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Be a Leader / A Good Life Contains These 6 Essentials
« on: September 28, 2016, 12:06:14 PM »
A Good Life Contains These 6 Essentials

The values that make up the foundation of a life well lived—and, no surprise, money isn’t one of them

The ultimate expression of life is not a paycheck. The ultimate expression of life is not a Mercedes. The ultimate expression of life is not a million dollars or a bank account or a home. The ultimate expression of life is living a good life.

Here's what we must ask constantly, "What, for me, would be a good life?" And you have to keep going over and over the list—a list including areas such as spirituality, economics, health, relationships and recreation.

So, what would constitute a good life? Jim Rohn has a short list:

1. Productivity
You won't be happy if you don't produce. The game of life is not rest. Yes, we must rest, but only long enough to gather strength to get back to productivity.

What's the reason for the seasons and the seeds, the soil and the sunshine, the rain and the miracle of life? It's to see what you can do with it—to try your hand to see what you can do.

2. Good frie.nds

Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world, so don't deny yourself the time to develop it. Nothing can match it. It's extraordinary in its benefit.

Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you. I lost one of my dearest friends when he was 53—heart attack. As one of my very special friends, I used to say that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere accused unduly, and, if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That's a real friend—somebody who would come and get you.

And we've all got casual friends, friends who, if you called them, they would say, "Hey, if you get back, call me and we'll have a party."

You’ve got to have both real friends and casual friends.

3. Your culture:
Language, music, ceremonies, traditions, dress. All of that is so vitally important that you must keep it alive. The uniqueness of all of us, when blended together, brings vitality, energy, power, influence, and rightness to the world.

4. Spirituality:
It helps to form the foundation of the family that builds the nation. And make sure you study, practice and teach—don't be careless about the spiritual part of your nature because it's what makes us who we are, different from dogs, cats, birds and mice.

5. Don't miss anything:
My parents taught me not to miss anything, not the game, the performance, the movie, the dance. Just before my father died at 93, if you were to call him at 10:30 or 11 at night, he wouldn't be home. He was at the rodeo, he was watching the kids play softball, he was listening to the concert, he was at church—he was somewhere every night.

Go to everything you possibly can. Buy a ticket to everything you possibly can. Go see everything and experience all you possibly can.

Live a vital life. If you live well, you will earn well. If you live well, it will show in your face; it will show in the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you if you live well. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life. And it will give you a vitality nothing else can give.

6. Your family and the inner circle:
Invest in them, and they'll invest in you. Inspire them, and they'll inspire you. Take care of the details with your inner circle.

When my father was still alive, I used to call him when I traveled. He'd have breakfast most every morning with the farmers at a little place called The Decoy Inn out in the country where we lived in Southwest Idaho.

When I was in Israel, I'd have to get up in the middle of the night, but I'd call Papa. I'd say, "Papa, I'm in Israel." He'd say, "Israel! Son, how are things in Israel?" He'd talk real loud so everybody could hear. I'd say, "Papa, last night they gave me a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." He'd say, "Son, a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean?" Now everybody knew the story. And giving my father that special day only took five or 10 minutes.

If a father walks out of the house and he can still feel his daughter's kiss on his face all day, he's a powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and he can still feel the imprint of his wife's arms around his body, he's invincible all day. It's the special stuff with your inner circle that makes you strong and powerful and influential. So don't miss that opportunity.

The prophet said, "There are many virtues and values, but here's the greatest: one person caring for another." There is no greater value than love.

So make sure in your busy day to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do. May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.

A C:  Jim Rohn life philosophies

DIIT is one of the leading educational institute working for the development of the Nation since 2000. It is one of the units of Daffodil Family operating programs BBA, CSE, BTHM & MBA under National University of Bangladesh. DIIT is committed to provide quality education to build a creative leaders of the nation. Currently it is required full-time faculty for the following Positions.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA):

 1. ï Assistant Professor
 2. Senior Lecturer
 3. Lecturer

Computer science & Engineering (CSE)

1. ï Assistant Professor
 2. Senior Lecturer
 3. Lecturer

Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management (BTHM)

1. ï Assistant Professor
 2. Senior Lecturer
 3. Lecturer

Interested candidates are requested to apply by 10 October, 2016 to the Principal of DIIT:

64/3 & 64/4, Lake Circus, Dolphingoli, Kalabagan, Dhaka-1205
Email: website:
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6 Ways to Keep Your Attitude Up When Life Tries to Bring You Down

Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be.

A positive attitude is key to a successful life, so what happens when things go wrong? We have a tendency to let our attitudes take a dive along with our state of affairs. But life is going to deal setbacks, both minor and major, on a regular basis, and if we are going to be successful, we need to know how to keep our attitudes intact.

 ‘What You Think, You Become’

We need practical tools to help us understand how we can keep our attitudes up when the circumstances are down. Here are some thoughts to help us do so:

1. Take some time away :  You know what happens. You’re going about your day and everything seems to be going well, when out of nowhere, disaster strikes. All of your best laid plans begin to tumble. Sometimes circumstances surprise us and we react—and, unfortunately, this often compounds the problem, because by reacting, we tend to operate out of our weaknesses instead of our strengths. We make decisions that are not well thought out. We function with a bad attitude that says, “I can't believe this is happening!”

The next time life turns against you, take some time to just step back from the problem and think. This will enable you to rationally deal with the issue at hand, instead of emotionally reacting. It will allow you to put your state of mind back in its proper place. It will give you the opportunity to choose your attitude as you face the circumstances at hand. Remember that you don't have to do something right now. Go grab a cup of coffee and relax. You are in control—not the circumstances.

" Look for the Hidden Good"

2. Keep your eye on the goal: One of the biggest problems with trouble is that it gets your focus off where it should be. When racecar drivers get into trouble, they keep their eyes straight ahead and do not move them away. There is too much chance of wrecking otherwise. Instead, their eyes are on the goal—and this keeps them out of trouble.

If you find yourself getting down about circumstances, sit down and write out what your goal is, and give some thought to how you can achieve it. Make sure you’re keeping the important things important.

A man was asked how he was doing and he responded, "Pretty well, under the circumstances." The other man asked, "What are you doing under the circumstances?" Good question. We shouldn't be under the circumstances. We should be focused on the goal and moving forward.

3. Focus on solutions, not problems : “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” the old saying goes. Negative circumstances don't sit idly by—they scream for our attention. When we face difficult circumstances, we tend to dwell on them. We talk about them, fret about them and give them way too much attention.

Instead of talking about problems, talk about solutions. Instead of spending your time thinking about how bad things are, think about how good they will be!3 Don't have family or staff meetings about the problems and how big they are; have meetings on the solutions and how you will implement them. Don't let yourself or other team members complain; encourage them to solve, with an emphasis on the positive results that will come from doing so. Then take some time to put these solutions down on paper so you can monitor your progress.

