Category Archives: Useful

Information that could be useful

The iPad Experience

There has been so many posts on discussing the various aspects of the iPad interjection in our lives. Many such observations have been made in the comfort of information available on the net or hearsay.

There is no doubt that the slate based computing is here to stay and redefine how we do things. But a lot rides on what our expectations are from a personal computing device and how we intend to use it. If all we need to surf the net, play solitaire, read books, probably any device could do it. But why do we need to have a slate based device.

Last night, I had the opportunity to see and play on this device at a friend’s place. Must say, I was very impressed and can agree with the awe factor associated with it.. Ok here goes my two cents on the Ipad

The Plus factors

  • Form factor is superb and amazing. So thin and sleek.
  • Display and font readability. The bright display really stands out and the readability of the Lucida font is the hallmark of all Apple products.
  • Navigation is very easy although some basic learning is required.
  • Connectivity to 3G and wifi was seamless
  • Sound and speaker were delectable just like the iPods.
  • Some interesting Apps; The talkback cat was great, the newpaper app was equally good. BubbleBreaker has an interesting change. Gmaps interface was radically different though the pan motion was amazingly fluid. The Bloomberg Stock App was delicious.
  • The screen tilting orientation was very sweet as well

The Minus factors

  • The sleek factor is also its nemesis as well. One fall and you can kiss your 500 dollars goodbye.
  • Single button. I never understand why Jobs insists everything in the world should be done with just one finger! The single button, is the center of the ipad universe. Figuring out how to use it for many purposes, will require some learning. However, it would be worrisome, to many, who are used to seeing familiar interfaces.
  • Videos were good but lacks the HD capability. Simple thing like playback of recorded/downloaded HD content is a no-no without any conversion.
  • Flash is also on the prohibited list.
  • Downloads only from the app store and nothing else. Downloading files or even from email attachments is not permitted. you can only view them but not save them.
  • Extensibility is in short supply.The standard apple connector is the only way in. Moreover, even with that you can only do limited things  dictated by the iTunes. This means, no uploading files and apps that you may need, but iTunes does not like.
  • 3G but no webcam! Strange but true..

In a nutshell, hats off to Steve Jobs for creating a wonderful slate device which succeeds in stimulating the conventional computing paradigm. But its usefulness will well be defined by how average you are and how easy you find Apple’s marketing pitches.There are thousands of apps but what do you really want it to do? You could have a fancy dice roller, or you could also have a language translator. What I do find seriously short is that, why isn’t there a Transcriber app that lets you write in freehand for taking notes. Also, something like a Dragon app, by which you can dictate to the device and it will create the text.It could be useful for graphic processing type uses like image processing or videos.

But the thing that really irks me, is at a very conceptual level. The whole Apple’s Secret Garden thinktank, that they know better than what you want and what you should be doing with a device that you bought with your money, is in a sense like the Truman Show movie. It may be a perfect world as per Jobs, but real life and freedom have different meanings. You may have factored in a million considerations, but why do you not let the customer decide on his freedoms. This debate will live on endlesslessly.

For me, I will continue to wait for a tablet like device, feature richness and dollops of usability. Besides, being a firm believer in cloud computing and a very active user of Google products, I would be more inclined to open systems like Android. Perhaps the Adam can bring that change. Only time will tell.

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Linkedin for Small Business

Came Across this wonderful article that can be useful for businesses wanting to use LinkedIn for Business purposes.

Ten Ways for Small Businesses to Use LinkedIn

When I first blogged about ten ways to use LinkedIn, the site had 8.5 million total users worldwide. I’m told that now there are over twelve million small-business people on LinkedIn, which is roughly 20 percent of its total user base.

Many of these small-business people are using the site in ways you’d commonly imagine: finding leads, growing their business globally, or finding the right vendors. My buddies at LinkedIn recently provided me a list of ten additional ways small businesses can use LinkedIn:

