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Achieving a Better Family and Work Balance Makes for Better Job Performance Are you constantly working after hours and weekends at the office? Are beginning to forget what your family even looks like? Many people find themselves in this predicament. Work seems to get more and more demanding with every passing day, and to stay on top of your game at work, you feel like you need to put in long hours. The flipside to this is that of course when you are at the office, you are away from home ? away from family dinners, play time and your kids? sporting events or school plays. You may feel like your hands are tied ? that no matter how much you want to be more involved with your family life, you have to keep working as hard as ever to make sure your family is provided for in the long run. The truth is, however, that you may be doing yourself a disservice on both fronts. Studies have shown time and again that well rested workers with well balanced lives are more productive in the time they do spend working. In the end, the best way to be a stand out worker at the office is to be fully involved and present in your family live. But wait, you say, ?I?m working practically around the clock now, and everything still isn?t getting done.? However, maybe the problem isn?t that you aren?t working hard enough. Maybe the problem instead is that you aren?t working smart enough. Think about the way you spend you working day. Are you taking on more responsibility than you need to, instead of delegating tasks to others? Are you spending a lot of time chatting in the break room when you run for a cup of coffee? Are you procrastinating so that big projects require you to work all-nighters instead of spreading out the work? Keep a journal of all of your activities at work for a few days. You might be surprised to see how you are really spending your time and in what areas you could make improvements. Simply staying on task and delegating effectively could get you home in time for dinner. When you have done everything you can to make your work habits as productive as possible, it is time to turn to other ways to balance your work life and your family life. Rule number one is the hardest one for most people to follow you ? draw clear lines of distinction between work time and family time. Family time isn?t really family time if you are constantly on your cell phone making and receiving work calls or if you are on your laptop for the entire family vacation. When you?re working ? work. When you?re with your family ? concentrate on them. The time you spend actually taking a breather from work will recharge your batteries and make you a better worker when work time rolls around again. Next, you have to evaluate your priorities. Maybe working around the clock will help you make partner faster, but at what cost? Decide if seeing your daughter?s soccer game every week is more important to you than moving up the corporate ladder quickly, and make adjustments in your schedule appropriately. There is no right or wrong answer, but deciding where you priorities lie will make scheduling easier for you. With your priorities in mind, see what work options are available to you to help you meet them. If you want more time with the kids, see if your office offers flex time or part time hours to help you meet your family commitments. Last but not least, don?t feel guilty about taking time with your family. Not only is this time important to your family, you can rest assured that the time out from the office stress will make you more productive when you return to work.

Music Copyright Law Are You Violating Music Copyright Law? With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind ? lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone?s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses. Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music. Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more. Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating music copyright law by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet. The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization to do so. If people were sued for the music they have downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission to do so, you are breaking the law. Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music you are in violation of music copyright law. This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD. Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!

Can Job Sharing Boost your Employee Profile? Job sharing is one of the newer occurring work arrangements on the job market. It means that two or more people share one full time position. Most often it is two people that work part time on the same position. This kind of work sharing is a great invention for all parents that want to spend more time with their children or for people that are just not made for a full time job. Job sharing is a flexible job option that shares one person?s responsibilities between two people. So, can job sharing boost your employee profile? Yes, of course is the answer to that. The reasons why job sharing boosts your employee profile are widely spread. Job sharing can bring benefits not only to employees but also to employers and companies. Start by looking at the aspect of sharing your work. If you are sharing a full time position load with another person, pressure is less on you. You still have the same deadline, but the pressure is shared and you can work more efficiently on your work assignments. Less stress makes for a happier more relaxed employee that can tackle the work given to him or her easily. This makes the employee a more balanced person. The possibility to stay at home while still having a chance to be part of a company can further your career and keep your skills up to date and this makes for a well balanced worker. Another reason why job sharing might boost your employee profile is that two people working part time actually can get more work done as one full time employee. Why is that? Well, that is very easy. While the full time employee is very tired in the mid afternoon from his already long day, the person coming in for the second half of the day has had time to relax all morning long and therefore can start with new end fresh energy and thoughts on the shared work. Should the position not be shared in half days, but in each taking a few full days, then the people sharing the position are still more relaxed and motivated. They are able to be with their family, able to rest and regenerate or have fun with some of their favorite hobbies. Psychologists and researchers have long praised the effect that a fun family filled time and enough time to be you and relax can boost your employees? work input as well as their efficiency. In countries where employees have fewer hours per week and more vacation days a year, the work output per person is in general higher and employees are happy and motivated and stay with their company for long periods of time, if not all the way up to retirement. Additionally, if you have a good amount of time off from work, you are most likely a very motivated and happy employee and your boss and fellow employees will see you as a positive person to be around at the work place. Being a leader and motivator is all that a boss can hope for and therefore, sharing the position can immensely boost your profile. For employers, there is also the consideration of your benefits. Some companies might not pay benefits to part time employees and two part time positions will save you money. In this case, your profile is simply boosted by the fact that your employer saves money. Although in some companies, there are benefits for part-time employees and those can be based on different facts, such as hours worked, full-time benefits and more. Before considering sharing your job and entering the world of part-time employment, make sure that this is exactly what you are looking for in a job. Once you are sharing your position, there might not be a way back to full time, at least not within your own company.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.