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Snacks Worthy of the Office

Looking for a way to stay focused and productive throughout the day? There are a lot of things you can turn to in your time of need as the blood sugar levels drop off and your breakfast or lunch power runs out. But what we naturally feel drawn to in these times of need are usually what we don’t need. The potato chips or candy bars and soda pop will dump us quickly feeling slower and more useless then before we had them.  Unfortunately those sugars and saturated fats are just going to hurt us. Even though they may taste good going down they don’t give you the boost you need. Not to mention the negative effects on blood pressure, weight gain and a whole host of other health issues these snacks can bring. But don’t despair! There are heroes in the snacking industry. Just waiting to save you from that lull at work and bring you back to your best!

The key to successful snacks is to remember that they are SNACKS not TREATS. A candy bar or soda pop is a treat not a snack. The other thing to remember is that the portion of a snack is not the same as a meal. You don’t need a lot of food to satisfy that need you’re feeling and boost your blood sugar up where it should be. This is about what you need not what you think you want.

So what are good snacks? Let’s cover some of the headliners that will give you the most return on your snacking investment.

  • Nuts: all kinds of nuts are really good snacks but the all time champion is the almond. With the least amount of fat for the most amount of protein there is none better.
  • Plain Yogurt: it may be a slight adjustment but plain yogurt is the best for you and won’t be packed with sugar like the
    flavored kind is. Also consider Greek yogurt which contains more protein but again go plain and regular.
  • Whole Grains: these can be found in a variety of ways. Some of the best are a slice of whole grain bread with some honey drizzled on top, whole grain granola bars, and oats with berries and a little water.
  • Raw Vegetables: a bag of baby carrots or some celery chunks and a small container of peanut butter to dip in are great
    choices.
  • Dark Chocolate: a chunk of the dark side can be a good source of antioxidants.

How to Select the Perfect Lamp

Picking a Lamp

Two Important Things to Consider

Size

The size you need in a lamp has a lot to do with the space you are working with. Most office lamps will be for the desk area. The most productive and helpful way to use a lamp on a desk area is to concentrate light at the work you are focusing on. This could be a document, a book, or any number of other things. Ideally the over head light will be strong enough to move around and use things in your environment but not strong enough to focus on things like reading. So the larger the on hand working material the larger the lamp light area will need to be.

 

Bulb

Your lamp can have three different special kinds of bulbs: fluorescent, incandescent and halogen. Fluorescent is too harsh for concentrated work like reading so that’s not your best choice. Incandescent is inexpensive but doesn’t have the focus effect that you need. The bulb that offers you the best results is the halogen. It concentrates and focuses you in on your work without being too harsh and it’s bulbs lasts a long time.

Which Mouse is Best

Picking a Mouse

There are two main concerns when choosing a mouse for your computer. The way in which you hold the mouse and whether a wireless mouse or corded is best for you.

Getting a Grip

There are three types of mouse gripping types. The palm grip, the claw grip, and the fingertip grip. Some one that uses the palm grip will have their whole hand on the mouse, all the way back into their palm. For this kind of user you will want a mouse with a longer sloping back that fits comfortably into your hand. The second type is called the claw grip because your fingers are more raised up or arched then the palm grip and because of that raised action in your fingers you will need a shorter mouse with a more raised back. This allows for the natural form for your hand to happen without fighting against the mouse. The last kind of grip is all about the fingertips. You will find a shorter mouse more to your liking because the control you exert over your mouse comes from your finger tips and thumb. You won’t need a long back on it.

Cord or Cordless

Once you have found the right shape mouse you have to decide if you want to go wireless or if your needs are best met with a cord attaching you to the computer. If you are always working at the same desk and have plenty of space then there are benefits to keeping the cord. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of keeping batteries in the mouse. Also there can be some lag in the responsiveness of a wireless mouse compared to its corded counterparts.  This doesn’t mean that a wireless mouse wouldn’t be a wise choice for the desktop computer at work. There are just some down sides that have to be accepted before saying it’s the right choice for you. If you are mainly using a laptop on the go and want a mouse for that device then the wireless makes more sense because it has no cord to tangle and snag on things.

