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2 days ago · by · 0 comments

Tips for Eye Wellness

With more people working from home and spending more time on their screens (phones and computers), here are some useful tips to assist you in promoting healthy eyes.

Evaluate and Adjust your Workspace

Staring at a computer screen or repetitively assembling widgets for hours at a time strains eyesight. Remind co-workers to evaluate their workspace, identify any strain or damage risks, and make adjustments that protect their eye health, such as:

  • Turn down the screen brightness and reduce blue light.
  • Reposition work materials to between 20 and 26 inches from your eyes.
  • Adjust your chair and posture so your worksite is slightly below your eyes level.
  • Look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds once every 20 minutes.
  • Increase the screen font or use a magnifying glass to see small items.
  • Blink regularly throughout the day or use eye drops to prevent dry eye.

Wear the Correct Eye Safety Equipment

Those that work with hazardous materials or operate equipment need to wear the proper eye safety equipment. Glasses, goggles and helmets, along with three steps, protect their eyesight.

  • Wear eye safety gear at all times.
  • Ensure the eye protection fits properly.
  • Replace worn or torn eye safety equipment immediately.

This month, schedule an eye safety equipment inspection. co-workers

Encourage a Healthy Diet

The right foods can prevent eyesight deterioration and protect eyes from damage. For optimal eye health, eat foods that are high in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables.
  • Non-meat proteins, including eggs, beans and nuts.
  • Oily fish like tuna and salmon.
  • Citrus fruit and juice.

To promote an eye-healthy diet, stock these foods in the break room or serve them during lunches.

Promote Regular Eye Checkups

An optometrist checks for vision changes and reviews eye health. The eye’s health and condition can even indicate a person’s risk of developing diabetes, hypertension or other chronic illnesses.

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1 week ago · by · 0 comments

Working remotely can be a drag with slow internet.

You pay premium prices for great Internet, now that you work remotely (from home). You need high speed Internet, so getting it back up to speed when it starts to slow down is a top priority. Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide to help you determine whether you can apply a quick fix, or if you might need to make a phone call:

Boosting Your Wifi Signal

The issue might not be your Internet connection, but your Wifi signal. It doesn’t matter how fast your web connection is when you’re too far away from your Wifi router or it’s putting out a weak signal. Plug directly into your Internet with a wired connection. If it runs fine, you may simply need to buy a more powerful router, switch to wired connections, or rearrange your office space so that your router can reach everyone who needs it. Also, consider a ‘mesh’ wireless system.

Someone’s Doing Some Heavy Downloading

Let others know that business-class internet doesn’t mean “Go ahead and do all your bit torrenting at the office from now on.” Downloading twenty eight movies at once while uploading fifteen others is going to slow you down.

Do a Security Check

Your network may be infected with a worm. More so than most viruses and malware, worms can really drag your connection down to a crawl. A network scan will be able to help you root out the intruder if this is the case.

See if Someone is Stealing Your Wifi

You can check your router device list to see if someone is connecting without permission. If so, you can change the password, and/or switch your security settings to WPA2-AES.

Call Your Provider

Call your provider and ask there are any issues in your area. It may simply be a temporary issue that they are already hard at work rectifying. And if that doesn’t work…

Start Shopping Around for a New Provider

Your provider might just not be up to the task of providing you with top-notch business grade Internet. If there are competing ISP’s in your area, don’t hesitate to get some quotes and compare download speeds. Brand loyalty is all well and good, but you don’t owe it to an ISP that isn’t providing.

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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Tips To Declutter Your Home

Look around your home, and you probably see a variety of things you no longer value, use, want, or love. Make time in February to declutter your home and donate the proceeds to a good cause. Several tips can help you tackle this task with success.

Have a Goal
Decide which areas you want to declutter and when you want to finish the project. With a goal, your motivation to stay on track increases.

Create Five Bins
Stay organized as you declutter with bins or boxes. Label them keep, donate, trash, recycle, and relocate.

