PFDC Fashion Show, 10-13 April 2014

•September 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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How to get Nadra E-Tag for your vehicle.

•May 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

For many of you who wonder about getting an E-tag for your car as you watch many vehicles pass you by unstopped while you wait in long que for your turn to pay the tax/motorway charges specially when travelling via motorway.

Well, it is very simple all you need to do is to keep an eye on the sign board on motorway once you hit the pedal.
1536549_644394988957196_1856777609_nYou will come across sign boards like ‘NADRA E-tag XX-Km or Meters Ahead’. Follow them and take along with you to the registration booth your original CNIC and vehicle’s original documents.

You will be issued an E-tag after verification of said documents and your contact details. Be informed that no special charges or fee is charged for an E-tag.

An E-Tag works as a prepaid or top-up card for you i.e you will be required to charge them with some amount so that the road tax could be deducted from them every time you pass through an “E-Tag Express lane” while concluding or starting your journey on motorway.


How to Confront a Backstabber!!

•July 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Being at the receiving end of the vitriol or smugness of a backstabber is unpleasant at best and can be extremely damaging at worst, depending on what has been said or done.

A backstabber who is allowed to get away with their underhanded behavior will go on to do it again, maybe to you, maybe to someone else. Confronting a backstabber can help you to fix the problems that they’ve created, and it can also put a stop to their ways when they realize you’re willing to stand up to them.

If you’re unlucky enough to be messed about by a backstabber, here are some suggestions for confronting them.


Try to understand why some people “backstab” or double-cross. A backstabber is someone who pretends to be your friend, or to be on your side, and then turns around and does or says things that lead to you being harmed, exposed, or treated badly as a result of things they suggest or reveal. Backstabbing is a form of manipulation and reveals a person who is disloyal, insecure, and very unsure of their own place. Understanding the motivations behind backstabbing can help you to find ways to deal with it, as well as showing you that the backstabber is very often a person with poor emotional resources and is probably a very unhappy individual. While that doesn’t excuse their behavior, it can reassure you that the backstabber is probably like this with many people and needs to be treated objectively as someone to careful of. Reasons why people resort to backstabbing include:

  • Inability to make close friendships or keep friendships, and perhaps a fear of getting too close to other people in case they’re hurt. Gossiping in a mean-spirited way can cause them feel they’re more attractive to people they’d like to have friendships with.
  • Inability to get where they want to in life because they’re not talented, dislike hard work, cannot figure things out, or they’re afraid of doing the innovative things themselves. Their greed for promotions, profit, or bettering their position can cause them to see backstabbing as an easy path through.
  • Seeking to impress someone else. This can be the case where the person doesn’t feel they’re getting enough attention or respect from someone in authority or someone they wish they could spend more time with. It can be made worse where you’re spending time with the person the backstabber would like to befriend.
  • Jealousy. An insecure person who also harbors jealous thoughts about someone else can easily resort to backstabbing as a way of feeling superior over the subject of their desire and can even view this as a sort of “revenge”, as a way of taking down someone’s strengths, to make themselves appear and feel stronger.
  • Stupidity. Some people just don’t understand the limits of dropping other people in a mess. It might amuse them, or it might be because they don’t really understand the extent of the ramifications involved in undermining another person, but they just don’t think about what they’re doing and the harm they’re causing.
  • Revenge. Perhaps you did something (knowingly or unwittingly) that they don’t feel that they can forgive you for, and this is their sneaky method of getting back at you. In this case, look at what you might have done in relation to this person. Try to see whether there is something that might have caused them to feel so angry or disoriented that they wanted to hurt you.

Look after yourself first. The fallout from a backstabbing episode can be monumental, depending on what the backstabber has revealed about you, or has said about you. It’s important to do what you can to remedy the fallout through talking to the relevant people, and doing anything else that needs to be fixed. Some things that you might need to do include:

