Top 5 Ways To Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day

When I set my intentions for the day I was going to pull together the marketing and sales material for my new product. Come the afternoon, my frustration from the morning had spilled into my mood and hampered that creative part of my brain. Even a tickle of chocolate and coffee could not get it moving!

So, I decided to follow that old line "if you can not beat them, join them" and instead of getting frustrated about my lack of creativity and productivity, EMBRACED IT! And realized that embracing it and going with the flow would be more useful than getting annoyed at myself. As my embracing great and my frustration disappeared, I felt much better.

And as I improved my mindset and mood – I felt as if I could tackle something demanding. So I used my task focused mindset to attack my email – yes, all of it !! I blitzed my in box, sent folder and every other folder in between. And did I feel great !!

I felt satisfied, proud and as if a HUGE weight had disappeared. I felt in control and my mind felt clear. I realized that I had created a good foundation for a productive day tomorrow. This realization made me feel much better about the 'wasted' time I had in the morning.

Then is got me thinking about what do I need to do to create a really productive work space and mind-set so I reduce the down time as much as possible.

Here are my Top 5 Ways I set myself up for productivity …. try them for yourself

1. Do not Avoid this any more

Inbox Zero – a great concept by Merlin Mann, to get your email in box to zero. Everyday. Yes, everyday. The brilliant concept behind this is not just to have an empty inbox but knowing that when you have deal with all of that mail, you free up your brain. You feel clearer and less worried about what might be lurking in that electronic in box. You may need to take a few hours and be decent and ruthless as you whittle your in box to zero.
This added to my productivity because suddenly, I looked forward to getting into my inbox instead of wasting it, and I felt in control. And this feeling of control flowed into other areas.

2. The day before – clear and declutter

At the end of each day, clear the decks. Tidy your desk, make it clear, uncluttered and attractive as possible. You want to walk into your work space feeling as if you really want to be there.

3. Start with the end in mind

Spend some time reflecting on your business and your goals for the year. Really reconnect with the results you wish to create in your business. And importantly, connect with how good it will feel to actually achieve those goals.

4. Bring the focus to today

Reflecting on the annual goal for your business what does it mean for you today? What must you do to move a step closer to your goal? Are there things lurking at the bottom of your to do list which you know if you did them, they would propel your business forward?
Stretch yourself and put them at the top of your to do list today. Make a pact with yourself to do them before you have lunch.

5. Success Stocktake

At the end of each day write down three things you have done well today – three successes you feel have made you productive and moved your business closer to its goal. By doing this simple and fast act, you will start to believe you are productive and this, becoming more productive.
Taking time the day before can really set us up for success the following day. Take 15 minutes before you leave your workspace to set yourself up for success. Chances are you will feel more excited about going into your work and making the day a worthy one.

Source by Wendy R Kerr

Top 3 Reasons to Choose a Career in Data Analytics

The career opportunities in the field of data analytics or data science or other similar profiles are seeing a growth like never before. It is a great time to be alive and witness this extraordinary phenomenon where the industry is evolving so fast and the future isn’t clear but it is definitely promising. This background provides an excellent platform for young professionals to take advantage of and build careers in this exciting new field. Listed below are a few reasons why the data analyst/scientist are great prospects for young professionals graduating in a next few years.

1. Interesting Work – Data analytics is definitely not as challenging and fun as software development but it has its own set of challenges that make it very interesting work. For one, it aims to answer question related to market trends and behaviours. More advanced projects would involve learning mathematical techniques used for statistics. Apart from being interesting, one can be part of any industry since the skillset is transferrable in most cases.

2. Pays Well – Any professional in this field would testify that this profile pays well. And since, there is so much demand, this trend is not going to slow down any time soon. Most young graduates, with a technical education and some relevant industry experience (internships) can be hired as data analysts or business analysts and these jobs should pay around USD 60-70K. Of course, this number grows very generously as one gains more experience and grows in terms of designation. A middle management position would pay starting at USD 90-95K.

3. Growth Opportunities – As per recent studies, the world is only growing more curious, not less. This implies, that large companies are investing more and more to explore market trends more precisely. This has and will continue to result in development of new tools, experimental methodologies and business processes across industries. For young professionals, this implies ample opportunities to explore career options based on their industries of preference.

