Questions Live-in Couples Should Ask Before Marriage

live_in_coupleThere a few things you may want to know before getting married to your live-in partner

Questions Live-in Couples Should Ask Before Marriage

By TNN

So you have been living together for quite some time and wish to get hitched! However, remember marriage may change quite a few things between the two of you. Here are questions live-in couples should ask before marriage.

Are you okay with not tying the knot at all?
Do you believe in marriage or do you think it’s an outdated concept? Whichever side you decide to pick, can determine the course of your relationship.

Does the thought of a divorce scare you?
Children who have seen their parents go through a bitter divorce or are born in broken families, sometimes let that negativity creep into their own relationships. Marriage to them is nothing but a binding contract with no way out. The thought of being trapped in a relationship with a permanent tag to it scares them and they would rather opt for a live-in instead. If that’s your reasoning, make sure your partner is aware of that and is on the same page as you, and is not looking at this as the first step to wedded bliss.

Are you scared that marriage might ruin your relationship?
Don’t pay attention to friends who tell you that getting married ruined their relationship, as their relationship got ruined because they ruined it, not because they got a legal document that made them commit to each other.

Are you scared that your sex life will suffer after marriage?
Your sex life is what you and your partner makes of it, irrespective of whether you are married, living together or simply monogamous.

Courtesy: idiva.com
Image courtesy: Thinkstock/Gettyimages

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Qualities of a Good Computer Professional

Qualities of a Good Computer Professional

Courtesy: http://www.computercareerstips.com

A successful dancer must love music, have a good sense of rhythm, and be coordinated. Similarly, computer professionals must possess certain attributes to thrive in IT.

  • Solve Problems and Troubleshoot: At the top of the list for most computer careers is not just the ability to solve problems but also a desire to solve problems. Whether it’s a software application, or a computer network, or an animated Web page, troubleshooting is the name of the game. When something doesn’t work right, a successful computer professional must not give up, but rather must use every resource at hand to fix the issue. Many times, looming deadlines add an element of pressure to the situation, so a cool head is also a useful characteristic.
  • Research: Related to problem solving is the ability to research solutions. Many resources exist, such as coworkers, discussion groups on the Internet, journals and magazines, and books. A good problem solver is willing to delve into all these resources to find the best solution.
  • Multitask: It is a rare luxury for a computer professional to be able to work on only one project, or one problem, at a time. It is far more common to be required to work on several different things at once, often with similar deadlines. To handle this situation, computer professionals must be able to prioritize projects, switch from one project to another without losing focus, and plan milestones for each project so that each is completed on time.
  • Be Detail-Oriented, Analytical, and Accurate: In an industry where a single misplaced semicolon can cause a computer program to crash, or an incorrectly wired network can allow hackers to compromise corporate communications, attention to detail is paramount. Computer professionals must also be capable of analyzing a problem, mapping out a solution, then executing that solution in an accurate manner.
  • See the Big Picture: Computers are made up of many tiny components. Corporate networks consist of many computers. Software applications often include hundreds of integrated modules. Understanding how smaller parts fit into the whole is very important for all computer professionals. It is not enough to simply focus on a single part — a computer professional must also understand how all the parts are integrated.
  • Be Adaptable: If there is one thing that never changes about computers, it is that they never stop changing. Software requirements change. Communication protocols change. Hardware changes. Instead of becoming frustrated with this state of flux, computer professionals must assume that every day something is going to be different and adapt to the new situation. Part of this adaptability is the willingness to learn new things. To keep skills from becoming outdated, a computer professional must constantly read about new technologies and determine how they might be useful.
  • Work Collaboratively: We often hear “No man is an island” and “It takes a village…” Certainly, most computer professionals must work as members of a team, collaborating to create solutions. Being team-oriented, willing to share both responsibility and recognition, is important to success in almost all computer careers. Increasingly, teams are geographically diverse. For example, team members may reside in Israel, Ireland, the United States, and Japan and communicate with each other electronically. Computer professionals must be aware of differing time zones, cultures, and languages, and learn to work with people who may have different work styles and opinions.
  • Communicate Well: Although there are some examples of “geeks” who are notorious for their bad spelling, reluctance to socialize, and single-syllable conversations, most computer professionals will find their career paths more successful if they possess good communication skills. Examples of how computer professionals can leverage good communication skills include well-commented computer code (so someone else can figure out how the program works), memos to management about how a project is progressing, and articles for professional and trade publications.

