Productivity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8129/all en-US 10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_ideas_000040220958_0.jpg" alt="Girl with time-management skills winning at school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want your kids to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-back-to-school-shopping-tips-for-the-busy-parent">succeed at school</a> without spending every waking hour with their noses buried in books? Teach them how to manage their time most efficiently with these 11 tips on perfecting that September-to-May juggling act.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Mind Map&quot; Before a Writing Project</h2> <p>You may not have heard of &quot;mind mapping,&quot; but the concept isn't new at all. It's really just a fancy 21st &nbsp;century name for brainstorming, which we were taught as kids. Before your kid embarks on a project &mdash; particularly a written assignment &mdash; have them brainstorm their ideas, outline the steps of the project, and start organizing their thoughts into full-fledged ideas. That way, when it's time to get to the nitty-gritty of it all, the process will flow more seamlessly since all the moving parts will be in place.</p> <p>&quot;The best time-saving tip we know of is when a child has to write something &mdash; a book report, research paper, speech/presentation &mdash; is to use mind mapping,&quot; says Bryan Mattimore, chief idea guy at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.growth-engine.com/">The Growth Engine Co.</a>, an innovation agency. &quot;We have kids (and corporate innovation teams) create a mind map of what they might want to write first. It makes it a great deal easier for young and old alike to first get everything out in the mind map, so that they can write an outline and then more effectively and quickly write the piece.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use a Calendar</h2> <p>I've used a monthly calendar to roughly plan out 30 days of advance assignments since I started my own business six years ago. I'm able to see what I've completed and what's coming up at a glance, and I can easily make room for additional assignments by moving other items around if need be. I've found this method of organization extremely helpful not only in terms of productivity, but also psychologically as the completed projects I cross off help ward off feelings of anxiety that I'm falling behind.</p> <p>Author Patty Wood suggests taking a similar approach with your child.</p> <p>&quot;Post a big school calendar above the child's desk or workstation so they have a visual of time and their assignments,&quot; she says. &quot;Have them put color stickers for tests and assignments on the due dates. When they look at any assignment, they can figure out how much work and time it will take to prepare and go on the calendar and assign time on days leading up to it. For example, if they have a speech on September 26, they can put an hour on, say, five days in the two weeks prior to the speech to get ready for it.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Prepare for the Next Day (or Week) in Advance</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar, I also plan ahead on a more immediate level, like preparing my weekly meals all on one Sunday afternoon, as well as choosing and ironing that week's outfits. With all of those tasks out of the way for the week, I'm able to sleep in a few more minutes in the mornings and start my days with much less stress.</p> <p>Let your kids choose the clothes they'd like to wear that week, and invite them into the kitchen to choose what snacks and drinks they'd like in their lunches. As they get older, if this has become routine over the years, they'll eventually do all of this on their own (hopefully), so you can rest assured that your young adult is well on his or her way to being A-okay in the real world.</p> <h2>4. Establish a Dedicated Homework Time and Location</h2> <p>You'll have an easier time getting your child to do homework if you establish a dedicated time and location to do it. Once the routine is solidly in place, it will become habitual with, ideally, no after-school fuss.</p> <h2>5. Create a Checklist</h2> <p>In addition to my monthly calendar of projects, I also keep a daily to-do list &mdash; which includes both personal and professional items &mdash; to help me stay on task throughout the day. I try to plan them out in terms of the time I think each activity will take, but that's not always reliable as sometimes things don't go according to plan. Your kids can benefit from this system &mdash; and so can you &mdash; by providing them an outline of what needs to be done for the day and by what deadline.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Over-Scheduling Extracurricular Activities</h2> <p>A lot of kids get sidetracked or fall behind because of over-scheduling, and if that's happening in your family, it's time to take a step back and examine your priorities. Extracurricular activities &mdash; like sports, music, art, and theater &mdash; are important to your children's physical, social, mental, and emotional development, but not at the cost of education and overall well being. If they're doing too much in a day, and their homework or other educational pursuits are suffering, something has to go.</p> <p>Also, as a parent, stay sensitive to your child's demeanor and personality. If they're stressed out, unhappy, or constantly on edge, perhaps it's because they feel over-worked and overscheduled. Check in from time to time to see how they're doing in that regard.</p> <h2>7. Limit Phone/Social Media/TV Time</h2> <p>If you're addicted to social media, the Internet, or your e-mail like I am, you know firsthand how much time is wasted while you're on the phone and computer instead of concentrating on your work. This goes double for your kids whose hormones are raging amid all the traditional school drama that happens from pre-teen age all the way to high school graduation. To ensure their media doesn't interfere with their after-school responsibilities, limit the time they can spend on it by perhaps confiscating the devices until all homework, chores, etc. are finished, or granting them a certain amount of time to be online/the phone each night.</p> <p>You probably won't win any Parent of the Year awards in their eyes, but you're doing the right thing &mdash; and they'll recognize that someday.</p> <h2>8. Set Artificial Deadlines for Assignments</h2> <p>If your child has trouble remembering assignments or just procrastinates (like every other teenager &mdash; and adult &mdash; in the world), another potential tactic to take is to set artificial deadlines for assignments. I sometimes do this for myself if I dread a certain assignment, and I also employ this tactic when scheduling activities with my always-late husband. By creating a &quot;window of lateness&quot; as I like to call it, you can almost be sure that everything (and everyone) will be on time, or at least on the actual, much-later deadline.</p> <h2>9. Prioritize Assignments in Order of Importance</h2> <p>Kids tend to gravitate toward the easiest work there is, but that's not always the best approach to their assignments given that not all assignments are created equal. Some count for much more of their final grade than others, which makes the highly weighted projects a priority over smaller, more easily accomplished assignments. Review your child's schedule with them to go over their projects in depth to understand what they entail, recognize how much work they will require, and create a plan to meet the deadlines.</p> <h2>10. Keep a Regimented Schedule at Home</h2> <p>An after-school free-for-all will lead to certain disaster for your children in terms of their educational priorities, which is why it's in your entire family's best interest to keep a regimented schedule at home.</p> <p>&quot;To best help children manage their time effectively while in school, help them to understand and practice time management outside of the school day; this will allow them to internalize this structure and use it elsewhere, especially at school,&quot; says Dr. Lindsay Popilskis, certified school psychologist. &quot;Agree upon start and end times for academic tasks &mdash; such as homework &mdash; and fun tasks, and stick to those times. You may even set a timer for activities so that children can independently see how much time has been spent and how much time is left for each activity. With all that being said, the most important time for routine is bedtime. Without a good night sleep, children have difficulties maintaining their focus, which will not capitalize on their time no matter how managed it is.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other time-management tips to help kids win at school that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-kids">6 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Kids</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/8-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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/my-personal-productivity-ruleswhat-are-yours">My Personal Productivity Rules...What Are Yours?</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/are-private-schools-worth-the-money-they-demand">Are Private Schools Worth the Money They Demand?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Productivity children good grades homework kids planning school time management Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1536917 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000022890952.jpg" alt="Woman outsourcing chores and saving time and money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're busy people, with lives filled by family, work, errands, chores, and tons of other tasks that pull us in a million directions. Add all of this on top of being a self-employed business owner, and there are times when I find myself sacrificing sleep, or skipping meals, as a way to get more things checked off my list.</p> <p>Two years ago I quit my day job to freelance full-time and have been in time-crunch mode ever since. As a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">become more productive</a>, I've learned how to outsource work I don't have time for, or don't know how to do.</p> <p>What if you delegated household chores so you could regain control? Here's how to outsource your life so you have more time and money.</p> <h2>1. Avoid Grocery Shopping</h2> <p>Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite chores to do each week. Unless you're a personal chef (like my husband), you probably hate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">going to the grocery store</a>, too. Instead of wasting your time on this chore, why not have your groceries delivered? If you live in a big city, check out services like <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10782119-1406910980000">Peapod</a> or <a href="https://fresh.amazon.com/">AmazonFresh's</a> food service.</p> <p>Just order your regular grocery items that you purchase every week, such as milk, bread, toilet paper, and other consumables, and get them delivered right to your door. No driving through traffic, or weaving in-and-out of the busy produce section.</p> <p>The great thing about these services is that you can find the best prices, use coupons, and take advantage of weekly discounts, just as you would if you were going the traditional grocery shopping route.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: One hour or more (depending on how long you usually take to meal plan and drive to your local store).