Dumb Little Man

How to Get Out of Work For An Interview [10+ Fireproof Excuses]

So, you just found a stellar opportunity that might launch your career into the stratosphere. You submitted a well-crafted application and a few days later, you get the callback. The company wants to invite you for an in-person interview.

Woohoo!!

Problem?

You don’t want your boss to know you’ve been going to interviews on company time.

Now, don’t stress as you’re about to learn how to get out of work for an interview.

Get All the Info First

job interview

When a recruiter says he’d like you to come in and do the interview, you’ll want to slap an S on your chest and jump right on it.

But before you throw your entire schedule atop a blazing fire, ask the recruiter these questions:

  • How long will the interview take?
  • How many interview rounds will I have to go through?
  • Any chance you could meet off the clock?

The answers to these questions will help you do better in working the interview into your schedule.

Pro tip: Right from the get-go, tell the recruiter you want to keep things on the down-low. Otherwise, the company might call for a reference and you will find yourself in hot water.

Don’t Over-Complicate It

Here’s the thing:

If you’d like to do an interview, it’s best to take a day off or at least a half-day off.

Why?

First, you won’t have to sneak away from the office and worry you’ll get found out. Second, you’ll have a boatload of time to prep for the interview (e.g., do company culture research.)

So, here’s what you can tell your boss:

Hey John, I’d like to take a day off/half-day off on Friday to take care of some personal matters. Is that OK?

Now, in some companies, you’ll need to submit time-off requests one or two weeks in advance. If that’s the case, tell the recruiter you’ll need to push the interview by some time.

The recruitment process usually takes more than two weeks. So, it won’t do much harm to schedule the meeting for later.

Can’t take a day off or a half-day off? Keep scrolling.

Map out an escape plan

If it’s not an option to take time off, don’t stress.

There are ways to wangle time off work for your interview without sounding the alarms with your boss.

Decide on the best day of the week

First, have a bird’s eye view on your work schedule.

Are there slow times (e.g., fewer meetings) vs. busy times?

You know your job best, so pick a day when you could spin a tale and sneak away without trouble.

Take time off out of your work day

Now, it’s time to figure out when you’ll do the interview.

Below are possible options:

In the morning. Have an interview early in the day, especially if you don’t have to show up at a specific time (e.g., 9 AM). This way, you could stay late to finish work and fly under the radar.

During lunch. It’s a good option if the drive time is short and if your company culture is OK with extended lunches. If not, consider asking for a longer lunch (stick around to see viable excuses.)

At the end of the day. If you can finish work and leave early, it’s your best bet. You won’t have to worry about the length of the interview or that you still have work to do.

Fireproof Excuses for Asking for Time off of Work

calling out of work for an interview

If you need time off, a good manager won’t ask you for details.

Problem?

If your manager was good, chances are, you wouldn’t be jumping ship.

Below are ten battle-tested excuses for why you need time off:

  • I need time off for a personal matter.
  • I need time off to take care of a time-sensitive issue.
  • I need time off to deal with a sensitive situation.
  • I need to go to the bank.
  • I need to pick a friend from the airport.
  • I have a medical appointment.
  • I have a meeting with my child’s school.
  • I have a house issue (e.g., plumbing, AC).
  • I have a financial planning appointment.
  • I have a major purchase delivery.

What Do You Think?

There you have it.

These are the best tips on how to get out of work for an interview.

Now, how do you go to interviews without raising a red flag? Do you feel guilty for leaving work to do an interview?

Let me know in the comments. I’d love to chat!

See Also: 5 Interview Mistakes That Can Get In The Way of Your Dream Job

The post How to Get Out of Work For An Interview [10+ Fireproof Excuses] appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

9 Great Reasons to Drink Water And How to Form the Water Habit

We all know that water is good for us, but the reasons are sometimes a little fuzzy. Even if we know why we should drink water, it’s not a habit that we can easily form.

The truth, however, is that we don’t focus enough on this habit. This is why we end up drinking lots of coffee, soda, alcohol, fruit juices, teas, milk, and a bunch of other beverages. And despite all those fluids, we still end up dehydrated which isn’t good for our health.

I’ve made drinking water a daily habit, although I will admit that a couple of years ago I was more likely to drink anything but water. Now, I don’t drink anything but water, except for a cup of coffee in the morning and beer with dinner once in a while.

Here are 9 powerful reasons to drink water (with tips on how to form the water habit afterwards):

Weight loss

Water is one of the best tools for weight loss. it doesn’t have calories, unlike high-calorie drinks, like sodas, juices, and alcohol. It’s also a great appetite suppressant.

Often, when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Drinking plenty can help your weight-loss regimen. 

Heart health

Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of heart attack.

study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack. That’s in comparison to people who drank less than two glasses.

Energy

Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired, even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. It can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, and other symptoms.

Headache cure

Another symptom of dehydration is headache. In fact, when we have headaches, it’s often caused by not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.

See Also: Water And Brain Function: How Staying Hydrated Makes You Smarter

Healthy skin

Drinking water can clear up your skin, but it won’t happen overnight, of course. Drink a healthy amount of water for a week and you’ll notice its good effects on your skin.

Digestive problems

Our digestive system needs a good amount of water to digest food properly. Water can help cure stomach acid problems. It can help treat constipation, too.

Cleansing

Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.

Cancer risk

Drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. It can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Better exercise

Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities. It can slow you down and make it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during,and after exercise.

How to form the water habit

So you’re convinced that water is healthier, but you’d like to know more about how to make drinking water a daily habit.

Here are some tips that have helped me:

Know how much water you need

This is a debatable question. What’s clear is that the old recommendation of “eight 8-ounce glasses a day” isn’t right, for several reasons.

That amount includes all dietary water intake, including food and non-water beverages. It also ignores a person’s body weight which is an important factor in figuring the right amount. It also varies if you are sick or exercise.

Plus, it’s also not good to just drink when you’re thirsty because you’re already dehydrated by then.

Best is to form a routine. Drink a glass when you wake up, a glass with each meal, and a glass in between meals. Be sure to drink before, during and after exercise, too. Try to generally keep yourself from getting thirsty.

Carry a bottle

water bottles

A lot of people find it useful to get a big plastic drinking bottle, fill it with water, and carry it around with them all day. I like to keep a glass of water at my desk and I drink from it all day long. When it’s empty, I fill it up again and keep drinking.

Set a reminder

Set your watch to beep at the top of each hour or set a periodic computer reminder. that way, you won’t forget to drink water.

Substitute water

If you would normally get a soda or an alcoholic beverage, get a glass of water instead. Try sparkling water instead of alcohol at social functions.

Filter

Instead of spending a fortune on bottled water, invest in a filter for your home faucet. It’ll make tap water taste like bottled water at a fraction of the price.

Exercise

Exercising can help make you want to drink water more. It’s not necessary to drink sports drinks like Gatorade when you exercise, unless you are doing it for more than an hour. Just drink water. If you’re going to exercise, be sure to drink water a couple hours ahead of time. That way, it will get through your system in time.

Track it

It often helps, when forming a new habit, to keep track of it.

Tracking increases awareness and helps ensure that you’re staying on track. Keep a little log on an index card or a notebook and create a mark for each glass of water you drink.

The post 9 Great Reasons to Drink Water And How to Form the Water Habit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Is it Ever Okay to Settle Down For Less?

No matter how independent most women are, they secretly (or not so secretly) want to find their Mr. Right to settle down with. This is why majority of us have a long list of the qualities our Prince Charming should have. You probably have written it down in a journal when you were 11 or you might be keeping your secret wish list somewhere else.

Well, it’s natural to have some expectations when it comes to committing our life to someone else’s.

This list of ours is supposed to help us by stating what we want and what we need. With it, we no longer have to tread through any obstacles. We just need to have our eyes on the prize!

But what if, instead of helping us, our high and unrealistic expectations are hindering us? What if it’s preventing us from seeing what or who is right? What if the best thing we can do is to settle down for less?

settling down

Settling gets a bad rap

Let me be the first to say this:

There are some things you should never settle for.

You are worthy of the best and someone who treats you like a queen. This is not the kind of “settling” I’m talking about.

I am, however, talking about when you don’t respond to an online dating email simply because he misspelled one word.

What’s wrong with that, you ask?

Impeccable grammar is on your must-have list. I want you to consider that he may have been typing on his phone or perhaps he was in a rush. He simply made a mistake because he’s human — just like you.

I don’t want you to stop caring about grammar. I just want you to give the man a chance.

If every email you receive is full of misspellings and terrible punctuation, kick him to the curb. However, you must give him a chance.

Think outside the box because people don’t always fit inside the box you’ve constructed for them. Physical attraction is often considered something we absolutely shouldn’t settle on or compromise our wants and desires.

Let me tell you a little story…

There once was a girl who thought tall men were the only men worth dating. When asked what kind of guys she liked, she always said, “They have to be TALL or I could never!”

Dating someone not tall was simply not an option.

Fast forward a few years and the girl is now head over heels in love with a dashingly handsome man. He is caring, hilarious, and so intelligent that he blows her mind on a daily basis.

However, he’s also not exactly tall. She’s even taller than him when she wears heels. It’s something she would have thought was so terrible before.

settle down

If I had turned him away the moment I met him simply because of his height, I would be missing out on everything I love about my life now. So, in a way, I settled but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

If this is settling, I would hate to know what not going out on my first date with him would be like.

Examine your list of must-haves and wants. Then, toss them aside. If he treats you well, makes you laugh, and turns you on, who the hell cares if he doesn’t dress the way you like?

Remember your deal breakers and never settle when it comes to them.

Everything else? Live a little and allow people to surprise you. Falling in love isn’t a science and you may not get everything on your list. You just might end up with something you never even knew you needed.

See Also: The 3 Important Rules For Happiness You Should Be Following

The post Is it Ever Okay to Settle Down For Less? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why Recruiters Shouldn’t Keep The Candidates Waiting For Too Long

An interview is a tiring process both for the candidate as well as the interviewer. This is why they want to cut the long recruitment process as soon as possible.

However, there are times when more than one or even more than two people are involved in the interview process. As the rounds of interview increase, so is the involvement of more interviewers.

In such cases, the candidate has to wait for long periods to complete the interview process. That is, if the initial rounds of the interview go well.

This is absolutely fine from the perspective of the interviewee as he is happy and interested in appearing for the next level of interviews. But, this situation becomes extremely upsetting when the candidate has to just wait for hours to meet the interviewers.

Here are more reasons why the long recruitment process should be avoided:

To close the process as soon as possible

long recruitment

One of the most prominent reasons for reducing recruitment time is to close the complete interview process as early as possible. This will not only benefit the candidate, but it will also benefit the interviewing team as well.

Also, the recruiters will have more time to assess other candidates or work on the various things that they have. From the candidates’ perspective, if the interview closes soon, the chances of getting a response quickly will also increase. The candidate will be able to plan his next step quickly as well.

See Also: Why Your Organization Should Invest In An HR Management System

To leave a good impression on the candidate

No matter how good your brand is, the candidates will still judge your company based on your recruitment process. So, if you want to leave a great impression on the candidates about your company, then make interviews consume less time.

To inspire the candidates to join your firm

recruitment long process

The interview process leaves an impression on the candidate and sometimes, it may play a minor role in his decisions. Therefore, if you want the cream to join your brand, then make sure that you leave a sparkling impression on them.

If the interview process is friendly, quick, and efficient, then the candidate will have similar expectations from the company and his work area. This is a great way to positively influence the candidates to join the firm.

Impression always matters. A positive interview impression can be one of the reasons why the candidate chooses to work for your brand.

Interviews mostly involve long processes. There is a certain amount of time investment which is required from both parties. But sometimes, the candidates have to waste their time waiting for the interviewers because of poor interview planning and long recruitment process. These are things you can avoid.

See Also: Why Interviews Matter (And How To Make Them Better)

The post Why Recruiters Shouldn’t Keep The Candidates Waiting For Too Long appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Ace Your College Exams: Tips On How to Study for A Test In College

You’ve worked hard to get into college and now, you’re faced with a heavier workload than you did in high school. Class participation, assignments, quizzes, presentations, group projects, mid-term exams, and final exams are all challenges you must overcome to finally pass the course.