As lucrative and interesting the data analytics industry sounds, it can be very temperamental in its response to the market environment. Every tool in the industry is evolving constantly and coming with newer and improved solutions. This leads to very short and limited life on existing technologies. However, to be cautious, young professionals should look to build a skill set, which is conceptually complete so that skills are transferrable. There are broadly 3 areas to stress upon. These are data cleansing, data transformation & data visualisation. The industry standard tools for these are “Monarch”, ” Audit Command Language ” & “Spotfire” respectively. There are many options for these tools, however these make a good starting point.

Source by Mohit Prabhakar

7 Benefits of Using Custom Point of Purchase Displays

Custom point of purchase displays are a widely used marketing tool directed at impulse buyers. Aimed at capturing the attention of the target customers at the place where they actually shop, these displays are highly useful in boosting the retail sales which is a major contributor to the US GDP. According to a report by the US census bureau revenues from retail sales in the US stood at $4.48 trillion in 2007.

Considerations While Buying Custom Point of Purchase Displays

Every segment of the retail industry whether it is departmental stores, general retailers, specialty stores and discount stores is recognizing the benefits of using custom point of purchase displays. Available in various sizes, designs and styles, these displays can be customized according to a retailer’s business and the customer behavior. Factors affecting customization of displays:

* Marketing strategy of the manufacturer or the retailer

* Demography of the targeted buyers

* Targeted increase in sales

* Type of product to be displayed

* Offers being made or features that need to be highlighted

* The space availability in the store

* The theme of the store where it is to be used

* Your budget allocation for the purpose

Apart from these factors, care should be taken to choose an experienced manufacturer who can develop a customized design keeping in mind all these factors.

Benefits of Custom Point of Purchase Displays

Custom point of purchase displays are not mere display racks but highly promotional tools that aim to convince casual onlookers to buy the displayed products. This requires attracting the attention of customers present in a store and providing them information which encourages them to buy. So these displays:

* Allow a product to stand out from other products in a store

* Attract more customers and satisfy their queries or doubts

* Provide them interesting information related to offers, benefits available with a product

* Encourage them to buy

* Boost the sales of a product

* POP signs and LCD signs allow you to spread your brand message to a wider audience

* Customized displays allow a store owner to create a unique image in the minds of the customers

Custom Point of Purchase displays can be stand alone units or counter tops or digital boards, shopping trolleys and coupon dispensers. The size and design of these displays should be such that it looks attractive and unique without making a store appear cluttered.

Custom point of purchase displays go a long way in improving the sales of your products and boosting your company’s image.

Source by Adolph R. Paul

How to Put Downloaded Games On Your PSP

If you have come to love PlayStation when it was still on its infancy, you will probably love PlayStation Portable more than ever. With a highly revolutionary technology, its functions have been created to suit the growing demands of consumers for a more innovative gaming experience.

However, PlayStation Portable is extremely different from its parent. PSPs have Memory Stick Duos that can accommodate audio, video, and gaming files, just like a computer. All you have to do is download the games into your PSP and you can instantly start playing the game.

For those who are not yet aware of the right technique in installing the games, here is a systematic guide on how to put game on your PSP.

1. If you have purchased a full game, the installation process will be very simple. All you have to do is to extract the files into a specialized folder in your PC. Once you have opened the setup file, the instructions on the installation will appear. Thereafter, you can play the game at once.

2. If you think that PSP games are expensive, you are not alone. Indeed, PSP games can be very expensive. Here, for PSP owners who can not afford to download and install a full game version, you can always opt for alternatives.

In the Internet, there are thousands of free game demo versions of PSP games.

3. Download the game file that you want to try out and install them into your computer. Just make sure that the firmware installed in your PSP supports the game that you are about to download.

If in case you have encountered some problems on your game installation, such as games that can not be started or corrupted files, it means that your PSP's firmware is not compatible to that particular game.

4. Make sure that the game file you are going to download is an "iso file." Try to verify if your PSP has the necessary program needed to operate the game. You can download the program from the Internet in case you do not have one.

5. Follow the instructions carefully.

Lastly, make sure that the files you are about to download and install in your PSP should have a psp tag in the title. Experts say that only the files with a "psp" tag in the title will be read and supported by the PSP.

