relaxing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2209/all en-US 23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_beach_000060463902.jpg" alt="Woman finding relaxing ways to enjoy kid&#039;s first day of school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hear that sound, moms and dads? It's the silence you've been craving &mdash; oh, I don't know &mdash; since about 72 hours into your kids' summer vacation. What to do, what to do? You probably already have your time-to-relax schedule all planned out for the first day back to school, but if you've been slacking in that regard, here are a few ideas to make the most of your well-deserved downtime.</p> <h2>1. Hit the Beach (If You're Near One)</h2> <p>I live on the Jersey Shore and the days to enjoy an afternoon on the beach are dwindling. If you're in a beach town (or near one), get out there and enjoy the sand and surf before the chilly weather starts to roll in.</p> <h2>2. Take Yourself Out to Lunch</h2> <p>Like an adult lunch. No grilled sandwiches or ramen or Tyson chicken whatever &mdash; you know, the stuff the kids ate all summer and you nibbled on because you didn't feel like making a separate meal. Put your good pants on and have a proper lunch containing real food.</p> <h2>3. Go Back-to-School Shopping for Yourself</h2> <p>Don't you think it's just a bit unfair that you spend all that money on back-to-school clothing and accessories for the kids &mdash; because they haaaaave to have it! &mdash; and you walk away with nothing? Nope, not on my watch. Head to your favorite store and pick up something new. If you need justification for your purchase &mdash; besides the fact that you've kept the little beggars alive and well for this long &mdash; think of it as something you need for an upcoming PTA meeting, parents' night, or (most likely) a cocktail party.</p> <h2>4. Finish an Open Project</h2> <p>Everybody has something around the house that they meant to finish, but got sidetracked and forgot about. Get after it!</p> <h2>5. Meet Your Friends for Coffee (Or an Adult Bev!)</h2> <p>I mean, sure, if coffee's your thing, that's what you should order. But if you're trying to celebrate your nine-to-three freedom properly, you better make it Irish. And so you're not sipping alone, invite along a few friends.</p> <h2>6. Go to the Cinema and Catch a Movie</h2> <p>You've undoubtedly been to the movies this summer, but it was probably to see a flick about little talking Twinkies, superheroes, or dinosaurs. If there's a more &mdash; ahem &mdash; grown-up movie you've been meaning to watch, today's your day.</p> <h2>7. Crack Open That Book You've Been Meaning to Read (Finally!)</h2> <p>You brought that book everywhere you went this summer with every intention of reading it and then starting its sequel. But you never go to it because somebody was always screaming your name for mostly unimportant things that they could do themselves. Sound familiar? Now's your chance to get lost in literature &mdash; at least until mid-afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Relax on the Couch and Catch Up on Your DVR</h2> <p>Heck, even without kids, watching a ton of TV isn't something many of us do in the summer. So I know all you parents out there haven't had time to catch up on your DVR since about the third week of June. Find out what's up with your favorite characters and make some room for the new fall schedule.</p> <h2>9. Bake &mdash; Then Indulge</h2> <p>I like to bake because the end result is so delicious. If I'm baking for one to soothe my sweet tooth, I usually pick up prepared cookie dough, pop it in the oven, and stuff my face with the whole lot of the ooey-gooey confections. Along with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. And absolutely no shame. NO SHAME!</p> <h2>10. Get Intimate if You're Both Home</h2> <p>You don't need instructions for this. It's how you got into this situation in the first place. But it's still nice to have some alone time without somebody barging in.</p> <h2>11. Nap!</h2> <p>...Naaaaaaaaap!</p> <h2>12. Work Around the Yard</h2> <p>For some people, gardening is a great way to relax and think and let their mind wander. If you keep a garden, harvest some of the produce, or, since fall is just around the corner, tidy up your space a bit so raking and bagging isn't such a daunting task in a few weeks.</p> <h2>13. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>To wherever you want &mdash; around the neighborhood, downtown, to the park. Just get movin'.</p> <h2>14. Participate in a Class at the Gym</h2> <p>I love my gym classes. I never consider them a chore because they're totally fun. If you haven't checked in to any of the classes your gym offers, do it now. You could find yourself a new hobby.</p> <h2>15. Treat Yourself to a Salon or Spa Service</h2> <p>Get your hair or nails done. Schedule a massage. Kick back in the steam room and sauna. Let your cares drift away until you have to snap back to reality.</p> <h2>16. Hang Out at Your Local Library or Coffee Shop</h2> <p>I find both of these places equally relaxing. I usually take a few of my neglected magazines and sink into one of the comfy chairs for a few hours while I unwind.</p> <h2>17. Mediate/Do Nothing at All</h2> <p>I don't really know how to meditate &mdash; I mean, besides sitting with my legs crossed and chanting 'Om' (which doesn't appeal to me). However, as a former college student, I know how to do nothing at all quite well. I consider myself an English major with a concentration in Sitting and Staring at the Sky, as it were. Nonetheless, either of these activities could work for you, and I'll only look at you strangely for one of them.</p> <h2>18. Practice Your Yoga Skills</h2> <p>There are plenty of online yoga resources that you can watch so you don't even have to leave your house. Or you can find a class in your area (perhaps even at your gym for free) if you need a change of scenery. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes?ref=seealso">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Take the Dog to the Park</h2> <p>You know who's just as happy that your kids are back in school? The dog. He can finally get back to his eat-sleep-sleep-eat schedule without as many interruptions. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't like a leisurely afternoon with his buddies first. Plan a date to the dog park to exercise your favorite friend while enjoying the pleasant weather and other pooches.</p> <h2>20. Pack a Picnic and Find a Nice Space Outside</h2> <p>There's no rule that picnics can't be by yourself. In fact, some of the best picnics I've attended have only had one guest &mdash; me! Pack up some of your favorites foods, bring a blanket and some reading material, and lay back and watch the world pass you by.</p> <h2>21. Drift Away in a Long, Hot Bath</h2> <p>Candles and a glass of wine are just as appropriate for a long, hot bath at 11 a.m. as they are at 11 p.m. Plus, nobody's around to judge you. Enjoy it while you can.</p> <h2>22. Pump Up the Jams and Dance Around the House</h2> <p>This summer has produced a few hot bangers that I like to shake my thang to. Turn up your Spotify and let loose in your living room. If you've never done this before, step outside your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did.</p> <h2>23. Run Away and Never Look Back</h2> <p>Or just daydream about it. You know they wouldn't last a day without you.</p> <p><em>How will you relax and enjoy your kids' first day back to school? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle back-to-school downtime kids parenting relaxing rest summer vacation Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:00:30 +0000 Mikey Rox 1532897 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Do You Relax After a Long Day? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-relax-after-a-long-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-relax-after-a-long-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-200389470-001.jpg" alt="couple on hammock" title="couple on hammock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-relax-after-a-long-day#comment-748494">Kim</a>, Liz, and Kelli for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>For most of us, our days are filled with timers, to-do lists, and requests or demands from people all around. It's important to take some time for ourselves and relax, especially at the end of a stressful day.</p> <p><strong>How do you relax after a long day?</strong> Do you have any nightly rituals that help you unwind? Do you prefer to spend this time with others or by yourself?</p> <p>Tell us how you relax after a long day and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rc-79857d98" class="rafl" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d98/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a></p> <script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 19th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 19th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you relax after a long day and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-relax-after-a-long-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your Budget?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-would-you-balance-americas-budget">Ask the Readers: How Would You Balance America&#039;s Budget?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-i-used-to-but-now-i">Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers relaxing Tue, 13 May 2014 09:12:36 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1139097 at http://www.wisebread.com The Time Management Problem Most of Us Have — and How to Fix It http://www.wisebread.com/the-time-management-problem-most-of-us-have-and-how-to-fix-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-time-management-problem-most-of-us-have-and-how-to-fix-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-1165160-small.jpg" alt="relaxing" title="relaxing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p style="font-size: 13px;">You're up to your eyeballs. Everybody wants a piece of you. You don't have time to think, eat, or sleep properly. Everything is a rush. You probably don't even have time to read this article, but you're drawn to it, despite yourself. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free Ways to Relieve Stress</a>)</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">&quot;Stop the bus! I wanna get off.&quot;</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Does this sound like you? If it does, you're probably among the masses who are over-committed and wondering how to dig yourself out. But before we start digging, let's take a look at the trap you've fallen into.</p> <h2>Pitfalls of Over-Committing</h2> <p style="font-size: 13px;">We live in a fast-paced world, one with more opportunities and obligations than time. In many cases, over-committing is borne of enthusiasm. But it ends up doing more damage than good.</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">The pitfalls of over-committing are plentiful, affecting:</p> <ul style="font-size: 13px;"> <li>Concentration<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Diet (too much, not enough, or the wrong stuff)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Substance reliance (alcohol, drugs, even medication)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sleep<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mood<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Health</li> </ul> <p style="font-size: 13px;">These pitfalls of over-committing, in turn, create a vicious circle that worsens everything, creates more stress, and makes it harder to get out of the commitment hole you're in.</p> <h2>Getting Out of the Commitment Hole</h2> <p style="font-size: 13px;">&quot;Great,&quot; you say. &quot;I'm stuck in the swirling eddy of over-commitment. Now what?&quot;</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">It's time to dig yourself out. Here's how to begin.