Double Duty: 77 Ways to Make Money on the Side While at Work

Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 6:24pm by Site Administrator

Ever have times when you’re sitting at your desk with nothing to do and wish you could be doing something much more productive instead? If you put your mind to it, you could be, and maybe even earn a little money at the same time. So long as you’re still getting your primary work done, there’s really no harm in taking your productivity to the next level, right? Here are a few ways that you can start using your spare minutes at work or at home to make a few extra bucks a week with a part-time business.

Around the House

Looking at your own to do list should be enough to show you that there are plenty of tasks you can do around the house that many people would be willing to pay you to take care of for them. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Handyman: Are you good with a hammer or a screwdriver? Why not turn that skill into a little extra money on the side by offering handyman services to those who are too old or too inexperienced to do minor home repairs on their own. You can even spend your downtime at work posting ads for your services on local bulletin boards.
  2. Cleaning houses: Everyone wants a clean house, but not everyone wants to do the work that goes along with it. Offer cleaning services to local homeowners and you could make good money for just doing a few extra chores around the house.
  3. Home inspection: Before buying a home, most buyers have it checked out by a home inspector to make sure it’s sound before they complete the sale. If you’ve got some knowledge of construction and building codes you could be that inspector and be making money anytime you get spare time to check out a house.
  4. Window tinting: With a little basic training and equipment, you can get set up to tint the windows of just about anything. Whether it’s tinting car windows or office buildings, you can be making some green by offering this service during your downtime.
  5. Houseplant maintenance: If you’ve ever gone out of town and come home to withered and brown plants, you all about the need for plant care. Offer your watering and care services to homeowners as well as businesses who don’t have a green thumb or the time to care for their leafy decorations.
  6. Organizing: Have a gift for bringing order to chaos? Make it your job. Help packrats clean out their closets and get rid of the excess clutter and you could make a tidy profit.
  7. Yard care: The outside of the home is the only part that most people ever get to see, so it makes sense that it should look good. Capitalize on this by offering yard care services like lawn mowing, weeding, fertilizing, and pruning. Money could just end up growing on trees after all.
  8. Wallpaper hanging: If you’ve ever hung wallpaper you know how difficult it can be to get just right. Some lucky people, however, have a particular skill at it. If you’re one of them, you can earn some extra weekend dollars by hanging wallpaper for those who are clueless in the ways of papering walls.
  9. House sitting: Put a vacationing client’s mind at ease by being a house sitter. You’ll be there to make sure the plants get watered, the mail gets brought in, and those daily newspapers don’t just pile up in the yard.
  10. Window cleaning: No matter what, over time, windows will get dusty and dirty. With a ladder and a squeegee, you could turn a profit cleaning these hard to reach windows for people in your area.
  11. Pool service: While cleaning and maintaining pools might not be the most glamorous work, it can bring in some much needed income, especially if you live in a hot area where many people have pools.
  12. Power washing: You can rent, borrow or buy a simple power washer and turn it into a small side business. Driveways, houses and even businesses could stand a little bit of a wash now and then.
  13. Paint curbs: Who doesn’t want their address displayed clearly? It can make a big difference in the event of an emergency. It can also be a great way to make a little extra cash for not a lot of extra work.
  14. Babysitting: This can be a great way to make some extra cash, as finding good, reliable and readily available babysitters can be a chore. If you don’t mind giving up your nights and weekends every once in awhile you can build a solid customer base for your childcare services.
  15. Shovel snow: Few people want to go out in the snow to clear driveways and sidewalks, and would be more than willing to pay you to do it instead. Invest in a snow blower and you could turn all that white stuff into green.

Arts and Crafts

If you’ve got a creative talent, don’t let it go to waste. Here are some ideas on how you can use it t make some extra profits.

  1. Microstock: If photography is your hobby, why not post some of your favorite shots on microstock sites? You’ll earn money each time one of your snapshots is used.
  2. Antiquing: Spending your weekends scouting garage sales, thrift stores, estate auctions, and flea markets can be a great way to score old treasures for cheap. Research to find out the real value of what you’ve found and spend your next lunch hour auctioning it off on eBay.
  3. Making jewelry: Go to any crafts fair, and you’ll quickly find out that making and selling jewelry is big business, even when the materials aren’t highly valuable. Work with gold, silver, beads, or even recycled materials to create original designs you can sell online or at local craft fairs.
  4. Picture framing: Framing pictures takes a little bit of know how and a few specialty tools, but if you are good at it it can be a wonderful way to bring in some extra money on the side. Make friends with local artists, galleries and photographers if you want to boost your business and your income.
  5. T-Shirt design: If you’re good with design and know how to screenprint or applique designs you could turn a good profit making t-shirts for local teams, groups and businesses.
  6. Write: Writing doesn’t have to just be a hobby, it can also be a great way to bring in some extra money freelancing. Write online for blogs, for a local newspaper, or sell short stories to literary magazines to get your name out there and help pay your bills.
  7. Upholster furniture: Sometimes the fabric on a chair will go out of style long before the shape. Update old furniture by selling your skills as an upholsterer. You’ll make money and help rid the world of ugly furniture.
  8. Interior design: Some people are just hopeless when it comes to decorating a room and picking out furniture. If you’ve got a knack for it, market your skills for paint, fabric and layout as an interior designer. If your own home looks great, use that to help market yourself.
  9. Sew: If you know how to hem a skirt or take in much to large dress you could be using those skills to bring in a little extra income. Many people aren’t especially skilled with a needle and thread and will be more than happy to pay you to take care of it instead.
  10. Musician: If you’ve got some musical talent, you can spend your next lunch hour booking gigs to bring you and your band mates some extra cash for doing something you love. Play at a local club or check out the wedding circuit.
  11. DJ: If you’ve got a record or CD collection that just can’t be rivaled, you can start making it work for you by becoming a DJ. Get gigs at weddings, school functions and parties and put together play lists over your lunch break.

Professional Skills

Make your professional work skills count even when you’re not at your primary job. Here are a few ways to make money on the side using your degree or professional skills.

  1. Medical transcription: Help out a hospital, doctor, dentist or even a veterinarian by transcribing medical records. These kinds of services are in big demand and best of all you can work from home or from where ever you are. You’ll be most successful if you have a good knowledge of medical terminology and great typing skills.
  2. Consulting: If you’ve got loads of knowledge on business or IT, you could be using it to help out other businesses by doing a little consulting work on the side. Just make sure it isn’t a conflict of interest with your current occupation.
  3. Prepare taxes: As inevitable as they are, people hate doing their own taxes. If you’re number savvy and have the know-how, you could be spending tax season getting more than just your own refund.
  4. Tutoring: Got a college education that isn’t being put to much use at your job? Use your downtime to tutor kids after school or over the Internet. You’ll be helping out students and making a little extra for yourself as well.
  5. Language lessons: With the world getting smaller and smaller with new technology, knowing more than one language is a must. If you’re bilingual use your language skills to create a business opportunity. Teach children and adults in your area or give classes at local businesses.
  6. Fund raiser: If you have excellent people skills and marketing talent you could become a part-time fund raiser. Many fund raisers are paid a percentage of what they raise, so that’s all the more incentive to get yourself busy bringing in the money for a local charity or non profit organization.
  7. Accounting: If you’ve got attention to detail and the math skills, you could make some extra money managing the books of a business on the side. Check your local newspaper for ads from businesses looking for part time bookkeepers.
  8. Virtual assistant: You don’t need to be in the office to be an assistant these days. You can find work with many places where you’ll perform tasks over the Internet instead. It can be an easy and commute free way to get some extra money.
  9. Editorial services: If you’ve got speedy typing fingers and an eagle eye for grammar mistakes, try offering your services as a typist and proofreader. If you’ve got a computer, printer and email you’re set and ready to go starting this side business.
  10. Debt counseling: For those from a financial background, offering services to help others get a handle on their finances can be a great way to bring in some cash. You’ll be getting both you and your clients on the road to a better financial future.
  11. Green business consultant: Many businesses are looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious these days. If you’re an earth loving type with some know how, you can launch this into a successful side business.

Health and Fitness

There are few things more important than health or fitness. Improve your financial fitness with these side business ideas.

  1. Personal trainer: Pump up your profits while you help others pump iron. Fitness gurus willing to get certified can make quite a bit of money offering training services to those who want to lose those pesky love handles.
  2. Yoga instructor: If you’ve been practicing yoga for many years, chances are you could learn to teach it to others as well. Offer classes to local businesses, health clubs, or through your local parks and recreation to bring in some extra cash while maintaining your zen.
  3. Personal chef: With so much going on, it can be hard for some people to find the time to cook a real meal. That’s where you can come in. Plan and cook a menu for clients that will be healthy and satisfying.
  4. Swimming lessons: Don’t let all those early morning swim practices go to waste. Use your swimming skills to teach kids in your area. You’ll help them become more confident in the water and help keep your finances afloat.
  5. Espresso cart: Selling coffee can have quite a large profit margin if you know how to move it. Buy or rent an espresso cart and head out to local sporting events and markets in your area to capitalize on those caffeine addicts.
  6. Make jellies: Never thought that jelly making your grandma taught you all about would be that useful? It could be if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Sell your custom creations over the Internet or at a local market.
  7. Grow vegetables: If you rarely use your backyard why not turn it into a garden? You can sell the best products of your harvest and if there’s anything left over you’ll have fresh fruits and veggies ready to eat for dinner.
  8. Walk dogs: Dogs need to be walked one way or another and some pet owners simply can’t get home during the day to take their best friend out for a walk around the block. Creating your own dog walking service can be a great way to get exercise and get yourself some extra money.
  9. Hiking guide: A love of the great outdoors will make you an ideal candidate for considering this as an alternative way of making some cash. You’ll get to do something you love while making sure others stay safe enjoying their hike.
  10. Massage therapy: If you take the time to get certified as a massage therapist you could be making quite a bit of money offering your services. Massage appointments are sometimes short enough that you could even sneak one in over your lunch hour.
  11. Life coaching: Encourage others to be successful and make the most of their potential as a life coach. You can fit in appointments on weekends, during lunch and after work, making it easy to do double duty.
  12. Makeup artist: If you’re constantly getting complimented on your stellar makeup skills, then perhaps it’s time you tapped into them as a business endeavor. Paint the faces of women for weddings, parties, and even stage performances in your spare time.
  13. Organic catering: Organic food has become increasingly popular as people become more aware of the harmful effects of chemicals. Capitalize on this and your cooking skills by offering 100% organic catering services.

Technology

Technology is in everything these days, and if you know enough about it you can make good money selling your skills. Here are a few tech related business ideas to try out.

  1. Computer set up: Despite the constant presence of technology in most peoples everyday lives, there are some that just can’t seem to get the hang of it. This is where you can come in and get paid to help those with new computers get them set up, install new programs, and make sure everything is plugged in correctly.
  2. Home entertainment service: Home entertainment systems are getting fancier and fancier, and as a result many people have little idea of how to hook them up. This is where you can come in. With a little bit of knowledge about home electronics and wiring, you can set up tvs and stereo systems for a little extra cash in your pocket.
  3. Computer tutor: You might be a computer whiz, but many others, especially older people, aren’t and could use a little help learning how to navigate their desktop. Offering at-home instruction on how to use word processors, surf the web, or set up a computer can be a big help to the less tech savvy who still want to stay connected.
  4. Records search: Explore your investigative side by searching for information for clients. Use the Internet to browse public records to find lost loves, check out questionable employees, track down debtors, and much more. Best of all, you can do it right from your desk.
  5. Blogging: Got something to say but no place to say it? Try starting a blog. If it gains popularity you could bring in a good chunk of cash through on page advertising each month.
  6. Buy and sell domain names: While many of the best .coms are already taken, you can still make money in the domain name business with the newer .tv and .info names out there. With a little business savvy you can turn your afternoon domain auction browsing into a cash cow.
  7. Design webpages: Well-designed webpage work is always in demand and is something that you can easily do on the side with the right technical know-how to make some extra money.
  8. Be a virtual mogul: With the growing popularity of online programs like Second Life and WoW, there is plenty of money to be made in creating in-game clothing, real estate, objects and anything else and exchanging it for real life dollars.
  9. Web hosting: You don’t need to buy a lot of fancy and expensive server hardware to provide a Web hosting service. Many big hosting companies allow "reseller" accounts where you sell hosting plans to customers and the hosting company will host them all for you under your account umbrella, and you can charge your own rates for the service.
  10. Sell on eBay: You can make a profit not only selling your own things on eBay but charging others to sell their things as well. Doesn’t sound like something people would pay for? Many business are already making substantial profits doing it, so why not jump on the bandwagon?
  11. Computer cleanup: Viruses, malware and spyware are everywhere these days and can bog down a computer in no time. Offer your services to help clean and speed up computers that may have been infected.
  12. Transfer formats: Know someone that would be happy having their album collection moved to CD or MP3 format? With a small amount of equipment you can do this while you’re working on other things around the house.

