Trevor Hohns has replaced Rod Marsh as chairman of selectors for Cricket Australia (CA) on an interim basis after the former wicketkeeper quit on Wednesday. (Inquisition continues for Australia ‘in crisis’)Former Australia captain Greg Chappell, who was the national talent manager, has also been added to the panel in a temporary position, CA said on Thursday.”It is vital that Australian cricket finds the best candidate for this role,” CA chairman David Peever said in a statement. (Humiliated Steve Smith says Australia lacking pride)”Trevor is highly experienced as a selector, and will ensure we place our best players on the field this summer while we seek a permanent replacement for Rod.”Marsh, who had already said he would stand down from the role next year, quit after Australia crumbled to an innings and 80-run loss in the second Test against South Africa in Hobart.Australia’s fifth successive test loss gave the Proteas an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.Marsh and the selection panel, which included Hohns, former Australia batsman Mark Waugh and head coach Darren Lehmann have been criticised over a number of issues this year.”Naturally, the board and our senior executive are disappointed with the recent test performances,” Peever said. (Faf Du Plessis lauds ‘relentless’ South Africa attack)”But we have every confidence that all those involved, including our coaching staff and team management, will do their utmost to turn that around.”
Cruz Azul lifted the Copa MX Apertura after topping Monterrey 2-0 on Wednesday.Elias Hernandez and Martin Cauteruccio scored on either side of the halftime break, extending Monterrey’s poor run of form in home finals. While Rayados did lift the Copa MX in front of their home crowd in the 2017 Apertura, the club lost the 2017 Apertura league crown and the 2016 Liga MX Clausura title in front of its own fans.The trophy, which puts Cruz Azul in the summer’s Supercopa, is the first for Cruz Azul under Pedro Caixinha, who took over the club at the start of the calendar year. It’s also the first trophy the club has won since 2013. Goalkeeper Jesus Corona and defender Julio Dominguez were part of both part of the team this year and the team that won it five years ago, as was the injured fullback Gerry Flores. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! There were moments of controversy, however, with defender Igor Lichnovsky looking to have earned a second yellow card for a foul on Monterrey forward Rogelio Funes Mori, but referee Fernando Guerrero showed the yellow card to Lichnovsky’s teammate, Javier Salas. While VAR has been implemented this season in Liga MX, the Copa MX was played without any technological aids for officials.Cruz Azul, which boasts the best defense in Liga MX, otherwise kept the hosts in check, though Jesus Gallardo broke through on a pair of occasions he was unable to finish past veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Allison.Allison had been named the team’s cup goalkeeper back in August with Caixinha predicting that he would lift the cup when the team went on to win it. That prediction came true during the celebrations Wednesday night – though Hernandez also got his hands on the trophy and took it over to the traveling fans.La Maquina sit in second place in the league and have aspirations of winning the double with the cup and league titles. Cruz Azul hasn’t won the league title since 1997. The club now turns its attention toward a top-four clash with Mexico City rival Pumas on Sunday with the potential to go to the top of the league should Club America stumble against Toluca.
Eric Bailly is an “extraordinary player” and deserves better luck than he has experienced at Manchester United, says Valencia boss Marcelino.The current coach of Los Che worked with the Ivory Coast international defender at Villarreal prior to his £30 million ($38m) move to Old Trafford in 2016.Bailly departed Spanish football with a growing reputation and was expected to star in England as he approached his peak. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Time is still on his side at 24 years of age, but injuries and inconsistent form have blighted his time in the Premier League.Marcelino said of those struggles as he prepares for a Champions League reunion with a familiar face on Wednesday: “I was so lucky to have Eric as a footballer, as a player.”He’s an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person. I’m so sorry for his injuries, because I know his performances are conditioned by this.”I know he is having a hard time and suffering when trying to have a stable rhythm in the team.”I wish nothing but the best for him and I feel his youth will help him through these hard times and he will be very impressive for United.”I think he’s playing really well for United when he plays, but because of his injuries he’s not getting the luck he deserves.”Bailly has been restricted to just eight appearances for United across all competitions this season, but was welcomed back into a starting berth for a recent 2-2 draw with Arsenal.He will be hoping to figure more prominently over the remainder of the campaign, having only taken in 18 outings during the 2017-18 campaign.Jose Mourinho could do with him finding form and fitness, with the Red Devils’ failings at the back well documented.Only five sides in the Premier League have been breached more times than United this term, with their record currently the joint-worst in the top half of the table.