How three students created Nigeria’s On-line Jobs

How three(3) Students created Nigeria’s On-line Jobs Giant

Three students had time on their hands in the summer of 2009 when their university lecturers in Nigeria went on strike. Instead of slacking off, Ayodeji Adewunmi, Olalekan Olude and Opeyemi Awoyemi started an online job search company.Five years later their start-up, Jobberman, has got a multi-million dollar valuation, employs 125 people, and is still growing. While Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy it still has massive unemployment problems, in particular among young people who are also more likely to be connected to the internet. Jobberman has become the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa, helping over 35,000 people find jobs within the last two years. The number of companies using the site to find employees has grown from about 40 in 2009 to some 35,000 today.

Young Jobberman employees sitting in front of computers wearing headsets. The company employs 125 people in Nigeria and beyond

Carrying between 500 and 1,000 jobs on the site every day, the founders estimate that there are about 1,000 active users searching for a job at any given time.

“The growth has been tremendous, it’s at rocket speed. One of the biggest challenges has been to keep up with the volume of work,” says Olalekan.

Overcoming fraud fears

However, there have been other challenges along the way.

“In the beginning a lot of people did not trust an internet-based business because at that time a lot of people were using the internet to perpetuate fraud here in Nigeria,” he says.

But as other online businesses thrived and became trusted, so Jobberman thrived. Companies would dip their toe in the water with one or two postings and then when they trusted the site they would come back.

Ayodeji Adewunmi with a Jobberman van Olalekan Olude says he is proud because each job someone finds on his site helps support a household

In 2012 some of Jobberman’s clients wanted to use the site to find workers in Ghana and so the company took its first work outside Nigeria. Two years later it says it is now the biggest online job site in Ghana as well as Nigeria. The company is now expanding its reach to Kenya with a partner called Brighter Monday. The partnership also gives it a footprint in Uganda and Tanzania.

‘They found me’

Amarachi Apakama who found a job on Jobberman
Amarachi Apakama found a job through the site without filling out an application

Some people find a job through the site without actually applying for one. Amarachi Apakama uploaded her details and was approached by a company to take the position of executive assistant at a mobile phone content company.

“That really changed my life,” she says. “It was a morale booster. It helped my confidence – the fact that my interests and my experience put together such a good fit that I didn’t have to apply for the job.”

Multiplier effect

“It is incredibly fulfilling helping people to become economically empowered by getting job placements via Jobberman,” founder Ayodeji Adewunmi says.

“One company recruited more than 80% of their employees through the site. Another time, a director was able to hire a former colleague in the United States to come and work for his company here in Lagos. All amazing stories.”

Olalekan Olude adds: “If you put food on the table by virtue of getting a job for someone, that person also fends for a mother, or a brother and you create a multiplier effect within that household.

“And anytime we get to hear of such stories, we are very, very happy. It motivates us, it makes us look forward into the future and try and get more people to get more jobs.”

How to Become a Happier Person.

 

How to Become a Happier Person

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Image courtesy: © Thinkstockphotos/ Getty images

Life can get you down for a host of reasons, but it only becomes something you have to address if you have been discontent for a long time. All you need to do is change a few things around, organise your life a little better and make a commitment to becoming a happier person. Here are five things you can change to put a smile back on your face.

Find a hobby
If the corporate world is getting you down, try doing something you are passionate about. Most people live their entire lives wishing they did something they love. While it may be unrealistic to think of starting anew, you can always pick up a hobby. Start a collection of some sort and don’t be embarrassed by it. You could even pick up a new sport or devote your evenings to a good swim, the sky is the limit. Adding a sense of fulfilment other than your job, will go a long way in making your life a little happier.
Where do you start: Make a list of things you really love doing, even if it’s just watching movies. Start with two or three passions, and you’ll lose interest in the ones you aren’t zealous about.