Retail

Shopaholics and penny pinchers alike will appreciate these ideas on how to make money in the world of retail.

  1. Personal shopping: You’d be surprised at how many people would pay to not have to deal with the hassles of shopping, especially around the holidays. Make their laziness your benefit charging by the hour for your services.
  2. Market research studies: Spend your free time at work browsing the classifieds for opportunities to participate in paid studies. Depending on the study, it could be some of the easiest money you’ll ever make.
  3. Product reviews: Companies are often more than willing to pay reviewers to use and review their products. You’ll not only get paid, but you’ll get free products to boot.
  4. Mystery shopping: Many big retail chains are willing to pay you to shop on their behalf to see how the staff treats customers. Buy products, eat meals, or stay in a hotel, all on someone else’s tab.
  5. Gift wrapping: Many people make good extra cash around the holidays wrapping gifts for others. If you’re skilled with tape and ribbon, it could be a great way to help afford those extra holiday expenses.

Miscellaneous

Still looking for that perfect fit for a side business? Try these on for size to see if they can help you bring in extra revenue.

  1. Genealogy: Many people want to know more about their family history but just don’t have the time to look up all the records they need. You can offer your services as a family researcher and help clients get in touch with their roots. Best of all, you can do a lot of this research right from your desk at work.
  2. Trip planner: Everyone needs a vacation now and then, but not everyone wants to make all those reservations and bookings. Take the work out of vacation planning for someone else and earn yourself some money to put towards your own vacation.
  3. Run errands: Whether your clients just don’t have the time or lack the mobility, they’ll be happy to use your service to save them the time of running their own errands. You’ll make some extra money and you might even have time to take care of your own to do list at the same time.
  4. Obedience school: No one likes a naughty and destructive pet, and if you’re good at reigning in dogs you could have a profitable side career as an obedience trainer. Offer both individual classes and group sessions to maximize your profits.
  5. Feng shui consulting: Interest in feng shui has risen in recent years and you can capitalize on it by helping individuals and businesses get in harmony in their interior and exterior spaces. If you get certified you can make quite a bit, especially on larger projects.
  6. Cake decorating: Cakes often form the centerpiece of formal occasions like weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. If you’ve got the artistic flair, why not use it to create impressive culinary creations? Do a beautiful job and you’re sure to get loads of business.
  7. Tour guide: If you live in a touristy area, consider becoming a tour guide in your off time. You can show groups around all the major highlights of your city and get to enjoy the fresh air.
  8. Scrapbooking: If you’ve got a flair for making your memories look even more memorable in a scrapbook, you can try teaching scrapbooking classes in your area. Additionally, you can make a pretty penny selling supplies for scrapbooking as well.
  9. Boat cleaning: In the right market, the opportunities to make a profit cleaning boats are extensive. After all, there are a lot of boats, and likely more than a few need to be cleaned. Advertise your services at a local dock or marina to bring in clients and some money.
  10. Fill out surveys: You’re unlikely to make a bundle working on filling out surveys, but you can do it from your desk, and it might even look like you’re actually working.

The To-Do List To-Do List: 50 Tips to Streamline Your Task Lists

Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 1:10am by Site Administrator

Staying on top of all the things you have to do isn’t always easy, but there are lots of ways to make your task list simpler. Whether that means keeping unnecessary items out, or just getting a handle on organization, every little bit helps. Test out these ideas for the ultimate in task list streamlining.

  1. Use a small piece of paper: By limiting the room in which you can list tasks, you’ll be forced to choose only the most important items.
  2. Keep yourself to a 10 point maximum: Promise yourself to never keep more than 10 items on your to do list at one time.
  3. Categorize: Whether you’re breaking your list down by location or overall task, compartmentalizing it will help you stay on top of organization.
  4. Use Tudumo: This tool makes it easy to organize, prioritize, and search for tasks.
  5. Create a someday list: Keep aspirational tasks out of your revolving to do list.
  6. Write a Not To Do List: By writing out items that you need to let go of, you’ll free up time and mental space for what’s important.
  7. Implement a Tiny To do List: Write a list with only three important tasks for one day, and you’ll focus on the most important things to accomplish.
  8. Use a task bowl: If the order in which you complete tasks isn’t important, write items out and put them into a bowl, then fish them out and complete tasks on the spot.
  9. Break it down: If you’ve got a task that can’t be completed all at once, turn it into a number of tasks, so you’ll be able to finish each one at a sitting.
  10. Delegate: Some items just don’t belong on your list. If there’s a task that could be better done by someone else, give it to them.
  11. Be specific: Instead of writing vague tasks like "go to the grocery store," tell yourself to "pick up eggs, milk, and cheese."
  12. Get picky: Your task list doesn’t have to be a wish list. Only write down the things that, if neglected, will let someone down or make your life miserable.
  13. Hide future tasks: If you’ve got items that won’t be relevant for a few weeks, or are contingent upon completing some other task, use an application that lets you hide items until later.
  14. Start small: Start your list for the day, week, or month with small tasks that don’t take too much effort. This will give you the momentum to keep going and move on to larger tasks.
  15. Include time estimates: When writing down tasks, include an estimate of the amount of time the task will take you. This way, you’ll be better able to schedule your time and prioritize items.
  16. Assign ranks: Give each task a rating of A, B, or C based on your priorities, so your mission is clear.
  17. Use next actions: When working on tasks that require multiple actions, have only one action on your task list at any given time. Once you’ve completed that particular task, refer to a separate project list for the next action to add to your revolving task list.
  18. Set time limits: Keep items from living on your list too long by assigning them time limits. If you haven’t completed them within a certain amount of time, promise yourself to finally do it or mark it off your list.
  19. Avoid listing daily items: For repetitive, daily tasks like picking up the mail, or dropping kids off at school, use your calendar instead to avoid cluttering up your to do list.
  20. Stay on top of recurring tasks: For tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, but don’t have specific deadlines, use a task manager like Sciral Consistency. This way, you’ll stay on top of oil changes, laundry, and other items that don’t really merit a revolving spot on your task list.
  21. Use two-minute checks: Periodically, take 15 minutes to look at your task list and see if there’s anything you can finish in 2 minutes. If you can, knock them out within your period of 15 minutes, then move on.
  22. Focus on value: Set a monetary valuation on your time, and only add items to your task list if their profitability meets or exceeds the value of the time they’ll take up.
  23. Make the answer no until proven otherwise: Instead of saying yes to everything until you find a reason not to do it, start off with a no until you can find a good reason to do it. This will keep a number of tasks off your list.
  24. Do super-easy tasks right away: If the act of writing down a task will take almost as much time as doing it, leave it off of your list.
  25. Leave out the obvious: Items that tend to jump out at you when they need to be done, like emptying a smelly trash can, don’t belong on your list.
  26. Group tasks: Organize tasks like phone calls and responding to email together, and you’ll get them done quicker because your mind is in the communication zone at that time.
  27. Categorize by time: Create separate lists for different blocks of time, such as a 5 minute list, an hour list, or a weekend list.
  28. Consider reality: Can you actually do the tasks you want to list? If they’re impossible or better done by someone else, they need to stay off of your task list.
  29. Note projects: If any given task is part of a larger project, be sure to make a note of it for easy skimming of your task list.
  30. Assign a Most Important Task: Set your standards low and identify just one task that absolutely has to get done.
  31. Keep an idea list: Separate ideas from actual tasks by keeping them in a separate list.
  32. Throw it away: If you’re overwhelmed by your task list, take one last look at it to identify any truly important items, and just throw it away. You’ll start off with a new, clean slate and be able to focus on current, important tasks.
  33. Make an hour-based task list: Turn your task list into an hourly schedule, then promise to stick to it.
  34. Keep it visible: Put your to do list in a sidebar or another place where you can’t ignore it to stay on top of tasks.
  35. Put it all in one place: This sounds like a no-brainer, but you should keep your revolving list in one place, instead of where you are when you come up with a task.
  36. Use the Printable CEO: These printouts will help you track tasks and more.
  37. Color code: Assign urgency and importance, and it will be easy to see what tasks you need to get to next.
  38. Give yourself points: Make each task worth points, and limit your task list to a specific point value.
  39. Write it at the end of the day: By writing your daily list for tomorrow at the end of the day, you’ll still have the tasks you need to do fresh in your mind.
  40. Automate: If you’re using an electronic task list, make use of any functions that automatically update your to do list based on date, completed tasks, and other criteria.
  41. Use tags: For those with electronic task services, use tags to keep track of what you’re doing.
  42. Set up reminders: Make your task list work for you even when you’re not looking at it by setting up reminders through email, messaging, or SMS.
  43. Get mapping capabilities: Integrate your to do list with maps for added functionality.
  44. Share: Use a task list program that you can use with others so delegation and task sharing is easy.
  45. Take it with you: Use a task service that allows you to use it on your phone or via the web.
  46. Integrate with RSS: Share your list with others, or get updated about changes to shared lists via RSS.
  47. Keep notes: In many to do list applications, you can make notes on each item, so you can give yourself details or status updates.
  48. Stay on top of deadlines: Use an application that allows you to view deadlines at a glance to know what you’re up against.
  49. Use post its: Productivity experts may not agree, but by using post its, you can limit entries, categorize, and best of all, throw them away.
  50. Integrate with a calendar: Get an overview of your day, week and month, by using a to do list that shares a brain with your calendar.

17 Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist and Get More Done

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 5:47pm by Site Administrator

Although sometimes it may seem like it, no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and has at least a few faults. And while it may seem like a noble goal, striving to be a perfectionist in your work or personal life can actually be more of a hindrance than a help in making you successful. Focusing on making every detail perfect can end up making you get less done, not to mention leave you in a constant state of anxiety. These are a few ways you can stop worrying so much about being perfect, enjoy your work, and still get plenty done in a day.