However, simply passing the course to earn credit hours just enough to get the degree shouldn’t be your goal. You may have observed many college students wondering whether GPA matters. To a great extent, it does matter.

Recruiters often look for people with a degree, but imagine how much of a boost your job application could get if you finished college with an above average GPA. To do that, you need to ace your exams.

Let’s take a look at these tips on how to study for a test in college.

Clear eyes and full hearts can’t lose

That’s Coach Taylor’s catchphrase from the iconic show Friday Night Lights. He led his team of high school football players through inspiration.

Without having a clear picture of why you’re pursuing a college degree and what finishing with a good GPA will get you, you’ll find it hard to do your best. Think of your motivations and imagine yourself as the successful professional or businessperson you will be after you’re done studying.

Know that even if you are doing everything right, success is not guaranteed. But, without doing everything right, success is definitely elusive.

Clear eyes (always stay away from drugs and alcohol under 21), full hearts (be sincere to yourself and others) and you can’t lose!

Focus

study for a test in college

When you’re in class and when you’re studying, resist the temptation to look at irrelevant stuff on your phone and laptop. Snapchat, IG, and Facebook can wait. Funny dog videos on YouTube will still be there when you’re free. Your friends will understand that you are busy when your textbooks are open in front of you.

Carefully listen to the professor in class and get through your academic tasks when in your own space. Just like how a physically fit person never compromises their time in the gym, you can’t let anything else interfere with your studying!

Take notes

It may be obvious, but relying on the professor’s PowerPoint slides isn’t enough. You have to take meticulous notes and place a special mark on points you feel like exploring further later in your own time.

Pay special attention to the unique aspects of the lecture which you won’t find in your textbook or online. The class instructor may also be dropping hints about the exam, so keep your ears open!

Take small breaks

It’s important to give yourself a rest after a while.

For example, if you’ve studied for an hour non-stop, it’s time to take a 15-minute break. Call a friend, talk to your family, play with your pet or check your social media. You deserve it!

Refreshing your mind is important to avoid burnout.

See Also: What Is The Best Time To Study According To Your Peak Mental Productivity?

Participate in group studies

Some people study better on their own while others study better with their classmates.

Participating in a group study is helpful if there are too many lectures to cover for the exam. Each member of the study group may impart value to the group by sharing their knowledge, skills, and their unique perspective.

Academic researchers have found study groups to be an effective method of preparing for exams. Group dynamics affect the learning curve, making it less steep. It allows students to question each other and have concepts explained in easy-to-understand language.

Besides the academic help you can get and give, the group can be a source of emotional support, particularly in dealing with the pressures of college life.

Use online resources

No matter which field of knowledge you’re pursuing, the internet is a treasure chest of useful information for you. Find credible websites through Google to delve deeper into topics. Usually, for any specific keywords, the websites near the top are authoritative resources on the subject.

Many printed textbooks have case studies or information boxes urging students to read more online. Check out those resources as they are directly relevant to your subject.
Your university may have also provided you access to academic journal search engines such as JSTOR.

Make the best use of them by checking out what academic researchers had to say on the subject. You can impress your professor by referencing these published researches in your papers and exams.

Have a good internet connection

studying for a test in college

You have to submit assignments online and you have to check your student email. You have to write your papers after extensive research. For all those tasks, you need a reliable and fast internet connection.

Students today are usually drowning in debt, making it hard for them to secure a decent a internet connection. That’s why it’s imperative to find the best internet deals in your zip code.

Know the syllabus

Remember that sheet of paper you got in the first class you attended which had the course information and syllabus on it? If you didn’t keep it or even refer to it once since the course started, that’s a sign you’re not giving it your all.

Why? Because you can’t revise the entire syllabus without having it in front of you!

When you’re preparing for an exam, you should have the syllabus in front of you to make sure you’ve covered every topic.

Talk to last semester’s students

Do you know anyone who took the same course with the same professor last semester?

Seek them out and ask them what was on the exam. Often times, they will tell you in detail what the questions on the exam were. Many of the same concepts will appear on the tests when it’s your turn to do the exam.

Don’t take just one student’s word for it though. Each may have a personal positive or negative bias about the instructor. Try to talk to multiple people who were in the same class last semester and prepare extra hard for concepts they all said were on the exam.

Consult with the professor

The professors have office hours dedicated to meeting with students. It could be through appointment or a walk-in session.

When speaking with your professor, simply talk about the course and clear any confusions regarding the academic material.

Try to see the course instructor in the office at least 2 to 3 times per semester. If they can put a face to the name and they know you’re trying, they’re likely to give you a better grade.

Good Luck With Your Exams!

Just give it your best shot. Follow these tips on how to study for a test in college and you will most likely end up with a decent grade.

See Also: Ultimate Success Tips For College Students

The post Ace Your College Exams: Tips On How to Study for A Test In College appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Helpful and Effective Strength Exercises For Cyclists

For cyclists, the primary target of doing strength exercises is to train in the same motion as in cycling together with one’s upper and lower body, while improving overall muscular endurance and core strength.

Strength training generates a stronger support system for a cyclist’s prime movers while riding a bike. If you have aerobically stronger core and muscles, you will gain more potential in increasing power and consequently experience less fatigue while cycling.

Now that you understand why strength training is helpful before cycling, you might wonder what those strength exercises are.

Below are the 8 strength exercises for cyclists you can try.

Front Plank

strength exercise for cyclists
Via indianexpress.com

Steps:

  • Lie on your stomach and place both elbows under your shoulders with hands and forearms on the floor.
  • Raise your hips off the floor, straighten your back, tighten your abs, and rest on your toes.
  • Keep this position for 40-60 seconds and do two-three sets.
  • Front plank focuses on strengthening your transverse abdominis or TVA muscle, and upper and lower back. In cycling, the front plank can help you to build both strength and muscle endurance that you need in order to ride in aero position or in the drops powerfully.

Half Squat

half squat with barbell
half squat with barbell via t-nation.com

What you need:

  • Barbell

barbell

Steps:

  • Stand tall while carrying a barbell over your shoulders.
  • Bend your hips and knees until your thighs can form a 45-degree angle.
  • Repeat the sequence and complete 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions.

Here’s one thing to note:

Expect that the last few repetitions during the last 3 or 4 sets will be hard to complete but still ensure that you will make it through the last rep. Half squats work on your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. It would build strength for sprinting and climbing.

Single Leg Hip Bridge

single leg hip bridge exercise
Via tfdgym.co.uk

Steps:

  • Lie on the ground (placing a yoga mat would make you more comfortable) with your one leg bent while lifting the other one off the ground.
  • Raise your hips up in the air while contracting your glute muscles like you’re pushing through your heels.
  • Hold the position for a second or two before going down.
  • Do two to three sets of 10-12 repetitions on each side of your legs.

Single Leg Hip Bridge can be done at any time, but it is the best pre-workout to do to wake up your glutes before a strength workout, especially if you have been sitting and inactive for a while. Aside from that, it also improves speed, endurance, and strength used while cycling.

Lunges with Bicep Curl

lunges with bicep curl and resistance band
lunges with bicep curl and resistance band via pinterest

What you need:

  • Resistance band or dumbbell

dumbbell

Steps:

  • Stand in an upright position with either a resistance band or a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Execute a lunge position: straighten your back, step one leg forward and bend the knee to a 90-degree position, while your leg in the back should be straight.
  • While on it, do a biceps curl with both arms.
  • Repeat the same with the opposite leg forward.
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions in every leg.

Lunging with bicep curl is an excellent workout when you want to develop strength in your biceps, quadriceps, glutes, and deltoids. These four muscles are utilized when there is a need to stand and accelerate cycling.

Boat Pose

strength exercises for cyclist
Via yogajournal.com

Steps:

  • Sit with your feet flat on the floor and with your knees bent forward.
  • Execute a V-position: Raise and extend your legs out forward, and lean your upper body backward.
  • Stretch your arms away from you so you can tighten your lower abdominal muscles.
  • Make sure to relax your shoulders and keep your back straight.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds and do it for 5-10 repetitions.

Boat pose mainly focuses on strengthening your transverse abdominis and lower back. As a result, you will feel less fatigue through strengthening the muscles that can improve your lower back. Also, this workout will allow you to encounter less pain and feel more comfortable while on aggressive cycling positions.

Single Leg Reach

single leg reach with cones
single leg reach with cones via sidelinesoccer.com

What you need:

  • Three water bottles or cones

water bottles

Steps:

  • Place three water bottles or cones in a triangular form.
  • While on a single leg stance, slightly bend your knees to do a squat and slowly reach down towards the left cone and return to a standing position. Do the same with the remaining bottles or cones.
  • Repeat the same sequence with the other leg.
  • Complete a set of 10 repetitions.

Single leg reach workouts focus on your hips and core and improve your balance on the bike, which is essential to develop bike handling and endurance. This strength exercise also works with your proprioception, also called as ‘sense of self,’ or the body’s awareness of movement and position in space.

Single-Arm Row

single arm row with cradle column machine
single arm row with cradle column machine via livestrong.com

What you need:

  • Cable column machine
cable column machine
Via amazon

Steps:

  • Stand across a cable column machine. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and knees are slightly bent.
  • Take the handle and do a standing row, while keeping your body still as much as possible. Do not lean forward nor backward to lift more weight.
  • Finish 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Single-arm row enhances the muscles of your shoulder, back, and hips. It also strengthens the scapular region, which is a common area of fatigue caused by hunching too much on the bike. As a result, cyclists can avoid injuries and ride longer without discomfort.

Exercise Ball Hamstring Curl

hamstring curl with handle cradles
hamstring curl with handle cradles via pinterest

What you need:

  • Handle Cradles

Steps:

  • Lie on the ground (with yoga mat is recommended) and place your handles in the handle cradles.
  • Raise your hips and curl your heels (almost like pointing your toes) towards your hips
  • Do not drop your hips as you are bending your heels.
  • Finish two sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Exercise ball hamstring curl is one of the TRX routines (Total Resistance exercises) that strengthens your lower back and hamstrings. Strengthening hamstring and quadriceps is significant to enhance upstroke while in a pedaling motion and avoid lower extremity injuries.

Overall, these strength exercises for cyclists can help you prepare your body.

See Also: Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life?

The post 8 Helpful and Effective Strength Exercises For Cyclists appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Deal With Pests: A Quick Guide

Las Vegas is known as the Sin City. It’s a home for gamblers and showgirls and a place where you can find a variety of Elvis’ lookalike.

However, it’s not all fun in this part of the globe since there are pests that can ruin the fun. We’re talking of desert creatures that will interact unexpectedly and inflict potential harmful and annoying bites and stings to its victim.

With increases in rainfall in Las Vegas at the start of the year, pest activity is likely to thrive. Find out which creepy crawlers call Las Vegas valley their home and how to deal with pests.

Deadly Scorpions

how to cope with different types of pest

Las Vegas summer is the birthing season of scorpions. These creatures just love the desert heat.

A scorpion sting is painful and itchy. You’ll need to put an ice pack on the affected area for relief.

Go directly to the ER if a victim experiences the following:

  • Puffiness
  • Soreness
  • Fever
  • Extreme pain
  • Increased heartbeat rate or blood pressure
  • Struggles in breathing
  • Muscle weakness and twitching
  • Numbness

Bring the body of the scorpion with you so that the staff will know what anti-venom to apply. As a protective measure, sweep the areas in your home or trap the scorpions.

Infesting Cockroaches

During cold months, cockroaches hibernate and adults emerge at the slightest heat source. Cracks and crevices in the house serve as breeding grounds as well as entry points.

They scavenge for food, mostly spoiled and discards, and water and trip to places that you can’t imagine. All the germs, bacteria, and grime are brought to your place when they visit.

They bite with a stinging pain. Although it’s not alarming, swelling, unbearable pain or puffiness should encourage you to see your doctor.

So, how to deal with pests like them?

Improve sanitation, declutter, and eliminate sources of food and water. The application of cockroach killers can help eliminate a roach infestation, too.

Pesky Ants

During summer months, ant colonies grow and their numbers multiply.