Mumbai, Dec 30 (PTI) Kochi-based Nirmala College and Government Higher Secondary School got off to an impressive start on day one of the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports National Football Championship here today.In the college boys category, Nirmala College made a mockery of their opponent Arya Vidyapeeth College, Guwahati as they strolled to a 14-0 victory.The one-sided match saw three hat-tricks being scored by the boys in yellow with Jithin M finding the net four times (45, 47, 50 & 78) while Sachin Sivan (35, 43, 57) and Abdul K (51, 52, 55) completing the other two hat-tricks.Government Higher Secondary School too registered a convincing 6-2 victory over Guwahatis Rajdhar Bora High Secondary School in the senior boys category.Main striker Adarsh A S sealed the fate for the opponents with a hat-trick in 37, 90 and & 93 minutes.Brief Results:Senior Boys: Mamta Modern Sr Secondary School (DELHI): 3 (Avinash Yadav 29, Rajnish Rana 35, Nishant Gusai 40) beat Government Higher Secondary School (GOA): 1 (Daniel Lobo 79)Kapasdanga Satin Sen Vidyapith (KOLKATA): 1 (Arun Rajbanish 41) beat PT Lee Chengalvaraya Naicker HS School (CHENNAI): 0Government HSS Panampally (KOCHI) 6 (Abhisjith KP 2, Ahammed Ashoor 11, Shone Joy 17, Adarsh AS 37, 70, 93) beat Rajdhar Bora HSS (GUWAHATI) 2 (Nabajit Barua 58, Milan Das 59).Fr Agnel Jr College (NAVI MUMBAI) 1 (Kasib Sayed 63?) beat The Bishop School (PUNE) 0.College Boys:Thakur College (MUMBAI): 1 (Desmond Noronha 63?) draw with Jeppiar College (CHENNAI): 1 (S Pandiyan 17?)Charuchandra College (KOLKATA): 1 (Hira Mondal 63?) draw with Zakir Hussain College (DELHI): 1 (Ashutosh Thapliyal 15?).Nirmala College (KOCHI): 14 (Abhiram Shaji 6, Gokul E 26, Sachin Sivan 35, 43, 57, Jithin M 45?, 47?, 50?, 78?, Abdul K 51?, 52?, 55?, Muhammad A 75?, 86?) beat Arya Vidyapeeth College (GUWAHATI): 0.Rosary College of Arts and Commerce (GOA): 2 (Sneddon Medeira 70?, Jasper Pereira 90?) beat Indira College of Commerce (PUNE): 0. PTI SSR ARS PTPadvertisement
From Sajjad HussainIslamabad, Jan 10 (PTI) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today announced a Rs 180 billion incentive package to boost the countrys sagging exports, especially of cotton.The package envisages abolition of customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton. Customs duty on man-made fibre other than polyester and sales tax on import of textile machinery has also been scrapped.Under the package, duty draw back rates for textile garments would be 7 per cent; textile made ups 6 per cent; processed fabric 5 per cent; Yarn and grey fabric 4 per cent; sports goods, leather and footwear 7 per cent, the Radio Pakistan reported.Sharif made the announcement at a ceremony attended by members of the business community here.The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the package will help achieve the governments objective of export-led growth.During his address, Sharif noted that dozens of power plants are being installed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project besides many others being financed by the government.He reiterated the governments objective to ensure availability of cheap electricity on a sustainable basis, adding that 10,000MW of new power generation will be added to the system by next year, and 30,000MW within the next few years.Sharif also said the government has decided to fund construction of the 4,500 MW Bhasha Dam using Pakistans own financial resources. However, the powerhouse on the dam will be built under CPEC.He also announced that Pakistan Railways is being revamped and upgraded with an investment of USD 8 billion, and that it is looking to halve the time it normally takes to travel from Karachi to Peshawar.advertisementThe Prime Minister said a network of roads, highways and motorways is being laid at a cost of one thousand billion rupees integrating different regions of the country.In his speech, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government is providing liberal incentives to the business community and it is now responsibility of the exporters to increase the exports significantly.He asked them to ensure that exports are increased to 10 per cent of the GDP.Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said Pakistani exports lost competitiveness due to incentives by competitors, complication in taxation and energy shortages.He expressed confidence that with this package and improvement in law and order situation and energy situation, the exporters would show results.The Minister said Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are being negotiated with Thailand and Turkey. PTI SH PMS