Boiled down, you can significantly maximize your PSP's ability to provide amazing gaming experience by learning how to put a game on a PSP. Once you are accredited with the process, the succeeding installations will be easier.

Source by Albert Lee

Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! – 2000AD’s Nemesis the Warlock (1980 – 1999)

In the 1970s and ’80s British Sci-Fi comic ‘2000AD’ introduced some of the most iconic stories and characters to readers of comic books, and none more so than the demonic-like alien, ‘Nemesis the Warlock’. From the creative mind of writer Pat Mills, this part-space opera epic, part-political commentary, began with a one-off story told in a weekly comic strip entitled ‘Terror Tube’ (1980), inspired by the album ‘Going Underground’ by the British rock band, the Jam. It showed the struggle between a mysterious ‘freedom fighter’ (Nemesis) and the totalitarian rulers of a far future Earth, where the human population was confined to a vast subterranean city called Termight, the empire of which was in a state of perpetual war with the non-human civilizations of the Galaxy, and ruled by a fascistic government, the Terminators, who mixed religion and politics into a single state ideology.

The story was an instant hit, as under the hand of Mills’ frequent artistic collaborator Kevin O’Neill some of the most fantastic and intricate comic book artwork of the last thirty years was created. Along with the central anti-hero of the tale, Nemesis, was his arch-enemy Tomas de Torquemada, named after the historical Spanish inquisitor of the same name, head of the feared Tube Police and the Terminators, the ruling party of the Terran Empire, whose distinctive dress and symbols were deliberately modelled of the look of the United States’ infamous Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Both became iconic characters and their deadly struggle allowed Mills to explore themes of racism, totalitarianism, religion, revolution and contemporary Cold War politics and beliefs, as he created an Earth at war with the Galaxy in a xenophobic crusade of devout intensity. The stories were dark, violent and often with a biting satirical edge and black humour born of Mills’ left-wing beliefs. The first story was quickly followed by a second, ‘Killer Watt’ (in September 1980), and eventually reader demand led to a series proper, ‘Nemesis the Warlock ‘ beginning with ‘Book 1’ in 1981. In this and later stories the ‘Nemesis’ universe was slowly teased out, growing far beyond the original concepts, combining elements of science-fantasy and sword and sorcery in a Galaxy spanning, Sci-Fi epic.

However, initial excitement at this new venture turned to mild disappointed as ‘Book 2: The Alien Alliance’ (1982) proved to be something of a letdown for many, as it was largely used to fill out the imagined universe and backstories of the main characters, with mixed results. This feeling of disappointment was also in part attributable to a new artist being assigned to the series, Spanish illustrator Jesus Redondo, whose rather conventional artwork was felt by some to jar with the more twisted imagination and tone set by O’Neill.  ‘Book 3: The World of Nemesis’ (1983) was a massive return to form, and a relief to many, as Mills went back to the more successful elements of the initial stories, while O’Neill was again the man behind the pen, this time displaying an astonishing imagination and creative ability that for the vast majority of readers became the defining ‘look’ of the series as a whole. It also saw the surprise return of several fan-favourite characters from other 2000AD stories, tying them into the time-line of the Terran Empire, a sort of ‘cross-over’ theme that was to grow in later stories. While Kevin O’Neill had become the one and only artist for most ‘Nemesis’ followers,  the exquisite detail of his illustrations made for a slow production rate and disagreements with 2000AD’s editorial team, along with the offer of greater financial security with US-based publishers, led him to move away from the series for many years.

Widespread disappointment amongst readers was somewhat abated with the arrival of ‘Book 4: The Gothic Empire’ (1984), which saw the arrival of a new artist, Bryan Talbot.  Though stylistically very different from O’Neill, Talbot’s skill and imagination earned him praise among long-term fans and critics alike, and the power of ‘Book 4’ as whole, with its gothic, steampunk elements and the inclusion of several hugely popular characters from another 2000AD hits series of Pat Mills, ‘The ABC Warriors’, led to the series gaining multiple awards. Over the next few years more episodes followed in one of the longer narrative arcs in comics’ history, including ‘Nemesis Book 5: The Vengeance of Thoth’ (1985) and ‘Book 6: Torquemurder’ (1986 – 1987) both drawn by Talbot. Yet it was becoming evident to many that the heyday of the series was perhaps over, and it was on a slow but steady decline, as the story ideas became increasingly threadbare or incoherent.