  1. Acquire new customers through online recommendations and word of mouth. Satisfied customers are the best source of new customers. Increase your word of mouth referrals by asking your happy clients to write you a recommendation, which will be published on your LinkedIn profile and will be broadcast to their entire LinkedIn network.
  2. Keep in touch with people who care most about your business. Sites like LinkedIn help keep your business alive in the minds of the people who care most about your business. LinkedIn is effective for two reasons: the business intent of LinkedIn users and fewer status updates, which mean you stay on top of mind. Tip: You can also increase the impact of your status updates by syncing your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
  3. Find the right vendors to outsource services you’re not an expert on.Think of the number of times you’ve asked your colleagues if they knew of a great web designer or photographer. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to find and vet vendors through the network of your peers. Additionally, you can also trade services with your vendor connections on LinkedIn; sort of a mutual referral system.
  4. Build your industry network—online and in person. Search LinkedIn’s Groups directory to find industry associations and networks to take part in. For example, if you’re in the event planning or wedding industry, there are over 530 groups. In addition, LinkedIn also surfaces popular events in your industry calling out local events that your connections are attending. Imagine being able to find only industry events that your prospective clients are attending.
  5. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends. Small business owners deal with challenging questions on a slew of topics each day. LinkedIn Answers and Groups let you find answers to those vexing questions quickly by tapping into the wisdom of your network (LinkedIn tells me there are over 200 different categories on Answers including one dedicated just to small business and over 2000 groups on small business related topics). Wondering whether your recent office purchase is tax deductible? Check out hundreds of questions on related topics here.
  6. Win new business by answering questions in your area of expertise.Use the many forums on LinkedIn to share the knowledge you’ve gained in your area of expertise. This is a great opportunity to win new business or at least find prospective clients to pitch your business to. Prospective customers will find your answers when they use LinkedIn’s advanced Answers search. And don’t forget, what goes around comes around. Don’t forget, this is a great way to soft pitch your skills and expertise.
  7. Raise funding. You can use LinkedIn to find mentors or potential investors for your startup because there are over three million startup professionals and over 12M small business professionals on LinkedIn and it’s always good to stay in touch with folks who’ve been there, done that and willing to mentor you. Once you’re connected, your participation on LinkedIn (answers, status updates or group conversations) may even cause them to consider investing in your small business.
  8. Network with peers in your industry for repeat business referrals.LinkedIn Groups is a powerful medium to find peers in your respective industries to network with and to find complimentary businesses to share referrals with. For example, mortgage brokers can find real estate agents to partner with on relevant groups and as most small businesses know, these partners are your best source of referrals that can turn into repeat business. With over 2000 groups dedicated to small business topics, you’re sure to find a relevant group to network.
  9. Convince potential customers of your expertise by sharing unique blog content. Small businesses smart enough to create unique content on their expertise (either with a blog or twitter account) should link to it from their LinkedIn profiles. Or take it one step further by promoting featured blog content to LinkedIn members on the site (for e.g. with small text ads). You can specify exactly who will see your ads—Executives or VPs—and include a link to your profile so they know who’s behind this content.
  10. Keep your friends close and your competition closer. Over 150,000 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn, the “public profile” for companies. These pages surface key stats on companies; recent hires as well movers and shakers. Not only do company profiles give you unique insight into your competition, they also give you an opportunity to stumble upon potential hires by browsing through company pages.

I hope this helps you take LinkedIn beyond the usual uses and makes your small business even more successful.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway

Every now and then, comes along a quote which has unforgettable effect on you. The title of this note, is one such quote.

I remember sitting in the lecture room in 2005 at NCST and listening Prof Satam talking about computer networks. Like many other students, we just gaped at the slides on display one after the other and then suddenly in the middle of a saturday afternoon, this hits me. At that time of seeing the slides and the ensuing discussion, I was kinda PPMA (Physically Present but Mentally Absent) with all the numbers and bytes thrown in random going way above than Malcom Marshall’s bouncers. Its only later on, when I read the textbook “Computer Networks” by Andrew S Tanenbaums, did the profoundness of the quote dwelt on me. The wisdom propagated by the author, has had a deep impact on my psyche.

It spelt out the truth that we must always carry when we devise solutions for all kinds of problems. Common Sense is the vital key ingredient that all solutions must have. As technology professionals, there is a perceptible enthusiasm to incorporate newer technology as well as that sizzle that makes it sound like the state of the art cutting edge solution. Often, we get carried away to have that technological solution delivery to our achievements in our kitty when simpler solutions can be found with some plain thinking common sense.

That truth stuck on till date and everytime, I am required to devise a solution, the first thing that hits me is this quote. It forces me to adopt common sense as a platform and not get swept away by technological exuberances.

A brief explanation for folks who are from a non-techie domains:

Suppose you have a large data set that needs to be transferred from one location to another. The technology guy will rattle off statistic like you will need a 8 Mbps leased line and the transfer will take some days to finish ASSUMING the line does not drop etc etc. But with a little common sense, lot more can be achieved with far less too..

This is an excerpt from Tanenbaums book in 1990s; Picture yourself there as you read it..

…. A simple calculation will make this point clear. An industry standard Ultrium tape can hold 200 gigabytes. A box 60 x 60 x 60 cm can hold about 1000 of these tapes, for a total capacity of 200 terabytes, or 1600 terabits (1.6 petabits). A box of tapes can be delivered anywhere in the United States in 24 hours by Federal Express and other companies. The effective bandwidth of this transmission is 1600 terabits/86,400 sec, or 19Gbps. If the destination is only an hour away by road, the bandwidth is increased to over 400Gbps. No computer network can even approach this.

For a bank with many gigabytes of data to be backed up daily on a second machine (so the bank can continue to function even in the face of a major flood or earthquake), it is likely that no other transmission technology can even begin to approach magnetic tape for performance. Of course, networks are getting faster, but tape densities are increasing, too.

If we now look at cost, we get a similar picture. The cost of an Ultrium tape is around $40 when bought in bulk. A tape can be reused at least ten times, so the tape cost is maybe $4000 per box per usage. Add to this another $1000 for shipping (probably much less), and we have a cost of roughly $5000 to ship 200TB. This amounts to shipping a gigabyte for under 3 cents. No network can beat that.

The moral of the story is:

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

A very informative common sense article from InsideCRM

The Manager’s Cheat Sheet: 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders

Management is all about connecting with the people on your team. So how do you effectively manage a team? With common knowledge, of course. These are a few back-to-basics rules that will help you develop management skills that really matter.

Body Language

Like it or not, your body speaks volumes, even when you are silent. Here’s how to express an attitude that’s appropriate for a leader.

