Dealing with rivalries at working place

Different people are working at working places. It is important to follow rules and regulations so that normal tasks in offices could continue. Mostly the relations among people in offices are based on rivalries. This is due to the fact that people in offices are working together and trying to get good results by improving their performance in comparison to others.
This is normal as workers have to work together to achieve tasks which individual people could not get. Some people are open and declared as enemies in a working place. It is important to follow the rules and regulations of offices for dealing with enemies. If you have an enemy in your office then you must act in a legal manner.

Actions for dealing with enmity
It is not good to act without any reasonable manner and get more troubles. Procedures could be followed in the office so that the relations could be improved. If the relations are not improving then offices can handle the enemies and take actions. Mostly compromise is to be done for normal routine of offices.
If there is a severe case related with enemy then decisions are made which could lead termination from offices. Normal behavior is required in offices so that relations could not be disturbed and remain happy. All types of enemies could be handled in offices with the help of patience and discipline. In some cases fight is imposed and you have to defend yourself.

Practices in offices
Problems could increase and bad politics could make you guilty in front of seniors, which is bad for your reputation. You must not admit and keep on trying to prove your innocence. If you are at fault then you must admit your faults and try to improve the situations.
There is always a chance of improvements therefore you must keep trying and hope for the best results. Relations in offices are important and these could lead to lifelong friends if kept normal. If the relations are not good then enmities could results for a life time. It is important to handle relations with care in offices so that normal environment could establish.
Evidence is important in case of problems created by enemies in offices. If you are in a case in which enemies are acting clearly against you then you must act as per rules of your offices. You must provide evidences so that justice could be done. If your behavior is good and you can compromise then you can remain your relation normal with all people in your office.

Root causes of enmity
Mostly the enmity is based on jealousy among workers. If you are jealous with someone then you must change your attitude as jealousy is not a good thing and it will do more harm to you than to other party. You must work hard and earn the high levels from which you are jealous. If anyone is jealous from you and become your enemy then you must act wisely.
Try to counsel the other party to remain normal and end the jealousy which is leading to enmity. If your enemy is not willing to end the enmity then you must remain active and act in such a manner that will end the enmity. This could lead to the elimination of your enemy from the office or the legal action which will help you and protect you.
Relations keep on changing with time in offices which depend on different scenes. If you are acting against your enemy then it could be the case that your enemy has changed his attitude. You must defend yourself in case of any attack from your enemy in the office.
It is also possible that your enemy change his attitude due to your good conduct. However you must remain ready for all types of actions from your enemy and you must act wisely for defending yourself to remain on the safe side. Relations with the senior management in the offices must be maintained as these can handle all types of situations.

Support for dealing with enmity
In case of enmity with your fellow members you must inform to your seniors if they ask. All the details about the relations in offices are in knowledge of seniors and it is important to cooperate with them if they are taking part on your side. Hiding the facts without need could be harmful and lead to harmful results.
When your seniors are cooperating with you then you must use their assistance and get help. No one could work solely and independently in all respects of life. Office life is also depending on many factors and people who are working in the same place. Support is available for workers in offices in the form of different people which must be used in the time of need.
In the first place it is important to check the root causes of enmity. If the root causes are eliminated then enmity could be eliminated and enemies could be changed to friends. If equal opportunities are available for workers to achieve success and get good results then the chances of enmity are reduced.

Practices in offices for controlling behaviors
Those offices which are following bad politics are also suffering with problems of enmity among workers. Enmity at work could be left in office and in routine life friendship could be maintained. You must remain active and follow facts on which you believe. You must not be deceived for making any person as your enemy.
You must think in a reasonable manner on topics which are making troubles among you and the other party. In many cases you can make adjustment for elimination of enmity. A little compromise and good behavior could improve the situation. People are not willing to remain enemies for a long time period.
Sometimes after some time of thinking it is possible to get good results. Both parties can think on the situations and make arrangements which can lead to good relations. Involvement of seniors is also helpful for solving the enmity and the working place could become better. Relations could be controlled by normal behaviors and elimination of problems from their roots.

Dealing with an angry boss

Boss is a powerful person in an office setup. It is important to make sure that your relation which your boss is good enough so that you could work easily. Bosses play an important role in any office for success of workers. Relations among bosses are dependent on many factors. If your boss is happy with you then you can get success while working.
If your boss is not happy with you and hates you then you must follow precautions which could be helpful for your success. Many factors are available for you to deal with a boss who is not happy with you. If your boss hates you then you can make situations under control by adopting a good attitude.