Cliches about diamonds are about as old as the stones themselves, more so in the context of engagement rings. But with avant garde being the new trend, turn tradition on its head by sporting colour on your engagement ring instead of your flawless best friend. Faberge already offers an inspired,Cliches about diamonds are about as old as the stones themselves, more so in the context of engagement rings. But with avant garde being the new trend, turn tradition on its head by sporting colour on your engagement ring instead of your flawless best friend. Faberge already offers an inspired collection in case you are out of ideas. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires-the colourful trinity-unseat diamonds in Faberge’s engagement collection.This colourful renaissance pays homage to Faberge’s illustrious history by incorporating the venerated gold-fluting technique, a quintessential Faberge effect that provides a highly distinctive yet contemporary flourish. Keeping in step with its tradition of delight, surprise and discovery, the brand’s engagement and wedding rings conceal, on the inside of each band, an additional gem of matching colour that remains in direct contact with the wearer, thus, ensuring an unbroken bond between partners.Price on request; Availability faberge.com
Jallikattu: Angry over delay in Supreme Court order, Tamil Nadu men defy ban in Cuddalore, 4 arrested
As a protest against the delay in Supreme Court verdict on lifting the ban on Jallikattu, a group in Tamil Nadu went on to conduct the sport against the ban itself in Cuddalore.The group chose a patch of barren land and converted it into a temporary stadium to hold the sport. A fence was put around and a gate or ‘Vadivasal’ was made for the bulls to enter the stadium. Trained bulls from surrounding areas were brought in and Jallikattu was conducted. In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the bull’s hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps made by the bull.Read: Supreme Court refuses to pass interim order on Jallikattu ban before Pongal The Supreme Court today refused to pass an interim order for organising the bull taming sport — Jallikattu — during the ensuing Pongal festival.A division bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that the draft of Jallikattu judgement has been prepared but it would not be possible to deliver it before Saturday.The Supreme Court had in May 2014 banned Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.Also read: Tamil Nadu students take to streets to protest against ban on Jallikattu FOUR ARRESTED FOR DEFYING BANEmbarrassed cops rushed to the spot as soon as they heard about the incident and arrested four members of pro-Tamil party Naam Thamizar for organizing the event.They confiscated the bulls and informed their owners that action will be taken against them.advertisementAlso read: Should Tamil Nadu ban Jallikattu? Leading Chennai voices say NOAlso read: Kamal Haasan at India Today Conclave: If you want to ban Jallikattu, ban biryani too TAMIL NADU ON EDGE AHEAD OF PONGALTamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday urged the central government to promulgate an ordinance enabling the holding of Jallikattu.In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Panneerselvam said Jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities and the festival holds great importance for the people of Tamil Nadu.The apex court has ruled that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.The festival of Pongal is celebrated to thank the Sun, rain and farm animals. It would be celebrated on January 14.WATCH | Jallikattu ban: Who said what on the bull-taming sport
Raipur, Feb 19 (PTI) Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel today said the Centre will soon plan to observe National Marathon Day.Addressing a huge gathering of runners who had come to participate in the Raipur Half Marathon held at Naya Raipur, Goel said, “keeping in view the historical success of Raipur Half Marathon, Centre will soon plan to observe National Marathon Day.””We all want, whenever the National Marathon Day will be held, people should run together in their locality, village and city, for Swachhta (cleanliness), health, Digital Bharat and taking country ahead (in the path of development),” said the Minister.Around 15,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon.Goel also called upon parents and teachers to encourage students and children to participate in sports activities.The Centre is seriously considering the