The presence of an ant trail is a nuisance. When they are hunting for food and water, their trail will most likely end in your things.

Although they are small, some ants pack a mean and destructive punch. They can inject venom with their bites, producing a burning sensation and blisters.

There are ways to stop ants from coming in like sprinkling boric acid or flour at entry points. You can use vinegar, pepper or the juice from citrus fruits.

Dangerous Spiders

how to cope with different pests

Male spiders trek buildings and homes for food and insects. They do it to find female partners, too.

Las Vegas is home to the Black Widow whose bite is potentially harmful. You won’t notice the bite until you see it, and it’s not painful at first. However, the venom can cause pain, cramping, and spasms within the hour.

Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold compress to reduce puffiness, and take a sedative if needed. If pains or cramping are serious, go the ER.

There are natural ways to get rid of spiders like using eucalyptus, cinnamon, lemon peel, and vinegar. They don’t like the smell of these.

These summer, fun-ruining pests may have you scratching some imaginary itch, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what nature has to offer in sunny Las Vegas. You just have to know how to deal with pests.

See Also: Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

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5 Ways to Manage Anxiety in Public Places

After losing my second child during pregnancy in May 2019, I developed what I thought would never fully grip me — anxiety. I had suffered with it before but never to the extent that I had when I lost my son. I found myself having panic attacks in the middle of supermarkets or uncontrollably sobbing when I saw a blonde baby boy. Right there, I knew that I needed to do something and I needed to act fast.

Here are some things that have helped me in managing anxiety in public places.

Choose Your Playlist

I have often seen people wondering around the supermarket in their headphones and laughed at how ignorant they looked. Then, I became one of those people.

Music is a wonderful gift and lyrics have the power to speak directly into our hearts and minds. Whenever I find myself experiencing anxiety in public places, I force my headphones into my ears and listen to music that declared hope, truth, and life.

This is a fantastic way to manage your anxiety as no one knows what you are doing. It really helped me to carry on with ordinary tasks.

Take a Deep Breath

anxiety public places

Breathing exercises have become somewhat ‘trendy’ now with all the mindful apps circling around. Despite that, I have found that deep breathing in a moment of dread has saved me on more occasions than I can count.

I have found that a couple of deep breaths can fully reset my thoughts and bring me back to my present reality. Sometimes I will even audibly say to myself “okay” as I take a deep breath and continue on my way.

See Also: 11 Really Effective Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

Remind Yourself of Your Current Reality

Often, when we find ourselves experiencing a difficult season and the weight of our reality is heavy on our chests, we assume that we will always feel this way. The truth is that anxiety can be something that we consistently have to work through, but it will not always be this intense. When I experience a panic attack or a feeling of dread, I try to remind myself of all the times it has happened before and how I am still standing. No one can rush anxiety.

Talk to the Right People

When feeling extremely low, people typically fall into one of two categories.

The first is a complete shut down of any kind of communication as we can become embarrassed of what we are feeling. The second is that we completely overshare with everyone as we are desperate to be understood and to have our feelings validated.

I have found that having two to three people who I can really trust and care deeply about me that I can contact at any time has literally saved my life in certain scenarios. Good friends are like gold dust in seasons of depression and anxiety as sometimes we become a hard friend to keep. Find your nearest and dearest and hold them close.

Just Get Out There

public places anxiety

It is so easy to stay indoors and stay in alone. When anxiety is a very real thing in our lives, it is also incredibly draining. We find that even just looking after ourselves becomes a near impossible task.

I encourage you to get outdoors at least once every day. Sometimes, it is necessary to get out of our own heads. This can only be possible if we physically get out of bed and face the outside world. I have found that even just walking my dog while applying all of the above techniques has helped me to move forward.

In closing, anxiety can be all-consuming but there are things that we can do to manage it. By letting the right people in and applying healthy techniques, we can ensure that we are moving forward step-by-step, day-by-day.

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What To Do If A Doctor Makes a Medical Mistake

Just the thought of going under the knife and having a medical procedure is frightening. But as there is nothing you can do, you’ll listen to your doctor’s advice and have surgery. Unfortunately, surgical malpractice can happen. It can lead to injuries and even death. In other cases, a doctor’s mistake arises to a medical malpractice claim. So, what to do if a doctor makes a mistake?

Types of Surgical Medical Mistakes

surgical mistake

It is not easy going under the knife. A patient will be helpless, relying only on the doctor and the medical staff. He is cut open while unconscious. But having surgery, a patient hopes to get better. Unfortunately, mistakes can occur, even in the simplest operations.

The following are the most common surgical mistakes that can happen during the procedure.

  • Foreign objects left inside the body: This is one of the most common surgical mistakes. Surgeons might leave gauze, pads and even a scalpel inside a patient’s body, causing much pain and infections. In other cases, foreign objects left inside can cause the patient’s death if unattended.
  • Anesthesia mistakes: It is a fatal surgical error when administered excessively. When this happens, the patient won’t receive sufficient brain oxygen, leading to brain damage and eventually, death. In some cases, anesthesia might not be enough, leading to the patient not feeling numb, experiencing pain and waking up in the middle of the operation.
  • Wrong patient: It is another common surgical mistake that can lead to death, happening when the surgical staff and the doctor forgot performing a preoperative verification. As a result, they perform a surgery to the wrong patient.
  • Incorrect surgical site: A doctor can operate on the wrong body part. It can happen with amputations or kidney transplants, leading to a surgical mistake.
  • Nerve damage: This mistake can result in a lifetime of disability or pain. It happens with just a hand tremor or an incorrect flick of the wrist. In other cases, a scalpel slip can lead to nerve damage and lifetime disability.

Other types of surgical errors also include:

  • Failure to detect or diagnose a dangerous medical condition during the procedure
  • Damaging healthy organs
  • Failure to fix or prevent any complication during a surgery
  • Not monitoring a patient well for any issues like internal bleeding or infection following a surgery
  • Mistakes made during an emergency surgery
  • Leaving any instrument in the body of the patient after surgery

What Are My Options After A Doctor Performed a Surgical Mistake?

If you’ve inflicted from an injury following a surgery, you might want to know your options. What should you do next?

Check out the following for what you need to know.

Medical help

Health is always a top priority. If you’re injured due to a surgeon’s mistake or negligence, you should report this issue to the surgeon right away. Then, seek medical help from a physician who can improve the medical error if it’s detected early.

If you have Medicaid plans, which provide health coverage for low-income individuals, you can use it to lower your costs and get health coverage.

Also, you need to find a health specialist for treating the specific injury. But, you must provide the medical provider with your medical history, as well as all information about the medical error. You must be honest and give correct and thorough information.

You might also have to share what your health was like before, during and after the error along with your current condition.

Be sure that the doctor will have access to the medical records that would affect the diagnosis and plan for treatment.

Report

Each state has its own procedure when it comes to filing a complaint with the medical board along with varying requirements and forms. When a complaint is filed, an investigation is conducted by the medical board for disciplinary action against the doctor. However, there is only a small percentage of the filed reports that are given action or doctors that get a disciplinary action.

Legal Action

what to do if doctor makes a mistake

If you want to take a legal action, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney for advice. However, make sure to ask help from lawyers with specialization in such cases to help you fight for your rights.

You have what you need to know about the types of surgical mistakes and options you have following a surgical error. Learn what to do, especially if you have to file a medical malpractice claim.

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Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: The Pros and Cons You Need to Know

Nobody in this busy world wants to file for bankruptcy. However, if debt settlement and negotiation are not sufficient to resolve your financial crisis, then you may have no other option.

Calling bankruptcy implies that you have come to the end of your financial rope and have no means to pay your existing debts like car loans. For people facing overwhelming debt because of buying a car, filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is regarded as one of the few means to initiate a bankruptcy fresh start program, erasing the obligation to repay and giving you a chance to get on with your life.

The decision to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy is a big one and it has its pros and cons, which you need to pay attention to.

Generally, a debtor can select to file for either a chapter 7 bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy. But mostly, all individuals file bankruptcy under Chapter 7. It is referred to as a ‘liquidation bankruptcy’ because it involves a gathering of the property and assets and selling them to pay off as much as debt as probable before the remaining debt is discharged.

Ultimately, you can erase your debt with a chapter 7 bankruptcy or even create a repayment plan with chapter 13 bankruptcy when you’re planning to opt for a car loan.

Real Examples of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Example 1:

Mia is a retired educator on a fixed income. She decided to sell her home before moving in with her daughter. She had great credit score because of on-time payments on her mortgage and she never had debt. Later, she agreed to co-sign on a home loan for her granddaughter and a car loan for her grandson. Well, she couldn’t say no!

But 2.5 years later, the house was repossessed when the granddaughter had a divorce. The grandson’s car was repossessed after he lost his job. A substantial amount of debt was remaining after the house and the car was sold at an auction.

Mia, in critical health, was cornered by creditors. She filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which stopped the harassment and rejected the deficiency claims. Her social security and retirement money were ultimately excused and protected.

Take note that if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy while paying off a vehicle loan, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’d keep the vehicle.

If you decide to surrender the vehicle, you’ll have to forfeit the sum you’ve paid toward the loan. Nevertheless, the creditor won’t be able to sue you for the balance once the vehicle is sold at the auction.

Pros and Cons of Chapter 7

Declaring for chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem like an amazing idea. It can relieve your debt and offers a chance to rebuild and get a fresh start. Nevertheless, you should definitely also be aware of the upsides and downsides of it.

Upsides

chapter 7 bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is common: There’s nothing to be embarrassed about bankruptcy. It’s quite common and, honestly, the best option in various scenarios. Businesses have a downfall and credit cards spiral as the interest rates increase. Even Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy.

Makes you financially disciplined: If you ever plan to buy a car again, you will require to be economical and accountable about debt. You’ll be able to demonstrate perfect ability to pay those car loans on time even though there might be open lines of credit in the later future.

Eliminate credit card debt: That’s a big one. Credit card use is a common cause of declaring bankruptcy. Individuals often pay off vehicle loans with credit cards when cash isn’t readily available, and debt gradually snowballs from there. Filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy permits you to start fresh without credit card car debt.

See Also: How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast

No effect on your wages: Wage garnishment happens when lenders have a court order that permits for a part of your pay check to get sent to your lenders. However, when you apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will stop from happening. It can, at the end of the day, improve your income as you’ll be able to keep the money you worked hard for. This doesn’t work in cases of student loans, child support, and taxes.

Downsides

file chapter 7 bankruptcy

A downfall for credit score: Credit rating can be severely damaged when you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. It lowers the score by 200-250 points, which stays on till 7-10 years. This can make it quite difficult for you to qualify for fresh car loans and credit for nearly 3-4 years.

Won’t erase student loans: Student loans for buying a car cannot be erased with bankruptcy. If it is your debt, then you’ll definitely be on the hook to pay it. However, it prevents creditors from taking aggressive collective action which absolutely helps. Proving that your student vehicle loans are too much of a liability is a very tough task. It mostly requires a separate lawsuit and an attorney.

See Also: 5 Strategies For Paying Off Student Loans Fast

Loss of expensive property: In the process of filing, you will most likely lose some of your assets, especially extraneous luxury items including all sorts of cars. These goods are used in repaying your creditors and depending on your state’s exemption laws, you might be required to give up on material things that you’d rather not.

Six-year filing: Chapter 7 bankruptcy can only be filed every six years. This encourages all those who recently filed bankruptcy to keep their head above the water and be attentive.

Final Thoughts

We would just like to make you aware that the most significant thing is to analyze your own personal financial situation. Compare consumer car debt solutions in order to select the best resolution for your financial situation.

If you have nominal assets and merely require a fresh start, then chapter 7 can definitely help you.

But if you think that your situation is a bit more complex, then it can still be significant for your financial situation. It’s vital to get direction on whether chapter 7 or chapter 13 would be the right option for you. While our brief list of pros and cons may be helpful to you when it comes to opting for car loans, it’s honestly just the beginning.

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How To Contain An Oozing Toxic Situation In Your Life

Imagine a container of toxic waste that is oozing out at the top. It is almost boiling over and the lid is barely hanging on.