  1. Set realistic expectations. While it might be wonderful to finish your current project, start another, get new clients and keep up with all your household chores, the reality is that expectations like that aren’t always realistic. There’s no sense in making yourself feel bad by setting yourself up to fail. You don’t have to be perfect to be productive, so give yourself expectations that are something you can actual accomplish, you can always add on more later if you get ahead of schedule.
  2. Give yourself credit. When you set goals for yourself, it’s easy to let yourself concentrate on the things that you haven’t accomplished instead of those you have gotten done. Give yourself some credit for the milestones and small parts of projects that you get done along the way.
  3. Accept that you will make mistakes. While it might be hard for the true perfectionists out there, you can get a lot more done if you recognize that no matter what it is you’re doing, there are going to be some mistakes that you’ll make along the way. Accept this, and use these as valuable learning experiences to be better in the future instead of beating yourself up over them.
  4. Ask for help. Though you might feel it’s a blow to your pride, asking for help doesn’t make you weak or incompetent. Sometimes having an outside perspective or a little extra help can make all the difference.
  5. Focus on the present. It can be easy to get caught up in worrying about past mistakes or things that are looming in the future that may never even happen. Instead of trying to perfect your past and future, concentrate on doing what you need to do now to make yourself happy or get more work done.
  6. Just get it done. Getting things done perfectly is great, but just getting them done period isn’t too bad either. Focus more on the action of getting things done instead of putting so much effort into worrying about doing each thing perfectly.
  7. Relax. When you tense up because you’re worried or nervous about being less than perfect, you can make work a completely miserable and stressful experience. Just relax instead. Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, chances are good that things won’t be nearly as bad as you imagine.
  8. Focus on the big picture. Perfectionists tend to focus on the little details, nitpicking every tiny aspect of a project, making it take much longer than it should. Let go of the small things so you can focus on the bigger aspects of your projects.
  9. Give yourself permission. It can be hard to stop looking at things through the eyes of a perfectionist. You can start by giving yourself permission to be less than perfect and stop thinking of yourself as a failure when you don’t meet your own expectations.
  10. Silence your inner critic. That nagging voice inside your head that tells you your work isn’t good enough can drive you to work harder, but it can also drive you crazy trying to achieve impossible perfection. Replace those negative comments with with positive encouragement instead.
  11. Realize that someone can always find fault. You could spend hours tweaking a design, website or paper and no matter how much you do to it, someone can still come along and find fault. Everyone’s idea of perfection is different, so understand that no matter how perfect you make something it will never be safe from criticism. Realize this and you’ll be more willing to give yourself a bit of a break.
  12. Use it as a motivational tool. Perfectionism doesn’t have to be totally bad. Sometimes it can be a great motivational tool in pushing you forward. The trick is knowing where to draw the line between productive thinking and destructive thinking. If you find your work making you more miserable than happy, then chances are you’ve crossed the line and need to take a step back.
  13. Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s fine to have someone to look up to, but constantly comparing yourself to others can ultimately be self destructive behavior. Do the best you can do, not the best someone else can do.
  14. Don’t overanalyze. Planning, preparation, and going over your work can be good things, but when you start overanalyzing things to the point that you don’t get started or finished with anything is counterproductive. Remember that it doesn’t matter how great something is if it’s only half done.
  15. Lighten up. Your work may not be a joke but that doesn’t mean you have to treat it as a humorless endeavor. Lighten up and you will be less willing to get bogged down in making everything perfect.
  16. Learn to take criticism. No matter how perfect your work may seem, you’ll likely get some amount of criticism from users or clients. Learn to take these kind of comments as ways to make your work better, not as attacks on you personally.
  17. Stop procrastinating. Though it might seem odd, perfectionism can often lead to procrastination. If you find yourself reluctant to start projects until you can do them just right or until you have the perfect idea you’re likely letting your perfectionism get in the way of getting things accomplished. Just get started, you can always go back and revise later if you don’t like what you’ve gotten done.

Taming your inner perfectionist can be a long and hard fought battle, but it can be worth it in the end if you feel better both about your work and yourself. You’ll avoid loads of frustration, self imposed guilt trips, and maybe even get more done.

50 Online Resources for Decluttering Your Life

Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 1:58am by Site Administrator

With so much going on at home and at work, getting the clutter off of your desk and out of your closet can seem like the last thing on your mind. But clutter can do more than take up space, it can also have a marked affect on your state of mind. Cluttered spaces can zap your productivity and make even doing simple day-to-day tasks take much longer than they should. Here are 50 resources you can check out to help you learn how to clear out the clutter and take back your productivity.

Blogs

Get great advice and ideas on clearing out the clutter in your life from these bloggers.

  1. Unclutter.com: This blog is all about fighting clutter and getting organized. Find articles on everything from decluttering your kitchen to cleaning out your purse or wallet.
  2. Zenhabits: Find your inner Zen guru on this blog. Learn about how to simplify, declutter, get in shape, increase your productivity and more.
  3. Your Life. Organized: Monica Ricci blogs all about getting organized here. You’ll also find a series of podcasts, and links to great organizational resources.
  4. Declutter It!: Written by Julie Bonner, this blog gives suggestions and advice on how you can make your life more clutter free both at home and at the office.
  5. The Positivity Blog: Learn to look at the bright side with this blog. There are also loads of posts on simplfiying your life and becoming more productive.
  6. FlyLady: The Fly Lady is a decluttering and cleaning guru. On her site you’ll find information on how to implement her clutter clearing process as well as humorous insights.
  7. Neat and Simple Living Blog: This blog is dedicated to helping readers let go of clutter, organize, acquire less, and learn to love life.
  8. The Clutter Diet Blog: Author Lorie Marrero blogs about all things related to organization and decluttering. Check out recent posts on organizing holiday decorations and keeping your bookshelf neat and clean.
  9. Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News: Professional organizer Jeri Dansky gives her ideas and thoughts on organization in this informative blog.
  10. The Happy Living Blog: Are the things in your home making you miserable? Check out this blog to learn how to live happier and more simply.
  11. Organization Place Blog: This blog gives you links to tons of organizational products that can help make your life a little easier.
  12. My Simpler Life: Here you’ll find advice and commentary on how to live a simpler life with less stuff and still be happy and fulfilled.
  13. Organising Queen: This blog is all about organizing your life. From your time and space to your business and personal life, you’ll find information on all aspects of organization.
  14. Organizing Your Home and Family: This blog lives up to its name, with loads of posts on how you can make your life easier at home by keeping things organized and streamlined.

Articles

Need a little guidance on getting started or help keeping up? These articles can give you some pointers and make getting clutter free easier than ever.

  1. Declutter 101: Where Do I Start?: Beginner declutters should check out this primer to learn the basics of getting started cleaning up your home or office.
  2. How to Declutter Your Life: Here you’ll find helpful advice on how to streamline your life and eliminate clutter as well as some tips on things to avoid.
  3. Organizing 101: Resolve to Declutter: This article from Style at Home can help you learn how to get organized by eliminating some of the clutter around your home.
  4. 15 Great Decluttering Tips: For those who struggle with decluttering, cleaning up and throwing things out can be a real battle. Here you’ll find 15 tips from fellow clutterbugs on how to keep your home clean and tidy.
  5. Declutter Your Desk: If you’re like most people, you spend the better part of your day sitting at your desk so make it a pleasant and organized place to be by using the tips in this article.
  6. 50 Tips to Unclutter Your Blog: If you make money from your blog, having one that’s clutter free and easy to read can make a big difference in your profit margin. This article will give you some pointers on making your blog look clean and user friendly.
  7. This is the Year to Declutter Your Life: Check out these articles from the Oprah show to help you start the year out clutter free. You’ll find videos and articles on the reasons behind clutter, how you can challenge yourself to make a clean sweep, and inspiring stories of others who made big changes in fighting clutter.
  8. Top Ten Creative Ways to Declutter: Clearing your home of clutter doesn’t have to be completely boring and tedious. This article gives some ideas on how to make cleaning out your closet more exciting and imaginative.
  9. Spring Cleaning Checklist: Start off the spring, or any other season, with a sparkling clean home. This checklist will take you through all the parts of your home that you should give a good scrub and thorough cleaning.
  10. 5 Steps from Clutter to Control: Fighting clutter doesn’t have to be a drawn out battle. This article gives some simple ways that you can start taking control of your space again.
  11. Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Get advice on getting rid of all the junk sitting around your house and make it work in harmony with the principles of Feng Shui in this article from About.com.
  12. Conquering Clutter: This informative and in-depth article from the AARP gives some insight into the reasons behind the clutter in our lives as well as ways we can fight it.
  13. How to Purge Your Closet: Don’t let your clothes take over your closet. This article can help you learn how to fight the the overflow and gives a simple way you can help yourself know what to give away.
  14. Zen Mind: How to Declutter: Help to clear your mind by cleaning your space. This article gives several great tips on how to tackle day-to-day clutter without becoming overwhelmed.
  15. Top 10 Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life: Clutter doesn’t just have to be in tangible form, it can also make it very difficult to do work on your computer if you let files, photos and emails pile up on your hard drive. This article will give you ten ways you can reduce this kind of clutter.

Programs

These computer programs will help you clean up your desktop and keep the rest of your life organized and hassle free.

  1. Chaos Antidote: Have a messy hard drive that just can’t seem to be tamed? Try out this program to help you get control of the clutter that builds up on your virtual desktop just like it does on your real desktop.
  2. Famundo: This program is great for busy families. It has calendars, address books, photo sharing and more to keep you organized and ready to go.
  3. My Reminder Service: Get rid of all those sticky notes and index cards with reminders scrawled on them and put your important tasks in this program instead. It will send a reminder to your cell phone, PDA or email so you’ll never forget an important date.
  4. Check Free: Eliminate the messy paperwork from phone, power and water bills by paying them online. This service allows you to get and pay almost any bill online.
  5. Absolutely Busy: Never lose a client’s or friend’s email again with this program. You can enter contact information, track leads, and even stay on top of projects.

Organizations and Groups

Whether you’re looking for help cleaning out your garage or just want to meet with others that have clutter issues, these groups can help.

  1. National Association of Professional Organizers: Sometimes you just need a little professional help. Find an organizer near you through this association and get organization tips to help you get started on your own.
  2. Faithful Organizers: This organization focuses on professional organizers that also embrace the Christian faith. If you’re looking for a professional that shares your values as well as your need to get things organized check out this site to find someone to call in your neighborhood.
  3. Messiestalk: This online forum, created by founder of Messies Anonymous Sandra Felton, gives users a way to chat about any clutter, cleaning and organization issues they might have and get tips and advice from others.
  4. Clutterers Anonymous: Need some help and support overcoming the clutter in your home? Find all the resources you need on this site to get the assistance you need from others in your same boat.
  5. Freecycle: What to do with all that stuff you cleaned out of your closet? Try trading it or giving it away on Freecycle. You’ll be getting clutter out of your home and giving your stuff to someone who needs it.
  6. Declutter Meetups: Here you’ll find links to groups that meet to discuss clutter, organizing and living simply all over the United States so you can make new friends and get your clutter under control.

Websites

This collection of websites can help you find resources about clutter, give advice, and provide great reading material for motivating you.

  1. Real Simple: The online version of this print magazine is a great place to get tips and ideas on simplifying your life, cleaning, and organizing your home.
  2. How To Organize, Declutter & Simplify Your Life: This Squidoo lens gives some great advice and tips on ways you can help eliminate clutter from your life, organize your closet, and more.
  3. Online Organizing.com: Here you’ll find resources to purchase organization materials, hire a professional, get advice, get a newsletter and loads of other useful resources to help you get a handle on the chaos in your life.
  4. Clutterbug.net: Professional organizer Christy Best gives advice on everything from organizing for the holidays to how clutter prone people should shop on this informative website.
  5. Declutter First: This site is dedicated to helping people get organized by first decluttering their lives. You’ll find articles on clearing clutter from your kitchen, garage and closets as well as some general tips to keep in mind.
  6. Organized Home: This website is full of ideas on how you can clean up and organize your home. Learn how to create a storage plan, get rid of unneeded wardrobe items and more.
  7. Life Organizers: Does your life need a decluttering overhaul? This site has loads of articles on cleaning, organizing, and decluttering your home as well as on how you can live happier and healthier.
  8. Clutter Workshop: This site, by clutter relief coach Beth Johnson, contains an ebook, online classes, and even forums where you can get help eliminating clutter from your life.
  9. How to Get Rid of Things: If you’re the type of person who hangs on to 10 years worth of magazines that you never look at, chances are that you could use a little help getting rid of some things around the house. This site gives advice on what to toss in just about every category.
  10. Home Organize It: On this site you’ll find loads of resources on getting the mess out of your home. From hiring a professional to cleaning out your business or personal office, this site has information on it all.

