Dumb Little Man

Fighting Back Against Back Pain

Did you know that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide?

There are a lot of ways we can sustain a back injury in our everyday lives, from work life to home life. Once you have that type of injury, it is very difficult to recover from it. That’s because recovery takes time and resources and many people just don’t have the sick days or additional resources to cover a prolonged recovery period.

This is why it’s so important to protect our backs at home and at work so back injuries don’t happen.

Preventing Back Pain In The Workplace

use equipment for lifting

Many workplaces have repetitive tasks that have to be done the same way over and over. One person can end up doing the same task repeatedly throughout the workday.

If it’s possible, switch tasks with others so that no one is doing the same task over and over again. Varying repetitive tasks can protect you from repetitive strain injuries.

There are also impact injuries that can happen when lifting heavy things. If possible, get help from others or from special equipment to lift heavy objects. If lifting heavy objects is a standard part of your daily activities, it’s important to:

  • Wear a back brace
  • Lift with your legs, not with your back
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch

Even desk jobs come with risks. Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your lower back more than standing or laying down by far.

Sitting in an ergonomic position can help you to prevent back pain from taking over your life. It’s also important to pay attention to the position of your keyboard and computer monitor.

Keyboards that are too low can cause you to hunch forward while computer monitors that are too low can cause you to crane your neck forward. Both will put your spine out of alignment and cause unnecessary strain. Putting monitors on risers and raising up your desk can help prevent neck and back pain from repeated strain.

Taking breaks from sitting is also important. Standing desks are a huge craze right now, and for good reason. Having the option to go from sitting to standing is a great way to give your lower back a much-needed break once in a while. Also, getting up and taking a short walk from time to time can help exercise the muscles supporting your core.

See Also: How to Take Care of Your Back When You Have a Sitting Job

Protecting Your Back At Home

prevent back pain

While you probably aren’t doing the same repetitive motions at home as you are at work, there are still ways to protect your back from injuries that come from common household accidents.

Slips and falls can cause serious problems so ensure floors are level and any rugs are nonslip. Household chores like mowing the lawn can be strenuous. Ensuring you have the right equipment for the job can really help. Setting up your home office and kitchen to be ergonomic work spaces is also a great way to prevent unnecessary back injuries.

Lifestyle changes are critical in preventing back pain and injuries, too. Even something as simple as going for a walk every evening after dinner can make a big difference in your fitness and help you prevent back injuries.

Bad posture, obesity, and stress are common causes of back pain. When left unchecked, they can lead to more serious problems. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are your first line of defense against back pain.

See Also: 10 Stretches To Do Right Now For Back Pain Relief

Back Pain Is Costly

Lower back pain costs Americans $100 billion per year and half of people of working age report having missed work because of it. But back pain can also cost you your peace of mind and quality of life.

A periodic checkup of things that could lead to back pain could save you in the long run.

Is back pain going to cost you big at work and in your life? Pay attention to your posture and motions at work and at home. Make lifestyle adjustments to deal with potential issues before they arise and take over your life.

Learn more about preventing back pain from the infographic below.
Back in Pain: How Everyday Activities Hurt Our Spines
Source: Online Mattress Review

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5 Things You Must Know in C Programming Language

Programming rests at the center of different technological advancements we witness in this decade. Operating systems, mobile applications, and many other technologies are based on programming.

Over the years, the computing landscape has also witnessed many programming languages and new languages continue to emerge every day. Capabilities of programmers to learn these languages and implement them in practical solutions can attract new career opportunities.

Other than the scope for career opportunities, learning different programming languages could also help in developing unique applications that can change the way we live.

The following discussion focuses on one of the basic programming languages, i.e. C, and outlines five important things in C, which every person should know before learning it. The discussion would be supported by a brief outline of the definition of the C programming language and the reasons to learn to program in C.

The Basics of Programming Languages

basic of c programming language

The starting point of this discussion must be from a basic impression of coding and programming language. Coding is the process in which programmers tell the computer what to do. Computers don’t understand our language and they are not capable of doing something on their own.

Therefore, a programmer has to write a code to tell the computer what to do. The code is compiled and turned into machine code which is interpreted by the computer followed by the execution of code. This is the basic function of a programming language. Even if numerous programming languages are existing now, every one of them follows these steps for executing code.

Defining C:

C is one of the basic programming languages which are closer to the actual machine code computers run on. The code in C programming is very similar to machine codec. This is why people refer to it as a low-level procedural language.

This means that the computer finds it easy to understand the code written in C but difficult for users to understand. A slight error on behalf of the user can cause a complete system breakdown, showing that C programming is highly complicated.

Importance of Learning C

So, why should you learn C programming?

For starters, you could find C almost anywhere in the computing landscape. Majority of computer operating systems are written using C. This is also found in the case of many smartphones and tablets. Microcontrollers are programmed using C and you could find them even on the display of your microwave’s door.

In addition, learning C is the foundation for learning other programming languages, such as C++, C# and Objective C as well as Python. This is because these languages were built directly on top of C.

Most important of all, expertise in C is a promising skill that can land up promising jobs for a programmer. You would also find learning C as a proven way to develop a better understanding of programming, the working of a computer, and the effect of code on systems.

The Basics of C Programming Language

c programming language basics

Here are five important things you should know before you start learning this programming language.

Operators

If you are a beginner in programming languages and C is your first encounter, then you would know about operators, probably for the first time. Operators are defined as symbols in C which provide instructions to the compiler for executing a task. Each operator is associated with a predefined command. The most basic example of an operator in C programming is the “+”. For example, you can use the “+” operator as follows:

Total = principal + interest;

This code would add up the values assigned to ‘principal’ and ‘interest’. However, you would find different operators such as arithmetic, logical, and assignment operators. A clear understanding of each of the operators could help in learning the core programming concepts in C quickly.

Data types

Data is the lifeline of computing systems. It is classified into various types. The success of a programmer lies on his capability to set one data type apart from the other. Therefore, you should know about the basic data types used in C language in order to avoid any confusion at the later stages.

For example, the number 5 could be classified as an integer while the written character 5 could be a character. This implies that programmers have to learn the data types and ways of assigning them to variables as an important part of C programming.

C does not detect errors for you

Another important fact about C programming which every learner should know is that it would not complain at all. Even if you make mistakes, C would not complain and continue its work. So, you have more chances of ending up with a lot of bugs.

You could try manual debugging for a few lines of code but not in the case of complex and incredibly lengthy codes. Other programming languages can prompt us in the case of any errors in the code. However, that feature isn’t in C. This is why it is essential to pay attention to developing each line of the code accurately.

Standard libraries

Despite being a low-level programming language, C is equipped with standard libraries that can be used for developing programs. The standard libraries have definitions of different macros, variable types, mathematical operations, and location-specific data.

The programmer could use libraries by including them in the code. The most basic example of the standard library in C language is the “stdio.h”, which is the standard input/output header file. It helps in outputting to the console.

You can find 15 standard libraries in C programming language and detailed awareness of these libraries can adequately support your learning.

Debugging

The final yet most important fact about C programming is debugging. As evident from one of the points mentioned above, C would not give any warnings about errors. You have to find them yourself. Therefore, you could use debuggers such as GDB for finding out any errors.

Debuggers break the code line by line and find out errors in the code accurately. Therefore, it is highly necessary to learn to debug among the other basics that you can associate with the C programming language.

The discussion presented above gives you an idea about C programming language and the reasons to learn it. The most important highlights of the discussion were the five basic things every programmer should know about C programming — operators, variable types, debugging, standard libraries, and the limitations of C in detecting errors in code.

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9 Things To Give Up In Order To Become Conscious And Free

To me, consciousness is about emotional self mastery. It’s the energetic and spiritual awareness of yourself and others and having the tools to be empowered and effective in whatever you do. Knowing how to become more conscious starts with that and letting go of a few things in your life.

Here are some things to eliminate in order to become more conscious, happier, healthier, and more resilient.

Expectations

No one ever owes us anything — not even our parents. I live by the motto, “If it is to be, it’s up to me”, which reminds me to get things done for myself.

That’s not to say that we can’t ask for support, help or assistance from others. It’s just that we can’t expect others to be or do anything, other than to be true to themselves.

Expectations feel funky to the person on the receiving end. When someone has an agenda, that person’s energy doesn’t feel like kindness and caring.

Carrying Your Baggage Around

healing consciousness

We aren’t taught in this life how to process and release things and let them go.

It’s important to find a practical way that works for us and our particular psychology. Sometimes, if we’ve had trauma, we need therapy, a psychologist, counseling or a coach to help us.

A lot of people get very hung up on forgiveness as some sort of moral badge of honor. I don’t agree as this is not pragmatic. It is overwhelming for someone injured or abused.

As an empath, I’ve never found I could get free of other people’s stuff by forgiving alone. Instead, I focus on healing myself and understanding where they are functioning from.

Then, I set boundaries knowing that they will always be true to that. To presume they will change or to justify their choices is to short-change them and me.

See Also: How to Really Love Yourself From the Inside Out

Your Conditioning

We’ve all been taught ways of looking at life and absorbed belief systems that shape our filter and our experience of the world.

It can be helpful to consider whether what we were taught is helpful, because sometimes, it’s not. If not, than we need to dismantle these beliefs as they will continue to hinder our progress and development.

We all wanted to idolize our parents as children, but sometimes, they have issues. They may have not been taught emotional intelligence and may do things that don’t serve their highest good, or ours, even if they were loving towards us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Instead, it means they are human. Searching for our highest truth and being aware of what we’ve decided is essential to a life well lived.

See Also: How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Negative Or Needy Attachments

Real love is the most freeing thing there is, but we love in a real, human and messy way. I talk about “radical appreciation”. This is when we adore someone/something in all its awesomeness without expectation.

Everything in this reality is temporary. It is possible to adore people, contribute to and receive from them, without a heavy or binding attachment with them.

Attachment to situations, places or people can be good. However, often times, we confuse need with love. We place conditions on others or do control so that we can feel safe or secure.

Worshipping At The Alter Of Your Feelings

Everything in personal development references feelings, and I think this is overemphasized.

I’m big on body wisdom. Our body is like a huge radio receiver, constantly giving us information and reacting to things to give us instant awareness. This is what I term emotion (soul reaction channeled through the body).

Feelings are, in my opinion, body sensations based off thoughts. So, they can only be as healthy or useful as the beliefs of which our thoughts are based.

Therefore, feelings are often not helpful — other than as a guide to where we have great or lousy beliefs or thoughts. What’s good to know is if you change your thoughts, your feelings change, too.

Blame

When we are unwilling to own what is and are not ready to look at our own behavior or beliefs, we pass off responsibility to some convenient target. This is toxic for everyone.

Others are responsible for their poor behavior. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. Our reaction to it is everything about us and nothing to do with them.

Conclusions And Judgements

When we judge something, we pass it through the filter of our past experience and conditioning and arrive at a conclusion. It is where which we attach a positive or negative electrical charge (judgment).

That then limits us as we cannot receive anything from that person or situation that doesn’t match our judgment. Awareness is different. It knows what is, but stays open to all possibilities.

Searching For Romantic Love As Some Kind Of Panacea

how to become more conscious love

Many people search for romantic love. With such a huge attachment to the outcome, it can’t manifest for them. They will likely attract a chaotic experience that turns out to be learning rather than loving.

Stop placing meaning in searching for a significant other. Start putting meaning on honoring yourself and your own journey as a purposeful infinite being here in a human body, for a short amount of time.

Have you even ever asked if you really want a relationship, or do you just look for one because you think that’s what life is about?

Using Empathy Against Ourselves

Empathy encompasses a set of capacities that are akin to superpowers, if properly channeled and nurtured.

Untrained empaths struggle, feeling at the effect of life, people’s behavior and being crippled by their own sensitivity and intense awareness.

Unlearning negative empathy requires us to function from knowing, not having feelings based off negative thoughts and beliefs. It also requires boundaries and saying no to guilt.

These nine things can be eliminated to create more consciousness, connect us with our inner wisdom, and help us reach our full potential more easily.

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Benefits of Handwriting: How Handwriting Can Boost Your Productivity

In the world of laptops and mobile devices, it’s hard to imagine anyone using the good old handwriting technique. Most people consider it to be a charming skill, but the vast majority still finds it obsolete and impractical in the 21st century.

But there is a lot more to penmanship than just writing.

As a matter of fact, it turns out that handwriting can boost your productivity in a number of different ways, making this activity much more useful than sheer typing. Different studies prove the potential of cursive, but we will only point out a few examples:

  • Handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas.
  • In the case of learning cursive writing, the brain develops functional specialization that integrates sensation, movement control, and thinking.
  • Handwriting is important for early recruitment in letter processing of brain regions known to underlie successful reading, so it may facilitate reading acquisition in young children.

Longhand writing is obviously beneficial, but how does it make people more productive? Keep reading to find out as we are about to show you seven benefits of handwriting.

Handwriting Helps You to Concentrate

This activity encourages you to concentrate on what you are supposed to do instead of procrastinating and focusing on the things around you. It successfully eliminates distractions and enables writers to delve deeper into the subject.

Now, the real question is this: how handwriting can boost someone’s concentration?

The answer is simple. Unlike typing, cursive writing is not an automated activity. When we type letters using digital devices, we basically repeat well-known moves and don’t think about it at all. On the other side, handwriting forces people to pay attention because they have to create each word single-handedly.

Every letter matters here, so you have to stay focused 100% of the time. A lot of individuals use anti-procrastination apps these days to ensure peace of mind and concentrate on their work, but handwriting might as well be much a simpler and cheaper solution.

Handwriting Makes Brainstorming Easier

Brainstorming is a mental activity that enables you to generate fresh ideas all by yourself in a relatively short time. However, the process is even faster and easier if you write down your random thoughts, suggestions, and concepts. It allows you to scrabble and note alternative proposals, no matter how strange or meaningless they might seem.

Once again, this is not something you can do by opening a Word document and typing in different ideas. It’s because digital writing is too sterile and mechanic. Using your own hand to write can set you free from creative barriers and serve as a genuine idea generation booster.

Handwriting Improves Memory

benefits of handwriting on children

Do you know that handwriting can improve your memory? It’s a well-known scientific fact and it reveals that cursive writing strengthens an individual’s potential to retain information and figure out fresh concepts.

Namely, studies show that typing and handwriting produce pretty much the same results when it comes to the sheer number of facts students are able to write down. But the big difference is that handwritten notes help students to truly understand the concepts and ideas. Once again, it happens because typing is automatic, while longhand writing demands much more effort and engagement from students.

See Also: 7 Tips on How to Improve a Child’s Working Memory

Handwriting Strengthens Creativity

Another benefit of handwriting is that it can strengthen your creativity. First of all, it encourages you to exercise and improve results over time. After all, we do understand that practice makes perfect. But this is not the only way handwriting enhances creative skills.

Various studies show that longhand writing actually boosts cognitive processes in the brain and forces people to make logical connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. This is exactly what happens to human beings when they want to perform any other type of intellectual activity. They have to establish relationships between different ideas and find a way to make them work together.

Handwriting Makes Mind Mapping Simpler

Mind mapping is a precious mental activity that helps to organize ideas, thoughts, and concepts into visually appealing diagrams. As such, mind mapping is perfect for complex projects demanding a lot of planning and analyses.

While you can find tons of mind mapping tools online, none of them can assist you in planning, scheduling, and organizing ideas as quickly and effectively as the plain “pen and paper” technique. Handwriting makes it easy to test a number of alternatives in no time, thus, helping you to prepare and launch professional projects very productively.

Handwriting Impacts Personal Motivation

benefit of handwriting

Cursive writing creates a special feeling of engagement and involvement. Unlike alienated computer-based typing, handwriting brings the notion of something deeply personal and unique. This is exactly why people tend to approach it more carefully and studiously.

For instance, a handwritten to-do list feels like a promise that you give to yourself. It’s a big motive for most people to treat it with all due respect and try to fulfill every item on the list as planned. It is only one but very significant example of how longhand writing impacts self-motivation and persistence.

See Also: 3 Writing Techniques to Increase your Self-Esteem

Handwriting Slows Down Intellectual Aging

Handwriting does not only bring you short-term benefits. On the contrary, this type of activity also helps you to nurture your intellectual stamina. It can help you stay productive in the long run. It keeps you fresh and agile, so you can successfully cope with mental tasks even as you get older.

This is a long-term effect of cursive writing that most people neglect, but it is actually very important if you want to stay mentally competitive after decades of hard work. It makes you a better employee and slows down the intellectual aging process in general.

Conclusion

The power of handwriting is immense, but it is often neglected in the world dominated by mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. However, the fact remains that longhand writing is extremely beneficial and useful to individuals who are trying to boost personal productivity.

In this article, we explained seven ways how handwriting can impact your achievements and make you a more efficient person. Give it a chance and you will probably notice the same effects very soon!

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How WiFi6 Will Make Your Home (And Business) Better

Do you remember the first time you got a WiFi connection in your home?

The possibilities seemed endless, and suddenly they were. A whole new set of gadgets started to emerge, from connected doorbells to connected thermostats. There was an increase in connected gadgets per person, too.

Where the internet was once only available from a shared home computer, people now have multiple devices each, including phones, laptops, e-readers, gaming systems, and more.

Unfortunately, the older generation of WiFi has struggled to keep up. While speeds have increased, it still has a fatal flaw. Many current WiFi routers only connect to a single device at a time, sending and receiving information from just that device before moving on to the next.

More recent WiFi5 routers can connect to 4 devices at a time. WiFi6, meanwhile, will be able to connect to multiple devices at a time, revolutionizing our connected homes and businesses.

Old Technology Leads To Lag Time

old technology lag wifi

Your old WiFi router is getting the job done but sometimes, it struggles to keep up. You can watch streaming video just fine, but when the kids are all playing Fortnite with their friends, your video might buffer more.

That’s because the more devices there are connected to a single WiFi router, the longer it takes for the signal to jump back to your device. Every time you add a new device to your old network, it bogs the signal down even more.

The History of Signal Hopping And WiFi

In 1941, Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr patented Frequency-Hopping Spread-Spectrum as a way to guide torpedoes in WWII without being detected. The technology skipped signals across different frequencies in a predetermined pattern, much like how WiFi works today.

In fact, this invention is also used in Bluetooth and Zigbee, as well as many more technologies. Its importance wasn’t discovered for decades after its invention. Then, Lamarr finally received recognition for her work in 1997. That’s three years before she died.

ARPANET was the first network of multiple computers, hardwired together to communicate with each other. It’s thought of as the predecessor to the internet. The first wireless network was developed in 1971 at the University of Hawaii using radio communications.

Then, TCP/IP was invented in 1983 to grow a single network to a network of networks. The World Wide Web followed in 1990. Multiple technological advances before, during, and after these major milestones had been stitched together to give us today’s modern WiFi.

Upgrading to Wifi 6: The Future of WiFi

future of wifi

WiFi5 routers upped connections from one device at a time to four. As of 2017, the average U.S. household had five connected devices, enough to slow the connection for everything. What’s more, the average number of connected devices has ballooned to more than three times that of 2017, ushering in the need for even better technology.

Think about your connected thermostat and all the auxiliary items you can connect to it, each with its own need for a WiFi connection. Then, think about your IoT refrigerator that connects to your Alexa so you can check the contents of your fridge before heading home from the office. There are all the WiFi connected televisions, gaming systems, tablets, laptops, and more, each bogging down your system.

WiFi6 is going to revolutionize the way we connect to the internet both at home and at work. Not only will the new generation of WiFi be able to connect to more devices at a time, it will also be able to handle larger packets of information from each. Think about all the laptops on your work network and how laggy the internet gets when everyone is in the office on the same day — upgrading to WiFi6 will make that better.

The Need Is Growing Greater

By next year, there will be more than 20 billion IoT devices worldwide. That’s more than 2.6 times what we already have today.

Before you buy your next IoT toaster, stop to ask yourself if your network is ready to handle yet another connected device. It might be time to upgrade to WiFi6 just to save your sanity. Learn more about the history and future of WiFi from the infographic below!

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6 Things to Do Before a Product Launch

The best way to bring much-needed attention to your new product or service is by doing a product launch.

Even with an awesome product, a great deal of its success depends on the launch, as the hype surrounding it can bring you more sales, more happy customers, and a better reputation for your company.

Still, having a good product launch is a daunting task, which takes a lot of research and planning in order to be successful and if you don’t go through all the key steps to do it right, you are risking the future of your product.

Here are a few things you shouldn’t skip doing when launching your new product.

Research the market

For a new product to be successful in the market, you should do your research well. There are three key points that need to be considered even before developing the product.

  • Audience. No product will succeed if no one wants to use it, so think about your potential customers and their needs. Is there a pain point your product will solve?
  • Competition. Are there any other businesses offering the same or similar product? How are you going to differentiate yourself from them? What makes your product unique and special?
  • Finances. How much will you need to invest upfront and what are the risks attached to the new product launch?

Once you’ve found the answers to these questions, you will be able to create both a unique selling proposition and a value proposition.

This means you will be able to provide your customers with answers on why your product is better than the one your competitors are offering and what they’ll get in return for their money.

Plan ahead

new product launch

For a product launch to succeed, one must plan ahead.

There are numerous aspects which need to be included in the plan, from product development and testing to marketing and pricing.

Not all the details have to be known at the early stages of the planning, but the timeline and the framework of the activities should be mapped out and defined.

As gaining attention is your main goal, you will need to gear up early and focus on building relationships with influencers, as well as brainstorm all the creative elements which are going to get you publicity. Making a schedule will make it easier for your teams to check their progress and prioritize tasks, and if followed, a plan will decrease the odds of working under stress and launching late.

Find the right influencers

With all the impact social media channels have nowadays, you should focus on finding influencers who can easily approach your target market.

Stats say that 49% of consumers rely on the influencer recommendation on social media, so be sure to provide influencers with the exclusive news and samples of your products.

Encourage, entice, and incentivize them to put their reviews of your products on their blogs, video, and social media channels. This can bring the right kind of attention to your launch and attract the right customers.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Instagram Advertising

Promote the launch

product launch checklist

Before the product hits the market, you need to educate your potential customers on its features and advantages and build hype around its arrival. Here are some ideas on how to best achieve this:

  • Update your social media followers regularly on your progress.
  • Write a blog and educate your customers on products features.
  • Use videos, demos and whitepapers to give detailed info on your product.
  • Submit guest posts to sites relevant in your industry.
  • Have social media contests offering your customers a chance to be the first to get a sample of your product.
  • Provide the industry experts and influencers with samples of your product and freebies.
  • Make a countdown timer on your website and publish teaser videos and photos.

If possible, it is the best to tie your launch day to a larger event, such as an industry event or trade show, to get the most publicity for launching.

Get feedback

The best way to know whether your product is going to be a success once it reaches the market is by soft-launching it to a portion of your target audience. By testing your product in your product market, you will gather valuable information. You can then use this to make the necessary adjustments to your product or campaign.