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: Cost of groceries plus delivery and tip (plus $99 a year for Amazon Prime).</p> <h2>2. Look Stylish on a Budget</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a great way to unwind, score some fashionable finds, and hang out with friends, but it's not always great for your budget. Limit your regular shopping trips by outsourcing your clothing needs using services like <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11713107-1413249375000">Stitch Fix</a> or <a href="http://www.shoedazzle.com/">ShoeDazzle</a>.</p> <p>A box is delivered straight to your front door that includes styles based on your personal taste. You only pay for the items you like and want to keep, otherwise you simply return any unworn clothing or shoes.</p> <p>The upside is you get customized picks, from designers and professional stylists, without ever leaving the house. You'll also be able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-stores-trick-us-into-impulse-buys-and-how-to-resist">avoid any impulse buys</a> or unwanted purchases simply by choosing the bare essentials.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: One hour or more (depending on how long you usually shop).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: $55 for clothing and shoes (plus $20 processing fee applied to purchase).</p> <h2>3. Get Help With Daily Errands</h2> <p>Odd jobs around the house constantly seem to stack up. From cleaning the car, to mowing the yard, to cleaning out the gutters, a resource like <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/">Task Rabbit</a> can help. No task is too big or too small.</p> <p>If you need a ride to the airport, furniture delivered on a certain day, help walking the dog, or deep housecleaning, you can use this service to find the right person. You can even pay someone to stand in line for you at the DMV! This service is currently available in 19 cities and counting, so save yourself time by outsourcing your daily errands.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: Two hours or more (depending on chore).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: Cost of errand billed hourly.</p> <h2>4. Hire a Bookkeeper or Household Manager</h2> <p>As the breadwinner for my small family, I don't always have time to prepare reports, pay taxes, and manage the affairs of our household. If you're in the same position, you know the importance of these tasks, and how vital it is that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-by-tracking-your-receipts">bills are paid on time</a>, but you also want to spend your time with your family and friends.</p> <p>One way to solve this is to hire a part-time bookkeeper or household manager. For $125 a month I work with a virtual bookkeeper who helps manage my bills, bank accounts, schedules appointments, and deals with other household projects. This allows me to spend my time at a yoga class, or going on a date with my husband.</p> <p><strong>Time saved per week</strong>: Two hours or more (depending on chore).</p> <p><strong>Average monthly cost</strong>: $100 or more depending on tasks.</p> <h2>You Really Can Save Time and Money With Outsourcing</h2> <p>Life's too short to spend a lot of time on doing household chores or trying to DIY tasks that are too complicated. Thanks to a rise in outsourcing services, you can delegate any kind of chore you don't have time to do. This will allow you time to do more important things, like spending quality time with your kids, or enjoying a weekend with friends.</p> <p><em>Have you tried outsourcing chores? What's another way to save time and money each week?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Shopping chores errands groceries Help outsourcing Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:00:20 +0000 Carrie Smith 1533307 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Apps Every Dad Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-apps-every-dad-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_and_son_online_000019788770.jpg" alt="Father finding apps that dad needs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a new dad or a seasoned pro, life certainly gets hectic with work and family in the mix. Here are some useful tools that will help you feel better organized, as well as healthier and more confident. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-worst-mistakes-good-parents-make?ref=seealso">The 4 Worst Mistakes Good Parents Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cozi</h2> <p>Chances are, with lots of people living under one roof, life can get crazy. The worst part? You all have different schedules. Take charge with <a href="http://www.cozi.com">Cozi</a>, a social organizer for busy families. You can color code each family member's work, school, and personal schedules on one shared calendar. Write up grocery, chore, and other to-do lists to distribute with ease. You can even share photos and other information with your extended family.</p> <h2>2. Quick Tips for New Dads</h2> <p>Didn't have time to read all those parenting books before your kid was born? No worries. With <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/quick-%C2%AD%E2%80%90tips-%C2%AD%E2%80%90for-%C2%AD%E2%80%90new-%C2%AD%E2%80%90dads/id843364411">Quick Tips for New Dads</a>, you'll get everything you need to know in your phone. Check out quick snippets of useful information on everything from bottle feeding to naptime routines to looking after mom. With over 250 added stress-busting tips, this app is your holy grail for surviving that first year.</p> <h2>3. Mint Bills</h2> <p>You have enough things to worry about besides when your utilities or cable bills are due. And don't mention those dreaded late fees! Some banks have awesome apps you can use to manage your money. If yours isn't one of them, wrangle your due dates and payments with <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-bills-money/id285056092?mt=8">Mint Bills</a>. Set up all your bank account, credit card, and bills information once, and the app does the rest of the work.</p> <h2>4. 7-Minute Workout</h2> <p>Being a dad sometimes means skipping workouts to make way for other obligations. Put the power in your back pocket with the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/7-minute-workout/id650762525?mt=8">7-Minute Workout</a> app by Wahoo Fitness. You can sneak in a sweat session whenever you find spare time or even combine a few for a longer routine. Each session groups 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises (no equipment or gym required) at 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest between moves. A healthy dad is a happy dad, so take care of yourself.</p> <h2>5. College Saving Wiz</h2> <p>It's never too early (or late) to start saving for your child's education. Download <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/college-saving-wiz/id674276203?mt=8">College Saving Wiz</a> for handy cost-estimating calculators, savings goals, and even tips for how to stash away extra cash. This app was designed by emeritus professor of finance Lawrence J. Gitman at San Diego State University. And if you'd like to help your kids develop good money habits, also check out <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saving-wiz-jr./id674198368?mt=8">Saving Wiz Jr</a>.</p> <h2>6. Evernote</h2> <p>While you're out and about at dance lessons or soccer games, you just might need to do some last-minute research for tomorrow's big meeting. That's where <a href="https://evernote.com">Evernote</a> comes in. You can gather information from anywhere and record your thoughts on essentially anything &mdash; work projects, shopping lists, home improvement projects &mdash; it's up to you. This app syncs across your different devices and lets you put everything into streamlined notebooks with tags and note links for added organization.</p> <p><em>What apps and tools do you use to be a better dad?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">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/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-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-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/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World&#039;s Busiest People</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Productivity apps fathers organization parents working dads Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:00:59 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1530568 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Habits of Highly Successful People http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-habits-of-highly-successful-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-habits-of-highly-successful-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/successful_woman_000051439304.jpg" alt="Woman using habits of highly successful people" 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 habits of highly successful people, what you must to do retire early, and ways to save yourself from a fake sale.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Habits-Successful-People-36802069">15 Habits of Highly Successful People</a> &mdash; Successful people are open to feedback and constructive criticism. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.retiredby40blog.com/2015/08/06/9-things-you-must-do-to-retire-early/">9 Things You Must Do To Retire Early</a> &mdash; Set up a stream or two of passive income. The longer it's in place, the more you can set aside for your retirement. [Retired By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0818/Four-ways-to-save-yourself-from-a-fake-sale">Four ways to save yourself from a fake sale</a> &mdash; If you want to buy something that's always in stock, check the price a few different times to know when it's a good deal. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/6-ways-your-bank-is-ripping-you-off/">6 Ways Your Bank is Ripping You Off</a> &mdash; Don't sign up for overdraft protection. It's less damaging to have a transaction denied than to rack up several $30 overdraft fees. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/08/the-5-secrets-of-successful-first-time.html">The 5 Secrets of Successful First-time Home Buyers</a> &mdash; Don't obsessively try to time the market. The best time to buy is when you find the perfect, affordable house. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/how-to-tackle-debt-when-youre-in-a-relationship/">How to Tackle Debt When You&rsquo;re in a Relationship</a> &mdash; If you and/or your partner has debt, it might make sense to tackle all debts together instead of each person handling their own debt. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T063-C000-S001-save-money-without-looking-like-a-cheapskate.html">Save Money Without Looking Like a Cheapskate</a> &mdash; These days, it's easier than ever to compare prices and find deals when you shop online. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/use-online-press-find-clients/">Get Mentioned in the Media: How to Use Online Press to Find Freelance Clients</a> &ndash; You don&rsquo;t need to pay a PR agent to get your name out there. Use Help A Reporter Out to connect with journalists and writers who may want to feature you in a story. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-pay-for-graduate-school">Graduate (Less) Broke: Tips To Pay For Grad School Wisely</a> &mdash; Federal loans for grad school tend to give you more flexibility, but it's worth it to check if you can get better rates from private lenders. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-to-ask-and-tell-your-childs-new-teacher">What to Ask and Tell Your Child's New Teacher</a> &mdash; Get to know the educator's teaching style and help her get to know your child! [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-habits-of-highly-successful-people">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/13-things-successful-people-do-every-morning">13 Things Successful People Do Every Morning</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-tips-from-visionaries">10 Productivity Tips From Visionaries</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-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips success Wed, 19 Aug 2015 19:00:25 +0000 Amy Lu 1530072 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Reasons You Can't Focus — And How to Fix It Now http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000023132071_1.jpg" alt="Woman learning she can&#039;t focus, and how to fix it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Focus. It's a word often yelled at children from frustrated teachers, and at ourselves when we have trouble getting to the bottom of something. &quot;Come on, focus, you can do this.&quot;</p> <p>Why is it easy for some people to hone in on a problem and give it laser-guided focus, while other people cannot go two minutes without staring out of the window or thinking about sitting on a beach? Well, there are many reasons beyond personality types. Here are 12 of the biggest reasons you may be having trouble concentrating.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Getting Enough Sleep</h2> <p>There's a reason we spend at least 25% of our lives in bed. Sleep is very important. It helps us recharge, gives the brain a chance to exercise neuronal connections, and gives our bodies time to repair muscles and replace chemicals. So, when we're not getting the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-help-you-sleep">right amount of sleep</a> (and it varies from person to person, but around six to eight hours is average), everything suffers &mdash; in particular, the mind takes the brunt of it. You will find it very difficult to stay focused on anything because your brain is not only tired, it's confused. It hasn't had the necessary time it needs to prepare for another full day of activity, and as such it is torn between the task at hand, and wanting to shut down.</p> <p>Now, you may think you're getting your six to eight hours every night, but still have trouble focusing. Check to see if you have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea. Even though you go to bed at 11 p.m. and wake up at seven, you may have had a night of restless, constantly-interrupted sleep. If you haven't had a good amount of deep, restful REM sleep, you will suffer the consequences. Lack of sleep can also lead to depression, and anyone who has ever been depressed knows all too well how the mind wanders.</p> <h2>2. You Surround Yourself With Distractions</h2> <p>It's said that today's teenagers will interact with three different technologies at the same time (a phone, TV, and computer) without any kind of problem. It's just a way of life. But it's not a way to focus.</p> <p>This plays into conversations, or interactions with people either in person, online, or on the phone. We think we're giving that person enough attention, but we're not. We hear the phone beep, and have to check it. We see something come on the TV in the background, and our attention wanes. We all need to take a long, hard look at how the devices we own and use hinder our focus. We should get into the habit of turning off everything we don't absolutely need when a job needs to get done. Does the TV need to be on in the background? Do we need to have music playing? Can the phone be put in a drawer on vibrate, ready only for important calls? If we remove all of these distractions, we could all vastly improve our focus.</p> <h2>3. You're Not Dealing With Problems</h2> <p>Remember that old saying, &quot;the squeaky wheel gets the grease?&quot; It applies to a lot of aspects of our life, in particular to people who are always complaining and get most of the attention. But when it comes to focus, that squeaking wheel is a problem (or problems) that have not been dealt with. If it is a problem that has gone completely unchecked, we find ourselves thinking &quot;I really need to deal with that dripping faucet&quot; or &quot;I need to talk to my mortgage broker.&quot; These problems will stop nagging us if they're on a list of things to deal with, or we make steps to get them done. So make an appointment with the broker. Watch a video on replacing a washer. Even though the actual problem is not solved, by simply starting to work on it, it stops &quot;squeaking.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You Haven't Made a Good Plan</h2> <p>This definitely goes hand-in-hand with the point above. A plan is essential if you want to focus. When a mechanic looks under the hood of a car to see why it's not running correctly, he or she is not just vacantly looking around hoping to see an issue. There is always a plan about what to check, when to check it, and always in a specific order. A doctor has a plan when he or she checks you for a medical complaint. And so, when you are dealing with something, have a plan. Whether it's as simple as making a list before you go to the grocery store, or it's building an entire set of schematics and directions for a home improvement project, make sure you have a plan. That way, you can focus on each step, and not on the whole project, which can become overwhelming.</p> <h2>5. You're Not Getting Enough Exercise</h2> <p>On the flip side of the sleep coin is exercise. Most of us are just not getting enough good exercise, and it's showing by the rising obesity rates in the U.S., and the world. It's easy to brush off exercise due to the amount of hours we all work, and the supposed lack of free time we all have. BUT, a lack of exercise will take its toll on the mind as well as the body. Exercise spurs brain growth, boosts hormones, fights anxiety and depression, reduces stress, and even increases sensitivity to insulin. All of these are factors that can affect our focus and concentration. So, get some exercise. Even if you start slow, by taking the stairs every day instead of the elevator, you are doing your brain the world of good.</p> <h2>6. You Are Working in a Messy Environment</h2> <p>You may be one of those people who can achieve a lot when surrounded by mess and clutter; you are definitely in the minority. Unless you're an artist who thrives on chaos, you really need some order in your chosen workspace. Clutter and mess may not bother you, but they can still be a distraction for your mind. And whether your desk is filled with toys and games or old take-out wrappers and soda bottles, the end result is the same: you have something else to focus on other than the task at hand. So, clean it up. It doesn't have to be pristine, and it doesn't have to be a completely blank space. Just give yourself, and your brain, the ability to easily focus on just one thing.</p> <h2>7. You May Have ADHD</h2> <p>Do you have trouble listening to people, and following instructions? Are you often irritable? Do you have a lot of trouble relaxing? Are you restless, constantly moving around, and jiggling your legs? Are you late more often than you are on time? Do you have trouble prioritizing tasks? These are all possible <a href="http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/10-symptoms-adult-adhd">symptoms of adult ADHD</a>, and if you have it, you are going to have major problems focusing on the task at hand. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from adult ADHD, and he or she may be able to prescribe something to help, be it medication, meditation techniques, or other possible ways to alleviate the symptoms.</p> <h2>8. You're Working Too Hard</h2> <p>The U.S. is now <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/american-hours-worked-productivity-vacation/">leading the world</a> when it comes to the number of hours worked every year by the average citizen. And, the U.S. is also one of the only countries in the world that doesn't have national paid parental leave, mandated paid sick time, or mandated annual leave. The bottom line&hellip;we're all working too much, and our ability to focus is suffering. It's very beneficial to step away from the office, wherever that may be, and think about something else.</p> <p>In creative professions in particular, the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop thinking about it for a while and let the subconscious go to work. But, by working every hour that you are able, you are going to lose focus, and be less efficient at your job, or whatever else you want to focus on. Step away, take a break, take a vacation, and give yourself, and your brain, a much-needed rest.</p> <h2>9. You Aren't Eating or Drinking Correctly</h2> <p>Along with sleep and exercise, the body needs fuel. And just like any machine, your body will have issues if it is not given the correct fuel. A cheeseburger with fries and a Coke is a tasty treat now and again, but it's not going to do much for your brain. And if you are dehydrated, your mind will wander and your body will weaken. You need to feed your body, and brain, the nutrients they need to function at their best.</p> <p>Get in the habit of drinking water at your desk at work. Add fish oils and vitamins to your breakfast routine. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. No one is asking you to become a magnificent healthy eater overnight, but by making a few important changes to your diet, you will quickly notice the results in your ability to focus, and get things done.</p> <h2>10. You Need More Sex</h2> <p>Well, there it is. The &quot;S&quot; word. This one is self-explanatory, but in layman's terms, if you're not getting what you need in the bedroom, your mind will really start to wander. Just as hunger can make your start to think constantly about food, the same can be said for a lack of sexual satisfaction. If you have a partner, this should be something that's simple enough to solve. Of course, that's easier said than done, so it may be something that requires couples therapy.</p> <p>However, if you're single, it's a different story. There are ways to release the pressure on your own, but you should think about joining a few dating sites, or app, and getting out more to social events. Humans need that intimate connection, and without it our focus can definitely suffer.</p> <h2>11. You Haven't Identified the Specific Problem</h2> <p>It's hard to focus on a problem if you have no idea where to look. And yet, it happens in the workplace, and at home, every single day. It's amazing how many times a meeting can be completely brought to a halt by the phrase &quot;What exactly is the problem we're trying to solve here anyway?&quot;</p> <p>So, before you focus on the task at hand, nail down the specific problem you're trying to address. Don't go into any task looking at generalities and vague issues. If the problem is &quot;The utility bills are too high,&quot; ask why. Is it because the A/C is on too long during the day? Then, figure out how you can reduce the temperature in the house without running the A/C. That's a problem to focus on.