We all know that feeling of sluggishness that follows a late night. The resulting lack of coordination, concentration and motivation make it tough to get through the day but did you know you may be suffering from those same setbacks on a daily basis if you deprive your body of even 30 minutes of extra sleep it needs to function properly?
The optimal amount of sleep for the average adult is 7 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night. If you are habitually sleeping less than 7 hours per night you are sleep deprived. Unfortunately statistics show that most people sacrifice sleep in favor of a busy schedule or more pleasant activities. The average American sleeps 6.5 hours.
How will an extra 30 minutes of sleep make you more productive at work?
- Increased focus and concentration. One of the most reported effects of sleep deprivation is loss of concentration. If you are more focused on the tasks at hand you will be able to complete them in less time.
- Increased memory. You will be amazed at how much your memory improves with the amount of sleep you get. It will take you less time to learn new skills and you will retain what you learn.
- Increased energy. Getting the proper amount of sleep your body requires every night means you do not feel sluggish during the day. You no longer will have those feelings of crashing in mid-afternoon where you are fighting to stay awake at your desk.
- Increased metabolism. Statistics show that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night have a higher instance of weight gain. The only apparent reason is lack of sleep. Much more goes on within the body during sleep than you might think. Besides recharging your brain, and repairing your cells, your hormones do a balancing act. Those hormones are the ones that control your metabolism. Without that balance your body cannot properly supply you with energy and instead the nutrients get turned to fat.
- Increased immune system and over-all health. As with your metabolic system, your immune system needs sleep to maintain your good health. When you skimp on sleep you are stressing your immune system and become more likely to get sick. This results in more sick days or working through flues and colds which we all know makes us less productive.
Going to bed 30 minutes earlier every night might just be that extra boost you need to get that promotion or get yourself noticed as a dedicated worker. You will not only become more productive, you will also feel like you are up to any challenge. Motivation and enthusiasm is not possible with sleep deprivation but it is listed as one of the major factors in getting ahead at work. You owe it to yourself to get more sleep!
In my last post I discussed time management and the importance of looking after your health by fitting proper nutrition and exercise into your busy schedule. Today I am going to give you some tips on how to prepare some ready made meals that will make it easy for you to pass by the “Golden Arches” on the way home, have a healthy home-cooked meal instead and also save some money while you are at it.
Most grocery stores sell fully cooked rotisserie chickens in their deli department. This provides a quick family meal to go but it also offers a way for singles to prepare freezer meals without the time, fuss and muss of having to cook it yourself. All you need to do is assemble the meals in freezer containers so they are ready to reheat when you get home from work. Just pop the meal in the oven or microwave as you are heading to the shower and you are ready to eat when you are done.
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- Frozen Vegetables
- 2 Microwave Pouches of Rice
- Tomato Sauce
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Small Jar of Your Favorite Asian Curry or Stir Fry Sauce
- Ready-made Chicken Stock
- 1 Package Sliced Mushrooms
Assembling your meals:
- Put a pot of water on the stove to start cooking 2-3 servings of pasta
- Grab your 6-7 storage containers. I like to use the disposable foil food containers with lids because they stack well in the freezer and I can write the date and contents on the tops then just rinse and toss into the recycle bin when I am done but these containers are not microwave safe so they need to be reheated in the oven. If you want to use reusable containers make sure they are freezer and microwave safe and choose ones that can be easily stacked in the freezer and you can see through them (unless you like your meals to be a surprise).
- Cut up the chicken. Remove the two leg/thigh quarters and place them in two of the containers. Divide one of the rice pouches between the two containers as a side dish and add a serving of the frozen vegetables to each. Put on the lid and label with today’s date and “Roast Chicken Dinner”. Pop them in the freezer and you now have two meals prepared.
- Dice up all of the rest of the chicken meat. Remove all of the meat from the carcass. Don’t throw out the bones though, they can be placed in a freezer bag and pulled out at a later date to make chicken soup.
- Divide the other pouch of rice between two more containers. Add a portion of diced chicken meat to each. Add a large portion of vegetables. In a small bowl combine the juice of the lemon with a couple teaspoons of sugar or honey, lots of black pepper (to taste) and enough chicken stock to make 1/2 cup. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch and microwave until thickened stirring every 30 seconds. Pour this sauce over the contents of one of the containers and you have instant Lemon Pepper Chicken. Allow it to cool completely before putting on the lid and labeling. To the other container pour on your favorite curry or stir fry sauce, cover and label. That’s 4 meals done now and it has only taken about 5-10 minutes.