proposal to link sports with education.Sports will boost the health of the masses and will reduce the expenditure on health, he said.The Minister further informed that the sports ministry has decided start aTalent Search Portalintended to give a fair opportunity to talented children from every nook and corner of the country to pursue their dreams of achieving excellence in sports.Details of the performance and potential of a child including video and photographs could be uploaded on the portal by children, their parents, relatives, teachers and others on the portal, Goel added.Congratulating Chhattisgarh for organising the Half Marathon, he said Sports Authority of Indias (SAI) regional office will soon be set up here.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh announced to soon start an Athletics Academy in the state.advertisementThe status of other sports is good and satisfactory in the state but today people have displayed their enthusiasm toward athletics by taking part in a large number in the Half Marathon. Keeping this in view, an athletics academy will be launched in the state soon, Singh said.Next year also the Half-Marathon will be organised and the target will be to involve 40,000 people in the run, he added.Legendary athlete Milkha Singh and wrestler Geeta Phogat were among the other dignitaries present during the event. PTI TKP NRB
The Committee of Administrators (COA) running the BCCI has received multiple pleas from various state associations to extend the deadline for submitting compliance report on Lodha recommendations till March 27.The COA on February 23 had written to all state associations to submit a compliance report adhering to all Lodha diktats by March 1.However disqualified members of 20 state units have written to COA led by Vinod Rai that they need more clarity and since joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary’s plea in Supreme Court is pending for hearing on March 27, the COA should wait till then.”Yes, a letter is being sent to the COA as we feel they should wait till March 27 as Amitabh’s plea is pending in Supreme Court. Some clarity is still required regarding cumulative tenure of 9 or 18 years. It will be prudent if we can wait rather than being in a tearing hurry to fill up compliance report,” a state unit official told said.Amitabh Chaudhary has filed a plea in SC that seeks clarification on scope of COA taking over the management rather than ensuring smooth transition to the new administration.
Joe Root struck an unbeaten 90 as he and Chris Woakes steered England to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in their second one-day international on Sunday. (Scorecard)England, who scored 226/6, claimed an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. They beat the hosts by 45 runs at the same Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday in the opening encounter.Root played a typically flawless innings to carry England home with 10 balls to spare as he and Woakes stemmed a mid-order slump with an unbroken 102-run partnership for the seventh wicket.Woakes survived being dropped twice to score 68 as both teams used the brief series to prepare for Junes Champions Trophy.West Indies, who won the toss and chose to bat, never got going on a slow pitch and were dismissed for 225 with 13 balls left of their 50 overs.Jason Mohammed, who top scored with 50, featured in a 72-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who contributed a slow 42 off 70 balls.Jonathan Carter offered a brief cameo with 39 off 36 balls but was deceived by a slow ball and lofted a catch off Liam Plunkett, who took 3-32.England captain Eoin Morgan’s decision to ask Adil Rashid to bowl at the middle order proved to be a clever tactic as he took the wickets of the dangerous Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite.Englands reply got off to a poor start as opener Sam Billings was caught behind for a duck in the first over.Jason Roy might have perished in the next over but survived a lengthy review, given the benefit of the doubt after the Windies were convinced he had nicked one behind.advertisementRoy went on to make 52 in a second wicket partnership of 86 with Root before his departure set off a mini collapse with five wickets falling for just 37 runs in 10 overs.But Root kept the runs ticking over steadily as he and Woakes steadied the situation for England with Windies key bowler Shannon Gabriel bowling just three overs before suffering a side strain.The last match in the series is being played at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on Thursday.
