Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hourly Work Search Engine

If you're looking for hourly work, try Snagajob.com. It has listings of hourly employment across the country.

The site also has a section called HireLearning with articles about getting part-time jobs at various life stages, getting ahead, various jobs and industries, and doing resume and interview preparation.

One interesting function is the Wage Calculator that gives a range of pay for specific job titles. It can be customized to your experience and location, if you enter in a bunch more information about yourself (sort of a mini-job application).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kids need recess - Grownups too!

The New York Times article today provides evidence that children who have more than 15 minutes of recess behaved better in the classroom than those with less recess time. It allows children to rest their brain's "directed attention" and thus be able to return refreshed to tasks that require directed attention.

I'm sure this applies to grownups, as well. We need to get outside, play a little, allow our brains some rest from constant focus, constant attention, constant work. When we do take a walk or do some exercise, play with our pets or kids, or simply sit outdoors, we're resting a very important part of our brain. Just as sufficient sleep allows our bodies to function optimally, so too does a break from focused "directed attention" allow our brains to function optimally. It reduces mental fatigue and permits a renewed concentration.

While this study proves the efficacy of getting out into nature and/or playing for children, I've known it for a while. When I'm tired, I get outside. There's only so long I can spend writing or talking to people about their work issues or personal issues. Sometimes I just need to be what I call a "vegetable" - just sit without reading or watching TV. I do it best in a bubble bath or sitting and petting one of my cats. I love holding a cat and petting it, putting my ear close to its warm furry body and hearing that wonderful purr. It just calms me down and refreshes me. Playing with the neighbors' dogs also works wonders for my spirit. I feel more alive and able to get back to something that requires my focused attention - a puzzle, a book, a blog post.

What do you REALLY want?

My actions always tell me exactly what I really want...whether I tell myself differently or not. If there's a disconnect between what I say I want and what I'm doing, it's good to become aware of that misalignment. Then I can start to align my actions with my wants.

For example, if I want to be thin, I know what kind of actions I need to take to reach that goal. Specifically, I must expend more calories than I take in. There are different combinations of actions to take - one is "eat less, exercise more" and another is "exercise a whole lot while eating the same amount of food" while another is "eat a lot less while exercising the same amount." Different payoffs come from each of these combinations.

The point is that if I don't do any of these things, I won't reach my stated goal. In which case, my true intention is the immediate gratification of my appetite and hunger. My actions tell me all I need to know about what I truly want.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stop The Silence - For Our Children's Sake

The Maverick Mom identified a very important non-profit cause Stop the Silence - a nonprofit that is completely focused on the heartbreaking work of dealing with the sexual abuse of children. www.12for12k.org is raising money to support its work.

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, at least one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by 18 years old. Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 or younger. As a mother, these are statistics I can hardly bear to consider.

The life victims live if they are not properly treated is full of shame, poor school performance, depression, psychosis, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, prostitution, drug abuse, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, homelessness, suicide and homicide, and chronic disease.

Stop the Silence has a three part mission to stem this epidemic. They are committed to exposing and stoping child sexual abuse and help survivors heal worldwide. The charity’s overarching goals are to:

1) help stop child sexual abuse (CSA) and related forms of violence;

2) promote healing of victims and survivors;

3) celebrate the lives of those healed.

Through their work, Stop the Silence aims to address the relationships between child sexual abuse and the broader issues of overall family and community violence, and violence within and between communities.

www.12for12k.org has made it their mission to raise money for this uncommonly worthy cause during the month of February. Even $10 will make a difference. I have made my contribution. I hope you will find a way to offer your support, too.

For our children’s sake, we cannot afford to ignore Stop the Silence. Join me, won’t you?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Michael LeBoeuf's The Millionaire in You

Michael LeBoeuf shows that there are four things people need to know about money: how to make it, how to save it, how to invest it, and how to enjoy it.

The key is LeBoeuf’s Law: Invest your time actively and your money passively. These are LeBoeuf’s ten strategic choices aligned with the Law:

* Live the life you want instead of the life others expect.

* Stack the odds in your favor instead of against you.

* Be a supersaver instead of a big spender.

* Increase the market value of your time instead of working long hours.

* Do less better instead of trying to do it all.

* Capitalize on the unexpected instead of being derailed by it.

* Own the market instead of trying to beat the market.

* Limit your losses instead of letting bad luck ruin you.

* Listen to those who know instead of those who sell.

