Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Corporate Athlete By Dr. Natalie Cordova

Are you an athlete? No? How about a corporate athlete? Do you compete in the corporate world while sitting at your desk? Still no? You are an athlete! You have to understand, I see an athlete as someone that uses their body to compete. An athlete’s body must be a highly tuned, well functioning machine. Still, many corporate athletes have forgotten that they need their bodies to work as well as possible in order for them to perform at their highest level… even if they never leave their chair.

Many corporate athletes have bodies that are not working the way they should, even beginning to break down and leave them dealing with regular aches and pains as a part of their normal day. Why do our bodies break down? Typically, you can trace most of your body’s musculo-skeletal problems to imbalances, posture, and overuse.

Imbalances are easy to identify, if you know what you’re looking for. Take a look at the movements and activities you do during an average day you will see that you basically do the same things each day. Over and over again. Day in and day out. Not much variety, and not much balance. Balance would mean that you do many activities involving muscles of your front as well as your back. Good balance would also involve movements on the right and left sides of your body.

The computer user keeps their hands in front of them all day, head pushed forward and eyes glued to the screen. They keep this nearly identical posture as they drive into work, and when they drive home, before resuming this posture again at the dinner table and the couch. How many hours in a day are they imbalanced in a forward position? Eight? Ten? Sixteen? Is it any wonder that their muscles, ligaments, and tendons start to change shape?

Bad posture is also easily identified… usually on someone else. Have someone take a look at you while you work at your desk. Is your monitor up high enough or are you looking down at it by bending your neck? How’s your chair? Does it allow you to sit up straight? Are your shoulders hunched?

What about the position of your mouse, where you put the papers you are reviewing, how you hold your phone, the angle of your wrists… it can be a lot to look at! You want to make sure that your body can stay in as much of a good, well-balanced posture for as much of the day as possible. Having a friendly co-worker take a look at you and your body position can allow you to address potential issues before it’s too late. It only takes a minute, and you can return the favor by observing them at their workstation.

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Overuse injuries come from doing any movement over and over again until the body part just plain wears out! These injuries can occur over a shorter period of time when imbalances and poor posture are also a part of that movement. Trauma is usually easy to identify when it involves falling down or a car accident. What about repetitive trauma, also called micro-trauma?

Micro-trauma is not so easily noticed until symptoms start to appear. The same movement or action that caused the injury becomes painful to do. That should be your red alert that you cannot keep doing that movement in the same way. Even treatment will only temporarily relieve the pain if you go back to doing the same thing the wrong way again every day.

The symptoms of your body breaking down are not always pain. Other warning signs can be there for years before pain shows up. Bad posture is already a warning sign that trouble is ahead. The typical shoulder slouching head forward posture is rampant in our society! You likely don’t have to leave your house to find someone living with this posture.

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Bad posture leads to further imbalances and a speeding up of the overuse injuries. If you take a look at someone with this posture, you’ll notice that muscles in the front (like the chest muscles) start to become shorter, while the back muscles start to become longer. This is not just a visual change, but a physical change. Your muscles are actually becoming short in the front and long in the back, a serious imbalance.

Another symptom is a loss of range of motion, or a loss of the normal ability to move the spine or any other joint through all of their normal movements. Does your head turn painlessly right and left to the same degree? Can you move your head forward and back easily, or just forward? What about your low back or other joints like your wrists, elbows, and shoulders? Compare side to side and see if they are equal. Of course they could both need help, but this is a good starting point.

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The good news is that most of these problems can be helped without surgery. Of course, every person is different and when they decide to do something about their problem is also very important. Wait too long and you may eliminate many conservative treatment options. Catch it early and make some changes to your workstation and you can avoid many painful lessons later.

For now, concentrate on your posture and evaluate your work station. Seek out activities that will allow some balance back into your movements, including weight workouts and stretching. If you are already experiencing pain, now is the time to do something about it. These problems rarely resolve themselves on their own. You must act by seeking the assistance of a qualified health professional.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Stock-Picking Robot? Seriously?!?!

I'm assuming you know what I'm talking about.  If not, let me take a second to fill you in.  
There's a site on the Internet that claims to have invented a robot that can pick winning stocks.  All you have to do is hit a button and the software 'magically' tells you what stock is about to explode! What a joke! I have a better idea. Why don't you just take out your wallet and light it on fire!   Why? This 'robot software' is just a basic software application that scans through a bunch of ticker symbols and lands on a stock symbol completely at random!  It's completely fake!


I realize that there are a lot of services on the Internet that you have to chose from, so I'll get straight to the question you're asking right now.  What makes me different? I'm a real live person!

I've developed a unique formula that can identify breakout stocks BEFORE they start to move.   And now I'm offering 500 people the opportunity to trade alongside me. This membership will close after I reach 500 members, so time is of the essence! Or, you can go back and take your chances with the robot.   It's up to you.
            Best of luck to you,
            K. Ali  AKA The Penny Stock Prophet

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sometimes, There Aren't Enough Hours In A Day... Here Are 12 Rules to Increase Your Productivity!

Does your productivity ever get hampered by your desire to find the best possible solution? As you seek the easiest or fastest route to your goal, you may find yourself stopped entirely. Sometimes you may even do this on purpose, to keep from having to make a decision.

However, there's a work-around. Maybe you've heard of the term, "heuristic." Heuristics are rules that allow a solution to be found more quickly. With a heuristic, a resolution can be found even when the entire path isn't clear from the onset.