- Add a portion of pasta to 2 more containers. Add sliced mushrooms and a portion of diced chicken meat in each container. Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add tomato sauce to both and toss the contents so the pasta is well coated in sauce. Add more sauce than normal as the pasta will absorb some of it. Make sure it is completely cooled before putting on the lid and labeling with the date and “Chicken Cattiatore”. Now you have 6 meals completed. If you wish, you can just assemble the chicken, sauce and veggies to freeze and cook your pasta fresh when you prepare the meal.
- Any leftover chicken, vegetables, pasta or rice can be be combined with the chicken stock, add some spices and you have a ready-made soup that can be taken for lunches or frozen for a meal.
This same process can be done with any roast, ground meat, seafood, etc. Now that you know how easy it is to have ready-made meals there is no excuse for not eating properly no matter how busy your schedule is or how much you think you lack cooking skills.
Recently I read a study that showed that single people tend die an average of 6-25 years earlier than their married counterparts and it made me stop and wonder why this may be and how to prevent a shortened lifespan for singles. It was suggested in the study that lack of support, a balanced lifestyle and decreased social interaction may be the reason.
When you are single there is no one else to share the little tasks that need to be done on a daily basis so you tend to be busier. Learning to balance things out and manage your time more effectively is extremely important. When it comes to exercise and socializing many busy singles say they simply do not have the time.
Using a day planner may be the tool you need to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
When things appear in an organized fashion in a day planner we are more likely to see them as a commitment and not overlook them. It is important to book appointments with yourself for social activities, exercise and downtime. It is also very important for you to keep those appointments and not shrug them off as frivolous. Don’t overcrowd your schedule. You have to remember that you are only one person and can only fit so much into one day.
Having the visualization of your appointments, meetings and daily tasks laid out on paper also allows you to become more efficient. For example, picking up the dry cleaning, doing marketing, picking up supplies, etc. may be able to be accomplished in one trip instead of three. This can free up some valuable time. Once you begin to organize your time so it works for you instead of against you you will then be able to fit in more “me” time to balance out your life.
Don’t forget a healthy diet. Eating well will give you the energy to get everything done so don’t skip meals or grab something from a fast food chain just because it is quick and easy. If you do not have time to cook there are many healthy alternatives. Most grocery stores sell ready-made fresh salads and hot meals. Take advantage of these conveniences.
I recently read this article by Melanie Banayat that I found very inspirational and thought you may also enjoy the read so I am sharing it with you here. As women, we often try to over-achieve and be everything to everyone. We rarely are satisfied with just being who we are and accepting our flaws, whether real or imagined, as our own personal “quirks”. I hope you are as inspired by this article as I was.
How to Be Yourself in Your Business and Personal Life
I think comedian Lily Tomlin accurately expressed how many of us have felt most of our lives when she said, “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”
Of course, the most ideal person you should be is YOURSELF; however, the idea of being oneself is not as simple as it sounds. And as a result we become uncomfortable in our own skin and even stressed out when we are in social or public settings.
Let’s face it, most people spend their lives hiding from their own reflection trying fervently to be anyone but them selves, and surround themselves with people who support that facade. But we’re not fugitives here, folks!
A lot of our society is built on changing something about our selves. We change our physique, the way we dress, our hair color, our accent, our race and everything else under the sun. It’s really no surprise that there are entire books written on how to be ourselves.
Unfortunately, in various ways a lot of us came to the resolution early on that we ourselves are not good enough.
In terms of business this is the epitome of branding homicide. Factoid — YOU are all you’ve got. If you try to be anything else but YOU it starts to emit phoniness. But how do you uncover to the real you?
Well here are some steps to help you on you enjoy the journey of being you and at the same time it can help you create a brand for your business that you can live with and love.
Embrace All That You Are
Essentially this means accept yourself exactly as you are right now — Flaws and All! Give your self a break from your inner critic. Just for today — stop trying to change anything about yourself, including your bad habits. I’m not saying to continue on the path of self-destruction, but even for a moment be okay with exactly who you are right now. Within those flaws are strengths that can be used for something good in life when you are able to step back and look at them from a different perspective and find a new meaning and purpose for what was once considered a shortcoming.