* Do it now instead of regretting it later

5 Ways to Be Successful and Happy (even rich!)

Barbara Reinhold's article on Monster Five Habits of Millionaires tells us that millionaires have these common characteristics:

1. Avoid the Earn-to-Spend Mentality
2. Focus
3. Do Whatever Is Necessary to Meet Your Goal
4. Take Calculated Risks
5. Be Generous

As the article notes, "[t]hese five habits are a pretty good prescription for living happily even if you're not a millionaire."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Using Color

In the New York Times article Reinvent Wheel? Blue Room. Defusing a Bomb? Red Room, there is wonderful information about the effect of color on our brains, our productivity and our abilities.

Red promotes accuracy, dominance (and therefore winning), recall, attention to detail, attractiveness (at least to men), hunger, thirst and sociability.

Blue promotes creativity, brainstorming, imagination, problem-solving and lingering at parties.

Interestingly, people in a yellow room ate more than people in a red room even though the red room people reported being hungrier and thirstier.

My kitchen is yellow and my dining room is red and blue. So I guess...my guests are hungry and thirsty, want to hang around, and will eat the leftovers in the kitchen.

Get in the flow of happiness

Contrary to what most of us believe, happiness does not simply happen to us. It's something that we make happen, and it results from doing our best. Feeling fulfilled when we live up to our potentialities is what motivates differentiation and leads to evolution.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, Page 38

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Writing with Non-dominant Hand

Non-dominant hand writing is a powerful tool for revealing and releasing old no-longer-useful beliefs and old hurts.

I suggested to someone that she use some information she got from a psychic about someone yelling at her, and therefore keeping her from reaching her goals. This is all happening on an unconscious, energetic level. So addressing it at a conscious level won't be effective. The method for finding out what's keeping her stuck is one I adapted from Dr. Brian Alman, a brilliant psychologist whose method allowed me to forgive a former employer for the nature of my ouster.

1. Use your non-dominant hand to give voice to the screaming woman. What is she saying? What messages does she want to communicate? What does she have to say that requires her to yell? What's the content of the yelling? Why is she saying it? What are her reasons? Just scribble rather than focus on forming legible words, as long as you keep her voice in your head as you are writing. You are channeling her messages onto the piece of paper. This takes about 10 minutes, or until she's done yelling.

2. Next, with your non-dominant hand, write down all your inner voices that are reacting to the screaming woman. Those are the voices that criticize her for what she's saying, how she's saying it, why she's saying it. There are voices that are afraid of her, and others that are disgusted. Some may be gleeful, glad that she finally got to talk. Whatever comes out, channel through your writing. This takes about 10 minutes, or until the inner voices are finished with their critique (with the non-judgmental meaning of "commentary").

3. Finally, with your dominant hand, write down whatever comes to your mind. This will be the observer of your process, and the truthteller - the voice that tells you what's really going on, and what the stakes seemed to be, what's behind the yelling, what's being protected.

I'm really curious to see how this works for my dear one. It certainly worked for me, but each person is different.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What is procrastination telling YOU?

The Popular Practice of Putting Stuff Off by Alina Tugend in this weekend's New York Times lays out this really interesting point about procrastination:

"But chronic procrastination can be a symptom of a much deeper problem, one that does not respond to “just tweaking a variable,” Professor [Timothy A.] Pychyl said.

“It could be a symptom that you’re leading an inauthentic life,” he said. “You should take a look at the goals in your life and say, ‘Is this what you want to do?’ ”


So a key question to ask is what may be causing you to put off doing something. It may be as simple as not having enough information or it may be as big as no longer having the energy to invest in continuing to do the same unfulfilling things.

My own experience tells me that I put things off when I don't have enough information to move forward. The article makes this point as well when it tells the story of students who had to either briefly describe the type of person who opens a bank account, or define what's needed to open a bank account. Both would be paid $5, yet money proved not to be a motivator here. The difference was in how abstract or concrete the assignment.

The first group had to think, had to ruminate about a concept and then summarize their thoughts - and it's so true that it takes longer to write something short than it does to write something long. The second group simply had to list things, in no particular order. That's easy to do quickly.

My guess is that the first group might have been better able to act quickly if they had some guidelines to follow. "List characteristics of people who open bank accounts" might have engendered fast responses, as might "Briefly describe the type of person who opens a bank account. Use a friend or family member as your model." More information - either as explicit instructions or hints as to how to approach the task - makes the job easier to accomplish.

I now approach "procrastination" as a diagnostic tool rather than a character flaw. When I put something off that really needs doing, I know to ask the "why am I doing this? What additional information do I need? Or, is this really what I want to be doing?" Either way, I move off the dime and progress.