Personal Development en-US Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-women-have-these-7-things-in-their-bags-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman handbag" title="woman handbag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First of all, it's a <em>bag</em> &mdash; not a <em>purse</em>. The successful woman can't possibly tote around all her must-haves in a dainty little purse.</p> <p>Perhaps U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said it best when she told the New York Times this: &quot;I think most of us, while we may look at the cute little purses, <a href=";_r=0;_r=0">our lives don't fit a cute little purse</a>. Our lives fit something that is in between a purse and a briefcase, and that's what I carry.&quot;</p> <p>The kind of handbag you'll find on the arm of the successful woman is big, durable, and is itself reflective of her personality. What the heck &mdash; maybe it's a shade of bright pink.</p> <p>&quot;I do love a good handbag,&quot; Hillary Clinton told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. Her favorite bag at the time was indeed the color of a flamingo. (See also: <a href="">Stuff We Love: Chrome Messenger Bags</a>)</p> <p>&quot;This is like a deep psychological need,&quot; Clinton told the magazine. &quot;It's a desire to kind of organize and contain that which is important to you in your daily life. I have a philosophical view about this, and I have this Ferragamo hot-pink bag that I adore. My view was that I would carry it around only in spring, but it makes me so happy, I'm even now lugging it around in January. I mean, <a href="">how can you be unhappy if you pick up a big pink bag?</a>&quot;</p> <p>Yet the successful woman's love affair with the handbag is rooted not so much in the bag itself but in the items inside. Here's our list of the top seven things successful women carry in their almighty bags.</p> <h2>1. Mobile Gadgets &mdash; With a Portable Charger to Match</h2> <p>Time is money &mdash; and it saves time to stay connected. So a successful woman always has a smartphone or tablet at the ready, so she can field calls and fire off emails anytime, anywhere. But these gadgets won't do her any good without juice. And when she's hailing a cab or taking her children to the park, the chances of there being a wall outlet in reach is slim to none. That's why portable chargers are every successful woman's must-have device.</p> <p>We recommend <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A35KPQQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QC7YHFGMTCVIGB63">IOGEAR's GearPower portable battery line</a> (Pros: Allows for multi-device charging. Cons: Too big for your clutch) or <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AANQLRI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=64MBQTAPKNYR4WAS">Jackery Giant</a> (Pros: Cheaper than most competing brands. Cons: It's a bit heavy).</p> <p>But our favorite, albeit more expensive, pick for on-the-go juice is <a href="">the emPOWERED bag</a>. These tech-forward leather purses come in all colors and sizes, each with a hidden charger sewn right inside the bag.</p> <h2>2. A Memorable Business Card</h2> <p>You never know who you'll meet as you go about your day. A future client, collaborator, or investor may very well be in line behind you as you await your double shot of espresso. And every successful woman knows that if your personalities are clicking as you chat her up, the go-to next step is a business card hand-off. That's because a well-designed business card is well-remembered. It's a snack-size representation of you and your brand. It should scream, &quot;You!&quot; from the style of the font to the coloring of the logo design. Trumping even the Twitter feed, the business card is the most influential marketing tool you have.</p> <h2>3. A Notebook</h2> <p>Nothing compares to the freedom and ease of being able to scribble down your spontaneous doodles, to-do's, and ideas. Not even the iPhone Notes app can compete with the good, old-fashioned pen and pad. That's because scholars have found that when we write down our ideas rather than type them we <a href="">boost our ability to recall them</a> at a later date. Whether it's her grocery list or notes from the board meeting, a notebook is the best way for the successful woman to go about jotting down the information she wants to retain.</p> <h2>4. A Healthy Snack</h2> <p>The successful woman needs fuel to perform her best. And she knows it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins.</p> <p>The natural fiber in apples and bananas will keep her full and focused between meals.</p> <p>Nuts like almonds and dried fruit like raisins are high in protein, which will prevent her energy level from dropping during that mid-morning slump.</p> <p>But perhaps the most important edible item in her bag is a bottle of water. Water is the ultimate hydrating beverage &mdash; a natural energy source that <a href=";typeID=6&amp;newsid=6401">fends off fatigue</a> and helps regulate appetite. Experts say she should <a href="">drink half her weight</a> in ounces each day for optimal performance.</p> <h2>5. A Gym Membership Card</h2> <p>Exercise is a staple of the successful woman's regular routine. And not because she's trying to drop pounds or get chiseled abs. A <a href="">good workout boosts energy</a>, relieves stress, and releases those feel-good endorphins that make her feel like she can most certainly conquer the world &mdash; and smile while doing it.</p> <h2>6. A Pair of Flats</h2> <p>The successful woman has no time for blisters. But she's not altogether willing to give up the high heels. The solution? She has a pair of flats at the ready to change into between meetings or when discomfort strikes. Studies show one in three <a href="">women carry a comfortable pair of shoes</a> in their handbags. It's the only fool-proof way to wear heels with no regrets.</p> <h2>7. Lipstick</h2> <p>&quot;<a href=";_r=0">I have to have lipstick</a>,&quot; U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois once told the New York Times.</p> <p>Duckworth is among the strong contingent of successful women who recognizes what a splash of color on the lips will do for her confidence. Just a quick swipe of blush and she's put-together in three seconds flat. And the benefits don't stop there. Studies show that <a href="">women who regularly wear lipstick actually have better posture</a>. A lip color that compliments a woman's skin tone will also improve the appearance of her skin, making her <a href="">look healthy and well</a>.</p> <p><em>What's in your bag? Please spill it in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Successful Women Have These 7 Things in Their Bags — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development gadgets handbags stuff to carry success Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1167984 at Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="teamwork" title="teamwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>True generosity means giving without expecting anything &mdash; zero, zilch, nada &mdash; in return. Generosity takes many forms, both tangible and intangible.</p> <p>You donate to a specific cause, volunteer at a food pantry, offer to help the intern write a press release, give away free copies of your recently published book&hellip; Opportunities to brighten someone's day abound. And yet, although it may seem paradoxical, being generous can also brighten your day &mdash; and your career. (See also: <a href="">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good For You</a>)</p> <h2>Generosity Can Boost Your Career &mdash; and Happiness</h2> <p>Giving makes people happier, increasing their productivity at work and leading to long-term success.</p> <p>A 2008 Harvard Business School study found that participants who gave money to another person resulted in <a href="">greater feelings of happiness</a> than those who spent money to buy something for themselves. While this study specifically focused on participants giving something tangible (money), the same logic can apply to intangible gifts of generosity, like time, advice, and mentoring.</p> <p>Happier people make <a href="">better employees</a> because they work harder and tend to be more productive. Just ask the folks at Zappos and Google, two companies well known for their innovative corporate culture based on happy employees.</p> <p>The positive feelings that result from acts of generosity can be traced to <a href="">biology</a>, according to an earlier study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust are activated when people contribute to charity, according to the research.</p> <p>&quot;Charity&quot; in your career may take the form of leading a networking discussion group, offering a free podcast, or introducing a recent college graduate to your company's hiring manager.</p> <h2>Team Players Win the Networking Game</h2> <p>Karma aside, the selfish ones usually finish last &mdash; and alone. By contrast, in life and at work, generous people generally build supportive networks. They are seen as more likable, and people are attracted to their presence (perhaps because they are so happy!).</p> <p>Generosity also helps you exude confidence. When you offer to mentor the new hire on your sales team, you send a positive message: &quot;I know I'm good at what I do, and I'm not afraid that you'll overtake me in sales if I show you my trade secrets.&quot;</p> <p>Confident people often believe that knowledge is like the flame of a candle; it shines just as brightly no matter if one person or 10 people are enjoying its beauty. Therefore, they don't feel a need to &quot;hoard&quot; information due to any insecurities. They are true team players.</p> <p>Eleanor C. Whitney, author of the book <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1621060071&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MHFANJKY3GEGXV5">Grow</a>, said that &quot;when you <a href="">act with generosity</a> you are consistently open with your skills, ideas and knowledge. When you are generous you don't just give of yourself, but acknowledge the contributions and needs of others. The result is a network of people who are also willing to help you.&quot;</p> <p>Networking &mdash; and its multiplier effect &mdash; can be one of the most influential factors leading to professional success. It is often listed as the number one way to find a job. And the importance of networking &mdash; in person and online &mdash; extends throughout your career, by increasing your exposure (and, thereby, perhaps sales) and by building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.</p> <h2>Generous People Make More Effective Bosses...</h2> <p>&hellip;Which in turn inspires more successful employees.</p> <p>It may be one of the least-touted qualities of a good leader, but generosity may well be one of the most important. Communications expert Jodi Glickman explains that if a manager or leader is generous, he or she is generally well-liked.</p> <p>But it goes much further than that. &quot;<a href="">Generous bosses get 10x the productivity</a> from their employees; generous employees' stars rise in tandem with their bosses'.&quot;</p> <h2>Small Gestures Go a Long Way</h2> <p>Being generous doesn't necessarily mean donating a million dollars to your favorite charity (although that would indeed be generous!).</p> <p>Giving your time to mentor a new employee may take just an hour out of your day, but could set your new colleague on a solid path for success. Contributing $5 to the kitty for the mailroom employee's 10th anniversary at the company won't break your bank, but the collective efforts of your department breed feelings of social connectedness and goodwill.</p> <p>Thanks to social media, we are more up-to-date than ever when it comes to our friends' and colleagues' professional news. That means plenty of opportunities to send a congratulatory email to a former co-worker on a new job, refer a friend for a vacant position in your company, wish your new client all the best as she goes on maternity leave, or offer some insightful tips to a group discussion on LinkedIn.</p> <p>Being generous with your thoughtfulness in ways that you might deem &quot;insignificant&quot; could have a very big impact on someone else.</p> <h2>Win-Win Doesn't Get Any More Classic</h2> <p>When you give to others, the world gets a little brighter. Generosity is about more than karma &mdash; what goes around comes around &mdash; and its ripple effects can boomerang back to you in many positive, often unexpected, ways, especially in your career.</p> <p><em>How has generosity boosted your career? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mardee Handler</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development career charity generosity leadership productivity promotion Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1164532 at 5 Ways to Stop Wanting More Without Settling for Less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-stop-wanting-more-without-settling-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="happy businesswoman" title="happy businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people invest their hope for a happier life in future achievements. For you, this could be a higher salary, a family milestone, or a more relaxed lifestyle.</p> <p>In reality, there will always be another achievement on the horizon. Happiness can only be enjoyed today, in the present moment. (See also: <a href="">This Is Why You Settle (and How to Stop)</a>)</p> <p>Accordingly, we find ourselves in this daily tension between pursuing more and enjoying what we have. Here are a few tips for being happier with what you have today.</p> <h2>1. Identify Your True Sources of Happiness</h2> <p>It's all too easy to mistake money for happiness. After all, there is a certain fulfillment and excitement that comes when larger and larger amounts of money are acquired. Unless your passion in life is green paper, you really have no interest in money. You desire what money <em>can buy</em>. (See also: <a href="">A Lot of People Don't Understand What Money Is &mdash; Do You?</a>)</p> <p>But then again, unless you're an extreme hoarder, you don't really desire to own things. You desire the enjoyment you derive from using the things you own. What's the point of all this? Understand what you actually want and don't waste your time on anything else.</p> <p>If your goal for more money is spending more time with the family, stop worrying about the money and start spending more time with your family. There are ways you can cut straight to the core desire, and the fewer middlemen, the better.</p> <p>Take the time to actually write down your priorities. Create a budget based on those priorities and begin identifying where you are spending money but not deriving any enjoyment. You can then shift your allotment of time and money to align with your true priorities.</p> <h2>2. Set Attainable Goals</h2> <p>Achievement is a relative term. For one person, getting featured positively in the local newspaper is a once-in-a-lifetime type success. For another, getting elected to Congress is the minimum entry for their ultimate ambition.</p> <p>The personal fulfillment we derive from our achievements depends entirely upon how we view them. By setting finite, attainable goals for ourselves, and then celebrating each victory, we allow ourselves to enjoy the journey instead of bemoaning what we haven't yet attained. Break down your ultimate goal into quantifiable steps, so that each step you take is an accomplishment you can celebrate.</p> <h2>3. Celebrate What's Meaningful</h2> <p>You'll find &quot;enjoy the little things&quot; on a lot of these lists. That sounds nice, but it's not as though we can just make ourselves enjoy things we don't find enjoyable. We can, however, celebrate the moments that are truly meaningful to us.</p> <p>The key is living in the <em>now</em> and recognizing when it's time to stop and celebrate. Your responsibilities and pursuits are always a text away. Your ability to enjoy what you have depends on your capacity to stop and celebrate what is meaningful today.</p> <p>Go back to your priority list. Spend a few moments each day thinking about your top priorities and what they mean to you today. If family is the most important, spend a few moments celebrating your family each week and verbally affirming each member and why they mean so much to you.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize Your Community</h2> <p>If there's one thing I've found to be true in my life, it's that <em>what</em> I'm doing and <em>where </em>I'm doing it aren't nearly as important as <em>who</em> I'm with. Your community will account for much of your satisfaction and happiness in life. And just like the <em>what</em> and the <em>where</em>, you have complete control over the <em>who</em>.</p> <p>Don't invest your time in negative people. If you find yourself connecting best with negative people, there are probably some painful wounds in your life that need healing. Spending time with positive, uplifting people is contagious. Spending time around people with correct priorities rubs off. Spending time with people who are deeply committed to their friends and family prepares you to foster those same meaningful relationships in your own life.</p> <h2>5. Give &amp; Receive</h2> <p>It's not all about us, and understanding this truth allows us to be happy with what we have. By investing in others, we allow their accomplishments to increase our own happiness and satisfaction. By receiving from others, we allow ourselves to realize we aren't alone &mdash; it's not us against the world &mdash; and we set ourselves up to benefit from the victories of others.</p> <p>One practical way to do this is by giving to charity. Research shows that those who give and volunteer <a href="">are actually happier</a> and more deeply satisfied with their lives.</p> <p>But you don't have to invest only in strangers. What are your friends' dreams? What is your cousin's dream? What is your son's dream? Invest in their success. Invest in where they want to go, and you'll find their success as rewarding, if not more so, than your own.</p> <h2>Happiness Is Not a Quest</h2> <p>The most important thing to understand is that happiness is not a quest. You will never find or achieve it. You can be happy today or you can not be happy today. In many ways, the choice is entirely yours.</p> <p>You can never &quot;arrive&quot; at happiness. If you can't enjoy life with $30k a year, you won't enjoy it with $50k. Spend a few minutes today thinking about what is truly important to you and allow yourself to enjoy what you already have.</p> <p><em>Are you happy with where you are right now? Why? Or, why not?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Stop Wanting More Without Settling for Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jacob McMillen</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development happiness satisfaction value worth Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1161541 at The One Word You Need to Get Rid of for a Better Life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-word-you-need-to-get-rid-of-for-a-better-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businesswoman talking" title="businesswoman talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to start living a better life today? I mean, right this very moment?</p> <p>Then stop saying &quot;<em>should</em>.&quot; That's it.</p> <p>Don't just stop saying it out loud, but stop repeating it in your thoughts, too. Don't tell yourself what you should be doing instead of what you're actually doing or what you should have done in the past. (See also: <a href="">How Doing Less Helps You Get More Done</a>)</p> <p>If you do this, your life will improve faster than you'd have thought possible.</p> <p>This isn't a trick or a gimmick, and it's actually harder than it might seem to change the way you talk to yourself and to others. But it's based on research and on the experience of people who have changed their language and, in the process, changed their lives.</p> <h2>How We Speak Shapes How We Think</h2> <p>The words that we use every day play a powerful role in determining how we think. Words and the images they portray shape how our minds deal with everything from emotions to abstract concepts.</p> <p>For instance, different cultures have different ways of thinking about time. Most cultures discuss time as something that passes, either right-to-left or left-to-right, or back-to-front. However, there's an aboriginal culture in Australia that ties the <a href="">passage of time to movement from east to west</a>. This gives people in that culture quite a different understanding of time, as well as of direction.</p> <p>Language also shapes how we remember. English tends to use an active, agented voice more than Spanish does. If both an English speaker and a Spanish speaker view a car accident, the English speaker is more likely to think, &quot;The blue car hit the red car,&quot; while the Spanish speaker will often think something like, &quot;The cars hit each other,&quot; or &quot;The cars hit themselves.&quot; This difference in language means that <a href="">English speakers often remember WHO</a> did something (especially something bad) more often than Spanish speakers.</p> <p>If <a href="">words are so formative</a> for the human mind that they shape the concepts we can and cannot grasp and shape our memories, it seems to follow that they would have power in our daily lives, as well. Some people go as far as to say that &quot;the <a href="">words we attach to our experience</a> become our experience.&quot; If we choose to describe a negative experience with intense words like &quot;horrible&quot; or &quot;furious,&quot; we will feel more negative than we would if we use words like &quot;annoyed.&quot;</p> <p>It makes sense, then, to do our best to get rid of the words that are making us miserable and replace them with ones that will make us feel better.</p> <p>And &quot;should&quot; is one of the worst offenders.</p> <h2>What's Wrong With &quot;Should&quot;</h2> <p>There are several key problems with &quot;should,&quot; and they all have to do with the way it shapes our thinking in negative ways.</p> <h3>Should Is Indecisive</h3> <p>&quot;Should&quot; is, inherently, <a href="">a word of procrastination</a>. How many times have you said something like, &quot;I should go exercise&hellip;&quot; and then ended up sitting on the couch watching TV instead? A should is more like a wish than an action, and so we often don't actually DO the things we think we should do.</p> <h3>Should Is Negative</h3> <p>When we say that someone should do something, we are implying that they are not currently doing it. There's almost always an unspoken end to sentences that include &quot;should.&quot; Think about it: &quot;I should eat more vegetables&quot; can almost always be followed by &quot;&hellip;but I won't.&quot;</p> <h3>Should Denies Reality</h3> <p>When we say that we should do something, <a href="">we aren't accepting the current reality</a>, in which we aren't doing whatever it is. <a href="">Accepting reality, however, seems to be a key to happiness</a>. Even if the reality isn't what we want it to be, accepting it is the first step to real change (as opposed to simply <em>wishing</em> it was different).</p> <p>If saying &quot;should&quot; forms our minds in these negative ways, it's no wonder we're unhappy when we say it a lot. But what else can we do? What works better than &quot;should?&quot;</p> <h2>Replacing &quot;Should&quot;</h2> <p>Follow these steps to eliminate &quot;should&quot; from your vocabulary.</p> <h3>1. Notice Where &quot;Should&quot; Pops Up</h3> <p>Take some time to pay attention the to the ways you think and speak, so you can see when and where you are most likely to say &quot;should.&quot; While it's a pervasive word in our culture, some people find that they are more likely to use it when they are tired, upset, or in stressful situations. Knowing when you use &quot;should&quot; will help you pinpoint exactly what needs to change.</p> <h3>2. Choose Replacement Words</h3> <p>Depending on the situations where you use &quot;should,&quot; there are a lot of options for replacing it. You might replace &quot;should&quot; with &quot;could&quot; or &quot;get to&quot; &mdash; thus, &quot;I should exercise&quot; becomes &quot;I could exercise&quot; or &quot;I get to exercise.&quot; If you use &quot;should&quot; a lot when discussing the past, maybe you need to come right out and say, &quot;I regret that,&quot; rather than &quot;I shouldn't have done it.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Find a Reward</h3> <p>When you want to change a behavior, <a href="">coming up with a reward is key</a>. Feeling happier is definitely a reward in and of itself, but it may help you to choose something tangible, like a small edible treat or a couple minutes with a good book, that you can give yourself every time you successfully catch yourself and replace your &quot;should.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Give Yourself Time</h3> <p>It takes <a href="">about a month</a> to replace an old habit with a new one, and you won't be successful every single time. Since thinking in terms of shoulds is something that we often do unconsciously, changing this habit might take even longer than changing other habits, like making your own lunch or exercising. First, begin to notice your shoulds, then figure out the best way to replace them, and finally, let that habit become as ingrained as &quot;should&quot; once was.