</p> <h3>Accept Responsibility</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">This is a tough nut to swallow, since it may appear that we're simply reacting to the hand life has dealt us. But ultimately it boils down to you. Once you accept responsibility for getting yourself into this bind, you can also assume the power to get yourself out. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits?ref=seealso">How to Break Bad Habits</a>)</p> <h3>Let Go of Perfection</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Become a recovering perfectionist. Although it's commendable to give your all (and then some) to everything you commit to, rarely is it expected &mdash; or even appreciated. Sometimes, good enough is just that &mdash; good enough.</p> <h3>Breathe and Keep Perspective</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">It's simple, but effective. When overwhelmed by your workload, close your eyes and take three deep breaths, remembering that nothing lasts forever. You'll get through this busy time, and hopefully you'll use the techniques below to not let yourself get this mired in commitments again.</p> <h3>Prioritize</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Write down your commitments and prioritize them. Sometimes, in simply writing down your obligations, you'll gain perspective.</p> <h3>Make Lists</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Take pleasure in crossing things off your list. But be warned: Sometimes the top priorities on your list are also the most onerous, so instead you tackle the little things first. Although this gives you an initial sense of accomplishment, there will always be new little things added to your list; get those big things out of the way.</p> <h3>Ask for Help</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Delegate! You may be the best person for the job, but you're a recovering perfectionist now, so let it go. Somebody else can do it, and you're not weak by asking for help. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-delegate-at-work-and-at-home-in-4-easy-steps?ref=seealso">How to Delegate</a>)</p> <h3>Don't Worry</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">It's so much easier said than done. The more energy you expend worrying, the less you have to get through your commitments. Just breathe, and focus on the next item on your priority list.</p> <h3>Sleep</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">The more rested you are, the more perspective you'll have on your situation and your commitments.</p> <h2>How to Stop Over-Committing</h2> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Once you're out of the commitment hole, use these techniques to ensure you don't end up back in it.</p> <h3>Learn to Say No</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Remember that note above about accepting responsibility for over-committing? You're responsible for over-committing because you didn't say &quot;no&quot; to too many requests on your time and energy. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family?ref=seealso">How to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a>)</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">I recently had an amazing job offer in Peru that would give me&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/travel-tips-resources/get-free-accommodation-around-world/">free accommodation</a>&nbsp;for a mere two days per week of work. But my freelance writing obligations are also a full-time job, which means I would have been working seven days a week, without time to actually experience Peru. This seemed like a crime to me, but learning to say no to this job was one of the most difficult &mdash; yet cathartic &mdash; things I've done. (Instead, I paid my way in Peru, in essence buying the free time I so badly needed and deserved.)</p> <h3>Evaluate Opportunities and Commitments</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Once you're comfortable with saying no, you can evaluate opportunities to choose what to accept (and decline). Ask yourself these questions:</p> <ul style="font-size: 13px;"> <li>How will I benefit from this opportunity?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What is the cost? (Will you pay a price in money, or time, or at the expense of family, exercise, work, or something else?)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How much time will it take? (Don't forget travel time and other related obligations.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If I will profit from this, what is the value of my time? (Work out how much money you would make per hour for this commitment.)</li> </ul> <h3>Face Your Fears</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Why have you over-committed in the past? Are you afraid of disappointing somebody? Losing your job? Not making enough money? Missing out on a good time? (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear?ref=seealso">9 Techniques to Conquer Any Fear</a>)</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Before I sold everything to travel full-time (in 2007), I was the poster-child for over-commitment. I had a busy financial planning practice; I was a Rotarian and a Toastmaster; I was acting in film and television, and performing in musical theater; and I was rock climbing, motorcycle racing, and more. I had over-committed myself to all these amazing opportunities because I was trying to quell my inner voice which said &quot;Nora, you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. There's something else out there for you.&quot; Every time I heard it, I added something new to my repertoire hoping it would satisfy the inner voice.</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">But along with that inner voice was a knowledge that the &quot;something else&quot; out there for me involved a lifestyle change &mdash; and I was afraid. I ultimately paid the price for over-committing and not facing my fears with my health &mdash; which became the tipping point to my making the lifestyle changes necessary to recapture my dreams.