25 Chores You Can Actually Do Online

Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:42am by Site Administrator

Chores, by definition, are rarely fun. No one wants to do them, but everyone has to get them done. Fortunately, we live in an age that values using technology to streamline everyday life, so there are many services out there designed to make your chores less of a chore, and we’ve profiled 25 of them here.

  1. Banking: These days, many people rarely have to step foot into a "real bank," preferring instead to perform banking transactions online.
  2. Bills: Just like online banking, paying your bills online is now easier than ever. It’s hard to find a bill that you can’t pay online, and many banks offer a one-stop place to do it all.
  3. Grocery shopping: Netgrocer, Peapod, and even brick-and-mortar stores like Albertsons and Safeway have ventured into online grocery store territory. Many shoppers find this method to be cost effective and time saving because of the organization it offers.
  4. Taxes: Individuals within a specific income limit can use Free File from the IRS to prepare their taxes online. Others beyond this limit can use widely available alternatives like H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxACT.
  5. Travel planning: Whether you’re checking out fares or researching the best places to go, the Internet is an increasingly popular place to go for travel advice.
  6. Photo sharing: While sharing photos may not feel like a chore for some, people with children and/or far flung family members often find that their loved ones are no longer satisfied with an annual holiday card photo. Keeping up with this chore is easy when you use one of the many photo sharing sites online.
  7. Update your family: Beyond photos, you can use emails, newsletters, and blogs as a great way to keep your loved ones up to date on family happenings without going to too much trouble.
  8. Get movie listings: The days of picking up the newspaper for movie listings are all but gone. Now, you can look up showtimes online, while at the same time reading reviews and viewing trailers to help you decide on the best pick. You can even use movie sites to find free sneak previews, deals, and more.
  9. Plan a party: Online services make it really easy to plan a party online. You can send out invitations, consider themes, get ideas, and more, all with a few clicks of your mouse.
  10. Get directions: Your key map has been taken down a notch by the plethora of online mapping services available today. Using these services, you can get detailed, turn-by-turn directions, often with helpful add-ons like highway preferences, gas station price comparisons, and business directories. You can even send directions to Grandma via email or links.
  11. Renew government documents: Many local governments offer online renewal and registration for driver’s licenses, plates, and more, saving you a trip to the office.
  12. Shop: Hitting the mall and other shopping centers is a dreaded experience for some, but with online shopping you can skip the crowds and often find better deals to boot.
  13. Ship a package: With many shipping services, you can calculate rates, print documents, and pay for the shipment, all online. Often, all that’s left is a drop off, but you can usually pay to have your package picked up if they’re not stopping by already.
  14. Nag others about doing chores: Getting others to do work is just as much a chore as regular ones. Services like Monkey On Your Back automate the nagging process for you.
  15. Order pizza: Nearly every major pizza chain now has online ordering, so you don’t have to rummage through your junk drawer for a coupon anymore. Rather, their specials and deals are cleanly presented on the ordering page.
  16. Comparison shopping: Before the advent of e-commerce, comparison shopping was a costly venture, both in time and gas money. But now, all you have to do is go to one of the many sites that tracks prices to find the best deal out there.
  17. Clip coupons: Often paired up with comparison shopping sites, coupon sites track the best deals, both online and off. You’ll usually find coupon codes or printable coupons that can be taken to brick-and-mortar stores.
  18. Check out the news: If you’re not a newshound, keeping up to date on the latest in current events may feel like a chore, especially if you’re tuning into overhyped TV news or flipping through old-fashioned newspapers. Reading the news is more streamlined than ever online, with organized categories, RSS feeds, and newsgroups.
  19. Check out the weather: No longer do you have to wait until your local news burns through the latest fires and murders to figure out what you need to wear tomorrow. Learning about weather in your area or where you’ll be traveling is as easy as entering a zip code or metro area into a web site.
  20. Find a doctor: Through doctor directories, you can literally shop around for your physician. These sites make it easy to learn about their education, insurance details, and even read reviews to find out about what others have experienced with the doctor.
  21. Get recipes: You don’t have to read women’s magazines or drag out cookbooks to learn how to cook tasty concoctions anymore. There is a seemingly endless supply of recipes online that are easily categorized, searchable, and reviewed by other cooks.
  22. Research your health: Whether you’re in search of helpful pregnancy information or curious about alternative treatments, the Internet is full of useful resources that offer helpful tips and create talking points you can bring to your doctor.
  23. Research DIY projects: Whether you’re the do-it-yourself type, or just forced into servitude by your spouse, you can find loads of great ideas and step-by-step instructions for projects online.
  24. Reserve and renew library books: Save yourself a trip to the library, or snag the latest Harry Potter before some punk kid gets their hands on it by using online library services. Many local library systems offer online catalogs, reservations, and account services designed to make your life just a little bit easier.
  25. Set up utilities: Moving is a chore, not just because of the mass of stuff you have to load and unload, but because you have to go through the process of setting up services to your home all over again. Luckily, most of this can be accomplished online, either one by one through your providers, or using services that do the work for you, and even offer comparison shopping.

Top 100 Motivational Blog Posts of All Time

Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 2:41am by Site Administrator

The new year ushers in loads of resolutions and good intentions, many of which don’t make it past the first few weeks of January. Staying motivated enough to find a better job, lose ten pounds, or create a solid personal budget are tough when we’re already battling hectic lives. To help you find the inspiration you need to stay focused all year long, check out this list of 100 motivational blog posts.

Our Favorites

This first list includes some of our favorite posts about staying motivated, from discovering strength and inspiration where you least expected it to learning how to organize your entire life.

  1. 1 Step Back, 2 Steps Forward: Learn how to stay positive with this simple mantra, even when you’re experiencing setbacks.
  2. Stay Motivated When You Don’t Like It: The problem with motivation is that sometimes you’d just rather give up. Read this post for tips on how to boost your morale even when you don’t feel like being productive.
  3. How to Wake Up Feeling Totally Alert: Steve Pavlina helps readers go from "grog monster to early riser" with the tips and ideas in this post.
  4. Top 5 Tips for Getting Motivated: Life coach Fiona Harrold doles out five surefire tips for finding motivation and sticking with it.
  5. How to Be Motivated to Get Down to Work: This post explores how time management, human nature and momentum affect motivation.
  6. Developing Positive Patterns: Improve your life with baby steps by discovering and implementing positive patterns in your lifestyle.
  7. Design a Home Office: Tips for Setting Up Your Work Space: Working from home is great…as long as you can stay motivated. Learn how the design of a home office can affect your productivity.
  8. How to Stay Positive When You Know Your Life Sucks: It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the bad things in our lives. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, learn how to stay positive and motivated to make the changes that will improve your life.
  9. Maintaining Motivation: This post has tips for staying motivated when you want to exercise, set goals, get organized and more.
  10. Free Tools to Manage New Year’s Resolutions: Lifehacker’s set of online tools will help you manage your New Year’s resolutions all year round.

GTD Posts

David Allen’s Getting Things Done philosophy has helped countless individuals and businesses become more productive and successful. Check out the following posts for tips on staying motivated and organized, whether at home, in the office or on vacation.

  1. Getting Started with "Getting Things Done": 43 Folders posts this beginner’s guide to the GTD philosophy.
  2. David Allen Speeds Up by Slowing Down: Lifehacker explores David Allen’s method of emptying the mind of useless information so that we can "slow down and think," eventually resulting in a faster, more productive work day.
  3. How to: fix Leaks in Your GTD System: If you’ve noticed a few holes in your implementation of GTD, don’t give up. Read this article to discover remedies for all kinds of GTD leaks.
  4. Are Your Lists Really Complete?: Learning how to create effective lists is one of the basic principles of GTD. Check out this post for tips on how to make sure you’re maximizing each of your daily lists.
  5. GTDInbox: Read all about this Gmail app that coordinates your inbox with GTD principles.
  6. 17 Interviews with GTD Master, David Allen: Lifeclever puts together this list of 17 interviews with David Allen for expert tips and advice from the GTD master himself.
  7. A Guide to Getting Things Done: This overview of David Allen and the GTD system is a helpful guide for anyone wanting to learn productivity and motivational tips.
  8. Geek to Live: Getting Things Done with Google Notebook: This tutorial shows readers how to use Google Notebook according to GTD principles.
  9. The GTD FAQ: If you have questions about starting or maintaining a GTD system, use this FAQ guide to find answers.
  10. Massive GTD Resource List: Zen Habits publishes this resource guide of GTD-related links to connect you to all things GTD, from books to blogs to tools and software.

Fitness

Getting into shape and losing weight is a popular New Year’s resolution. Read this list for tips on how to stick to your workout and diet routines for good.

  1. Fitness Programs: Staying Motivated: After you’ve made the decision to join a gym or start a running club, how do you make sure you stick with the program? This post from the Mayo Clinic gives great tips on staying motivated.
  2. How to Stay Motivated to Exercise: Follow this simple guide from eHow.com for tips on sticking to your plan to get fit.
  3. 8 Mistakes that can Wreck Your Fitness Plan: Check out this list of things not to do when starting a new fitness routine. You’ll find out how to beat burnout, stay motivated and more.
  4. Exercise and Cold Weather: This post shows readers how to "stay motivated, fit and safe" during exercise, even when the weather is freezing cold.
  5. Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity: If you’re still not convinced that exercising will affect your body in a healthy, beneficial way, read this post to find out how simple exercises can improve your mood, fight chronic diseases and help you sleep better.
  6. Offbeat Ways to Eat Better, Exercise More: If you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan out there, read this post for creative ideas on how to burn extra calories and reinvent your menu.
  7. Gyminee Blog: Gyminee’s online fitness and nutrition tracker keeps your goals on track by helping you easily manage schedules and more online. Check out their blog for product updates, the Entrepreneurs of the Week specials and featured chats on the group forum.
  8. Staying Motivated: This post gives tips on staying motivated, even when you’ve reached a plateau in your fitness program or when you don’t notice results as quickly as you’d hoped.
  9. Sick of the Gym? Find Your Sport: If you’re having trouble sticking to your fitness plan, you might need a change of scenery. Use this guide as a resource for finding what sport or activity gets you moving.
  10. 13 Fitness Tips to Stay Motivated and Work Out Effectively: Buzzle.com posts this itemized list to give readers an approachable way to conquer their exercise obstacles.

Health

From battles with stress to overeating, these posts help readers manage their health issues in a positive way.

  1. 9 Hidden Reasons to Stay Motivated: If the skinny pictures from your past aren’t keeping you motivated any longer, take a look at this list of different inspiration ideas for losing weight.
  2. Healthy Recipes: The Mayo Clinic offers up lots of healthy recipes for heart-healthy, meatless, diabetes and other special diets.
  3. Your Diabetes Diet: Stay Motivated by Breaking Down the Barriers: Anyone with diabetes, especially those who develop the condition later in life, can experience set backs when trying to stick with a diabetes-friendly diet. This post helps you deal with barriers like financial limitations, social stigmas and more so that you can continue to put your health first.
  4. 11 Things Children Can Teach You About Weight Loss: Find out how a child’s outlook on life can help you lose weight. Items include "everything can be a game" and "it’s always more fun with friends around."
  5. Eight Ways to Beat Stress: Discovery Health provides readers with eight effective ways to beat stress so that you can use more energy on realizing your goals.
  6. 19 Hacks to Stay Healthy at Your Workstation: While most of us have good intentions when it comes to taking care of ourselves, our resolutions leave us as soon as we walk into the office each day. Read this post for 19 ideas on how to continue being healthy and energetic even when you’re at work.
  7. How to Stay Clean After Drug Rehab: Entering the real world after spending time in drug rehab is frightening. If you’re nervous about relapsing or you want to help a friend who’s leaving rehab, take a look at this post for ideas on staying clean.
  8. Teenagers: How to Stay Healthy: Teenagers sometimes don’t believe that the health choices they make today can affect their bodies in the long term. This post details the ways in which smoking, vaccines and sex can be risky even when you’re young.
  9. Top 10 Ways to Stay Motivated: This post has great tips for staying motivated while on a diet.
  10. How to Fight Depression and Anxiety: Depression often leads to apathy, making it difficult to pull yourself out and start living life. This post has ideas on staying focused on the fight against depression and anxiety.