Wouldn’t you do anything to stop it? Even from a distance?

Once we recognize that a situation is out of control, we should step back, reexamine, and reassess the situation. As much as possible, we shouldn’t start lying to avoid conflict.

Call It Ground Hog Lie Day with A Sprinkle Of Deja Vu

Here is a simple example:

Have you ever told a lie to your friends and it got worse? Suddenly, you have to tell another lie to cover that one up.

I had a friend who told a lie. She made up a story to her boss and said she couldn’t go to work because she was sick. She spent the next few days telling them the same story. After awhile, they told her she might be too contagious and couldn’t come back without a doctor’s note.

The lie she told had spilled in so many directions. She had to cover one lie with another lie. It started to affect her income because she was out for more than a week and her future employment at the job hanged in the balance.

avoiding conflict

It got so bad that she had to fake a doctor’s note. Eventually, she decided to go to a doctor and see if she could get a note explaining her “illness”.

The point is this could have been prevented at the beginning. It could have been more contained. Instead, it got out of control.

Some situations get worse and worse if we let them go. It can be too late!

The same thing happened to me. I got a DUI, went through two trials, and was convicted. It took three years of court cases and appeals to end the case. And that equals three years of anxieties.

Then, during a court appearance, I didn’t go. Instead, I ran away.

A warrant was issued for me. I told my roommates and they told me I couldn’t stay there. I lost my fingerprint card for my job as well.

It became hard to find a job. I ran from place to place and I lost my car for an extremely long time.

This could have all been handled better. What could have been a six-month problem became a 3-year issue. It would have been simple for me if I just took the classes and paid what fees I could. Not trying to whine or make you feel sorry for me, I’m just illustrating how everybody goes through difficult moments.

How we handle adversity in our lives becomes our defining moments.

Toxic Begins To Spread Fast

The toxic situation had spilled into every area of my life and eventually, I had to stop it.

So, my suggestion to anyone else is minimize the damage before it spreads to every area of your life.

Ask yourself:

How can I stop this virus from spreading?

What is your containment plan? Do you just put on a detox suit and walk away? Where will it spill if you just ignore it?

Stop It Before You Become A Zombie, Too

lie to avoid conflict

Where did the spillage begin and what stage is it in? Is it just beginning to spread or has it been contaminating for awhile?

Get help from others. Tell someone when things start to get out of control.

Stop the lies if you did it and come clean. Do it before it affects everyone around you.

There was this horror movie several years ago called Cabin Fever. In the movie, everyone in the town drank and bathed in polluted water until their bodies disintegrated.

They did not contain the situation or realize how bad it was until their limbs literally came off.

Time For That Painful Road of Self Admission

Save yourself and those around you from melting away because of your mistakes and lies. That is a little dramatic but the point needs to be reiterated.

Instead of lying to avoid conflict, save yourself by dealing with the issue. It gives you a better chance of keeping the rest of yourself and those around you intact.

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Ultimate Success Tips For College Students

Going to college is a fun and exciting time for many people, and it’s usually the first step for complete independence for young adults. However, there is also a great responsibility that comes along with this, and our success tips for college students can help.
We’ll outline the best things you can do to start and keep your college career on track.

Take Control

For many students; they experience culture shock when they transition from high school to college. In college, there’s no one to hover over you and tell you what to do. Whether you do well or poorly falls entirely to you. Getting to class on time, doing your homework, and turning everything in before the deadlines are something you have to do without a teacher or parent there to remind you. Step up and take responsibility from the first day. This can stop you from getting overwhelmed halfway through.

Delegate Your Writing Projects

If you take a full course load, the papers you have to write can seem endless. If you get overwhelmed and behind, consider hiring a professional essay writer to help you. They can take on some of your smaller essays, and this frees up your time to concentrate on the longer and more in-depth essays you have due dates looming for. This ensures that your quality doesn’t slip and your grades don’t suffer from scrambling to finish them all at once.

Go to Class

college students success tips

This one may seem like common sense. You’re paying for your classes, so you should make an effort to go to all of them. Many students think that they can miss a set number of classes without a problem. They miss four, five, six, seven, or eight classes over the course of a semester and think that they can just get the notes. But, if you only have 35 classes per semester and you miss 7, you’re missing 20% of the content. This can hurt your grade and GPA.

Make an Effort to Study

When you go to college, be prepared to study. Most of your work will take place outside of the classroom. The general rule is that you’ll have two hours of studying to do for every hour of lecturing you sit through. As soon as the semester starts, find yourself a quiet area and block off time to study. Getting any e-readings, copying notes, and listening to the lecture again isn’t studying and shouldn’t count for your study time.

Take Tests Twice

Pre-tests are a big part of college life, especially if you use them like you would an actual test. If your instructor doesn’t give you a pre-test, you can draw one up using your course materials. Once you have it, take it like you would a normal test under the same conditions. Have a time limit, don’t look at the book unless you can on the test itself, and grade honestly. This will outline where you need to improve before you take the test again for an actual class grade.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

Most professors offer generous office hours during the week and even on weekends. They also have teacher assistants (TAs) on hand to help. At the very least, universities and colleges require professors to be available to students at least two to four hours every week. Email them, drop by, or use Skype to get answers to your questions. They can also use this time to give you extra guidance about the course in general.

Always Answer the Exact Question

Always answer the exact question on a test or paper. More students lose more points by deviating from the question and failing to answer it than giving the incorrect answer in the first place. Your professors go to great lengths to write out exact questions and sub-questions. They expect exact answers to the question rather than generalized answers or a rambling explanation of everything you may know about a topic.

Make a Point to Participate

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of students, especially if you go to larger lecture halls. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself. You want to make a point to participate during lectures. Ask questions if it pertains to the subject or class in general. It’s very likely that other people wonder the same thing. If it’s not directly related to the class material, send your professor an email. or visit them during their office hours.

Turn in Everything

Even if you hand an assignment in late, docking a few points instead of getting a zero is much easier on your GPA. If you find yourself struggling, you can talk to the profession, talk to the TA, or take advantage of your college’s tutoring services. Try to do this in advance, so you don’t turn in your assignments way past the due date.

Learn How to Cite Sources

Plagiarizing content can be grounds for immediate disciplinary actions if you get caught. No matter if you’re writing out a paper or giving a presentation, you have to cite your sources. You can run your paper through Copyscape if you’re worried about plagiarizing, and make sure you ask before you turn it in if you’re not sure.

Improve Your Writing

college students success tip

Even though you’re in college, your professors can still rate you on your writing quality and style. Learn how to use semi-colons and commas. Your college usually has a writing lab that you can drop by and ask if you have questions. You want to make a point to learn to use homonyms correctly because they have very different meanings even if they sound the same. Also, take time to proofread everything once or twice before you turn it in.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

These 11 quick success tips for college students can help to make your transition easier. You won’t get so overwhelmed, and you can have a seamless experience from the first to the last year.

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How To Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills

For many students, the thought of writing essays brings along the unique challenge of making sure that it’s better than the last one (or at least just as good as that last A+ essay). But, writing essays regularly can cause you to fall into a rut and use the same formula over and over.

How do you improve your essay writing skills? You can work to hone your skills on your own, or you can use the services of an excellent essay writer to help. If you’re strapped for cash, honing your services can be a more cost-effective option, and we’ll outline steps you can take below.

Make an Outline

how to improve your academic essay writing skill

One of the best things you can do to improve your writing is create an outline. This is important because it helps you organize your thoughts on what you want to say in your essay. A basic outline will help you narrow down your paper’s thesis and create an argument with strong points. Your outline will include an introduction with the thesis, the body with separate paragraphs that support the thesis, and a conclusion that connects all of your points. Ideally, you want at least three solid points to support your thesis.

Use the Correct Vocabulary

How you use your language skills is very important, especially when you’re writing academic papers. The entire goal of an academic essay is to persuade people that you are an expert on your paper’s topic. If you use big words just to sound smart without understanding what the words mean, you can misuse them. Also, people know when you use big words to compensate for a weak argument. Lastly, using obscure wording can cloud the clarity level of your argument. Keep this in mind when you pull out your thesaurus to change a word into something more grand.

Get a Great Understanding of Punctuation, Grammar, and Style

Punctuation, grammar, and style are all very important components in your essay if you want your audience to understand your essay and take it seriously. You want to make sure you have a good understanding of pronoun usage, verb and subject agreement, and sentence structure. You also want a very good grasp on the common punctuation forms like commas and periods. Active voice is better than passive voice because it makes you essay stronger. Also, use concise language if it’s possible.

Understand Your Essay’s Argument

When you write your academic essay, make sure that you keep your main argument in mind at all times. It may tempt you to go off on an interesting tangent for your topic, and this can make your writing more convoluted. Before you put any evidence into your essay, ask if it supports your main thesis. If it doesn’t, you should consider excluding it from the essay. You want to source the strongest evidence possible to support your essay’s thesis.

Use the Elevator Pitch Writing Method

An elevator pitch is very popular with salespeople. You want to imagine yourself in an elevator. In the time it takes your elevator to reach your floor, you should have a compelling argument in place to entice a person to read your entire essay. You want to sell your essay’s idea to your reader in a concise summary that leaves them wanting more. It’s difficult because it forces you to be extremely concise in your writing and thinking to hook your audience.

Don’t Forget Your Conclusion

to improve your academic essay writing skills

Your essay should be strong from beginning to end, and a lot of people forget their conclusion. Your conclusion is extremely important because it’s where you tie all of your points together and prove your thesis to your audience. You don’t want to illustrate your introduction again, and you don’t want to copy and paste your thesis. Instead, your conclusion will quickly outline your points and show how they support your thesis. Don’t let your essay get derailed by a weak conclusion.

Vary Your Sentence Structure

You want to have a variety of sentence lengths in your paper to help it flow from one point to another. If you use a lot of short and choppy sentences, it can make your essay seem disjointed. Mix it up and use both short and long sentences throughout your entire essay. Also, keep an eye out for repetitive sentences. They can make it awkward to read your entire essay, as well.

Avoid Slang and Informal Expressions

Your essay should sound polished and academic. It can’t do this if you pack it with informal expressions and slang. This means avoiding everyday vocabulary like “pretty” or “cool.” You want to write in the third person throughout your paper as well. This can help your audience connect to your paper on a greater level, and they’re more likely to read it through from start to finish.

Research Your Subject

No matter if you choose your essay subject or your professor assigns it to you, research is key. Your research will be a foundation for the rest of your essay, and you should be able to find more than enough research to support your topic as a whole. When you lay out your points, make sure there’s research to support them too.

Writing an essay doesn’t have to be a huge issue, and we’ve given you several ways how to improve your essay writing skills. You can take them and incorporate them all into your papers, and this can help you get your points across and create concise, clear, and professional papers.

See Also: 12 Essay-Writing Hacks That Really Work

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A Simple Guide to Selling A House in New York State

Are you planning on selling a house in New York state?

Mounting up a “FOR SALE” board or doing online listing is not enough.

If you somehow get buyers with that, you’ll never know if they will agree on the price or if the condition of your property will turn them off.

Poor marketing can slow down the sale of your home. The last thing to worry about is your real estate agent. Selling a house is a stressful process, if not complicated like buying a house.

Adding to your worries, New York’s house market has been sluggish over the years.

From pricing, real estate agents to home improvements, there are many things you need to work over. And these steps will help you out.

Set the Right Price

The common way to price your home is by taking the sale price of similar units in your neighborhood. Then, divide it by the square footage of that property. Once you get the price per square footage, apply it to the dimensions of your property to figure out the market price.

However, it doesn’t mean your home will be sold for the same price as the one in your neighborhood. Other factors also come into play, such as the floor level. Keep in mind that a higher floor apartment is more expensive. Moreover, buyers may consider the new homes in your area that just hit the market.

The optimal solution is that you should assess the market prices of the recently sold homes in your area. Don’t price it way higher as it can repel the budget buyers. Pricing it too low will be a loss, too

Make Improvements for Home Staging

selling a house in new york

Chapped plaster, grimy shower door, dripping faucets, stained toilet seat and broken tiles—these things will turn you off, let alone the home buyers. Therefore, assess your house for remodeling.