There are many different ways to get customer feedback that can help you solve the customers’ complaints and issues from the moment your new product reaches the market. Statistics show that a dissatisfied customer shares their experience with 16 people on average, while only 1 out of 26 will actually complain to the company. By using different social media listening and other available tools, you can now respond to both the positive and negative feedback in a timely manner and do wonders for your brand’s reputation.

Keep the fire alive

The launch is hardly over when the launch day is done.

To get the most out of it, plan ahead on how to best exploit it afterward.

You can achieve this by posting the news about your latest product and the benefits it brings into your customers’ lives. Also, think about the ways to involve your customers into this post-launch campaign and motivate them to post videos and photos of themselves using and enjoying your product.

As a successful launch is essential to the positioning of your product in the market and your brand’s reputation, make sure to plan it carefully and not leave anything out. Use as many promotional tactics you can handle, because when it comes to a product launch, you can not over-market it.

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I Am Not Ashamed to Be Seen In Public Anymore

My wife and I were at a nice restaurant, eagerly waiting for the chance to order our meals. I salivated at the thought of the barbecue ribs.

A server came to our table and in his chivalrous way, asked Stephanie what she would like to eat first. After taking her order, he said it would be right out and I prepared to order.

As I began to open my mouth, I watched him close his notes. He started walking away without even looking up at me. I quickly yelled out in an insulted tone, “Excuse me, I would like to order as well.”

He turned around, seemingly befuddled over the fact that I spoke.

Did he really not notice me? Did he not think I was capable of speaking? Or did he not think I may actually have come to enjoy some particularly delicious barbecued ribs?

He apologized profusely as he fumbled through his notes, red in the face, presumably embarrassed at his indiscretion.

The Impression We Create

It is situations like this that remind me how different I look to the outside world. A freak car accident left me paralyzed below the shoulders in November 2009. After that, I have been on the journey of a lifetime that goes well beyond the physical limitations.

I launched FlatOnMyBack.com to share the ups and downs of my journey. I aim to give a front row seat to what’s been going on in my mind and the day-to-day experiences I face.
After enough dinners and time out with friends, sometimes shying away from being in public has more of an appeal.

From encountering long stares in public places to overly eccentric smiles, it often feels more convenient to just avoid it altogether. In the eye of the American public, I’m led to feel so otherworldly. It’s simply due to the fact that I physically cannot move certain parts of my body.

Looking through the lens of my new viewpoint has allowed me to reflect on the world around me in a way I never would have thought possible. It is easy to quickly get frustrated when I receive a different treatment or when a kid stares while asking his parents what is wrong with me.

However, it’s often made me reflect on how I’m also guilty of being quick to judge other people’s look. Skin color, dialect, socioeconomic background, and various physical differences all make for a subtle preconceived idea in my head about someone. And the way I treat them often reflects that.

I’ve learned that interacting with just one person, who is in some way different from me, can reshape my worldview when I actually take the time to look beyond the specific difference that sticks out. Why should I hold back an opportunity for someone to experience the same thing when it comes to my paralysis?

Final Thought

Next time, rather than acting annoyed and puffing out my paralyzed chest, I can carry myself in a different way. I hope to garner respect and open up a conversation that breaks stereotypes one person at a time. As each wall gets broken down, people are able to see that a wheelchair and lifeless limbs do not define me.

As I come to expect others to be open to my current difference, I have learned to be open-minded in creating an impression of others. This has made all the difference in the world.

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13 Things You Can Do With Your Old Phone

Smartphones are a necessity nowadays but one big setback in using them is that we need to upgrade on a regular basis. The newest technology today can be obsolete in a short year or two. This leads most people to discard their phones, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are still many surprising and creative things you can do with that old phone.

Backup eReaders

eReaders took the world by storm a few years ago, and they’re still immensely popular today. Nooks and Kindles were originally eReaders, and they gave people the ability to carry an entire library around in their bags. You can download an eReader app to your old cell phone. This way, you can travel light and use it as a handy backup.

Sell It

As long as your phone is in good condition and unlocked, you can sell your old phone and turn a profit. Some sites will even buy your old cell phone off you and cut out all of the headaches that come with trying to sell it to another person. They might even give you a shipping label to send it to them for free.

Alarm or Sleep Tracker

Even if you don’t pay for service for your old device anymore, you can still get plenty of use out of it. For starters, it works well as an additional alarm in the mornings. You can also download sleep tracker apps and let it run while you sleep. It’ll give you data when you wake up after it analyzes how you slept.

VR Headset

You’ve most likely watched commercials where people strap their iPhones to a VR headset and have fun playing games in virtual reality. You can turn your old phone into your very own VR headset!

If you don’t want to go all out and purchase an expensive setup, there are alternatives. You can download a series of apps to get started with your VR session.

Camera for Your Kids

Good smartphones typically have close to the same resolution as you get on most ordinary point and shoot cameras. You can also edit whatever photos you take and upload them to your computer. You can give this camera phone to your kids to hone their skills on and play with. It’s an excellent introductory tool to get your kids into photography and editing.

Home Security

It’s relatively easy to turn your own cellphone into a home security system. Start by downloading the Skype app on your old phone and setting it to accept video calls. Next, find an area in your home that has a good view of the entire room. Turn it on and leave it when you go. You can video call it while you’re out and check up on everything.

Donate It

There are several fantastic programs out there that accept used cellphones and tablets. You can donate it, and the company will send it to places like emergency shelters and deployed soldiers. They even help with emergency talk time each month so the recipients can get the most out of them.

Keep it for Emergencies

Even if you canceled your old plan but kept your phone, you can use it in emergencies. By law, every cellphone has to have the ability to call emergency services regardless of whether or not it is active or not. You can toss it in your car in case you have an accident, or put it in your purse. Just make sure that it’s always charged.

Entertainment

Even your older cellphones have a lot of storage space. You can easily turn this phone into a miniature entertainment center. Download eBooks, audiobooks, mp3s, relaxation apps, or anything else you can think of. Since it’s not technically on, it won’t compete with phone calls or texts for storage space or interruptions.

Baby Monitor

Baby monitors are expensive, and they can be complicated to set up. However, downloading a simple app can turn your old cellphone into a wireless baby monitor. When it connects to your Wi-Fi, it’ll send an alert to your current cellphone and alert you when your baby starts to wake up. The app will even let you talk through it and soothe your baby back to sleep.

DIY GoPro

These cameras retail for hundreds of dollars each, but you can make your own using your old cellphone. To start, it has to be able to record video. You also have to find something to strap it onto. But, there are a lot of phone mounting systems you can use. Simply mount it, switch it on, and you have a first-person point of view camera that’ll record whatever you want.

Create a Digital Photo Frame

Just because your phone isn’t working anymore doesn’t mean that it has to sit and collect dust. You can use apps to live stream your favorite selection of photos. Just prop your cellphone up somewhere where everyone can see it, start your photos, and enjoy the show.

Turn it Into an Apple TV Remote

If you have an iPhone and an Apple TV, you can turn your old iPhone into a remote for your Apple TV. All you have to do is pull up the Apple TV remote, download it, and connect it to your television over the internet. Just make sure you charge it because it will die after a few days.

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Ask Questions Before Approving a Marketing Campaign Plan

Before you sign off on a marketing campaign plan, it’s crucial that you understand what the plan is about and if the budget is reasonable. You can’t let a plan go ahead without questioning the people who worked on those ideas to see if they are worth doing.

Why did you choose that platform?

The first question is about why the marketing team chose a specific platform.

Is it the best option considering the choices available? Isn’t it a rehash of previous campaigns used?

If the next campaign focuses on traditional ads like the use of pop up banner design and posters, you need to ask if they’re worth the money when compared with online campaigns. The goal is not to discourage the chosen platform, but to know the reason behind the proposed use.

How will it attract the target audience?

You need to ask this question to determine if the marketing team has studied the target audience. Perhaps, the members decided to come up with such a strategy without knowing if the ads will work with the people you want to buy your products. If you don’t think the ads make sense or there’s no guarantee they will appeal to your chosen audience, you need to encourage the use of a different campaign.

How much will the campaign cost?

You need to know how much you’re going to spend if you pursue the plan and if it will significantly affect the overall budget you allotted for marketing. If the amount is reasonable and the team can justify the decision, you can sign off on it; otherwise, you need to ask the team to resubmit the budget plan and defend it.

What’s Plan B?

It is crucial that you know what the marketing team intends to do if things don’t go as planned. In the world of marketing, any result is possible. You can’t always expect things to end the way you want. As such, you need to ask what the alternative plan is and how it will be implemented. You don’t want to work on the plan, but you need to know what it is in case things go south.

You’re not making it hard

You might think that you’re making it difficult for your employees because of your decision to ask several questions. The truth is that you’re only protecting your business because you don’t want to terrible results.

Besides, asking questions doesn’t mean you are power tripping. You’re trying to clarify things and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It also makes you feel confident seeing your marketing team know how to respond and even defend their responses. They will implement the plan, and if they seem to have no idea what’s going on, it could end in a huge mess.

Once you have finished asking questions, you can encourage everyone to work hard until you achieve the marketing goals.

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Online and Offline Businesses You Can Start With No Money

These days, it’s easier than ever to start your own business. With the rise of the internet and online platforms for conducting business, there are plenty of opportunities to make money. There’s a long list of businesses you can start with no money.

Traditional wisdom holds that you need to “spend money to make money”. In reality, however, there are many ways to earn money without an initial investment.

Here are just a few potential businesses you can start with no money.

Driving for Lyft or Uber

One of the more popular ways to make extra money these days is driving for a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber. These companies don’t require anything other than a car, a valid driver’s license, and a background check to get started.

It does take some time to complete the onboarding process. However, once you’re a part of their network, you can start earning money fast on your own time. There are some requirements in terms of how old your car can be. Working in certain cities or at specific times of the day will allow you to make more, but it’s relatively easy to get started with these companies.

Pet Sitting

Do you have any friends with pets?

If so, you could easily start working as a pet sitter with little to no upfront costs. Even if you don’t personally know anyone with pets, you can advertise your service on Craigslist or other freelance websites and start taking care of people’s pets while they’re away.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys being around animals, pet sitting is definitely one of the best businesses you can start with no money.

Babysitting

Obviously, babysitting might require more screening than pet sitting. However, if you are good with kids or know people who will trust you to take care of their children, it can be a great way to make money.

Of course, people want to be careful with whom they hire to look after their children, so you may have to invest some time being interviewed by the parents. But other than time and the gas it takes to get around, there’s not much you’ll need to spend to get started as a babysitter.

Selling things on Etsy or at Flea Markets

If you have any items lying around that you no longer use or you feel willing to part with, selling things at flea markets or online marketplaces like Etsy can be a great option. Everything from the furniture you no longer need, clothes you don’t wear anymore, video game consoles you never use or even your old appliances and electronics can be sold to people who have more use for them.

Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are other options for selling your stuff online. If you have some things at home that you no longer need, consider putting them up for sale to start making some extra money.

Delivering Food

Similar to driving for Lyft or Uber, all you really need to start delivering food is a car and a valid driver’s license. Uber Eats, Postmates, Grub Hub, and many other companies offer this service nowadays. It’s a great option for people who want to set their own hours and make money without a significant cash investment up front.

Of course, you’ll want to work during lunch and dinner rush hours to make the most money possible. However, delivering food represents a good business opportunity if you’re willing to work during those times of the day.

Tutoring

If you happen to have a lot of knowledge about a particular topic, such as math or grammar, you can make a fair amount of money as a tutor. Unlike teaching at a school, there’s no formal training that’s legally required for you to tutor. As long as you can prove your expertise, you can find work.

People of all ages may require tutors. You can teach kids in school, college students or even adults attending night school. If you have good people skills and a fair degree of knowledge in a specific area, tutoring could be a good business opportunity for you.

Blogging

freelancer website

There are a few different ways you could potentially make money through blogging. One is to work using freelance sites to write blog articles for other people or companies.

Of course, to do this, you may need to have some experience to prove to a potential employer that you’re worth hiring. But even if you have no experience, you can start your own blog and potentially make money by running ads on it.

Once you have a few blog posts up, try promoting your blog via social media or other outlets. If you can generate an audience, ad networks may pay you to run advertisements on your blog.

Cleaning

While you may need to invest in some cleaning supplies, getting started as a cleaner is relatively easy. You can advertise your services online and make money by cleaning people’s homes or apartments. There’s also the opportunity for you to find regular clients who pay you to clean their place every week or so.

The biggest investment you’ll need to make to start a cleaning business is time since you won’t be able to do this job from home.

House Sitting

If you have friends who are preparing to travel for a long period of time or if you know someone with a summer home that needs regular maintenance, you could take care of their home while they’re away.

House sitting won’t require you to make any expensive investments. One of the downsides, however, is that it can be tough to find this type of work regularly. But if you can rack up a few clients that need some house sitting done, it can potentially be a lucrative business that doesn’t take much money to get started.

Dog Walking

There are websites like Wag and others that allow you to sign up to become a dog walker and start earning money quickly and with no cost up front.

You may need to undergo a quick background check to ensure you can be trusted with other people’s pets. After that, you can start making some cash quickly. One of the perks of being a dog walker is being able to spend time outside and getting some extra exercise.

If you enjoy being outdoors and you like dogs, this could be an ideal business for you.

Social Media

Like blogging, there are different ways you can use your social media skills to make money. You could manage social media accounts for a company or individual.

If you have some experience doing paid social media work in the past, this could be a great opportunity. If the only social media experience you have is running your own accounts, you can still find work, especially if you can show that you’ve generated a lot of engagement.

Another potential opportunity is to make money through your own social media accounts. Some companies might pay you to be a brand ambassador or make sponsored posts if you can prove that your content will be seen by a large enough audience.

As you can see, there are a lot of businesses you can start with no money. Whether you prefer to work online or offline, there are businesses that can put some extra cash in your pocket fast. You can choose to work for another company or start your own in one of these areas.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure to perform the job well and communicate with clients. It’s a really good way to build your network and get more work in the future.

See Also: 3 Home Business Ideas to Help You Start Making Money from Home

The post Online and Offline Businesses You Can Start With No Money appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Change A Flat Tire And Other Important Car Tips

Driving and owning your own car means that there is one skill you totally should have up your sleeve, and that’s how to change a flat tire. Purchasing a quality tire brand like Cooper Tires helps to ensure better safety on the road for you and your loved ones, but knowing the steps in changing a flat tire will also equip you to handle emergencies and keep you out of potentially unsafe situations.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to help you through the process of changing a flat tire.

Step One: Find a Safe Location

If you’re driving and realize you have a flat, slowly reduce your speed and scan the area for a level and straight stretch of road. Never pull over on a narrow shoulder, and make sure to get a safe distance off the road.

Step Two: Turn on Your Hazards

Switch on your hazard lights as soon as you realize you have a flat. Turning on these lights will let drivers around you know that something is wrong. Pull over to your safe stretch of road and put on your parking brake. Turn your car off.

Step Three: Apply Wheel Wedges

Wheel wedges are bricks, pieces of wood, or stone that go behind your tires to ensure your vehicle doesn’t move. If it’s a flat front tire, put these wedges behind your rear tires. Place them behind your front tires if it’s a flat back tire.

Step Four: Remove the Wheel Cover or Hubcap

Most vehicles come with a wheel cover or hubcap covering the lug nuts. It’s easier to take it off before you jack up your car. If you don’t have any, you can skip to the next step. The flat edge of your lug wrench can usually slip between your tire and hubcap to pop it off.

Step Five: Loosen the Lug Nuts

Get your lug wrench and use it to turn your lug nuts counterclockwise. You may have to use force to break the resistance and get them turning. You may have to use all your body weight or your foot to get them to loosen. Next, turn each lug nut between a quarter and a half of a turn. Don’t remove them until you’re ready to remove the tire.

Step Six: Put the Jack Under Your Vehicle

Your jack should go under your vehicle’s frame next to the flat tire. A lot of vehicle frames have a cleared area of exposed metal and a molded plastic area specifically for the jack to help avoid damaging the car when you lift it up. Maneuver your jack until it’s under this area.

Step Seven: Raise Your Vehicle

Ideally, you should place a small two by six piece of wood beneath the jack before you raise your vehicle. This helps to prevent the vehicle from coming off the jack when the jack settles until the weight of the car. Slowly raise your car until the flat tire is around six inches above the ground.

Step Eight: Unscrew the Lug Nuts

You want to take time and remove all of the lug nuts. You should be able to unscrew them by hand and take them completely off. Don’t lose any!

Step Nine: Remove the Flat Tire

Get a good grip on your tire by holding on to the treads. Gently pull it toward you until you feel it come off of the hub. Set it on its side, so it doesn’t roll into traffic. If you have trouble, the below method can help you loosen it.

Step Ten: Mount the Spare Tire

Get your replacement tire and line it up with the lug bolts and the rim. Gently push it onto the rim until you can see the lug blots through the tire’s rim.

Step Eleven: Tighten the Lug Nuts with Your Hand

Put all of your lug nuts back onto the lug bolts before you tighten them as much as you can by hand. When you get them all on, double check and tighten them again if you find that they’re still loose.

Step Twelve: Lower the Car

Lower the vehicle all the way, and get your lug wrench and tighten all of the lug nuts by turning clockwise.

Step Thirteen: Replace the Hubcap and Pack Up

If your hubcap fits with your spare, put it back on. If it doesn’t, store it with your tire. Put everything in your car before you leave. , You should take your car to a technician to ensure the lug nuts are fully tightened and while there, have the flat tire inspected to see if it can be fixed.

Four Tips on How to Keep Tires in Safe and Good Condition

There are simple things you can do to keep your tires in tip top shape. Check out these 4 simple car care tips.

Tip One: Check Your Tire Pressure Each Month

Tires can lose about one pound of air per square inch each month. In colder weather, it’s even more. Make a point to know the optimal amount of air your tires should hold, and check them each month.

Tip Two: Rotate

You want to maintain your tread on your tires and get the maximum life out of them. To do this, have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

Tip Three: Replace Your Tires Regularly

Don’t wait until the steel radials are poking through your tires to replace them. Turn a penny upside down and stick it between your tire’s tread. If you can’t see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, you’re okay. If you can see it, it’s time to replace.

Tip Four: Don’t Buy Mismatched Tires

Mismatched tires can cause your vehicle to handle incorrectly. It can also cause odd wear on the other three tires, so they wear out faster. Instead, buy the same type of tires that match the tires you currently have.

If you have to replace a tire, experts say you should replace all 4 at once. However, if you can only purchase two new tires at a time, be sure to have the two new tires installed on the back—for both front and rear-wheel drive vehicles.

Cooper® provides tips and maintenance information on their website as well, along with information on the right tire for your car.

Original research for article conducted by author. Thanks to Cooper Tires for providing additional resources.

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7 Really Common Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

Success is gradual, not spontaneous. It is a collection of thousands and thousands of good life choices, marred with many regrettable choices. To succeed, regrettable choices need to be minimal. That is why you must assess your daily habits at all times to ensure that you don’t pile up too many errors and know which bad habits to give up.

The greatest challenge with taking stock of your habits is that they’re mostly deeply ingrained in your life. They are part of you. Sometimes, you will call out other people on their bad habits without knowing that you suffer from equally disgusting, if not more, disgusting habits.

However, working on your daily habits is the first step towards success and prosperity. If you wish to change for the better, you probably should consult with a life coach to challenge your habits and get advice on where to rectify.

That is why you will benefit greatly by reading this article, as it gives you 7 of the most common bad habits to give up for success.

Seeking unnecessary approval

Parents have the tendency of training their young ones to seek approval from elders at all times. For every small step they make, they expect a tap on the back for a job well done. Every bad comment they get, their self-esteem goes down.

Regrettably, this habit of seeking approval from others on every single thing in life never goes even after we grow up. Adults will always feel underappreciated because the boss doesn’t compliment them often enough, or because their life partners do not seem to appreciate their effort. In the long run, this habit hinders productivity and growth.

Encouraging the feeling of overwhelm

Maybe you are feeling stagnant on your job because you spend less time on yourself. After all, your job is too overwhelming to even afford an hour in the gym, right?

You would be wrong.

The most successful people dedicate a significant amount of time to themselves. Taking vacations, reading motivational material before work, working out regularly, and doing generally everything to remain healthy and happy. That enables them to be happy and productive at their workplace and in life as a whole.

Procrastination

The day to ask for a pay rise or quit that oppressive job is today. The day to start your business is today.. And today is the day to make your financial plans.

Many people fail because they wait for the “right” time to act on their plans. Don’t be like them. Take action and grab opportunities as they come. If you fail in one venture, you surely will succeed in another.

Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist?

If you are, then it’s time you drop that habit. It is important to appreciate that you are human. Your employees and everyone around you are humans, too. We all have our limitations.

Don’t expect too much from people because you will be disappointed. There isn’t a perfect job, business, career, family or a perfect life. The key to success is doing your best and asking other people to fill in where you come short. Then, leave what cannot be fixed to chance.

Dwelling too much on non-priorities

What are your priorities in life? Are you thinking of going back to school? Do you wish to save time for a side hustle? Or are you watching too much TV and neglecting your loved ones?

You need to discard whatever is preventing you from accomplishing your top priorities. You can start by determining those bad habits to give up. If it is your computer or phone, keep it away. If it is your habit of drinking or partying too much, control that.

Overworking

Do you see that the department you work too hard to “save”? Well, it probably doesn’t need you to “save” it.

Don’t overwork to make things run smoothly. They will somehow sort themselves out even without your intervention. Always do your best and then delegate the rest. Remember that if you die today, someone will sit in the desk you’re sitting on today.

So, stop overworking and create time for some other things.

Know-it-all attitude

You are well-educated and connected, but that doesn’t make you the custodian of all knowledge. Giving people a chance to challenge your knowledge and advise you occasionally is important for your growth. Even if someone is your junior in terms of career or age, you should never shoot them down when they try to air their opinions.

See Also: 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

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7 Awesome Ways to Effectively Manage Your Stress on Weekdays

Stress is a silent killer and if you’re not doing well in coping with stress at work, it can spell problems for you.

Stress can strike anyone, even the most optimistic and energetic of people.

Your boss or teacher might not help as they keep pushing you to hit your goals. The next thing you know, you’ve lost your focus, energy, and confidence. You start going home late with stoop shoulders and a heavy feeling.

Then, you start seeking sweet treats to lift your mood.

Studies show that stress is one of the leading causes of chronic health conditions. Heart disease, accelerated aging, and diabetes are linked to stress. And if you’re not careful, this can lead to depression, too.

Yes, stress is inevitable. But there are many ways to manage it effectively on a daily basis.
Here are the best ones to help you start coping with stress at work.

Identify the nature or cause of your stress

To start coping with stress at work, you need to be more self-aware. Every time you are stressed out, step back and find out what’s really dragging you down.

In the workplace, stress can be due to the fear of being laid off. It can be due to an overwhelming workload or because of the leadership or management style of your boss.

At school, stress can be due to project deadlines, an unfavorable environment, and teaching style. Stress could also be due to financial and time constraints. It can also happen after a recent loss of a loved one.