Find a friend
Indians for centuries have had a strong support structure in the form of families. Unfortunately or fortunately, over the last couple of decades, nuclear families have become the norm. This has made the need for a support group even more. From work friends to college friends to chaddi buddies, people need others to share their ups and downs. Now, this does not mean adding more people on your Facebook page. Social scientists have found that meeting a core group of people that you know will stand by you add to your overall well-being.
Where do you start: If you find yourself too busy to meet any one, it is about time you started. Fit friends into your schedule rather than just talking to them over the phone. Engage in activities that will get your friends together, even if it means just having a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon.

Organise your future 
This doesn’t mean cleaning out your closet. Set yourself a few attainable goals in every area of your life. Whether it is financially, in your career or in your personal life, the idea of committing to something and watching it come to fruition can be a rewarding experience. Studies have shown that people who make short-term plans deal with life much better than others.
Where do you start: Make goals with different time frames. Start with the obvious daily ones, then have twoyear, five-year and 10-year plans. Write them down and knock them off ones you’ve completed them.

Make the job switch
Now, being absolutely content with your job might be too much to ask for, but it shouldn’t be a chore either. Most Indians spend more time at work than they do at home, so obviously it ranks high on your happiness index. The happier you are in your job, the happier you will be in life. So if you are stuck in a job you hate, maybe it is time for a change.
Where do you start: Don’t jump the gun, make a list of things that you don’t like about the job and the things that you love. You need to know whether it is your career that you are discontent with or your company. Get enough research done and also try and develop more skills so that you are prepared for any transition.

Feel healthy
Though pigging out on the juiciest burger might give you instant happiness, studies show that it is your overall lifestyle that actually matters. Exercise, a proper diet and avoiding things you know will harm you do more than just improve your physical well-being. The healthier you are the better you will feel about yourself and your life.

Where do you start: Remember that living healthy is difficult and requires a lot of work on your part. Make a commitment to eat healthy and stay fit through regular exercise. You might miss out on a few foods you crave, but remind yourself to focus on the bigger picture.

How to Deal With Quarter Life Crisis.

How to Deal With Quarter Life Crisis

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You wind up with your exciting college life and work towards realising your dream career, while juggling with a myriad friends, relationships, financial independence and a whole lot of responsibilities that accompanies adulthood. And then bam! Reality bites you in the rear end, with the feeling that nothing has fallen into place. Your idealistic desire for the ‘perfect life’ has hit ground zero. If you are facing this, then you are suffering from what is called a quarter life crisis. 

What is it?
Quarter-life crisis refers to the psychological and sometimes physical strain and turbulence in the age period that follows your adolescence/teens till early 30s. This turbulence is the unrest experienced in gamut of spheres like emotional stability, ambition and aspiration, choosing a career, supporting oneself (being independent), relationships, etc.
   
Psychologist Rachna Kothari says, “It is a feeling of not having accomplished anything substantial, satisfactory or constructive in life. You find yourself in a state of perplexity. This usually occurs when reality crushes idealistic desire for perfect life.” Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Dr Anjali Chhabria says that entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities leads to confusion and self doubt, hindering one’s decision making ability along with self-confidence causing other emotional and behavioural concerns.

Causes
Any transition phase or change requires a lot of adjustment all in terms of attitudes, emotions and behaviors. Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Neha Patel says, “In many cases, the person has not been able to get out of the phase of comfort that they had during college days. Getting out of the phase of ‘dependence on someone to being the one others are dependent on’ crops up and can get difficult to face depending on the person’s upbringing and lifestyle.”
   
Kothari says that in such a scenario, “You’re at a stage in life where you can ‘make it or break it’. And everyone certainly wants to do the former. However, inability to do so leads to the rollercoaster of feelings like frustration, anxiety, low self-worth, anger, boredom, constant comparison with others.” Factors like instability in relationships, unemployment, ficklemindedness about career, issues with families and friends, inability to take mature decisions, tension that time is flowing, stress about present and future on accomplishment etc. causes this.

Effects
In the initial years, the person is not settled financially and might not be doing as well as expected, and so the responsibilities and pressures mount, which can be overwhelming for the person. As for relationships, the individual may marry the childhood sweetheart or the person he/she committed to in college and then over a period of time lose interest in the marriage or feel that this is not what he/she wanted, which can lead to a lot of strife within the relationship, opines Patel.