Here’s how:

  • Get the imperfections like cracks, leaks and other faults fixed.
  • De-clutter and depersonalize the home by removing old rugs, old furniture, bedding, shoes, trophies, and family photos.
  • Place your furniture rightly to make your home look spacious.
  • Apply some fresh coatings of paint to make your home look new and spacious.
  • Improve the curb appeal by mowing and edging the lawn, trimming the shrubs, replacing old bulbs, painting, and getting replaced posts fixed.

See Also: 5 Practical Home Improvements To Sell A House

Market It Over Social Media

You must have put your home on sale on various listing sites. However, this doesn’t mean that you get buyers’ calls as soon as your post is published. For getting quick results, why not take it to your social media?

This technique can work. Posting it over social media outlets, like Facebook, can give you an instant response as you have hundreds of friends who stay online. Drop the posting of your home a few times a week. Make sure to mention your property. Join the local real estate groups to create a buzz about your home.

Choose the Right Season to Sell Home

Timing also does matter in the sale of your home.

According to several studies and data, the right time to sell a home in New York is around September and November. Spring and summer are usually considered the best season for sellers due to parents waiting until summer to move school-aged kids.

However, nearly half of the New York population has never been married, so their decisions aren’t based on the kid’s schedule. Besides, buyers also purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes.

Work with the Right Realtor

selling house in new york state

Realtors are professionals who know the market better and can help you get the correct price for your property. It is important to choose the right one. Make sure the agent has a wealth of experience in the industry and a proven track record as well.

Here’s how:

  • Interview them to know their experience, marketing techniques, and strategies.
  • Contact their past clients.
  • Talk about their commissions.

These tips will help you start selling a house in New York state fast and at the right price.

To conclude, price your home right, market it right, make some improvements, and team up with an efficient real estate agent. What do you think?

Let us know by commenting below.

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Sleep Hacking: How to Optimize Your Sleep for Success

We spend a significant portion of our lives sleeping. Recharging, dreaming, and restoring are parts of everyone’s life no matter where you live or who you are. So, why do so many of us struggle with our sleep? And how can we change the way we think about sleep for success?

‘Sleep hacking’ has become a buzzword in the world of startups and entrepreneurship.

Essentially, sleep hacking is where you try to streamline your sleeping pattern. By reducing the time spent falling asleep and reducing the amount of sleep in general, you can free up some crucial hours in the day… well, crucial for those that run multiple businesses or have demanding careers.

But there is consternation when it comes to sleep hacking.

Is it advisable? Is it good for you?

We’re going to explore this subject a bit more and see if we can answer some of those questions.

Famous Sleep Hackers

Some of the most famous people in the world have had unusual and demanding sleep patterns.

Is this really feeding into their success? Or is it an unnecessary measure against a busy schedule?

After all, sleeping well is incredibly important for performance and even dreaming can be extremely illuminating. Some of the world’s greatest creators, inventors, and innovators have had world-changing ideas in their sleep.

So, who among us is able to get by on very little sleep? Some famous ‘sleep hackers’ include:

  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO. Jack splits his time between two of his startups, Twitter and Square. This means he can spend up to 20 hours a day at work. Jack gets by on four to six hours of sleep a night.
  • Marissa Meyer, Yahoo CEO. Marissa can often work up to 130 hours a week, leaving just 5 hours a night to sleep.
  • Barack Obama, Former US President. Obama’s presidential schedule only allowed for six hours of sleep a night. And when you’re running the largest economy in the world, that sleep is very liable to be interrupted by a myriad of crises.
  • Martha Stewart, President of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. As the president of a media company that’s responsible for four major publications and more, Martha was often reduced to just four hours of sleep a night.
  • Nikola Tesla, Famous Inventor. A man who truly changed the world, Nikola Tesla’s diary suggests that he would sleep as little as two hours a night.
nikola tesla sleep hacking
Via interestingengineering.com

Sleep Hacking and Your Health

While it’s ideal to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, the idea of sleeping just half of that seems preposterous. The reality is we’re all wired up differently when it comes to sleep.

Some of us will really feel sleeping less than 8 hours of sleep the next day. Some of us can probably get by on around 6 hours without any noticeable difference.

And it is true that 8 hours of sleep is optimum but not essential to everyone. And it’s up to you to figure out if you’re able to cope. Trying to jump in at the deep end and sleeping only 2 hours like Nikola Tesla is very likely to backfire and is not recommended in any way. But you can start phasing down your sleep if sleep hacking is something you think you can do and would benefit from.

The actual benefit of sleep hacking is also key here. For these famous sleep hackers, it’s quite a stretch to say that by having a few extra hours in the day (in some cases just two or three), it’s enabled them to reach the lofty heights they have. And we’re not saying for one second that if you start sleep hacking, you’ll become a famous CEO. There are also plenty of ways to perform better in life while still enjoying 8 hours of good sleep every night.

If you are time-poor, then sleep hacking can create a few extra hours of crucial time for you. But you have to be willing to use that time effectively.

If you know that you really can’t handle that amount of sleep, then you can look at other tactics and changes you can make in your life. Think about your time management and your lifestyle. Maybe a reduction in sleeping hours isn’t what you need, but rather a change in sleeping times.

Are you more productive in the morning? Get up earlier and ride the crest of your productive morning waves.

Are you more of a night owl? See how you can use that to your advantage.

How Can You Start Improving Your Sleep Today?

sleep hacking tip

There are a number of steps you can take to start improving your sleep before you venture into the world of sleep hacking:

Supplements – Supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals is one step on the way to better sleep. Vitamin D, Magnesium, and oils with Omega 3 are your friend here.

Diet – What you eat also ties in to how you sleep. Your brain is the organ with the highest fat content in your body. So, high-quality fats will feed your brain the right way and can help improve your sleep.

Sleeping Position – The way you sleep can make a big difference. For instance, sleeping on your back can create tension on your hips and lower back. It’s also linked to higher instances of sleep paralysis. Sleeping on your side is better and even sleeping at a slight incline can help improve quality, too.

Invest in it – Invest in your sleep with things like a weighted blanket or sleep trackers. There are high-spec apps that can tell you more about your sleep and sleep quality. You spend roughly a third of your life asleep, investing in it is welcome!

Reduce Your Exposure to Light – In a world of screens, the light emanating from them can later affect our sleep, especially when you’re scrolling your timeline in bed waiting to fall asleep. A good rule of thumb is to try and not look at any kind of screen for at least 20 minutes before going to sleep. Another good tip is to go for a walk when you’re done with your phone. Avoid interacting with any kind of screen when you’re back.

Meditation – Mindfulness meditation techniques have been shown to improve sleep. If you can create the right conditions of your sleep and then engage in some mental exercises that allow you to let go of your day and focus on your breath, this can naturally lead to a good, deep sleep.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Sleep Cold – Heat wakes up at night and humidity interferes with your sleep. Although a cold shower generally wakes you up, having one before bed isn’t a bad idea to reduce your body temperature. Alternatively, lower the temperature in a room if you can.

While sleep hacking isn’t for everyone, there are definitely some concrete and simple measures you can start enacting today that can help. Another thing to consider is whether your sleep is what you should be focusing on.

Would you be better off streamlining other parts of your life? We would say that looking to reduce your sleep should be one of your final resorts. What good is sleep hacking if you’re going to be tired and well below your full performance capacity all day?

The post Sleep Hacking: How to Optimize Your Sleep for Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Essential Tips on How to Overcome Burnout in the Workplace

The modern working life is a complicated entity, with as many people thriving as there are those who struggle to get through their daily routine. Whether you’re the former or the latter, the fact is that everyone is susceptible to falling victim to workplace burnout. Learning how to overcome burnout is what sets people apart and falling victim to burnout can easily cause someone to leave a job in some cases.

As such, understanding the root cause and the ways in which to battle workplace burnout are two things which go hand in hand.

How to Tell You’re Suffering

The first step to recovering from burnout is to understand and recognize that you are suffering from it. Although you can’t technically diagnose it, knowing yourself and how you function in the work environment can help you.

Sometimes, burnout can be very subtle, even subtle enough to fool yourself into thinking you’re fine. Ultimately, the biggest indicator of workplace burnout is the consistent dread that comes from being at work. It’s usually paired with apathy as to whether or not you achieve anything in the process of working.

Dread and apathy are the biggest clues that burnout is occurring, so don’t simply ignore them.

Understand Why

The source of burnout can vary massively from person to person. The fact is that one person could experience burnout from too much pressure while another may experience it due to lack of important things to do.

Either type of burnout is valid and the more important part is learning to recognize how the burnout happened in the first place. Once you diagnose its cause, you can start to treat the symptoms and hopefully lead yourself to the cure.

If you can’t find the source of your burnout, then recovering from it can be almost impossible. As with anything, treating the disease at the source is the most effective road to recovery.

Organize Your Time

to overcome burnout

Do you dread going to work every day? Is the idea of getting up in the morning tiring? Is there just too much work to do and not enough time to do it?

Chances are you’re suffering from an organizational problem. After all, the more organized your day becomes, the better you will start to feel about the work ahead of you. You will be able to manage each day a little bit easier.

Learn to Say No

“No” is a powerful word. It can be seen as a negative factor but overall, it can actually be a positive force in your daily working life. After all, too much work and stress can fall on your shoulders, thanks to saying yes far too much.

Saying no can help alleviate the pressure ever so slightly or completely, depending on your current coping methods. For example, if you’re not coping, then saying no can be a massive help to your everyday life.

Having no time for yourself and feeling worn down by both work and your personal life can be overwhelming. This is where learning to say no can become so important. Say no to the extra work, the after-work activity, and giving up your all-important ‘me time’.

Invest in it and you’ll be surprised by how much better you start to feel over a short period of time.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Sleep More, Work Less

Sleep isn’t a cure-all, but you might be surprised as to the number of ways sleep can work to improve your life or conditions you may be suffering from. One of the easiest ways to exasperate your feeling of burnout is to add a constant sense of fatigue to your daily life.

Tiredness can make work harder to cope with, which leaves you feeling sluggish and makes everything you do in a day harder to achieve. Practicing a good sleep routine is important to alleviate burnout and improve your general health.

And if you have a habit of taking your work home with you, just stop. The fastest way to exhaust yourself is to work throughout the day and then continue when you get home. You need to give yourself a time of day to switch off and relax.

Eat Well and Exercise

overcome burnout

Eating well and exercising should be a simple part of everyday life, but it can also help you recover from everyday burnout and weariness. It gives you something to do every day, which isn’t thinking about your work-related concerns and complications.

Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle can help spill over a new level of positivity into your work life as well. So ensuring that this is the case can be vitally important, especially when you want to try and help yourself recover from burnout. Take healthy lunches to work, exercise before you get into the office everyday, and make sure that you are working toward more positivity in your everyday life.

As a whole, working to recover from burnout can be just as tough as all the things that got you into a burned-out stage in the first place. But, you can’t live your life falling into the same routine that’s causing you a tremendous amount of stress.

Work at giving yourself time and take back control over the factors that caused the burnout. Those are the first things you need to do if you want to know how to overcome burnout.

See Also: How To Avoid Burnout At Your Job

The post 5 Essential Tips on How to Overcome Burnout in the Workplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Little-Known Tips For Effective Communication

It’s easy to assume that as your relationship grows so will your closeness and ability to communicate with one another. That may be the case for some couples, but for many, this just isn’t true.

Trying to manage daily life, family, jobs and all the other stressors that we face can leave couples disconnected and unsure of how to talk to one another. This kind of communication breakdown usually occurs slowly. Over time, it can lead to big problems.

The mistaken idea that love and communication grows naturally without any effort and work is one of the biggest contributors to marital problems. Many times, couples assume that the love in their relationship is gone and things have come to an end — when really what they need to do is spend some time working on their communication so they can bring things back to a healthy point.

How To Start Improving Communication

Knowing this doesn’t mean it will be easy, though. Practicing good communication skills takes effort and thought. And it can be hard to know where to start — and how. Check out these tips for effective communication below.