4. Get some positive input : The mind tends to build on itself, so when we begin to go in one direction (like worrying), it can be a slippery slope. One thing we must do is get our thoughts back on track with positive ideas. Because Worry Never Fixes Anything

When circumstances have you against the emotional wall, meet with a friend who can encourage you. Pick up a good book and read. Whatever external influence you can get to put your attitude back on the positive side of the tracks—do it! It must be one of our first goals to start plugging good things into our minds to power our attitudes.

5. Tell yourself the good : One of the greatest internal powers we have is the power to control our thoughts.

Spend time dwelling on the good things about your life or career instead of the problems. Think about positive things—things that you enjoy and that give you a sense of happiness and peace.6 There is an old childhood song that says, "Count your blessings—name them one by one." That’s great advice! Let your positive attitude develop from within as well as from without. This makes all the difference!

6. Remember that circumstances are not forever : Sometimes it seems like we are going to be up to our eyeballs in the situation forever, when in reality, “this too shall pass.” There will be a time in the future when circumstances will change and you will be on the mountain instead of in the valley. This will give you a sense of hope as you live and work that will change your attitude, make you feel better and put you on the fast track for growth.

Articles by Chris Widener

Top 10 careers for satisfaction and fulfillment

Do you love your job? Does it “satisfy” you? There are so many important factors when it comes to defining what makes a worthwhile career. Here, we talk to the experts to find 10 jobs almost anyone could do that might really enhance your life.

Although opinions about what constitutes the ‘perfect’ job vary widely, one thing we can probably all agree on when it comes to choosing a career is that it should be satisfying.

Finding a way to do what you love while still making enough money to get by isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly worthwhile. Employees who are engaged in their work tend to be more productive, have higher self-esteem, and enjoy better overall health and work/life balance.
But what’s the main difference between a job you truly love and one that just pays the bills?

One report from an international cabinet office shows that although money can make us happy to a certain extent, other factors like social support and opportunities for development and growth can actually influence our satisfaction at work far more than our pay cheque.

Feeling challenged is also important, and often the most satisfying jobs provide both feedback and variety, while also allowing for some independence.

In Australia, the happiest workers tend to be those who run their own business or work for a small or medium enterprise.

This is hardly surprising considering that people who run their own business often have more control and confidence in their work situation, and smaller teams are able to work together more closely and provide higher levels of support and feedback.
Based on these factors, here are ten of the most satisfying careers to get into:

(All pay figures are approximate and based on variations state by state. Head to Pay Scale to find out more specific information. All other figures have been sourced from Job Outlook. All figures as correct at time of publication of post.)

1. Fashion designer

Fashion designers are ranked highly on the list of most satisfying careers, which is no surprise considering that they generally have a great deal of independence and control over how they work. Many even go on to start their own custom clothing business or online retail store.

Salary: AU$34,078 – AU$81,253
2. Dental assistant

Dental assistants are expected to be in high demand in the coming five years, and the number of expected jobs is between 10,000 and 25,000. Because dental assistants tend to work in smaller teams and have a close working relationship with their immediate supervisors, their level of job satisfaction is generally high.

Salary: AU$25,850 – AU$53,205
3. Author or freelance writer

The opportunity to use skills and talents is an important contributor to job satisfaction, so it’s no surprise that writing is ranked as one of the happiest jobs. Authors and writers also have more freedom to dictate their own working hours, and often spend more time at home, which supports a healthy work/life balance.

Salary: AU$35,378 – AU$93,701
4. Executive or administration assistant

Working as an administrative or executive assistant not only pays well, but also provides opportunities for developing wider life skills like problem solving. Another factor that contributes to job satisfaction is the variation of the work. Along with administrative duties, an executive assistant’s job includes things like organising business travel, arranging meetings and coordinating business resources.

Salary: AU$46,599 – AU$79,483
5. Early childhood educator

Teaching professionals and early childhood educators are often ranked as some of the happiest workers due to the sense of meaning they derive from their work.

Salary: AU$30,787 – AU$69,410
6. Accountant

Job security is another big determinant of career satisfaction, and if you’re looking to make a career change, accountancy just might be a good option. Accountants were ranked as some of the most in-demand workers for 2014, and around 21,400 new accountancy jobs are expected to be added by 2017.

Salary: AU$38,989 – AU$79,016
7. Travel consultant

Working as a travel consultant can be both challenging and rewarding as it provides plenty of opportunity for working both one-on-one with clients as well as independently. Broader skills that will be gained in this career include communication skills, problem-solving skills and the ability to work under pressure.

Salary: AU$27,404 – AU$50,750
8. Dietitian or dietetic assistant

There is a growing demand for dietitians (and those that support them as professional assistants) in Australia and overseas, and the ability to advise patients and their families about proper nutritional care makes it a rewarding and satisfying career. Although dietitians often work in hospitals or nursing care facilities, they may also work with clients privately, and many go on to set up their own practice.

Salary: AU$41,427 – AU$67,241
9. Fitness instructor

As with teaching, the ability to help others engage in a healthier lifestyle helps personal trainers and fitness instructors to derive more meaning from their job. Aside from this, the ability to be active throughout the day as well as the varied nature of this job makes it one of the top most satisfying careers to pursue.

Salary: AU$24,076 – AU$61,277

10. Physiotherapist or physiotherapy assistant

The ageing population and higher healthcare costs mean that the job outlook for most healthcare professionals is good, and jobs are widely available in both suburban and city areas. Physiotherapists and the professionals that assist them are some of the most sought-after and in-demand roles within this sector.

Salary: AU$44,947 – AU$61,314

At the end of the day, finding a career you love and that enables you to use your specific skills and talents can have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, both personal and professional.
So – over to you!

If you’re looking to ease into a new career or test the waters to see if you might be better suited to another line of work, an online course could be the perfect stepping stone.

Changing careers is more common than you might think, and the average adult will change careers between 4 and 7 times in their life. Of course, the best way to make the switch will vary depending on your age and where you are in your career; so check out this post for advice on changing careers through the years.

Still not sure where to get started? Open Colleges has a great team of dedicated career experts who can help guide you on the path to a career change. Give one of our course and career advisors a call today and find a course that meets your needs: 1300 449 227.

(Please note – not all the careers presented here can be studied for completely online – the links are there to provide you with information on courses that may form part or all of your study and career journey.)

Source: Open College

8 awesome ways to make your morning less stressful[/center]

We all have to deal with mornings. Some of us are “morning people” but most of us struggle with the first couple of hours of the day. We’ve hacked 8 easy ways you can make your morning less stressful. So, let’s get moving!

Even the most organized household can be fraught with tension in the mornings. Maybe you over-slept , or perhaps you decided to leave your ironing to the last minute. Or you forgot to pack your gym bag and you can’t find your keys. If there are children in the mix then there will be lunch boxes, readers and uniforms to worry about too – there are a plethora of slip-ups that could derail your morning and cause your stress levels to soar!