‘Book 7: The Two Torquemadas’ (1987 – 1988) and ‘Book 8: Purity’s Story’ (1988) had little to recommend them, and reader reaction was at best lukewarm, with a stream of new artists leaving little visual continuity in the series, which had been one of its greatest strengths. However the absolute nadir was undoubtedly reached with the surreal and utterly self-indulgent ‘Book 9: Deathbringer’ (1988 – 1989), where writer Pat Mills was more or less given free rein to his imagination, and his politics, with dire results. What started out as a tightly edited, creatively inspired narrative complimented by some of the best illustrations to ever grace the pages of a comic book, in the end had become a chaotic, overblown, mess. A ‘prologue’ to ‘Book 10’ followed in 1994, but another five years passed before Mills returned to the sequence proper, producing ‘Book 10: The Final Conflict’ (1999), as he tried to tie up all the loose ends of the overall story – largely successfully, if with little dramatic effect or satisfaction.

Several other stories set in the ‘Nemesis’ canon, spin-offs or specials, were also published in the years between 1980 and 1999, though of various significance and quality, and they too featured different artists. However, as is often the case with a comic series stretching across many years (and a largely unprecedented two decades in the case of ‘Nemesis’), even when one writer is behind it all, different artists and the changing attitudes of the writer make for a very uneven output, and it is the earliest stories of ‘Nemesis the Warlock’ that remain the most worthy of reading, and enjoying. For an entire generation of comic readers in the 1980s the earliest stories of ‘Nemesis the Warlock’, the mysterious anti-hero, with his demonic persona, became the very symbol of rebellion and anti-authoritism. His image was to be found on a thousand tee-shirts, his motto scrawled on a thousand school books, and he remains to this day a symbol of resistance held in affection by many, who rightfully forget the later mess created of this great comic icon.


Source by Seamas O Sionnaigh

Home School Education – Setting Up a Home School

If you are planning to put your kids in home school, it is important that you learn some basics tips to help you prepare for homeschooling. Of course, it is important that you also can provide the best education and learning to your kid as well even if they are not going to school.

If you are planning to set up a home school education, which is one option for kids these days, here are some tips to help you.

Assess your schedule and your family's schedule to be able to ensure that you have enough time to teach children. Of course, you have to make a schedule too and make sure that homeschooling has its own time that is set only for homeschooling. Set a desired schedule then but make sure that any household chores and other chores at home do not interfere with the kids' schooling.

Make your home school legal. In establishing your home school, it is indeed important that you have obtained proper licensing and that you also have set up the requirements for setting up a home school. You may need accreditation and you may have to put into writing the schedule, the classes, the outline of the curriculum as well as the number of hours that your homeschool allot for teaching and learning.

Determine your home school schedule that allows optimum learning from your child. Assess his attitude towards learning. If he is active in the morning, you may need to schedule your home school classes in the morning as well, but make sure that your child is still getting the total number of hours of lessons required of him.

Separate the child's play area as well as their work area. Being organized can help a lot in making home schooling more convenient and easy. If you are home schooling a preschooler, it helps to also avoid disturbance at home especially if their friends are already playing or wanting to play with your homeschooled children.

Arrange off-site requirements for your homeschool. If you see the need to have other classes for your homeschooled child especially when it comes to their interests and passion such as music classes, dancing classes, swimming classes or any other lessons that they will be taking, arrange the schedule early so you can also make The schedule fit in to yours as well.

Prepare their subject matters and make sure to check out the proper subject descriptions to ease of accreditation later when our homeschooled kid will eventually go to high school or college.

Of course, away from these preparations, you will also need some paper works such as preparing professionally made transcripts that are acceptable to colleges and universities if you are having a high school home school. But of course, even with preschool, make sure that you have prepared the forms they will need for their records.