  • Reflecting on the consequences. Before you do anything else, take some time to assess the damage before rushing in to try and patch it up. Perhaps things seem worse than they are because the disloyalty is blurring your perception. Take at least a little time to work through the consequences to decide whether you need to do anything, or whether it’s best left to just fizzle out with time. If you do realize that things need to be done to repair the damage, then write out a plan of action to help keep you organized and panic-free.
  • Asking other people involved if the things said are true. Seeking to expose the layers of lies can be a useful way of finding out how far the backstabber has been weaving a web of deceit. For example, if the backstabber says A doesn’t like you and you go and ask A if this is true, A may say the backstabber said the same about you not liking them…
  • Apologizing to people if anything negative you’ve said has been revealed. Don’t grovel; be truthful, apologetic, and focused on where you’re headed next, now that you’ve learned a big lesson.
  • Explaining to people why what has happened is out of context, untrue, or convoluted. Don’t exaggerate or make up stories; just be clear on the real facts and highlight how the backstabber might have got things twisted in the retelling.
  • Letting people know that you’re going to the source of the rumors or tattling and sorting things out before they get worse. This will show people that you mean business about fixing what the backstabber has done or said, and that you’re not afraid of facing the person directly.

Make a decision to confront the backstabber. You might prefer to change the word “confront” to “meet with”, “discuss things with”, or “talk things through with” the backstabber if “confront” is too bold and aggressive a word for you. Whatever you call it, making the decision to call the backstabber on his or her behavior is a bold step and one that you’ll need to approach with courage and fortitude. Make sure you’ve got your facts straight, and that you feel strong and calm enough to talk to the backstabber without lapsing into emotional overdrive; remember that a backstabber is a manipulative personality and will try to turn your emotions back on you to make it seem as if they are not in the wrong or that you have misunderstood things.

Prepare your approach. If you already know what you want to say, then go ahead. However, for many people, the thought of confronting someone openly about something rude or nasty that the other person has done, can be confronting in itself. The answer to nerves is to pre-script your approach so that you know what you want to say, even if you don’t remember the exact words on the occasion. The types of things you might like to pre-script include informing the backstabber that you’d like to talk to them, putting together the facts of what has happened and how you’ve been impacted by the backstabbing, finding more constructive words than “backstabbing” to explain what has happened (so that you can remove the emotional anger), and crafting what kind of solution you’d like to see come out of this talk. For example, you might write down something like the following:

  • “I have something I’d like to talk to you about. I’d like you to hear me out about it before you give your response. I need your help in clarifying why you’ve chosen to say/do X, Y, Z, which has resulted in X, Y, Z. I don’t know why you felt you needed to do this, and it has been hard for me to [know that J, L, and K are now involved too/to bear the brunt of the consequences, etc.]. And while I don’t know what motivated you to [disclose things that I told you in confidence/say such personal things about me/suggest that I’m not good enough to the job, etc.], I do know that I won’t accept this happening anymore. I’ve spoken to J, L, and K and explained my side of things. They seem to understand much better now what has happened. Then either: [(Personal): I would now like you to understand better too, that I am not someone who stands by while my dignity is not respected.] or [(Work): If you have a problem with me, I’d like this resolved now so that we can work together more effectively and to ensure this doesn’t happen again.]
    Follow with: I believe that when people do things that are not kind or caring toward another person, that this is based on their own fear, unhappiness, or hurt. If that’s the case for you, I’m willing to talk about it with you if you want and I will support you. But I will not tolerate being taken advantage of or having you believe that it is OK to undermine me in front of my colleagues/friends/family, etc. If you’re willing to talk about this now in an open and friendly way, that’d be great. If you need more time to think over what I’ve said, then we can get together and talk this through a bit later. If you don’t want to talk about it at all though, please understand that I will not stand around waiting for you to do this to me again and I will take action to protect my reputation including [asking to be relocated to another team/staying away from you/not divulging anything more to you, etc.]. If that is the case, I’m sorry but I cannot allow this to happen again.”
  • Role play this discussion before seeking to have it. This will give you the opportunity to remember the major points and will give you a sense of reassurance that you’ve already trialed the discussion.

Ask to speak with the backstabber. Try to arrange it so that it’s at a time and place where you will feel comfortable. Perhaps over a cup of coffee or milkshake, perhaps in a quiet room at work or school, or perhaps in the local park. Make sure that it’s somewhere that you also feel safe, especially if you suspect that this person might be a bit unstable or react badly.

  • If the backstabber isn’t so keen to speak with you, or you suspect that they’ll refuse to talk with you, try the tactic of simply baling them up somewhere and starting to talk to them when they can’t get away easily. This might be at the end of lunch or a meeting, for example. Realize that doing this will make them uncomfortable though, and that they may be much more likely to respond to you negatively than if you give them the space to be more honest and less defensive.

