Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Seating posture tips

Seating posture tips: many of us have to sit for long hours in front of the computer. If our sitting posture is not correct,we may soon develop back pain or other similar problems.

Here are some tips to show you how to sit properly in order to avoid back problems:

1. Supporting your feet:
If your feet are hanging or tucked under you, the increased pressure on the backs of legs can impair return circulation from the feet. So, support feet on the floor, or on a foot rest if your feet don't reach the floor.

2.Ankles should be forward of the knee:
# Don't put your feet on the spokes of the chair
# Support feet on the floor, or on a foot rest if your feet don't reach the floor
# Adjust chair height for comfortable keyboarding

3.Three finger gap behind the knee
When selecting a chair it is important to find one that has either the right size seat pan. The goal is to have about a 3 finger gap between the front of the chair and the back of the knee when your are sitting comfortably against the backrest.

* Support feet with the ankles forward of the knees
* Three finger gap behind the knee
* Front of seat pan should not press into back of leg
* Add a pillow or foam to build up backrest and fill in the gap.

4. Knees at or below hip level
A common misconception is that the knees should be higher than the hips. Infact, the midpoint of the knee should be lower than the midpoint of the hip. You may accomplish this by adjusting the seat of the chair so that it is parallel to the ground. You may also sit on a cushion so that the thighs slope down slightly. However make sure that it isn't a dramatic slope.

Posture tips for hands and arms
Advice on posture and sitting
Posture Advice
Laptop Ergonomics
Posture tips for laptop users
Back care while sitting

Overcome sleep deficit through power naps

What is power nap?

Mid-day sleep is termed as 'power nap'.

“A power nap is defined as a short nap during the day of about 20-30 minutes duration”, says William Deardorff, Medical Advisor for www.Spine-health.com.

Benefits of power nap:
People who regularly take mid-day naps experience decrease in drowsiness. Research has also shown that it increases your level of alertness during the day and reduces stress.

Some more advantages of mid-day naps are:

  • boost in productivity at work,
  • improved ability to concentrate,
  • less stress,
  • better reaction time,
  • increased learning,
  • more efficiency,
  • better mood,
  • better health,
  • increase in stamina,
  • memory improvement,
  • you can avoid sleep debt by making up on your sleep deficit.

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies found that with a nap, brain activity stays high throughout the day; but without a nap, brain activity declines over the course of a day, says Dr. Deardorff.

Research also says that taking a nap of 30 minutes during mid-day is better than sleeping 30 minutes later in the morning.

Who uses power naps:
Many busy executives who are deficient on regular night sleep make up with short naps during the day. Lance Armstrong was training for the tour-de-france bicycle race, and naps were an important part of his routine.

Many well-known personalities around the world also make use of the benefits offered by power naps, among them being Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, John F. Kennedy to name just a few.

If you feel drowsy on the ride from home to work or back, or if you lack energy during afternoons then try out power naps.

Power naps are especially beneficial for individuals who engage in high pressure situations such as:

  • Important presentations
  • Meetings with clients
  • Long drives or commutes
  • Complex problem solving

How long should you power nap?
The ideal time for power naps can be anywhere between 10-30 minutes. However you can take even shorter naps and wake up feeling refreshed. When Steve Fossett made his record 67-hour flight around-the-world alone in his jet, he took a couple dozen two-to-three minute naps as his only sleep, and claims that he awoke refreshed.

A longer nap of 1-2 hours can also be beneficial but you may not be able to do it on workdays, however you can make it a part of your weekend schedule.

To derive maximum long-term benefits from power naps, make it a regular habit and not just a one time thing. Napping can be good for the old as well as the young.

Folks, do not view mid-day snoozing as a habit for the lazy. Let us all embrace it.

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Recommended Resources:
1. Get Rid of Sleepless Nights- Learn to sleep less and have more energy. Get rid of fatigue and sleepiness. Be active and get all your work done without feeling difficulty.

2. How to get rid of panic and anxiety - Stress can also contribute to loss of energy. Learn latest scientific techniques to overcome anxiety and handle stress.

Related Articles On This Site:

1. Tips for a healthy sleep, 2. Reducing Stress at workplace, 3. Have more energy everyday, 4. Sleep quality through a sleep diary, 5. Prevent headaches

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to handle pressure

A lot of people tend to overlook the effect of stress on one's career. Though a little pressure can be good for improved performance, an overdose of it can make people lose their head and give in to immediate impulses that lack judgment.

Some examples of pressure situations at workplace can be: meeting deadlines, handling peer pressure, handling disagreements and arguments, handling difficult co-workers to name just a few.

So how do you keep your cool under pressure at workplace and respond in a sensible manner? Here are just a few tips. You may add some more to these in the comments section.

1. Take time before you react. Study any give situation carefully, think about it and come up with a plan. This is better way to respond than being hasty.

2. Prioritize tasks, focus on tasks which are linked to your most immediate objective. Here is a superb article on improving your prioritizing skills and becoming a master at it.

3. Direct your energy toward situations where you can affect the outcome and don’t spend time worrying about what you cannot change. Successful people focus on tasks which they can control and let go of the rest.

Winners narrow their efforts only to what will help them win. So recognize what you can control and what you cant.