Source by Carolyn Anderson

Top 3 Skills to Develop for Data Analytics

The data analytics world can be overwhelming for young professionals who are just starting out in the industry. This is so because of the sheer pace of change that is a constant. It always seems that everyone needs to catch up with the latest offering in the marketplace. In order to put these concerns in perspective, the skills listed below are the core skills for any young or seasoned professional to aim

1. Data Extraction – This is the phase where the firms work with their clients to obtain the relevant data points that are required to perform the relevant analytics for the client. For instance, it is paramount that the correct be extracted from the client’s ERP system as efficiently as possible because it is never a good practice to request the same data over and over from the client as it would be a very frustrating experience for everyone involved. Young professionals should try to be familiar with the most commonly installed ERP systems like SAP & Oracle in order to be comfortable obtaining data efficiently from the clients.

2. Data Cleansing or Transformation – Once we have the relevant data from the client, it is important that the data should be transformed so that it can create the desired outputs from the designed analytics procedures. This stage may require data to be cleansed as well (i.e. formatted manually or via scripts depending on the available tools) so that the data is useable. The outputs from this stage are typically additional tables and exported files, which provide additional data points, which are calculated from the source files. The most recommended data transformation tools used in the industry are Audit Command Language, SAS & SQL scripting.

3. Reports/Visualisation – Everyone likes a story. This is the basis of this stage of any data analytics delivery process. Once all the relevant data points are available, it can be imported into tools like Tableau, Spotfire or MS Excel to create dashboards. Dashboards are nothing but a collection of graphs, which are aimed at making a certain point that has emerged from the analytics performed on the raw data files.

Granted, mostly it is the folks who work in the data transformation stage that feel the heat from folks in the both other stages. That is why it is critical that all the work done is documented in logs if possible to keep track of initial requirements and iterative changes that take place. For instance audit command language scripts are create logs, which can be provided as documentation for all the steps taken to transform the raw data files to team members working to extract the data and create final dashboards.

These conceptual skills should be the basis for any young professional to choose the tools that they wish to learn for the long run. In a fast paced industry, these concepts are the only constant factors around which, the whole industry revolves.

Source by Mohit Prabhakar

My Central Heating Has Now Started To Take Longer To Heat My Home – Why?

My central heating use to take around 30 minutes to heat my home to a comfortable temperature, now though it seems that it takes anywhere up to an hour or more, what is wrong with my central heating?

This is a common question that seems to get asked a lot now days.

There are a couple answers to this question, that I will now go through and try and explain as to what may be happening.

The first thing we need to do is make sure the pump is working properly.

Most pumps have a centre screw that can be removed to vent any air, once removed we can check the pump spindle with a small screwdriver, once inserted, if the spindle stops then the pump is on its way out and will need to be replaced.

The next thing we need to do is check the internal water within the central heating system, when I say check I mean the colour of the water, is it a dirty brown /black colour?

If the water is really dirty it will start to slow down the water circulation within the central heating system, the central heating pump is put under a lot more pressure and will eventually stop working.

The dirty water is normally referred to as sludge, and if not treated will eventually kill the central heating boiler and pump.

So What is sludge and how does it get into the central heating system?

Sludge starts to form as soon as the central heating system is filled with water, it doesn’t take long to notice the water starting to change from a nice clear colour to dirty colour. Overtime it will start to clog up the boiler and pump along with the radiators.

If you have noticed when the heating is on that some of the radiators may be hot in some places and cold in other, this is an indication of sludge build up within the radiator.

Sludge is made up of iron oxide from all the different metals within the central heating system and other debris. Water acts like a conductor and all the different metals start to react with each other, eventually they start to breakdown and sludge starts to form.

Sludge is more noticeable in newer boilers as they have smaller waterways that the water passes through to heat up, on older boilers the waterways were a lot bigger so you didn’t notice it as much.

To cure the sludge from your central heating system, the whole system has to be flushed out with a cleaning agent, once clean an inhibitor needs to be added. The inhibitor will prevent the sludge build up. Every year the inhibitor should be check and topped up if needed.

Now days most boiler manufactures recommend fitting an inline filter to the boiler return pipe to stop sludge entering the boiler, whilst this is a good practice it will still need to be checked annually along with the inhibitor.

Overtime the inhibitor will dilute down and no longer protect your central heating system from sludge, so it’s very important to have it checked annually, the same time as the boiler service.

Many of today’s boiler breakdowns are due to sludge buildup within the system, most of the boiler manufactures now will not repair a boiler if still under warranty if the fault is down to sludge within the system.

They will advise you to have the central heating system cleaned first then they may return to carry out any repairs needed.