Dr Chhabria lists the following effects an individual going through a mid-life crisis usually has:

  • Feeling that everyone else is secure, stable and has figured their lives out and you’re the only one left.
  • Fear of what others might say when they see what you are going through.
  • Increased restlessness and lethargy in daily life leading to boredom.
  • Frustration with work, the job and the politics, with time the conversations at lunch and the water cooler are less intriguing.
  • Insecurity about what the future holds.

Identity crisis:

  • Who your are and who you want to be.
  • Out of the blue nostalgia, for going back to school, re-living the old college days because you certainly enjoyed it there.
  • Low energy and depressive signs towards activities and events which brought pleasure at some point of time.
  • You cannot go back and you cannot move forwards and feel stuck without a goal, passion or faith in yourself.

Coping

There are many ways by which one can cope with quarter life crisis, Kothari lists some of them:

  • Know who you are and what you want from life. Be aware of the opportunities available to you.
  • Let go of past mistakes and focus on your present. Be optimistic: Being assertive, positive and hopeful certainly works. After all, thoughts become actions.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparisons will only lead to criticisms and lower your selfconfidence in turn. Set your goals and work towards accomplishing it.
  • Stay motivated: Know your talents, and be focused on where your passion lies.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Practice breathing exercises, yoga or exercise daily that can help better blood circulation and hence help you calm your mind.
  • Effective  psychotherapy.

 

Image courtesy: © Thinkstockphotos/ Getty images

The 5 Kinds of People That Help You Grow.

FIVE KIND OF PEOPLE THAT HELPS YOU GROW

By Malti Bhojwani (idiva.com)

“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world…” crooned Barbara Streisand in the 60s and she hit the nail on the head. Among our basic human needs are that of significance to others and intimacy. This is not to be confused with co-dependency or being needy, but rather it is the acknowledgement of our humanness, which existed when we were born and stays with us always.

We need people to care for us, to care for, for emotional support and physical touch. We need them for fun and laughter, for companionship and adventure, for growth and learning and for us to lean on or even to hide behind sometimes.

 

Here are 5 kinds of people you need in your life to help you grow:

 

1. The One Who Champions (Mentor)

This is the one who encourages you in anything you decide to do. They give you fuel and support you in seeing the possibility of your dreams coming true. This one also often offers you the friendly competition needed to keep your steam. On days when your own self-esteem and belief is dwindling, you need this one to believe in you and say the encouraging words you so need to hear. “I KNOW you can do this.” “I have seen you nail much bigger challenges than this before.”

This one brainstorms ideas with you and allows you to dream beyond what is visible. Their enthusiasm and belief in you stretches your vision of what is possible and this helps you to go beyond your own boundaries and fears. You respect this one for their wisdom and their success in their own lives.

 

2. The One Who Loves You Unconditionally

This one loves you no matter what, will always take your side and allows you to be you. They would also make commitments to you that you can trust, listen to you and share ideas. They go beyond the call of friendship to help you with their resources and time. They do not expect you to do or be anything more than what you are, and they let you cry if you need to, indulge when you want to and complain all you have to without being judgmental or offering advice. They don’t invalidate your feelings even when they may be irrational and they make you feel like the most significant person in the world.

“The people who help us grow toward true self offer unconditional love, neither judging us to be deficient nor trying to force us to change but accepting us exactly as we are. And yet this unconditional love does not lead us to rest on our laurels. Instead, it surrounds us with a charged force field that makes us want to grow from the inside out – a force field that is safe enough to take the risks and endure the failures that growth requires.” Parker Palmer

3. The One Who Says It Like It Is

They often play devil’s advocate and point out the prices that you will need to pay at different junctures in your life. We can have almost anything, when we are willing to bear the consequences. This is the person who will not mince their words or sugar-coat anything for you. They will point out your past behavior and patterns as a way to remind you of how you typically have been.

