Poor Business Management Kills Employee Morale

There are countless management styles and techniques. Management styles can rise a company to extraordinary heights or make it crash and burn.

These are some poor management styles that you may encounter or should avoid using at all costs. In the end, it will cost you and the organization. Poor management will drive morale into the ground and productivity will suffer. Most likely, your staff is educated and/or trained professionals. Poor management gives them no incentive to be loyal employees or a reason to stay with the company.

Avoid using these poor management styles in your organization, immediately!

Well, the book says…

So, the management reads the most recent and trendy management style/leadership books and wants to put them in action. This becomes evident when management starts to do some things that are very out of character.

One of the most obvious and ridiculous examples of this is when they have the “trust” exercises. Someone closes his/her eyes and falls backward and is caught by the team members. Who thought of that and why is it a good “trust” exercise? OK, so it may be symbolic for teamwork. But, catching someone from falling in an exercise is not going to do anything to promote good teamwork in the workplace.Poor Business Management Kills Employee Morale

A management textbook may provide you with basic techniques on how to lead your organization. But, if you use the techniques incorrectly or force your newfound leadership style on the staff without explanation, you will run into some resistance.

Management Language and Jargon

With every new management technique book that is published, comes a whole new business vocabulary that everyone is supposed to learn, use, and embrace.

New managerial language is laden with office slang and is supposed to be accepted by everyone. It may seem clever or haughty that you are speaking a new language. More often than not, new managerial language and jargon sound silly, or worse, many of the staff won’t know what you are saying.

There are many, many more new managerial phrases and cliches in use.

Employees would rather hear you speak in plain language or terminology related to their profession or industry. That’s all.

 

Nepotism

Sure, management may say that there are no “favorites”, whether family or friends in the organizations. But, it is always obvious there are a chosen few. The chosen will get extra perks and better and more visible projects. They may get the best salary increases, even if they are not the best performers.

Management will “visit” them much more often than the other staff in the trenches who are making it all happen. Employees are never allowed to question any incidences of nepotism, without retribution.

“You Listen To Us, We Don’t Listen To You”

“Just do what we tell you.” is another poor management strategy. It may work in military situations where lives depend on obedience, but not in the office.

Management fails when they refuse to listen to people with experience and knowledge on a topic that is new to the organization. Employees come from a variety of backgrounds. An employee may have encountered a particular and similar problem in the past at a competing company or in a similar situation. If management fails to listen, they may go down the wrong path and waste a lot of time and money.

Manage the Project, not the People

In a perfect world, when a manager assigns a project to the team the manager only has to manage the project, not the people. Most likely, the staff are trained professionals and know how to perform their assigned tasks and responsibilities. They may seek guidance from the manager or colleagues to complete their assignments.

The function of the manager is set timelines and goals for each portion of the project, not to micro-manage the staff.

Micro-Management

If you are assigned a task or project and management is hovering over you to second-guess every move you make, this is a sign of two problems.

The first problem is that you are not trusted with the assignment. Never be afraid to ask this question of them. Remember, the person is just a manager, nothing more.

The second problem is that management may not have anything else to do, so they in effect harass the employees by hanging around and watching and criticizing every action. This is one sign that the manager is not adding any value to the organization. So, they try to belittle the staff who is contributing to help the organization succeed.

Team Building Mistakes

When management wants to put together teams to solve problems, sometimes they err when they fail to include everyone in their project. Everyone at all levels has something of value to add. Involved employees are productive and contribute to the success of the organization.

 

Lying to Employees

Lying to employees is corrosive. If they find out that you are lying to them, they may reciprocate the gesture. So, trust is destroyed.

It is better to tell them the correct answer, such as “We can not share that information with you (or the staff)” or “I do not know the answer to your question” (only if you do not know the answer). Sometimes it is better to say nothing rather than to lie to your employees.

The staff would rather hear the truth, no matter how bad it may be. When they have the truth, they can deal with the situation much better. If they are lied to, they will never trust you again. So, do not expect to have faithful employees if you are a dishonest leader.

“Secret” Meetings

Yes, everyone knows that some corporate information needs to be kept secret and known only to a few people. If sensitive information is leaked, it can mean disaster for the company.

But, when “secret” meetings occur only to exclude people and failing to provide them with information that they need to do their job well does not benefit anyone.

Surveys

Surveys may ask for employee input to improve processes, which can beneficial for the company. But, there may be a dark side. Surveys can be a sneaky way for management to find out who are the subversive employees

They may say the computer-based survey is completely anonymous, but they have ways of tracking your responses via your IP address. No corporate employee survey is ever completely anonymous.

Mishandling Budgeting Issues

So, the company is cutting back on salary increases, employee travel, professional organization dues, major equipment purchases, supplies, and other expenses in the economic downturn. This situation is completely understandable by everyone.

However, if the staff has to endure the budget cuts while management is going on expensive “team-building” exercise junkets and the like, this demonstrates extremely poor financial managerial judgment, sets a bad leadership example, and trust is destroyed.