Explore What You Secretly Dislike or Even Hate About Your Life
What are you currently doing in your life that you really secretly hate? You may not even realize you hate it, whatever “it” is. For example: do you wear professional business attire for work everyday because you think you have to dress that way to impress others, but you’d really feel much more comfortable in a nice pair of jeans and a fashionable shirt and comfy shoes. What other secret dislikes are you harboring?
Being Real is like being a magnet; people are automatically drawn to it. Whether you like to come in terms with it or not, people see through you, and they know if you are real or not. Aren’t you attracted to real people? By being yourself you draw into your life the right people, factors, situations and release the positive energy that will make your very existence meaningful. After all, the whole essence of being YOU is to have the liberty of enjoying yourself; only a real person can enjoy himself/herself. It means getting down to the nitty-gritty of being honest with yourself and your God. Allow yourself to be spontaneous and laugh when you feel like it. That’s right, say what’s on your mind. And don’t pretend to be happy when you’re not. Don’t put on the chameleon act just to be who you think others want you to be if that’s not who you truly are. Being “Real” will make your life far more interesting and less complicated.
Be Cautious and Mindful Whom You Allow Into Your Circle of Influence
OK, so I happen to be a people person. I like meeting new people, engaging in intriguing, intelligent conversations, talking about new ideas, and celebrating our individual successes in life! But sometimes I haven’t always been very careful about who I chose to be in my circle of influence, which has created some rather messy problems. When you come in contact with people that test you and try to shake you up it’s better to say something that may be considered a little straight forward to see if that person is still is around the next day, rather than play it safe with someone who doesn’t respect you! I have weeded out many unsupportive and disrespectful people from my life by doing this exact thing.
Do What You Love
Throughout my life I have never seen more unhappy, unsuccessful, disenchanted, grumpier people than those who are unhappy with what they do for work. It could be that their career was once enjoyable, but has become unbearable for whatever reason. Now they feel stuck and unable to dream of something different for themselves. Mind you, I’ve been there upon occasion myself, so I’m very familiar with the feelings of holding my breath each day as I clock in and clock out of my miserable job that pays the bills, but doesn’t feed my spirit and soul. In my experience these are people that are out of alignment with their true hearts desire. They are the ones that frequent the pharmacy purchasing the latest drug for their most recent ailment or illness. Once again, been there – done that. Or they are the people who choose to blame their circumstances on things outside themselves. This is precisely why you must face your deepest fears and clear a pathway to discover what you truly love, and make doing what you love a reality in your life.
ENJOY YOURSELF. This is the ultimate. “Your life is a fabulous event, rise up to it!”
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 28 years. Today I feel extremely grateful that I was able to follow my heart and my gut — and be my own boss. Through the years I have had my share of ups and downs in business, relationships and health, and now I enjoy sharing what I know to help other entrepreneurial women learn from my experiences so they can integrate their business and personal life in a realistic and healthy fashion.
Melanie Banayat, aka MiliGirl, is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach, Business & Lifestyle Designer, and Professional Artist. Visit her site for tips on how to upgrade your wellness style from “Frazzles to Free” – the only style tips that reduce healthcare expenses! http://www.MiligirlWellness.com
There is no question that recent economic times has hit baby boomers the hardest when it comes to unemployment. Finding a job when you are over 50 is tough and getting tougher. Most people who fall into this category would gladly accept the pay of a 25 year old but rarely is it offered.
You aren’t looking for a job just to keep your mind sharp or to fill time, you still need the income as you were not quite ready to retire yet. So what do you do? Starting your own business using your years of experience is a good option to consider. Many businesses can be managed and run from home to keep overhead costs low at least until you are well established.
Creating a business network with other qualified baby boomers in your same situation is also worth exploring. Since we know there is a surplus of unemployed and over 50 individuals it will not be too difficult finding people with years of experience and client lists who would be willing to pool their knowledge, skills and resources into an income generating venture with you.
The first place to look would be ex-c0workers. If you were not the only employee who was made redundant or laid off you should re-establish contact with them to discuss the possibilities and brainstorm. With your years of experience, you know your market and you understand your client’s needs. You also have seen many mistakes and flaws in the workplace that you can improve upon.
The next place to seek out other unemployed and over 50 colleagues is through social networking at sites such as LinkedIn. Your business partners need not be in the same geographic location so long as it is easy to collaborate online or by phone. Use today’s technology to your advantage.
Your business may be run entirely online with a global client base. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and creativity. With the advent of the internet, you are able to put a team together online from managers to clerical staff spread out over the world and all managed and coordinated on your computer. Internet based service companies are among the fastest growing businesses today.