Avoid being rude or aggressive. Take an assertiveapproach to talking with them and one which shows that you’re more interested in understanding than in retaliating or telling them off. While being at the receiving end of backstabbing isn’t good, and the repercussions may be damaging to you, you can usually mend the damage over time but harboring internal anger will damage you far more than the external consequences of backstabbing. If you approach the discussion with both an assertive and compassionate frame of mind, you’re more likely to get somewhere than if you’re hot-headed and righteous. The following things are important when talking with someone who has hurt you:

  • Stick with “I” statements, to express how you’re impacted, how you’re feeling about what has happened.
  • Remove judgmental statements that include “you are… [mean/thoughtless/difficult/stupid, etc.]”. This will only cause the other person to feel threatened and defensive and they’ll respond by fighting back and being spitefulinstead of talking openly.
  • Maintain eye contact, keep your posture relaxed but straight (preferably standing with one foot slightly in front) and don’t blink or look away a lot. Project confidence to make it harder for the backstabber to avoid taking you seriously.

Listen to their response. It is important to remain open-minded and to be prepared to understand what motivated the other person. You might discover that it is something that you did or said that motivated them, and that you might actually need to apologize and repair some bridges too. Even where you’ve done nothing to provoke their backstabbing behavior, be prepared to listen to their story. There can be a multitude of reasons and maybe they need someone to talk to, someone to confide in and in some peculiar way, you might just be the person who opens that door for them. Realize that if they feel OK about backstabbing you, they may have done it many times before and you might just be the first person who has been prepared to listen to them and not just ignore them or retaliate.

Tell them how you feel about your future relations. After you’ve heard them out and responded to anything that you feel you need to explain, or accepted your share of the problem if necessary, then make it clear how you feel about where the two of you are headed in future situations. In the pre-script above, it was suggested that you make it clear to the backstabber that things change or you will take action to make sure that this person cannot harm you again. Let them know that you’d like to remain their friend/coworker/supporter but that this can only occur if they stop undermining you. It may be evident to you by this stage that you don’t want any further interactions with them; if this is the case, be clear about it and let them know that your relations will remain civil and professional but nothing more.

  • Whatever you decide about staying in touch with them, at least let them know that you won’t be saying anything negative about them, ever. That will likely be a shock to their system since they’re so used to being negative about other people, that being made aware that someone else won’t do this can be very eye-opening.
  • If the backstabber is someone in a position of authority, such as your boss, try to get a written record of the “clarification procedures” for fixing the situation that you’ve reached during your discussion. This way, you can refer to the written record if things aren’t improving or you get into deeper problems later on.

Seek to understand what motivated them and do this with a view to forgiving them. Bear in mind that forgiving a person doesn’t mean you agree with them, or want to spend time with them; it’s about enabling you to let go of what has happened to get on with your life, otherwise even if you banish them physically, you can end up carrying them in your head space.

  • Don’t excuse their motivations, just be conscious of what causes people to behave the way they do. In turn, use this as a lesson for future encounters with this person and with people who have similar tendencies. Forewarned means that you’ll be less vulnerable to such situations and more likely to take precautionary action that heads backstabbing behavior off before it occurs.


Ask Yourself These Seven Empowering Questions to Help You Break Through Resentment and Get On with Your Life

•July 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Are you holding onto resentment that you just can’t shake?

Sometimes it’s on the surface; other times it’s buried deep. But you can always feel it, gnawing away at you.

Resentment can stem from something another person said or did. Or from a life situation that’s outside your control. But whatever the source, the resulting sense of unease can fester for months or even years.

And however hard you try to ignore or just let go of resentment, it stubbornly imprisons you in its grip, triggering all sorts of uncomfortable emotions at unexpected times. resentment

Any number of things can spark resentful feelings, just a few examples being…

•    Someone has hurt you, intentionally or otherwise.

•    Your own dreams have been put on hold while you raise kids, take care of aging parents, or support a partner.

•    You’re diagnosed with a serious medical condition, uprooting life as you know it.

Resentment is like a chain on your ankle keeping you shackled to a state of discontent, holding you back from inner peace and happiness.

It permeates your being and acts as a negative filter coloring every aspect of your experience.

But guess what?

You’ve Got More Control Than You Think 

In fact, you can start to chip away at that chain today.