Sludge is a killer of boilers, its worth noting when your annual boiler service is due to have the inhibitor checked at the same time.

When the water within the heating system is clean, the water flows quickly and freely through the pump, boiler and radiators.

We all want to cut back on our spending, but cutting out the annual boiler service and inhibitor check could become a lot more expensive than you think.

I hope this article has helped you in understanding why your central heating system has started to take longer to heat your home up.

Source by Steve Duval

How To Select Movers And Packers

It becomes difficult to choose movers and packers because there are several companies in this industry. You need to find an authentic moving company that delivers on time. Economical moving services are also essential, especially if you are moving from one city to another. It’s important to understand a few things before selecting any company for moving.

Do You Understand Time Management?

A moving project gets successful only when you focus on time management. You should make a relocation schedule for a comfortable journey to a new place. Design a calendar with important dates to get the desired results.

What Are You Looking For?

Decide the type of services you need according to your budget. Do your requirements include just packing the stuff or you also need the transport to move from one place to another? Authentic moving professionals are often very busy, so make an appointment in advance. Once you select a good company, then hire it after discussing the move date and process.

The Cost

The cost to hire a moving company depends on the distance. Like, do you want to move to the same the street, town, city, or country, or from one country to another. We all know that the transportation charges are higher for longer distances.

List Your Stuff

Make a list of your stuff, including the delicate items. It needs specialized services to move precious things like expensive decorative items, antiques, musical instruments, and furniture, etc. If you have to spend some extra amount for moving expensive stuff, then do it.

Why It’s Good To Hire A Moving Company?

You will get more time for your family by hiring a moving company. Relocation is not an easy task, and people often get depressed during the process. It’s good to get close to each other so that nobody feels depressed.


You can explore a moving company online, or through local sources. It’s not necessary to choose a reputable company, as a less famous company can also give you good services. But, whether small or large, the company should have a license to work.

Some Problems After Relocating

You may have some problems after you have moved to the new place. Sometimes, you get broken items, or the company asks for additional charges for some reason. Always make sure that there are not hidden charges. Don’t get an estimate on the phone, because certain misunderstandings happen.

Source by Malik Yasir Gul

Kitchen Decorating Ideas

More and more today, the kitchen is the most popular room in the house. No longer just the place where food is stored and prepared, it has become the focal point of home life. Kitchens used to be closed off from the rest of the house with walls and doors. Today, however, both in new houses and in remodeled older style homes, you can see into the kitchen from the living room, the family room, or both. Since the kitchen is constantly on view, kitchen decorating is an important part of home decor.

Some kitchens are treated as completely separate areas in plain view. Others are carefully decorated to blend in with adjoining spaces. In both cases, kitchen wall treatments are key to decorating this busy room. Paint continues to be a popular choice, but the range of "kitchen" colors has exploded. Cornflower blue, butter yellow, bright reds and vivid greens are commonly used as a base for French country or Tuscan kitchen decorating themes. Wallpaper options run the gamut from contemporary designs to Americana. In addition, slate, saltillo and ceramic tiles once used exclusively on floors are being used on walls to add texture and visual interest.

Part of decorating a kitchen is creating an organized space. Whether you have a specific decorating theme or not, you'll want to give some thought to which kitchen accessories stay on the countertop and which are hidden in cupboards and drawers. Many cooks find a tall cylindrical container to hold frequently used cooking utensils that keeps them from frantically rummaging through drawers. Appliances that get regular use, such as toasters and electric can openers are a good choice for countertop position, although most can be mounted under high cupboards.

Major appliance manufacturers recognize that their merchandise is a major visual element in any kitchen. Instead of just offering a choice between white, black, harvest gold or green, they produce an amazing range of "looks." From gleaming stainless steel, to retro 1950's look to standard white, you can choose refrigerators and stoves that blend with your kitchen decor. Some manufacturers can even help you match your appliances to your countertops for a seamless look.

As in any room in the house, it's the little touches that pull your kitchen's look together. Choose a "punch" color (usually contrasting to your walls) for window treatments and a throw rug. A tiled sink backsplash in this shade will add an extra bit of pizazz. Do not be afraid to add ornaments to the walls of your kitchen. Framed family photos, or even a collection of cookie cutters will add personality and warmth.

Source by Kathy Burns-Millyard