Importance of politeness
Politeness is an important strategy in cases when your boss is not happy with you. In case your boss hates you due to any reason then you can win him with the help of politeness. This is nature of humans then they like politeness. You have to bear harshness from your boss but remain polite.
Manners play an important part if you are dealing with an angry boss. If your politeness and good manners are not affecting your boss then you can have allies. People in the work place are able to defend people even against boss if they are polite.
With politeness you are able to make yourself strong and get assistance from others. This is helpful for getting strength so that your boss who also hates you could not act in any adverse manner.

Emotions must be controlled
While dealing with a hating boss it is required to control emotions. There are such bosses who are remaining angry and hating with other members in their offices. It is also the case that your boss is not liking you due to any reason and trying to insult you on different occasions.
You must make sure that your emotions are in control. You must remain normal and control your emotions so that your image could be saved. Persons behave in a different manner in their offices than in normal life. Those actions which are helpful for maintenance of relations in normal life could be thought to be as weakness in an office environment.
It is important to control the emotions and remain strong while acting in a normal manner. Smiling is a good tonic which can be used for controlling emotions and you can remain normal in all types of situations which will not please your boss.

Increase your allies
Allies could be obtained for defending against a hating boss. Different departments are present in offices and it is good to have friends in different departments who can be used in cases of hating.
Those people who have many allies in different departments could remain safe from hating boss as the boss is afraid of resistance of any type of action which is done against such a person who is liked in all the departments of the office. It is important to maintain good relations among all the departments in the office.
In case you have bad relations with your boss then your other relations in office including with different departments of your office will defend you. When you have a lot of support from other departments in your office then you are having a strong position and you can resist your hating boss as well while working in a normal manner.

Use social gatherings related with your working
Social gatherings are helpful in increasing good relations in your office. There are many types of parties and meetings which are conducted in routine. You must make sure to attend these events so that your friends could be increased. In such social gatherings it is easy to make friends who are related with your working and helpful against your hating boss and the like adverse situations.
In routine life you can ignore parties and events if you are not liked by the head of party. In office world you must not use such a behavior. You must expose yourself in parties and functions related with your office so that people related with your office could recognize you and help you against your hating boss. Hiding yourself could harm you as no one would know you better.

Work hard for success
When your boss hates you then you must concentrate on your work. Different tasks are assigned to different people in offices. If you are hard working and completing all your assigned tasks then you are able to get good results. Your work could defend you if you are facing hate from your boss.
Work is able to assist you in all the cases which are due to hates of your boss. If you are a hard working person then you can keep your job which you like even when your boss hates you. If you are a hard working person in your office then your boss cannot afford to lose you. Your fellows are also watching your good performance therefore your boss could not go against you in any manner which is just based on hates.

Check the types of your goals
Goals are set in offices for all workers so that they could be assessed. If your boss hates you then he can set such goals for you which cannot be achieved. You must check your goals for making sure that these could be achieved. If your boss has given you a tough task and he admits that it is hard then you must make sure that all the things are in writing.
Your hating boss could give you tough tasks and make them a base for getting rid of you. If you like your job then you can use written records about the toughness of your task so that you could show them as proof to higher levels of management for support.

These are some modes through which you can work well even when your boss is not happy with you. A hating boss could be dealt in a professional manner with the help of these tips and tricks which are time tested and working well in office environments.

 

Activities for Boring Meetings

Meetings are always mean to be boring for people who join those meetings without an intention to take part actively in it. Certain meetings are forced and few other are meant for time pass. People tend to have a hard time paying attention while a meeting happens. So this happens to be a common activity when one can look around the meeting room to find someone or the other doing the list of activities discussed below to while away the meetings. After going through this you will surely understand and cut down the meetings you host for hours to short minutes of meetings.

 

  • Pretending to transcribe the speech:

During this act one can be seen typing some long phrases or individual words that are noted

during a meeting considering it as a typing tutorial instead of a mass lecture.

 

  • Counting occurrences:

When one is identified doing a do mathematical observations in mind then it’s surely has to

be a occurrences count happening there as the person might pick one word at random and

try to count how many occurrences of it happens during a meeting speech. Some could even

keep track of two or three words at the same a time and they are considered masters. One

can event o try to find count on the words that start with “A”, “B” and so on.

 

  • Poetry annotation:

One can reframe the sentences they hear such that they form some rhyme thereby creating a meeting Haiku. Haiku means a Japanese poetry combining three lines with distinct grammar break called Kireji that is placed at the end of first 5 or second seven sound units.

 

  • Grammar parsing:

This is to find out every verb in every sentence among the ones spoken and once this is mastered they can go high in the next level of sentence structuring rules like adverbs and so on.

 

  • Jive:

There is a UNIX software structure rules that produce goofy conversion with a text as input likewise the mind can be used to produce such output to get out of the meeting sadness.