True, you can’t change the fact that a hurtful situation occurred, but, with practice, you can dissolve resentment’s power over you.

If you ask yourself the following seven empowering questions, you’ll be well on your way to breaking free.

Begin the process by asking yourself…

1. “What does resentment feel like in my body?”

Have you ever noticed a tightness in your stomach or a tendency to clench your jaw when you feel resentment? Or maybe just a heaviness of spirit?

Negative emotions manifest physically, often before we even realize we’re upset about something.

Identifying the emotion as soon as you feel its physical trigger is the first step to creating some separation between the emotion (in this case, resentment) and your “self.”

When you feel resentment in your body–in the pit of your stomach, for example–take a few conscious breaths and just sit with the sensation. Simply say to yourself, “That’s resentment,” without judging or resisting it. Visualize the emotion as a separate entity that can float away if you allow it to.

2. “Is this really a ‘problem’ or just a ‘situation’?”

One of my favorite Eckhart Tolle quotes is, “There are no problems, only situations.”

Removing the “problem” label makes a resentment-inducing situation more manageable. It’s the first step to accepting the reality of what “is,” rather than how things “should” be.

So if you catch yourself thinking, “This is a problem,” or, “This is a crisis,” switch those nouns with “situation” and notice how much more empowered you feel.

3. “How important is this, really?”

What makes a situation “important”? Each of us would answer differently. Something life threatening? Life changing? Time consuming? All or none of the above?

More often than not, when I ask myself directly, “How important is this resentment-inducing situation in the greater scheme of things, at this point in time?” I can’t come up with much of an answer.

Put under the spotlight, we discover that resentment is fueled less by a situation’s “importance” and more by the indignity of being “wronged” in some way.

4. “Is this inner voice really ‘me’ or just my ego talking?”

Not every voice in our heads deserves our attention. The ego inside us (which is not our true “self”) always wants us to be “right.” Its favorite way of doing so is to make everyone else “wrong,” the foundation for resentment.

Stillness, whether during meditation or simply a few mindful moments of quiet, slows the chatter in our heads. In that quieter state of mind, pinpointing sources of thought patterns is much easier.

Are negative thoughts feeding your sense of righteousness? That’s your ego talking.

As soon as we shine a light on the ego, it no longer has power over us. As soon as I laugh at my ego, it high-tails it for the hills.

5. “Am I focused on the future or the past, instead of the present moment?”

If you’re like most people, you spend the bulk of your life thinking about the past or the future. You’re “here,” but you want to be “there.” Since the present moment is the only place you can take action, the past and future shouldn’t be ruling the roost.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals for your future. It just means your attention should focus on what action you can take right now that will move you closer to your goal.

Being present is a powerful antidote to resentment. By accepting the reality of what “is,” by letting go of your resistance to a situation, you take control of your state of mind.

6. “What do I have the power to change?”

Let’s face it. You can’t control everything. Sometimes crappy things happen that you have no way of stopping.

But you can take action to improve things. Nobody’s suggesting you should be a doormat!

Focus on what you have the power to change or influence, and take action. Don’t waste your energy stuck in victim mode.

And if you can’t take action, use that energy to accept the situation as it is and just…let…it…go.

7. “What’s the silver lining?”

Being aware that good things can come out of seemingly “bad” situations limits the scope for resentment to take hold.

Once I started paying attention to these silver linings, I was astounded at how often I could find them.

If you think about it, I bet you can point to a good number of silver linings of your own. The key is to be on the look-out for unexpected positive outcomes. Telling a friend or writing down your silver linings gives them even more heft.

A Few Real Life Examples

You might be saying at this point, “Yeah, the questions are great, but what do you actually do once you ask them? How does this work in real life?”

Let’s go back to those examples of resentment-inducing situations at the top of the post:

Someone has done or said something hurtful:

Take action by telling them how you feel. If they didn’t realize their actions caused pain, you’ve done them a favor by enlightening them. If they deny it, don’t waste your energy trying to convince them (you’ll fail anyway).

Ask yourself the “importance” question (see #3), then look your ego in the eye to dissolve its power over your happiness.

Life circumstances are holding you back from pursuing your dreams: 

Use this time to identify your true passion. Hone your skills for when you can move forward. If needed, take a class (online or otherwise) that supports your passion.

Slowly putting the building blocks into place over time will help you move quickly when the time is right.

