How To

Auto Added by WPeMatico

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness And What You Can Do About Them

A lot of people want to be happy, smile, and have fun in life. This means that these people are not yet happy. Otherwise, you didn’t want to be happy, right?

What a lot of people don’t take in consideration is that they have the power over their own happiness although it doesn’t always look like it.

In this article, I will help you become conscious of ways you’re sabotaging your own happiness and how to fix it.

You Let Other People Put You Down

Did your partner talk to a girl/boy you were feeling jealous of? Or did someone upset you by saying you did something wrong?

These are signs that you’re putting other people in control of your emotions. If others are in control of your feelings, you’ll feel like you’re on a roller coaster you can’t get out of. I understand that some behaviors are annoying and that there are other people in your life, but you can still be an entirely separate person from them.

I used to respond with a lot of emotions to what other people say or do. One day, I realized that it didn’t even matter if I didn’t answer. And let me tell you, it feels so good not having to respond to what other people say or do. Just mind your own business.

How To Take Control

If someone says or does something, it doesn’t mean that they’re such a person. It’s just a behavior that’s performed by that particular person. When you are aware of that, you’ll be able to separate the person from his actions.

People have their own lives and they should be able to do what they want. Everyone has a reason why they do something and it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

So, mind your own business and live your own life. If people want to make fun of you, great. If people want to make fun of you, they have their reasons.

You’re Not Living The Life You Want

When I was 17 years old, I was working as a warehouse worker at this company for 3 months. I did not see my job as a significant one and it wasn’t hard to do. However, I found out that there was a very negative atmosphere there.

One time, I went to the canteen for a break and I heard these men, around the age of 50, talk to each other. “We only have to be here for 17 more years guys, then we can finally leave,” one said.

I was shocked.

These people didn’t like their job and were almost working there their entire lives. This guy just said he wanted to keep doing this for his lifetime (at that time) until he could go and retire.

From that day on, I made the decision to always be in tune with myself and make my decisions based on that.

If you’re living your life not the way you want and you’re not doing something about it, please take action. The only things you’ll regret in life are the risks you didn’t take.

“Suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

How To Live The Life Of Your Dreams

This is actually a pretty simple (not easy) process. First, you have to find out what you ultimately want in your life. Then, you start working towards it. Along the way, you’ll find out how you’ll get there.

You’re Not True To Yourself

This is a thing I really try to focus on in my life. It’s about being really honest with yourself about your feelings, values, and mission. Telling yourself what you’re feeling and communicating them to others can keep you accountable.

A lot of times, people talk about things but do the opposite.

For example, my dad tells me all these life lessons but he’s not living up to any of them. He used to say to me that aggression isn’t a solution to a problem but when something goes wrong, he gets mad.

“You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

At the end of the day, there will be times when you have inner conflicts. I always say to myself that I would never give up but at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I had to give up several ventures because they just didn’t work for me.

You’ll have to find the middle ground here and not beat yourself up entirely because you didn’t do what you said you were going to do.

If you are not true to yourself, you’ll likely feel a little bit bad about yourself and this can affect your happiness. Being true to yourself means keeping your values in mind while also considering the situation.

How To Be True To Yourself

You can be true to yourself by accepting full responsibility for your life. Everything that happens to you is a consequence of your actions and thoughts.

This means that when something happens, you should always ask yourself first what you’ve done that lead to this outcome.

By taking full responsibility for your life, you’ll have all the power over your actions, thoughts, and feelings.

You Talk To Yourself In A Negative Way

talking to yourself negatively

Something I, as a perfectionist, struggle with a lot.

Do you ever notice that you’re talking yourself out of something or saying to yourself that you didn’t do enough?

This is something that happens to a lot of people. Although we may be very confident about ourselves, there’s always this inner critic that’s talking sh*t.

Telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’re not meant for something or that you’re not worthy of someone.

You and I both know this is utter nonsense but at the moment, it seems very legit.

If you continuously talk yourself down, you know what it’s going to do. If you didn’t do much on a given day, or so you think, you’ll beat yourself up and say you’ll have to catch up the next day.

The next day, it will be even harder because it’s impossible to do 2 days of work in 1 day. It will lead to negative self-talk again. This opens up a cycle of negative self-talk which will only make things worse. You’ll never be proud of yourself this way.

How To End The Inner Critic

To end the inner critic, you’ll have to go through a simple step-by-step process I outlined below for you.

Step 1. Identify what your inner critic is talking about and where it comes from.

This is something separate from the real you as you only believe it because your inner critic is telling you over and over again.

Step 2. Accept that this is not the real you and change the belief you have about yourself.

Is this voice saying, “I’m ugly”?

Change it and say to yourself that you are freaking beautiful and do it with as much passion as possible. Even if you don’t believe it yet, force yourself.

Write it down if that helps.

Step 3. Repeat it consistently. Write the opposite of every inner critic’s beliefs down. Read or speak it over and over to yourself until you feel better about yourself.

Step 4. Reflect on the belief now. Do you still believe you’re ugly? Keep telling yourself that you’re beautiful because you are beautiful!

See Also: 9 Baby Steps To Happiness For The Naturally Gloomy

You’re Comparing Yourself To Others

Especially if you’re on a journey to success, you’ll look up at a lot of people who have something you want to achieve.

It’s really common for people to compare themselves and it’s one of the biggest mistakes people make. As you and I know, everyone is different and we live different lives.

If you compare your level 1 with someone else’s level 100, you bet you’re going to feel sad about your current situation.

It’s going to make you feel utterly miserable about yourself.

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

If you look at it from a mathematical standpoint, what do you think the chance is 2 people live the same life?

Having the same kind of parents and environment. Having the same experiences in life.

Even Siamese twins have different experiences.

It’s just impossible to have the same things as someone else.

With this in mind, you need to accept yourself as you are and that your life journey is different than any other life journey.

You need to go through the things you’re going through to become the best version of yourself.

Everything happens for a reason.

You Never Ask For Help

Do you always do everything on your own? Thinking you can solve everything alone?

When you’re experiencing a lot of problems, emotionally or any other way, and you don’t ask for help, you’ll have to deal with everything on your own. This is a robust process which can lead to a lot of stress and unhappiness.

Why You Should Ask For Help

Even the happiest people in the world need others to help them. If you take a look at His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, he’s got a whole team of people advising him in his choices as a leader.

People who take care of his website, planning, etc.

He also talks about relationships being a vital part contributing to someone’s habits in his book ‘The Art Of Happiness’. Having people around you can really help you through the tough times.

You can reach out to them and ask them directly for help or just for company.

One thing you shouldn’t do is isolate yourself. If someone asks you to go out, go out with them. Being with another human being can make you feel consolidated.

You Keep Thinking About The Past

thinking about the past

Do you always remind yourself of the mistakes you made with a person you still think about from time to time? Or are you blaming yourself for something that has happened in the past?

If you’re living in the past, you miss the good things that are happening right in front of you. You’re keeping yourself in a negative state of mind by focusing on something that already happened.

The past is past and it can’t bring you anything. The present is your only moment and opportunity to be happy.

How To Be Present

Pause.

Breathe.

Look around. Absorb your environment, thoughts, emotions and whatever else is there.

Observe, smile, and let go.

That is all you have to do to become present.

You could call it meditation or whatever you like.

See Also: Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

Conclusion

I hope you now understand the ways you are sabotaging your own happiness and how to fix it.

You deserve to be happy.

I think it’s vital to become happy so that you can spread your happiness to others and make the world a better place.

It’s up to you now!

The post 7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Happiness And What You Can Do About Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stop Being Lazy And Workout

Are you too lazy to get your butt to the gym?

No matter how much time you have at hand and how much you intend to workout, you are simply unable to do it. Either it’s too hot outside, you have too much work, you can’t afford a gym membership or you have to meet someone – the list of excuses goes on.

But if you are worried about your current physique and want to get fit, being lazy isn’t going to help you.

When you feel lazy, you will always find an excuse not to exercise. However, the truth is that it’s not as straining as you imagine it to be. Manage your time well and you can get a load of benefits with the least effort.

All you need to do is devote at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for working out.

Here is a list of bare minimum workout guidelines and tips on how to stop being lazy and workout

Avoid The Elevator And Take The Stairs

Elevators have made all of us lazy. Do you remember the last time you took the stairs?

If strong, muscular legs are what you want, use the stairs. A simple staircase workout is an effective way to improve your fitness and overall health. It engages the muscles in your legs and with every step you take, your fitness levels are boosted.

It engages your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, depending on the pacing. From lunging through every step or taking skater steps, you can do a wide range of exercises with a staircase.

Walk At Least Once A Day for 15 to 20 Minutes

Whether it is to your friend’s place or to buy groceries, take a walk. You don’t always need a mode of transportation everywhere you go. Just use your legs. This will not only help you cut down on fuel or transport charges but also improve your health.

You can start by using every excuse to walk, like parking your vehicle far and walking the way back, taking your pet for a walk or walking around in a garden. If gasping for breath after a tiring gym session is not your cup of tea, a refreshing walk is what you need.

Become More Active In Sports

If you are someone who is lazy, you will always look for ways to avoid working out. But when it comes to sports, you tend to be enthusiastic, no matter how much physically exhausted you might be.

Enroll in a sports club or a local team of your favorite sport. It works better than spending hours at the gym. From getting your heart racing to boosting your stamina and making you fit, a good sport does it all.

If it is something you enjoy, you won’t even feel the strain while you are burning calories by the minute.

Don’t Sit At Your Desk All Day

Do you have a desk job? Then remember to stand up at least once every hour to walk around, get a snack, or say hello to a colleague.

Sitting all day while hunched over a keyboard is not good for your posture or health. Make a conscious effort to stand up every once in a while. You can use your breaks to get some basic workout done. For example, you can go up and down the stairs, go out for a walk or do some squats or lunges in the restroom.

Workout At Home – In Bed!

That’s right. Working out is not restricted to just going to the gym.

You can stay at home and still get some exercise done. All you need to know are a few basic exercises that you can do even if you are still in bed. You can try hip raises, push-ups, crunches, and pelvic twists.

Those few minutes of exercise will not only make you feel fresh but also boost and energize you for the rest of the day. And you will start seeing results within a few days, too.

These are a few alternatives if you are too lazy to hit the gym. Exercise is something you can do anywhere and everywhere. All you need to do is get your butt moving. So, start today and you will no longer repeat the excuse of being too lazy to be fit.

The post How to Stop Being Lazy And Workout appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Be A Great Best Man

So, your best mate is finally getting hitched. He has already popped the question to his girl and has now asked you to be his best man.

The feeling is pretty eccentric, isn’t it? After all, we rarely get to be the ‘best’ anything in our lives. Not to forget, knowing your mate values your friendship enough to choose you as his go-to guy during the most important time of his life is truly special.

Now that he’s chosen you, do you know how to be a great best man?

Being a great best man involves more than just throwing a party and crawling through a speech. In fact, experts on the topic say that you should assume that you’re the co-host of the marriage ceremony.

To give you a clearer idea, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know and do in order to excel as the best man to your best mate:

Before the big day

Your responsibilities as the best man start well before the wedding.

Make sure everyone is on time for suit fittings

best man duties

This might not sound important to you, but it is an indispensable part of your responsibilities as the best man. Not only do you have to help the groom select his tux, you have to make sure everyone shows up on time to get fitted for their suits.

Organize an epic stag party

This is probably the reason why most men are excited to be the best man- the stag party! However, keep in mind that organizing one is easier said than done.

To begin with, make sure you talk to the groom about how or where he wants to spend his last weekend as a single person. Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure the party fits the budget of everyone involved and that everyone will have a great time.

In case you find these things overwhelming, it is a great idea to involve professionals.

Help out with the wedding prep

Helping out with the wedding preparations doesn’t stop at picking tuxedos. It is also your responsibility to help pick the right vendors, venue, and honeymoon destination.

Whatever preparation involves the groom will probably involve you, too. That includes the rehearsal ceremony and the rehearsal dinner.

On The Big Day

best man dutyThis day is extremely crucial for the groom and it is imperative that the best man executes his duties perfectly so that everything happens seamlessly.

Travel to the venue with the groom

It is natural for the groom to be nervous on the day of the wedding. If the groom allows it, plan to get ready with him. Take a few beers along and simply spend some time with him.

The best man is the groom’s confidant. It’s his job to listen to and calm the groom when he’s questioning every life decision he has made so far.

Bear the ring

Cute little ring bearers are one hell of a crowd pleaser but please, don’t give a diamond ring to a kid! Give them a knock off to carry down the aisle and keep the real thing safe inside your jacket pocket.

Make sure the ceremony goes down smoothly

As mentioned earlier, you are the co-host of the ceremony. Make sure all vendors are doing their jobs and deal with any issues that may arise.

In some cases, the best man is required to pay the officiant. If that is the case, the groom will provide you with a sealed envelope for that.

Sign the marriage license

The maid of honor and best man sign the marriage license as witnesses to the marriage.

During the Reception

Once again, it is time to play the co-host.

The best man speech

Probably the most daunting part of being the best man, delivering a great speech is not something you want to take lightly. Here are a few tips that will help you deliver a great speech:

  • Start preparing and practicing early, unless you want your speech to turn into drunken rambling.
  • Make sure your speech is a toast and does not revolve around the groom’s humiliation. It is also a good time to remember that mentioning any ex-girlfriends or crazy night adventures is strictly off limits.
  • Keep in mind that children and elders will be hearing your speech. For this reason, it is better to go easy on roasting the groom. Keep things tasteful and your speech will be remembered for all the good reasons.

Be the life of the party

It is your job as the best man to make sure the reception party keeps going. If you feel like the guests are being hesitant, get on the dance floor and inspire them to let loose. Aside from that, don’t forget to dance with both moms!

Decorate the getaway car

This is probably the final thing you have to do as the best man. Make sure you don’t get carried away with the decorations. If you are the designated driver for the bride and the groom, make sure you stay sober till the very end.

Conclusion

Being the best man is not easy. However, it is a tradition that must be upheld with ownership and responsibility. If you have done everything perfectly, it is time to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

The post How to Be A Great Best Man appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Pursue Your Purpose and Overcome Your Limitations

Purposeful living is the beginning of self-actualization. Defining your purpose that’s aligned with a burning desire is the key to success.

Now, what does success mean to you?

How you define success determines your eagerness to find your purpose. Successful people overcome limitations by mixing thoughts with definiteness of purpose. They are not afraid of taking action and when faced with setbacks, they never quit.

Successful people pursue their purpose and overcome their limitation because they have cured themselves of the “excuse” disease. They never make up excuses why they can’t, why they do not, and why they aren’t.

To effectively pursue your purpose, you need to treat and cure the “excuse” disease effectively. You have to go through a mental cleansing process and get rid of the excuse disease. When you face challenges, avoid the temptation to use your lack of education, age, bad luck or family background as excuses.

This is how to pursue your purpose and overcome your limitations:

Kill the “no brains” excuse

Most people around us have this internal feeling that they aren’t intelligent enough to pursue their purpose and succeed. Most of the time, it all comes down to how they think. They downplay their brainpower and overestimate the brainpower of others.

I want you to understand that it is not how much knowledge you have that matters but how you put that knowledge to use.

To pursue your purpose and overcome your limitations, you have to understand that enthusiasm and interest are factors you have to seriously consider. Therefore, to overcome the “no brains” excuse, having the right attitude and willpower to finish what you’ve started is important. This way, you are sure to successfully pursue your purpose than those with intelligence alone.

Develop the willpower to stick with whatever you are doing presently until it is completed.

Overcome the “age” excuse

Sometimes, you’ll find people who fail to pursue their purpose by using their age as an excuse. As a result, they lose the opportunity to try something new.

Age is in the mind and to overcome your limitations, you have to learn how to let go of the age excuse. No time is late or early to pursue your purpose. You have to learn to try something new at any point in your life.

You have to develop the power of belief inside you so as to be able to overcome the aged feeling.

Muster all the strength you can, tell yourself you can overcome your limitations, and be successful.

Here is how you can overcome the age excuse:

  • Do what you really want to do at any point in time. Never think that  you should have begun years ago. It’s only late when you allow your mind to think it’s late.
  • Always be enthusiastic about the future and practice looking forward to it.

Finally, there is no better time than now to pursue and overcome your limitations. Nothing happens by accident and we do not become successful by making excuses. You will find success in pursuing your purpose and overcoming your limitations if you only look for reasons why you can and not why you can’t.

The post How to Pursue Your Purpose and Overcome Your Limitations appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Survive A Broken Heart

I get asked how to survive a broken heart all the time and my response is always the same: piña coladas. This is why I am a relationship expert. I know so much about love that I can change Cupid’s diapers (he poops little peanut butter cups.)

This is a non-gender specific advice. If you’re a woman who has been done wrong, put that pint of ice cream down and pick up a piña colada. If you’re a man who’s been rejected, turn down the heavy metal music you’re playing and turn up the rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk.

I’m not saying you should go out and drink so much you wake up fully clothed in the bathtub with a slice of pizza stuck to your face. Just simply use a piña colada as an airbag to create the collision a break-up creates. This famous tropical drink can transform the brass knuckles of rejection into marshmallow peeps.

It’s not a cure but a shortcut back to the highway of love.

Did he say “It’s not you, it’s me?” Has he ignored your last 15 texts?

Stop acting like there’s an alien lizard or worm living in your chest and you have minutes to live. This sucks but don’t insult the human heart. Thinking that it can’t take grief is like thinking the sky can’t support the stars. Just do what I tell you to do. Order a piña colada at a bar where there’s a jukebox playing funky tunes- a bar where there are members of the opposite sex so you can do some window shopping.

Touch with your eyelashes. But I seriously encourage chatting, winking, and making out. Every time two human beings kiss, a flower blooms somewhere in the world. Of course, that’s not true, but it’s a nice thought. I have never regretted making out with someone, only not making out.

how to deal a broken heart

It helps to think of your heart as a piece of steel- not chocolate or flesh or crepe paper. A shiny ball of steel which has a breaking point.

But have you ever seen steel forged?

It’s heated in a volcano hot furnace until it glows white. It’s so hot, the hard steel is malleable. Then, it’s hammered and smashed into shape.

Two pieces are clobbered to form one whole piece and then the steel is dumped into the water. Once it’s cool, it becomes extremely hard.

I’ve had my heart broken many, many times. And each time, I ended up stronger. My furnace? A piña colada. Maybe some Patsy Cline, a new friend for that moment.

Normally, as a dude, I don’t drink cocktails. I like my liquor to be liquor-flavored. My favorite beer is in a can. Cocktails seem to be designed to obscure the taste of liquor as if I drink it for the delicious flavor. I drink whiskey because, after a long day, I like my toes to be warm.

Adult beverages should not taste like candy. Cocktails are fundamentally dishonest, booze dressed up like Rainbow Brite. I don’t begrudge a lady who wants to enjoy a fruity drink, like an Appletini, a Chocolatini or Cheesecaketini. I’ll be having a bourbon.

However, I do make one exception to this rule: piña colada. If I get dumped, I shuffle right up to the bar and order a piña colada. Coconut mug? Yes. Umbrellas? Two. Cherries, orange slices, and pineapple chunks skewered on a plastic sword? Please.

Piña coladas taste like the beach. The ocean is just one giant, salty tear.

She cries with you and calms your fever with a frosty wet kiss. A piña colada is a vacation in a blender. It’s a sweet bubble. I have seen cowboys with faces hanging longer than curtains order a piña colada and five minutes later, you can see their hearts melting.

pina colada for a broken heart

All it takes is one. So, do it. If there’s a song coming, sing it. Can’t sing? Everybody can sing. The Power of the Colada compels you! Stomp your feet. Clap your hands. Unleash the Kraken!

You know how they say time heals all wounds? Piña colada can do the same thing. It heals and reinforces them. My heart is made out of airplanes and suspension bridges and ninja swords.

Final Thoughts

I know other relationship writers have tons of advice on this topic. But I’m inclined to think that advice is crap if it doesn’t involve a night where you force yourself to shower, put on pants without elastic waistbands, and venture out into public- actual public and not Facebook.

Facebook is not public. It’s a fun little website where advertisers own your private life and then sell it back to you. Public, as in, inhaling the molecules of other human beings. If your heart is currently broken and you’re of drinking age, then I insist that you enjoy a piña colada. Just drink responsibly and eat the fruit. It’s good for you.

The post How To Survive A Broken Heart appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Tops Tips In Choosing A Place to Live

If choosing a place to live in was easy, everyone would love where they live. However, a surprising number of people do not. The Place and Happiness survey conducted by American urban studies theorist Richard Florida and the Gallup Organization found that one-third of 28,000 respondents felt either ambivalent or unhappy about where they live.

According to the May 7, 2018 USA Today article, millennials skip starter houses to land their dream homes. Millennials are making their first home their forever home.

But, what happens when these first-time home buyers discover their forever home is not in their forever location? How can millennials and others avoid the costly relocation?

millennials forever home

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Choosing a place to live is the most expensive life decision many of us make. It’s a decision that gets even costlier financially and emotionally when we find out after relocating that the place we selected is a bad fit. That’s why it’s vital for everyone to invest serious time into designing their life before investing serious money into their forever home.

Place is integral to our happiness because where we live influences every other aspect of our lives. Richard Florida writes in his book Who’s Your City?, “The place we choose to live…can determine the income we earn, the people we meet, the friends we make, the partners we choose, and the options available to our children and families.”

whos your city richard florida

Choosing your location

In choosing your location, you need to assess and identify your needs, preferences, priorities and short- and long-term goals. Then, you assess the features you’ll need in a place to support the life you envision. Finally, use that information to guide your online research and evaluation of prospective locations.

What should be a straightforward process becomes complicated as soon as you go online and find “best” place lists, report cards, livability scores, reviews, and opinions. Those data are often inaccurate and irrelevant, derailing your most focused research effort.

Choosing where to live is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. It carries the same weight as choosing a partner and a job. While centralized resources are readily available to help you search and find compatible partners and jobs online, there are no resources to help you find your forever location.

Centralized resources are essential to help us find, analyze, and evaluate information online. That way, we can easily identify prospective locations that can match our needs, preferences, priorities, and goals. Without those tools, we’re left to figure out things on our own.

For millennials who are hoping to find their forever home on the first go, it’s important to be involved as much as possible in the process. Finding, gathering and evaluating the information needed to make the right decision requires the right planning and research tools. That’s why I’ve made it my goal to design and make these tools available to take the guesswork out of people’s search and allow them to find their happy place quicker and easier.

The post Tops Tips In Choosing A Place to Live appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Easily Build Your Website with AI

If you want your business to succeed in the modern world, you’re going to have to think long and hard about how to establish your online presence.

The first thing you should do is put yourself in the shoes of the client that you are trying to win over. Ask yourself: where’s the first place they’re going to look?

