Category Archives: TIPS AND TRICKS

Stop the Time Suckers

Who doesn’t want to make better use of their time? We all have those silent time suckers that we don’t really think about, but all of us waste time every day. How can you can get a handle on it?  Here are some tips for you to make better use of your time and stop the time suckers.

It may sound boring, but you really have to set some goals for yourself first. Even if you start at a high level (more time with family, more exercise, etc.), just writing down some goals will give you a good start. Pick one and then break it down until you get to a daily goal. Start with one at a time for best results.

Most of us have a general idea of how much time we spend every day on regular tasks. Would you be surprised to find out that we are usually way off? We tend to think smaller tasks take longer, and generally underestimate how long it really takes for larger tasks. It really helps if you can get some accurate data around the actual time you spend doing things. Jot down how long your regular tasks are taking you to accomplish. Do this daily for about a week. You may be surprised that washing dishes doesn’t take as long as you thought, but making your shopping list takes much longer. Once you have a better idea of how time is being spent, you can budget your time and plan accordingly.

 

You can start making a plan for daily, weekly or monthly tasks. Use a paper or electronic calendar- whatever will work for you. You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, but you want to have a general and realistic plan of what you can get done in set amount of time. If you think of something when you are running around, jot it down or put it in your phone so you can remember later and schedule time for it. You want to be flexible, but try to set a realistic start time that you can stick to- that way the rest of your day won’t be so pinched.

 

Even though it can be hard, you can learn how to prioritize. We tend to think every task is important and must be done right away. This is not possible. We can’t do everything at once.

Start with eliminating things you really don’t have to do. There are some things, such as paying bills or buying groceries, that we absolutely have to do. Set your priorities and work on the big things that MUST get done. The next layer would be important items that you have some time to work on. Do a little at a time and enjoy the moments when you accomplish something!

 

Don’t get stuck doing everything that anyone asks of you. Ask yourself if doing something is a good use of your time. Spend time with your family and friends instead of organizing the pantry. Don’t feel pressured to do everything! Also, ask for help if you need it and lessen the burden that is on your shoulders.

 

If you find yourself with a spare 10 minutes, think about 1 item you can knock off your list. It may be tempting to check your email again, but just do 1 thing and then allow yourself more time to relax at the end of the day. Also, if you find that you allotted 30 minutes for an item and it takes longer, just stop for the day and reschedule another time to finish the work. The next time you have to tackle the same task, just allow the more realistic time.

 

Make sure you allow time for breaks during the day, especially lunch or dinner. Whether you are at home, or in an office, you must have time to step away for a little bit. We are all tempted to just keep on working sometimes, but that does more harm than good. Recharging your mind will do a world of good for you and help your productivity when you resume working.

 

Reward yourself (reasonably, of course!) for a job well done. Schedule your free time for the weekend or even a mini-vacation. It is really important to have something to look forward to that you really will enjoy. A lunch with friends or movies with the family are both some fun things you can fit in.

 

To recap, be realistic and keep track of things you have to do. You can still have some flexibility, since over structuring is not really good, either. Once you have your goals and schedules you will find that you are using your time more wisely and put an end to all those time suckers!

 

5 Reasons you Need a Will

 

shot of someone signing a contract. Focus is on the signature and the end of the pen.

You may not think so, but having a will is one of the most important things you should have on your to-do list. You don’t want to leave your family and estate at the mercy of your state. It is worth the time to decide what you want – not the state.

When you have a will you get to decide how your estate is handled.  Making these decisions now can save your family headache and prevent disagreements among family members.

Here are 5 reasons you need to draw up a will:

1. Think of your children

It is important to have a will if you have children that are minors. It is a hard decision, but you will want to designate a guardian for you children in the event of your death. You don’t want the courts to decide the fate of your kids.
2. Lower estate taxes
You want to lower any taxes on your estate as much as possible. The value of anything you gift to family or charity organizations does reduce the overall estate value used to determine any estate taxes due.
3. Choose who takes care of your estate
You will need to choose an executor of your will. The Executor ensures all your affairs are in order. The executor will pay off bills, send notices to your banks and financial organizations, and cancel credit cards, just to name a few of the executor’s duties.ds, and notifying your bank.
4. Shorten Probate
All estates have to go through some kind of probate process, even with a will in place. However, if you don’t have a will the process can be lengthy.
5. Donations and gifts

A will gives you the ability to donate to your favorite charities or gift friends and family some of your assets. This is a very personal way to let others know you thought of them.
Is a basic will good enough?
If you don’t have many assets and are under the age of fifty then a basic will should suffice. You may not even need an attorney for this type of will. If you have many valuable asset or any complex business issues, then you probably want to get the advice of an attorney.
A basic will still covers many of the reasons listed above, such as leaving your property to people you choose, naming your children’s guardian and identifying your executor.
Does a will cover it all?

There are some areas that a will doesn’t cover, so be aware of these.

Funeral directions- These cannot be covered in a will so make a written document with your wishes and let your family know about it now.

Shared Property/Insurance — a will won’t cover living trusts or money from life insurance (anything that already has a beneficiary.) If you share property with someone else, then this property is not included, either.

Estate Taxes- You can’t avoid taxes, but some trusts can reduce or postpone when taxes are due

Probate- Even with a will, there is still probate which can take 3-12 months to get through

Pets- While you can name someone to have your pets, you can’t actually leave money or property to an animal

Special Care- If you have someone in your life that you want to make sure is covered for long-term care you will have to get a special needs trust. Setting up this trust through an attorney can ensure that person has income without impacting any government benefits they are entitled to.

While every situation is different there is one thing we all have in common- the need for a will. Spend a little time now thinking about it and you can have some peace now.

Spring Clean Your Life!

 

Enjoying the nature

 

We are all probably ready for spring and the warm weather and flowers blooming. Spring might also bring to mind Spring Cleaning. Some of us dread it, some of us love it. While it is great to get your home in shape, what about the rest of your life?

People

You may not think about people when mentioning spring cleaning. Spring is a time for change and blooming. If there are people in your life that are negative or holding you back, it may be time to sweep them out of your life for good. While this may sound harsh, do some soul searching. There might be that one person that you just don’t need to hang around with any longer.

Social Media

When was the last time you cleaned up old pictures or posts on your social media accounts? Maybe you have photos that looked fun but now are embarrassing. Delete, delete! If you are in a different place in your life, let your new posts and pics reflect that. Get rid of pictures with people that are not in your life- who needs a reminder of that ex you dumped? Make a fresh start.

Music and Media

Have an Ipod or store a lot of music on your tablet or laptop? It is probably time to shake your selections up a little. Get rid of the songs that you always skip over or really don’t like that much. Make an effort to try something new and download some upbeat songs. Maybe clean up your playlists or make new ones. Get a new groove on while working out or something to keep you motivated at work.

Unwelcome Gifts

You probably have a drawer or closet with gifts or old cards from your exes. Why keep this stuff? Even ticket stubs from fun events don’t need to clutter up your life. If you aren’t going to make a scrapbook, either take a photo with your phone or just trash it.  Anything with a bad memory you need to dump, now! Even good memories stay in our minds, and we don’t always need to keep a physical reminder.

Now that you’ve done some spring cleaning in your life you will feel like a weight is gone. Maybe you have the energy now to tackle that spring cleaning around the house, too!

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