How to Disconnect During Your Next Vacation

You’re lying on the beach. You’re basking in the hot sun while the cool breeze sweeps across your skin as you’re surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful paradise… And your face is nose deep in your phone checking emails. Sound at all familiar? We’ve all been there. The reality is that it is hard to disconnect from your daily life, especially from work. However, a vacation’s purpose is just for that. We all need a little rest and relaxation so we can perform at our best in our daily lives. Here are a few ideas to help you get away from the earlier scenario and toward having a true vacation disconnected from work.

1. Give ample notice – Let co-workers, business partners, clients and customers know of your vacation well in advance. Informing pertinent personnel of the dates you will be away at least two weeks ahead of time will also help them prepare for your absence. This way, important projects and tasks can be assigned and completed before your departure, or it will be known they will be taken care of when you return. Chances are, they won’t want to intrude on your vacation time so letting them know can help keep those emails from constantly coming in while you are away as well.

2. Take care of your to-do list – About two weeks prior to your vacation, plan your days out so that you can take care of all your outstanding tasks before your departure. Leaving for a trip with a long list of unresolved projects can take focus away from your vacation. The anxiety of having all the unfinished tasks you already have to do plus all the new tasks when you return on your mind will overcome the relaxation you’re supposed to be having. It’s better to leave a clean slate and return after your trip with a new to-do list.

3. Nominate a backup – In case of emergency, request a trusted co-worker to be your backup while you are away. Make sure to ask for their assistance at least two weeks prior to your trip so they have enough time to prepare as well. It is a good idea to give your contact information in case of any extreme cases. However, choose a backup that you trust can handle most situations without your help.

4. Set an away message – This is a good way to let anyone trying to contact while you’re away that you are on vacation and will respond after you return. This way, you won’t be getting multiple emails with the same requests and having people ask where you are. It will give you peace of mind and you won’t feel rushed to get back to them until after your trip.

5. Focus on those you’re traveling with – Give importance to yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, or whomever else you’re traveling with. Yes, work is important. But we also have to dedicate time and energy on the other wonderful aspects of our lives. There’s no better way to do that than to spend a vacation with loved ones.

6. Remind yourself why you’re on vacation – Vacations are the time to take a break from work, which is truly imperative to our continued work productivity and overall well-being. Taking time to recuperate and regenerate will leave you feeling refreshed and at the top of your game when you return. It’s also very important for the mind and body to decompress and give yourself breaks from your daily stress. Constant tension can take a toll on you over time so make sure to sit back and relax when you have the opportunity to.

7. Literally disconnect – Don’t pack your laptop. Put your phone on airplane mode. Shut off email and notifications on your phone/tablet. These ideas may be provoke anxiety, but there are no better ways to actually disconnect from work than to literally disconnect from it all. You have the rest of the year to work. Why not use the vacation time how it’s supposed to be used and stay away from work?

8. Set boundaries – If you know you will need to check emails, texts, messages, etc. while you are on vacation, give yourself limits and stick to them. A good idea would be to allow a few minutes before bedtime to check in on the day and resolve any pressing issues. It’s understandable that not knowing what’s going on with work for a week or more may cause the stress that you’re trying to avoid while on vacation. In this case, make it a little easier on yourself, but don’t let it start to take over your days. Set a certain amount of time at a certain time of day to check, and that’s it.

Think you could implement any of these ideas for your next vacation? Even if you’re not planning a trip for a while, it may be good to consider them now so you have some tactics to utilize when a trip does come up. Again, it is important to remember that it is beneficial to your overall health to take a true vacation away from work and the stress it can produce. Making sure to take care of yourself is key. By utilizing some, if not all, of the above strategies, you can be well on your way to having the vacation you need and deserve.

Curate and Control Your Online Reputation

Shakespeare, in Act 2 of his circa 1603 play Othello, said it best: Reputation, reputation, reputation. It is the original personal brand and one of the defining realities of our lives. For Solopreneur consultants and other self-employed professionals, reputation governs the number and quality of projects made available to us and therefore, reputation impacts our income and the kind of life we’re able to live. It pays, in more ways than one, to cultivate a peerless reputation and guard it vigorously.