You guessed it – Google.

Searching on the Internet is by far the fastest way to get access to information about anything. This is why most people don’t look anywhere else.

Technology is quickly changing the way we do business. With that, our perspective also needs to change if we want to stay on top of our marketing game.

Your Online Presence

If you want your business to be found by your clientele, you have to establish a presence in the very place that they’re going to look – the world wide web. This is what having an online presence means.

If you don’t have a website or a page on social media yet, you need to ask yourself – what exactly is stopping you from doing so?

Is it your time or budget? Or are you simply clueless about what a good website is and what it should be able to offer to your clientele?

Many people think that they aren’t tech savvy enough to start with it. However, the truth is that you don’t really need to be proficient about technology at all. The tools we have access to these days are so advanced.

I assure you that establishing an online presence and building a website is not as difficult as it used to be in the past. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that we have access to artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a computer’s ability to think instead of just being told what to do.

When you open a browser and type in a web address, your computer takes you to that address. Basically, it is just following orders and you’re the one doing the actual thinking.

AI is the next step. It can improvise and come up with solutions independently.

In other words, with AI, you don’t have to be extra specific. It can think for itself.

An AI website builder is a piece of software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to listen to your input and create something based on that. It listens to you and then it takes some extra steps to build your website.

The best thing about it is that AI guides you throughout the process. It doesn’t need you to be tech savvy at all.

AI website builders out there are Bookmark, Firedrop, The Grid, and Wix ADI. Read reviews if you’re interested.

Advantages of AI Website Builders

There are plenty of advantages of using artificial intelligence to build your website.

But first, let’s look at the alternatives.

One of them is doing the whole thing yourself– designing your page, adding functionality, and fiddling with databases. It’s a very complex process that requires skills you can’t just pick up in a day or two.

Another alternative is paying someone to do it for you. But even an experienced web developer needs time to work on your website before it can go live. Dedicated web development companies will take a month or two and they can be quite expensive.

Using an AI website builder solves both of these problems. It’s much cheaper and you can have your fully functional website available within the day.

Will my website be unique?

Yes.

A common misconception with AI website builders is that your website won’t be as unique as it needs to be. And while it is possible to see where this kind of concern comes from, it really isn’t as much of a problem as most people are led to believe.

Your website won’t just be built by a computer. It will be built by you and the computer together.

There’s a big difference. And as I mentioned, the results you’ll receive will directly depend on the input you provide.

Can AI optimize my website?

ai website

Again, yes.

Most modern website builders do a lot more than just build up a web page that looks good and works well. They can also help you with SEO (search engine optimization) and your site’s user-friendliness.

A lot of those things will be up to you but the good thing is that it is pretty hard to mess up when you’re using AI. All the options that you have at your disposal will already lead you to a fairly optimized website that is ready to go.

Embrace AI

Artificial intelligence is slowly taking ground in modern society. As technology evolves further, we’re bound to see more of it in almost every aspect of our lives.

Just the fact that AI has come far enough to aid us in a process as complex as web development is already amazing. It is definitely something you should be taking advantage of as a small business.

So, if you need a website pronto and aren’t overstocked with time and money at the moment, AI is the way to go.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

The post How to Easily Build Your Website with AI appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Sober: 7 Easy Ways To Handle Sobriety In Your 30s

Whether you hit rock bottom or just realized you need a new direction in your life, making the decision to stay sober in your 30’s is a unique challenge. Coming out as a problem drinker can be detrimental to your social life, your family, and even your job.

With that, if you’re curious to know the best ways on how to stay sober, check out these 6 easy tips you can start applying to your life today.

Keep a clean house

Make your bed and do the dishes before going to sleep. Don’t forget to prep your meals for the week and keep your vices out of your house, too.

Keeping a clean house can help calm your mind whenever your thoughts go frantic. Make sure you have plenty of alternatives to keep you satisfied.

Remember these:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These are the times you are more likely to relapse.

Don’t avoid social engagements

Go to your friend’s birthday party or consider going to the beach.

Secluding yourself in your sober sanctuary can lead to loneliness and thoughts of relapse. If you are still at a point where seeing people drinking makes you uncomfortable, go early and leave early.

Say yes more often

Experiences are one of the many blessings of sobriety. Being able to have a real moment that isn’t clouded by alcohol is a beautiful thing. Let “yes” be your guide to sobriety.

Find a hobby

sobriety ways hobby

Hobbies are a great way to focus your mind. Try wood crafting, knitting, reading or go skydiving! Find a hobby that is healthy for your mind and body and be the best person at it.

Let yourself be silent

Early on in sobriety, your brain is your worst enemy. It will run a thousand miles a second because you spent so long quieting the world around you with substances.

Take a moment each day and be silent. Leave the world around you outside your brain and outside your consciousness. Let the silence come back into your life.

Join a support group

AA is not for everyone. However, for so many people, it’s the only way they keep sober.

Whatever path works best for you, follow it. Don’t be afraid to change it, too!

Substance abuse is best cured by sharing experiences and being vocal about what you are going through is crucial to your sobriety.

See Also: Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

Reflect on your experiences

benefits of journaling

Journaling is a big help in sobriety. Whatever tool you choose, write your experiences down because it will be interesting to look back at your life a few months from now.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

The post How to Stay Sober: 7 Easy Ways To Handle Sobriety In Your 30s appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools

The difference between office and remote jobs is not in the place of work but in the freedom and responsibility. There is no boss who forces you to work and pays the salary at the end of the month. On the contrary, remote workers get paid only for what they actually do. The competition is harsh: there are millions of orders and potential executors so you have to fight for your client.

Three years ago, I left my office job and after a few attempts, I decided to stick to online marketing. Over this period of time, I tried a lot of useful digital tools that helped me to deal with the freelancing duties more efficiently.

In this article, I decided to present you the 10 most productive online tools that can improve the capabilities of any remote worker.

10 Tools to make you a Super-Efficient Remote Worker

It doesn’t matter if you are a copywriter, content manager, blogger, translator, marketer, online teacher, or even a website developer – all these tools can make you better at what you do. Let’s check them out one by one.

Learning Tools:

  • Udemy

udemy

Udemy is a global learning and tutoring platform which offers more than 55 thousand courses. It allows you to gain new knowledge from anywhere in the world with expert help from professional instructors. This is extremely practical if you want the opportunity to obtain new freelance occupation and become eligible for more job openings. Using one of Udemy’s courses three years ago, I got acquainted with alternative ways to prepare and implement social media campaigns.

  • Duolingo

Learning languages while traveling around the world is the best combination to meet different cultures. Duolingo is a digital language learning source that guides you through the basic elements of foreign languages with its friendly user interface and simple functions. I used Duolingo successfully to strengthen my Italian before going to Rome for a few months. It is based on amusing gamification elements and learning through visualization. The navigation is easy and takes you directly to the in-app grammar and vocabulary practices.

Planning Tools:

  • Trello

trello

Planning and time management play an essential role in the life of every remote worker. In that regards, you can use Trello as the best agile management solution. Using this software, you can manage projects through the card board and get acquainted with each new phase of the working process. Trello is an excellent planning tool. When I started using it, it helped to see the big picture of all important processes in my life and helped me to determine the direction in which I want to grow

  • Rescue Time

Rescue Time is an online tool that improves your everyday habits and makes you more productive in general. I wasn’t even aware of my daily activities and behavior patterns before I started using Rescue Time. It helped me to eliminate distractions such as social networks and other features on my computer. In that regard, Rescue Time monitors your progress over time and you can improve even further once you get used to this way of thinking.

Financial Management Tools:

  • On the Job

Remote workers usually can’t keep an eye on their finances easily – or at least I know I can’t. That’s why I suggest you use an app like On the Job, which can assist you in time tracking and invoicing. It makes your personal finances simpler and you won’t struggle with multiple currencies or hourly rates. All you have to do is to set your preferences in On the Job and it will do all of the necessary calculations related to your work.

  • Invoice Ninja

invoice ninja

Recently I had something like five or six different clients at the same time and it was hard to manage all those bills and payments. Invoice Ninja is a high-quality open-source platform with elements like online invoices, payment alerts, due dates, and other valuable features. I must admit that it set me free from everyday accounting work. It doesn’t only make your financial transactions a lot easier but also a lot faster than traditional payment services.

Presentation tools:

  • 24 Slides

24 slides

 

Presentations are one of the basic models of communication for many professionals, especially marketers. 24 Slides is the presentation design tool with all of the essential graphic design elements. The developers of this app created it to avoid seeing boring slides all over the Internet. To be honest, I also exploited many of these standard templates regularly. However, 24 Slides offered me some fresh and creative template solutions, images, and visuals to make presentations much more attractive than usual.

  • Superior Papers

Superior Papers is a group of professionals from various fields of expertise who can help you to create a concept for the presentation and eventually execute the project on their own successfully. From marketing, over finances, all the way to science and IT industry, Best Dissertations offers you a full set of ideas that can make your presentation look perfect. Once I had to deal with the unknown topic of mobile app branding and these guys made sure that I don’t embarrass myself.

Web Development Tools:

  • Coda

Coda is the web development application for macOS. As an amateur in this field, I still managed to handle this tool for coding, testing, and reference, which means that it’s really simple. With its six units, web developers get an efficient text editing tool. Coda allows you to open and handle your files both locally and remotely. It has a simple user interface – a very convenient feature for remote workers who travel a lot.

  • Espresso

espresso app

Espresso is the Mac web editor. It has numerous interesting website development features and gives you the opportunity to get creative at work. You can design and combine various elements, while Espresso makes real-time saves and updates. With this app, it is easy to customize the toolbar and make several changes at once.

Conclusion

Remote work gives you a lot of freedom but also the responsibility to manage your time successfully. In order to get the job done, you often need some kind of help. Fortunately, you can find it in some of many online tools. In this article, I presented you the 10 most fruitful tools that can help you to work and travel at the same time. Give them a try and let me know in the comments which ones you liked the most.

The post How To Work And Travel The World: 10 Helpful Tools appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up

Karen felt hopeful when she and her ex-boyfriend initially got back together. After a stormy breakup and a painful month apart, they gradually began to communicate with one another. It was healing for her to be able to finally get all that was unsaid out into the open.

For the first time in a very long while, Karen felt listened to. It also seemed that her boyfriend was open, honest, and that they were figuring things out.

Now that they’ve settled as a couple again, her hopes and positive attitude about the future of her relationship are fading. While a few of the agreements that Karen and her boyfriend made to bolster trust and healthy communication have continued, many of their old and disconnecting habits have resurfaced.

It’s starting to feel like “business as usual” and Karen doesn’t like that at all. She’s beginning to wonder if getting back together was a big mistake.

Reuniting with your ex can be a joyous time, but it can also bring with it doubts, fears, and more of the same dynamics that tore you apart in the past.

The Extra Baggage

We all bring emotional baggage to our relationships.

When your emotional baggage is from your past relationship with your current partner, things can get confusing. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself reacting to your partner in a more intense way because of something that happened long ago and before you broke up.

Aside from these expectations and the baggage from the past, there is a good possibility that you and your partner will fall into habitual patterns. Humans tend to do what we’re most accustomed to doing– this happens in relationships, too.

When we get triggered, tense or tired, we revert back to those habits that we know so well- even those that have not been in our (or our relationship’s) best interests in the past.

Before you consider a reunion, here are the best tips on how to successfully get back together after a break-up.

Identify what makes you two apart

identify relationship problem

At first glance, it might seem obvious to you that your partner’s dishonesty, inability to communicate, blocks to intimacy, flirting, and jealousy are what’s ripping you two apart again.

It’s best if you take a deeper and broader look. It’s probably your partner’s or your habits that are causing the problem. However, there’s most likely a lot more going on, too.

Set an intention to be an observer and not a critic. Then, pay closer attention to how you and your partner interact on a day-to-day basis and when stressful or triggering situations arise.

Notice what happens to communication, intimacy, trust, and more. Think about what happens when your partner appears to have closed down to you.

For the moment, try to understand the dynamics between the two of you. Your goal is to figure out what leads you to move further away from one another so that you can make some changes.

Own your share of the disconnecting habits

Once you have a clearer and broader picture of what’s potentially taking you and your partner away from one another, take responsibility.

Let’s be clear here.

We’re NOT encouraging you to take the blame or to let your partner “off the hook.” This won’t help your relationship. What you have the most control over is what YOU think, say, and do. That’s why this is such a powerful place for insight and action.

Be the observer for a little while longer and notice how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationship. You may not be the one starting the arguments but you’re probably making things more heated.

Stepping back and watching your own behaviors can be transformational to you and to your relationship.

Stay focused on what you DO want

focus on relationship wants

This is a time to clear up your past and let it go. Holding onto resentments and allowing unresolved conflicts to build is only going to hurt your relationship in the long run. Do what you need to do to be more present and aware of your relationship.

Be honest with yourself. If it has become apparent that staying together is unwise and that it would be better for you and your partner to end your relationship and remain apart, honor that.

But if you and your mate are truly willing to do what it takes to create the kind of relationship you both want and you see signs that changes are happening, here’s what we urge you to do…

Make sure you are orienting yourselves toward what you DO want.

Instead of hiding the truth, make a genuine promise to speak honestly and openly and do it.

Rather than telling one another that you will stop yelling and arguing, set up some “ground rules” that are reasonable for how you WILL communicate respectfully as you resolve conflicts. Then, put them into practice.

This kind of a shift in perspective can be subtle, but the effects make a big difference.

See Also: 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

The post How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast

Credit cards come with a sense of power. There is nothing you cannot buy using that piece of plastic. With its power, however, comes the illusion that you can easily buy everything.

Because of that, more and more people are finding themselves drowning in credit card bills. And the less they are able to pay those bills, the more their finances suffer.

The average American household has a credit card debt of around $4,400 as of the first quarter of 2018. Each family has an average of 3 cards from various service providers.

That is an alarming piece of stat and it shows why the total credit card debt of America has risen to a staggering $1 trillion in the recent times.

In 2017, credit card debt reached its highest possible level ever due to increasing interest rates, increasing prices of commodities and services, and the habit of spenders to use their cards indiscriminately for every payment.

How can you manage your multiple credit card payments?

multiple credit card payments

If you find yourself spiraling, you can always take the help of credit card debt consolidation loans. This will reduce the number of payments you make each month.

In case you are wondering how to get out of credit card debt fast, here’s what you should do

  • Get your FICO credit report. This will give you a detailed update on your credit score.
  • Find a non-profit service that offers credit card debt counseling exclusively for personal users.
  • Look for debt consolidation loans that can cover your credit card bills in the future at a much lower cost.
  • Do not cancel your credit cards or stop using them. Regularly using your card is one way to build your FICO score. Just use them sparingly to pay your electricity bills, medical bills, grocery bills, and fuel expenses.

What are two alternatives to debt consolidation loans?

Debt snowballing and debt avalanche are other ways that can help you pay off your credit card bills. Although they are distinct debt payment procedures, they are quite alike in that both of them need you to pay off the minimum on all your credit card debts except one.

Debt snowballing

According to this method, you start with the smallest balance and progress towards the largest one during the time of payment. This process is independent of the interest rates on each debt. So, just grab the credit card with the least debt and start by paying that off.

Debt avalanche

This one goes through debt payments in the absolute opposite direction. You start with the largest payment and move to the smallest gradually. Economically, this makes sense since you will pay less in interest if you follow this order of payment.

Why can debt snowballing and debt avalanche be bad for your financial health?

multiple credit card

In reality, both methods can be debilitating for your credit score. Meeting the minimum payment requirements for your credit cards is not such a great idea. Debt snowballing and debt avalanche might work with invoice factoring and payday loans that do not have any direct links to your FICO score.

These two processes are not effective when:

  • You need to pay off large amounts over a long period.
  • A balance transfer is not an option.
  • You can easily qualify for a good and sensible consolidation loan.
  • Your new loan comes at a significantly lower rate.

For credit card debts, always paying the best you can towards the company charging the highest interest is the better idea. A debt consolidation loan can help with a new loan at a much lower interest and better APR to pay off your outstanding credit card bills.

If you think you cannot manage a large amount of money and pay the credit card companies off on time, you should seek the help of a debt consolidation program as well. Several new and approved credit card debt consolidation programs and debt consolidation companies focus on the needs of individual credit card holders.

What should compulsive credit card users know about debt consolidation loans?

The new loan will make the payment periods a lot better and manageable. However, without a proper check on your spending habit, you will fall right back into the quicksand of payment and surmounting bills.

Start by setting a maximum spending limit on each card. Find out the minimum compulsory expense on each card that you need to meet in order to rebuild your credit score.

Each month, cut down on expenses. For example, switch from a luxury brand of soap to a store brand for the time being. You might smell less than awesome but your finances will feel amazing!

Download a holistic monthly budget template so you can chart your monthly income, expense, overheads, and penalties. This will help you make sense of the top priority payments and cut the unwanted expenses weighing your finances down.

The kind of loan and debt consolidation loan company you pick can make all the difference in your finances. Always remember that your credit card debt is already unsecured. You do not want to convert that to a secured debt at any cost. Always stick to an unsecured debt as long as you can.

The post How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Wear Glasses With Style

Glasses don’t just improve how you see. If you wear them the right way, they can also improve how you look. The perfect glasses can complement your wardrobe and speak about your personality and sense of style.

Before we discuss how to wear glasses with style, let’s try to have a clearer idea of how they started.

The History

benjamin franklin invented glasses
Via readers.com

Many people think that Benjamin Franklin invented glasses. The truth, however, is that the idea has been around for years before he made bifocal lenses.

See Also: Understanding How Glasses Work

In the 18th century, there were scientists tinkering with the idea of tinting corrective lenses in an attempt to help people see better. It wasn’t until 1929 that Foster Grant, a comb manufacturer, took advantage of a brand new technology known as “injection molding” and started to mass produce sunglasses. They were sold on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City.

Unfortunately, the trend wasn’t a hit right away. During the World War II, Ray-Ban, known then by their parent company Bausch and Lomb, invented the now wildly-popular aviator sunglasses.

See Also: A Guide to Buying Glasses Online

How Can Glasses Compliment Your Look?

To get started, you need to find glasses that will compliment the shape of your face. The trick is to find frames that are slightly wider than your face.

Look for frames that mimic or highlight your brow line. For round face, look for strong angles to create contrast. If you have an oval face, look for features that are bold but will compliment the rest of your facial features.

If you have a square face, oval-shaped frames are great in making your features softer. Look for glasses with wider frames if your face is heart-shaped. This will balance out your features.

Hollywood Has Been Creating Icons Out Of Glasses For Decades

audrey hepburn oliver goldsmith manhattan sunglasses
Via pinterest

Back in 1961, Audrey Hepburn donned a pair of Oliver Goldsmith Manhattan sunglasses. There was one company that signed a contract with a Hollywood studio in 1982 that propelled those glasses to decades-long fame and fortune: Bausch and Lomb.

Before that contract, the company had sold a measly 18,000 units. After that, their sales went from 360,000 in the first year to 1.5 million just a few years later. Some of their “biggest hits” included:

  • In 1971, Clint Eastwood played Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry, donning an iconic pair of Ray-Ban 4089 Balloramas.
  • In 1983, Tom Cruise played Joel Goodman while wearing a pair of Ray-Ban original Wayfarers
  • In 1986, Tom Cruise played Maverick in Top Gun, popularizing the Ray-Ban 3025 Aviators.
  • In 1986, Matthew Broderick played Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, rocking a pair of Ray-Ban Classic Clubmasters.
  • In 1992, Denzel Washington played Malcolm X, donning a pair of Ray-Ban RX-5154 Clubmasters.
  • In 1997, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones played Agents J and K in Men In Black, popularizing the Ray-Ban Predator 2 style

It’s not just Ray-Bans that have become popular in Hollywood films but that 1982 deal has certainly paid off in spades. If you’re looking to add Hollywood style to your choice in eyewear, learn more about iconic frames in Hollywood from this infographic!

The post How to Wear Glasses With Style appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Foolproof Ways to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

With Easter coming up and summer potlucks following right behind, there are many hard-boiled eggs in our near future. Sometimes they can be a little tricky to pull off—peels included!

Here are three ways to make hard-boiled eggs depending on your equipment, what kind of eggs you have, and what you plan to do with them.

Continue reading “3 Foolproof Ways to Make Hard Boiled Eggs” »

How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website

You only have 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention.

If you’re planning on making it big on the internet, you need to make sure you get that 8 seconds right.

How?

The answer is to keep your site’s visitors as engaged as possible. Make sure that your website is eye-pleasing, easy to navigate, and highly usable.

Based on a research done by Stanford University, over 46% of visitors stated that design is the most important factor they consider in deciding whether they’ll stay or leave a website. But how can you ensure that?

Here are 6 ways to increase conversion rate.

Establish a Visual Hierarchy

visual heirarchy website

Establishing a visual hierarchy helps users find the information they need to make a decision. You can apply the right visual hierarchy to your site to influence users and make them react positively to your call-to-action.

Here’s how you can create a powerful visual hierarchy:

  • Perfectly placed conversion forms
  • Call-to-action buttons need to be bigger, clear, and simple
  • Use of high-quality images
  • Brief and benefit-driven headline
  • Use of power words to make your copy catchy and compelling
  • A good layout that seamlessly moves eyes from one point to another

These design principles can improve the overall experience of your website in a way that users just don’t accomplish goals but also enjoy their visit to your site.

Use the right color combinations

Different color combinations convey different meanings and evoke different emotions. You can play with colors to get people to do exactly what you want.

For example, you can apply contrast psychology to highlight call-to-action buttons and to make headlines and texts noticeable and readable. Other important elements that you want to highlight should stand out from the rest of your site, too. Use the right color combination so that people can see them easily.

Use negative space effectively

Negative space is referred to as white space on a website.

In simple words, positive space has all the elements on your site whereas negative space refers to the empty space between paragraphs, sidebars, and texts.

Despite the name, negative space is valuable to the design of your website. Without it, your site will look cluttered.

Effective use of negative space is necessary to keep your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. So, avoid stuffing your website with too much information.

See Also: Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

Good typography is critical

The right typography can enhance the readability of your content while optimizing your UI design. A good typography often goes unnoticed because it just makes sense. So, go for a simple yet bold typography that presents your content in a user-friendly way.

Here are some essentials of a good typography.

Consistency- Consistent use of kerning, typefaces, and formatting is essential to give your content a professional look and keep your users focused.
Hierarchy- Creating hierarchy is important to guide users through the content. For example, in web design, it has to be heading followed by subheading and then main copy.
Alignment- Alignment is important to keep the look of your web page unified. You can either settle for flush left alignment or flush right alignment to provide readers a stronger edge line to follow. As much as possible, refrain from choosing a centered alignment.