See if it Works
Toss items that don’t work or are broken unless you fix them immediately.

Consider When you Used it Last
Items you haven’t used in six months probably aren’t essential for your daily life and can be sold or donated.

Decide if you Love It
Your home is a calm and peaceful haven that should be filled only with stuff you love. Give yourself permission to get rid of items that no longer bring you pleasure and joy.

Forget Sunk Costs
Maybe you did pay a fortune for your clothes or kitchen gadgets, but if these items only take up space, sell or donate them. Forget the amount of money you paid and consider instead the value these items add to your life now.

Set a Timer
Improve your success and avoid feeling overwhelmed when you set a timer for 10 minutes. Stop working when the timer beeps and take a break before you begin again.

Play a Game
If you get stuck, turn decluttering into a game.

  • Sort all the green, round or smooth items in the room.
  • Toss 12 items, donate 12 items and keep 12 items.
  • See how fast you can fill a bag of trash or donations.
  • Challenge yourself to donate 20 or more pounds of stuff.
  • Race your family members to finish decluttering your assigned areas first.

Take Pictures of Sentimental Items
The heirlooms you inherited from grandparents hold sentimental value, but it’s okay to let them go. Take a picture of sentimental items and donate or sell them as you clear out your home.

Donate Responsibly
Consider giving your items to a local charity or organization. Alternatively, you can organize a yard sale and donate the proceeds to a charitable cause.

Update your Home Insurance
After you declutter your home, review your home insurance policy. Update the policy limits, remove any riders you no longer need and verify that you have the right coverage for your current needs.

This February, commit to clearing out your home.

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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Tips to Celebrate National Time Management Month

February marks National Time Management Month. Here are some tips you can implement this month.

Identify Time Wasters
Time-tracking software helps you determine exactly how much time you spend doing various tasks throughout the day. Use the data to make tweaks to your schedule.

Create Goals
You decide how to spend your hours at work, so create at least one time management goal this month. It should be SMART:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Relevant.
  • Timely.

Schedule your Day
Always create a schedule either on paper or online as you organize your day. Plan your day or it will plan you.

Prioritize Tasks
Remember to prioritize important tasks that must get done today. Otherwise, urgent tasks will take over your time, leaving important tasks unfinished.

Set a Timer
Racing the clock to finish a task within a certain amount of time can encourage you to work harder and smarter. A timer can also remind you to take breaks, which are proven to improve productivity, focus and creativity.

Respect your Energy
Like you have limited hours in a day, your energy has limits. Schedule important or tough tasks for high-energy times, and use low-energy times for easy or mundane jobs.

Boost Concentration
Every interruption affects your focus and wastes valuable time. Close your office door, turn on soft music or wear noise-canceling headphones as you limit distractions and solely focus on each task.

Say No
You’re in charge of your time. Learn to say no to tasks that don’t fit into your schedule. You may also need to learn how to advocate for yourself if your boss assigns too many tasks.

Allow Extra Time
After you calculate how much time a task will take, add a few minutes. This extra time serves as a buffer in case you encounter a delay or other issue.

Delegate
Consider which tasks on your to-do list you can give to someone else. Delegating frees you to focus solely on the projects you alone can do.

Organize your Office
Looking for a misplaced paper or file wastes valuable time. Keep your desk and office area tidy so you everything you need is within easy reach.

Cut Meetings
Before you schedule a meeting, decide its agenda and invite only essential personnel. Enforce time limits on meetings, too.

Offer Rewards
Give employees a reward when they achieve their time management goals. A leather planner, clock or timer promotes ongoing efficiency.

Managing time is one way to improve productivity and job satisfaction. Encourage your employees to implement these time management tips this month.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Six Tips That Could Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs

Thanks to your health insurance policy, you can receive routine checkups, specialist consultations, lifesaving medications and necessary procedures for just a few dollars a month. Your premiums may be rising this year, though, because of increased health insurance policy costs and decreases in your employer’s budget. Instead of dropping your coverage or paying a fortune for health insurance, stay healthy and balance your personal budget in the new year with six tips.

