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.
You decide how to spend your hours at work, so create at least one time management goal this month. It should be SMART:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before you schedule a meeting, decide its agenda and invite only essential personnel. Enforce time limits on meetings, too.
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.
One in five people resolve to lose weight or get healthier every January. Several additional New Year’s resolutions can also prolong your life, so consider adding them to your resolution list this year.
Vitamins help with Illness Prevention
Regular doses of Vitamin D – followed with 15 minutes of sun exposure (to activate the Vitamin D), Multi-vitamins, Zinc (with Amino acids to help Zinc absorption)
Eat Fewer Calories
Food fuels your body, but when you eat fewer calories, you lose weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Choose a smaller plate, chew each bite carefully and stop eating when you start to feel full to eat fewer calories and prolong your life.
Add Brain Foods to Your Diet
Certain foods help your brain and body function properly. Plan to add these brain foods to your diet as you live a healthier lifestyle this year.
- Nuts and seeds
- Pomegranate juice
- Whole grains
- Wild salmon
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves your mood and boosts your brain’s grey matter, which helps to regulate your sensory perception, muscle control, decision making and self-control. Listen to a meditative CD or simply sit still and relax as you add this practice to your daily routine and gain its benefits.
Learn Something New
When you learn a new skill, you stretch your brain and improve your memory. Resolve to take a college class, learn to edit photos or watch TED talks that enrich your life and your brain with new thoughts, ideas and lessons.
Move Every Day
Regular movement helps you stay fit, improves your overall body function and reduces stress and depression. As a bonus, moving outdoors in nature could lower your blood pressure and boost your immunity. Whether you take a walk, sign up for a dance class or join a sports team, aim to move at least 10,000 steps per day and live longer.
Start a New Hobby
Hobbies like gardening, cooking and reading improve your quality of life. Many hobbies also reduce your stress levels, improve your focus and boost your brainpower. Start a hobby or two, and you increase your enjoyment of life and life expectancy this year.
Play helps kids develop properly and learn essential skills, and play gives adults important benefits, too. Relax your body and stimulate your mind when you put together up a jigsaw puzzle, join a bowling league, shoot hoops during work breaks and play more in 2018.
Get a Physical
During your annual physical, you and your doctor review your current health and address any ongoing health issues. Prioritize this visit to stay healthy now and into the future.
Resolve to live longer thanks to these resolutions. They improve your life and your health.
Christmas isn’t the same without lights. Strands of sparkling lights can be hazardous, though, if you forget to follow safety tips as you hang, plug in, store and enjoy these holiday essentials.
Buy lights that are safety tested. Lights without an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) tag may be unsafe to plug in and use.
Inspect lights and plug them in before hanging them. This visual assessment exposes fire hazards like cracked, loose or broken bulbs and frayed, chewed or broken cords. It also lets you replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all the bulbs are the same wattage. After repairing any problems, plug in the lights to ensure the bulbs work and the strands work properly.
Separate indoor and outdoor lights. Strands designed for indoor use should not be hung outdoors because their thin insulation is easily damaged when exposed to cold, wet outdoor conditions.
Hang lights with insulated hooks. Staples, tacks or nails can pierce the strands and cause dangerous electrical shorts and increase the fire risk.
Use extension cords properly. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each extension cord, lay rather than coil extension
cords and use only outdoor certified extension cords for your outdoor lights. If the cords feel hot, unplug the lights for a while to reduce fire risk.
Turn off lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Otherwise, the hot lights could start a fire, and you will be asleep or away
from home and unable to intervene.
Water the tree regularly. A dry tree and hot lights are an unsafe combination.
Store lights properly to prevent damage and simplify decorating next year. Instead of stuffing them in a box, carefully wind the
light strands, secure them with twist ties and store them in plastic bags. Alternatively, wrap the strands around a paper towel tube and thread the ends through the tube’s hollow center.
Hanging lights is a fun and festive holiday tradition. With these safety tips, you have peace of mind as you enjoy your sparkling home all season.
Whether you received valuable collectibles or heirloom jewelry, you’ll want to insure these holiday presents. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide coverage for some of your new items, but anything above the existing coverage limit requires a personal articles floater. Consider specific gifts that you’ll want to insure this year.
Jewelry: Your homeowners insurance policy should cover jewelry valued at less than $2,000. However, appraised jewelry that’s more valuable will require a floater.
Furs: From a real fur jacket to a fake fur-trimmed hat, add any furs you receive to your homeowners insurance policy.
Fine Art: Paintings, sculptures, rare books, manuscripts, ornamental collectibles, glasses and antique furniture fall under the fine art category. Record these items and their value on an itemized schedule attached to your insurance policy.
