Category Archives: personal development

Productive People- How to Become One!

4 Habits of Productive People

(Family Features)—Appointments, meetings, tasks…life can get hectic both professionally and personally. Staying productive on a packed schedule can be difficult, but it’s not impossible—especially if you practice the following habits:

1. Rest – It seems counterproductive (pun intended), but without enough rest, it’s all the more challenging to stay on top of your schedule. It may be difficult initially to carve out time to rest, but it will pay off in the long run—even if you do something as simple as putting away your computer or phone an hour before bedtime.

2. Schedule Everything – Schedule all obligations on a calendar—mundane included. Having this information readily accessible frees up brain space for the more important tasks in your day.

3. Embrace Technology – Many tools today make keeping track easier than ever. One such tool is the “smartpad,” an alternative to paper notebooks with the benefit of digitizing every idea or reminder so that they’re available from any device.

4. Keep Clean – Messy areas can make you feel disorganized and overwhelmed, hindering your ability to be productive. Sprucing up at the end of each day helps you “wind down,” preparing you to be just as productive tomorrow.

What habits do you practice to stay productive?

Source: Wacom

What Would You Do with an Extra $1,000?

5 Smart Things to Do with $1,000

By Barbara Pronin

It’s a great feeling: you received a hard-earned bonus at work, or an unexpected gift from a relative. The impulse to buy something you pine for is strong.

Before you spend that $1,000, think what it can help accomplish if you take one of these five steps, say investment advisors at the Motley Fool:

1. Create an Emergency Fund – Statistics say 62 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings—not nearly enough to pay for emergencies. If you’re one of them, take that $1,000 to the bank and crank up your emergency fund. You’ll feel a lot better when you find your car needs repair and you don’t have to haul out the plastic!

2. Pay Off Debt – Carrying credit card balances wastes money on interest payments, affording you less spend-able cash. Use that $1,000 to pay down debt, which may also improve your credit score—ideal if you need to borrow money or apply for a home loan down the line.

3. Save for Retirement – Add that $1,000 to your 401(k), IRA or savings account. Those in their 30s who invest it in stocks could generate an average annual return of 8 percent—or, if you put it into savings, could grow it to $15,000 by age 65.

4. Invest in Your Child’s Education – While student loans are an option, the less debt your kids take on, the better positioned they’ll be to start adulthood on financially solid ground. If you’re on track for retirement, have adequate emergency savings, and aren’t carrying credit card debt, put that $1,000 in a traditional brokerage account, a 529 or another type of college savings plan.

5. Invest in Yourself – If a degree or certification stands between you and a promotion and a raise—or if you plan to launch a side business or a new career—put that $1,000 windfall into making your dream a reality.

 

Shortcuts to Spring Renewal: Simple Ways to Refresh Your Spirit

Shortcuts to Spring Renewal: Simple Ways to Refresh Your Spirit

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Spring is here at last. This is the season of rebirth. And it’s only natural that as dark, depressing winter gives way to budding greenery, we find ourselves longing for renewal.

We’re wired to feel joy and hope when we can see life bursting forth everywhere we look. The Earth is literally clueing us in to the spirit of rejuvenation that people of all walks of life should embrace.

Read on for simple tips to help you renew your spirit this spring:

Really savor life’s simple pleasures. Take time out of your day to enjoy the taste of delicious food and perhaps a glass of good wine. Inhale the rich, mysterious fragrance of dirt as you prepare your garden. If you have a moment of pure silence, tune into that moment so you really experience it. Get a massage as a treat and make a point of staying present throughout.

Keep a journal. One of the best ways to practice self-care is to keep a journal. I personally am meticulous with my journaling practice, and having a written record of my life has been an invaluable factor in my spiritual journey. Each day, take 10 or 15 minutes to write. Write what you feel: your thoughts, dreams, questions. By checking in with yourself daily through writing, you will gain a keen sense of what peace means to you, and your soul will go to work to find the answers.

Embrace an art form that gives you goosebumps. Art is one of the most transformative modes of communication. It helps us connect to our humanity animaged the Earth on a deeper level— sometimes that connection is even beyond words. Find your own meaningful form of art to either practice or appreciate. Some examples may include painting or sketching, learning a musical instrument, or taking a sewing or acting class.

Practice gratitude daily. Maybe you’re having a tough time right now, or maybe things are going a-okay (I hope!). Either way, get used to feeling grateful for the gifts you do have. Sometimes writing them down in a gratitude journal can help, but you don’t have to do that: Just use your senses and pause to reflect on the beauty you see, hear, taste, and smell around you.

Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving, because it forces you to continually find the silver linings during life’s storms. Acknowledging the positives in your life makes even the roughest paths seem more tolerable and in time will make you more resilient.

Find a spiritual practice that resonates with you. It is important to work on connecting your body, mind, and soul in some meaningful way. Check out a yoga class, or meditation, or find a spot by a stream or lake that gives you a peaceful feeling. The possibilities are endless; you can even create a “shrine” in your home. It doesn’t need to mimic an altar; it’s enough to have a collection of photos and objects that remind you of people you love or make you feel serene.

Weave random acts of kindness into the fabric of your life. There is no better way to celebrate the spirit of spring than being kind and loving to others. You don’t have to be showy; sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten a stranger’s day. But if you really wanted to, you could buy a bunch of flowers and give them to a neighbor who seems lonely or heavy-hearted. Or just be extra generous when tipping your server. Paying it forward is a kindness that will only perpetuate love.

Find something to smile about every day. Choosing joy over sadness is a continual journey. You’re not going to feel great every day. Bad things are going to happen. But choosing how you respond to life’s ups and downs will affect you deeply in the long run. That’s why it is so important to smile every day. Soon, you may notice that your outlook is more hopeful than ever before. And hope is what it’s all about.

Find inspiration through music. You probably already know which music feels intuitively good to you. Find time every day to play music in your home that resonates and makes you feel connected to your own spirit. Maybe you love to listen to jazz on Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee. Or, say, ’80s pop makes you feel joyous and giddy. (I’m not judging!) Find a time to get lost in your music and enjoy the peace you feel when that happens.

While spring means different things to different people, each of us could stand to have a little more hope and peace day to day.

David Solomon is a Christian minister and the author of “The Dead Saints Chronicles: A Zen Journey Through the Christian Afterlife.” For more information visit www.deadsaints.org.

 

Q: What Should I Know about Mechanics Liens?

A:  A mechanic’s lien is a “hold” against your property that provides contracdeed-transfer-paperworktors and suppliers legal recourse to assure payment for services.  The liens vary from state to state and allow for a cloud on the title of your property and foreclosure action.  Also, if you paid the contractor, but he failed to pay the subcontractors and laborers – who do not have a contract with you – then the workers may file a mechanic’s lien on your home.  This could result in a double payment by you for the same job.  You can protect yourself from unwarranted liens by selecting your contractor carefully and managing your construction project responsibly.  Also, most construction lenders will specify a payment distribution process that involves the securing of lien waivers.  The remodeling contract should address this as well, assuring that the general contractor is responsible for all payments as well as any costs required to remedy lien disputes that may arise.  

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

5 Morning Habits Worth Breaking

5 Morning Habits Worth Breaking

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It’s a sad truth that having a bad morning often means you’ll have a bad day.  But while we can’t avoid the unpredictability of life, doctors and psychologists agree that that breaking some commonplace morning habits can give us a better chance of starting out the day on the right foot.
If you see yourself in these scenarios, aim for breaking these five bad habits and you may be happier and healthier:

  • Hitting the snooze button – When you hit the snooze button, you are a little drowsy when you finally get out of bed because those last10 minutes of snoozing have none of the benefits of deep sleep. Try going to bed a few minutes earlier to give yourself a bit more beneficial sleep time, or keep your alarm clock far enough away that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
  • Checking your email as soon as you wake up – Checking your inbox before you’ve tossed off the covers can send you into panic or worry mode before the day has even begun. Not only can it get your day off to a negative start, but if you respond to an email when you’re still half asleep, you’re more likely to make mistakes or bad decisions.
  • Steaming up the shower – A hot shower can be very relaxing – maybe too relaxing when you need to be revving up for the day. A quick, cold shower releases adrenaline to give you energy, but if you’re not up for a cold shower, at least keep it cool, not hot.
  • Having a carb-heavy breakfast – It’s easy to grab a bagel or a muffin on your way out the door, but a carb-laden breakfast can leave you bogging down and craving carbs for the rest of the day. Choosing a protein-packed breakfast will keep you fuller longer, and more energetic as well.
  • Brushing your teeth after breakfast – Dentists say brushing your teeth after breakfast, especially if you’ve had acidic stuff like coffee or fruit, pushes the sugars to the surface of your teeth and eventually erodes your enamel. Brush before breakfast and drink a glass of water afterward to help your mouth feel clean.