F Layout is the safest

A user’s natural pattern when browsing the internet follows the ‘F’ pattern. That makes it the safest and most effective website design to follow.

When visiting a site, visitors move their eyes from left to right, starting at the top of the screen. Next, they scan the page downwards to find the information they need. The bottom right of a web page gets the least amount of visibility.

Thus, to boost your site’s conversion rate, you need to place all the important pieces of your website along with that “F” pattern. This will encourage users to take specific actions, like completing a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or downloading an e-book.

Make it mobile-friendly

mobile friendly website

A lot of people access the internet from their handheld devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you’re way behind.

If you want to increase your conversion rate, your website needs to be able to provide a seamless experience to users. Moreover, Google also prefers mobile-friendly websites. You can end up in a higher spot in the search results if Google likes you.

With that, optimizing your website for mobile is no more just an option but a must-do.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

Final Thoughts

Lastly, remember the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) rule for your web design. Keep it simple and make sure there are fewer distractions. The more aesthetically pleasing your website is, the higher its conversion.

The post How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen, but a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

Continue reading “How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)” »

How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt

Finding an apartment to move into is an exciting experience. Well, that’s if you’re fully prepared.

In the same way that you go shopping for clothes, you will want to find an apartment that will fit your lifestyle. Knowing the size that you need, the amount you want to pay, and where to look are the key factors that make an apartment hunt go smoothly.

To make sure you enjoy the experience, here are 8 tips to help you in finding an apartment.

Make a List

writing a list

Before you even begin your search, we advise you to make a list. Make sure that it includes two categories: your wants and your needs.

Be realistic with your list and be willing to bend.

For example, not being able to find an apartment in your chosen location is alright as long as the apartment is big enough to accommodate all your things.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Prepare a Budget

In the same manner that you made your previous list, you should now prepare your budget. Determine the highest amount you can afford, including the cost of utilities, parking, public transportation, and Homeowner Association (HOA) fees. You should also determine the highest amount you can afford without those fees included.

Then, outside of your budget, you will want to set aside some money for the extra fees. This includes the security deposit and the registration fee for your pet.

Finally, depending on where you are looking, you may even need to set aside some money for a broker’s fee. A broker is necessary when a landlord won’t deal directly with tenants.

Take note that a broker’s fee can be quite expensive. In some cases, it’s equivalent to a month’s rental fee.

One good tip you can use to lower that fee is to find an apartment in a newly constructed building. Most developers will want to fill in all the empty apartments fast that they are willing to cover the broker’s fee. Looking for a place during the winter season can also lower your rental cost.

Narrow down your preferred location

Before you begin looking at rental properties, you may first want to select one or two neighborhoods to begin looking in.

Do you have a friend or family member who already lives in the area? Or are you selecting a neighborhood because it sounds like a great place to live in?

Try and do some quick research beforehand so that you’re not running all over the city.

Create a checklist

Being ready with an apartment hunt checklist will help you keep track of what you are going to see, especially if you have scheduled multiple visits in one day. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider bringing a friend. Chances are he or she will want to have input on your place, too.

Second, have your previous wants and needs list attached to your checklist. Include an area where you can write down your comments.

Check off the features you are getting, such as washer, dryer, and easy access to public transit. Acknowledge the things you won’t be getting, too.

As you take a look around, make sure to also take pictures. Otherwise, when you get home, all the apartments will start to blur together and you won’t remember which one was which.

See Also: Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Feel free to snoop

When you are looking around the apartment you want, it’s important for you to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. So, push those buttons on the dishwasher, run all the faucets to check how long it takes to get some hot water, and don’t be shy to check out each closet.

If this is going to be your next home, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you move in. And while snooping, feel free to talk with the tenants next door about what it’s like to live in the building and with the current landlord.

Know how much space you will need

Do you have a king-size bed and a large dresser? If that is the case, you’re going to need a bedroom that will fit them both.

To make sure you don’t end up guessing, include those measurements on your checklist and be sure to bring a measuring tape with you. Don’t be afraid to pull it out to verify the measurements of a room.

Sometimes, a room might look big but with the location of the window and closet, you will find that there isn’t enough wall space for you to fit all of your furniture. While you’re at it, make sure that your large couch will also fit the door.

Arrive prepared

property manager

Just because you believe that you are simply looking for an apartment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared and be presentable. In a sense, the landlord is interviewing you in a similar way that an employer would.

It wouldn’t hurt to create a resume or file of all the necessary details your possible future landlord would need. Even if the property manager requires you to fill up a lease application form, having your resume to add to that will highlight your good character.

You will want to include all your up-to-date information, such as your contact numbers, employer information, previous landlord, and even checks for security deposits.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better rental price either if you think you can give the landlord something in return, such as a long-term lease. You might even be able to negotiate the security deposit if you can prove that you are a good tenant.

Get it in writing

If your apartment hunt progresses swiftly and you end up finding a place that you like, take a moment to write down the details. Make sure that it includes the rental fee, security deposit, and any visual damages that they’ll repair for you for free.

Remember to secure copies of everything that you sign. Confirm that you can make the changes you want, such as painting the walls or updating the floor. Wait for him to sign the agreement before initiating the changes.

Make it count

Being prepared is only half the battle when finding an apartment. Hopefully, this list of tips can help make the process a lot easier for you.

 

The post How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It

Our thoughts are helpful. We need them to make sense of the information around us and to take action.

I used to believe this wholeheartedly, but is it really true? Is the stream of words in our heads really necessary?

As far as we know, animals don’t talk to themselves and they seem to manage. Some of our actions are prompted by our thoughts but most of them are the results of outside stimuli and our feelings.

Your Mind in Action

mind in action

When something triggers a response in us, our subconscious tries to come up with a proper course of action. Its final decision is reinforced by feelings and thoughts that leak into the conscious. These 2 combine to form the motivation for your response.

For example, let’s say you found a mountain of dishes in your sink.

Your brain (the subconscious) analyzes the situation and comes up with a solution (leave them). Your feelings guide you towards the couch and you start thinking about your favorite show.

Again, your thoughts worked against you.

But this is not always the case.

Sometimes, the subconscious comes up with the decision to clean your dishes and so do your thoughts.

Also, you are not at the mercy of your subconscious. You can say no to certain “solutions” by recognizing the feelings and thoughts that are rejecting them.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Don’t Argue with the Mind

When you feel like doing something you shouldn’t, become aware of this fact. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and start focusing on your task.

Most of us try to argue with our minds and the brain always wins.

Stop arguing.

When you’re feeling and thinking something you shouldn’t, simply ignore it.

If you think you can’t, you are wrong.

You’ve done it before. At one time or another, something triggered a messed up thought in you, like murder, suicide or rape. It happens to all of us.

We cannot control the thoughts we have, as they are simple reactions to the outside world.

If you watch enough news about murder and rape, these thoughts will inevitably end up in your mind. But they are disgusting, so we reject them immediately.

That’s what keeps us sane.

However, we do not reject thoughts of donuts and coca cola which make us fat. We do not reject thoughts of television and YouTube that keep us mediocre.

So, how do we do it?

How to Control Your Thoughts

To fully understand how this works, I recommend reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

the power of now eckhart tolle

An incomplete summary of what he speaks about is the following:

  • Thoughts come and go but you don’t have to accept and ruminate over all of them.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Open them and become deeply aware of your surroundings. Become present.
  • In this state, you have no thoughts. You enjoy being. When one comes into your head, make a quick decision: Is this thought useful/necessary or not? If it’s not (most of them aren’t), eliminate it and return to the present.

These steps will not only remove the pointless thoughts in your head but they can also force your subconscious to come up with better, superior ideas. What you’ll basically be doing is analyzing your thoughts, keeping only the good ones, and terminating the rest.

See Also: The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

Thinking vs. Being

Most people are stuck in their heads. Instead of admiring the sunset or having a moment with their friends and family, they’re busy thinking about nonsense.

Are you doing the same?

If you are, accept it and start working on it. You can try it out right now or when you’re taking a walk or a shower. If there’s nothing useful going on in your head, simply focus on the now and the present.

By training yourself to get rid of the useless thoughts in your head, you will build the discipline you need to succeed at work and your daily life. The more you do it, the easier it will be to remain in the present.

So, stop thinking. Just listen. Just see. Just be.

The post How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 7 Biggest Mistakes That College Students Make

So many great things can happen in college. It’s essentially your launching pad.

This is the time and place where you meet people, have your ideas and perceptions challenged, and get prepared for your next steps in life. It’s also a time where you can make some pretty costly mistakes and miss out on some great opportunities.

Here’s a quick list of the 7 things not to do in college.

Going Out Too Often

For many students, college is where you can make spontaneous plans. You can make your own schedule without the need to ask for your parents’ approval.

That, however, isn’t always a great thing.

You may face pressure from friends and roommates to go out and enjoy yourself. They’ll encourage you to stop reviewing and just go out for a night of fun.

When students give into pressure and temptations to go out too often, they usually end up low on cash, sleep-deprived, and behind on their studies.

Fortunately, a solution is available.

Rather than randomly going out on half-baked nights with pals, pick a single night each week or month where you can truly enjoy. This will make it much easier to stay in.

Skipping Classes

Let’s be honest.

If you ever attempted it, you know that skipping class in high school is a real challenge. Now, what happens when you skip class in college?

Well, nothing. There are no phone calls, lectures, and warnings.

But, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences.

Missing lectures, labs, quizzes, or simply not being there to take notes can put you behind very quickly.

So, how do you avoid the temptation?

First, avoid getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Get enough sleep and give yourself plenty of time to do your homework. Try to find other ways to give yourself a mental break when you need it.

Finally, if you must, give yourself one day per semester to take the day off. Just be prepared to get your notes ahead of time and make up for any work.

Not Reaching Out For Help

No college experience is perfect. One of the only certainties is that, at some point, you’re going to struggle with something. For some, that struggle may be academic.

You may find yourself struggling in a particular class or just unsure of where you’re headed in terms of your major.

On the other hand, you may do wonderfully with academics but struggle with homesickness and depression.

Sadly, many students make the mistake of keeping their problems to themselves rather than asking for help.

Keep this in mind.

There are people who are willing to help you if you are having troubles. There are tutors in your student learning center that are waiting for people to come to them for academic help. Your academic adviser can help you stay on the right path and your instructors can help if you are behind. There are also counselors if you are struggling mentally or emotionally.

None of those people will be annoyed or bothered if you approach them. Instead, they will be happy to apply their talents to help you.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

Taking Classes That Contradict With Sleep/Awake Patterns

You know you aren’t a morning person but if you take that 8 A.M. class, you’ll have all of your basic credits in. That means you can take the summer semester off.

But should you sign up for that class?

You might want to think twice.

How tired will you be and how much sleep will you lose?

Too many students sign up for early classes and then have a really hard time. If you commit to an early class and coffee isn’t enough to keep you going, your grades can really suffer.

Know your sleep patterns and energy levels. Be honest with yourself. Getting in one more class won’t do you any good if you lower your overall GPA or fail a class.

Missing Out on Student Discounts

Your student ID card might just be your ticket to tons of discounts around the campus. Restaurants, movie theaters, clothing stores- there’s a good chance that you can receive a pretty nice discount from those places.

Pay attention to your local banks and credit unions as well. Many of them offer free or reduced price checking accounts and other perks just for college students. This is a great way to establish yourself as a local banking customer and get into the habit of saving.

Ignoring Your Health And Wellness

Poor health doesn’t happen overnight. It comes incrementally.

You go to school sick when you should be resting. Skipping breakfast becomes a habit. You eat too much junk food and you indulge in a few too many beers each week. You rarely visit the gym, too.

Before you know it, you’ve put on weight. You’re depressed and anxious and you feel awful.

Don’t procrastinate.

If you’re sick or experiencing pain, deal with it immediately. Commit to eating right most of the time and always include some form of exercise in your day.

See Also: 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Focus And Destroy Procrastination

Overspending Student Aid Checks

Your tuition is paid. Now, you’re waiting for that awesome check from the school bursar. It finally arrives and you have visions of a flat screen television and the latest gaming system in your eyes.

Before you go spending, be careful!

Remember that this money is supposed to cover your expenses for the term. Even if you’re sure you can make it and earn extra money, there are a lot of things you can do with your windfall.

You can consider:

  • Pay off or avoid credit card debt.
  • Get needed maintenance done on your vehicle.
  • Put money aside for savings.
  • Start an emergency fund.
  • Pay your student loan interest.

If you make it to the end of the semester, then spend the leftover money on something fun and frivolous.

Conclusion

Save money. Stay healthy. Get the most out of your education.

Isn’t that what most college students want? Avoid these seven screw-ups and you will accomplish those goals.

The post The 7 Biggest Mistakes That College Students Make appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Reduce Expenses When You Live In An Expensive City

Living in a high-cost area has its perks. There’s a lot of high paying jobs, which means you have a lot more opportunity to earn. And since things can cost more, you’re less likely to consume them. This translates to lower living standards. Of course, those ideas don’t apply to everyone and not all people can live well in an expensive city. Whether you’re looking to pinch pennies or you’re struggling to make ends meet, here are some tips on how to reduce expenses when you live in a high-cost area.

Saving on your housing

rental sharing Of course, your rent will be one of your highest bills. If you live in a city like New York City, expect the average rental rate to be around $3,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. While this number is nothing to sneeze at, you can bring this cost down by doing the following:

  • Renting with friends or a co-worker- Consider finding a roommate to slash your rent by 50%. You can ask your friends or co-workers. If you can’t find one, try Craigslist or post on your local Facebook marketplace. Just be sure to screen for your security.
  • Avoid the flashy areas– In most large cities, the rental opportunities are endless. And since they are in-demand, they are likely to cost more. Try to avoid those “flashy” areas and try to find a place that’s a few blocks away.

Saving on transportation costs

Transportation is a cost that can easily exceed $8,600 annually. The costs are derived from car payments, insurance, interest, repair costs, maintenance costs, gas, auto club fees, and more. When residing in an expensive city, the amount you pay out of pocket can increase every 6 to 8 months depending on the size of your vehicle and the length of your commute. The following are a handful of tips that can assist you in cutting or eliminating this (non-essential) expense:

  • Carpool/Ride-share– This option allows you to decrease the wear and tear and fuel costs of your vehicle. The cost of ride-sharing (Lyft, Uber, ZipCar) is a mere fraction of the cost of owning a vehicle of your own.
  • Utilize public Transportation– If you are in an area where public transportation is available, use it. It’s far less expensive than driving a vehicle around town.

Start decreasing your debt

You can decrease your monthly expenses by reducing or eliminating revolving debt. As you pay off your debts, you’ll receive fewer monthly bills and you’ll have more money to save. The following will show you a few ways to reduce debt and increase your savings:

  • Use balance transfers– If a debt that you’re currently paying is attached to a high-interest rate, consider utilizing a balance transfer. It offers perks, like an 18-month APR of 0%. You can also try rewards programs but be certain to factor in all transfer fees. It is also best to pay the transferred balance during the introductory period (if plausible).
  • Refinance– Contact your auto and homeowner insurance company and see if you qualify for a lower interest rate. A reduced rate can save you money over the life of your loan and this can make living in a high-cost area more affordable.
  • Consolidate loans– Consolidation can provide you with a lower interest rate and a greater chance to pay off the loan quicker.
  • Reduce credit card rates – You may be able to negotiate with your credit card company to reduce your current rate/s.
  • Use auto debt repayment plans– This will keep you from missing payments and incurring late fees or rate increases.
  • Spring clean and purge – Go through your home and gather unused or rarely used items. Once you have gathered them, sell them. This will give you some added income, no matter how small the amount may be. You’ll also be able to free up space.

Think about decreasing your energy costs

On average, American households spend approximately $2,200 annually on energy bills. Fortunately, advances in technology are making it easier for energy expenses to be slashed. Below are some ways to decrease your monthly costs for energy:

  • Seal your home– This will prevent drafts which is a common issue with energy efficiency. The loss of heat or cool air can increase your costs.
  • Use LED or CFL bulbs– These bulb types are (on average) four times more efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs. This simple change will save you $0.66 per month and (plausibly) $40 annually.
  • Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater– 14% of your home energy cost is from your hot water heater. By reducing the temperature to between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit and installing a water heater blanket, you will drastically decrease that cost.
  • Install a thermostat that is programmable– This will allow you to decrease energy use when no one is at home, saving you money throughout the month.
  • Unplug– Any electrical devices that are not in use should be unplugged. Whether on or off, they are still drawing electricity and adding to your monthly bill.

Decrease your entertainment costs

decrease entertainment cost Most people think of entertainment as dining out, heading to a movie theater or concert. Those are not your only forms of entertainment. Remember, you’re living in an expensive city so there are probably tons of low-cost entertainment options such as local museums or parks. Here are some of the things you can cut out to reduce your monthly expenses:

  • Cancel Club Memberships
  • Eliminate or reduce your cable/satellite bill– Utilize streaming services, such as Netflix or the PlayStation Vue. There’s no reason to pay $100+ per month for cable TV purposes.
  • Cancel magazine and newspaper wubscriptions– Read and view your favorites online for free.

Living in a high-cost area is doable and you can still successfully live in one if you’re smart with your money. Hopefully, by applying some of these tips, you can slash a few dollars off of your budget.

The post How to Reduce Expenses When You Live In An Expensive City appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better

Remember snow days?

You’d wake up, turn on the television, and wait to see your school’s name scroll along the bottom of the screen. Seeing your school’s name followed by “Closed” or “2-Hour Delay” was probably the best feeling.

It meant being able to lay around in your pajamas, play video games or go out with other neighborhood kids.

Now, as an adult, snow days usually mean working from home if you can, or losing out on a day of pay if your kids are out and you don’t have that option. Adulthood can be a real bummer sometimes. But one thing that can still save you is an Internet snow day. What do you do when the Internet goes out and you can’t work?

The Internet Is The New Office

internet office

What did people do all day before the Internet and even before there were computers?

There were physical letters that had to be typed on a typewriter, physical filing cabinets where things had to be properly stored, and do you remember Rolodexes?

My goodness, the Rolodexes.

There’s so much in the office of yesteryear that most people today would not even recognize. Today, people in offices report:

  • 78% of people who work in offices say the Internet is crucial to work getting done
  • 60% of workers say they lose the majority of their productivity when there is an Internet outage
  • 65% of office workers choose their location based on the Internet signal there

The Internet Is In Near Constant Peril

Solar flares and sharks can cause Internet outages.

Yes, real sharks can attack the undersea lines that connect the Internet between continents. Solar flares can knock out communications satellites, too.

The biggest threat to the Internet, however, are hackers. DDoS attacks have been responsible for many outages, including one that seized the unsecured WiFi connections of things like cameras and IoT to overwhelm Dyn, the system that routes traffic on the Internet. This knocked out access to popular sites like Twitter and Netflix for nearly a day.

For ordinary consumers though, sharks and hackers take a backseat to frustrating ISPs.

Things To Do Without Internet

Congratulations, you are embarking on your very own Internet Snow Day! If you are fortunate enough to work with really fun people, you could:

  • Go for a walk in the park
  • Check out an art museum
  • Head to the nearest thrift shop to rummage for interesting stuff
  • Have coffee from somewhere other than the break room

have coffee

  • Play a trivia game

And if you are still stuck in the office waiting and hoping for the Internet to come back on, there are still a few things you can do without Internet access:

  • Play the jumpy dinosaur game on Chrome
  • Pop a DVD into your drive and watch a movie or show
  • Write out your next blog post or social media post and just upload it once the Internet is back up

Will Internet Outages Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?

With great technology comes great frustration when it fails. That’s why ISPs are trying to improve the reliability of their service whenever possible.

Fiber Internet is one option for making the Internet more resistant to outages. It is physically stronger and lasts longer than cable. It’s also faster and this can decrease outages caused by traffic overloads.

Until the world is covered by Fiber, you should have a plan for your next Internet snow day. What will you do the next time there’s no internet?

You don’t get many snow days as an adult, so a little preparation can help you make the most of it. Learn more about the best things to do without internet from this infographic!

How to have the best Internet Snow Day

The post Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games

Online casinos are fun. They can help you pass time, double your money, and earn points without the need to spend on gas and drive all the way to a casino. They can even lessen your anxiety and stress.

Now, despite all the great things you hear about online casinos, not all of them can give you the best experience. In fact, if you fail to find the right one, you can end up falling victim to identity theft and fraud.

To make sure none of these things happen, check out these best tips on how to find the safest and best online casino.

Reliability

Since you’ll be depositing money into the online casino, you have to make sure that you can rely on it in keeping your money safe. The last thing you’d want to happen is to find all your money gone even before you start betting.

One good way to verify a casino’s reliability is to check its licensing company. You should also verify if its random number generator is legit. Otherwise, the casino could be swindling its customers and that’s not legal.

Reputation

As much as possible, stick with online casinos that have a proven track record for treating their clients fairly. AskGamblers, named one of the best casino portals, is a great example.

askgamblers

Now, how do you check?

You can do a quick search online to see what others are saying about the online casino you like. Take the time to read each review so you’ll know what to expect.

You can also try asking your friends about which sites they trust and how long they have been using them. Having lots of long-term users is a sign of a good reputation.

Take note that searching for and reading reviews isn’t a foolproof way to determine a casino’s reputation. However, they can give you an idea about which sites are trustworthy and which ones are shady.

Remember, try to stay away from sites that are plagued with negative reviews.

Selection of Games

Once you know your money and information will be safe, it’s time to get to the fun part.

In choosing the best online casino, you need to find out what makes it great and that includes the game selection. You’d want to have as many options as possible if really want to have fun.

Imagine this:

If you sign up for an online casino with a narrow selection, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself searching for another online casino in just a few days. That isn’t only time consuming but frustrating, too.

So, before you start playing, make sure that the online casino you’ll be playing in is offering all the games you’re after.

Check if the site offers all types of games as well. An online casino that has about 40 types of video poker and only 5 table games won’t give you the best experience since it can force you to play the same type of game over and over again.

Graphics

Of course, you want your games to give you the best experience. And for that to be possible, you need to make sure that the online casino you choose uses the latest technology and graphics. You also need to make sure that it offers the latest games.

Excellent customer support

customer support

This might not sound that important but once you experience a problem, you’ll find the true benefit of having an excellent customer support. It won’t just help solve your issues quicker and easier but it can also make problem-solving a lot less stressful.

Now, testing a casino’s customer support isn’t that hard. All you need to do is send them an email with a few questions. Check how fast they’ll respond and how helpful their answers are.

If there’s a live chat support, try using it. Don’t wait until you have an actual problem before you test it out.

If you encounter a problem and that live chat support don’t work, you’ll have a hard time fixing your problem.

Deposits and Withdrawals

If you prefer a particular method for funding your account, you might want to check a casino’s depositing options. You should also check if you need to pay any additional fees to process your money.