Watch your body language

We overlook this quite often but our nonverbal communication typically starts the conversation before we even speak, and not always in a good way. Crossed arms, a half-turned head, not making eye contact – these are all signs of disinterest or even hostility. They are less than conducive to effective communication.

So, start paying attention to what your body is doing as you speak and try to maintain an open posture.

Watch your partner

tip for effective communication

Similar to needing to watch your own body language, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your partner’s. Taking cues from the way they are holding themselves can tell you a lot about how they are responding to you.

Being attuned to these things can help you alter your approach, check your own body language or redirect the conversation as needed. The changes you make can be mirrored by your partner and change the dynamic for the better.

See Also: How to Improve your Body Language

Listen and respond

This may seem simple, but if you stop to think about how many times you have uh-huhed your way through a conversation, you can see that it’s easy to forget to actively listen. A conversation is between two people which means that both need to participate fully.

And participation means you look at your partner, listen to what they say, and respond accordingly. This is also a sign of respect, which is a cornerstone of a strong and healthy relationship.

Your way isn’t always the right way

This is where a lot of couples get tripped up, especially when it comes to household duties. It’s easy to assume there’s always a right or a wrong way to do things and that you and you alone know the difference — you don’t.

And acting as though you do will immediately put your partner on the defensive. So, understand that different approaches or different ways to handle things doesn’t equal wrong.

Know the difference between communication and sparring

An adversarial approach will sink a conversation and never result in a positive outcome. Your partner shouldn’t be your enemy – so don’t treat them like one.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

effective communication tips

You know what it means to you, so understand that’s it’s equally as important to your partner and to the health of your relationship. Snide or sarcastic comments, dismissive behavior, and lack of interest in what he or she has to say is not only rude, but it also closes the door to any kind of positive communication.

Mind before mouth

Not everything you think needs to be said. Knowing which thoughts to keep to yourself, or to rephrase before speaking, is important in all aspects of life. This is especially true in a romantic relationship. Words spoken in anger or without regard to how they will be received can be extremely hurtful and do a lot of damage.

These seven tips for effective communication are not an exact formula, but they are essential components. Without these things present, there will be problems. But each couple is different and precisely what is needed to improve communication can vary. More important than any one of these things is the fact that you are interested and willing to try to make improvements.

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What Is Your Success Meter?

What does success mean for you?

Here’s an interesting story.

In 1983, a young talented guitarist was kicked out of his dream band. He was delirious with joy even just before the manager called him at his office to kick him out. It happened just three days before he was about to record his first album.

No reason, no complaints, no fight, just shown the door. For no reason.

So, as he sat on the bus from Los Angeles to New York, you know what he did?

He cried.

What did I do wrong? Just, how did this happen? I have worked so, so hard to get here and now, this. Let me jump from the roof of this bus. I would never go home.

But he went home. When he stepped out of the bus, his tears were evaporated by the heat of his anger. How dare they fire him? Who are they? Just a crappy band with a dozen songs and 1000 fans?

Blah.

He was over his self-pitying and he was definitely not that guy who’d quit playing guitar. He would build his own band and throw concerts in New York in front of them. He’ll become more famous than them.

And he was right.

His name was Dave Mustaine.

He founded the band Megadeath.

Later on, Megadeath toured the whole world and  has sold  over 25 million albums. Today, Mustaine is considered as one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in the history of heavy-metal music.

young dave mustaine
Via rockandrollgarage.com

But, unfortunately the band which kicked him out was Metallica. It has sold over 180 million albums worldwide. Metallica is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

So this man, Dave Mustaine was a success freak. You can just guess how successful he was. He has billions of fans and had no guitaring background. From crap, he had made a billionaire of himself. His anger made him successful.

Normally, people would say, “See? He believed in himself and he always sought revenge. That is why he is who he is now. He was overtly successful.”

Or, was he?

In a rare interview in his old age, he said with tears that he has never tasted success. Even with so much money and many fans, he was not successful. For him, success meant one thing and that’s to be more famous than Metallica.

Since he was not, he didn’t consider himself successful.

dave mustaine
Via youtube

Now, you and I will laugh at his condition. But to him, he had worked so hard, but his life was a failure.

Our success is determined by our own success meters.

Someone’s success can be your failure while someone’s failure can be your success.

Dave Mustaine was:

a) A failure (according to his success meter)
b) A success (according to my success meter)

We like to determine other’s success and failures by our own success meters. If you ask what success in life is, many of us would say it’s getting a nice job, getting paid good money, having a car, and having a selfie-ready spouse with two cute kids. These are high success meters but not for everyone.

That is why your parents often tell you that your cousin is a total failure because he dropped out of school to pursue his singing career even though he has concerts regularly and gets 10k likes on each song in YouTube.

So, you define what is successful, either consciously or unconsciously.

Don’t get fazed by other’s success meters. Maybe your dad is a lecturer at a university and wants you to do the same.

Just think, would you be happier if you become a lecturer and get paid nicely? Or would you be happier if you build your business and it collapses and you’ll be poor?

Your answer tells something about your success meters. Do what you think will make you successful. Forget career stereotypes — be a lecturer if you want to, otherwise start your dream business.

See Also: 20 Qualities for A Successful Life

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Bitcoin Trading Platform: What Exactly to Look for

The cryptocurrency market has grown exponentially over the past five years, with many people interested in the emergence of a virtual currency which isn’t controlled by a central authority (government) & has the potential to gain massive value over a minimal amount of time. But, the bitcoin market is very volatile and it can be very tough to keep up with the trend – especially since this kind of market never sleeps.

To make it easier for traders, trading bots and platforms have been created. A trading platform or bot refers to a specific software program that has been especially designed to handle financial exchanges effectively & efficiently (much better than a human being) and allows any relevant information to be collected and interpreted automatically so that market orders can be easily bought and sold on behalf of the trader.

Essentially the bots make the final trading decision through intensive monitoring of market prices and using some preset rules, so that any losses can be prevented. The system will analyze the market for any changes in terms of volume, pricing and orders before it makes a decision, so if you are a bitcoin trader you may want to find the best trading platform to make the process easier for you.

Ultimately, the question now is how exactly do you know which one is the best?

The Operating System

bitcoin trading

Remember, not all platforms are made for all traders as their operating systems can vary. Because of this, you want to have a platform that will work on all kinds of operating systems such as Mac, Windows, or Linux. It should work on your device to fully take advantage of its usability and features. With all of your orders and configurations stored in a USB, all you need is to plug it in and play it on any computing device to trade – regardless of the operating system. A platform that requires installation only on a compatible system is inconvenient for any trader.

Easily customized and user-friendly

The overall interface of an excellent bitcoin trading platform must be very easily customized and user-friendly. Anyone should be able to use it without the very technical details or any programming knowledge. All necessary information must be easy to navigate and the gains shown very clearly along with the rest of the other trading information, as this will make it easier for any bitcoin trader to buy and sell orders. All you have to do is merely input your pairs as well as numbers, and voila! You can start trading with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Supports coins, pairs, and any other exchange

bitcoin trading currency

Aside from bitcoin, you must be able to trade in different pairs, currencies, and other various exchanges. It can be thus helpful to look for a trading platform that can accommodate various coins provided in major exchanges around the world. A full stacked cryptocurrency platform will work best for any spontaneous and eager trader.

Various other bitcoin trading platform features that can be useful and practical are reporting, notifications, historical data & real-time backtesting, just to name a few. Find out what a specific trading platform can do and choose the best one that suits your needs now.

See Also: What The World’s Governments Think Of The Expansion Of Cryptocurrency

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The Cost of Email Phishing

When did email become the weakest link? How can you protect your organization from email phishing attacks?

There have always been problems with people clicking on malicious links and somehow having them sent directly to you seems to make it more likely you will click on it.

One out of every 99 emails is a phishing scam which means that every employee in your organization is getting almost 5 phishing emails every workweek. Unfortunately, most people rely on their email program to filter out such messages.

Phishing Attacks Are Very Common — And Very Costly

Almost a third of phishing emails make it past default email security and 5% of those have been whitelisted by a system admin. There are several very common forms of phishing attacks:

  • 41% are credentialing attacks in which hackers try to gain access to the target’s usernames and passwords, costing $400 per account to clean up.
  • 51% of attacks are links that prompt the download of malware which can cause an average of $2.4 million in damage when successful
  • 0.4% of attacks are spearphishing attacks in which high-level people in an organization are targeted. While these are the least common attacks, they can be the most expensive, averaging $7.2 million per incident.
  • 8% of attacks are extortion attempts and when they are successful, they can cost an average of $5,000 per user.

Last year, 64% of information security professionals were targeted by spearphishing attacks while 35% of working professionals don’t even know what a phishing attack means. The cost of phishing comes in more than cleanup – it can also do serious reputational damage.

The average cost of a phishing attack on a midsized business is $1.6 million. There’s lost productivity while everyone tries to halt and undo the damage. There’s also a loss of proprietary data and perhaps the worst of all is the damage to a company’s reputation after a breach. A third of consumers will stop using a business once a breach has occurred and it could take years to recover from such an incident.

It’s Entirely Too Easy To Fall For The Bait

phishing attack

Even if you are in the 65% of working professionals who know what a phishing attack is, it’s still very easy to fall victim. Successful phishing campaigns play to our emotions and sense of urgency. They often feature subject lines designed to scare or cajole us into action.

Subject lines such as “complaint filed” or “open enrollment” make us believe there’s an action that needs to be taken immediately or something bad might happen. It may include losing our family’s health insurance or getting fired from our jobs.

It also doesn’t help that a quarter of phishing emails spoof trusted brands. When you are expecting a package from Amazon and happen to get an email from Amazon in your inbox, it might seem believable enough that you open it to see what’s going on.

The most common signs of phishing include:

  • Address of a crypto wallet
  • Link to a WordPress site
  • BCC to many others
  • Shortened URLs
  • From a trusted brand
  • Link to a file on Google Drive

Because these are all things that have legitimate uses, hackers can exploit them to make us think they are completely safe. Knowing the threat is the best way to avoid falling victim, but that may not be enough. If hackers weren’t so good at what they do, which is understanding human psychology, we would have no need for email scanning software.

It Helps To Have Backup

The existing spam filters in your email program catch a lot of the problems but not all of them. This lulls us into a false sense of security and leaves us believing that if something lands in our inboxes, it’s probably safe.

Unfortunately, this is just not the case. Learning how to avoid phishing attacks and schemes is crucial and it means reminding employees of these tactics on a regular basis. It can also help to get additional email scanning software to catch anything that looks real enough to be a threat.

Learn more about how email became the weakest link and how you can fight back from the infographic below.

How Email Became the Weakest Link [infographic]
Courtesy of Avanan

 

 

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Best Family Beaches In the USA You Can Visit With Your Kids

Summer is the perfect time to be on beach vacations. They offer a great way to bond with the family and create lifelong memories. But not every beach destinations can cater to the unique needs of travelers with kids.

As we plan our family beach trip, we should ensure that the beach offers amenities like kid-friendly attractions, spacious accommodations, food stores/restaurants, easy access to clean showers and restrooms, and of course, the lifeguards.

To save you the time of doing your research for best family beaches in USA, use this list to help you plan your next family trip.

Boca Raton, South Florida

Originally designed to be one of Florida’s premier resort towns, Boca Raton is known for its beautiful beaches and parks.

The Red Reef Park, a 67-acre park, wildlife conservation, and education center is the famous destination in the area where the family can do land and water activities. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers educational programs about sea wildlife, nature, ecology and conservation.

These programs make the area one of the best family beaches in the USA.

Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

kailua beach park hawaii
Via hawaii.com

Vacationers will love the turquoise blue water of Kailua Beach Park. The life-guarded beach offers plenty of free parking and a variety of family-friendly water activities. The fine and soft white sand is great for kids and their beach play.

With its gentle waves, this spot is ideal for kids who are just learning to swim. Kids who are also learning how to surf will likely have a good chance to practice there as well.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater may not be as big as Miami, but the place offers plenty of ways to enjoy the summer family vacation.

Stroll down at the Sunsets at Pier 60 and enjoy the mini-carnival atmosphere. Kids will enjoy the playground and inflatable amusements. They’ll find the street performers and musicians at Pier 60 amusing.

