A Publication of WTVP

Change It Up
As students get back into the swing of things this semester, they may be interested to learn of a new study on the effect of one’s surroundings on fact absorption and retention. The age-old idea that study areas should be stark and silent has been turned on its head, notes The New York Times; in fact, research has found the opposite to be true. The study also found that those who studied the same information in more than one setting outperformed those who studied multiple times in the same location. It seems that the change in surroundings actually makes it easier to recall the information learned.

Tweeting Productivity?
Last year, Nucleus Research reported that companies that allow employees to access Facebook during the workday lose 1.5 percent total productivity. But that’s only true if one believes that tweeting and Facebooking is always a waste of time. An article in Wired magazine suggests that such breaks are beneficial for knowledge workers. “Regularly stepping back from the project at hand can be essential to success. And social networks are particularly well suited to stoking the creative mind. The participatory nature of Twitter and Facebook…makes them excellent tools for supercharging creativity.” So the next time you need a break, try jumpstarting your creativity by posting on a friend’s wall or crafting a clever tweet. It may just give you the boost you need.

Comeback for Charities?
After three years of weakened support, Americans will increase their charitable giving in 2011, according to the annual Dunham+Company New Year’s Philanthropy Survey. Compared to 2010, there was a 29-percent surge in households that plan to increase their giving and a 48-percent drop in those who say they will decrease giving. Overall, nearly one in five plan to increase their giving in 2011.

Sinus Relief the Natural Way
Those who suffer from chronic sinus troubles or clogged nasal passages resulting from a cold will do just about anything to find relief. Dating back to the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda, now a form of alternative medicine in the West, one solution—nasal irrigation—is growing in popularity with the introduction and marketing of products such as the Neti pot.

Allergists and ear, nose and throat specialists recommend that patients who suffer from allergies, bacterial infections and environmental irritants, or those who have undergone sinus surgery, use nasal irrigation to calm their symptoms and prevent further problems. “Everyone can benefit from a Neti pot,” says Wade Siefert of Preckshot Professional Pharmacy in Peoria Heights. “What [it] does is actually rinse the inside of your nasal passages out. So it will wash out bacteria that may be there; if you breathed in a virus, you can wash it out.” Regular sinus irrigation also thins bronchial mucus and helps the body remove it from the system.

The Neti pot, ever increasing in popularity, looks a lot like Aladdin’s lamp. It can be made out of various materials, such as glass, plastic and ceramic. Most come with specific directions for use, but the basic principle is to fill the pot with water that’s lukewarm or a little warmer and add a salt solution. Leaning over a sink with head tilted, the user pours the saline solution into one nostril. It will flow through the nasal cavities and out through the other nostril, taking with it microscopic allergens, irritants and bacteria.

Many people who suffer from chronic sinus conditions have found great comfort in making nasal irrigation part of their daily routine. While some report mild irritation or stinging when first using a Neti pot or similar system, these side effects generally lessen or disappear completely as the nose and nasal cavities become accustomed to it. The next time you catch a cold or suffer from allergies or sinus trouble, you might give nasal irrigation a try before reaching for that decongestant or nasal spray. You may be surprised at the natural results.


Hiring the Overqualified: Risk or Reward?
Millions of Americans are still out of work, and when a job does open up, hiring managers are overwhelmed with résumés. Tossing out the “overqualified” résumés helps to screen out those potential employees who may want too much money or will be quick to move on when a better offer is presented. But is this the best strategy?

Maribeth Kuzmeski, author of five books and founder of Red Zone Marketing, said in a recent Harvard Business Review article that, “Candidates with well-developed skills, a lot of working world experience and the right attitude are exactly what you should want.” By excluding overqualified workers, companies are missing out on quality, talented employees who could add value to their business.

Kuzmeski offers a number of tips on dealing with an experienced hire: 

Connect with the candidate’s why. Invite highly qualified workers in for interviews and find out why they applied. The answers may surprise you.

Highly qualified people require less training. You will spend less time training the new hire, and highly qualified people bring more life experience to the workplace, which can be a great help to other employees.

Empower them. Once you have overqualified employees on staff, allow them to make decisions. It shows that you have confidence in their abilities and respect their skills. The employees are more likely to outperform and stay with the company. 
“Think about it: These people become highly qualified for a reason…You want to hire the right person for the job, not the person you assume, sight unseen, is less likely to leave,” adds Kuzmeski. iBi