Spiritual

Whatever your religious background, finding ways to nurture your spirit can help boost the motivation you’re looking for in other areas of your life.

  1. Feng Shui Your Life: Consider discovering the elements of feng shui to promote peace, harmony and energy in your life. This page will connect you to tips on arranging your office, bedroom and entire lifestyle according to feng shui.
  2. The Purpose of Yoga: Motivation for Better Health: This article documents the ways that yoga can unite the mind, body and spirit to increase productivity and motivation.
  3. Motivating Your Spiritual Side: This post gives tips on how to improve your own personal spirituality like "practice focusing more on others" and volunteering and practicing mediation or prayer.
  4. Avoiding Spiritual Complacency: Christians may want to read this post to find out how they can improve their spiritual lives by continuing to challenge themselves and learn more about their faith.
  5. DailySpiritualGuide.com: This website publishes daily spiritual messages to inspire and motivate readers of all faiths. Click through the posts to find one that speaks to you or submit your favorite message to share your inspiration with others.
  6. The Benefits of Meditation: Tips and Techniques: Meditation can help you stay focused on achieving your goals by clearing your mind of harmful, distracting thoughts and energies. This post gives lots of tips for practicing effective meditation.
  7. Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Quieting the Mind: The Zen Habits blog eases beginners into meditation by sharing tips like "make it a formal practice" and "notice small adjustments" in mood and movement.
  8. How to Stay Focused and Live Life Wholesomely: New Age Today gives advice on how to stay focused through self-love and self-discipline.
  9. Finding Daily Inspiration in Difficult Times: No matter what goal you’re working towards, you’ll experience bad days along with the good. Christians can stay motivated by reading this article about "reaching out to God everyday."
  10. Stay Focused with Essential Oils: Lifestyle "change expert" Laura Lewis shares with readers the kinds of oils and scents that promote motivation and productivity to help you stay focused.

Career-Oriented

Whether you’re in the market for a new gig or just need some motivation to show up each day, check out these inspirational posts.

  1. Job Satisfaction: Strategies to Make Work More Gratifying: Push yourself to find the meaning in your job by reading this post from Revolution Health.
  2. What Does Your Career Mean to You?: Find out which professional field you’re meant to conquer with the tips and information provided in this post.
  3. How to Survive (and Thrive!) in a Job You Hate: Though it’s tempting to walk out every time your boss ignores your hard work, quitting without a plan isn’t a good idea. This post helps you survive your nightmare job by reminding yourself why you’re there in the first place and having realistic expectations.
  4. Finding Balance and Meaning in a Nine-to-Five World: Tips like "stay young" and "work in a state of awareness" help readers find the meaning in their jobs and learn how to create balance around work and their personal lives.
  5. Beginning Your Job Search: Getting stuck in a frustrating job search is maddening. Don’t lose your motivation, though, by taking any old job that comes your way. Use the tips and resources at WomenForHire.com to keep you focused on the career you really want.
  6. Success for Short Timers: How to Stay Motivated While Moving On: If you’ve already decided to move to a new city or make a career change, how do you stay motivated at your current job? Let this guide help you show up to work on time each morning without being miserable.
  7. How to Be Bulletproof in the Outsourced Economy: Employees lose jobs to international outsourcing everyday. Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, learn how to protect yourself against outsourcing and boost your overall job performance.
  8. How to Stay Sane During Your Contracting Career: Signing on as a contractor usually means you get to create your own schedule, pick and choose clients and maybe even work from home. On the other hand, contractors miss out on regular benefits and have to figure out their tax situation on their own. Read this post for tips on staying sane during your stint as a contractor.
  9. Find a Job: Create a Job Search Plan: Staying motivated during the job search is tough. Make a solid job search plan to help you stay on schedule and achieve your career goals.
  10. How to Resolve Conflicts with Your Co-Workers: The Career Journal from the Wall Street Journal offers advice for professionals who run into trouble dealing with irritating co-workers.
  11. 17 Ways to Survive Your New Boss: Just when you were getting comfortable with your office space, work schedule and job responsibilities, your department welcomes a new supervisor to boss you around. Learn how to survive the change with these helpful tips.

Setting Goals

Learning how to set the right kind of goals will get you started off on the right foot. By understanding how realistic expectations can affect your motivation, you’ll work your way down your to-do lists in no time.

  1. Goal-Tracking Tools: This post gives different ideas for creating your own goal-tracking tools to help you stay on track.
  2. How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve: Steve Pavlina’s post includes a detailed guide for setting realistic goals in a timely manner.
  3. How to Set Goals: wikiHow: If you want a basic how-to guide to explain the easiest ways to set goals, check out this tutorial from wikiHow.
  4. Goal Setting: Why Should I Set Goals?: Setting goals "can provide motivation, persistence and desire" so that you can more effectively achieve the results you want, whether in your career, fitness routine or personal life.
  5. How to Set Goals for the New Year: Learn the difference between short-term and long-term goals, the problem with setting goals that are too big and tips for setting your own goals, all in this post.
  6. 10 Questions to Help You Set Achievable Goals: Questions and activities like "write down 3 things you love" and what do you want less of" in life will help you set appropriate, life-changing goals.
  7. Tools to Help You Focus and Concentrate on Your Goals and Objectives in Business and Employment: This post outlines why it’s important to track your goals during each step of the process. The end of the article provides links to helpful tools and websites that can help you organize your professional goals.
  8. Setting Personal Goals: Take a minute to think about the last time you focused all of your energy on bettering yourself. If you haven’t reevaluated your goals since college, it’s probably time to examine your priorities and learn how to set new personal goals.
  9. 11 Goal Setting Software and Tools: This list of free tools will help you track goals from start to finish.
  10. How to Set Financial Goals for Retirement: If you need some extra motivation to understand how saving the $50 you could have spent on shoes will affect your retirement, take a look at this simple guide for setting up a long-term budget.

Finding Inspiration

Once you’ve found what drives you, you can keep going back to your inspiration every time you lose motivation. Let these guides help you discover your secret inspiration.

  1. Your Best Self: Find Inspiration: When in doubt, ask Oprah. This special section features testimonials of successful women who found inspiration when they needed it most.
  2. How to Find Inspiration to Write Everyday: Bloggers will find this article useful, as it has great ideas for finding motivation and subject matter to create frequent postings.
  3. Motivational Quotes and Inspirational Quotes: This collection of quotes from About.com features messages about creativity, health, relationships, the military and more.
  4. 8 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration: If you’re involved in a creative project but keep losing inspiration and motivation, try one of these eight tips for bringing it back.
  5. How to Find Inspiration for Song Writing: This post focuses on finding inspiration for writing songs, but its ideas are useful for all kinds of writing, from editorials to poems.
  6. MotivateUs.com: This website is full of inspirational quotes, stories and articles designed to motivate all kinds of people.
  7. What Drives You to Success?: This list of "10 of the most compelling "drivers" that account for the correlation between success and excess" will help you put your priorities in order.
  8. What Drives You?: Take this fun test from Tickle to find out your true inspiration.
  9. Where do Writers Find Inspiration: This posting from Helium.com lists different ways that writers find inspiration. The tips are useful whether you’re involved in a writing project or not.
  10. Blogging Tips: Hundreds of Resources for Finding Content for Your Blog: Lorelle from WordPress lists all kinds of places to find inspiration so that you can continue posting on your blog.

Discovering Yourself

These posts help readers find out what motivates them by helping them create personalized tactics for achieving goals and more.

  1. Identify and Live Your Personal Values: HR reporter Susan M. Heathfield coaches readers on how to identify the values that are most important to them. Because "values impact every aspect of your life," you’ll have a much better understanding of yourself, which will help you achieve your goals and stay focused.
  2. Achieving Peak Motivation: Steve Pavlina’s belief that polarity drives productivity and motivation requires a self-examination so that you can better understand what drives you. Read this post for more tips on how to achieve and maximize peak motivation.
  3. Improve Your Self-Confidence in 15 Minutes: This posting shares with readers secrets for boosting self-confidence so that you can win back your motivation.
  4. Do You Know What You Really Want?: You’ll never stay motivated if you’re chasing after someone else’s dream or are pursuing a lifestyle just because everyone else told you to. Find out where your heart is, and make an investment in what you love.
  5. Our Limitations are Self Imposed: Dave Cheong maintains that our limitations and labels are self imposed," and he cautions, "do not let your labels draw boundaries around who you are, what you can do and how you behave."
  6. How to Stay Confident in Your Decision to be a WAHM: Work-at-home-moms who need reassurance that they’ve made the right personal and professional choices should check out this article.
  7. How to Discover What You Really Want from a New Career: Before making the switch, read this article to help you determine what you really want from a new career.
  8. 10 Effective Ways to Stay Motivated: Staying motivated is a personal process. Learn how to stay focused by reading this informative post.
  9. Map Your Accomplishments to Stay Motivated: By tracking every progression and recession, you’ll learn a lot about what drives you, what makes you stumble and more.

Fighting Obstacles

From social constraints to negativity, distractions can ruin your plans to stay motivated. These guides show you how to stay on track no matter what comes your way.

  1. How to Stop Complaining: One of the biggest obstacles in staying motivated is complaining. Learn how to challenge your destructive energy and create a new, positive outlook.
  2. Succeed After Failure: After a series of failed attempts, you might be tempted to trade in all of your hard work for a pity party. Instead of giving up, check out this article for tips on how to succeed after failure.
  3. Getting to Now: How to Beat the Procrastination Habit: This popular post gives tips like "if it comes to mind, then do it" and "use a timer to bring you back to reality" to help you beat procrastination.
  4. Eliminate Procrastination: This article helps readers understand the causes of procrastination so that you can effectively eliminate it from your life.
  5. Low Carb Restaurant Eating: Learn how to eat healthy even when dining out with this great guide from About.com.
  6. 18 Ways to Stay Focused at Work: Learn how to avoid temptations and other pitfalls at work with the ideas provided here.
  7. Stress and Self Sabotage: Are You Creating Additional Mental Stress for Yourself?: Stop sabotaging your efforts to achieve your goals by checking out this post from About.com.
  8. How to Stay Positive When Business is Down: If the economy’s in trouble, there’s not much you can do about frugal customers and overpriced supplies. You can, however, focus on the positive "concentrat[ing] on the opportunities you still have" and "surround[ing] yourself with positive people."
  9. How to Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up: Whatever you do, don’t let yourself give up! Take a look at this guide to help you beat a negative attitude.
  10. How to Stay Motivated Forever: Once you’ve reached your goals, how do you stay motivated so that you don’t regain the weight, lose your business or become less productive? This post shares secrets for staying motivated forever.

Rookie Mistakes: 15 Blunders New Freelancers Make and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 1:58am by Site Administrator

Like any novice in the business world, the beginning freelancer is bound to make a few flubs along the way to professional success. After all, nobody is perfect. Most mistakes are harmless learning experiences that help you in your path to becoming a better businessperson, but there are some mistakes that can really make your life difficult, and that you might be better off having never made. Here are a few of the most common, and sometimes most painful mistakes that freelancers make, and some tips on how you can try to avoid them, or just make them less harmful on your path to freelancing success.

