3 Essential Tips for Moving Into Your First Apartment

Here are 3 tips for moving to your first apartment. With these tips, you can focus onthe excitement of the process, instead of the stress.

Everyone has to spread their wings and leave the nest eventually. Moving out of your family’s home is a major step in adulthood. As exciting as the experience is, however, it’s also nerve-wracking. Here are three essential tips for moving into your first apartment that’ll ease your anxieties.

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Research Beforehand

Don’t rent the first place you find online. Even if you’re desperate to go out on your own, you must put careful thought into the decision. Set up multiple tours of venues before you sign on the dotted line. If you don’t feel comfortable visiting a ton of places right now, ask the landlord to set up a virtual tour. Also, research the area where you want to live in. Look up reviews on the internet so that you ensure it’s a safe and welcoming location.

moving boxes in empty room

Create a Budget

People must get their finances in order before they move into an apartment. You should sit down a few months before you sign a lease to figure out where you’re at financially. See what expenditures you can cut back on to save some pennies. You’ll need money for rent, utilities, and furniture. Apartment living is costly. Make sure you’re in a good spot financially before you sign a contract.

Dust Off Your Decorating Skills

Decorating an apartment is much different than decorating a house. For starters, apartments are significantly smaller than homes. You must figure out how to decorate a small bedroom so that it complements your style. Renters need to determine how to beautify a place they can’t permanently change. Most buildings won’t let you paint the walls or change the finishes. Instead, get creative with household accessories and furniture to make the spot feel like your own.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Sadly, some people will have to put their moving dreams on hold. Nonetheless, everyone should try to see the glass as half-full. You can spend this time in self-isolation planning your big move. Follow these tips for moving into your first apartment, so things go over smoothly. When all is said and done, it’ll be worth the wait.

Meet the Author

Kayla is a writer, artist, and designer from the Chicagoland area. She incorporates her creativity to produce work that is informative and thought-provoking.

3 Tips to Get Prepared For Your Final Year

While it might be terrifying, you can still take steps to prepare for your final year to make it as straightforward and comfortable as possible.

Your final year is an exciting but also terrifying time. It feels like your educational adventure is hurtling towards the finish line. As much as you’re looking forward to entering the real world, you’re also terrified. 

While it might be terrifying, you can still take steps to prepare for your final year. These steps can help to make the transition as straightforward and comfortable as possible. You’ve made it this far already, and so you owe it to yourself to ensure that this final stretch goes as you planned. 

Start Working On Your Final Project Now

If you already have an idea of your final project, you can begin by getting in all of the research, prep, and basic planning. Getting ahead will make each stage of the essay more manageable when you come to it. Of course, you can’t always get an idea of what you know about your project until you speak to your tutor. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still lay the groundwork. 

This is because it’s best to have a slight idea than nothing at all, even if you don’t use this idea. Should you find the idea isn’t suitable for what you want to do, you at least know how to approach the project. You are then more prepared for the planning stage so you can find success in whatever topic you focus on. 

While it might be terrifying, you can still take steps to prepare for your final year to make it as straightforward and comfortable as possible.

Know What You Should Expect 

A lot of your final year involves stuff you are used to. But there is always something that comes along that you never expected. This can throw your self-made schedule off course and could affect how you can stay focused on the more critical tasks. 

However, it doesn’t need to throw you off. knowing what to expect will make every step more manageable. From exam preparation advice that you can find here https://mygreexampreparation.com/ap-statistics-textbook/ to the social aspects that come with the end of the year, including graduation and celebrations abound. You can plan before it happens, and make all the necessary arrangements. This allows you to ensure the unexpected and unknown doesn’t disrupt the rest of your year. 

Get Your Mind In the Right Place

No matter how tough you think you are, the stress is bound to get to you at some point during the year. This is especially true if you spend your time cramming all the information you can. These late nights and early mornings will only lead to burnout, and this will have terrible ramifications for your final results. 

You need your mind to be in the right place. Give yourself a break, work hard, but not too hard, and remember to get some exercise and eat well. Doing so will make it easier for you to manage the stress that you will encounter and help your final year be as successful as possible. 

Ready for Anything 

It feels like a lot is going on when you arrive at your final year, and that’s because there is. To ensure that you don’t get too overwhelmed, start preparing right now. By preparing right now, you will have less to worry about throughout the summer and as your year goes on.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.

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3 Ways to Regulate Your Finances

Managing your finances is a tough task by nature, even downright overwhelming. Here are a few timeless tips you can use to better manage your money.

Managing your finances is a tough task by nature, but during a time of such uncertainty and economic instability, it can feel downright overwhelming. But whether or not the world is in a period of crisis, there are a few timeless tips you can use to better manage your money.

In this post, we’ll be sharing three ways you can regulate your finances—from tweaking your budget to looking for growth opportunities, we’re here to help make this daunting task a little more doable. 

1. Tailor your budget

One of the biggest personal finance myths is that your budget is a set-it and forget-it tool. The reality is your life is in a constant state of change. From increases in income to job loss and modified expenses, there are so many factors that change how much money you have in the bank. That’s why it’s so important to tweak and tailor your budget regularly. But how often do you need to take inventory, and what should you look at?

A good rule of thumb is to look at your budget if your income or expenses have significantly changed. If you got a promotion, received a pay cut, or moved to a pricier rental, it is time to take a look at your finances. But even if your finances haven’t changed much, you should still do a check-in every few months or so.

So, what should you look for when updating your budget? You can start by making a list of all your income and expenses. Do your best to estimate the variable ones that change month after month. Then, factor in any savings or investments, such as a 401(k) fund that you contribute to. Once you finish, you should have a good idea of what’s left in your budget. You might also know how much you’ll need to cut back to make ends meet or move the needle on your goals.

2. Shop around for the best of the best

Another way you can optimize your finances is by constantly looking out for the best deal. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or a home loan, it’s important to keep your financial interests at the forefront of your mind. Scoping the best deal on the shelves is relatively simple. just look for sale prices and coupons that can increase your savings! Financing, on the other hand, requires a bit more finesse. 

Here are a few key takeaways to help you out: 

  • Work on your credit score: A good credit score will work in your favor when negotiating loan terms. Lenders will be much more apt to give a low-interest rate to someone with a reliable financial history than someone on the opposite spectrum.
  • Compare loan types: Every lender and loan type has its unique requirements, benefits, and drawbacks, so it’s worth looking at all angles so that you can find the best solution for your needs. Reverse mortgage interest rates may be more or less affordable than a home equity loan depending on your situation, so homeowners should take the time to weigh the pros and cons of their options before moving forward.
  • Keep your payment history positive: There are many reasons why it’s important to maintain a good payment history. In essence, it’s tied to your credit. Late payments can incur late fees, and it will almost certainly affect your eligibility for lines of credit later on.  

3. Review extra expenses

There are several “big steps” you can take to get a better grip on your money management. There are also plenty of easy things you can do to cut back on costs that have a substantial impact on your finances. Since we’ve become so reliant on technology, many of our bills are processed automatically. Automatic billing is undeniably convenient, but it also creates a mental disconnect between ourselves and our bank accounts. You could be charged for subscriptions you no longer use or need anymore. By using a subscription cancellation tool, you can optimize your spending and make more room in your budget with minimal effort.

Regulating your finances can feel like a big to-do, but with these three tips, it’s much more manageable! 

Meet the Author

Holly is a Los Angeles-based health and wellness writer who helps readers make positive changes both physically and mentally. Her insightful content about healthy living, delicious recipes, and mental acuity is for every type of reader. Years of experience as a wellness guru and numerous dietitian courses have given Holly valuable insights and strategies that she can use to help boost the accuracy and relevance of your health-related blog.

Habit Building | Everything You Must Know For Effective Habits

Habits can be incredibly useful tools but also very very difficult to nail down and maintain. Not only are habits difficult to build, they can also be even more difficult to maintain. Regardless, they are incredibly useful and necessary to enhance and maintain your high levels of productivity. This article walks you through what habits are, how to build them, how to maintain them, and a massive list of habit ideas!

What Are Habits?

Habits are activities that are done regularly or consistently. While I am going to be talking about useful or healthy habits in this article, it is important to note that not all habits are useful or healthy. Many of us have very unhealthy or not useful habits such as biting your nails, avoiding doing dishes, ignoring your physical ailments, etc. While useless or unhealthy habits are not the focus of this article, I wanted to not it because many people attempt build good habits to replace bad habits. This practice is incredibly useful and actually a more effective method in breaking bad habits.

How to Build A Habit

The most important first step in building a habit is to understand what your goal is. Habits are only useful if they have a purpose or an intended end-goal. So, before you can create your habit, create a smart goal! Unfamiliar with SMART goals? I have a whole other article that breaks down these goals, check this article out before you continue. Learn more about SMART goals.

For am example, let’s say your overall goal is to lose 20 pounds in 6 months by exercising more and eating better. That is a great SMART goal and identifies some habits that you need to build. First you need to start exercising more (habit #1) and then you need to eat better (habit #2). Two habits can be a lot for one person at one time, so its important that you start simple. Build one habit at a time before moving an to another habit.