For example, if there were no roads, but you lived in New York and wanted to make your way to California, a heuristic might be:

1.      Walk west as far as you can.
2.      Walk around any obstacle, if possible.
3.      If faced with a mountain range, walk toward the space between 2 small peaks.
4.      Repeat until reaching California.

Does this heuristic give you the most efficient solution? No; however, it will get you where you want to go, and you won't waste a lot of time trying to make up your mind.

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Try these behavioral heuristics to increase your productivity:

1.      Choose the right time. Nearly everyone has times of the day when they are most effective and times when they tend to drag. It’s smart to schedule the most critical tasks for your most effective time of the day.

2.      Toss it. If a task doesn't really need to be done, just get rid of it altogether.

3.      Get the bad stuff out of the way. Do the unpleasant items quickly and as early in the day as possible.

4.      Set a goal each day (or night). In the morning, decide what you want to accomplish that day. This can be even more effective when planned the night before. Once you have a sense of direction, you can spend all your time getting things done!

5.      Eliminate all communication. While you're working, turn off the phone / cell phone, and don't check your email. Hang a sign that says, "Do not disturb," if necessary. You don't have to do this for all your tasks, but at least do it during the more difficult items.

6.      Batch similar tasks together. Do all your emailing at one time. Make all your phone calls at another. Open your snail mail during a set block of time. You'll waste less time by doing your work in this fashion.

7.      Set a timer. Even if a task might take hours, starting will seem easier if you simply give yourself 30 minutes to get as much done as you can. A time limit seems to help many people concentrate and work better, too.

8.      Set targets. For example, if you have to make cold-calls for your sales job, tell yourself that you're not getting up for any reason until you've made at least 100 calls. Regardless of what happens, refuse to stop until you hit your target.

9.      Use the Pareto Principle. This principle states that 20% of the actions you could take will provide you with 80% of the benefits. So focus on the tasks that will accomplish the most. Unfortunately, these are frequently the tasks that are not enjoyable. You might be surprised how little you really have to do if you focus on the critical 20%.

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10.  Delegate some of your work. Is there anyone else who can help you? The people around you are resources. When appropriate, use their time and talents wisely to get things done more quickly.

11.  Set a deadline. Having a specific endpoint will really help to focus your time and energy. If a task doesn't feel necessary, chances are that it won't get done.

12.  Increase your speed. It sounds silly, but this can really help. Try doing everything a little faster. Walk faster, talk faster, type faster, and read faster. 

Implement these heuristics into your life and you'll find yourself getting more done in less time. The ultimate secret is to stay on task and not waste any time. These rules will help you do just that.

SELL YOURSELF- Just DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Create an Elevator Pitch Employers Want to Hear...

What Is An 'Elevator Pitch"?
An elevator pitch is a short summary used to tell about a person or organization in a quick and concise way. This is an important asset for your job search. It’s an effective way of telling a potential employer who you are, how you can contribute, and what kind of position you’re seeking. Try out these suggestions for preparing and presenting your introduction.

Preparing Your Elevator Pitch
1. Write it down. Even though you’ll usually deliver your pitch out loud, writing it out on paper is a good practice. You’ll be able to tell if it flows well and covers all the essential points. 

2. Keep it brief. You want a pitch that would fit into the average elevator ride of about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. In most cases, that means less than 200 words.

3. Clarify your goals. Identify what you want to accomplish. Perhaps you’re targeting a specific position at a certain company. Maybe you want to explore a range of opportunities related to teaching chemistry or selling real estate.

4. Quantify your achievements. Summarize your accomplishments. If possible, add in an impressive statistic like how many books you’ve published or certifications you’ve earned.

5. Focus on your audience. Think about what your listener needs and discuss the benefits you could deliver to them. State your ability to enhance quality, save money, or create more efficient systems. Be prepared with more details in case there are any questions.

6. Accentuate your strengths. Use a positive statement about your qualifications that focuses on your strengths. During the interview process, you may be asked about your weaknesses, but you can worry about that later.


Presenting Your Elevator Pitch
1. Invent multiple versions. Adapt your elevator pitch to a variety of circumstances. That way you can respond if you have extra time. You’ll also be able to talk to industry insiders and other professionals who are less familiar with your background.

2. Rehearse carefully. Practice while looking in a mirror or record yourself. Talking out loud will help you determine if your speech sounds natural.

3. Invite feedback. Ask friends to let you practice on them. Use their suggestions and questions to make adjustments. You may need to speak more slowly or translate industry jargon into language that’s easier to understand.
4. Stay up to date. Review your pitch on a regular basis. There may be buzzwords that grow stale over time and need to be replaced. Also, you may have earned new credentials that you want to include.

5. Spend time listening. Watch for the other person’s reactions and listen to their comments. Ideally, you’ll open up a two-way conversation. Pick someone you admire and pay attention to the way they introduce themselves. It could give you some worthwhile ideas.

6. Exude confidence. Start out with a firm handshake as long as it’s appropriate for the setting and situation. Radiate enthusiasm. Hold your head up high and smile. Make eye contact for a few seconds.

7. Be prepared. You can use your speech for more than just job interviews. Keep it in mind when you’re at cocktail parties, soccer games, or shopping malls. It’s possible you’ll bump into someone who may have a lead on the kind of position you are seeking.

8. Remember to follow up. Think of your pitch as the first step in a longer process. Hand out and collect business cards. Suggest getting together for coffee to continue a discussion.

An effective elevator pitch arouses people’s curiosity and makes them want to learn more about you. Equip yourself with an introduction that will show employers why you would be a valuable addition to their team.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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