Leading by Fear and Intimidation

This is the worst management style offense you will encounter.

When management conducts fear tactics, such as announced at a meeting that any poor performers will be fired and replaced immediately. This behavior does not benefit anyone

When management has to lead by fear and intimidation, it is a good sign that their positions are on the line. So, instead of being upfront and encouraging everyone to pitch in to do a better job to help the company succeed, they take the low road and play the blame game. Abusive management is a sure sign of low self-esteem, insecurity, and instability within the system.

Fear and intimidation is harassment. But, if you bring this concern to Human Resources, it may be pushed aside because HR usually agrees with management. You may be labeled as a whistleblower and a troublemaker. Your manager will make your life miserable.

As a result, some employees will react to the big, scary management beast and cower down in submission and play along. Some employees will become the manager’s “best friend” and agree to anything as the holy word. Some employees will react with indifference and not change their behavior. Some employees will question the irrational situation and will forever be labeled as troublemakers.

All four of these employee reactions can be moot if management does not play the “fear” card.

Leading by fear and intimidation will not win the respect and support of your employees.

Some final words…

Management must identify the reasons for failures. Management must determine if the process (materials, design, equipment, etc.) or the people (untrained, tired, bored, sick, etc.) are the cause of the problem before rushing to judgment.Poor Business Management Kills Employee Morale

A manager must trust and listen to the employees in the organization. They are the people making it happen every day.

Leadership is not about control. Leadership is about trust and respect. Always treat the employees with respect. If the organization trusts and respects the manager as a leader, management will get their cooperation and support. If they also trust and respect the leader as a person, management will have a well functioning and successful corporate family.

Poor management styles should be avoided if the company wants to maintain elevated employee morale and a successful business.

Comment

Importance of Planning Landscape for Your Property

Did you know landscaping can really make a lot of difference to look and vibe of your house? Attractive trees, shrubs, turf, and plants can add beauty as well as value to your property. And if you see the practical benefit of a planned landscape, it also helps in providing natural wind, proper drainage, and weather screening.

For many house owners looking to upgrade their property, a well-planned landscape design around the house is the solution. Here’s why designing the landscape for your property is important:

Getting rid of unwanted pests in your landscaping project●     Enhancing Curb Appeal

When you drive around the neighborhood, you might have noticed how some houses look very attractive than others. In most of the cases, it’s the landscaping- the way they manage their garden, sitting, and lighting around the house. If you also dream of having such an amazing looking house, then planning a landscape design is the first step.

●     Conserving Local Ecosystem

Besides improving your curb appeal, proper landscape designing can also help in preserving the local resources. When you add plants and trees near to your house, it can impact the surrounding by preventing soil erosion and cleaning the air and attracting different varieties of birds around your area and promotes a well balanced natural ecosystem.

●     Increasing Property’s Value

A good landscape design not only adds beauty and comfort but also increase the overall worth of your house. The real estate buyers place an attractive price on well-maintained properties and with trees and plants in your garden can directly add more value to the house. In case you are looking for the good resale value of your house, remember that landscape planning can add more value than the interior renovations.

●     Entertaining Play Area

Another great advantage of having a well-designed landscape is the comfort and relax environment outside your house. Adding pathways, light, trees, hardscaping, and plants to your house, you can spend time with your family and enjoy small games and do other entertaining things.

Landscaping Tips For Pest Control

While this was all about the benefits of landscape designing for your properly, another thing that you may not be aware of maintenance and landscaping is that it also minimizes the insect activity. How? Let’s understand how can it make different in pest activity. Landscaping can often give insects an optimal environment with moisture and food for growth and reproduction. The longer they stay around unnoticed, greater the possibility of them finding their way into your house.

●     Selecting the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants and trees for your property is important to keep the insects away. For example, try not to add plants that can attract ants, aphids and other plant-feeding insects. It would better to take advice from professional landscaper about the plants that can attract pest problems in the area.

●     Trim The Overgrown

Trees with large branches and leaves can provide secure space for insects in your yard. For squirrels, rodents, and raccoons, branches act as highways into your property and can cause the ruckus. Make sure you cut the dead limbs, remove dry leaves especially the ones close to the roofs. Keep leaves rakes, debris removed, grass moved from the outdoor yard.

●     Mulching

Mulching helps in retaining moisture in the soil which is also good for keeping plants hydrated. The organic mulch is great for plants growth, but they provide space for many insects such as ants, termites, earwigs, centipedes, and rats. Therefore, to avoid feeding thirsty insects, try to keep the mulch almost 5 to 6 inches away from the foundation of your house. Also, remove all the old mulch from your yard. You can also learn more about how to mulch properly and save your yard from the infestation of bugs by using dried cedar mulch.