Affectionately known as “Queen of the Net,” Mary Meeker is back with her zeitgeist of digital insight. Meeker, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, presented the 2014 Internet Trends report during this week’s Code Conference. This annual report is full of useful nuggets, including key stats and opportunities for innovation. As fundraising and nonprofit marketing evolves in an increasingly digital world, this type of insight can help you understand how the landscape is changing and how these changes may affect and inform your efforts to acquire and engage donors over the next few years. A few highlights:Mobile usage, smartphones, and tablets are still on the rise.The percent of mobile traffic is growing over 1.5x per year, with this growth expected to continue or accelerate in the coming years. Mobile traffic is currently 25% of all global Internet traffic, a sharp jump from the 14% seen this time last year. Takeaway: No surprise: mobile is now a primary way we access information and services online. It’s time to understand how your audiences are using mobile by analyzing your own traffic, then plan accordingly for a mobile-friendly experience.Smartphone users now make up 30% of all mobile phone users. Meanwhile, tablets are growing more rapidly than PCs ever did, as technology and processing power becomes more inexpensive and portable. Takeaway: Test your key online interaction points to ensure they are functional and friendly to smartphone and tablet users. Think about how smartphone and tablet use differs from PC (not just how these devices are used, but also where and when), and leverage the smart interfaces and features that users expect on these devices.Communication continues to shift from broadcast to targeted conversations. New social channels and messaging apps (such as WhatsApp) have allowed online communications to shift from large broadcasts of fewer messages to more frequent communications with smaller groups. Takeaway: You don’t have to Snapchat with your donors, but think about how more personalized and targeted messages may be more effective for your organization’s most valuable relationships.Technology requires us to re-imagine content.Social content distribution is driven more frequently through a few key platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter now drive nearly 30% of all social traffic referrals. The life cycle is relatively short, though, with an average piece of content reaching half its total social referrals in just 6.5 hours on Twitter or 9 hours on Facebook.Takeaway: Find out which channels are referring the most traffic to your site and key content. Offer news and updates that are optimized for social platforms and sharing, then plan your distribution accordingly to take the social “half life” into account.The ‘visual social web’ has grown rapidly over the past year, with platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine providing a powerful intersection of mobile, social, and visual content. Over 1.8 billion photos are uploaded and shared each day, much of that volume being driven by real-time platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp.Takeaway: Beyond engaging your supporters with your own images, encourage them to share photos of your impact and work to help build interest and amplify your reach.Our multi-screen world has unlocked a new age of video consumption, with digital audiences watching more on-demand long form video, as well as short, online. It’s also worth noting that smartphones are now the most viewed/used medium for video in many countries. Takeaway: Your best stories can be even more compelling in video form. Consider the video opportunities you already have—event footage, historic clips, testimonials—and make them part of your regular communication with supporters. For best results, host your videos in such a way that they are mobile-friendly and sharable. The report also contains keen observations on the shifts in the education and healthcare sectors, and the opportunities of big data.Check out the full report for more, then chime in below to let us know which stat is most exciting for you and your organization. KPCB Internet trends 2014 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Need help dealing with a legal issue? Download the Freelancers Union app to connect with a lawyer committed to helping freelancers and who understand the freelance life.Protect your work: Build a standardized client agreement with our step-by-step freelance contract creator.You’ve finished your assignment, you’ve submitted your invoice, and then you wait…. and wait….. and…wait for your check. If phone calls or emails didn’t work, you may have even considered going after your clients with butterfly nets or handcuffs. And still, no check. Instead of getting paid, it feels like you’re getting played! But you’re not alone. In a previous survey conducted by Freelancers Union of over 3,000 members, 77% of you said you’ve had problems getting paid. It’s the reason why we started to rally for the Freelancer Payment Protection Act in New York State, after all. Whatever a client’s reason – cash flow, bad bookkeeping, being too busy with other projects – the freelancer is the one who pays the price. Enter Contract Creator- log in through our website to try out **our incredibly valuable (free!) resource available to members nationwide to help prevent client nonpayment. ** While we wait for the legislation to become law, you can protect yourself and put some of the fun back into your freelance gigs. **The contract you create will be your most important shield in your fight to get paid. **Clients will also see you as a complete professional which they will have to treat with respectful, “playing by the rules” business behavior. Contracts are great because everything is spelled out. No more guesswork. The client puts in writing what they expect from you and more importantly, you get to put in writing what you expect from them, including that all-important timely payment schedule. Other crucially important items in a contract can include scope of work, and spelling out how potential disputes will be resolved. With everything in writing and all terms agreed upon by client and freelancers, clients can’t change things in mid-stream, such as what expenses they will or won’t cover. That’s why the payments section in Contract Creator is so important. You can specify your fee, the payment schedule, what expenses you expect to have covered, and what the late payment penalty will be for clients. No more “the check is in the mail” or “How about a post-dated check?” They either pay you on time or they pay late fees. It’s as simple as that. Besides giving you a way to protect your bottom line, contracts can level the playing field between you and your client, while protecting both teams. Some of you no doubt have been put in a “take it or leave it” position, where the client offers you their contract that you have to sign or you lose the assignment. **Having your own contract puts you on a more equal footing with the client, **and at the very least gives you a very firm foundation from which you can negotiate a fair rate. And finally, contracts equal R-E-S-P-E-C-T. By having a contract, you are telling the client that you take your freelancing career as seriously as a full-time employee does theirs in the modern workplace. So, we urge all of you to use Contract Creator, to protect yourself and your career. And after you’ve created your new contract, the next step is to take it to your client. Check back at the blog soon for invaluable tips about how to be a fair but very firm negotiator during this interaction. Once you’re finished with our tips, your clients will look and act like warm and fuzzy pussycats. Until next time, good luck with Contract Creator and your upcoming assignments. If you’ve already used Contract Creator, what was your favorite part? If you haven’t tested it out yet- what’s stopping you?! Suzanne Surbeck is a freelance writer living in New York City and a dedicated Freelancers Union member. She has been published by Google News, Allvoices.com, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and The Christian Science Monitor, among others.
