Fly on Lufthansa and share your itinerary on social networks

airplane

Social Media and Customer Service are working hand-in-hand, as companies discover new ways to incorporate new media into their marketing and business plans.

Lufthansa Airlines has recently introduced MySkyStatus. When you go to the MySkyStatus page, you simply input your flight information and your Twitter and Facebook pages will be updated automatically with your flight schedule information, including departures and arrivals.

I’m sure it won’t be long before most US airlines implement something similar.

photo credit

Be Smarter about Your Medications: iGuard.org

medicine

Most of us take some sort of medication. Whether it is over the counter (OTC) or prescription or a combination of both, it is important to understand the risks associated with each, as well as the potential for interference to occur from other meds we may be taking along with them.

As consumers, we are responsible for trying to be as informed as possible. If you were to purchase a new car, you would go to the dealership having done some research already. Our health should be no different. Especially when it comes to putting chemicals into our bodies.

Pharmasicts and doctors are willing to speak with us on these topics, but it helps to have other resources available. That’s why iGuard.org should be bookmarked by anyone who wants to stay informed on medications.

iGuard.org is a healthcare service that helps monitor the safety of your medications (including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, nutritional supplements and herbal extracts).

iGuard.org helps you stay safer by:

  1. Routinely checking the safety of your medications, screening for drug-drug and drug-disease interactions.
  2. Alerting you and your doctor (optional) as important safety information arises for your medications.
  3. Providing an easily accessible summary of your medications and conditions that you can share with your healthcare team.
  4. Helping you learn and share treatment satisfaction and side effect information within our patient community.

Additionally, you will see any warnings associated with the medication, along with some basic facts and figures:

iguard black box screenshot

The profile is quick and simple to fill out. Just be sure to have all of your medication names gathered so that you can have a complete profile.

iguard profile screenshot

The risk ratings are used to rate side effects of any medications, from low to high risk. Beside each medication you will see one of these ratings:

iguard risk screenshot

If you are uncertain about the medication and what it is used to treat, there are charts with each medication profile that tracks the number of people taking the medication and the reasons they are taking it:

iguard zoloft screenshot

If any of the medications your are taking interfere with each other, you will be alerted. Email alerts are sent to you to help you keep track of the medications and any issues that are found with any of them. Additionally, if a medicine is recalled, you will be notified.

Reactions to medications, though rare, can happen. You want to be sure to take every precaution possible and stay informed. While iGuard doesn’t replace your doctor’s advice, it is another part of being well-informed.

photo credit

Organize Your Home Office Work Space

home desk

One of the issues that I deal with daily is keeping myself organized. I admit that this is a big struggle for me. If I don’t stay on top of it, I quickly fall into a mess of clutter. Working from home makes it tempting to turn your work area into a dumping spot, especially if it is in an out-in-the-open area. For example, my desk is in the dining room and you pass it on the way to the kitchen. It is easy for me set things down on it when I am picking up and moving from room to room. Before long, I can’t find my work items buried beneath the folded laundry and piles of magazines.

When you work from home, you are in charge of keeping yourself organized and motivated. Don’t fall victim to the idea that because you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck you can keep your area as messy as you want.

So how do you get your home office/work area organized?

First and foremost, de-clutter the spot. You can’t be well organized if you are having to sort through your kids homework and permission slips or old to-do lists. Step back from your work spot and take a good look at it. Often, we get so used to the unnecessary stuff being there that we don’t even realize it is there anymore. So look at it with a critical eye. Open your drawers. Bring the trash can over and start pitching anything that doesn’t need to be kept. And if it isn’t work related, put it somewhere else. Not only do those things cut into your work space, they serve as potential distractions when you sit down to work.

Once you have your space de-cluttered and cleared off, place your notepad in an open spot for writing out your to-do list. Even if you use your smartphone as your organizer and calendar, a notepad is indispensible for quickly writing down anything that comes to mind. If you are working and remember you need to add cream of tartar to the grocery list, write it down right then on that pad and move on with your work. Potential distraction diverted.