Further, it is important to keep a habit simple–make it easy to do (and to remember to do). For example, if you’re trying to floss each night, keep the floss next to your toothpaste so you see it each time you brush your teeth. If a habit is too complex, it will be difficult to keep up with it. So, don’t be afraid to take small steps to build up to a more complex version of a habit.

So you have some of the rules of habit building, but, how do you actually build the habit? Now that you have a concept of some of the ideas, build on them. A good habit incorporates the following:

  • Simplicity
  • A goal in mind
  • Consistency
  • Accountability
  • Rewards
  • Stick with it

The Best Times to Start A New Habit

You can start a habit at any point in time; however, there are certain times that are better. Some good times to start building a new habit are at the beginning of a month or week (the fresh start effect) or at a big life shift (like moving). These are good times to start building a new habit because you have a fresh supply of new triggers that can remind you to do the habit. Without older triggers and possibly older habits holding you down, you can easily create new habits with positive triggers.  

How to Build & Maintain Habits

Now that you have started to build a habit, how do you continue to maintain it? The best ways to maintain a habit include sticking with it, rewarding yourself, being consistent, keeping track of your progress, and having an accountability partner.

Sticking with it & Being Consistent

Sticking to your goals and being consistent in maintaining your habits are essential practices in maintaining a habit. The point of a habit is to do the task consistently. So, if you fail to be consistent, then you will likely lose your habit entirely. Likewise, if you do not stick to your habit before it becomes habitual, then it will not solidify as a habit. So, to effectively maintain any habit you wish to have, you must be consistent and persistent.

Keeping Track of Your Progress

Keeping track of your habit progress is a great way to maintain your goal. Create a log of the times you’ve completed your goal, tips that work for you, things that you’d consider a barrier to success, and maybe even plan for rewarding yourself at certain intervals.

Have An Accountability Partner

Another great means of maintaining a good habit is to have an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who can help check in with you regarding your habit, remind you of your goal, go along with your for some of your tasks, and help keep your morale up. They can help you stick to your daily habit by providing both the trigger and reminder to do the habit, as well as the reward. 

If you do not have someone in your life who you can use as an accountability partner, there is a great app and online source for you to use. Supporti is an accountability partner mobile app where you can get a buddy to help remind you of your habit and goals —by messaging you each day– as well as your reward –by being able to tell someone that you did it and having them be excited for you. 

Supporti pairs people together one-on-one as online accountability partners to support each other in pursuit of their goals. When performed consistently over time, little actions add up to big changes. Supporti is designed for people who need a nudge and some accountability to stay motivated to do the little things on a daily basis.

Interested in Supporti? Supporti is offering ElizabethJournals subscribers an exclusive deal! Get more information about and gain access to this offer by signing up to be an ElizabethJournals subscriber below!

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Habit Ideas

Now that you know how to build habits, its time to plan for your habit. If you are stuck, or not sure what kind of habits you’d like to create then you can refer to this list! Is this list not detailed enough? We offer a free workbook for habit-building that includes a detailed list of every habit idea you can think of! Sign-up to get access to this free workbook HERE.

  • Learn something new
  • Meditate
  • Read the news
  • Practice a foreign language
  • Track your spending
  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Floss
  • Drink 64 oz of water
  • Avoid cigarettes
  • Wake up early
  • Journal
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Take a risk
  • Laugh out loud

What habits are you trying to build and what is your plan? How will you be held accountable? Get a FREE habit building worksheet to help you build amazing habits HERE.

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3 Money-Saving Tips for College Students

Lots of college students have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some money-saving tips for students in this tough situation.

The coronavirus outbreak has completely turned college students’ lives upside down. Universities have shut their doors and classes are now being held online. Sadly, graduation ceremonies are also being canceled. Since everything is so uncertain right now, college students must save as much cash as they can. These three money-saving tips for college students will help them during these tricky times.

Become a Car Expert

People spend so much money on maintaining their vehicles every year. Use your time in quarantine as an opportunity to tackle these automotive projects yourself. Pop open the hood of your ride and become a pseudo-mechanic. Everyone has nothing but time on their hands right now, so try to learn more about fixing automobiles. If you know how to do mechanical repairs, you’ll save yourself so much dough in the long. You should wash your car yourself, too. Not only will you save yourself some cash, but you can wash your ride however you see fit. The more you know about maintaining your car and fixing repairs, the more money you’ll save.

Eat What You Have

College students are notorious for eating out. It’s so fun to try out new restaurants and share a meal with your friends. Yet, one money-saving tip for college students is to eat what you have in the house. Fight the urge to order food every single day. You won’t believe how much extra cash you’ll have in your pockets at the end of the month. Be creative in the kitchen as well. If you’re social distancing with your parents, use this as a chance to bond. Cook a meal together as a family. Hopefully, you’ll make something delicious—plus, you’ll make memories that’ll last you a lifetime.

Don’t Buy University Apparel

People who are in college love to represent their universities. College students have a blast in their school’s bookstores, both online and in-person, searching for cute t-shirts and stylish hats. Please, save yourself some serious dough and fight the urge to buy university apparel during this time. Your closet is likely full of your school’s clothing anyway. Wear what you have around the house and purchase more when schools reopen. When things return to normal, you’ll be glad you refrained from online shopping.

The world is a very scary place right now, but remember that we’ll get through this stronger than ever. If your college graduation has been canceled, hold onto the great memories you’ve made throughout the past four years. Cherishing those memories will help you get through this until things return to normal.

Meet the Author

Kayla is a writer, artist, and designer from the Chicagoland area. She incorporates her creativity to produce work that is informative and thought-provoking.

Develop Self-Awareness To Boost Your Time Management Skills

Developing time management skills can help you organize your tasks better. But the first thing you should do is to develop self-awareness, here is how!

Everyone is talking about time management skills. Further, there are tools such as getting enough sleep, organizing, and planning that help you polish your time management skills. Professionals and executives are preoccupied not to lose time, as they have many meetings to hold, presentations to make, and proposals to prepare. 

But what if we approach the problem from another point of view? Some people say that they do not have time for themselves or activities that are not related to either work or cozy nights with friends. And they should ask themselves: which is the root cause? The lack of time or their perspective on time?

It turns out that most people that say they do not have time are not aware of the time spent on specific tasks and activities. Because if you say that you do not have time, you won’t have time because you think your schedule is already full. And yes, developing and improving time management skills can help you organize and plan your tasks and activities better. But the first thing you should do is to develop self-awareness. 

What Is Self-Awareness?

It is important not to mix up self-awareness with consciousness. If someone is self-aware, they are aware of how their thoughts, actions, behavioral patterns, and emotions align with their internal standards. Self-aware people are trying to align their actions with their core values, passions, and goals, to create room for development and improvement. The more self-aware you are, the more opportunities for self-improvement you create. 

An Example

Let’s take an example to make things simpler. Let’s say that you are an executive of a company and you need to have an overview of the activities of the company. Further, you need to make sure that the projects you want to create align with the company values, mission, and goals. You need to conduct meetings with sponsors and clients.

You need to supervise the activity of your teams and ensure they do not lose track. However, you might often find yourself doing overtime—not finding free time to attend your kids’ events or enjoy the company of your friends. This comes with dissatisfaction. It is clear that there is a problem with time management and that you can organize your activities better, but how can you do this? 

The answer is: to develop self-awareness. A self-aware executive knows that work is essential because it provides the necessary resources for living. But he or she also knows that family and friends are important, and spending time with them is good for their mental health. Self-awareness means that you are aware of your values, thoughts, and actions and how some of them are incongruent with each other. 

But how can you develop your self-awareness so that you can boost your time management skills?

write in journal

Start a Journal 

Either start writing in a journal or, if you already have one, continue using it. Journaling is a useful tool to develop and improve your self-awareness. It helps you become more aware of your thoughts, ideas, and behaviors. This leads to increases in creativity and boosting of time management skills. It leads to self-discipline and a mindful perspective on your behavior and actions.  

How to Use Your New Journal

So, you might be wondering what exactly to write about? It is fairly common that one’s mind goes blank when you see a white paper sheet you know you have to fill. You can start to monitor some easy and accessible behaviors or areas in your life. For example, you can begin to observe your positive and negative feelings of one day.

Or, you can start analyzing changes you want to make in your life and behavior. Like this, all your ideas and thoughts on the process will be on the paper, things that will help you become more aware of them. Try to identify your feelings about a regular day and act upon changing any negative thoughts. You might notice that you spend too much time at work, and you neglect your self-care and personal life.

Self-awareness leads to changes, so do not be afraid to start journaling. Make journaling a habit and set up a time during the day when you submit another entry in your journal. Make it expressive, and do not be afraid to express your deepest thoughts and feelings. You can spend no more than 20 minutes per day, and you will see an improvement in your self-awareness level.

Practice Mindfulness

Becoming self-aware is a process, and it can be acquired through time and practice of healthy and enhancing habits. Mindfulness is another way you can develop your self-awareness, as it is a meditation technique at its core. If you are mindful, you live in the present. And when you live in the present, you are more aware of your thoughts and ideas. Further, if you are more aware in this way, you can quickly act upon changing them. 