In the internet age that is especially so, in both the personal and professional sectors. Mistakes and mischaracterizations made in digital formats are extremely difficult to dodge, ignore, deny, or correct. One’s online reputation is the ultimate flypaper. Take steps to ensure that what sticks to your name is all good.

Images

Along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are the sites where images of you are most likely to be posted, by yourself and others. When cameras are around, meaning whenever anyone has a cell phone, which is about 24/7, make sure that your behavior represents you and your brand well.

There’s nothing wrong with being photographed in an obviously casual gathering. Just make sure that you (or others) are not in the midst of activities that could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on you sometime in the future. If you regularly appear in photos that you know or suspect will be posted to social media sites, counteract with a photo of your own that shows you at work, paid or volunteer. Balance your accounts, so to speak, and show that there is more to you than non-stop partying.

Content

Create and regularly post original content that makes you look smart, professional and successful. On your LinkedIn account, announce when you will attend a symposium, serve on a panel, teach a course or workshop and definitely broadcast the good news if you’ve recently earned a professional certification or advanced degree.

If you’ve presented a webinar, request the replay and turn it into a podcast for your website and YouTube. If you write a newsletter or blog, link it to your website and LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, produce streams of high-quality feed and images that convey the competencies and values that you want to be known for.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can feature glimpses into your personal life as well and it could all be for the good, as long as you are strategic about what is revealed. Your volunteer work is always a safe bet. Training for a marathon or even a fun and casual volleyball or softball league would be excellent. Your parent’s wedding anniversary party would make another good personal aspect to include in your online narrative. Be aware that narrative is the operative word. Create the story that you want to be told, in a manner that makes you look wonderful.

Search

About every three months, search your name and your company name in engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo and see what comes up in the first 50 listings. Are you happy with what you see? Try keywords related to your business along with your city and check your professional reach in a more profound way.

If you find that your business has been reviewed in a negative and inaccurate way, contact the reviewing site and request that the offending post be removed. If customers have offered criticism that just may be constructive, address the matter. Apologize and offer your side of the story. Make amends if possible. By doing so, you’ll add to your credibility and customer service reputation.

It’s been reported that 70% of U.S. employment recruiters have rejected potential job candidates when something about them that was considered unsavory appeared on social media. Solopreneurs should assume that prospective clients will do the same. Maintaining and monitoring your online reputation has never been more important.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Read the following points below:

1. Companies are aggressively moving to computerized support of their organizations. Can you list at least 2 of the factors driving this move?

• Speed and efficiency.
• Legibility and accuracy.
• Self-sufficiency.
• Cheaper research and development.

2. The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) is:

BI is an umbrella term that combines architecture, tools, databases, analytical tools, applications and methodologies.

What does “umbrella” term mean?

The definition of Business Intelligence (BI) encompasses various software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. The discipline entails many related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting

3. Sometime we say that the term Business Intelligence (BI) is “context free”. What does this mean?

The term business intelligence is “context free” in the sense that the expression means different things to different people. For this reason, we have seen researchers advancing different definitions for business intelligence.

4. Describe what a data warehouse is and how it might differ from a traditional database used for transaction processing.

A data warehouse is a central repository for corporate data and information that an organization derives transaction data, operational systems and external data sources. Although these two may look like they are similar, they exhibit several differences with regard to usage pattern, architecture as well as technology. A traditional database is based on operational processing while a data warehouse is based on informational processing.

A data warehouse focuses on storage, filtering, retrieval and analysis of voluminous information.

A traditional database is used for day to day operations while a data warehouse is used for long-term informational requirements.

5. What is the difference between a data warehouse and a data mart?

A data mart is a subset of a data warehouse that relates to specific business line. Data marts are managed by a specific department within an organization. On the other hand, a data warehouse involves multiple subject areas and assembles detailed information from multiple source systems.