The main take away is that when choosing a mouse you have to find the right fit for your style and preferences. It’s about knowing your own habits.

Fostering Team Work

Team work

A lot can be said about the effectiveness and benefits of working in teams. The power of synergy and the potential for creativity are forefront.  There are three specific benefits to those two items that this post will highlight along with some tips to maximize those benefits.

 

1. Leveraging Strengths of Individuals and Minimizing Weaknesses

The old adage, “you’re only as strong as your weakest member” is only true if you let it be true. Bring together a group of people, all strong in different areas and have them focus where they are strongest in the group. Even though each member on their own could be mediocre over all you will have an all-star team.

 

2. Keep the Focus on the Groups Objective

If every member of the team has the group’s objective as the number one priority higher results will be achieved. One member should not be able to consider the project a victory if they accomplish their task but the project ultimately fails to succeed. The only success should be found in the group’s objective. If this is their attitude then every member will be doing all hey can to make sure each member is succeeding. In a team people should build off each other’s efforts, that’s what synergy is.

3. The Environment must be Positive and Open

A lot of silly concepts proceed the really genius. If people are mocking and nay saying ideas then the really brilliant ideas will  ever surface because the team will be unwilling to take risks. There is such a thing as a bad idea but not until the right idea has  been found. Let the creative juices flow naturally and undisturbed. Have ways to illustrate the ideas. Large post-it notes and a bare wall are perfect for this. When done correctly ideas are preserved and individuals can express their thoughts more clearly with scribbles, arrows, text and yes even pictures! Smaller sticky notes can be attached to the large thoughts as comments and suggestions come in on the original idea.

 

Maintaining the Break room Fridge

Refrigerator: Pressed for time? You can still fight slime with our easy fridge-cleaning tips.

Refrigerator

It can be amazing how a fridge that is only used part time to hold peoples lunch or snacks can become so dirty. Lucky for us Clorox has given a quick guide to maintaining a healthy, clean fridge.

Use Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes daily to clean commonly touched areas like the door handle, as well as to wipe up small spills in the fridge.

Search the refrigerator for any expired items and toss them. You might be surprised by what is hiding out in the back of the bottom drawer. Afterwards, spray down with Clorox® Anywhere® Hard Surface™ Daily Sanitizing Spray, using it as directed.

Wipe doors, including edges, and top of the refrigerator with Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with Bleach.

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Refresh the Carpets

HOW TO CLEAN CARPET

Carpeted areas can be some of your highest traffic areas. Did you know you can use the power of Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner to remove that stubborn carpet or rug stain? It also leaves your entire room smelling fresher and looking brighter.

For spot treating, rub in a splash of full-strength Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner on grease spots or heavy dirt marks with a sponge or cleaning brush. Then, wipe or rub plain water on the spot and dry thoroughly.

For a more all-around cleaning and deodorizing, you can apply this same process across your entire carpet. If you have area rugs, they can be cleaned In Your Washer with Pine-Sol®cleaner. You may also be able to use Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Purpose Cleaner in your steam cleaner, though you should check with the instructions for your device first.

If you’re not sure your carpet is colorfast, be sure to test an inconspicuous area first. And remember to avoid using scented Pine-Sol® varieties on fabrics, laundry or carpets.

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Project Management Tips

Project Management Plan: 5 Steps to Organizing and Managing any Project

A project management plan is a must-have for anyone with project-based work to do. Following a project management plan will help you reduce stress while producing quality work. Project management is a lot like taking a journey. You have some idea of where you want to go, but you’re unsure what steps will get you there. As with any trip, project management becomes a snap when you invest a little planning time up front.