1. Stand tall. Keeping your shoulders back and holding yourself up to your full height will give you an air of confidence.
2. Take your hands out of your pockets. Putting your hands in your pockets is often seen as a sign that you have something to hide.
3. Stand with your arms crossed behind your back. This will help you adjust your posture, and it leaves your hands in a position that is open and not intimidating.
4. Make eye contact. Always look directly into the eyes of the people you are speaking with. This shows you’re interested and also gives you a sense of confidence.
5. Sit up straight. Even if you’re at an 8 a.m. meeting and feeling tired, it’s important to sit up straight in your chair. Slouching makes you look disinterested and can give off an unwanted air of laziness.
6. Face the person you’re talking to. This shows you are interested and engaged in the conversation.
7. Shake hands firmly. For many, a handshake is a reflection of the person you’re shaking hands with. You don’t want to come across as unsure or overbearing, so make sure yours is professional and confident.
8. Always smile. Smiles are contagious and will make others feel positive when you’re around.
9. Look your best. You don’t have to be model perfect every day, but you should dress appropriately and neatly. Clothes can have a big impact on the way you’re perceived.
10. Walk confidently. Keep your head up and take even strides.

Meeting Deadlines

No one will be happy if your team has to rush around at the last minute to complete a project. Follow these tips to make deadlines less stressful for everyone.

11. Only promise what you can realistically deliver. Don’t create deadlines that you know you can’t meet. By only promising what you know you can do, you’ll be able to finish on time.
12. Set clear goals. Once you know what you need to accomplish, it helps to know how and when you want to do it. Put your goals down on paper and make sure everyone on your team gets a copy.
13. Organize a team. Many of your employees will have unique strengths and training that can make them great assets to certain projects. Pick a team that has the right skills to carry out the job.
14. Delegate tasks. Spread work among your employees in a way that doesn’t leave anyone overburdened while also allowing the project work smoothly.
15. Create milestones. Creating milestones for you and your team will help you keep track of your progress and also give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone.
16. Keep communication open. Keeping everyone in touch with the status of the project is key to making sure it’s completed on time.
17. Do it right the first time. Planning ahead will help prevent you from delivering a substandard product. Having to redo something for a client costs money, and, more than likely, future business opportunities.
18. Stay organized. Staying organized will help keep you from wasting time chasing down important documents and information.
19. Make sure expectations are clear. Be sure that each member of your team knows what their specific responsibilities are. This will save time and prevent tasks from being overlooked.
20. Create a plan. Compile your goals and milestones into a comprehensive plan for attacking any project you are given. This way, you can make sure you’re staying on schedule and that all of your employees will be clear about how and when things should be done.

Getting Along with Employees

A happy office is a productive one. Everyone will be more cheerful if you follow these simple rules.

21. Don’t make your employees come in on days they’re normally not scheduled to work or call them while they’re on vacation. A surefire way to make employees resent you is to invade their personal time for nonpressing work. Unless you have something that absolutely has to be done, let time away from work stay that way.
22. Don’t play favorites. Playing favorites can bias your judgment and impair your leadership abilities. Treat your employees equally.
23. Give credit when it’s due. Don’t take credit for your employees’ ideas or hog their limelight. This action not only fosters resentment but also makes you seem untrustworthy.
24. Don’t micromanage. While it’s fine to keep up with what your employees are working on, don’t constantly look over their shoulders.
25. Never discuss employee matters with their co-workers. This kind of gossip always gets back to the person and will make you look unprofessional.
26. Don’t interfere with employees’ work. If your employees are getting work done, don’t stress about how it gets done. Even if it’s not being done they way you’d do it, it’s best to let employees use their best judgment.
27. Don’t push unreasonable deadlines. You don’t want to spend all of your time at the office, and neither do your employees.
28. Keep your promises. Barring some catastrophic event, you should always keep promises you make to employees, especially about pay and benefits.
29. Keep work about work. Don’t require employees to run your personal errands. Take care of your own personal business or hire an assistant.
30. Reward hard work. Make sure your employees feel valued for the work that they do. Employees will be more willing to put in extra effort if they know it’s noted and appreciated.
31. Provide motivation. Sometimes employees need a morale boost. Provide them with encouragement to get a project rolling.

Manage Yourself

Being a good manager isn’t just about what you can encourage other people to do, it’s also about managing your own performance.

32. Be accessible. Don’t hole up in your office all day — come out and visit with your employees. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems and concerns.
33. Be open to constructive criticism. It may not always be what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to learn and grow from your mistakes.
34. Accept responsibility. Part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the mistakes of all that you manage, not just your own.
35. Know there’s always room for improvement. No matter how good you think you are, your job can always be done better. Always be willing to learn.
36. Improve your skills. Learning is a lifelong process. You’re never too old to take a class or ask a co-worker to help you improve your knowledge.
37. Explain things simply. Don’t use big words or technical jargon just to sound smart and impress others. Your employees will understand and perform better if you explain simply and clearly what you need.
38. Instruct rather than order. You may be the boss, but you don’t have to be bossy. You’ll have more success if your requests are more tactfully delivered.
39. Include your staff in your plans. Don’t make your work top secret; let your employees know what’s going on and how they are expected to contribute.
40. Know your subordinates’ jobs. You don’t want to be caught with inferior job knowledge.
41. Be flexible. It’s fine to be firm in what you expect, but allow for flexibility in how it gets done.
42. Get regular feedback. Your employees and superiors can give you valuable feedback on how to improve your performance. Use this to your advantage.
43. Know your limitations. You can’t be everywhere doing everything all at once. Know the limits of your time and abilities and say no to things you know you can’t do.

Boosting Productivity

Getting the most out of your day can be difficult with a busy schedule, but you can use these tips to help you maximize your time in order to be better available to employees.

44. Get the most out of meetings. Be organized and prepared for meetings to increase effectiveness and time savings.
45. Focus your energy on things that matter. Don’t let trivial tasks take time away from things that are really important.
46. Identify your time-stealers. Everyone has little things that detract their attention and make them lose focus. Figure out what these are and work to eliminate them, if only for a few hours a day.
47. Be punctual. Being on time is a big deal. Never keep people waiting for appointments or meetings if you can help it.
48. Respond to your correspondence within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t have to bechained to your inbox, but make sure you respond to emails within a few hours whenever possible.
49. Do only what is necessary. There are times when going above and beyond works, but doing so on a daily basis can derail your progress on more important issues. Get the key things done first, then see if you have time for additional things.
50. Stick to schedules and routines. While they may not be the most exciting things, schedules and routines can help streamline and improve your productivity.
51. Organize and manage your schedule. Use any tools and utilities you have at your disposal to prioritize your day and keep track of what you need to get done.
52. Plan more than you think you can do. While this may sound stressful, it can actually be a great motivator. If you manage to get everything done, you’ll enjoy a great sense of achievement.
53. Get to work early on occasion. Sometimes an uninterrupted half hour in an unoccupied office can help you get key things done or allow you to plan your day before there are any distractions to slow you down.
54. Know that sometimes stress is good. While too much of anything, especially stress, can be bad, sometimes a little stress can be the motivation to get you moving, allowing you to get more done.
55. Do your least favorite tasks first. Get your most tedious and least desirable tasks out of the way earlier in the day. After that, everything else will be a breeze.

Managing Finances and Resources

Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, staying on top of tangible items is vital to success. These tips can help you keep track.

56. Set up a realistic budget. While it’s good to be optimistic, don’t plan for more spending than you know you can afford. Make sure you plan for emergencies and contingencies as well.
57. Save costs where they matter the most. Don’t just pinch pennies for the present. Make sure your savings will pay off in the long run. Compromising on quality might cost you later on in repairs and replacements.
58. Spend only when it’s necessary. Don’t spend if you don’t need to. Every bit you save goes toward your profit.
59. Find alternative sources of finance. Sometimes even successful businesses need a little help. Business loans and investors can help you through leaner times.
60. Stay true to your contracts. Not only will you gain the respect of your clients, you’ll also avoid legal battles that can be a serious financial drain.
61. Make sure employees are well compensated. Employees deserve to be rewarded for hard work. Make sure yours are well compensated for their time and they’ll be more productive and happier to come to work.
62. Learn to do more with less. Quality is much more important than quantity, so make what you have count.
63. Assign equipment wisely. While it might be nice for every employee to have a PDA, budgets often don’t allow for such conveniences. Make sure the employees that need tools the most have access to them.
64. Invest in solid technology. This doesn’t always mean the latest technology, but what your office needs to do work effectively.
65. Update when necessary. Using obsolete equipment and programs can really slow you down. Update when it makes sense so you won’t get left behind by competitors.
66. Don’t be wasteful. Every sheet of paper, paper clip and pen is a cost on your budget. Use materials wisely and don’t waste them out of haste or carelessness.

Communicating with Clients

Whether you’re a business owner or a manager carrying out a project, one thing is always the same: The client is dominant voice in decision-making. Learn to communicate with them effectively and you’ll set a good example for the people you supervise.

67. Remember that the customer is the boss. At the end of the day, your job is to make the customer happy. Act accordingly.
68. Differentiate your products. Don’t get lost in a sea of products and services like yours. Make sure you stand out from your competitors.
69. Retain customers as much as you recruit new ones. While you always want to bring in new business, it’s very important to maintain relationships with loyal customers.
70. Provide effective channels of communication. Make sure your clients can contact you easily and quickly if they have a problem, concern or question. They can also provide a valuable source of feedback.
71. Maintain customer data. Use this data to make your customers feel special by remembering occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It’s also helpful for keeping track of purchasing preferences.
72. Segment your customers. Not all customers are alike. Divide your customers into groups that allow you to provide attention and services that meet each customer’s unique needs.
73. Provide effective after-sales services. Don’t let contact fall off after the work is complete. Make sure your client stays happy.
74. Listen attentively. Pay attention to exactly what clients are asking for to help you better meet their needs.
75. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. It’s OK not to know the answer to every question. It’s better to say you don’t know and get back to a customer than to try to bluff your way through a conversation and have to backtrack later.

Keep Up with Change

There is no way to stop the world from changing, so follow these tips to keep up and ahead of the game.

76. Don’t fight change. You can’t stop markets, trends and technology from changing, so learn to go with the flow.
77. Adopt a predictive managerial style. Don’t wait for things to happen to make a move. Anticipate problems and provide contingency plans.
78. Test your contingency plans. Waiting for disaster to strike is a dangerous way to find out if your emergency plans will hold. Test them out from time to time to fine-tune them and make sure they’re still relevant.
79. Identify the positives. Even the most negative changes can have positive aspects to them. Being able to identify and maximize them can help make adapting less painful.
80. Be quick to adapt. Learn to adapt to changing situations quickly and be able to change plans on the spur of the moment if the situation requires it.
81. Stay tuned to external factors. Your business is affected in many ways by outside factors. Keep abreast of these so you can anticipate any sudden market changes that would affect how you need to manage.
82. Put in place a Research and Development plan. Encourage innovation and creativity to stay ahead of the demand for newer and better products and services.
83. Keep an eye on the competition. Don’t let the competition get the best of you. Keep up-to-date with what they’re doing and use it to your advantage in managing your business.

Resolving Problems

Whether problems are internal or external, they can make your management duties a nightmare if you don’t handle them correctly. Here’s how to stay on top of them.

