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Working Vacations

Skip the Working Vacations!!

It is time to just say ‘No’ to all working vacations. I get it! This is hard to do for entrepreneurs to do. I’ve struggled for years in trying to make this happen and finally realized the importance of unplugging from work and technology after my health took a hit.

Holidays are supposed to function as the optimal reset switch, helping you recharge your batteries so you can resume work with a rejuvenated aim. Nevertheless, even while you're resting in a hammock on the beach drinking a margarita, provided you're also occupied checking emails on your gadget you aren't actually getting the vacation time you need and deserve.  Without a definite seclusion between work time and leisure time, your getaway may possibly feel significantly less like a getaway than merely the subsequent business vacation. In addition, spending your time checking emails, working on projects or dealing with the everyday stress of work doesn't just do harm to your own revitalization and health; it can be draining for your family and friends as well.

If you really need a break and your work doesn't allow you to disconnect, what do you do? Thankfully, there are ways to unplug from work to get the relaxation time you need. All it takes is some careful planning, a few tech tricks, and a little determination and self-discipline.

In an ideal world, you’d work-proof your devices and online activities so that you could use the phone, computer or internet without coming into contact with any work-related issues.

Try following these five tips to help you completely unplug on vacation without hurting your work performance:

Timing Is Key

Pick a time that won't compromise the success of current projects. A holiday might not be placed on your radar 6 months ahead of time, however starting out earlier might guarantee that your work operates seamlessly while you're experiencing some "me time.”

Creating a Work Plan Before Vacation

Before I begin planning my perfect getaway, I do my best to create a work plan, checklists, and organize my calendar in order not to leave any stone unturned before the trip.  I notify all my clients at least a few months in advance so they can plan accordingly and make sure all assistance are available to take care of everything while I’m gone.

Take some time to plan and organize your work projects so everything is completed or taken care of before you are gone.  After all, your vacation should be what it ought to be.  A vacation, not a work-a-tion. ...continue reading

Every successful business must keep employees, executives, suppliers and customers in touch, empowering them to communicate on any device wherever they go. Modern digital collaboration tools are becoming more and more indispensable. What are some of the most popular solutions?

IT - BusinessBasecamp

A project management website, Basecamp features wiki-like text documents, to-do lists, calendars and milestones, time tracking, file sharing and messaging. The online software connects people to the files and project data that matter, keeping everything in one place. Basecamp is one of the most popular project management tools in the world.

Google Drive

This online office suite is offered by Google (free for individuals). Using a web browser, anyone can create and edit documents collaboratively; all files are stored online. Documents are saved automatically to avoid data loss. Users can create or import documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and export them in numerous different formats. Multiple users can open and edit documents simultaneously.

iDoneThis

This productivity tool tracks accomplishments and motivates employees using a daily email reminder. Team members on a project, using only email, can share and monitor their progress. Each morning, team members receive a digest of everyone's accomplishments from the prior day.

Unified Communications

This term refers to an all-encompassing collaboration suite, such as the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solution from Mitel Networks. Such a solution typically combines telephone service, messaging, presence services, and audio/video/web-conferencing. Thus all team members, regardless of location, have all possible communication methods available to them, from one provider.

GitHub

This is a distributed code repository and version control system typically used by developers to store and manage code. GitHub allows team members to work on files simultaneously; the service keeps track of all files and file changes. The online software supports issue tracking to help manage bugs and customer problems. GitHub also features a wiki in which technical documents can be stored.

Evernote

"Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web." This software handles all types of information, which can be uploaded and shared with colleagues. Each bit of uploaded content becomes a note. Notes are organized into notebooks, which can be viewed by other people.

Google Groups

This service from Google affords discussion groups for people wishing to share common interests. Additionally, the service provides a gateway to Usenet newsgroups using the same user interface. As of 2013, a Google+ account is needed to access the Groups. The service functions as an unofficial archive (dating back to 1981) of all newsgroups.

The possibilities for online and mobile communication and collaboration are nearly unlimited -- truly an embarrassment of riches.

Website LoadingHow many times have you been surfing the Internet only to run across a page that loads like its from the 90s? Let's face it, we are all impatient web surfers and with broadband speeds get faster each day it makes site load time more important than ever. Speedier web pages result in more time spent on the site, higher conversion rates, better search engine rankings and less bounces. Visitors tend to place more trust in sites that load faster as well. If you want the best load times with the most possibility for success you should read on and consider implementing some of these tips.

Choose a Good Host

A website is only as fast as the server it is hosted on. Choosing a reliable web host that features advanced, uncrowded servers is the foundation for speedy pages. If you are a large company going with a dedicated hosting service is extremely flexible because your IT department can choose their own operating system or hardware like a rackmount chassis to store your server. A smaller company that may not have the resource to have their own server can go with shared hosting or even cloud servers. Webmasters should research different hosting services and read reviews to find the right fit as there are many options to go with all with varying degrees of quality.

Use a Content Delivery Network

An easy way to speed up a site is by using a content delivery network, or CDN. A CDN works by offloading objects such as scripts, videos and images onto other servers in different global locations. This allows for the fastest delivery of these objects by utilizing a server closest to the visitor. The CloudFlare CDN is offered free by many web hosts.

Downsize Objects

Once a CDN is in place, the webmaster can reduce the overall number of objects loading on each page. Every call to a CSS file, script or advertisement can slow down loading time. The optimal number of objects on any page should be less than 20. Reducing image file sizes or converting them to a different type can be another great way to eliminate load time. Managing these data stream can go a long way to reducing your website's loading time.

loading timeOrder the Code

An easy strategy to give the appearance of fast loading is placing the images, text and style code at the beginning of the page. Those elements will load first, while more complex objects load in the background. This approach works well when used with the steps already covered. Best practice is to keep the code as simple and clean as possible.

Compress with GZIP

Advanced webmasters can compress JSON, HTML and XML file requests on each page by using GZIP compression. This method is compatible with all modern browsers and will reduce unnecessary space for faster loading times for most pages. GZIP also offers the benefit of lower bandwidth usage for the entire site and server.

If you want to go fast then using the suggestions above will be sure to increase the speed of nearly any website, regardless of size. After you've implemented these things you should be able to keep track of how fast the site is loading, how speed is affecting conversation rate, how long visitors are staying on the site and if there are any bounces. Compare the number and see how loading time can seriously help you business' website.