood. While the answer is not always immediately clear, we all know and can relate to the flipside of parenthood that offers a heapin’ helpin’ of good ‘ole fun and laughter!
Take the innocent observations of a child. One story that comes to mind involves our two cats and my grade-schooler. While our male cat stays inside, the female bolts out the door any time she gets the slightest chance, regardless of who’s in her way and how many groceries might come tumbling down from her intrusion. By day’s end, she returns after her fill of outside adventure. One night, my six-year-old noticed a change to the usual ritual. Amazed, he yelled through the house that I “come look”. Upon my entrance to the room, he says “Look! Soccer is so glad to see Tasha that he is even hugging her with his legs.” Yes, kitty may have been attempting fruitless amour but the lessons he taught my son on that particular night were nothing but heartfelt and loving.
Another story comes to mind from a friend. She was telling her preschooler about the day he was born. With great emphasis and plenty of body language she exclaimed that she struggled and struggled for hours, but then gave a mighty push and out came his head. Then, after catching her breath she pushed one final time and out came the rest of his body. Puzzled the little guy paused a moment and then inquisitively asked “…and then you put my head on my body?” Yes, ask any mom and there will be many examples of the never-ending humor that moms are privy to during any given day.
The truth is this joviality is more than just fun, it is downright healthy. Studies have shown that laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. Let’s starts with the famous quote from Voltaire “The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.” Wellness centers across the U.S. have determined that humor and/or laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, reduces muscle tension, fosters immediate relaxation, decreases stress hormones, elevates your mood and, quite frankly, just makes you feel good! And, for extra measure, it exercises your body. Not only does your body go into an isometric contraction with a good chuckle, but the contraction also centralizes around your abdominal area. Sounds like another great reason for us mommies to partake in the joys of a hearty guffaw!
With all these reasons to take in a comedy or two, not to mention finding the light hearted side of most any situation, laughter is a sure bet for easing the tensions of motherhood. And coming full circle, it is also one of the good reasons to become a mother in the first place.

“How do I date beautiful women, even celebrities?” my idiot client asked…

“How do I date beautiful women, even celebrities?” my idiot client asked…

Are you a guy who’s interested not only in dating beautiful women, even celebrities, but would like to get beautiful women to approach YOU first? Can it really be done? The answer is an unqualified “yes” IF you know what to say and do, and what to avoid saying and doing.
Most guys have no clue about the day to day life of stunningly beautiful women. They have no idea how many times a DAY these beautiful women are approached by guys whose obvious interest is to “sex them up.” And for celebrities, it’s even worse. Day in, and day out they hear the same thing: “oh you’re such beautiful women… do you have boyfriends… can I take you out…” and on and on and on. Beautiful women simply become numb to guys asking them these questions, and tune them out.
Now, that’s not to say these beautiful women don’t want to meet men… because they do. Many of them desperately. But beautiful women like a guy who’ll say something different to them, something unusual, something that will create attraction in them. And most of all beautiful women crave a man who “defines authority” for them, one who is not intimidated by their looks (or fame). Let me give you an example.
I’m in the business of teaching other guys how to get desirable, beautiful women to approach them first for a date, no matter their looks, age or income (see www.womenapproachyou.com). And while I rarely take clients, occasionally I’ll make a mistake and let someone talk me into helping them.
A few weeks ago I was working with a guy who was desperately in need of help. Like I always do, I asked him, “What specifically do you want in beautiful women? What don’t you want? And most importantly, what’s your ideal experience with a woman?” Most of guys, of course, have no specific answers to these questions—and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s extremely difficult to achieve any measure of success—whether with beautiful women or in any area of your life.
This guy, amazingly enough, didn’t pause with his answer: “I’d like to sex Paris Hilton—and other beautiful women” he leered. I was a bit taken aback—apparently I don’t speak the “new lingo.” “Sex Paris Hilton,” I said. “What the heck does that mean, sex Paris Hilton?”
“It means I’d like to get with her you know, sex her up, sex Paris Hilton—or a woman like her.” Ah-ha. “So your goal is to share a few adventures with celebrities, or beautiful women who look like celebrities?” He nodded eagerly—“I’ll settle for a look-alike,” he said, “but what do I say, what do I do to get beautiful women to even speak to me?”
Here’s what I told him in regards to beautiful women: first off, get all thoughts of lust out of your head. If you want to spend time with beautiful women, you need to get to know them as people first.
Here’s what to do: when you see a beautiful woman (or beautiful women) you want to approach, look her in the eye, and smile slightly, using your “naughty little boy smile.” Your intent is to make her smile back at you, while you continue to hold her gaze, and smile wider and “naughtier.” Look for something unusual about her that few other guys would notice, and bring it to her attention. For example:
“You look like a well-conditioned athlete… what are you training for?”
“Hmmm, that’s a most unusual tattoo… what made you decide to get that particular one?”
“That’s a very professional looking business suit… what’s the occasion for dressing so professionally?”
“You have a great energy, much like my friends in the martial arts… what kind of physical training do you do to have such a great energy… or is it just natural?”
Or if all else fails, “What are smiling about… remembering something that makes you grin?”
The key is to notice something about her environment, and ask her an open ended question letting her know you’re sincerely curious about her. Don’t tell her, “you’re a beautiful woman and I like beautiful women.” She’s heard that. You want to give her an opportunity to talk about herself, something few guys ever do. They’re trying to impress her, instead of shutting up, listening and letting her impress herself about you.
By doing this, you let her know you’re interested in her as a person (as opposed to a sweaty piece of meat), that you appreciate her beauty (and beautiful women) but you’re not intimidated or especially impressed by it, and that you need to hear more before you let her into your life. When you do this, you will stand out from the crowd that asks her the same questions over and over and over—and she’ll be more than happy to pick YOU up! (for more great tips, see www.womenapproachyou.com)

