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Following Up on Fallacies about Getting Free Stuff “Free stuff” – the mere whisper of the words is often enough to make many people throw common sense out the window and head for the free goods like a missile to a target. And then there are those people whose eyes glaze over when they hear those words, because they can’t believe anything worth having can actually be free. The truth about free stuff is really somewhere in the middle. Yes, you can really and truly cash in on many freebie deals for things that you want to have, but a healthy sense of cynicism about free gear is also useful. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind about free stuff. The first myth you should throw out the window is that nothing good comes for free. The fact of the matter is that the price tag on a good doesn’t always match up to the quality, and there are many great free things out there. Case in point: music. Sure, everyone has heard the scare stories about file sharing online, and maybe some big record labels will come after you if you focus on their artists. Dig a little below the surface, however, and you can find a whole new world of really great bands that are more than happy for you to listen to their music over and over again. The same goes for free software. People on the cutting edge of technology who have a passion for creating new and efficient applications often develop open source code software. They’re doing it for the love of it, and they often have more talent than any ten suit-and-tie tech guys trying to hock their latest product for a mega profit margin. Here is where the reality part comes in, however. Yes, you can find wonderful things that are completely free – but yes, you can also find a lot of free things that aren’t worth your time at all and in some cases can cause you a lot of trouble. The net is a great place to fall victim to a “free stuff” scam, but you can also sometimes come across these scams in the mail as well. If something is free, but requires you to give your credit card number or bank details, run the other way. Another myth people have about free stuff, especially free stuff on the internet, is that when you try to cash in, the only free stuff you will be getting is an inbox full of more spam than you can handle. The truth about this is, well, that is can certainly be true. Many companies give away free things in exchange for your email address, so they can try to hit you up to purchase things in the future. What makes this a myth, however, is that it can be avoided. If you don’t want to choke on an inbox of spam, and who could blame you, set up a special (free) email account that you will use exclusively for freebie hunting. You’ll have the best of both worlds. The last myth about free stuff involves the “catch” people are always looking for. Often, for free stuff, the catch is a bit of junk mail or email or the fact that you have to submit to a time consuming survey. Sometimes, the catch is that if you get free stuff through a trial offer, if you don’t cancel it, it keeps coming, and this time you have to pay. The truth about these catches is, however, that the catch is in the eye of the beholder. These things don’t make products any less free; so don’t write off every free offer offhand. You might just find a catch you can live with to get a great free product you really want.

To-Do Lists an Important Part of Being a Better Employee What makes a good employee? Take a look at how the star employee in your office operates. Chances are that they don’t run around in a constant fog of stress and pressure. Good employees are usually calm and conscientious; they seem to always get the job done with a minimum of hair pulling and frantic rushing around. Is it just genes that these people have that allow them to work like this, or are some people just better at managing stress than others? The answer is probably not. If you take a closer look at the star employee in your office, you will are likely to see that they are so stress free and productive because they are good at managing their time. And chances are they manage that time with the help of a to-do list. The to-do list is an often-overlooked part of working life. While they are the kind of thing people expect housewives to carry around with them in their purse while they run errands, many people think they can do without them in the work place. This is a big mistake. Being productive at work is all about being able to carry out your tasks in a timely manner, and being productive at work is also about managing your stress. If you are too stressed out, your work will suffer for it. You will fall behind because you won’t be able to concentrate, and you will make mistakes you might not have made if you were able to take your time with your work. So, how can a to-do list help? To-do lists can do many things for you in your busy working life. For starters, to-do lists remove the problem of having that all important phone call or meetings slip your mind. When you have a to-do list, everything that needs to be accomplished is set out there for you, so there is no more explaining to your boss why you stood up your company’s most important client. With a to-do list, you can also see the bigger picture of everything that needs to be done, so you can plan your time wisely. Working on tasks one after another as they come up is not a smart way to accomplish things at the office. Some jobs are on a tight deadline, while other jobs can stand to wait a little while. When you set everything out for yourself in a to-do list, you will be able to prioritize your tasks in order of importance, so you get the crucial work out of the way first thing, and only move on to less important jobs when you have the time to devote to them. All of this organization will make your working life less stressful. Imagine a typical day without a to-do list. You come in to the office in the morning, you work through all of the email sitting in your inbox, you make a few phone calls, chat with some co-workers in the break room, answer a few more emails, and then bam! All of the sudden, you remember that the presentation your boss needs for the big meeting is due at 2 p.m., and you haven’t even started it. Now you resort to hair pulling and frantic working. Then, you give your boss the presentation over an hour late, and it is filled with mistakes and sloppy work. Now imagine the same day with a to-do list. You get the presentation out of the way first thing, and you have time to check it. Then you can move on to less important tasks without the dark cloud of stress hanging over you. To-do list writing is time well spent if you want to succeed at work.

Being Effective in Your Persuasive Writing (persuasive writing) The goal of persuasive writing is to have the ability to influence or change a persons mind with your words. You encounter these in your normal everyday life. Whether it is a politician trying to convince you to vote for them, a commercial for a company that wants you to buy there product, or from your children trying to explain the reason why they should be allowed to go to that concert, persuasion is all around. You may even use the power of persuasion on yourself, like deciding why or why not you should eat that last piece of pizza or if you really need to buy another white shirt even though it is a really good deal. Everyday you have to decide on whether one choice is better than another and why. To succeed in your persuasive writing venture you need to follow a few simple rules. You must have focus. Decide on what position you are trying to persuade. Are you for or against the topic your writing about? Choose a side and stick with it. Arguing both sides of the fence will be detrimental to your persuasion. There are three techniques that you will need to use to have convincing persuasive writing. Now you need to provide facts and evidence to support your writing. Statistics and examples are used to provide the reason people should choose you position and believe your writings. You can also include facts and evidence that demonstrate why the opposition is wrong. This should be eased into. Remember you are trying to persuade and convince them on why you position is better not offend or alienate them. This is called the logos technique of persuasion writing. Another persuasive writing technique is ethos. This is where you have to prove yourself to be a creditable person. To be able to make your readers believe that they should have confidence in what you are telling them. The best way to prove your credibility is to provide true and undisputable facts, be articulate, and explain why you are capable of proving this information to them. Pathos is the third technique you will use in your writing. This will appeal to the emotions of the readers. This can be the most important technique but also the most critical. It must be used with caution or you can just as easily turn the readers against you as you could bring them with you. Appealing to your readers emotions can be tricky. This must be done subtly To work this effectively you must have the ability to make the reader feel your emotions, the joy, the pain, the hurt whatever the case maybe. You need to pin point your target audience and write to appeal to them. What sounds interesting and persuasive to a teenager most likely will not work with a middle age woman. Whether you are targeting men or women will make a difference in you writings. Identify with your target audience. An example of this would be “only the cool kids will be wearing product XYZ” or “we know as a respectable home owner you will want to…..” By identifying with the intended audience it pulls them into what you are writing and how or why it pertains to them. Persuasive writings can be a challenge. You have to objective and opened minded to other positions of the topic at hand even though sometimes you don’t want too. Remembering you goal is just to persuade them why yours is better. This does not necessarily mean that the opposition is bad or wrong, just that yours is a superior choice.