There are lots of forms of meditation and mindfulness, and you can choose the one you feel is right for you at the present moment. You can find online guided meditation videos that are of enormous help, especially if you are a beginner.

Some techniques focus on developing a more robust understanding of your inner world. These techniques help you to see how you can improve your awareness as well as how you relate to the ones around you. Other techniques focus on finding harmful thoughts and behaviors so that you can act against them. 

Either meditation technique you choose, it will help you become more self-aware and boost your time management skills. Planning and organizing activities will be easier than before because your productivity will increase too. 

two at laptops on couch

Ask for Feedback 

Feedback is an essential part of everyone’s life, even though it is a subject that is mostly discussed in corporate settings. If given correctly, feedback can help you become more self-aware of your behavior. Our behaviors are so well ingrained in our way of living and seeing life that we grow less and less self-aware of them. But people that work or live with us can quickly identify destructive habits and their opinion can help you improve your skills. 

It is not easy to ask for feedback. Who would want to hear about their flaws? But constructive criticism can develop and improve self-awareness, which will lead to boosting in time management skills. Even if it is difficult and challenging, ask people around you for feedback.

Start small, identify some behaviors you want to change, and ask for feedback. But be careful: feedback is efficient if it is given by people you trust and respect and whose opinion matters to you. Choose close friends, business partners, your children, and your spouse to share with you their opinion about your habits. Like this, you will become aware of the impact of your behavior on the people that surround you. 

Conclusion 

We should see time management skills from another perspective. Maybe we do not need only proper planning, organization, and communication skills, but to become more aware of the time we spend daily on different tasks. Developing self-awareness is another approach you could take toward boosting your time management skills and changing your perspective on time.

The more self-aware you are of your ideas, thoughts, and behavior, the more room you make for improvement and development. Start a journal and let your thoughts and emotions pour on the paper. Practice meditation to become more self-aware of how you relate to the ones around you and to gain an understanding of your inner world.

Ask people you trust and respect for feedback to become more aware of the impact of your behavior. Like this, you will know what changes to make to boost your time management skills. 

Meet the Author

Tobias Foster is a journalist and editor with more than 5 years’ work experience offering help with dissertations worldwide. Psychology, communication, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He loves reading science fiction books by contemporary authors.

Methods of Reducing Everyday Stress for College Students

These methods of reducing everyday stress for college students will help you remain calm, cool, and focused during your time inside and outside of class.

Going to college should be an exciting moment for students; however, it can often be a stressful process. For many students, it’s their first time out on their own. College introduces a new level of independence and responsibility that may feel overwhelming at times. If you can relate to this, don’t worry. Following these methods of reducing everyday stress for college students can be your keys to success.

Monitor Your Sleep Schedule

One of the biggest problems that students run into during college is partying. There’s nothing inherently wrong with going to parties. Ultimately, it’s all about putting your educational priorities first. It’s important that students get seven to nine hours of sleep during school nights. This will help you avoid feeling burnt out during your daily routine. By making sure you schedule your day with those sleep hours in mind, you can maximize your drive and overall attitude.

Avoid Car Troubles

If you rely on your vehicle to get to class, then unexpected car issues can introduce a whole new world of stress. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. If you look at your car’s owner manual, you should find a maintenance schedule within. Make sure you consistently stick to that schedule and visit your local experts. Also, always take care of your tires; if they face problems, getting around will be near impossible. If you’re in the Knoxville area, for example, there are tire experts who offer a great product for an affordable price.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Another college cliché is students ordering food instead of making their own healthy meals at home. There’s nothing wrong with ordering a pizza every now and then, but you should be prioritizing healthy food throughout the week. Relying on junk food and energy drinks to get you through the day will inevitably lead to burnout. Focus on foods that will keep your body healthy and your mind engaged.

Be Active

Between sitting in class and sitting in your dorm doing homework, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of sitting down most of your day. Throughout the week, you should consistently implement a workout routine. This can include running, lifting, or even yoga. These are simple ways to increase physical and mental health.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

If you’re taking the proper steps to relieve stress but it doesn’t seem to work, don’t panic. It’s important to remember that there are many students suffering from stress every day. Don’t think twice about reaching out to a counselor or fellow student for help. Sometimes, simply talking things out with someone else can put things in a new and positive perspective.

Methods of reducing everyday stress for college students are incredibly important for university attendees to research. College can be a life-altering experience for students, opening doors they never thought possible before. By combating the everyday stress inducers of college life, you can make those years some of the best years of your life.

Meet the Author

Kayla is a writer, artist, and designer from the Chicagoland area. She incorporates her creativity to produce work that is informative and thought-provoking.

How To Use Your Living Room For Work During Social Distancing

Your living room can have a surprising impact on your productivity. In this article, we'll cover a few tips for fostering creativity and focus.

Coronavirus has forced the world into social distancing. Around the globe, employees are transitioning to remote work. While some people enjoy working from home in their living room, it’s not for everyone. Many people are finding themselves distracted and unproductive. 

While your living room is typically space where you can wind down at the end of a long day, now it’s your office. While you might have to deal with some foot traffic from your roommates and kids, you can make it a calm space for getting stuff done.

Your environment can have a surprising impact on your productivity. In this article, we’ll cover a few tips for setting up your space in a way that’ll foster creativity and focus. 


Want more information on how to keep your mind and body healthy during Quarantine? Check out the ultimate list HERE.


Locate the Green

If your living room has a window, set your desk up against it, facing out. Many studies show that viewing green spaces can improve mood, focus, and efficiency. Taking time to lift your head and look out at trees and nature will also help you combat cabin fever. 

The view doesn’t have to be pristine rolling green hills. The natural light will boost your mood even if you’re looking out to an empty street or vacant lot.

Cornell’s Daylight and Workplace Study found that workers who are seated by a window with natural light reported an 84% drop in eyestrain, blurred vision, and headaches. The study also concluded that workers noticed a boost in productivity and a decrease in drowsiness. 

You might have to move around some furniture to have the perfectly placed home-office in your living room. When you’re looking for the sweet spot, always locate the sunlight. 

work from couch

A Makeshift Ergonomic Set Up

Ergonomics is the scientific study concerned with understanding how humans interact with the other elements of a system. The applied practice is meant to help design offices to optimize human well-being and performance. 

When you’re putting together a living room workspace, you want to reduce the chance of sprain and strain injuries. Believe it or not, sitting on your couch working isn’t the best for your productivity. 

Try to put together a makeshift ergonomic office where you feel comfortable, and you’ll have more energy. 

Avoid Clutter

According to Harvard Business Review, cluttered spaces can have adverse effects on anxiety, stress, and your ability to focus. For many families, the living room is a space for your kids to pile up their toys. It’s often a room full of trinkets and memorabilia. If you want to zone into your job, try to keep this space as organized as possible.

The best way to set up your living room to make it productive is to keep it tidy. Even if you think that it’s not having an impact on your focus, it likely is. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to pay attention to details when you’re not distracted by small areas of clutter. 

Trips To The Kitchen

As in your real office, you will be getting some exercise during your workday with trips to the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure to put away any sugary snacks out of eyesight, in order not to binge on excess food that you have lying around. Use the pause to actually prepare a quick meal as it will give you a breather from hard work and will boost your creativity.

And for best productivity, treat yourself with some good coffee. To avoid going to the store by going to Coffee or Bust instead where you can find your perfect version of a hot cup of focus and productivity.

Use Your Tv As A Monitor

If you usually work in an office, the transition to working full time on your laptop is tough. Your position is altered, and there will be more strain on your neck and your eyes. If you don’t have a desktop or a monitor, use your TV as one. 

You’ll streamline productivity when you have multiple displays. Another plus side of using your TV is that you’ll be occupying it. You won’t have to worry about kids blaring cartoons while you’re trying to finish up that big project or being distracted by the latest series yourself!

social-distancing

A Final Note

In this time of social isolation, it’s essential to have a clear place to work. We continuously feel bad about having a hard time working. Still, we don’t take a moment to look around at our current situation. Your living room can be a perfect home office, so long as you take the time to optimize your environment.

Meet the Author

Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.

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How to Bring Positivity into Your Home

If you’ve been stressed lately, bring positivity into your home to transform your space. Check out these tips for how to bring positivity into your home!

There is nothing like coming home from a long, stressful day to a place that lifts your spirits and makes you feel at ease. In fact, 73% of people that are happy with their homes are also happy with their life. Now, more than ever, creating a happy home is essential, as many Americans are confined to their living spaces as a part of social distancing. If you’ve been feeling stressed lately, bringing positive energy into your home will transform your space into a safe haven where the rest of the world melts away. Check out these tips for how to bring positivity into your home

Choose A Scent 

Smells have been known to trigger memories and emotions more than any other scent, which is why choosing a scent that brings feelings of joy and happiness for your home is so important. Whether you are using a favorite scent from your past or choosing a new one altogether, there are plenty of ways to use scent in your home:

  • Decorate your living room space with scented candles. Popular scents such as vanilla and light floral are known to boost moods
  • Scented plug-ins are a great way to bring your favorite scent into the bedroom. 
  • Use scented soaps and bath bombs in your bathroom so you can soak in the tub. 
  • Buy aromatherapy kitchen soap to make washing dishes a relaxing and joyful experience. 
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Get Organized 

Take it from Marie Kondo: the art of tidying up really works! Messy clutter can cause feelings of stress and anxiety, so it’s important to clean up your space and establish a “home” for every item in your home. Studies have shown that it’s easier to fall asleep and get a full night’s rest in a clean room. 