But the reality is that most of us are juggling different demands on our time – we need to be flexible and find solutions that really work for us.

Whoever you live with and whatever you have on your agenda for the day, there are some simple adjustments you can make to make your morning less stressful.

1)    Get up earlier to create a buffer

Giving yourself a time buffer in the morning is a great way to take the pressure off. Even getting up 20 or 30 minutes earlier can make a huge difference to how your day begins.

Paul Puckridge is a time management guru and training manager at the Success Institute. He’s been helping people set goals for years and offers some adivce.


“If you leave no buffer time for yourself in the morning, you’re bound to get stressed when things don’t go your way,” says Paul.

Paul suggests that you use this time to mentally prepare yourself for the day. If you have young children it will also give you an opportunity to get a head start on showering and dressing yourself.

2) Do what you can today to make tomorrow easier

When you have had a long and busy day the last thing you feel like doing is running around organising things for the morning. But a few jobs ticked off your list the night before can make a huge difference in the morning.


“Prepare as much as you can,” says Aerlie Wildy, life coach and time management specialist. “This includes packing lunches, topping up drink bottles, getting sports bags ready and getting clothes out for everyone.”

The same goes for your gym kit, laptop bag and anything else that could be a potential time trap in the morning. Think about the things that often delay you at the last minute – for example, if you often find yourself running around looking for your keys start putting your keys in the same place every evening when you come home.

Aerlie suggests placing your keys, phone and glasses together – “so you can grab and go.”

3)    Map out your week

Rather than mentally logging your appointments for the week it is a good idea to find a tool that you can use to methodically plan your week. There are lots of different tools available such as weekly planner apps or even a good old-fashioned diary.

“Every Sunday night, sit down for 10 minutes with your preferred tool and map out your week,” suggests Kate Christie, author of the book ‘Me Time – The Professional Woman’s Guide to finding 30 guilt-free hours a month’.

Kate recommends that you use your planning tool to record not only appointments, but details such as what time you need to leave the house and what you need to take with you.

“By setting aside time on a Sunday night you will have a good overview of the week ahead, and that will reduce your stress levels each morning,” she explains.

4) In-source!

How much of your morning is spent doing tasks for other people? Kate notes that if you start getting everyone you live with (be it partner, kids, flat-mates) to do things for themselves you will save a great deal of time.

“What you may have lost sight of is that you are not a slave,” she says.

Kate says that you should think of your household as a team. “Make each member of your household accountable for their own stuff – they are capable of tidying away their own belongings, hanging up their own towels, making their own beds, putting away their own clothes and so on,” she explains.

If you have older children you can further eliminate stress from your morning routine by giving them responsibility for packing their school bag and laying out their uniform the night before.

5)  Outsource!

Of course there will always be jobs that we can outsource and it is worth considering if you are prepared to pay someone to help ease your load. Kate says that although we might feel guilty about outsourcing it can sometimes make good sense. “Calculate what your own time is worth,” she suggests.

“If your hourly rate is $80 and a cleaner costs $20 an hour, and the cleaner takes 3 hours to clean your house, then that is less than 1 hour of your own time. You can leave your dirty house in the morning in the happy knowledge that when you get home it will be sparkling clean,” Kate explains.

6) Set some tech ground rules

While it is probably unrealistic to keep technology switched off in the morning, it is a good idea to set a few ground rules so that it doesn’t become a distraction.

Digital productivity and time management coach Megan Lemma, says that it’s a good idea to leave your tablet and smartphone charging somewhere other than your bedroom. That way you won’t be tempted to check for messages the moment you wake up.

Similarly, home organisation consultant Georgie Rees notes that every minute you have in the morning needs to be spent wisely.

“Set time limits for the TV, computer, tablets and smartphones and stick to them,” she says. “There will always be an interesting segment that you just have to watch, or an email that you want to read, but you don’t want it to take over.”

7)    Go to bed earlier

While it can be tempting to sit up late watching the television with your partner or socialising with housemates, an early night is the best possible thing you can do to reduce your stress in the morning.

“Television and your computer screens only stimulate your brain, which makes it harder for  you to get to sleep,” says Paul Puckridge.

A better plan, according to Puckridge is to pick up a book or have a long bath or shower. “Find a way to make the last half-hour before bed more relaxing,” he says. “You’ll find that within a few days you’ll end up sleeping better at waking up with more energy.”

8) Take a moment to breathe

A simple strategy to help create a calmer atmosphere in the morning is to simply press pause for a moment. “Take a deep breath and be present in the moment,” says Georgie. “Get focused for the brilliant day ahead.”


There are lots of simple strategies that can help you relax in the moment that won’t hold you up. Meditation apps, listening to a calming piece of classical music or learning a simple breathing technique are great ways to start injecting some calm into your morning.

We hope that following these simple steps will make your morning less stressful – because as Henry Ward Beecher says “the first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.”
OK, now your mornings are less stressful – so what next?

Open Colleges has a flexible, online course for everyone. Flexible courses can be started any day of the year.

There are no due dates – pause your study when you need to or move as quickly though the course material as you can. Don’t stress out! Learn when and where you want to.

Source: Open College

9 ways to become a lifelong learner

Lifelong learning requires embracing opportunities to learn. We must believe that, at any point in time, we have the potential to change and grow through the application of knowledge and experience.

No one is saying that with enough motivation and hard work we can all become the next Einstein or Beethoven, but lifelong learners do believe that a person’s potential is full of unknown possibilities. Their drive comes from the fact that the outcome of pursing our true potential and passion through training is full of exciting opportunities.

So how do you nurture this so-called growth mindset if it doesn’t come naturally? And how do you hold onto it if you’ve got it already? Follow our nine tips to make sure your passion for learning lasts a lifetime.

1. Accept responsibility for your own learning.

We’ve all had bad teachers and various obstacles that prevented us from sailing smoothly through formal education, but ultimately, we are responsible for our own learning outcomes. This becomes clearer than ever when formal schooling ends and adult life begins. The knowledge you develop is directly related to the effort you put into gaining it.

2. Create your own learning toolbox.

How do you learn? Do you listen to podcasts, jot down notes, draw mind maps, or rehearse what you’ve learned aloud? Identify the tools you use to promote your own learning, and create new ones to add to your collection. Being aware of how you learn is an important part of being an effective lifelong learner.

3. Try new things on a regular basis.

Trying new things not only keeps our brains sharp but also feeds the growth mindset. When you broaden your perspective, you start to realise there’s far more left to learn about the world than you ever imagined. Why not start volunteering, cook a meal from another country or try Pilates?

4. Keep a “to-learn” list and set goals.

It can consist of entire languages or quirky facts, as long as it’s yours. There’s something permanent-feeling about writing something down – try it, you’ll see the difference. Also, it always helps to have a plan. That’s why some of us decide to learn Italian in six weeks or master photography in six months. Identifying and visualising our goals helps us become driven, effective learners.