  1. Quitting your 9 to 5 without any preparation. While your cubicle may feel more like a prison than a workspace, you shouldn’t just run out on it without any prior preparation. However bad your current job, ending up without a steady income and wholly unprepared for managing your own business is much worse. Before you take the leap into freelancing, make sure you have enough money saved to keep you afloat, at least a rough business plan, some solid contacts and a good understanding of where you’ll fit into your particular market. This will make it much easier on both you and your finances to make the transition from the corporate world to working for yourself.
  2. Working for less than you deserve. One of the biggest mistakes that new freelancers make is not charging clients what their time is actually worth. While you don’t want to charge so much that clients balk at your rates, you also don’t want to be forced to work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet because you aren’t charging enough. You can find a happy medium by researching what the going rate is for freelancers in your field and using that figure to gauge what you should charge. If you’ve got load of experience and a killer portfolio, you might warrant more than the average, while if you’re just starting out in your field you’ll likely have to work your way up to the higher echelons of work.
  3. Choosing the wrong clients. Something freelancers will quickly learn is that not every client is a good fit for your abilities and some may even test the limits of your patience and sanity. Sometimes the money made on a project simply isn’t worth the headaches that come along with it, and can result in you working more hours for less money than you should be, and ultimately being unhappy. Before working with clients, consider their working style, how difficult they will be to work with, whether or not they’ll pay on time, their particular market and how well these things fit with your needs. When choosing clients you have just as much of a right to interview them as they do you. Ask lots of questions and see if you can do a few projects on a trial basis before committing long-term.
  4. Spending too much on equipment you don’t need yet. It can be really tempting to give yourself a sweet office setup, especially since you’re going to be spending so much time in it, but investing in brand new computers, copiers, scanners and other equipment before you’ve got the workload to absorb the cost can cast a shadow over the success of your business before it has even gotten off of the ground. You can avoid overstepping your budget by only investing in the equipment that is required to do your day to day business. Once you build up your clientele, and your need for more office equipment, you can then make an investment.
  5. Working all alone. Just because you work at home and aren’t surrounded with coworkers doesn’t mean you have to completely isolate yourself. New freelancers are prone to take the term "going it alone" a little too literally when in actuality, you don’t have to do it all by yourself at all. Avoid feeling isolated by seeking out communities and resources for freelancers in every field to learn how to get started, network, and make positive and lasting connections with clients. They can also be a great place to get feedback on your ideas and vent when clients are making your life difficult.
  6. Not researching your market. When you’re first starting out and looking for new clients, it can be a daunting task and you can often make pitches for projects that are less than stellar because you haven’t done the appropriate research on your client. Approaching someone asking for work without really knowing their needs, desires, or how the work you will do will really benefit your client isn’t going to win you much business. Avoid this common pitfall by researching your clients thoroughly before ever even attempting to work with them. Check out their website, see what their company is about, and what their long term goals are. Then you can more accurately assess what you have that will be of value to them, and increase your chances of getting hired.
  7. Failing to be realistic about business expenses. Many freelancers make the mistake of underestimating their business expenses and how much they’ll really need to stay afloat during the preliminary stages of their business venture. You’ll need equipment, computer programs, advertising, websites, domain names, business cards, and loads of other small expenses that can add up quickly. Don’t let this scare you away from freelancing, just be honest with yourself about the potential costs you’ll face when you decide to pursue it. After all, you don’t want to end up not being able to afford to put a roof over your head. Before you make the transition to freelancing, carefully lay out your current expenses, as well as any additional expenses you think you’ll encounter when going into business. It’s better to overestimate slightly rather than underestimate, as unexpected expenses always seem to come up when you’re short on cash. Once you have this estimate, you can figure out how much you’ll need in the bank before you start your business.
  8. Not educating yourself on the basics. Even if you’ve been in your particular line of business for a while, there may be things that are different when freelancing that you might not expect. New freelancers can be taken advantage of if they don’t take the time to learn about how to work with clients on a one on one basis. For instance, when you’re drafting or signing a contract with a client, will you know what makes a good contract and what makes one you should avoid? You can avoid getting tangled up in messy legal battles or stuck with the client from hell by taking the time to learn about contracts before you ever have the need to sign one. The same holds true for managing your business finances, taxes and marketing. If you’re at a loss, try asking others in the business or take a class online from the Small Business Administration.
  9. Not keeping set business hours. Now that you make your own hours, you can work whenever you want, right? While that might be the case, if you want to maintain your personal life you might want to lay down some ground rules with yourself and your clients. Without set hours you could end up working all hours of the night not only to get things done, but dealing with client calls and last minute changes, which is probably not what you had in mind when you decided to become a freelancer. By setting hours, you will create a time when you’ll force yourself to sit down and work, with few interruptions from friends and family, and later have time to spend with friends and family with few interruptions from work.
  10. Taking on too many projects at once. When you finally start finding work, it can be tempting to take every client and assignment that comes your way in an attempt to build a more solid portfolio and get your name out there in the freelancing world. While the money may be good, chances are pretty good that you won’t get much repeat business this way. You’ll be so busy juggling projects you won’t have time to give each one the attention it deserves and your clients may start to feel like they aren’t important to you. Avoid stretching yourself too thin by only taking on what you can actually handle, no matter how tempting those additional projects might be. You don’t want to get overwhelmed and burnt out in your first few months of freelancing.
  11. Getting too personal. Every once in awhile as a freelancer you will have a client that you simply love. They’re easy to work with, you get along great, and have a great rapport. But it’s very easy to fall into the habit of becoming a little too personal with your client and that can ultimately make working with them much more complicated. Feelings can become hurt at decisions that are simply business related, or you can start to appear unprofessional. You can avoid this by keeping your correspondence friendly, but professional, and making sure that while you’re working together, your relationship is strictly business.
  12. Having only one income stream. For new freelancers, figuring out how to make ends meet with assignments from clients can be difficult. If you find a client that’s willing to give you continued work, that’s great, but don’t stop looking for other work just because you’ve found a reliable client. After all, if your client goes out of business or suddenly no longer has a need for your services, you could be left out in the cold, quite literally. It’s better to rely on a few different clients for your income, so that even if you lose one, you have something to fall back on. When you’re starting out that might be difficult, so consider taking on a part time job to supplement your freelance work, just in case.
  13. Allowing yourself to slack off. Everyone has days when they wake up and simply don’t feel like doing a thing, and as a freelancer you are perfectly capable of taking advantage of that feeling and curling up on the couch all day to watch reruns of Full House and eat junk food until your stomach hurts. And every once in awhile, that’s totally fine. But a little slacking can turn into a lot, and soon you’re not making money and not getting work done on time. It’s fine to allow yourself the flexibility to work with your natural productivity highs and lows, but at the end of the day, you have to get your work done. Push yourself to make deadlines, please clients, and further your business. Once your hard work has paid off, reward yourself with a few days of guilt-free slacking.
  14. Not communicating effectively. This isn’t a problem just for freelancers, but for people from all areas of business, and it can have a big impact on your success at running your own business. In order to deliver a good product, you’ll need to know what questions to ask, how to conduct yourself in conversations, and how to not lose your temper or get overly emotional when your work is criticized. And in order to make sure that you’re happy, you’ll need to know how to ask for the pay you want and terms you can live with. While you won’t become a savvy, confident businessperson overnight you can give yourself a leg up on communication skills by tying to be honest, clear and professional in all of your communications with clients. Don’t leave room for interpretation and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure.
  15. Failing to create a business plan. It’s very easy to go into freelancing without any idea of where your business will end up in six months or a year. You may be the fly by the seat of your pants type, but you’re really doing yourself a disservice not to mention taking a risk when you fail to plan for the future of your business. Figure out who you are and where you want your business to go before jumping in or you could find yourself way off track when you reflect on it after a few months in the field. Having a basic outline of what expenses you expect to incur, what your target market will be, how you will find clients, how much you’ll charge, and a plethora of other issues should be addressed before you ever take the leap to avoid unhappy consequences later on.

Even armed with the knowledge of what to avoid, you’re bound to make a few mistakes in your freelancing career. Don’t let it get you down-everyone has been there at one time or another. So long as you learn from what you’ve done, and improve for the future, there are few mistakes that you can’t recover and come back even more successful from.

102 Ways to Slow Down Aging

Friday, January 18, 2008 at 4:21pm by Site Administrator

Even the young at heart can’t escape the slow progression into old age. This inevitability doesn’t have to be an entirely bad thing, however, as with each one of those wrinkles and gray hairs comes a little bit of wisdom. While you can’t stop your body and mind from aging, you can help to slow down the process and keep yourself in the best health possible. Here are a few tips to help keep you healthy as you age.

Skincare

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and the one that frequently is hit hardest by your lifestyle. Here are some tips on helping your skin to age gracefully.

  1. Drink plenty of water. Find a real fountain of youth in a glass of water. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out. Water is also essential to maintaining elasticity and suppleness and helps prevent dryness, making your skin look young and fresh longer.
  2. Always use sunscreen. Few things age your skin more quickly than overexposure to sunlight. Any time you’re going outside, make sure to apply sunscreen to your face and arms and try to avoid extended exposure during the hottest parts of the day in the afternoon.
  3. Reduce your exposure to pollution. The air is full of harmful toxins and chemicals that can damage your skin, especially if you live in a big city or sit through traffic jams every day. Try to reduce the amount of time you expose yourself to pollutants.
  4. Use an anti-aging moisturizer. Moisture is important to maintaining young skin, so make sure to keep yours looking as good as it can by using a moisturizer daily. Get one with an added bonus of anti-aging ingredients.
  5. Exfoliate. Get rid of the surface layer of dead skin on your face by exfoliating. As you get older, it will become increasing important to slough off these dead cells. It will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and help your skin to look younger and more glowing.
  6. Stop all that frowning. Stress affects all parts of your body, your skin included. Continued frowning, furrowing of brows, and just general unhappiness can cause you to age prematurely.
  7. Choose a good cleanser. Keeping your face clean is an integral part of keeping it looking young. Use a gentle cleanser to wash dirt, pollutants, and other impurities away.
  8. Wear sunglasses. Squinting into the sunlight won’t do your eyes or your skin any favors. When you go out in the sun, toss on a pair of your favorite shades to save your eyesight and avoid worsening crow’s feet and fine lines.
  9. Don’t use straws. Believe it or not, the pursing of the facial muscles used to drink from a straw can cause wrinkles, just like smoking. So drink your beverages straight from a glass.
  10. Avoid harsh chemicals. The harsh chemicals in many cleansers and facial products can dry out skin and make you look older than you are. Keep your skin looking young by avoiding chemical laden products. Go organic or use products with a more gentle recipe.
  11. Take some lecithin. Lecithin is substance that is found in the cells of all living organisms. When taken as a supplement, it can help soften skin and help other skin preserving elements better penetrate the surface.
  12. Use products with natural oils. Unless you have oily skin naturally, using products with natural oils added can help your skin look more moisturized and supple. They can also help hold in moisture and keep your skin from drying out.
  13. Pay special attention to skin around the eyes. The skin around your eyes is more delicate and sensitive than that on the rest of your body, so you should treat it with more care than the rest of your face. Use products that contain gentle, non-irritating compounds that are oil free and that will plump and add vitamins to your skin.
  14. Try a moisturizer containing retinol. Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it’s used in a variety of anti-aging products. Applied topically, retinol should increase the rate of skin turnover and collagen production, giving skin a more youthful appearance

Lifestyle

How you choose to live your life day-to-day can have a big impact in your health in years to come. Here are some ways you can change your lifestyle to keep feeling young.