 

  • Psychedelicize:

This is a imagination where one can think that they aren’t talking about business process rather something funny like replacing pets with robots where consider the meeting attendees with behaviour of any pet or robot.

 

  • Bingo:

In a piece of paper with a 5X5 grid on it write some buzzwords or acronyms used in a meeting. Every attendee can go on this buzzword notifying and once 5 buzzwords are reached shout BINGO and there you win the game.

 

  • Interestingly learning:

Listening in a meeting yet one of a challenging job but doing this one can gains some new information interestingly during the lecture time form another person.

 

  • Portrait making:

 

Drawing a picture of the speaker whosoever is conducting the meeting creating a perception that you are listening and making note of some important points even though the posture might look as if you are listening and watching at them so there wouldn’t be any doubts.

 

  • Escape plan:

Whether you succeed or not try to escape from a boring meeting at the maximum possible extend if that goes in vain then you may try any of the above justifiable cynicism.

  • Pen Twiddling:

Usually many with twiddle the pen during the meeting and some might have mastered if they had attended many such meeting that were bored. Choose a nice pen in order to do twiddle learning and therefore become a spin master.

 

  • Mobile Games:

 

There are certain nice games available for free in mobiles and can try one such a game in a boring meeting. The games like angry birds, subway surf are all the good games that one should try in android mobiles and choose a game of your choice and enjoy gaming.

 

  • Ignorant argue:

Raise your self and pose a question before the moderator and try to argue and debate and this can even be expanded by way of making another person involve in the debate thereby pooling ignorance.

 

  • Robot pretending:

During a meeting consider yourself a robot and instruct the robot from mind to rotate 5 degree north and then move to that direction as per a robot does. In this way you can control your self a play a game of robotics.

 

  • Emergency situations:

Pretend as if you’re in an emergency situation by picking a cell phone out of the pockets and glance to give a startled look to leave the meeting by pretending to give a stare look towards the attendees and the moderator.

 

  • Make speakers head explode:

Try to make the head of the speaker to blow up with your fullest possible extent. This thinking might show them as if you are attentive and in worst situations they might think of exploding own heads.

 

  • Leave when bored:

It would be ones best decision to leave the meeting if its too boring as it would be the individual’s decision and wish to stay or leave the meeting, putting choice first when one is bored they can leave the meeting instead of wasting their own precious time.

 

  • Revenge:

Without making others attendees in the meeting go angry on you try to see how assertive you are thereby insulting the speaker to go over his tolerance levels but it will be understood by the other participants of the meeting.

 

  • Winning some money:

Acting as if you are taking noted try to solve some Pentostrough’s Theorem which could make you win some money as prize that would be involved in this contest.

By using the above said ways you can try to engage yourself without getting bored in a meeting that you are least interested in and thereby using the time as per your wish after all its your time and time is precious. Such ways though seem to be whiling away of time without gaining any knowledge seems to be the most used ways by common man to escape from time consuming meetings in which they are not interested.

10 ways to build good relationships in the office

Healthy and blooming relations at work boost productivity, profitability and is fruitful for the success of your career. One spends a great amount of their time at work so it is very important that you work in a morally supportive, friendly and jovial environment.  Good relationships ease out the level of stress, improves health, promotes self acceptance and increases the level of satisfaction and happiness which is essential for success. To help you achieve all this, here are ten ways to build strong interpersonal relationships at the office:

1. Respect and trust:

Look at others with respect irrespective of their age and position and listen to the suggestions in group work. Never look down upon anyone and never blame others to make yourself look better. Also, call everybody out of their names. This seems to be a very small gesture but it has been found out that calling people by their names helps them get closer. Be a person of your words and let your actions prove them. Be someone whom people can trust and rely on.

2. Communicate effectively:

The key to building good relationships at work is to communicate well with everybody. Look people in the eye while talking to them and make others feel special. Be polite and gentle with your words and let courtesy shine through your speech. Lend a kind ear to what others have to say as effective listening is also a part of effective communicating. Nowadays in the present era of digital world everybody has become super busy and effective communication will become the building blocks towards building healthy and long lasting relationships with your coworkers.

3. Helpful and benevolent:

Go out of  your way to help others and assist them in improving and  becoming their best selves. Be thoughtful towards the need of others and cooperate in times of stress and high work level. Be of the utmost advantage to others and you will see how the scenario at workplace changes and you emerge out as the most sought after person. Gift your coworkers or employee motivational books which will help them grow and evolve. Give them support so that they get the strength to face the challenges and help them grow. Help them in times of crisis, be an asset to others instead of being a liability and always be there to provide inspiration.