84. Stand up for employees. If other departments or managers are bearing down hard on your employees, stand up for them.
85. Fix what’s broken. Don’t waste time placing blame. Take care of fixing the problem before dealing with any possible repercussions.
86. Manage and control your emotions. Don’t let anger or frustration affect your problem resolution. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, cool down before discussing it or bring in an outside mediator.
87. Learn when to step in. Some problems might resolve themselves if you just let them be, but you need to be aware of times where you’ll need to step in and take control of a situation.
88. Take the blame. If you’ve made a mistake, fess up. It’ll give you more time to work on fixing the problem instead of talking your way out of taking the rap.
89. Get the facts first. Before you pass judgment on a situation, make sure you have the whole story. Listen to employees and refrain from questioning anyone’s integrity without first ensuring that you’ve gathered all the data.
90. Rise above the crisis. Learn to separate yourself from the problem and rise above the fray. You’ll be able to think more clearly and make a better decision on how to rectify the issue.
91. Don’t ignore problems. A small problem can easily snowball and become something much more difficult to fix.
92. Try to depersonalize problems. Let employees know that the problem isn’t with them but with their actions. Don’t make it personal.

Go Above and Beyond

Managing people isn’t just about getting the job done. To truly be a great leader, sometimes you need to go above and beyond what the job calls for.

93. Lead by example. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but the best way to get a point across is to be the model to emulate. Let employees follow your lead.
94. Get your hands dirty. Sometimes you need to show your employees that no one’s above doing unattractive tasks.
95. Make a difference to your employees. Don’t just be a generic manager — stand out as a leader and role model for your employees.
96. Gain your employees’ trust and respect. You’ll have a much easier time managing employees when they respect your rules and boundaries and trust your leadership.
97. Be empathetic to personal problems. Whether it should or not, what happens outside of work can have a big affect on the quality of work produced. Be sensitive if employees have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on work.
98. Be unique as a manager. Every position demands something different and you should be proud to be adept at your particular role rather than trying to emulate other managers.
99. Remember that ethics matter above all. Be honest and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships.
100. Be on the lookout for new ideas. You never know where your next great inspiration will come from.
101. Get to know your employees. Learn more than just their names. Get to know your employees’ family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. Doing so will make you more personable.

AAADD – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

This hilarious story was sent to me earlier this week, don’t know who wrote it, but see if you can relate to any of it…if you can remember!!

Recently,  I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D.

Age Activated Attention Deficit  Disorder This is how it  manifests:

I  decide to water my garden. As  I turn on the hose in the driveway, I  look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As  I start toward my car, I  notice mail on the porch table that I  had brought up from the mailbox earlier.

I decide to go  through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car  keys on the table, put  the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and  notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the  bills back on  the table and take out the garbage first.

But  then I think, since  I’m going to be right next to the mailbox when  I take out the garbage, I  may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check  book off the table, and  see that there is only one check left.

My extra  checks are in my desk in the study, so  I go inside the house to my desk where find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking – pleased I found it.

Now I’m  going to look for my checks, but  first I need to push the  Pepsi aside so  that I don’t accidentally knock it  over.

The Pepsi is now quite  warm, so  I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it  cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the  Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches  my eye – they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the  counter and discover  my reading glasses that I’ve  been searching for all morning. Glad I have found them.

I decide I better  put them back on my desk, but  first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the  glasses back down on the counter, fill  a container with water and suddenly spot the TV  remote. Aah, so that’s where it is, pleased I have found it.

I realize that tonight  when we go to watch TV, I’ll  be looking for the remote, but  I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so  I decide to put it back in the den where it  belongs, but  first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some of the water in  the flowers, but  quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the  remote back on the table, get  some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down  the hall trying to remember  what I was planning to do.

At  the end of my day:

  • the  car isn’t washed
  • the  bills aren’t paid
  • there  is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the  counter
  • the  flowers don’t have enough water
  • there  is still only 1 check in my check book
  • I  can’t find the remote
  • I  can’t find my glasses
  • and  I don’t remember what I did with the car keys

Then,  when I try to figure out why nothing got done  today, I’m  really baffled because I know I was busy all damn  day, and  I’m also really tired.

I realize this is a serious  problem, and  I’ll try to get some help for it, but  first I’ll check my e-mail…

Do me a  favor. Let me know if I have already send this pathetic tale of my day to you, because I don’t remember who the hell I’ve sent it to.

Don’t  laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!

15 elephant tethers that stop you from being creative!

Came across this link from a web link.. Absolutely bang on and awesome

Are you willing to break free!
By Shalu Wasu, 21st August 2008

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. – Dee Hock

circus_elephant_pulling 15 elephant tethers that stop you from being creative!When still a baby, the elephant is tethered by a very thick rope to a stake firmly hammered into the ground.

The elephant tries several times to get free, but it lacks the strength to do so. After some time, the animal gives up trying, believing that it cannot be free.

At this point, the trainer changes the thick rope to a thin one but the elephant makes no attempt to run away. Even when the elephant reaches adulthood, it continues to be tethered by a thin rope, reconciled to its captivity.

As you grow up and gain experience, you absorb assumptions which then drive your life and limit your choices. They are similar to the elephant’s thin rope tied to a post. You can break away from them with a simple tug if you want to but you don’t.

As you acquire more and more experience, your repertoire of blind assumptions grows too, correspondingly limiting your choices. Your experience becomes a hindrance in your being creative.

Here is a list of 15 elephant tethers that possibly hold you back from being creative. Look at them and do identify the ones that apply to you. Are you willing to do something about them and break free?

