Plaza College Explains Why Communications Skills Are So Important

August 5, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
 

The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly and unambiguously.
Doing this involves effort from both the sender of the message and the receiver. And it’s a process that can be fraught with error, with messages often misinterpreted by the recipient. When this isn’t detected, it can cause tremendous confusion, wasted effort and missed opportunity.
In fact, communication is only successful when both the sender and the receiver understand the same information as a result of the communication.
By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you convey do not necessarily reflect your own, causing a communications breakdown and creating roadblocks that stand in the way of your goals – both personally and professionally.
In a recent survey of recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees, communication skills were cited as the single more important decisive factor in choosing managers. The survey, conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School, points out that communication skills, including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factor contributing to job success.
In spite of the increasing importance placed on communication skills, many individuals continue to struggle with this, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively – whether in verbal or written format. This inability makes it nearly impossible for them to compete effectively in the workplace, and stands in the way of career progression.
Getting your message across is paramount to progressing. To do this, you must understand what your message is, what audience you are sending it to, and how it will be perceived. You must also weigh-in the circumstances surrounding your communications, such as situational and cultural context.
As the source of the message, you need to be clear about why you’re communicating, and what you want to communicate. You also need to be confident that the information you’re communicating is useful and accurate.
This is the process of transferring the information you want to communicate into a form that can be sent and correctly decoded at the other end. Your success in encoding depends partly on your ability to convey information clearly and simply, but also on your ability to anticipate and eliminate sources of confusion (for example, cultural issues, mistaken assumptions, and missing information.) A key part of this is knowing your audience: Failure to understand who you are communicating with will result in delivering messages that are misunderstood.
Messages are conveyed through channels, with verbal including face-to-face meetings, telephone and videoconferencing; and written including letters, emails, memos and reports.
Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, it’s not particularly effective to give a long list of directions verbally, while you’ll quickly cause problems if you criticize someone strongly by email.
Just as successful encoding is a skill, so is successful decoding (involving, for example, taking the time to read a message carefully, or listen actively to it.) Just as confusion can arise from errors in encoding, it can also arise from decoding errors. This is particularly the case if the decoder doesn’t have enough knowledge to understand the message.
Your message is delivered to individual members of your audience. No doubt, you have in mind the actions or reactions you hope your message will get from this audience. Keep in mind, though, that each of these individuals enters into the communication process with ideas and feelings that will undoubtedly influence their understanding of your message, and their response. To be a successful communicator, you should consider these before delivering your message, and act appropriately.
Your audience will provide you with feedback, verbal and nonverbal reactions to your communicated message. Pay close attention to this feedback, as it is the only thing that allows you to be confident that your audience has understood your message. If you find that there has been a misunderstanding, at least you have the opportunity to send the message a second time.
The situation in which your message is delivered is the context. This may include the surrounding environment or broader culture (i.e. corporate culture, international cultures, etc.).
Removing Barriers at All These Stages
To deliver your messages effectively, you must commit to breaking down the barriers that exist in each of these stages of the communication process.
Let’s begin with the message itself. If your message is too lengthy, disorganized, or contains errors, you can expect the message to be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Use of poor verbal and body language can also confuse the message.
Barriers in context tend to stem from senders offering too much information too fast. When in doubt here, less is oftentimes more. It is best to be mindful of the demands on other people’s time, especially in today’s ultra-busy society.
Once you understand this, you need to work to understand your audience’s culture, making sure you can converse and deliver your message to people of different backgrounds and cultures within your own organization, in this country and even abroad.


Top Books That Are a Great Read For College Students

August 4, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***  
 
Reading has a host of benefits – tangible and intangible and should in fact become a habit as common as bathing or eating. The Importance of Reading is difficult to express in words but can experienced by people from all walks of life. Plaza College put together a list of the top 10 best books for College Students to read.
 