4. Duties and responsibilities:

Be dependable and always produce your work in time. This will make your employer happy and build effective relationships. You are accountable for the work expected from you and should always meet the desired standards of efficiency. Meet all the deadlines and do your assigned job with due diligence and be an asset to the organization instead of being a headache. Also, improve on your skills and knowledge by taking extra classes so that the company benefits from your expertise.

5. Constructive:

Support your inmates, help them uplift from where they are. During the work hours, when others are busy in their work, do not disturb them unnecessarily and continue with your job with minimal noise. This gesture of yours will be highly appreciated by others. Give your contributions in whatever way possible. Think of new ways and techniques by which the profitability and efficiency of the organization can experience a boom.

6. Be ethical:

Ethics is the most important part when it comes to business. Always resolve to stick by your principles and values and never steep low morally for personal gains.  Ethics and integrity are the backbone of a fruitful association and goes a long way in rewarding you with self worth and integrity.

7. Give your 100%:

It is a true saying that you receive what you have given earlier. Good acts of kindness done to others is always reciprocated back to you ten folds. Be  considerate of the feelings of others and cooperate with them to bring harmony in the workplace. Your repeated endeavors will eventually be noticed by others and they will also return back the favors.

8. Be authentic:

Be your true self and exhibit such a personality that would welcome people towards you. Be open to all and let them know that they are free to talk to you about anything at any time. Do not try to be someone whom you are not, just to fit in somewhere. Remember you are the most beautiful when you are true to your real self and this self belief will attract others towards you. This will break the barriers between you and others and will be the starting point of healthy associations. Have a big heart when it comes to appreciating others for their good work. This increases the self confidence and opens up the possibility for future developments. Also be thankful to those who have helped you and be grateful to them for their kindness.

9. Stay away from office politics:

Do not be a complain machine and find faults with everybody. The most common thing that creates a divide among the colleagues is that people  form groups and start gossiping about others just for fun. This culminates into a big gap amongst the people which hampers the spirit of the team as a whole. It may seem a little hard not to bitch about someone you don’t like personally, but believe me, it is very healthy for boosting the overall efficiency of the office workers.

10. Be cheerful and jovial:

Always spread happiness, positivity and enthusiasm around the office. Be a role model and inspire others to push harder against their limitations and emerge as a winner. Go out for lunch with them and spend happy moments together. When you touch the life of others in a positive way, they are always grateful to you for that and will always love you.

Building great relationships with your colleagues is quite an easy task with these tips . It will make you more efficient and provide the motivation to collectively improve and find your way to the pinnacles of  success. So, love everybody in your team, enjoy working together and construct long term rewarding bonds.

10 cool ways to save the world

Mother Nature is the all pervading force that nurtures and nourishes us without asking anything in return. We owe all that we are and have today to the generosities of our planet Earth. But our selfish acts and atrocities have had drastic consequences on the natural ecological balance of the world which is now being visible in the form of Global Warming, melting ice caps, increased pollution and the threat of the world coming to an end. A lot has already been damaged but we can still join hands and do little things which can revert back our self created dangerous destructions so that we all and our future generations can live in harmony. Here are some 10 cool and easy ways by which you can save the environment from any further loss:

1.    Make natural fertilizers by using organic waste at home:

Store up all the waste organic materials like vegetable and fruit peels, dried twigs and flowers and mix them with normal soil and keep it aside in the open for a few days. After some days, maybe around two weeks or so, you will find that the whole mixture has turned into a beautiful black compost which is a super healthy food for your plants. Now you can use this compost as a natural fertilizer over your plants and see them bloom and flower in no time.

2.    Biking and walking:

Walk or use a bike to travel to nearby places instead of using cars. It will save liters of fuel used in the cars and will provide immense health benefits too. Cycling is very beneficial for the proper working of the knees and is a great cardiovascular exercise. So, get fit and tone up your body in an Eco friendly manner.

3.     Grow your own food:

Green plants are not only soothing to the eye but the organic fruits and vegetables grown at home are very nutritious for the family too. Many vegetables and herbs can be grown very easily in pots at home and requires very little space to survive. What a joy it is to pluck your very own tomatoes and chilly every morning from your little garden making your favorite sauce. Green plants purify the air and absorbs the harmful gases. You can also plant trees in nearby public places and give your contribution towards the making of a beautiful and greener earth.

4.    Use solar powered equipment:

Solar powered gadgets and products are very environmental friendly and save the exhaustible resources of the planet which are conventionally used to generate power. Replace your old battery and cell phone chargers with solar battery chargers as they will be budget friendly and also help save the world. Nowadays portable solar laptop chargers are also available which very easily charges your laptops without shelling out high electricity bills.