</p> <p>As always, changing a habit is hard work. In this case, you stand to feel more positive, more decisive, and more accepting of yourself as you actually are. These benefits outweigh the amount of work you'll have to put into it to make the change.</p> <p><em>When do you find yourself saying &quot;should?&quot; What do you want to replace it with? You should share with us in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The One Word You Need to Get Rid of for a Better Life" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development goals habits should words Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1157887 at Why You Need to Say Less (and How to Do It) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-need-to-say-less-and-how-to-do-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="office worker talking" title="office worker talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="139" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is it time to ask for a raise? Discipline your child? Apologize to your partner? In many communication situations, fewer words can pack a greater punch, and deliver your message more effectively.</p> <p>Let's cut to the chase. Here are six reasons you should learn to say less.</p> <h2>1. Keeps Your Listener (or Reader) Engaged</h2> <p>Tune-out happens at the point of information overload. Think about that colleague you try to avoid at the water cooler because a simple question &mdash; &quot;Hey, did you see last night's basketball game?&quot; &mdash; can turn into a 10-minute analysis of the last free throw shot. After the first two minutes of nodding your head in agreement, don't you wish they picked up on your nonverbal signals that enough is enough? Before long, you've mentally checked out of the conversation and are thinking about all the things waiting for your attention back at your desk, or your grocery list, or last night's dinner snafu. Don't be that colleague. Conversations are meant to be give-and-take, not monopolies.</p> <p>The <a href="">average adult attention span</a> has dropped to 5 minutes, down from 12 minutes a decade ago. The result? We have less time than ever to get our point across &mdash; whether through an email, presentation, meeting, blog post, or conversation.</p> <h2>2. Conveys Confidence</h2> <p>When it's time to negotiate a raise, focus on the salient reasons you believe you deserve it. &quot;I've increased sales by 23% over the past year, and my customer retention rate has doubled since I started this job.&quot; Stop.</p> <p>Women, especially, <a href="">tend to &quot;over-explain</a>,&quot; particularly when asking for something. Irrelevant details about how you color-coded your filing system, never complain about working late, or that your landlord just raised your rent will not convince your boss that you deserve a pay increase. In fact, all of the extraneous justifications can sabotage your request by coming across as self-doubt.</p> <h2>3. Doesn't Dilute the Point</h2> <p>Let's say you're pitching a website design to a potential client. A presentation that includes the top three benefits &mdash; increased conversions, more ad revenue, better customer engagement &mdash; will plant a much stronger seed in your client's mind than a laundry list of advantages that begin to run together and overwhelm. The top three will likely get lost in the muddle.</p> <p>Tangential stories, long explanations, or unnecessary information all tend to water down your most convincing points. By contrast, succinct messages deliver the strongest impact.</p> <p>The <a href="">Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)</a> program encourages parents to &quot;say as little as possible&quot; when delivering a consequence for a misbehavior. &quot;Hitting is inappropriate&quot; or &quot;We don't hit&quot; both convey simple but clear messages. Lectures and long explanations not only lead to toddler tune-out, but also dilute the lesson. What works for toddlers works for everyone else, too.</p> <h2>4. Makes Your Apology Sincere</h2> <p>It happens. Whether in the heat of an argument, or through sheer carelessness, we all slip up and say or do things we later regret.</p> <p>One cardinal rule in <a href="">delivering a sincere apology</a> is to avoid use of the words &quot;if&quot; or &quot;but.&quot; It's the latter that often results when we launch into a diatribe to prove that what we said or did was justified. And it has the effect of rescinding the apology by shifting the blame to the other party, according to psychologist Joseph Burgo, Ph.D. Keep your apology clear and to the point: &quot;I'm sorry that I got so angry last night. I'll try to keep my temper under control and the next time something bothers me, communicate it in a better way.&quot; That's it. Done. No need to rehash or finger-point.</p> <h2>5. Activates Your Filter</h2> <p>Your friends' mother was just diagnosed with a serious illness. Think before you speak. Best not to tell her about your neighbor who suffered miserably before dying from this disease. A simple, &quot;I'm so sorry to hear that; I'll keep your mom in my thoughts,&quot; is probably a better route.</p> <p>Simplicity is also best when saying &quot;no.&quot; One of the shortest words in the English language, it is also the most difficult for many to utter. &quot;I'm sorry I won't be able to attend the luncheon, but hope to see you soon&quot; is perfectly okay. No need to provide details of your overflowing calendar (your business, not theirs!) or make up an elaborate excuse to soften the &quot;no.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Communicates Strength</h2> <p>Nike's &quot;Just Do It&quot; trademark slogan was coined in the 1980s, but thankfully has had more staying power than poufy hairstyles. Its intent was to encourage people of all ages and athletic ability to participate in some type of exercise. No excuses. Just do it. Your short explanations will have the same staying power.</p> <p><em>Do you use the power of brevity in your daily interactions? Please tell us about it in comments (at length, if you must).</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Why You Need to Say Less (and How to Do It)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mardee Handler</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development brevity clarity communication meaning Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1157886 at 5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are lots of websites and apps out there that will help you track your eating and log your miles. However, these programs are typically the most useful for those individuals who have a great internal drive or commitment to healthy living. Or at very least, the motivation to remember to log in and stick to the plan. What about the rest of us who need a little (or a big) push? (Related: <a href="">8 Ways to Track Your Diet and Fitness for Free</a>)</p> <p>Well, there are several unique apps out there that provide just that. You can enjoy anything from monetary compensation for a job well done to support for your favorite cause as the fruit of all your efforts. So, if your current health app isn't doing it for you, be sure to check out this list for some fresh ideas that have the power to propel your routine into another dimension.</p> <h2>1. PACT</h2> <p>With <a href="">PACT</a>, users make weekly healthy living goals and track their progress all for cash stakes. Those users who eat well and exercise frequently reap cash rewards paid by those members who don't meet their goals. Yes &mdash; you can lose money, which is certainly motivating to a penny pincher like me.</p> <p>Sign on to make veggie pacts, gym pacts, food log pacts, and more. Rewards generally range between $0.30 to $5 per week.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with exception of how much money you commit to meeting your goals.</p> <h2>2. Healthy Wage</h2> <p>If you'd like to up the stakes, try <a href="">Healthy Wage</a>. Users simply log in, get a verified weigh-in, and then wager to win big cash prizes for pounds lost in the timeframe allotted. Payouts come in the form of Amazon credit or PayPal balance. Plus, you can engage in a solo journey or sign up as a team.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with the exception of what you wager monthly.</p> <h2>3. DietBet</h2> <p>The money pot grows as more players join up with <a href="">DietBet</a>. Over $6,761,605 has been paid out since the site's inception. That's some major cash! You can start a new game of your own or join an existing challenge to start. And the site claims that over 90% of DietBetters indeed lose weight through their extra incentive &mdash; some upwards of $1,000.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free besides bets.</p> <h2>4. Nexercise</h2> <p>The folks at <a href="">Nexercise</a> believe that &quot;healthy living is a mindset that's 99% mental.&quot; I wholeheartedly agree. And what's better to entice the mind than positive reinforcement (a payout)?</p> <p>Users support one another and track activities to earn points by working out and eating well. Points can then be cashed in for credit at Amazon, CVS, and many other merchants.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <h2>5. Charity Miles</h2> <p>If you'd like to do some good with all your exercise, check out <a href="">Charity Miles</a>. Bikers earn 10 cents a mile and walkers and runners earn 25 cents a mile. Charities include Habitat for Humanity, Stand Up To Cancer, RED, Every Mother Counts, Pencils of Promise, Feeding America, Wounded Warrior Project, The Nature Conservancy, and more. Money is earned up to the group's initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated to keep up with your diet or fitness routine? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development apps diets fitness fitness trackers motivation Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1157260 at This Is Why You Settle (and How to Stop) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-why-you-settle-and-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="choosing dresses" title="choosing dresses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Brand new research suggest even <a href="">rats regret settling for second best</a>.</p> <p>And while I'd be the first to agree that perhaps those researchers have too much time on their hands, it does raise an interesting point.</p> <p>Why do we continue to settle when we know we're going to regret it later?</p> <p>After all, we're all familiar with that icky sensation we get when we resign ourselves to taking less. We know that &quot;THIS&quot; isn't what we really want &mdash; we wanted &quot;THAT&quot; &mdash; but some unseen force convinced us that settling would be the better option, and we'd be just as satisfied with Plan B.</p> <p>Except that it isn't, and we aren't.</p> <p>And truth be told, we knew it going in.</p> <h2>Fast Shoes and Cute Shoes</h2> <p>When I was in the 4th grade, I asked my mom to buy me a pair of track shoes. Field Day was coming up and I had seen how fast my friends ran with those amazing shoes on their feet. I was scheduled to run the 400-yard dash and I was determined that blue ribbon was going to be mine.</p> <p>All I needed was a pair of those shoes.</p> <p>Unfortunately, track shoes aren't the most attractive accessory and once at the shoe store, my mother found all sorts of other, &quot;prettier&quot; alternatives that she thought I should get instead. At first, I resisted, committed to holding out for the shoes I knew would make me fly across the finish line, but in the end, I relented and agreed to a pair of bright blue sneakers with a Holly Hobby pattern.</p> <p>&quot;These shoes are just as fast,&quot; my mother said with a smile, &quot;and they'll look so nice with your blue dress.&quot; In that she was right &mdash; they matched the dress perfectly &mdash; but I knew, even as we stood there in line to pay, that I had sold out.</p> <p>And after I took second place in the race, I never wore those shoes again.</p> <p>Of course, today I know that those track shoes didn't guarantee me a win. And just between us, I will also shamefully admit to having a very similar conversation with my daughter on more than one occasion and taking the viewpoint of my mother without a second thought.</p> <p>But I still wish I had bought those shoes.</p> <p>Plan B might not be all that bad. Things might actually turn out okay. And yes, there are those instances where <a href="">letting go can open up possibilities</a> you hadn't thought of before.</p> <p>But sometimes, we want what we want. Sometimes, despite all the logic that tells us to wait, resist or settle for something less, our desire simply can't be quelled. And we know &mdash; in that instinctive, pit of our stomach, no-doubt-about-it way of knowing &mdash; that we're going to regret anything less than satiating that desire.</p> <h2>Why Do We Settle?