The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Plot summary: The moral depravity of the upper class in the 1920s is
personified. Jay Gatsby spends his entire life trying to win the heart
of a woman he knew years ago, only to meet his demise. If you didn’t
read this in high school, get on with it already.
The experts say: “It’s a very tight novel. It’s only 186 pages
and there’s not a misplaced word in it,” said Mark Yakich, professor of
English.
Library: Several copies available
Price: About $13
Excerpt: “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can
be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean
Plot summary: A book about fly fishing might not appeal to
everyone, but that activity proves to be a metaphor for family,
religion and life in this autobiographical novella.
The experts say: “It’s my favorite piece of fiction. In addition to
being a tragic story, it has some funny, funny, funny scenes,” said
Koper. Need proof? Read the chapter regarding a prostitute named Old
Rawhide.
Library: No luck here
Price: $10
Excerpt: “In our family, there was no clear line between religion
and fly fishing.“
High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby
Plot summary: Record store owner Rob Fleming has just been
dumped by his girlfriend, Laura. A perpetual list-maker, Rob sets
out to talk to his all-time top-five most painful break-ups to see
where it all went wrong. You may have seen the movie; the book is
better.
The experts say: “When a book has a first-person narrator, it
has quirks you can’t get in a movie except in voice-over. It’s a good
read,” Yakich said.
Library: No luck here
Price: About $14
Excerpt: “Laura leaves first thing Monday morning with a hold-all
and a carrier bag. “
Native Son” by Richard A. Wright
Plot summary: It is regarded as a classic, but “Native Son” is more
than just a good read. It is a telling novel about the racial
injustices suffered by African Americans.
The experts say: “This is an explosive novel. Three hours after this
book was on shelves the first printing was sold out,” said
Harding. “It is essential to understanding twentieth century
American literature and race relations.”
Library: Several copies
Price: $12
Excerpt: “A brown-skinned girl in a cotton gown got up and stretched
her arms above her head and yawned.”
Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov
Plot summary: You know this one: A well-to-do middle
aged man falls for a 12-year-old girl. Scandal! But though the topic is
controversial, “Lolita” remains a classic novel about morality and is,
unexpectedly, laced with humor.
What the experts say: “The great thing about Nabokov is he has
such a command of language,” Harding said. “Since its initial
publication, it’s probably the greatest American novel not written by
an American.”
Library: Several copies available
Price: About $12
Excerpt: “She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet
ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school.”
Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Plot summary: Austen paints the picture of a 1800s English society
battle of the sexes. Readers often fixate on one main tension
throughout the book: Will Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy get together?
The experts say: Austen has been a timeless staple in popular
literature since she was first published. “When I was a teenager I read
Pride and Prejudice and other novels by Jane Austen,” said Aparna
Zambare, reference librarian, English bibliographer and assistant
professor.
Library: Several copies, even one that is illustrated
Price: About $15
Excerpt: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
On the Road” by Jack Kerouac
Plot Summary: Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac’s alter egos, is
encouraged by Dean Moriarty to take off and experience life on the
road. It is the novel that helped capture the heart and the essence of
the Beat generation — and influenced writing for years.
The experts say: “It’s a great romance. It’s about a journey of self
discovery, but not just a physical journey — It’s a journey to the
heart of America. It’s a soulful book as much as anything else,”
Harding said.
Library: Two copies
Price: $12
Excerpt: “Great Chicago glowed red before our eyes. ”
The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera
Plot summary: While the story revolves around womanizing Tomas, “The
Unbearable Lightness of Being” is really a study in philosophy and
social commentary. By the way, this book is referenced in “High
Fidelity.”
The experts say: “It’s an intellectual novel that doesn’t start out
with characters. Kundera intersperses narrative with philosophical and
pop ideas,” Yakich said.
Library: The movie, not the book.
Price: About $12
Excerpt: “I have been thinking about Tomas for many years. But only
in the light of these reflections did I see him clearly.”
Wise Blood” by Flannery O’Connor
Plot summary: A man trying to avoid God forms the Church Without
Christ. Sounds like religious satire!
The experts say: “It’s important for students to read because it
reveals something really important about the human condition and shows
a kind of emptiness of a life without faith. It’s a lonely place to be
when you live without grace,” Harding said.
Library: Just one copy
Price: $12
Excerpt: “Hazel Motes sat at a forward angle on the green plush
train seat, looking one minute at the window as if he might want to
jump out of it, and the next down the aisle at the other end of the
car.”
Midnight’s Children” by Salaman Rushdie
Plot summary: With a mix of poetry and prose, narrator Saleem tells
a story of India and its citizens when it gains independence. Saleem is
literally falling apart. He tells readers, “I mean quite simply that I
have begun to crack all over like an old jug[.]” That’s quite an
attention grabber.
The experts say: “It’s a very affectionate love song, a mixing of
political reality and prose pyrotechnics, wordplay, puns, and
alliterations. What it really does is highlight the possibilities of
the English language,” Harding said.
Library: Only one copy — so hurry
Price: About $15
Excerpt: “In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the
moment, although there are signs of an acceleration.”