Now, remember:

Most sites allow players to withdraw money from the same method they deposited their funds. This means that if you are going to use the bank method, make sure that your account allows deposits and withdrawals for the site you’re after.

Verify this before you deposit any money into your playing account.

Apart from deposits, you need to check the casino’s withdrawal process, too. Not all casinos process cash-outs at the same speed. There are casinos that follow a range of processes and that can delay your cash-outs.

Rewards

Online casinos usually post their rewards and bonuses so you can easily spot them the moment you visit their sites. In fact, they are the first things you’ll see.

Now, here’s the thing:

Although big bonuses and rewards look attractive, not all of them are great. Some of them can have hidden terms and conditions you need to keep an eye out for. Others require a higher wager which can make the rewards not that valuable.

If you are an occasional player, a welcome bonus is something you should look forward to. However, if you a regular gambler, try to find the best rewards for your wagers. The list includes reload bonuses, leaderboard contests, cashback deals, and VIP clubs.

See Also: Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits

Conclusion

Playing online casino games are great as long as you can find the best sites to play. If you aren’t careful, you won’t just waste time and money but you can also end up compromising your security.

So, do your homework and use the factors above in choosing the best online casino. It may take more time and may require more effort but the peace of mind and sense of security can make your gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.

The post How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom

An area rug is a great way to bring out the best in any room. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be picked up relatively cheap, too. You don’t need to have lots of money to start decorating with area rugs. There are plenty of DIY ideas that you can do at home. If you are wondering where you can find some inspirations, here are some really handy tips.

Add some stripes to the room

Choosing a rug that’s stripy will automatically make the room look bigger. Stripes also give the room a very contemporary modern feel. However, if you’ve already got a striped duvet cover or walls, a plain area rug would be a better choice.

Fluff it up a little

fluffy area rug There’s nothing more comforting than getting out of bed in the morning and stepping on a nice, fluffy rug. As well as adding extra warmth to the room, fluffy rugs also make a nice contrasting feature against wooden floors.

Minimalism is the key

Another popular choice is minimalism. You don’t need to have a bedroom packed with lots of objects and loud colors. Plain colored walls with a basic, plain area rug are all you need to pull this look off. It’s very minimalist yet very effective.

Break up the colour

bright colored area rug Some people tend to go a little overboard with the same color when decorating their bedroom. Adding an area rug to the room that’s a different shade breaks it up a little.

Wall to wall effect

People sometimes choose wall-to-wall area rugs as opposed to carpeting. It has a really nice effect and is certainly a much cheaper option. You can get them in just as many designs. They look just as good and they’ll save you a whole lot of money in having to fit the carpet.

Blend in the greys

When you first think of grey, you may automatically think old-fashioned. That’s no longer the case. In fact, grey is making a comeback! Grey on grey is a very popular look at the moment, particularly in the bedroom. Having different hues of grey on the walls mixed with a different hue of grey on the floor makes for a very nice look.

Create the mood

Not everyone has the same taste and not everyone will want the same mood for their bedroom. So, choose a rug that matches the mood you’re trying to create. Solid colors or classic pattern rugs work well for a traditional style bedroom. They will make you feel instantly at ease. On the other hand, adding stripes and dots will make the room look more upbeat.

Careful positioning

The positioning of a rug can make all the difference to the look your room portrays. Offsetting an area rug will give it maximum visual appeal and can be done by placing the bed on just a third of the rug. This works well with heavily patterned area rugs.

Double the fun

If you have quite a large bedroom, having two distinctly different but complementing rugs in the room can have a nice effect. It can help break up the monotony in such a large area. Just make sure they are different, as too much of the same is never a good thing.

Cozy it up

bedroom area rug Laying in a warm bed in a cozy little room is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. And while you may feel that a small bedroom is already cozy, adding a nice wool area rug can make it even cozier. It will also give the room a nice, rustic look. Now that you have some ideas as to how to decorate your bedroom with area rugs, all that’s left for you now is to go and find (or make) that perfect rug!

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty

The post Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera

Cameras are incredibly expensive. On top of that, their gear is also expensive. With that, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that you can keep your camera working for as long as you can. But, do you know how to clean your camera? Now, to ensure longevity, you need to take proper care of your equipment and learn to clean it properly. This post will teach you some of the basics.

Don’t Use Your Shirt to Clean Your Lens

This is one of the most common mistakes made by anyone learning to use a camera. They look through the lens and see a speck of dirt and they wipe it off with their shirt. Yes, it technically gets rid of the smudge, but your sweater absorbs dirt and sweat throughout the day. That gunk transfers over to the lens. Your shirt can even scratch the glass, too. Instead of using your shirt, you need to use a special cloth, like a lens tissue or microfiber material, to clean your glass.

Always Use a Lens Cap

camera lens cap A Lens caps keep your camera and its lenses free of dirt, gunk, and scratches. Whenever your camera is not in use, you should have a lens cap on it. Whenever you take a lens off your body, a lens cap should go on both the body and said lens. You’d think this would be second nature, but tons of photographers forget to do this.

Take Care of Your SD Card

SD cards store all the photos and videos you’ve taken. They’re necessary to transfer that data over to a computer for editing and properly caring for them is essential. Your camera has a blinking light near the SD card slot. When blinking, that means data is being written to the SD card. Too many users rip their SD card right after turning the camera off. This is wrong and it can ruin all the shots you just took. Make sure to wait at least five seconds after turning the camera off to eject the card.

Cleaning the Rear Area of The Lens

This part gets overlooked a lot but it’s a big deal when it comes to keeping your equipment working. The rear area of your lens is the part that attaches to the body of the camera. Any dirt or gunk on it can get into the sensor and ruin the body of the camera. The best way to address that is to use compressed air or a cotton tip with a small amount of alcohol on it.

Cleaning the Camera Body

Take a clean paintbrush and run it through the outer body of your camera. Once done, take some compressed air and puff it around as well. Make sure not to let the dust blow into the body. Cameras such as Nikon or Canon make it simple to clean. Both companies have manuals and videos to guide you.

Camera Sensor

Your camera’s sensor is the most expensive part to replace and an essential piece of your camera. Shooting outside almost always guarantees getting something stuck in the lens. That lens then transfers the dust over to the sensor and those specks of dirt can ruin every single photo. There’s almost no way to clean it when out and about, either. Sensors need special care, though there are a few ways to do it by hand: Auto Clean: Every single DLSR on the market comes with an auto-clean function. This option “shakes” the sensor with the intention of knocking the dust off. However, this only works with very light specks and will do very little to a very dirty sensor. Swabs and Fluid: You can purchase swabs designed to clean your sensor without damaging it. Pairing them with a specific cleaning fluid means you can wipe it clean almost instantaneously. You can even get swabs that are the exact size of your sensor so you can get it done in one swipe. If your sensor is still dirty after all of this, you need to bring the camera body to a cleaning expert. They have the tools and will take the time required to clean your sensor correctly. Also, be careful not to overexpose the sensor whenever you’re switching lenses. When changing lenses, do it as quickly as possible. Remember to face your camera downwards when making the switch.

In Usage

camera usage When using your camera, always make sure to hold it securely. Using a strap helps keep the device safe and holding it with two hands ensures that even more. This prevents it from bouncing around when walking and it also makes for a steady shot when capturing images. If you invest in cameras and extra equipment for them, it is vital that you go the extra mile to take care of them. Spend on cleaning equipment. Read about taking care of the device and make sure to take all the steps necessary to prevent damage. In doing so, you’ll have a camera that stays working for years to come.

See Also: 7 Tips For Amateur Photographers You Need To Know

The post A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

Accidents and natural disasters can happen anytime. If you aren’t prepared, they can end up ruining your property and taking your loved ones’ lives. To ensure protection, take a look at these 8 severe weather conditions and safety tips for natural disasters.

Earthquakes

If you live in an earthquake-prone area, hire an engineer to conduct a seismic evaluation. This way, you can be sure that your property can resist damage. This may cost a little more than you like, but keep in mind that earthquake damage is a whole lot more expensive.

Additionally, furniture, walls, fixtures, and vents should all be properly anchored or braced. If an earthquake hits your building, evacuating all residents and shutting off electricity and gas switches should be a priority.

Wildfires

wildfires

Wildfires are unpredictable and often destructive. If your building is situated in an area where wildfires are a reality, there are several things you can do to prevent devastating damages.

Using fire resistant materials in the construction or modification of your property is a great way to prevent damage. Another area to assess is landscaping. Make sure that there aren’t any bushes that could lead the fire right to the structure.

Keep on top of all fire prevention systems. Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers can not only save lives but belongings and buildings, too. If you have any questions, contact your local fire department.

Floods

Flooding or flash flooding can happen almost anywhere. In fact, each of the 50 states has had one of the two occur.

To protect your property, consider raising wall sockets, switches, and other electrical elements to above-predicted flood levels. Take a look at the grading outside as well. Chances are you may need to have the grading re-sloped to provide you with the most flood defense.

Consider relocating your HVAC system to a higher floor as well as anchoring fuel tanks. Assuring your building has a sewer back-flow valve will protect against sewage backflow as well. Keeping gutters and drains free from debris allows water to flow properly and reduces the risk of severe flooding.

Severe Heat

Preparing your property for heat comes down to installing and maintaining a good HVAC system. Consider systems that clean and reuse air for green solutions that save 20 to 30% more energy.

Maintaining all systems during hot months is as important as replacing air filters. Consider having a backup generator on the property to ensure cool air in the event of a power outage.

Blizzards/Extreme Cold

blizzards extreme cold

Structures built to withstand cold weather are well-insulated.

To ensure your building will stand the test of blizzards and chilly winter air, check out the insulation situation first. Next, take good care of your heating source by keeping it well-maintained and by changing filters in your HVAC.

Insulate plumbing pipes and be sure to drain any outdoor exposed pipes before the cool weather comes. Burst pipes are a property owner’s nightmare.

Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a backup generator for the worst case scenario — power loss.

Drought

For drought, consider all the little things you can do to help reduce water consumption. One simple task to stay on top of is the plumbing. By making timely repairs and routinely checking your property’s plumbing, water conservation has already started. Replacing regular fixtures with low-flow versions and adding smart water meters are two additional ways to save on water.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes

hurricane

Although these two weather conditions are slightly different, they are both capable of causing severe damage quickly. With tornadoes, you have almost no warning.

If your property is in a tornado-prone area, investing in roof clips, cable ties, and reinforced external doors should be considered in building modifications. As well, designate a safe place to get to and stay throughout the storm. Looking at FEMA regulations is a great place to start.

The best ways to prepare for hurricanes include boarding up windows and removing and safely storing outdoor furniture and other unsecured outdoor items. Clear drainage areas and gutters and collect sandbags in case of flash flooding.

Although prevention does not mean assured protection, with these modifications and procedures in place, you will have the best chance of minimizing damage to your property. Always follow your local building codes and contact the right people before starting any work on your property.

Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Your Apartment Community

The post Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Over A Bad Day

It starts with spilling your coffee, then you lock your keys in the car, and now you are late for work. It’s not even 9 a.m. and you have already told yourself that you are having a bad day. At this point, it would almost take a miracle for you to see this day any other way.

Sound familiar?

The negative thought pattern that gets created when a few things go wrong can blister into a long-term, self-fulfilling prophecy if you aren’t careful. It can be very difficult to break that cycle. Left unbroken, it can leave you feeling depressed and overwhelmingly unhappy for days.

So, how to get over a bad day?

Recognize the Thoughts

It’s easy to take a series of unfortunate events as signs of a bad day. And once you give in to that thought, you have effectively taken away any alternative and your day will surely be bad.

It can take some work, but try making a conscious effort to recognize the tone of your thoughts. Are you thinking in negative terms?

There are physical cues that can go along with this as well. For a minute, consider what your body is doing.

Are your shoulders tensed? Are your brows furrowed? Is your jaw clenched?

These are all physical manifestations of the tension that negativity breeds. If you recognize these signs, stop yourself and force those muscles to relax. You will feel an immediate difference.

Consider Your Feelings

consider your feelings

Negative thoughts trigger negative emotions. Anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, and sadness can consume you when you are thinking negatively. Those feelings have a way of pushing happiness and satisfaction to the back-burner, leaving you an anxious, angry wreck.

Ask yourself what you are feeling.

Identifying your emotions gives you control over them rather than letting them have control over you. Once you have identified what you are feeling, you can start taking actions.

Identify Your Behavior

If you have already decided you are having a bad day, then you are likely to be anticipating all the other things that could go wrong.

How can this affect your behavior?

Quite possibly, you’ll be walking in an aggressive manner, responding defensively to those around you, and becoming inordinately irritated with everything you encounter. If ever you find yourself behaving in such way, stop.

Take a deep breath and recognize your thoughts. Think about your feelings and make an effort to change them. For sure, your behavior will follow.

Even just forcing a smile and saying something nice to someone can have positive effects. Purposefully changing your approach to those around you and making a direct effort to be positive can reverse your negative thinking and cycle. Additionally, acts of kindness toward others can release endorphins, which can help you regain a positive outlook.

Reset

Take a deep breath and give yourself a do-over. Get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and find the positive things in your environment. Smile even if no one is looking and move forward. If you need to, remind yourself that a couple of bad moments do not make up a day. By letting them color your entire day or week, you have given them too much power.

See Also: Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When All Else Fails, Talk

talk to someone

Sometimes we just need to vent. If you are having a hard time putting yourself back into a positive space, try talking to someone. A friend or a family member that you trust will likely understand how you are feeling.

Bad days happen to all of us. They are fairly normal experiences for most people. The problem is that many of us get sucked into a negative way of thinking, which can be hard to escape from. Following the suggestions above can help you avoid getting stuck in that depressive cycle.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

The post How to Get Over A Bad Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing

Do you really know how to apologize?

In some cases, saying sorry isn’t enough. Instead of smoothing things over and making the situation better, it just leads to an even bigger explosion and mess. Often, we just put our hands on our hair and wonder why the other person doesn’t seem to appreciate what we’re doing.

Why do other people always have to see what you’re saying in the worst light?

Well, it might not be their fault.

It’s possible that your apology isn’t coming over as sincere or as well-meaning as you intend it to be. That’s because many of us make mistakes when we apologize. We say and do things that don’t help what we’re doing.

For that reason, here’s a helpful guide on how to apologize.

Including the word ‘but’

In Game of Thrones, they compared everything before the word ‘but’ to horse manure. Well, that’s true, particularly when you’re apologizing.

If you say “I’m sorry, but it’s your fault, too”, then what your audience will hear isn’t the “I’m sorry” but the “it’s your fault” instead.

The best advice when you apologize is to focus on actually apologizing and leave the quibbling for later. If you’re finding it hard, just remember this: Apologies wouldn’t mean much if they were easy.

The golden rule

Do you know what the norm of reciprocity is?

It’s the one where we do unto others what they have done unto us.

For example, if you go to somebody’s house and he gave you a bottle of wine, you should do the same. If someone sent you a postcard or messaged you on your birthday, then you should do the same thing.

Often, if you want an apology to run smoothly, you should apply the same idea.

You apologize and the other person returns the apology. If you don’t do that, then things can easily get out of hand. The person who apologized first will feel that he put himself out there only to be ignored.

You’re not sincere

unsincere sorry

Apologies only work if you mean them. Often, people will say ‘I’m sorry’ and then insist that it’s not really their fault.

That’s not an apology. That’s just saying ‘I’m sorry’ before complaining.

Focus on being sincere and taking responsibility for your actions. Later on, when you’ve repaired the breach in your relationship, you’ll have time to deal with the unfairness of the world.

You’re not recognizing the other person’s feelings

Yes, it’s you that’s apologizing. All the same, that doesn’t mean it’s all about you.

To apologize effectively, you need to not just accept responsibility for what you’ve done, but also take the other person’s feelings into account.

Things like ‘I can only imagine how this makes you feel’ or ‘I understand that this wasn’t nice for you’ will demonstrate that you’re considering the other person’s feelings. It will show that you’re capable of showing empathy which can really help soothe the other person’s anger.

You’re hurrying through

Rushing through the apology and not leaving enough time for the other person to decide if the apology has satisfied him creates a bigger problem.  He can end up feeling like he’s been cheated, leading to all sorts of resentment.

So, how to apologize?

Say ‘I’m sorry’ and then give the other person enough time to respond. Practice active listening and pay close attention to what he’s going to say.

When you do this, you’ll be able to understand and respond to the actual issues you’re dealing with. It will encourage the other person to accept your apology and see it as sincere.

im sorry

See Also: 5 Ways to Say Sorry

Last words

Apologizing is a fact of life. We all screw up. Nobody is perfect. Heck, sometimes it is even a good idea to apologize when we’ve done nothing wrong.

For example, a very useful apology when you’ve done nothing wrong but the other person is still angry is to say ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’. This shows empathy and can help mollify another person’s anger. It puts you closer to fixing a problem and moving on from it.

The post 5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release

In order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your press release, you will want to make sure that they conform to certain generally accepted formatting practices. By following the press release format guide below, you’ll increase the reach and popularity of your company.

But first, what is a press release?

A press release is defined as “a public relations announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of informing the public about company developments”.

Simply put, a press release is simply your ticket to publicity.

Whether you are planning on having a startup or you already have a company, here’s a handy guide on how to write a press release.

write press release

Step One

As a first step, you’ll want to alert whoever is reading the press release when the news is “officially” available. Often, companies will send out press releases a day or two in advance of an event in order to give media outlets some time to prepare a story.

In the top left corner, you’ll want to use either “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” (in all capital letters) or “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE]”.

Step Two

You’ll also want to pay a lot of attention to the headline and sub-headline. The headline needs to clearly communicate the story of your press release and it must include the name of your company. The sub-headline can be longer and should provide some additional facts and information that will attract the attention of journalists.

Step Three

Every press release will list the location (including city and state) and date of the story. The inclusion of those pieces of information is important because many media outlets consider news on whether it is a local, regional or national event. A local media outlet is only interested in covering stories that are of relevance to a small geographic area.

Step Four

Now that you’ve completed the first three steps, it’s important to come up with the text for the press releases. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to limit your press release to 300-500 words. Your goal is to tell the who, what, why, when and where of your story as succinctly as possible. It’s best to divide the body text into a series of short paragraphs of no more than 2-4 sentences each.

Step Five

When writing the press release, you will also need to observe certain norms within the industry. For example, it’s customary to include at least one quote from someone involved with the story. This helps to bring your press release to life. Also, you should always use the third person when writing about your company . Avoid the use of words like “we” or “I” or “you.”

Step Six

You will also need to include relevant contact information of your company at the very end of the press release. This is called the “boilerplate” and will often consist of one very brief paragraph. It includes details about your company and specific contact information, like web, phone or email.

Step Seven

It’s still customary to mark the end of a press release with the word “END” and the inclusion of “###” at the very end. This is a long-time practice. In fact, back then, press releases were sent out over the wire and people receiving them wanted to make sure that they had all the necessary information.

Final Words

press release

What’s fascinating is that the modern press release looks almost identical to the first-ever press release which was sent in October 1906. That press release had a headline, a sub-headline, a date, content, geographic information, and entirely similar structure. It also used short block paragraphs to tell the story.

When it comes to sending out a press release, you want to make sure that it looks just right.

Above all, press releases that are formatted based on the traditional structure will definitely do well in increasing the popularity of your product or story. Remember, a press release can change the story and outreach of your company.

 

The post The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

Finding out that your partner has betrayed your trust is completely devastating. You begin to question the entire relationship, struggle with feelings that you’re not good enough and, above all, wonder whether or not the damage can be repaired.

One thing that can offer you at least a sliver of comfort?

If you’ve been cheated on, you’re not alone.

In fact, in 1/3 of marriages, one or both couples have committed some form of cheating during their relationship.

While there are countless articles encouraging you to dump your cheating partner, there are also resources to help you out in case you decide to give your relationship a second try.

After all, if Beyonce and Jay-Z were able to do it, then why can’t the two of you?

If you’ve decided to stay with your partner after being cheated on, then you need to know what it really takes to heal.

Read on to find out how to rebuild a relationship after cheating.

Take Some Time Apart

cheating time apart

Finding out that you’ve been cheated on can lead to some serious fights between you and your partner.

These fights quickly stop becoming productive. Once that happens, they will start to take cruel turns that can make it a lot harder for you to move on. If you’re still living together or spending time together in the same environment, consider moving out. It will be impossible to resist the temptation to cut your partner down or to beg for forgiveness.

Whether you’ve been cheated on or if you’re the one doing the cheating, you owe it to both yourself and your partner to spend a few days away from each other.

First, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Secondly, you’ll be able to seek the support and advice of your friends. It will also help you remove yourself from a toxic environment.

So, book that dream Airbnb or just spend a few nights crashing on your friend’s couch.

Consider Counseling

Improving communication with your partner after being cheated on is one of the most important things you can do in order to heal.

To ensure that both sides are heard and that the difficult questions are addressed honestly, it’s a good idea to have a therapist to play as a mediator and to offer objective advice.

To find local counseling therapists in your area, you can search online or ask your friends if they know someone who can help.

Remember, cheating is often caused by underlying issues in your relationship. It can even be a consequence of the emotional imbalance of your partner. It’s important to tackle these problems head-on if you want to rebuild trust.

Resist The Urge To Snoop

20% of men go through texts and pictures while in a relationship.

If you’ve been cheated on, the desire to spy on your partner can be incredibly strong. While it might feel satisfying or offer a sense of relief if you don’t find anything, it’s important to think bigger.

Remember that spying on your partner indicates a serious lack of trust. If you truly want to move on after infidelity, then you need to learn how to trust your partner again.

This starts by resisting the urge to check their messages on social media.

Remember, It’s A Process

relationship process

When things are good with your partner, it can be tempting to throw the past out of the window and return to your previous routines. It can also be challenging to stick around if the changes you want to see aren’t happening fast enough.

Give your partner a chance to improve and give yourself the time to heal. Remember that recovery after infidelity is a process. If you treat it like a race, you’ll both end up losing.

The post How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Enjoy Traveling Solo

“But, don’t you get lonely traveling solo?”

This is a very common question for a lot of people who have jumped on a plane or a train and set off on their own little adventures. After all, spending anything from a week to a month away from a familiar environment and without the people you know can be a little more than nerve-wracking.

Even on our best days, the thought of traveling solo either for a break or to start a life elsewhere can be daunting. However, traveling alone has some significant benefits, like pushing you outside of your comfort zone.

Now, before you go ahead and fulfill your dreams, take a look at our tips on how to enjoy traveling solo. This list can help make sure you get the most out of your next trip.

Stay In A Suitable Place

If you’re new and nervous about traveling solo, booking in at the best hotel you can comfortably afford is probably the best bet. While you may want to save money on accommodation and put your hard-earned money towards unforgettable experiences, in order to enjoy traveling solo, you need to prioritize your comfort.