To handle these situations, it’s best to talk to experts.

Control yourself. Eliminate your triggers to avoid feeling negative.

Allocate time for your hobbies, exercise, and social life

Set aside a couple of hours to hit the gym, do some painting (or writing), and commit to other hobbies. Choose who to hang out with. And, if possible, talk to an expert to get the social and emotional support you need to stay positive.

Coping with stress at work starts with your mornings

When you wake up early, you sleep early. This is especially true if you’re productive throughout the day and be more tired at the end of it.

It’s also the best time to apply Tony Robbins’ 15 Minutes of Fulfillment wherein you allocate the first 15 minutes of your day doing positive visualization. You may extend the 15 minutes to 30 minutes or an hour if possible.

Mel Robbins also promotes the 5-Second Rule that helps you avoid pushing your alarm clock’s snooze button. These principles can help you get on your feet fast and ready to take the day.

The secret to waking up and starting a great day really lies in your bedtime routine. Before you sleep, spend some time to pray, meditate, and write a one-liner gratitude journal. It also helps to plan, organize, and prioritize your to-do list for the next day before you sleep.

Choose your breaks strategically

Taking a break just because your friend invites you for a short cigarette or coffee break isn’t a good idea. Stopping in the middle of a task can disrupt your flow. When you get back to work, you won’t be as focused as before.

Learn to say no.

You can use the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time. This technique allows you to transition from work-mode to relax-mode without compromising your productivity.

See Also: Hack the Pomodoro Technique to Boost Your Productivity

Don’t compromise your sleeping patterns and your healthy diet

It’s easy to fall into the trap of hanging out with friends for too long after work to ease your stress. But remember, the best way to ease your stress is to get adequate sleep.

Eating sweets may seem to alleviate stress, but indulging on sweet treats after work and at night can increase your insulin levels. The next thing you know, you’re having trouble sleeping.

Instead of sweets, eat foods that will help you fall asleep faster. A dinner consisting of almonds, turkey, walnuts, fatty fish, and kiwi is best. You can pair this up with chamomile tea, tart cherry juice or passionflower tea.

Take advantage of online time management, productivity tools, and stress management apps

A plethora of apps and tools are now available to help enhance productivity. These can help you get more things done in a day. Specifically, you may get started with the following:

Pomodoro Timer– to allocate time for work and rest

Pocket, Wunderlist, Trello – to create and organize tasks

Pocket Yoga – to meditate and exercise on the go

Spotify, Deezer – to listen to your choice of soothing, stress-relieving, or inspiring music or audio

Don’t forget to equip your web browser with a plug-in that limits your use of social media and other non-work related websites.

Be consistent and be patient with yourself

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

You have to understand that handling stress is a skill that needs to be developed with consistency and commitment. If you think you failed today, plan and commit to doing better tomorrow!

Doing this helps you avoid the feeling of being stuck with self-blame and self-pity which also causes stress.

The reality is this:

Stress is as constant as change in the world. So don’t feel helpless and depressed when you’re experiencing it. This is normal and everyone has their own kind of stress.

You just have to know how to start coping with stress at work. And for that, what you need to do is to commit to following the tips above to fight stress and live a happier and longer life.

The post 7 Awesome Ways to Effectively Manage Your Stress on Weekdays appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Apply Good Financial Habits to the Rest of Your Life

It’s easy to see how having good money habits can make you feel better. More money in your pocket means you are able to go grocery shopping and get that fancy cheese, get your oil changed, and maybe shell out for another TV subscription.

However, you may not have considered the psychological and health impacts that having better money habits can have. If you create improved money management, it has an effect on lowering anxiety. It helps you get better sleep which boosts your immune system. The reverberations of one aspect of your life can deeply affect the rest.

With this idea in mind, you can take aspects of one part of your life that seem to be working and apply them (with some small variations) to the rest. In this way, it’s possible to use the lessons that keep your financials in order to address your life.

Lexington Law has compiled an infographic with over 20 ways to treat your life and finances similarly. Some of the most important lessons speak to issues like:

Don’t stretch yourself too thin

Overwork is just as dangerous as overspending. Don’t find yourself making time investments that your body can’t cash. Like credit card debt, sleep debt is a dangerous thing.

Proper rest, on the other hand, will build your life portfolio in many ways. You can get improved decision-making, immune system boosts, and a generally better outlook.

See Also: 10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure

Prioritize the future

Pure impulse purchases are bad for your finances and life. Even if you are generally not a planner, there are a number of things you can do to create good habits in this area.

Make a down payment on organizing

Organization guru Marie Kondo suggests ways to tidy up your life through her KonMari Method. The most important element of this is the first step: making a commitment.

Applying this to your finances means sitting down to make budgets and plan for your future. The same idea can be applied to your life:

Vision board it

retirement planning age

It might seem strange, but just the action of writing your goals down has a large impact on what you are actually able to accomplish. Something about the physical action of recording what you want in life, studies show, makes it up to 10 times more likely to happen.

Prioritize your time

Make a schedule and stick to it. If that means turning off your phone and getting rid of push notifications, do it. The myth of multitasking is that it helps you get more done, when in fact, the opposite is true.

By switching between tasks, you are actually wasting precious time. In fact, about 40% of your productivity can be lost when you try to multitask. And besides, you know it always ends up with you on social media!

To Do, To Done

Do you feel like making lists is taking up too much of your precious time?

The lists you make are more than just physical reminders of all the myriad tasks you have yet to perform. They are actually organizing strategies that have added benefits like helping you feel less anxious, get better sleep, and be more productive.

Don’t stop learning

It’s crucial to stay abreast of financial trends and that means always finding more ways to educate yourself. From a life perspective, accepting the idea that you should never stop learning is an imperative. Being a lifelong student is an important part of any journey.

Beyond the direct effect of learning a new skill or gaining new information, continuing to expand your mind will have you living longer and making more friends.

Habla Español?

Learning a new language does more than let you talk to people from other countries. Studies show it can also physically expand your mind and add to improved general cognition.

Make something

Doing something creative, like playing music or creating art, is more than just “art for art’s sake.” It’s a relaxing outlet and will also make you more creative in other areas of your life, too.

Take a continuing education class

There may be topics that can help you professionally or just something you’ve always wanted to know about. These classes keep your mind working and lead to a longer, more fulfilled life.

Let’s get physical

Financial wellness and physical health may not seem to have much in common, but just sitting down to assess your level of heath and making a commitment to better habits is an area where these two elements of life overlap.

Take time to exercise

We all know that exercise makes us feel better, but it has other benefits. Studies show more exercise leads to improved memory and is often correlated with higher salary.

Get out into nature

Yes, sunshine is pleasant and Vitamin D is good for your body. Spending time outside has also been shown to help you sleep, lower blood pressure, and increase your metabolism.

Having good money habits is sometimes not enough. There are a number of excellent reasons to start to think about your life the same way you might approach your finances.

The post How to Apply Good Financial Habits to the Rest of Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Watch Out for These Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people often joke about forgetting the names of their loved ones or where they put their things. That forgetfulness may not be that alarming if it’s because of a lack of focus. However, forgetfulness caused by the effects of Alzheimer’s disease should be a cause of concern.

Alzheimer’s is a deadly neurodegenerative disease that results in a gradual decline in memory, thinking, reasoning, and communication skills. In Australia, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of Dementia, comprising of 50–75% of the diagnosed cases.

Some people can display early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, allowing for early diagnosis and possible treatment for its symptoms. Therefore, check out this list of warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Forgetfulness

As mentioned previously, one of the common indicators that you have Alzheimer’s is forgetfulness. For instance, forgetting recently learned information, significant life events or appointments, asking for the same information repeatedly, and constant dependence on memory aids.

Difficulty in Planning and Solving Problems

People who are suffering from the disease struggle in developing and following a plan or solving problems. For example, they may find it hard following a daily to-do list or balancing a checkbook. Challenges in their ability to concentrate and doing or solving things longer than they did before are also common signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Confusion with Time or Place

alzheimers disease

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often forget dates or lose track of the passage of time and seasons. For instance, being uncertain about the day of the week. Also, they may find it a considerable challenge to understand a thing if it’s not happening at the moment. They may also get confused about their current place or how they got there.

Challenges in Doing Simple and Familiar Tasks

One of the nasty effects of the disease is the difficulty to complete simple tasks. There are times that people with Alzheimer’s find it hard to drive to a familiar location, keep in mind the rules at work or do simple household chores. Occasionally, they need help in operating a gadget or a home appliance.

Difficulty with Words

Alzheimer’s disease can cause people to have problems carrying a conversation. People who have the condition may find it hard to speak and socialize with other people. Sometimes, they stop in the middle of a speech and don’t know how to continue a sentence. Vocabulary and finding the right words are real challenges to them.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images

signs of alzheimers disease

One of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is having vision problems or difficulty in understanding visual images. People who have the disease may have trouble figuring out a color or contrast and determining distance and spatial relationships. These effects are dangerous because they can lead to accidents.

Changes in Judgment or Decision-Making Skills

Individuals affected with the early onset of the disease may show signs of poor judgment or a slow decision-making process. For instance, they might not make wise decisions on financial matters. Specifically, they tend to waste money on unimportant things or put their money in bad investments. Moreover, paying less attention to their hygiene is also a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Misplacing Things

People who have Alzheimer’s are notorious in misplacing things. Often they place their things in an unusual spot, they’ll find it hard to remember where they place them. Sometimes, they lose things and put the blame on others or accuse others of stealing their things. This situation can happen frequently to someone who is suffering from the disease.

Unusual Changes in Personality and Mood Swings

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may experience mood swings or unusual personality changes. For instance, he or she can become suspicious, confused, anxious, fearful or depressed. Even simple matters may be a source of worry or cause of anger for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s.

He or she may develop strange ways of doing things and become upset when a routine is disrupted. These mood swings and personality changes can happen at home, at work, and everywhere.

Becoming Aloof from Social Activities

People with Alzheimer’s disease often start to shy away from work or social activities. They may not do their hobbies or sports they liked doing before. In addition, they become aloof from their family, relatives or friends. Individuals who have this disease become tired of family, work, and social obligations.

Takeaway

Alzheimer’s disease is indeed a serious medical condition that we should understand better. This disease can disrupt the normal functions of the brain that can lead to memory loss and gradual degeneration of our cognitive abilities. Hence, we should be aware of its early warning signs for us to seek possible treatment of its symptoms.

See Also: 9 Ways To Keep Your Brain Young

The post Watch Out for These Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Watch Out for These Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people often joke about forgetting the names of their loved ones or where they put their things. That forgetfulness may not be that alarming if it’s because of a lack of focus. However, forgetfulness caused by the effects of Alzheimer’s disease should be a cause of concern.

Alzheimer’s is a deadly neurodegenerative disease that results in a gradual decline in memory, thinking, reasoning, and communication skills. In Australia, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of Dementia, comprising of 50–75% of the diagnosed cases.

Some people can display early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, allowing for early diagnosis and possible treatment for its symptoms. Therefore, check out this list of warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Forgetfulness

As mentioned previously, one of the common indicators that you have Alzheimer’s is forgetfulness. For instance, forgetting recently learned information, significant life events or appointments, asking for the same information repeatedly, and constant dependence on memory aids.

Difficulty in Planning and Solving Problems

People who are suffering from the disease struggle in developing and following a plan or solving problems. For example, they may find it hard following a daily to-do list or balancing a checkbook. Challenges in their ability to concentrate and doing or solving things longer than they did before are also common signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Confusion with Time or Place

alzheimers disease

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often forget dates or lose track of the passage of time and seasons. For instance, being uncertain about the day of the week. Also, they may find it a considerable challenge to understand a thing if it’s not happening at the moment. They may also get confused about their current place or how they got there.

Challenges in Doing Simple and Familiar Tasks

One of the nasty effects of the disease is the difficulty to complete simple tasks. There are times that people with Alzheimer’s find it hard to drive to a familiar location, keep in mind the rules at work or do simple household chores. Occasionally, they need help in operating a gadget or a home appliance.

Difficulty with Words

Alzheimer’s disease can cause people to have problems carrying a conversation. People who have the condition may find it hard to speak and socialize with other people. Sometimes, they stop in the middle of a speech and don’t know how to continue a sentence. Vocabulary and finding the right words are real challenges to them.

Trouble Understanding Visual Images

signs of alzheimers disease

One of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is having vision problems or difficulty in understanding visual images. People who have the disease may have trouble figuring out a color or contrast and determining distance and spatial relationships. These effects are dangerous because they can lead to accidents.

Changes in Judgment or Decision-Making Skills

Individuals affected with the early onset of the disease may show signs of poor judgment or a slow decision-making process. For instance, they might not make wise decisions on financial matters. Specifically, they tend to waste money on unimportant things or put their money in bad investments. Moreover, paying less attention to their hygiene is also a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Misplacing Things

People who have Alzheimer’s are notorious in misplacing things. Often they place their things in an unusual spot, they’ll find it hard to remember where they place them. Sometimes, they lose things and put the blame on others or accuse others of stealing their things. This situation can happen frequently to someone who is suffering from the disease.

Unusual Changes in Personality and Mood Swings

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may experience mood swings or unusual personality changes. For instance, he or she can become suspicious, confused, anxious, fearful or depressed. Even simple matters may be a source of worry or cause of anger for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s.

He or she may develop strange ways of doing things and become upset when a routine is disrupted. These mood swings and personality changes can happen at home, at work, and everywhere.

Becoming Aloof from Social Activities

People with Alzheimer’s disease often start to shy away from work or social activities. They may not do their hobbies or sports they liked doing before. In addition, they become aloof from their family, relatives or friends. Individuals who have this disease become tired of family, work, and social obligations.

Takeaway

Alzheimer’s disease is indeed a serious medical condition that we should understand better. This disease can disrupt the normal functions of the brain that can lead to memory loss and gradual degeneration of our cognitive abilities. Hence, we should be aware of its early warning signs for us to seek possible treatment of its symptoms.

See Also: 9 Ways To Keep Your Brain Young

The post Watch Out for These Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Most Common Fears in America and How You Can Overcome Them

The word “fear” often bears a very negative connotation. It’s seen as an emotional response that holds us back, puts us on edge, and breeds discomfort. At its core, though, fear is actually a force of good. It’s a biological response that keeps us safe whenever we perceive danger.

So, while fear gets a bad wrap, it’s more of a misnomer than anything. A true frivolous fright is called a “phobia”.

A recent survey conducted by Sofary revealed the most common phobias and anxieties that plague American minds. Since the first step towards getting over your fears is understanding where they come from, we’re going to break down a few of Sofary’s findings. Then, we’ll explore the thought processes behind frequent phobias to debunk their spookiness.

Fear of the dark

fear of the dark

As children, 50% of people said were afraid of the dark and many more feared being home alone or seeing ghosts and a terrifying monster lurking under the bed. For the majority of Americans, these scary thoughts led to recurring nightmares or dependence on a parent or guardian to soothe their worries.

Did you know that being afraid of the dark, or nyctophobia, is actually thought to be an evolutionary phobia?

In the wild, predators typically hunt at night. This caused experts to believe that the human brain has come to perceive darkness as inherently dangerous.

Since this phobia can sometimes lead to impaired sleep, there are a number of known treatments therapists use to improve the lives of people struggling with it.

The most common one is exposure therapy, proving through experience that there is nothing worrisome lurking in the dark. Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and exercise, can also ease the transition into sleep.

Fear of clowns

fear of clowns

On a scale from 1 to 10, certain childhood phobias ranked consistently high for both genders. While female respondents were much more scared of dogs than males and the inverse applied to a phobia of kidnapping, both sexes listed clowns (and ghosts) as a highly disturbing fear.

Coulrophobia stems from the fact that clowns’ faces are always made to look
cheerful. On top of that, according to Freud, things that are familiar but slightly distorted (or “uncanny”) can come across as fearsome, which toys with our minds.

To effectively face this fear, try attending a circus or show and sitting at a safe distance from the stage. This way, you can get comfortable with the fact that the object of your fear can’t harm you. You can also watch an online video of a professional clown applying their makeup to better understand the process.

It’s a good reminder that the art of clowning is simply entertainment!

Fear of spiders

fear of spiders

As adults, the most common fear among Sofary’s surveyed population was spiders or bugs. It accounted for 33% of women and 31.3% of men.

A nearly identical number of people said they were afraid of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. And just about twice the number of women find the idea of being home alone or kidnapped compared to men spooky.

The feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin at the sight of eight-legged creepy crawlies is called arachnophobia. Like nyctophobia, scientists believe that a fear of spiders is an evolutionary response for humans since some species are poisonous and can make you very ill.

Overcoming arachnophobia can start with something as simple as a Google search. Do a little reading and you’ll find that it’s rare for spiders to bite at all!

Plus, out of the 63,000 spider species in the world, just 2% are actually dangerous, making it highly unlikely that you’ll run into one that can cause you harm.

When it comes to facing your irrational fears, knowledge is power. Push past your worries with research and familiarization. More often than not, you’ll quickly begin to realize that danger is not always lurking around the corner.

The post The Most Common Fears in America and How You Can Overcome Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Simple and Quick Ways to Create Short Videos

Videos exist and grow more and more. That’s not really surprising, considering how videos can increase engagement, capture attention, attract reach, and increase traffic. However, for some of us, the idea of being in front of a video camera drives us crazy.

If you fall into this group of people, here are some easy ways to break the ice and start creating short videos!

What is a short video?

With short videos, I refer to videos of 1 or 2 minutes of duration that is short, brilliant, and engaging. They don’t include the long, modified, and high-quality ones that you could see on YouTube.

There is nothing wrong with YouTube’s glitzy videos. They always represent a great strategy if you know how to do with videos.

This post, however, only focuses on getting you started on the right foot, trying to get you beyond your “comfort zone”, and removing from your mind the idea of making a video as if you were in a professional studio.

The short is short for a reason: it attracts us and uses those few moments of our attention to increase the engagement.

As you know, visual content captures attention. It increases engagement and is transformed into traffic, sharing, and sales. Why?

We are 44% more likely to interact with visual content.

The best part of short videos is that there are really lots of tools and mobile apps available that can help you create content quickly. Below are four fun and useful tools that will help you get started in creating short videos.

If you want to make a movie on your iPhone, take a look at Videohance and Videolicious. Both are excellent tools for editing on your iPhone. You can also add some very nice effects.

FlexClip

flexclip
Via flexclip.com

With FlexClip, you can create highly customizable animated videos online which are certainly attractive in terms of user engagement. You can add text, audios, and voice-overs. Once finished, you have the opportunity to save your video and share it at a later time.

Legend

legend-iphone-app
Via thebloggerpoint.com

Legend is an application for smartphones (iOS and Android) that allows you to create GIFs by combining texts and images. As for the text to be inserted, the available characters are 100. Afterward, choose the images, take photos or select them from your Flickr account which you can link to the app.

Once you have selected one of the 18 animation styles for your GIF, you will be ready to share it online through messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram. You can also save it in your roll.

Animoto

animoto
Via animoto.com

This tool allows you to create professional quality videos using images and video clips. Animoto can be used from desktops and smartphones, accepting files even from Facebook, Dropbox, and Photobucket. You can then add your own song or select one from the Animoto music catalog (copyright-free).

At the end of production, you can save your video locally or upload it directly to the platform that you have identified as optimal for the content. It can be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or more.

Overvideo

overvideo
Via topappslike.com

This is a free application for iOS smartphones that allows you to add text and music to your videos. You can choose an audio-visual content from your film or capture a new one with the integrated camera. Then, you can add the images you want and the audio that you think best fits. Lastly, save the video in the roll or share it via e-mail or Instagram.

You can use each of these tools to create videos and of course, you can also rely on Facebook Live and Periscope. Once you start, you will never stop using them!

The only limit will be your creativity! Now, it’s your turn.

Do you like short or live videos? What idea do you propose to increase your confidence or to mix your content? Do you have any other tips on how you can start creating short videos without going crazy?

Let us know in the comments.

The post Simple and Quick Ways to Create Short Videos appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Incredible Little-Known Canva Hacks That Will Surely Surprise You

If you are a startup struggling to establish your brand’s identity, visual communication skills might just be your greatest asset for success. But for the person not necessarily seeking the services of a professional graphic designer, we always prepare pro design tips to set you off just like an expert.

Secret Canva Pro Hacks

In this digital age, there is no denying the importance of well-structured, thoughtful designs.

That’s probably the reason why you often find yourself staring at a blank Canva platform, waiting for inspiration to strike. Some of the questions running through your head being, where to start and whether or not your visual content will be relevant to your target audience.

While we know that kicking off with the design project is the hardest part, it is always important to remember that all of us are capable of creating breathtaking designs, especially with a little help from the experts.

Buckle up buttercup. We have deconstructed Canva to prepare these super incredible hacks that are sure to help up your Canva game.

Unlimited free stuff

canva hack

If you have been using Canva, you probably know that searching for something using the search button loads out both free items and those limited by the in-app purchases feature.
And let’s face it, no one wants to go faffing around with the $ items before getting a feel of the free stuff first.

Ohhh, here comes a goody.

You can get the premium stuff out of your way by just pasting these secret codes on the search button (indicated by the mouse pointer).

>>>Secret code 1: brand:BAAAAP7rQ8M
>>>Secret code 2: brand:BAAMOuJH0Ec

All the pre-set templates can be altered to meet the exact needs of your brand

canva pro

If you are a little edgy when it comes to getting things done with your computer, you could find yourself scrolling and scrolling for hours looking for a template or image directly matched with your campaign. Well, if you have been using Canva and going through the same fate, it comes to an end now!

Every single element of a template or image on Canva can be altered. So, if you like the layout but don’t like the general appearance in terms of the text or colors, you can edit all these elements to your liking.

If you see a plain tea party invite but would like to add a lively vibe to it or probably had a professional coffee talk in mind, you can totally change that as illustrated above.

Get some inspiration from completed designs

canva inspiration

To give their designs a contemporary feel, professional graphic designers are not always seeking to start from scratch. They often seek inspiration from what’s already there.

Whether it’s an image or just a simple font style you stumble upon, consider using it as a base.

Having your inspiration right there when you need it is the best feeling ever. You can always use it as a springboard for an even better result.

Canva is one of those tools with a dedicated inspiration section but undiscovered by many. Right there on the homepage, you will find inspiration-rich photo collages to help set off your imagination.

A text box in a fraction of a second

canva text box

Another goody that we use frequently — perhaps our favorite. Now, it’s pretty absurd to go the long route to get the Canva Text Box.

What you folks need to do is just hit T on your keyboard and voila, a Text Box in less than a second!

Move elements freely with secret keyboard shortcuts

canva shortcuts

It can be really frustrating when you just want to shift the position of an element either up or down but end up expanding it in a different direction (as illustrated in the image below).

Well, here are some keyboard shortcuts that will make you squeal with excitement.

You can lift an element to the front or push it back by using the CTRL+ Up/Down Keys or the CMD (Command) + Up/Down Keys. Alternatively, you can hold down the shift button as you try to move the element with your mouse. This will instantly make the held image free, enabling you to move it up and down as you like.