5.    Party in an environmental friendly way:

What better way to show respect to Mother Nature than by enjoying in a way which is beneficial for everybody. So the next time you party, make use of all things bio degradable from party invites, decorations  to reusable dishes. Offer local and fresh organic food to your guests rather than expensive and canned food products.

6.    Use environmentally friendly shampoo:

Do you know that most of the shampoos available in the market today contain small fragments of materials which contaminate the water, landfills and also harm the skin and hair of the user. Well, why not make your own healthy and biodegradable shampoo at home and have beautiful shiny hair. To make this shampoo take equal quantities of herbs like soapberry, Acacia concinna and Indian gooseberry also commonly known as Reetha, Amla and sheekakai and soak it overnight in water. The next morning, grind this mixture into a fine paste and here you get an amazing shampoo. Wash hair with this paste and rinse off with water nicely till all the mixture gets out from the hair. Now, follow this up with a natural conditioner which is made of one lemon juice and 1 cup of water by using this solution as a final rinse on the hair.

7.     Have skylights in the roofs:

Skylights are a great way to bring in natural sunlight in the house during the daytime. They make the house so bright that there is no need to switch on any form of lighting in the day. Also, the natural ray of the sun kills the harmful bacteria, purifies the air in the house and causes less strain in the eyes while reading and writing.

8.    Recycle and reuse:

Let the creativity in you shine through and think of innovative ways of reusing the old worn out items in the house like cans, clothes, jars etc. You can even scrap out your computer parts which contain valuable metals like gold and platinum and sell them at various online shops. This will give help you earn some extra bucks sitting at home and also prevent the harmful substances found in these items from contaminating the landfills.

9.     Love animals:

Many Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt and Drew Barrymore have opted to go fully vegetarian because of their love for animals. Even you can do that, if not fully, then at least resolve to go vegan for certain days in a month. Apart from giving immense health benefits, it is ethical too and saves thousands of animals from getting slaughtered. Beef production causes severe erosion of the topsoil of the earth and consumes 100 times more water than required for cereal production. Also, raising poultry and animals for consumption requires feeding them tons of food grains when millions in our planet are sleeping hungry every day. So, going vegan is cool and even prevents species extinction, thereby maintaining the earth’s ecological balance.

10.    Send e cards instead of paper ones:

Tons of trees are cut every year to produce paper which is leading to severe losses and climatic hazards. Use telecom and technology to save further deforestation. E cards are an Eco friendly way of showing love to near and dear ones and they are free too.

3 Budgets: Birthday Parties for Children

It’s often hard for my hosting-loving heart to remember that for my daughters’ birthday parties, they just want a fuss, fun and friends on their special day. Ultimately, this doesn’t need to cost much or take much time.

birthday-party

To show you how to hold a great kid’s birthday on a budget, I’ve put together budget breakdowns for three children’s birthday parties at $25, $100 and $500 price points. Keep in mind, these tips skew towards toddler parties since that’s my experience.

$25 Birthday Party

Our family has a rule that each year you can invite as many friends as your new age, which is one trick we use to keep the cost low. I have a hunch that this significantly lessens the pressure to host an MTV-style Super Sweet 16 party!

Knowing what kind of budget you want makes planning your party easier, and less expensive party certainly doesn’t mean less fun.

For my daughter Dottie’s second birthday, two friends came over for a make-your-own-pizza party. I bought refrigerated pizza dough, mozzarella cheese, toppings and sauce at the grocery store, and prepared cleverly cut up veggies to dip in dressing, so the food and entertainment were covered.

I made the tasty birthday cake from a mix on sale, and instead of goodie bags, we handed out helium balloons. The blog “A Girl and a Boy” has a great balloon trick for an even more dynamic decoration. The balloons can do double-duty as the take-home item, instead of putting together goodie bags for the guests.

Food
Refrigerated pizza dough $2.50
Carrots & Broccoli $2.00
Ranch dressing $3.00
Cheese $5.00
Sauce $2.50
Subtotal $15.00
Cake
Mix $2.75
Frosting $2.25
Subtotal $5.00
Balloons
Subtotal $5.00
Total $25.00

$100 Birthday Party

When budgeting for a child’s birthday party, my favorite money saving tip is to ask your child directly what they want.  That’s how we wound up throwing a “Pink Cupcake Donut Rainbow Princess Yoda Santa Baby Jesus Butterfly” party for our daughter’s third birthday.

Fifteen guests joined us for just about $100. We held the summer party in the late morning at a public park. As it was a potluck brunch, costs stayed down and spirits were high. I served a cost efficient eggy pie, pink donuts and pink strawberry juice. Guests supplied the rest of the food.

For decorations, we found a roll of plastic table covering to hide all the dubious park table surfaces. I spray painted a single, small tree branch, secured the branch in a vase, and clipped small butterfly clips over the branch. A stuffed Yoda did double duty as decoration and gift.