6. What is meant by “Big Data”?

Big data refers to a huge volume of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data from which viable information can be extracted. This kind of data is so voluminous that it cannot be processed using outmoded database and software techniques. Big data helps organizations to improve their operations and be in a position to make quick and smart decisions.

7. Data mining methods are divided into supervised and unsupervised methods. What are these and how are they different?

Supervised data mining method has to do with the presentation of fully labeled data to a machine learning algorithm. On the other hand, unsupervised data mining methods conduct clustering. Data instances are divided into a number of groups.

Unsupervised data mining methods do not put emphasis on predetermined attributes. Moreover, it does not predict a target value. Instead, unsupervised data mining finds hidden structure and relation among data.

Supervised data mining methods are appropriate when there is a specific target value that I to be used to predict about data. The targets can have two or more possible outcomes, or even be a continuous numeric value.

Supervised data mining methods the classes are known in advance while in the other the groups or classes are not known in advance. In supervised data mining methods, data is assigned to be known before computation but in unsupervised learning Datasets are assigned to segments, without the clusters being known.

8. When we consider KPI’s (key performance indicators) we distinguish between driver KPI’s and outcome KPI’s. What is the difference between the two (give a couple of examples of each)

Key performance indicators provide a framework on which organizations can value their progress. Outcome KPIs which are also referred to as lagging indicators measure the output of previous activities. On the other hand, driver KPIs/leading indicators measure the activities that have a significant on outcome KPIs. Driver KPIs have a significant effect on outcome KPIs, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

9. A BSC (balanced scorecard) approach for BPM (business process management) is well-know and widely-used. Describe the strengths of a BSC approach.

BPM entails activities

BPM involves activities like automation, remodeling, monitoring, and analyzing and improving business processes.

Cost efficiency

This is one of the most palpable benefits of BPM approach. It cuts down on costs and increases revenue. BPM adds crucial value in the long run by allowing businesses to compete globally. BPM technology equips a business to switch gears and respond to changing business environment appropriately.

Agility

Change is inevitable in business and a business must be ready to undergo sudden changes at any time. BPM accords a business the flexibility of making changes at minimal costs.

Improved productivity

BPM automates several elements within regular workflows. Process improvements such as eliminations of drawbacks, elimination of redundant steps, and introduction of parallel processing are achieved through BPM. These process improvements allow employees to focus on other important activities of their business since the core support functions would have been handled.

Better visibility

Basically, BPM uses advanced software programs to facilitate the automation process. These programs enable process owners to keep abreast of their performance. Apart from guaranteeing transparency, BPM keep track of how processes work without the need of monitoring techniques and extensive labor.

10. A closed-loop process is often used to optimize business performance. Briefly describe what a closed-loop process means.

A closed-loop process, also referred to as feedback control system is a management system that promotes a well-organized base of preferred outcomes and system feedback. This process is designed to achieve and maintain the desired output in comparison with the actual condition.

Know The Various Factors Determining Container Shipping Costs

Container shipping cost involved in international or multi-national shipping is determined by a number of factors, the two most significant among which are freight charges and port fees. Port fees are charged by these companies in order to meet the costs of custom clearance once the goods are dismounted from the ship.

The value of the services provided by freight forwarders and international cargo depends on a number of factors. Let us discuss in this article some of the significant aspects that you need to know regarding the international shipping costs:

  • One of the most important factors determining the service charges of the international shipping companies is the cost of the container. As you proceed from one country to another, the cost of container starts varying depending on the change in currency values. However, reputed shipping services that are involved in innumerable shipping projects, are not actually bothered about the petty changes in the container costs. Their service charges therefore remain unchanged with slight changes in the container costs.
  • It is extremely important for you to obtain thorough information regarding the cost values of the shipping company if you are planning to move from one country to another. This is important because you need to make sure that you know the service charges you need to pay with regard to the current value of the country you are currently residing in. Often people are unaware of these details, and eventually end up paying more than they are supposed to.
  • Another important factor determining container shipping costs is the method of shipping. For example, opting for liner vessel shipping can cost you less owing to their operating methods where they use fixed routes and fixed schedules. On the other hand, it might cost you more if you opt for charter vessel shipping that works on the basis of market conditions. In this case, the container costs vary in accordance with the changing market conditions.