Tether 1. What will people think?

Your selfconsciousness is one big hurdle in your being creative. You don’t even try to do so many things in life because you are afraid of making a fool of yourself. You waste a lot of your energy in protecting yourself and presenting a ‘good’ image.

You had no such inhibitions as a child and therefore you were naturally creative. It is perhaps the fear of the unknown and what might happen that makes you selfconscious. It holds you back and hinders your creativity.

When you walk into something in spite of the fear, it simply vanishes because by then the unknown turns into the known. The trick is not to think in terms of conquering fear but being with it.

When you let go of your selfconsciousness, you turn more creative.

Tether 2. But I’ve never had any great ideas!

Most people don’t have enough opportunities to bring out their creativity. So their creative abilities remain untapped. It seems to make no difference because not being creative is not too inconvenient.

Being creative is actually a search for a better way and in today’s world most solutions come ready-made. Most of the things that you do have been researched and the ‘best’ ways to do them have been arrived at.

Most people follow the standard ‘best’ ways without questioning – how to clean teeth, how to reach office, etc. They do a great number of tasks automatically.

Trying a ‘different way’ may in fact be inconvenient in most situations – driving speed, the route to office, how to tie your shoe knots, standing in the queues, etc.

Most of these automatic ways are perhaps good. By sticking with them, you are able to accomplish many tasks without thinking. They save time but you end up with the habit of not thinking afresh.

Over time, you develop attitudes and assumptions which prevent you from thinking creatively, locking you into the existing ways of thinking and doing things. You become a prisoner of familiarity. You never have great ideas.

As a result, even when the need arises for you to think differently and generate new ideas, you are unable to do so.

Tether 3. What is the right answer?

One of the worst aspects of formal education is the focus on the correct answer to a question or problem. When somebody asks a question, you generally give an acceptable answer instead of an original one fearing it might be wrong.

While this approach helps you to function smoothly in society, it hurts creative thinking. Real-life issues are ambiguous. There is no one single answer to any problem. There can be several answers if only you think about them. They may all be contradictory and yet correct.

Tether 4. I don’t want to fail.

The fear of failure is something that you learn in school…and it never just goes away. All through school, you perhaps take hundreds of tests, exams, assignments, etc. You are in one big trouble if you fail even once. You are scared of failure.

By the time you finish school, the fear of failure has seeped into your system and you avoid situations which could result in failure. You are extra-careful about whatever you take up. You play safe.

The fear of failure does not let you try new things, crippling your creativity.

Tether 5. That’s not my area.

Creativity requires finding connections between unrelated things. The diversity of your interests and experiences enhances your ability to find connections.

When you explore completely unrelated areas, you are pleasantly surprised by the interrelatedness of almost everything. You start seeing new possibilities when you discover new connections.

In an era of hyper-specialization, the scope of work is getting narrower and narrower. Loss of creativity is the immediate casualty.

When you just stick to your area, you hinder your creativity.

Tether 6. I don’t like uncertainty.

If you are not confused, you are not thinking clearly – Tom Peters

When people are confused, they feel compelled to resolve the situation quickly, making it systematic and orderly again. They are likely to miss the key issues in their haste to do so.

There is something in the culture or perhaps in the education system, which makes people want to be ‘knowers’ rather than ‘find-outers’.

This attachment to ‘knowing’ makes you feel jittery and inept when you ‘don’t know’. This tendency is so engrained that even small kids begin to lose their curiosity in order to become ‘knowers’.

However, when it comes to creative thinking, not knowing is a good thing and ambiguity is a great thing. Certainty is the enemy of creativity.

If you are certain about something, you don’t have much leeway to generate new ideas to solve problems.

Tether 7. That’s the way it is done!

The need for standard ways of doing things is perfectly legitimate. But then it gives rise to an ever increasing number of rules that govern people’s lives.

While some of the rules are legitimate, some are totally unfounded. They are not very different from the thin rope that tethers the elephant.

Tether 8. Everyone says so.

When all think alike, then no one is thinking. — Walter Lippman

The desire to belong is a powerful one and at times it leads to ‘groupthink’. This herd approach is probably a relic from the cave age. It is important to have a mind of your own in order to be creative.

Tether 9. How can a boss lose face ever?

Bosses are generally hung up on being always right. It is unimaginable for them to be proved wrong. They just can’t afford to lose face. Such over-protection of their ego hinders their creativity.

Employees almost always tend to go along with bosses. While harmless minor disagreements are okay, they are careful not to have a difference of opinion when it comes to larger issues.

No boss can be creative if he is surrounded by people who can’t dare to contradict him. He will be provoked into thinking creatively only when his views are challenged by someone.

Tether 10. My work is so boring.

One of the perils of over specialization is repetitive and uninteresting work. It makes you resentful, robbing you of your creative urges.

Tether 11. Smart people respond quickly.

When quick response is valued, you avoid deep thinking missing out on the finer points of an issue. You start giving out readymade answers. In trying to be smart, you sacrifice creative possibilities.

Tether 12. I feel safe when I am like everyone else.

People start off as unique beings. They are very different from each other as children and young adults with their very own likes and dislikes.

Yet, as if by magic, they get into a common mould after they reach their thirties. Their likes, dislikes, wants, needs and goals somehow begin to converge. They seem to become more and more like one another.

As a result, their creative abilities suffer.

Tether 13. I have strong views and firm opinions.

There are people who pride themselves for having firm stands and being inflexible. They have strong views and unshakable opinions. They are too judgmental.