Grids for neat and orderly designs

canva designs

If you like flawless, neat, and orderly visuals, guiding grid lines are just the way to go. Just hit CTRL + or CMD +, and reference grid lines will be brought up across your design.

So, there you have it. These secret hacks will have you design better visuals and infographics faster and more accurately — just like a pro.

The post Incredible Little-Known Canva Hacks That Will Surely Surprise You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Basics of Matching Your Luxury Watch To Your Outfit

Imagine a man wearing a tuxedo, polished shoes, carrying off his enviable personality, but wearing a rubber band watch!

Doesn’t it look bad? Well, it is awful!!

Wearing a sporty looking watch with a band made of rubber or plastic is an absolute No-No! To call yourself truly fashionable, you must pay equal attention to the watch you choose to pair with your dress.

Yes, a wristwatch is more than just a timepiece. It is an important fashion accessory today. A watch has got the ability to either to break or build an outfit. So it is imperative that we are extra careful about matching our watch to the attire.

So how do you develop your own lookbook, with your luxury grand Seiko? Let us take a look.

Complement the formality of your outfit with that of your watch

Should you wear a digital or analog watch with a casual or formal attire?

Now, that depends heavily on how you carry it off, because the design and look of both kinds of watches are entirely different.

The digital watches come with a giant LED display which shows the time in numeric form. Their design is more suitable for casual events and informal parties. On the other hand, analog watches bear the hour and minute hands along with numbers. Analog watches generally bear a more poised and formal look compared to digital watches which are characterized by their sporty look. So analog watches are considered best for formal events.

Leather complements leather

You might not know, but you can take ideas about your perfect wristband for an event by taking a look at your shoes.

Yes, you read that right. Just like, you match your belt and shoes, you can also take notes and choose a watch with a suitable wrist band accordingly. For instance, if you are wearing brown leathered shoes and belt, make sure you team it up with a watch having brown colored leather waistband. That will complete your accessorizing and make you look like the perfect gentleman.

A short tip: you can buy a Grand Seiko watch which can be paired with the various colored waistbands. This way you will save money but never miss out showing off your iconic style!

Metal matches metal

luxury watch matching

It seems that waistband is not the only thing to be paired with your outfit; the metal case of the watch should be kept in consideration as well.

Now, does it seem to grow more complicated? Well, not really for we shall guide you here.
First, look at your watch. The case shape can be any and this shape does not play a role in your outfits. But the finish of the watch case must be considered here. That is, you need to choose between matte, shiny, crystal studded finish. The metals which are used to make the case include, silver, gold, platinum and even titanium. So when you are pairing with your attire, you should wear the same colored belt as the color of the metal base of your watch.

Now metal casing in watches all blacked out is in vogue, and therefore if you get it, don’t forget to pair it with gold or silver accessories.

Heirloom watches can break all rules

An absolute timepiece which represents royalty, heirloom watches, owes absolute charm to its wearer. It is probably the reason, that heirloom watches are not subjected to the strict rules of matching outfit with watch. An heirloom watch does not shout out styles in trend, but family history and culture.

So you can confidently wear this watch with just any kind of outfit and look stylish nonetheless!

When in confusion match the color of your shoes with your watch

outfit matching

If you are in amidst confusion but want to stun everyone with your style, then take cues from your shoes. While silver watches complement shoes in silver, blue and gray shades, golden watches go with tans, beiges, and browns.

For a better look, pick a watch which looks proportionate to your body. While a chunky big watch might be a fashion rage at the moment, it might not be ideal for you. So choose wisely. And the next time you are buying a new watch, consider these tips!

See Also: 8 Genius Fashion Hacks for Men

The post 5 Basics of Matching Your Luxury Watch To Your Outfit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15 Benefits to Outsource Document Management

Outsourcing is a significant breakthrough, which started in the late 90’s in North America and Europe. Different aspects and processes in businesses were outsourced, including documents from public, classified, and restricted archives. Without a doubt, outsourcing is an efficient method that enables businesses to focus on core processes.

Why It Matters

The rise of document management outsourcing isn’t that surprising, considering that most companies view their document management solution as an inconvenient part of their functional operations. Companies are aware that it cause an unnecessary delay from time to time. Aside from delays, document management also results in an even more disorganized process.

These inconveniences can lead to errors and redundancies that could easily be avoided by consulting experienced document management experts. These people can provide a holistic solution and approach to your enterprise content management, which plays a fundamental role in the control of the information in your company. The effectiveness of your document management system can have a negative or positive impact on your business processes.

After determining the importance of document management, it is natural for us to know more about what is it and how you can make the most out of its benefits when the process is done as it should be.

What Exactly Is Document Management?

document management
Via sodapdf

Document management is often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS). This process uses document management software to store, manage, and track electronic documents. In other cases, it is used on images of paper-based information captured through the use of a document scanner, as well as other file types. The system comprehensively shows how your organization stores, manages, and tracks its electronic copy of documents that is applicable in modern or paperless settings.

Document management is one of the precursor advancements to content management. But before it became mainstream, document management was available exclusively in a stand-alone basis like imaging, workflow, and archiving brethren. In the first few years of the document management system, it’s not considered as necessary as other functions. It all changed when businesses discovered the benefits document management system offers,especially when a reputable outsourcing company is hired to do the job.

To date, outsourcing firms provide some of the most basic functionalities to content management such as imposing controls and management capabilities onto otherwise “stagnant” documents. In addition, they now have the capability to create software or programs that can handle more complicated procedures in the document management process. This is extremely convenient at times when you have piles of documents and you have to look for a specific file immediately.

Top Benefits of Outsourcing Document Management

document management outsource

Outsourcing document management is an effective way to help business owners so they can divert their attention and full potential in more essential divisions of the company.

Most, if not all, outsourcing companies can provide the equivalent level of effectiveness in services at a much lower cost. This aspect of outsourcing document management is of vital importance because business and company owners are looking for means to save as much as possible. But, of course, companies need not bargain on the quality of results. Therefore, outsourcing document management is a high common ground that meets both budget and quality of results. You may found very useful information provided by John Mancini here about outsourcing document management.

It’s a cost-effective strategy that allows small to large businesses to save and make use of their budgets in more critical areas of the company.

In general, outsourcing is a great way to save more bucks since you can use the budget in other means that you’d find more profitable. For instance, instead of investing in a few sets of computer or devices, you can use the extra money for office improvement. Subsequently,the outsourcing company will be the one responsible for the machines that the outsourced employees will use. Simple changes like this yield considerable improvements in budget allocation.

It eliminates the risk and burden of launching solution.

When you do choose to outsource, you can cut off the time spent in brainstorming to find the best solutions for your company’s requirements. The document management outsourcing firm can evaluate the demands of your business and find suitable strategies that tailor fits your needs.

Outsourcing helps save space or storage.

document management outsource business
Via eleadersnetwork

Having document management done by a dedicated team is an excellent way to keep office space and room. The documents can either be collected in cloud storage (soft files) or file cabinets if the company prefers printed copies. It’s also a good option if you want to make your office look more ergonomic and organized. The CIO will give you some valuable information about the benefits of outsourcing.

Outsourcing document management requires a little to less employee involvement.

Another great benefit of utilizing outsourcing for document management is the fact that you can cut off the number of employees who will be handling the documents. Also, you don’t need to hire more people to manage the records as the outsourcing company will do it for you.

Get your document management handled by the experts.

Most outsourcing firms are well-trained in providing efficient methods of document management. Thus, there is a higher chance that you’d get the results your company deserves. Moreover, these outsourcing firms choose document managers who are highly skilled and professional in handling different types of files, using dedicated software suitable for your business functions and the industry you’re in. I found this article very useful on Amplexor about document management from the experts view.

Outsourced documents pass industry compliance.

Since experts handle the materials involved, you are ensured that each file passes the industry compliance. Most outsourcing firms offering the service require quality assurance checks to determine if any material needs revision depending on the industry standards.

It’s an efficient way to create reports.

Organizing, validating, and disseminating the reports is another time-consuming factor that causes a delay in the performance of other vital tasks. These tasks normally takes a great deal of time.This is why it’s highly beneficial to use outsourcing firms that offer efficient reports daily, weekly, and quarterly. I think every business platform needs outsourcing firm. Please visit this page of Nytimes to get some ideas of its benefits.

It’s a useful method for maintaining document copies.

It’s true that outsourcing document management can save space and storage in the office. But it doesn’t mean that the document managers will get rid of old files to give room to the new one. In fact, the outsourcing firm will find ways to efficiently save and maintain copies of documents, whether they are created recently or years ago.

An efficient strategy to improve the workflow of the business.

Overall, outsourcing business processes is a great way to enhance the workflow. It makes the tasks easier and the results better. It is suitable for almost all types of businesses across different industries, making it a flexible technique for successful management of the company.

Outsourcing document management is a scalable process.

Document management services can be easily scaled up or down based on your company’s demands and specifications. A professional outsourcing bureau offering this service usually provides a complementary product development team to meet all your company’s future needs. I have this video for you to learn how it works.

Expert management of documents requires shorter turn around.

What makes outsourcing document management even more beneficial is the fact that it requires a quicker turnaround time. Expert document managers can handle more files in a shorter period. In addition to that,

Outsourcing document management provides maximum security and privacy.

Outsourcing document management is not well received in the first few years of its launch. It is due to privacy and security concerns that most business owners have. As time goes by, business owners learned to trust the system because of the advancements in features and security settings. Using a document management system has now become more secure and packed with state-of-the-art features that keep documents in a safe place.

Get accuracy in results.

Utilizing document management services yields excellent and accurate results. Companies offering document management services use techniques and tools that generate accurate reports. These reports are used to analyze the data and determine which files or documents were processed.

Software automation at its finest

Software automation is utilized in document management by outsourcing firms. A large portion of the process relies on a document management software. Every company offering document management services use different software and automation process, depending on the needs of the business or client. This video contains informative ideas for the beginners.

In a modern business setting, there are growing volumes of documents, especially if the company has been around for quite a long time. Thus, it requires commitment and hard work to manage these files accordingly. From reducing the risk of losses to improving employee efficiency in meeting deadlines, there are great benefits that should convince you to outsource document management to a professional record management provider. They can address various company priorities as necessary.

Choosing where to focus your company’s energy and resources is a crucial step to reaching progress. Thus, it’s vital to select a company that you can trust when outsourcing document management for your business. With all of the business transactions happening, it is so easy to feel swarmed and overwhelmed, especially if you are short with manpower. However, if you’re able to pick a trusted firm to handle these, your business processes could go smoothly and more systematic than ever.

See Also: 5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money on Substandard Services When Outsourcing

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8 Avoidable Workplace Safety Mistakes

Let’s accept it. Not all businesses are serious about their workplace safety.

Some of them leave the safety on the mercy of a few fire extinguishers and a couple of warning signs here and there. Some of them don’t bother if the chemicals are stored near their MCB box or employees go through a wet floor. Unfortunately, they only realize the importance of workplace safety when a serious accident occurs.

Why wait for something unpleasant to happen?

Create a secure and positive work environment by avoiding common safety mistakes in the workplace given below.

Failing to Use a Ladder Properly

common safety mistake

According to one report, 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries every year. Even worse, over 400 people lost their lives as they succumbed to those injuries.

Tiny ladder-related mistakes can lead to serious injuries. For example, some use unsteady ladders that can easily slide out while a person is on it. Leaning from the ladders is another mistake that can affect their balance. Using other objects like chairs, stools or scaffolding as a ladder is not safe, either.

Not Getting the Machine Inspected

If you are like most business owners, you are likely to skip an inspection if a machine is working fine.

Well, this can be problematic down the road.

You never know when an underlying fault can lead to damage or harm the operator. Therefore, make sure to get your machinery inspected on time.

Timely and proper inspections make sure that your machines are running correctly and won’t pose risk. With regular inspection, your equipment stays in top shape and won’t cause a halt due to breakdown.

Not Keeping the Facility Clean and Organized

Make sure to keep your facility clean and organized. Otherwise, a huge stack of waste or debris can lead to a fire outbreak if they come into contact with a spark or inflammable material.

Moreover, an unclean work environment is an ideal breeding ground for various bacteria and germs, thereby affecting the health of your workforce. By practicing proper work hygiene, you can prevent the growth of harmful viruses and bacteria, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.

It goes without saying that having clean premises will also improve your business image.

Inappropriate Storage of Chemicals

Your workers are also prone to risks when they come into contact with harmful chemicals or toxic substance like gasoline, paint, and insulation. Here is how you can minimize the risks associated with them.

  • Keep the areas ventilated.
  • Make sure your employees wear protective gears like gloves and masks while using chemicals.
  • Tell your employees to seek treatment if they experience itchiness or not feel well after using the chemicals.
  • Store the chemicals away from any equipment and electrical short circuit board.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store them.

Not Performing a Safety Risk Assessment

Let’s admit it.

We are often so used to our work environment that we forget about our safety. In fact, we take it for granted. We assume that we are aware of the risks as well as the ways to deal with them.

That’s not the right approach.

You need to assess the risk factors present in your workplace. For example, you never know when an overheated system can turn into a hazard or when a slippery floor can injure someone.

Therefore, you should perform a safety risk assessment of your workplace frequently. A health and workplace safety professional can help you with this task. They can assess your workplace for risks and help you deal with them.

Electrical Hazards

common safety mistakes electrical hazard

No matter how upscale and sophisticated work environment you have, you are not immune to electrical hazards. Electrical hazards are one of the major causes of workplace fatalities, even in developed nations like the US.

Power fluctuations can also affect the equipment in your workplace. A big power surge can damage your machinery, while an unexpected power outage can lead to loss of work.

Here are the tips to avoid electrical hazards taking place at your organizations.

  • Make sure to power off the device before repairing it.
  • Update your equipment as old equipment may have frayed wires or worn out segments.
  • Avoid stuffing outlets with too many equipment and tools. Avoid plugin more than high wattage equipment at a time.
  • Unplug equipment when not in use to save energy as well as minimize the risk of fire or shock.
  • Get your electrical cords inspected once a month to make sure that they are not cracked or damaged.
  • Don’t run the wires through high traffic areas like carpets or doorways.
  • The repairs and installation should be done by a licensed electrician.
  • All the equipment should be certified.

Not Wearing Protective Gear

One of the major causes of workplace accidents is not wearing protective gears like gloves and helmets.

Also known as Personal Protective Equipment, protecting gear protects workers against several risks on the job. These hazard risks can be anything from falling debris, wet floors, electrical sparks, and poisonous gases. For example, wearing hard hats provide protection to the workers against head injuries or shocks caused by falling objects.

These protective gears generally include items like eye protection, high visibility clothing, safety footwear, helmets and respiratory protective equipment like a mask.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Wearing Safety Boots at the Workplace is Crucial

Not Having the Safety Signs

Many employees don’t bother if they walk on a wet floor. Some don’t realize that the lift is out of order until it halts in the middle. Some may not be able to find the emergency exit door when a fire breaks out.

This is why safety signs are used to help workers identify the risks. They warn the employees about potential dangers. For example, the sign of a wet floor will warn them to avoid the pathway so that they don’t get injured.

Some of the common workplace safety signs are prohibition signs, mandatory signs, warning signs, fire safety signs, danger signs, general information signs, and emergency signs.

These are the workplace safety mistakes you can avoid to keep your employees and infrastructure safe and sound. What do you think? Please drop your opinions to the comment box given below!

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Take Your LinkedIn Profile to the Max: 4 Tips to Get More Jobs

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a killer opportunity to get flooded with job offers.

Worse, you’re giving your competition the edge because 40% of recruiters won’t interview you if they can’t find you online.

So, having a LinkedIn profile isn’t a matter of choice; it’s a must.

But a blank LinkedIn account doesn’t cut it. If you want to wow recruiters and get showered with job opportunities, you need to optimize it.

This guide shows how you can start improving your LinkedIn profile.

Get a Custom URL

improve linkedin profile

First things first.

When you create a LinkedIn account, your profile URL has a nauseating mix of characters and numbers that don’t roll off the tongue.

Which would you rather choose?

linkedin.com/in/Aasfjhw27482xaA291 vs. linkedin.com/in/max-woolf/

Exactly.

Also, a custom profile URL gives a much friendlier SEO look that helps you rank better in LinkedIn search. And it looks 10x better in your resume’s contact info section.

So, go ahead and learn how to get a sweet customized URL.

Help Recruiters Find You

This one might sound obvious, but we don’t want to take chances.

If you want recruiters to know you’re open for a new job, navigate to the Career interests bar and flip that switch from Off to On.

Perfect.

Get ready to bathe in job offers!

Make Your Profile Hulk-Level Strong

Alright, done with the basics.

It’s time for some advanced LinkedIn optimization techniques.

Head over to your profile. See the big circle titled Profile Strength?

When you provide as much information, that circle will read ‘All Star’ and that’s where you want to be.

Why?

Users that fully complete profiles are 40x more likely to get job offers.

How to reach the All-Star level?

Fill out all the sections with your info:

Pen a summary, provide volunteer experience, add certifications, etc. Leave the skills section for now—we’ll cover it later.

Pro tip: Use keywords in the headline to up your chances of popping up in search. E.g., instead of Max Woolf, write Max Woolf, Career Advice Writer.

Make Your Skills Drip with Expertise

linkedin profile

So far, so good.

Now, it’s time to take care of the skills section.

LinkedIn allows to add up to 50 skills, but you can only prominently feature ten. The rest will hide under the ‘Show more’ button.

Make sure those ten skills are (1) keyword skills and (2) are your core strengths.

Pro tip: When adding skills, pick the ones suggested rather than typing skills manually. The suggested skills are what recruiters search for.

If you did your homework and made a list of skills with the highest impact for your resume, copy-paste them to your LinkedIn profile.

If you need help, here are five most demanded hard skills (according to a 2019 LinkedIn study.)

  • Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • People Management
  • UX Design

What fun is it to have a boatload of skills if you can’t prove you have them?

That is when endorsements kick in. They come from people you worked with and can prove your expertise.

The good news?

Getting your skills endorsed is as easy as ABC.

All it takes is to scratch someone’s back and wait for them to scratch yours.

So, what do you think? What are your tips to make a LinkedIn profile pop?

Drop your insights in the comments below.

See Also: Using The New LinkedIn For Personal Branding And Career Success

The post Take Your LinkedIn Profile to the Max: 4 Tips to Get More Jobs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Boost Your Memory With Exercise

Generally, I think it’s a good thing we can forget things.

Would you really want to remember all your homework and assignments from grade school with the same clarity as you would present-day events?

I certainly wouldn’t!

That’s why you should be tracking your workouts. That way, you won’t have to waste memory space on remembering what you are currently lifting or if you broke a personal record.

But when it comes to boosting your memory with exercise, the memories most of us are referring to are the really important ones. It includes memories with family, friends, and our general knowledge of how to live our day-to-day lives. Yet, diseases like Alzheimer’s threaten these memories.

Currently, there are around 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is projected to rise to around 14 million by 2050. But you don’t have to accept that your memory will decline. Instead, you can protect your health and memory with exercise.

Develop Brain Volume With Regular Exercise

exercise and memory

As we age, our brains tend to shrink, losing not only its overall volume but also impairing some of its functionality. One critical area which can be affected is the hippocampus. It’s the area of our brain where long-term memories are stored and accessed.

As this area of the brain decreases in size, our memories become harder to reach. It becomes difficult to store new memories, too.

But with exercise, this grim, memory loss future doesn’t have to happen.

A particularly engaging study made a connection between exercise and an increase in brain volume, specifically with the hippocampus. In the study, the participants in the regular exercise group had an increase of 2% brain mass volume in their hippocampus. This means the effects of age-related brain volume loss was reversed for as much as 1-2 years worth of loss.

That means, if you set up regular exercise patterns, you can protect yourself from years of brain volume loss and keep your hippocampus healthy. In fact, you can even reverse some of your brain volume loss if it has occurred.

Acute Exercise Can Also Positively Impact Your Memory

Along with the great benefits of long-term exercise, you can positively impact your memory with just one short workout, according to memory researchers.

In a study on activating semantic memory in older adults, researchers studied to see if acute exercise had any impact on the memory. To clarify, acute exercise ranges from moderate-to-high intensity exercise that lasts under 45 minutes. Most HIIT workouts fall into this category. So if you have some favorite HIIT workouts, you may want to break them out.

Well, the participating older adults did experience greater memory activation, particularly their semantic memory. It’s the memory which contains your knowledge of your culture, basic world knowledge like how to hold a spoon, and all the simple things we tend to take for granted.

So, even if you haven’t quite mastered a regular routine of working out, even doing periodic, intense workouts can be helpful for your memory.

Create Greater Cognitive Function With Focused Workouts

You don’t have to just do aerobic workouts to boost your memory. A meta-analysis of multiple studies found that more meditative and focused exercises like Tai Chi can also help seniors improve their overall cognitive function.

It makes sense when you consider what slower, focused exercises offer. The person performing the exercise needs to not only engage their body but also their mind as they move through poses, patterns, and keep their movements mindful.

So, rather than doing a Soduku puzzle, maybe take up Tai Chi or yoga for brain engagement.

See Also: 10 Tips to Develop Both Sides of Your Brain

Blend Different Types of Exercises For Cognitive Benefits

exercise for memory boost

I often advocate for blending different types of exercise together, like how runners should lift heavy to support their muscles and joint while weightlifters should run to boost their cardiovascular health. And the same kind of balanced, blended workout effects can apply for memory-building workouts.

So, if you are determined to incorporate good, memory boosting workouts into your daily life, shoot for a mix of workouts. Say, dedicate 1 to 2 days to the more meditative and focused exercises. Then, maybe 3 to 4 days where you do longer aerobic workouts. Feel free to swap out one of the days with a more acute, anaerobic exercise program.

As you do things like work in simple posture exercises into your daily routine, be sure that you are also incorporating some of these other types of workouts. That way, you can boost your memory both in the short- and long-term.

See Also: 10 Brain Damaging Activities You Need To Stop Doing Now

The post Boost Your Memory With Exercise appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try

The sun is shining. It is warming up again and the hormones are dancing the Samba: summer is coming. If you want to look for new partners with tech support, you probably think of Tinder first. Despite the supremacy of the app, which has since become popular among love seekers, there are many other unique dating apps which may actually be better.

Read on to find out more about them.

Fuck, Marry, Kill

Fuck, Mary, Kill, FMK in short, is a special app in every aspect. Designed as a game and a place to get to know each other, the title alone can be a deterrent to some.

The basic concept is relatively simple:

Three profiles will come up in your screen and that’s when you’ll choose which one you’d like to sleep with, marry, and kill. That’s where the fun starts!

Time to make a choice, who would you sleep with? Who would you marry? And lastly, who would you kill?

If two users have found each other, they can chat via the app. Furthermore, FMK still offers a ranking in which classification is visible. If we are often selected in the Marry category, we appear in the ranking under the wedding material. The app developers, however, stresses the fact that no one should be killed. Obviously, the category should be interpreted only as fun.