While some people seem to be born leaders, the truth is that anyone can be an effective leader if they develop the core skills necessary for effective leadership. You should work on developing these skills whether you plan to climb the corporate ladder or not. These skill sets can help you get the most out of your position no matter what level it is at.
A good manager will develop the following leadership skills:
- Giving and Receiving Information – Learning to gather information from staff and reporting to your supervisors is a skill that requires knowing the right questions to ask and how to ask them.
- Understanding Needs and Characteristics of Employees – Every staff member has different needs and characteristics based on their marital status, whether they have children or not and their personality. A good manager will take these into consideration when assigning tasks and duties to get the most out of their employees.
- Knowing and Understanding Employee Resources – The best leaders know and understand their staff’s strengths and weaknesses and will use those strengths to the best advantage of the team.
- Managing Employees – As the team leader it is necessary to develop the people skills needed get the most of your team. This includes setting rules and enforcing them.
- Counseling Employees – Since your team is comprised of individuals there are bound to be some difficult times. Learning how to give advice is essential.
- Setting the Example- Good leaders know that if they expect their staff to get their hands dirty they need to be willing to get in the trenches themselves. “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a good habit to get into. A team is only as good as it’s leader so you need to lead by example.
- Representing Your Employees – As a team leader, you should have the skills to speak for your team. You are the go-between for relaying staff ideas and concerns to your superiors.
- Planning Skills – Excellent planning and organization skills are vital to good leadership. Mapping out the work to be done, who will do it and when will ensure you always meet your deadlines and goals.
- Evaluation Skills – You must develop analytic skills to evaluate both employees and plans to make sure your team objectives are being met.
- Delegating Work – As a team manager it is your job to delegate the workload to your team members. Learning to allow others to perform the work without micro-managing them is important.
- Training Management – Your team needs to stay on top of the latest technology and information as well as develop new skills. Securing additional education and training for your team as well as training and orientating new team members is a core management skill.
If you have found yourself unemployed in the recent economy you will know that finding a job is extremely difficult. The current stats show that for every job posting listed there are 5 people unemployed. This makes for very stiff competition in the job market.
If you are considering retraining or going back to school with the intent of finding better opportunities the list below will show you the best careers to consider. These are occupations that are expected to add jobs at an above-average rate over the next decade, as well as those that provide an above-average income. If you gain the skills necessary for these jobs you have a better chance of not only finding a job, but also for growth and advancement and above average income.
Top 50 Careers List for 2011
- Financial adviser
- Financial analyst
- Meeting planner
- Public relations specialist
- Sales manager
- Training specialist
Creative and Service Jobs:
- Commercial pilot
- Film and video editor
- Gaming manager
- Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technician
- Multimedia artist
- Technical writer
- Athletic traine
- Dental hygienist
- Lab technician
- Massage therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Physician assistant
- Physical therapist
- Physical therapist assistant
- Radiologic technologist
- Registered nurs
- School psychologist
Social Service Jobs:
- Court reporter
- Education administrator
- Emergency management specialist
- Marriage and family therapist
- Medical and public health social worker
- Special-education teacher
- Urban planner
- Biomedical engineer
- Civil engineer
- Computer software engineer
- Computer support specialist
- Computer systems analyst
- Environmental engineering technician
- Environmental science technician
- Network architect
While going back to school may not have been in your plans 5 years ago, today it makes more sense to train for the future and for the jobs that offer the highest potential for employment. You may already qualify for many of these careers or maybe just need to add a few more skills to qualify.
Everyday your subconscious mind is dictating whether you will succeed or fail at whatever you hope to achieve. Your unconscious mind may sabotage you if you let it.
Your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, words and actions play a very large role in your success. If any of those are not lined up with what you want to achieve then you’re subconscious won’t be able to bring you what you want.
For example: if you want to have a successful business but think or believe that it’s hard to accomplish that or that there is something that is in your way, then your business will always struggle. You may want it to get better and grow, you may feel that you have the right business idea, but any negative thoughts or beliefs associated with that business will limit it’s success.
So what you do?
Start changing the negative or limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Now at first you may not even be aware of these negative thoughts and beliefs.
So, to find out what’s really holding you back you should:
- Track your thoughts during the day
- Make note of any negative or limiting thought
- Change that thought to something positive
The last step can be tricky. When you try to change that limiting or negative thought your mind will likely put up a fight and say something like: “Who are you kidding” “You can’t do that” and so on.
