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?
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.