Stay present, rather than wishing you were someplace in the future (or past). And if you’re taking care of kids or aging parents, cherish your time with them — it’s fleeting.

A medical diagnosis uproots life as you know it:

Turning to a personal example, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. The series of surgeries related to my mastectomy stopped me in my tracks for close to a year.

Still in the grip of my ego at that time, I resented how my life had been put on hold by illness. I wish someone had recommended I ask myself the empowering questions above!

But the silver lining has become brighter and brighter with time. Cancer set the stage for a full mind/body/spirit transformation that has left me happier than I’ve ever been, resentment-free and grateful for each day.

So Get Going…

I know, I know (believe me, I know)…Life can be hard at times.

Situations can be difficult. Really difficult.

But you do have a say in how much suffering you allow into the process.

Resentment is suffering. Holding on to things you can’t change is suffering.

That heavy chain of resentment and resistance keeps you from living your optimal life. Why?

Because no matter how far you stretch to grasp happiness and contentment, the chain keeps those prizes just beyond your fingertips.

So take control.

Decide to break free.

Laugh at your ego.

Stay focused on what your deeper, truer heart’s voice tells you is important.

If you do these things, you’ll feel the shackle around your ankle loosen.

Then, you can step away from the chain, feel how much lighter life becomes, and charge ahead!


Written on 6/17/2013 by Martha Brettschneider. Martha Brettschneider is a writer, blogger, positive energy seeker, and balancer of order and chaos. Join the conversation on her blog, where she shares musings, inspirations and tips with other life journey explorers.

The Path To Success: How To Get Motivated By Your Past And Future Self

•July 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

There it was… that one question that people ask you so many times during job interviews: where do you see yourself in 10 years? I was fresh out of school and had never thought about it that much.

Strange, right? You grow up, choose a direction in school and you seem to also be determined at the age of 14 what your life will be like.

So there I was, with a mouth full of silence. What should I say to the interviewer?

Needless to say, the answer didn’t come then. It still intrigued me and I started thinking. dontcompare

Fast forward about 10 years (to the person I didn’t know I would become). I wasn’t doing what I studied, but did learn some amazing things. Now I was mastering speed reading, mind mapping (and even created my own technique), developed a strong memory and shared these techniques and skills with people around the world.

Then that question came along again. Where will you be in 10 years?

I used visualization, mind maps and goal setting to create a simple system to figure this out. I believe knowing your best future self helps you to become more focused and motivated. It will make life clearer and more fun at the same time.

How To Get Motivated: Your Past Self

One of the best things to do to determine where you are going is to see where you were 5 years ago. Do you have a clear picture of that change? Then it is time for some hard questions:
•    Are you happy with the progress you made?
•    What helped you going to where you are now?
•    Where would you have been if you did things differently?
•    What would have been a much better strategy to create an even better life?
•    Are you now where you thought you would be?

Most people see differences between their dreams and their current life. That’s great!

Figure out what caused those differences. What did YOU do to get here in this situation? Take personal responsibility, for 100% of your situation (sounds hard, but if you have someone to blame or praise, you better make it yourself). Even for the stuff you really didn’t do.

Now that you have the answers to these questions, you can probably tell yourself if the person from the past is someone you like to be, or not (most of the time not, because you’ve probably grown and changed).

If he or she isn’t, you need to know that you don’t want to be like that.  Fear or another 5 years like this is your motivation then.

How To Get Motivated: Your Future Self

Fast forward to your current behavior and actions 5 years into the future. Does that create an appealing picture for you? Did you get where you want to go? Are you doing the things you love, with the people you love?

In short, are you living your dream?

Even if the outcome of these questions is positive, you can do better.

What would that amazing self in the future do and who would he or she become?

Now you found your perfect role model! This is the person you look up to, who motivates you, who tells and shows you who you can become!

You are your own inspiration. Don’t follow the perfect picture of other people. Follow your own person. Be who you now know you can be. Whenever you need answers, ask the future self. He or she was there already.

By the way, what are the habits and actions you need to change to become your future self? List all of them and keep them with you to acquire them.

Action steps to start using this today:

Take a piece of paper. Turn it landscape (long side towards you). Draw four stick figures on it representing past (left), present (middle) and future (top right and bottom right). Draw lines between past and present, and between the present and the two futures.

