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Be a Good Boss…To Yourself - Home Office Tips

If you have been working from home for some time now, you may have fallen victim to a strange phenomenon: the I'm-Not-The-Boss-Of-Me syndrome. You may have started out being the 'boss of you' in your home office, but since then have noticed some boss-worker lines getting blurred. Perhaps you're shrugging off responsibility for deadlines, or letting the office turn into a catch-all for the flotsam-and-jetsam of the house, or wandering into your home office only after reruns of your favorite show have ended. Or maybe you're a tyrant boss, not allowing yourself any breaks or fun. Perhaps you are a boss who is not providing your employee with the tools needed to get the job done properly. No matter what's happening, the balance has tilted uncomfortably. These scenarios are not unusual. As a matter of fact, most work-at-home people find themselves at one point lapsing into a routine that is not conducive to productivity and a good working environment. The employer-employee relationship is strained. Pulling yourself up by the boot straps and getting back to work takes some re-thinking of your employer-employee relationship. Let's take a look at a few things the Boss (you) can do for the Employee (you) to relieve stress and get your home office running smoothly again. Time Management Tools The home office environment has some unique time management hurdles to clear. Everyone stresses when time is not being used well. Deadlines are missed and you have to answer to your clients at the same time you're trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to get the job done. As both the boss and the employee, you have some serious decisions to make. Start by providing yourself with the best time management tools you can find. There are many programs and applications for tracking productivity to help identify the areas that need work. Keep track of tasks and the time it takes to do them and you'll soon understand where to focus and make changes. Break Time Every good boss knows how valuable time away from the desk can be. Employees, especially dedicated employees like you, often work long hours, skipping lunch and breaks to get a project done. The fact is, when working without a break the quality of the work suffers. Clarity and focus are lost as the brain gets stuck in slow-motion. As your boss, you need to remind yourself that you are not a machine. Step outside and take a little walk. Fresh air can work wonders on the creative juices. If you need to, set a timer for breaks, lunch, and, yes, even the end of the work day. Lighten Up All work and no play makes for a very unhappy crew. When you are both the boss and the employee, it can be difficult to remember to have a laugh or two during the day. Your boss-self is driving you to work, work, work, while your employee-self is all in trying to make the boss happy. Find something funny to read or watch each and every day. In fact, schedule yourself a 'laugh break' so you don't forget. It is the job of the boss to set the tone for the office, so go ahead, boss, get that laugh memo out to yourself and enjoy some giggles. Creating a work environment in your home office when you are both the boss and employee can be a challenge. Taking a look at your work day schedule from both perspectives is the only way to keep both you and your boss happy. Yes, you ARE the boss of you so treat yourself like the valuable employee you are.


The Best Ways to Create Quality Printed Materials

You've just started up your business and are about to be hit by the downturn in the economy, so what can you do? The obvious answer is to cut your costs somehow, but where should you be cutting back? For many small businesses the answer to that is going to be to slash the amount of money they spend on printed materials - but is that the right thing to do? For a lot of small companies, their printed business materials are going to consist of a few invoices each month, paychecks, paper with their letterhead on it, and a small run of business cards - not much really, is it? That means they could save a few pennies and not have to cut back on the big things that really matter to their business, right? What a lot of these small business owners don't tend to consider is the fact that some of these 'cheap' items are actually representing their company, and they give people an impression of a business long before they ever really get to know what the company's all about. First impressions count just as much in business as they do in any other walks of life. You've probably seen all of the software available that'll let you create your own graphics, headlines, banners, business cards, and more - and been tempted into getting them, thinking that for the small cost of the software, you can create your own business material and save a lot of money in the long run. Well that may be okay up to a point, but have you ever tried to create them - or worse still - seen logos and letterheads that have been printed out on a cheap home printer? Generally, it's not giving the sort of impression you've striving for with your business. It's true that professional printing may not be the cheapest option available to you, but, would you try to sell your house with the paint peeling away and the front door hanging off its hinges? You wouldn't, because prospective buyers would drive on by. It can be the same with your printed business materials. With them often being your first point of contact with the customer, it's the same as the paint peeling, shoddy door house for sale - not very appealing. If you can't afford a professional printer who can both design and print everything for you, it’s possible to find printers who you can submit your design to and they’ll do the rest for you. But you still need to have a high quality design to send them in the first place. Before you decide to do it yourself, just think about how well you can produce it compared to a professional printer. Think about whether it will cost you more in sales than it saves on printing costs, and then decide if you may be falling into a false economy trap. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.


