All posts tagged: modewest

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A Workday Siesta

In Australian business culture, we’re used to getting up at the crack of dawn and working long hours. Proof of our dedication to early mornings and long work days is the tradition of ‘breakfast networking’, which usually starts at 7am. And yet, despite waking up so early, we work all through the day until late at night and become increasingly sleep-deprived in the process. Should we perhaps take a cue from the Mediterranean countries where the Siesta—the combined midday lunch and nap—has been part of the national psyche for hundreds of years? According to CQ University’s Professor Drew Dawson—author of the nation’s largest study into Australian sleeping habits with over 13,000 respondents—the main reason for our stubborn refusal to sleep are gadgets with screens, such as iPhones and tablet computers, that we take to bed with us. Staring at the light shining from iGadgets until late at night tells our brains that it’s still the day. As a consequence, we find it difficult to fall asleep and end up staying awake when we should be …

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The Doctrine of Signatures: Healing Foods

In ancient Greece, physician-philosophers were struck by how many plants looked like a body part. They wondered if nature was trying to tell them something. From this observation, they developed the ‘doctrine of signatures’—a claim that certain plants could heal the organ that they resembled of an illness. It may seem like nonsense, however, says nutritionist Jane Hutchens of Lemongrove Road Holistic Health in Penrith, it’s not so far-fetched. Two thousand years ago there was no division between the sciences as we understand them today and other areas of enquiry such as medicine, philosophy and astrology. Early physicians like Dioscorides (40–90AD) and Galen (129–200AD) knew that plants had medicinal and health properties. They understood that prescribing the right plant for the right ailment was a task made easier by the appearance of the plant—the ‘signature’ (distinctive mark) of the illness or organ could be matched to the ‘signature’ of the plant. “For example,” says Jane, “plants with yellow flowers, like gentian and dandelion, would be used to treat conditions that caused jaundice (yellowing of the …

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People Matter: The Formula for Business Growth

There is a hackneyed old phrase we all have heard—it is trotted out often enough by business owners, advisors and managers. “Your people are your biggest asset”, they chant in unison. And who has not rolled their eyes at the sound of yet another hollow platitude that makes not one iota of difference to the lives of staff and business owners? Greg Mitchell, Principal Consultant at HR Success in Penrith, says it is not the cliché we should listen to, but the sentiment underpinning it. An asset—as any trusty dictionary will tell you—is a positive quality, a benefit, a thing or a skill that gives an advantage. In business, we tend to use it to talk about objects—the equipment or premises that belong to the business. And that is perhaps where the problem lies: we think of assets as sunk costs. “I actively encourage many of the business owners and managers I work with to see their staff as one of their most critical investments,” Greg says. It is an important shift in terminology—an ‘investment’ …

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Gina Jaaskelainen, Editor-in-Chief, Art Director

Gina Jaaskelainen is a Brand Strategist, Online Marketer, Website Designer and Developer, Social Media Marketing and SEO Specialist, Business Growth Leader, Trainer and Speaker. She is the head of gina.digital, a Global Digital Strategy consultancy. Gina provides social media, SEO, website, sales and online marketing premium solutions as well as advanced marketing and campaign strategies for companies ready to expand online. She coaches businesses in effective online sales and marketing techniques, customer engagement and relationship-building strategies, as well as buyer behaviour and emotional-trigger selling. Gina is a WordPress and Blogging expert trainer, having run workshops and seminars for many organisations in Sydney and Western Sydney, Australia, and she has used the WordPress platform for almost 10 years. She has designed, developed, strategised and planned numerous WordPress websites from concept through to finish, with a strong emphasis on usability, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and visual aesthetics. Prior to running her own businesses, Gina worked for major companies in the design, print, packaging, corporate and retail sectors. She worked on iconic brands including Coca-Cola, Nestle, SmithKline Beecham, …