The bottom future figure is the one you will be when you don’t change. The top right figure is the one you become when you live your life to the fullest.

Action step 1: Understand where your past self brought you and what you learn from this change. Add these findings on your paper.

Action step 2: Identify your future based on your current actions, habits and emotions. Also add that information.

Action step 3: Determine who you need to become in order to live your life to the fullest.  What lessons do you learn from your dream or full potential self? Add that to the paper.

There you have it. Now implement what you learned. Make sure you look back regularly to see if you are still on track.

At the very least you have an amazing friend on your side now who guides you through the rough times in your life and who supports you through thick and thin.


Written on 6/27/2013 by Arjen ter Hoeve. Arjen ter Hoeve is a coach, family guy, writer, friend who has a passion for creating balance in mind and information. He can also be found sharing his ideas and techniques on his website where he talks about tools and techniques to make small adjustments in your life to create amazing results.

Working Hard Is not Enough. Here’s 18 Ways to Work Smart.

•July 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

All of us work hard in life – there is no doubt about it. We work hard in our jobs so we can excel at work. We work hard to maintain our relationships. We work hard so we can achieve the best results in our life.

After working hard for an extended period of time, there comes a point when we realize that there’s only so much we can do by working hard. Don’t get me wrong – working hard is important. I’m a firm advocate of hard work – I can be quite the workaholic. I can go on working non-stop to get something done. Hard work is definitely the brick of success.

However, when you have 24 hours a day, just like everyone else, you have to start working smart too (on top of working hard) to get the maximum value for your time and effort. Working hard gives you results, and working hard AND smart at the same time gives you the top results. In this article, I will share 18 of my best, personal tips on working smart. Apply them to your life and you will experience better self-management, higher productivity and more results.

Here they are:
Get clear on the objective. 

  1. Everything has an objective. It’s just a matter of whether you know it or not. What is the end objective you are looking for? The people who don’t know the objective of what they are doing are the ones who waste the most time. If you know your objective, you can be laser-focused and cut right to the chase. The clearer you are, the better.

Create a vision. 
Now that you know your objective, what is your vision? See the objective as your direction, and your vision as your destination. Knowing your objective lets you know where to travel in, while knowing your vision helps you charge forward.

Take the 80/20 route. 
There are always many different ways to achieve the same outcome. 80/20 route refers to the route that takes the least effort but gives you the maximum results. What’s the most effective route that will get you from where you are to where you want to be? Take that path.

Go for high impact items. 
There are endless number of things you can do to achieve a goal. Go for the most important tasks – the ones that cause the highest impact. For example in school, I would not attend lectures if I felt they would not make a difference to my learning. As I develop my blog, I concentrate on the key tasks that make the most difference such as writing high quality content for my readers and spreading the word about my articles.

Create structures to maintain your flow. 
If you know how motivation works, you will know it comes in bursts and waves. It’s not possible to maintain a 100% full motivated state every single second. Hence, you need to create/leverage on your environment to maintain your flow. Examples are your physical environment, people you hang out with, your routine and communities you are a part of.

Stop being a perfectionist. 
Being a perfectionist isn’t all that perfect if it prevents you from achieving more. Release the perfectionist mindset. Stop obsessing about the details and specifics; they often take care of themselves.

Learn from others. 
There are great resources, smart people, direct opportunities and top books around you all the time. Learn to make use of them. When I started out in my personal development industry and with my blog, I read materials from the experts and consulted the top bloggers, which helped me gain important insights immediately. Even today, I continue to do so as I expand my work. There is never a stop to how much you can learn from others.

If it works, stick to it. 
If there is already a success formula that’s working, then reapply that formula. There’s no need to innovate or reinvent the wheel for the sake of it. Innovate only if there’s value in doing so.

Ask for help. 
Most of us prefer to do things by ourselves and not disturb others. That’s a great work ethic, but sometimes asking for help gets us further than just doing it alone. People love to help. Many readers often email me at The Personal Excellence Blog for advice/help and I make an effort to answer their questions, because I want to see them do well too. Ask and you might get an answer. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get.

Cut out the fluff. 
Going for high impact items (#4) means you have to cut out the fluff. There are the things that need to be done, and then there are the nice-to-do things that don’t exactly contribute to anything in the long-run. Don’t do things unless they are absolutely needed.

Is there anyway to automate your tasks, especially labor intensive ones? It can be the simplest things such as setting up filters in your emails and using more functional applications that get the job done better. With The Personal Excellence Blog, I’ve automated several processes such as filtering specific emails to respective labels, having my new articles automatically feed to Twitter/Facebook, and having automatic thumbnails for my articles. That saves a lot of time so I can get right to creating quality content for readers.

For the lower impact items that need to get done (such as administrative activities), delegate them to someone else. If you are running a business, hire someone to take care of them.

If something is not your area of expertise or it can be better done by someone else, then outsource it. You only have 24 hours a day; your limited time should be spent only in places where you can add the most value. If you are running a business, examine if there are any aspects of your work (such as accounting, designing, programming) that can be outsourced to others. There’s no need for you to learn and get hands-on on every single thing, especially if it’s not the core of your work.

Sometimes, waiting may be the best solution. Things resolve themselves when you wait for a little while longer. I have experienced fixes that rectify themselves when I waited a while longer. If you are stuck in a dilemma, new solutions may pop in if you pause your steps.

Pick your battles. 
We often face roadblocks in things we do. Go up against the roadblocks only if they are worth the time and effort. That means you need to consciously weigh out the pros and cons first. Don’t try to ram up against every barrier you face, especially if there’s nothing much on the other side.

Always lookout for a better way. 
Don’t restrict yourself to a certain set rule of doing things just for the sake of status quo. Study others and learn from them (#7). Review your situation regularly (#18) and look for ways to improve what you are doing. Be flexible to usher in changes that can help you get more results.

Stop when you are tired.
I’ve realized from experience that trying to press on when you are tired only leads to slumps and ruts. Resting is paramount to accomplishing more. A tired person can’t do meaningful work. When you are well-rested, you work faster and better.

Review regularly. 
Do a regular review of what you have done in the past week and the corresponding results. Then analyze the things that are working and the things that aren’t working. With the former, keep them; with the latter, remove them. Very soon you will have a very streamlined list of things that work.

Written on 6/24/2010 by Celestine Chua. Celestine writes atThe Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed hereand add her on Twitter @celestinechua.

Perfume or eau de toilette? What’s the difference?

•June 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Are you confused about the difference between perfume, eau de cologneeau de toilette and the other forms your favourite scent comes in?

The word ‘perfume’ itself derives from the Latin per – through – and fumare – smoke – so perhaps it’s not surprising the subject is a bit hazy.

With the arrival of the good weather, you may be looking for something a little lighter than the scent you use during the colder months.

Each perfume house uses their own terminology and categories to classify their perfumes according to the concentration of essences or aromatic oils they contain, but the following should give you a general idea of what you’re buying:

Eau de Cologne. At the bottom end of the range as far as concentration is concerned, is eau de cologne. This tends to contain about 7% essence dissolved in alcohol of 60º or 70º. It is delightfully refreshing in hot weather and because it doesn’t last long, it can be frequently reapplied directly to the skin. It tends to be marketed in large sizes of up to 200 ml and is often applied by spray.
Eau de toilette. Sometimes used to describe the same concentration as cologneeau de toilettecan contain up to around 10% aromatic essence. The top notes – the first scent released by a perfume – are dominant, making it refreshing when it is applied, and it evaporates and fades away quite quickly. Eau de toilette and cologne are the most popular forms in which fragrance is sold, and are particularly appropriate for the summer.

Eau de parfum. After the top notes have died away, the middle notes or heart notes of a perfume become noticeable. This is the focus of eau de parfum which makes it perfect to spray on hair or clothing. (Be careful with delicate fabrics such as silk, though, as they may stain.) The concentration of oils is over 15%, sometimes reaching as high as 20%. Since it is less intense than perfume extract, it is also cheaper, but it usually lasts well and is sold in small sizes.

Perfume. Also called perfume extract or extrait, this is the most expensive version of any fragrance; it’s also the most beautiful because of the whole symphony of top, heart and base notes released over a period of time. This is due to the high concentration of essences – as much as 40% by volume. Perfume is applied directly to the skin on pulse spots – insides of the wrists, behind the ears, at the throat… The average concentration of essence in a perfume is 25%, which makes it the longest lasting of all the scent categories. Only a tiny amount is needed, which is reflected in the sizes in which it is sold.

Courtesy:  HELLO Daily News