</h2> <p>Those things we desire, be it the perfect partner, the dream house in the country, the job with the corner office, or those lightning-fast track shoes, all have something very specific in common: They represent a better version of life, and when we fail to get them, we feel regret because we let ourselves down &mdash; just as we feel regret when we disappoint someone else.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we're also all wickedly addicted to what's familiar and that can make it hard to hold out for what we want. We don't like change, even if that change represents something better because it also represents the unknown. So, if it's easier to settle &mdash; if settling keeps us in our comfort zone &mdash; then settle we will.</p> <p>This hesitation is further reinforced by our deep-seated need to fit in. We're wired to be social and when our path looks like it might take us in a direction opposite the rest of the crowd, we'll adjust in order to stay with the group.</p> <p>And armed with this mentality &mdash; our need to fit in and our fear of the unknown &mdash; we ignore what we really want and talk ourselves into settling for something less, even when we know we're going to regret it later.</p> <h2>Settling on Settling</h2> <p>The thing is, the more we settle, the more accustomed we become to doing it. Like everything else in life, settling becomes a habit and before you know it, it's not just your go-to move, it's the best you think you can get.</p> <p>Now, ironically the fix for this is as simple as refusing to settle, but the more we experience <em>not </em>getting what we want, the more comfortable we are to accept less. And the more we accept less, the more we experience not getting what we want. As Maureen Dowd writes, &quot;The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.&quot;</p> <p>Ok. So let's stop settling.</p> <h2>How to Stop Settling</h2> <p>Stopping is easier than you might think.</p> <h3>1. Make Sure Your Desire Isn't Panic or Impulsivity in Disguise</h3> <p>Before you declare your allegiance to something or someone, make sure it's really something (or someone) you really can't live without.</p> <p>The best test? Wait. Impose a mandatory waiting period before making any big purchases or commitments (or even smaller ones if you find you're having second thoughts) and see if that desire is still as strong once your waiting period is over.</p> <p>That's all well and good you say, but what if there's no time to wait? What if opportunity knocks and you have to make a quick decision?</p> <h3>2. Get Clear on What You Want and Why You Want It</h3> <p>Understanding what drives you is a key component to figuring out how to get from your current state of <em>here</em> to you ideal version of <em>there</em>. It's also a useful tool when you need to make those split-second decisions and you're not sure which way to go.</p> <p>Do you take that promotion? Instead of making money the only deciding factor, make sure the new job &quot;fits&quot; with your long-term plan for happiness. Should you buy this house? It depends on whether &quot;this house&quot; and the mortgage and maintenance that comes with it, is part of what you really want.</p> <p>Remember, that settling isn't just taking less than what you really wanted in the here and now. it's also making commitments that keep you from moving forward in the future. That's why people who settle often feel trapped &mdash; they've created a life that doesn't bring them joy, but also doesn't offer easy options for escape.</p> <h3>3. Learn to Listen to Your Inner Voice</h3> <p>We all have it. That little voice in your head that says don't do it, stay away, this isn't what you wanted. But over the years, we've learned to ignore it.</p> <p>That voice can be a nag. That voice can be overly critical. That voice just doesn't let us have any fun. But that voice is actually more than just a conscience. It's also your best defense against making decisions you'll later regret. So, when you get that icky feeling or you hear those nagging whispers, pay attention.</p> <p>It knows what it's talking about.</p> <h3>4. March to Your Own Drum</h3> <p>You don't need to live the way your parents or your friends or your spouse wants you to live &mdash; they have their own lives to mess up. You have to walk your own path, follow your own dream, march to your own drummer. Sometimes, that might take you in the same direction that others are going and sometimes, it won't.</p> <p>You have to be okay with it either way.</p> <h3>5. Believe That You Are Worth the Effort</h3> <p>If you're settling because you think it's all you deserve, you're wrong. But you'll never experience &quot;more&quot; until you decide you're worth it and that's something only you can change.</p> <p>Maybe you need to talk nicer to yourself. Maybe you need a more positive circle of friends. Or maybe you just need to let go of all the internal drama and make the conscious decision to be in a happier state of mind. I know that can sometimes be easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing.</p> <h3>6. Make Conscious Choices</h3> <p>There is a difference between &quot;settling&quot; and &quot;choosing&quot; to go a different way and that's really how to ensure you never have to wrestle with that icky feeling again.</p> <p>Choosing a less expensive car for example, because it gets better mileage or because the payments are more in line with your long-term financial goals is a purchase you can feel good about, even if it isn't the flashy sports car you had your eye on.</p> <p>That's not settling. That's knowing what you want (like we mentioned earlier) and being in sync with those desires. You still may end up delaying or even foregoing something you wanted, but when you do it consciously, it's much easier to live with the decision.</p> <p><em>When was the last time you settled and regretted it later? Don't miss this opportunity to share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="This Is Why You Settle (and How to Stop)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kate Luther</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development choices goals regret settling wants and needs Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:00:08 +0000 Kate Luther 1156981 at If You're Doing This on Your First Date, You're Not Getting a Second <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-youre-doing-this-on-your-first-date-youre-not-getting-a-second" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="bad date" title="bad date" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dating has certainly changed since the world became tech-savvy. With the advent of smart phones, dating apps, and social media, making that awkward first move is not nearly as tough as it used to be. But, once you've both agreed to go on a first date, how do you make sure you get a second? (See also: <a href="">Find Love With These Fun and Frugal First Date Ideas</a>)</p> <p>The following behaviors will guarantee that your first date will almost certainly be your last. Oh, and these apply to both men and women, so don't kid yourself that some of these don't concern you.</p> <h2>Turning Up Late</h2> <p>Leave your date chewing on breadsticks for 45 minutes without so much as a call or text message, and two things will happen. First, if your date has been polite enough to stick around, you'll be sitting through the most painful hour of your year. And second, you will not be making plans to do this again. Ideally, you should show up five minutes early. If you are going to be considerably late through no fault of your own, let your date know. If it is your own fault (and really, it always is), apologize but perhaps cushion the blow with something flattering (&quot;I wanted to look really nice for you and completely lost track of time.&quot;) (See also: <a href="">How to Always Be On Time</a>)</p> <h2>Paying Too Much Attention to Your Cell Phone</h2> <p>Really, paying <em>any</em> attention to your cell phone. This is supposed to be a time when you only have eyes for each other. Constantly pulling out your phone to check messages, read Facebook updates and scroll through Reddit and Twitter will not make you very popular. Why would anyone want to give you a second date if you can't put them first for a few hours?</p> <h2>Getting Completely Drunk</h2> <p>Hey, first dates can be nerve-wracking, and a glass of wine or beer can definitely ease the tension. However, you cannot let a few drinks turn into a bender. If you start knocking back the booze like it's ice water in a heat wave, you will come across as an irresponsible jerk that cannot be trusted. You also do not look attractive when you're face down in the dessert and drooling like you've just had major dental surgery. Do yourself a favor. Have one or two drinks, and stop.</p> <h2>Turning the Date Into 20 Questions</h2> <p>First thing's first; people love talking about themselves. So, if you ask questions that get people to open up and talk about their favorite subject, you'll be doing well. Being a good listener is a very attractive quality, and asking about someone's life is just as becoming. But, you can go too far.</p> <p>If it goes from &quot;tell me more about the kind of work you do&quot; to &quot;how much do you earn?&quot; &quot;how many dates have you been on this year?&quot; and &quot;do you vote Republican or Democrat?&quot; your date is going to feel like they're being interviewed for the role of your next partner. That's a big turn off. To curb this, try to make sure the questions you're asking are open-ended, and follow on what was asked before, as opposed to running down a pre-planned checklist.</p> <h2>Talking About Sex</h2> <p>Flirting is good. Being lecherous is bad. This is a first date, and you should be on your best behavior. By all means respond to the signals you're getting in an appropriate manner, but have some decorum. By diving into the subject of sex, you're giving the impression that you're only after one thing. Even if you both decide that the first date will also be your first intimate encounter, there's no need to become aggressive with it. Show some class.</p> <h2>Being Cheap</h2> <p>Both men and women should come to the date expecting to pay for half of it. This is not the dark ages, both sexes deserve equal treatment, and no one should just sit there expecting the other person to dive into their pocket and pay for everything. If the other person wants to pay, by all means acquiesce politely to their wishes. But being cheap is as off-putting as being drunk. You should show your date consideration. Dating can be expensive, and if you are both willing to meet up, you should both be willing to share the costs.</p> <h2>Bringing Your Buddy</h2> <p>There's not really much to say about this. You may have your doubts about the person you're meeting, and you may also want your best friend to give them the once-over. However, there is a time and a place for that kind of consultation, and it is not on the first date. Bring yourself to the date, and no one else.</p> <h2>Focusing On Your Ex</h2> <p>We all have horror stories about our past. We have also had dream dates. Neither should really be discussed unless the conversation naturally turns to it. Even then, it's good to treat an ex the same way you would a former employer in a job interview. Acknowledge them, but move on quickly. If you stay focused on a bad ex, your date may just wonder if you were the problem. If you go on and on about a great ex, they may feel they can never live up to that ideal.</p> <h2>Playing It Too Cool</h2> <p>There's cool. There's aloof. And there's just plain rude. By all means, dull your enthusiasm a little. You don't want to come across as a desperate eager puppy just dying to go home with someone and be their partner forever. But then the whole &quot;I'm so cool I could freeze hell&quot; routine won't cut it either. &quot;Where would you like to go for dinner?&quot; should not be answered with &quot;hey, whatever, I don't really care.&quot; Be happy to be there, just not so happy your kittens are having kittens.</p> <h2>Being Keener Than Mustard</h2> <p>Perhaps even worse than being too cool for school is being an eager beaver. You turn up for the date with armfuls of gifts, and have pre-arranged for a string quartet to play your date's favorite song (which you found out by cyber-stalking them). It's just too creepy, and honestly, no one wants to be around someone that desperate (even if that is not your intention). Ease off on the gas. By all means show that you're happy to be around, but if you could be a contestant on The Price Is Right, you might want to think about toning down your hyperactivity.</p> <p><em>So, what first date mistakes have you made? What about mistakes your date made? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="If You&#039;re Doing This on Your First Date, You&#039;re Not Getting a Second" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family Lifestyle Personal Development Dating etiquette first dates manners romance Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1154565 at 12 Ways You're Driving Your Coworkers Insane <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-youre-driving-your-coworkers-insane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="bad worker" title="bad worker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Take a second and look around your office. Do you see people that irk you, even infuriate you? Hopefully. Because just like Paul Newman's quote about the sucker at the poker table: If you look around the office and can't tell who the annoying person is&hellip; it's you. (See also: <a href="">10 Dumb Habits That Are Keeping You From Earning More Money</a>)</p> <p>Some attitudes are clearly inconsiderate, some behaviors clearly inflammatory. But some &mdash; eating a certain sandwich, humming a certain tune &mdash; aren't as obvious, and can easily become part of a horrifyingly annoying work routine if you aren't made aware of them.</p> <p>So check out this list of behaviors guaranteed to provoke your colleagues. You're sure to recognize most of them&hellip; just hopefully not in yourself.</p> <h2>1. Whistling, Desk-Drumming, Humming, or Singing of Any Kind</h2> <p>Imagine a drum solo from Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, arguably the greatest percussionist of all time. Now imagine that solo repeated twice. Three times. All day. 9-5. For the length of a career. Now imagine that the performer is not, in fact, the world's greatest drummer, but is instead a co-worker bouncing a pen on his desk as a snare. Now agree that this is hell, and make 100% sure you are not this person.</p> <h2>2. Eating Stinky Lunch in the Workroom</h2> <p>That carnitas burrito may smell great to the person about to eat it at his desk, but to everyone else, it's torture. Distracting, hunger pain-inducing torture. If you insist on eating a hot lunch that's even mildly pungent, better to do so in the break room, or better yet, outside the office.</p> <h2>3. Being a Sick Day Hero</h2> <p>Sniffling, sneezing, and feverishly sweating at your desk aren't signs of workplace devotion to your coworkers, who are the ones standing to be hurt if they catch whatever you've brought in.</p> <h2>4. Taking Undue Credit (Even, Occasionally, Taking Due Credit)</h2> <p>Beyond being wrong, taking credit for someone else's work isn't even a good strategy to get ahead. Any favor you gain from others will eventually be eroded by the ire you've raised from whoever's idea you claimed. Less obviously, insisting on credit for your own ideas can also be irritating to coworkers. What's important is the value of the idea, not its source, and any focus on where it came from means you're thinking politics, not results.</p> <h2>5. Long or Loud Phone Calls</h2> <p>If you've got an open office plan, you know the torture of hearing a co-worker drone on to their wife, husband, mom, friend. And frankly, it's not just personal calls that can irritate: Even business-related calls can be inappropriately distracting if they last too long. If the call's necessary, make sure you're speaking quietly into the receiver (the person on the other end will get it &mdash; you're at work), and stepping out for calls that you know in advance will go long. Popping into a vacant meeting room is often a good solution.</p> <h2>6. Bathroom Phone Calls</h2> <p>You know how some calls in the office just have to be taken? Well no calls in the bathroom have to be taken. It can make others uncomfortable and create backup for people waiting to get in. Not to mention the gross out factor should the person on the other line hear a flush (&hellip;or worse).</p> <h2>7. Criticizing Without Contributing</h2> <p>Any organization can benefit from critical thinking, and there's value in questioning whether certain ideas will work. But frankly, poking holes in others' plans is easy. What's hard is coming up with a better idea, and you'd do well to be armed with one before naysaying someone else's proposal. And when you do have to squash someone else's idea, try to do so as diplomatically (and privately) as possible.</p> <h2>8. Dismissive Email Etiquette</h2> <p>There are any number of things that can be horribly misinterpreted in emails (yes, even ones with emoticons). But a frequent source of scorn with inter-office emails are phrases &mdash; shorthand, even &mdash; that seem dismissive. What can feel like an innocent, efficient way to save time to the sender can be a virtual slap in the face to the receiver, especially if you haven't yet developed an email rapport. That means play it safe: no sarcasm, nothing that could be wrongly interpreted, at least until you're comfortable with each other's inboxes.</p> <h2>9. Being a Slob</h2> <p>As long as you're within the dress code, being casual is fine. But mustard stains, and worse, their accompanying smells, are not casual. They're slovenly. Even if it seems uptight to you, some people just have difficulty focusing in an environment that's disorganized and messy, and that extends to you and your desk. Think of it like your neighbors complaining about the house with the jungle-like front yard and ancient paint job. It may be your environment, but everybody else has to look at it.</p> <h2>10. You're Late to Meetings</h2> <p>Being late is never ok, but it's at least somewhat understandable when driving is involved, which at least allows for the possibility of unforeseeable traffic (though really, you were probably just late). It's very hard to claim traffic problems on the route from your desk to meeting room #1, though. Here's a simple calculation to help understand how annoying chronic meeting lateness: multiple the minutes you are late by the people in the meeting, and the aggregate is what we'll call your Inconsiderate Quotient.</p> <h2>11. Asking Long Questions As Meetings Are Adjourning</h2> <p>Remember how much everyone hated that kid in school that reminded the teacher about homework when class was being dismissed? Same sentiment. Some sort of wrap-up period at the end of meetings is normal, and often vital to making sure the ideas discussed become actionable projects. But once the meeting is actually adjourned&hellip; let it go! If there's something pressing that you forgot to say or ask, email that specific person privately &mdash; there's no need to keep everyone else after hours.</p> <h2>12. Condescension</h2> <p>Possibly the one thing worse than taking a phone call in the bathroom.</p> <p><em>What other office behaviors that drive you absolutely crazy? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ways You&#039;re Driving Your Coworkers Insane" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income Personal Development etiquette manners office manners work habits Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Joe Epstein 1154568 at 12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-people-with-good-communication-skills-never-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessmen talking" title="businessmen talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What you say is important, but so is how you say it.</p> <p>Whether you're a waiter or a CEO, an introvert or the life of the party, everyone can benefit from communicating more clearly and confidently. In fact, of all the life skills you can hone, few are more helpful and more universally applicable than good communication skills.</p> <p>And while great communication skills will often be noticed and appreciated, bad communication skills <em>always</em> will. Much of good communication, thus, is knowing what <em>not</em> to do.</p> <p>So take a look at this list of things people with good communication skills never do.</p> <h2>1. Never Look Down While Speaking</h2> <p>While the debate about whether <a href="">looking down indicates lying</a> rages on, the action clearly doesn't convey anything positive &mdash; insecurity at best. Make a conscious effort to keep your eyes up during conversation, even if you find yourself lost in thought (actually, <em>especially</em> if you find yourself lost in thought).</p> <h2>2. Never Think of Your Response While &quot;Listening&quot; to Someone Else</h2> <p>Forming your response while someone else is still speaking has one obvious inherent flaw: The other person is still speaking! That means <em>their</em> point is still evolving, which may (really, should) affect your response. So whatever it is that something they said triggered, make a note of it quickly, and then turn your attention back to the person speaking.</p> <h2>3. Never Run Out of Things to Say</h2> <p>The best way to do this doesn't involve a shortcut&hellip; It involves living an interesting life. Traveling, reading, learning about other cultures and viewpoints&hellip; All these things have the side benefit of supplying endless conversation fodder. And if all else fails and you can't think of anything to share, always be ready with a follow up question about what the <em>other</em> person is sharing.</p> <h2>4. Never Interrogate</h2> <p>If you notice that your conversation is starting to take on a certain detective/suspect dynamic, you may be asking the wrong questions. Remember to ask questions that are open ended (as opposed to yes/no), and get at &quot;why&quot; rather than &quot;what.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Never Over-Nod</h2> <p>Are you one of those people who nods after every clause the other person says? Are you doing it right now? Did you know Santa Claus was a Martian? Gotcha! The over-nodder is making an attempt to show that he's listening, but may in fact be implicitly agreeing with things he shouldn't be.</p> <h2>6. Never Lose Their Place Mid-Story</h2> <p>&quot;Wait &mdash; where was I?&quot; You were losing the respect of the person listening to your story, that's where! Don't start a story or point if</p> <ol> <li>You don't recall the ending, and/or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's not interesting enough to at least keep yourself from getting side-tracked while telling it.</li> </ol> <h2>7. Never Tell a Story When a Visual Aid Could Tell It Better</h2> <p>However pleasant a good communicator may be to listen to, she should never to fall in love with the sound of her own voice. This is especially true when presenting a business pitch or discussing a work of art: show, don't tell.</p> <h2>8. Never Sacrifice a Specific Word for a More General One</h2> <p>Good communication is about clarity, and word choice is a big part of that. Be precise with your language.</p> <h2>9. Never Exclude Someone Already in the Conversation</h2> <p>A good communicator is a juggler, able to simultaneously keep several conversational partners engaged, never forgetting to share around the eye contact, never getting so fixated on one person as to forget about the others.</p> <h2>10. Never Ignore Non-Verbal Signals</h2> <p>Just as you need to be mindful of your own body language, ignore others' at your peril. An understanding of your own non-verbal cues can also inform how you perceptive you are of others. Is the person you're speaking with looking down or away? Perhaps you ignored one of the above tips to the point of boredom&hellip;</p> <h2>11. Never Let Their Conversation Partner Flounder</h2> <p>The most expert of communicators not only master the skills that apply to their own speech, but they're skilled enough to bail out someone who hasn't.</p> <h2>12. Never Ignore Context</h2> <p>During a negotiation, it may make complete sense to let your opponent see you looking away, disinterested (even if it's only feigned). Or perhaps you're attempting to avoid discussing a touchy subject with a friend, in which case substituting a more general word for a specific one may save everyone embarrassment and discomfort.</p> <p>Above all else, a good communicator knows that his message and delivery aren't judged on some arbitrary scale (like, &quot;Did they avoid everything on this list?&quot;), but rather by the information and impression they convey to whoever it is they're speaking with. To that end... know when to break the rules!