How to be More Productive at your Computer

With the whole world at your fingertips it can be difficult to stay on target. Whether you’re working at home or in a crowded office, those deadlines aren’t going anywhere and they need to be done. Time to shake off the old habits and make a new years resolution to become a model worker.

This article is going to show you some tips and tricks to help you knuckle down and get work done. While these pieces of advice might seem daunting at first, a few small changes will grow into positive habits and maybe a few compliments from the boss. So don’t be afraid of the time spent in front of your trusty Lenovo laptop – let’s get some work done.

First of all, it might seem obvious but rid yourself of any distractions. This includes those found online such as time-draining social media sites. Don’t worry about blocking the Internet altogether, there are apps such as Focal Filter that will block some of the biggest distractions for a set time limit. Another way to stay focused is one little word that will keep everything away – no. No to any ‘you’ve got to see this’ emails, no to colleagues dragging you away from your desk and no to anything that has nothing to do with your work. Whilst it might sound pessimistic, make “no” your default at work to remain on task. There’s very rarely anything more important than your current task at hand.

If you happen to have multiple tasks that need to be completed then there’s nothing better than the classic to-do list. Don’t mistake this as an old-fashioned scrap of paper, however. AllThings is a strong set of tools that make listing easy to not only edit and complete but to share, allowing groups of people to work away at the same list. This makes it fantastic for collaborations and group leaders. Another idea is to shift your list onto your smartphone to clear up some monitor real estate. Any.Do is a popular choice in this area, automatically prioritizing entries, synchronizing lists over devices and looking stylish while doing it: a hugely intuitive way of keeping you productive.

Lastly, the bane of many workers day is the humble inbox. Five words can cause a huge disaster later on: “I’ll reply to them later”. Simply designate a certain time when you can catch up on your inbox and organize it – perhaps 10 minutes before or after lunch. Be on the lookout for messages that can be quickly replied to but anything bigger save for your designated slot. If you’re using Gmail then there are some powerful tools that can save you a wealth of time, one of which is Toutapp. It has a wealth of features aimed at supercharging your inbox: the ability to track when sent emails are opened and links clicked, reminders to follow up certain messages, quickly-written email templates and more.

Many Winners Announced for Giveaways

Congrats Winners$50 Shutterfly Gift Code Winner is …

Debbie Jackson

Spelling Super Star App – 6 Winners

  1. Millie Drew
  2. Marci Carson
  3. Julie Maloney
  4. Molli Knowles
  5. Nancy Lara
  6. Tom Bellamy

Transformers Construct-Bots Winner …

Vikki Billings

Social Media Engagement For Dummies Winner …

Susan Smith

$100 American Express Prepaid Gift Card Winner …

Molli Knowles

Congrats and please complete THIS FORM so that I can send your details to the sponsor

3 Workplace Laws You Need to Know About

It’s difficult to believe that in todays day and age, US workers are still being subjected to poor treatment by their employers, such as overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination and fear of punishment for speaking up.  The recession has made people fearful of losing their jobs and are therefore putting up with unfair treatment, allowing the employers to continue unlawfully and unchecked.

Workplace violations are particularly common in the low-wage labor market, with almost 26% of workers claiming to be regularly paid below the minimum limit and almost 80% of the same group who worked more than 40 hours not being paid the legally required overtime limit.

One way to prevent these violations from happening, is to be aware of the workplace laws in your state and take action if you believe you are not being treated in accordance with the law.  However, understanding legal jargon can be tricky and time-consuming, so here are three common Workplace Laws you should know about today:

1. Overtime Laws

If you live in the state of California you may not be aware that there are more stringent overtime laws than in most other states.  According to the Department of Industrial Relations, hours worked in overtime must be paid at the following rates:

  • One and a half times an employees regular rate of pay for hours worked over eight in a workday, or forty hours in a work week.
  • Double time for hours worked over twelve in a single workday, or for hours worked over eight on the seventh day of the work week.

In addition to common pay related queries and claims relating to the above rules, many companies often misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ when in fact they are entitled to ‘employment status’. Employers may have done this accidentally or intentionally in a bid to avoid paying costly overtime wages. Misclassification claims under California overtime laws are becoming increasingly commonplace – make sure you have been correctly classified, and take action if not.

2. Access to Personnel Records

Under California state law employees and ex-employees have the right to get copies of their personnel records and files that related to the employees performance, or any grievance concerning the employee.  This access should be allowed no later than 30 days after a request has been made.