Being judgmental means blocking or ignoring other points of views. It means reducing your options and leaving your mind with much less to work with. It is then reflected in your ability to generate ideas and solutions.

When you are nonjudgmental, you have an open mind. You have more choices. Being nonjudgmental reduces the surface functioning of your mind, stimulating its deeper functioning.

Then you allow your unconscious mind to throw up more ideas into your conscious mind. You are more creative.

Tether 14. Why keep thinking unnecessarily when I have found the answer?

Such is the hurry to find a solution that people are satisfied with the first one that comes to their mind. They stop thinking further.

However, if you don’t share your ‘first’ idea and keep thinking more and more, the subsequent ones are sure to be better.

The more you think, the more the chances to find better solutions. You never know when you will hit the jackpot.

Tether 15. Self-fulfilling prophecy

Two similarly qualified groups of engineers in a company were exhibiting different levels of creativity.

The two groups were alike in all respects. In the research subsequently conducted by the company, there was only one finding.

The difference between the two groups was that engineers on one group believed that ‘I am creative’ and engineers from the other group believed otherwise.

Hearty Advice – 4

Dos and donts for good night sleep-

1.Listen to soothing music.

2.Set up a routine.Go to bed at fixed time every night.

3.Read a book of your choice.

4.Regular activity and light exercise helps the body and mind healthy but be sure to avoid heavy exercise before sleep.

5.Make your bedroom a quiet room.Do not watch TV in your bedroom.Use it for sleeping.

6.Donot nap. Napping can disrupt normal sleep pattern.

7.Do not use alcohol or tobacco product close to bedtime.Using these may calm you at the time of use but they can have disruptive effect on your sleep.

8.Donot use caffeine product before sleep. It is an stimulant and can keep you awake.Also avoid heavy meal.