  1. Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep may be doing more harm than just making you groggy at your morning meetings. It can also accelerate aging by hindering your metabolism and hormone production, which can put you at higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and even memory loss. While everyone’s sleep needs are different, average people need about eight hours to feel fully rested.
  2. Reduce stress. Everyone experiences a little stress now and again, but chronic, long-term stress can age you prematurely and even make you sick. Recent studies have shown that stress shortens the life span of cells, thereby shortening your life span as well. Cut back on the stressors in your life to stay healthier and happier.
  3. Have sex. Most people don’t need much additional motivation to engage in sexual activity, but an added bonus is that it could be helping you stay young as well. Sex boosts endorphins, triggers the release of growth hormones that improve bone strength, and has even been shown to slow aging and reduce wrinkles.
  4. Keep laughing. The ability to find humor even when things are getting you down could be a key factor in helping you look and feel younger. Find ways to put a smile on your face every day.
  5. Quit smoking. You’ve heard it time and time again, but it bears repeating: stop smoking. The sooner the better. Smoking accelerates aging, causes wrinkling, and makes you look and feel older.
  6. Treat your body like a temple. You only get one body to work with, so treat yours with respect. Eat well, exercise, and avoid putting harmful substances into your body. It may not give you eternal youth, but it sure won’t hurt.
  7. Be an optimist. Research has shown that those with a positive outlook on life actually live longer and feel like they have more productive lives than those with more negative outlooks. Those with optimistic dispositions are less prone to illness, too. So the next time you feel yourself slipping into a foul mood, count your blessings and take a look at the bright side.
  8. Turn off the TV. Sitting in front of the TV might by entertaining, but it’s not challenging your body or your mind. Instead of spending your evenings watching the latest reality shows, take a walk, get some exercise, or just talk to your friends and family.
  9. Keep a daily schedule. Getting into a routine of when you go to bed, get up, eat, and exercise can help you feel happier and healthier. It can help you stick to healthy habits and help your body get into a reliable rhythm.
  10. Be flexible. You’ll save yourself loads of stress and maybe even a few gray hairs if you adopt a more flexible attitude about day-to-day events. Things may not always turn out how you planned, but being able to work with these changes instead of against them can help take a great weight off your shoulders.
  11. Nurture positive relationships. Human beings are inherently social animals, and part of our well-being depends on having others we can rely on and relate to in our lives. Cultivate relationships with those who share similar outlooks, hobbies, and a love of life as you do.
  12. Go to the doctor. If you are having unexplained pains, unusual symptoms or just don’t feel right, getting yourself to a doctor promptly could help you out in the long run. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should get yearly physicals and exams as well. Getting early medical treatment is key to curing many diseases.
  13. Don’t be a worrywart. Meditating on things that are wrong or that are troubling you can stress you out, making you get less sleep, feel bad and generally aging you more quickly. Do what you can to better situations that worry you, then let them go. Worrying about things you can’t change won’t help, and the stress will show in your face.
  14. Brush your teeth. Keeping your teeth healthy not only makes you look younger but can help you more easily eat nutritious foods. Brushing and flossing and seeing a dentist regularly can help keep your teeth in good chomping condition.
  15. Check your cholesterol. While all cholesterol isn’t bad, having an excess amount of it in the body can injure your blood vessels and make you more prone to heart attacks and strokes. Have your levels checked by your doctor regularly so you can take measures to correct this problem
  16. Slow down. You might feel like you need to rush around to get everything done, but the constant stress of an overly busy lifestyle can take its toll on your body and mind. Take a moment to slow down, stop, and appreciate the smaller things in life every once in awhile.
  17. Enjoy the ride. Getting older is a fact of life, more inevitable than even those pesky taxes. So, do what you can to make your journey comfortable and enjoy the new experiences that come along with every stage of your life.
  18. Stay young at heart. You might be getting older, but you hold off on feeling older by keeping in touch with your inner child. Don’t lose your sense of wonder or enjoyment at the world around you.
  19. Take a vacation. There isn’t much point in getting that raise or putting in those extra hours of work if you don’t get to enjoy the benefits. Give yourself a break now and then to rest and rejuvenate. Your body and mind will appreciate it.
  20. Find someone to love. Whether it’s your spouse, a child, your parents, a friend or even a pet, having a person you love and that loves you back can have an incredibly positive impact on your health and well being.
  21. Don’t let misfortunes take over. Bad things happen in everyone’s life, but don’t dwell on the negative. Give yourself a chance to grieve, be sad, or mourn things you’ve lost, but don’t let that become your entire life. Deal with them and move on to happier experiences.
  22. Start now. The best time to start working on keeping yourself feeling younger is right now. No matter how old you are it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life that will affect your well being and overall health.
  23. Lose some weight. Obesity has been found to greatly accelerate the aging process and make you look much older than you actually are. Not everyone can be supermodel thin, but everyone can reach a weight that is healthy for them.
  24. Get a pet. Pets do more than just keep you company. Pet owners tend to visit the doctor less, recover from heart attacks more quickly, and have fewer problems with depression and high blood pressure.
  25. Be careful. Conscientious people have been shown to live longer than those that are more careless and impulsive. They’re also less prone to Alzheimer’s. It may not be in your nature, but it could be to your benefit to put more thought and consideration into your decisions.
  26. Get checked for diabetes. Many people, especially those with a family history of the disease, can become at risk for diabetes as they get older. If you feel that you might be exhibiting some of the symptoms, make a trip to your doctor to find out so you can begin working to reverse some of the effects of the disease.
  27. Learn your family history. Family history plays a big role in whether or not you’ll develop a wide variety of illnesses. Find out what your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents had if anything so you can get tested and plan accordingly to reduce your chances of getting ill yourself.
  28. Be proactive. As you grow older, it’s very important to get checked for colon, breast, testicular and cervical cancers, among others. Make annual trips to your doctor to undergo screening. Finding out early on can help you more effectively fight the disease.

Diet

Traditional wisdom states that we are what we eat, so make sure what you take in will make you healthy. Here are some foods and diet tips to help you look and feel healthier.

  1. Limit drinking. A glass of wine now and then won’t do you much harm, but drinking to excess can catch up with you. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day to keep your liver and heart healthy.
  2. Have an apple a day. An apple a day really might keep the doctor away. New research has shown that the anti-oxidants and flavinoids in apple can help prevent Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases as well as help prevent cancer and diabetes.
  3. Cut out excess fat. Cutting out bad fats in your diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and many other diseases. If you’re going to eat fats, try to get more of the good, unsaturated kind.
  4. Up your fiber intake. Complex carbohydrates like fibers found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and bran can have more than a positive affect on your digestive system. They can also help you feel more full, improve control of diabetes, and even lower cholesterol.
  5. Have a little vitamin A. Vitamin A is an integral part of cell restoration and growth of new skin cells, but it is a vitamin that needs to be taken in moderation as too much can actually cause damage to internal organs. Foods high in vitamin A are milk, egg yolks, carrots and dark leafy-green vegetables.
  6. Eat your veggies. Studies have shown that eating vegetables can help slow the rate of cognitive decline. Eating about 3 servings of veggies a day can help reduce your rate of decline by up to 40%. So make sure to include vegetables as part of your daily diet.
  7. Get your organosulfurs. Foods high in organosulfurs include garlic, onions, leeks, chives, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is believed that these foods, and the organosulfurs they contain help the body to fight off cancer, heart disease and stroke.
  8. Eat breakfast. Start your day the right way with a healthy breakfast. Eating more calories in the morning and during the middle of the day leaves less unburned calories when you go to bed, leading to less weight gain, and a healthier life for you.
  9. Enjoy tea time. Green tea is rich in antioxidants which can help fight the damaging and aging effect of free radical oxygen in your body. Have a cup a day to relax and get your vitamins in liquid form.
  10. Eat foods rich in antioxidants. While you may not be consciously aware of it, your body is under constant attack from free radicals, molecules that are generated during the process of oxidation. Studies have shown that substances that fight these molecules, known as antioxidants, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve arthritis, reduce wrinkles, and even improve brain function.
  11. Make sure you have enough calcium. Calcium is a key component to strong bones and teeth, two things that you definitely don’t want deteriorating. Keep them strong by taking calcium supplements or by getting your calcium through foods rich in it.
  12. Try organics. Don’t take in any chemicals you don’t need to. Pesticides, hormones, and herbicides can have unpredictable effects on your body, even in small quantities. When possible, buy organic produce to reduce your exposure to these.
  13. Make eating enjoyable. Just because you aren’t loading up on fast food and cookies at each meal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy eating. Eating healthy should be an experience that’s not just good for you but delicious as well, as good food is one of the great pleasures in life. Even the most adamant of veggie haters can find a way to eat them, so try out new things and see what works for you.
  14. Get some phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, like those found in broccoli, other green veggies and fish are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation, when it’s chronic, can damage arteries, nerve cells, and ultimately your immune system as a whole, so battle it by eating healthy.
  15. Take a vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E is a powerful age-fighting antioxidant, but one that isn’t easy to get from diet alone. Try taking a supplement containing the valuable vitamin to help you fight off the early signs of aging, especially when taken in conjunction with an exercise program.
  16. Consume more fish. Fish are full of omega-3s, which are great for helping keep your heart healthy. Societies with high levels of fish consumption have much lower levels of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Health organizations recommend 2 servings a week.
  17. Have some red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance that has been linked to reduction in the risk of cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. While you’d have to drink quite a bit of wine to get the full benefits of this substance, having a glass or two at dinner has still been shown to reduce the risk of several heart related illnesses by thinning the blood and reducing the risk of dangerous clots.
  18. Cut back on the caffeine. A little bit of caffeine here and there won’t hurt you, but finishing off a whole pot of it by yourself on a daily basis just might. Caffeine might give you a pick-me-up in the morning, but consuming too much can put you at risk of heart problems, kidney stones, and can decrease your mineral absorption. You don’t have to cut it out of your diet altogether, but limiting yourself can help prevent many age related illnesses.
  19. Have some dark chocolate. Research at Tufts University has shown that dark chocolate may help lower your blood pressure, not to mention that it contains beneficial antioxidants that can help slow down the aging process. So the next time you’re craving a sweet treat, grab a bit of dark chocolate and indulge guilt free.
  20. Take vitamin C. It’s not only an apple a day that can help keep you young, but an orange might just do the job as well. New research has shown that people who ate foods rich in vitamin C had fewer wrinkles than those that didn’t. While many factors influence wrinkling, it can’t hurt to add that glass of orange juice to your morning meal.
  21. Eat whole foods. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates is good for you. These kinds of foods, loaded with phytochemicals, nutrients, and other beneficial substances, can help you make the most of the nutrients you’re taking in and keep those wrinkles at bay.
  22. Eat smart fats. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some are essential to the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Try to avoid the artery clogging kinds of fats, and instead get more omega-3s and unsaturated fats.
  23. Reduce your caloric intake. Studies have shown that restricting your caloric intake can have a big impact on your longevity. Eating less fatty, high calorie food will keep you healthier, improve your heart, and possibly add years to your life.
  24. Eat a superfruit. Superfruits include cranberries, pomegranates, blueberries and acai. They’re loaded with antioxidants and preliminary studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice might reduce the risk or prostate cancer and improve blood flow. And as a bonus, it’s delicious too.
  25. Avoid heavily processed foods. Processed foods are often high in salts, fats and other substances that aren’t great for a nutritious diet. They can raise blood pressure and cause you to put on weight, both things you want to avoid if your goal is feeling young.
  26. Limit sugar intake. Sugar can leech valuable minerals needed to keep your metabolism running smoothly, and can even suppress your immune system. Avoid foods high in processed sugars and you’ll reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.
  27. Embrace the food pyramid. Eating a wide variety of foods is essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind. You don’t have to be a slave to the food pyramid, but do try to use it as a guideline to what you should take in each day. Hate dairy? Get your calcium from a vegetable instead.
  28. Indulge in moderation. There isn’t much point in living out those extra years if you’re not going to enjoy them. Let yourself indulge now and again in things you love but know aren’t the best for you. Having one slice of cheesecake or the occasional fast food dinner isn’t going to ruin your health, so let loose on occasion.
  29. Get your vitamins from food when possible. You might think taking that multivitamin every morning is giving you all the nutrition you need, but you’d be wrong. Often, vitamins and minerals taken in pill form have little impact. You’ll get a much bigger effect from the same substances if you get them from foods instead. You’ll not only be getting the nutrients you need, but also eating healthier.

Exercise

Sitting on the couch isn’t going to help you keep your youthful look or feel, no matter how much you might enjoy it. These are some ways you can break your couch potato ways.