Water features in your landscape design can attract pests●     Water Features

Pests and plants both need water to grow and survive, but try to avoid overwatering. Make sure you check the sprinklers and don’t let water around the building foundation as it will lead to the collection of moisture attracting more bugs around that area. Direct all the rainwater and downspouts into the proper drainage system. If there is a fountain or other water feature in your yard, always keep it well maintained so that they do not become a breeding area for the insects. Clean the plant trays, contains and bird baths after the heavy rainfall.  A good drainage system will prevent water pooling and keeping away the unwanted insects around the house.

●     Set up The Buffer Area

Many insects including ants, cockroaches, centipedes, and also mice can access the building by climbing up the branches of trees, climbers and shrubs around you. To prevent this from happening, install approximately 2-3 foot wide gravel boundary around your house that will act as a barrier and will discourage crawling insects from getting close to the walls of your building.

●     Hire Professionals

Finally getting help from a professional pest control service team can take away all your worries. New York pest control exterminators offer customized pest control treatments for all types of properties. From early inspection to the identification of the threats, they will create the complete control strategy with regular monitoring.

While small bugs have always been a natural part of every garden and help in battling other pests, some of the insects can be troublesome and can damage your greenhouse, garden, and home. The landscaping techniques will give you the necessary protection again many mite pests. For more active measures you can take help from professional landscaper and exterminators for the selection and up keeping of all the elements of the landscape design and terminating the problem causing pests in your area.

Turning your old rocky, barren yard into a lush green space with pretty plants can provide you with a lot more than a good impression. If done well, landscaping can keep all the nasty intruders away from your property and let you enjoy the outdoor at peace.

Comment

Effective Maintenance of your Household Appliances

We all know that in order to get the most and best service from your appliances, you need to maintain them accordingly. Without proper maintenance, you’ll have to deal with the numerous repairs from time to time.

This doesn’t have to cost you any money. All you need is to set aside some time to go through all your appliances. This is to better ensure they are in good conditions at all times.

You can do this twice a month if you wish.

Things to do to maintain your appliances

There are a few things you can do to keep your appliances in better shape. These things include what to do and what not to do.

  1. Overload

This is one thing a lot of people don’t understand. To some, the more clothes they are able to fit into one wash the better. Well, this is overloading your washing machine which causes a lot of damage. With too much laundry the washing machine struggles to agitate/spin which may destroy the motor and belts.

Overloading your washerThe best way to better utilize your washing machine is by first understanding with overloading, you are neither saving on water nor energy. You are rather destroying your appliance which will translate to expensive repairs or an even more expensive replacement.

So, ensure to avoid overloading no matter what your reasons may be.

  1. Cleaning refrigerator coils

Over time, your refrigerator may get clogged up with foreign substances which may cause it to stop working as needed. Since the coils are very important, you need to take a rag and wipe off any debris on the coils regularly.

If the debris is not taken care of, the refrigerator is forced to work twice as hard thus consuming too much energy and may end up heating up the motor. This will leave your refrigerator too worn out and it might stop working altogether.

Also, remember to check on the rubber found around the door to ensure the fridge is always airtight.

  1. Reduce appliance usage

I know you must be wondering why would I not use my appliances for the work they are intended for. Well, with this you just need to make the smallest changes. Don’t go all out and decide not to use your appliances. By just reducing the number of times you open your refrigerator, preheating the oven just before use and turning off after is a great start.

Remember that the more you use your appliances the more they wear out and require repairs and replacements.

  1. Clean your oven regularly

Your oven will always be filled with oils and food particles. This means you have to make it a habit to constantly wipe down the interior of your oven. However, some ovens are self-cleaning so to be safe avoid using chemicals to avoid destroying the inside appearance of your oven.

At the same time take to your stove and clean it thoroughly. Use a small brush to get into the burner and clean it well to ensure maximum efficiency.

Remember to make this a daily practice to ensure the dirt does not build up.

  1. Clean out your dishwasher

Despite the fact that your dishwasher is used to clean your dirty utensils, you still have to clean it too. If your dishwasher uses filters to trap food particles, then you should make it a point to remove the food particles once in a while to allow for a more efficient dishwasher. However, you can reduce the times you do this by rinsing your utensils before placing them into the dishwasher.

  1. Saving on energy

When it comes to electricity, there are a lot of appliances that use it to function. This means the electricity bill may shoot up if used incorrectly. When dealing with appliances like TV and computers, you find that we leave them on even for times when we are not using them. Whether they have a standby period set or not the appliances still draw on too much energy.

reducing electric billsKeeping in mind the fact that you need to save the energy being wasted, you will be sure to always turn off all the appliances you are not using. This will help your appliances last longer and serve you better. Remember the more you use them the more they wear and tear.

  1. Dryers

After every load of laundry, it is important to empty the lint trap and also clean the exhaust vents. This is to ensure that there is enough clean air circulation and the dryer is working at its best to ensure your clothes are dry as required.

It is also important to clean inside and also the outside of your dryers to ensure no dirt particles get clogged up in the vents.