Late Registration at Plaza College is Now In Process

August 2, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***  
header_student servicesPlaza College has announced on August 2nd, 2011 that late registration is now in process. Plaza urges students to make appointments in Student Services to register for the Fall semester 2011. Please also see Student Services to update your status for the upcoming year.
Below please view the finals schedule:
Sunday, August 7th – Final Sunday

Monday, August 8th – Extended Day Finals (No Day Classes)

Tuesday, August 9th – Tuesday/Thursday Day Finals and Tuesday Extended Day Finals

Wednesday, August 10th – Monday/Wednesday Day Finals and No Extended Day Classes

Thursday, August 11th – Extended Day Finals (No Day Classes)

Friday, August 12th – Finals!
Saturday, August 13th – Finals morning and afternoon and RMA exam
For information and tips on on studying for Final Exams read more here.
For further questions please see Student Services in the administration office.

One Pint of Blood Can Save Three Lives

July 29, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release *** 

BY MICHAEL PANTELIDIS
mpantelidis@queenscourier.com
 

 One pint of blood to save three lives is not a bad tradeoff.


That’s the message Plaza College delivered to its students and faculty to encourage them to donate blood at the college’s second annual blood drive.

The drive was held on Thursday, July 21 at the college’s lower level, located at 74-09 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. The entire neighborhood was invited to donate.

“It is wonderful that the students are branching out,” said Lin Loffert, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Plaza. “Part of my mission is to really expose them to doing things for the community. Now they are really doing something to give back, which is special, and I think this means the world to them.”

Loffert, who organized the blood drive, donated along with her husband, an English professor at Plaza. The donations will be sent to hospitals across the New York Metropolitan area.

At Plaza’s inaugural blood drive last year, the college collected 80 pints of blood, surpassing their goal of 70. This year, however, Plaza received 85 pints, falling short of the 100 they hoped would be donated.

Despite failing to reach triple digits, Bill Mardavich, a donor recruiter for the New York Blood Center, said it was a “no-brainer” to come back to Plaza. He believes blood drives could be held at the college for years to come.

The event, which lasted eight hours, saw 83 students, faculty members and neighborhood residents donate blood. For many, the ability to positively impact a life was the only incentive necessary.

“My mother has received donated blood before,” said Daniel Fernandez, a medical assistant major at Plaza and a first-time donor. “I figured why not donate blood myself to help others the same way people helped my mom. It means a lot to me that I could help another life, and I understand that it will save someone else’s mother, father, sister or brother and allow them to continue on with their lives.”

While Loffert admits she is slightly disappointed the drive did not reach its projected mark, she is thrilled the students and community were able to combine their efforts towards a common goal.

“I’m thankful beyond words to the students and the neighborhood for donating,” she said. “This community always rises to the occasion.”


Plaza College Prepares for Breast Cancer Walk in Flushing Meadows Park

July 27, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release * ** 
A breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that develops from cells in the breast. The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass; however, most breast lumps are benign (noncancerous). Other physical signs include a generalized swelling of part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt), skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a spontaneous discharge other than breast milk. Early detection of malignant tumors, preferably before symptoms are present, is very important because the cancer can spread if not treated at its earliest stages.
Breast Cancer Statistics:
  • About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 39,840 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides” Breast Cancer Walk is in Flushing Meadows Park on Sunday, October 16, 2011. Plaza college will be participating to work several committees for the event. We ask all faculty/students to join us in the fight to cure breast cancer!

Plaza College’s Annual Blood Drive Was A Huge Success

July 26, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release * ** 
Thanks to the students, faculty, staff and administration that contributed to the blood drive at Plaza College, many lives will be saved, as there were 118 donors!