That’s okay. The mind is just doing what it does best – trying to stick to old habits.
But those habits of thinking and believing don’t work for you. You have to change them. And, the more often you do this, the easier it gets.
Your subconscious will respond to your regular thoughts and beliefs.Focus these thoughts and beliefs on what you want and you’ll begin to great success.
If you find that you’re getting exactly what you don’t want, than you will probably find you’re thoughts, beliefs and goals are focused on what you don’t want.
For example: if you believe that it’s hard to make money, then you’ll always have a difficult time making money.
If you believe that it’s difficult to meet the right person, then you’ll always have a difficult time meeting the right person.
Those thoughts and beliefs are focused on what you don’t want.
Change them so that you find ways to make more money, or so that you meet the right person easily.
Positive thoughts and beliefs attract positive situations.
It’s really that simple.
Finding and holding on to a job once post graduate work is done, is not an easy task; however, with a few tips, some post graduate career advice from a qualified career coach and determination on your part, you can find a job that will work well for you. Here are a few things you can do to find a job:
Most importantly, create and maintain a resume that is clear, strong and filled with information about you and your work history. In this resume you should be clear about your experience, any awards you might have achieved and your background. Then, it is important to also create a positive and strong cover letter. The cover letter should be brief but accurate in stating who you are and why you would be an asset to the company. Next, do some research on companies who have a graduate recruitment program. This is an excellent way when looking for a good job. Also, try the Internet when looking for a job. There are online sites that have subscription based services and sites where you can find many entry level job openings.
In addition, keep in mind social networking sites. There are many such sites online; so check them out for jobs. Also, it is wise to check out any post graduation work employment program—a program offered by the college you graduated from. This kind of program is created to help graduates find work. And, don’t forget networking as a great source of finding work. Relatives, friends and contacts can often give you good ideas on finding a job.
Most importantly, don’t forget your college’s alumni network. Since you studied and worked with some of these people, you have some common interests and often someone in the alumni can be of help. Professors can also be of help when looking for work. If you had a good relationship with one or more of them, perhaps they can be of help. In addition, check out at least 10 companies where you might want to work. Study and read their publications. Those that interest you, contact them and see if anything is available. When you call or visit them, ask to speak to the Human Resource Department.
Be sure to seek post graduate career advice from a career coach. They can make the world of difference in helping you get your foot in the door of a desirable company and landing your dream job right out of college.
Never before has the cards been stacked so high for recent graduates of college. With a down economy, and many companies not sure who to hire, or if they will even hire anyone, a recent graduate could find themselves with a hard time finding work in their degree field. Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and it is not a sign for anyone to give up. Understanding how companies recruit can really help set a candidate apart from many others, and give a new hope for those that are finding it difficult to get into their chosen career. Consider the following ways that companies recruit, and align job searching accordingly. Take the following as post graduate career advice you can take to the bank.
The first thing to look into is headhunters. This is hit or miss, but many companies are hiring middle men to look for qualified candidates and then get them hired with a major company. While some people find this a bit odd, this can be the only way to get a foot in the door of some larger companies. The hunter ends up getting paid a fee for recruiting a new hire, and the company gets qualified applications without having to do the leg work. Everyone wins, and if you don’t know how this work, you’ll get left behind. There are a lot of different agencies that work in this field, and getting in good with them is a matter of simply placing a phone call, and visiting an office to drop off a resume, experience, and interview. The results can be quite satisfying, and easier than other methods.
The second thing to realize is that most companies are using a human resource department. This isn’t a surprise, but it should be noted because most departments are unaware of the expertise of recent graduates. That is why it is crucial for everyone to have a well written, up to date resume with contact information, experience, and statement of work. Even if the work isn’t top notch, it should be utilized to further explain candidacy to a potential hiring company. Human resources might not know how to decipher certain skill sets, which is why it’s important to write clearly, and concisely, to express maximum meaning in a limited space. Without this, a candidate might be passed up, simply out of ignorance from human resources.
The final piece of post graduate career advice is simple, do not forget the newspaper. Yes, the print media might be dying, but one things is for sure, major companies continue to place job listings in the paper. This is done for maximum effect, and search of qualified candidates. Many people have the Internet, but companies aren’t always quick to adapt to listing jobs online, therefore getting the newspaper can be helpful, and while many search online you can find a job listing easier and faster, and end up in a large company with ease.