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Things People With Good Communication Skills Never Do" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development communication skills etiquette Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Joe Epstein 1145790 at 8 Common Pieces of Emotional Baggage (and How to Ditch Them) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-common-pieces-of-emotional-baggage-and-how-to-ditch-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="sad businessman" title="sad businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="154" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate the weight of unnecessary stuff. That's why I fly with just a carry-on and never take a purse or jacket into concerts. But excess baggage isn't only physical. As we travel through life, we collect emotional baggage as well. And just like lugging a roller bag that's missing one wheel through the airport, emotional baggage can really slow us down. How many of these useless emotions are you hanging on to? Find out how to leave them behind for a lighter journey. (See also: <a href="">6 Ways to Manage Powerful Emotions</a>)</p> <h2>1. Guilt</h2> <p>Everyone experiences <a href="">guilt</a>. Everyone. To err is human, and humans tend to err a lot. Feeling guilt when you've wronged someone, broken a rule, or acted inappropriately is natural. Carrying that guilt around for weeks, months, or years isn't. We hang onto our guilt because we want to punish ourselves, but that's never a strategy for making it right.</p> <h3>Ditch Guilt</h3> <p>Stop the retroactive self-judgement, and stop playing the &quot;what if&quot; and &quot;should have&quot; games. Practice positive affirmation by stating (out loud) good things you have done, personality traits you're proud of, and blessings you're grateful for. Forgive yourself, and if possible, seek forgiveness from those you've wronged.</p> <h2>2. Regret</h2> <p>It's so easy to get stuck in a rut of regret, imagining what life would be like if you did everything &quot;right.&quot; The fact of the matter is, we can't predict the future, and we shouldn't punish ourselves for the past. A <a href="">recent study</a> in Germany found that participants who were able to let go of regret were more cheerful and reported higher levels of happiness later in life.</p> <h3>Ditch Regret</h3> <p>Stop treating yourself like the victim. We all make choices. Some are good, and some are bad. That's just life. Remind yourself of decisions you're proud of, like having kids, donating to charity, or saying no to that slice of cake. Look for the lesson. If you learn something from a mistake, there is no reason to regret it. (See also: <a href="">21 Decisions You'll Never Regret Making</a>)</p> <h3>3. Shame</h3> <p>If you've ever been taken advantage of or forced to live a lie, you may feel intense shame. &quot;There are many circumstances where we have our truth kept locked in, and unintentionally we <a href="">create shame</a> around our truths. If you feel unable to speak your truth, then you feel shame. It's nature's law.&quot;</p> <h3>Ditch Shame</h3> <p>The way to break this cycle of negative emotion is to stop internalizing it. If you can, tell someone you trust about the shame, and the events that sparked it. If you're not ready to speak the words aloud, write them in a journal. Also realize that you have the right to experience the other emotions &mdash; anger or sadness &mdash; that come along with shame. Allowing yourself to acknowledge what happened, and your own innocence, is the first step.</p> <h2>4. Your Inner Critic</h2> <p>We tend to judge ourselves quite harshly. We take a far more critical view of our bodies, careers, and decisions than the rest of the world does, although we imagine it's just the opposite. That little voice inside can be our friend, but when the voice is too loud and too critical, it's a foe. Excessive self-criticism tends to backfire, because it leads us to focus on our so-called failures instead of the &quot;small ways that we could have improved,&quot; psychologist Tamar E. Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety, told</p> <h3>Ditch Your Inner Critic</h3> <p>Realize that <a href="">no one cares about you</a> &mdash; and that's a good thing. Visualize a drawer in your head. Label it &quot;expectations&quot; or &quot;critiques.&quot; Whenever you start judging yourself for how things <em>should be</em> or <em>should have been</em>, mentally place the thoughts in this box. They're no good to you anyway. Silence the voice by reminding yourself of small achievements, and stating your goals out loud.</p> <h2>5. Anger</h2> <p>When someone wrongs us, or we observe injustice, anger is the natural reaction. Hanging on to this anger is unnatural, and over time can cause <a href="">depression</a>, <a href="">eating disorders</a>, <a href="">heart disease</a>, and prevent <a href="">recovery from addiction</a>. Understanding the cause and channeling the anger into something positive are the best ways to avoid this fate.</p> <h3>Ditch Anger</h3> <p>First, allow yourself to feel it fully without shame. Allow yourself to rant or cry or journal about it, but only for a set amount of time. When the time's up, remind yourself that the only person affected by your anger is you: Simply having the anger doesn't hurt the person who caused it in any way. If you can do so calmly, explain your anger to the person who sparked it. If they ask for forgiveness, give it. If they don't, realize it's now their problem and not yours. It can also be helpful to take responsibility for your role in the situation. Instead of blaming others, ask yourself &quot;What could I have done better?&quot; You might be surprised how empowered you feel.</p> <h2>6. Past Relationships</h2> <p>Romantic or not, we've all been involved in a toxic relationship. The time we spent with these people impacts us deeply. Maybe it was abusive. Maybe it was unrequited love. Maybe we were abandoned or cheated on. Allowing these past relationships to affect our current lives is a recipe for disaster. (See also: <a href="">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make Relationships Work</a>)</p> <h3>Ditch Past Relationships</h3> <p>Write a letter to the person. Say all the things you wish you'd said when they were around. Send it if you feel like it. Put it in a drawer if you don't. Try to find the lesson in the experience. If you learned something, it was not pointless. &quot;Although you might like to avoid the inner work necessary to achieve a healthier relationship, you have to appreciate that with insight you grow to make fewer mistakes,&quot; explains soulmate expert <a href="">Ariadne Green</a>.</p> <h2>7. Stress and Worry</h2> <p>Between work, family, and friends, there is no shortage of stress in our lives. We've conditioned ourselves to believe that stress equals <a href="">productivity</a>, but carrying around too much of it is really a shortcut to total burnout.</p> <h3>Ditch Stress</h3> <p>Remind yourself that stress achieves nothing. It doesn't get you closer to your goal, or prevent bad things from happening. Use a deep breathing technique, like <a href="">ujayii</a>, to soothe yourself and seep into the present moment. &quot;<a href="">Imagine your life</a> 10 years from now. Then look 20 years into the future, and then 30. Realize that many of the things you're worrying about don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Fear</h2> <p>We're not just talking about a fear of spiders or tornados. We're talking about that paralyzing fear that grips us when contemplating the unknown, potential failure, or people and situations that intimidate us. When allowed to fester, this fear will trap you inside your own head, and prevent you from enjoying life and loved ones.</p> <h3>Ditch Fear</h3> <p>It's counterintuitive (and uncomfortable) but the best way to achieve freedom from fear is to face the things that make you feel it. &quot;Exposure is hands down the most <a href="">successful way to deal with phobias</a>, anxiety disorders, and everyday fears of any sort,&quot; Stanford neuroscientist Philippe Goldin told Lifehacker. Don't be afraid to start small, slowly ratcheting up exposure until you're doing what you previously thought was impossible.</p> <p><em>Have you dropped some emotional baggage? What was it, and how did you ditch it?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Common Pieces of Emotional Baggage (and How to Ditch Them)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Beth Buczynski</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development emotions escaping emotions stress worry Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Beth Buczynski 1151881 at 9 Ways to Invest in Yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-invest-in-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman flexing" title="woman flexing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You are your own greatest asset.</p> <p>Think about it. Who you are, how you feel about yourself, how you present yourself, what you know, your overall physical and mental health&hellip; it all contributes to how you perform at work, at home, and in the things you do for fun.</p> <p>Of course, you're also a lot more than an asset &mdash; a machine that either performs its function well or does not. You are also a person, someone who feels better, lives better, and loves better from a place of all-over health. You are worth investment simply because you are alive. (See also: <a href="">52 Great Weekend Projects to Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <p>In fact, you are worth investing in no matter which of these views of the self resonates more deeply with you. It is always worth putting a bit more time and energy into yourself, whether it is so you can improve your performance, or so you can just live from a healthy, whole, centered place.</p> <h2>1. Meditate on Your Needs and Desires</h2> <p>Before you start finding ways to invest in yourself, it's worth taking the time to sit down and decide what you need and what way to invest in yourself is best for you. Your needs will be different from those of the people around you, and that's as it should be. (See also: <a href="">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a>)</p> <p>Sometimes, you will instinctively know what you need. Other times, you may need to spend some time journaling or talking with someone close to you to figure out where to start.</p> <h2>2. Heal From Your Hurts</h2> <p>One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to take some time to heal from the things that have hurt you. There are <a href="">so many things to grieve in life</a>; job loss, lost relationships, and the death of those close to you are only a few of the more common experiences that can cause grief. Because <a href="">our culture doesn't grieve well</a>, sometimes we can't get beyond those things that have hurt us.</p> <p>Being intentional about grieving well can take many forms. Maybe you just need time, or maybe you need a couple of hours with a cup of tea and a journal. If that doesn't help you, consider talking to a professional. This can be a long process, but you will only be able to live fully if you can move past your losses.</p> <h2>3. Create in a New Way</h2> <p>Most of us have some creative outlet, whether it is obvious, like painting or writing poetry, or less obvious, like computer programming or solving old problems in new ways. Sometimes, when we get used to functioning creatively in a certain way, we find that our creativity actually stagnates, or that we burn out.</p> <p>Instead of trying the same old things creatively, <a href="">try something new</a>. If you usually write, draw a picture or listen to music instead. Focus on those things you've always wanted to do, or on things that are less usual outlets for creative thought.</p> <p>For example, you could consider:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Woodworking</a></li> <li>Pottery</li> <li>Calligraphy</li> <li>Cooking classes</li> </ul> <h2>4. Learn to Network</h2> <p>For some people, meeting others comes as naturally as eating. For others, it's a difficult process. Most people think of networking as something that specifically takes place in a work capacity, but the truth is that learning how to meet other people can help you in all areas of your life. Knowing people can help you learn new things, get help when you need it, and learn about the opportunities around you.</p> <p><a href="">Beginning to network</a> can be as easy as inviting some friends over. Have them each bring a couple of friends, provide some low-key edibles, and there you have it!</p> <h2>5. Move Your Body</h2> <p>We hear so much about exercise that it's easy to tune it out. Sure it's good for you, but who has time for that? However, taking time to exercise doesn't only help you get more physically fit, but it also helps you <a href="">get some white space</a> in your day. Even if you blast your music, you generally can't multi-task while you're working out, so your brain gets a break.</p> <p>&quot;Exercise&quot; can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You can walk, jog, run, lift weights, Jazzercise, CrossFit, jump rope, kick box, Zumba, use cardio machines, and so much more. (See also: <a href="">50 Ways to Make Exercise More Fun</a>)</p> <h2>6. Save Money</h2> <p>Before you splurge on those shoes or a computer game, <a href="">put money in your savings account</a>. When you pay yourself first, you say to yourself that you are important and that you are more than the things you let yourself buy.