Registered: 118 Donors

First Time: 53 Donors

Automated Red Cell: 2 Donors

Whole Blood: 81 Donors

Total Units: 85 Units (pints)

While there were plenty of goodies to go around to keep everyone’s energy levels up, there were also some fun activities! Each donor was given a raffle ticket to be entered in the raffle for a pair of Mets tickets; the drawing was yesterday and the winners are listed below! Congratulations to all! The game is Tuesday, August 9th, the New York Mets vs. the San Diego Padres.

Winners of the five pairs of New York Mets tickets for a game at Citifield Staidum on August 9th, 2011:
1. Edward Gomez
2. Mandeep Kaur (SS)
3. Cynthia C. Montenegro (Adm.)
4. Xiomara Rucal
5. Anthony Vass   
All donors were also given a certificate of participation to acknowledge their giving of blood to the drive.

Thanks again to all participants! See you next year!

Plaza College Offers Active Listening Tips

July 22, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release * ** 

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well  you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.
  • We listen to obtain information.
  • We listen to understand.
  • We listen for enjoyment.
  • We listen to learn. 


Given all this listening we do, you would think we’d be good at it! 

In fact most of us are not. Depending on the study being quoted, we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers, or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation. This is dismal!

Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren’t hearing the whole message either. You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50%, but what if they’re not?

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, you’ll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!

The way to become a better listener is to practice “active listening”. This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

Becoming an Active Listener
There are five key elements of active listening. They all help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are hearing what they say.
1. Pay attention. 
Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message, Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly. 
  • Look at the speaker directly.
  • Put aside distracting thoughts. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal!
  • Avoid being distracted by environmental factors.
  • “Listen” to the speaker’s body language
  • Refrain from side conversations when listening in a group setting

2. Show that you are listening. 

Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention.
  • Nod occasionally.
  • Smile and use other facial expressions.
  • Note your posture and make sure it is open and inviting.
  • Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh.

3. Provide feedback.

Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions.
  • Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “what I’m hearing is.” and “Sounds like you are saying.” are great ways to reflect back.
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?”
  • Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically.

4.  Defer judgment.

Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.
  • Allow the speaker to finish.
  • Don’t interrupt with counter arguments.

5. Respond Appropriately.

Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. you add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down.
  • Be candid, open, and honest in your response.
  • Assert your opinions respectfully
  • Treat the other person as he or she would wanted to be treated.

Plaza College Is Hosting A Blood Drive!

July 20, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
                                 * * * Press Release * * *
 
Plaza College, “The College for Business and Medical Careers” located at 74-09 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, New York, is hosting it’s third annual “Get Involved! Make a Difference!” blood drive sponsored by the Long Island Branch of the New York Blood Center. The blood drive is taking place on Thursday, July 21st from 11:30 a..m. to 7:30 p.m. in the lower level of the college, Bruson Hall Promenade.

DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that 1 blood donation can save up to 3 patients’ lives.  That’s why a blood donor is a very special kind of volunteer! 
Did you know that there is a severe blood shortage this summer?  Sophisticated medical facilities, transplant programs, area hospitals, and cancer treatment centers are being greatly affected. 
Did you know that when there is not enough blood, patients wait for hours or even days for the blood they need—delaying their recovery from such things as surgery, chemotherapy, burn treatments, and even patients who have been on an organ transplant list for months or years who finally get an opportunity for an organ, will lose that opportunity if there is no blood.
The student body, faculty, staff, and administration at Plaza College want to contribute and help those in need! Plaza is aiming for a total donation of at least 100 pints, from students, staff, neighbors, and friends, to meet this challenge!
Anyone who donates on July 21st will be given a raffle ticket to be entered into a drawing to win a pair of Mets tickets to attend a scheduled game at Citifield Stadium—there are six pairs of tickets being offered.  Now that’s a way to start the summer!!!!!
They also have several other surprises for blood donors on that day and are asking for everyone to get involved.  If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Lin Loffert, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, or the event committee members, at (718) 779-1430, Extension 7137 or via email at lloffert@mail.plazacollege.edu.
Plaza College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges.  The college is easily accessible via the E, F, R, M or #7 trains.
Remember, it only takes approximately 15 minutes to donate your blood, and to save three lives! Sign-up today to help those in need!