Fuck, Marry, Kill is available for free for iOS as a web app and Android.

Bristlr

Started as a joke, Bristlr is now a real dating app. The application has a very special target group in sight: a beard lover.

Anyone who has a beard or likes this specific genre should put his money to use here. It is not necessary to have an impressive profile. The only distinguishing feature of Bristlr is the beard.

When one registers, there’s not even gender queries. Therefore, the app is also one of the few dating sites that is completely open to all genders and sexual orientations.

Bristlr is available for free for iOS and Android.

Hater

hater dating app
Via datingscout.com

The app for special appointments wants to bring people together because of their dislikes. As with Tinder and similar dating apps, scroll left or right through the appointment catalog. Instead of images, we have a selection of several thousand voting topics.

On the list are food, celebrities, habits, and activities. Those who hate Trump or people who say “Babe” can find partners in similar meetings. If you have reviewed the various topics long enough, you may end up finding your Hater soulmate. Or lover, depending on the definition.

Hater is available for iOS and Android for free.

Whispar

Appointment app of the Austrian company Talk4Date eliminates text messages when searching for a partner. Instead, users learn about the app through voice. Whispar offers five new tips every day. Audio profiles can be monitored and evaluated directly. It takes almost 30 seconds to listen to each profile.

After the usual sliding principle, it can then be decided what to do next. If the other person’s voice is the way you imagined it, you can contact her directly after a game via voice messages. If voice messages are no longer sufficient for entertainment, Whispar also offers calls directly from the app. This has the advantage of not having to exchange numbers and still be able to chat with others.

Whispar is available free for iOS and Android.

Boompi

Boompi relies on the windscreen wiper principle. At first sight, it does not seem to differ from other well-known dating apps. Only when there is no interest on both sides does the game break. If two people rated themselves as interesting, they can chat via the app.

It is rare that not only the two potential lovers of meetings interact but also their respective best friends. Women can talk about news here and test the other person to finally decide if a meeting makes sense.

The function itself is available only for women. Neither men can take part in such conversations nor is there a similar function available for male stakeholders.

Boompi is available for iOS and Android for free.

As you have seen, there are many alternatives to the big players of dating apps. You just have to expand your horizons, and figure out which one is right for you.

See Also: The Truth About Tinder Dating

The post 5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden

Your garden is full of secrets. When you know those secrets, it will help you to grow a beautiful and healthy garden. Although gardening still requires dedication and skill, there are many fun facts about your garden that could make maintaining it a little easier.

Curious to learn more about gardening? We have five interesting gardening facts you likely didn’t know about your garden.

Plants Do Respond to Sound

Have you heard (or seen) people talking to their plants? Maybe you’ve heard the old tale that is talking to your plants will actually promote growth. It may sound silly, but plants actually do respond to sound.

The vibration from sound can affect their growth. Studies have shown that sounds like music and your voice can contribute to the growth and health of your garden.

There Are Good Pests

We always think that a pest in the garden is causing more harm than good. While for many bugs and insects that is true, there are pests out there that are actually beneficial for your garden. The hard part is determining which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.

Many good pests (including ladybugs, aphid midges, spiders, and ground beetles) feed off of other bugs and pests that can cause damage to your garden. So, if you spot some of these bugs, don’t fret. They’re doing an important job that will make life easier for you to maintain your garden.

Butterflies May Like Weeds More

garden butterfly

Butterflies are beautiful insects that flap around a healthy garden, typically. We often think it is the color in the garden that attracts butterflies. Although that may be true, it comes down to the scent and nectar of a plant that attracts a butterfly.

Due to human’s breeding plants on their own to create brighter and bigger plants, they often lose their fragrance. However, it is the weeds that tend to maintain their scent, which will attract scent-driven bugs like butterflies.

Different Kind of Composting

We know that gardens love compost. That is because they get to absorb all of the leftover nutrients from compost. However, you don’t need to be a dedicated composter for your garden to have similar benefits.

Although having a compost bin will reduce the amount of garbage you have, you don’t need to do this for your garden necessarily. Instead, directly applying to the soil items like used coffee grounds, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter will give the plants the nutrients they look for as the items decompose.

Gardening Can Equal Happiness

gardening happiness

Many studies have found that gardening will help boost your mood. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of gardening, spending some time tending to your plants can help the brain produce serotonin, which is the happy chemical that can combat depression. Certain bacteria strains in garden soil will contribute to serotonin production.

If you’re looking for another reason to start a garden, the five listed above may help. These secrets will not only help boost the health of your garden, but they may also help contribute to your overall health and happiness too.

See Also: How to Create an Indoor Garden

The post 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garden appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship

Happily ever after — that’s what most of us want. Finding that partner you truly click with is simpler than what most of us make it to be.

At the beginning of any relationship, everything is fun. Once it gets serious, things change. We rush things. Thinking that he or she is the one, we often don’t realize that we might just be setting ourselves up for heartbreak.

This is why it is important to consider every relationship you get into as a trial-and-error. Check first if that person is worth getting into a serious relationship with.

If you are excited about the idea of getting serious with your current significant other, here’s a reality check for you – you may be too infatuated to see the reasons that he or she is not the right one for you.

So, here’s a list of relationship red flags that you should consider and reflect on:

Your partner keeps being possessive

relationship red flags

Many of us think when our partners are being jealous and wanting to control whatever we do is a sign of concern. But the truth is, this is not out of concern but out of possessiveness.

If he needs to know everything that you do and your whereabouts 24/7, that’s never out of concern but a sense of control. Sadly, most women find it adorable until it’s too late.

Your friends and family are not big fans of your partner

The idea of a “you and I against the world” kind of relationship may be romantic for some, but there are usually valid reasons why they dislike your partner. While you can both choose to prove them wrong, you should at least consider why your friends and family dislike him or her.

I’m not saying that in most cases, our friends and family’s opinion are right, but have you also attempted to listen to what they have to say about your partner? Being open-minded goes both ways. It pays to listen to someone else’s point of view in a relationship, especially those coming from loved ones.

You constantly feel guilty

If your partner keeps blaming you for everything, even those that are obviously his or her fault, maybe it’s time to rethink your relationship. A never-ending feeling of guilt caused by your partner is not something present in a healthy relationship.

It is always about them, never you

Relationships should be balanced, not just about the happiness and satisfaction of one person. If your partner seems to focus on his wants alone and expects you to give them to him or her, you may be dating a narcissist, and that attitude won’t change anytime soon.

There are so many things about your partner that he or she refuses to tell you

What do you really know about your partner?

If hardly anything, it’s not a good sign. Relationships require openness, and if your partner can’t do that, you should be worried. It is fine to keep a few secrets, but if he or she can’t be open about the small things, what else is he or she hiding?

It’s too good to be true

Whether it’s getting a thousand flowers in a single day, being serenaded by an orchestra band, or hearing ‘I love you’ early on in the relationship, grand gestures may be sweet but they should also be treated with caution.

Some narcissists and abusers are notorious for that kind of behavior until they get what they want. Unless your partner already knows you very well and for some time, don’t easily take those actions seriously.

He or she is rude to most people, especially to servers, janitors, and other workers

They say that how you treat the “little” people reflects your personality. Remember this the next time you go out, especially if you notice how he alternates between being sweet and bossy to you, and consistently rude to any waitstaff you meet.

This applies not just to romantic partners, but everyone in general. Being selectively nice is never okay.

You feel abandoned

If your partner is never there for you when you need him or her the most and seems to be present only during the good times, it is never a good sign.

Relationships involve ups and downs, and if you cannot depend on him or her this early on, how sure are you that he or she is going to be there for you in the future when you have problems and need a shoulder to cry on?

He or she is abusive

abusive relationship

Abuse, not just physical but all kinds of it, should never be part of a relationship. Don’t expect him or her to change once you agree to a serious relationship.

If he or she keeps belittling you or saying nasty stuff, makes you feel worthless, or never made you feel good about yourself, your partner is definitely not a keeper.

See Also: How to Overcome Emotional Abuse

He or she molds you to his or her ideal partner

Everyone has his or her own personality, and your partner should respect that. Sure, there may be some things that need changing, particularly any bad habits, but it should always involve your growth as a person.

If it is not for your improvement but to fit the bill of what he or she wants in a partner, take it as a sign that he or she will only love you when you fit his or her expectations, and not unconditionally.

All these are signs of an unhealthy relationship, and if a lot of these are familiar to you, maybe you should rethink your relationship. While relationships are never perfect, healthy relationships and unhealthy ones are worlds apart.

Always aim for a serious but healthy relationship. Unhealthy ones may make you happy right now, but healthy ones will do so for a long time.

The post 10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Learning How To Cook Again

More than a quarter of Americans don’t know how to cook, but why?

Today, our lives are busier than they have been since the industrial revolution and convenience trumps health and budget every day of the week. As a result, people spend more on restaurants than at grocery stores and have for several years now.

Kids are learning how to order takeout instead of how to cook and teenagers are opting to become YouTube stars rather than flipping burgers. It’s no wonder so many people just don’t know how to cook. Fortunately, there are apps and gadgets for cooking that can help you in making meals at home.

Food Safety Often Isn’t Taught At Home

food safety

If you ask the average home cook what internal temperature you should cook various meats on, chances are they would not even know that’s an issue.

Today, there are instructions for safe cooking right there on the packages of chicken meat in the grocery store. But who reads instructions anymore?

Working in a fast food restaurant as a teenager has long been the only introduction to proper food handling procedures many people get, but most people are skipping that life experience altogether these days. Some cookbooks cover this, but most people skip right to the recipe they want to cook and skip learning the basic techniques.

Gadgets Can Help Keep You Safe

We all have that one bottle of ketchup in the back of the fridge that has been there since the Regan administration, but we don’t throw it out because does ketchup even go bad? Fortunately, there are gadgets like the Days Ago Tracker that help you know just how long ago you opened it so you know when it’s time to throw it out.

Do you cook chicken to 160 and beef to 140 or is it the other way around? Knowing internal cooking temperatures for a variety of foods isn’t always at the top of the list for home cooks. The Range Dial Grill Pro can help you figure out the safe cooking temperatures of a variety of meats, helping you to avoid food-borne illnesses.

Apps Can Help You Learn New Techniques

Learning to cook is mostly about learning to follow a process rather than learning individual recipes. Once you learn certain techniques, you can apply them to other recipes. Before you know it, you’re already a great cook.

There are some great apps out there that can help you learn these techniques and build on the skills you have already learned.

Project Foodie is probably one of the best examples of this. Celebrity Chef Daniel Holzman walks you through step-by-step instructions on video so you can see, hear, and follow along. That’s something cookbooks won’t give you.

The app can also help you build a shopping list and adjust the recipe for different serving sizes and number of servings.

project foodie
Via itunes.apple.com

Once you have some basic techniques down, you can start using Chef Tap to collect recipes. That way, when you see something you want to try, you can organize it in one place. Then, when you’re ready to try a new recipe, Chef Tap can help you build a shopping list which you can access from anywhere.

Learning The Basics of Cooking Can Be Fun

Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. Learning the basics from video tutorials of celebrity chefs can actually be a lot of fun. Once you have the basics down, you can build upon them, opening up new culinary possibilities.

If you don’t know how to cook, now’s the time to get started. You can always use a refresher on the basics, especially when it comes to safety.

We all know we are supposed to wash our hands before cooking, but what about after handling raw food, including vegetables? And is it safe to use a marinade after you’ve taken the meat out of it?

Many of us knew the answer at one time but we may not remember until someone gets sick.

Learn more about tech and gadgets to help you cook from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

The post Learning How To Cook Again appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way

The early days of dating are always the fun part. It’s where you can’t stop thinking about your girl and how you can make her happy. From flowers to chocolates and balloons, you have a lot of plans that are guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

However, as courtship ends, you feel less and less enthusiastic about wooing her. And that’s where problems happen and relationships break apart.

To keep your relationship in the best condition, here are some tips on how to woo a girl:

1. Be Genuine

We live in a world wherein being genuine has become such a rare quality. People are always being fake, pretending to be someone they’re not in order to impress the girl. Just think of online social media platforms where single men and women create “images” of themselves.

In person though, a discerning eye can tell real people from fakes. Be genuine and be appreciated for who you truly are.

2. Be chivalrous

I would strongly like to believe that chivalry isn’t dead. Be polite, open doors, walk on the traffic side of the road, and escort her and her friend’s home.

You may think these are small things but these small gestures will never go unnoticed. It’s not that she can’t do these things by herself but it is always good to know that there is someone whose looking out for her.

3. Give her your undivided attention

undivided-attention

Get off that mobile phone of yours when you are with her. You will have plenty of time to check game scorse or reply to your messages and emails when you are home. Unless it is extremely urgent, it will always be appreciated if you can give your phones a rest and give your undivided attention to her.

See Also: How to be a Good Husband to Make Your Life a Bed of Roses 

4. Notice her and likes & dislikes

Always take mental notes of her likes and dislikes and surprise her when she least expects it. Take her to her favorite concert, order her favorite drink when she’s running late, notice when she gets a haircut or wears something different.

She will really appreciate the fact that you are taking a keen interest in her and what she likes, and it will make her feel very happy.

5. Be there when she needs someone

You sure as hell don’t need to be a girl’s doormat but you definitely want to be her shoulder to cry on when she needs it. If she needs someone by her side, make sure it’s you. It will show her how committed, dependable and serious you are about having her in your life and wanting to be in hers.

6. Don’t keep talking about yourself, learn to listen

Noone likes a person who only talks about themselves and shows no interest in learning about the other person. If you are only going to keep bragging about yourself and your life, rest assured she will not turn to give you another look. Show a real interest in getting to know her better; it will take you a long way.

7. Make her feel special

If she is having a bad day, let her vent to you and be supportive about it. In fact, all you probably need to do is to listen.

Remember small dates like the first time you’ve met or the first time you took her out on a date. Make an effort to celebrate these with her. Do whatever is in your power to make her feel loved and cherished.

8. Keep that element of surprise

surprise-her

Now that you have learnt about what makes her happy, surprise her by using that information to your advantage. If she has a fantasy of a perfect date, make it happen for her. If she’s feeling low, show up on her doorstep to take her for a drive. Keep the element of surprise alive in order to keep her wondering and the excitement going.

9. Let her know that you are thinking about her

Drop her a message in the middle of the workday to check how her day is going or pick her up from work so that you’ll get that extra 30 minutes to spend together. Message her good morning first thing when you wake up or send her flowers or any small memento that makes you think of her.

Whatever big or small it maybe, show her that you are thinking about her.

See Also: 4 Original Ways to Be Romantic in the Digital Age 

10. Open up to her

Many men are brought up to avoid being vulnerable in front of the girl. However, think about it. You only open up in front of people you truly care about and are truly confortable with. If you talk about your fears or your problems or what makes you sad, it will show her that you are really invested in her and are not there just to pass your time.

We live in a world where women are strong and independent. They don’t need a man to be able to provide for them. They don’t need someone who can pay for a date. They are more than capable of doing that themselves.

Instead, how about a man who can treat them right because somehow that breed has become very rare in the 21st century. Make her feel loved and special. Always think of being in the wooing phase even after being in a stable relationship for a while.

This way you will never take each other for granted. Often, spontaneity is the key to a happy relationship. Be on your toes and keep her on hers. In turn, she will surprise you with her love and loyalty as well.

As Marilyn Monroe says, “A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her.

The post 10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

DumbLittleMan’s Ultimate Gift Guide for Mother’s Day 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and finding the perfect gift for such a special occasion can be a really overwhelming task, particularly if you’re a last minute shopper.

That’s why, to help you out, we’re sharing with you the best Mother’s Day gift ideas you can give to every supermom on your list. Whether your mom is into baking, beauty, getting fit or indulging in a relaxing spa day at home, we’ve got you covered.

Baker’s Decorating Pipes: Kootek 42 Pieces Cake Decorating Supplies Kit

This cake decorating supplies kit is a treat for moms who love to bake. With 36 stainless steel icing tips and different decorating patterns, you will surely enjoy using it on your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. The tips are easy to use and clean as well.

Anti-Aging Serum: ToLB Retinol Serum

Get smooth and refreshed skin with this serum. Perfect for all skin types, this retinol serum can help counter the effects of aging on your skin. It’s formulated to specifially target age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.

Beer Chiller: Brew House Beer Chillers

Moms deserve a break and what better way to relax and unwind than to have a really cold bottle of beer after a stressful day. These beer chillers are designed with 4 flow holes so you can enjoy really cold beer.

Stationery: Q&A a Day for Moms

This is the perfect gift to encourage mindfulness in moms who are living a really busy and stressful live. Filled with really meaningful questions, it’s a good tool to unload your thoughts and feelings about motherhood and life in general.

Paleo Cookbook: Thug Kitchen Cookbooks

Encourage healthy eating with this cookbook. It features really great recipes that both beginning and expert cooks will be able to use. It includes a lot of instructions to help you make everything from sauce to really delicious meals.

Beauty Soap Bars: Bali Soap – Natural Soap Bar Gift Set

These soaps aren’t like your ordinary bath soaps. Containing an exotic blend of organic ingredients, they are a sure treat to your senses. They create a really nice and creamy lather to moisturize your skin. They also have invigorating scrubs to remove dead skin cells and reveal healthier skin.

Budget Planner: Boxclever Press Budget Planner

Make mom’s life easier with this budget planner. It offers an easy way to organize the family’s savings, budgets, debts, and allowances. It has trackers for monthly bills so it’s easier to see which ones are due soon. It even has a special section so you can easily track the family’s expenses on special occasions, like Christmas.

Salt Lamp: Himalayan Glow HS-1301B Tall Round Natural Salt Lamp

This salt lamp can warm mom’s heart on her special day. It’s designed to purify negative ions so your home can enjoy cleaner air. It can help get rid of dander, smoke, pollen, and other pollutants. The lamp is made from natural Himalayan salt crystals.

Silk Sleep Mask: Asutra, Weighted Silk Eye Pillow

When you’re a mom running a very busy household, it can be challenging to get a good night sleep. So, with this Mother’s Day, give your mom this really comfortable silk eye pillow. It has organic lavender which is known to promote sleep.

Handbag Organizer: ZTUJO Purse Organizer Insert

This purse organizer can be a life changer for most moms. It features 13 total purse organizers, 3 exterior pockets, and 10 interior pockets. With so much storage, mom will be able to keep most of her items in a neat and organized way. No more losing keys, lipsticks or cards!

Makeup Organizer: Sanipoe 360 Rotating Makeup Organizer

This makeup organizer might look small but it actually has a large capacity. It can keep a minimum of 30 brushes and about 20 skincare products. It also has enough rooms for nail polishes, lipsticks, and other cosmetic products. Made of acrylic, it’s easy to clean and use.

Activity Tracker: Letsfit Fitness Tracker

For the active moms, this fitness tracker will make an excellent gift. It’s waterproof and compatible with smartphones with Android 4.4 and iOS 7.1 It tracks the heart rate and vibrates to alert you of a call or message.

Home Spa Gift Set: Lovery Mother’s Day Home Spa Gift Basket

Pamper your mom this Mother’s Day with this home spa gift set. It comes wih a shower gel, bubble bath, bath salt, body lotion, body scrub, and other spa essentials. With a fresh floral scent, this basket promotes deep relaxation. Don’t forget to add a personalized note!

Bathtub Caddy: Bambusi Bathtub Caddy Tray

Make bath time even more relaxing with this bathtub caddy. It holds tablet and smartphones pretty well, allowing you to watch your favorite series or just browse the internet. It can even hold books. It’s adjustable to any bathtub so you won’t have to worry about your things falling into your bath.

Facial Steamer: Zenpy Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Dry and dehydrated skin can make you look older than you really are. Good thing there’s this nano facial steamer to quickly hydrate and moisturize your skin. Apart from promoting glowing skin, it can also help reduce stress, promote better sleep, and relieve fatigue. The steamer also comes with a blackhead remover kit and a really cute hair band.

Tracker: Tile Pro

Track your phone, keys, wallet, purse, and everything else you don’t want to lose with the Tile Pro. It can detect your items within 300 feet Bluetooth range. Just double press the Tile button and it’ll ring loudly. With its dedicated app, it’ll show you the last place and time you had your missing item.

TV Stick: Roku Streaming Stick+

For a stronger and smoother streaming, get your mom this Roku Streaming Stick. It gives 4x the range and a clear, immersive picture quality. You can search through more than a thousand channels to watch your favorite shows. It even has an app which you can download on your Android and iOS devices.

Hair Curler: CHI Air Spin N Curl Products

CHI Air Spin N Curl can help you create really flawless curls in just seconds. It features a customizable temperature so you can style your hair without having to worry about damaging it. Plus, it also helps reduce static and frizz. It’s a great hair styling tool for busy moms.

Foot Spa Massager: Ovitus Foot Spa Bath Massager with Heat

This Ovitus Foot Spa Bath Massager provides heat to soothe tired and achy feet. It features a fully automatic motorized roller that targets your feet’s acupuncture point. Combining heat therapy and acupressure, it promotes better blood circulation as well.

The post DumbLittleMan’s Ultimate Gift Guide for Mother’s Day 2019 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

‘Giving up’ or ‘quitting’ on something has mixed connotations.

For one, giving up smoking is widely applauded.

Giving up on a marriage, on the other hand, well, it depends on who you speak to.

In my life, giving up has not been equated with praiseworthy behavior. To give up or to ‘throw in the towel’ is to be defeated.

I’ve seen myself and others be reprimanded for behavior like this. Giving up my ballet lessons, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons was my decision, age six. I thank my parents for having the grace to let me make the choice, but it was clear to me I’d made the wrong one in their eyes.

Despite the cloud of judgment that hangs over the realm of giving up, I’ve been an active quitter throughout my life. I feel like I’ve earned my stripes in the art of quitting, and now I’m on a mission to advocate for the life-changing magic of giving up.

My Best Quit Ever

My job, age 23.

I was in a position that any fresh graduate would be grateful for. I had landed a role as a junior designer in a digital agency, based in the heart of London’s West End. My colleagues were pleasant, we were always allowed to leave on time, at the crack of 5 pm. On paper, I had nothing to complain about.

job quitting

Inside, however, I was screaming. For some people, the open plan office environment with its bright lights and background drone isn’t for them. The commute wore me out, and I wondered every day how everyone else seems to be coping just fine.

But are they? Or are those other poker-faced commuters also screaming inside? Do we all just agree to this lifestyle, just to pay the bills and live in an apartment within walking distance to the cool cafes and good public transport links?

The Courage to Quit

Maybe some people really don’t mind it so much. But I did. So I quit.

I started freelancing, working from home and built my online business. The work was more challenging, the paychecks less predictable: but I was happy.

My most recent quit has been my home, I suppose. I traded that in for a nomadic lifestyle, taking my laptop and Aeropress on the road and gently stepping off the path that should, society tells us, lead to a happy home, 2.4 kids and a nice man to rub my feet.