This one will notice if you have put on two kilos or if your hair needs to be coloured. This one will point it out if they notice you spending, eating, drinking too much. This one is like your external conscience mirroring back to you what you may have missed seeing yourself. Beware of feeling the need to sometimes tell white lies to them, and if you do, then it is important to check in with yourself why you are doing so. Perhaps you are in denial about your own weaknesses and it is time to pull your socks up a little?

This is often also the one you go to for style, cooking, social etiquette advice, the one who knows who to connect with, what to order and where to shop for whatever you may need, from skincare to kitchenware. This one has seen more of the world than you and is like your personal “Google search” with the ratings and recommendations. You would trust this one for parenting, medical or financial advice.

4. The One Who is Always Dissatisfied

This one pushes you beyond your limits and encourages you to stretch and become uncomfortable. They tend to complain and find everything you do not enough. Communicating with this one helps you to practise being assertive and helps you to build your own case. You will realise that you often come up with reasons and excuses for this one and a hundred different disclaimers, but they don’t buy your “BS”. This one expects more from you and if you do have the other four types of people in your life to build your self love, it is empowering to have this one too, who enable you to truly become better at what you do. Above all that, they make you laugh at yourself.

5. The One Who Needs Us (Mentee)

This is the one who makes you feel responsible and keeps you performing at the top of your own game, because this one is watching you and looking up to you. This one comes to you for a shoulder, and for support and encouragement. Indirectly this one holds you most accountable. Imagine if you had declared that you would have achieved certain results, you would not want to let this one down.

I have found the most motivation in living up to the expectations of anyone who looked up to me. We need to feel needed too and having someone around who turns to you for support and unconditionallove and acceptance is as much a requirement as the other way around. This one validates our existence and helps our own self esteem. The confidence it brings to us is priceless and the responsibility to “keep earning the right to be looked up to by this person” may well be the underlying force that helps us keep growing ourselves.

The mistake we often make is expecting one person to fulfill all these needs and then complaining when we are dissatisfied. Instead of expecting either your spouse, partner, mum or best friend to wear all these different hats, be realistic and understand that it is not possible.

Sure one person may be able to play different roles in our lives from time to time, but it would take a lot of pressure off and remove feelings of dissatisfaction if we could communicate lovingly to our significant others that as much as some activities should remain exclusive, trying to be everything to someone is unrealistic.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

courtesy: : idiva.com

5 Fun Ways to Stay Closer to Your Siblings.

1 Planning a vacation with your sibling can be a great experience.

5 FUN WAYS TO STAY CLOSER TO YOUR SIBLINGS

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My childhood memories would be incomplete if I did not mention the times spent with my bossy elder brother. After 14 long years of quarreling over the pettiest of issues, when the time came for him to leave for his further studies in a far-off city, we realized that we wouldn’t be seeing each other very often. Today, when I sit down to write a Rakhi card to him, I miss him more than ever before.

Living away from your siblings can be one of the most difficult phases in your life. But thanks to technology, you can stay in touch and maintain a healthy and happy long-distance relationship with your sister or brother in more ways than one. Here are some fun ways to enjoy the bond with your sibling if he/ she lives in a different city.

Hello, Whatsapp: You may hate it at times, but you cannot ignore it. Yes, that’s the effect Whatsapp has had in our lives over the past few years. But the best thing about this cool smartphone app is that it lets you create group chats allowing conversations with multiple people all at once! We say create one with your immediate family and stay connected with your siblings and parents at the same time.

Travel buddies: Planning a trip once a year with your brother or sister is a great idea we think. You can either pay each other a visit every alternate year or go on a vacation together. If you ask us, it is also the best way to relive those family vacations that you took when the two of you were kids. Nothing beats ‘travelling’ back in time, isn’t it? 🙂

Gifts galore: Gifts are always welcome. For brothers, it can be a greeting card on Rakhi, and for sisters, a customised keepsake. Having said that, don’t turn gifting into a ritual dependent of occasions! It doesn’t have to be a birthday or an anniversary for you to sit up and take note. Instead, surprise them by sending them something they always wanted. Everyone has a bucket list of sorts, you know! 😉

Family memories: Another great way to stay in touch with your sibling is by sharing family updates with them once in a while. For instance, give them a feel of your granny’s 80th birthday bash by capturing it through photographs and sharing them on Skype or Whatsapp. They wouldn’t feel that bad for missing it. 🙂