4. Take the help of others. You can seek the input of other people before reaching any decision. You may also delegate some tasks to others if you have a tight schedule. Decide which tasks can be delegated to other people and do so.

"Office Spa: Stress Relief for the Working Week", a book by relaxation expert Darrin Zeer, also offers some tips—everyday items to keep at your desk to make your working hours a little less stressful.

5. Learn how to deal with different kinds of people at work - complainers, aggressive people etc. Develop your listening skills in order to interact better with people and pay attention to improving your communication skills. Here is a useful article - How to be cool

6. Stop looking at the clock. When you have to meet a tight deadline, then instead of constantly looking at the clock, focus on the task at hand. Do the task with full concentration. Break bigger tasks down into smaller ones, try to finish the most urgent tasks first and then the low-priority ones. Assign time frames dedicated solely for each particular task.

7. Think positively at all times. Maintain mental discipline by not allowing thoughts of failure into your head.

8. Keep Your Mind In The Present. Winners maintain mental focus in the present. The here and now is where you perform, not the regrets of the past or the uncertainty of the future. Focus on what you are doing, when you do it.

You can keep your mind in the present by concentrating fully on the task at hand while you are performing it. In order to improve your concentration while performing tasks, check out my articles:
a) Improve concentration
b) How to produce excellent work

If you are focused on the present, you can avoid fears and doubts.

9. Focus on the task and not the outcome. Achievers keep their eye on the journey and not the goal. Having objectives is helpful, but when you execute, stay focused on the process. You cannot completely control the outcome as it can depend on many other factors, some of which may not be in your hands. (Remember tip#3).

10. Enjoy yourself: Relaxation is important if you want to perform any task well. If you are stressed out, then you may not be able to give your 100%. So enjoy the task you are doing, and you will feel relaxed and enthusiastic about it. See my article : How to produce excellent work, for more information on how relaxation can improve quality of work.

11. Water bottle. Eight glasses of water a day are recommended by experts. Keep a bottle at your desk to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue and sluggishness—two major signs of dehydration.

12. Tea. The most consumed beverage in the world, tea can increase energy, stimulate brain activity and increase information retention.

13. Healthy snacks. Keep some healthy food at your desk for days when you can’t dash out for lunch. Some good snacks include: cereal bars, dried fruit,pudding.

14. Learn tips to manage stress. We all have to face stressful situations at one time or the other. People who can nicely manage stress levels, do what is needed to be done while staying calm and composed under pressure will most likely overcome obstacles in their way to achieve worthwhile success. Check out some useful articles for some help in this regard:
a) 22 tips to manage stress,
b) Managing stress at the workplace.
c) Being calm in stressful situations

Are bad habits ruining your career, relationships etc?
Finally learn how to eliminate bad habits from your life so that they don't hinder your success. Bad habits like procrastination, smoking, laziness, poor self-image etc. can stand in the way of your dreams. Check out this helpful resource - End Bad Habits in 21 Days

A few helpful links:
1. Stress at workplace,
2. Dealing with difficult audience while giving public speech,
3. Secrets of successful job interview
4. How to stay cool under pressure

If you found this article useful, get updates to this blog by subscribing through the form on the top right side of this web page. You can also email this site's link to your friend through the link at the end of this article.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How to produce excellent work

Do you want to get excellent results, no matter what work you are doing?

Do you want your work to be great?

The following tips should help in improving the quality of your performance and producing splendid work:

1. Love what you do or do what you love:
This article points out the importance of doing what you love: The only way to do great work is to love what you do

Deep interest in something will help you concentrate better in order to perform better.

2.Give full concentration:
You must give full concentration to any work you are doing in order to perform better in it. Become fully involved in it. Some tips to improve your concentration are: improve concentration

3.Be relaxed, comfortable:
In order to produce great work, it is important that you be relaxed. Being relaxed helps you in paying more attention to your work, having better concentration, being fully alert and having clear thinking. In order to be relaxed you need to love what you are doing(as mentioned in point#1). Having a deep interest in something helps in feeling comfortable and paying more attention to it.

4.Get as much knowledge about it as possible:
Whatever it is that you are attempting to do, try to gain as much knowledge as possible about the task you are performing. With increased knowledge, you will feel more comfortable. You may also gain new interest in the work which inturn helps your concentration.

All the points mentioned here are inter-related and one thing can lead to another. With knowledge you may find your anxieties about the task vanishing. Read more about this here: overcome fears through knowledge.

5. Practice:
If you want to become a master at anything, you need to keep practicing it till you become comfortable doing it and your performance improves. So another important means of achieving
excellence in your work is through gaining knowledge and implementation of that knowledge by continued practice.

As I mentioned earlier, all the above points are related to each other. Following one point should naturally lead to others atleast to some extent. You can notice how loving your work can naturally result in more concentration; how being relaxed can also improve concentration levels; how gaining knowledge can help in building interest about a particular task; how loving something can help in making us relaxed while doing it and so on.

You might like to try following all the above tips and keep at them till you see marked improvement in your work performance.

Related Articles:
1. Overcome problems by writing down, 2. Become interested in any subject, 3. Tips to improve vocabulary, 4. How to make your business proposal heard, 5. Tips to write faster and better.
6. Headache help