5. Ask questions when you’re confused.

Many of us think asking questions is a sign of weakness, but I say it’s a sign of maturity. If you are confident enough in your own intelligence to speak up when you need help, you’ll have no trouble becoming a lifelong learner – and you’ll know more than you did if you’d been too shy.

6. Put it into practice.

Skill-based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush. If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice and create something.

7. Choose a career that encourages learning.

Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does. Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

8. Have projects and hobbies.

It seems like a simple idea, but the truth is, projects and hobbies can easily slip away from us when we’re not looking. Sure, you can learn plenty watching Breaking Bad every at night after work, but what if you also pick up knitting or read a Shakespeare play every other morning? It will only feel like work until you’ve slipped into a routine (which usually doesn’t take long).

9. Improve your memory.

If you can’t remember what you’ve been learning, learning itself can become frustrating. There are plenty of techniques available to help improve your working memory capacity so that you can recall more of what you’ve learned.

Don’t leave learning behind. Making a continuous effort to follow some of these tips will help to ensure you live a fulfilling, interesting and exciting life. And who doesn’t want that?
What will you learn next?

If you’re feeling ready to take on your next project, check out Open Colleges’ range of interest-based and nationally - recognized courses to start learning a new skill or even begin a new career.

Source: Open College

What these 12 Inspirational Women Can Teach Us About Success

Most successful people have one thing in common: they all created & adapted their own career path. We interviewed 12 of Australia’s most inspiring women online & discovered their secrets to success. Here are the themes that emerged.

1.    Be Passionate

As Nikki Parkinson of Styling You says,

    ““if you do something you love and you are passionate about, it will still be hard work, the big difference is that it will be easy to turn up every day.”

Many of us grew up with the belief that money is a synonym of success. This idea can push us into paths that we don’t really like. You might still find the money, but you will live with the constant pain of not enjoying every day. Create a path that suits your objectives and passions and you will much more willing to stick it out when times are tough.

2.    Commit to continued education

Technology and the way we do business is constantly evolving and therefore so should our skills. If you want to stay successful it is important to commit to ongoing education goals. This applies to all levels. Whether you need to learn a new programming language or gain new managerial skills, there is always an opportunity to learn and improve your performance.

3.    Be persistent and determined

Turning up to work everyday is not always an easy task. Many times it will be difficult to find a role that will put you on the right track for the career of your dreams. If you hit a roadblock in an important task, look for alternative ways to solve it and stay determined.

Kasia Gospos of Leaders in Heels gave us a great example. “I hired a web developer to create a website. Unfortunately he never finished his work and I lost a few thousand dollars. Instead of giving up I decided to teach myself how to build a website, learn basics of html, create graphic design and how to manage social media and online communities.”

4.    Find a Mentor

It is okay to ask for advice. A great way of get inspiration and knowledge is by having a mentor. Learning new things can be a complex process. First you need to study what to do and then learn how to do it. A good mentor can provide you with useful knowledge and experience that can help you get where you want to be a lot faster.

5.     Be prepared to change careers several times

The days of the 30-year career are over. Markets are changing, trends are changing, technology is evolving. As Angela Priestley from Women’s Agenda points out, we need to

 “stay flexible and adaptable enough to change your career according to the shifting needs and opportunities that come up in our world.”

Don’t waste time waiting for the perfect position. Life is short and it’s never too late to change roles or even careers. As you will see all of our interviewees each changed careers multiple times as they continued to hone their skills, mature and discover their passions.

Source: Open College

How to manage your money when studying

Luckily, studying online means you don’t have to give up earning money or doing the things you love. Learning how to manage your finances will ensure you’re free to focus on the things that matter. Check out our tips now!

Managing money when you’re studying full-time or even part-time can seem like a juggling act of bills, fees, textbooks and waiting for the payday that always seems like it’s just a little too far away.

But you don’t need to resort to 2-minute noodles for all three of your daily meals to make your study and your money work for you.

Give yourself some credit by getting none.

There’s some wisdom in that statement. The number one way that students get themselves in financial trouble isn’t the cost of living or the cost of tuition; it’s over-extension of credit cards. And it’s rare that credit card use is linked to actual living costs.

When you have a plastic card that gives you access to a trip to the Gold Coast with the family or those shoes that you “simply must have”, it’s not hard to see why the average Aussie holds $3400 of credit card debt that is costing at an average of 17% in interest.


Cut up the credit card and use a debit card linked to your savings account instead. You’ll save up to $500 in account fees a year as students often qualify for fee-free accounts. Plus, you’ll avoid running up debt that takes most Australians around 43 years to actually pay off. Add mortgages, car loans and the many personal loans we tend to accumulate over a lifetime and you’ll appreciate cutting that extra $7000 a year of debt maintenance out of your budget.
Set a realistic budget that includes your lifestyle items.

It’s not the power bills, rent or car rego that sets us back. It’s the double-decaf-soy-lattes with a cherry macaroon that nukes your bank balance. While you might think that coffee and cake is good value because of the free WIFI that you get at the cafe, it’s adds up to almost half of the amount most students spend on groceries each week to treat yourself daily. So when the car rego bomb drops or the quarterly power bill arrives, what you’re experiencing isn’t “bill shock.” It’s cafe shock!

While you might deserve a treat, so does your budget. Take a flask of espresso from home. Make your own cakes and slices. You can still have your coffee and cake. It’s just that it doesn’t need to cost you $50 a week to have it.

Your small change will save you on those lean weeks.

Make a habit of emptying out your purse or wallet of all that loose change at the end of each day. Unload all the silver and gold in to a container or piggy bank and you’ll have that extra few dollars the day before you get paid for the milk, bread or bus fare when you really need it.

Most of the expenses we have in that last few days before we get paid are basic living expenses. Public transport, lunch, dinner, or perhaps a bit of credit on your pre-paid mobile phone.

Putting all your spare change aside at home means you have a pool of quick cash to handle those small things when you need them. It’s not uncommon to find that a change box at home can contain hundreds of dollars when left alone. You’ll appreciate that cash when you most need it!

Pay yourself first.

This is a great old trick that economic and financial commentators from Ross Gittins to Scott Pape have advocated. Before your groceries, before your bills, before your loan repayments, set aside a portion of your income to pay yourself. Paying yourself is simply making sure you put money in your savings before anything else.

It’s hard when you know that cash could go towards paying off loans, buying something nice or even to pay forward a future bill. But paying yourself first means you are putting your future first by investing in yourself. And let’s face it; if you pay all those other things first, you’re not as likely to then take a portion of what’s left to put in your savings.

Pay a little today. Save a lot tomorrow.

You’ve never experienced satisfaction quite like getting a $0 bill from a power company. By paying a little each time you get paid to your regular utilities like power, water, phone and health insurance you are saving yourself from some massive shocks down the track.