</p> <h3>Believe Less Is More</h3> <p style="font-size: 13px;">We live in a world of opportunity and abundance. Although the temptation of all the amazing things we can see/do/be is alluring, life balance and managing our expectations is much more rewarding. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance?ref=seealso">The Secret to Time Management and Work-Life Balance</a>.)</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">It has been shown many times over that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156028/">meditation is good for us</a>&nbsp;&mdash; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Why then is it so hard to do? Because it looks unproductive! We're thinking about nothing, going nowhere, and accomplishing nothing. Or so it appears.</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Instead, meditation (this act of doing less) gives us more, by helping us stay healthy, and giving us perspective, patience, and the ability to evaluate and manage our daily commitments &mdash; hopefully without over-committing.</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;">Although you don't necessarily need to take up meditation, look at it as an example of how less is more, and how we can enjoy life so much more, by filling it with less.</p> <p style="font-size: 13px;"><em>Are you an over-committer? How do you plan to stop?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-time-management-problem-most-of-us-have-and-how-to-fix-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-single-greatest-key-to-managing-your-time">The Single Greatest Key to Managing Your Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-productivity-killers-you-need-to-stop-doing-today">10 Dumb Little Productivity Killers You Need to Stop Doing Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-a-time-budget-and-how-to-create-it">Why You Need a Time Budget — and How to Create It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World&#039;s Busiest People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity over-committing productivity relaxing time management Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:48:16 +0000 Nora Dunn 1133960 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Stay Grounded Even When Super Busy http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-stay-grounded-even-when-super-busy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-stay-grounded-even-when-super-busy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/54360777_cc2cbb1463_z.jpg" alt="busy" title="busy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you find that you're still clutching your phone at the end of the day checking for emails and texts, then it's time to take a deep breath and get grounded. When you're overly preoccupied with work or social networking, you are more apt to miss out on what really matters: friends, family, and taking care of yourself. Here are a few simple ways to stay grounded even when you have a stacked schedule.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Take-Mind-Off-Work-18502206">RELATED:&nbsp;How to:&nbsp;Stop&nbsp;Thinking About Work on the Weekends</a></p> <h2>Walk to Work</h2> <p>Head outdoors and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Take-Nature-Break-Work-26934453/">spend time with nature</a>. Walk to work or park a little farther than usual and enjoy a brisk stroll. Even if you're walking on a busy city street, being outdoors helps keep you grounded. Listen to the sounds around you, smile at strangers, and take a few deep, cleansing breaths.</p> <h2>Observe Your Thoughts</h2> <p>Spend a few moments sitting quietly with your eyes closed, and observe your thoughts. Focus on what you're thinking about, and remind yourself that it's OK to take a few minutes for yourself. Staying in tune with yourself keeps you on top of negative emotions and stress.</p> <h2>Eat Healthy</h2> <p>Picking up meals on the run seems like the best way to sneak in a bite to eat during a busy day, but fast food doesn't do your body good. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables keeps you connected to the Earth and nature and in tip-top shape mentally and physically.</p> <h2>Enjoy a Long Foot Soak</h2> <p>At the end of a busy day, put down your phone and soak your feet in a hot bath. A few moments of silent relaxation will help you stay in touch with yourself.</p> <h2>Home Garden</h2> <p>Pick up a few small plants and start a home garden. Tending to plants, getting your hands dirty, and spending time with nature help keep the body and mind grounded even during busy times. And plants create clean air, making a small plant perfect for the office.</p> <h2>Stick With Routines</h2> <p>Stay on course with basic routines to cut back on stress. If what makes your morning perfect is having a quick cup of coffee at your favorite cafe before heading to the office, then make the time to stick with it by waking up earlier, ensuring the rest of the day goes as planned. Allotting time in your busy schedule for personal indulgences is just the thing for taming busy days.</p> <h2>Keep Your Space Clean</h2> <p>Messes clutter the home and mind, so having clean spaces is essential for staying grounded and on task. Toss the trash for a clean work and living space.</p> <h2>Volunteer</h2> <p>Make the time to help others by volunteering. Even if it's only once a year at your local soup kitchen, spending time helping others reminds you of your blessings while making personal connections with those around you.</p> <h2>Explore a Hobby</h2> <p>Put down your phone and pick up a hobby. Start knitting, try your hand at watercolor painting, or get your girlfriends on board for a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Hosting-Magazine-Article-Club-28472320/">magazine article club</a>. Spending time exploring a hobby gives your busy brain something else to think about and hones new skills.</p> <h2>Spend Time by Yourself</h2> <p>Enjoy a bit of &quot;me&quot; time, and tune out. Chose not to get caught up in all the drama, giving you the opportunity to slow down. You'll be surprised at how much you observe around you when you're not caught up in social networking.