</p> <p>If you aren't good at saving, set up a separate savings account for this money. Put in a certain amount after each paycheck, and leave it there. You will probably be surprised at how much you have after several months or a year. This can be your travel fund, your new car fund, or your to-be-determined fund. (See also: <a href="">12 Ways to Make Yourself Save More</a>)</p> <h2>7. Spend Time Where It Matters</h2> <p>Figure out what the things are in your life &mdash; or your work &mdash; that are most important, and <a href="">make sure they get your best time</a>. If there are tasks that you can delegate, do it. If you feel like you need to delegate something but you don't know what, take some time to determine which parts of your day feel the most fulfilling. Then figure out if someone else can take on some of the rest.</p> <p>There are seasons in life where delegation is hard, not because you don't want to do it, but because it isn't a good option, for whatever reason. In these cases, try to do as many of the important and rewarding tasks first, and then do the essential &quot;other&quot; tasks as your energy allows.</p> <h2>8. Educate Yourself</h2> <p>Education is an obvious but important investment that you can make in yourself. Most people equate education with school, but the truth is that there are a million ways to learn. Sure, you could go back to school, but you could also work alongside someone doing what you want to do, or invest in (and read!) books that focus on topics you want to know more about.</p> <p>Even if you don't have a lot of time or money, you can learn more. Talk to the people around you and find out what they know and if they'd be willing to teach you. Or run a Google search on an interesting subject and read the top five articles.</p> <h2>9. Sleep More, Sleep Better</h2> <p><a href="">We're sleeping less</a> than ever before. We are busy and our phones/tablets/computers/email keep us going constantly. And sometimes, even when we try to sleep, we can't because of stress or worries that keep us awake. If you really want to be at your best, though, you need to get enough sleep.</p> <p>Is sleep a struggle for you? Be sure to give yourself some non-screen time before you go to bed. You can also try focusing on your breathing until you drift off to dreamland. Find what works for you and do it. Sleeping feels like doing nothing, but it is one of the most rejuvenating things you can do for your waking hours.</p> <p><em>How do you take care of yourself? What works for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways to Invest in Yourself" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development dreams goals self improvement Fri, 27 Jun 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1149837 at The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man yelling" title="man yelling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that there tend to be optimal times during the day for everything from scheduling a doctor's appointment to taking a nap to making the most of a workout to having a productive meeting at work. There are plenty of guides out there telling you when you should do these things to get the ideal result. (See also: <a href="">The Best Time of Day to Do Everything</a>)</p> <p>However, these guides ignore the other side of the time puzzle: when is the <em>worst</em> time of day to do various activities? Because missing out on an optimal time for an activity is certainly less than ideal, but actually choosing the worst possible time could be frustrating, inefficient, and counterproductive.</p> <p>So here is a primer on how <em>not</em> to schedule your day if you want to avoid aggravation, wasted time, and even death:</p> <h2>7:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Have an Argument</h2> <p>Early in the morning is a time of hope and promise for a great new day. It might seem like a good time to bring up your engagement to Spike to your disapproving dad.</p> <p>Unfortunately, early morning is the worst time of day to have a stressful conversation or argument. That's because a <a href="">cardiac arrest is more likely to occur early in the day</a> (between 6 a.m. and noon) according to researchers. So if you have some shocking news to share with an elderly relative, wait until the afternoon to reveal it. Grandpa will thank you.</p> <h2>9:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Schedule a Meeting</h2> <p>You might think first thing in the morning is the best time to get all of your co-workers together to go over your TPS reports. But as it turns out, 9:00 a.m. is just about the worst time of day to schedule a meeting &mdash; despite often being touted as the best block of time for <a href="">memory retention</a> and <a href="">creative thinking</a>. Keith Harris, chief technology officer of the scheduling app <a href=""></a>, examined 2 million responses to 530,000 scheduled events and found that the first part of the workday is <a href="">when you'll have the most no-shows at your meeting</a>.</p> <p>Instead, if you need all hands on deck for your meeting, plan it for around 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., when your workforce is most flexible.</p> <h2>11:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Go to the Doctor</h2> <p>You schedule your appointment at 11:00 a.m., thinking that you'll be able to see your doc and maybe have a little time left over for lunch before you have to get back to the office. Instead, you cool your heels in reception for 40 minutes just waiting to be taken back to the exam room &mdash; where you wait another 10 minutes for your doctor to see you.</p> <p>Just like the rest of us, doctors tend to get behind in their work, and the <a href="">appointments just before their lunch</a> (and before the end of the work day) are going to be when they are the most behind. Doctors often get caught up over the lunch hour (no new patients to see during that time), but those poor individuals watching their 11:00 a.m. appointment time come and go are going to be the ones bearing the brunt of the doctor's lateness.</p> <p>Instead, either take the earliest appointment in the day, or the first appointment after the lunch hour.</p> <h2>12:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Work Out During Your Lunch Hour</h2> <p>Trying to find the time to fit exercise into your life can be difficult. You might be tempted to skip your lunch and go for a short but intense workout in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, you won't necessarily be doing yourself any big favors by working out then.</p> <p>According to researchers at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, our <a href="">lungs lose power in the middle of the day</a>. Just like the rest of our bodies, our lungs follow a circadian rhythm. Lung performance is at its lowest early in the morning and in the middle of the day. It's at its highest between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. And noon exercisers experience as much as 15% to 20% of performance lost &mdash; although anyone with healthy, strong lungs will not necessarily find such a difference noticeable.</p> <p>If the only way you can fit exercise in your life is to work out during your lunch hour, then you're definitely better off for it. However, if you are working toward a race or otherwise attempting to improve your performance, wait to work out until late afternoon, when your lung function will work for you instead of against you. (See also: <a href="">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a>)</p> <h2>1:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Try to Learn Something New</h2> <p>You probably remember the difficulty you had staying awake in Mr. Medvetz's 1:00 Trigonometry class in high school? How about finding him as interesting as Ben Stein (&quot;Anyone? Anyone?&quot;) in <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BNX4MC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6KVJLPZQI7CN7NTP">Ferris Bueller's Day Off</a>.</p> <p>As it turns out, you may have misjudged your old teacher, since taking that class after lunch meant you were fighting your body's natural circadian rhythm.</p> <p>In the early afternoon, our bodies experience a dip in body temperature, similar to the temperature decrease we feel just before going to bed at night. That lowered temperature in the early afternoon can make you want to pull a George Costanza and take a nap under your desk.</p> <p>But even if you fight through the sleepiness, you will find that trying to learn something new while you are drowsy will <a href="">impair your ability to recall the information</a> that you learn. Rather than force yourself to take in new information while fighting your urge for a siesta, go ahead and close your eyes for about 15 to 20 minutes &mdash; and no more than 30 total, or you'll feel groggier than you did when you started. The quick nap can help improve your cognitive performance.</p> <h2>4:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Hit Your Local Starbucks</h2> <p>By 4:00 in the afternoon, your morning coffee and lunchtime Diet Coke have both worn off, and you might feel the need to run to your favorite coffee shop for some hot, sweet caffeine. While you'd never drink coffee with dinner &mdash; or even after 5:00 &mdash; you know that you've got more than enough time before bed to let this late afternoon pick-me-up get out of your system.</p> <p>As a matter of fact, you don't. According to new research, caffeine taken as many six hours before bed can not only make it difficult for you to fall asleep at bedtime, but it can also <a href="">reduce the duration of your night's sleep</a> by more than one hour.</p> <p>If you must re-caffeinate in the afternoon, try to cut yourself off from the coffee by 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. at the latest. Alternatively, taking a brisk walk outside for about 10 minutes can give a more natural jolt of energy (and endorphins) that will help you focus for the end of your workday.</p> <h2>Don't Fight Nature</h2> <p>Circadian rhythms and the human tendency to misuse time are both things that you can plan around to avoid wasting time each day. As you get the most out of each conversation, meeting, appointment, workout, and cup of coffee, you'll be glad you paid attention to human nature.</p> <p><em>When is the worst time for you to do&hellip; anything? Now's a good time to share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Personal Development circadian rhythm productivity sleep time Fri, 27 Jun 2014 09:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1149833 at 3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-get-a-legit-business-education-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="businessman computer" title="businessman computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business majors are in demand. A recent survey by Millennial Branding and found that <a href="">18% of companies are interested in hiring business majors</a> &mdash; second only to the 27% of companies looking to hire engineering and computer majors.</p> <p>There's a need for people with business degrees, or at least business skills. And the Internet offers a dizzying number of flexible, low-cost options for learning the ways of business. (See also: <a href="">8 Cheap Ways to Continue Your Education Without Going Back to School</a>)</p> <p>Here are three approaches to getting a quality business education online.</p> <h2>1. Earn a Degree</h2> <p>A growing number of schools that offer traditional undergrad and graduate degrees in business now offer completely or mostly online options for obtaining a degree. Such programs typically have admissions requirements that are just as rigorous as their on-campus degree programs, although some offer open admissions, meaning all you need is a high school degree or a GED. Participating in a degree program is, by far, the most expensive route toward an online business education. Still, if it's an actual degree you're after, online programs are less expensive than on-campus programs.</p> <p>To help sort through the various online degree offerings, a few organizations list, rank, or help you search for programs that meet your needs or interests:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">U.S. News &amp; World Report</a> ranks online programs in general (not by program) and graduate business programs, using criteria such as faculty credentials, student services, and student engagement (opportunities for interaction with other students and teachers).