1. MAP: Set up your project management plan

The first step to creating your project management plan is starting a roadmap. Try examining the project and asking a few simple questions:

  • What are my goals? What end result am I trying to accomplish?
  • What is my deadline?
  • Who will I need to include in this project?
  • What supplies / resources will I need to get this done?

This is a grounding exercise that is designed to help you get a basic idea of what this project will require of you. This is the important foundation for your project management plan. You will now find it a lot easier to break these “big picture” ideas into smaller steps to follow.

2. ORGANIZE: Keep your project paperwork organized

The key to any successful journey is organizing your travel paperwork – a project is no different. Just as you do with your hotel reservations, plane tickets and tourist brochures, you need a system for storing all of your project files in one location so you never have to waste time searching. Like travel paperwork, project files are temporary. These files will only be used until the project is completed. Assign a separate drawer or hanging file box for your project paperwork. Of course, the best possible project organizing system is portable so that you can take them with you wherever you go on.

3. IMPLEMENT: Put your project management plan into action

They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – and the same is true of your project. You have to start somewhere. The creation of your Project Management Plan should always be the first on your list. Maybe your second step will be working out a schedule or drawing up a list of tasks. Or perhaps you want to have a meeting to brainstorm with your team. Don’t spend too much time worrying about exactly which step to take – any move forward is a good one. You may feel stuck at the beginning of your project, but just getting started often provides the momentum you need to keep you moving in the right direction.

4. RECOGNIZE: Pay attention to progress with your project management plan

Most long journeys actually involve a series of smaller trips, stopping to see this site or visit this town along the way. This is also how a project management plan works. Every project, no matter how large, is just a series of smaller tasks – and your job is simply to figure out what those tasks are. Each one of these steps constitutes a “milestone” which gets you a little closer to your end goal. While you never want to lose sight of your final destination, your project will be a lot less overwhelming if you simply focus on your next milestone (bit sized is always easier to swallow!) Once you accomplish that task, move to the next – in no time, you will find that you have systematically worked your way to the end of the project.

5. COMPLETE: Make sure you are meeting your project management plan deadlines

On any journey, you have some idea of how long you plan to spend in each location and when you will need to arrive at your next destination. The same is true while executing your project management plan, but instead of scheduling from your departure date forward, you will schedule from your arrival (or deadline) date backward. Ask yourself when each previous step must be completed for the next step to happen on time, as well as how long each step will realistically take to complete. These can each be plugged into your calendar. This will help you to create a schedule you can live with, allow you to see progress along the way, and prevent a lot of last-minute rushing (which keeps your stress levels down).

With a project management plan and the steps above you should be well on your way to many successful and enjoyable project management experiences.

by Ramona Creel

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Binding for Your Business

Useful Documents You Can Make in the Office

 

A binding machine as a part of your standard office business machine ensemble can be used for more then just producing an occasional presentation, it can be a method of organizing the information you use daily for both internal and external purposes.

 

Internal Documents

Tax Returns
Binding your annual tax returns keeps every year organized for quick easy reference and eliminates lost pages.

Company Overviews
Guidelines defining your company may seem like a big business issue, but small businesses as well need to establish mission statements and best practices guidelines. Creating a bound company overview establishes a reference document that can help employees, contractors and vendors understand your vision for your company.

Operational Handbooks
If your small business includes the use of equipment or machinery, bound operational guidelines for equipment usage helps prevent mistakes, accidents and damage.

Custom Business Planners
Creating custom business planners for yourself and your employees can give you the ability to create an at-a-glance schedule designed specifically for your business. Customized planners can uniformly pinpoint crucial periods in your business cycle, define commonly attended trade shows, and highlight regular company events and conferences.

 

External Documents

Proposals
Bound new business quotes show your professionalism. Detailed information is more likely to be read when bound.

Business Plans
Bound business plans not only make a strong impression, but can structure and organize your business strategy from executive summary to funding requests, offering a comprehensive, clear and concise document. And since every business is a work in progress, changing your plan is easy with your own binding machine.