</p> <h2>Say No</h2> <p>When you're tapped, learn how to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Politely-Decline-Holiday-Party-Invite-25911654/">say no</a>, creating the time to focus on what's important. Gracefully turning down invitations to special events, gatherings, or groups opens up time for focusing on yourself.</p> <h2>Be Gracious</h2> <p>Make a list of all the things you are grateful for, and tuck it in your pocketbook to remind you what you find important in life. Take the time to be gracious, making eye contact when talking with others, thanking people with kind words, and giving genuine compliments.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Being busy is stressful enough, but all too often, stress begets stress. Stay calm and sane even when you&#039;re busy with these tips. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img width="300" height="95" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Have-Good-Day-21987023">10 Ways to Make a Good&nbsp;Day More Likely<br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Relaxation-Ideas-28158788">You Deserve It: 10 Ideas for Taking a Mental Health Day</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Lisa-Ling-House-Photos-Tips-Peaceful-Home-26949318">Lisa Ling: 5 Ways to Make Your Home a Peaceful Oasis</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-stay-grounded-even-when-super-busy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-clear-your-mind">8 Simple Ways to Clear Your Mind</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-manage-powerful-emotions">6 Ways to Manage Powerful Emotions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tactics-for-relieving-work-related-stress">5 Tactics for Relieving Work-Related Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-good-manners-make-you-wealthier">5 Ways Good Manners Make You Wealthier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development busy lifestyle calm relaxing Fri, 22 Mar 2013 10:36:35 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 971438 at http://www.wisebread.com The Joy of Disconnecting http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-disconnecting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-joy-of-disconnecting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6993599872_9e75b43870_z.jpg" alt="smartphone" title="smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;ve heard the horror stories in the news &mdash; &ldquo;Teen Racks Up Multi-Thousand Dollar Phone Bill&rdquo; or &ldquo;Video Game Enthusiast Dies in 24+ Hour Gaming Marathon.&rdquo; Of course these are extreme examples, but the fact remains that we are obsessed with our technological devices. From phones and tablets to computers and gaming consoles, those of us living in the Digital Age are practically addicted to our electronics.</p> <p>Indeed &mdash; <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-bootcamp/200907/techno-addicts">an&nbsp;article from Psychology Today</a> points out that when we browse our favorite websites or receive a text message, we get a boost of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical is responsible for the pleasurable feeling or &ldquo;rush&rdquo; we get, and it inadvertently feeds our addiction to our devices.</p> <p>Some experts argue that this dopamine rush can make an addiction to electronics as powerful as an addiction to alcohol or gambling. Combined with our collective mindset that technology isn&rsquo;t really a bad thing (and thus, not an addiction worth worrying about), this makes the push to disconnect from our devices all the more important.</p> <p>But if your life <em>isn&rsquo;t </em>negatively affected by the constant use of electronic tech, why should you bother using it less? Well, let&rsquo;s examine the joys of disconnecting (and how to do it!). (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-focused-at-work">How to Stay Focused at Work</a>)</p> <h2>Productivity Boost</h2> <p>With the rise of smartphones in the past couple of years, we have acquired the ability to stay connected to both our phone contacts and social media accounts at any hour of the day, almost anywhere in the country. This instantaneousness has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps">made us more impatient</a>, less willing to wait more than a few seconds for something to load or another person to return your message.</p> <p>Not only that, but we&rsquo;ve become more distracted &mdash; One new email! New text! Twitter update! Friend&rsquo;s-name-here posted on your wall! &mdash; and lost a major life skill in the process, the ability to concentrate on a project for a long period of time. In turn, this leads to a significant loss in productivity, where an hour-long task now takes two hours because you paused to text your friend or colleague back and lost track of time once the conversation took off.</p> <p>Disconnecting &mdash; even if just for an hour or two per day to start &mdash; would allow you to get more done in a shorter amount of time, leaving you free to converse with your friends, catch up on news, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">watch TV</a> later.</p> <h2>Road Safety</h2> <p>Speaking of distractions, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymagid/2012/06/10/cdc-study-too-many-teens-text-while-driving/">an&nbsp;article in Forbes</a> points out the dangers of texting while driving (according to a recent CDC study):</p> <ul> <li>In 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Among those killed or injured in the crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injured included cell phone use as the major distraction.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nearly 33% of teenaged drivers nationwide have admitted to texting or emailing while behind the wheel.</li> </ul> <p>There are laws in many states against texting while driving, but just as speeding tickets don&rsquo;t stop people from going well above the speed limit, anti-texting laws aren&rsquo;t particularly effective in stopping people from texting while driving.