If you can, try and find a hotel with a bar on site or close enough to walk to and restaurants you’ll be happy to go alone. This way, you won’t feel disconnected from the world.

The Room

Once you have found a suitable place to stay, politely request a room that suits your needs. For some, a room away from the noise of the elevator is the best while others prefer staying in a room with a magnificent view. No matter what your needs might be, don’t be afraid to ask for them.

And if you’re unhappy with the room you have been given when you arrive, speak up and politely request to move to another one. After all, this is your traveling experience. You should do what you need to do to be comfortable and enjoy yourself.

Splurge On One Adventure

solo travelling adventures

If you don’t have the budget to do everything you want to do when traveling solo, then try and make sure to splurge on at least one adventure.

For example, if bungee jumping off the Air Boingo Tower in Dallas, Texas doesn’t appeal to you, why not try dining in a fancy restaurant with a glass of bubbly instead?

Don’t feel embarrassed about experiencing things alone. That’s exactly one of the great things about traveling solo.

See Also: 10 Wonderful Benefits of Traveling

Plan Your Days In Advance

Plan your days in advance to avoid spending unnecessary time wondering where you should go or what you’ll do on your vacation. Now, although planning everything can help make your trip go smoother, you should still be open to other opportunities.

Spontaneity can help make traveling solo a lot more exciting. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in all the glorious treats your destination has to offer.

Ask People To Take Photographs

solo travelling tips

One of the big downsides to traveling alone is that you have no one to take pictures of you. Photographs can serve as reminders of your adventures so don’t be afraid to ask other people to take your pictures. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a collection of awkwardly-angled selfies!

Remember that there is always the risk of strangers fleeing with your camera. Consider your safety first so you don’t end up with regrets.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

The post How To Enjoy Traveling Solo appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly

Blood is one of those substances that are tricky to clean up. It can seep through porous materials, bind to anything it comes in contact with and stain fabrics and surfaces. Apart from those things, you also have to worry about the things you can’t really see.

Blood can carry disease-causing microorganisms that can put everyone in danger. Because of this, it’s only essential that you know exactly how to clean up blood.

Blood Spill on a Non-Carpeted Floor

blood spill on non carpet
Via brooksremediation

The most common place for a blood spill to occur is on a non-carpeted, hard surface. The list includes cement, wood, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic, and tile. It can also happen to any type of non-absorbent flooring, like a pool deck.

It is easier to clean up blood as well as other types of body fluids from those surfaces compared to absorbent surfaces. However, there are still some important steps that you need to take into consideration.

A spill on a hard surface will frequently spread over a larger area, so the spill needs to be contained right away. The following are the procedures that should be taken for cleaning spills up on those surfaces:

  • Block the area off until the disinfection and cleanup process have been completed. No one should be allowed to access the area, particularly unprotected staff members or visitors.
  • Put disposable gloves on.
  • Wipe the spill as much as you can with an absorbent material, such as a paper towel.
  • Pour a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to all contaminated areas.
  • Allow the bleach solution to soak those areas for around 20 minutes before wiping off any remaining bleach solution.
  • All non-disposable cleaning materials, like rags, brushes, and mops, should be disinfected by saturating them with a bleach solution and then letting them air dry.
  • Take your gloves off and put them and any other dirty cleaning materials into a garbage bag.
  • Double bag and tie the garbage bags securely.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.

Blood Spill on a Carpeted Floor

blood spill on carpet
Via aftermath

Due to its absorbent nature, a blood spill on a carpeted floor is one of the hardest to clean up. Most buildings have at least some carpeting which is why it’s essential to know how to clean up blood on such surface.

Since there is no way for you to completely disinfect your carpet, you need to know how you can thoroughly sanitize it as much as you can. Here’s how you can do that:

Work Fast: Blood and other body fluids can quickly set or harden on carpeting and that can make them harder to clean. So, respond fast and make sure that all safety precautions are followed.

Use The Right Products: Bleach and other types of decontamination products may destroy or damage carpets. Using manufacturer-approved carpet cleaners and shampoos is the best way to get the contaminated areas clean.

Steam Clean: Depending on the size and nature of the spill, it is recommended to steam clean the carpet. A steam cleaner can clean, sanitize, and remove debris from carpets more thoroughly than conventional washing can. Although there are added expenses with steam cleaning, it’s the best way of preventing blood-borne pathogens.

Now that we got those things out of the way, here’s how you can clean blood from carpets.

  • Put Disposable Gloves On: No matter what kind of surface you are cleaning, you should first put on gloves.
  • Contain the Spill: Following a spill, it is critical to keep the affected area as contained as possible to prevent it from spreading further.
  • Initial Disinfect: After the area has been contained, spray it with the proper carpet detergent to help kill pathogens.
  • Blot Excess Fluids Up: Use disposable rags or towels to blot as much excess fluids as possible. Then, secure your soiled rags by placing them in a sealed bag.
  • Extract Any Absorbed Fluids: Carpet does absorb some fluid so the next step is to remove it. Use a wet-dry vacuum and wet the carpet thoroughly before applying suction. Repeat the process as necessary.
  • Re-disinfect: After you have vacuumed, re-saturate the area thoroughly using the right disinfectant. Repeat this step twice.
  • Let Sit: Let the disinfectant sit and work for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse: After completing the final disinfecting round, rinse the area a final time so that any remaining disinfecting solution or detergent is removed.
  • Dry: Thoroughly dry the area with rags so that any remaining moisture is drawn out.
  • Wrap: Once the area is clean, secure all your PPE and rags in a bag.

Blood Spill on Furniture

The material of your furniture will determine the method you can use to clean up a blood spill.

For example, if you have an upholstered furniture, you need to treat the affected spots like you would treat a blood spill on a carpet. You have to disinfect it, allow the disinfectant to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe everything off.

However, if you have a piece of fabric covering your furniture, the best thing to do is take the fabric off and wash it on a warm wash cycle using the right detergent. Check your furniture for any stains that may also need to be cleaned.

Outdoor Blood Spills

Cleaning blood spills from grass or dirt is much more difficult than cleaning stains from your furniture at home. One good reason is its accessibility. Anyone can get into the contaminated area, so you have to work fast and be strategic in cleaning up.

You can begin by blocking the affected area off. Make sure that no children can get near the contaminated area until you are done cleaning and disinfecting it. If there are children playing nearby, find another spot for them.

In disinfecting the area, make sure to disinfect as thoroughly as possible. You can use a bleach and rinse it thoroughly with water after. Remember to wear the right PPE when cleaning up.

See Also: How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

The post A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name

Whether you are starting a new business or you already have a brand and want to create an online presence, you are going to need a website and a good domain name for it. But, do you know how to choose a website name?

After launching your website with responsive WordPress themes, like Genesis or TemplateMonster, you should think about your brand name. Naming a website is not a small fit. In fact, it is an extremely important decision.

Domain names have a huge impact on the success of your business. It can influence click-through rates, referring links, type-in traffic, online advertising, and brandability.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is this: Changing a name, later on, is a huge hassle that is sure to hurt your brand and search rankings. So, you have to choose the perfect name from the very start.

You might have some name ideas already, but is there something important you have to keep in mind when registering the name? Are there things to avoid? What name is sure to make the most impact on the web?

In this article, we will answer these questions, share some useful tools, and essential tips to help you choose the best domain name for your business and finally register it.

You Want a Brandable Name

You want your domain name to sound like a brand name.

Why?

Well, do you really want to end up with a name that is generic, indistinguishable, easy to forget, and not related to your business? If you want to be successful, choose a website name that is memorable, unique, and stands out.

You Want to Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

Hyphens and numbers in domain names look and sound generic and strange. They definitely do not make good brandable names. They are also often misunderstood.

For example, if you hear a website address with a number in it, you won’t easily know if it’s a numeral (3) or if it is spelled out (three).

And hyphens are easy to forget or misplace.

If you choose a domain name with a hyphen because the one without a hyphen is already taken, you will end up sending your potential customers straight to the competitor. Hyphens are also often used in spam domains and you definitely don’t want to be associated with those.

You Want to Avoid Doubled Letters

Domain names with doubled letters in them have more chances to lose traffic to typos and misspellings.

You Want It Short

When it comes to domain names, the general rule is this: the shorter, the better.

The shorter the name is, the easier it is to remember, type in, pronounce, and share with others. It is also less shortened on social media and search results, which is good for branding.

You Want It Pronounceable

While it is true that most people will type your domain name in or even click a link, psychology makes it important for the name to be pronounceable.

People are more likely to remember and have positive associations with things they can easily say or think about, including pronouncing it in their minds. If the domain name cannot be easily said out loud, the domain is more likely to lose a lot in terms of memorability and brandability.

You Want It Easy to Type

A name that is easy to type is critical to your success online. Words like “u” instead of “you” and words with multiple spellings are easy to forget, misspell and mix up. They can make you lose lots of leads and traffic.

You Want It Intuitive

A well-chosen domain name gives people a clear idea of what the website is all about. If the name of your choice tells people that your business is producing exactly what it is producing or offering exactly what it is offering, then you’ve won big time.

You Want to Avoid Trademark Violation

Try to avoid words used by well-known brands as much as possible. This is not about your domain name being confused with theirs; it is about the possible legal actions they can take against you. If you have any doubts regarding the name you have in mind, better consult with a legal professional to be safe.

You Want to Use Broad Keywords

It used to be imperative to find a domain name with the target keyword in it, but Google does not give any privileges to such domains anymore. They tend to have a negative association, both with the end users and the search engines.

If you can get a domain with a keyword which makes it clear what the website is about, you most definitely should grab it. But, try to use broader keywords instead of the target keywords you want to be ranked for.

You Want to Stick With .com

It is very true that finding a domain name with .com extension is very hard in 2017 as it’s been around for too long. There are plenty of new extensions to use, not only the top-level domains(TLDs) like .com, .net and .org, but such niche specific ones like .pizza and .photography. And while it is easier to get such a domain extension, .com is still the most credible one. People simply trust it more.

Besides, .com domains are more memorable. A lot of users even type .com automatically after every domain name.

If you can’t find the name of your choice with the .com extension, try to stick to the established top level domains. Here are the most established ones and their proper uses:

  • .net – Mostly technical sites, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .co – Usually stands for company, community, and commerce.
  • .info – Informational websites.
  • .me – Blogs and personal pages.
  • .org – Nonprofits and non-commercial organizations.
  • .biz – Business and commercial websites.

And don’t forget about country-specific domain extensions if your business is centered in one particular country. These are the domains like .it for Italy, .de for Germany, and .uk for the United Kingdom.

The Best Domain Name Generators

All the above recommendations might have scared you off. And yes, it is not an easy task to get a great domain name these days, especially considering there are about 331.9 million domain name registrations in the top level domains this year so far.

But, don’t fret! There are dozens of tools designed to help you out. They are called domain name generators and we will introduce you to the best of them below.

Lean Domain Search

lean domain search
Via startupstash

Created by team Automattic, the people who are responsible for the WordPress platform, Lean Domain Search is really easy to use, including country-specific. You will need one seed keyword and we recommend one that defines the niche you work in.

The generator can generate tons of name ideas based on your keyword and chances are – some of them will be available with the .com extension.  Lean Domain Search can filter the results by popularity and length. You can save your favorite ideas, track the history of your searches and share the results with your team if you want.

This is a great tool to use if you don’t have any ideas but you have a couple of keywords that define your business.

NameStall

namestall
Via data roots

NameStall is an awesome generator that provides amazing flexibility. It allows you to choose if you want your keyword placed at the end or at the beginning of the name. It allows selecting TLDs, including country-specific ones. You can also choose from various groups of words.

For example, there is a word group named “1500 popular last words” or one named “500 popular first words”. By selecting one of those groups, you will allow the generator to add the popular words to the keyword you specified. This is an awesome search customization feature.

NameStall is a good choice if you do not have a specific name in mind, but want to have more ways to customize your search.

Name Mesh

name mesh
Via mashable

Name Mesh is a versatile tool. It searches for domain names based on more than one keyword. As a result, you get a huge list of names, which can be divided into such categories:

  • New
  • Common
  • Similar
  • Short
  • SEO
  • Fun
  • Mix

There are also filters you can use which will sort the results based on extension, unregistered domains, and length. Name Mesh can also suggest other keywords for you if you can’t find a name.

Name Mesh is the tool for you if you are not opposed to spending more time on looking through more choices.

Check Your Names for Availability

Most of the name generators check the availability of the domains automatically. Simply put, there shouldn’t be any unavailable names in the results the domain name generators provide.

But if you want to double check or forgot to check in the first place, GoDaddy is the best tool for it. And if you want to check the availability of your name across the social networks you are planning to use, the best tool is Namechk.

Where to Register Your Domain Name

There are two ways to go about registering a domain name. The obvious first route is to register a free domain name when you get your hosting. And you will need hosting to launch your online business anyway, so why not use all the benefits it provides?

The most trusted hosting providers on the market are  Bluehost.com, HostGator.com, and InmotionHosting.com.

If you’ve already got your hosting and did not register a domain name with it or you’ve already used your free name for another project, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of domain name registrars out there. There are both free and paid options. We will show you the two most popular and trusted registrars here.

GoDaddy.com

godaddy

GoDaddy has been around for a really long time. It is the go-to name registrar for a lot of professionals. Their prices are not the cheapest on the market, but they often offer promotions and deals.

If you need to claim a name fast, GoDaddy is the best tool for you.

NameCheap.com

namecheap

NameCheap is another popular registrar. It is slightly cheaper in the long run than GoDaddy. If you are sure you will run your online business for a long time, we recommend registering a name for 5 years as that is the cheapest option.

Both these websites offer hosting as well, so if you haven’t got your plan yet, check out their hosting offers, too.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to choose a  website name and getting a domain name are very important tasks. They can be really challenging, particularly if you are doing it for the very first time.

However, it doesn’t always have to be a complete hassle. In fact, you can make it a fun and an educating experience.

To get an even deeper understanding of how to choose a website name, make sure to read this free ebook.

The post A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity.

In this article, we’ll share with you few essential tips on staying focused at work.

Prepare a To-Do List

prepare to do list

Half the battle is won once you prioritize your tasks. Make a master list of what needs to be done.

For example, you can put all tasks that require urgent attention under “A”.  Create a list “B” for things that are important but not urgent and List “C” for tasks that can wait for a while. Complete all tasks under “A” first before you move on to “B” and “C”.

Plan your day through these lists and set realistic deadlines to accomplish each one of them. Once you’ve completed everything, don’t forget to reward yourself to keep your spirit up. When you start prioritizing, you won’t just be focused but efficient, too.

Start With Cognitively Challenging Tasks

After preparing your to-do list, start with cognitively demanding tasks. Suppose your List “A” has three tasks. Start with the most difficult tasks before moving on to the easier ones. Do the same thing for the “B” and “C” lists.

Once you complete the difficult tasks, you are all set for the rest of the day. Now, you can relax and take care of the other tasks that aren’t as mentally draining.

Schedule Your Work

Don’t overstretch yourself with your work. Rather, split your work into segments and sub-segments. Try working within a 2-hour window and then take a break. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch or else you’ll feel exhausted. Even a leading study suggests that “Sitting is the New Smoking”.

To avoid such burnouts, take a walk to revitalize your brain, allowing it to concentrate better. Though breaks are essential for a healthy workday, you must learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Frequent breaks can be addictive and can hamper work.

To draw a line, you can optimize your breaks by doing the following:

  • Schedule your breaks
  • Keep a track to ensure you are not overdoing or under doing your breaks

Learn to Set Priorities

Responding to each and every request of your co-workers can immediately affect your focus, preventing you from doing deep work. If you have a habit of entertaining every request, you are most likely to lose your value. On top of that, tackling on-the-fly requirements can also deplete your focus.

With that, you have to make others understand that their requests will be entertained but only once you are finished with your priorities. For better focus and results, it’s also important to avoid indulging in non-work related discussions or “grapevine.”

If there are sudden urgent tasks, you can deal with them with a simple project management tool. Simply make a note of the new task, assign a deadline and you are good to go. Once you’re done with your current task, start finishing the others one at a time.

Desist Multitasking

It might feel tempting to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance your productivity. But, honestly, it just makes things worse.

Multitasking drains your mind and it can cause a significant decline in your mental sharpness with time. It can prevent you from achieving your most important goals and make you more vulnerable to work errors.

Avoid Distractions

Nowadays, being online on various social media platforms is a trend. Several notifications pop up every now and then, commanding your attention. If you are constantly attending to such notifications, how are you supposed to do meaningful work?

One of the greatest tips in staying focused at work is to identify distractions and just get rid of them. While working on an important project, put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you really want to stay updated with your social media accounts, you can designate dedicated time slots to check your phone.

Be an Email Ninja

Though emails are important, they can be distracting, too. They have the potential to divert your attention from your work to something that can wait.

So, lay down personal rules and follow them religiously. Set specific times for your emails and stick with them.

Pay Attention to Chat Status

More often than not, people take your chat status wrongly. If your chat status says “available” all the time, they’ll think of it as a sign to forward more requests.

When you are doing a task that demands a razor-sharp focus, set your chat or email setting to ‘busy’ mode. Needless to say, you can change the chat status after you’re done.

Cut Outside Noise

avoiding noise distraction

Managing your focus in an office environment can be quite tricky. Until you do away with noise, you won’t be able to focus.

Limiting auditory distractions is crucial in increasing attention span. You can use noise-canceling headphones for that. If you still feel distracted, you can move to a quieter place, such as a conference room. In case that doesn’t solve the problem, opt for remote work for a day or two to regain your lost focus.

Manage Stress

Working on a crucial project with close deadlines? Growing expectations, increased competition, and pressing deadlines can increase your stress at work. This can make your productivity suffer.

To solve this, try turning on a soothing music to lower your stress and calm your mind. Apart from that, you should also pay close attention to your diet. As much as possible, avoid the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Don’t forget to exercise regularly and sleep well.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Declutter Your Workdesk

Visual clutter can take away your focus, preventing you from doing any meaningful work. Therefore, you must declutter your office desk to increase work performance.

Keep everything that’s essential to your work, like your pen, notepad, marker, and files, on top of the table so you can easily get them when needed. Lock all other unnecessary things inside your drawer.

See Also: 12 Desk Hacks To Make You More Productive At Work

In Summary

Focus on bringing tranquility to your workplace, so the whole environment undergoes a positive change. You can add positive images to your work desk or you can write down quotes to boost your focus. Practice a simple routine of keeping a clean desk and make sure that you don’t leave food or other things lying on your desk.

Keep on practicing these positive habits and you’ll surely see a noticeable improvement in your productivity level at work.

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How To Organize Your Gmail In 20 Minutes (And Keep It That Way)

Do you feel overwhelmed every time you look at your Gmail inbox? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of people actually struggle with this and they spend a lot of time searching for tips on how to organize Gmail inboxes.

If you are doing the same thing, stop and check out these easy and fast strategies on how to keep your email more organized.

Archive Emails You’ve Seen But Don’t Want to Delete

One significant thing that’s probably making your Gmail inbox seem a little scary is that you aren’t using the Archive feature. It’s ideal once you’ve read an email and want to save it for reference.

Archiving a message removes it from your inbox but makes it searchable in Gmail. It’s a great method of stopping your inbox from getting out of control and losing an email you don’t want to get rid of.

With your inbox open, click on a message to highlight it. Then, look for the icon that looks like a file drawer with a downward arrow. That’s the Archive button. Simply click it and you’re done.

Get Organized With Labels

Gmail also has a cool labeling feature that groups all current emails into categories that appear on the left of your screen.

Open a message in Gmail and notice the button on the top with an icon that looks like a tag. Click it to add a label to your message or create a new one.

You can use broad categories like Work or School or use very specific ones like Receipts For Online Orders or Emails From My Sister.

Create Rules for Email Management

email management

Consider those emails your sister sent you. You can create a Gmail rule or filter that automatically sends her messages to that label so that you can read them all at once.

First, type her email address or name into the search box at the top of the Gmail interface. Then, click the downward triangle at the right corner of the box. It brings up other search parameters to try.

See the Create a Filter With This Search option in the right bottom corner. Click it to bring up a dialog box that offers various filter-related preferences. The Apply The Label option near the middle of the options relates to what you’ve just learned.

Notice how the first option (Skip The Inbox) relates to archiving. It’s useful if you want to keep emails but never see them.

To apply a filter to a certain message in your inbox, click the checkbox to its left. Then, choose the More option along the top. Click Filter Messages Like These and enter your specifications.

Use Aliases to Manage Future Junk Mail

Ever sign up for something online and feel sure you’ll get a slew of unwanted emails later? Take control by using Gmail aliases. They also work for blocking emails you receive after registering at a site and getting your details sold to a third party.

Gmail ignores emails with plus signs and periods in them. In other words, if your real email is JohnDoe231@gmail.com, you’ll still get an email addressed to JohnDoe+231@gmail.com.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use an alias and then set up a filter to automatically delete any messages addressed to that email. To keep track of what you’re doing, register at a site and provide an email alias with the [Gmail user name] + [Name of website] structure.

Make sure to keep the plus sign between the two portions. Then, immediately make a filter that deletes emails associated with that address.

Receive All Subscription Emails in a Daily Bundle

If emails you subscribe to overrun your inbox, there’s an app for that. It’s called Unroll.me. The free service compiles all subscription emails into one message, allowing you to read them at your convenience. Even better, you can also unsubscribe from the lists with one click, taking a step further in the quest to make your inbox more manageable.

unroll me

A message from the app is called a Rollup. It groups subscription-related messages by category for easier perusal. Also, you can look more closely at individual emails by going to a dedicated, secure Unroll.me folder in your inbox.

As you can see from these efficient tips, knowing how to organize Gmail inboxes is within your reach. And yes, you really can make progress in only 20 minutes.

The post How To Organize Your Gmail In 20 Minutes (And Keep It That Way) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

Productivity is an interesting thing.

Some people keep themselves busy all day and consider themselves productive. In reality, however, they focus on so many different things that the end result isn’t satisfying.

Others prefer to analyze their behavior closely so that they can see what they’re doing wrong and what can be optimized. That’s the right approach if you want to ditch some bad practices and succeed with your ventures in all aspects.

Our online habits make a great example.

What you do while working on your laptop or when you’re just using the Internet can kill your focus. To change that, you first need to define those time-wasting activities that affect your work productivity and start doing something about them.

Browsing without a purpose

online habits

It’s a common scenario to have many tabs open in your browser while working. Every now and then, you’d open a new one, read something and then distract yourself. After some time, you’ll find it hard to get back to what you were doing. That leads to hours of wasted time when you review what you did each week.

How to fix that?