1. Review Your Benefits

Does your current health insurance policy include vision, dental or prescription medicine coverage that you rarely use? Dropping these options could reduce your health insurance costs.

2. Shop for Private or Government Exchange Health Insurance

Instead of automatically accepting your employer’s coverage with higher monthly premiums or fewer benefits, shop around. Private or state sponsored health insurance could be a more affordable option for you.

3. Increase Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Put your good health to good use and elect to pay lower monthly premiums in favor of higher out-of-pocket expenses. Yes, your deductible and copays will increase, but you could save money in the long run.

4. Consider Joining Your Spouse’s Policy

If your spouse or partner has employer-sponsored health insurance, discuss the costs of joining his or her policy. You could save money by switching to family coverage instead of carrying individual policies.
You should also check out your options after qualifying events occur in your life. In those cases, you may be able to switch your health insurance coverage and save money. Those events include:

  • Marriage
  • Child Birth or Adoption
  • Legal Separation or Divorce
  • Death of Spouse or a Dependent

5. Rethink Insurance Options When You’re Laid Off

January is a typical month for downsizing. If you lose your job, you could be eligible for Cobra (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). You continue to pay your health insurance premiums plus a two percent administrative fee, and your insurance does not lapse.
The costs of COBRA can be expensive, though, especially when you aren’t receiving a paycheck. You have 60 days to decide if you want your COBRA benefits or not, so start researching private options as you make the best financial decision for you.

6. Get and Stay Healthy

Little things like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce your health care costs since you’ll see the doctor less often. Additionally, your employer may offer wellness incentives for healthy living that can reduce your premium costs. Even if they aren’t offered, you will save money when you get and stay healthy.
This January, take time to review your health insurance. With these six tips, you can save money, be healthy and stay on budget in the new year.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Do You Have Enough Home Insurance?

Homeowner’s insurance protects your home’s structure and belongings since it can pay for costly repairs or liability after a natural disaster, break-in or accident. You’ll be stuck with a huge bill, though, if you don’t have enough home insurance. Follow these steps as you make sure your home insurance is adequate for your needs.

Determine the Home’s Value

When you first purchased a homeowner’s insurance policy, you told the agent how much your home was worth. That figure might have changed since then. Use a recent tax assessment and an independent contractor to give you a current and accurate value for your home.

Switch to Replacement Cost

Actual cash value calculates an item’s worth as the amount you originally paid for it minus depreciation. Replacement cost pays you to replace the item at today’s cost. Update your policy to replacement cost and give yourself more coverage for a few dollars more.

Inventory Your Home’s Contents

Over time, the contents of your home have probably grown, so take time to update your inventory list. Include all the valuable artwork, jewelry, electronics, firearms or collectibles you’ve acquired. Take pictures of your valuables, too, and include the receipt from its purchase, if possible, a written description, serial numbers and other identifying details.

If one of your valuables is super expensive, purchase an additional endorsement. It’s designed for items of significant value.

Consider an Umbrella Policy

Say you install a pool in your backyard or add an addition to your home. Check into an umbrella policy. It provides additional liability coverage that accounts for your home’s upgrade and protects your assets.

Check Into Flood Insurance

Most regular homeowner’s insurance policies do not include flood insurance. Add this valuable coverage if you live in a flood plain or if there’s any chance that your home could be flooded.

Insure Your Dog

Certain dog breeds, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, are not insurable, and your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover liability if one of these breeds bites someone. Tell your agent if you’ve purchased or adopted one of these breeds.

Check Your Condo Coverage

In case you live in a condo, read the association policy to understand what part of your building you must insure. Usually, that’s the contents of your home and any improvements you make to your condo.

Do an Annual Review

At least once a year, review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Ensure your coverage is adequate for your current needs.

Homeowner’s insurance is one way you protect your valuable home, belongings and other assets. Make sure you have enough coverage when you talk to your agent today.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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