25 Ways to Break Your Online Procrastination Habit

July 18, 2011
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release * * *


The Internet is full of all kinds of valuable tools and websites that can make researching, writing, and studying easier than ever. But at the same time, the Internet can also be a huge source of distraction. While a little diversion is fine, excessive slacking can have a huge impact on your studies and performance if you’re not careful. These are 25 methods for shortening your Internet usage and staying at the head of the class.
    1.     Install an online time tracker. It’s easy to while away hours of your day on addictive sites only to wonder later what happened to all the time you had to finish a project. Try installing a program like MeeTimer to keep track of where you’re spending your online time. It will allow you to see what sites make up the bulk of your browsing time, and for the weak-willed, there is even an option to help deter you from using those sites.
2.      Turn off IM programs. Even if you have an account set up just for work, instant messaging programs can be a big drain on time when you’re supposed to be productive. A polite question about what a coworker or client did over the weekend can easily spiral into a lengthy conversation that has little to do with work. Encourage those who want to contact you to use email or phone calls instead of IMs and you’ll save yourself the temptation.
3.      Remind yourself of the consequences. It may seem harmless to browse the Internet when you’re supposed to be working, but in reality there can be many costly consequences. Wasting valuable work time can cut into your personal life, leaving you stressed out from trying to complete work at the last minute. Post a small note on your computer to remind you when you’re tempting to idly browse.
4.      Disable email notifications. Email can be incredibly disruptive to your work flow if you stop to read a new email every time one arrives. Turn off email notifications and only check emails at set times, perhaps after you’ve finished a certain amount of work, so that you won’t be constantly disrupted.
    5.      Change your attitude. The biggest obstacle to breaking your online procrastination habit is the way you think about your workday. If you’re bored, unhappy, or just unmotivated, it can drive you to spend more time seeking out Internet stimulation than doing your work. Try approaching your job with more enthusiasm and reward yourself for a job well done.
     6.      Turn on music. While music can be a distraction for some people, it can also be a great motivator for others. Instead of deriving stimulation from the ‘net, use music to entertain you while you work. That way, you won’t feel completely deprived of fun and you’ll be getting work done at the same time.
     7.      Create a separate user on your computer just for work. It can be helpful to create a separate user on your computer that has only programs used for work: no internet browsers, chat programs, or email allowed. If they aren’t there, you will be less tempted to use them.
8.      Set up a news aggregator. To help you tame your idle browsing of news sites, blogs, and everything else, you can set up an aggregator. This will let you know when new content is posted so you won’t have any excuse to log on just to check.
9.      Set your clock ahead. Part of the problem with idle browsing is the idea that you always have more time, so it won’t hurt if you just look a little longer. You can help quell this urge by using a program like theProcrastinator’s Clock. This clock is set 15 minutes fast, but randomly speeds up or slows down to keep you from knowing how much time you really have.
10.  Create quotas. You don’t have to give up the Internet altogether in order to get some work done. Set up quotas for yourself so that if you complete a certain amount of work that you are rewarded with a certain amount of Internet usage. This way, both the need to get things done and the need for idle entertainment get met.
11.  Block your most-used sites. Everyone has a few sites that they just can’t seem to stay away from no matter how strong their will is. Luckily, there are many programs you can use to block these sites during times you’re supposed to be working. Try out LeechBlock to help you curb your addiction to your biggest time-wasting sites.
12.  Know your personal high and low productivity hours. Do you have a post-lunch slump? Hate mornings? Try to schedule your work around these low points in your day so that you’ll be less tempted to go on the web as a pick-me-up when you’re supposed to be working.
13.  Stick to a routine. One way to help you control your online procrastination is to create a daily routine. Get your body and mind used to working and resting during certain hours and you’ll have a much easier time fighting the urge to surf the net.
14.  Use a timer. Whether you use a classic egg-timer or a more tech-savvy online version, timing your Internet usage can be helpful to keeping it in check. Simply set the timer for a specific amount of time and make sure when your time is up that you really do sign off.
15.  Let your computer nag you. For most people, the willpower to stay off the Internet just isn’t there. So let your computer help you. Try installing a program like Webolodeon that will pester you if you try to use certain sites during working hours or aimlessly browse for too long.
16.  Create deadlines. Sometimes it can be hard to stay on task when it seems like you have a huge amount of time to finish a project. Create smaller deadlines within this timeframe to help motivate you and keep you from looking to the web to fill your day.