</p> <h2>12. You Are Way Too Stressed</h2> <p>We all are. It just feels like this is what life is these days; stress, followed by a side order of anxiety and a second helping of angst and worry. Stress is not good for your body, or your mind. You may not be able to eliminate the cause of stress, but we can all find ways to lower the stress they cause. Yoga, meditation, more sleep, better food, and more time off, are all ways to help reduce the stresses in our lives. With less stress, and less anxiety, we are able to breathe a little easier and focus on the tasks that lie ahead of us. And if we can focus more, we get more accomplished. This is turn helps us reduce stress even further. It's a healthy cycle.</p> <p><em>What prevents you from concentrating? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-mind-everyday">5 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Mind Everyday</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/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven&#039;t Tried Yet</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/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</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-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</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/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-help-you-sleep">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Help You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Productivity concentration depression distracted focusing frustration restlessness Fri, 14 Aug 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Paul Michael 1523167 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_reading_map_000020985087.jpg" alt="Women using skill that will soon become obsolete" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As technology evolves, certain careers are replaced with new ones. For instance, children used to be employed as pinsetters in bowling alleys; the automated pin-setting machine made that job vanish pretty quickly. Before alarm clocks, &quot;knocker uppers&quot; would walk the streets tapping on windows to get people out of bed. And at night, lamplighters would walk around igniting gas-fueled street lamps.</p> <p>But beyond jobs, certain <em>skills</em> also get replaced as technology moves ever forward. So what are some modern skills that will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete">soon be rendered obsolete</a>? Here are nine that are quickly becoming extinct.</p> <h2>1. A Sense of Direction</h2> <p>Two words &mdash; Google Maps. You may be able to navigate around your city like a cab driver around the streets of London, but who cares? With the maps app on your phone, you can get to anywhere you want. There are no wrong turns, no dead ends, and no traffic delays. Everything is synced up to GPS, and you can be a complete newbie to the town or city you're in, and still get where you're going like you've lived there for 50 years. This is great news for people like me, who continue to get lost on the way to work.</p> <h2>2. Parallel Parking</h2> <p>Some people are really good at it. Most of us are okay. Some are terrible. You may be one of those people that brags about your parallel parking skills, but soon you'll be impressing no one. Many higher-end vehicles already come with park assist, but as technology gets less expensive, it migrates to other cars, and is currently available as an option on the Toyota Prius and the Ford Focus. Yes&hellip; the Ford Focus. Give it a few years, and every car will be a perfect parallel parker. And driving itself, when that gets replaced by driverless cars, could also become a skill of the past.</p> <h2>3. Flirting</h2> <p>Really!? Well, perhaps not entirely. There will always be the need to do the dance, using body language, eye contact, all of that. But these days, online dating apps like Tinder, OK Cupid, Plenty Of Fish, and many more, are taking a lot of the hard work out of meeting people in bars and clubs. After all, why risk the rejection when you have a guaranteed date waiting? And not only that, but a date you know a whole lot about, including likes, dislikes, pets, and anything else you want to look up. There are guidebooks out there telling guys how to pick up women, and they are starting to lose their appeal. Quickly.</p> <h2>4. Cursive Writing</h2> <p>Although it is still being taught in schools, cursive writing is rarely used outside of the classroom. Think about it&hellip; when was the last time you wrote anything in cursive? In fact, when was the last time you wrote anything by hand, other than a quick shopping list or note letting someone know you'd be back in 10 minutes? Technology has eliminated the need for cursive writing; we use a keyboard for almost everything, and not just reports, emails, and other documents. From online diaries and blogs, to notepads on smartphones and tablets, keyboards are making cursive go the way of the dodo.</p> <h2>5. Mental Arithmetic</h2> <p>So, this is not discounting the work of mathematicians and scientists; those skills will always be needed by society. However, for most of us, the ability to do calculations in our heads is quickly becoming a task we'd much rather do on our phones. We have this computer on us almost everywhere we go, so why bother crunching the numbers ourselves when a calculator app can do it in half the time, and with certainty? Lazy it may be, but we always take the path of least resistance.</p> <h2>6. Memorization</h2> <p>As with mental arithmetic, having a great memory (which is a learnable skill, by the way) is also becoming obsolete thanks to smartphones. It is very rare to be with a bunch of friends and have that &quot;Oh&hellip; what was the name of that actor who was in that movie?&quot; kinda question get answered with a chorus of &quot;Hang on, I know this one.&quot; Instead, we pull it up on IMDB. The same goes for anything that requires looking into the archives of our minds, from phone numbers and addresses, to recipes and birthdays. It's all available to us at the touch of a button.</p> <h2>7. Spelling</h2> <p>Pretty soon, the only use for being an excellent speller will be to win a spelling bee. It doesn't matter if you cannot spell even the simplest words, your phones and computers have spell checking built into almost everything you use. It's not just in Microsoft Word, but emails, messaging apps, and even design programs. Just look for the little red wavy line, and voila, click to correct. You may be able to spell floccinaucinihilipilification after seven pints of foaming ale, but it's not going to be a skill you need in everyday life.</p> <h2>8. Physical Networking</h2> <p>Remember the days when you had to attend functions, meeting people in your field in order to increase your circle of business colleagues? Well, these days you can do it all over the Internet. Sites like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed and many others are making it very easy to reach out and find new jobs, or careers. And if you need to hire a professional, you've got millions of people just a click away. There will always be company functions, but that handshake, smile, and charm won't be needed anymore. You can do it all while you're sitting at your desk, or at home while you're watching the game.</p> <h2>9. Filing Hard Copies</h2> <p>There was a real art to filing information, and if you were good at it, you made your own life (and that of your employer) much easier. These days, it can almost all be done on a computer, using filing software that does all the hard work for you. Yes, you may be required to keep hard files on occasion, but even that is being replaced by digital copies. Pretty soon, filing cabinets will be in a museum right next to buggy whips and PDAs.</p> <p><em>What common skills do you see becoming obsolete soon?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</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-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</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/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</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-apps-every-dad-needs">6 Apps Every Dad Needs</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/8-apple-watch-apps-thatll-save-you-money">8 Apple Watch Apps That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Productivity Technology apps Dating maps math networking obsolete skills parallel parking Wed, 12 Aug 2015 11:00:18 +0000 Paul Michael 1515687 at http://www.wisebread.com Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That'll Change the Way You Work http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_break_sign_000068533353.jpg" alt="The productivity secret that will change the way you work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a person who makes a living doing freelance and contract work from home, there are two questions I tend to get about my job. The first is whether I work in pajamas. (The answer is no.) The second is how I manage to get any work done at all.</p> <p>&quot;If I worked at home, I don't think I'd get <em>any </em>work done,&quot; people often tell me. &quot;How do you manage to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">stay productive</a> for eight hours a day on your own?&quot;</p> <p>The simple answer? I don't.</p> <p>And, according to research about productivity in the workplace, you probably aren't productive for eight straight hours either, whether you're working at a laptop at your kitchen table or sitting in an office or cubicle. In fact, some research suggests that many office workers are productive for <a href="http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/news/only-three-hours-of-productivity-a-day/103618.article">as little as three hours</a> per eight-hour work day.</p> <p>Here are five tips on how to get the most work done in the least amount of time so that you can head home early &mdash; or at least right on time.</p> <h2>1. Recognize Your Window of Productivity</h2> <p>When I sit down at my desk, I typically jump right into working. Then, after a while, my mind starts to wander. In the past, this really frustrated me. I need to be working! In fact, periods of inattention are pretty normal &mdash; necessary, even.</p> <p>Research by Draugiem Group, a social networking company, suggests that the average person can only maintain concentration and productivity for about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3035605/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-exact-amount-of-time-you-should-work-every-day">52 minutes at a time</a>. However, while many people try to push through this window, the most productive workers actually do something quite different: They take a 17-minute break during which they do something completely unrelated to work. They leave their desks. They take a walk. They chat with co-workers. They read a book. They take a nap.</p> <p>That might sound lazy, but research suggests that our brains &mdash; much like our bodies &mdash; need to rest following hard work. And, just like doing too much exercise without rest will eventually cause the body to break down, running your brain at full speed tends to lead to burnout. That's because our brains are designed to cycle between two types of activity: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/hit-the-reset-button-in-your-brain.html?_r=0">focused attention, and wandering or daydreaming</a>. And, it is in this latter phase of attention that our brains not only rest, but collate and process the things we've just been working on. It's why inspiration tends to strike when we're doing the most mundane things. It's while at rest that our brains have a chance to make new connections.</p> <p>So, the first step to becoming more productive is to get a sense of how long you can work before your mind starts to wander. Is it 30 minutes? 