If your phone bill comes in at $100 per month and you get paid weekly, you can pay $25 towards your phone bill every week and never have to pay out that whole $100 in one amount again. One big monthly bill can blow your budget for a week when you don’t spread your payments out. Imagine what a difference that will make when your average quarterly power bill is over $500.

Managing your money as a student seems to be all about common sense. A few small changes to how you manage your money each week can make a big difference to your bank account immediately and over the long term. Your stomach will also thank you for not eating noodles and tomato sauce for dinner every night.

Source: Open College

Co-Op & Its Impact in Job Market

Author : Mr. Mozammel Khan
Engineering Manager (Hardware Design)
Elysium Broadband Inc.
Toronto, Canada

"Co-op is learning by doing, not learning by observation!!! We will not be competitive in the job market unless  we graduate with Co-op experience”.

1. Abstract:The main objective of this white paper is to provide some basic information on Co-op & its impact in Job Market, and how help students to obtain career-related experience during college/university education, which enhance the academic experience and/or assist in exploring career options in future.

2. Introduction: Most of the developed countries (Canada, USA, & Sweden, etc.) introduce students Co-op Program through co-operative & internship Education. The purpose of Co-operative education is to find people who have the skills needed to meet its future employment needs.  Through free activities and work assignment with real projects (Co-ops), students are brought into closer with working life. It's an opportunity to earn money and continue our education and get ready for real job market.

From the professional development view, Co-op gives us opportunity to interact with others of
different backgrounds, ages, and personalities, and learn how to work effectively with them. It is
the Co-op's ability to function effectively within the system, which will often determine our success. 

3. Why Co-op??? Most of the cases, question arise, “What Co-op will do for me?” The answer is simple: As much as we want!! Co-op education will provide us with opportunities for first-hand knowledge of our chosen profession, practical know-how, financial reward and reinforcement of overall academic principles. More important, Co-op offers us the opportunity to become self-reliant, decision-making ability, moral integrity and sample the "real world."
Growing and learning opportunities are endless - limited only by our willingness to accept the challenges.

4. Motivation:Co-op now-a-days become an academic program. Almost 80% percent students are attending to this program during their education. In near future, co-op will become mandatory part (100%) of education. To explore and establish our-selves as professional will be very difficult without co-op program attendance. The main purpose and motivation of this white paper is to inform our community about important & usefulness as well as the impact of co-op in present & future job market. Co-op helps to educate students about professional employment. On average, during a single year, student should have at least one co-op work experience. This program is open to all majors, and to both undergraduate and graduate students. Most of the industries & govt. agencies participate in this program.

5. Benefits of Co-op:
During university/institute education it is possible for us to apply for a co-op experience in industry or with a government agency. Such experience is valuable, because most employers want students with practical experience and often prefer to hire those who have worked with them through co-ops. Co-op offers the opportunity to:

• Earn money for college expenses.
• Establish valuable network for future reference.
• Gateway to personal and professional development.
• Receive college credit toward graduation requirement.
• Learn how can be report to our immediate supervisors.
• Build a partnership among the student, and the employer.
• Begin seriously thinking about future employment opportunities.
• Improve skill and knowledge applicable to respective career field.
• Increase responsibility accountability and independence on the job.
• Improve student's carrier decision-making ability and moral integrity.
• Improve and understand the relationship between theory and practice.
• Build greater degree of self-confidence that helps to find interest and goals.
• Learn effective resume, forwarding & follow-up letter writing and interview skills.
• Work on programs and with equipment those are not available in institute/university.
• Enable student to identify his/her strengths/weakness and acquire new technical skills.
• Learn how to work with colleagues & develop effective communication and team skills in a
professional atmosphere.
• Provide related work experience that integrates & explore theory whatever students learned in
classroom with practical application
• On average, over 30% to 50% of all Co-ops are offered full-time jobs from their Co-op
companies before graduation.

6. Pre-requisite of Co-op:In order to apply for a co-op experience in industry or with a government agency, students are eligible for Co-op if they are:

• Four or more work-term commitment from to the employer & student.
• Must be degree-seeking, pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree.
• Admitted in high school through graduate or professional schools, including technical and
vocational schools.
• Enrolled/accepted as a degree student (diploma, certificate, etc.) in an accredited institution.
• Taking at least half-time academic or vocational or technical course load in a high school,
technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional
• Most technology-driven companies are looking for a solid educational background, and also
want to see how students perform in the workplace before they offer full-time position.

7. Way to find Co-Op:There are many different ways student may find and attend to co-op program. Some of the useful ways are:

• Attend Co-op job fair.
• Visit Human Resource offices.
• Attend courses related to co-op.
• Build up good personal networking.
• Use career search database in Internet.
• Attend On-Campus Interviewing (OCI).
• Watch recruiting bulletin board in campus.
• Participate in the Candidate Referral Service.
• Make an appointment with co-op coordinator.
• Write, call or send email to contact employers.
• Register for co-op and attend orientation session.
• Select industries according to our specific career interest.
• Regularly watch at least once every week about co-ops career-related temporary jobs.
• Consult business directories to focus on specific career fields can help us target good quality
co-op programs.
• Touch Screen Computer center - A network of self-service information providers located in
most malls and human resources offices nationwide. Complete job announcements & job can
get from there.

8. Conclusion:Co-operative Education (Co-op) continues to be a strong recruitment source for industries and govt. agencies. There is a need to attract diverse and talented studentswith skills, which will be critical to the future workforce needs of the Industries &
Provincial/Federal Government. The arrangements for such jobs are developed under
the Co-ops Program. That program provides for work-study partnerships between
students, educational institutions, industries and govt. agencies. In fact, most
employers often hire candidates who have had a co-op or internship during formal
educational training. The value of participating in Co-op is twofold:

1. It enriches the educational process by giving student relevant job experiences.
2. It provides employers with an opportunity to take an active role in developing
their future workforce.

The overall intention of this white paper is to provide the initial motivation to our
community to move forward and adapt as well as prepare ourselves as potential
professionals in job market through proper utilization of co-op program & its practices.
Most of the topics we discussed are well known to all of us in different way. We simply try
to rearrange in a systematic way and hope this will be helpful to our community and no
doubt, this is really an important issue. We are quite sure; there are many experts in our
community, who can help us by providing more detailed valuable and useful information.
BPNetwork needs your help and active participation in addressing this issue.

Source: Bangladeshi Professionals Network (BPNetwork)

Articles and Write up / Microsoft Convergence 2015 Wrap Up
« on: March 25, 2015, 09:26:12 AM »
Microsoft Convergence is always a great event, and 2015 was no different. We’re so excited to have had a chance to sponsor and attend, but most of all, to have met so many diverse, enthusiastic, and passionate Microsoft customers..