Invitations
Subtotal $15
Food
Prosecco (for the grownups) $10
Eggy pie $5
Donuts $10
Strawberry juice $20
Pink cupcakes
Mix $2.75
Frosting $2.25
Subtotal $5
Subtotal $50
Decorations
Tablecloth roll (to cover park tables) $10
Stuffed Yoda $10
Rainbow temporary tattoos $3
Clip on Butterflies $7
Spray painted tree branch Free
Subtotal $30
Pink lollipops for the take-home
Subtotal $5
Total: $100

$500 Birthday Party

If I’m spending more money on a party, I make sure there’s a time tradeoff: the higher the party cost, the less time I want to spend preparing. For bigger budget birthday parties, I also like to use the extra money to hire entertainment, like a children’s birthday professional, giving the grownups a chance to mingle, and the kids an experience to remember.

Bigger budgets can also accommodate fancier goodie bags. You can bump up the quality of your goodie bag with personalization. I like to personalize decks of cards, baked goods or even little notebooks.

For 8-10 guests, this party includes a

Bakery bought birthday cake
Subtotal $50
Catered food or takeout
Subtotal $200
Entertainment:
Subtotal $100
Decorations
Pennants to hang $25
Linens (rental) $25
Subtotal $50
Plates and glassware
Subtotal $50
Goodie bags
Personalized pencils $25
Small notebooks with pencils $15
Stickers $5
Bags $5
Subtotal $50
Total: $500

Knowing what kind of budget you want makes planning your party easier, and a less expensive party certainly doesn’t mean less fun. There are party solutions for any kind of budget. Regardless of your budget, make sure you always take plenty of photos. Memories of these special times are priceless!

Destination Spas: Tips to Help You Get the Best Bliss for Your Buck

Spas are among the most popular leisure attractions in the U.S., with Americans spending $13.6 billion in 156 million day and destination spa visits alone. But, while a spa vacation sounds like a good idea, how do you choose a destination that will fit your needs—and your budget? I asked a few experts, who advise to keep in mind the following considerations:
tips-to-help-you-get-the-best
Your Budget

A spa experience should transform you, and it’s hard to put a price on transformation. But “not everybody can spend $5,000 for week,” says Sally Fraenkel, Executive Vice President of SpaFinder Wellness. The site has a search function to find destination spas and deals. “There are options that fit all different budgets.”

In fact, nearly half of all spa vacations booked came in under $299 a night, according to SpaFinder State of Spa Travel Report. And since the base price at a destination spa usually includes meals, classes, treatments, and other activities, “you get quite a bit” for what you’re paying for, Fraenkel says. Take Red Mountain Resort, near St. George, Utah. Its “Red Mountain Essential Retreat” package starts at $270 a night and includes meals, classes, and activities.

Your Goals

Are you looking to lose weight, jump-start your fitness routine, or just relax? Make sure the spa includes the activities you need: weight-loss menus, hikes, meditation, massage, or any other features. If it’s your first spa visit, does the spa have a beginners’ program? The spa industry has gotten very good at addressing the entry-level customer, says Michelle Kinney, Vice President of Trilogy Spa Ventures, which develops hotel-based spas.

Matching the spa’s focus to your goals is a way to make sure you get the most out of your money, says Marissa Gold, Editorial Director of SpaWeek Media, a spa and wellness marketing company. Since many spa packages are all-inclusive, a mismatch means you’d pay for treatments and features that you’re not going to use and pay extra for things you do want, she says.

The Length of Your Stay

Spending a day each way flying to an exotic destination is impractical if you only have a long weekend. Consider trading a beachfront spa across the country for a lakeside resort closer to home, Gold suggests.

About half of all spa vacations booked last year came in under $299 a night.

Special Deals

SpaWeek’s site has a search function that sorts destination spas and a section with package deals. It also sponsors specials in April and October with reduced-price packages and treatments.

Another option: You can choose a hotel/resort with spa facilities, where you can book nights and treatments à la carte to fit your timeframe, says Kinney. Her company recently opened Well & Being at Willow Stream in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona, which offers such features.

Even after you’ve picked your spa, there are still things you can do to make you money go farther:

An Off-Season Trip

Just like hotels drop room prices during low periods, their spas also cut rates to fill treatment rooms, says Kinney. For example, according to the Park City (Utah) Visitors Bureau, spa stays in that tony ski town during spring, summer, and fall can cost half to one-third the price of a peak winter getaway. The area has a selection of high-end spa resorts including the Golden Door Spa at Waldorf Astoria Park City and the Remède Spa at St. Regis. “There is absolutely a seasonality aspect,” said Fraenkel of SpaFinder Wellness.