</p> <p>Again, disconnecting can help prevent more of these tragic accidents (it&rsquo;s as easy as pulling over or waiting until you arrive at your destination to send or read a text).</p> <h2>Self-Reliance vs. Techno-Laziness</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s one thing to start using iPads in classrooms to cut back on textbook costs; it&rsquo;s a whole other thing to allow computers to diminish our critical thinking abilities, both in school and in the workplace. Calculators have been around for years (and now they&rsquo;re pre-installed apps on our smartphones), but that&rsquo;s no excuse to rely completely on technology to do our math for us.</p> <p>Taking a break from tech every once in a while would prevent our society from becoming like those dystopian Hollywood flicks, where robots do everything for us and any glitch in the system leaves humanity in the dark (OK, maybe not that extreme, but the &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what to do&rdquo; panic after a technological failure is undeniably commonplace today).</p> <h2>How to Disconnect</h2> <p>So maybe you&rsquo;re not sold on the idea of ditching your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">phone, laptop, and other electronics</a> (it&rsquo;s okay; neither am I). But making a conscious effort to occasionally turn off your phone (or at least put it on silent &mdash; especially in movie theaters, for the sake of the audience members around you) can do wonders for both your state of mind and daily productivity. While driving, perhaps leave it in the glove compartment so you won&rsquo;t know whether you received a text until you&rsquo;re off the road.</p> <p>For Facebook (or other social media sites) addicts, <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji">StayFocused</a> is an incredible app for temporarily blocking certain websites while you&rsquo;re trying to work on the computer. Using this app means you can&rsquo;t access your favorite websites until the time is up, forcing you to stay focused on the task.</p> <p><em>How do you stay disconnected? Can you think of any other benefits of turning off the tech for a while? Tell us in the comment section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-disconnecting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-signal-5-quick-ways-to-boost-your-cell-phone-reception-updated">No Signal? 6 Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Reception</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals">10 Productivity Tips for IT Professionals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology addictions cell phones distraction relaxing Fri, 10 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 948717 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Tactics for Relieving Work-Related Stress http://www.wisebread.com/5-tactics-for-relieving-work-related-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-tactics-for-relieving-work-related-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/322659230_8cd3cd5c4a_z.jpg" alt="working at desk" title="working at desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While money concerns usually top work stress, time spent in the cubicle and on the clock has a way of grinding away at even the most well-balanced person's gears. If your workplace anxiety and anger require more than <a href="http://www.geeksugar.com/Fun-Stress-Relieving-Bubble-Wrap-Games-7169077">a bubble wrap session</a> try these healthy stress-relieving tactics.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Improve-Your-Work-Life-Balance-23367160">RELATED:&nbsp;Simple Steps to Improve Your Work-Life Balance</a></p> <h3>Decode Your Stressors</h3> <p>How can you combat the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Your-Two-Cents-Whats-Your-Biggest-Stresser-Work-6348952">most significant workplace tension triggers</a>? Start by decoding the elements of your day and the tasks and projects you perform that set off your stress meter and how you can change them. If you're generally content with your position, focus on the positive during moments of dread and actively try to fall back in love with your job.</p> <p>When in doubt, take a walk around the block and consider talking to your manager about changing things up to keep you motivated and growing. If you experience anxiety all day, spend some time thinking about the bigger picture, your career options, and steps you will need to take to make a larger change.</p> <p>Study more of the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Combating-Most-Common-Workplace-Stressors-7514821">most common workplace stressors</a>.</p> <h3>Focus on Your Strengths and What You Do Have</h3> <p>Margaret Wehrenberg, co-author of &quot;The Anxious Brain,&quot; <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/jobs/19career.html/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">has useful advice for how to cope</a> with financial stress and says, &quot;Think about what you&rsquo;ve got in the now. Today you&rsquo;re OK. Focus on what you have instead of what you don&rsquo;t have.&quot;</p> <p>Her suggestion to &quot;worry once and do it well&quot; is perhaps overly optimistic, though conquering anxiety with productivity (like meeting with a financial planner or updating your resume) is always a good idea and a proactive approach to managing finance and career stress can only help.</p> <h3>Clean Off Your Desk</h3> <p>A cluttered desk can clutter your mind. And a dirty desk is even worse. If you feel tensions rising <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Need-Cubicle-Cleanup-7193673">clean off your space and kill a few germs while you cool off</a>.</p> <h3>Find an Inexpensive and Healthy Way to Unwind</h3> <p>Keeping your head clear after a rough day at work isn't easy for anyone. It's crucial to let go of the workday blues when you leave the office by taking time for yourself, but the key is to not rely on retail therapy. Try <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cheap-Ways-De-Stress-After-Work-7345807">SavvySugar readers' favorite tips</a>.</p> <h3>Get Away</h3> <p>Vacations can be <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Travel-Therapy-Prescribes-Trips-Your-Troubles-3103162">effective for clearing your head when the stress of every day becomes overwhelming</a>, and most importantly, they allow you to enjoy life without a schedule. Can't jet to Jamaica on the fly? Take a walk around the block. Plan a no-email Saturday. Schedule in &quot;me&quot; time.</p> <h3>What's Your Work-Related Stress Relief Tip?</h3> <p>We all have our own way of fighting through the stress. What's your surefire cure?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don&#039;t let on-the-job stress ruin your day. Instead, follow these tips to help remain calm, centered, and happy, no matter what work throws at you. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-De-Stress-Work-22310420">13 Ways to&nbsp;De-Stress During the Workday</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Buy-Happiness-23647317">How People Are Buying Their Happiness</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Exercise-Busy-Professionals-23464313">Exercise for Busy Professionals</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tactics-for-relieving-work-related-stress">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-stay-grounded-even-when-super-busy">12 Ways to Stay Grounded Even When Super Busy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">The Secret to Time Management and Work-Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-2-boost-income">Getting by without a job, part 2--boost income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Personal Development crappy jobs de-stress hobbies relaxing Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:36:09 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 936404 at http://www.wisebread.com An Unplugged Weekend: 7 Tips To Make It Happen http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen-julie-rains" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/an-unplugged-weekend-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006121440Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit that I have a plugged-in problem. My weakness is working on the weekend in anticipation of a hectic schedule for the upcoming week. As the mom of two teenagers, I have weekdays with lots of interruptions and weeknights full of activities, so weekends offer hours to catch up on projects.</p> <p>Still, I enjoy time unplugged occasionally and know it's impotant to keep grounded. Here are a few tricks I've learned to help me get away.</p> <p><b>Define what unplugged means to you.</b></p> <p>&ldquo;Unplugged&rdquo; means off-the-digital-grid to me. Your definition may be more restrictive (as in no electricity or indoor plumbing) or less (no tweeting or status updates but still tethered to your mobile device).</p> <p>Whatever your thoughts on connectivity, decide what activities to stop, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Checking email;</li> <li>Social media networking;</li> <li>Researching online;</li> <li>Messaging;</li> <li>Responding to telephone calls.</li> </ul> <p><b>Decide how you&rsquo;ll spend your un-tethered time. </b></p> <p>Being unplugged, sadly, has become <i>unnatural</i> for me. So, I have to schedule something that takes me out of the digital loop. Most of my off-the-grid weekends revolve around outdoor adventures, hiking, canoeing, or trail riding in places with no or spotty cell phone coverage.</p> <p>Stepping away from your smart phone may be easy for you, but I&rsquo;m guessing that for most people, changing habits is hard. For your first unplugged weekend, develop a slate of activities so that you won&rsquo;t revert to posting status updates or responding to email inquiries. Eventually, you&rsquo;ll have a new mindset and stay more in touch with your family and friends than professional connections.</p> <p><b>Set expectations for your availability. </b></p> <p>Being available to handle <i>just one</i> problem is a mistake. Last year, I informed a client that I could not help with a project over an offline weekend (planned and anticipated months in advance), only to receive multiple emails asking for help, anyway. Even a short response sends the wrong signal.</p> <p>You too may have discovered that replying too-quickly to digital queries can backfire. Customers, employees, and vendors come to expect immediate gratification; they do not plan appropriately, thinking that you will be available to help if necessary. An email or phone call unanswered within a few hours sends them into a panic. If you&rsquo;ve consistently been &ldquo;on&rdquo; during the weekend, stop responding.</p> <p>To show responsiveness without being chained to work, do not engage over the weekend, but give a prompt answer early in the week, preferably on Monday.</p> <p><b>Decide what to do about loose ends.</b></p> <p>Knowing when to tie up loose ends before the weekend and when to let go <i>temporarily</i> of pending projects has been a dilemma for me. In the past, I have debated about whether to prompt customers for the information needed to finish a project by Friday or set aside the assignment for the next week. My approach has been to avoid these situations by either 1) establishing standard turnaround times for weekdays, holidays, and weekends; or 2) alerting customers that they need to provide me with information before a designated time if they need a project delivered by a certain deadline.</p> <p>You know your customers. Decide upfront how to handle unfinished business to keep their satisfaction.</p> <p><b>Create plans to handle emergencies. </b></p> <p>As a writer, I don&rsquo;t deal with work-related emergencies but realize that many businesses will need protocols to address weekend crises.</p> <p>Define potential scenarios that need immediate action, such as workplace accidents or facility break-ins. Then detail the steps that your employees need to take in order to react appropriately. This approach will likely involve contacting you for certain problems but having to be available during unplugged weekends should be rare.</p> <p><b>Stop feeling anxious.</b></p> <p>Being disconnected can cause anxiety for me, just as constant connection can be agitating.</p> <p>Certainly, a pitfall of disengaging all of Saturday and Sunday is that Monday mornings may be unusually hectic. It seems easier to deal with problems &ndash; throughout the weekend &ndash; as they occur. There may be some weekends that monitoring ecommerce orders, checking emails for client responses, etc. is necessary. Knowing that everything is running smoothly while you're away is calming, especially during your busy season.</p> <p>But having to work <i>most</i> weekends shouldn&rsquo;t mean that you have to work <i>every</i> weekend. Pick your times carefully to avoid worrying about what types of chaos you may encounter on Monday.</p> <p><b>Enjoy.</b></p> <p>Having unplugged weekends can make you more productive during the week. The break from the physical, mental, and emotional effort of work can give you a fresh perspective on business problems. The distance from digital devices can free your mind from drudgery and open possibilities for developing and refining strategies that will set your business apart.</p> <p>But you don&rsquo;t have to be productive at all. Just relax and enjoy being unplugged.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-fund-your-business-without-touching-savings">3 Ways to Fund Your Business Without Touching Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center distraction gadgets relaxing small business unplugging weekend Sun, 10 Apr 2011 22:19:10 +0000 Julie Rains 511553 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Larger Breasts http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-larger-breasts <p><em><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/lav_1.jpg" alt=" " width="388" height="126" /> </em></p> <p>Thanks for the mammaries! </p> <p>I&#39;ve always wanted to say that.</p> <p>Now, in addition to I-must-I-must-I-must-increase-my-bust exercises, push-up bras, and pricey implants, you can increase breast size by stimulating the mammary glands using all natural ingredients: lavender and tea tree oils!<em> </em>Just apply, and presto! Instant gynecomastia.</p> <p><em>Gynecomastia</em> is the sexy term that is applied to breast development... in men. That&#39;s right - it&#39;s science-talk for man-boobs. Gynecomastia can be caused by a number of factors, and isn&#39;t terribly uncommon. It turns out that tea tree and lavender oils, both common ingredients in soaps, bath oils, and all kinds of body lotion, may promote breast development in young boys.</p> <p>This isn&#39;t <a href="http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jan2007/niehs-31.htm">breaking news</a> by any means, but I&#39;m currently researching for a post about aromatherapy, and I keep coming across these articles. Having mentioned it to a friend who hadn&#39;t heard about it (OR the pet food recall), I thought I should post something about it. </p> <p>As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, at least three boys, aged 4 to 10, developed breasts after months-long use of &quot;natural&quot; bath products that contained lavender and tea tree oil. Just like young women during puberty, one of the boys even experienced soreness. According to <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2838840&amp;page=1">ABC News:</a></p> <p class="blockquote">The oils appeared to mimic estrogen and block the male hormone androgen.... On product labels, the oils sometimes are listed by their scientific names: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender oil) and Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil). Such products do not require government approval to be sold unless they make specific health claims.</p> <p>This is interesting given how often lavender is touted as a &quot;relaxing&quot; scent, and even added to bath oils formulated for babies. Tea tree oil has long been used as a disinfectant, and is often pitched as a homeopathic remedy for infections, from scratches to pimples.</p> <p>Apparently, the gynecomastia subsided and the boys&#39; newly blossoming bosoms disappeared after discontinuing use of the product. This is the recommended course of action - actually, I don&#39;t want to start any widespread panic, but perhaps just lay off the lavender/tea tree essentials for a while, yes? I took a course in natural perfumery, which is a whole other load of bunk altogether, but basically, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree were the oils to avoid; they were <strong>that</strong> caustic.</p> <p>No one has yet called for a ban on either of these natural products, and the problem seems to be relatively benign in the long run, unless you count the mental scarring that those poor kids had to go through. Hey, being a kid is difficult enough as it is. Throw boobs into the equation and you&#39;ve got some therapy up ahead.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-larger-breasts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/win-a-burts-bees-essential-body-kit">Win a Burt&#039;s Bees Essential Body Kit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/announcing-the-winner-of-the-burts-bees-essential-body-kit-drawing">Announcing the winner of the Burt&#039;s Bees Essential Body Kit drawing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-primers">The 5 Best Primers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-places-to-buy-inexpensive-natural-beauty-products">24 Places to Buy Inexpensive Natural Beauty Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-makeup-brush-cleaners">The 5 Best Makeup Brush Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary aromatherapy bath products beauty breasts disinfectant lavender lotions relaxing skin care tea tree oil Tue, 20 Mar 2007 06:07:40 +0000 Andrea Karim 373 at http://www.wisebread.com