It’s always a delight to speak with a Convergence crowd, and this year didn’t disappoint. The scope of industries represented was amazing, and provided for a lot of lively and interesting discussions. The depth of knowledge and expertise from the IT-heavy crowd was impressive, as always.

We also had a hand in creating a lot of buzz at Convergence ourselves, part of which came from our never-ending espresso tap!

But more than just free coffee, our InsideView team led some great sessions. Rob Nieset, our Product Marketing Manager for sales intelligence, took the stage in sessions hosted by Microsoft but in which much of the discussion focused on Insights powered by InsideView. Most of those attendees were new to Insights, so there were lots of “how do I…” questions and “I had no idea it could do…” comments.

Our team also gave presentations on Insight Selling to consistently packed crowds, with great feedback from attendees.

We also sponsored the Geekvergence cocktail party, which helped those gathered unwind and connect off of the expo floor. Great to have some relaxing time when you’re at one of these big events, right?

Another interesting aspect to see and hear in person was Microsoft’s new approach to the competition, as you may have read over the past few months. Many people talked about how the iPad was mentioned in the keynote and that Microsoft products are becoming more integrated into other products–at least that’s how it seemed on the Surface (pun intended).

All in all, it was another great event for Microsoft and our joint set of customers. See you all in New Orleans next year!

Source: Insideviews

As a marketer, I’ve always felt the gentle push-and-pull in the relationship between sales and marketing. Well, “gentle” might not be the right word, but there’s a healthy conflict that always exists between the group that creates the message and the team that has to actually deliver it.

A good analogy is the relationship between the engineers of a new aircraft and the test pilots: It’s the pilot who realizes the price of the good (fame!) or bad (crash!) engineering.

With sales and marketing teams growing ever closer, I’m reminded of a great request that a former sales colleague always had for marketing deliverables. When we rolled out a new sales presentation or offered up email templates or scripted a product demonstration, the request was always the same:  When I’m using this in front of a lead, I need to quickly answer these three questions for them:

    What is it?
    Why do I care?
    What do you want me to do?

It’s incredibly simple, yet it’s an artform to articulate these answers in as fast and easy-to-understand manner as possible. And, it’s not as easy as you might think…and you’re probably not doing it as well as you might think…

If you take the “chasm” route, you’ll get a very accurate but long-winded answer to the first two questions, but not the third. If you take a messaging-centric approach, you’ll lose their attention in the three paragraphs you use to explain what it is that you’re selling and why it’s so great. And, if you’re too brief, they’ll never understand what you’re selling or why they should care.

Going further, these three questions are at the heart of engagement, regardless of whether you’re cold calling or you’re presenting at an industry event or you’re showing your product off to key executives at a potential customer. In fact, if you think about it, these questions are the heart of any business interaction, and you can think about them as questions you might ask yourself when you’re called into your next meeting: What are you talking about? Why am I here? Do you want me to do something?

But back to sales and marketing…

Here’s how InsideView might answer these first two questions in a typical email campaign:

    What is it? InsideView provides market intelligence to inform your enterprise.
    Why do I care? You’re growing at less than half the rate of your two biggest competitors and you lost three key customers last month. Our service helps you find better leads, win more deals, and maintain and grow your existing customers. (For this part, InsideView has the unfair advantage of using our own service to find critical business triggers that are relevant and compelling to the individual lead.)

The final question–What do you want me to do?–then becomes specific to the campaign or presentation. We might want the lead to register for an event, schedule a meeting, connect us with a decision-maker, or approve a purchase. Whatever the case, being direct is always the preferred option. It’s cliche, but people really don’t have the time to listen to your pitch. In fact, a message of “We’re selling X. Do you want to buy it?” has a much better chance of receiving a response than a long, flowery pitch that leaves them wondering what it is you’re asking them to do.

So there it is, the secret to successful sales and marketing. All you need to do is answer these three simple questions!

2 Things You MUST Know to Kickstart the New Year

Here are two things you must know to kickstart the New Year:

1. If you think you’re good, it may prevent you from becoming great!
2. Failure can be a foundation for becoming great.

You may have had a very good year. If so, congratulations!
But at the same time, don’t think for a moment 2014′s performance will dictate the results you achieve in 2015.

I admit that I’m one who can become complacent with being good.  I’m not saying that to be arrogant, but I’m willing to admit it because it’s fact and I suspect it is for many others.
Challenge is when we think we’re good, we start coasting and fail to push ourselves to the next level.

If being good is good, then how much better are things when they’re great? The question is not flippant; it’s serious and it deserves serious debate in your mind.

How is merely being good impacting your perspective on pushing yourself to the next level?

So what about failure?  Where does it fit into kickstarting your plans?

My mom told me time and time again as a kid that I learn far more from a mistake than from when I do something correct a hundred times.   Little did I realize how smart my mom was!

The beautiful thing about failure is there is nowhere to go but up.  When we fail — and believe me, I’ve failed at more than my fair share of endeavors — it’s amazing how we see things we’ve never seen before.

We use the failure to create the impetus we need to improve and drive us toward being great.
I’m not saying let’s rush out and fail, but we should be willing to take some risks and learn quickly from the ones that result in failure.

Looking back over the year, I see things I failed in, and my challenge now is to use the failure not merely as a springboard to become good, but rather a booster rocket to become great.

What have you learned from your failures? More importantly, how are you using what you learned to move you forward to become great?

Resolve to be kickstarted into the new year!  There is a lot of truth in the saying that the only thing holding you back is yourself!

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.”


[Top 10 Marketing Tips from Santa Claus
Today, as I contemplated the past year while looking at my withered, drooping, dried-out Christmas tree, surrounded by wrapping paper remnants and tinsel strands, I started thinking of the marketing effort put forth each year by Santa Claus.
Yes, that’s what I was thinking about.

You’d be hard pressed to find better marketers than the team at The North Pole. They’ve been at it for around 200 years, so they’ve had lots of time to hone their techniques, and, from the looks on the faces of millions of children this time of year, I’d say they know their market.
As a marketer myself, I’m always looking to learn from the success of others. With that in mind, and knowing that I need to say a few extra-nice things about the Big S.C. to ensure my position on the “nice” list next year, here’s my take on the 10 best marketing tactics Mr. Claus has nailed.

1.   Ensure location-specific branding. Santa has a global presence, so he takes the time to customize his marketing to every culture and country. In North America, he’s Santa Claus. In France, he’s Pere Noel. In Hawaii, he’s Kanakaloka. In England, he’s Father Christmas. Regardless of language or location, he tailors his image and brand to the specific demographic.

2.   Master strategic exclusivity. “Christmas in July” sales notwithstanding, Christmas happens only once per year, on December 25th. This limited availability creates buzz, excitement, and exclusivity. And, he’s built up such a mania around the date that it’s impossible to match. Birthdays and anniversaries only happen once a year, too, but nothing else is Christmas.