It is also important to note that you should make maintaining your household chores a family thing. This is to ensure that your kids understand the importance of what you do and appreciate that the washing machine and fridge doors are not for their amusement. It also helps the kids gain a sense of responsibility.

When cleaning, make sure that all your appliances are not connected to electricity. This is to help avoid any unwanted accidents. Also, make sure to go through the instruction manual that comes with the appliances. This is to see whether there are any specifications on how to handle the appliances when cleaning them.

Maintenance is something that you can easily do on a regular basis. It will help you avoid experiences of faulty and inefficient appliances.

However, if any of your appliances fail, you should go for appliance repairs by professionals. This will save you a lot of time mainly because professionals don’t have time to beat around the bush. They will diagnose your problem accurately and recommend the next cause of action.

With professionals, you can be sure that your appliance will come back better than it went in. Always remember to maintain the appliances for peak efficiency and your full satisfaction.

Comment

Is It Possible to Learn to Play the Piano on a Keyboard?

Have you ever wondered: Is it sufficient to have a keyboard on which one can start taking piano lessons? If you are starting on mastering the art of playing the piano, this question would have definitely crossed your mind! The answer, more often than not, is yes. An electric keyboard can serve as a substitute for an acoustic piano.

However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive answer, you need to do some analysis on how you plan to go about the lessons and also the kind of keyboard you think will be suitable for your needs.

What keyboard features do you need to look into?

Electronic keyboards save you spaceIt probably goes without saying that no two keyboards are ever created equal. If you intend to take piano lessons with your keyboard, you need to run certain feature tests to ensure that it will actually work in your favor.

  • Touch sensitivity:

The first thing that you need to check is whether you have a “touch sensitive” keyboard. How do you figure that out? One that is sensitive to touch will make a louder sound when you press down the key harder than normal. First softly press a key and then make a harder press. Can you make out a distinct difference between the soft and loud sounds? If yes, then it indicates you have a touch-sensitive keyboard which is pretty good news to start with.

  • Size of the keyboard – Opt for the full size:

Do you know how many keys are typically there on a piano? The answer is 88 – 36 black keys and 52 white keys. However, when it comes to electric keyboards, the sizes tend to vary with an option to choose from 44, 61, 76, or 88 key versions. Buying anything other than a keyboard with 88 keys would not be ideal because a time will come when it will not be sufficient for playing the kind of music you have in hand.

However, what do you do if you are already in possession of a smaller keyboard? Does that mean that you cannot start your piano lessons?

You don’t have anything to worry about for your preliminary use will be limited to only 61 keys. Only after you master the keyboard will you need the full-size device. Also, note that most of the music you play will happen in the middle section of the keyboard.

  • Weighted keys:

You need to have an understanding of the workings of an acoustic piano in order to appreciate the need for weighted keys truly. Upon pressing a key, you will feel a definite weight to it which will give you better control over playing a note as soft, loud, or somewhere in between. Ask some of the best pianists in the world, and they will tell you how much time they spend on working with this weight to ensure the most beautiful sound comes out when they sit at the piano.

With an electric keyboard, though, this feeling of weight does not always happen. Are you wondering why? It’s simply because pressing a key does not lead to a hammer movement but tells the installed software to playback a recording of the corresponding note. An obvious flaw with electric keyboards, you might say! To counter this issue, electric keyboard manufacturers have found a solution they refer to as “weighted keys”.

Such a keyboard makes an attempt at artificially replicating what it feels like to play on a real acoustic piano. There can be both sides to how a manufacturer goes about doing this replication work. Although it is not mandatory to have weighted keys while taking piano lessons, this is an important factor that, when taking into consideration, can make your learning more fruitful.

Shopping for a suitable pianoWhen is the best time to go for purchasing a real piano?

You may have experienced it already – there is something very different about the feel of keyboards. Keyboards that are from the top draw do a good mimicry of the piano, but at that price, you may just as well go in for purchasing an acoustic piano.

Once you are past the point of playing the beginner pieces, it is advisable that you take the jump and invest in purchasing a piano. Just like the keyboards, not every piano is created equal. A grand piano will offer certain benefits over an upright piano just as the latter does when compared to keyboards.

It is not necessary that you have to own a grand piano in order to practice because space and money can prove to be significant constraints. If you can make arrangements wherein you can practice regularly, that will be sufficient in helping you complete your lessons.

An average upright piano is just not enough for fine-tuning some of the more nuanced parts associated with playing this instrument while things just get a lot worse when done on an average keyboard.

If you are just taking baby steps with your piano lessons or are an intermediate learner, don’t allow your learning to be dictated by the type of piano in your possession. Not having a piano does not mean that you will miss out on a great deal. On the other hand, if you have progressed to an advanced level, then an upgrade should be on the cards. Piano learning enthusiasts can check out PianoLessonsNYC.org to find professional piano teachers for all genders and ages for advanced upgrades.