As independent business owners, we’ve all heard how important it is to keep a blog and to develop our “online personality.” And the best way to convey that personality? Through your unique and compelling writing style, of course!This minute-long video from freelance writer Cat Agonis probably won’t turn you into Seth Godin, but it will give you 3 easy ways to make your content more shareable and authentic. It’s part of our new Tips from Freelancers video series, where we celebrate the unique expertise of our members.Cat Agonis is the author of Chicken on the Hudson and writes for newtalkcitymag.com. Thanks for the tips, Cat!Have tips you want to share with our audience? Get in touch at lvanthoen [at] freelancersunion.org.
by Katherine HamillClients’ deadlines are a freelancer’s bane – and blessing. They’re stress-inducing, but they can also force you to be productive when you’d otherwise be inclined to put things off.But what happens when you have to set your own deadlines? If you’ve ever tried to write a novel, finish a painting, or put the final tweaks on your personal website, you know that it can be easy to put off doing your own work indefinitely.With that in mind, here are 4 simple ways to set and keep self-imposed deadlines, even when you get busy.1. Build in a rewards systemEver try to convince a toddler to pick up his/her toys? Bribes. Bribes are key. The same is true for your inner child; positivity and small rewards goes a long way.Freelance writer Bethany Bryan (check out her very funny stuff here), like so many of us, builds in tiny kickbacks along the way:“I try to give myself words of encouragement like, ‘Hey, you. We’re gonna do this today. Does that sound all right? Would it help if I offered you a brownie first?’ Then, I surprise myself by doing stuff.”2. Alternately, build in a punishment systemYes, okay, this is extreme – but it’s necessary for the world-class procrastinators among us. And research shows that punishment can motivate more than rewards.Whenever I’m trying to finish a project that I’ve put off for the umpteenth time, I write a post-dated check to my no-nonsense friend. If I don’t send her a draft by the set date, she gets to cash it. Yikes.If you don’t have a friend you trust to lay down the law, try motivational website stickK, which allows you to bet money that you’ll reach your goal. If you don’t achieve the goal, that money goes to a cause you support – or a cause you DON’T support (i.e. a politician you loathe, a group you can’t stand). It’s the ultimate motivational ‘nuclear option’.3. Make sure your deadlines are realisticTrying to do too much, too fast is setting yourself up to fail – and that leads to even more procrastination. Think, first, of how fast you could ever realistically finish your project; then think of how slowly you fear it could go. Pick a deadline that falls somewhere in the messy middle. Then, set online reminders to give you a poke now and then.4. Be accountable to othersAs support groups have known for years, people are more likely to accomplish goals when they’re exposed to a bit of peer pressure. Look into joining a creative community, such as a shared working space or writers’ group; you’ll be surprised by how motivated you become. Try Give it 100!If no existing group strikes your fancy, contact a friend about being ‘accountability partners’ – write down lists of goals and check in weekly to see how each of you is progressing. If you’re looking for someone in your field, consider checking out one of our Freelance 360 events to find new collaborators.If all else fails, announce your self-imposed deadlines on social media. Once they’re out in the world, you’ll be much more motivated to finish on time.5. Break it downMany freelancers follow the 45/15 or 40/20 rule – 40-45 minutes of work for every 15-20 minutes of procrastination or creative work. It doesn’t matter what the structure is, as long as you build in some breaks.Says Bryan, “I like to reward myself for two hours of work-work with 20 minutes of ‘fun’ work. Or I write when I wake up in the morning before it’s time for my day job to start.”Ultimately, overcoming procrastination is its own reward – nothing feels better than getting your work done. These are just tips to get you on the right path!What about you – how do you keep your self-imposed deadlines?