Here are some tips for getting organized:

  • Get into a routine of putting everything away before you leave in the morning. This lets you return home to a clean and organized home. 
  • Donate clutter. There are tons of tricks for getting rid of barely-used items, such as donating any clothing item you haven’t worn in 6 months. Find a system that works for you and embrace the minimalist mindset when it comes to things. 
  • Place clutter that you can’t get rid of, such as Christmas decorations or keepsakes, in large storage bins out of public view.

Utilize Natural Light

Take advantage of windows and other sources of natural light in your home. This will help you get the recommended 10 to 30 minutes of sunlight a day to help prevent Vitamin D deficiency. Other benefits from sunlight include boosting your energy, helping you sleep at night, and circadian rhythm regulation. 

So what are some of the best ways to utilize natural light in your home?

  • Place large mirrors in rooms where light is scarce to help reflect more light into the space. 
  • Use curtains or blinds on the window for when privacy is needed, but open them up when you are spending the day at home to let the light shine in.
  • Install daylight-tinted bulbs in spaces such as a home office or garage to help boost your productivity.

Set-Up Social Spaces

Making your home feel welcoming and inviting to visitors is another great way to spread positive energy. After all, it’s the relationships in our lives, not the things, that bring us the most joy

Invest in social spaces in and around your home. Not every room has to be set up for visitors, but choosing one or two spaces and optimizing them for entertaining will help make your guests feel at ease. 

Here are some ideas for social spaces:

  • Set up a grill in your backyard to encourage backyard barbecues. 
  • Invest in a large table so all of your guests can dine together. 
  • Consider getting a pet. 
  • Set up furniture so that guests face each other. 
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Use Organic Shapes 

Avoid sharp lines when decorating your home and instead embrace curved shapes. Humans are naturally weary of sharp lines and patterns, likely due to its association with a stress response to associate sharp things with danger. 

Foster feelings of safety and security in your home by instead of embracing curved furniture and patterns.  

Here are some ideas for utilizing organic shapes:

  • Display a curved headboard rather than a square one in your bedroom. 
  • Use circular pillows on your couch. 
  • Hang round objects such as frames and mirrors throughout your space. 
  • Try ditching a traditional square area rug in favor of a circular one. 

Making your house feel more like home will make you happier and more at ease. There are so many benefits to investing in your space and using design tricks to inspire these feelings of joy. For more ideas on how to bring positivity into your home, check out our visual below from The Zebra!

Please include attribution to TheZebra.com with this graphic.

How to Bring Positivity Into Your Home

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Meet the Author

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Karlyn is a writer who specializes in wellness and insurance spaces. She believes the best ingredients for success are passion and purpose.

5 Key Tips to Make Your Apartment More Productive

If you come home and you just feel lazy, then it’s time to make some changes. Follow these tips for making your apartment ore productive.

For a lot of people, an apartment is a place of immeasurable relaxation. We strive to come home to a place where we feel comforted and at ease. Because of that, however, our havens often turn into places where we collapse after school or work rather than step into a realm of productivity. As important as it is to unwind at the end of the day, it’s just as important to continue ticking off the things on your to-do list and accomplish your daily personal goals. If you find you’re just not as productive at home as you should be—whether you work or study from home or need to get more done once you’re home from work—take a look at these tips for making your apartment a place of productivity. Even with limited space, you can make your home a relaxing yet effective place.

Switch Up Your Lighting Choices

You may not realize it, but the lighting choices you make play a large role in your ability to be productive. When your lighting in your kitchen, by your desk, or wherever you’re trying to be productive isn’t well-lit, then you’ll have a hard time focusing. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a variety of lighting choices to choose from depending on what mood you’re trying to set—for example, bright lights for the morning (avoid fluorescents), focused lighting for your desk, and dim lighting for relaxation.

Declutter Vigorously To Be More Productive

A key aspect of a productive home is that the clutter is at an absolute minimum. You’ll be much more productive if you can swiftly find everything you need. If your home has any of the signs of too much clutter, then you need to take steps to declutter your space. A decluttered space means a decluttered mind, which makes for a much more productive you.

Make Your Workspace a Place You Enjoy

Whatever or wherever your workspace is—the kitchen, a desk, your craft area—make sure it’s an area you enjoy. If you dread sitting down at your desk to work on homework, or if your kitchen is too cluttered for cooking, then you have a problem. Your chair should be cozy, but not too cozy. Make sure you look forward to using your utensils, whether they’re pens or cooking knives or knitting needles. If you don’t enjoy using the space, you won’t be productive.

Decorate Inspirationally

Sometimes all you need for a productive hour is some inspiration. Put up some inspirational quotes, photos, or goals around your workspace so that you always have something to strive for. Inspiration pushes us to do and accomplish more—surround yourself with it.

Set Up a Cleaning Routine

For some people, a productivity session begins with a cleaning routine. If you’re struggling to stay or get productive once you’re at home, try setting up a cleaning routine. For example, tidy up the apartment as soon as you get home or right after dinner, and then settle into work. Don’t use cleaning to procrastinate; rather, use it as a way to kickstart your productivity.

Meet the Author

Kayla is a writer, artist, and designer from the Chicagoland area. She incorporates her creativity to produce work that is informative and thought-provoking.

Take Breaks Why It Is Important To Take More Breaks

Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Here’s why it's important to take breaks.

As humans, we are usually limited to two-digit life spans but need to accomplish a lot. You may feel like you have to do too much and shoulder too many responsibilities that need to be taken care of within a small time span. Breaks may appear as shedding away your responsibilities. However, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Strategic breaks during your work or study hours can give you that extra nudge and boost your productivity. Without breaks, you can’t keep a check on your stress level and it becomes a bit too much for your brain to keep up. Here’s why breaks are an absolute necessity during your work and study hours:

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1. Process & Retain Information More Efficiently

Our brains function in two different ways – focused and diffused. In diffused mode, your brain is relaxed and is almost in a wandering or “daydream” state. In her book A Mind for Numbers, Professor Barbara Oakley explains how we can’t function in a focused mode for too long and need to take breaks to shift to diffused mode. While in diffused mode or the “daydream mode”, our brain works at a subconscious level and is able to solve problems more efficiently and helps us to form connections. Focused mode helps us to master the details, while diffused mode helps us to figure out how things work with each other.

With short breaks throughout the day, you can switch between both modes to maintain a harmony that combines execution with creativity. Think about reading a book or watching a movie. You don’t really ponder over the details in every scene or line. After you have finished reading the book or watching the movie you are able to draw connections and make sense of a brilliant piece of work.  

2. Increased Productivity

In his book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, Tony Schwartz has researched the physiological fatigue that humans have to suffer through after working for prolonged durations. According to his research, it kicks in after 90 mins of work and can make us lose focus. Like a well-oiled machine, your brain needs to rest a bit to recharge itself and refocus on your work. Short and planned breaks throughout the day can help you to achieve that.

You can divide your workday into small targets that can be achieved within less than an hour or a bit more. As you complete your targets, you can take a small breather and relax to allow your brain to juice up and move on towards the next target. This helps you to boost your productivity since you aren’t distracted from work fatigue and get more work done at the end of the day. According to research conducted by DeskTime on a group of employees, the most productive workers take numerous breaks during the workday.

3. Better Health & Overall Well-Being

Sitting on your desk throughout the day is the easiest way to shift away from fitness. According to a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, short 5-minute walks during your workday can be good for you in more ways than one. It doesn’t just reduce lethargy, but lifts moods and improves your overall health. Researchers in the study found out that brief walks every hour is more effective compared to long and intense workout sessions. Sitting at your desk for too long can also have an adverse effect on your blood circulation and expose you to risks like obesity, heart disease, and chronic joint pains.

Moreover, eating your lunch at the desk is more inefficient than you may think. You don’t pay attention to your food and chewing is reduced by drastic levels. This can lead to poor food choices at best and poor digestion at worst. A lunch break away from your desk without the stress of work can boost your afternoon productivity and even prevent the sugar crash in your body that inclines you towards an afternoon nap.

4. Emotional & Mental Health

A Swedish office tradition known as “Fika” involves you grabbing a few of your mates with a sugary snack and a cup of coffee. This may seem odd, but is, in fact, a well-accepted office culture in the Scandinavian country. Employees aren’t questioned by their superiors when they enjoy a “Fika” with their colleagues away from their desks. It helps employees to reboot and promotes good mental health. However, according to a study conducted by the National Charity Partnership, it was found that most employees utilize their allocated rest periods for work.

Half of the respondents admitted that they don’t leave the office during lunchtime. This doesn’t just leave a toll on your physical body but also affects your emotional health since you experience increased levels of anxiety, stress and become easily irritable. Employers understand this as well and last year on 15th May, over 60 companies participated in National Mental Health Break, a campaign launched by Shine, a startup that targets negative mental health problems.