Purchase a couple of brightly colored file folders and use those to place important papers in. This will at least create a barrier between them and anything else you set on top of them, allowing you to still quickly locate what you are working on.

Continuing on with the file folders: as much as I love technology, I still find that the best way for me to stay organized is to print out paper copies of anything that I need to be working on. I am a tactile person, so holding the paper and writing directly on it helps me to internalize what I am doing and need to do. That is not to say that I don’t use my online calendar and reminder program to assist me, but having a paper copy also allows me to step away from my computer and still be able to keep my finger on what I am working on.

At the end of the day, straighten your desk. Don’t leave it a mess. When you sit down and face it the next morning, chances are you won’t remember whether those random papers are important or not. Don’t waste valuable time sorting and trying to recall something that wouldn’t have even been an issue had you just put it away the night before.

All of these suggestions are important, regardless of the size of your workspace. Having a large office space doesn’t mean you don’t have to be so stringent. It just means that you can create even more clutter.

There are plenty of ways to organize yourself. What works for you, may not work for the next person, so it is important to consider your work habits and styles as you get yourself set up. Keep these basics in mind and continue from there.

photo source: Stillframe

Sound off: How do you keep your home office space tidy and organized?

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DON’T FORGET to enter to win a FranklinCovey Planning System and free online session with LiveClick. Read more information and find out how to enter here.

Work From Home Productively AND Keep Your Sanity

I came home to be a stay-at-home mom as soon as my first child was born and I stayed utterly and completely satisfied for the first 2.5 years. Around that time, I started looking for a creative outlet. I took a [very] part time job at a print and sign shop and within a couple of months, I was already planning out how to start my own business doing the same thing from my own home.

It was slow going at first. There were many stops and starts along the way. But eventually, I was online and selling my goods and services. Managing it with 2 small kids was one thing. Since then, I’ve had two more children and my organizational skills have been put to the test on a daily basis.

When you work from home there is still laundry to deal with. Meals to prepare. Diapers to change. Faces to wipe. And (because the main reason I’m at home is to be available for my kids) kids to teach and play with.

For years I’ve struggled with how to balance it so that most of the time, my home and work are tended to by me. They both deserve my attention. Additionally, I have to fight my tendency to be a procrastinator and disorganized.

Perhaps you are in that same spot. Maybe you are just now thinking about working from home and the details involved. Perhaps you already have it figured out (hello! care to help me write this series then?)

Each day during this series, I am going to be highlighting tips from people who were kind enough to share with me their ideas on how they make it work. They run the gamut – some are very opposite ideas, but they each work for the people implementing them. Hopefully, you will be able to gather enough information to organize your life so that you can work from home productively AND keep your sanity.

Be sure to subscribe to the site feed. There are some great giveaways that you won’t want to miss: a FranklinCovey Organizing System Kit, copies of Simple Mom’s ebook “Spring Cleaning for Normal People” and Mary Byer’s “Making Work From Home Work” and several other goodies.

Work From Home Tips

working from home

Staying in your pajamas.

Potty breaks whenever you want.

Fabulous break room.

Flexibility.

These are some of the ‘supposed’ perks that people fixate on when they are thinking about working from home.

But in reality, working from home requires discipline (Hello, Distraction!), quick-thinking (kids fighting in the background while you are on the phone with a client) and dedication (no more leaving your work at the office or ending your work day at 5:00pm).

It is fabulous. It is wonderful. And it’s wildly crazy.

In 2 weeks, I will be starting a series on Working From Home. I’ve got a great book that I will review and copies to give away. There will be loads of useful information.

If you are considering working from home (whether starting something on your own, or through your employer) or you are already doing it, but find yourself struggling to make it work or work efficiently, this series is for you.

So sound off:

What are your thoughts on working from home? If you do, what do you do that makes it work for you?

(photo: dr.jd)