Treats & more:
Well, this one is rather sweet. On your birthday, ask your sibling to treat themselves to a fancy lunch or dinner. The fact that you cannot be together on important occasions can be taken care of by this cute gesture. Make it an annual ritual to celebrate the beautiful bond that you share.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

20 Easy Tips for Saving Energy at Home

LuminaStock / iStock / thinkstock.com

 

 

 

20 Easy Tips for Saving Energy at Home

 

Saving energy is not only important for the environment, but also vital to save money on the electric bill. These quick tips are easy to implement and do not require extra “energy” from homeowners. Save the planet and increase your pocket book with any of these 20 easy-to-implement tips for saving energy in the home.

Unplug Electronic Devices
When the device is not in use, be sure to unplug it, or at least turn it off. Phone chargers, coffee pots, and lamps are easy to unplug and re-plug. When left in the socket, electronic devices pull passive power from the socket, in preparation for it turning back on.

Change or Clean AC Filters
Around once per month, be sure to check your air filters. This keeps the system running optimally without fighting through dust and dirt.

Turn the Thermostat Off…
…or on auto when you’re not home. Leaving your machine in the on position uses energy nonstop, whereas putting it on auto will keep the house cool, without upping the bill.

Tune-up the AC Device
Many companies will also give a rebate for making sure the device is running smoothly as inefficient systems lead to costly electric bills.

Add a Rug
If you have wood flooring, consider adding a rug. Carpets and rugs insulate a room’s heat, thus keeping a room’s temperature a little more regulated.

Don’t Block Air Vents
Unfortunately, the best place for your couch sometimes just so happens to be on top of the air vent. For the most cost effective and efficient air flow, allow the air to flow unconstricted instead of fight, against couches, furniture and dressers.

Gradually Increase the Thermostat
In the summer, keeping the temperature a little warmer makes it work less, resulting in cheaper bills. If you like it cooler, when you get home keep it cold, but slowly increase the temperature a few degrees before bed. In winter, you can try just reversing this, decreasing the temperature a bit over a few hours to conserve energy.

Keep the Thermostat Consistent
When heading on vacation, it’s best to keep the thermostat at the same temperature. During the winter months, keep it lower, around 60 degrees. This keeps the system working, although not hard, and avoids the risk of damage due to the frigid temperatures. In the summer, keep it a little warmer than normal, that way you’re not wasting air conditioning on an empty house.

Use Motion Detector Lights
For all outdoor lighting, at least. Instead of leaving lights on all night when there’s no movement, put them on a motion detector. Plus it helps to scare away potential intruders.

Dust the Fridge Coils
In the back of the fridge, there are some coils sticking out. This ensures the refrigerator is working more efficient without dust blocking the energy and airflow.

Keep Refrigerators at 32 to 38 degrees
If you keep it under 32 degrees, you might as well just get a big freezer. If you keep it over 40 degrees, most things will spoil (especially dairy).

Cook with Copper Pans
Copper has a very high thermal and electrical conductivity rate. Therefore, it makes for an extremely effective cooking implement. You can use lower temperatures and it’ll cook as well as a higher temperature steel pan.

Use Cold Water
While washing your clothes, be sure to use the cold setting. Not only does this avoid shrinking, but it’s cheaper than heating up all that washing water.

Turn Down the Water
While brushing teeth and soaping up hands and bodies, either turn off or decrease the pressure of the water. This drastically reduces the use of water and energy, especially with hot water.

Let Your Computer Sleep
Go into your computer’s power settings (for Windows go to the Control Panel, and it’s either under the Screen Saver options, System Security, or Performance and Maintenance), and change the display sleep and computer sleep settings. What you change it to depends on personal preference, but the defaults are rarely the best option. For all personal electronics, be sure to completely shut them down frequently; keeping them on 24/7/365 wears them down faster than they could be.

Look for the Energy Star Label
Most electronics and devices such as televisions and microwaves, even rooftops, can be Energy Star certified.  These certified models are at least 30% more efficient than non-certified labels.