Conclusion

When you study or work for too long without a break you may pull through that day, but it will have a bad effect on your physical and mental health that may lead to burnout. According to research conducted by Gallup, one in five employees feel burned out quite often while almost half of the participants in the study admitted to feeling burned out sometimes. A report from Harvard Business School estimates that companies lose $125 billion to $190 billion each year from healthcare spending for physical and psychological problems of burned-out employees.

Short and planned breaks are very important for both studying and working. It is an inexpensive way to keep health problems to a minimum and maintain high levels of productivity. Both individuals and organizations need to emphasize on the importance of breaks at the workplace and in their curriculum. The goal should be to achieve productivity instead of being bound to the old traditions of long work hours. You can take breaks and choose to work smarter, not longer. 

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Grow Yourself Mentally: How Attitude Provides Success

Your mental health could be the key to moving forward to greater things. Here are a couple of reasons why your mental attitude could inform your success.

Have you ever been around a negative group of people? The longer you spend time in their conversation, the easier and deeper you get sucked into their negativity. If you do a bit of digging and observe them from a distance, you will also realize that they don’t move forward in life. 

They stay in the same groove of monotony and don’t seem to see the way out of their misery. When you look closely, you’ll see that their mental well-being is the cause of their anger at the world. Enhancing your mental health could be the key to get you out of a rut and moving forward to greater things. 

Here are a couple of reasons why your mental attitude could provide you with success.

Aiming For Self-Mastery

If you have a particular set of skills, then you need to do your utmost to develop those skills and become a master. In the workplace, there are only a couple of things that you have control over. 

Your skills, thoughts, and behavior are all you need to develop self-control and from there, you choose how you do things or what you say. It is vitally important to garner a positive attitude and do your best, regardless of the situation around you. 

If you can show the powers that you persevere and develop, even in the most hostile of times, you will get noticed and your hard work will be rewarded. Your attitude and resilience in dire times will set you apart from your competition and you will grow even faster in your skills. 

It all starts with taking responsibility for the things you have control over and making the best out of every situation, no matter how bleak it may seem when you are in the thick of things.  

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A Change In Attitude Goes A Long Way

Attitude is everything, or at least, that is how the saying goes. I general, people use the word ‘attitude’ out of context, or they attach a negative connotation to the word. This is not the case when your attitude towards yourself and your job is concerned. 

One trait that goes hand in hand with attitude is confidence and when you combine a positive attitude with confidence, you get one mean team, waiting to excel past everyone in line. 

Your body language speaks volumes and if you can exude a positive attitude, then your superiors will start to invest in you. They will notice that you are the kind of person that will tackle adversity and come out on top because you have the right mental attitude. 

When your attitude towards yourself is positive and healthy, your outlook on life and where you fit in it also changes. It is the single tool that you will use to rise above the rest and get back up when you were knocked down. 

A positive attitude does not mean that you think that you will never lose, but rather that you will be prepared to lose and take the lessons that you learn from your failures. The real ability is to fight, get back up and fight on. 

Setting Goals And Sticking To Them

People who are successful have clear cut goals that they set for themselves. When you don’t have goals in life, you will fall into survival mode and do only what is necessary to survive. On the other hand, when you have goals. You tend to be more deliberate about your actions and you plan your next move to fit into your plan and reach your goals. 

Nevertheless, having clear goals as opposed to vague ones are just important. When your goals are unambiguous, you tend to work hard at filling the gaps to reach it. 

For instance, if you set a goal to get appointed for a certain job, then you go beyond your normal day in day out routine and fill the gaps in your skill tree and your resume. The same rule applies when you are doing those lengthy assignments as a college student. 

It even might require some smart planning like outsourcing the work to online assignment help, but the idea should be to complete the work on time and deliver a project that actually impresses the teacher. You can go through the online resources to learn more about it. 

It’s easy to lose focus and forget about your goals, especially when it takes you a bit longer to achieve them. That is why it is important to remind yourself of your goals each day and break the big picture up into smaller, manageable chunks. 

It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

The thing about growing yourself mentally is that it takes a long time to get it right. Most people don’t even reach their mental goals. This is mainly because people give up before any real result is even visible. 

From the day that you are born, your mind creates neural pathways in terms of your behavior or the way you react to a certain situation. Sometimes, your behavior is toxic to growth and you need to change the way you do things before you can move on. Making conscious decisions about how you react in certain situations does not change overnight. 

You have to give yourself time to adapt and change your mindset and realize that you are not going to have success on day one. The one thing that you need to remember is not to beat yourself up when you revert to the old ways in which you did things. This isn’t good either. 

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Create A Path Or Strategy

Lastly, you need to plan your strategy. Having goals and saying to yourself that you want to achieve something by a certain time is all good and well, but how do you get there. Your strategy is vitally important for reaching your goals. 

Developing a growth strategy is like playing a game of chess. You always need to be a step or two ahead of the game and make sure you don’t stare at the move right in front of you. 

When you have a bigger picture in mind, you also have the ability to see more than one way to reach your goals. Again, looking to the person you want to be in ten years will give you much insight as to your next move. 

Short-term strategies are great for steadying a rocky ship and bringing stability, but planning ahead is where real progress lies.   

The Bottom Line

The battle of success is won and lost in mind. When you are strong-willed and determined to reach your goal, you will. People are resilient and if you have the right drive, you’ll be surprised at how far you can push yourself. 

The only thing that you need to remember is to never give up and to persevere. If you can hold your head up high and make plans when the going is tough, the chances are that you will duplicate that same attitude when it time to grow. 

Meet the Author

Michael Gorman is an experienced freelance writer, essay writer, and proofreader from the UK who currently works at best essay writing service. Being interested in everyday developments and industry trends, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of the business and technology world.

Ultimate Guide to Self-Care for Students (A Must Read)

With the demands of coursework and modern life, students need self-care more than ever. To learn more, read the ultimate guide to self-care for students.

Students face many demands, including coursework, deadlines, and other school responsibilities – all on top of their social lives and even part-time jobs. We get it – school is overwhelming; you’re stressed out, and all you really want is to lie down and watch your favorite show. All this stress is normal, but you have to learn how to manage it and take care of yourself in the process. Step one is developing a self-care routine. Below is the ultimate guide to self-care for students – it’ll help you start putting you first.

Take Care of Your Body First

The first step to taking better care of yourself is starting a consistent exercise routine, even if it’s just walking to campus instead of taking public transportation or doing ten jumping jacks in between homework. Staying active is great for obvious reasons, but you also have to get your diet in check. You’re probably familiar with the freshmen fifteen, but if you aren’t careful, that can quickly turn into the senior thirty. Try your best to maintain a good diet throughout college. It’ll help you focus and feel better during school, and you’ll develop a habit that should last beyond graduation.

Of course, you need to get enough sleep as well. Don’t be that student who pulls all-nighters to finish a paper due the next morning. Your paper probably won’t be your best work because you’re exhausted, and pulling all-nighters is an awful habit to start. Instead, allow yourself time to complete your projects, and get to bed on time.

Students Can Say “No” Too

Signing up for every interesting opportunity in college is really easy, especially if you’re a freshman. However, all the fun activities you’ve signed up for will become a hassle when coursework begins piling up and your roommates want to go out. If you become comfortable with saying “no” more, you’ll be able to say “yes” to the things you actually want to do.

Start a New Hobby

Another great way to take care of you is to pick up a new hobby. You’ll stimulate your brain to learn something new and exciting, and you may even find the hobby meditative. However, before you run to a new hobby, do a little research so that you know what you’re getting into. Don’t take on a hobby that’s going to require crazy amounts of money or work – school still needs to come first. For example, if you’re thinking of picking up photography, do some research to find the right camera and to decide which type of photography you want to get into.

When you develop a self-care routine, the stresses of life will become a lot more manageable. Plus, you’ll be able to develop some great habits that will help you through life. Just remember that no one can do it for you – after all, you can’t have self-care without focusing on taking care of yourself first. What are thoughts on self-care for students discussed here, let us know in the comments?

How To Complete A Time Audit & Why It’s Useful

The day has already passed by, and you couldn’t complete your work. Learn how to conduct a time audit to improve productivity.

The day has already passed by, and you couldn’t complete your work. Most of us suffer from such problems or something else that makes us willing to trade almost anything for just a couple of hours more. To avoid these situations, a time audit is one of the best and simple solution that you can follow. It lets you assess your time intention, the things on which you actually spend most of your time every day and set up protocols to check your progress towards the things you intend to spend your time on. The following easy steps would guide you for conducting a time audit.

Step 1: Setting Up Intentions

First of all, you need to set up time intentions. Basically, imagine your ideal workday and write down the amount of time you would ideally spend on activities throughout your day. You can set yourself some goals and allocate time accordingly. For instance:

  • Goal 1: Projects and assignments (50 percent of your time)
  • Goal 2: Research and skill improvement (25 percent of your time)
  • Goal 3: Work-related communication with clients and colleagues (8 percent of your time)

You won’t reach these goals some of the time since everything isn’t under your control. However, you get a target that can be approached.

Step 2: Track Your Time

It’s time to track your time data with a time tracking tool. It can be any popular and reliable resource like RescueTime, Hubstaff, or Time Doctor. Use the time tracking tool to look at the way you spent your time compared to your intended goals. Most of these apps have dashboards that will show you how far you lag behind or over achieve your goals. You can dig deeper and see the frequency of failure of the goals and more.

Step 3: Review Your Audit

Once you have a gauge of your time spending, you can set new goals and realign them to fit your active hours when you are most productive. For instance, you can allocate most of the time to work in the morning, do research and improve skills during the lazy hours, and spend less time on social media and emails to be more concise and precise with your communication.

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Step 4: Create A Time Management System

Finally, place a solid time management system by adjusting your schedule and planning out every moment of the next day with time blocks. Everything from breakfast to work and even entertainment. This allows you to gain more control over your own time and lets you make quick decisions regarding the extra flow of meetings and requests. With previous assessments from the time tracking tool, you can also set up your own time management system more efficiently.

The importance of doing Time audit is increasing as our daily schedule gets more busy and overwhelming. However, it can only offer guidance. Improving your time management and gaining lost time requires you to change old habits, introduce new routines, and progressively apply new schedules. The human brain tries to resist any kind of change in our ordinary life. So, to pull through and reap the benefits of time management, you can also introduce someone to whom you would be accountable for these changes.

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How A Timetable Can Help You Reach Your Goals

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Time management, the most vital role in your everyday life. It is one of the most essential and powerful parts of the day for every individual. No matter if you are an employee, a student or a business person. Managing time is a very important thing. This can be done by preparing a proper timetable. Especially, in the business organizations. This helps in improving the productivity of the company. Let me tell you one thing, if you are not sure either you are using your time wisely or not, there is a little chance that you’ll reach your goal. 

We get exactly, 86,400 seconds in a day, and we should make sure that we use these seconds productively and accurately.  Here is a complete guide to time management and making a timetable for all the organizations out there.

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How To Plan An Active Timetable For Your Organization?

1.      Set goals and Prioritize

The primary and most critical part of any good time managing strategy is to set your goals. You need to make sure that the timetable you are making must include the activities that support the goals of your business. Prioritize sanely. Keep the most important things at the start of your timetable.

2.      Manage the Breaks

It is essential to keep the tasks and activities managed.  If you lack the balance in your timetable and jam-pack it with work only, employees will get stressed out, and stress can never lead to productivity. So keep in mind to give breaks at the right time.

3.      Plan Ahead

Once you have the idea about where to set your priorities and breaks, now you are ready to plan ahead. It might be a little tricky and time-taking to make a to-do-list. However, once you are done with this, it’ll relax you for days.

4. Don’t Burden

This is very necessary for your organization. Employees hate working in a suffocating environment. Try to lessen the burden of your employees. Manage wisely and make sure that you make the timetable by keeping everyone else in your mind, rather than the company benefit only.

How Can A Timetable Benefit Your Organization?

Now, as you have the guide to managing a good timetable, let’s see the benefits that it can give your organization;

1.      Meeting Deadlines

Allocate limited time for every task, and you’ll get the work on within the deadlines. When the employees would get the time-boxed functions, in the timetables they complete it no matter what. Especially when they are given relatively enough breaks, daily activities, and an enjoyable environment to spend the time. Besides that, accomplishing the task in a given time will not be a very difficult job, as you are not burdening anyone.

2.      Better Work Quality

Being a devoted employee to the company, the company expects you to provide the absolute quality of your work, along with good criteria. With the precise use of deadline and prioritization according to the timetable, one can effectively convey a framework of more high-grade quality. This assists in concentrating on essential tasks very easily. It allows you to work on them with full focus. Hence, the quality of working is improved day by day.

3.      More Productivity And Efficiency

It is no magic. Time management makes you more effective and productive, naturally. As you have the timetable in your hand, you know how to manage the tasks. This will make you a working professional. Some of the skills are essential in making you achieve your aim as briefly as possible. Complete the tasks without negotiating on the work quality. Your overall struggle and capability to work is tossed away when you’re working on tasks that are not your priority, but adequate skills to manage tasks let you do the assignments that are urgent and high-priority on time.

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4.      Less Stress And Anxiety

When has your work led, it’s pretty obvious that you won’t feel much stressed out and depressed, at least at your workplace?  You know the deadline and you know your task. Just sit back, enjoy your coffee, and concentrate on the specific job. Once completed, you’ll feel so much better and relieved.

5.      Say No To Procrastination

Procrastination is a very bad habit that almost most of us have. “Will do it later” is a big no. The meaning of time management is the effort to reduce the urge to delay. Never procrastinate over essential priorities. Practicing specific time management skills qualify you as a founder, manager, or employee to serve more energetically and smarter rather than harder. It immediately kills the delay by assuring that you’re comfortable with the tasks added in your to-do list and when it needs to be completed.

6.      Improved Quality Of Life

The adequate timetable doesn’t just help your professional life circle, but it can further enrich your life outside of the workplace. Being punctual is a big thing, and not everyone can do that effectively. If you grip everything beneath your command on the professional side, you get more time to enough time to appreciate your personal life too. You don’t have to sit late in the office and ruin your plans. Knowing the fact that assignments and projects are on the right track will bring a sense of peace and tranquility in your life.

7.      More Time For Leisure And Creativity

 Can you remember the last time you took time out for yourself? If yes, then impressive. You have your personal life and professional life under control. But if that is not the case, believe me, time management will help you a ton.  An organization can’t grow until its employees are satisfied with the working criteria and atmosphere. This enables you to create the perfect blend of working smart all day long.

Timetable effectively helps your organization to achieve the goal. It will shed a positive light on the productivity of the company. When the employees learn to take control over time management daily, the organization will automatically gain the strength to get things done in the boundary of the deadlines. Make healthier choices and most importantly, opt for ultimate restraint of your chief priorities.

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Meet the Author

Claudia Jeffrey is the author of this article. She is an excellent Content Strategist, works with Crowd Writer, which is a renowned and fantastic platform to buy assignments online. Claudia is an independent lady who loves to write and travel the world. Being a Content Strategist, she is a great person to talk to.

7 Time-Wasters That Are Stealing Hours from You

If you're sick of wasting time on useless tasks, read this. We'll discuss 7 time wasters that you should cut out of your life if you want to be more productive.

Check out these seven-time wasters that are stealing precious hours from you. It’s time to stop wasting time once and for all!

As much as we try to stick to a schedule, time always seems to slip through our fingertips. In a world saturated with smartphones and social media, it’s no wonder it’s hard to get anything done. 

But, you can’t allow these distractions to get the best of you. You have it in your power to turn down the noise and focus. Whether you’re a busy student or a working professional, it’s vital to stay on task if you want to do well in life. 

1. Television

With the rise of social media, people aren’t watching as much TV. But if you do happen to enjoy the occasional Netflix series, you have to be careful not to watch too much.

To cut back on watching TV, try to limit the number of hours you watch each day. Work on watching your favorite programs only after you’ve completed everything else on your to-do list.

2. Smartphones

We’re all guilty of peeking at our cell phones throughout the day. After all, it’s how we stay connected to the rest of the world. But, checking our smartphones and getting absorbed in social media is a huge time waster. It turns out that we spend an average of five hours a day on our phones! 

It’s easy to look up and realize that you’ve been surfing on Instagram for an hour. How did that happen when you were supposed to be cleaning the house? Oops! It’s important to be aware of how much time you’re spending on your phone. And you need to set some boundaries in order to focus on the task at hand.

Keep your phone away from your desk while you’re busy. You should also put your phone on silent so that notifications don’t distract you. And, set a time to put your phone down before you go to bed each night. That way, you won’t lose out on sleep because you’re reading Twitter threads.

Implementing simple techniques like these will help you spend less time on your phone. You’ll find that you’re a lot more productive when your phone is out of the picture!

3. Poor Organizational Skills 

Are you lacking in the organization department? If you’re having a hard time keeping your apartment organized, figure out ways to solve that. 

Try setting aside 10 minutes or more to straighten things up each day. If you already have a big mess, try to knock it out during a single weekend. Cleaning is a lot easier if you tackle it in one go.

Get your phone, laptop, and calendars organized, too. A clean computer desktop and an orderly calendar will help you plan and work more efficiently.

4. Distracting Activities With Friends

Spending time with friends is normal. But if you use your friends as a way to avoid work, then you have a problem. Quit making excuses and stick to a schedule. If you don’t, you’re never going to get anything done. Eventually, you’ll find yourself falling behind in class or at work.

You might have a friend who pressures you to spend more time with them. In that case, you’ll have to say no. Explain that you’d love to hang out but that you need to do some other things first.

It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But before you go out with friends, you have to get ahold of your schedule.

5. Surfing the Internet 

How many times have you caught yourself surfing the internet instead of staying focused? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a lot.

The problem with surfing the internet is that it’s easy to click from one link to the next without stopping. You start by reading Wikipedia articles and before you know it, you’re looking at menus for local restaurants. 