  1. Get in some cardio. Get your heart pumping with a daily cardio workout. Getting your heart rate up through exercise has been shown to slow aging through reducing cholesterol and helping you maintain heart capacity. It can also help you build muscle, burn fat, and generally feel better and more energetic.
  2. Lift weights. Cardio may get the most attention, but weight lifting is just as important to keeping your body from aging prematurely. From 40 onward your body can lose up to a quarter pound of muscle mass per year which can often be replaced with fat instead. You can help prevent this by lifting weights a few times a week which will boost your muscle mass and fight fat at the same time.
  3. Get outside. When you can, get your exercise outdoors. The fresh air will feel great, and the suns ray’s will help your body produce vitamin D, which is essential to good health.
  4. Do yoga. Yoga isn’t just good exercise, it can also help you to reduce stress. Engaging in yoga a few times a week can help reduce wrinkles, slow weight gain, ease pain, and even help you sleep better at night.
  5. Work on your balance. Many people find that as they age, good balance is one of the things that they begin to lose. Work on yours by increasing your strength and taking classes like yoga and pilates that can help you build it up.
  6. Bring a friend. Working out alone can be tedious, so bring a friend along to motivate you and keep you company. You’ll not only get in better shape, but you’ll get valuable and enjoyable social interaction at the same time.
  7. Monitor your lung volume. By the time most people reach 60 they’ve lost over 40 percent of their lung volume. You can get yours tested at your primary physician to see if it needs some improvement. An exercise program that raises your heart rate and gets you breathing hard can help improve lung function and get you some of your lung capacity back.
  8. Keep your body fat low. While you might be focused on lowering your overall weight, what is more important to watch is your percentage of body fat. Extra fat can have negative effects on your overall health, like increasing your risk of arterial clogging and diabetes.
  9. Play sports. Sports aren’t for everyone, but if you have a hard time getting motivated to work out, joining a team can be a great way to make exercising fun and social. Whether you’re playing a quick pick-up game of soccer or shooting hoops in your driveway, every little bit of activity helps you look and feel healthier.
  10. Take a walk. If you don’t feel fit enough to start exercising hardcore right off of the bat, try getting in a quick walk when you can. Even light exercise reduces you chances of getting diabetes, cancer, depression, dementia and wrinkles.
  11. Do some chores. Don’t have time to make it to the gym every day? You can still get in some physical activity by doing some chores around the house. Whether you’re sweeping, scrubbing out the tub or mowing the lawn, you’ll be burning a lot more calories than you would be sitting on the couch.
  12. Dance. Getting exercise doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can also dance your way to feeling young and fit. Grab your significant other or your best friends and dance away. It is good exercise, can reduce stress, and can even be romantic.
  13. Stretch. Loss of flexibility is big reason many people experience so many aches and pains as they get older. Hold on to your youthful range of motion a little bit longer by stretching regularly or engaging in exercises that include it.

Mental Health

Aging can have a big impact on your cognitive abilities, so keep your brain in tip-top shape by trying out a few of these tips.

  1. Do crossword puzzles. Keep your brain in tip-top shape by engaging it daily in puzzle solving activities like a crossword puzzle or sudoku. Using these mental muscles can help improve your recall rate of all kinds of information.
  2. Read a book. Reading not only engages the brain, but it also can be a great way to learn and expand your horizons.
  3. Stay curious. Even the oldest people in the world don’t know everything there is to know about it. Always keep your curiosity about the world around you, as there is always something new to experience and learn.
  4. Never stop learning. One sure way to age your brain is to stop feeding it new information. Whether you learn from books, those around you, or even the Internet, stay engaged with things going on in the world and keep your brain on the top of its game.
  5. Keep things interesting. Don’t let yourself fall into a mental rut. If you feel like you’re living the same day over and over again, then do something to shake things up. Otherwise, you’ll start losing your mental sharpness.
  6. Challenge yourself. One way to make your day to day life more interesting is to constantly give yourself new challenges. Dare your brain to complete a puzzle or finish a short story, anything to keep it from getting dull and bored.
  7. Stay social. People with large social circles and those that feel they have others they can depend on generally enjoy longer lives and better health than those who are more solitary. Even if you only have a few close friends, spending time with them and those that you love can make you feel and think young.
  8. Listen to music. Music isn’t just entertaining, it also helps to engage your brain and improve your mood. The next time you’re sitting around in silence, try turning on your favorite tunes instead.
  9. Don’t live alone. Humans are highly social animals, and as you age, being around others, especially those who stimulate you, can do wonders for your health and well-being.
  10. Take control. Those that feel in control of their lives and their goals are generally more happy and have better mental and physical health than those who feel the opposite. Take control of your life and reap the benefits.
  11. Have a hobby. It’s important to brain health not to become bored or unchallenged by the things in your life, so pick up a hobby if you don’t already have one. Play tennis, build ships in a bottle, or anything else that stimulates your interest and gets you out of your recliner.
  12. Join a club or group. Becoming part of a group, whether it’s with a church, a community center, or just a small book club, can give you valuable social interaction as well as help you learn something new and keep your brain active and engaged.
  13. Increase oxygen flow. Increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain, like what happens during aerobic exercise, has been shown to slow the death and deterioration of brain tissue and in some cases actually causes an increase in brain volume.
  14. Stimulate your senses. Give your five senses a whirl while you still can. Aging naturally causes a decline in the senses, especially those of hearing and sight.
  15. Play a video game. Video games can act like a mental gym for aging minds. Many are full of challenging puzzles, games, and levels that will keep your brain guessing and working hard to find solutions.
  16. Engage in thoughtful conversations. While yelling matches are hardly good for you, a healthy debate is. It challenges your brain to work quickly and keeps you on your toes.
  17. Learn a language. One way to keep your brain busy is to start learning a new language. It will improve your language abilities, let you communicate with new people, make new friends, and give you a sense of accomplishment for having learned something new.
  18. Meditate. The stress hormone cortisol ages the brain, shrinking the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential to memory. Take a few minutes to calm yourself each day, focus on relaxing, and reducing your stress through meditation.

10 Ways Lazy Stupid Coworkers Can Help Boost Your Career

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 1:26am by Site Administrator

Lazy coworkers may seem like a nuisance, but in reality, they offer a number of excellent opportunities to improve your professional life. Whether you’re simply outshining them, or being forced to innovate, those dolts you work with might actually be doing you a favor. Here, we’ll take a look at 10 ways they’re giving you a hand.

  1. You’ll look better in comparison: First and foremost, a lazy coworker makes it easy for you to look good. Assuming you’re not just as lazy and stupid as your coworkers, having a few fools around can raise your perceived value. Yes, your boss really does notice.
  2. Picking up the slack: By doing the work your coworkers are too incompetent to do, you’ll shine and be praised for your willingness to help out the team. Just be sure to make sure this doesn’t go unnoticed.
  3. They’ll motivate you to do better: Chances are, your lazy, stupid coworkers of today were just like you yesterday-they’ve just become accustomed to a routine of slacking and underperforming over the years. You can use their attitude as a motivator to do better things, whether that means working harder to advance yourself, or breaking out of the rat race to create your own business.
  4. They don’t bother recognizing opportunities: If your coworkers are too stupid and lazy to even do their own jobs, you can bet there’s a good chance they wouldn’t notice or care if an opportunity smacked them in the face. That means that you’re more likely to stumble upon and take advantage of a great idea, such as volunteering to head up a new and much needed committee that will grant you high profile success.
  5. You’ll be able to work less: Working with slow coworkers often means that your work tends to trickle in as well. You should be able to run laps around them, freeing yourself up for career-advancing special projects.
  6. Your suggestions for improvements will be noticed: If no one else cares enough to say anything about improving your workflow, bringing these issues to your boss can raise you to the level of confidant, and it shows that you care. These are great seeds to plant for future advancement.
  7. You’ll become everyone’s new best friend: Again, underperforming coworkers often give you an opportunity to do things beyond your normal job scope. This leaves you open to help out in other departments and become more helpful and visible to your entire organization.
  8. They’ll fill you in on the latest gossip: There’s one thing lazy coworkers are great at keeping up with, and that thing is gossip. Use them to keep informed about who’s leaving, what positions are opening up, and where your company is going in the future.
  9. They’re open mikes: Another way gossip-loving lazy coworkers help is through their gift of gab. Pass along a rumor that you’re doing well or that you’re expected to receive a specific promotion, and this information just might land upon and influence ears that matter.
  10. Sharing credit makes you look like a leader: When you swoop in to save the day after your stupid coworker did something inept, you’ll be the hero that got the job done. This is especially useful if you share credit with the dummy that started it all, because you’ll be perceived as the leader that brought everything together.

How to Be Productively Lazy

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12:33am by Site Administrator

We’ve all had good days and bad days at the office: days when we’re feeling particularly

ambitious

and can work our way down a to-do list before lunchtime, but also days when we can’t stop looking out the window (if we have one) and dreaming about life on the outside. On the bad days, it’s not just a challenge to make ourselves do some actual work. We’re also stuck trying to come up with ways that make us look busy so we won’t get caught wasting time. If we can get by with as little effort as possible, but still have something to show for the eight hours we’ve been at the office, we know we’ve made it. Below is a little guide that includes some of our favorite tips for being productively lazy at work.

Make to-do lists: Just because you don’t feel like doing any of your work doesn’t mean you aren’t well aware of your responsibilities. To give your productivity a valid but painless boost, make to-do lists to get yourself organized. If you really want to waste time, make several lists that are extremely detailed. Consider using a Web-based system like Remember The Milk or Ta-da List to avoid cluttering up your desk with more paperwork. When you come into the office the next day on a hopefully brighter note, you’ll be able to get more work done than if you hadn’t made any lists.

Conduct research: Block out a chunk of time and devote it to doing research on your biggest project. You’ll look extremely busy shuffling around papers, going through your files and browsing websites for information. The best part is that all you really have to do is bookmark pages that look interesting and tab a few key file folders to come back to later and you’re all set. Whenever a coworker or supervisor walks by to ask what you’re doing, just mumble something about really getting into your research. With any luck, you’ll be left alone.

Answer e-mails: Go through your e-mail inbox and respond to messages that have been staring out at you for the past week. Pass up e-mails that require you to do any real thinking and go straight to the ones that have to do with scheduling meetings, need only a yes or no answer or simply want your opinion. All that typing will make you look busy, but you won’t be wasting your energy on any actual work.

Organize your file cabinets: Organizing your file cabinets shows others that you care about your work and are willing to sacrifice precious work time to sort through your documents and refresh your memory on older projects. Or, in some cases, your coworkers will catch on to your lazy procrastination, but only because they’ve probably used the same tactic to avoid doing their work. If you really want to impress your boss, order colored file folders and make new labels to give your cabinet a professional, coordinated look.

Organize computer files: Once you’ve organized the hard copies of your files, jump back onto the computer and set up an online filing system. You can scan documents onto your computer, rename folders, send files to clients or coworkers and other organizational tasks. Transferring your files onto the computer will also help you save time in the future. Instead of having to fax, make copies or mail a particular document, you can just e-mail files to colleagues with only a few clicks.

Outline a proposal or project: Outlines are easy and they really give the impression that you’ve been busy all day. Plus, once you do get around to doing the real work, you’ll be glad you have some sort of organization in place. All you have to do is develop a basic outline that includes the project’s title, a tentative timeline for each stage of the assignment, contact information for coworkers and vendors with whom you need to collaborate and set up meetings and plenty of brainstorming ideas. You can turn it into your boss at the end of the day to prove that you actually got something done during the day — even if it only took you half an hour.

Check over your work: Proofread every e-mail, memo and outline you send out to look productive. You’ll appear conscientious and detail-oriented, characteristics that supervisors treasure in their employees.

Go ahead, read the list again. You’ll look busy and focused and can buy yourself an extra twenty minutes or so of procrastination.

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