3.   Engage with your targets. Whatever the local Santa’s name, the customs change by location as well to fit the target market. In Denmark, they feast at midnight on Christmas Eve and serve pudding with a single almond. In Venezuela, people roller-skate to the early morning church services, waking children by tugging on strings tied to their toes and hung out of windows. In Argentina, people put cotton balls on the Christmas Tree to represent snow.

4.   Be persona-based. While some marketers can get very specific and niche with their personas, Santa keeps is simple: naughty or nice. And, his product is very persona-based as well: coal or toys.

5.   Have a human side. A good, resonate marketing message is one that connects with the audience. For Santa, although he’s rarely seen and has superhuman powers, he does come across as an everyman. Here’s an example: My infant son just got his very first letter from Santa, and it closed with Santa writing, “Well, Mrs. Claus is calling me for dinner, so I have to go.”

6.   Don’t hog the spotlight. It’s good to have more than one spokesperson. GEICO, the insurance company, has the gecko, the pig, and even Ickey Woods. For Santa, he has elves, Mrs. Claus, and a host of reindeer (and, to prove the point, I bet you can name them all).

7.   Use a secondary character for sidebar marketing. The story of Rudolph takes place almost entirely without Santa’s involvement. It’s a good way to send a secondary message while still sticking to the overall theme.

8.   Customer service is an experience. Santa knows that the entire, end-to-end customer experience is what makes his brand so special. His letters always arrive well before Christmas day, to build anticipation. He eats cookies and leaves crumbs, to prove his presence. He wears the same outfit each year. He takes great care to wrap presents and place them under the tree, always in the same spot. He always arrives at night, always on same day, and he’s never late.

9.   Go the extra mile to ensure quality. Santa has been doing this for hundreds of years, yet he still makes that same naughty/nice list every year, and he still checks it twice. Could you image the fallout on Twitter, and the ensuing PR scramble, if some nice kids got coal? You can’t take any chances when it comes to customer satisfaction.

10.   Always be on message. Santa always wears the same suit, arrives on the same day, uses the same backstory, and does it year after year after year. Even when you see him in Hawaii, he’s still in his same outfit (although barefoot)!

Articles and Write up / The Big Fight
« on: December 13, 2014, 01:51:01 PM »
The Big Fight

Yes, the traditional ad agencies are still alive and well. In many cases, they’re managing campaigns on sites like Google and Facebook and Polyvore. And even online, they play a big role with the ad “creative,” the images and copy that make up an ad. But machines are beginning to arrive here as well.

This topic was discussed during a recent panel at the University of Texas, and Bedecarre, who was on the panel, described it as a “big fight.” There is already software that lets agencies and advertisers experiment with different wording, images, and colors in online ads, and though other ad executives disagree, he’d like to see advertising agencies pay even more attention to data and less to the idea of “a lonely copywriter and art director in a dark room coming up with a big idea.”

But he also believes the Googles of the world need to play more nicely with old-school agencies. They are still the gatekeepers to many big advertisers. “The Madison Avenue side has to become more engineering and tech savvy and the big online publishers need to deal with an industry that is still pretty traditional and still likes to have those lunches to build a relationship and a trust,” he says.

Bain says he doesn’t follow Mad Men — “it would be too stereotypical if I watched” — but, yes, he means the kinds of lunches that are so colorfully portrayed in the series. He adds, however, that these lunches are no longer about how many martinis you can drink. “They’re spreadsheet lunches now,” he says.

Source: WIRED

Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career

By- Travis Bradberry, Ph.D.

The next time you tell yourself that you'll sleep when you're dead, realize that you're making a decision that can make that day come much sooner. Pushing late into the night is a health and productivity killer.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, the short-term productivity gains from skipping sleep to work are quickly washed away by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on your mood, ability to focus, and access to higher-level brain functions for days to come. The negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep.

Why You Need Adequate Sleep to Perform

We've always known that sleep is good for your brain, but new research from the University of Rochester provides the first direct evidence for why your brain cells need you to sleep (and sleep the right way—more on that later). The study found that when you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when you're awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep. So when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix.

Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity.

What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Health

Sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It stresses you out because your body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol when it's sleep deprived. While excess cortisol has a host of negative health effects that come from the havoc it wreaks on your immune system, it also makes you look older, because cortisol breaks down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. In men specifically, not sleeping enough reduces testosterone levels and lowers sperm count.

Too many studies to list have shown that people who get enough sleep live longer, healthier lives, but I understand that sometimes this isn't motivation enough. So consider this—not sleeping enough makes you fat. Sleep deprivation compromises your body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and control food intake. When you sleep less you eat more and have more difficulty burning the calories you consume. Sleep deprivation makes you hungrier by increasing the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and makes it harder for you to get full by reducing levels of the satiety-inducing hormone leptin. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 30% more likely to become obese than those who sleep 7 to 9 hours a night.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night to feel sufficiently rested. Few people are at their best with less than 7 hours, and few require more than 9 without an underlying health condition. And that’s a major problem, since more than half of Americans get less than the necessary 7 hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

For go-getters, it's even worse.

A recent survey of Inc. 500 CEOs found that half of them are sleeping less than 6 hours a night. And the problem doesn't stop at the top. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of U.S. workers get less than 6 hours of sleep each night, and sleep deprivation costs U.S. businesses more than $63 billion annually in lost productivity.

Doing Something about It

Beyond the obvious sleep benefits of thinking clearly and staying healthy, the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence (EQ). These individuals are skilled at understanding and using emotions to their benefit, and good sleep hygiene is one of the greatest tools at their disposal.

High-EQ individuals know it's not just how much you sleep that matters, but also how you sleep. When life gets in the way of getting the amount of sleep you need, it's absolutely essential that you increase the quality of your sleep through good sleep hygiene. There are many hidden killers of quality sleep. The 10 strategies that follow will help you identify these killers and clean up your sleep hygiene. Follow them, and you'll reap the performance and health benefits that come with getting the right quantity and quality of sleep.

1. Stay Away from Sleeping Pills

When I say sleeping pills, I mean anything you take that sedates you so that you can sleep. Whether it's alcohol, Nyquil, Benadryl, Valium, Ambien, or what have you, these substances greatly disrupt your brain's natural sleep process. Have you ever noticed that sedatives can give you some really strange dreams? As you sleep and your brain removes harmful toxins, it cycles through an elaborate series of stages, at times shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams). Sedation interferes with these cycles, altering the brain's natural process.

Anything that interferes with the brain's natural sleep process has dire consequences for the quality of your sleep. Many of the strategies that follow eliminate factors that disrupt this recovery process. If getting off sleeping pills proves difficult, make certain you try some of the other strategies (such as cutting down on caffeine) that will make it easier for you to fall asleep naturally and reduce your dependence upon sedatives.