50 minutes? An hour? Once you figure that out, you can start breaking your work day into blocks of about that size, followed by short, restful breaks.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic About Your Goals</h2> <p>No one's going to pat you on the back or give you a promotion for writing a single page of a huge report. Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of goal that'll help you finish a project in the most efficient, effective way possible. Why? Because it's simple, it's achievable, and it's motivating.</p> <p>In fact, according to Harvard researcher Teresa Amabile, small, daily progress is the <a href="http://progressprinciple.com/books/single/the_progress_principle">most powerful workplace motivator</a> there is. So, rather than setting goals that are days or weeks in the making, set smaller goals that you can achieve each day. By completing a small, tangible goal each day, you will build momentum that'll help keep you on track. Plus, you'll be chipping away at bigger objectives in the most productive way possible.</p> <h2>3. Break Work Into Blocks</h2> <p>Now that you have some key goals, break your work into tasks that'll fit into 52-minute (or thereabouts) blocks. Start each work day by thinking about what you can complete within your productive window(s). Can you empty your email inbox? Finish a section of that spreadsheet? Write a specific portion of that big report? Whatever it is, prioritize your tasks and designate a block of your day for each thing you want to work on. Even with frequent breaks, your brain's mental capacity will wane as the day goes on, so you may also want schedule the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning</p> <h2>4. Spend Less Time on the Job</h2> <p>Depending on where you work, working less may not possible, but research suggests that it's ideal. Workaholics might <em>think</em> they're accomplishing more, but the research doesn't bear that out. In fact, it suggests we should all go home at 5:00 pm and get a life.</p> <p>We've known since way back that super-long work weeks deliver diminishing &mdash; and even negative &mdash; returns. In the early 1900s, Ford Motor Company determined that the optimum work hours for worker productivity amounted to no more than 40 hours per week. They even found that while adding an additional 20 hours per week boosted productivity initially, that increase only lasted for about a month, at which point the increase turned negative. More recent studies have found that the sweet spot for employment productivity is <a href="http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/sites/default/files/ef_files/pubdocs/2002/07/en/1/ef0207en.pdf">30 hours per week</a>. Other studies have found that after 50 hours, <a href="http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/12/working-hours">output remained the same</a>. In other words, people tend to get the same amount of work done, whether they spend 50 hours or 70 hours on the job each week.</p> <p>Depending on where you work, you may not be able to cut your work days short, but you may be able to avoid being sucked into a culture that promotes staying at the office well into the night. Going home on time isn't a sign of laziness. It's smart idea, and one that'll help you deliver more and better work when you are on the clock.</p> <h2>5. Work Hard, Play Hard</h2> <p>Being more productive isn't about working longer or even harder. In fact, it's all about giving yourself a break. So if you find yourself unable to resist a few cat videos during the day, or you spend a little too long chatting with a coworker at lunch, it doesn't mean you're wasting time. As it turns out, that space between periods of work is where the real productivity happens.</p> <p><em>What techniques do you use to increase your productivity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-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-7"> <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/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</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-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity attention span motivation taking breaks working Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Tara Struyk 1493871 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Secrets of Incredibly Productive People http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-secrets-of-incredibly-productive-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-secrets-of-incredibly-productive-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/productive_man_000036372398.jpg" alt="Revealing secrets of incredibly productive people" 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 secrets of incredibly productive people, reasons why you&rsquo;ll never get rich, and how to handle three awkward money situations.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-More-Productive-35380464">7 Secrets of Incredibly Productive People</a> &mdash; Productive people are good planners, but they're also flexible. They don't stress out when something comes up or plans change &mdash; they just roll with it! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/5-reasons-your-money-will-never-work-for-you/">5 Ways You Sabotage Hopes of Getting Rich</a> &mdash; You'll never get rich if you let the wrong things motivate you. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-to-handle-3-awkward-money-situations/">How to Handle 3 Awkward Money Situations</a> &mdash; A friend owes you a big chunk of cash, and you don't know how to get it back? Ask your friend to have the repayment plan written out so expectations are clear for both of you. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0716/College-students-don-t-spend-more-than-500-on-laptops.-Here-s-why">College students, don't spend more than $500 on laptops. Here's why.</a> &mdash; Most systems under $500 will be able to handle the basic tasks that a typical college student needs. If your major requires more computing power, consider getting a desktop instead. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/401k-mistakes">10 Awful 401(k) No-No&rsquo;s You Should Avoid</a> &mdash; Get a professional to help you choose your 401(k) investments. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/credit-card-myths-that-can-hurt-your-credit-score/">5 Credit Card Myths That Can Hurt Your Credit Score</a> &mdash; Credit card issuers raise your credit limit because they want you to spend more, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/do-what-you-love/">Do What You Love?</a> &mdash; In some cases, doing what you love for a living isn't realistic. It might not even be what you really want! [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/money-milestones-20-something/">Money Milestones of a 20-Something</a> &mdash; Being proactive about saving money means you're able to roll with the punches when unexpected expenses come up. [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/started-my-freelance-business/">What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Freelance Business</a> &mdash; Hire or ask for help before you need it. By the time you feel the need, you're already desperate. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/breaking-tradition-why-being-a-sahd-makes-sense">Breaking Tradition: Why Being a SAHD Makes Sense</a> &mdash; Having a stay at home dad benefits everyone in the family: kids have two active parents, moms get much-needed help, and dads learn to interact with their kids with finesse and sensitivity. [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-secrets-of-incredibly-productive-people">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-8"> <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/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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-apps-every-dad-needs">6 Apps Every Dad Needs</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-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom">10 Productivity Hacks From a Work-at-Home Mom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips productivity secrets Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:00:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1494467 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_working_online_000042174160.jpg" alt="Man staying productive while working from home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've just landed a coveted work-from-home job. This is great news. You can now ditch the time-consuming commute to work. You can avoid office gossip, and you can work on your own schedule.</p> <p>But, there are some pitfalls. It's not always easy to stay productive when you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">working from home</a>. There are plenty of distractions &mdash; <em>Orange Is the New Black</em> on Netflix, the refrigerator, and your bike just waiting for you in the garage &mdash; to take you away from your work. If you're not careful, you might find yourself missing deadlines, angering your bosses and &mdash; ultimately &mdash; heading back into an office every day.</p> <p>The key to avoiding this fate is to treat your home office more like an office and less like a home, at least during the workday. Here are five tips that you can use to remain productive while working from home.</p> <h2>1. Take Control of Your Workspace</h2> <p>Devora Zack, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162656261X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=162656261X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TUQNZYZOU6UC5PHI">Singletasking</a> and owner of Only Connect Consulting, a business-consulting company in Bethesda, Maryland, says that you need to keep distractions at bay during the working day. That means creating a workspace that keeps out children, spouses, or any other distractions when you're working.</p> <p>Zack says that it's your job to &quot;build fences&quot; that will keep distractions away. These fences can be anything from a closed and locked door to muting your call-waiting feature while conducting an important phone interview.</p> <h2>2. Have a Schedule and a To-Do List</h2> <p>Andy Abramson, chief executive officer of marketing firm Comunicano, has been working from home part- or full-time since 1974 when he first started handling marketing duties for professional sports teams. The resident of Del Mar, California, says that the key to staying productive at home is to have a schedule for every day, and to stick to it.</p> <p>It helps to have a to-do list, too. That way you won't reach the end of your work day only to find that you didn't complete your most important tasks.</p> <p>&quot;Have a routine if you work from home, and plan your day,&quot; Abramson said. &quot;This includes times for taking breaks, running errands, and eating meals.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Don't Forget to Leave the Office</h2> <p>Dani Mackey, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Dani Mackey Communications, says that it's important to leave your home office on a regular basis. It's too easy to cut yourself off from the community if you work from home every day. Mackey suggests schedule meetings when possible outside your office.</p> <p>Leaving the office increases networking opportunities and forces you to dress professionally &mdash; it can be easy to dress down every day when you work from home.</p> <p>&quot;It also forces you to be more productive while you are in your office, as there is less time available to be unproductive,&quot; Mackey says.