Children over 14 years old are allowed to drive a rented jet ski with a parent. You should also add the dolphin cruise and the half-day fishing expedition on your itinerary.

Gulf State Park, Alabama

waterville usa
Via gulfcoastweekend.com

Families are flocking to the incredible beach town in Alabama every summer since it is the perfect place for fun and memorable family beach vacation.

There are plenty of family activities to do in Gulf Shores both on the beach and land. There is a small entrance fee but you’ll be rewarded with sugar-white sand and gently crashing waves.

Kids can do swimming, kayaking, and crabbing along the 2-mile stretch of beach. The Waterville USA is a popular destination for its water slides, a lazy river, and a miniature golf course.

Coronado Beach, California

Tons of activities and sparkling clean ocean water await every family at Coronado Beach. The beach is home to resorts, parks, and a lighthouse that will cater to the whole family including your dog.

You read it right. Yes, the North Beach is a go-to destination for families with their beloved pooch. From dog-friendly beaches to the views, and picnic spots, Coronado has become a top family beach destination in Southern California.

Hope this quick list helped you plan your next family beach vacation. These great beaches have a combination of nice shoreline, swimmable waters, delicious food choices, and a variety of activities. All of which make your family beach vacation comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable.

See Also: How To Travel With Children And Live To Tell About It

Author Bio:

Edward Cruz is a staff writer for VIPpromocodes.com, a website that provides the latest promotional codes, exclusive sales, and offers for all of the top stores in the U.S.

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Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump

For the last few days, I have been feeling way too sleepy. That could be because the weather is fantastic where I live or I am overeating (I just ordered Mexican food from Chili’s) or both. The point is I am a solopreneur, a freelancer. I am in the phase of scaling up my business and feeling sleepy at two o’ clock in the afternoon is not something I can afford.

I have too much on my plate at the moment. For starters – I want to get my website up and running. Don’t worry – it will be live by the time you read this article. My husband and I have family visiting us, so there’s that. We are traveling a bit too much in the coming months, so we have to plan for that.

And these are just non-work related tasks. There are assignments to be scheduled for the clients I signed up recently, and articles to be delivered before the month gets over.

Too much to do. Too little time.

These days, by the time I look up after finishing one assignment, it’s already nighttime and I can’t help but wonder if there is a way to break this productivity slump and complete all the tasks on my to-do list faster.

To answer my own question, I usually follow these eight nifty tips to staying productive. Check them out:

Write even when I don’t want to

Since a significant part of my job revolves around writing, I can’t escape it even when I want to. I have deadlines to meet and some critical clients who I can’t disappoint. Therefore, whenever I feel lazy or unproductive, I write. The output may not be as good, but I still get the job done. And, that’s what matters at the end of the day!

Talk to a friend or colleague

stay productive

I am lucky to have a few friends from the same industry. I get on weekly calls with them to discuss our goals and challenges. Sometimes, I have a casual call with them. It’s nice to know what they are up to besides work, which can often get boring.

When I am feeling low, I prefer speaking to a select few – the ones that make me laugh. My conversations with them put me back in the right place, and I can put things in perspective, professionally and personally.

You don’t know how much good vibes of a person can rub off on you.

Take a stroll in the park

I don’t do this often, but just going for a walk calms me and helps me readjust my focus. I really enjoy the weather here, so it’s great stepping out in the evenings. I try to walk for 30 minutes every day. Walking increases cardiovascular fitness, improves balance, reduces body fat, among other benefits.

Stay away from social media

When you are unproductive, don’t make it worse by browsing through your Instagram feed. Believe it or not – it is not the first thing I check right in the mornings anymore. I go on Twitter while I am working, but that too is controlled.

I was never a huge fan of Facebook and can go days without checking it. I am a bit active on LinkedIn, but really, it can’t and doesn’t do much harm. In the last year, if there’s anything that I have learned is that social media can suck your time and energy.

Worse, it can make you feel guilty, useless, and incredibly low by the end of the day. Trust me, you don’t want that.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Listen to music

how to stay productive

I love listening to music. Sometimes I put on ambient music to remove all distractions while researching or writing. Hans Zimmer, anyone? And then, there are times when I want to listen to SZA, The Weeknd or Post Malone.

Music has a way of filling my surroundings with substance. It lifts my spirits and makes me very happy. The right type of music makes me want to dream big, achieve big, and live my life to the fullest! I hope your experience is similar.

P.S. I am listening to Unforgettable by French Montana and Swae Lee right now.

See Also: How Music Affects Your Productivity

Have some chai

I am a North Indian, and we thrive on chai. When I was working in an office, my friend and I would wait to go on a tea break. Now that I work from home, the charm of companionship may be lost, but hey, I still have my chai. Evenings are meant to be enjoyed with freshly brewed tea.

I feel I deserve a steaming cup after a hectic day. Don’t we all?

I am also a fan of green tea but I feel that’s an acquired taste. I recently bought Blue Pea green tea from Tea Trunk. It has a beautiful azure hue – a visual delight indeed! I like the dull taste too – balanced and calming – just how I want it.

Bottom line: Any type of tea breaks my productivity slump.

Finish off household work

I love my house, and I like it to be nice and proper. Whether it is folding laundry or cooking – I like to make sure I am at the top of things. This attitude is specifically handy during such dull days, when I still want to do something substantial.

When I know I have got one chore off my list, I know I can write an article or finish scheduling social media for a week pretty quickly.

Re-organize my Trello

I am a Trello geek. I think I have over ten boards on my Trello. When I want to break my productivity slump, I get on it and start re-organizing it. It helps me identify the tasks or clients that don’t need my attention urgently.

I can reschedule, reduce clutter, and start work with a clean state – all of which helps me become more productive and better at how I approach things.

What do you think?

As a new solopreneur, I am all about finding new ways to boost my productivity levels, work less and earn more. And, it would be great if you can help me perfect the way I am operating at the moment.

What do you have to say about my tips? Are they nifty enough for you?

The post Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why We Need To Think More About Ethical AI Now

Artificial intelligence is the stuff of nightmares and science fiction stories. What if it goes rogue and thinks we are dispensable? It’s not as far-fetched as you might think.

Artificial intelligence can automate many of the repetitive things we do every day. It can even drive for us and recognize different human faces.

The problem?

Artificial intelligence is only as unbiased as we can program it to be — and we are humans with bias. How can we ensure AI is programmed in an ethical and unbiased way?

The Proven History of Bias In AI

People have tried several times to program AI to take over lower-level tasks. It was supposed to free us up to handle the things that are higher-order in nature.

Amazon famously tried this with its hiring protocols. It fed resumes into an artificial intelligence algorithm, telling it which candidates were successful hires. The result was not only that the AI refused to consider women applicants for jobs, but it also kicked out any resumes that have women as references.

There are more dangerous instances of biased programming in artificial intelligence. A 2019 study found that driverless cars were better at detecting pedestrians with lighter skin tones. The data fed to the algorithm contained three times as many light-skinned people as it did dark-skinned people. So, the AI learned to detect lighter skinned people much faster but struggled to identify people with darker skin tones.

There’s also been a lot of talks lately about facial recognition software utilized by police departments. Some cities and states are banning the practice. However, states like Orlando, Florida and Washington County, Oregon have already started using the software.

It has many of the same problems as facial detection software in autonomous vehicles. The programming is biased and often misidentifies people with darker skin tones. The ACLU compared 25,000 mugshots with photos of members of congress and found 28 false matches, 39% of which were people of color. This technology scans police body camera footage as well as security footage even with known flaws.

The Purpose Of Ethical AI

Artificial intelligence can potentially make our lives easier. If we can figure a way to program AI to be ethical, we can actually use the technology to save lives. Driverless cars are estimated to save us up to 250 million hours of free time, $234 billion in public costs in savings from accidents, and 90% of traffic fatalities. But this is, of course, only if it is programmed correctly.

driverless car
Via phys.org

There’s not even a consensus about how driverless cars should react in situations that could lead to death or injury. Only about three-quarters of people believe that driverless cars should save as many lives as possible. There’s not even a consensus that human life is more valuable than property or other considerations.

There are people who believe that autonomous vehicles should spare the lives of children almost unanimously. However, less preference is given to the lives of criminals or animals. What’s more, very few people were actually willing to spend the money to buy a car with programming that would minimize harm.

How Can We Promote Ethical AI?

As the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

If we want artificial intelligence to be less biased, we have to understand the inner workings of human bias. We need to spend the time to ensure it doesn’t get translated into the AI’s training modules.

Training the AI to weigh darker skin tones more heavily or to ignore gender could help make the algorithms less biased. Being more careful about the data that is fed into the system and monitoring for any problems in the output are going to be crucial steps moving forward. Subtle human bias can be multiplied when it becomes part of an algorithm. Once the AI is left to its own devices this can become a serious problem.

If we want to be able to fully benefit from AI, we need to do the work on the front end to make sure it thinks ethically. Learn more about ethical artificial intelligence from the infographic below.

Are we ready for a world where the machines can make their own decisions?
Ethical AI
Source: Cyber Security Degrees

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A Safety Guide For Dental Implants

Every person wants to look competent and confident. The shape of a face mainly depends on the structure and form of the teeth. People have various perceptions about the beauty of a face. Earlier, when medical sciences were not so technologically sound, people used to live with the set of teeth from the time they were born.

Gradually, various inventions took place in the medical sciences. The advanced treatments now help to change the face of a person according to their desires. Various treatments like the use of dentures, braces, and dental implants, among others have been developed over time.

These treatments have helped to fix a lot of problems apart from the usual dental pains. Dental implants, in particular, is one of the most well-established therapies. Nonetheless, it requires regular maintenance and proper care from time to time. So, the patients need to see a doctor after a certain period to keep a healthy dental condition after the dental implants.

What Is A Dental Implant?

dental implants

Dental implants provide support to the teeth. They are surgical components that go deep inside the jaw and supports the dental prosthesis.

The implants help in reconstructing the entire set of teeth very efficiently. They are titanium screws that are inserted in the place of a tooth as it falls from the jaw in a natural process through decay. The screw is placed very carefully in the jawbone for such reason.

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are a lot of benefits to having dental implants. Some of them are:

  • Enhances looks: Dental implants help to improve the facial structure of a person since this is a permanent solution.
  • Better speech: Poor dental sittings often cause mumbling of words. The dental implants help in improving one’s vocal expressions as words spoken are easier to understand.
  • Improve set of teeth: The setting of the teeth gets disturbed if teeth start falling. The dental implants help to improve the context of the teeth and make it as the patients want.
  • Enhances confidence: These implants help to increase one’s self-confidence.
  • Beautiful smile: Dental implants not only help to gain confidence but also possess a charming smile. A great smile helps a person bring out themselves in front of the world.

Safety Rules To Follow

Safety measures are necessary to avoid any problems after dental implants. Some safety rules are as follows:

  • Before the implant, proper dental care is necessary so that the gum is not damaged.
  • One should take care and have healthy food that is good for one’s gums and teeth.
  • Immediately after the surgery, one should be extra careful and take medicine as prescribed by the doctors.
  • Taking good care of the gums after the dental implantation should be the priority.
  • After the dental implantation, one needs to follow the diet as given by the doctor. One should only have that food suggested by the doctor, or else one may suffer from more significant problems.
  • Even after the surgery, one should take proper maintenance of the affected area, if not taken proper care, pain and swelling may occur.
  • One should go for routine checkups from time to time for a long-lasting effect of the dental implantation.
  • After the surgery is over, one should take proper care of their teeth by regular brushing, regular dental checkups, and having fewer sweets.

dental implant advantage

See Also: 9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now

Dental implantation helps a person have a beautiful smile and gives them the confidence to face the world. It can also make you feel more confident about yourself.

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The Most Devastating Cyber Attack: How to Prevent Ransomware

Large corporations, governments, and even small businesses are always at a high risk of being attacked. Hackers and cybercriminals aim to steal your money no matter who or what you are.  Cyber-attacks have an increase of 235%, according to a report issued by Malware Labs in 2019.

Malware, Man-In-The-Middle, and phishing are some of the most common types of cyber attacks, but which could be more destructive? The answer is ransomware.