Use Burner-Sized Pots and Pans
Using a small pot on a larger burner drastically loses heat. Using a large pot on a smaller burner requires much more energy to heat the pan.

Hang Dry Clothes
Not only does this completely bypass the dryer, and energy, it’s also easier on your clothes.

Turn Off Your Water Heater
In addition to changing the thermostat, while away on vacation or for several days try turning off the water heater. This saves energy while away—plus water generally reheats within one hour of turning the on switch.

Clean Full Loads
This includes dishwashers and washing machines. If you fill up the dishwasher only a quarter of the way, most models still use the same amount of water as a full load. So fill them up all the way and save some energy.

LuminaStock / iStock / thinkstock.com

What Your Sleep Position Says About You

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What Your Sleep Position Says About You

According to Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, the position in which you sleep may be linked to your personality type. The professor and his research team recently conducted a study that analyzed the sleep patterns of 1,000 subjects. Here’s what the study found:

The Freefall
Those who sleep face-down with their arms and legs to the side (a position known as ‘the freefall’) are often “extroverted and brash”; they may appear nonchalant on the surface, but deep down they’re sensitive and tend to take criticism very personally. They are also less likely to experience stomach troubles, since sleeping face-down aids the digestive process.

The Fetus
People who sleep curled up on their side (‘the fetus’) ― like the free-fallers ― have a tough outer shell that conceals a soft, gooey filling. They also have a hard time instantly connecting with people. This was also the most common position, despite the fact that ‘the fetus’ can cause organ stress; physicians recommend sleeping on the right side if this is your position of choice.

The Log
Lying on your side with straightened legs and arms extended downward
(‘the log’) is indicative of social charisma; these folks are typically laid back and conversational. However, they may be a little too easy-going, and fall victim to other people who might be out to get the best of them. This position is good for people with chronic back pain, since it allows the spine to completely straighten out.

The Yearner
People who sleep on their sides with outstretched arms (‘the yearner’) are at once open-minded and deeply cynical. They often struggle with crucial decisions as a result, but hardly ever regret their ultimate choices. ‘The yearner’ can benefit people with acid reflux and sleep apnea.

The Soldier
Individuals who choose to lie on their backs with arms and legs sprawled to the side (‘the soldier’) are often reserved, if not complete introverts. They celebrate accomplishments with minimal fanfare, and abide by a strict (one might say, militaristic) personal code of conduct and performance. Unfortunately, this may also be the most problematic position; it can lead to snoring, breathing problems, and other issues that can affect the quality of your sleep.

The Starfish
Finally, those who lie on their backs with their arms extended above their heads (‘the starfish’) are, among other things, great listeners. They’ll usually be happy to lend a hand, even if it means not getting any credit for helping out. The downside: like ‘the soldier’, ‘the starfish’ can induce snoring and respiratory difficulties.

Is this true of you and your sleeping position? Or is Professor Idzikowski’s study way off base as far as you’re concerned?

How to Use Mobile Apps to Increase Efficiency

how_to_use_mobile_apps_to_increase_efficiency

How to Use Mobile Apps to Increase Efficiency

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Next generation smart phones help professionals work better and quicker. Today’s working professionals, who are constantly wired in and on-the-go have found a ready ally and valuable resource in their cell phones. Next generation smart phones, fully loaded with every sort of application imaginable, are supporting professionals in working better and quicker. “The advent of the smart phone has made our lives so much easier. There are numerous mobile apps for every purpose possible which ensure that you are always wired in and in touch with ongoing projects, to the extent that you can manage entire projects from your cell phone,” explains Megha Moorthy, who works in the business development team of an IT company in Hyderabad.

The apps transcend a variety of purposes, right from networking to data transfer and storage, managing tasks and keeping updated with industry and current news. “Quite simply, it’s like this. Whatever office related task you are doing, there is an app somewhere that will help you do it faster and better,” smiles Moorthy.

Stay Up-to-Date
“The one app I simply cannot do without is the Economic Times news app. It’s extremely important to be constantly up-to-date with all that’s happening in the industry, competition brands, the business world in general, and the app allows me to do that easily,” says Bangalore-based digital marketer Siddharth Raman, who works in the alcohol beverages industry.