</p> <h2>4. Don't Let Email Consume You</h2> <p>It can be easy when you work from home to let email take over your life. It's tempting to check your email while playing with your kids, chatting with your spouse, making dinner, or exercising, especially if you're constantly toting your smartphone with you.</p> <p>Michael Fritsch, the productivity expert known as the SavvyCOO, says that people who work from home should set aside blocks of time specifically to deal with email. They should also use email filters to automatically route messages to specific folders. You might designate emails from your boss or clients to automatically redirect to an inbox marked &quot;Urgent.&quot; You can automatically route emails from friends and family members to a different, less-urgent inbox.</p> <h2>5. Don't Work All the Time</h2> <p>When you work from home, it can be too easy to spend all of your time on work. But this isn't healthy: You need to schedule time for exercise, reading, and spending time with your family.</p> <p>Elisette Carlson, founder of San Diego-based public relations firm SMACK! Media and someone who works from home, recommends treating these breaks as you would any other meeting or deadline; don't blow them off.</p> <p>&quot;Take a moment in the evening to put it all away,&quot; Carlson said. &quot;This has helped me a lot. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is family time. Sure, I'll peek at my phone to ensure there aren't any emergencies, but I try to keep this time 100% about family.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you stay focused when working from home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">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-9"> <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-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs">6 Gadgets Every Work at Home Professional Needs</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-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</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-convince-your-boss-to-let-you-work-from-home">How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work from Home</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/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</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-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Productivity home office remote jobs telecommute work from home Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1484700 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tips for an Ultra-Productive Day http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-for-an-ultra-productive-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-for-an-ultra-productive-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/productive_woman_000015384568.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to be ultra-productive" 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 tips to have an ultra-productive day, how to free up space on your iPhone, and amazing ways to save money at Target.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/20-tips-ultra-productive-day/">20 Tips for an Ultra-Productive Day</a> &mdash; If you really want to get things done, turn off your phone. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0608/Ten-proven-ways-to-free-up-space-on-your-iPhone">Ten proven ways to free up space on your iPhone</a> &mdash; Old texts and iMessages can take up a lot of room, especially if you have a bunch of pictures and video messages. Set them to auto-delete after 30 days so they won't hog memory and slow down your phone. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Save-Target-36488054#photo-36488054">25 Amazing Ways to Save More at Target</a> &mdash; Take advantage of seasonal clearance! You'll see the best prices a week after a holiday. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S001-best-times-to-make-major-purchases.html">Best Times to Make Major Purchases</a> &mdash; Household appliances &mdash; other than refrigerators &mdash; are cheapest in September and October, when new models come out. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditcardchaser.com/is-your-personality-making-it-harder-for-you-to-save/">Is Your Personality Making it Harder for You to Save?</a> &mdash; Impatient people are the first in line to buy new products &mdash; and they'll pay premium for it. But if you want to save, too, you can become a focus group tester and get your hands on a new gadget before it hits the market.&nbsp;[Credit Card Chaser]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/06/04/overcome-frustration/">How to Overcome Frustration: 3 Simple but Effective Steps</a> &mdash; Whenever you feel frustrated, bring your attention back to the present and focus on what you can do right now to improve the situation. Every small step counts! [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/how-to-fund-your-dream-wedding/">3 Smart Ways to Fund Your Dream Wedding</a> &mdash; It's increasingly acceptable these days to ask for cash in lieu of a wedding gift. Check out online services that allow couples to set up a registry where guests can easily gift cash. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/how-to-manage-money-in-your-marriage/">How to Manage Money in Your Marriage</a> &mdash; When you have a disagreement over money, give yourselves time to cool down first before you discuss the issue. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.allstate.com/how-to-remove-oil-from-driveway/">How to Remove Oil Stains from Your Driveway or Garage</a> &mdash; One way to remove dried oil from concrete is to douse the stain with spray lubricant and rinse with water. [The Allstate Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-new-parent-rules-you-can-break">8 &quot;New Parent Rules&quot; You Can Break</a> &mdash; Don't always put your kids' needs first. You have to take care of yourself, too! [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-tips-for-an-ultra-productive-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <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/being-routinely-creative">Being routinely creative</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/an-easier-way-to-manage-your-to-dos">An Easier Way to Manage Your To-Do&#039;s</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-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</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/4-ways-outsourcing-chores-can-save-you-time-and-money">4 Ways Outsourcing Chores Can Save You Time and Money</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips productivity tips Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1451147 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 25 Morning Habits for a Great Day http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-25-morning-habits-for-a-great-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-25-morning-habits-for-a-great-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/breakfast-iStock_000064711529_Small.jpg" alt="family eating breakfast" title="family eating breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></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 morning habits for a great day, ways to save $100 this week, and things you can do this summer to boost your career.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Good-Morning-Habits-34931838">Up and at 'Em! 25 Good Morning Habits For a Great Day</a> &mdash; Start your day with a brain exercise like Sudoku or a crossword to get those wheels turning! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/21-ways-save-100-this-week/">18 Ways to Save $100 This Week</a> &mdash; Set a cash-only expenditure budget for the week. When your cash is gone, your spending is done! [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/5-summer-build-career/">5 Things To Do This Summer To Help Build Your Career</a> &mdash; Volunteer at a charitable organization! You'll grow your network, gain more experiences to put on your resume, and give back to your community. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0604/How-to-make-your-laptop-last-longer">How to make your laptop last longer</a> &mdash; If you have an older laptop with a hard drive, replace it with a solid state drive. They're more expensive than your average hard drive, but they're also much faster. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/five-common-frugal-cooking-substitutes">Five Common Frugal Cooking Substitutes</a> &mdash; Substitute juice for wine if you don't want to pop open bottle. [Bargain Briana]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://liveyourlegend.net/passionate-work-framework-to-do-work-you-love/">The 3 Simple (&amp; Absolutely Required) Steps to Doing Work You Love</a> &mdash; Become a self-expert! To do this, you need to constantly experiment and learn new things about yourself. [Live Your Legend]</p> <p><a href="http://momsneedtoknow.com/10-ways-to-cut-your-electric-or-gas-bill/">10 Ways to Cut Your Electric or Gas Bill</a> &mdash; On warm days, cook on the outdoor grill or an electric skillet on your patio to keep your house from heating up. [Moms Need to Know]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/5-ways-youre-sinking-financially-stop/59134">5 Ways You&rsquo;re Sinking Financially&hellip;And How to Stop</a> &mdash; It's easy to forget about automatic payments...long after you've stopped using the service! [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/8-tools-boost-your-social-media-performance.html">8 Tools To Boost Your Social Media Performance</a> &mdash; Nimble combines your schedule, contacts, emails, and social media accounts into one centralized hub. [Lifehack.org]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/all-the-best-award-winning-children-s-books-of-2015">All the Best Award Winning Children&rsquo;s Books of 2015</a> &mdash; This year John Newbery Medal goes to <em>The Crossover</em> by Kwame Alexander! [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-25-morning-habits-for-a-great-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <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> <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-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</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> Personal Development Productivity best money tips good habits Mon, 08 Jun 2015 19:00:12 +0000 Amy Lu 1448906 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_procrastinating_000037338664.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to cure procrastination" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people may wonder why procrastination advice seems to never work for them and if there is a deeper issue at hand. Well, for 20% of the population who are chronic procrastinators, it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University and a leading expert in the study of procrastination. For those 20%, telling them to just &quot;do it&quot; is like &quot;telling a clinically depressed person to cheer up,&quot; says Ferrari, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Still-Procrastinating-Regrets-Guide-Getting/dp/0470611588/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1329440165&amp;sr=8-1" target="_blank">Still Procrastinating?</a>.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Organization-Tips-DIYs-34385347#photo-34385347">41 Insanely Awesome Organization Hacks</a></p> <h3>It's a Serious Problem If . . .