If you really want a quick solution, then install and activate a software that blocks access to certain platforms. You can also do that to your browsers if you want to do some work that doesn’t require research.

There are plenty of tools out there that can do this for you and even notify you when you’re using certain websites too much. Some tools will even let you set limits as to how long you want them to block things so that you can focus on more important tasks.

Not being selective enough

If you don’t know what you need to do and why you’re doing it, you’ll end up indulging in many unproductive activities. Watching random YouTube videos, clicking spammy links, reading newsletters, and checking unimportant notifications in your social media can eat away your focus, energy, and time.

It’s time to get rid of the unnecessary things so that you can concentrate on the essentials. This will help you double your results when working. Apart from that, taking the steps below will also help you have more peace of mind.

Here’s what you should say ‘no’ to when online:

  • Unsubscribe from any site or service sending you their newsletters or offers. From now on, if you need anything, simply type the web address yourself and see what’s new.
  • Block ads from appearing on websites. You can do that by installing an ad blocker as an add-on. These differ depending on your browser, but each is effective enough.
  • Turn off notifications on Facebook and other social media networks you’re using daily. Go to the Settings tab and see what you can block, disable or remove. This way, there’ll be no more pointless news in your feed and you won’t hear alerts from your phone all day.

See Also: 7 Mentally Damaging Habits You Need To Let Go

Letting email become a distraction

Email is a powerful communication tool. But, if you don’t manage your inbox well, it might cost you time and compromise your focus on a daily basis.

To change that, set some limits. You can choose not to open your email first thing in the morning and do it twice a day instead. Open it right after you’re done with your most important tasks for the day and check it again in the late afternoon when your mind is clear.

Not knowing when to unplug

bad work habits

You can’t be productive online when you’re connected 24/7. Your mind needs a break from technology and the best time to do that seems to be around two hours before bedtime. That means not just ditching all devices from your evening ritual, but also not thinking about them. This will take some discipline and time.

In the beginning, you might crave checking Facebook when in bed or using your laptop right before that. Remember that devices can keep your brain activated long after you’ve put them away, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

To change that, unplug every evening after you’ve done all that you had to. In addition, don’t grab your phone or start checking sites first thing in the morning. Be distraction-free in the morning, so you’ll experience the solitude of the early hours. You should get online only when it’s time for work.

These practices will help you change not just your online habits, but your whole daily schedule. You’ll have more time for yourself as a focused mind gets things done in a shorter time.

See Also: 6 Simple Habits For More Productivity, Happiness And Fulfillment

The post 4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control

How do you improve your self-control?

For most of us, this is a work in progress. Self-control, at its most basic, is the ability to control our emotions and actions. Having the ability to do this effectively has been tied to being successful in all areas of life. It allows us to achieve goals and accomplish tasks that may seem daunting or even impossible.

For example, self-control in the financial arena can help you make wise buying or investing decisions. You may deny yourself frivolous items, opting instead to save that extra dollar or two for more worthy choices. As a result, you are more likely to find yourself feeling secure in your finances and creating the life you desire.

Self-control in relationships is also important. Everyone has found themselves feeling strong emotions, both positive and negative, in a course of a relationship. If we are not able to control how and when we express these feelings, we can destroy a relationship needlessly.

Remember:

Just because you think it does not mean you need to say it.

With self-control, you create a grace period to determine whether what you are feeling is really something that is worth saying.

So, what do you need to do to improve your self-control and set yourself up for success?

Check out these 6 tactics.

Set a goal

Setting a goal is one of the best first steps toward improving self-control. With a goal in mind, you can determine which actions are needed in order to achieve it and which could be detrimental. This may mean that you have to control certain desires and emotions along the way.

Take getting in shape, for example. In order to change your shape in any fashion, you have to make a number of choices. Many of those choices require a great deal of self-control. It would be far more pleasurable to eat a doughnut than a carrot stick. But, if you want to get closer to your goal, you have to control that impulse to indulge in a sugary treat.

See Also: 4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Understand the ‘Why’

five whys

If you know why you are doing something, you are far more likely to work hard to achieve it. If you are a person who is prone to emotional outbursts, understanding why you need to work toward controlling them will motivate you to focus on that control.

Knowing that an unchecked emotional outburst can hurt someone you love unnecessarily, jeopardize your position at work, or cause people to lose respect for you can be a strong motivator. This is WHY you need to exercise control over the impulse to speak before you think.

Change your environment

If the things that test your control are always in front of you, consider modifying your environment. This is not a sign of weakness but, rather a sign of control and strength. When you proactively alter your access to temptation, you are helping yourself and practicing control at the same time.

A smoker who is trying to quit knows to get rid of cigarettes. However, if he really wants to be successful, he may also want to make changes to the places or people he spends time with. This change of environment not only improves personal control but also strengthens one’s ability to control the other aspects of life as well.

Keep a journal

If you are working on something continually, it can be hard to see your daily progress. If you jot down the time you said no to the doughnut, held your tongue or chose not to spend that $10, you will be better able to see your track record of success.

And success breeds success. If you can see what you have already achieved, you are more likely to push further.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

Meditate

practice meditation

Meditation is a form of self-control. You are forcing yourself to quiet your mind and focus. This simple act can be far more challenging than it seems.

Finding time to stop, be still and explore your own thoughts requires a certain amount of discipline and self-control.

Exercise

Studies show that the simple act of routinely moving your body and raising your heart rate will help improve your focus and clarity. The act of physically exhausting yourself can give rise to mental calm and it requires you to actively control the impulse to stop and sit.

Mastering self-control can be difficult. Many of us work toward this every day in different ways. More important than any tip you can be given, however, is the personal knowledge that you have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to. After all, the only behavior you can truly control is your own.

The post 6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Work is meaningful and essential. Work is a part of life. It’s utilizing our talents in order to get something in return. It is a give-and-take process that benefits both parties for the betterment of society.

Through work, you get to feed yourself and your family, pay the bills and get to buy your wants and needs. It is a comfort to the people who have it because it is the answer to their needs.

Unfortunately, not all jobs fit everyone. Some are unfortunate to land a job they dislike while others simply fall out of love from their jobs. This makes it harder for them to work efficiently.

The Common Factor That Makes People Hate Their Jobs

There are a lot of factors that make people hate their jobs.

For some people, it’s the imbalance in their work and personal life. For others, it’s the overwhelming workload and the toxic people they need to work with. The list can get long but one thing is present in all these factors- stress.

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure or danger around you. It produces hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, that activates the ‘flight-or-fight’ response of your body. Every day, we encounter stress. However, too much stress can have negative effects on your health.

Here are the common types of stress at work and how to manage them.

Time Stress

time stress

This is the most common type of stress at work. You usually experience this when you think there’s not enough time for you to finish a task. Panic sets in and you struggle to finish as many things as you can. You rush until you get burned out, do all of them half-way or, worse, not get any work done at all.

How To Manage Time Stress

When facing time stress, it is important to manage your time and get your priorities straight. Filter your tasks so you can easily see which ones you need to do first. You can use the Eisenhower matrix for this.

Here’s how:

Do First. Tasks in this category should be your first priority. Anything that is placed here should be done as soon as you’re able and not later than the day after tomorrow.

Schedule. This could be important tasks but are not so urgent. These kinds of tasks are either important scheduled meetings or an article with a set deadline.

Delegate. Tasks in this section are not important but still urgent. It could be a follow-up call to a client or a request for your presence for a presentation. These can be transferable to people you can trust, though.

Don’t do. Tasks in this category are neither important nor urgent. You can either do it when you have nothing else to do or not do it at all.

You can use this method if you like prioritizing things the traditional way. However, with today’s technology, you can use apps like Evernote and Toggl to boost your productivity and manage your ideas and time easily.

Anticipatory Stress

anticipatory stress

This stress is associated with the feeling of anticipating the future a little too much. You anticipate so much that uncertainties of what could happen in the future overwhelm you.

Here’s How To Deal With Anticipatory Stress

Be Positive. The best way to deal with anticipatory stress is to not let fear get the best of you. Positive visualization of outcomes helps by cutting off the negative stream of thinking. Meditation and calming yourself down can also help you from stressing yourself out.

Be Prepared. Face the unknown and tackle it head on by visualizing both the best and worst case scenario. If you think that something is going to go bad in the near future, be prepared and formulate back-up plans that you can use.

Be Brave. Anticipatory stress is mostly caused by the thought of failure. In order to combat failure, prepare yourself by visualizing possible obstacles in your path. Take those obstacles as challenges and see failure as a chance to learn and grow.

Situational Stress

situational stress

Situational stress happens when everything starts to go out of your control. It appears suddenly and you will have no clue on what to do. It is the time when you think that everything is going smoothly but suddenly, in a blink of an eye, everything goes downhill.

It could be a time when conflict suddenly erupted near you and you are caught in the middle of it. Or it could be the time where your boss suddenly mocked you in front of many co-workers.

Getting Over Situational Stress

Everyone reacts to situational stress differently. You can act out based on your behavior or on how your automatic response work in specific situations. In a sudden eruption of conflict, you either join the conflict or back away.

Be Self-Aware. The most important point is to be self-aware in whatever you will be doing. Being aware of yourself, your actions and with everything around you, will help you think of a solution despite the stress you are under.

Be Calm. Keep hold of your cool and use your head instead of your temper or emotions. Keeping calm lets you assess the situation before doing something that can negatively affect you, your reputation or your job.

Be Patient. Be patient by hearing each side of the conflict before deciding how to solve it. Meet them halfway in order to come up with a peaceful end to it. If you are dealing with situational stress with your boss, hear him out before reacting.

Encounter Stress

encounter stress

This stress involves the feeling of being overwhelmed by meeting new or too many people. All of us can be overwhelmed by a lot of people, whether we are introverts or extroverts.

It might be because you don’t like them or they don’t like you, but you have to interact with them. It might also mean that it’s the first time you’ll meet them and you worry about how they will react or how they will perceive you.

Handling Your Encounter Stress

Practice People Skills. In order to be able to manage a lot of people well, practice or even perfect your people skills. Be confident with interacting with them, so that you can take control of the situation. You’ll be calmer knowing that you can handle any problem that can arise.

Be Emphatic. Empathy is understanding another person from their point of view. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will make you understand them deeper and feel what they are feeling without judging them. It’ll avoid possible conflict and strengthen relationship bonds at the same time.

Breathe. Whenever stressed, it is important to breathe. Deep breathing has the ability to reduce stress in the body. This signals the brain to calm down and the brain sends the message all over the body.

Other Stress Management Techniques

Write. Studies show that writing about your feelings or anything that makes you happy reduces stress. Take time, relax and write anything you can think of.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

It is very important for you to be able to take care of your well-being in order to continue doing what you love and sharing what you can do to everyone. Equipping yourself with a healthy body, engaging mind and a positive attitude will make you go a long, long way.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

 

The post 4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Increase Business Efficiency In Print Marketing

When all businesses are moving online and making it their prime source of business, print marketing gets left behind. People have been putting too much effort on technology that sales and marketing in this niche have been ignored for long.

But, let me ask you this: Don’t you think it’s time to reconsider print marketing? After all, it’s still one of the best businesses around.

Technology is very important for any online business but your business growth starts with your customers. If you do not have customers, how are you going to run the business? A web to print solution’s success depends entirely on customers. Here customers are of two types- a) your existing customers and b) customers you wish to acquire.

To target both these customers, you need a planned marketing move or strategy. Think of this as a “new service” you wish to market. You could pitch the features to your staff first and then your customers to see what they have to say about your “new services”.

Here are a few web-to-print solutions marketing tips you can use to make your business more efficient.

Using Target Marketing Strategy

When you plan a marketing strategy, you also plan whom you are going to target. You need to define your audience in advance in order to achieve the best results. Using target marketing gives you a clear picture as to whom you should target and how.

Most web-to-print solutions marketing strategies fail because they are not sure who to target and they end up pitching to the wrong group. This wastes both money and time.

Once you have defined your audience, you need to know what you want to pitch to them. Not all customers will want every service or product you sell, so you’ll have to do research to find out what interests them the most. The way you segment your customers will allow you to market your products in the best possible way.

After that, you need to set your business goals. They need to be realistic for you and your team. Like keeping a track of the first order in the system, this will keep your team on their toes to get their first order in the system.

Marketing success is way different from technical success. Here’s how:

With technical success, it means you have successfully implemented the system. If your marketing strategy is a success, then it means you and your business is growing.

Using Branding as a Marketing Strategy

brand marketing

Every business has a name, so choose one that can easily make you and your business more popular. A smarter way to choose a name is to pick something from your internal projects.

This is called Branding. It’s a type of marketing strategy that will let people know about your business and what it can do for them.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Don’t Sell Without a Story of Your Business

How you started, when you started and what made you start your business is very important. What you sell and what you do not sell are things that are necessary for your sales and marketing team, too.

As much as possible, never let your sales team go out without a story because they might end up making one of theirs and this can get you in trouble. A story is a good way to market your business and the services it provides.

In addition to that, you also need a plan on how you can tell the story. You need to say it in a way that matches the demands of your target customers. Therefore, you need to play a clever and smarter game here. You need to do branding in a way that you tell them how your solution is going to benefit them. Never tell them what features your business have. Instead, tell them how those features are going to help them.

Like most customers, I would not be bothered to know about you or your business. My prime concern will be how your solution will benefit me. That has to be your focus when you are creating a brand.

Know Your Customer

You should know your customers before they know you. You have to identify their needs and understand the solutions they are looking for. Apart from that, you also have to know when they’ll need you and you must have offers ready by that time.

Using Social Media as Marketing Strategy

social media marketing

A third of the world uses social networks regularly. Hence, it is one of the best marketing tools around. This is why most marketers are expanding their business widely using social media.

Why should you focus on Social media marketing? The stats below will give you a clearer picture.

See Also: The 5 Internet Marketing Trends That Will Dominate in 2017

Some Facts

  • Around 72% of people who use Facebook are adults.
  • 74% of people use Facebook for professional use.
  • Facebook has the most engaged users with 70% daily log.
  • 59% of Instagram users are on the platform daily, including 35% who visit several times a day.
  • In the past two years, people who use LinkedIn has increased 21%.
  • Instagram has 500 million monthly active users.

In the print industry, the same ideas follow. You can target group of people from different regions and different age. You can attract customers by creating attractive ads on these social media platforms.

Your marketing move is very important. You need to decide how and what has to be your next move to achieve your customers’ goal.

Conclusion

Print Industry is huge and when you take web-to-print solution, then you need to have a proper marketing strategy in place so that you can collect more customers. Your prime goal needs to match the customers’ demands.

Promoting something you know the customer has been looking for will fetch you results that are more positive. Hence, keep your target audience in mind, use branding and sell solutions or features while keeping in mind what your customers want. This will be a great success for your print business.

The post How to Increase Business Efficiency In Print Marketing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit

Most people have to work hard in order to live their dreams. However, all we see and celebrate is their success because the hard work is usually not done in public. So, when you are struggling in the shadows, wondering why success is not coming fast enough, it’s easy to want to quit.

Don’t.

The successful people you admire are there because they resisted the temptation to quit.

Before looking at the tips below on how not to give up, let’s get one thing out of the way:

No one is suggesting that you stay in a dead-end career which takes you nowhere. If you’re quitting because there is a better opportunity, then, by all means, go ahead. The quitting that does not help is the one where you leave just because you’re not getting results instantly.

Every time you want to quit and take the easy way out, just tell yourself that success doesn’t come overnight.

Things Don’t Get Easy Just Because You Switch Places

There is a misconception that if you don’t like something, then you can switch places and things will get easier. This is a fantasy. If you quit without introspecting and looking deep inside yourself, you may actually be moving with the problem.

In the beginning, you will enjoy the instant gratification which comes with moving. However, as time goes on, you will realize that you’ve solved nothing. The same problems you thought you ran away from in the last situation will suddenly appear.

If you quit just because of the instant gratification you feel when you move into something new, you’re sacrificing your long-term goals. The reality of life is that wherever you go, you’ll always be faced with challenges. It’s better to work on the challenges of something you have already started, rather than quitting and starting on a new set of trials in a new goal.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

See the Bigger Picture

not giving up

Every time you want to quit, tell yourself that if success were easy, everybody would be successful. Most people quit because they forget to draw the bigger picture when they start on a goal. Some have drawn the bigger picture, but forget it in the face of challenges.

Always remember that journeys leading to success are often long and grueling. Take the disappointments you meet along the way and if you fall, stand up, dust yourself off, and get moving.

One thing you will have to accept is that success comes at different times for different people. Admit that you’ll see people you know reaching their goals before you do.

While this can be difficult sometimes, you should always try to celebrate with them. Instead of seeing their success as highlighting your failures, take it as proof that achieving your goals is possible.

See Success as a Journey, Not a Destination

Success happens in incremental steps. It is a result of everyday small, smart choices. If you do this consistently and never quit when the going gets tough, you’ll start to see the results of your perseverance.

Making smart, small choices every day starts by taking big tasks and breaking them into smaller units. Working on smaller tasks will help you to see your progress. Take reading a large book, for example. Breaking it into chapters seems more doable than finishing the whole book right away.

You’ll also see incremental results if you are consistent. A good example here is your daily exercise routine. Consistently working on your fitness for twenty minutes every day is better than trying to do a two-hour workout once a week.

Successful people are patient. They understand that progress takes time. For example, if you decided to write a book, writing just two pages a day results in 60 pages a month. That makes over 300 pages in half a year. That’s a very long book by any standards.

successful people

No one has ever said that success is easy. If it were, everyone would be successful.

See Also: Stumble, Success, Stumble, Success – 11 Simple Steps to Improve Your Life

The post How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Study Better – Tips and Tricks from Famous People

Most young people dream of professional success and glorious careers. What they often neglect in that regard is the importance of good studying and self-development.

Some of the biggest authorities in all fields of work emphasize that consistency in learning is what made them so productive and outstanding.

One of the best football players in history, Brazil-born Pele, cleverly noted: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

A vast majority of famous people are well aware of this fact and they nurture all sorts of daily habits to help them achieve their objectives.

A long time ago, Nelson Mandela stated: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

So, in this article, we will show you the best study tips of famous people you can use for your own success:

Daily routines which increase odds of success

What keeps you going and gives you the motive to study depends on your personality. However, the general goal is to secure a fruitful future through learning, making knowledge your personal capital for the future.

According to John F. Kennedy, the goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth. But, how do you improve knowledge and the results of your studying?

Some daily routines are common to many famous persons and we decided to present you our top 5 picks. Let’s take a closer look here.

Get up early

People often say that the early bird catches the worm.

If you get up early, you have more than enough time to plan the day, determine your short-term goals and schedule your activities. Doing so, you will enhance the quality of studying because the brain is always fresh after sleep.

It is not a surprise to discover that many famous persons get up very early. The list includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

All of these people know that they have to seize the day and use it only to complete important duties. Just like Tim Cook once said: “You can only do so many things great and you should cast aside everything else.”

Read a lot

reading habit

Reading is the essence of the learning process and some extremely successful individuals claim that it sets the cornerstone of their career achievements. Billionaire Warren Buffett, TV host Oprah Winfrey and extravagant scientist-businessman Elon Musk are some of those who strongly believe in the power of written works.

Allegedly, Buffett used to read as much as 600 pages each day in the early stages of his career while Musk claims that he literally learned how to build rockets from the books. Needless to say, this is an essential suggestion for all students, teachers and young business people.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Work overtime

It’s a widely known fact that Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, didn’t go on a vacation during the first 7 years of his private business. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used to triple her weekly working hours while she was a member of Google’s team. These people know that they cannot replace hard work with intelligence, talent or intuition.

Sometimes you just need to unplug and do what you have to do. Michael Jordan, the best basketball player of all time, knew this very well as he used to take thousands of jump-shots each week even in-between seasons.

His famous quote precisely describes the principle of hard work: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

Exercise regularly

exercise regularly

One of the most popular Latin phrases claims that a healthy mind is in a healthy body. This couldn’t be more accurate because training gives people physical and mental strengths to deal with the most difficult challenges. Young people should know this just like Hillary Clinton, Haruki Murakami and Richard Branson know it.

These and many other famous persons conduct regular daily exercises and never skip training sessions. They do all sorts of exercises to remain healthy and in a good shape. They do yoga, swimming, jogging, cardio training or weight lifting.

Body fitness is simply a prerequisite for professional success and that is why you should follow these examples and exercise regularly.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Work gradually but steadily

Some people don’t want to nurture the “all or nothing” approach in their lives. Instead, they prefer incremental work processes in a long period of time. This is especially characteristic for famous writers like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. They all had a writing routine that kept them fruitful and productive.

For instance, Hemingway used to write for a few hours in the morning and then he would stop just to let the ideas flourish inside his head until the following day. On the other side, Twain and King used to set the minimum number of pages they ought to write each day and they would do it without exemptions.

The most important thing in this model is to force yourself to start again on a daily basis. Just like Twain used to say: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Conclusion

Success doesn’t come easy. It’s the product of dedication, talent, hard work and a lot of learning. Some of the most famous people in the world often emphasize how passion towards studying enabled them to become successful.

Through learning, you gain valuable knowledge and also create the habit to work consistently. These are the basic preconditions of success, so do your best to follow these 5 study tips and find out which one suits your character the most.

 

The post How to Study Better – Tips and Tricks from Famous People appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious

‘If you feel nervous, just take a few deep breaths. In, then out. In, then out.’

This feels like an obvious advice. Everyone knows that slow, deep breathing can calm the heart rate and lower feelings of anxiety. You may have tried this breathing technique to calm your nerves at a job interview, a presentation or a date.

It’s also obvious how to breathe. It’s intuitive, after all.

As you breathe in, the intercostal muscles expand, the ribs rise and the shoulders rise and spread. Then, as you breathe out, it all relaxes. You inhale up and then exhale down. Breathing expert Belisa Vranich says that 9 out of 10 people breathe this way, using what she calls ‘vertical breathing’.

The Bad Things About Vertical Breathing

Unfortunately, vertical breathing happens to be tremendously inefficient.

It uses enormous muscular effort. The rib cage is heavy and your neck and back muscles take most of the weight. The effort of hiking up the rib cage on inhalation can cause neck and back pain.

That extra effort stimulates the ‘Vagus’ nerve, the ‘wanderer’ nerve that travels from the gut to the brain. The brain uses the wanderer nerve to check up on how the body is feeling. When you’re breathing vertically, the body sends up ‘danger’ signals to the brain.

vertical breathing

So, just breathing badly can elicit feelings of anxiety.

Vertical breathing also robs your brain of oxygen. Think of the shape of your lungs. They’re pear-shaped, with the large parts at the bottom. Raising the ribs fills the thin, narrow parts of the pear, leaving the oxygen-rich bottom unexpanded.