Hearty Advice – 3


Share this Chart with everyone

apples

Protects your heart

prevents constipation

Blocks diarrhea

Improves lung capacity

Cushions joints

apricots

Combats cancer

Controls blood pressure

Saves your eyesight

Shields against Alzheimer’s

Slows aging process

artichokes

Aids digestion

Lowers cholesterol

Protects your heart

Stabilizes blood sugar

Guards against liver disease

avocados

Battles diabetes

Lowers cholesterol

Helps stops strokes

Controls blood pressure

Smoothes skin

bananas

Protects your heart

Quiets a cough

Strengthens bones

Controls blood pressure

Blocks diarrhea

beans

Prevents constipation

Helps hemorrhoids

Lowers cholesterol

Combats cancer

Stabilizes blood sugar

beets

Controls blood pressure

Combats cancer

Strengthens bones

Protects your heart

Aids weight loss

blueberries

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Stabilizes blood sugar

Boosts memory

Prevents constipation

broccoli

Strengthens bones

Saves eyesight

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Controls blood pressure

cabbage

Combats cancer

Prevents constipation

Promotes weight loss

Protects your heart

Helps hemorrhoids

cantaloupe

Saves eyesight

Controls blood pressure

Lowers cholesterol

Combats cancer

Supports immune system

carrots

Saves eyesight

Protects your heart

Prevents constipation

Combats cancer

Promotes weight loss

cauliflower

Protects against Prostate Cancer

Combats Breast Cancer

Strengthens bones

Banishes bruises

Guards against heart disease

cherries

Protects your heart

Combats Cancer

Ends insomnia

Slows aging process

Shields against Alzheimer’s

chestnuts

Promotes weight loss

Protects your heart

Lowers cholesterol

Combats Cancer

Controls blood pressure

chili peppers

Aids digestion

Soothes sore throat

Clears sinuses

Combats Cancer

Boosts immune system

figs

Promotes weight loss

Helps stops strokes

Lowers cholesterol

Combats Cancer

Controls blood pressure

fish

Protects your heart

Boosts memory

Protects your heart

Combats Cancer

Supports immune system

flax

Aids digestion

Battles diabetes

Protects your heart

Improves mental health

Boosts immune system

garlic

Lowers cholesterol

Controls blood pressure

Combats cancer

kills bacteria

Fights fungus

grapefruit

Protects against heart attacks

Promotes Weight loss

Helps stops strokes

Combats Prostate Cancer

Lowers cholesterol

grapes

saves eyesight

Conquers kidney stones

Combats cancer

Enhances blood flow

Protects your heart

green tea

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Helps stops strokes

Promotes Weight loss

Kills bacteria

honey

Heals wounds

Aids digestion

Guards against ulcers

Increases energy

Fights allergies

lemons

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Controls blood pressure

Smoothes skin

Stops scurvy

limes

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Controls blood pressure

Smoothes skin

Stops scurvy

mangoes

Combats cancer

Boosts memory

Regulates thyroid

aids digestion

Shields against Alzheimer’s

mushrooms

Controls blood pressure

Lowers cholesterol

Kills bacteria

Combats cancer

Strengthens bones

oats

Lowers cholesterol

Combats cancer

Battles diabetes

prevents constipation

Smoothes skin

olive oil

Protects your heart

Promotes Weight loss

Combats cancer

Battles diabetes

Smoothes skin

onions

Reduce risk of heart attack

Combats cancer

Kills bacteria

Lowers cholesterol

Fights fungus

oranges

Supports immune systems

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

Straightens respiration


peaches

prevents constipation

Combats cancer

Helps stops strokes

aids digestion

Helps hemorrhoids

peanuts

Protects against heart disease

Promotes Weight loss

Combats Prostate Cancer

Lowers cholesterol

Aggravates
diverticulitis

pineapple

Strengthens bones

Relieves colds

Aids digestion

Dissolves warts

Blocks diarrhea

prunes

Slows aging process

prevents constipation

boosts memory

Lowers cholesterol

Protects against heart disease

rice

Protects your heart

Battles diabetes

Conquers kidney stones

Combats cancer

Helps stops strokes

strawberries

Combats cancer

Protects your heart

boosts memory

Calms stress


sweet potatoes

Saves your eyesight

Lifts mood

Combats cancer

Strengthens bones


tomatoes

Protects prostate

Combats cancer

Lowers cholesterol

Protects your heart


walnuts

Lowers cholesterol

Combats cancer

boosts memory

Lifts mood

Protects against heart disease

water

Promotes Weight loss

Combats cancer

Conquers kidney stones

Smoothes skin


watermelon

Protects prostate

Promotes Weight loss

Lowers cholesterol

Helps stops strokes

Controls blood pressure

wheat germ

Combats Colon Cancer

prevents constipation

Lowers cholesterol

Helps stops strokes

improves digestion

wheat bran

Combats Colon Cancer

prevents constipation

Lowers cholesterol

Helps stops strokes

improves digestion

yogurt

Guards against ulcers

Strengthens bones

Lowers cholesterol

Supports immune systems

Aids digestion

7 dont’s after a meal

* Don’t smoke-Experiment from experts proves that smoking a cigarette after meal is comparable to smoking 10 cigarettes (chances of cancer is higher).
*
Don’t eat fruits immediately – Immediately eating fruits after meals will cause stomach to be bloated with air. Therefore take fruit 1-2 hr after meal or 1hr before meal.

* Don’t drink tea – Because tea leaves contain a high content of acid.This substance will cause the Protein content in the food we consume to be hardened thus difficult to digest.

*
Don’t loosen your belt – Loosening the belt after a meal will easily cause the intestine to be twisted &blocked.

*
Don’t bathe – Bathing will cause the increase of blood flow to the hands, legs & body thus the amount of blood around the stomach will therefore decrease. This will weaken the digestive system in our stomach.
*
Don’t walk about – People always say that after a meal walk a hundred steps and you will live till 99. In actual fact this is not true. Walking will cause the digestive system to be unable to absorb the nutrition from the food we intake.


*
Don’t sleep immediately – The food we intake will not be able to digest properly. Thus will lead to gastric & infection in our intestine.

FINALLY DONT JUST KEEP THIS Information
…. PLEASE FORWARD IT TO all those who you wish well.

LET THEM BE AWARE!! .

Hearty Advice – 2

1.Last Sunday of September is celebrated as WORLD HEART DAY.This year it is falling on 28 of September.The theme of this year is “TEAM UP FOR HEALTHY HEART“.Try to identify others around you who also have interest in cardiovascular & heart disease prevention.

2.Risk Factors for heart diseases are-Obesity, High blood Pressure, Stress, Diabetes, Smoking, Alcohalism, Lack of exercise, Faulty diet and life style.

3.For Healthy Heart

-Use less oil.

-Eat more of grains and nuts.

-Limit red meat.

-Use low fat dairy products.

-Quit Smoking

-Sleep adequately.

-Monitor BP and cholesterol regularly and take measure to control it.

-Make proper work schedule and follow it religiously to avoid work related stress.

-Practice stress reduction technique such as deep breathing,yoga and meditation.

-Go for medical check up regularly.

-If your doctor has prescribed you medicine for high BP or some other related ailment

Take them regularly whether you are feeling sick or not.High BP is said to be silent

Killer.

Take less salt,not >1.25 gm per day

-Exercise regularly.

4.Maximum heart rate is a good indicator of heart function.This is calculated by-

(220-age).This you should get after exercise.Failure to achieve one’s maximum heart rate is an indicator of poor heart health.If heart rate returns to normal quickly it shows better health.

5.If starting exercise for the first time, Your heart rate should be 50% of the desired maximum heart rate after exercise and you should be comfortable .Slowly and slowly increase exercise time.

Hearty Advice – 1

Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil is the world’s richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been studied extensively for their beneficial effects on high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, angina and other risk factors for stroke and heart attack. New research indicates some other great benefits. They may be helpful in easing the symptoms of arthritis and multiple sclerosis and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. There is also some promising preliminary evidence that they may help inhibit the formation of cancerous cells.


FitnessA

Part of keeping fit is making sure that your heart is strong and healthy. In order to keep it so, talk to your doctor about creating an exercise programme for you.

  1. If not a doctor then ask a friend or family member to start your programme with you.
  2. Work out a convenient schedule, right down to the time of day, to help you develop a consistent pattern. Gradually build up your workout to 30 to 60 minutes, three to four times a week.
  3. Be sure to drink water before, during and after your workout.
  4. Make up for missed sessions. Reschedule them for another day, or add time to your next workout.
  5. Consider learning a new sport or exercise, or improving on one that you know, when developing a workout strategy. Doctors recommend aerobic exercise, such as jogging, running, swimming or brisk walking, as well as aerobic sports such as tennis.
  6. Try variety in your workouts. Walk one day, swim another and bike the next. Joining a group or sports team provides great motivation that will help you stick with your exercise routine.
  7. Eating fish will help you get your dose of omega-3. If you are a vegetarian, you will have to take it in capsule form.

Recent studies have shown that meditation may decrease the risk of heart disease, possibly because the resulting stress relief may promote the body’s self-repair system to thin the fatty buildup on artery walls.

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