If you have to trade your goods internationally, or want to relocate from one country to another, there are some important things that you need to determine before hiring a shipping service in order to choose the most appropriate shipping methods:

  • Determine how fast you want your goods to be shipped to your desired destination.
  • Consider the type, nature and size of the goods you want to ship.
  • Consider the total distance between the current location and the final destination of the goods.

In order to avail the most efficient services, it is important to hire the right container shipping service. Let us discuss some of the important points that you need to consider:

  • Make sure you hire a licensed and authorized container shipping company that can offer a wide variety of container sizes and packages.
  • Know the container shipping costs charged by various companies and make a thorough comparison between them in order to get the best deal.
  • It is a good idea to talk to the customer services of various companies to know how well they are able to respond to customer queries.

Catering Equipment for Year End Functions

It’s that time of the year when holiday cheer is in the air and companies are in full steam with planning their year-end functions. That means they are actively looking for a venue that will make their function a special one. They want to ensure that the venue looks good, food tastes great, and that all the facilities are there to make for a convenient and fun evening. Therefore, it is time for you to prepare your venue for the busy season ahead.

For small to large year-end functions you will need the following catering equipment.

· Robot Coupe Combo Food Processor. Food preparation is usually the lengthiest part of the cooking process. The Robot Coupe Combo Food Processor will enable you to automatically cut, slice, and grate vegetables thus saving you valuable time.

· Anvil Potato Peeler. If you’re serving hundreds of guests you’re going to have to peel a lot of potatoes. The Anvil Potato Peeler is a robust unit that automatically peels 12 kilograms of potatoes in 2 minutes.

· Chafing Dishes. For large numbers of guests, it can be challenging to keep a lot of food warm. They are also beautifully designed with a polished finish. This is a great way to keep food heated while it is waiting to be served.

· Bussing and Transport Carts. You’re going to need to clear up the dishes from at least 10 guest tables if you have a hundred guests. A bussing and transport cart will allow the waiters to quickly clear the tables and move the dishes to the kitchen. This will also minimize breakages.

· Water Jugs. Placing a jug of water and a jug of juice on each guest table will make them feel welcome.

· Dinnerware. For catering purposes you will need more than enough dinnerware such as plates, side plates, cups, and saucers. Also make sure you have drinks, wine, and champagne glasses. If you are serving a hundred people, ensure that you have dinnerware for 110 people. The additional amount of catering equipment is a contingency for any eventuality with breakages or damages.

· Urns. Once guests have had their meal they may want to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea. Having a coffee/tea station with an urn filled with hot water will keep your guests satisfied.

· Scotsman Ice Machine. A lot of cool drinks and alcoholic drinks are usually served at year-end functions so the demand for ice is very high. You will need to provide ice for hundreds of guests and their multiple drinks. An ice machine constantly makes ice on demand so you won’t run out of ice mid function.

· Commercial Refrigeration. You will need to keep a lot of drinks cold throughout the function so make sure that you have a refrigerator that can accommodate all the drinks.

3 Things You Need To Know About Free Web Hosting Service Providers

It’s common to be excited when you see a company offering free web hosting. Before you go ahead and sign up for the service, you need to know a number of things about most of the free web hosting providers.

Most are startups

Research has shown that many of the providers willing to give you free service are startups and they do it in order to attract potential customers.

Since they are startups, they devise ways of cutting costs. One of the best ways of cutting costs is by avoiding buying some equipment or buying cheap equipment. For example, it’s common to find such companies with cheap and unreliable servers.

Although, you will be signing up for a free product, you have a right of enjoying good service; therefore, before you sign up, you should always research and find out what other people have to say about the provider.

Most lack the level of service agreement

A level of service agreement (LSA) is a document that gives details on how the provider will offer you the service that you deserve. It’s common to find most of the providers without the agreement. Before you sign up always ask for the document.