At the very least, you should look for a suitable location where you can practice regularly on a proper piano. Is there a friend who can possibly help you out or maybe the local church you visit has some way of coming to an arrangement? Take advantage of the available opportunity, if one comes by, and practice playing the piano as often as you possibly can.

Comment

Flying on a Private Plane? Here’s What to Expect on a Private Jet Terminal

Every time you visit an airport to fly to a new destination, you are expected to spend some amount of time in the airport terminals. And to ensure that your wait time is comforting and keeping you engaged, creating beautiful and functional terminals has been the biggest challenge for the designers for over the years. Due to which airports all across the world have constantly been evolving with add-ons starting from the design, cafes and comforting lounges.

Changes in runways, terminals, aircraft, and passenger demands are continuously impacting airport functionality. There is great news for all those travelers who prefer Private Jet planes as many private charter airports are drawing inspirations from the luxury hotel market.

In the airline industry, the enterprise that operates and provides aviation services in the terminals are also referred to as Fixed Base Operators or FBO’s. The FBOs are granted permission by the airport authority to provide fuel service, aircraft maintenance, hangar, ground transport, as well as catering services. The aircraft have always received a lot of pampering whereas passengers have to feel satisfied with whatever facilities are available.

However, times are changing, and the facilities at the airport terminals are expected to compete with the price and passenger’s demands. Here are seven things you can expect at the airport terminal if you are flying on a private jet that is continuously improving to keep the customer satisfied to come back for a more private flying experience.

Private plane lounge with butler1. Excellent High-Level Amenities

Gone are those days when you have to wait in a lousy lounge while you private charter is getting ready to fly off. Nowadays, the majority of the private airport terminals have undergone facelifts with some of the world class amenities. When you talk about high-level amenities, it includes everything from gourmet catering, play areas, exercise facilities, lounges, conference rooms, nap rooms, concierge service and more.

2. Classy Lounges

The single airport lounges have improved a lot in recent years. The private charter traveler comes with high expectations, especially when it comes to the comfort and the style. The lounges are redesigned with super comfortable chairs, bar, workspace, and in some perhaps the spa area as well. Some of the airports in places like Los Angeles have included foosball tables and hammocks for a quick dose of entertainment- just in case you get bored playing games or have to wait for your travel buddies.

3. Excellent Wifi Access

The access to the Wifi has become one the top priority for all the airport terminals, especially when catering to the business flyers. Before many FBOs faced the security and bandwidth issues to meet the flyer’s demand. In the last few years, many companies have invested in this niche and upgraded the overall performance, connection issues to provide their customers with smooth and excellent wifi experience.

4. Luxury Retails

Since private jets cater to special clientele, the private jet airports have been collaborating and partnering with premium brands to give their customer experience of luxury on every step they take out of their plane. For example, you will see luxury brand stores like Harrods, Cartier, Chanel, Rolex, Versace, and many others opened in many airports across the world.

Along with fancy lounges and posh spas, the terminals are home to retailers like Hugo Boss, Christian Dior, and many big names.  So if you are early and want to kill some time shopping, then you can treat yourself with the utmost luxury.

The hotels like Hiltons’ have also partnered with FBOs to give passengers to a straight walk off from the plane into the hotel. Isn’t that the height of luxury and convenience making these airports more attractive for all the savvy spenders.

5. Fine Dining Experience

Whether you like vegetarian food, or a tasty Merlot aficionado and steak, the catering service on the private jet terminals will spoil your taste buds with some fantastic food. You will never return to the reheated dreaded fish or chicken options for your take away. All the dietary restrictions and preferences are well accommodated.

6. No Long Queues

When you fly by private plane, your arrival is handled efficiently and quickly just like your departure process. While you only have to declare the baggage upon arrival, you do not have to waste time enduring the crowds and queues like commercial airports. Instead, your arrival process will quickly get over with the stamp on your passport.

Exclusive terminal in Singapore7. Your Private Terminal

Taking a private charter plane will help you save time going through all other usual rigmarole of standing in the queue, boarding pass, etc. Instead, you will be greeted by the pilot on the arrival and the ground crew who will take your luggage, and you are ready to get going.  If you are running behind, don’t worry your plane won’t leave without you. If you have a sudden change in the the aircraft, your route can be managed instantly. You can finish your business meeting, stop for some shopping, finish your meal – consider it as your private terminal.

Over last few years, the private charter service has become highly popular and in demand. Once you experience a private jet flight, you will understand WHY! There are plenty of reasons for such a growing interest including privacy, efficiency, comfort, time-saving and greater convenience that these flights provide which is mostly above the business class and first class seats offered by the commercial flyers.

Airports are exceptionally busy, and the larger ones can be confusing with quite intimidating security measures. That explains the growing popularity of private charter services and more people choosing these highly convenient and time-saving private jets over the commercial flights. It’s not just the luxury but the freedom of choosing your way to travel and experience the best.