For those who are tired of reading dozens of different magazines and newspapers simply because they don’t want to miss out on anything, Flipboard is an excellent app. Flipboard allows you to select specific publications and news areas (for example, technology, stock markets, politics) to create your own customised news digest.

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Better Collaboration
There are countless apps available to help you stay better organisedand hence be more efficient in your work. Arvind Rongala, marketing manager at Invensis, a leading business processes outsourcing company in Bangalore, says, “I use Evernote for taking notes, maintaining a to-do list, creating reminders and archiving the same. The app allows me to seamlessly collaborate with my marketing team as well.” Rahul Shitut, who works with an organisation in the real estate sector in Mumbai, agrees, “I use Teambox extensively. It is a great help in task management. Tasks are organised under task lists for various projects. There are features that allow delegation and time-tracking as well.”

The Mint app is widely used in the professional world for tracking expenses and accounts. Anuradha Jhaveri, brand manager at a leading FMCG organisation, elaborates, “The app allows me to track all the transactions involved with my brand on a daily basis. I have set budgets under various heads and Mint lets me know if I am reaching the allotted cut-off too quickly, or how much of the budget allocated is available. You can also customise the app to know when bills are due.”

Apps also help easy sharing and storage of data. “I use Google Drive, a fantastic app from Google on a daily basis. It helps my team and I to edit and share documents within the group, keeping everyone updated of the most recent changes,” explains Rongala.

Connect and Network
Professionals are also using apps to connect, network and converse with contacts in the business world. Rongala, adds, “I use the LinkedIn app extensively to interact professionally. Additionally, we have a company page on which we post interesting topics and recent news articles. This helps us reach the right audience and achieve higher online visibility.”

Seemingly basic social apps are also being leveraged by professionals. “I use Blackberry Messenger and Whatsapp to communicate with my professional contacts. It helps work get done quickly, as it is easy to seek small clarifications or get status updates on the job at hand instantly,” explains Raman.

Efficiency and Ease
Copy2contact is an interesting app which instantly and intelligently creates contacts in your phone from texts and email signatures. This eliminates the unnecessary and tedious manual keying in of contacts and ensures that your phonebook is constantly updated automatically. The Docusign Ink app is the world’s first personal electronic signature. “My organisation uses this app extensively. It saves the effort of having to print, fax, scan or courier a document for signing, speeding up the whole process. Even if individuals are traveling, it is not an issue, as we use Docusign Ink,” says Moorthy.

For the ones engaged in the creative fields, Paper is an app which allows you to sketch, draw, write or colour-and put your ideas into images. The app is particularly helpful to explain concepts which cannot be effectively explained only through words.

Mobile apps, if leveraged properly, are a powerful tool in the hands of working professionals. It’s no surprise then that more people have turned to relying on their frequent use to be able to work better, faster and more effectively!

Image courtesy: © IDIVA.COM

How to Stick With Good Habits When Your Willpower Is Gone.


How to Stick With Good Habits When Your Willpower Is Gone.
By James.

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpoweror motivation. But the more I learn, the more I believe that the number one driver of better habits and behavior change is your environment. Let me drop some science into this article and show you what I mean…
Willpower vs. Environment
Anne Thorndike is a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Recently, Thorndike and her colleagues completed a six-month studythat was published in the American Journal of Public Health. This study secretly took place in the hospital cafeteria and helped thousands of people develop healthier eating habits without changing their willpower or motivation in the slightest way.

God made me President, says President Jonathan.

Rivers of Hope

President-Goodluck-Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said he rose from the smallest community in Bayelsa State to become Nigeria‘s President by the grace of God and people’s support.

Jonathan spoke in Abuja at the Apostolic Faith Church, Jabi, during the Sunday church service.

The President noted that lack of love and unity was the greatest problem facing the country.

He likened the nation’s challenges to those faced by the Israelites in the Old Testament when they were leaving Egypt for the Promised Land.

Jonathan promised to bequeath a better Nigeria to the coming generation.

The President urged the congregation to continue to pray for Nigeria because it is specially blessed by God and would get to greater heights through the prayers.

Jonathan said: “We will try our best, but this is not the time to reel out what we are doing or what we are not doing. Otherwise, they…

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