17.  Set up acceptable Internet hours. It’s unreasonable to expect yourself to give up the Internet altogether, so set up times when you’re allowed to use the ‘net guilt free. A few Internet breaks throughout your day will allow you to keep up to date on the news or sports scores and still get your work done.


18.  Use other forms of communication. Spend less time on the Internet by spending more time making contact face-to-face or on the phone. Not only is this more personal, but you won’t be tempted to do any shopping or read the latest gossip instead of attending to business.
19.  Let others help you. While it might be embarrassing to admit you need help, sometimes having other people look over your shoulder can be helpful. Ask a coworker or friend to give you a little nudge to get back to work, especially at times of the day when you know you’re less productive.
20.  Eliminate uncertainty. A lot of random web browsing is due to not knowing what to do with your day or how to begin a project. Use a program like What to Do Next instead. This web-based program will store all the things you should be doing, choose something, and give you 10 minutes to get on task. That way, you’ll never have to wonder what you should be working on.
21.  Stay organized. One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is disorganization. If you don’t have to sort through stacks of papers, files, or your email inbox to get started on what you need to do for the day you’ll be much more likely to get to the task. Making work painless makes using a diversion like the Internet less necessary, so give yourself a leg up by keeping your work orderly and easy to use.
22.  Make a schedule. While it might seem too restrictive for some creative types, creating a schedule can actually be quite helpful in curbing an Internet procrastination problem. Creating set times for breaks, food, work and even browsing the net can help give your day structure and discourage aimless activity.
23.  Don’t become an addict. There are many sites on the Internet that are extremely addictive, whether they are games, social networking, or even the news. If you feel yourself becoming a little too attached to a certain site or to several sites, force yourself to take a break from using them for a few days or weeks. It’s better to nip the problem in the bud rather than let it start taking over your life.
24.  Take structured breaks. There are many programs out there that can allow you to use the Internet as a form of entertainment for breaks in between work. Alternately, they can force you to take a break from the internet to get work done. Try installing a program like TimeOut to give you the break you need without letting it interfere with the rest of your workday.
25.  Unplug. If you’ve tried everything else and you just can’t seem to stay away from the Internet, just unplug your computer. You don’t have to go all day without it, but give yourself a few hours where you won’t have the temptation.
The Internet can be a valuable tool for productivity–or a bane to getting any work done at all. It’s all up to you in how you decide to use it. While some of these tips may not work for you, you can use them to get on the right track to responsible Internet usage.


Plaza College Offering the Latest Social Media Stats: Are You Social?

July 15, 2011
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 * * * Press Release * * *

We all know that social media impacts the way we do business. It affects the way that consumers shop, the way that brands market, and the way customer service responds. Social media allows customers to give instant feedback on their favorite (or not so favorite brands). It allows regular people to become a part of the branding process.
If you didn’t think the power of social media was mind blowing before… check out the latest social media statistics:

  • Facebook has more than 500 million “active” users worldwide.
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
  • The average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, and events.
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news, stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month on Facebook. Your content should be among these!
  • Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites.
  • There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • Being mobile-compatible is important because people that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook that non-mobile users!
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States. 

  • 20.6 million US adults will access a Twitter account at least monthly this year.
  • There are 200 million Twitter users around the world.
  • Twitter now comes in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • 95 million tweets are written per day.

  • 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S.
  • YouTube is localized in 25 countries across 43 languages.
  • YouTube’s demographic is broad: 18-54 years old.
  • YouTube reached over 700 billion playbacks in 2010.
  • Over 4 million people are connected and auto-sharing to at least one social network.

  • Foursquare has more than half a million users.
  • Foursquare has 1.4 million venues
  • Foursquare has 15.5 million check-ins
  • Foursquare has almost 725,000 users.
  • Every two weeks Foursquare has 100,000 new users.

Are you social?

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