Ransomware is on the rise in the cyber world. It is a type of malware attack that will steal your data. Criminals will demand ransom to return your data.

In the U.S., Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Baltimore City faced ransomware attacks. These drove smaller businesses, thinking that large corporations and governments are the only targets of a ransomware attack.

The truth, however, is that every business should prepare itself to prevent this attack. Every business needs to know how to prevent ransomware.

Difference between ransomware and other cyber attacks

ransomware

Ransomware doesn’t lack confidential information or personal data to be effective. This distinct behavior makes it different from other cyber attacks. It surfs for data in an organization that is valuable enough for the victim to pay the ransom just to get them back.

Ransomware is a very effective approach of hackers to paralyze an organization. It restricts their access to their information, deliver services, and accept payments. All these obstacles will turn customers of an organization away.

How to Prevent Ransomware

Ransomware can cost a lot to a business so it must prepare itself to combat not only ransomware but all kinds of cyber attacks.

Several best practices businesses should implement to protect themselves from cyber attacks include:

Security Software

Security software is crucial for an organization to detect and deter fraudulent activity. This software should be strong enough to verify activities and detect potential harm to the organization.

If your business is online, then your organization must use an identity verification service. It is an anti-fraud technology for online businesses that can verify your customer and even employees online. It is capable of detecting if someone is pretending to be someone.

Firewall & Intrusion Detection/Protection

Installing a firewall is a crucial security measure and any business should not neglect it. It can deny and allow access to a company network or a part of the network. By restricting access with the help of a firewall, an organization can prevent scammers.

Web & Email Filtering

cyber attack

All efforts of preventing ransomware from getting in the network become useless when an end-user inadvertently opens a malicious email and click a malicious link. For end-users, it is becoming increasingly complex to detect all malicious emails as phishing attempts are becoming more sophisticated.

By email safety awareness training and email filtering for employees, an organization can mitigate the risk. It’s one of the best ways on how to prevent ransomware.

User Education

Users/clients are the most valuable asset of a company. Their protection should be the priority of any organization. An organization should arrange regular awareness programs for users to educate them about malicious links and persons.

See Also: 5 Top Cyber Security Training Tips For Employees

Backup offers the best protection

Taking backup on regular basis can secure you from ransomware. In case you become a victim of ransomware, you can use your previous backup to keep going. Usually, taking backup costs you little to nothing but restoring backup could take days or weeks. It will cost you in labor and downtime to restore and recover your systems to make them fully functional.

Various types of backup, disaster, and threat prevention strategies are circulating in the market and every solution is valuable according to its use. You can protect your business by implementing a solution that mitigates risks attached to your business.

Your IT team or technical department should understand and analyze business deeply to provide and implement the best solution for unique problems. An IT team must identify which type of backups are beneficial for specific organizations and how to restore them more efficiently in less time in case of any critical situation.

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Things to Consider Before Starting a New Marketing Campaign

Starting a marketing campaign from scratch can feel overwhelming. In case you have never made a marketing campaign or if you have at least tried and just felt like you were in a tight spot, you’d know how tough it is.

However, if you want serious returns for your new business, you need to think your marketing campaigns through.

Preferably, before you plan a coupon marketing campaign, you ought to have a marketing plan for your business. The marketing plan is the foundation of your marketing strategy for a product or service. It gives the general coupon marketing strategies and objectives to draw your target market to the products or service your business offers.

A good marketing campaign includes only a bit of your actual marketing plan—an activity intended to accomplish a specific marketing goal. When you know how your campaign fits into your general marketing plan, then you can distinguish your objective market and how best to approach them.

Here are some things you should consider before starting a marketing campaign for your product/service.

When to start your campaign

Your marketing campaign must have a start and an end date. Utilize a calendar to schedule and plot out the significant dates and activities.

Figuring out when to begin your promotions is similar to tossing spaghetti at a wall. You study different marketing strategies and implement what you think fits the bill.

Hence, there is no definite answer to this question as it varies from business to business. You need to consider your market, the type of product or service, the purpose of the product, and other factors before you can decide when to start your marketing campaign. However, you need to take your time to plan out and design the campaign and the strategies you will need to implement in order to make the campaign successful.

See Also: Ask Questions Before Approving a Marketing Campaign Plan

Pick your target audience

Before you start your coupon marketing campaign, you have to decide the “who”. You need to determine your target market and how you will contact them.

The most ideal approach is to comprehend their novel difficulties and how you can tackle them. Characterize purchaser personas for your customers so you can refine your messages to their particular needs as they assess their alternatives.

Create a content calendar

target marketing campaign

When you share content on different marketing platforms, it tends to be hard to remain on track. On the off chance that you fall behind, completely disregard a platform or miss a post, it could destroy your whole campaign.

Endeavor to recall what content to post and when can be a noteworthy pressure. Occasional posts and conflicting messages may make your clients think that you don’t care about your online nearness.

A content schedule or calendar will enable you to remain on track and guarantee you’re posting the right data at the best time. Rather than expecting to recollect what day you should post something, you can check your calendar every morning to decide what ought to be planned for that day.

Moreover, it enables you to see the master plan for your marketing procedure. You will know how each bit of your marketing content fits together to make the whole campaign.

See Also: Effective Content Marketing: 8 Ways to Get Your Content Noticed

Where to distribute your campaign

What media channel will you use to convey your message and pull in and catch your customers?

Some marketing platforms include:

  • Websites
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Mobile
  • Video
  • Search Engines

The channels you pick should depend on your business, target audience, and objectives.

Note: The channel is the way to communicate with people. The strategy is how you use the channel to promote your business. So, your coupon marketing strategy is the thing that you post, share on the marketing channel to promote engagement which turns into leads.

Set your marketing campaign budget

The amount of cash you can spend on your campaign will enormously influence the advertising strategies you pick.

A billboard is much more expensive than flyers. Try not to rely upon free publicizing and advancement procedures for your business.

This doesn’t mean that all free advertising techniques are terrible. However, there is always an expense to marketing. The best method to achieve your target market may not be so cheap, so be reasonable when setting your campaign budget.

Track and measure results

It is imperative to monitor your marketing strategies to results. Results will be dictated by what your objectives were for the campaign. Following and estimating results can be easy or complex depending on the business.

When you have finished your campaign, keeps these things in mind during the review:

  • Did your offer fulfill the needs of your target customers? If not, what would you be able to offer that will?
  • What did you discover that you can apply to your next campaign?
  • Did you meet the objectives? If not, why?
  • Should anything change next time you run the campaign?

Boosting a marketing campaign isn’t something you can do rapidly and accomplish results overnight. Every activity should be arranged and carefully thought of before you start the campaign. Without an appropriate plan, your campaign is probably going to fall flat.

Make changes

marketing campaign

You can dissect, measure, and track your marketing practices to figure out what your crowd will associate with. When you realize your coupon marketing campaign isn’t verging on accomplishing your objectives, then you need to make changes.

Remain mindful of how your audience is responding, yet keep your team ready to make improvements and amendments wherever necessary. Do not sit idle or waste your money on a campaign that will not bring you any returns.

Conclusion

The key takeaways here are to focus on the needs of your audience, pick the channels that you believe will give the best return, and monitor your progress and finally stick with what works for your business. Consider the factors mentioned above before starting a marketing campaign to get the most out of your coupon marketing efforts.

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The Ocean Cleanup Machines and Technologies

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), on World Environment Day 2018, brought out a staggering figure. The figure showed that around 13 million of disposable and non-disposable plastics are ending up in the world oceans each year. This triggered a complete ocean cleanup project.

Though ocean cleanup is a relatively new term, some organizations are toiling hard to develop effective ocean cleanup machines and technologies. So, I decided to write about this so as to complete my social responsibilities to make you aware of the danger of ocean pollution and the technologies and machines invented to cope up with the looming danger.

I told earlier that ocean cleanup is relatively a recent term taken to concern. So, it is no surprise that there are only a few significant technologies and machines invented for the purpose. UNEP, last year, defined five ICT based technologies significant for ocean cleanup tasks.

Social Sites

beat plastic pollution
Via mygardenstory.plantsguru.com

UNEP declared that creating awareness through social sites among general people on the critical issue of ocean cleanup is a well-planned solution. Today, nearly about 2 billion people use the internet daily.

So, reaching them through the internet to create awareness about plastic pollution and ocean cleanup is easy. A campaign #BeatPlasticPollution has already on effect for such reasons.

Satellite Images

The oceans are unimaginably huge. It’s quite impossible to scan each inch of them to apply the cleanup project. Thus, the use of satellites to capture raw images of plastic consumption across the oceans goes a long way in looking for targeting areas. The European Space Agency (ESA) and a non-profit organization named The Ocean Cleanup is working on the issue.

Using Artificial Intelligence

Popularly known as AI, artificial intelligence has gone through enormous development in recent times. Lately, the World Economic Forum suggested to harnessing artificial intelligence for ocean cleanup. The earth conservation is a key technology that includes big data analysis machine learning. They further discussed the possibilities of AI ahead.

Data Visualization

As the use of AI and machine learning is opening up, the areas of Big data and data visualization are increasing rapidly to use for ocean cleanup. In the future, these will be the key to collect information to track and measure ocean plastic consumption.

However, one great drawback of this technology is that only 41 countries keep a record of their sea wastes.

Recycling

the plastic bank
Via plasticbank.com

Nowadays, there’s a popular saying if you can’t recycle, refuse it. The Plastic Bank, another non-profit organization, is upholding the motto to its fullest. They are awarding people with blockchain secured tokens in lieu of recycled plastics. They aim to reduce the flow of plastics into the oceans by recycling them.

See Also: E-Waste Tips: What To Do With Old Tech Gadgets

Apart from these technologies, there are few machines developed and particularly designed to clean the wastes from the oceans.

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup founded by Boyan Slat in 2013 is the pioneer in the sector. It is a non-government engineering organization which is working day and night to clean up the oceans.

The organization has already published several scientific types of research upon its findings on the oceans. They highlighted that trash usually accumulate near the five patches of the oceans. Among them, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest.

Boyal Slat, the chief of the organization, proposed a prototype machine to clean the garbage from the oceans in early 2013. His design consisted of long, floating barriers fixed to the seabed. This would be attached to a central platform shaped like a manta ray for better stability.

However, the initiative has gone through several changes. Some significant changes took place in 2017. During the year, the working area went from 100 km to 1-2 km radius. Sea anchors were replaced in place of seabed anchors. Lastly, instead of gathering plastic, direct focus was given on concentrating the plastics to be carried away by the support vessels.

With the advent of 2018, The Ocean Cleanup took their prototypes into the real working environment. Last September 9, 2018, Maersk Launcher deployed codename Wilson about 204 nautical miles from the San Francisco coast. There, it underwent several trials and provided satisfactory results for the organization.

Then, The Ocean Cleanup sent Wilson to perform its first real-world duty to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It started with a very high note. However, the system faced several problems quickly.

It started losing the collected garbage due to the slow movement of the traveling barrier. To add to this, last December, due to severe mechanical stress, an 18-meter section was detached. The machinery and system were sent back to Hawaii to be repaired. It collected nearly 2000 kilograms of plastic during its operational period.

In 2019, The Ocean Cleanup declared to start their biggest project by summer by deploying Wilson again after repair. The organization is already raising fund for the execution of their future plans. Despite having doubts on the success of the machine and system buildup by the organizations, scientists and other organizations like UNEP have praised its idea.

Oceans are our best natural resources. However, our impatient and obnoxious craving for plastic materials have brought the deterioration of the sea environment. These resulted in a series of researches and inventions to clean up the piles of plastics in the oceans.

Final Thoughts

Thus, ideas of organizations like The Ocean Cleanup and The Plastic Bank are opening up new opportunities for us. Nevertheless, we, the people of Planet Earth, can’t deny our duty towards ensuring a cleaner ocean for our future generations.

We need to start reducing the use of plastics and recycle them whenever possible. After all, it is all about saving our mother Earth!

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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

The post 7 Really Common Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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.

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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!

The post 8 Avoidable Workplace Safety Mistakes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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.