Oxygen energizes your brain, blood and muscles. Visitors to London’s ‘oxygen bar’ -UK’s only licensed vendor of oxygen- can attest to that.

If your friend feels anxious, tell him to ‘take a deep breath’. Their shoulders rise, their ribs expand, their neck strains, their vagus nerve pings ‘danger’ and their brains de-oxygenate. Most likely, they’ll feel more anxious after that.

So, what could you tell your friends to do differently?

See Also: Suffering From Anxiety? This Is How I Deal With Mine

Diaphragmatic Breathing

When in doubt, trust Sesame Street. In 2012, they released ‘Belly Breathe’, featuring a rabid ‘monster’ Elmo assisted by Common and Colbie Caillat. In it, they place Elmo’s hand on his belly. He breathes, his belly moves and he returns to his normal self.

Breathing from the belly is otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing. As you breathe in, the belly expands and this creates an internal cavity for the diaphragm to drop into. The bottoms of the lungs fill with oxygen. The ribs stay still, relaxing the neck and shoulders. Also, the Vagus nerve sends calming signals to the brain.

As you breathe out, the belly deflates inwards. The movement is horizontal, not vertical. This is good breathing.

But, I have a small critique of the Sesame Street method. Their lyrics go: ‘put your hands on your belly and you slowly breathe in’. This seems perfectly innocuous on the surface, but good teaching can sometimes be about changing your wording.

The instruction to ‘breathe in’ is dangerous. Watch the kids in the Sesame Street video. Their hands are on their belly, but they’re breathing with their shoulders. A producer told them to ‘breathe in’, and their brain went ‘Oh, I know how to do that!’ and they breathed badly. In my sessions, most people do the same.

So, it’s not enough to know the technique. We need to reframe how we think about breathing and that’s where I’d like to make my contribution.

When you feel anxious, don’t take a deep breath in. Breathe out first.

In Summary

Breathing out is very hard to get wrong. Your belly always deflates. You’ll feel it going back towards your spine if you breathe out firmly enough. Some people say “But I need to breathe in first. There’s no air in my lungs!”.

That’s not true. Only puncturing the lungs can empty them. You have a little bit of air in them all the time. It’s called the Resting Expiratory Level and you can use it to breathe out.

And when you’ve breathed out all of your air, don’t think ‘breathe in’. Just think ‘relax’ and notice the air passively returning to your lungs. Notice the belly relaxing back outwards and keep the shoulders still. Yes, that’s diaphragmatic breathing.

  1. Breathe out.
  2. Relax.
  3. Repeat.

See Also: 3 Healthy and Inexpensive Ways to Cope with Anxiety

 

The post How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

You know what they say—applying for a job is a job in itself. Albeit a little negative, the saying is correct—it does take a lot of energy and effort to search and apply for jobs. In this day and age, it’s likely that you will be submitting at least 20 or more applications in an average job search. And when each job requires your resume, an online application (complete with questionnaire), plus a stellar cover letter that’s tailored to each and every job listing, it’s easy to see why the process gets exhausting.

Although it might be tempting to just write a generic cover letter for each of these job listings, you could be sabotaging your job search. The average number of people who apply for one position is around 118. So, how do you put your name at the top of the stack out of the dozens of people applying for a job? Although there’s no surefire trick that will help get you each and every job, having well-written and tailored job materials will always increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview.

So, what are the key components of a cover letter and what should you say in them? How exactly do you write a great cover letter?

Here are a few tips on writing an effective cover letter that will help you land your dream job.

What Does a Good Cover Letter Consist Of?

A good cover letter will accomplish the following four things:

1. Have correct formatting.
2. Tell your prospective employer who you are.
3. Tell your prospective employer why you’re qualified for this job.
4. Tell your prospective employer why you’re more qualified than other applicants.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

Now that we know what the components are, let’s break down each section.

Get in Cover Letter Formation

First things first, you have to make sure that your cover letter format is correct. You will need to have your name and contact information in a centered header at the top. The first line will be the date you’re writing the cover letter and will be left-aligned. Underneath your date, you will put a space, and then you will address the person you are writing the letter to (the person listed in the job ad) and put their position name if known, company, and address.

See the example below.

In addition to your name and your prospective employer’s name being correctly formatted, you also want to be sure to keep your cover letter all on one page. If your prospective employer sees more than one page, it’s likely they are not going to read it. So, even if you really want to mention that you won the sixth-grade science fair, you probably won’t have the space to do so. Be sure to sign your letter with a “Sincerely,” add a space below, and then put your first and last name.

Tell Them Who You Are

Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to your prospective employer, and, if you’re lucky enough to get the job, then this will be the introduction to people you could potentially work with for years. You definitely want to make a good first impression, and to make a good first impression you need to properly introduce yourself. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, say your first and last name and write exactly what position you are applying for (there could be several positions open in the company).

After that, you will want to give the employer your “elevator speech” on paper. The HR team or the hiring manager will be blazing through these cover letters to see whom they can eliminate right away so it’s crucial to stick to the important facts quickly. Say why you’re qualified for the job right away. Name your years of relevant experience, your string of internships, or anything else that is relevant. Be brief and professional. You want to be as succinct as possible.

Write Why You Are Qualified

cover letter

After you’ve introduced yourself, the next one to two paragraphs are going to be about why you’re qualified for this position in particular.

It may be uncomfortable, but this is your time to brag. You don’t want to come off as too much, however. For example, something like this would be fine: “I believe that my experience working on several different types of publications, experience editing in both AP and Chicago Manual of Style, and my ability to collaborate with writers make me qualified for this copyediting position.” But something like this might come off as too braggadocious: “I believe I would be able to enter your position with relatively no training as I have already mastered everything that was listed in your qualifications on the job ad.”

If you can also put your achievements in quantitative terms, do so. An example would be: “As Sales Manager in X Company, I was able to raise our annual profits by a total of 20% for 2016.”

Key tip: Use language directly from the job ad in your cover letter. If the job description says that you must be an expert in using Specific Program XYZ, then specifically state that you are an expert in using Specific Program XYZ.

Write Why You’re Most Qualified

So, you’ve already established that you’re qualified for the position. Now is the time that you need to write about why you’re more qualified than anyone else.

Why would you be good to work with? Have you never missed a deadline on your own account? Do you go above and beyond? Are you always the first one at the office? What is it about you that sticks out above all the rest? Write that in a short paragraph and then you’re ready to close it out.

At the end of your cover letter, you will need to add just a sentence that says something along the lines of, “If you have any questions about my work history or would like any more information, please contact me at _____. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

And then you write a signature and you’re ready to send that letter off.

Be Sure to Proofread

resume proofreading

Lastly—and this can’t be overstated—it’s so important to have someone give your cover letter a read and ensure that it is 100% grammatically correct and doesn’t contain any spelling errors. It’s really difficult to catch your own errors, and you don’t want to re-read it after you hit send and discover that you misspelled something in the job title or accidentally wrote the name of the wrong company.

Do yourself a favor and have a trusted family member or friend read over your letter, or consider hiring the services of a professional editor to do the job.

Writing cover letters takes a lot of time and effort, but once you get that call that says you got the job, you will be glad you took the time to do it correctly.

See Also: What I Learned From Reading 1,000 Resumes

 

The post 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

The post How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight

I was always an obese dude….

The type that couldn’t fit into any clothes comfortably and started to sweat after walking 10 steps.

Now, this always sucked and it’s something I suffered from since I was a kid. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to live this way for the first 24 years of my life.

I think I was actually starting to get comfortable with this odd figure. But then, I entered the professional workforce and things started to change very quickly.

I immediately realized how important it was to be in shape and not because of health or anything like that. It was because overweight people were treated differently.

I’d heard studies of this in college, about how overweight people were less likely to be hired because they were viewed as lazy. It’s something I always laughed about and never took seriously…

Until I started to witness these observations first hand.

I can’t say that didn’t suck but I’m honestly glad it happened.

Not because I like being viewed as lazy, but because it forced me to start my journey of losing weight and helping hundreds of others along the way.

The Start of My Journey

I knew I had a lot of work to do all around, but I first started with my diet.

I grew up not really knowing what “healthy” food was, but I knew enough to realize that it wasn’t Taco Bell and Mountain Dew.

So, I started searching around for healthy diets and finally settled on one that followed the traditional “low calorie” approach.

I liked this diet because I knew low-calorie diets were the best way to lose weight and this diet was also pretty flexible.

It told me certain foods to stay away from and as long as I stayed under my calorie limit, I’d be good to go.

After that, I took a test that they’d created, telling me how much to eat based on weight and goal. Then, I went to the grocery store right after.

I immediately stocked up on fruits and veggies, along with a bunch of Weight Watcher’s Meals that would serve as my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

fruits overload

See Also: Five Incredibly Easy ways to Add Sprouts to your Diet

I figured this was the best selection for me as the meals tasted pretty good and they’d help me keep my portions in check.

So, I started on this diet the next day. I set a deadline of 30 days before I was going to weigh myself. I don’t know the exact reason why I picked 30 days, but I knew that weighing yourself everyday would do more harm than good.

During the first 2 weeks, things weren’t really that bad. They were kinda nice actually.

I immediately realized an uptick in energy and started to lose some pounds around the midsection.

I was excited and wanted to weigh myself everyday, but I stuck to the plan and continued to stay away from the scale. However, days 15 to 21 hit and I noticed a huge shift in my mood and willpower.

I had really lost all my energy and I was absolutely hangry.

At first, I thought this was just a normal “correction” as I’d been making changes to my body, but the symptoms kept getting worse and worse.

I tried my best to plow through them and hit day 30, but I was noticing a significant decrease in my work. So, on day 25, I finally caved in and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of BDUBs, but I’ve never eaten as much as I did on that day.

I completely destroyed a large serving of boneless wings and then had some chips and queso to top it off.

Needless to say, I was absolutely miserable the rest of the day. However, as sad as it sounds, it was still better than being “hangry”.

Then I “Yo-yo’ed”.

Even though I’d had a very large cheat meal during that day, I still wanted to go home and see if I’d made any progress over the last 3 weeks.

Right when I got home, I jumped on the scale and to my surprise, I’d actually lost 11 pounds!

Now, that felt amazing. I’d never been able to really lose weight before and you’d think that would be enough to keep me going. But, like many other “yo-yo’ers”, I told myself I’d jump back on the diet soon. I just wanted to recollect my thoughts before going at it again.

So, I continued to eat “normal” for the next 4 weeks and after that, I was ready to jump back on my diet kick.

I decided to weigh myself on a Sunday before I was going to start. To my surprise, I’ had gained all my weight back…plus 10 lbs!

I couldn’t believe it. I was actually eating a little better than I had in the past so I figured I’d stay a few pounds under my normal weight. Instead, I reached an all-time high.

This was extremely depressing and I thought this was just a “me” problem.

I figured that my slow metabolism was out to get me and that I’d never been able to lose weight. Then, I started to dig into this problem and realized many others were having similar difficulties.

The most publicized examples were actually “The Biggest Loser” contestants. During my research, I came across a lot of articles where they were losing weight during the show. Then, months after the show was over, they were gaining it back and then some!

Now, this obviously intrigued me as I was having similar issues. That’s when I discovered the concept of “ghrelin’ and “fat burning mode”.

We’ll talk about these two concepts throughout the rest of this article, but as a quick overview:

Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it helps control your appetite. This obviously has a lot of importance with dieting and can be a good thing. However, when you use the typical “low calorie” diets that are being preached today, then it does the exact opposite.

Why?

Because this style of dieting doesn’t lower your ghrelin levels, meaning you have the same appetite as you did when you started losing weight.

Now, that’s bad enough. But, on top of this, your metabolism actually decreases when you start to lose weight.

There are some fancy words for why this happens, but in short, it decreases because you’re smaller and don’t need as much energy….

And that means you have the same appetite but with a slower metabolism, a dynamic duo that essentially guarantees weight gain, whether that be in 1 month or 1 year.

This was an important discovery for me when I came across the concept of fat burning mode. These two are what really helped me kick-start my journey.

What Is Fat Burning Mode?

So, like with everything medical, there’s a lot of geeky terms that go into it. But, in the simplest form:

Our body has two different sources of energy- ketones and glucose.

Ketones are produced when fat is burned and glucose is produced when carbs are burned.

Since we have 2 different sources of energy we can burn, that also means we have 2 different “modes” that we operate in- glycogen burning mode (glucose) and fat burning mode (ketones).

Now, to be 100% accurate, we are technically always in both modes at the same time, but there’s always a primary mode and a secondary mode.

The secondary mode always uses minimal fuel, almost to the point of non-existence. From what I understand, we keep this secondary source alive just so our body knows that the backup source is still available.

Okay, that’s easy enough. But, how do we determine which one is primary and which one is secondary?

That’s actually the easy part of the formula. Glycogen burning mode always trumps fat burning mode.

It’s not because it’s a better source of fuel or anything like that, but because our body has to regulate glucose very closely.

Why?

Because glucose is sugar and our blood can only handle so much sugar at one time. Once our blood sugar hits the limit (which doesn’t take much), then insulin has to kick in and start removing sugar from the bloodstream.

Now, this is a good thing but that only leaves so much energy left in our system. That’s why we’re supposed to keep eating small meals while in glycogen burning mode.

Makes sense? Alright, here’s the true kicker.

Guess what happens with the excess sugar after insulin removes it from the bloodstream?

That’s right. It gets converted into stored energy- a.k.a body fat.

Now, that’s bad enough and shows how easy it is to gain body fat. Here’s where things get worse.

The typical western diet is full of carbs and that means we’ve pretty much been stuck in glycogen-burning mode our entire lives.

See Also: 5 Science-Proven Health Benefits of Low Carb Diet

This is also why people work countless hours to deplete the glycogen in their body and start burning fat or, even worse, starving themselves while doing so.

And to show you the full cycle, that means it’s extremely easy to gain body fat but then you have to work your tail off just to access this stored energy.

Starting to see the problem here?

Alright, so I know that sounds depressing, but here’s the good news.

I’m a minimalist and I wanted to find ways to enter fat burning mode without living in the gym, starving myself or losing muscle along the way.

After years of research, along with the help of some unconventional doctors, I finally found that way.

And in the remainder of this article, I’m going to show you how you can benefit from this research as well:

How to Enter Fat Burning Mode Without Living In the Gym Or Starving Yourself

Step 1: Drink Exogenous Ketones

I actually came across this concept in my earlier days of researching the two different energy burning modes. Through that research, I kept seeing the phrase “exogenous ketones”.

At first, I thought the word sounded extremely fancy and it was some complex subject. However, as I soon learned, I realized that it’s really just a way of saying ketone supplements.

Anyway, when I was doing this research, I came across a story of an individual who started drinking these ketones and began to notice a great reduction in belly fat within a month after she started.

Now, she liked the results. However, she was drinking the ketones for energy and wasn’t quite sure why this was happening. So, she went to the doctor to make sure everything was okay.

It took her a few weeks to find a doctor that actually understood this subject. Once she finally did, he explained to her that by drinking these ketones, she was telling her body to burn fat.

Now, this makes sense as ketones are the source of energy that’s created by fat burn. To be honest, I was a little skeptical to think it was this easy.

So, I decided to test it out and sure enough, within 4 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds- without doing anything different!

Now, that felt great and I’ll show you how to further amplify these results in the next steps. First, you need to make sure you enter fat-burning mode by drinking ketones, so here’s what I advise:

  1. Buy exogenous ketones. I personally recommend KetoCaNa by Ketosports. Those are good enough by themselves but if you really want to crank it up, buy MCT Oil Powder by Quest Nutrition along with it. This works well as KetoCaNa is exogenous ketones and MCT Oil creates ketones once it hits your liver. So, you’re pretty much getting a military grade dosage when you do this. Helpful hint: might be best to start with just KetoCaNa before moving to the full 1-2 punch.
  2. Make a ketone shake every morning with a blender bottle full of water along with your preferred ketone source and drink it. I personally use 2 scoops of MCT Oil along with one scoop of KetoCaNa. But, again, it’s going to differ by person.
  3. Try not to eat breakfast as this ketone shake will be more than enough to get you going.
ketone shake
Via beautynutrition

And that’s it. That’s all you need to enter fat-burning mode.

This trick can work for anybody. However, if you’re diabetic, please consult with your doctor before trying anything out. Insulin sensitivity or restriction can do some funny things with glucose and I want to make sure your body is able to handle both modes before you try it out.

Step 2: Keep Carb Intake Under 20g Per Day

Now that we’ve entered fat burning, it’s important to keep this going.

Technically, you would lose some fat if you just drank a ketone shake every morning and waited to eat until lunch time. But, since we’re already getting into fat burning mode, why not keep it going. And on top of that, the process really isn’t that complex.

As I mentioned earlier, carbs create glucose and that’ll put you into glycogen burning mode. So, the only way to get around that and stay in fat burning mode is by keeping your carb intake low.

Now, everybody is a little different and there’s really not a one-size-fits-all answer, but the one route that does work for everybody is keeping your carbs under 20g per day.

So, why does this differ for everybody then?

Well, because the only time your body turns back into glycogen burning mode is when glucose hits your liver. Some of the glucose that you consume is used up by your muscles, so that’s really where most of the flexibility comes in.

In other words, if you just finished a serious workout and used all the glycogen in your muscles, then you could probably afford a little more than 20g and still stay in fat burning mode.

If you don’t eat carbs, that’s fine, too. Your body can create glucose out of protein. I’m just letting you know why you can have some carbs and still stay in fat burn.

The last thing I wanted to point out is that when I mention 20g of carbs, I mean in general- not any of that “net carb” stuff.

If you’re not familiar with “net carbs”, a lot of people will use the formula of total carbs – fiber= net carbs to determine their daily carb intake.

The logic behind this is that fiber doesn’t turn into glucose and shouldn’t be included as a carb. To some extent, I do agree, but I’ve also seen a lot of people get kicked out of fat burning mode by eating too many carbs in general.

I’ve done a lot of research on this and I can’t really find an exact answer. But, from what I’ve gathered, excess amounts of fiber can turn into glucose.

Again, don’t quote me on that, but I’ve seen what it does so I know it’s important to stay careful with it.

Alright, so since we’re restricting carbs, then what types should you eat?

I always recommend green and leafy vegetables, like broccoli.

It’s important to consume these types of carbs as they’re full of nutrients (like fiber) and they don’t turn into glucose that fast, giving you even more leeway on your total intake.

And that’s really everything you need to know about staying in fat-burning mode, well from a carb standpoint. We’ll cover the rest in the next section.

As a quick recap:

  1. Keep your daily carb intake under 20g (to start).
  2. Try and spread carbs throughout your day/meals. Try not to eat all of your daily carbs at once, but if you’re starting at 20g, you’re probably fine either way.
  3. Get your carbs from healthy sources like leafy vegetables or avocados.

That’s how you stay in fat burning mode. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but once you start to feel the effects and see the results, staying away from carbs gets pretty easy.

On top of that, you don’t have to starve yourself either, you just have to…

Eat A Lot of Dietary Fat (High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb Diet)

Now that we’ve entered fat burning mode and learned how to stay out of glycogen burning mode, it’s time to take care of everything else.

And by everything else, I guess I should just say ghrelin.

Remember that hunger hormone that I talked about earlier? The one that forces everybody to yo-yo diet?

Yeah, that’s never going to go away and if we don’t control it, we’re at an uphill battle.

That’s where this next step comes into play. It’s highly important to not starve yourself and, instead, eat a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet.

Why exactly does this diet work so well? Let’s break it down into sections, starting with fat.

High Fat

The first thing I like to mention with fat is that it absolutely has nothing to do with making you fat.

Well, I guess if you ate an absurd amount of it, like to the point of vomiting, then maybe. But, as we discussed earlier, body fat is nothing more than stored energy.

And since it’s stored energy, then there’s no reason why we should believe fat is what causes fat (unless you eat excess amounts).

On the other hand, remember when we talked about how glucose is quickly converted into body fat? And not because it was a lot of calories, but because our body can only handle so much sugar in the blood at one time?

Yeah, that’s also the reason why it’s so easy to gain weight while in glycogen-burning mode. You could easily eat 3 big meals and gain some extra body fat with every meal.

Fat, on the other hand, lasts a lot longer and really doesn’t create any metabolic issues. This is why you’ll hear a lot of people eat a high-fat diet while they’re intermittent fasting, because the sustained energy can last them all day.

In other words, don’t worry about the constant small meals that you’re supposed to eat while in glycogen-burning mode.

Then, in addition to this, fat also helps control ghrelin.

This is helpful for curbing your hunger, but it’s also helpful as it lowers your ghrelin levels as you lose weight. This means you won’t run into the high appetite and slow metabolism problem that most yo-yo dieters incur.

So, how much fat should you eat then?

I’ll give you ratios in a second, but from a practical standpoint, just eat fatty foods until you’re full. Don’t worry about counting calories, weighing out food or any of that junk- there’s no need to do that with high-fat meals.

Why?

Because the body is really good about self-regulation when in fat burning mode and it’ll let you know if you need food or not.

At the same time, I realized ratios are easier to follow in the beginning. We’ll get there soon, but, first, I wanted to cover exactly what “fat” is.

I do this because when most people hear fat, they instantly think of snickers and candy-things that make us fat.

When I say fat, I mean healthy fats, like:

Grass-fed beef (any beef is okay, but grass-fed is always better)
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
Pork (pork chops, pulled pork, even bacon)
Butter (just make sure it’s real butter)
Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cheese
Avocados
Eggs
Pepperonis
Cream cheese
Coconut oil
Olive Oil
Avocado Oil
Walnuts
Etc…

In all honesty, the only fats you really need to stay away from is trans fat and “seed oils”.

I think most people are aware that they need to stay away from trans fat, but here’s the problem…

Food companies are able to hide the fact that their food contains trans fat by titling it “hydrogenated oils” which is the exact same thing.

A Big Fat Recap:

  1. If you’re counting calories, try and make sure 75% of your calories are from fat.
  2. Make sure you’re eating healthy fats.
  3. Avoid trans fats or “hydrogenated oils”.
  4. Avoid seed oils like vegetable oil, sunflower oil and canola oil as these oils are highly inflammatory and not good for you.

Protein

We’ve talked a lot about carbs and fat, but we haven’t mentioned protein yet.

And that doesn’t mean protein isn’t important. That just means it’s a little more flexible than the other two.

Before jumping into the specifics of protein, it’s important to remember that protein’s main function is for muscle repair and growth, not energy.

This is also why bodybuilders love it so much and the exact reason why it’s been so severely misunderstood over the recent years.

Now, people think they can just eat protein all day and make muscle, when that’s simply not the case. Muscle has to be created from somewhere (i.e. breaking down muscle from lifting and repairing it with protein), so please keep that in mind.