The Heart Effect: Startling New Information About How Music Affects Your Health

The Heart Effect: Startling New Information About How Music Affects Your Health

Twenty-four young, healthy test subjects lay quietly in a university lab, listening to carefully chosen music through headphones, as doctors and technicians hovered around them meticulously measuring their vital signs. The study concluded quickly and the subjects returned to their normal everyday lives. But as the researchers began sifting through the data, something new and interesting began to emerge.

We’ve known for some time that music is a powerful relaxation tool. Music can decrease anxiety levels, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and change stress hormone levels. It affects your respiration, reduces muscle tension, increases endorphin levels, and boosts your immune system. The effect of music is so powerful, hospitals around the world use music to reduce stress in patients waiting for surgery.

Now there’s fresh evidence on the power of music to affect our health. Researchers at Italy’s University of Pavia recently confirmed that music changes your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. But as they analyzed their data, they found something new, something no one had expected to find.

Dr. Bernardi and his colleagues were interested in expanding the use of music to reduce stress in medical patients. Here’s how their experiment worked: the docs recorded the vital signs of 24 test volunteers (12 musicians and 12 non-musicians) for five minutes. Then the volunteers listened to six different styles of music in random order. Random two-minute pauses were inserted in each piece of music.

Here’s what they found: fast musical tempos increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Slow tempos reduced them. Pretty standard stuff. But then the shocker: the style of music and the volunteers’ personal musical preferences made no difference at all. The only thing that mattered was the tempo.

It didn’t matter if the music was classical, rap, techno, romantic or an Indian raga. Only one thing made a difference to their cardiovascular systems–whether the music was fast or slow. This means that the music you hear, whether you’ve chosen it or not, whether you like it or not, is going to affect your health.

There’s more: during the silent pauses between musical selections, the test subjects’ vital signs returned to normal, in some cases stabilizing at healthier levels than before the music. The researchers say this suggests that listening to any kind of music–fast or slow–could benefit your heart.

Finally, the study found that musicians were more sensitive to the effect than non-musicians. Musicians may have learned to breathe in time to the music, to become more alert during fast passages, and to relax when the music slows down. Whatever the reason, a good prescription for helping maintain your cardiovascular health could be to take music lessons.

Movie Magic For Poker Players

Movie Magic For Poker Players

One of my earliest memories of a poker game is from the 1965 movie, Cincinnati Kid. The movie follows a young poker player (played by Steve McQueen) as he pits himself against the top poker player of the time. The movie (heeded by many as one of the greatest poker movies ever) gave rise to my lifelong interest in the game. In more recent times I was pleased to watch the Matt Damon movie, Rounders.

Perhaps, what I love most about poker movies are the crisp, sarcastic dialogues, the rounds of bluffing, the quiet calculated manner of those that win, and the suspense of what the next card might be. In these movies, it is the man (or woman) with the greater intelligence that wins the game.

Poker movies provide entertainment. However, that is not my primary reason for watching them. Being unable to resist a good poker game at times, I like to stay on top of the various tips that my poker buddies keep using. And trust me, for those of us that play poker only occasionally, most of our tricks come from the movies.

One poker trick that we learn from the movies is that of reading the looks on the faces of the other players. Eyes that are downcast or have a happy glint in them are sure giveaways of the kinds of cards that a person has drawn. Of course, that unhappy looking fellow might be on to you, and might be bringing all his theatrical talents to the poker table. Be careful. Don’t give away your own cards by your facial expressions or your body language. And don’t be fooled by somebody else.

More importantly, don’t give in to an emotional outburst. In a good poker game, the pressure will build up. But you must concentrate on the game, on winning. Emotions will only give your opponents the upper hand. Don’t lose control of the game. Also, avoid drinking yourself silly during a poker game, unless you are in the mood to let other people win. A person who is drunk throughout a game is only preparing to drown in losses.

Also, the ego should be kept aside during a game. The over-confident upstart often digs his own grave all thanks to a desire for one-upmanship. It is advisable to hold on to your best hands sometimes. Let others have their season in the sun. You wait for the most opportune moment. Strike at the right time and you will be the one raking in all the moolah!