“Friend” the Property

Most spa locations will do either a monthly e-mail blast or a newsletter you can subscribe to for updates on goings-on, including specials, says Kinney. SpaWeek and SpaFinder also offer newsletters and deal alerts.

Newsletters are a good way to find out about last-minute travel deals, says Fraenkel. For example, she notes that the well-known spas Canyon Ranch and Rancho la Puerta recently were both offering 20% off last-minute packages, and Sparkling Hill Resort in British Columbia had an offer of 40% off a three-night stay with spa treatments.

Split the Cost

“It is always going to cut costs to go with a friend,” says Gold. “Sharing a room will cut the cost dramatically.”

For example, the Tennessee Fitness Spa in Waynesboro offers a weekly rate as low as $875 for four friends staying together. Or you can get a three-night special package that’s $425 each—including full fitness program, all meals and a beauty treatment—if two people share a room.

To simplify cost-sharing on trips, you can use Citibank® PopMoney® to pay friends directly from your existing Citibank checking, savings, or money market account. You can send money to anyone in the US with a bank account by using his or her email address or bank account information, even when you’re at the spa, by using the Citi MobileSM App.

Work: More than Just a Job

However powerful our technology and complicated our corporations, the most remarkable feature of the modern working world is in the end internal, it consists in an aspect of our mentalities: in the beautiful and noble belief that the work we do should make us happy and contribute to the meaning of our lives.

more-than-just-a-job

All societies have had work at their center; ours is the first to suggest that work must be something much more than a punishment or a drag. Ours is the first to imply that we should seek to work even in the absence of a pressing financial imperative: that we should work to be fully human.

Nowadays, our choice of occupation defines our identity to the extent that the most obvious question we ask of new acquaintances is not where they come from or who their parents were but what they do, the assumption being that the route to a meaningful life is deeply connected to the job we pick for ourselves.

As we enter the job market, the question is to know not only what is available out there, but also – and just as importantly – what our hearts really desire.

Of course, to find our way to the right job is a huge challenge. As we enter the job market, the question is to know not only what is available out there, but also—and just as importantly—what our hearts really desire. Nowadays, most jobs cannot be done properly without passion. Then again, it isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement. We need to give ourselves time: finding a job we are competent at and enjoy doing is as difficult and as rare as a good marriage.

Not all of us are going to have the sort of outstanding careers often celebrated in the media, but to hold down any job means being given a chance to help out in the great and important task of bettering some corner of the human beehive. Work should be honored for allowing us to focus our otherwise scattered energies on some achievable goals, for giving us a sense of mastery, for making us respectably tired and for allowing us to create something that is just a little bit more ordered, beautiful, logical, or helpful than we manage to be day to day in the rest of our lives.

Tips to Unplug and Limit Your Screen Time Exposure

Many parents have rules for “screen time” for their kids—that is, how much cumulative time they can spend looking at televisions, computers, gaming systems, and even smart phones and tablet computers. We intuitively know it’s important for kids to spend time engaged in activities that don’t require eyeballs on screens.

screen-time-exposure

As adults we should be imposing similar limits on ourselves. The hitch is, of course, that we often need to use our screens for work: we are tied to devices like our computers, tablets, and phones for our professional life. When the workday is over (for those lucky ones whose workdays DO end), we often turn to screens to watch the news of the day, unwind, or catch up with friends and family.

We need to remember that it’s important for adults to unplug as well. Earlier this year, Psychology Today wrote a great article about how intertwined we are with technology and why it’s so hard to detach from the digital world. To help bring awareness, there’s a National Day of Unplugging in March where participants pledge an entire day sans connectivity and a Screen Free Week next Spring oriented towards families.

But let’s start with baby steps. Since it’s not always easy to do, and knowing where to start can be a bit daunting, I’ve pulled together a few tips on setting limits on your own screen time:

We intuitively know it’s important to spend time engaged in activities that don’t require eyeballs on screens.

  • No screens during dinner. Whether you’re a family of eight or live alone, plan on dinnertime being screen-free. Turn off the news, and don’t check texts or status updates—just stop and enjoy the meal in front of you.
  • Remove screens from bedrooms. When it’s time to retire for the evening, don’t tempt yourself to unwind with a movie or laptop. Let your bedroom be a haven and snuggle up with a cup of tea and a good book. It’s a calming way to end your day.
  • Ramp up your workout. Instead of watching a movie or the news while reading a tablet on a treadmill, how about popping in your earbuds to energize yourself with a favorite song? Let the music be your muse, not the talking heads on the screen.
  • Get outside, and leave your screens behind. Take the dog for a walk, head to the park with a novel or sketchpad, or just sip some lemonade on your own front porch. If you must take your phone with you because you need to be accessible to others, keep it out of reach and pretend it isn’t there until it notifies you otherwise.
  • Head to the library. Remember the old days before screens were omnipresent? Rediscover the joy of the library…rooms stuffed with books just waiting to be read. Spend an hour or so perusing the shelves, and then bring some home to enjoy instead of that glowing box.