Presentations
A powerful PowerPoint presentation may impress a client, but maintaining the power through a bound version of that presentation secures that lasting impression.

Leave-Behinds
Offering detailed information at trade shows or to potential customers is important, but maintaining cost is too. Creating bound professional looking leave-behinds for trade shows or for sales visits communicates your value without sacrificing your budget to expensive printing.

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Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

The best way to stay cozy at home during the winter is to curl up with a nice warm drink and a tasty treat. These delicious and healthy scones are easy to make and a nice reward after a good winter workout.

Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time: 20 Min
Ready In: 40 Min Makes 8 servings

• 1 1∕2 cups rolled oats
• 1∕2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1∕2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1∕3 cup white sugar
• 3∕4 teaspoon baking soda
• 3∕4 teaspoon baking powder
• 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
• 3∕4 cup milk
• 1 cup fresh blueberries or
frozen blueberries, thawed
• 1∕2 cup pecans
• 2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Stir the oatmeal, flours, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two forks and cut in the butter with the flour mixture until crumbly and well blended. Stir the milk into the flour mixture until just combined. Lightly stir in the pecans and blueberries. Collect the dough into a ball and pat into a large circle about 1 inch high. Cut into 8 wedges,and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons milk.
3. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.



Three Ways to be more organized this tax season!

 “It’s the start of a new year. A sense of optimism and renewal is in the air. But those pleasant feelings can fade away once those pesky reminders that tax season isn’t far away start to invade your mailbox.
While you can’t avoid tax season, you can make it less stressful through better organization. So, let’s look at some quick ways to do that.

1) Be kind to your eyes with clearly identifiable folders

It’s frustrating enough dealing with taxes. Don’t compound matters with folders that feature indistinguishable labels and indecipherable handwriting.

With bright, distinctive colors, Avery Removable File Folder Labels help your folders stand out, and make it easier to insert your tax records and receipts into the correct folders. Clearly marked labels can speed the file-sorting process and promote accuracy.

Plus, it’s a snap to create easy-to-read labels with customized categories exactly the way you want them. Just print the labels on your inkjet or laser printer, and place the labels on your folders.

Want to feel really organized? Color code the folders to keep related tax records together For example, use green for banking and financial records and red for medical receipts. (Even though you may not be a professional tax preparer, you can at least look like one.)

And after you’re done, just peel off the label and the folder is ready for your next project.

2) Keep your mind on track with reusable calendars

On the way to April 15th, you’ll have some important dates or goals to keep in mind. These could include:
– Deadlines to receive forms from employers and financial institutions
– Personal deadlines for organizing or preparing tax paperwork
– Meetings with your tax preparer
– Filing for an extension
– Signing and mailing your return

But with birthdays, doctor’s appointments, kid’s soccer practices, and other life events to remember, it’s easy for tax dates to slip through the cracks.

Dry Erase Calendars can wipe away that possibility. Just peel and stick this reusable calendar on any flat, clean surface. Then use Dry Erase Markers to write your tax-related dates on the calendar. Afterward, simply erase your notes with a quick swipe – and enjoy a clean calendar, month after month. For better organization, place your calendar by your computer or any room used for preparing taxes.

Want to move your calendar to another spot? The removable and repositionable adhesive allows you to lift off the calendar without leaving a mark.

3) Snap your paperwork into place with our binders

Did you know Americans spend an estimated nine million hours a day looking for lost or misplaced items? Imagine how much of that occurs during tax season! One quick solution: Avery Heavy-Duty Binders.

Think of these binders as a home safety deposit box for all your tax paperwork. Organize your all-important information into categories with Avery Dividers, with custom tabs you can make yourself. For small, loose items such as receipts, tuck them into three-hole punched Avery Sheet Protectors for safekeeping. For paperwork that needs your immediate attention, use the spacious pockets inside the cover to hold records, forms, and notifications.”

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