Electronics: Laptops, cameras, TVs and other electronic devices, plus telescopes, video recording equipment and films, are typically included in your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy. If these items are high-end, consider a floater.
Coins or Stamps: Depending on their value, you’ll want to add a floater for new coins or stamps in your collection.
Musical Instruments: List any musical instruments, including sound equipment, on a floater.
China, Crystal or Silverware: List these items on a schedule and include the insurance coverage amount.
Guns: List and describe each gun on a schedule. Include the value.
Sporting Goods: Bicycles, golf equipment, guns and other sporting goods fall under your existing insurance policy unless they’re collectible, rare or expensive.
Tools: Insured under your homeowners or renters policy, your new tools won’t need a floater unless they exceed the value of your existing coverage.
As with everything in your home inventory, record a detailed description, serial number, purchase date, value and picture of your new holiday presents. Store copies of this information with your insurance policy in a fireproof safe and in a secure location other than your home.
Go ahead and enjoy your new holiday presents. Just remember to check with your insurance agent to be sure they’re covered.
Flu season typically peaks between December and February,
but it can last as long as May. Because the flu spreads quickly between people who work and mingle in close quarters, you really need to understand flu prevention tips as you protect yourself and your coworkers this flu season.
The flu shot is one of the best preventative measures you can take since it combats the season’s main flu virus that is expected to affect the most people. Although the vaccine’s antibodies won’t begin protecting you for two weeks, get yours today, and encourage your coworkers to get their flu shots, too.
Stay Home if You’re Sick
Of course, your job is essential, but going to work when you’re sick only infects everyone else. Stay home, focus on getting better and remind your coworkers to stay home if they’re sick.
Disinfect Office Surfaces
Disinfectant spray and wipes will be your best friends this flu season. Use them to clean germs off your computer keyboard, printer key pad, phone, pens and pencils, doorknobs, drawer pulls and anything else you and your coworkers touch regularly.
Cover Your Nose and Mouth
Sneeze or cough into a disposable tissue to prevent your germs from spreading to others.
Wash Your Hands
As frequently as possible, wash your hands in hot, soapy water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes also kill germs, but use them only when soap and water are unavailable.
Don’t Touch Your Face
Flu germs on your hands spread quickly when you touch your face, so protect yourself by keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes.
Go to Bed
Enough rest increases your immunity and ability to fight germs. Your chances of staying healthy increases when you grab a few a few extra minutes of sleep every night.
Eat and Drink a Healthy Diet
From loading up on fruits and veggies to drinking water, your body will stay strong when you fuel it with healthy foods.
Juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and sweet pumpkin pie tempt your taste buds this Thanksgiving. However, you might need to watch your weight or follow dietary restrictions for health reasons. You can enjoy the holiday treats but stay healthy this year when you follow six tips.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
When you’re hydrated, you feel full and are less likely to overeat. So, sip water as you prep the meal, watch football and hang out with friends. By meal time, you won’t be tempted to stuff yourself.
2. Fill Your Plate With Vegetables
Crunchy and healthy vegetables make the perfect appetizers, side dishes and game time snacks all day. Plus, raw and cooked veggies satisfy your hunger and offer numerous health benefits. Before dinner is served, fill your plate with a large salad or a selection from the veggie tray as you satisfy your hunger with healthy foods.
3. Hide Veggies in as Many Main Dishes as Possible
No matter how your favorite dishes have been prepared for years, alter the recipes to make them healthier. Substitute cauliflower for at least half of the potatoes in mashed potatoes, shred carrots into the meatloaf and add extra celery, squash and carrots to the stuffing. No one will notice the extra veggies, but your waistline will.
4. Ask for the Recipe
Some of your favorite holiday dishes may be prepared and served only at Thanksgiving. Instead of overindulging in them, ask for the recipes. When you can make these dishes throughout the year, you’ll be less likely to overeat this one day of the year.
5. Serve Fruit-Based Treats for Dessert
Pie, cake and candy don’t have to take center stage on the dessert table. Fruit, whether fresh, frozen or in smoothies, provides a sweet and healthier alternative to sugar-laden treats.
6. Focus on Family Fun Instead of on Food
While food is an important part of Thanksgiving gatherings, focus on fun. Play cards, football or board games, look though photo albums or go shopping with your family members and friends. You’ll enjoy a healthier holiday when your focus in on the fun rather than the food.
As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, implement these six tips that help you maintain your healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor or health insurance agent, too, about additional ways you can stay healthy this holiday.