If the provider doesn’t have the agreement, you should move on and look for other options. If you are given the agreement, you should thoroughly scrutinize it in order to pick out flaws in it. If you find the document full of flaws, you should move on and look for other options.

Most offer a menu of services

Most of the companies offering the free services tend to offer other services in addition to the web hosting service. Since such companies have a number of services to offer, they usually don’t offer top notch service.

Before you sign up for the free service, you should research the service provider and find out what he does other than providing the web hosting service.

If the provider offers other services such as telecommunication services, you should look for other options. This is because the web hosting service is very sensitive and can’t be put on a menu of services.

Bottom line

It’s often said that you get what you pay for; therefore, you should not expect top notch service from a free service. To be on the safe side it’s wise to pay for the hosting and you will be guaranteed of the best service on the land.

To Be Better At Leading Change

70% of all change initiatives fail.

That’s a pretty startling statistic. Especially when you consider how important change is. I mean, we all acknowledge this, right? There aren’t many organizations out there saying, “You know what we need to do? We need to maintain the status quo, and we need to do it now!”

Every breakthrough involves change. Every innovation involves change. Every new product, policy, or service that moves you ahead of the competition involves change.

So change is vitally important-and yet 70% of change initiatives fail.

Why is that?

It’s because the people leading change don’t play the long game.

To put it another way, they declare victory too soon. Here’s why.

Change is difficult. There’s no getting around that. Change can be messy and uncertain-especially when you’re right in the middle of it. As Harvard professor and author of The Change Masters Rosabeth Moss Kanter puts it, “Everything can look like a failure in the middle.”

In fact, the middle part of change-the messy, uncertain part-can be so painful that we declare victory the instant we’re through it. It’s as if, as soon as we start to see light at the end of the tunnel, we wipe our brow, give each other a high five, and say, “Whew! That’s done!”

But it’s not done. Yes, you’ve made it through the messy part, but you haven’t anchored the change. It’s not yet a part of the culture. It hasn’t “stuck.”

You played the short game.

The truth is, change is a long game. The average successful corporate change initiative is a seven-year process-of which years three, four, and five are the messy part. But notice that there are still two years of anchoring left before the change sticks, before it becomes part of the culture.

It’s the part after the messy part that determines whether or not your change initiative will last.

So what, as a leader, do you do during this part?

You reinforce the change.

You actively look for any and every positive outcome that is a result of the change, and you become relentless about communicating these outcomes to the team. You have to be the one connecting the dots of success back to the change because, left to their own, your team members will not make the connection.

Only by reinforcing the change can you anchor the change, and only by anchoring the change can you make the change truly stick.

And once you do this, you’ll be in that exclusive club of leaders whose change initiatives succeed.

Different Applications Of An Industrial

An industrial oven is like a heated chamber that is used for a number of applications and also considered as thermal processing machines. A number of industries demand for the device and their need varies as per their application. Every single person when heard about the oven, so, they think of baking food in the kitchen, but, no it has many other applications other than just baking, which increases its demand in the market and especially in the industrial sectors. In case you are not aware of any of its applications, so, here we are to help you out. Read the article below and get to know about its wide applications that help you know a bit more about the device and its requirement in the different industries.

Here Are Some Common Application Of Industrial Ovens:

Powder Coating: Powder coating is important to create an extra layer of protection to the object and powder coating ovens are used for such coating, as it helps in heating to fuse into a layer when the desired temperature is reached.
Drying: The application of drying means removal of moisture from products before packing them, which ensure their long-life. And Drying Ovens are the ones that are designed for the same purpose and very helpful in removing the moisture.
Baking: Baking application here means the baking of the final products, which is performed by the industrial oven by incorporating the function of curing and drying as well. The device successfully performs this function because of its heated chamber that is meant to use for such purposes.
Curing: Another application for which an industrial oven used is curing. The device mainly coated the material to a specific temperature and holds it for a longer period.
Sterilizing: Last but not the least is sterilization. Yes, Industrial Ovens mainly the Hot Air ones are used for the purpose of sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment like Scalpels, Spatula, Surgical Blades, and Glass Syringes, etc. The device uses dry heat to perform the process of sterilization.