2. Stop Drinking Caffeine (at Least after Lunch)

You can sleep more and vastly improve the quality of the sleep you get by reducing your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that interferes with sleep by increasing adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine has a 6-hour half-life, which means it takes a full 24 hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at 8 a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at 8 p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be near 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.

When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates most. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with a cognitive and emotional handicap. You’ll be naturally inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel more alert, which very quickly creates a vicious cycle.

3. Avoid Blue Light at Night

This is a big one—most people don't even realize it impacts their sleep. Short-wavelength blue light plays an important role in your mood, energy level, and sleep quality. In the morning, sunlight contains high concentrations of this "blue" light. When your eyes are exposed to it directly (not through a window or while wearing sunglasses), the blue light halts production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and makes you feel more alert. This is great, and exposure to a.m. sunlight can improve your mood and energy levels. If the sun isn't an option for you, try a blue light device.

In the afternoon, the sun's rays lose their blue light, which allows your body to produce melatonin and start making you sleepy. By the evening, your brain does not expect any blue light exposure and is very sensitive to it. The problem this creates for sleep is that most of our favorite evening devices—laptops, tablets, televisions, and mobile phones—emit short-wavelength blue light. And in the case of your laptop, tablet, and phone, they do so brightly and right in your face. This exposure impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep once you do nod off. Remember, the sleep cycle is a daylong process for your brain. When you confuse your brain by exposing it in the evening to what it thinks is a.m. sunlight, this derails the entire process with effects that linger long after you power down. The best thing you can do is avoid these devices after dinner (television is okay for most people as long as they sit far enough away from the set). If you must use one of these devices in the evening, you can limit your exposure with a filter or protective eye wear.

4. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Consistency is key to a good night's sleep, especially when it comes to waking up. Waking up at the same time every day improves your mood and sleep quality by regulating your circadian rhythm. When you have a consistent wake-up time, your brain acclimates to this and moves through the sleep cycle in preparation for you to feel rested and alert at your wake-up time. Roughly an hour before you wake, hormone levels increase gradually (along with your body temperature and blood pressure), causing you to become more alert. This is why you'll often find yourself waking up right before your alarm goes off.

When you don't wake up at the same time every day, your brain doesn't know when to complete the sleep process and when it should prepare you to be awake. Long ago, sunlight ensured a consistent wake-up time. These days, an alarm is the only way most people can pull this off, and doing this successfully requires resisting the temptation to sleep in when you're feeling tired because you know you'll actually feel better by keeping your wake-up time in tact.

5. No Binge Sleeping (In) on the Weekend

Sleeping in on the weekend is a counterproductive way to catch up on your sleep. It messes with your circadian rhythm by giving you an inconsistent wake-up time. When you wake up at the same time during the work week but sleep past this time on the weekend, you end up feeling groggy and tired because your brain hasn't prepared your body to be awake. This isn't a big deal on your day off, but it makes you less productive on Monday because it throws your cycle off and makes it hard to get going again on your regular schedule.

6. Learn How Much Sleep You Really Need

The amount of sleep you need is something that you can't control, and scientists are beginning to discover the genes that dictate it. The problem is, most people sleep much less than they really need and are under-performing because they think they're getting enough. Some discover this the hard way. Ariana Huffington was one of those frantic types who underslept and overworked, until she collapsed unexpectedly from exhaustion one afternoon. She credits her success and well-being since then to the changes she's made to her sleep habits. "I began getting 30 minutes more sleep a night, until gradually I got to 7 to 8 hours. The result has been transformational," Huffington says, adding that, "all the science now demonstrates unequivocally that when we get enough sleep, everything is better: our health; our mental capacity and clarity; our joy at life; and our ability to live life without reacting to every bad thing that happens."

Huffington isn't the only one. Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Sheryl Sandberg have all touted the virtues of getting enough sleep. Even Bill Gates, an infamous night owl, has affirmed the benefits of figuring out how much sleep you really need: “I like to get 7 hours of sleep a night because that’s what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat.” It's time to bite the bullet and start going to bed earlier until you find the magic number that enables you to perform at your best.

7. Stop Working

When you work in the evening, it puts you into a stimulated, alert state when you should be winding down and relaxing in preparation for sleep. Recent surveys show that roughly 60% of people monitor their smartphones for work emails until they go to sleep. Staying off blue light-emitting devices (discussed above) after a certain time each evening is also a great way to avoid working so you can relax and prepare for sleep, but any type of work before bed should be avoided if you want quality sleep.

8. Eliminate Interruptions

Unfortunately for those with small children, the quality of your sleep does suffer when it is interrupted. The key here is to eliminate all the interruptions that are under your control. If you have loud neighbors, wear earplugs to bed. If your mother likes to call at all hours of the night, make certain you silence your ringer before you go to bed. If you had to wake up extra early in the morning, make sure your alarm clock is back on its regular time when you go to bed. Don't drink too much water in the evening to avoid a bathroom trip in the middle of the night. If your partner snores . . . well, you get the idea. If you think hard enough, there are lots of little things you can do to eliminate unnecessary interruptions to your sleep.

9. Learn to Meditate

Many people who learn to meditate report that it improves the quality of their sleep and that they can get the rest they need even if they aren't able to significantly increase the number of hours they sleep. At the Stanford Medical Center, insomniacs participated in a 6-week mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy course. At the end of the study, participants' average time to fall asleep was cut in half (from 40 to 20 minutes), and 60% of subjects no longer qualified as insomniacs. The subjects retained these gains upon follow-up a full year later. A similar study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that 91% of participants either reduced the amount of medication they needed to sleep or stopped taking medication entirely after a mindfulness and sleep therapy course. Give mindfulness a try. At minimum, you'll fall asleep faster, as it will teach you how to relax and quiet your mind once you hit the pillow.

10. When All Else Fails: Take Naps

One of the biggest peaks in melatonin production happens during the 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. time frame, which explains why most people feel sleepy in the afternoon. Companies like Google and Zappos are capitalizing on this need by giving employees the opportunity to take short afternoon naps. If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, you're likely going to feel an overwhelming desire to sleep in the afternoon. When this happens, you're better off taking a short nap (even as short as 15 minutes) than resorting to caffeine to keep you awake. A short nap will give you the rest you need to get through the rest of the afternoon, and you'll sleep much better in the evening than if you drink caffeine or take a long afternoon nap.

Bringing It All Together

I know many of you reading this piece are thinking something along the lines of "but I know a guy (or gal) who is always up at all hours of the night working or socializing, and he's the number one performer at our branch." My answer for you is simple: this guy is underperforming. We all have innate abilities that we must maximize to reach our full potential. My job is to help people do that—to help the good become great by removing unseen performance barriers. Being number one in your branch is an accomplishment, but I guarantee that this guy has his sights set on bigger things that he isn't achieving because sleep deprivation has him performing at a fraction of his full potential. You should send him this article. It just might shake something loose.

After all, the only thing worth catching up on at night is your sleep.

About the Author: Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

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