Since then my eyes have been opened to the true generosity of many, many humans. I’ve seen first-hand the kind of incredible regeneration work is happening in the forests of Portugal. I’ve hiked in the Cascade Mountain range. And I’ve helped build a mini-golf course. Needless to say, I don’t regret my decision one bit.

why quitting is not bad

These decisions take courage. They are full of risk and uncertainty. When I quit my safe, well-paid agency job I didn’t know what would happen next. I didn’t know how to get my own clients or start an online business. I had to choose to trust myself to figure it out.

Now, I’m reminded of the bravery that takes. To say, ‘yes’ to uncertainty and to gather the strength to move forward into the unknown in spite of the risks, both financial and emotional.

The Stigma of Quitting

Quitting doesn’t have to be applied to something as dramatic as a job or home; it could be quitting sugar or late nights or speaking to that grumpy neighbor. These little decisions we make to put our foot down and say, ‘I quit’, and stand by that even if we’re scared; are life-changing.

If someone tells me they left their marriage of 35 years, I won’t cast a judgmental eye. I know that the courage that must have taken is worth applauding alone, whether or not it was the ‘right’ decision. After all, who are we to judge whether something is the right decision? The best we can do is acknowledge what comes our way and learn from the events we wish had gone differently.

I wonder if dropping our judgment around giving up is something that would actually help more families stay together or more employees stick around for the long haul. If we strip away the stigma attached to quitting, maybe we could talk more openly about that pull we have to bolt.

The conversation can then open up. We can ask ‘what can I do to help?’ In some cases, maybe the decision can be turned around altogether, simply because the person on the edge of leaving is met with compassion and understanding.

In some cases, it won’t. Giving up the past may be the best and only decision for many of us and the only path to a brighter future. Either way, I believe it’s time we drop the judgment around giving up and maybe even celebrate its life-changing magic.

Is there something in your life you can give up?

The post The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know

Can you use medical marijuana card out-of-state? What do you need to know about medical marijuana reciprocity? Let’s answer these questions and more in the following along with what you have to know about qualifying conditions and patient rights if you qualify for MMJ.

Qualifying Conditions

Per Amendment 2, the following is the list of qualifying medical conditions to apply for and secure a medical marijuana card in Florida.

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Terminal illness

Here is a list of qualifying conditions per state.

There are also medical conditions of the same class or kind that allow medical marijuana doctors to certify patients. They have medical conditions, which are both similar in nature to the qualifying conditions listed in Amendment 2 and are debilitating, too.
For example, if the patient has a debilitating condition sharing any of the following classes below, he or she may likely qualify for an MMJ card:

  • Immunodeficiency
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Terminal
  • Neurodegenerative and Neurological
  • Psychological
  • Autoimmune

Patient Rights

medical marijuana cards
Via mlive.com

You need to know your patient rights being an MMJ holder. For this reason, you should be well aware of sensible cannabis use and educate yourself about MMJ.

In addition, you must understand not only the benefits but also the side effects of the drug.
Nevertheless, being aware can help you make an informed decision especially in terms of limiting your chances of an encounter with the authorities.

Know that you can become a target of law enforcement by deciding to use MMJ because you’re not spared from avoiding arrest in all instances. For this reason, being educated and planning carefully can help you succeed in fighting charges.

Medical cannabis users might also want to attend the ASA “Know Your Rights” training for more detailed info.

Overall, you should be informed about the basics – having a current doctor’s recommendation and keeping a copy of it and the MMJ card at all times. Memorize or write down your lawyer and doctor’s phone numbers.

Remember, you can still be arrested even with a medical marijuana card especially if you’re found possessing excessive amounts than what’s recommended.

Where to purchase?

There are many medical marijuana dispensaries, including in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami where more than 150,000 patients can fill medical marijuana recommendations. However, it is still illegal to buy recreational weed in the state.

Florida dispensaries sell vape cartridges, THC or CBD oils, topicals, tinctures, capsules, syringes, concentrates like shatter, wax or dabs and flower. They also sell vaporizers, vaporizer pens, and other accessories.

Edibles, when allowed for a complete line by the law, can be the favorites among patients because they do not contain carcinogens from smoke that people can get from smoking or inhaling the herb.

But then under the state law, using marijuana buds or flower as the smoking method is legal.

Where to consume?

out of state medical marijuana

Currently, it is legal to possess up to a 70-day supply of medical marijuana in the state of Florida, while cultivation is not allowed. However, patients can only consume medical marijuana in a private property, nowhere else, in Florida.

It will also be wise to travel safely by not smoking and driving under the influence of cannabis.

If you’re traveling with cannabis, ensure that your vehicle is up to code and that the weed is concealed. You should not also smoke where people can see you. Also, don’t leave medical cannabis in public.

MMJ Reciprocity Program

In addition to patient rights, you must also know about the medical marijuana reciprocity program.

Take note that states may have agreements between each other. For instance, some states accept driver’s licenses issued by other states in their territories and roads, and that’s reciprocity.

In terms of medical marijuana, the same idea applies. Florida isn’t yet allowing the ability to use medical marijuana cards issued by other states, but others do except with some guidelines on how a patient can use his or her medical marijuana card out of the Sunshine State.

For example, in Arizona, they implement a list of qualifying and approved conditions. And for patients with any of the conditions approved by the state, they won’t be arrested for bringing or having their cannabis. However, they’re not allowed to buy from one of the state’s dispensaries.

In Alaska, where both medical and recreational marijuana is allowed, it does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards, but people 21+ years old can buy weed at a recreational weed dispensary.

Final Thoughts

Know the law along with your patient rights and about medical marijuana reciprocity to prevent getting yourself into trouble. Finally, stay on top of the basics and keep yourself informed about the latest changes in medical marijuana laws.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

The post Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know

Can you use medical marijuana card out-of-state? What do you need to know about medical marijuana reciprocity? Let’s answer these questions and more in the following along with what you have to know about qualifying conditions and patient rights if you qualify for MMJ.

Qualifying Conditions

Per Amendment 2, the following is the list of qualifying medical conditions to apply for and secure a medical marijuana card in Florida.

  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Terminal illness

Here is a list of qualifying conditions per state.

There are also medical conditions of the same class or kind that allow medical marijuana doctors to certify patients. They have medical conditions, which are both similar in nature to the qualifying conditions listed in Amendment 2 and are debilitating, too.
For example, if the patient has a debilitating condition sharing any of the following classes below, he or she may likely qualify for an MMJ card:

  • Immunodeficiency
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Terminal
  • Neurodegenerative and Neurological
  • Psychological
  • Autoimmune

Patient Rights

medical marijuana cards
Via mlive.com

You need to know your patient rights being an MMJ holder. For this reason, you should be well aware of sensible cannabis use and educate yourself about MMJ.

In addition, you must understand not only the benefits but also the side effects of the drug.
Nevertheless, being aware can help you make an informed decision especially in terms of limiting your chances of an encounter with the authorities.

Know that you can become a target of law enforcement by deciding to use MMJ because you’re not spared from avoiding arrest in all instances. For this reason, being educated and planning carefully can help you succeed in fighting charges.

Medical cannabis users might also want to attend the ASA “Know Your Rights” training for more detailed info.

Overall, you should be informed about the basics – having a current doctor’s recommendation and keeping a copy of it and the MMJ card at all times. Memorize or write down your lawyer and doctor’s phone numbers.

Remember, you can still be arrested even with a medical marijuana card especially if you’re found possessing excessive amounts than what’s recommended.

Where to purchase?

There are many medical marijuana dispensaries, including in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami where more than 150,000 patients can fill medical marijuana recommendations. However, it is still illegal to buy recreational weed in the state.

Florida dispensaries sell vape cartridges, THC or CBD oils, topicals, tinctures, capsules, syringes, concentrates like shatter, wax or dabs and flower. They also sell vaporizers, vaporizer pens, and other accessories.

Edibles, when allowed for a complete line by the law, can be the favorites among patients because they do not contain carcinogens from smoke that people can get from smoking or inhaling the herb.

But then under the state law, using marijuana buds or flower as the smoking method is legal.

Where to consume?

out of state medical marijuana

Currently, it is legal to possess up to a 70-day supply of medical marijuana in the state of Florida, while cultivation is not allowed. However, patients can only consume medical marijuana in a private property, nowhere else, in Florida.

It will also be wise to travel safely by not smoking and driving under the influence of cannabis.

If you’re traveling with cannabis, ensure that your vehicle is up to code and that the weed is concealed. You should not also smoke where people can see you. Also, don’t leave medical cannabis in public.

MMJ Reciprocity Program

In addition to patient rights, you must also know about the medical marijuana reciprocity program.

Take note that states may have agreements between each other. For instance, some states accept driver’s licenses issued by other states in their territories and roads, and that’s reciprocity.

In terms of medical marijuana, the same idea applies. Florida isn’t yet allowing the ability to use medical marijuana cards issued by other states, but others do except with some guidelines on how a patient can use his or her medical marijuana card out of the Sunshine State.

For example, in Arizona, they implement a list of qualifying and approved conditions. And for patients with any of the conditions approved by the state, they won’t be arrested for bringing or having their cannabis. However, they’re not allowed to buy from one of the state’s dispensaries.

In Alaska, where both medical and recreational marijuana is allowed, it does not recognize out-of-state MMJ cards, but people 21+ years old can buy weed at a recreational weed dispensary.

Final Thoughts

Know the law along with your patient rights and about medical marijuana reciprocity to prevent getting yourself into trouble. Finally, stay on top of the basics and keep yourself informed about the latest changes in medical marijuana laws.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

The post Out-Of-State Medical Marijuana Cards: What You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend

Friends are very important in our lives. If you have a true friend and find love in someone special, then you are one of the luckiest people in the world.

Essentially, true friendship is an expression of a type of love.

Whether you find friendship in a lover or someone you are just friends with, there may be a time when you question if this person is a true friend or not — and that’s ok.

Even well-established relationships need reviewing once in a while. No one would like to invest time into a relationship that is unproductive or heading nowhere.

These 15 signs of true friendship will help you determine whether someone in your life is a real friend or not.

They support you in everything

true friendship

A real friend will encourage you in anything that you try. They will be there every step of the way, looking for opportunities to help you grow. Your cause becomes their cause. They will rejoice when you are making progress and celebrate with you.

They stick with you at your worst

Life has its ups and downs. For many people, it is easy to stick around when the going is good but not when things are tough.

A real friend is not one of these many people, he or she is different.

They will be there when the going gets tough. Your worries become their worries. They share your successes as well as your failures.

They forgive you for anything

We are all humans and we may screw up sometimes. With a fake friend, a mistake can cost you a friendship but this is not the case with a real friend. A real friend forgives because he or she values your friendship more than your mistakes.

They always have your back

Whether you are wrong or right, once the deed has been done, a real friend will stand by you no matter what.

They will take your side and fight for you irrespective of who is on the other side. But even so, they will rebuke you and correct you when you are wrong.

They constantly keep in touch

Fake friends will only contact you when they need something or when things take a turn in their life. A real friend will contact you because they are interested in what is going on in your life.

They keep your secret

No one knows you quite like your real friends. If anyone is privy to your dark little secrets, it would be your true friend. A real friend values your confidence and will keep your secrets safe with them.

They make time for you

A real friend doesn’t just stay in touch via calls or chats, they make time for you. If you need them to help out with something really important, they will find time for it.

They will also squeeze out time to spend casually with you even when they have busy schedules.

They are loyal and faithful

A loyal and faithful friend is a true friend. Such a friend is someone who is unwavering in their devotion to you and any agreed cause. He or she would not betray you and can be trusted to keep to agreements.

They don’t ridicule you in public

A true friend knows your flaws but still accepts you regardless. The person does not go about mocking or humiliating you, especially in public.

A real friend will showcase your bright sides while helping you work on your weakness where they can.

They are open to you

A true friend is real, the person discusses things openly with you and does not hide feelings.

A real friend will tell you the truth irrespective of whether it hurts or pleases.

That’s not to say they don’t care how you will feel, they actually do.

They keep their promises

A true friend keeps promises. When a real friend says something, the person means it and keeps his words.

If something happens that makes fulfilling a promise difficult, a true friend will be sincere in telling you. And they would make it up to you at a later time.

They are trustworthy

A true friend should be a trusting and trustworthy person.

You are going to be sharing a chunk of your life with this person. It is important that they be someone you can trust and who trust you also.

The thing about trust is that it is earned. A true friend will not only earn your trust but not break it.

They know and understand you

sign of true friendship

Part of what makes someone a true friend is their understanding of you and how well they know you.

A friend should be able to say what you can do and what you cannot. A real friend may even understand you more than you understand yourself.

They will always have your interest at heart.

They remember things about you

What we care about we think about, and what we think about we remember. A true friend hardly forgets any event that is dear to you.

It may be your birthday, anniversary or any other celebrations.

When they can’t make it there, they will be proactive in telling you. Also, when it comes to discussions, a true friend will remember most because they are true listeners.

They think about you before themselves

Thinking of other people before oneself is an attribute of love. A true friend is a loving and caring friend.

Such a person will always look out for your interest, sometimes to their own detriment.

True friendship is about sacrifices.

See Also: 10 Characteristics of A Good Friend

The post 15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure

Do you ever feel the need to be more productive and organized in order to accomplish much more than what you are doing right now?

Time management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop in life. With effective time management, you enable yourself to become more productive at achieving the goals and objectives assigned to you at work. You also get better in achieving the ones you assign to yourself in daily life.

In this particular article, you will find 10 useful and effective time management strategies that will boost your productivity dramatically.

Conduct a Time Audit

To acquire the skill of time management, you need to figure out where you spend most of your time and what you accomplish in that particular time. Track all your activities for a week and evaluate them to find areas that need improvement.

For example, if most of your time is utilized in unproductive meetings and low-priority tasks, try to reschedule your agenda. That way, you’ll bring more positivity in your daily routine so that you accomplish more than what you are currently doing.

Prioritize your work according to the weight and importance that each task carries. The most important and heavy tasks should be performed first so that you can relax your mind whilst performing the less important tasks.

Prepare for Meetings in Advance

When going to a meeting, be clear in the points that need to be addressed in the meeting. This will help you save precious time which you can use in other productive tasks.

In addition to this, share the meeting agenda with your colleagues and subordinates. This will help make sure that they know about the topics that would be discussed in the meeting.

Set Time Limits

Before you start performing a task, make sure that you set a timer for that particular task. This will let you know how long it will take to complete it.

By setting time constraints, you will focus more on your work and you are more likely to complete it on time. In case you still fail to complete your tasks in the given time, examine the workflow. Eliminate the unnecessary breaks to complete the tasks in a timely manner.

Plan Your Week

time management strategy

Plan your week on a Sunday so that you know your priorities. Make a full-fledged plan regarding the activities that you have been assigned so that you don’t forget anything.

After completing the tasks, mark them done in your notepad. This will allow you to simplify your assignments and you will have a better idea about the time you need to put in to complete your work.

Create a Daily Plan

Before starting with your daily routine, take a few minutes to make an outline of the tasks that are lined up for that day. This will enable you to know how much time you can spend on each individual task.

Moreover, knowing the time will help you gain motivation for the day and you will be able to perform better.

Most people find the first hour of their day more productive. If you are one of them, use this precious time to complete the most important tasks of your day.

Block/Ignore Distractions

When working on a high priority task, make sure that you enable the “Do Not Disturb” function in your smartphone and laptop. You can also go offline by logging out of all social media networking sites.

It is worth mentioning the fact that you should not consider multitasking when doing something important. When you multitask, you are dividing your attention into several other tasks and you lose focus.

Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Instead of waiting for inspiration, create the perfect environment for yourself to work. Waiting for inspiration is a waste of time and businessmen do not have time for such things because time is money.

Keep your mind busy and stay away from daydreams because these emotions also tend to waste your precious time. Similarly, instead of striving for perfection, strive for your best performance and perfection will automatically follow you.

Organize Your Messengers

Keep your inbox organized at all times because, with everything classified, you will be able to find the right email without wasting any time. People with cluttered inbox usually lose important information at the time when they need it the most.

In order to organize your messengers, you should:

  • Keep your inbox clean
  • Archive messages that are important but do not require immediate action
  • Store the files attached in the messages in order to access them later when needed
  • Use filters to assign labels to all the incoming and outgoing messages.

Use Your Calendar

time management strategies

Keeping a calendar at your office desk is always a good idea to keep track of your upcoming meetings, routine tasks, and events. Mark the tasks that are done and complete the ones that are left so that you can enjoy your leisure time doing fun activities.

You can also download a calendar app in your smartphone in order to know when exactly a certain task is due.

Balance Your Life

Take full responsibility for your work and take some time out to relax your mind. Research shows that relaxed and peaceful minds perform better than the ones that are always tensed up about work.

The key to a stress-less mind is a balanced life. Have a great time with your friends and family when you are not at work because you deserve it.

See Also: How To Increase Your Productivity By Harnessing Dead Time

Conclusion

Your time belongs to you

Therefore, instead of wasting it in unproductive tasks, utilize it to accomplish the goals that mean something to you. Delegate some tasks on your subordinates and teach them how to perform better. That way, you can spend your precious time doing something that others are not capable of learning and executing.

The post 10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Fund Your Holiday of A Lifetime

We all have a place in the world that we want to visit more than anywhere else. Usually, it’s a far-flung place, steeped in history and a culture that is the complete opposite to our own.

The one problem though is funding it. Holidays of a lifetime don’t come cheap and if you want to enjoy the most memorable of experiences, you’re not going to be able to scrimp.

There are many ways in which you can fund the ultimate getaway- from innovative ways to make money to playing the lottery and crossing your fingers.

Here’s our guide on how to save money for dream vacation.

Find The Best Value Credit Card

how to choose the best credit card

Credit cards are the most common way of funding a huge trip. Booking flights and accommodation by credit card is not only sensible in terms of finance but will also cover you more should anything happen to your booking.

Many of us just use the credit card we’ve got and don’t make the most of 0% interest offers or cards that offer travel rewards.

There are tons of great cards out there that’ll help to cut the cost of your travels. And paying on a 0% card makes good sense if you plan on paying the card off within the period the card is offering it.

You’ll find some great no interest credit cards on the market, perfect for high-value payments.

It’s well worth exploring if you’re planning on paying with a credit card. After all, nobody wants to be paying huge amounts of interest.

Secure a Loan

Another option is to secure a loan. If you can similarly get one with low-interest rates, it really can be a worthwhile move.

At various stages in our life, there are things we need to do. If it’s before you settle down with children, for example, a loan can give you that opportunity. It gives you the chance to pay your holiday back at a reasonable rate.

It’s an option many take but it can be difficult to acquire if you have bad credit. You also must be sure you can afford the monthly payments. Otherwise, you could end up in trouble.

Review Your Finances

start business budget

It’s likely we’re all paying more than we should be in one way or another, whether that be on our utility bills or the gym membership we haven’t used in over six months.

There are dozens of ways in which you can cut your daily running costs, and you really can save hundreds of dollars in the process.

One of the best ways to do this is by looking at utility bills and deciding whether you could save by switching provider. In some cases, you could cut costs by £300 which is a significant chunk in flight or accommodation costs.

Other methods include changing the way you travel to work, cutting branded products in your weekly shop, and selling anything you have wasted capital in.

Create a Plan

First and foremost, you should create a plan and map out your finances.

You’ll find this more helpful than anything else as it’ll allow you to break down your income and expenses and realistically budget and forecast how long it will take you to save.

This will then give you a clear idea of when you can take your holiday. It will give you clear dates of when you’re going and even the right time to book the trip.

It’ll help bring you a firmer purpose for saving and all in all, make it much more effective. Within the plan, if you can set up a direct debit plan for saving, this will also hold you in great stead and help avoid spending what you should be saving.

The post How To Fund Your Holiday of A Lifetime appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Is It Possible To Find High Quality CBD?

CBD, shorthand for cannabidiol, is one of the fastest growing yet most misunderstood cannabis products. Largely unregulated by the FDA and derived from a substance which has been federally illegal for decades, this compound has medicinal effects often denied by big Pharma.

It’s no wonder there are massive amounts of misinformation and blatant lies surrounding CBD. Plus, there’s a near complete lack of scientific research into it.

Today, 69% of all “CBD” products aren’t labeled correctly. Amidst the sea of mislabeled products, hidden THC content, and flat out fakes, how does one find high-quality CBD?

Look For Availability, Gauge Your Own Needs

cbd

When considering CBD, the first step is to know thyself, so to speak.

What exactly will you take it for? What methods of dosage are you comfortable with or will be effective? And how important is the source of extraction? Should it come from hemp or marijuana?

The decision to use marijuana-derived may come down to a state law level and availability. Cannabidiol is a natural extract from naturally occurring cannabis plants. This includes both hemp and marijuana.

Though the CBD extracted from each source is comparable, there are some important differences in legal and usage levels. Hemp is classified as cannabis strains with less than 0.3% THC content. This constitutes legal levels of THC within federally legal CBD products.

On Different CBD Products

Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states to sell, buy, possess, and consume with no prescription required. However, states and localities may have differing laws on the books.

Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from cannabis strains with higher than the federally legal amount of THC. It is only legal in selected states and may or may not require an accompanying prescription.

CBD isolate is CBD crystals that are 99% pure and THC-free, but may not offer the same relief and effects as full spectrum. Full spectrum CBD includes additional cannabinoids, may contain traces of THC and has been shown to be more effective than CBD isolate at treating inflammation and pain in mice.

CBD products come in many different forms. The first fork in the road is fast-acting or long-lasting.

For headaches or insomnia, rapid relief from fast-acting effects is a good choice. While for chronic pain, inflammation or arthritis, long-term effects may provide the best course of action.

Oil concentrates applied orally via a tincture or liquid vaping from pen or e-cigarette are among the most popular and effective means for rapid relief needs. Gel caps, infused edibles, and even skin patches that slowly release CBD through the skin are favored by those seeking steady, long-term effects.

Targeted treatments for specific pain respond to CBD lotions and salves. They also work best for skin conditions and localized pain.

Meanwhile, vaping is the most popular method of dosing CBD but among the less discreet options. Oils and sublingual tinctures are more portable and often just as effective. Treatment needs aside, it’s often a personal preference that helps guide product selection.

Lack of Oversight Means Nearly Anything Goes

cbd products

Without the FDA labeling safeguards, content regulations, and legal uncertainty, it’s up to the manufacturers to keep their own products in check. Nonetheless, it’s still the consumer’s responsibility to make informed choices.

But how?

If this were any other variety of vitamins, supplements, prescription medication or even over-the-counter drug, it would be simple to visit the corner store and pick up something that was as labeled. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with CBD.

Without the watchful eye of the FDA, industry standards are not subject to the strict rules of government agency beyond legal levels of THC. It’s this confusion that is passed on directly to the consumer and it’s the consumer’s job to find a manufacturer and retailer they can trust.

Again, nearly 70% of CBD products are mislabeled and this could mean anything from misprints to unlabeled contaminants. Fortunately, many reputable manufacturers of oral CBD products choose to follow the FDA guidelines for supplements and vitamins, much to the benefit of consumers.