Each of its application requires a specific amount of heat and different type of industrial oven and therefore, considering your application is important before investing in the device. To get a quality and feature-rich device, you should buy it from a reliable company that offers only the quality solutions. The device is available at reasonable price and offers you plenty of benefits and aids you attain your industry requirement.

Office Blinds Or No Office Blinds: How To Increase Productivities

You will spend more waking hours in your place of work than your home almost all your life. It might sound a bit depressing, but we work so we can maintain the lifestyles we want, and have the freedom to travel and buy things and treat our loved ones in our free time. And all in all we think it’s probably worth it. If your office environment is a negative one though, it can feel like you’re spending a lot more than 80 days a year at that desk.

You employer should make sure you’re comfortable at all times. That means making sure your work station is set up correctly, and you have all the equipment that you need in order to do your job, whether that’s a biro or a big expensive, multi-screen computer.

Many employers (and even their employees) don’t consider how much their environment will affect their working day. Many offices have only a few windows, and daylight helps give employees a point of focus away from their desk. You should be looking away and getting up and around for 5 minutes for every hour that you’re at work. Office blinds can make a massive impact into your employees focus.

Glare

When you’re looking at a screen, glare is your worst enemy. It’s why there’s a lack of windows in so many businesses, and why there is so much need for screens. Glare can cause eye strain and long term sight problems. In the short term your employees might suffer regular headaches and a feeling of nausea. If your workers can’t see the work they’re meant to be doing, how are they supposed to get on with it?

The solution is simple. Adjustable office blinds can be used to let in sunlight to the room in general while minimizing direct light on screens.

Temperature

Many businesses now opt to use air conditioning unities. This is because a giant 88% of all employees feel they work better when temperature is regulated. Sun shining in, or heat escaping from single glazed window panes can make your staff uncomfortable, and it can negate the good work of your technology. Simple window coverings will minimize the outside influences of the weather, perfect for midwinter and the height of summer.

Natural light

Natural light helps staff work. But, because of the copious problems it can cause many businesses are choosing spaces which lack this basic human need. A lack of natural light can cause feelings similar to clinical depression. Covering windows with frosted film also compromises light. Using adjustable office blinds allows some light to come in, while minimizing the problems caused, in other words they are the perfect compromise.

Booking Your Business Dealings In The Best Meeting Rooms

Having your meetings in innovative-designed meeting rooms pays off a lot. In terms of satisfying your clients, this is one effective way of doing it.

When you are to hold a meeting, it is wise that you find a place that will give your business associates the professional feel they seek, an ambiance that is inviting and a place that is well equipped to address the things that your clients may need while in the business meeting. Being able to provide these to you clients gives you the edge and will more likely be a start of a new partnership of an extension of a business contract you may have with them.

Renting out meeting rooms is an option for you, should you don’t have a traditional office wherein a small to medium size business conference room is usually built in. Also if the size of the attendee is quite big then the more you need to rent out a space that will be able to accommodate them. It is not hard find though as there are several meeting rooms for lease that can provide the needs your business colleagues as well as of the meeting to be done. These rooms can also be useful should there are events your company plans to organize.

There is not need to add to the crowd a cafe has just so you can discussion your dealings with your clients. Opting these meetings rooms will be able to provide you a way better place to have your transactions done with comfort and at no base at all or be bother by the sounds or noise of the nearby tables. And one other edge these rooms have is the fact that they are located in prime business places, which all the more the clients would prefer.

Booking your meetings in the said places would not be that difficult for there are personnel in the serviced offices that will accommodate you call as well as your queries. For the inclusions of the varying rooms they have, you will be educated on that for you to decide which one to pick. For the amenities, they got free information technology support ready for you and of course free wi-fi for use.

All in all having these serviced meeting rooms are your best choice and the perfect workaround if your place is too small to accommodate your clients. As for impressing potential clients, this is where you can best take them