Technology brings so many wonderful things to our world, but the key is to not let it run your life. Take some time out of each day to put the smart phone down and engage in the world around you. Your eyes and your imagination will thank you.

Tips That Can Help You Be a Better Manager

Yes, the job market is tight, but that doesn’t leave bosses off the hook when it comes to managing staff.

manager

“There is a management challenge under way,” says professional coach Beverly Flaxington. “There is increasing pressure on managers to be more than managers—to be leaders, psychologists, problem-solvers, relationship-builders, and effective technicians.”

A recent survey found that 86% of employees plan to switch jobs this year—something employers should take note of, because it’s costly and ineffective for companies to keep training replacements, says Flaxington. With companies trying to do more with fewer people “managers have to be creative, they have to pull teams together, and figure out how to meet the (company) goals,” she says.

An ongoing discussion in Citi’s LinkedIn group, Connect: Professional Women’s Network, addresses this topic, spurred by the question, “What makes a great manager?”

“The greatest managers I’ve worked with, and emulated, were the ones who were regularly engaged with their direct reports, fought for their teams when needed, communicated openly, and focused on employee growth,” writes Michelle Sams Marko, a Senior Manager at a wireless communications company in the San Francisco area. “In short, they made me believe they cared about helping me in my career in addition to getting me the right tools to succeed in the current job.”

Some of the qualities of a good manager are fundamental: Knowing how to hire good people and fire underperformers before they drag down the rest of the office, and how to run a good meeting, says Quint Studer, founder of Studer Group, a leadership coaching firm in Gulf Breeze, Florida. But great managers are also engaged with employees and ask them for regular feedback to make sure they have the tools they need and are meeting their goals, adds Studer, author of The Great Employee Handbook: Making Work and Life Better.

Good managers “offer priorities, process, and a clear path for those who need it,” says Flaxington. One-on-one coaching can help with those skills, says Flaxington, author of Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior.

“Good managers should not do the organizing on their own. Their most important job is mentoring and delegating,” she says.

Good managers offer priorities, process, and a clear path for those who need it.

From both the LinkedIn comments and input from Studer and Flaxington, a few common traits of a good manager stand out:

She sees the staff as people.

“A great leader is concerned about results, yes, but is dually concerned that the people striving to obtain the results learn, mature, and reach for greater goals than just the results themselves,” writes Tonisha Swanson, a Business Consultant in the Chicago area.

“The characteristics and skills to being a great manager are the same ones needed to be a great friend. Concern for the other person and leading them to develop,” writes Nancy Winkler, an Independent Real Estate Agent in the Knoxville, Tennessee area.

A manager must get to know their employees personally, especially at a time when people are increasingly concerned with achieving work-life balance, says leadership coach Studer. “You have to know something about the person beyond what they do at work … If you work for me, I need to know what’s going on. I need to know if your father’s ill,” he says.

She lifts obstacles for employees.

“I’ve always viewed my role as a manager or leader as one to set a vision and clear any barriers for people,” writes Nancy Koors, President and Chief Operating Officer of Powerhouse Factories, a marketing agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Give them the end goal and let them get there in their own way, but be there if they need guidance or help,” Koors explains.

Managers need to ask employees regularly if they have what they need to get the work done, says Studer. Employees assume the boss knows when something isn’t working right but often, that is not the case, he says. “I need to say to you: ‘Are the systems that you need working?’ If the answer’s yes, fine; if the answer’s no, I need to know what I can do to fix it because that’s wasted time,” he says.

That’s not as easy as it sounds, says Studer: “Bosses are afraid to do those things because they don’t want to find out they can’t fix it.”

She asks for feedback.

“A great manager must be able to accept feedback, positive or negative,” writes Terri Larry, a Certified Public Accountant in the Los Angeles, California area.

Studer suggests setting up a regular survey asking staffers to submit feedback anonymously: “Ask (on a scale of) one through five: ‘How am I at doing meetings, setting expectations, answering questions, rewards and recognition, professional development, and addressing performance issues?’” This approach is not only helpful for identifying issues, but it will help morale to even ask, he says.

“I think we are all asked to be leaders and followers in some way, shape, and form,” writes Beth Tunis, a Therapist and Life Coach in New York City. Indeed, the managers she has followed and learned from are those who kept employees informed and engaged with humor, respect, and passion for their work—who “walked their talk.”