Book Your Plane with MBSF Private Jets

Get to your business meetings in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles in no time Fly with MBSF Private Jets, the fastest growing aviation company in the United States at unbeatable prices. The unique online platform allows you to find the most suitable private jet and receive a rapid response from the team to arrange the flight in quickest turn around time. Happy Flying!

 

 

Comment

Five Uses For An Old Toothbrush

Dentists recommend replacing a toothbrush every three months. Replacing the old with the new leaves an old toothbrush that still has life left in it when used in one of these five ways. First, place the old toothbrush (bristles down) in a ½ cup of antiseptic mouthwash to soak for five minutes or longer to disinfect it. Remove toothbrush from mouthwash soak, let dry and place with cleaning supplies for later use in one of these five ways:

Old toothbrushes are usually considered trash#1 Scrub Stove Burners And Control Knobs

A toothbrush gets into all the little crevices around the stove burners and control knobs that a sponge or dishcloth can’t quite reach. Dip a stiff toothbrush into soapy dishwater or spray with favorite kitchen cleaner and the toothbrush will scrub away all the caked-on, splattered-on food particles that collect on these areas of a stove top.

#2 Remove Mineral Deposits From Coffeemaker And Kitchen Faucets

Coffeemakers and around the base of kitchen sink faucets are two areas that develop mineral deposits and stains from hard water. An old toothbrush will easily remove these built up deposits and stains. Make a mixture of one-half white vinegar and one-half water, dip the old toothbrush in the vinegar mixture and scrub away the mineral deposits and hard water stains from coffeemakers, sink faucets or any other kitchen surface.

#3 Laundry Stain Removal

A little elbow grease is sometimes needed to remove those tough stains like grass and blood from the laundry. A little laundry pre-treatment spray and an old toothbrush will remove even the toughest laundry stain. Turn the garment inside out, spray the backside of the stain and scrub the fabric with the old toothbrush, then launder the garment as usual.

#4 Grout Cleaner

The grout between a tiled surface will need an occasional intense scrubbing, but the intense scrubbing times can be prolonged with the use of an old toothbrush. The grout on often used surfaces can be kept looking cleaner longer by spraying a cleaner on the grout and doing a quick scrub with an old toothbrush.

Around the bathroom sink and faucets on a tiled vanity top, tile grout on the floor in front of the bathroom sink, commode and shower are the grout areas that begin to look bad first. A regular spray of cleaner and quickly scrub with an old toothbrush will keep these grout areas looking clean between intense scrubbing times.

#5 Remove Hair Care Product Buildup

The hair care products used in hair clings to combs and brushes and builds up between the comb teeth and brush bristles. Remove loose hair from combs and brushes, then place in the bathroom sink to soak for a few minutes in warm, soapy water. Remove combs and brushes from the water and scrub away the hair care product buildup with an old toothbrush.

A three-month-old toothbrush still has a lot of uses left in it. Use an old toothbrush in the kitchen to scrub the stovetop surface and remove mineral deposits from the coffeemaker and sink faucet. In the laundry room, an old toothbrush aids in stain removal. In the bathroom, an old toothbrush helps keep grout clean and removes hair care product buildup from combs and brushes. Toss the old toothbrush after a recycling use or run through a dishwasher or washing machine cycle to be used again.

Comment

How our Body Reacts to Stress

Our life brings us different things every day and, as a result, we respond to them emotionally and physiologically. At some point, everybody feels stressed. Stress is a normal physiological and psychological reaction to a threat. Natural selection throughout our evolution favored it because its only purpose is promoting our survival. Thus, whether it is a physical threat (a car crash ) or psychological ( a deadline or an argument with someone), the response to stress kicks in to help us deal with the situation.

Stress from daily life can cause a toll on your bodyThe Chain of Reactions

Stress response involves a complex interaction of many body systems, mainly to make our body work more effectively and to minimize all unnecessary functions. It is as if our body switches on a survival mode, where all the energy and services are directed toward fighting a threat.

It is achieved via Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) of our body, which creates a nonconscious automatic response, preparing our body to fight and survive. The hypothalamus region controls the response in our brain, which initiates the release of corticosteroid hormones from the adrenal glands into our bloodstream ( epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol). The chain is followed by:

  • Increased activity in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and, therefore, mental activity
  • Increase in our Heart Rate -à increase of Cardiac Output à Increased Blood Pressure
  • Dilation of airways and increased inhalation ( delivering O2 to the brain and muscle via blood circulation)
  • The reactions above promote faster metabolism and blood flow to limbs and muscles (increasing contraction ability). The response is supported by the release of glucose and fatty acids.
  • Dilation of pupils ( allowing light, to sharpen eyesight)
  • Regulation of the body temperature and composition via sweat glands

In other words – you are ready to run or fight.

Although, as it has been mentioned earlier, the work of other body systems temporarily minimized, which includes :

  • Reproduction System
  • Immune System
  • Digestive system
  • Decreased functioning of Intestinal Tract and Kidneys

As a result, we achieve a state effective for survival – speed, alertness, strength, emotional sharpness. This response happens automatically in seconds. Usually, when the stressor disappears, the reaction is soon brought down by the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which returns things back to normal. When the stressor persists for a longer time or reappears consistently, the human body enters a state of chronic stress. As much as effectively our body responses to stress, it’s regulated performance during prolonged stressful condition starts overloading and failing, eventually leading to different health problems.

Don’t get me wrong- speeding is fun, but what happens to your car if you “push” it for hours?

Mothers need to manage stress levelsDifferent Responses to Stress

According to mental health expert Connie Lillas, a functional explanation exists to establish the three traditional means of how people react to stress:

  • Foot on the gas – An angry agitated stress response
  • Foot on the brake – A withdrawn or depressed stress response
  • Foot on both – A tense and frozen stress response

The response to stress depends on a variety of factors, such as person’s sex, age, mental state ( emotional control and attitude), physiological state. Therefore, what is stressful to one person might not be stressful for another.

Chronic Stress

According to Dr. Harbuz (Bristol University): “a single exposure to a particular stressor can reduce the response to that same stimulus several weeks later.” It suggests that our body can adapt to specific stressors through repeated exposures, on the condition that regulatory systems work well, although, it is not always the case.

When our systems do not cope, a long-term exposure to stress leads to major changes of neurotransmitters in the brain, excess of corticosteroids in the blood and other neuroendocrine changes. These changes are associated with the occurrence of depression, rheumatoid arthritis, the risk of heart strokes, sleep problems, skin conditions, etc. Thus, when the balanced state (homeostasis) is not achieved you are fighting not only against stress but against yourself.

As I said before, everybody gets stressed at some point. And though, due to evolution, we are prepared to fight, sometimes we have to know how to take control and manage stress for our well being. Driving a car when you know how is safer.

Comment

Managing Risk Across a Stock Trading Portfolio

The importance of risk management and capital protection cannot be overstated when trading in the financial markets. Many online brokerages now offer conditional orders like stop losses to their clients and this has gone some way toward addressing the issue, but risk management goes a lot further than simply setting a stop loss.

When a trade is placed, there are a couple of different types of risk that need to be thought of and planned for.

Trade Risk — This is the risk that the individual share you have bought will plummet and your investment will be worth nothing. Some ideas for mitigating trade risk include setting a stop loss, using a capital allocation method and only risking a set percentage of your capital in any given trade.

Market Risk – this is the risk that the entire market will fall, and wipe out your entire portfolio.

Unfortunately, the only way to entirely mitigate market risk is to refrain from trading in the markets. The happy news is that even though we cannot totally get rid of market risk, we can go a long way toward making it manageable and we can keep it at a point where we feel safe in the market and can sleep soundly at night.

Many risks are involved in stock tradingPortfolio Heat – A Risk Management Tool for Traders and Investors

Portfolio Heat is a tool that ensures that only a set percentage of an investors capital is ever exposed to the market at any one point.

For example, Jane the Trader has an account worth $100 000 to trade with, and she never risks more than 1% (or $1000) of her account on any one trade. By risking only $1000 on each trade, Jane is protected from trade risk, but not from a broad market crash. If Jane had 20 new positions and the market crashed, she could lose 20% of her account in one fell swoop.

To protect her portfolio against an across the board fall, Jane could implement a Portfolio Heat strategy. To do this she must determine a few parameters.

Firstly, she must decide on a level of loss that she would psychologically feel comfortable handling in one day. This is usually a percentage of total equity or capital, for example, 6%. This means that in Jane’s case, the most she feels she could comfortably lose in a crash would be $6000.

($100 000*0.06).

This heat percentage will be different for everyone and should be set in line with each investors risk profile, but as a general guideline between 5 – 10% is usually acceptable.

Once a heat percentage has been decided upon, it will guide the trader or investor as to how many new positions may be opened at any one time. In Jane’s scenario, she could never have more than 6 new positions open at any one time. Because Jane risks $1000 on her trades, by limiting her new positions to just six she ensures she never has more than $6000 at risk in the market.

Protective Stop Loss

It must be noted that this does not mean she is limited to six positions in total. As soon as any position moves into profit and its protective stop loss is moved to breakeven, the position no longer has any capital at risk and therefore no heat allocation.

This also applies to trades that get stopped out at a loss. Once a traders’ capital is safe the position no longer counts toward the heat percentage and it means that a new position may be opened.

Using Portfolio Heat will allow traders and investors alike to rest easy at night, knowing the market only has access to a small percentage of their capital. Market crashes are rare but they can be permanently scarring to a traders psychology, and even if their account is relatively unscathed from the emotional impact of a substantial loss must be considered.

Comment

How to Learn Saxophone Without Losing Your Sanity

People say saxophone is one of the most difficult instruments to learn because you have to both hit the chords while going with the rhythm of your breathing. It is so challenging that not many musicians can do it, and not all bands have a saxophonist in the group. In fact, an ensemble with a saxophonist is always more expensive than a team without one. It can be because to find a good saxophone player is hard to find.

If you would like to learn the saxophone, where do you start? If you’ve been into guitar, the piano, or any musical instrument, good news for you. You now have an idea of what to expect from getting New York City saxophone lessons. Also, it is a plus if you already know how to play a musical instrument because you can now read chords. It is an essential skill if you are learning a new instrument.

But even those who are already familiar with playing an instrument can find it challenging to play the saxophone. First off, how do you use the mouthpiece? And how do you play the chords while blowing into this mouthpiece? This part of the saxophone is what makes it difficult for many learners because it is the unique element of this instrument. You cannot practice it on any other instrument, even on the flute, because the breathing technique is far different from what you must do on a saxophone.

Since saxophone is a difficult instrument to learn, many students get unmotivated when they don’t see progress. How can you study saxophone without depleting your motivation to learn? Here are some tips to help you learn without losing your sanity:

1. Practice using the mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is one element of the saxophone that makes the instrument difficult to learn. So, it just makes sense that you must give some time to practice using the mouthpiece. Detach this piece from the horn, and practice producing different chords, rhythms, and pitches. On a piano, it seems natural because you get to control the keys with your fingers. You can quickly change the pitch by going to the lower or higher end of the keyboard, and by using the white and black keys. However, on a saxophone, you have the feel of where you are at.

Do not get attempted to cheat on this one. Practice using the mouthpiece with the feel of your entire vocal tone. It is easy to cheat on this one with the use of your lower jaw to change pitch but think long term. If you get to perfect using the mouthpiece, then you have just got through one of the most challenging parts of saxophone learning.

Mastering overtones in playing the saxophone2. Practice overtones

As mentioned, using the mouthpiece is one of the most challenging aspects of saxophone learning. Another tricky part is getting used to overtones. Overtones are the finger techniques you see on saxophone players, where they alternate the press on chords depending on how they want the notes to sound. Sounds complicated, right? Well, it is. It can be difficult to speed up on overtones when you are a beginner, so you have to keep on practicing until you can do the rhythms without compromising on the technique. An excellent way to practice is to develop a comfortability with hearing the tone. The standard tone must match the sound of the overtone, which takes some experience to help you through.

Learning saxophone is not easy, but if you develop the discipline and dedication to play it, you will find it to be the most satisfying and rewarding journey you make as a music enthusiast.

Comment

Preparing Homemade Colon Cleansers

More and more people are starting to realize the importance of cleansing the colon nowadays. There are even some who went vegetarian or at least toned down in eating fatty and meat foods. This is a good indicator especially that there are a lot of illnesses and sickness we could easily get just by eating the wrong kinds of foods or over-indulgence in it.

A clean colon is very essential for optimal health that is why it is highly advisable that you cleanse your colon regularly. You can find various colon cleansing products in the market today. However, you can also opt to do it the natural way. You could even make homemade colon cleansers for more economical and practical reasons. Give yourself some nutrient protection when doing the cleanse by having personalized vitamins & supplements. Just in case, you might get deficiencies when doing it.

You should, however, start slow since each has different reactions to foods and herbs that are often used. Furthermore, you must read first all the ingredients that could be included in preparing homemade colon cleansers so you will have an inkling on what is used to flush the toxins and eliminates parasites.

Cleansing Tea

colon cleansing teaYou can find various homemade colon cleanser recipes on the net, and you can even modify them according to your need. One simple and easy to do recipe is by using herbal colon cleanse tea. Making the tea is very easy. Just get 200 ml of water and start boiling it on simmer fire. When it starts bubbling, add two cloves and about two teaspoons of crushed ginger. Let it be on fire for 3 minutes more. Then, you may add 5-6 holy basil leaves and 3-4 mint leaves. Leave it on fire for another 5 minutes. Once the water turns brownish, you can take it off from the fire. Cool it and then add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Drink it while it’s still hot. Try doing this for a month, and you can see and feel the change within your body.

Cleansing Jam

Another colon cleansing recipe you can try doing at home is by using 5 kg ripe plums, 400 gm honey, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and tamarind jam. The first thing you need to do is putting the pitted plums and 1/3 of the pits into a bowl. Fill the pot with water and boil it for an hour. You need to stir this from time to time and keep on adding water if required. After an hour, you can now remove the pits and let the mixture simmer for another 20 minutes. Once the jam gets cooled, you can start adding the rest of the ingredients such as honey, apple cider vinegar, and tamarind jam. Pour this medicated special jam in a glass container and make sure that it’s sealed tightly. Have one tablespoon of the plum jam early in the morning on an empty stomach.

plum made into jamYou see, you need not spend much on colon cleansers since you can make one right inside your home. These ample colon cleansing recipes are not only expensive, but they are also highly effective in keeping your colon healthy, rejuvenate the entire gastrointestinal tract and improve digestion.

 

Comment