“A huge vocabulary is not always an advantage. Simple language…can be more effective than complex language, which can lead to stiltedness or suggest dishonesty.”- John Gardner, The Art of FictionI’ll never forget the first (and probably most formative) feedback I ever got on my professional non-fiction writing work. I was all of 23 years old, and convinced that I was Terribly Grown-Up and Clever. Wayyyy overconfident about my abilities, I turned in my piece after one pass (no spell-check for me, thankssomuch) and waited for the plaudits to roll in.The piece came winging back to me in twenty minutes. On it, were a considerable amount of glaring red edits – and one comment:“Don’t bury the lede.”(In retrospect, I also should have used spell check.)That first comment – “don’t bury the lede” – has become valuable advice for almost any non-fiction bit of writing I do. While I don’t work in journalism, I often find myself following the principles of good lede construction for blog posts, essays, copy, and even some fiction. If you know what your lede is, you know what the spine of your work is – and that’s well worth uncovering.What the heck is a lede?A term most often used by journalists, the lede is the first paragraph of any news story. “Burying the lede” means that a journalist is neglecting to include the most interesting (or newsworthy) information within the introductory paragraph.Now (as you can see from my posts’ tendency to meander philosophically) I’m not a strict adherent to this journalistic standard. Ledes are meant to capture a news reader’s very limited attention quickly, allowing you to skim. But I think the principles involved in constructing a good lede are helpful for writers working in almost any non-fiction medium.Good ledes 1.) effectively communicate the main idea of a story and 2.) capture readers’ attention– and most importantly, they accomplish both objectives in as few words as possible.When my work begins to get too ornate, I try to return to the principles of lede construction. As I write, I try to ask myself:What’s the most important thing I want to say?Who do I want to say it to?Why am I saying it (or: why does anyone care? Why do I care?)How can I say it more clearly? What can I cut?Using the principles of good lede construction to pare down my writing helps me to become simpler and more direct. If I lose some would-be cleverness along the way, it’s probably for the best. It’s easy for me to hide in elaborate metaphors or tricks; zeroing in on solid, plain language almost always improves my work!The principles of creating a good lede aren’t perfect (and heaven knows I don’t always follow them perfectly), but they’re helpful when trying to find the core of your piece. Dig that lede up, dust it off, bring it back to life – your work liiiiiives!Want more like this? Join Freelancers Union and never miss a post.