Instead of getting pulled away from what’s important, set some boundaries for yourself. When you’re supposed to be working, ban yourself from visiting websites that tend to distract you. Yes, that means you’ll have to stay off of your favorite celebrity news blog for a while. 

Time management isn’t easy. But after you get into a rhythm, it’ll become a habit. Before long, you’ll find that it’s easy to stay away from non-work sites when you’re busy. And when you have free time, you may find that you don’t even want to spend it on your smartphone or watching television! 

6. Traffic

Last year, the average American spent roughly 97 hours stuck in traffic. That’s more than four whole days! So, if you have a long commute to work, it’s draining a lot of your time.

To solve this problem, consider moving closer to work. Even if you’re saving on rent by living further away, you’re wasting hours and hours of your time. And you’re spending money on gas!

Do the math and figure out ways to cut back on traffic time. If you can say goodbye to a long commute, you can say hello to productivity time! 

7. Parking

Sometimes it feels impossible to find a good parking spot. Whether it’s at school or work, you can spend hours driving in circles. And when you do happen to find a space, it’s often so far away that you have to walk a mile to get where you need to be.

To avoid this, try showing up early when there are still spots available. You’ll have some time to kill, so bring a coffee and a good book. You can also use this time to prepare for something important. It turns out you can free up a lot of time by finding a premium parking spot early!

Carpooling with friends can also help you save time. This means one less vehicle in the parking lot, which is helpful for everyone!

In Summary

Now that we’ve identified the time-wasters in your life, you can start reprioritizing! It may take a bit to form new habits, but you’ll feel better knowing you’re making better decisions. Stay aware of what activities are eating up your time. As you figure out what’s killing your productivity, you can limit those activities. 

Now, it’s okay to reward yourself with some TV or Instagram at night. But, only reward yourself after you have completed your goals for that day. You and you alone are in charge of your time, so make every moment count!

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Meet the Author

Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place KSU. He can be reached by email at lincoln@myprimeplace.com or by call or text at 402-858-2858.

6 Ways to Pay Off Your College Debt

Students loan is one of the major financial shackles that young Americans bear. Here are 6 ways you can use to pay off your college debt.

Students loan is one of the major financial shackles that young Americans need to bear for decades and a crisis that has crossed the $1 billion mark long ago. However, it doesn’t need to be a crisis and can be managed with smart decisions. Here are 6 ways you can use to pay off your college debt

1. The Debt Avalanche Method

Depending on your student loans, you may be paying low interest on your undergraduate loans while a higher interest for others. With the Debt Avalanche method, you pay the minimum for all your loans while spending extra saved amount on the highest interest loans. This pattern keeps repeating itself till you pay off each highest interest loan and you move to the next loan in the interest hierarchy. This method helps you pay less interest in the long run.

2. Increase the Frequency of Payment

One of the scariest things about student loans is that it accrues daily. So, the first step would be to calculate the interest that gets accrued every day. You’re one of the fortunate ones if the amount is in single digits. To combat the daily growing interest, you can make payments every one or two weeks instead of once every month.

3. Set-Up Auto-Pay

Every day there are plenty of things that might distract you or grab your attention. Bills, relationships, holidays, FOMO( Fear Of Missing Out) and a thousand things to make you anxious. While you are getting through the chaos of life every day, missing out on payments is a common issue. Setting up autopay would prevent you from paying extra money for missing out on payment dates.

4. Put More Energy and Effort to Bring in More Cash

With saturated markets and a tough economic situation, desirable jobs are scarce. You may not land your dream job right after your Master’s. However, your college debt isn’t going away. So, take every opportunity to earn money. Do as many side gigs as you can apart from your regular day job. Holidays are especially lucrative with plenty of gigs available on Fiverr, Craigslist and TaskRabbit. Don’t forget Amazon mTurk either.

5. Student Loan Forgiveness

There are different ways to have your student loans forgiven. Careers like teaching, medicine (doctors and nurses) or if you work in the public sector and some other scenarios. However, they all require some specific criteria that need to be fulfilled.

6. Adjust Your Tax Withholding and Refund

A lump sum of money each year in the form of a tax refund leaves everyone excited. But with debt, it’s no good and can deteriorate spending habits at the beginning of each year. Instead, you can adjust your tax withholding and get a bit heftier paycheck every month. This gives you more freedom with your cash every month so that you can put it into your student loans.

Being debt-free brings a different kind of joy. It requires discipline and foresight but as soon as you become free of your debt, you feel more happy and relaxed. So, cut down on your expenses and use the above-mentioned methods to pay your college debt faster and smarter.

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How Good Sleep Affects Your Work & Productivity

Lack of sleep is the biggest performance killer. This article will break down the relationship between good sleep and productivity.

In today’s work culture, where every employer expects a high degree of execution and productivity, lack of sleep is the uppermost performance killer. Most of us are aware (to an extent) that sleep influences productivity. However; this article will break down the details of the relationship between good sleep and the influence it has on work and productivity.

Stumblingly, 34 percent of US workers do not reap enough sleep. Reportedly, sleep deprivation, the major productivity killer, costs $63.2 billion across the United States.

Sleep and Productivity Relation Based Researches

  1. Sleep disruptions induce reduced employee productivity at a high loss to organizations, concluded in a study.
    • More than four thousand employees were distributed in four different groups based on their sleep health. Workers experiencing insomnia or insufficient sleep, at-risk, and the fourth one, having a healthy sleep.
    • It’s not surprising – The lowest productive groups – Insomnia and insufficient sleep suffered workers.
  2. Another study, done by StayWell involved 0.6 million employees from 66 different companies. This study found that improper sleep schedules could cause weakened workplace productivity.
  3. One thousand and seven adults participated in this study as a diverse community sample. The study focused on health and organizational concerns such as anxiety, workload, coworker issues, financial stress, lack of training, job hours, and sleep patterns.

B=1.31, 95%CI[0.05,2.58], p=0.042

Low productivity was directly associated with short sleep, the report concluded.

Sleep disorders diminish the probability of transcending at work. With inefficient sleep, people become more inadequate to concentrate, making decisions, collaborate, and social engagement with co-workers and clients. It severely impacts analytical thinking, problem-solving, and visualization skills.

Besides your impotence to be mentally present and productive at the workspace, sleeplessness doubles your probability of getting ill and absenteeism.

Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are a typical dilemma for many people. Although it can sometimes be hard to tell if your sleepless nights can be classified as a disorder or just a circumstantial fluke. There are several common “sleep robbers” that steal your sweet dreams away.

  • You may also have insomnia if you keep waking up throughout the night after you have fallen asleep. This lack of rest will lead to drowsiness the next day. Yet when you go to lay your head on the pillow after the day is done, you find that you still cannot sleep.
  • A less well-known disorder is narcolepsy, which involves daytime sleepiness that is excessive and uncontrollable. Narcolepsy goes beyond that occasional tiredness. It can cause “sleep attacks” even in broad daylight when you’re at work or school. You may feel weak and lose control while laughing or experiencing strong emotions. This is as though you’re going to sleep right when you’re emotional.
  • Restless leg syndrome is a disorder that can feel uncontrollable for some people. It leads to urges to move your legs and arms when you’re asleep, keeping you awake even if you’re dead tired.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders are more environmental. Examples include if you are working the late shift, experiencing jet lag, or encountering other circumstances that force you to be awake when you would otherwise be asleep. These factors can lead to trouble falling asleep and staying awake at normal times.
  • Another common disorder is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when your upper airway passages are blocked, causing you to briefly stop breathing while sleeping. It’s a frightening experience and one that has kept many awake as a result.

Will more sleep help you get productivity? 

Studies proved it. I acknowledge it. 

I’ve accommodated my morning schedule to prove this point.

I began to get up at least one and a half hour before everyone else to start my work early. Though I was trying to be more performance-oriented, I found that I was tired in the middle of the day. This was likely because I had only gotten up too early.

So, I decided to go through an experiment to find out whether more sleep would help me be more organized. 

And I believe that it works.

I’m still practicing to be a morning person.

I get up early and chant a mantra for 15 minutes. I prepare breakfast for my family, get a cup of coffee, and get our little boy up and ready for school.

This grants me an extra hour to check LinkedIn updates, browse my Twitter feed, sending out some emails, and get everything synced without being rushed.

With this on-going daily routine practice, my mind is becoming sharper, and my thought process is more organized. And I’ve told you one change I applied throughout the process; I have not stripped myself of proper sleep. 

The obvious benefits are:

  1. Sleep is a primarily major and usually underutilized ingredient of the brain’s working.

Sleep deprivation provokes anxiety for your brain and slows down the rate of electrical impulses carrying the information and thoughts.

  1. It improves both learning and memory, enabling your brain to catch up with things faster.
  2. Prolonged lack of sleep can also inflate the occasions of having a mood disorder. 

With sleeping disorders like insomnia, you’re more vulnerable to cause depression, anxiety, and chronic illness.

  1. Your mind needs proper sleeping routines to realize and react to the emotions the right way.
  2. You may enhance your social interaction skills and be able to identify colleagues’ emotional expressions.

