Wednesday, July 27, 2011
On The Job: To Multitask or Not To Multitask?,
Consumer Price Index Update,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
Rebuilding Your Life After Bankruptcy,
Connect with Orion
On The Job: To Multitask or Not To Multitask?
At any given time in one day, how much are you multitasking? Most stay-at-home parents would probably say somewhere in the range of three to five tasks. At work, employees are likely to have five or more tabs open in their Web browser or multiple projects going simultaneously. Some employers believe it is the key to accomplishing incredible feats of productivity and therefore increased profit, but experts warn, not so fast.
When multitasking, key details and instructions can be missed and careless mistakes such as decimal point locations and grammatical errors can be made. And, let us not even mention the dreaded, “Reply All” dilemma in the world of e-mail. Each of these actions, while innocent, might contribute severely to the bottom line of a business.
It is a common misconception that multitasking belongs only to younger generations and that they can handle it better. Not so, according to an article on www.AOL.com, “Five Myths of Multitasking” by www.FINS.com. The article quotes Pam Vaccaro, CEO of St. Louis-based time-management consultancy Designs on Time as saying, “There's a tendency to believe that the younger generations can manage [multitasking] better, but whether you're 23 or 103, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time."
Another common fallacy employers believe is that multitasking increases productivity. Modern day employees are bombarded by e-mails, texts, phone calls, tweets, co-workers, supervisors and every other conceivable method of communication. These interruptions derail our focus and it takes more time to refocus our efforts and get “back on track” than does the interruption itself. These spurts are instances of low production because the mind simply cannot recover that quickly to become ultra-focused again.
The article also quotes Pierre Khawand, founder and CEO of People-On The Go, a consultancy that helps companies overcome information overload. "When we're working two minutes here and two minutes there, it's really hard to get deep into anything. We lose the ability to think strategically and solve deep issues," he states. This affects the quality of output.
Incomplete information is also a side effect of multitasking. E-mails and texts often leave out critical or key pieces of information.
What can be done? Experts agree that turning off e-mail, phone and other notification sounds to silent is a good place to start. Employees should be sure to set boundaries with co-workers. For example, when an office door is closed, it means no interruptions unless urgent. Finally, workers should take time to reward themselves with social and other activities after a long stretch of productivity. They can take this time to respond to e-mail and texts as well as chat with friends if it is convenient to them.
Consumer Price Index Update
During the month of May, the cost of living in the United States rose more than forecasted as companies increased prices on products ranging from automobiles to airlines. This increase indicates that raw-material expenses are indeed far-reaching in the economy and hitting U.S. consumers.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, the Consumer Price Index, which provides monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers, increased 0.2 percent and was up 3.6 percent from the previous year, the largest year-over-year advance since October of 2008. Prices across categories, excluding food and fuel, climbed 0.3 percent. This was the biggest one-month gain since July 2008.
Factors contributing to the rise in cost for apparel include higher prices for cotton, oil and Asian labor. Food costs also increased 0.4 percent. This increase in meats, poultry, fish and eggs was the biggest since November of 2003. McDonald’s indicated that their increased prices were a result of soaring meat prices.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he believed the U.S. economy will likely pick up steam as fuel costs decrease and factories in Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. He also felt there was not enough evidence to support inflation becoming broad-based.
Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.1 percent, with no change from the previous month. Factory production increased 0.4 percent. Contributing largely to the factory production increase was a large gain in business equipment output.
Most economists feel that manufacturing will pick up as Japan recovers and overseas demand and spending serves as a sales catalyst for U.S.-made equipment and technology. It is also generally agreed that underlying manufacturing activity is in a healthy state and this minor glitch will even out in the next few months.
Congratulation's to This Month's Winner
Rebuilding Your Life After Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is definitely life altering. The financial and emotional impact can take a toll on your well being and that of your family. The state of the economy has forced many people into bankruptcy. So how do you go about rebuilding your life after bankruptcy? Will you always live with the bankruptcy stigma? In short, the answer is no. There are several key things that can be done to get you back on track.
The first thing you need to do is let go of any guilt or shame you have over the process. Realize that you are not alone. In 2010 U.S. bankruptcies rose by 9 percent to 1.53 million filings. In addition, a survey from www.FindLaw.com showed that one in eight U.S. adults (13 percent) of the population admit they’ve considered filing for bankruptcy. The Great Recession has left Americans with lingering debt and financial instability. It is important for anyone filing for bankruptcy to realize some things are out of their control.
The next step is evaluating where you go from here. Any plan should contain guidelines for paying bills on time and setting a realistic budget. It should also include arrangements for living below your means. It is not the time to “keep up with the Joneses.” Of course, there also needs to be a savings plan put in place. The more of a nest egg that is built, the more financially stable you will feel.
Make it a priority to pay all of your current bills on time. You can set up automatic bill payments easily online. Also, pay rent on time. Payments are now being tracked by one of the credit bureaus and can affect your credit score. You must also commit to repaying your existing bills as agreed. This can be the most important thing you do to restore your finances and your credit.
In addition, choose a credit card company that will allow you to rebuild your credit. This is done by obtaining a secure credit card. Secure credit cards allow the owner to deposit a given amount of money into a bank account. That amount becomes your credit limit. By charging a small amount to your secure card and paying it off each month, you can gradually rebuild your credit. Be wary and avoid secure credit cards that charge high fees.
Finally, remember that credit-scoring models typically look at your most recent activity than past mistakes. If you change your habits now, you can reestablish yourself as a credit worthy individual in as little as 6-12 months.
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