Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Vampire Electronics"

This article on CNN is a great one to read for any of us with a plethora of electronic devices in our homes.

In short, the electronic devices you have around your home can consume as much as 10% of the total power you consume each month while they are lying dormant in "standby" or "sleep" mode. Subject devices: DVD players, TVs, Stereo Equipment, Game Systems, Computers, Coffee Makers, Cell Phone Chargers, Printers, Fax Machines, Battery Chargers, and Electric Toothbrushes.

The International Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy has estimated that 5% of the nations' electrical consumption is a result of the "vampire electronics".

So keep close tabs on your energy bill and make sure to turn off or completely unplug any electrical device that you are not constantly using. When you shut off your computer for the night, make sure to "shut down" and not "hibernate" or "sleep." This will help keep your energy bills and our environment happy.

- Mitch G

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are You Obsessed With Your Job?

Yes, yes I am. I'm a workaholic. But not like the article makes me out to be.

I don't consider myself a clinical case but I am aware that I work much more than the average American; I also have a hard time turning off the work mode, even after I've left the office for the day. The article I found, once again on my beloved CNN.com, talks about the signs of workaholism and some of the notable downsides to being a workaholic.

I can't say that I see any notable downsides to loving the work you do and being good at it. Maybe this is my denial of the disease? The most important skill necessary to succeed as a workaholic is to be productive with your over-time. This is contrary to the article's statement: "
having an office full of workaholics is like having a yard full of moles,... they start tunneling, but not in the same or best direction." I've found that this is only applicable if you have poor management who is neither willing nor capable of keeping the employees on task as they push past that 40 hour per week mark. It can also be the result of improper company procedures and guidelines--not an active management duty.

If each worker knows how to effectively utilize their time while they are working, more work will get done. The issues arise when individuals do not know when, or how, to turn off the work-mode. There is a definite burn-out point for everyone, and only that individual knows exactly where that point is. As long as you are not reaching that burn-out point, and you are not adversely affecting your family and friends I don't feel there is a negative to clocking in the hours.

Your mindset regarding the relationship between work and personal life will ultimately determine the positive or negative effects. If you manage effectively, and you are truly content with the work then working hard and frequently doesn't have to be negative. If you feel as if the world will stop spinning should you take a break, or your personal life is falling apart, then you do have a serious problem.

I enjoy my work, I look forward to the challenge and regularly feel that there isn't enough time in the day. However, I know that personal time is important and when I feel myself becoming stressed I will step away and take that necessary personal time. The balance is the important issue here, not how many calculated hours you work, but how much of your life is affected by your working.

I will always work hard to maintain a healthy balance and work hard for the sake of working.

- Mitch G

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who Doesn't Wash Their Hands?

You've all seen this person, you know you have, and if you truly have not... well... you're that person. The person I'm talking about is the guy (or gal) that doesn't wash their hands after they use the toilet.

I came across this article posted in the CNN.com Health section revealing the percentage of people who do not wash their hands after using the restroom. This has been a pet peeve of mine for as long as I can remember and now the results make it even more concerning. The article focuses on men not washing their hands as frequently as women but the statistics show neither wash their hands as much as they should.
At any given time a full 1/3 of the men surveyed and nearly that much of women did not wash their hands after using the toilet!

I find myself momentarily queasy when I see someone use the urinal or walk out of a stall in a public bathroom and head straight for the door. Maybe I was raised with higher standards of hygiene as I could never imagine leaving a bathroom without washing my hands first with soap and water, especially in a public setting. I guess it could also be because I am a self-diagnosed partially obsessive-compulsive individual.

If any of the violators of the public hygiene law took the time to read about the spread of disease and germs they may think twice about their lack of hand washing when using the restroom, public or not. This is also a good time to tell those people that a little spritz of cold water and a paper towel will do nothing for you... or anyone else.

This is a personal cry from me to you: please, please wash your hands after every use of the bathroom. I don't want to get sick because you were too lazy to take the extra 20-30 seconds out of your potty break to do so. I, and all others who take the time to wash-up after dumping-out, thank you.

- Mitch G