Final Words…

Various studies have proved that getting a balanced work-life style and quality sleep can help resolve all sorts of physical and mental issues. These issues range from your anxiety, mood swings, communication, and work performance to your workouts.

Superior sleep refers to the succession of both the amount and consistency of sleep schedules.

Proper relaxation sets you up for motivation, creativity, and execution, the most fundamental thing for a professional, like you.

Meet the Author

Michelle is a freelance blogger who’s covered a variety of different topics – Productivity, Health, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. Before she became a full-time writer, she held various jobs, including tutoring and tele-calling, so she understands how working at home can stress you out.

This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click the links and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep the blog running.  See other disclaimers here.

How to Utilize a To-Do List to Enhance Productivity

An easy way to gain control over your schedule is by using a to-do list. Let’s explore a few helpful tips on using a to-do list to enhance productivity!

Many of us would love to be more productive on a daily or weekly basis, but having a lot to do can leave us feeling overwhelmed. One easy way to gain a sense of control over your schedule and productivity level is by utilizing a to-do list. With a to-do list, you can see everything that you need to do and make a plan to tackle each task. You’ll feel accomplished as the items are crossed off and start to see how much more you can get done in a day. Let’s explore a few helpful tips on how using a to-do list can enhance your productivity:

Prioritize Tasks

Making a to-do list shouldn’t be complicated or time-consuming. Jot down everything that you need and want to get done. Once you have it all written out, go back over the list and pick out the top priorities. You can circle those things, highlight them, or re-write your to-do list, placing the most essential tasks at the top. Starting with the most important items will give you a sense of relief as you get them done and cross them off. Prioritizing ensures that you’re being productive because you’re focusing on what you need to get done, rather than just ticking through random tasks.

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Make It Manageable

Let’s face it- there are only so many hours in a day to get things done. Even if it feels like your to-do list is a mile long, you aren’t going to get to it all right away. As you’re writing out the to-do’s that you want to complete, be reasonable about what you can realistically accomplish in a day. Make your list manageable to avoid feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Simplify it as much as possible and break it down over several days if there are just too many items to work on. Spreading tasks out over a week will help you stick to the to-do list rather than abandoning it in frustration. Review and revise the list each day, noting your top priorities.

Be Specific

It’s easy to write down basic tasks and worry about the details later. However, being specific and noting why each item is important can make it more likely that those tasks will get done. That’s because a broad item on a to-do list can make it feel unimportant or confusing. Writing out exactly what you can do to accomplish it and why it matters gives you clarity and adds value to the task. For example, instead of just writing “Work on research paper”, you could break that down into a specific to-do, like “search for information and locate sources and materials”. Taking that broad task and breaking it down into specific, actionable items helps you focus. When you focus on a single task at hand, you can complete it faster and move on to the next thing.

A to-do list can be an excellent tool for increasing your productivity. By creating a list of tasks that you can reasonably complete, you’ll gain a greater sense of accomplishment. That can give you a much-needed boost and motivate you to get more done on a daily and weekly basis.

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Why You Should Use the Bullet Journal to Track Finances

There are many things you can do to manage your finances better. Here are some ways a bullet journal can be useful when it comes to your finances.

Many would agree that the hardest part of transitioning into adulthood is managing your own finances. This is especially true for anyone who has been used to the guidance and support of their parents when it comes to money matters.

When people start making and spending their own money, it’s easy for things to get overwhelming and get out of hand. They start signing up for subscriptions, paying bills, taking out and paying loans – the ins and outs, and the flow of money becomes unbearable, and then soon they’re playing catch-up.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to manage your finances better, and having a bullet journal is one of them. The Balance notes that bullet journaling is effective in helping you become organized and productive. Aside from allowing you to express your creativity, it can also be easily made to fit your organizational style. Bullet journals help in making you more productive by allowing you to keep track of your goals, as well as inspired and reminded of your passion and dreams. Here are some ways in which bullet journaling can be useful for you when it comes to your finances:

Keeping Track Of Expenses

When you don’t keep tabs on where your money goes, it usually feels like money magically evaporates into thin air. However, when you do, you get an idea of where every single penny goes and are warier the next time you are spending. Through this practice, you can gain insights about where most of your money goes and decide whether that’s really where you want your hard-earned money to be spent. Forbes states that by keeping track of your expenses, you will be able to balance what you want and need right now and what you want and need in the future. You can also save yourself from the shock at the end of the month when your bank statement comes in because you are able to keep track of things in real-time.

Managing Work and Clients

If you are a freelancer or in a job that involves managing clients, bullet journaling can help. A bullet journal can help you keep track of every new and existing client and the work you have to do for them. Your bullet journal can serve as a personal record of your client’s every want and need. Then you can use the record to better your work and keep them satisfied. It can also help you stay on top of things by providing you with to-do lists and trackers for your weekly or monthly work goals. Through this, you’ll be able to anticipate how much your income for the month will be and adjust your budget accordingly. Your bullet journal can also help you stay on top of client payment schedules.

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Paying Off Your Loans

When you take on a loan, no matter the size, the most important things you need to remember are your payment schedule and to make monthly payments on time. It’s easy to follow this religiously in the beginning, but it’s even easier to fall behind. After a while, you may even feel like your loan repayments are never going to end. Bullet journaling can help you keep track of how many payments you’ve made, and the payments you have left. This is especially useful, as LoanMart Ohio explains that some lenders reduce payment and interest rates automatically each month if you never miss a payment.

Planning Purchases and Finances

Having a bullet journal with functional finance spreads will enable you to see how much money comes in and how much you spend each month. You can track your finances whether it is on rent, groceries, utilities, debt payments, or other monetary obligations. With this, you’ll be able to plan future purchases such as gifts, replacement appliances, and the like. You can plan these purchases without needing to get a loan, sacrificing rent, or taking some money out of your savings. Bullet journaling can be a useful tool when saving up. It is useful because it can help you determine how much money to take out of your income every month. Additionally, it can help you determine how long you should do it to be able to have enough money for a single purchase and especially big ones.

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Staying On Top of Bills

While traditional bullet journals are minimalist, you can release your creative juices. Additionally, you can dedicate a page or two to make a bills-tracking spread. This way, you can easily track whether or not you have paid each bill for each month, effectively keeping you from incurring late fees that could burden your income. If you refer to our post on the ‘22 Financial Tracking Layouts for your Bullet Journal’ you can find many layouts to inspire your own financial tracking spread. You can choose from having a unified monthly tracker that allows you to collate your bills or one that separates utilities, rent, and subscriptions.

Meet The Author

Annie Wu began bullet journaling in college to keep track of all her deadlines. She found that it was just too valuable a habit to kick. Since then, she’s used bullet journaling to keep up with work deadlines, bills, and important events. She works in a humdrum office job in the day and does some freelance writing on the side. She hopes to someday be able to leave her day job and instead write full-time.

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Why Time Management is So Important to Executives

There are good reasons for just about anybody to find ways to improve how they use and manage their time, and most people find that when they start working on this, they can become more productive. For people who work in senior capacities in businesses, however, managing time well can be the difference between success, and disaster.

Time Management and Executives

Executives have to oversee progress on multiple projects, make time for lots of meetings and discussions, and dedicate some time to keeping their skills fresh, and keeping themselves on top of the latest news in their industry. This is all on top of other work they might have to do, such as preparing proposals and presentations, and of course, on top of their personal lives and self-care.

Because of this, executives need to use every means they can to track their time and how they use it. Here are some of the other reasons why, if you have your sights set on becoming an executive, you should work hard on time management skills.

How Well Executives Manage Time

In addition to time management making an executive more effective, it is one of the personal skills that senior people in leadership positions are judged so strongly on. Especially when it comes to things like hiring decisions. Someone who is applying for an executive position is likely to be asked what processes they use to make sure that everything on their plate gets dealt with in a timely way, and that they are efficient when it comes to knowing where they’re supposed to be, and who they need to make time for.

People who are looking to become candidates for good executive vacancies will need to be able to convince their contacts at the executive staffing agency dealing with the post they want that they are strong in this area, even before meeting with anybody at the hiring company. Most external applicants for senior roles find opportunities through an executive search firm. Someone like TruPath Search can look into the suitability of candidates before putting them forward for roles which will help the process to move along smoothly.

Executives Can Innovate in Terms of Company Time Management

Executives in some roles may be expected to innovate and lead in terms of company culture and help to boost productivity in general. It is important, then, that they have a good grasp on what makes managing time easier, and which tools and processes can help, so they can make good recommendations that will be implemented throughout the business. Things like meeting scheduling tools, time tracking software and even personal productivity apps can be brought in across teams and even whole companies to create improvements. So, an executive who values time management is well placed to do this.

There are lots of expectations of people in senior roles in business, and this can lead to a stressful working life. However, everything can become a lot more organized and successful when you empower yourself with good time management approaches, such as some of the things we talk about on this site.

This post was written as a contributed post. Contributed posts are written by another party who may wish to be anonymous. Further, all posts are edited and formatted by Elizabeth Ghekiere. Want to guest post for ElizabethJournals? Learn more here.