</h3> <p>So how do you know if you're a chronic procrastinator? &quot;You find that you procrastinate at home, at school, at work,&nbsp;in relationships. You don't pay your bills on time . . . You miss sporting events, concerts because you never got the ticket,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;You're late for any social gathering, you'll miss doctor's appointments because you're never there on time, the refrigerator is empty because you never restock it in time, food goes bad because you never eat it on time. If you do all those kind of things, you probably are a chronic procrastinator.&quot;</p> <p>Read on to find out how people become procrastinators.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Productive-Morning-34975526">7 Ways to Be Productive Every Morning of the Week</a></p> <h3>How People Become Chronic Procrastinators</h3> <p>There are several factors that can lead one to becoming a chronic procrastinator. Here are a couple of them, according to the procrastination expert:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your dad</strong>: &quot;It's typically cold, demanding, stern fathers that cause boys and girls to be procrastinators,&quot; Ferrari says. Children with strict dads use procrastination as a way to cope because they can't rebel.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>You care too much about what others think of you</strong>: Some people procrastinate because they care too much about public perception. The pressure to seem perfect is particularly strong for these people. The chronic procrastinators prefer people to see them as procrastinators that don't get around to doing tasks rather than simply being incompetent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Society</strong>: We live in a world where society doesn't reward punctuality. Instead, we're penalized for being late, which doesn't give any of us incentive to complete tasks ahead of time. &quot;We punish people if they file their taxes late. We give them a bill. If we pay off our credit card late, we charge them a late fee. But what if you pay your card on time and what if you've paid your mortgage off? There's no gift here.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Funny-Sick-Day-Excuses-20337003">10 Really Unusual Sick Day Excuses</a></p> <h3>The Cure for Procrastination</h3> <p>For those who have deep-rooted issues with procrastination, it seems that cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of mental health counseling, is the most effective method. This kind of psychotherapy attempts to reroute inaccurate, harmful, or negative thoughts.</p> <p>Ferrari suggests a couple more ways that might help chronic procrastinators:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Surround yourself with doers</strong>: It's healthy for a chronic procrastinator to surround herself with people who are likely to do things. It'll be a good influence on those with a tendency to delay tasks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Just start somewhere</strong>: Just take a small step at a time. For example, if you're supposed to write an essay, start with a few paragraphs, and if that's too much for you, resolve to write just one. If that's still overwhelming, stick to a couple of sentences or even a few words.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Set up a reward system</strong>: &quot;People like to do things they enjoy doing,&quot; says Ferrari. He recommends rewarding yourself with something you enjoy after you complete something that you've been dreading to do. For example, reward yourself with half an hour of <em>Desperate Housewives</em> after doing laundry.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Public posting</strong>: Because procrastinators care so much about how others view them, they are more likely to do tasks when they publicly announce it. Take to Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet and state the task you're going to do. Then when you've completed it, let everyone know that you've done what you set out to do. The &quot;likes&quot; and congratulatory tweets will feel very satisfying.</li> </ul> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Mornings-Easier-37111300">Start Each Workday Right by Following These 7 Rules</a></p> <h3>So What if I Am One?</h3> <p>If you're reading this and feel that you fit the profile of a chronic procrastinator, you may think that it's not a big deal to be one. After all, your life might be functioning fine, and you've made it through many of the setbacks caused by your procrastination.</p> <p>However, keep in mind that it may catch up with you one day, and it can get to a point where it disrupts your life and negatively impact other people's opinion of your character. Further, it's not exactly comfortable living as a chronic procrastinator. In fact, Ferrari found that procrastinators have more regrets than nonprocrastinators for things that they didn't do. &quot;Stop stressing yourself over it. Life is short &mdash; leave a legacy,&quot; says Ferrari. &quot;There are too many places to see and too many things to do in life to just procrastinate and wait and living in a bubble of fear of getting it done.&quot;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What are you waiting for? Fix your chronic procrastination now. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Organization-Tips-DIYs-34385347#photo-34385347">41 Insanely Awesome Organization Hacks</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Productive-Morning-34975526">7 Ways to Be Productive Every Morning of the Week</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Funny-Sick-Day-Excuses-20337003">10 Really Unusual Sick Day Excuses</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Mornings-Easier-37111300">Start Each Workday Right by Following These 7 Rules</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">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-12"> <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/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</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/fifteen-minutes-of">Fifteen Minutes of ...</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/a-one-touch-approach-to-managing-household-finances">A One Touch Approach To Managing Household Finances</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-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-now">9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating — NOW!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Organization Productivity confidence procrastination productivity Fri, 29 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1424334 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: What Successful People Do To Maximize Their Time http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-what-successful-people-do-to-maximize-their-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-what-successful-people-do-to-maximize-their-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clock-iStock_000039134708_Small.jpg" alt="clock" title="clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></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 things that successful people do to maximize their time, possible causes for your high bills, and ways to keep promises with yourself.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-things-successful-people-maximize-their-time.html">10 Things Successful People Do To Maximize Their Time</a> &mdash; Successful people keep themselves accountable for how they spend their time. They examine how they use their time and make changes whenever necessary. [Lifehack.org]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Lower-Monthly-Expenses-20441848">13 Things That Are Causing Your Bills to Skyrocket</a> &mdash; Sticking with your big bank may be more convenient, but are you getting the best rates? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2015/05/5-ways-to-keep-promises-with-yourself/">5 Ways to Keep Promises with Yourself</a> &mdash; Keep a daily habit list to help you check off your promises. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0526/Nine-personal-finance-tools-for-learning-money-management">Americans are learning more about food, and eating better</a> &mdash; For the first time, the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee accounted for the impact that food makes on the environment in their yearly set of dietary recommendations.&nbsp;[The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/why-job-hopping-isnt-bad">Underpaid? It&rsquo;s Time To Leave; Why Job Hopping Isn&rsquo;t So Bad</a> &mdash; Job hopping allows you to experiment in different roles and fields, which is especially important if you're not sure what you want for a career. [Money Under 30]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/hard-to-choose-a-retirement-plan/">It&rsquo;s Easy to Fall Behind on Retirement Because It&rsquo;s Hard to Choose a Plan</a> &mdash; If you have a retirement plan with your employer, choose something with broad market exposure, like index funds. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/05/financial-mistakes-vs-financial-setbacks.html">Financial Mistakes vs. Financial Setbacks</a> &mdash; Knowing the difference between mistakes and setbacks will help you make better financial moves in the future. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/career/the-graduates-guide-to-becoming-financially-ready-for-the-real-world/">The Graduate&rsquo;s Guide to Becoming Financially Ready for the &ldquo;Real World&rdquo;</a> &mdash; Start an emergency fund &mdash; and use it <i>only</i> for emergencies. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/best-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads/">Best Jobs for Stay-At-Home Moms (and Dads!)</a> &mdash; Virtual assisting can be less flexible than other stay-at-home work, but it offers a steady source of income. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/like-em-or-not-dress-codes-are-actually-good-for-children">Like &lsquo;Em or Not, Dress Codes Are Actually Good for Children</a> &mdash; When enforced fairly, dress codes at school foster an atmosphere of respect. [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-what-successful-people-do-to-maximize-their-time">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-13"> <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/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-have-it-all-4-tips-for-doing-more-with-your-time">Can You Have It All? 4 Tips for Doing More With Your Time</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-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</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/12-straightforward-ways-to-say-no">12 Straightforward Ways to Say &quot;No&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips time management Thu, 28 May 2015 19:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1438698 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_post_its_000045422110.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to automate her everyday life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I once had a colleague who ate the exact same lunch every day: an apple, a carton of yogurt, and a handful of crackers.</p> <p>When I asked him if he got bored with the sameness of his daily lunch, he explained that he used to pack sandwiches and leftovers for lunch every day &mdash; and found himself gaining weight. He realized that if he ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day, then he could eat whatever he wanted for dinner and maintain his weight without having to think about it.</p> <p>What my colleague had discovered was the importance of automation in achieving goals.