However, there are still some best practices to keep in mind when browsing products:

  • How long will it last? Identify servings per container, packing and storage instruction, and expiration date of products.
  • How strong is it? Products should indicate exact CBD content, dosage, and serving size.
  • What does it come with? Terpenes, like other natural plant extracts, may add aroma, sweeteners may enhance flavoring, and carrier oils for tinctures should be food-grade.

See Also: How CBD Has Improved the Medical Industry

Just last year, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp and its cannabinoids for CBD products and manufacturing. But it’s still up to the consumer to stay informed, know the difference, and find quality products on their own. Here’s where to begin.

The post Is It Possible To Find High Quality CBD? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Terrific Books That Can Make You Fall In Love With Math

So, you are a student who loves reading and writing.

You write essays, reviews, and stories. It’s not a problem for you to help peers with their academic papers and you are ready to read tons of books on different topics. Wouldn’t it be great to have reading and creative writing the only subjects in school?

But here come the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

Physics, Economics, Chemistry, and…

MATH!

You wish you could fall in love with all those graphs and formulas, but merely a reference to exact sciences can set your teeth on edge. But what if I tell you that math can be exciting? More than that, it can become your favorite subject!

How?

Easy.

Just one word: read.

To be specific, read the most terrific books providing insights into the world of numbers and formulas. Once you turn to the last pages of the following books about math, you’ll never consider it boring or difficult again.

1. The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life by Jordan Ellenberg

Quote to think about:

“A basic rule of mathematical life: if the universe hands you a hard problem, try to solve an easier one instead, and hope the simple version is close enough to the original problem that the universe doesn’t object.”

Ellenberg shows how wrong you are when considering math as nothing but a dull set of rules to learn at school. Mathematics touches everything we do. It allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the chaotic surface of this world.

Armed with math, you can see the true meaning of information. This book provides insights to encourage your clear thinking about different areas of life. As the author says, doing math is like being “touched by fire and bound by reason. Logic forms a narrow channel through which intuition flows with vastly augmented force.”

2. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

Quote to think about:

“I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logic or reasons can be found.”

Big chances are, you’ve watched the eponymous movie already. It is a biographical story of John Nash, one of the most brilliant mathematicians and a Nobel prize winner who suffered from schizophrenia. Despite that, he was able to elaborate on the game theory underpinning a large part of economics.

Sylvia Nasar describes John’s life, giving an interesting exposition of his mathematical ideas. His struggle with the disease and input in science deserve mentions and respect.

3. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman

Quote to think about:

“No news is ever as good or as bad as it first seems.”

This book is a kind of the biographical story of Paul Erdős, a mathematician who lived and loved nothing but his subject. It consists of Erdo˝s quotations or paraphrases, which help readers understand his care and affection with everything related to math.

Paul Erdős loved to invent jokes, so you would definitely not be bored while reading the story about this interesting personality.

4. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Quote to think about:

“What did God do before he created the universe?”

Don’t say you never heard of the author and the book itself!

First published in 1988, this work has become a classic of scientific writing already. Professor Hawking tells about the origins and nature of our universe as well as predicts its further development.

Wormholes, time travels, satellites, and the fabric of space – you don’t have to be as smart in physics as a whip to get the author’s ideas.

5. Journey through Genius by William Dunham

Quote to think about:

“One of the genuine attractions of number theory is that conjectures simple enough to be understood by elementary school students nonetheless have been immune to the efforts of generations of the world’s best mathematicians.”

If you don’t believe that math theorems can be creative, this book is your must-read. The author takes each theorem and places it within the historical context.

Archimedes, Gerolamo Cardano, Georg Cantor… How did math influence geniuses? How did they prove theorems, and why did they do it after all?

This work by William Dunham is a rare combination of biography, history, and math.

6. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Quote to think about:

“Missing a train is only painful if you run after it! Likewise, not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that’s what you are seeking.”

A black swan is a highly improbable event: unpredictable, carrying a massive impact, and easy to explain once after it has happened.

According to Taleb, black swans underlie everything about the world. But why do we not acknowledge them until after they happen? For years, the author has been studying how people fool themselves.

Read his book to have a look at the black swan theory and decide whether it stands to reason.

7. Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart

Quote to think about:

“Unless you are genuinely interested in working with someone, don’t. It doesn’t matter how big an expert they are, or how much grant money the project would bring in. Stay away from things that do not interest you.”

Ian Stewart tells what he wishes he had known when he was a student. Philosophical and practical, he described subjects, including mathematics, with reasons why it’s cool, logic with its proofs, the beauty of mathematical thinking, and many others.

Written with easygoing humor, the book is worth reading by all means.

Are you among those in love with math already? Do you choose numbers over words, and would you read some actionable guides rather than fiction stories?

Then, your choice might be the ultimate lists of books about math to learn facts on the subject and get help with math topics.

Whatever you choose, remember:

There ain’t no such thing as boring subjects. There are professors who are unable to disclose the true colors of those subjects when they’re actually much richer than just black and white.

The post 7 Terrific Books That Can Make You Fall In Love With Math appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home

According to FBI crime statistics, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes nationwide with losses of $15.3 billion in 2017.

Though you certainly don’t want your home to become the next target of potential thieves, sometimes you might be unwittingly inviting burglars into your home and putting your property (your family as well) at risk.

To avoid ending up in a low-hanging fruit in the eyes of intruders, make sure you’re away from these 8 home security mistakes:

Unlocked doors, windows, and other entrances

unlocked door

The shocking fact is that 32% of homeowners leave a window open and 13% leave a door unlocked. This offers a great opportunity for thieves to sneak into your home without alerting your neighbors.

So, take a few seconds before you leave home to double check all your doors, windows, and other entry points. And don’t forget about your storage shed, basement or garage as well!

No lights on at night

A dark home at night can be a clear sign that your house is vacant. Instead of turning all your lights on when you’re away from home (smart burglars will easily see through this trick), it’s better to install timers on interior lamps. That way, you can create an appearance that the house is occupied.

Uncollected mails, newspapers, and packages

If you plan to go away for a vacation or on a business trip, ask a reliable neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your mails, newspapers, and packages in advance. You may request the post office to hold your mails and ask the newsagent to stop delivering your papers until you come back home.

Leaving ladders and tools out

Leaving a ladder, hammer, saw and other tools in open areas is practically inviting trouble for yourself. Once these fall into the hands of burglars, the next thing you can expect, without any doubt, would be forced entry into your home.

Place your tools in your garage or basement after use. Also, make sure that your basement and garage are well locked.

Untrimmed bushes and landscape

Overgrown bushes not only provide ideal shelter for burglars to hide when casing your house but also indicate that you have been away for a long time. It might lure burglars into your home.

Trim the bushes and mow your lawn regularly to make sure no one can hide in it. If you’re going away for a long period of time, hire someone to attend to the landscape during your absence.

Displaying valuable items in plain view

Are you leaving your garden furniture and lawn decorations in plain sight? Or do you just throw away the box of your brand-new TV or computer on the curb? Watch out!

Thieves select homes to break into by taking note of boxes curbed as trash, especially during holiday seasons. A safer way to dispose of the trashes for valuables is to cut them up and toss them in the trash can.

Leaving spare keys under carpet/stones

You might think it is a great idea to hide your spare keys under the carpet or stones but never underestimate the burglars. They’re good at hide-and-seek games.

Doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, and stones are normally the first places smart thieves would search for. If you’re afraid that you might be locked out, give a set of keys to a trustworthy family member or your friend.

Showing off on social media

It is understandable that you love to share a memorable experience during a trip on social media. But take heed, posting your vacation details on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is basically announcing to the burglars that your home is unoccupied and free to break into.

So instead of posting your real-time vacation moments, wait until you come back home to share the photos online.

See Also: Home Security: Try These 10 Ways to Make Your Home Safer – Without a Gun

The post 8 Ways You’re Actually Inviting Burglars Into Your Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Tips For Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes

If you are a company that requires employees to drive as part of their job, you need to establish a fleet safety program. Automobile accidents occur every five seconds with death and injuries as part of the mix. As an employer, you cannot be too careful when it comes to safety and liability. Most fleet accidents are caused by driver error and are preventable.

These tips will help you avoid motor vehicle crashes and keep your employees safe.

Tip 1 – Set up a Safe Driver Program

A joint effort by the NETS, NHTSA and OSHA designed to reduce motor vehicle accidents suggest that employers set up a safe driver program. They even offer a brochure to help you set one up.

OSHA explains that “your program should work to keep the driver and those with whom he/she shares the road safely. And, if necessary, the program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a “be safe” culture. By instructing your employees in basic safe driving practices and then rewarding safety-conscious behavior, you can help your employees and their families avoid tragedy.”

Tip 2 – Written Policies and Procedures

Make sure your employee handbook includes detailed information on safety rules and procedures that employees must implement in their jobs. Have them sign an agreement to these terms to make sure they read and understand them.

Tip 3 – Ongoing Safety Training

Motor vehicle safety is not a one-off but an ongoing conversation with employees. Upper management needs to be on-board and committed to long-term safety and results. Hold regular training sessions with updated information on safety issues, proper use of seatbelts, fatigue, and drug and alcohol use when driving. Remember not all employees are the same. Some will need extra training and one-on-one instruction.

Tip 4 – Driver Screening

One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to screen potential employees, review their driving record, and hire only individuals with a clean and safe driving record. The Department of Motor Vehicles can provide driving records to employers.

Tip 5 – Vehicle Maintenance

vehicle maintenance

Just as important as your drivers, it is critical to keep your machinery in good working order. Make sure you have a plan for regular maintenance and safety inspections of all your vehicles. The NHTSA offers lists of the safest and most reliable cars to include in your fleet. Consider technological upgrades to your vehicles to help drivers be safe and more accountable for their driving behavior.

Tip 6 – Rewards/Disciplinary Action

Have not only a disciplinary action plan for employees who incur infractions (even minor traffic tickets or minor scrapes) but also a rewards program for those employees who display exemplary driving records while in your employ. Ask for employee feedback, so everyone is on the same page. Drivers can be your eyes and ears and bring up issues you didn’t even know about.

Tip 7 – Regulatory Compliance

employee background

Make sure you comply with all local, state and federal driving and road safety rules. If one of your employees is in an accident, report it to the police and follow insurance guidelines as well. Consult the agencies below to familiarize yourself with the laws and compliance regulations that you need to be aware of:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
  • National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)

Work-related crashes impact both the employer and employee in financial and psychological ways. Implement a robust program to avoid these issues and keep everyone safer and your bottom line healthy.

See Also: Personal Injury Claims After A Car Accident

The post Tips For Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Tech Can Protect Your Home From Hail Damage

In July 2010, an astonishingly large, naturally forming hailstone was recorded in the United States. At a weight of around 22 pounds, 19 inches in circumference, and 8 inches in diameter, though this stone was large, it was quite possibly one of many.

Sizes of hailstones vary from pea-sized to softball-sized. However, any hailstone over 1.5 inches is almost guaranteed to leave some damage behind. For an unprepared roof, hailstones like this are bad news.

Hail Happens – And It’s Getting Worse

Among some of the most unpredictable of weather events, hail can happen virtually anywhere by forming within the lower levels of thunderstorm clouds.

Heavy rain and variable winds keep moisture in the clouds, forming into water droplets that fuse and freeze together. They are kept afloat in the clouds by storm updraft.

Eventually, when the winds can no longer sustain the weight of the frozen pellets, they begin to fall to the ground unmelted.

Though bouts of hail usually don’t last longer than several minutes, the damage they can leave in their wake is serious. The worst part? It’s difficult to see them coming.

Hailstones may fall at speeds greater than 90 miles per hour.

High-velocity winds can make the trajectory of hailstones hard to predict and increase damage, thus making it difficult to insure.

Climate change is pushing risks of hail into Western and Northeastern states.

Across the United States, 2017 is *hailed* as one of the worst years for hail damage, resulting in 11 million affected properties and $1.7 billion in property damage. Damage in Texas alone made up $1.3 million of that damage. In some states, more than half of their properties were damaged by hail, 57% in Kansas, and 55% in Oklahoma.

Hail Damage Is Expensive

hail storm

Nearly every state in the US has experienced at least one major hail storm and we aren’t the only ones. In 2017, extreme weather and its subsequent damage caused $330 billion in global property damage and over $135 billion in insurance paid claims.

Highly destructive and unpredictable weather events are increasing all over the world. In the last three decades, the average number of natural weather catastrophes increased by nearly 175%, hail storms hitting every seven to nine days.

In 1987, the average number of natural catastrophes was 490. Just last year, it was 850. Excluding Alaska, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, every state in the US has experienced threats and damage from falling hail.

Every year, hailstorms cause more than $10 billion in damage all across North America.

Damage Prevention And Early Detection Are Key

In terms of hail damage prevention, there’s currently only so much we can do.

For properties within areas that frequently see thunderstorms and hail, the right roofing material can go a long way. Consider 26 gauge roofing instead of standard asphalt shingles and inspect your roof regularly for damage.

After that point, it’s up to your insurance coverage to help protect your investment: your home.

Yet, compared to other types of weather damage, hail is tough to insure for. Giving consumers the right quotes takes a lot of data and reliable methods of both predicting risk and assessing the damage. Up until this point, this wasn’t always possible. Hail damage is difficult to address immediately and insurers may file claims months after the event itself.

Tech Is The Newest Solution

Further development with IoT and more emerging technologies are helping insurers and homeowners get a better idea of the regional risks for hail and other types of weather damage. As insurance agencies turn to remote AI monitoring of properties, surrounding weather, and incoming storms, homeowners are also utilizing personal home monitors to help detect and stop leaks.

At the end of the day, more and more consumers are getting the insurance coverage they need all the while educating themselves on the best practices for a truly hail-proof home.

From damaged crops to cars to properties to people, the forces of Mother Nature are unpredictable. And while we cannot stop the weather from hitting, we can be ready to withstand whatever comes at us.

See this infographic for more information on the increasing threats of hail damage, how technology is helping us see it coming, and what the next generation of weatherproofing looks like.

Please include attribution to WeatherCheck.co with this graphic.

Hail No! Protecting Your Properties From Hail Damage

 

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How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely

You’re a 9-to-5 desk jockey chained to your cube.

The ambient chatter of your co-workers has burned into your earholes.

The worst part?

You can do your job from anywhere and be more productive.

Instead, you have to wake up at 6 am. It feels akin to crossing the Sahara desert with no camel.

Take heart and put your party pants on because you’re about to start working from a hammock and enjoy the blue sky.

Here’s what you can do when asking your boss to work from home.

Make Sure You’re a Top Performer

top performer

A whopping 56% of jobs in the US are compatible with remote work.

Yours might be one of them. But before you ask your boss to work remotely, your performance needs to be topnotch.

Chances are, your boss’ management style—we’ll call her Nicole—is based on Andrew Grove’s Task Relevant Maturity (TRM) concept.

I know, the name does not roll off the tongue but the idea behind it makes perfect sense.

Nicole is either hands-off or on depending on your performance:

If you do the job like Elon Musk, you can gallivant all around the globe. But if you’re more like Frodo with his arm broken, you’d better stick to the office like glue.

How do you know if you’re a top performer?

Your recent performance reviews shine green and your boss regularly takes his hat off to your achievements. Your work is in concert with peers.

All boxes ticked?

Crack on.

Decide What You Bring To The Table

You want to work from home in your pajamas but you need a better excuse. Your boss needs to know what’s in it for her.

So, come up with a list of perks Nicole will get when you’re away.

Here are a few examples if you’re a writer:

  • I’ll be able to output more articles a week for the company blog because of fewer distractions.
  • I will be able to start work earlier because I can avoid the commute.
  • I’ll be fully available in Slack and Skype whenever the team needs me and I can come to the office anytime.

Once you can show Nicole you’re better off working remotely, you’ll enter the digital nomad lifestyle with no hassle.

Have the Conversation

convince the boss

You’re killing it in your job and you can take your efficiency to the next level if you work remotely.

Now, it’s game time.

Shoot an email to Nicole. It’ll give her time to reflect on your request.

Here’s what you can write:

Spotlight your successes

Example: My last performance reviews were positive and I feel I’m doing a pretty good job. Two of my latest articles are ranking number one in SERP and they both have been shared by 100+ users.

Emphasize the benefit for the company

Example: If I could work from home, I’d be able to produce more articles because I’ll have far fewer distractions than I do in the office. On top of that, I could start my day at 8 AM because I won’t have to commute.

Address potential concerns

Example: Even though I won’t be physically present in the office, I’ll be available via Slack and Skype. If you want me to attend a meeting, I can come to the office anytime during the day.

Pro tip: If a home office is uncommon in your company/team, ask for small trial runs. If things work out, you’ll be able to up your remote days.

Once you prove you’d better off working from home, consider your request approved.

See Also: 8 Ways To Set Up An Awesome Home Office

What Do You Think?

How would you approach the talk with the boss?

Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

The post How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work Remotely appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Internet Access While Traveling: Tips for Keeping Your Data Safe

Are you tired of unreliable and painfully slow internet when traveling? Do you worry about your security?

It does feel like an endless battle waiting for apps to respond and pages to load. Imagine spending your precious traveling time looking at a blank screen instead of enjoying the beautiful environment.

To ensure you enjoy your internet access without worrying about your security while traveling, we have put together some really helpful tips.

Ensure you stick to secure sites

First, check the website if it’s secure. You can check if a site is secure by going through the security information using a trusted browser like Firefox or Chrome. You’ll know a site’s connection is safe when there’s a green lock on the left side of the URL.

It is important that you try avoiding entering sensitive information on non-secured sites, especially when using a public network. This includes entering credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal details.

See Also: 8 Easy Steps To Your Browser Security And Privacy

Avoid using apps

internet connection while tracvelling

App security is less stringent when compared to browser security. In case you are using apps from popular brands like Paypal, you will definitely be okay.

However, it is important that you try avoiding entering sensitive information into apps from not so popular companies. This is crucial, especially when using a similar password for various websites.

Switch off file sharing

Ensure that your files are secure.

In most cases, when you are using your laptop on the home network, you normally share folders with your parents, siblings or friends. This is okay as long as you remember to turn it off when connecting to a public Wi-Fi.

If you forget to turn off file sharing, every person who connects to the same Wi-Fi can view your files.

The most recent computers are smart and capable of automatically turning off file sharing when you connect to public Wi-Fi. However, it is advisable that you always double check.

Update your anti-virus

It is important that you never connect your devices to any free Wi-Fi network without an updated antivirus. Most smartphones and laptops these days come with built-in software like the Windows Defender. However, you are still advised to step up and download software like Avast, which is capable of giving you an extra layer of protection.

Use VPN

traveling with internet access

You can consider using a VPN, which will act as your private internet bodyguard. VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your connection to ensure everything you send over the internet is hidden.

VPN is cheap and accessible. You should never have an excuse for failing to use one.

See Also: How to Set Up a VPN

Conclusion

The above measures will not make you bulletproof. However, they will help in reducing your chance of being targeted and improve your internet access while traveling.

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How Bipolar Disorder Affects Relationships

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which can cause several changes in a person’s mood. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder fall in two categories — high moods (mania) and extremely low moods (hypomania).

During the manic phase, people lose their common sense to judge anything, while they completely withdraw from everything and everyone when in a hypomanic state. These changes in mood can seriously affect relationships since it contributes to how they interact with others.

Bipolar Disorder and Relationships

If you have bipolar disorder, then your mood swings can cause unusual changes in your behaviors. This can make it more challenging to go on dates or even marry.

Scott Haltzman (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Brown University) tells that this disorder can seriously create problems in any relationship. In his book Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women, he also tells that when people get into a relationship, they want stability. It’s not something you can easily get when you have bipolar disorder.

Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder

bipolar dating

If you are suffering from bipolar disorder, you may feel nervous whenever you are starting a new relationship.

But, here’s the thing:

There is no need to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date. You should find the right time to tell your partner that you have bipolar disorder.

Revealing that you are suffering from bipolar is not an auspicious beginning to your relationship. Dr. Haltzman also says that when you feel that there is a strong mutual attraction between you and your partner, that’s the point where you should clear the actual problem.

Dating someone with psychiatric problems can be challenging because you can’t control your partner’s mood swings. If you want to succeed in your relationship, you should concentrate on your partner’s treatment and focus on communication.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Married Life

Work stress, money issues, and other factors can put a strain on your married life. Stress caused by one’s day-to-day, however, can turn to problems of epic proportions when your partner has bipolar disorder.

Research shows that this is the main reason why 90% of marriages fail.

Like most people, those with bipolar disorders have many good qualities but they may show undesirable behaviors as well. They may show love and affections and be cold and distant at the same time.

These unpredictable behaviors may be very difficult and challenging for all married people. In such conditions, you should cooperate with your partner and make your married life stronger than ever.

How Does Someone Develop Bipolar Disorder

Doctors do not know the exact causes of bipolar disorder. However, experts consider a few factors that predispose one to develop the condition.

Family genes and abnormal brain structures are two factors often believed to cause bipolar disorder. Scientist and researchers are still trying to find out more about it.

How Bipolar Disorder Can be Treated

Educate yourself: Educate and prepare yourself before you start a relationship with a person who has bipolar disorder. Do your research to know how you can deal with and understand this psychiatric problem.

Teach your partner: Teach your partner how to react during different mood swings and what they can do to overcome them.

You have to be patient: When your partner’s mood swings interfere with your romantic or dating plans, you should remind yourself that it’s the condition and not your partner. Sometimes, taking a quick break helps.

Keep an open communication: You should be open with your partner and communicate openly.

Take proper medication: Help your partner to take medicine as prescribed. Show your support and help make sure no doctor appointments are missed.

Manage stress in different ways: You can ask your partner for a long walk or to eat healthily. Exercise regularly and be more active. A change in lifestyle can go a long way.

bipolar relationships

Regular therapy: Regular therapy is an essential component when it comes to addressing psychiatric problems.

Child school support: Children who are suffering from this mental illness can be treated by the school support system. School psychologists, counselors, and other staff should participate in helping children succeed in school.

The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Bipolar disorder and depression are different from each other. Knowing how they are different can help you plan the right approach.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder refers to the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. A person may be depressed for a long period of time and show low energy, anxiety, and emptiness. When his energy is high, he may experience racing thoughts and feelings of power that can last for several days or months.

Depression

Depression is deeper than sadness. If you have this condition, you may feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. You may loss interest in things you used to enjoy. You’ll experience changes in appetite, sleep problems, and even suicidal thoughts or actions.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Author: Kaitlin Adam

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5 Rules For Effective Packaging Design

Your packaging choices can make or break your brand. After all, your product’s packaging design influences consumer behavior and brand perception.

If you want to start right with design, check out the following rules to follow.

Be honest with customers

Honesty can go a long way in package design. It must be the true reflection of your product or brand.

Do not attempt to under-deliver or over-promise. Otherwise, you’ll disappoint your customers by tricking them into something that does not exist or that they don’t expect.

Speaking of honesty, strive hard to depict your product in the best way possible.

