Productivity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8129/all en-US Ask the Readers: How Do You Fight the Afternoon Slump? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-fight-the-afternoon-slump <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-fight-the-afternoon-slump" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_exhausted_work_665449164.jpg" alt="Woman battling the afternoon slump at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Lauren, April, and Jodi for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Many people start the day high on energy, but when afternoon hits, they feel sleepy, tired, and sluggish. There are a number of ways to avoid it (like getting enough sleep or eating a protein-filled lunch), and to power through it when it strikes (like doing stretches or chewing some spicy gum).</p> <p><strong>How do you fight the afternoon slump?</strong> Is there a method that always works for you &mdash; or a common tip that <em>never</em> works for you?</p> <p>Tell us how you fight the afternoon slump 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> <ul> <li>Follow us on Twitter</li> <li>Follow our Executive Editor Janet Alvarez on Twitter</li> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa324/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa324" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_bsh3p7lv">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, October 16th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. 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 fight the afternoon slump 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-fight-the-afternoon-slump">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/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-are-checks-a-thing-of-the-past-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Are Checks a Thing of the Past? (Chance to win $20!)</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-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</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-to-garage-sale-or-not-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: To Garage Sale or Not? (Chance to win $20)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Productivity afternoon slump Ask the Readers Tue, 10 Oct 2017 08:30:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 2032134 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Simple Time Management Tips That Work http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-time-management-tips-that-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-simple-time-management-tips-that-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_clock_684622576.jpg" alt="Woman learning simple time management tips that work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on simple time management tips that actually work, morning rituals that can relieve anxiety, and ways to enjoy your city on a&nbsp; budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/insanely-simple-time-management-tips-that-actually-work/">Insanely Simple Time Management Tips that Actually Work</a> &mdash; Limit the number of tasks on your to-do list, but be open to approaching them in different ways if something is taking more time than usual. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Morning-Habits-Help-Anxiety-43750639">4 Morning Rituals to Help Relieve Anxiety</a> &mdash; Start your day on a positive note. As soon as you wake up, say one thing you're grateful for. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2017/08/18/15-ways-to-enjoy-your-city-on-a-budget/">15 Ways to Enjoy Your City on a Budget</a> &mdash; Make your way up the tallest building in your city to see your hometown from a different perspective. [Frugal Village]</p> <p><a href="http://wellkeptwallet.com/20-ways-to-make-100-in-a-day/">20 Ways to Make $100 in a Day</a> &mdash; Do one (or more) things on this list if you need cash fast. [Well Kept Wallet]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2017/0815/Amazon-launches-new-service-to-target-impulse-buying">Amazon launches new service to target impulse buying</a> &mdash; Amazon's Instant Pickup, which has been rolled out on several college campuses, allows shoppers to pick up fast-selling items within minutes of ordering. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://blog.conqueryourdebt.org/2017/08/18/eat-healthier-save-money/">Eat Healthier Without Wasting Your Money</a> &mdash; You're more likely to cook at home when you choose simple, cheap meals. [Conquer Your Debt]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.desktime.com/2017/08/14/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-staying-late-at-the-office-and-how-to-make-it-work-for-you/">Should I Stay or Should I Go? &ndash; Tips on Working Overtime</a> &mdash; Make sure your overtime is acknowledged by the people who matter. If no one notices the extra effort you put in, you'll never be rewarded for it. [DeskTime]</p> <p><a href="https://www.fool.com/careers/2017/08/18/10-states-where-graduate-degrees-boost-your-pay-th.aspx">10 States Where Graduate Degrees Boost Your Pay the Most</a> &mdash; Your graduate degree is likely to give you the greatest bump in salary in these ten states. [The Motley Fool]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/finding-new-culture-in-your-own-backyard/">Finding New Culture in Your Own Backyard</a> &mdash; You don't need to travel to a different country to experience another culture. There's probably more culture around you than you notice in your day-to-day life. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.mint.com/minimalist-lifestyle/how-to-make-financial-decisions-like-a-minimalist-081817/">How to Make Financial Decisions Like a Minimalist</a> &mdash; Minimalism can provide the framework you need to make better financial decisions. [MintLife]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-simple-time-management-tips-that-work">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/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</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-save-time-with-batch-processing">10 Ways to Save Time With Batch Processing</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/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</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-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</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-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity best money tips time management Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:31:10 +0000 Amy Lu 2005865 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 46 Easy Ways to Be More Productive http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-46-easy-ways-to-be-more-productive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-46-easy-ways-to-be-more-productive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_happy_516982930.jpg" alt="Woman finding easy ways to be more productive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's incredibly easy to lose focus at work, especially if you wear multiple hats at your company and often have to multitask in order to stay on top of your workload. But with a few simple shifts in mindset, you can become more productive, and a lot less stressed, too!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_working_online_000042174160.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home?ref=fbf">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a> &mdash; Your home has distractions around every corner, so if you work from home, you are constantly trying to resist being pulled away from the work task in front of you. But if you master these tips, you'll be just fine.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals?ref=fbf">10 Productivity Tips for IT Professionals</a> &mdash; When you spend eight or more hours a day looking at a computer screen, it's easy to lose focus. If you work in IT, a few task management apps, software updates, and communication tips could turn a day of distractions into a brilliant work day.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/coffee_break_sign_000068533353.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work?ref=fbf">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work</a> &mdash; Not everyone can be productive for eight straight hours, and according to recent studies, some can only be productive for three of those hours. But once you understand the way you work and when you're most productive, you can harness that energy and become a more efficient employee overall.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you?ref=fbf">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a> &mdash; We could all use a few more apps, am I right? And these productivity apps will help you stay on track during a workday, at the grocery store, or while organizing things at home. Plus, once you become more productive, you can start pursuing your goals with gusto.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/business-470445829.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-rules-of-creating-a-powerfully-productive-workspace?ref=fbf">6 Rules of Creating a Powerfully Productive Workspace</a> &mdash; It's hard to be productive when your desk is a cluttered mess. Your workspace should always remain tidy and organized so you know what needs to be done, and in which order. Besides, clutter leads to stress, and nobody needs more stress.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-productive-ways-to-spend-your-lunch-hour?ref=fbf">The 10 Most Productive Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour</a> &mdash; Your lunch hour is that sacred block of time that's just yours during a workday. However, most of us spend it thinking about all the things we still need to do before the workday ends. Trade those worried thoughts in for meditation, a nap, or a nice walk and you'll come back to work refreshed and ready to rock.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-46-easy-ways-to-be-more-productive">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/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead">How to Say &quot;No&quot; at Work and Still Get Ahead</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/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</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/flashback-friday-59-tips-to-help-you-nail-that-job-interview">Flashback Friday: 59 Tips to Help You Nail That Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity efficient fbf flashback friday more productive productivity stay productive time management Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:30:32 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1919043 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-596344056.jpg" alt="Hearing career advice your younger self would give you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hindsight is 20/20, so there may be a lot you wish you could say to your younger self. However, your younger self may also have some great advice to help you with your career today. Below are some of the top job tips that past you might offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't settle</h2> <p>We all sometimes settle with work and personal matters, but your younger self wouldn't accept so many compromises. If you're long overdue for a promotion, stuck feeling taken advantage of, or simply miserable at your place of work, figure out what you want and what you deserve, and set out to achieve it. You should be happy with where you are in your professional life, not just mindlessly coasting through.</p> <h2>2. Be more aggressive and proactive</h2> <p>Your younger self would want you to stand up for your convictions, be aggressive in your desires, and be proactive about getting what you want. A good place to start is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a>.</p> <h2>3. Follow your passion</h2> <p>As we get older, we sometimes feel compelled to put aside our interests and passions while we address the responsibilities and demands of adulthood. But if we put them aside for too long, we lose ourselves in day to day duties and forget about the things that really drive and excite us. Is this the job or career you really want? Are there classes you can take or communities you can join to pursue your passion? Don't leave it on your back burner any longer.</p> <h2>4. Don't waste time at a job you hate</h2> <p>Your younger self was eager to set out on the career path. You had fire, passion, and determination to succeed in your field. Younger you would have never tolerated riding it out in a job you couldn't stand just for the sake of a paycheck &mdash; so why would you do that now? If you dread work every day, stop wasting your time hating on a soul-sucking job, and start focusing your energy on finding a new one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a>)</p> <h2>5. Don't let money cloud your judgment</h2> <p>You undoubtedly made a lot less money in your younger days, but you likely were okay with making minimum wage back then. As we make more money, lifestyle creep can cloud our assessment of what we need versus what we want. This might cause us to make decisions that keep us unhappy. Take stock of what you have, what you really need, and what you really want out of life.</p> <h2>6. Leave your work at the office</h2> <p>During the earlier days of summer and college jobs, you didn't bring your work home with you. Now, it can be difficult to draw the line between home and work, especially with your smartphone delivering emails and easy access to documents via the cloud. Your younger self would remind you to enjoy your personal time at home, and devote your entire self to work while you're at the office.</p> <h2>7. Take advantage of the weekend</h2> <p>Your younger self probably spent weekends hanging out with friends, relaxing at home, and spending quality time to just recharge and enjoy life. Don't lose sight of that! Weekends exist for a reason &mdash; you aren't a machine. Spend your days off doing something fun instead of worrying about work or fulfilling obligations. Clear your head with a relaxing road trip, take up a new hobby (maybe even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=internal" target="_blank">one that will pay off</a>!), or just sleep in. The weekend is your time to unwind; honor it.</p> <h2>8. Seek out other opportunities</h2> <p>Let's admit it: Some of us lose motivation as we get older. We settle into routines, and never bother to see what good things could be waiting just around the corner. Your younger self jumped at new opportunities, and even sought them out. Put forth the effort to learn a new skill, network with other pros, and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-freelance-gigs-anyone-can-do-to-make-extra-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">take up a side gig</a>. In addition to furthering your career, you could make some extra money, too!</p> <h2>9. Don't fear change</h2> <p>Your younger self didn't fear change. Starting over with a new job, even if it means leaving your old comfortable one behind, can be scary &mdash; but your younger self would have made that leap in an instant to better your life. Or maybe you turned down your dream gig because it required a move to a different city or state. Would your younger self have shunned such a change? Yes, any major change, especially a professional one, can be nerve-wracking. And, these decisions do admittedly get tougher as we get older and put down roots. But never be afraid to try &mdash; you could end up missing out on something great.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">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/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</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-pearls-of-career-wisdom-from-brian-tracy">6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy</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/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</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/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</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-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity advice being proactive career tips jobs motivation procrastinating work younger self Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1914690 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: These Bedtime Tips Will Boost Your Productivity http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-these-bedtime-tips-will-boost-your-productivity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-these-bedtime-tips-will-boost-your-productivity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sleeping_bed_134247841.jpg" alt="Woman using bedtime tips to boost productivity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on bedtime tips to boost daytime productivity, how to save money on health care, and ways to invest in real estate.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Sleep-Hacks-Boost-Productivity-41884167">These 18 Bedtime Tips Will Boost Your Daily Productivity</a> &mdash; A sleep mask can help block out light for better rest. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://www.fivecentnickel.com/how-to-save-money-health-insurance-healthcare-gpt/">How to Save Money on Healthcare</a> &mdash; Take advantage of free screenings that may be offered at community health fairs in your area. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="https://ptmoney.com/ways-to-invest-in-real-estate/">6 Different Ways to Invest in Real Estate (from $10 to $100,000)</a> &mdash; You don't need a ton of money to invest in real estate. Just know that the real power of real estate is in rental income. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/these-amazing-websites-will-teach-you-a-new-skill-even-if-youre-busy/">These Amazing Websites Will Teach You a Great New Skill (Even If You&rsquo;re Busy)</a> &mdash; Don't stop learning! These websites are great for people who want to develop new skills on their own time. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2017/03/23/how-to-keep-home-repair-bills-from-getting-out-of-hand/">How to Keep Home Repair Bills From Getting Out of Hand</a> &mdash; It can be difficult to prioritize preventative maintenance, but it's important to address minor issues before they become major problems. [Frugal Village]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/content/money-tips-for-your-next-road-trip/">Money Tips for Your Next Road Trip</a> &mdash; Have your vehicle checked out before you hit the road. If you have any doubts about your car making it to the end of the trip, consider renting one. [Clever Dude]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2017/03/22/tell-cheap-frugal.html">How To Tell If You Are Cheap Or Frugal</a> &mdash; A cheap person considers cost above all else, while a frugal person things value is most important. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/blog/2017/03/6-ways-create-productive-morning-routine/">6 Ways To Create A Productive Morning Routine</a> &mdash; A productive morning routine will not only help you get things done, it'll nourish your soul, too. [Get Organized Wizard]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/10-ways-to-strengthen-your-love/">10 Ways to Strengthen Your Love</a> &mdash; Show your feelings as often as possible! Keep your love alive with compliments, sweet words, and other little gestures. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-build-an-american-girl-doll-compatible-bed">How to Build an American Girl Doll-Compatible Bed</a> &mdash; American Girl dolls and their accessories can cost a pretty penny, but you can save some money with this DIY bed fit for your child's doll. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-these-bedtime-tips-will-boost-your-productivity">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/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</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-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> <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/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">12 Reasons You Can&#039;t Focus — And How to Fix It Now</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-productive-things-to-do-on-a-rainy-day">25 Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity bedtime best money tips Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1915405 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Deal When You're Way Behind at Work http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_488912550.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to deal when she&#039;s behind at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being overwhelmed and falling behind at work may be a universal phenomenon, but it is possible to get back to a solid footing. If you are drowning in incomplete TPS reports, here are six ways you can improve the situation and get your head back above water.</p> <h2>1. Take 20 Minutes Every Morning to Review and Plan</h2> <p>Truly productive people start their mornings by taking 20 minutes to review their calendars and create their to-do lists for the day. This allows them to be prepared for whatever the day ahead has to offer.</p> <p>This is the sort of habit that often goes out the window as soon as a major work deadline looms large. When you are overwhelmed at work, it can be tempting to jump right in as soon as you get to the office. There are fires to put out and meetings to attend, so you don't have the time to plan out your day.</p> <p>But skipping the 20-minute morning review means you are surprised by plans, meetings, or interim due dates that slip your mind while you're focused on the big project. Make sure your morning starts with a plan so that you can prevent today's small deadline from becoming a major problem tomorrow.</p> <h2>2. Say No to More Work</h2> <p>When it comes to optional work projects, the way to say no is simple, but not easy. It's a matter of getting in the habit of saying &quot;My plate is full right now.&quot;</p> <p>However, the harder issue is when your boss is trying to assign you more work on top of what you are already doing. Pushing back against such an assignment is not simple, and it can feel very uncomfortable.</p> <p>The best way to handle such an addition to your workload is to ask for and provide open communication. Set a meeting with your boss to agree on what your priorities, goals, and objectives are for all of your projects, so it's clear what can and cannot reasonably get done. Request regular progress review meetings so everyone will be clear on what is happening and when. It's important for you and your supervisor to recognize your abilities and limitations and not try to squeeze blood from a turnip.</p> <h2>3. End the Procrastination Cycle</h2> <p>Scientists have found that procrastination has less to do with time than emotion. Chronic procrastinators are often choosing not to start their work because it gives them momentary emotional relief &mdash; but the level of guilt they feel over procrastinating means they are not really improving their emotional state by avoiding the dreaded task.</p> <p>Even the best of us fall victim to procrastination, but chronic procrastinators can find themselves spiraling into an endless procrastination cycle: Putting off a dreaded task makes them feel guilty and ashamed, which causes them to have less cognitive and emotional energy available to be productive, which makes them even less likely to start the task.</p> <p>So how do you end the procrastination cycle?</p> <p>There are two proven methods for interrupting this loop. The first is an <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-9280.00441" target="_blank">external deadline</a>. Knowing that you are beholden to another individual is often enough to force you to just get started in order to meet the deadline. If you can't ask your supervisor for hard deadlines, creating self-imposed deadlines is not as effective, but still better than nothing.</p> <p>The second method of interrupting the procrastination loop is to regard your mood as a fixed state. According to a 2001 study by Dianne Tice, students didn't procrastinate when they were primed to believe <a href="https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination#.WH-4qRsrJPY" target="_blank">their mood was fixed</a> &mdash; but when they thought their mood could change (especially if they thought it could improve), they procrastinated. It can be tough to start your work if you are in a bad mood, but if you just accept that your bad mood is here to stay, you're more likely to roll up your sleeves and get to it.</p> <h2>4. Procrastinate Productively</h2> <p>If you truly feel like you emotionally need to avoid a task that you should be working on, there are far better ways to dodge it than by surfing Facebook. Instead, you should work on another task that may not be as time-sensitive, but still needs to get done.</p> <p>This used to be my favorite way to get homework done in college. When I had a major project due, the days leading up to the due date would often find me working on homework for other classes. This allowed me to feel the emotional relief of procrastination without allowing me to fall into the shame associated with a procrastination cycle.</p> <p>You can also take this habit one step further by creating a <a href="http://ayearofproductivity.com/procrastinate-more-productively/" target="_blank">procrastination list</a>. This idea comes from Chris Bailey, the blogger behind A Year of Productivity. Your procrastination list will include any items you're allowed to work on when you find yourself procrastinating. This will help you to still use your time productively if you procrastinate. Alternatively, if you find that nothing on your procrastination list is appealing, then you are more likely to just get started on the task you'd otherwise avoid.</p> <h2>5. Nip Complaining in the Bud</h2> <p>When you are overwhelmed, it can feel great to complain about your heavy workload to your coworkers, friends, family, and glassy-eyed cashiers who really don't care about your TPS reports. But complaining only offers you momentary relief. If you keep talking about how rough it is, you're likely to make yourself feel even worse about the situation.</p> <p>So if you are tempted to complain about your bozo boss and his unrelenting workload, stop yourself and think about what could be a more constructive use of your conversations. Perhaps you could ask a coworker to help you with a task, or request that your spouse take over school drop-off for the week so you can get to work a few minutes earlier to plan your day. Use your conversations as an opportunity to reduce your sense of being overwhelmed, rather than magnify it by complaining.</p> <h2>6. Get Some Rest</h2> <p>Sleep seems like an easy place to cut back when there are more tasks than hours in the day. But staying up late to finish a project isn't just bad for your health, it's actually counterproductive if you want to get your work done. Not only does lack of sleep make you <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21075236" target="_blank">more easily distracted</a>, which means it will take you longer to get your work done, but fatigue can also hurt your job performance.</p> <p>One of the best things you can do to chip away at your seemingly endless to-do list is protect your sleep time. Don't let work encroach on your rest, or you'll find that both your rest and your work are worse off.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">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/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</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/dont-panic-how-to-meet-a-deadline">Don&#039;t Panic! How to Meet a Deadline</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/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</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/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity behind schedule boredom deadlines falling behind planning procrastinating sleep to-do lists work Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1881551 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_67204101_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="improving his work performance with these free tools" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With tight deadlines and heavy workloads, there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done. If you find yourself constantly pressed for time, your work performance can get impacted. Constant stress at work can cause mistakes and delays. But there are free tools that can help improve productivity, stay organized, and catch errors, and improve your output at work.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster?ref=seealso">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></p> <h2>1. Reduce Typos With Grammarly</h2> <p><a href="http://grammarly.com/">Grammarly</a> is a free grammar checker, more powerful than the standard spell check tools in Word or Outlook. While you can use it to proofread your projects, you can also install the extension so that it will scan your blogs, social media posts, and emails for typos and errors and correct them &mdash; before you send them to your boss (or the public). Unlike other tools, Grammarly uses context clues to identify issues with misused words, such as if you typed &quot;manger&quot; instead of &quot;manager.&quot; It will also highlight grammatical errors, explaining the issues and how to fix them. If you have always struggled with past participles and direct objects, Grammarly is an easy way to get in-the-moment guidance. While there is a premium version that is more detailed, the free option is robust enough to help improve your daily communications.</p> <h2>2. Manage Your To-Do List With Wunderlist</h2> <p>Between work and your home life, juggling errands, tasks and shopping lists can be overwhelming. To-do list apps can help make things simpler. <a href="http://www.wunderlist.com">Wunderlist</a> is a powerful platform that lets you create and share lists, prioritize tasks, and set up reminders for deadlines or recurring projects. It is available on your phone or desktop, so it can be accessed any time, anywhere.</p> <h2>3. Take Notes on the Go With Evernote</h2> <p>If you're the type of person who depends on a notepad and a pen to take notes and stay organized, you know how frustrating it is if you have a great idea and don't have paper in front of you or if you forgot your notes at your desk. <a href="http://www.evernote.com">Evernote</a> is a solution that lets you take notes anywhere. Type reminders to yourself, take a picture of something that inspires you, or save a snapshot of whiteboard drawings to refer to later. The free plan offers 60 MB of storage and can help you manage various projects and long-term plans.</p> <h2>4. Produce Professional Graphics With Canva</h2> <p>Whether you're a social media manager or simply need to make professional looking graphics as part of your job, design software can be prohibitively expensive &mdash; the basic cloud-based version of InDesign alone can cost over $230 &mdash; and cumbersome for new users. <a href="http://www.canva.com">Canva</a> makes it easy to create polished images, even if you have no graphic design training. There are free templates, images, and elements that are fully customizable. Premium content, such as stock photos, can be added for just an additional $1. You can also upload your own images to use to create custom artwork.</p> <h2>5. Simplify Timesheets With Timely</h2> <p>If you need to track billable hours, you know how difficult it can be to manage and reconcile your timesheets. Unlike other tracking platforms, <a href="https://timelyapp.com/">Timely</a> allows you to track hours as you work but also provides a calendar so you can plan ahead. That way, you can compare time you actually spend on a project versus how much time you thought it would take, helping you budget your time more accurately.</p> <h2>6. Manage Emails With Boomerang</h2> <p><a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> can completely change how you handle email and increase your productivity. It allows you to hide emails for a certain amount of time and schedule emails ahead of time. If you're one of those people who just can't ignore an email in your inbox, the hide feature can be useful in helping you focus on your tasks at hand. You can set reminders so that when you do need to address the email, it will flag it for you. By scheduling emails, you can write out notes as you think about them, but plan to send them the next morning or when a coworker is back from vacation, keeping it from getting lost in an overcrowded inbox (or you can make your boss think you work long into the night by scheduling emails at 2:00 a.m.). Boomerang also allows you to set up a follow-up feature, so if you have not received a response, it will notify you and ask if you'd like to send a reminder.</p> <h2>7. Automate Tasks With If This Then That</h2> <p><a href="https://ifttt.com/">If This Then That</a> (IFTTT) is a free service that allows to create &quot;recipes,&quot; or actions in response to specific triggers. For instance, you can set it up so that if someone tags you on Twitter, a private message to that user is automatically generated. Or, if you get a new follower on Facebook, ITTT can establish a recipe which saves a photo of that user for your archives. It can help you manage social media platforms around the clock &mdash; and a whole lot more.</p> <p><em>Do you use any free tools to help with work performance? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">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/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</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-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</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-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</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/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</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/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead">How to Say &quot;No&quot; at Work and Still Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Career Building Productivity apps free free tools jobs productivity tools work work performance Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Kat Tretina 1775077 at http://www.wisebread.com These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_17027432_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="lists can make life better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>List-making is highly utilitarian. But did you know that this primitive practice can also improve your health, jumpstart your motivational juices, and boost your memory? It can achieve a great many feats beyond the simple task of ensuring that you remember to buy all the right groceries during your trip to the market. Here are six tremendously beneficial lists you ought to be incorporating into your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week?ref=seealso">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</a>)</p> <h2>Every Single Amazing Thing You've Ever Seen or Done</h2> <p>Studies show that penning your positive experiences can actually <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205032">improve your health</a>. So why not put this simple science to good use? Your first kiss, your college graduation day, that time you went skydiving over the Pacific Ocean. Not only will jotting down these triumphs and epic adventures help you to feel better physically, you'll also get a jolt of excitement just thinking about them.</p> <h2>One Enormous To-Do List</h2> <p>It may seem daunting. All those unfinished tasks staring you back in the face might even stir up a wave of anxiety. But studies have found that the simple act of crossing off an item on a checklist is enough to trigger a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction &mdash; no matter how big or small the task at hand. So don't be afraid to load up your to-do list! Tackle it knowing that you'll feel more and more fulfilled as you work your way down.</p> <h2>Handwritten Lists to Acquire New Knowledge</h2> <p>The study tips and tricks you picked up in the classroom can benefit you in the real world, too. In fact, there are many occasions other than the night before a big exam that you will want or need to memorize new information. Remember the set of statistics you had to spout out at that recent board meeting? Or the oceanic science you needed to learn to earn your scuba diver certification? As it turns out, one of the best ways to absorb a new information set such as these is to physically <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/ink-on-paper-some-notes-on-note-taking.html">jot it down</a> using paper and pen.</p> <p>Scientists have discovered that our ability to recall facts and ideas at a later date is heightened when we write them down the old-fashioned way. Add to this another bit of science. By organizing the information you want to learn in list form, prioritizing that list, and then sticking to it, you define what it will mean to be, &quot;finished studying,&quot; thereby improving your odds of achieving knowledge retention success. All too often we approach the task of learning something new without taking the time to delineate exactly what or how much or how long we ought study in order to consider the task complete. By working your way through a list of study material, you'll stay organized and keep yourself feeling motivated as your check your way down the list.</p> <h2>Multi-Step Tasks That Are Complicated or Foreign</h2> <p>A study of Michigan hospitals found that using a checklist can <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916092657.htm">virtually eliminate common infections</a> in intensive care units. As it turns out, the principle behind these findings stand true outside the operating room, too. Checklists can be used to reduce errors and improve safety in any situation where you're attempting to execute a multi-step procedure correctly. Whether you're setting out to bake a cake or change a flat car tire, a checklist can help ensure that you cover every step. After all, that brand new tire won't do you much good if you forget to tighten up the lug nuts.</p> <h2>List Your Stressors</h2> <p>Everyone feels stressed out from time to time. Next time the feeling strikes you, make a list of everything that is occupying your mind or distracting you. After you <a href="https://drdemartini.com/writings_and_insights/the_benefits_of_making_lists_to_health">quantify your stressors</a>, take a moment to identify which items can be delegated to others and which items must actually be completed by you, and then assign each item a due date. You'll likely find that many of the tasks weighing you down don't need to be done immediately, and some of them can even be delegated to others. This realization can help ease your stress and make you feel more optimistic about conquering all of your to-do's. Be sure to create a new list for those items that must be completed in the future, planning to make sure that each one will be wrapped up in time.</p> <h2>Everything You Want to See, Do, and Accomplish</h2> <p>Popular to the point of cliche, the bucket list &mdash; a list of things one wants to do before he or she kicks the bucket &mdash; is often overlooked. Alas, it is a powerful thing. The trick, of course, is to prevent your list from becoming a thing of fantasy by actually committing to crossing off a great many of the items on the list. Exciting memories, relationship-bonding activities, and self-improvement activities are the stuff of most bucket lists, and all of these things can make life feel more fulfilling. Ultimately, a bucket list &mdash; a thoughtful one that you actually set out to complete &mdash; can make for a life well-lived.</p> <p><em>Any other checklists that would make life better? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">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/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</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/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</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-i-love-lists">Why I Love Lists</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-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</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-ways-to-make-this-your-most-productive-summer-yet">10 Ways to Make This Your Most Productive Summer Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity checklists lists make a list tips to-do list Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1743314 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_business_trip_000015958604.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways to get more out of business trips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whenever I travel for work, I find the time on planes to be relaxing, and I get lots of work done. For me, recreational Internet use is a major distraction, and with less distraction comes more productivity. This travel work ethic is something that isn't just me either. The Atlantic notes the same phenomenon that occurs at coffee shops, where <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/04/working-best-at-coffee-shops/237372/">most people are more effective</a> outside of their offices, even though it's noisy. But there also seems to be more personal responsibility. Because people can see your screen, you're <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5793436/why-some-of-us-get-more-done-at-coffee-shops">more likely to actually do work</a> and not just scroll through Facebook, as Life Hacker notes. These examples can be equated directly to travel.</p> <p>And while Bloomberg Business <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-03-21/eight-reasons-business-travelers-shouldnt-work-on-planes">doesn't recommend working on an airplane</a>, there is a way to take advantage of your time without causing a headache or stress. Here are 10 ways to maximize your travel time when you fly.</p> <h2>Before You Take Off</h2> <p>Here are little things you can do before you're in the air that'll make flying an enjoyable &mdash; and efficient &mdash; experience.</p> <h3>1. Buy Noise-Canceling Headphones</h3> <p>Planes can be loud. That's where headphones come in handy. I even use them when I forget my iPod (yes, I'm probably one of the few who still uses an iPod). It helps me rest and keeps the distractions out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-wireless-headphones?ref=seealso">Best Wireless Headphones</a>)</p> <h3>2. Download Podcasts</h3> <p>Don't forget to download any podcasts or songs ahead of time. Planes can be the perfect time to catch up on <em>This American Life</em>, a business podcast, or even a comedy podcast. My friend listens to a lot of inspirational podcasts that have been great for her as she has been trying to start a new business. Find something that works for you and make sure you have it on your phone or other electronic device.</p> <h3>3. Set Your Google Drive to Work Offline</h3> <p>If you do a lot of work in Google Drive, make sure to download your drive on your computer. It lets you make changes online and then loads them when you connect to the Internet again. It's great!</p> <h3>4. Get Your To-Do List Together</h3> <p>To maximize your time on the plane, make sure you have your to-do list together so you can be effective. I have a bad habit of writing down my list on every scrap of paper I can find. I now use Flow on my iPhone instead, which has been more effective lately since I can't remember when I've finished something, and deadlines help make me more productive. Unfortunately, they don't currently have an offline version, so you might have to print your list or save it elsewhere.</p> <h2>On the Plane</h2> <p>Once you're onboard, here's what you can do maximize time in your seat.</p> <h3>5. Meditate</h3> <p>Practicing mindfulness is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to relax and become centered. On a plane, it can be used to quell those moments of fearfulness, but it's also a great way to get your mind ready for the big trip. If you're <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness">new to mindfulness</a>, practice it a bit before leaving so you understand how to really take advantage of your time. Also download some soothing music to listen to.</p> <h3>6. Write</h3> <p>As a writer, I get some of my best work done while on a plane. Even if you don't enjoy writing, there are some great observations to be made while traveling. Carry around a little notebook and note every time the toddler behind you kicks your chair or demands crackers. It can actually help you put your mind at ease and make light of a stressful situation. If you love to write, plane trips can relieve writer's block.</p> <h3>7. Read</h3> <p>Because I never make time to just sit and read in my everyday routine, I rarely do it at all. However, reading is one of my favorite things to do. You don't have the pressure of the Internet calling your name or someone texting you while you're lost in the pages of a good book, so take advantage of being disconnected!</p> <h3>8. Brainstorm</h3> <p>Because I work at a nonprofit that provides affordable housing solutions, my mind is constantly buzzing with ideas for projects we can undertake. I also run a nonprofit that conducts classes, which means my brain never gets a break from ideas. I've spent a large amount of time on planes brainstorming and creating a vision for the coming months and I highly recommend it.</p> <h3>9. Budget</h3> <p>I recently had a hospital visit that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-hit-with-a-huge-medical-bill">proved to be very costly</a> and I've had to really sit down and budget how I'm going to spend my money. On a plane ride not long ago, I figured out how to take care of my medical bills, and I've been using the method ever since. While online tools like Mint are great, I prefer using Excel to track my expenses. It really depends on what your goals are and how you want to get there.</p> <h3>10. Sleep</h3> <p>If you're mentally exhausted, sleeping on the plane might be the best option. There are days when I get no alone time, and being an introvert, I really value that time. So sometimes I plan ahead to sleep on the plane. Just make sure you don't sleep during takeoff and landing.</p> <p><em>What do you do to be productive while traveling?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20Out%20of%20Business%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20Out%20of%20Business%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20More%20Out%20of%20Business%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">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/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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/flashback-friday-46-easy-ways-to-be-more-productive">Flashback Friday: 46 Easy Ways to Be More 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/how-to-say-no-at-work-and-still-get-ahead">How to Say &quot;No&quot; at Work and Still Get Ahead</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-ways-to-get-people-to-respond-to-your-email">15 Ways to Get People to Respond to Your Email</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> Career Building Productivity Travel business travel business trip efficiency productivity work trip Mon, 28 Dec 2015 10:00:03 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1625937 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Productivity Tips for IT Professionals http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000051456322.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C726%7C2738&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fbusiness2.comcast.com%2Finternet%2Fbusiness-internet" rel="nofollow">Comcast Business</a>.  Follow us @<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C726%7C2738&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fcomcastbusiness" rel="nofollow">comcastbusiness</a>.</em></p> <p>We all know that technology can be a distraction &ndash; about half of workers admit to <a href="https://harmon.ie/press-releases/collaboration-social-tools-drain-business-productivity-costing-millions-work">wasting at least an hour a day</a>, mostly on email, social networking and texting. But we can turn the tables and increase our productivity by using tech tools to keep track of time, collaborate, and stay on task.</p> <p>If anyone understands these tools and how to use them to improve productivity, it&rsquo;s an information technology professional. A typical IT pro may spend the average day juggling endless help requests from users, installing emergency software patches, researching new products, and replacing hardware -- with all tasks flagged as urgent. Many IT pros also travel from one worksite to another, keeping track of client needs and upgrade schedules on the go. It&rsquo;s only natural that IT pros use what they know best to be efficient. Here&rsquo;s what IT pros can teach us about getting more done with the help of tech.</p> <h2>1. Get a Second Monitor</h2> <p>&ldquo;When it comes to productivity, there's almost nothing that compares to having a second monitor,&rdquo; says Scott Kendall of <a href="http://www.outhouseit.com">Outhouse IT</a>, citing <a href="https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/monitors/en/dual_monitors_boost_productivity_whitepaper.pdf">research showing</a> that using two monitors can help workers get so much more done it&rsquo;s like adding dozens of work days to the year. If you can&rsquo;t have two, upgrading to a larger monitor also increases productivity.</p> <h2>2. Use the Cloud to Store Files</h2> <p>Instead of saving files on your hard drive, or even a flash drive, use the cloud to store your files. Gregory Go, CTO of Killer Aces Media, advises that &ldquo;using the cloud for your files does three important things: you can access the files from anywhere, on any device, you can share and give permission to others to make edits and collaborate, and you don&rsquo;t have to remember to bring your files with you or even to save your changes because it does that automatically.&rdquo; You are also saved from the dreaded system failures that could result in lost files on your computer. Google Docs, Dropbox, and OneDrive provide simple, easy to use cloud services for your documents.</p> <h2>3. Find the Best To-Do App for You</h2> <p>According to app-ranking website <a href="http://thesweetsetup.com/">The Sweet Setup</a>, to-do lists &ldquo;should be beautiful to look at, easy to organize, and have an understandable hierarchy.&rdquo; There are plenty of good free task-manager apps for Android or iPhone. Some IT professionals like using <a href="https://appsto.re/us/3wopy.i">Wunderlist</a> ($4.99 per month for pro) to compile and share to-do lists, while others prefer <a href="https://appsto.re/us/xNOiI.i">Todoist</a> ($29 a year for pro) or <a href="https://appsto.re/us/ahkPD.i">Any.do</a> ($2.99 per month for pro). All of them store your tasks in the cloud, which eases collaboration (you can share and assign tasks to others) and allows you to access your lists from anywhere.</p> <h2>4. Stay on Top of Software Updates</h2> <p>You might not think of regular updates as a productivity hack, but you should, says John Barlow, an IT professional in insurance.</p> <p>&ldquo;Often new versions will incorporate new features that save time or money. Example: New versions of Windows can zip and unzip files, a function we used to have to download a separate program for.&rdquo;</p> <h2>5. Organize Your Contacts Effectively</h2> <p>Address books are fine, but if you don&rsquo;t remember the name of the person you need to e-mail, scrolling through an alphabetical list is a time waster. The free <a href="https://appsto.re/us/QGb61.i">Humin app</a> pulls contact information from your emails and social networks, and lets you search your contacts based on when you met them, where they work, or other factors, and shows you what connections you have in common. It&rsquo;s like a social networking system for your private contacts file -- perfect for IT pros who need to interface with a lot of people and don&rsquo;t have time to sort through business cards.</p> <h2>6. Keep Yourself on Task</h2> <p>Many technology professionals report using programs to help them avoid the distractions of the Internet, their phones, or even competing work tasks that can distract them from the job at hand.</p> <p>&quot;I use Strict Workflow as I have zero willpower on the Internets,&rdquo; says software design engineer Gareth Morgan, referring to the <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/strict-workflow/cgmnfnmlficgeijcalkgnnkigkefkbhd">Chrome extension</a> that sets a timer for 25-minute periods of focused work, punctuated by five-minute breaks.</p> <p>Aaron K., a software engineer in the advertising industry, uses segregated browsers to stay focused.</p> <p>&ldquo;I use two separate browsers at all times, one that is open while I'm working and has my work in it. The other is for personal stuff. I close it frequently and have it set to remember my tabs, so when I need a mental break I can open it up and pick up where I left off,&rdquo; he says.</p> <h2>7. Know Where Your Time Goes</h2> <p>Just like a financial budget is destined to fail if you don&rsquo;t know where your pennies and dollars go, you need to track your minutes and hours in order to make effective use of your time. Some IT consultants need to bill every minute of work to a specific client, making time trackers even more vital.</p> <p>Aaron K. uses the free desktop <a href="http://getklok.com/">Klok app</a> ($19.99 for pro) for time tracking. The app offers <a href="http://www.getklok.com/cloud/index.html">Klok Cloud Sync for Mobile</a>, so that you can store project lists online and time work in the field using a mobile device. Wisconsin IT guy Brad T., prefers the <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/task-timer/aomfjmibjhhfdenfkpaodhnlhkolngif?hl=en-">Google Chrome plugin Task Timer</a>. Build manager Erik Purins swears by team time tracker <a href="https://toggl.com/features">Toggl</a> (free or $5-$59 per month for pro) to help him build weekly reports of how he spent his work hours. Whether you&rsquo;re using it on a phone or desktop, Toggl syncs to the cloud in real time so that you know how much time you&rsquo;ve spent whether in the field or in the office.</p> <h2>8. Streamline Repetitive Tasks</h2> <p>Help desk analyst Ryan S., finds himself copying and pasting the same information over and over in response to client requests. He says he couldn&rsquo;t live without the <a href="http://download.cnet.com/CLCL/3000-2384_4-10153066.html">free Windows clipboard utility CLCL</a>, &ldquo;a huge time saver.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;It allows me to pull up the last 30 items copied to the clipboard, as well as create templates for phrases and, in some cases, entire troubleshooting processes that I frequently use. Those templates can be assigned to hot keys and inserted with a keystroke,&rdquo; Ryan S. says.</p> <h2>9. Communicate Efficiently</h2> <p>No one hates a lengthy meeting more than a busy IT pro, and long email chains are almost as bad. That&rsquo;s why they turn to collaboration apps such as the free <a href="https://trello.com/">Trello</a> ($8.33/month for Business Class), which shares to-do lists and tracks tasks across teams, and <a href="https://slack.com/">Slack</a> (paid versions range from $6.67 to $12.50 per month), which allows teams to share messages and documents in a continual group conversation. Because both apps are cloud-based, you can access or search your communications from anywhere.</p> <h2>10. Take Notes Strategically</h2> <p>There are lots of note-taking apps out there, but many pros still prefer to simply email themselves reminders, to-do lists, and other information. The <a href="https://appsto.re/us/_M3gw.i">$1.99 app Captio</a> makes emailing yourself a one-click affair, ensuring that fewer thoughts fall out of your brain before you have time to record them.</p> <p>In the end, technology can be a help or hindrance when it comes to productivity. Those who take control of the tech in their lives by using the proper tools are more likely to avoid the distracting downside of our constantly wired environment and get more done.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/89732726/289_2738.js"></script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals">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/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own">Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own</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/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive</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/why-i-love-using-skype-to-keep-in-touch-with-family-and-coworkers">Why I Love Using Skype to Keep in Touch With Family and Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology Comcast Tue, 22 Dec 2015 17:38:42 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1625205 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_business_owner_000075170859.jpg" alt="Woman using helpful tools to manage her small business" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It takes great discipline and organization to successfully manage a small business. But if you're able to do so, being your own boss is only one of the perks. A lot of things can get in your way, though: procrastination, learning how to cope with isolation (if you do most of your business alone), accumulating a steady workflow, and learning how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">manage finances</a>. And there's also the challenge of maximizing time and being your most productive self.</p> <p>You will burn yourself out trying to please clients and meet a bunch of deadlines without the proper tools in your arsenal. Try these tools and strategies in order to automate your workflow and increase productivity.</p> <h2>1. Find the Right CRM and Project Management Tools</h2> <p>You need customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software (PMS) systems to successfully manage your freelance jobs. Zoho, Trello, and Asana offer a free solution that comes with a suite of business apps to help you automate your workflow. The apps integrate directly into the product dashboards, making tracking projects and customer satisfaction even easier.</p> <h2>2. If You Sell Products, add an E-Commerce Solution</h2> <p>In today's business environment, doing business without an e-commerce solution is almost impossible, and downright bad for business. Always-connected consumers expect the convenience of being able to make online purchases and mobile payments. Make sure you get a responsive website that adapts across devices with an integrated e-commerce solution.</p> <p>If your sales volume is low or you don't want the hassle of complicated software, use a readymade solution for professional services and online storefronts, like 3dcart, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Magento and sync it to your Stripe, Square, or PayPal payment gateway.</p> <h2>3. Offer Customer Support</h2> <p>According to Gartner, a marketing research firm, customers expect real-time 24/7 customer support. Of course it sounds ridiculous to provide around-the-clock customer support when you have a million other things on your plate each day, but unfortunately, that is not something clients should have to recognize if they are to do business with you. Your correspondence must be timely.</p> <p>Partner with a call center and/or web chat provider and add contact and support ticket forms to your website. ZenDesk is a full customer service solutions provider, including 24/7 customer support, email management, and support tickets. LivePerson offers affordable web chat solutions, as well.</p> <h2>4. Utilize Social Media and Email Marketing</h2> <p>Hootsuite and SproutSocial are two popular SMM systems for automating social media marketing campaigns. They each enable its users the ability to schedule posts and publish across multiple social media platforms. And now, a new feature; social customer service, deepens the automation rabbit hole even further by providing real-time customer support across social pages. The dashboard includes powerful analytics tools for measuring social reach and engagement. Get these same great automation features for your email marketing campaigns with well-known email marketing providers like: Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor.</p> <h2>5. Take Advantage of Cloud Storage and File Sharing</h2> <p>Small businesses can use file sharing and storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive to secure e-signatures on contracts and agreements using the HelloSign (Google Drive) and RightSignature (Dropbox) add-ons. The many app integration options add lots of dynamic features. For instance, Merge by MailChimp is an app that lets you send Google docs as email campaigns and Pixsta by SweetLabs is a discoverable app that loads Instagram content directly onto your device.</p> <h2>6. Master Financial Management</h2> <p>One of the most important processes of running a business is managing finances. Cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software solutions make it easy. Xero and QuickBooks Online help you streamline invoicing, reporting, and bank reconciliations. You can eliminate the grueling tasks of having to export and email spreadsheets to your accountant by inviting them to have limited access to your account.</p> <p>These tools should help you feel more confident about increasing your workflow by taking on more projects. The more discipline and control you have, the more successful you (and your company) will be.</p> <p><em>Are you a small business owner? What tools do you use? Share with us 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/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">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/how-to-grow-your-solo-business-without-hiring-employees">How to Grow Your Solo Business Without Hiring Employees</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-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</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-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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/6-ways-to-prepare-for-your-work-at-home-gig">6 Ways to Prepare for Your Work at Home Gig</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/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity business tools self employed side job small business Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1622169 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Stay on Schedule http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-stay-on-schedule <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-stay-on-schedule" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_work_schedule_000077383811.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart ways to stay on schedule" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found smart ways to stay on schedule, ways to stretch your employee benefits dollars, and surprising things you can do with tea bags.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2015/10/5-smart-ways-to-stay-on-schedule">5 Smart Ways to Stay on Schedule</a> &mdash; Give each task your full attention during the period that you have scheduled for it. Staying on schedule is all about balance! [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/11/03/3-ways-to-stretch-your-employee-benefits-dollars/">3 Ways To Stretch Your Employee Benefits Dollars</a> &mdash; Make the time to attend any benefits educational programs that your employer offers. This is your chance to learn and ask questions about your benefits. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Use-Tea-Bags-37803585">11 Things You Didn't Know Tea Bags Could Be Used For</a> &mdash; The tannins in tea helps tenderize meat. Allow the meat to marinate in strong black tea for at least a few hours before it goes in the oven. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.productivity501.com/5-tips-for-a-productive-home-office/9200/">5 Tips for a Productive Home Office</a> &mdash; The type and amount of light in your office can affect your productivity. Try using daylight color-balanced high-powered CFL bulbs to keep you alert. [Productivity501]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1101/These-are-all-the-stores-staying-closed-on-Thanksgiving-Day">These are all the stores staying closed on Thanksgiving Day</a> &mdash; Among the stores that will be closed on Turkey Day are Costco, Sam's Club, Home Depot, IKEA, and Nordstrom.</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2015/11/03/layoff-to-start-up-8-tips-from-a-successful-entrepreneur/">Layoff to start-up: 8 tips from a successful entrepreneur</a> &mdash; No matter what business you're in, remember that It's about the people. Do your best to resolve any issues with clients and employees. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="https://getoutofdebt.org/94163/4-things-to-know-about-making-money">4 Things To Know About Making Money</a> &mdash; Don't wait to ask for a raise if your performance shows that you deserve a rate bump now. (Just make sure that you can prove it.) [Get Out of Debt Guy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/six-spending-habits-fiendishly-frugal/">Six spending habits of fiendishly frugal people</a> &mdash; It isn't always necessary to spend money out of fairness. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adaringadventure.com/guest-posts/8-ways-reduce-pain-cravings-and-anxiety-without-drugs/">Ways Reduce Pain, Cravings, and Anxiety without Drugs</a> &mdash; Yoga is a great tool to use against chronic stress. [A Daring Adventure]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-for-working-parents-to-be-involved-with-their-childs-school">5 Ways for Working Parents to Be Involved With Their Child's School</a> &mdash; If you're unable to help out on the school site, see if there is any volunteer work that you can bring home. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-stay-on-schedule">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/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">12 Reasons You Can&#039;t Focus — And How to Fix It Now</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-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> <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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/25-productive-things-to-do-on-a-rainy-day">25 Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day</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-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips schedules Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:15:23 +0000 Amy Lu 1605658 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You're a Slacker http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_work_paper_airplane_000022233591.jpg" alt="Man realizing why his co-workers think he&#039;s a slacker" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think you're pulling the wool over your coworkers' eyes when you're not pulling your weight around the workplace? Think again. Not only do your colleagues notice, but they're probably starting to resent you for having to pick up your slack. Nip your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-office-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-doesnt-talk-about">underperformance problem</a> in the bud with these six signs that you're the weakest link, and help bring balance back to an otherwise out-of-sync office.</p> <h2>1. Taking Credit For Something You Didn't Do</h2> <p>Everybody knows there's no 'I' in team, but your co-workers are starting to realize that there are a few 'I's in &quot;biggest jerk in the office&quot; if you're grandstanding about accomplishments that were a group effort &ndash; especially if it's to make up for your lack of contribution in the first place. Everyone on the team should share in group wins equally, but more importantly, each person should be giving their all to the effort, so that win can be attributed to everyone on the team. If you're prone to riding the coattails of others, it's time to break that habit and work harder for your money.</p> <h2>2. Arriving Late and Leaving Early</h2> <p>Showing up a few minutes late here and there isn't a huge problem, but if you're strolling into the office six minutes late everyday and leaving five minutes early &ndash; which probably seems innocuous, because it's a small amount of time in each instance &ndash; you're not being respectful of your position or all your colleagues who are there at the beginning and end of their shifts every day. And if you think about it, those 11 paid minutes a day that you're skipping out on really add up. If you operate on that hypothetical schedule for five days a week, you've wasted nearly an entire hour of your company's time &ndash; and that won't go over well for long.</p> <p>&quot;People who are chronically late either don't see it as a problem, or don't think the people around them care; neither are true,&quot; says Chad Reid, director of communications for an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jotform.com">online form builder</a>. &quot;While habitually late people are typically late to things well beyond the office, it can be addressed.&quot;</p> <p>If this sounds like you, you're likely in need of a routine change that could include going to bed earlier, waking up earlier, preparing for the next day ahead of time, altering your route to work, or other time-saving measures that could save your job.</p> <h2>3. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media</h2> <p>Many of us have integrated social media into our jobs, and for some of us it's actually a requirement that we keep up our companies' presences online. Fair enough. But just because managing social media accounts is in your job description, that doesn't give you carte blanche to spend endless hours browsing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (unless that's what you were specifically hired to do), nor does it mean that you can access your personal accounts for prolonged periods of time while your tasks at hand are neglected. Your co-workers won't be happy if your project is late but your online statuses are always up to date, and your boss eventually will want to have a word with you if your social media usage starts to affect your performance.</p> <p>One of the biggest ways to reveal your lack of engagement is to be active on social media but not active in meetings, via email, and in general interactions with colleagues,&quot; says career coach Jane Scudder. &quot;The way to avoid this? Of course, number one is to be more engaged within your role. Another is to limit your social media presence during work hours.&quot;</p> <p>If you're a slave to social media at work, take measures to reduce how much time you spend on it by shutting off your phone or placing it in a place that's not readily accessible (like a drawer or cabinet), manually block the sites you know you're prone to visit, or schedule social media time to get your fix, but limit it to only a few minutes or just on your lunch break.</p> <h2>4. Enjoying Extended Lunch Breaks</h2> <p>Speaking of lunch breaks&hellip; if you're taking leisurely lunches &ndash; 35 or 40 minutes instead of the allotted half-hour or more than an hour if you have that luxury &ndash; it's time to reel it in. Just like arriving late and leaving early, self-extending your lunch break is not only unethical and rude, but it's also akin to stealing money from your employer because you're still stuffing your face with your sandwich instead of manning your position at your desk and fulfilling that day's duties for which you're being paid.</p> <p>While this habit is noticeable if you leave the office for lunch &ndash; because at least one of your coworkers is totally clocking you &ndash; it's much easier to take extra time for yourself if you prefer to eat at your desk. It's not always a problem, of course, but if your work pace is affected and your coworkers have noticed, it's time to assess the situation and reevaluate your lunch strategy.</p> <h2>5. Slowing Down Operations With Non-Workplace Issues</h2> <p>Office camaraderie is important to a productive and motivated workspace &ndash; you don't have to be friends with your co-workers, but you should get along &ndash; so engaging in non-work banter can be beneficial to day-to-day operations. If you're commandeering the conversation, however, and sucking up valuable work time with outside issues that hold everyone else up &ndash; like relationship drama, sappy kid stories, or questionable tales of your weekend activity &ndash; you're weaving a web of negativity that will affect everyone around you. To stay on everyone's good side, limit your banter and anecdotes of home life to times when everyone can kick back and relax for a few minutes, contribute, and enjoy the conversation.</p> <h2>6. Delegating the Lion's Share of Work to Subordinates</h2> <p>If you're in a position of authority, it's critical to toe the line carefully in order to excel at your job, gain and maintain the respect of your colleagues, and set yourself up for promotion. You'll need to delegate some of the work, of course (that's in your job description), but if you're delegating so much of the work that your minions are doing the lion's share of it while you sit back and watch, you run the risk of running yourself right out the door. Just because you're in a boss-type position doesn't mean you get to be bossy. Delegate responsibilities fairly, and avoid establishing a trap that befalls many professionals who dole out orders &ndash; becoming a tyrant who thinks they're above the grunt work. Unless you own the company, you're still on somebody's payroll, and you need to fulfill your duties at or (ideally) above expectations if you'd like to be seen as a good leader and, you know, remain employed.</p> <p><em>Are there other signs of underperformance that you'd like to add? Do you have a co-worker who's not pulling his or her weight? Let's talk about it 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/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">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/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</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/8-awkward-money-moments-everyone-has-at-work">8 Awkward Money Moments Everyone Has at Work</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/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</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/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</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/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity coworkers job performance slacker work work performance Tue, 20 Oct 2015 09:15:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1593787 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Right Way to Multitask http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-right-way-to-multitask <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-right-way-to-multitask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_multitasking_000028341430.jpg" alt="Woman learning the right way to multitask" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the right way to multitask, products you should definitely buy online, and the things extremely likeable people do.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/if-you-re-going-to-multitask-at-least-do-it-right-1734677693">If You&rsquo;re Going to Multitask, At Least Do It Right</a> &mdash; You'll spread yourself too thin if you try to do everything at the same time. Limit your multitasking to two big tasks at once, making sure that they're both rewarding tasks that you're motivated to do. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1002/Five-things-you-should-definitely-buy-online">Five things you should definitely buy online</a> &mdash; When buying a car, you can start your negotiations online. This makes it easier to compare prices and inventory across dealers before you step onto the lot. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Likeable-People-Do-35059138">16 Things Extremely Likeable People Do</a> &mdash; Likeable people accept that others will disagree with them and know that their way may not be the best way for other people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T012-C011-S001-ways-to-make-an-extra-1-000-by-the-holidays.html">4 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 by the Holidays</a> &mdash; Do you have old cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices lying around? Resale sites like uSell, Gazelle and NextWorth will buy your electronics &mdash; even damaged ones! [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/financial-literacy-on-the-go/">Financial Literacy on the Go</a> &mdash; It used to be that you learn about finances from your parents or at school. These days, there are a variety of resources, and it's easy as pie to take them wherever you go. Stop by Experian's #CreditChat on Wednesday, October 5 at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on the many ways to gain financial literacy. [Experian]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/how-to-develop-better-money-habits/">How to Develop Better Money Habits</a> &mdash; A dramatic overhaul of your finances can look impressive at first, but they're difficult to incorporate into your life. If you want your better money habits to stick, break down your goals and start with small changes. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/3-ways-to-make-international-travel-a-lot-more-affordable/">3 Ways to Make International Travel a Lot More Affordable</a> &mdash; Make your money go as far as possible! Travel to places where your currency gets at least 30% more value than where you live. You'll probably go off the tourist track, but that's part of the adventure. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/10/04/12-tough-truths-about-great-relationships/">12 Tough Truths About Great Relationships</a> &mdash; It takes practice to develop conscious, mindful communication between partners. To have a great, lasting relationship, both parties need to hold back angry, unhelpful words. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2015/10/7-times-you-need-to-slow-down-to-reduce-stress/">7 Times You Need to Slow Down to Reduce Stress</a> &mdash; There are certain times during the day when you really need to take your time. You'll only get more stressed if you try to rush through planning your day or driving to work. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-ways-busy-moms-can-make-time-for-themselves">10 Ways Busy Moms Can Make Time For Themselves</a> &mdash; Sign up for a weekly class to spend some time with yourself and learn something new! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-right-way-to-multitask">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/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</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-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom">10 Productivity Hacks From a Work-at-Home Mom</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-fallacy-of-multitasking">The Fallacy of Multitasking</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/when-multitasking-can-work">When Multitasking Can Work</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/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought">Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips multitasking Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:15:39 +0000 Amy Lu 1582222 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 School Lunches That Will Make Your Kid Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/5-school-lunches-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-school-lunches-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_eating_lunch_000036938010.jpg" alt="Kids eating school lunches that will make them smarter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that certain foods can actually make your kids smarter?</p> <p>They need to be alert throughout the school day and get the nutrition necessary to learn and grow during these pivotal years. Research has shown that what your child eats can have a direct effect on their grades, mood, and behavior. Eating well can enhance brain function, memory, and physical performance, so it may be more important than you realize.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/06/business/brain-food/">perfect meal for the brain</a> consists of three to four ounces of protein and two servings of vegetables. However, it can be difficult to get kids to accept this healthy lifestyle right away. Fortunately, you can still make fun, delicious school lunches that your child will love. Best of all, their school grades may even improve as the healthy food options start paying off with better attention spans. That's why we've rounded up some of the best school lunches to help make your child smarter and more alert. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-for-lunch-for-a-more-productive-afternoon?ref=seealso">What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon</a>)</p> <h2>1. Turkey Wrap and Fruit</h2> <p>Try a turkey wrap or pinwheels on a 100% whole wheat wrap. The great thing about sandwiches and wraps is that you can customize them to whatever your child likes, while still keeping them ultra-healthy. Make sure to also throw in some baby carrots or other veggies that will bulk up their lunch and leave them feeling great all afternoon.</p> <p>It's important to also add some fruit to every lunch. Blueberries and strawberries have some of the highest antioxidant payoffs and can even help <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616">delay brain aging</a>, cognitive decline, and mental fatigue. Apples contain catechins, which can protect your brain from damaging chemicals. Bananas are also a great contender for a fruit that you should be including in every lunch. You can add a smear of almond butter for the apple or banana to add even more healthy protein and energy to their lunch.</p> <h2>2. Upgraded PB&amp;J Sandwich</h2> <p>Kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the nuts from the peanut butter (or almond butter) contain protein, fiber, and the healthy fats your child needs for an immediate energy boost that will sustain them throughout the day. Nuts also contain vitamin E, which aids in cognitive function. To mix things up, add bananas instead of jam for even more energy.</p> <p>Serve the sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread or a bagel, add a serving of fruit, some sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, or other small veggies they like, and you'll have a complete lunch. Whenever possible, add a side salad with two tablespoons low-fat dressing. For a sweet treat, consider natural fruit leather, which seems like a &quot;fruit snack,&quot; but is actually good for your kids.</p> <h2>3. Mac and Cheese With Veggies</h2> <p>Cooking <a href="https://www.healthiergeneration.org/live_healthier/eat_healthier/recipes/cheesy_mac_and_trees_recipe/">mac and cheese</a> with 100% whole wheat pasta and hidden fresh veggies (like broccoli, tomatoes, bell pepper, cauliflower, or carrots) will give kids a healthy boost during the day. Best of all, they will feel like they just ate mac and cheese, so it will be a midday treat they look forward to. To mix it up, you can instead serve a bowtie or tortellini pasta salad with peas and veggies in the pasta and extra veggies hidden in the sauce. Complete the lunch with a fruit cup in 100% juice or water (not syrup).</p> <h2>4. Cobb Salad</h2> <p>Eating (and enjoying) salads is a lifetime commitment, so what better time than now to get your kids in on that healthy track? There is nothing like a salad to get your energy flowing, provide your body with the nutrients it needs, and fill you up with healthy greens and protein. A <a href="https://www.healthiergeneration.org/live_healthier/eat_healthier/recipes/southwest_turkey_cobb_salad_recipe/">cobb salad</a> contains yummy toppings like turkey bacon, chicken or turkey, cheese, and dried fruits and nuts, which can make it much more kid-friendly. Bonus points for adding some spinach to the salad, which can help protect against declines in cognitive skills like verbal fluency. Topping the salad with sliced avocado will also add fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B, and folic acid.</p> <h2>5. Veggie Burger and Veggie Chips</h2> <p>A veggie or bean burger can give your child the sensation of eating a burger, without the high fat and calorie count. Instead, they will enjoy a flavor boost and added benefits from the spices found in the meatless patty. Many veggie patties contain brown rice and an assortment of veggies, which can give your child the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they need to finish the day strong. Veggie chips are salty, crispy, and satisfying like chips, but have hidden veggies that your kids will eat right up.</p> <h2>Make it Appealing to Picky Eaters</h2> <p>Many parents don't pack healthy school lunches because they are afraid that their child won't eat it. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to get your child to eat healthy foods:</p> <ul> <li>Cut fruits and veggies into small pieces, so they can enjoy them as finger foods.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add a dip with the veggies. For instance, hummus is a healthy side that can encourage kids to eat their veggies and add some extra protein along the way.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Change things up frequently and look for new ideas so that your kids never get bored. You can find countless free recipes online, or you can challenge yourself to cook every recipe in one cookbook for fun ways to shake up the lunchtime routine.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add low-fat yogurt for a sweet treat, instead of &quot;fruit snacks&quot; and other sugar traps. If your child likes Greek yogurt, this is an even better (and more beneficial) option. You can also sweeten up plain Greek yogurt with honey or jam to make it kid-friendly.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Water is always the best bet, but if they need another drink, consider low-fat milk.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cut shapes out of sandwiches (like a star or heart shape), turn ordinary wraps into pinwheels, or make faces or shapes out of veggies to encourage kids to eat healthier. If it's fun to eat, they are more likely to eat it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have your children help in the lunch preparations. If they help make it, they will be more likely to eat and enjoy it.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are your favorite school lunches to prepare for your children? Do you find that what they eat makes a difference in their behavior? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-school-lunches-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">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/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price">The Best and Worst Nuts, by Nutrition and Price</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/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</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-feed-a-large-family-on-a-small-budget">How to Feed a Large Family on a Small 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/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</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-ways-to-cut-waste-when-feeding-kids">10 Ways to Cut Waste When Feeding Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Food and Drink Productivity healthy kids nutrition packed lunch school lunches smarter kids Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:00:35 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1570363 at http://www.wisebread.com