</p> <h2>Decision Fatigue</h2> <p>Our brains have a limited amount of bandwidth for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/poverty-makes-you-stupid">making decisions</a>, leading to a phenomenon known as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=1">decision fatigue</a>. When you are forced to make small decision after small decision each day, you have less bandwidth available to make the big choices that will help you achieve your goals. If you are able to free yourself of the small decisions through automation, then you are much better equipped to make the decisions that cannot be automated.</p> <p>If you struggle with productivity, organization, or time management, try one of these surprising automation hacks. You'll be amazed at how much more you can get done.</p> <h2>1. Daily Uniform</h2> <p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits to owning twenty identical gray, scoop-necked t-shirts so that he does not have to think about what to wear each morning. Similarly, Apple's Steve Jobs was famous for his uniform of black turtleneck and jeans. Adhering to these personal uniforms allowed these extremely influential men to focus their attention where it belongs &mdash; on their products.</p> <p>Of course, it can be difficult to wear the same clothes every day without attracting attention. For instance, Zuckerberg has often come under fire for his t-shirt and hoodie style.</p> <p>However, Saatchi &amp; Saatchi Art Director Matilda Kahl recently wrote an essay for Harper's Bazaar explaining how she decided to adopt a <a href="http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a10441/why-i-wear-the-same-thing-to-work-everday/">chic personal uniform</a>. While she has experienced some pushback (people have asked if she was part of a religious sect), she has found the uniform to be freeing, particularly when it comes to allowing her to express her creativity at work, where she really needs it.</p> <h2>2. Automated Meals</h2> <p>Wise Bread readers are certainly familiar with the benefits of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">meal planning</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">once-a-month cooking</a>. But you can become even more automated in terms of meal prep if you take a page from my former coworker's book and create a schedule.</p> <p>For my former colleague, that meant he ate exactly the same meal for breakfast and lunch each and every day. Not only did this mean his weight maintenance was easier, but it saved him time and money at the grocery store each week since he always bought the exact same breakfast and lunch foods.</p> <p>Even if you are unwilling to eat the exact same food every day, you could plan four different weeks' meals and alternate the weeks. That way you'll know you need shopping list #1 during the first week of the month, list #2 the next week, and so on. Rather than spending time creating a list each week, that work is already done for you.</p> <h2>3. Toilet Paper Subscription</h2> <p>Do you ever have to make an emergency run to Target for toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, dishwasher detergent, dog food, or dryer sheets? These are the regular use items that it's easy to run out of before you remember to buy more. That's why it's a great idea to subscribe for delivery of household items.</p> <p>Amazon's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/subscribe-and-save/details/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=75TOL35ACH2PP4Y7">Subscribe &amp; Save program</a> allows you to schedule such regular deliveries. Amazon offers you 5% off anything you buy through Subscribe &amp; Save, and a 15% discount if you put at least five items on subscription &mdash; and shipping fees are waived. You are e-mailed a reminder about the shipment a few days before it ships, with an option to cancel, and you are not charged for the items until they ship.</p> <p>Signing up for a subscription means you will no longer make emergency runs to the store or ponder whether you need more paper towels every time you go grocery shopping (hint: whether you decide you've got enough Brawny at home or that you need more, you'll definitely be wrong).</p> <h2>4. Checklists for Daily Life</h2> <p>No matter how many times a pilot has flown a particular airplane, he or she still refers to a checklist in order to make sure each necessary step is taken in the proper order. Atul Gawande of The New Yorker describes the original implementation of the checklist for takeoff this way: &quot;[It] was too complicated to be left to the memory of any pilot, however expert.&quot;</p> <p>Critical-care specialist Peter Provonost has proven that <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/12/10/the-checklist">implementing checklists in hospitals</a> can save lives and reduce medical care costs. In both the flight and medical worlds, checklists prevent expert practitioners from overlooking or skipping a basic step, which is very easy to do when you are focused on something bigger, like taking off in bad weather, or a patient having a seizure.</p> <p>Though skipping basic steps in your daily life likely does not result in life-or-death consequences, you can still streamline and automate your life by using checklists.</p> <p>According to Brett McKay of The Art of Manliness, the best way to implement checklists in your life is to <a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/12/08/the-power-of-checklists/#disqus_thread">look for the essential items</a> that you regularly overlook and create checklists around them:</p> <p>You don't need a checklist that lists every single step on how to complete a task. That renders a checklist useless. Instead, just focus on putting down the 'stupid' but essential stuff that you frequently miss. Your checklist should have no more than nine items on it. The shorter the better.</p> <p>For instance, if you have trouble remembering to take your medication each day, you could create a morning checklist listing the name of each medication and post it on your bathroom mirror. There's no need to remind yourself to shower beforehand or brush your teeth afterward. Presumably, those activities are already automatic.</p> <h2>Think Less to Be Smarter</h2> <p>It's so easy to get bogged down in the small daily decisions that must be made to maintain your life. There are many days when your brain becomes a hamster wheel of little choices that don't really matter to you. But automating those little decisions can help you to stay focused on the goals you really care about.</p> <p><em>What parts of your life have you automated?</em></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/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">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-14"> <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/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</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/free-online-tools-that-help-organize-people">Free Online Tools That Help Organize People</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-cure-chronic-procrastination-you-should-try-now">The Easy Way to Cure Chronic Procrastination You Should Try Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity automating checklists meals planning routine Wed, 20 May 2015 21:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1423522 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Motivation Tips With Big Results http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-motivation-tips-with-big-results <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-motivation-tips-with-big-results" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/motivated_woman_fitness_000031153704.jpg" alt="Woman using motivation tips that lead to big results" 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 motivation tips that really work, ways to make a workout schedule that works, and ways to protect yourself from the Starbucks app attacks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/10-motivation-tips-yield-big-results/">10 Motivation Tips that Yield Big Results</a> &mdash; Having a good time with friends and family can help you recharge when you feel tired and unmotivated. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/05/5-ways-make-workout-schedule-works.html">5 Ways to Make a Workout Schedule that WORKS</a> &mdash; Use an exercise program as a road map for getting in shape. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/3-ways-protect-yourself-from-starbucks-app-attacks/">4 Ways to Protect Yourself From Starbucks App Attacks</a> &mdash; If you use the Starbucks app to pay for your coffee, make sure to use a strong password and change it often. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/avoid-freelance-job-boards/">How to Find Well-Paying Freelance Gigs by Avoiding Job Boards</a> &mdash; It's time-consuming to search job boards, and there's no guarantee you'll find a job that's a good fit for you. You're more likely to find meaningful gigs that you'll enjoy if you reach out to your collegues and friends. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/05/13/how-to-set-yourself-up-for-financial-success-in-your-twenties.html">How to Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in Your Twenties</a> &mdash; You aren't limited to low-paying jobs while you're young. Look for opportunities to increase your pay sooner; the more money you earn, the quicker you'll reach your financial goals! [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Change-Your-Life-34745789">Mind-Bogglingly Easy Ways to Improve Your Life in 5 Minutes</a> &mdash; Take a few minutes to clear your desk and optimize your work space. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0514/Getting-married-How-to-have-the-money-conversation">Getting married? How to have the money conversation.</a> &mdash; Start by going over each person's finances &mdash; you don't have to pore over the details, but at least have a basic understanding of it so you can identify potential trouble spots and develop better financial habits as a couple. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablog.org/2015/05/5-places-to-donate-prom-dresses-for-reuse">5 Places To Donate Prom Dresses For Reuse</a> &mdash; Becca's Closet has chapters all over the country where you can donate a prom dress or pick one up to wear. [Sustainablog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontmesswithtaxes.com/2015/05/10-tips-for-dealing-with-irs-tax-notices.html">Don't ignore that IRS letter and nine other tax notice tips</a> &mdash; Read the IRS notices carefully. They usually contain important information, like if you need to give them more info, or if the IRS made any changes to your filing. [Don't Mess With Taxes]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/confidence-secrets-3-easy-steps-to-help-kids-stand-up-for-themselves">Confidence Secrets: 3 Easy Steps to Help Kids Stand Up for Themselves</a> &mdash; Use the power pose when someone is trying to put you down: keep your eyes up, shoulders back, and head held high. [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-motivation-tips-with-big-results">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-15"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</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/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</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/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You 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/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips motivation Mon, 18 May 2015 19:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1424471 at http://www.wisebread.com