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href=""></a> offers various online program rankings, from the 20 Best Online <a href="">Bachelor's in Business Management Degree</a> Programs to the 20 Best Online <a href="">Bachelor's in Marketing Degree</a> Programs. Its criteria includes academic excellence, return on investment, and &quot;incidental benefit&quot; (student satisfaction, graduation rates, campus safety, and more).</li> </ul> <p>Of course, if there's a particular school you're interested in, just search on the name of the school and &quot;online business degree&quot; to find out if it offers such a program.</p> <p>At the early stages, though, the below examples ought to give you a sense of how some school's online programs match up to there on-campus counterparts.</p> <h3>Penn State</h3> <p>Penn State offers numerous online undergrad and graduate business degrees through its <a href="">World Campus</a>. Tuition costs $518 to $559 per credit &mdash; almost 25% less than the in-state on-campus tuition. Compared to the out-of-state tuition, the online costs are less than half the price.</p> <h3>Indiana University</h3> <p>Indiana University's well-regarded <a href="">Kelley School of Business</a>, likewise, offers an online MBA (students need to spend one week on campus in Bloomington, IN for an &quot;intense introduction to the program&quot;). Tuition costs $1,175 per credit hour. With 51 credit hours required, that comes to nearly $60,000 plus about $100 per course for books and other course materials. By contrast, the school's on-campus two-year MBA program costs $104,000 for in-state students and $143,000 for out-of-state students, including tuition, fees, and room and board.</p> <h3>Northwestern University</h3> <p>At Northwestern University, you can't get an online MBA, but you can get an online Master's Degree in <a href="">Integrated Marketing Communications</a>. It costs $3,744 per class (13 classes required), $115 technology fee per class, and a $500 deposit for a total of a bit over $50,000. By comparison, the five-term, full-time on-campus Integrated Marketing Communications program costs over $130,000, including tuition, room and board, health insurance, books, and everything else.</p> <h3>University of Phoenix</h3> <p>And finally, a lower cost option is to obtain a degree from the <a href="">University of Phoenix</a>, which has been providing online learning for 20 years and is the nation's largest for-profit college. Beware, though, according to <a href="">an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education</a>, this school came under fire last year over questions about retention and graduation rates, some of its educational processes, and other issues. Ultimately, it was re-accredited, but told that it needs to make certain improvements.</p> <h2>2. Earn a Credential</h2> <p>If you don't need a full-fledged degree, but still want some type of credential to show for your efforts, there are several options.</p> <h3>Harvard CORe</h3> <p>Harvard just introduced a $1,500 online <a href="">HBX CORe program</a> (Credential of Readiness) consisting of three business courses: business analytics, economics for managers, and financial accounting. It's designed for undergrad students who want some business knowledge, non-business grad students, and those early in their careers. Right now, the program is limited to students who live in Massachusetts, but eventually the school plans to introduce additional business classes and make them available to students worldwide.</p> <h3>Extension Programs</h3> <p>Many schools offer certificate programs through their extension or continuing education programs. For example, <a href="">UCLA</a> offers numerous online business certificate programs, such as a Business Administration Certificate With Concentration in Finance for a total of just under $11,000.</p> <h3>MOOCs</h3> <p>Online platforms such as <a href="">Coursera</a>, <a href="">NovoEd</a>, <a href="">edX</a>, the Open University on <a href="">iTunes U</a>, and <a href="">Udacity</a> offer a huge number business classes, some of which offer the option to obtain a certificate for an additional fee.</p> <p>The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania now makes its first-year MBA classes, such as <a href="">An Introduction to Financial Accounting</a>, available for free through Coursera, including a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor and issued by Coursera.</p> <p>Coursera and other online platforms also offer higher-level certificates that are issued by the platform and the partner university. For example, you can take a class from Vanderbilt through Coursera called <a href="">Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations</a>. The course may be taken for free. Or, if you want a Verified Certificate, that costs $49. While such certificates don't represent college credit, they may provide stronger proof that you successfully completed the course, a bit more prestige, and perhaps more help in obtaining tuition reimbursement from an employer.</p> <h2>3. Gain Some Knowledge</h2> <p>MIT's <a href="">OpenCourseWare</a> site offers MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) content from over 2,000 of the school's courses, including many undergrad and graduate classes from the Sloan School of Management. While you can't get a degree from completing the courses, they are all free. You can download lecture notes, assignments, exams, and in some cases, video lectures.</p> <p>Many other universities, such as <a href="">Stanford</a>, make many of their courses available in similar fashion.</p> <p>One of the more innovative uses of these free online courses can be seen in the experience of Laurie Pickard. From her home in Rwanda, where she works for the United States Agency for International Development, she's working through a handpicked assortment of free online grad school classes from some of the world's best business schools. While she won't receive an official MBA, she'll have what she considers to be the equivalent. She's chronicling her experience at an appropriately named <a href="">No Pay MBA</a> blog.</p> <p>You'll find countless free online non-credit classes on the platforms mentioned earlier: Coursera, NovoEd, edX, iTunes U, Udacity, and others.</p> <h2>No Shortage of Online Learning Options</h2> <p>Online education is a fast-growing space, with a lot of experimentation going on among schools and platforms. Many questions are emerging along with that growth, such as how much value employers will place on an online degree versus a traditional degree, and how resume-worthy are non-credit or certificate classes. But for students looking for flexible, low-cost learning opportunities, there have never been so many options to choose from.</p> <p><em>Have you taken an online university class? What's been your experience?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Ways to Get a Legit Business Education Online" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Matt Bell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Education & Training Personal Development business education education MBA online classes online college Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Matt Bell 1149172 at Don't Ruin the Party: 11 Things Guests With Good Social Skills Never Do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-ruin-the-party-11-things-guests-with-good-social-skills-never-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="dinner party" title="dinner party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most parties don't require you to sign a contract at the front door.</p> <p>But all the same: by showing up, you've committed to a contract, albeit a non-verbal one. Your hosts agree to do everything reasonable to ensure your good time, and, basically, you agree to do everything reasonable to not make it blow up in their faces. (See also: <a href="">18 Things People With Good Social Skills Never Do</a>)</p> <p>So take a look at this list and make sure you're not unintentionally committing any party fouls. Your hosts (and your social calendar) will thank you for it.</p> <h2>1. Never Be Unnecessarily Non-Committal About an RSVP</h2> <p>Sad but true: You can screw things up before the party even begins! Specifically, by telling your host &quot;no thanks&quot; and then showing up, telling your host &quot;yes please!&quot; and then skipping, telling your host &quot;maybe&quot; for no good reason, and/or holding off on saying anything at all (whether to see who else RSVPs or some other reason). Simply put: Your host is sending you an invite because they want you there, but also because they <em>need</em> to know how many people are coming. If you have a potential conflict and really aren't sure, or something comes up last minute, fine. Otherwise, treat your RSVP like you would a professional interaction: be prompt and accurate.</p> <h2>2. Never Demand Special Food, Drink, or Treatment</h2> <p>Some hosts will ask if you have special dietary needs or desires. And that is wonderful. But if they don't, the burden is on you to eat what you can on the night of the party, not on them to provide you with your favorite finger-food. Asking before the party can cause stress, and asking during the party isn't going to accomplish anything. Remember, your job as a guest is to be low maintenance!</p> <h2>3. Never Show Up Empty-Handed</h2> <p>You aren't in college anymore. (&hellip;and if you are, try bringing a gift to the party for once &mdash; everyone will be amazed and impressed!). Bring a gift, and make sure it's not one that you intend consume wholly by yourself. (In other words, <em>don't</em> bring your favorite bottle of wine, then hoard it in the corner).</p> <h2>4. Never Fail to Greet and Thank the Host</h2> <p>They're not always going to be able to greet you out the door, so seek them out! Interrupting them briefly to say &quot;hi&quot; is fine &mdash; they'll appreciate you letting them know you're there.</p> <h2>5. Never Monopolize the Host's Time</h2> <p>Yes, interrupting to say hi is fine, but interrupting repeatedly to update your host on your life, your kid's life, your cat's life&hellip; not so much. Respect that your host is &quot;on duty&quot; and has to spread their attention around. If you don't think you're getting enough one-on-one time, well&hellip; Schedule some one-on-one time! This is party time.</p> <h2>6. Never Wander Off-Limits</h2> <p>However fascinating it may be to explore roped-off rooms, wings, and secret lairs, these places are off-limits for a reason. And no, you don't need to know that reason, beyond &quot;because that's what your hosts have asked of you.&quot; As for <em>what's</em> in-bounds, here's a rule of thumb: If you find yourself alone and you're looking at things other than your own phone (i.e. photos on the wall), you're probably not where you should be.</p> <h2>7. Never Fight With Another Guest</h2> <p>Unless you're a Real Housewife, part of your social contract involves keeping the peace. All but the most dire offenses should be ignored, and all but the most awful people should be given the benefit of the doubt. Arguing at the party isn't standing up for yourself, it's insulting the host by disrespecting the work they've put into ensuring a good time.</p> <h2>8. Never Complain About the Food</h2> <p>Unless you brought it, you're going to offend the host or whoever was on snack duty. Even if you're good friends with the host, there's no reason to make them ill at ease about their catering &mdash; if you don't like it, don't eat it!</p> <h2>9. In Fact, Never Complain About Anything</h2> <p>While you're busy not-complaining about the food, try to use the same approach to anything and everything related to the party. Unless there's something that's clearly affecting everybody, and is an easy fix (e.g., turning the air conditioning down), then complaints accomplish nothing but making your host feel bad.</p> <h2>10. Never Forget to Have Fun!</h2> <p>Ultimately, this is why you're here. Supporting your host's efforts is important, but ultimately those efforts are geared toward facilitating <em>your</em> fun, so take advantage!</p> <h2>11. &hellip;And Failing That, Never <em>Look</em> Like You're Not Having Fun</h2> <p>No one can force you to have a good time. But if you agreed to show up, it's on you to force yourself to at least put on a happy face. Pouts and sighs and eye rolls don't go unnoticed by hosts. Even if they don't have the time to ask you &quot;what's wrong,&quot; these signs will certainly concern them, and that's the last thing you want.</p> <p>Of course, you could always just refer back to #10 and enjoy yourself.</p> <p><em>Any other tips for good party-going etiquette? Let us know.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Ruin the Party: 11 Things Guests With Good Social Skills Never Do" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Joe Epstein</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Development etiquette guests party Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Joe Epstein 1149624 at