The second thing I want to point out is that when you consume too much protein (i.e. more than your muscles need), then the excess protein will turn into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Now, this is also a highly debated issue. Some health bloggers make it sound like one bit of chicken creates glucose in the blood while other bloggers offset this by saying 100% protein will keep you in fat burning mode.

And I’m here to tell you they’re both wrong. I’ve tested both analogies and both strategies have kicked me out of fat burning mode.

Here’s how you can cut through the noise and avoid this.

Protein is important and something you should consume. Unless you’re lifting every day, then you probably don’t need to eat 300g of it.

Like everything else, the amount will vary by person. As a 6 ft, 175-pound male, I try and stay under 100g per day.

With all that said, from a practical standpoint, if you can eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, then you’re probably okay.

I know this can be hard at times, especially when you’re eating a lot of meat-heavy meals. So, to offset that, I’ll usually melt a bunch of butter and dip each bite of meat into it- problem solved!

Protein Recap:

  1. Try and consume 20-25% of your calories from protein.
  2. Too much protein can be a bad thing, but it takes a lot to get there.
  3. Just try and eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, and you should be okay.
  4. Protein is important, but not the saving grace that many think it is.

Carbs

We’ve already talked about this subject and I don’t have too much more to add. But, there are some other things I wanted to relay for the purposes of clarity.

As we discussed earlier, we can only convert back to glycogen-burning mode after glucose hits the liver. That can only happen when the muscles don’t use all the glucose that you’ve put into your body.

In other words, if you eat some extra carbs right after lifting heavy weights, then you’ll probably be okay as the muscles will soak it up.

On the other hand, as we discussed with protein, your body can also make glucose with protein so you really don’t need to eat carbs. That’s why there’s no such thing as an essential carb.

But, if you are going to still eat carbs, just try and eat them from healthy sources, like berries and veggies.

These foods will help provide other nutrients and be helpful overall. Just make sure you’re careful with how much you eat. Some foods, like apples, can add up in a hurry!

Carb Recap:

  1. Try and stay under 20g of carbs each day.
  2. Try and get your carbs from healthy sources.
  3. You really don’t need carbs, just up protein if you don’t.
  4. These amounts will vary by person and how active you are.

Feel the burn…

And that is your complete guide to burning fat.

If you follow these simple steps and stick with it for a few months, I absolutely guarantee you’ll love your results and keep going.

As with any hard changes in your diet, it might feel weird at first. But, with the help of everything I’ve put in this guide about the best way to lose weight, I have no doubt that it’ll help you progress with your weight loss goals.

The post How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots

The growing popularity of chatbots goes without question. We are all familiar with a rule-based chatbot that is quite easy to distinguish from a human being. It demands exact command input to respond, so this form of communication isn’t that new.

However, AI-powered chatbots make a different story. In addition to the information-providing bots, like Echo by Amazon or Apple’s Siri, that has almost no influence on marketing and sales, online stores get their loyal assistants represented by branded chatbots.

These chatbots are taking a firm position in modern marketing. In 2016, a lot of retailers started using chatbots to foster brand awareness and personalize customer experience.

It was the right decision for both sides. Modern clients are less responsive to old marketing techniques; they appreciate advanced approaches to communication.

Why chatbots?

chatbots

A chatbot is a form of software that’s able to hold a conversation in audio or text format. This is a robot copying human behavior. Due to artificial intelligence, chatbots can imitate real communication with a human being.

Machine learning presupposes that chatbots can study and enrich their knowledge. The more they communicate, the smarter they become. However, it will still depend on who they talk to, as the case with Tay Twitter bot by Microsoft.

Nevertheless, social networks and media, like Facebook and CNN, are still interested in chatbots.

After Mark Zuckerberg had presented the first Facebook-Messenger-based chatbot, brands were very fast to adopt the technology. For instance, 1-800 Flowers gave its customers an opportunity to write a name of a friend in its app to order a bouquet for this person.

Chatbots are easy to set and this feature makes them a perfect tool for e-tailers. The similar personalized approach to promotion is applied to one more popular trend called influence marketing.

What is influence marketing?

Influence marketing is a type of marketing aimed at delivering a brand message via industry leaders. Instead of communicating with your customers directly, you hire an influencer. Thus, the target of such companies is not a whole market but a group of influencers.

The main idea of influence marketing is establishing mutually beneficial relations. Such cooperation brings better reach both for the brand and influencer.

Influence marketing is widely spread on Youtube. There are a lot of popular bloggers working with well-known brands to promote their products.

See Also: How Online Blogging Is Influencing Business Trends

Tarte, for example, organized Trip with Tarte campaign for beauty-bloggers with 1 million+ followers covering all their expenses. The only condition was to shot a video about the trip and share it with the #tripwithtarte hashtag. As a result, millions of internet users learned of the brand. Quite a wide reach, isn’t it?

Takumi made a research showing that brands are interested in working with influencers than with celebrities. But, according to another survey, if an influencer’s post isn’t original enough, it won’t have a strong impact on women.

See Also: 5 Instagram Tools That Can Boost Brand Performance

What will you get by combining these two trends?

The answer is simple- you’ll become a marketing wizard.

At the end of last year, two companies combined efforts to create the first influence chatbot for the American brand Cover Girl. Marketing platform (The Amplify) and chatbot developer (Automat) turned Kalani Hilliker, a Dance Moms’ celebrity and an influencer, into a chatbot. Based on Kik messenger, the chatbot mimics the star’s personality to promote Cover Girl coupons.

What kind of marketing magic happens there?

Engaging

You have only 7 seconds to make the first impression. It concerns not only real-life meetings but also online behavior. People spend on site 10-20 seconds on average so the faster you start reacting, the more chances you get to interest your potential client.

Cost effective

How much time do you spend daily to answer identical questions of your customers? Sooner or later, you’ll get tired of writing the same responses so you hire a person to do this for you or you buy additional equipment for that. Chatbot can do it all for free.

Customized

Imagine an influencer talking to you like a friend who knows all your tastes and needs. Sounds like a dream, but now it’s a reality. Speaking about Kalani’s case, the bot managed to generate 14% higher conversion rate than an average Kalani’s post in social networks with striking 91% of positive feedbacks from its users.

Can I create my personal chatbot?

The easiest way out is to hire somebody to do the job for you. But first, you need to know that AI development is rather expensive. Why so?

The technology is comparatively new and there are not many top-level specialists. Lack of skilled programmers can boost the price of the process. Even hiring a junior AI developer will cost you more than $1000/mo, let alone seniors who will demand at least $8,000/mo. Some forums even suggest addressing development institutes to find a future employee there.

But, do you need to hire a programmer to build a chatbot for your marketing campaign? The answer is no. You can find a lot of various tools for building your own chatbot. Even having no skills in coding won’t stop you from getting one. Platforms like Chatfuel don’t require any programming experience and allow you to create an AI chatbot for Facebook or Telegram.

computer programming

By combining chatbots and influence marketing, you will discover a wide range of opportunities. You don’t necessarily have to be a developer. The only limit is your imagination, so don’t be afraid of mixing new strategies to become more efficient.

The post How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How To Become A Social Media Influencer

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. Even as far back as the 1700s, the Royal Family was singing the praises of Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery. To this day, Wedgwood is still a household name.

Building a brand takes a lot of work and until very recently, the best way a brand could build a customer base was by paying a celebrity to endorse a product. This created a shortcut to word-of-mouth advertising as a celebrity served as a stand-in for all the small person-to-person recommendations that would ordinarily be used to build buzz around a brand.

There was a time when people trusted celebrities, but that time has passed. Now people rely on regular people to give them recommendations about goods and services. This has led to a rise in a brand-new phenomenon: the social media influencer.

Social media influencers have a few common traits

social media influencer

  • The social media influencer is a person who was not famous initially but may become famous.
  • It is a person who built a social media following around a particular topic over time.
  • Influencers are typically seen as more authentic and trustworthy than celebrities.
  • Influencers are more likely to interact with their audience than celebrities.

Whereas celebrities are handed down from Hollywood and we don’t generally get much choice about which ones become or stay famous, social media has given rise to a new democratic way to decide who gets to become famous. Influencers aren’t made famous by being discovered by Hollywood – they become famous by being genuine and building up a following over time.

This, of course, means that you can set out to become an influencer as a job. That’s right. The next time your mom tells you that you are spending too much time on your phone, you can tell her that you are working on your next career as a social media influencer.

See Also: The Millennials’ Mania Over Social Media

Here’s how to get started

be a social media influencer

Decide what you are passionate and knowledgeable about and start building your following online within that community. If the community does not yet exist, all the better- that means you get to guide it!

Stay authentic and always interact with others when possible.

Once you have built a significant following on a topic, look for brands in that space that may be open to influencer marketing. Pitch them an idea on how you would market their product on social media.

Of course, it’s not a traditional career path and it is constantly changing. This means you will need to be able to change directions whenever you discover something isn’t working.

When social media influencers first came on the scene a little over a decade ago there were basically no rules. That meant that you could take a payment to say something nice about a brand or a company and never have to disclose it. These days, there are rules in place that prevent that from happening.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to make sure that viewers know when they are seeing an advertisement. This is why when you are scrolling through twitter, you will often see #ad or #sponsored. Influencers must make it clear when they are in a contract with a company or with a brand so that there is no confusion about the fact money has changed hands.

Following the rules is only one part of the equation, though. You also have to remain authentic and believable in order for your services to be viable as a form of advertising. One of the major changes that has taken place over the evolution of social media influencers is that advertisers are no longer moved to write a check based on your follower count – they are looking for actual quantifiable results. That means you will have to be able to turn your Instagram #ad posts into an actual pipeline for sales.

See Also: Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media

As you embark on your new career as a social media influencer, remember to be authentic and to always follow the rules. Nearly three quarters of teens think that YouTubers are more relatable than celebrities, and 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as in person ones. There’s a lot of room for the role of the social media influencer to grow. How will you take advantage of the evolution of the social media influencer ?

The post How To Become A Social Media Influencer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Cover your Unexpected Round-the-World Travel Expenses

No matter where you go, how you go or how many days your stay will be, you can easily spend more cash than you thought you would when traveling. Unexpected travel expenses can cost you more than you would spend if you just stay at home.

Expenses for airplane tickets and hotel rooms are obvious. But, what if you end up losing your baggage? Or someone gets sick?

There are several unexpected travel expenses that can fast spike the total price of your trip to an uncomfortable height. Thankfully, there are some effective and easy ways to cover them. Below are great tips you can use when planning your next trip.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is not really common among people. But, it only takes a bad fall on your trip or a motorbike accident to make you regret your decision of not getting a travel insurance.

Policies are available for a cost as low as a night’s lodging. If you have more money, you can consider increasing your deductible and just use your insurance for real calamities.

Unplanned Upgrades

travel expense

There will be times when the train you expect to take you from one spot to another gets delayed for 12 hours. There will be times when you miss your bus and have to buy a nicer class ticket so you can stay on your schedule. In some cases, getting tour buses will be so difficult that you’ll need to spend your last $50 to buy a one-way flight back instead of waiting.

The best way to cover such unexpected travel expenses is to find reasonable offers online for cab or taxi services or get cash advance online.

Baggage problems

A lot of travelers just do not pay attention to their free checked baggage allowance once they find tickets with amazing prices. They’ll only realize the problem when they are hit with excess baggage fees.

To avoid this, always double check your airline’s website before packing your suitcase. This will keep you away from extra charges.

Lost luggage problems are a very common scenario today, too. If your baggage doesn’t show up, go to the airline counter to file a report. They may provide you a bag of essentials and ask you to share your contact details. Remember that the longer your luggage is lost, the more compensation the airline will provide. A payday loan could cover this travel problem.

See Also: Things You Didn’t Know That Occur While Traveling

Medicine and doctors

doctor consultation

When traveling, your routine changes tremendously. You’ll eat and drink a lot of new things, too. So, you have to go see your attending physician and consult him about your travel plans. If you don’t, you can end up spending tons of cash for expensive medicines, like antiseptics, sunscreen, and allergy pills.

To cover these expenses, you can pack a few medicines in your baggage. If your airline won’t allow it, look for discounts and buy extra packs whenever you see a good deal on your way. A small town without any drugstore can sell these essentials at a high price.

Lodging Fees

And finally, you should be ready for certain fees connected with lodging that are frequently hidden and unexpected for many travelers. Before signing your final payment, ensure that you have a clear understanding of how much you are going to pay for the whole stay.

Ask the hotel management to provide the list of extra payments that are not included in your stay rate. Also, be ready to cover extra charges, like open bar, internet, and room service fees.

To avoid all those inconveniences and prevent awkward situations during the arrival, include those expenses in your travel budget.

Conclusion

Every time we plan a trip, we often forget the smaller, less pressing stuff. Just keep the above-mentioned points in mind next time you are planning or saving for an overseas trip.

When taking a trip anywhere in the world, you must be prepared for unexpected travel expenses. This way, if something comes up, you won’t end up feeling stressed, frustrated and broke.

See Also: 5 Important Tips Before Traveling Overseas

 

The post How to Cover your Unexpected Round-the-World Travel Expenses appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How To Get Rich Quick

Money is a part of life. Whether we love it or hate it, money is a necessity. It provides food, shelter and health care. It also gives us freedom, opportunity and decision-making flexibility. In addition to those, money allows us to pursue our passions or philanthropic desires.

As much as we may wish it weren’t the case, money plays a huge role in our lives so the attainment of wealth is often on our radar.

During my own journey to wealth, I learned a few distinctions that deepened my relationship with money and allowed the idea of getting rich quick to be a real possibility. Of course, with these terms, there are qualifiers.

Getting rich quick can often refer to a scam or gamblers mentality. That’s not what I’m referring to. Becoming rich is not an event that happens to you. It’s a process that takes place over time. Whether that time period is short or long, that depends on your approach.

I became rich quickly and I was the most unlikely candidate – a high school dropout, blue-collar mechanic. I had a light bulb moment when I realized people could get rich on purpose- not by accident or luck, but by educating themselves how. If they could do it, so could I. And I did.

Let me clarify by saying nobody can tell you how you are going to achieve it. This is an entrepreneurial step and you need to take personal responsibility for it. But, yes, you can learn how to get rich quick and there’s a process you must go through.

You must change how you think about money.

The average person looks at the average income around them. They work hard to earn that because it is their obtainable reality. They believe that to gain greater wealth, you must have to work harder, be smarter or luckier. But, working hard is not a determining factor at all.

The fundamental ingredients of how to get rich quick are: believing, purpose, knowing for yourself and following through no matter what.

Believing

how to be rich

When you make the mental leap of believing that getting rich is possible, your mindset has shifted. Once you know great wealth is obtainable for you right now, THAT is the golden first step. Every person who has ever obtained wealth quickly has accomplished this belief first.

Purpose

HOW you choose to obtain your wealth is the responsibility of every entrepreneur. There are so many different types of business vehicles and you have to pick one that aligns with your passion, that excites you and that motivates you. You must be working towards a vision.

Know for yourself

Most importantly, you have to see the numbers from any venture and know for yourself that there is an opportunity for wealth. You don’t have to invent the opportunity.

I was a mechanic working crazy hours to barely make ends meet when I saw a presentation for a Network Marketing opportunity. I didn’t know the industry at all but I saw beauty in the product offering AND the business model. It ignited something in me and I knew that it deserved my time and would absolutely lift my income. I did the math and saw it for myself. A couple of years later, I was a self-made millionaire.

Following Through

how to become rich

To become rich quick, you must believe it’s possible, keep your eye on that goal, follow through and it’s yours. If you’ve already decided it’s too hard to make a lot of money or you believe you don’t have the time to invest, then you’ll never see the opportunities that are right in front of you.

The number of times I’ve seen people give up right before I know they’re about to crack is so frustrating. You must be steadfast in your focus and productivity. Otherwise, you’re not really in it to win it. Commit half-heartedly and you will achieve half-hearted results.

There’s not a right or wrong way to make money. At the beginning, I didn’t have the idea, the means or the knowledge to create a venture of my own. I just had the mind shift that I COULD and the opportunity I saw wasn’t a mass produced product with a small profit, requiring huge sales. I saw a high-value product, offering high-profit with great leverage and I made a killing.

To me, that’s a great way to make money quickly in business. It’s not the only way or right way, it is just ONE way.

With lessons I learned from that business and a fire in my belly, I later went on to create my own business venture which was valued at US $170 million in its fourth year. And again, it was based on a high value, high profit product which was loaded with leverage.

That is a great equation for a successful business that has the possibility of creating wealth quickly.

See Also: Five Steps To Turn Doing What You Love Into A Successful Business

Part of the fundamental process of getting rich quick is to understand that thoughts create things. Believe it can be, find the opportunity, do the sums, follow through and you will achieve it.

See Also: You Can’t Miss Your Boat

 

The post How To Get Rich Quick appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Parents and educators have done a serious disservice to many people by leading them to believe that IQ is everything and that your grades actually matter once you are out of school. Learning is good and getting good grades can certainly open a lot of doors, but your IQ is basically set for life in childhood. So, if you are going to depend on that for the rest of your life, it will just be a losing game for you.

There is good news, though.

Your emotional quotient, or EQ, can be developed throughout your life and can have a greater impact on your career success than anything else. How to work emotional intelligence? Read on.

What Is EQ?

Your emotional quotient, like your IQ, is a measurement of your emotional intelligence. The more you develop different areas of your emotional intelligence, the higher your EQ climbs.

These are things like:

Social skills – How well do you interact with people and get along with your coworkers?

Empathy – Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes to really understand their point of view? Are you in the habit of doing this regularly?

Motivation – Are you passionate about your work or your hobby? Are you motivated by money and power?

Self-regulation – Are you able to accept things that are out of your control and think before you act?

Self-awareness – Are you aware of your own personal strengths and weaknesses? Can you acknowledge these and admit your mistakes?

How Are EQ And IQ Different?

Your IQ is consistent throughout your entire life. It basically measures your ability to learn. There are no major differences between men and women.

Your EQ, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with a little effort on your part. There may be some differences between men and women in general, but it is unclear whether they are biologically or socially driven.

Typically, 70% of the time, a person of average intelligence will outperform someone with high intelligence and EQ is likely the reason behind that.

Some Of The Most Successful People Have High EQs

oprah winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is so well known for her emotional intelligence that it has its own name: Oprahfication. She has used her ability to get people to open up to build a television empire.

Matt Damon has also used his emotional intelligence to build and maintain relationships with fellow actors as well as to launch the H2O Africa Foundation. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi once wrote to the parents of 29 of her employees to tell them they had raised good kids.

Emotional intelligence traits like these have allowed each of these people to accelerate their professional lives much more than if they were completely reliant on IQ.

Why Work On Emotional Intelligence?

People with high levels of emotional intelligence earn on average of $29,000 more per year than those with low levels of emotional intelligence. In fact, for every point your EQ rises, you can expect to earn an average of $1300 more a year. The majority of top job performers have high emotional quotients. Clearly, increasing your emotional quotient is something you can’t afford not to do.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

There’s no one way to improve your EQ and there’s no magic class or text you can take. It comes from hard work and perseverance. You will have to do some hard work and some introspection.

Here are some of the things you can start on:

Practice empathy – Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is something you have to consciously do. It won’t come naturally at first but once you do it enough, it will become second nature.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship

Admit your own faults – Know your limits and admit to them. If someone else is better at something than you are, acknowledge it!

Listen – Don’t shut someone down because you think you know more than he does. Listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Deal with your stress in a positive way – If you notice it building, take up yoga or meditation to keep it under control.

yoga mental health

Give honest feedback nicely – Sometimes, tough things need to be said. Learn how to do it in a constructive way.

Look at failure as an opportunity to learn

Check out this infographic to learn more about emotional intelligence.

Source

 

The post How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How To Fail-Proof Your Business From The Beginning

Building a business from the ground up is not easy. There’s a whole culture surrounding startups these days and you’ll often hear about the “lean startup” or how you only need to work 2 hours on your business and still make money. The reality is, you’re very likely going to be working a lot more than two hours a week for a very long time, and even then you aren’t guaranteed success.

One of the hardest lessons in life is that you can do everything right and still fail. Nowhere is this more evident than in the failure rates of small businesses in the United States. Approximately 20% will fail before their first year, more than a third will fail before two years, half will fail by year 5, and 70% will fail by year 10.

Sometimes the circumstances are truly out of your control, but there are still a lot of things you can do to fail-proof your business before you even get started.

Make A Business Plan

business plan

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail, as the old saying goes. And, apparently, it’s one of the most common reasons why businesses fail.

You shouldn’t just be picking out office furniture and paint colors during the planning phase. In fact, those things should come later.

Primarily, you need to plan what kind of business will do well, where it will thrive and who would be the best people to help you run it. Among the things you should consider carefully are the following points:

Location: Are you in a location where there is an abundance of talent, relatively low business taxes, enough infrastructure for your needs and room for business growth?

Competition: Can you withstand the competition or are you in a sector that is highly competitive when it comes to market share?

Team: Are you choosing the right people for the job or just taking anyone with a resume and a pulse?

Cash Flow Management: Can you deal with the ups and downs of cash flow when customers don’t pay you and you still have to pay rent?

Flexibility: Are you able to turn on a dime if you catch a hint of a shifting market?

The above is where most businesses fail and thinking about how to mitigate these problems at the outset is the first step in building a business that lasts.

See Also: How Awareness In Business Can Predict Your Future Success

Know Your Strengths, But Also Know The Strengths Of Your Community Or Sector

business location

Four of the top five worst places to start a business in the United States are in California, Stockton, Modesto, San Bernadino and Santa Rosa and it’s because of the high poverty rate and low education in the areas.

If you are in any one of these places, you have to carefully plan your business strategy.

Location is important, but so is industry. Healthcare is one of the most successful types of businesses to start while construction and transportation are some of the worst.

Does your town have good infrastructure? It’s going to be hard to start a tech business if you’re somewhere that still uses dial up. Shipping things out? Hope you have access to a major shipping company hub, like UPS Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky.

Having access to top talent is another concern when you are starting a business. If you are starting a business in a place that doesn’t have a university, you’re likely to starve for talent as your company grows. If you’re setting up shop in a place with high poverty, chances are the folks who need jobs the most aren’t going to have the education needed.

Take a look around as you are planning your business and determine what industry would fit your location. Don’t be afraid to move if you can’t get what you need in your current community.

See Also: 4 Key Ideas To Help Your Passion-fuelled Business Take Off Fast!

Businesses Fail Frequently, But Yours Doesn’t Have To

A little extra planning can go a long way when starting a business. Learn more about why businesses fail from this infographic and then do a serious audit of your business plan or current business.

Have you built something that can last or something that will barely survive the next major market shift? Is your team up to snuff? You owe it to your business to ask the hard questions.

Source

WhyBusinessesFail

 

The post How To Fail-Proof Your Business From The Beginning appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico