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Time: A Precious Commodity

time as a commodityWhether your commitments are parenting, going to school, working one or more jobs with excessive time requirements, or other endeavors, you have to learn to make choices that protect your health and sanity. You also need to make time in your schedule for your family and your down time. Don’t compromise your quality of life because you are afraid to admit you have taken on too much.

Because time is a precious commodity, consider using these five tips for reducing your time commitments

1. Place your current time commitments in rank order. Be sure to note the number of hours these activities currently require. One strategy is to shave off hours from one or more commitments so that you build some extra time back into your schedule.

2. Speak with your boss about your current assignments. It may be that you have committed to too many projects at work. Your boss may agree to adjust your workload so that you don’t have to work so many extra hour

3. Adjust your sleep schedule. Sometimes simple adjustments like going to bed earlier so you can get up earlier the next day will give you the time slots you need to be more productive at work and home. Instead of driving yourself crazy with multi-tasking and to-do lists, analyze your peak energy levels during the day. Maximize your day by giving yourself a generous time slot for work; your time slot should be targeted to the time of day when you think and feel best.

4. Seek assistance instead of abandoning time commitments that make your entire schedule impossible. For example, if you are attending college and have family commitments, find someone in the family who can pick up the slack at home so that you have time for attending class and doing homework.

5. Give yourself a break; prepare to explain what you can reasonably continue to do for others. Once you’ve tried to explain your situation to people who depend on you, you have to make difficult decisions. You can either cut back on time commitments or eliminate them. If the people in your network care about your wellbeing they will understand that you need to reduce your workload so that you have enough time to relax, rejuvenate, and tend to your personal needs (i.e. schoolwork or spending time with family).

Reorganizing your time commitments can be tough, but time is something you cannot regain in this lifetime. Look for ways to find balance when you try to divide yourself among your many time obligations.

How To Make The Best Of The Recession

recessionIf you’ve lost your job, are having trouble paying your mortgage and are wondering how to feed your family, you’re probably not up for hearing that there’s a bright spot hidden in the heart of a recession or other economic turmoil for many people. There is a kernel of hope in the ocean of gloom that is the current economic bust. The recession, which has taken and continues to take so much from everyone, has given us one good thing. It has given us the gift of time.

For most of us, our jobs took up at least fifty hours a week, when you consider the time it took to get there and back. For some people, it was more – up to sixty precious hours that we spent away from our families, our homes and our favorite interests Maybe that’s why many people just veg out in front of the TV when they get home.

Well now, if you’re no longer employed, you have that time back, except for the time you put into job searching. Before you lose that time to mindless web surfing or old Judge Judy reruns, take a minute to think of all the things you have time to do now. There are so many possibilities and options and many of them are completely free.

No matter where you live, there is probably an adult ed program near you. Call your nearest school system and see what they have to offer for night classes. Many of them teach things you can use to hone new skills for a career change. You might even find yourself happy at the prospect of doing something you really like as opposed to what you used to do just for the money.

If nothing else, you may be able to develop a hobby or craft into something that will make money for you on a part-time basis. Learning new things is good for your brain and helps you stay sharp. That’s very important when it comes to competing for the few jobs out there. You could also check with local colleges and trade schools which sometimes have classes that you can audit or attend cheaply if you’re only taking one class rather than getting a degree.

Paint, Debt and Getting Things Finished

paintingRedecorating your home can be more than your budget can cope with but by using paint and a dollop of flair you can sparkle up a tired room without spending what you can’t afford. Usually however so much opposition gets in the way of just redecorating that it’s worth a look at how that can happen and what is needed to overcome the counteraction.

Today the temptation to spend excessively is encouraged by every avenue imaginable and you can easily think that to be successful you have to have loads of furniture/appliances and other paraphernalia plus the sleep-eroding debt-worries that go with it. A sensible approach is required to guide your through the morass of living on credit with your salary used to pay off debt. By forward planning, careful budgeting and a willingness to live in the moment you will achieve a comfortable way of life and not be crushed with repayments for folly purchases. If you are constantly racing through today to get to tomorrow, next week or “somewhere else” because that’s where you think the solution is, then take a deep breath and reconsider.

Once a plan is in place, its systematic execution is what obtains the end product. If you have despaired of ever being able to purchase those Louis XIV chairs or Persian carpets for the front hall, then used that as the reason why you live in a drab home then you’re in danger of becoming the effect of your own inabilities. You may never be able to afford antiques, but you most certainly do not need to feel you can’t win.

Getting over that first hurdle of realising you’re not as wealthy as Croesus then recovering from the shock that you may never be, no matter how long you slave, will take some time. However once that’s done you can again revisit the problem of how to improve your home. It would be wonderful to twitch your nose and “ping” there stands the newly painted walls. However practical application is the only way to get it really done.

Painting walls is cheap, can totally rejuvenate a space and doesn’t need vast technical knowledge. The variety of paint techniques which one can use is endless and every single creative jolt of juice you have in your body can be expended in their composition. The colour scheme you choose depends on how brave you are. So many people are dying to try tangerine or plum, but they are so bound by what the family/friends/parents will say that they’re frightened back into ivory and mushroom and mute tones. These do go of course, but homes tend to be awash by these safe colours.

Experimenting with colour can be a disaster, but humans tend to learn from their “oopses” and unless you step off the cliff occasionally, how else will you find out if what you thought was perfect, was? Yes, it would be wonderful to hire a terribly learned colour coordinator who has spent years studying the colour wheel and knows which reds go, but your budget wouldn’t stand it so you’d still have a drab room. Spending time wishing you had what you can’t afford doesn’t solve the problem it just makes you miserable which then has you reaching for the ice-cream tub and your hips definitely know you can’t afford that.