What a Gaming Chair Can Do For You

For a hardcore gamer, having a gaming chair is a must. This is because they offer many benefits that the gamer can reap. Some reasons are obvious, while others may surprise you. Here are some of the benefits of gaming chairs. 1) They are Ergonomic This is by far the most important reason a gamer should invest in a gaming chair. Playing games while seated may be fun, but when you are sitting for hours on end, this can strain the muscles of your back, shoulders, and neck. In the long run, this can lead to chronic aches and pains that don’t go away even when you are not gaming. Almost all gaming chairs are designed with ergonomics in mind, so you’ll be ensuring that you protect your body from too much strain if you get one. 2) They Enhance Gameplay Experience Most gaming chairs come with features such as mounts for controllers so that you won’t have to support their weight, or cup holders for drinks so that you can enjoy your gaming experience in comfort. They also usually come with speakers installed into the back of the chair, so that there is a surround sound feel to the game, and this gives you a more realistic experience. If you buy chairs with these kind of speakers attached, try and find those which are wireless so that you can move the chair around if you wish. Also, don’t restrict using gaming chairs with speakers to when you are playing games; you can use them when watching movies or shows as well! It will be like having a cinema in your own home. 3) They Come With Added Features Some gaming chairs also come with other cool features, such as vibrating backrests for a good back massage while you play, padded armrests so that you can place your elbows there for long periods of time without hurting them too much, and comfortable footrests to place your feet on. These extras offer comfort that will make playing games a luxurious activity. All in all, there are various benefits to be reaped from investing in a gaming chair. Lose the uncomfortable sofas and computer chairs and rest your rear and back on a chair that will support your body enough to make gaming even more pleasurable. After all, your health is more important than your hobby; imagine not being able to play for longer than 15 minutes at a go because of a painful back. To avoid that, put ergonomics and comfort first and buy a gaming chair soon.


Review: A Closer Look at the iMac

The iMac features a revolutionary flat panel design and is the most popular desktop computer option from Apple. Unlike the Mac Mini, the iMac comes with a number of different choices that make it a good solution for both beginners and advanced users. Features Of The iMac Screen: You can choose between a 21.5 and 27 inch screen option. Both feature LED backlighting and a high resolution. Flat Panel Design: Rather than requiring a separate tower unit, all of the components are contained within the back of the slim, aluminum-bodied unit. You'll find the CD/ DVD drive on the side, a FaceTime HD camera on the top, and the ports neatly lined up at the back. Inbuilt speakers are featured on the underside of the screen, though you can use external options if you like. Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad: You can use the iMac with either the Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad. Both make use of simple gestures that help you to do everything you need to with your iMac, quickly. Connectivity: The iMac comes with the following ports: audio in, audio out, SDXC cart slot, 4x USB 2.0, Firewire 800, 2x thunderbolt and a gigabit ethernet port. The thunderbolt port is used for extremely fast file transfers (up to 12x as fast as the Firewire 800). The iMac also has WiFi and bluetooth built in. Performance: The new Intel Core i5 and i7 processors mean that the newest generation of iMacs are almost twice as fast as before. They also feature 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to a maximum 16GB) and up to 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. Software: As with all other Apple computers, the iMac comes with the latest Mac OS X operating system, as well as software such as iPhoto, iMovie, Mail, App Store, iTunes, Garageband and more. The iMac is also more secure than PCs and is not affected by PC-viruses. Why Buy The iMac? The first reason why people notice the iMac above other options is because it looks stunning. It has a huge glossy, simple display, and looks great on just about any desk. Even better, everything you do on your Mac looks great on the screen! When compared to Apple's other desktop options, the iMac also proves good value for money when you czxonsider that it comes with a high quality Apple screen (in fact, the screen contains everything). Neither the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini come with a screen, making them cost proportionately more. This makes the iMac a good choice for those who don't already own a computer monitor. The fact that the whole desktop is included in the back of the screen makes this a stylish, minimal design that'll take up the least amount of space possible. It also makes the CD/ DVD drive and ports as accessible as possible, right there on your desktop screen! Of course, there are many other reasons why people are choosing the buy Apple desktop computers over the Windows operating system. The fact that the hardware and software has been made by the same company helps to make the systems run as flawlessly as possible. Not to mention the fact that they look great! And the iMac is far more affordable than its more powerful cousin, the Mac Pro.


The Basics Behind Podcasting

Do you have specialized knowledge or information that can help others? You can create a podcast to share that information. And if you have an existing website or blog, you can boost your site’s awareness by podcasting. What Is Podcasting? Podcasting is much like having your own radio show. It’s a combination of the term broadcasting and iPod. While the Apple iPod played an important role in the development of podcasting, you don’t need an iPod to create or listen to a podcast. Like a blog, most podcasts focus on a narrow topic. For example, you might podcast on how to restore wicker furniture or you might podcast and offer daily meditation messages. Creating a podcast is fairly simple. All you really need is a microphone and a plan to get started. Why Podcast? What Are The Benefits? Podcasting actually offers an abundance of benefits. It’s about more than fulfilling your childhood dream of having your own show – you can offer value and change lives. • Broaden Your Audience – People have different preferences for accessing information. Some prefer to read it so they subscribe to blogs and read articles. Others prefer video or visual content so they subscribe to YouTube channels. Many people prefer to obtain information by listening to it. They listen to podcasts and audio files when they exercise, drive to work, and in their free time. You can reach a whole new audience by adding a podcast to your content strategy. • Make Money – You can monetize a podcast by selling advertising space. You can also send listeners to key pages to promote products or services and earn money in commissions and sales. You can also charge for subscriptions. • Build a Relationship – It’s much easier to connect with someone when you can hear them talking. It can build a stronger relationship than other forms of content. And strong relationships create loyal customers. • Establish Your Credibility and Authority – There’s no better way to establish yourself as an expert than to share your knowledge and information. Make sure each podcast offers value and information and you’ll build a devoted following. What Do I Need To Get Started? Getting started with podcasting is actually more straight forward than you might think. To get started you’ll first want a plan and a goal. Why are you podcasting and how will you provide value? You also want to make sure you can commit to a regular podcasting schedule. Once you answer those questions it’s time to start gathering your equipment. The most important piece of equipment to invest in is a good microphone. A microphone can help ensure you provide a clear and professional sounding podcast. From that point basic editing software and content plan are the next steps.


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