3. Social Media Accounts 

Six states including California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey, recently passed some pretty tough new social media privacy laws that could have serious implications for any employers who violate the rules throughout the recruitment process.

Thanks to two bills signed into law in 2012, businesses and schools are prohibited from demanding that applicants share social media passwords or information.  With an increasing number of people regularly using social media accounts, both on and off the job, employers have gotten into the habit of asking employees to reveal the username and passwords for their personal accounts under the guise of company safety, but state legislators consider this to be an invasion of privacy.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

Social Media Engagement For Dummies Review and Giveaway

Free Product

You are on Social Media Outlets all day long, right? You have a huge list of followers, likes and friends so why in the world would you need to read Social Media Engagement for Dummies written by Aliza Sherman and Danielle Elliott Smith? Stick around and read on, because I am going to tell you why.

Social Media Enagement For Dummies

I have spent some time reading and taking in all of the information from the book, Social Media Engagement for Dummies. I spent time marking off areas that I want to access for later assistance and highlighting tips that make sense for me as both a blogger and virtual assistant who provides social media marketing for clients. You see, I think my following online is really great and I do have a pretty decent influence but sometimes I find I lack that engagement portion of social media. I also see others struggle with engagement, this is the key area to social media marketing that can make or break you as a brand.

Aliza and Danielle have really mastered a step by step guide for even the most advanced person to get better at social media engagement. Whether you are a pro or an amateur this book is for you; I personally like the chapter on Pinterest. Pinterest is the main source for my traffic here on site as well as my secondary blog, but even so I think I can gain more traffic from that source if I just knew how to create more engaging boards that have to do with the brand message I am spreading through  my writing. As a company, who may not have blog posts to pin, there are other ways you can document things on Pinterest to gain more engagement and Social Media Engagement for Dummies lays it all out for you, step-by-step no question about it.

Social Media Engagement for Dummies covers all areas of social media that apply to you as a brand and company; whether you are a blogger not selling anything or a business looking to gain more trust with your prospects by utilizing social media this book is a must have! Tips and tricks for creating connections and maximizing connections, utilizing e-mail, forums, blogs and websites, Facebook, Twitter and much much more!

I think this is such a great tool for any brand or blogger that I have agreed to host a giveaway where one person will be randomly selected to win a copy of Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Enter for your chance to win one copy of Social Media Engagement for Dummies

Giveaway Starts today and ends 12am EST on November 28, 2013. Open to USA only. Winner will be announced live on site and emailed directly. Winner shall have 48 hours from announcement post and email to claim prize otherwise another random winner shall be chosen using the random generator through Rafflecopter.

** one entry per person, while you can tweet once per day, all other entries are ONE TIME per PERSON. 

Using the Rafflecopter form below is easy; use name/email to log in or Facebook for login. Rafflecopter will not use your email or access for anything other than giving me a way to contact you should you be the randomly chosen winner! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or another person will be randomly selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Working From Home: My Thoughts and Advice

There are many times when my friends on Facebook ask about my working from home. They love seeing how I get compensated to try new things, to cover events and to simply write working from home. It’s difficult for me to push working from home in any way other than simply being honest. What I do, I have been doing since 2006, granted the majority of what I do to earn income started in 2008. With that being said, this is no quick income money making business, there involves a lot of hard work, many late night hours to meet deadlines and some times it requires getting over writers block because no matter how “stuck” you are; your clients expect you to have results for them.

Working from home in the way I do, with blogging on blogs, takes practice, takes a love of writing (readers can hear the passion behind your text words & without passion many won’t read on), a dedication to working even when you see your bed there all warm and cozy, a motivation to get to your desk or laptop on couch and work even when you were up all night with the kiddos. Working from home takes a certain kind of personality type and character to really push through and succeed. On another note; success is based on individual’s definition of the word. Some may want to work from home to replace a full time income, some may be happy making a small income to assist in just paying the grocery portion of bills in the household. I feel I am successful with what I do working from home, others may not feel the same. That’s okay.

Regardless of what your own personal definition of success is; if you are truly interested in working from home in a blogging sort of way, then you need to read on and hear me out on exactly how frustrating being a blogger can be but also how rewarding it can be if you stick with it.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blogging doesn’t Earn Income Right Away

While many see what I do now and are in awe, it took me a couple of years to get to the point where people were paying me more than a few bucks here and a few bucks there. It took at least two years to be recognized in what I do as well as to have the ranking and decent social media outreach for any business to want to work with me.

Continue reading →

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline