Who Needs Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Parabens in Their Personal Products?

Are you aware of all of the toxins in your personal products? Have you read your ingredients label on your toothpaste lately? How about your shampoo? It is alarming to know that even products that are known to be holistic or organic can still have some very dangerous chemicals in them.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is used as a degreaser. It is a known skin irritant. It also is corrosive and causes hair loss.

It can clean garage floors and is also used as a carwash soap.

Why is this product in our shampoos, toothpastes, and bath and shower gels? Well, for one thing it is and inexpensive foaming agent. Most companies probably stick with it because it does its job and it is cheap. Sodium laureth sulfate is a variation of this compound and has similar properties.

There is also controversy over parabens. Large doses of parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue. Some say that parabens are not transdermal. I, for one, would rather be safe than sorry. There is no conclusive evidence. So, sometimes we just have to trust ourselves.

We do not want to be neurotic about these things, but we do want to be safe. Educate yourselves. There is a lot of information out there.

There are products out there that do not include these or other dangerous chemicals. Although, I would rather not be neurotic about it, I don’t mind when the company that I order my products from is. Young Living Essential Oils creates a wide range of personal products that I feel very confident using. Their purity is outstanding. Check out their toothpaste, deodorant, shampoos, massage oils, household cleaning products and skin care line. I have never come across anything like this. I can rest assured that my health and my family’s health is secure with Young Living Products.

The Personal Productivity Pyramid

In his book The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Life and Time Management, author Hyrum Smith introduces the personal productivity pyramid – a tool for making sure that our daily to-do lists are clear reflections of our governing values and long-range goals.

1. Governing Values

At the base of the pyramid are our governing values – those things we choose to govern or guide our lives by. Here are some questions to help you identify and clarify yours:

· What inspires you?

· What makes your life worth living?

· What would you miss most if you were to lose it?

If there was a one foot wide metal girder placed across the expanse of the grand canyon, what would be important enough for you to venture out across it?

2. Long-Range Goals

In light of your highest and most deeply held values, what do you want for your life? What do you want for you? Choose at least one long -range goal that relates to each of the governing values you identified in step one.

3. Medium-Range Goals

Given each one of your goals, what are some projects for you to focus on over the next 90 days? Over the next month? How about this week?

4. Daily Tasks

Finally, what’s the very next step? What do you need to do today to begin/continue reaching your medium-range goals, moving towards your long-range goals, and fulfilling your highest values?

Today’s Experiment:

If you haven’t already, fill in your own personal productivity pyramid. Go through each of the questions above and answer them to the best of your ability. If you’re concerned about how long this might take, begin with your governing values. When you get really clear on what matters most to you, you’ll know whether or not to take the time to complete today’s experiment!

Have fun, learn heaps, and get the stuff that matters most to you done!

Triple Your Personal Productivity

Have you ever had the experience of looking back on your week with the sinking feeling that you didn’t get as much done as you’d hoped? When building a successful career or a business of your own, your time is perhaps your most valuable asset, and your income is a direct result of how you spend your time. You cannot buy any more time than you’re given, and the clock is always ticking. A few years ago, I discovered a simple system that allowed me to nearly triple my productivity, and in this article I’ll share some very practical ideas you can apply right away to increase your effectiveness without working any harder than you do now.

Keep a detailed time log.

The first step to better managing your time is to find out how you’re currently spending your time. Keeping a time log is a very effective way to do this, and after trying it for just one day, you’ll immediately gain tremendous insight into where your time is actually going. The very act of measuring is often enough to raise your unconscious habits into your consciousness, where you then have a chance to scrutinize and change them.

Here’s how to keep a time log. Throughout your day record the time whenever you start or stop any activity. Consider using a stopwatch to just record time intervals for each activity. You can do this during only your working time or throughout your entire day. At the end of the day, sort all the time chunks into general categories, and find out what percentage of your time is being spent on each type of activity. If you want to be thorough, do this for a week, and calculate the percentage of your total time that you spent on each type of activity. Be as detailed as possible. Note how much time you spend on email, reading newsgroups, web surfing, phone calls, eating, going to the bathroom, etc. If you get up out of your chair, it probably means you need to make an entry in your time log. I typically end up with 50-100 log entries per day.

You may be surprised to discover you’re spending only a small fraction of your working time doing what you’d consider to be actual work. Studies have shown that the average office worker does only 1.5 hours of actual work per day. The rest of the time is spent socializing, taking coffee breaks, eating, engaging in non-business communication, shuffling papers, and doing lots of other non-work tasks. The average full-time office worker doesn’t even start doing real work until 11:00am and begins to wind down around 3:30pm.

Analyze your results.

The first time I kept a time log, I only finished 15 hours worth of real work in a week where I spent about 60 hours in my office. Even though I was technically about twice as productive as the average office worker, I was still disturbed by the results. Where did those other 45 hours go? My time log laid it all out for me, showing me all the time drains I wasn’t consciously aware of — checking email too often, excessive perfectionism doing tasks that didn’t need to be done, over-reading the news, taking too much time for meals, succumbing to preventable interruptions, etc.

Calculate your personal efficiency ratio.

When I realized that I spent 60 hours at the office but only completed 15 hours of actual work within that time, I started asking myself some interesting questions. My income and my sense of accomplishment depended only on those 15 hours, not on the total amount of time I spent at the office. So I decided to begin recording my daily efficiency ratio as the amount of time I spent on actual work divided by the total amount of time I spent in my office. While it certainly bothered me that I was only working 25% of the time initially, I also realized it would be extremely foolish to simply work longer hours.

Efficiency Ratio = (Time Doing “Real Work”) / (Time Spent “At Work”)

Cut back on total hours to force an increase in efficiency.

If you’ve ever tried to discipline yourself to do something you weren’t really motivated to do, you most likely failed. That was naturally the result I experienced when I tried to discipline myself to work harder. In fact, trying harder actually de-motivated me and drove my efficiency ratio even lower. So I reluctantly decided to try the opposite approach. The next day I would only allow myself to put in five hours total at the office, and the rest of the day I wouldn’t allow myself to work at all. Well, an interesting thing happened, as I’m sure you can imagine. My brain must have gotten the idea that working time was a scarce commodity because I worked almost the entire five hours straight and got an efficiency ratio of over 90%. I continued this experiment for the rest of the week and ended up getting about 25 hours of work done with only 30 hours total spent in my office, for an efficiency ratio of over 80%. So I was able to reduce my weekly working time by 30 hours while also getting 10 more hours of real work done. If your time log shows your efficiency ratio to be on the low side, try severely limiting your total amount of working time for a day, and see what happens. Once your brain realizes that working time is scarce, you suddenly become a lot more efficient because you have to be. When you have tight time constraints, you will usually find a way to get your work done. But when you have all the time in the world, it’s too easy to be inefficient.

Gradually increase total hours while maintaining peak efficiency.

Over a period of a few weeks, I was able to keep my efficiency ratio above 80% while gradually increasing my total weekly office time. I’ve been able to maintain this for many years now, and I commonly get about 40 hours of real work done every week, while only spending about 45 total hours in my office. I’ve learned that this is ideal for me. If I try to put in more time at the office, then my productivity drops off rapidly. The interesting thing is that the system that allowed me to optimize my effectiveness at work also created a tremendous amount of balance in all other areas of my life. Even though I was able to use this approach to triple my business productivity, I still gained plenty of time to pursue personal interests.

Time logging is the intelligent choice to ensure optimal productivity without increasing your hours. But time logging need only be done periodically to provide these benefits. I do it for one week every 3-6 months, and over the years it has made a huge difference for me, always providing me with new distinctions. If I go too many months without time logging, my productivity gradually drops as I fall back into unconscious time-wasting habits. You’ll probably find as I do that your gut feelings about your productivity are closely related to how much real work you actually get done. When you feel your productivity is lower than you’d like, raise your awareness via time logging, measure your efficiency ratio, and then optimize your efficiency to boost your productivity back up where it belongs. Time logging is a high leverage activity that takes very little time and effort to implement, but the long-term payoff is tremendous.

Marketing With Personalized Products Gives Your Business Celebrity Status

Does your business or company have the leading edge in marketing and branding today?

Personalized company products, personalized marketing products, corporate promotional items and promotional business gifts are a proven and effective way to market your business, win clients and influence people.

You name it and it will most likely be guaranteed that you can print a logo on it. There are literally thousands of customized products, promotional business gifts and custom corporate gifts available for promotional advertising.

It is a very competitive marketplace today and you need to target new clients or customers, motivate your team, retain staff and stay on top of cutting edge marketing and advertising to enhance brand awareness.

How about that corporate golf tournament or charity golf game? Now here’s an opportunity to showcase your business with personalized golf products and corporate golf gifts. And for that celebratory drink before you hit the clubhouse you can offer your customers or staff their favorite beverage in custom koozies. Stay on par with golf promotional items and make your company an outstanding winner.

Communicate with your marketing team and design your own promotional products package to include a range of custom made products that can make enviable gifts for your most important clients, loyal customers, new business prospects and devoted employees.

Eco-friendly is the buzz now so you make an even bigger impression when you choose eco-friendly personalized bags such as business messenger bags or totes. With the amount of work related traveling that is happening you can make an executive bag and include executive products like custom stress balls, personalized leather products or promotional clocks.

An impressive corporate logo gift or corporate incentive gifts like a personalized embossed leather briefcase will give your business high profile in the boardroom and on the streets. Logo to go anyone!

Stationery has always been a popular favorite with personalized paper products, imprinted pens and custom note pads. For the staff member who spends all their time on the computer and has forgotten how to write with a pen and paper there is everyone’s love of the personalized mugs that save on employee battles in the office kitchen. Personalized calendars will keep those meetings and deadlines on time and you can always look at novelty products when you have your office parties at Christmas and other holiday times throughout the year.

An all time favorite in the personalized advertising campaign has to be the logo products clothing and accessories range. Promotional T shirts have adorned our backs since the birth of industry. Embroidered promotional clothing along with the invention of screen printing have boosted the sales and popularity of personalized shirts, personalized t shirts, custom printed sweatshirts and sweatpants and the most frequently ordered piece of customized merchandise, the baseball cap featuring team or company logo.

How do you make a lasting impression and stay on top in today’s market place? Invest in unique personalized products and business promotional products and remember to reward loyalty and good performance with gifts.