Jonny Bairstow smashed a career-best unbeaten 141 and Jason Roy hit 96 as England thrashed West Indies by nine wickets in Southampton to complete a 4-0 series rout on Friday.The build up to the match had been dominated by the international suspension of all rounder Ben Stokes and opener Alex Hales after the pair were involved in an altercation outside a Bristol nightclub but the off-pitch events failed to distract England from trouncing West Indies.After spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid restricted the visitors to 288-6, Bairstow completed his century from 90 balls having shared an opening stand of 156 with Roy.With Joe Root contributing 46, England secured their 11th win of their last 13 completed matches.Reuters Photo Bairstow’s knock, which included 17 fours, was the highest by an England player against West Indies in one dayers, eclipsing Marcus Trescothick’s 130 in 2004.Roy, who was drafted in for the last two one-dayers to replace Hales, made the most of his recall as he scored his second successive fifty.Roy notched up 11 fours and a six as a rampant England raced to 100 runs within 15 overs before he was dismissed lbw by pace bowler Miguel Cummins just four short of a century.Root belted a six down the ground to secure victory as England finished on 294 for one with 12 overs remaining.”I’m pretty pleased. It’s nice to finish a long summer with some runs and head into the winter with confidence. You wait a long time for a first hundred and when it comes you want to capitalise,” said man-of-the-match Bairstow.advertisement
The overdose of India playing the same opposition in Sri Lanka twice in three months, which might drive the cricket fans away, needs to be analysed, skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.India played the Sri Lankans in their own lair in July-August winning 9-0 across all formats. The same team will again take on the men in blue in India over three Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals. The first rubber starts from Thursday here at the Eden Gardens.Asked if this overdose of playing the same opposition again might distract the fans and result in empty stadiums, Kohli said: “I don’t know that. This analysis has to be done by fans who watch the game because someone watching the game is very different from being involved in the game.”For us, there is no rule of complacency or saying that I don’t want to play this game. There is no room for that. We are at our absolute top intensity all the time. This question will be better answered by the fans who watch the game.”Kohli added that while it is not a problem for the players as they play with the same intensity, a balance needs to be maintained between engaging fans and keeping the game exciting and competitive.”If there is too much cricket being played or there is a repetition of same series happening or not, for us, as I said, playing cricket for the country and we do what we are presented with every time.advertisement”This analysis can be done. This definitely needs to be taken into consideration because you don’t want the fans going away from the game. We have to maintain a balance of how to engage fans and at the same time how to keep players fresh and keep cricket exciting and competitive with so much cricket going around throughout the year. That point definitely will be discussed in future,” Kohli said.Kohli made it clear once again that the Indian team will not approach the upcoming Test series in a different manner just because they had whitewashed the visitors.The Indian captain stressed on the fact that they want to maintain their consistency as a team and will take on Sri Lanka like they would have done any other team.”Every match you play is important and every series is huge. It’s not like we lose this series and you guys are not going to say nothing to us. So, everything is important when you play for the country and we don’t like to differentiate. We simply want to do well as a team,” he said.”Whatever the conditions we play at, whatever combinations we need to play, we do that accordingly. Keeping in mind that winning is the most important thing and for that everyone is on the same page whether we play in India or away from India,” Kohli said.India have not lost a Test series at home since the 2012 series reversal to England.”We have so much cricket now it’s all about good preparation and keeping our energy levels up. Also making sure that we have quality practice. Not necessarily go for quantity which can lead to bad habits. When you are playing well and you are in a good zone, you overpractice and that can lead to the mindset going off.”We have to maintain the balance and we have done really well so far in maintaining that balance,” Kohli said.India tour South Africa right after this series and Kohli said they would want to carry forward the momentum by winning here.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is ready to sign at contract extension with the club. Thibaut Courtois, who broke into Chelsea F.C. team in 2014, has been linked with a move to join La Liga giants Real Madrid.However he said negotiations over a new deal with the Premier League champions are imminent and all being well he will put pen to paper.”We agreed to meet again in February because the club had more urgent issues to deal with in January. There’s no rush, I am under contract until 2019. Normally, there’s no problem and I will extend,” he told Belgian publication Sport Foot Magazine.”I am happy here and I can see we’re heading in the right direction, looking to win many more titles. The signs are positive. Their desire to also tie Eden Hazard down reassures me too,” he added referring to his Belgium team mate.The news is a boost for Chelsea following a turbulent period on and off the pitch, with two heavy league defeats (3-0 at home to Bournemouth and 4-1 at Watford) increasing speculation over the future of coach Antonio Conte and his key players.Courtois, 25, spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea between 2011 and 2014. The 25-year-old has two young children from a previous relationship who live in Madrid and he regularly visits the Spanish capital.”It’s well known my personal situation is connected to the city of Madrid. My two children live there with their mother,” he said.”As a situation, it’s not always easy. My heart is in Madrid; it’s logical and understandable. One day I’ll return to Madrid. I love Spain, I loved that city, I spent three wonderful years there.advertisement”If Real are interested, they have to contact Chelsea. We’ll see, but they have never done so. If they’re really interested, my personal situation could affect it. The family aspect is priceless. But I repeat, for the moment I’m busy talking to Chelsea to extend.”(Courtesy: Reuters)