For example, why would you put a cookie in melted chocolate if you were just selling chocolate-flavored cookie? Or why would you include many strawberries in the design of your fruit yogurt if yours has little strawberry content?

Just be honest. Don’t depict your product five times better than it is. Otherwise, you’ll mislead and disappoint customers who won’t attempt to buy from you ever again. In all cases, don’t use a misleading package design.

Keep it simple

simple packaging design

Simplicity and clarity go hand in hand.

For one, customers have nothing against inexpensive products, so you don’t have to put many unnecessary elements in the design. It will just mislead customers.

Simplicity is the key to helping customers easily recognize what your product is for and what the brand behind it is.

For example, avoid listing tons of benefits without a clear brand name or try to make your packaging look great on the outside without clearly explaining what’s inside it.

It’s one of the main rules of package designing – it must be clear about the product and the brand.

Make it useful

Think about the footprint of your product’s packaging and factor in transportation and/or international transit cost.

Make sure your box, can or bottle is moderately small. Before the actual manufacturing of your product’s package, deliberate over it along with your product’s shelf life.

With usefulness of a product’s packaging design also comes practicality. It deals with the actual functionality, shape, and size of the jar, bottle, box or container and not just of the wrap or label.

The more sales your product might be getting if it’s indeed a practical product.

Remember Heinz?

heinz upside down bottle

Its sales went up when it turned its bottle upside down because that design simply makes ketchup dispensing much easier

At the end of the day, ask yourself:

  • Does my package feature conveniences or innovations valued by customers?
  • Can it solve a problem?

Finally, you must adhere to the law and ensure that your packaging is recyclable.

See Also: Why The Right Product Packaging Is Essential to Your Business’ Success

Create a WOW customer experience

Another rule for an effective packaging design lies in customer experience.

What kind of impression do you want to leave consumers? How would you make them remember your brand and product while browsing different other products in the grocery shelf with your package design?

That’s why you have to express a unique and clear reason to exist in the first place. If you’re good at this, you’ll create a deeper relationship with your customers because they feel good about your brand.

One way to do that is to appeal to them with your package design. Make equally great packaging choices. Don’t embellish too much or else, you won’t make an accurate representation of your product.

You should also not exaggerate things by making your product seemingly loaded when it is not. As again, you have to be honest with your customers.

Make eco-friendly packaging

Go green with your packaging and show customers you sincerely care for the environment. Make sure that your packaging design has a lower carbon footprint to help you create a positive image for your brand.

And again, ensure it is recyclable and your materials are sourced locally. By using eco-friendly packaging, you can improve your brand’s image, too. This will favor consumers who are environmentally conscious.

Final Thoughts

Remember that your choices influence how consumers will perceive your brand and product. It’s your last chance to convince them to choose you over competitors.

If you want to make an impact — not only on the shelves but also in the minds of consumers — think about the best packaging design that shows honesty, eco-friendliness, usefulness, and simplicity. Finally, it should create a WOW customer experience.

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10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success

Being an entrepreneur is never about the end result but the journey you embark yourself on. If you really want to succeed, you must look past your failures and pursue your goals with persistence.

Unfortunately, staying motivated on this journey isn’t easy. Whether it’s online trading or any other business you are running, always remember that there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

Ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs survived and still managed to thrive? Well, it wasn’t easy for them, either. Hear it from themselves.

Here are some words of advice from 10 most influential and unstoppable entrepreneurs:

Elon Musk – Keep Questioning Yourself

elon musk

Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, Musk is a game-changing innovator. He is the real-life Iron Man. It’s amazing how he keeps running so many projects despite his previous failures.

Musk admits that he hasn’t read many books on time management. Still, he has some great advice to share. He says, “It’s important to have a feedback loop. It will let you think about what you have done and how you can do it better. So, constantly think about how you can do things better. Keep questioning yourself.”

Sheryl Sandberg – Be Yourself

sheryl sandberg

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is a role model for women and men alike. She has learned so many lessons from her journey of becoming the first woman to sit on the board of the social media giant – Facebook.

She believes there is no professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real-self during the weekends. This kind of division has never worked for anyone. She has cried at work so many times. She has talked about her hopes and fear and asked people about theirs. In the midst of it all, she tried to be herself.

J.K. Rowling – Believe in Yourself

j k rowling

J.K Rowling, the best-selling author behind the Harry Potter series, has a success story that’s an inspiration for all of us. It’s amazing how she wasn’t always a runaway success.
Rowling says that “You will face rejections but you must dare to believe in yourself. If you can’t do that, then find someone who will believe in you while you work on your ideas.”

Arianna Huffington – Be Comfortable with Failure

arianna huffington

Arianna Huffington, famous politician and founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post says you must learn to be comfortable with failure. It is something her mother taught her when she was young.

She said, “Failure isn’t the opposite of success. It is, in fact, the stepping stone to success.”

Arianna has a fair share of professional and personal setbacks. There was even a point in her career when she was tempted to change her profession. Despite that, she kept going with the belief that the best things come from the biggest heartbreaks.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Steve Jobs –Focus on Quality

steve jobs

Steve Jobs may not be with us today but this genius left a very sound piece of advice for young entrepreneurs. He has always given attention to detail and placed quality above quantity.

Let’s hear from Jobs himself – “Quality is better than quantity. One home run is better than two.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Move Fast

mark zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs. His advice for all newbies is to move fast and don’t hesitate to make mistakes. When you try to be perfect and move slow, you mess things up. As you move fast, you break things. And if you are not breaking anything, you are not moving fast enough.

Remember when Facebook received negative feedback on redesigning its news feed? The company then chose a middle ground by offering its users to retract to old newsfeed along with keeping the new one. When they rolled out the timeline, they used a similar strategy.

Jeff Bezos – Put Customers First

jeff bezos

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has so many businesses under his belt. What’s his secret to success?

Keep your customers above everything.

He says, “The most important single thing is to focus on your customers. Amazon’s goal is to become the most customer-centric company in the world.”

He’s right simply because customers make or break your business.

Tony Robbins – Psychology Makes or Breaks You

tony robbins

Who doesn’t know Tony Robbins, the famous bookseller, entrepreneur, and philanthropist?

He is best at negotiation, leadership, and organizational turnaround.

What’s his secret to success, you ask?

Robbin says, “Business success is 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics.”

Mark Cuban – There’re No Shortcuts

mark cuban

The owner of Dallas Mavericks says that best advice he would give to someone is to “Do the work. Outthink and outsell your expectations. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success.”

His father was the one to give this advice when he was in high school.

Daymond John – Save Money

daymond john

Daymond John is the founder of FUBU and an investor on Shark Tank.

When he came into the fashion business, an older salesman shared a piece of valuable advice with him. “You must save money in this business. You never know when you would have to invest it back into your business.”

Final Words

There’s always something to learn from the journey of successful people. Make sure you remember these pieces of advice as you move forward.

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Everything You Need to Know about INFJ Dating and Romance

Of all Myers-Briggs personality types, INFJ is considered to rank as the rarest. Only one or two percent of the population fall under the category – introversion, intuition, feeling and judgment. These people are a bit misunderstood because of this fact and because of their personality traits.

These are very imaginative and introspective individuals who, however, aren’t big communicators. This is why INFJ relationships can be difficult to establish. Once they find a partner, however, people who belong to the group form long-lasting bonds characterized by empathy and a deep level of commitment.

Are you wondering about INFJ romance? Whether you belong to the category or you’re dating someone characterized as INFJ, the following guide will shed some light on the biggest opportunities and some of the challenges you will have to overcome.

INFJ Personality Types: Strengths and Weaknesses

Because it happens to be relatively rare, the INFJ personality is somewhat misunderstood. Still, based on the Myers-Briggs characteristics, some valid conclusions can be drawn about the strengths and the weaknesses these people carry.

Let’s get started with the strengths first.

INFJ people are very insightful. They possess an analytical mind and they pay attention to details.

In addition, these people are very creative. INFJs are endowed with an incredibly vivid imagination and they often have creative professions. They are very keen on making the people closest to them happy, which means that they will come up with an intelligent solution for just about any problem that arises.

infj creative

INFJs are willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the people they love. An INFJ in relationships is giving, eager to please and selfless. As far as good characteristics go, it’s also important to point towards their conviction in life, reliability, decisiveness and conscientiousness.

Just like carriers of all other personalities, however, INFJs have their weaknesses.

A high level of sensitivity is good but it can also become a bad thing. This is why a good INFJ match is more balanced and capable of addressing such extreme sensitivities in a cool and collected manner.

These people tend to seek perfection in every aspect of life. They can burn out easily, especially if the cause they’re committing themselves to turns out to be something different from what was initially anticipated.

A final hindrance that could stay in the way of successful INFJ relationships is the fact these people can be extremely private. They’re introverts, which means that a lot will remain hidden instead of being discussed with a partner.

See Also: 8 Hustle Tips for Introverts and Creative Souls

INFJs as Lovers

infj romance

An INFJ person could find it difficult to attract romantic partners.

These individuals aren’t likely to approach strangers. Hence, INFJ dating could start in alternative ways to traditional flirts. DoULike and other dating sites have luckily provided opportunities that INFJs have been missing in the past.

Once they open themselves up to someone that’s romantically interested in them, INFJs will demonstrate their kind and loving nature. These people are very considered and gentle. They will work hard to make a lover happy. INFJ love is deep and emotionally-binding, even if it happens to be somewhat lacking in the passion department.

For INFJs, sexuality is not something casual or to be taken lightly. These people don’t find joy in casual encounters because intimacy is very spiritual and emotional for them. Hence, people who are just getting to meet an INFJ type for the first time may think this person is aloof. Under the right circumstances, however, INFJs could reveal their passion, care and desire to please a partner.

Communication with an INFJ Person

INFJ relationships could be difficult at first because of the specific manner in which these people communicate.

Remember that the I stands for introversion. These people are quiet and sensitive. Chances are that they will not speak out when something bothers them. While this characteristic is good in certain situations, it could be detrimental in terms of relationship problem solving and overcoming obstacles.

If you are the partner of an INFJ personality type, you should communicate in a calm and encouraging way. Work towards getting your partner to open up. Once they start trusting you, chances are that you will learn a whole lot about them that previously remained hidden.

It may also be a good idea to give them some time and space. While the relationship is probably going to progress slower than what you’re used to, the bond you will be establishing could potentially become unbreakable. Don’t push them because such a communication approach could get an INFJ to hide even deeper in their shell.

Which Other Personality Types Are Most Compatible with INFJs?

infj dating

INFJ compatibility is not an exact science. These people could get along with many other personality types, as long as these individuals don’t approach INFJ dating in an aggressive or flamboyant manner.

The INFJ best match balances their negative characteristics while gently challenging the private person to come out and to explore new aspects of life.

A few personality types are highly compatible with INFJs.

ENFPs (extrovert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving) is an excellent match. These people are free spirited and laidback. In addition, they possess a degree of creativity and will that will appeal to the INFJ. In addition, ENFPs are outgoing but sensitive towards the peculiarities of others. These two personality types will be willing to make necessary compromises in order to achieve relationship harmony.

ENFJs are known as givers and they could also match INFJs pretty well. The only difference between these two personality types is that one of them is introverted while the other one tends to be outgoing. These two personalities are concerned about similar issues, they possess a lot of creativity and empathy. The fact that the introversion and the extroversion balance each other out could result in a match made in heaven.

INFPs (introversion, intuition, feeling and perception) is another good choice for an INFJ partner. These people are idealists but they are much less punctual and willing to plan than INFJs. They bring a degree of spontaneity to the dating process that can be really refreshing. These people are also likely to remain optimistic about the future of the relationship even when things become challenging.

While INFJs are a rare personality type and they have various challenges to overcome, finding true love is possible. The kind nature and the willingness to understand/please their partners will work in their favor. INFJs will build very satisfying long-term relationships with the right people. While identifying the right match will often take a significant amount of time, such connections rank among the ones that are meant to last a lifetime.

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11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper

An essay is an excellent way to showcase what standardized test scores and grades can’t, your personality. Along with giving your admissions counselors and professors a glimpse of who you are, they’re excellent chances to showcase your writing ability. We’re going to outline several great tips on how to write a college paper below.

Open Your Essay with an Anecdote or a Mini Story

Instead of focusing your attention with trying to come up with gimmicky lines to grab and hold your reader’s attention, start with a small anecdote or mini story. The story you choose should give your readers a small hint of your personality, and this is what will grab and engage them from the start. They’ll want to learn more, so they’ll keep reading.

Get Help From a Writing Service

The use of writing services is on the rise, and it’s not because of lazy students. You might be surprised to know that even students with good grades are hiring these services. Apparently, some students’ load are too much too handle that extra help is needed.

If you’re an extremely busy student who needs that helping hand, you can try reputable writing services like Papersowl. They guarantee papers that are 100-percent free of plagiarism. You can also choose your style and subject before the site matches you with a writer.

Just make sure to do the final touches on your paper so that it still has part of your effort in it.

See Also: How to Find The Best Essay Writing Service for Students

Organize Your Writing

essay outline

Many people skip the organization step and dive straight into their writing. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s a fast way to get off track and lost. Create a rough outline that includes as many even paragraphs as you need to complete the essay while staying within the word count. Put an idea per paragraph, and structure your writing around them.

Combine Like Ideas into Sophisticated Sentences

Short sentences are one way to avoid punctuation mistakes. However, they can also make your paper seem choppy and disjointed. You should take your like ideas and combine them into more complex sentences. You should save your simple sentences for when you want to create a lasting impact that goes directly to the point.

Use Essay Hell for Inspiration

Essay Hell is not a writing service. It’s a site that helps students who are struggling with their essay-writing skills. Founded by a journalist and high school English teacher, the site offers tools like brainstorming sessions, writing tips, topic ideas, sample essays, and much more. It’s a place to find inspiration and conquer your essay writing block or fears.

Know Your Formatting Requirements

Formatting is huge, no matter which level you’re writing your essay for. Find out which formatting requirements your essay requires, and do a quick once-over to re-familiarize yourself with the guidelines. MLA and AP styles are both extremely popular, but there are more available. Most professors or teachers pick one and stick to it throughout the year, but it may not be the same from class to class.

Write Boldly and Vividly

Almost all essays follow a five paragraph format with generalized wording and observations. Imagine trying to grade them all. You want your essay to stand out. One way to accomplish this is to write very vividly and make pinpoint observations with sharp wording. Avoid generalized statements, and pack your essay with details.

Get Feedback

No one likes to hear that their writing or essay needs work. However, it’s vital that you get good and bad feedback on every essay you write. Pull a friend, college, or family member and ask them to review your essay and give their honest opinion. Just make sure that you keep the tone of the essay in your voice from beginning to end.

Proofread and Proofread Again

When you finish writing your paper, don’t just hand it in with a quick glance through for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Instead, put the essay away for a few hours and revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. You can also put it into a program that reads it back to you because it’s easier to catch auditory mistakes than it is to read them. You could also ask a friend to look it over.

See Also: How to Start a Proofreading Business At Home

Consider Keeping Your Essays Short

writing college paper

Unless you have a hard word count requirement, consider cutting your essay down. Shorter essays usually have less “fluff” or filler language because you have less space to fill in your ideas. Shorter essays are also usually more powerful. Cut out sentences that don’t add value to the point or points you’re trying to get across to your audience.

Cut Your Essay Into Three Parts

First starting out can be extremely intimidating when you think about an essay. But, you can cut it into more manageable parts to help create a clear outline. The three parts include:

  • Introduction – The first paragraph will introduce your essay idea to your audience. This is where you grab your audience’s attention and get them interested in your topic.
  • Body – Split the body of your essay into at least five paragraphs. Each paragraph should have one point or example you flesh out when you start to write that supports your introduction’s point.
  • Conclusion – The final paragraph will summarize your essay’s main point, examples, and the supporting points you highlighted in the body. Make sure that you tie up any open ends and reiterate your essay’s main point.

These 11 points on how to write a college paper can help you create a strong and compelling paper from start to finish. You’ll be able to use them to wow your professors or admissions clerks and make a memorable impression that carries through your college years.

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Everything You Should Know About Car Tires

Nobody wants to replace their tires. It costs a good chunk of money, and there’s nothing sexy about the purchase. At best, you’re ensuring that your car stays safe to drive. At worst, you’re experimenting with new tires that don’t work out too well.

That said, replacing your tires is inevitable. Even if you don’t do much driving, you’ll need to replace them eventually.

So how do you know which ones to buy? And how do you know when it’s finally time to pull the trigger?

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about car tires. From when to change them to what type of tires you need, we’ve got you covered.

When to Replace Your Tires

tire replacing

To begin with, let’s take a look at how you’ll know it’s time for a new set of tires.

Most manufacturers recommend changing tires at least every six years. This may seem like a long time, and it is. Most tires will wear out much faster. Six years is more or less their maximum lifespan, though. Rubber wears out over time and will start to lose integrity after six years, even if you only drive on weekends.

Since you’ll probably need to replace your tires more frequently, it’s important to know when they’re no longer safe to drive on. To do this, you’ll need to look at two things: the tread and the sidewalls.

The tread of your tire is the ribbed outer surface that makes contact with the road. Since rubber wears down over time, tires slowly lose their tread and eventually don’t have enough to grip the road.

So, how little tread is too little? A good rule of thumb is the penny test. Take an American penny and turn it upside down, then put it between the tire treads. If they cover the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, you’re safe to drive. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head, your tread is dangerously low and you need new tires.

The sidewalls of your tire can also become damaged. Although they don’t make contact with the road and don’t wear down, they can suffer from dry rot, or become damaged if you kiss the curb while taking a corner too tight.

It’s a good idea to inspect your sidewalls at least once a month. Look for cracks or gouges. If there’s a crack or a gouge that cuts deep enough to show anything other than rubber, you’re at risk of a blowout. Replace your tires as soon as possible.

See Also: Basic Car Repair Everyone Should Know

How to Choose The Right Tires For Your Car

So you’ve done your tests and it’s time to throw on a new set of tires. What now?

You’ll need to find the right tires for your vehicle. Since cars, trucks, and SUVs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it should come as no surprise that there are more tire sizes than you can shake a stick at. So, how do you know which ones you need?

The easiest way is to read the sidewall of your existing tire. There, you’ll see a code that looks something like this: P195/60R16. What does this mean?

In our example, P is the service description. It tells you what kind of vehicle these tires are for. P is for passenger vehicles, LT is for light trucks, ST is for trailers, and T is for temporary tires (donuts).

195 is the tire width, measured in millimeters. So an LT210 tire is a light truck tire that’s 210 millimeters in width.

60 is the ratio of height to width. Higher numbers are for taller tires, which will do better in poor conditions. Lower numbers are for shorter tires, which give you better steering, handling, and mileage.

The R stands for “radial”. Don’t worry about that too much. These days, all tires are radial tires, so they all have an R here.

The 16 is the diameter of the rim, measured in inches. This tells you what size rim the tire will fit.

For example, an LT210/80R20 tire is a light truck tire that’s 210 millimeters in width relatively tall and fits a 20-inch rim.

The other numbers on your tire will tell you the load rating, speed rating, and other features, but all of those tires will be compatible so long as the width, height to width ratio and rim diameter are correct.

Choosing The Right Tires For Conditions

Once you know what size tire you need, you’ll want to choose the right tires for your driving conditions. This will depend on the time of year and where you live.

If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere without much snow, a set of summer tires will give you the best performance and mileage. On the other hand, if you live somewhere with intermittent snow, a set of all-season tires are a good balance.

If you live somewhere with lots of snow, it’s a good idea to have two sets of tires: summer tires and snow tires. The snow tires will give you plenty of grip in the winter, and the summer tires will let you save gas during the warmer months.

How to Make Your Tires Last Longer

tire checking

Ultimately, the only safe way to delay changing your tires is to make them last longer. Here are a few driving tips for getting the most possible miles out of your tires:

  • Accelerate in a straight line, not while turning. Accelerating through turns puts extra wear on the edges of your tires, which can cause them to wear out faster.
  • Rotate your tires regularly. This will ensure that they wear as evenly as possible. Not only will you extend their life, but you’ll also prevent wobbling, which puts a strain on your suspension.
  • Check your tire pressure regularly. This is especially important in fall since lower temperatures can cause your tire pressure to drop. Underinflated tires don’t just wear faster; they also lower your gas mileage and cause your vehicle to handle poorly.

By following these tips, you’ll make your tires last as long as possible. You’ll save money, time and a trip to the mechanic.

See Also: 8 Must-Have Car Features That Will Save You Money

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How To Make Your Website More Mobile-Friendly

I could start by bombarding you with statistics on how many people now use smartphones vs. desktops, but you’ve probably heard them. I could talk about the importance of making your website usable and readable on mobile, but you’re doubtless already aware of that.

At this point, there’s really only one thing left to say.

Why isn’t your site already mobile-friendly?

If you’re on WordPress, translating your site to the smaller screen is actually quite simple. I can even walk you through it.

First, either make sure you’re using a theme that’s compatible with mobile devices or a mobile optimization plugin. Second, write and design your content considering how users browse on mobile. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Finding A Mobile-Optimized WordPress Theme

mobile friendly website

By far, Uncode is one of the best WordPress themes on the market. Not only is it flexible, dynamic, and attractive, it’s designed to have as small a resource footprint as possible.

It’s the perfect choice for a portfolio website or blog. Plus, its high degree of customizability means that no two sites running it will look exactly the same.

If you’re running a storefront through WordPress, you’ll want to go with Hudson. It’s reasonably priced, with a decent update schedule and a ton of advanced features that allow you to create a picture-perfect digital storefront.

Of course, these are just recommendations. You can check out theme directories like Tesla Themes, Theme Forest or Template Monster to see if you find one you like better than the above.

Installing A Mobile Optimization Plugin

If you’d rather not spend time trawling theme libraries or you have a theme of your own you want to use, you can instead choose to install an optimization tool like WPTouch, Touchy, Superfly or AMP. Depending on how heavily your site relies on elements like menus and media, you may want to do both.

Generally speaking, all four of the above plugins have the same feature-set with only minor differences between them. Which one you choose is really up to personal preference. I’d recommend trying out each one to see which is the best fit for your needs.

Tweaking Your Content

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about content.

Most people who are on their smartphones aren’t going to want to spend twenty minutes or more scrolling through a long-form article. They wouldn’t want to watch an hour-long webinar, either.

When someone arrives at your site via their smartphone, they’re probably not interested in staying for any longer than is strictly necessary.

What that means is they want content that’s streamlined, concise, and easy to digest. If you must include longer-form content, make sure it’s broken up into easily-digestible chunks through headlines or subheads.

And for the love of all that’s holy, never paginate your articles. A user on mobile probably isn’t going to wait for a new page to load just so they can keep reading a piece you’ve published.

Take A Mobile First Approach

website more mobile friendly

Smartphones are the future. Of that, there can be no doubt. If you haven’t already optimized your WordPress site to be both usable and readable on them, you need to do so now.

Otherwise, you’re going to be left in the past.

See Also: The Hidden Costs of Developing A Mobile App You Should Be Aware of

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