The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills

Letting your children navigate the internet on their own is like throwing them into the Wild West for them to fend for themselves. The internet can be a dangerous place for children if they are on the wrong websites.

We all want to protect our children, so knowing the websites that are safe for our kids is of utmost importance. What we also want as parents are websites that teach our children life skills and responsibility.

There are great websites, geared for children, that will engage your child and have them learning at the same time. Below are the top 21 websites for teaching children life skills and responsibility. All of the sites have been vetted and approved by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”

Always monitor children when they are using the internet. Parental guidance for age appropriateness is recommended when your child uses any of the websites listed below. What is appropriate for an eight year old is not always appropriate or suited for a four year old.

These 21 websites can have your kids engaged, entertained, learning, and developing new skills.  Most of them are intended to engage children of various ages, so look for the content on each site that is appropriate for your child’s age and ability level.

1. PBS Kids

This website is loaded with games, educational activities and videos that will please both child and parent.

This site engages children in activities and videos that teach them about citizenship, different cultures, geography, global awareness, hypothesis testing, investigating, self-reflection, personal growth, empathy, respect for others, labeling feelings and more.

For example, the Webonauts Internet Academy teaches kids how to be safe online and Wild Kratts teaches kids about different habitats around the world.

There is a great deal of content on this website. Head to their site today to discover what your child could be missing out on!

2. Curious World

This site is geared for kids ages 2-7. The main character guiding kids on an educational journey is Curious George. If your child is a fan of the books or cartoon, then you should check out this website.

There are eight key areas of learning covered on this website including math, reading, and science. This website makes learning fun with games and child appropriate online activities. It also includes hands on activities for parents to do with their child.

Activities such as crafting, cooking, and art projects with detailed instructions are provided, so that parents can interact with their children to build important life skills.

3. News-O-Matic

This is a news website geared for kids. The content helps them learn about the world and its happenings, in a website that is made for kids.

There are daily editions of which include new articles every day on a variety of subjects and topics. The articles are written to grab the attention of a child reader. You will find that even reluctant readers find this site entertaining.

If you have a passion for the news and keeping up with the changing world, then you can ignite this passion in your children by getting them started on the News-O-Matic website.

Some of the skills that kids can learn while utilizing this site include reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, geography recognition, critical thinking, perspective taking, reasoning, and cultural awareness.

4. National Geographic Kids

The National Geographic Kids website teaches kids about animals, space, the natural world, dinosaurs, insects and more. They use games, videos, and online activities to connect children with learning about our natural world.

There are valuable skills reinforced in the online activities including the use of logic, memory, applying information, investigation, problem solving, and imagination.

There is a great deal of free content on this website that can be utilized without being a paid subscriber.

5. ABC Mouse

This website is geared for children ages 2-7. This is a learning website that covers the subjects of reading, math, social studies, science, health, writing, art, and music.

Some of the skills that are taught on this site through the website activities include following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, phonics, reading comprehension, speaking, memorization, solving puzzles, measurement, goal achievement, rhythm, and more.

This website boats that it contains a comprehensive curriculum with more than 8,500 learning activities. It is a great tool for preschoolers preparing for kindergarten.

There are also lessons and activities that are more advanced beyond kindergarten.

This is a subscription based program. It has won many awards because of its comprehensive nature and successful curriculum.

6. FunBrain

This educational website has a great deal of free content, so your child can access hundreds of activities without a subscription.

There are games and activities for kids to play while they learn at the same time. Kids will use the following skills while playing on this website: problem solving, puzzle solving, reading, vocabulary, math, and reasoning.

What makes this site unique is that there are online versions of popular kid’s books including the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

7. Nourish Interactive

This website is geared toward nutrition for children. It is a free website.

There are games, printable activities, recipes and tools on this site that teach children about nutrition.

The goal of the site is to help children learn to make healthy eating choices at a young age, so they can have this skill for life. The site also teaches about cooking, with many healthy recipes available free.

8. Arthur Family Health

Arthur is a favorite cartoon character on PBS. The Arthur Family Health website is for kids to learn about resilience, fitness, peanut allergies, asthma, and more.

Health is not an easy topic to address with children, but this website does a great job by utilizing games, videos, and activities that are age appropriate and fun.

9. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

This website uses the popular PBS cartoon character Daniel Tiger. This website has games, activities, and videos geared toward younger children.

The skills that are taught on this site include expressing emotions appropriately, eating healthy, making friends, brushing teeth, dealing with disappointment and toilet training.

There are stories with a narrator for kids to listen to, simple games to play, videos to watch, and songs to engage younger children.

It is an entertaining site for younger kids and the topics teach great life skills for little ones! This is a free website.

10. BrainPop

This website is geared for children in the fourth grade and older. It is a paid subscription site. However, there are some games and videos that are available free on this site.

This website helps kids academically. There are also life skills and lessons addressed on the site. They address even the most sensitive and tough topics such as war, terrorism, sexual development, and alcoholism.

Reviewers of the site say that this website is useful for kids all the way through high school.

11. Arcademic Skill Builder

This website is geared toward helping young students acquire math, language arts, English and critical-thinking skills. This site is filled with games and activities to keep kids entertained while learning.

This website has a strong emphasis on math skills including addition, subtraction, counting, division, fractions, money, multiplication, ratios, and shapes.

If your child is struggling with their math skills, then this site can be of great help. Many of the games and activities are free.

12. Cyberchase

This website is based on the PBS show Cyberchase. It is geared toward children who can read or are learning to read. It helps kids acquire critical thinking and reading skills.

The site is filled with free games, videos and activities that keep kids entertained, engaged, and learning. Some of the games get kids to think about real life situations to utilize their problem solving skills. Brainstorming is a another skill that is utilized on this site. It is a free website.

13. Fact Monster

This website was created in partnership with educational professional. It is a site that is a great help for children completing homework. They can find facts on dozens of subjects on this site along with dictionary and atlas.

The content is more than browsing and providing information. There are games and activities to entertain kids on the site while they learn. Interesting to note, the site contains more than 30,000 short biographies!

This website is a game changer for home work time. Some of the skills that kids apply on this site include problem solving, thinking, reasoning, and self-direction.

14. Maggie’s Earth Adventures

This website gets kids thinking and learning about the world and its vast ecosystems. It is a free site that teaches kids about the earth.

Real life situations are presented in short videos. Then kids play games that touch on the subjects of animals, earth, recycling, and injustice.

Some of the skills that they can acquire on this site include cultural understanding, global awareness, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, investigation, prediction, and thinking critically.

15. PBS Lab

PBS Lab is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant requires them to research the games and their effectiveness in helping kids learn real skills. The result is a website where kids actually learn while they have fun.

This site teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in school. The website is useful for kids ages three and up. Some of the skills that kids learn on this site include math, reading, spelling, word recognition, measuring, and pattern recognition. This site is free!

16. Sesame Street

This website is based on the TV program. Kids are entertained by their favorite Muppets in games, songs, podcasts, videos, and activities.

This site can be used by children ages two and up, so it is one of the best options for very young children.

Some of the skills taught on this site include empathy, labeling emotions, brushing teeth, hygiene, addition, subtraction, counting, measuring, recognizing shapes, understanding cultural differences, following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, spelling, respecting others, asking questions, problem solving, use of imagination, and making new creations.

This site has a great deal of value for parents who want their children to be learning practical life skills while they are on the internet being entertained. This website is completely free!

17. Star Fall

This educational website is geared for children ages four and up. Although this is a subscription website, there is content that users can try out before purchasing.

The website is run through a non profit organization and the price for subscription to the site is low because they want to make the content available widespread to benefit many children.

Some of the skills that kids can learn on this website are addition, subtraction, counting, division, equations, fractions, geometry, grouping, measuring, multiplication, number recognition, shape recognition, reading, letter recognition, and word recognition.

There are games, lots of songs, and activities to engage young children. The primary focus on this site is math and literacy.

18. How Stuff Works

This website is geared toward older children. It is a site filled with articles, podcasts, games, quizzes, and polls. There is a wealth of information on this site, which makes it useful for homework projects.

The articles are attention grabbing, which help to snag the reader and get them interested in everything from the history of specific holidays to learning how super-volcanos work.

This site touches on eleven primary categories of learning: animals, health, science, tech, automobiles, culture, home & garden, finances, lifestyle, entertainment, and adventure.

Some of the skills that kids can learn through using this site include: building, gardening, self-direction, creativity, researching, empathy, understanding different cultures, and developing novel solutions.

19. Nick Jr

This website is based on the tv shows from the Nick Jr network. Young kids can learn while they interact with their favorite characters on this website. Bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol, Sunny, and dozens of other characters can be found on this site.

There are games, video, stories, and printable activities found on this website. The site is entertaining for kids and they learn a variety of skills including math and reading.

The content is geared toward preschool learning, and it is free.

20. Space Racers

This website is based on the show. The site is designed to get preschoolers excited about space and science.

The learning on this site is based on STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It comes through games, coloring pages, videos, music segments, lesson plans, and printouts from the lessons.

There are a total of 17 lesson plans that use STEM concepts. The skills that kids learn from using this site include observation, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, mathematics, decision making, hypothesis testing, and goal setting.

The science subjects taught on this site through the entertaining and engaging content include astronomy, rocket science, geology, and physics. This website is free!

21. Crayola

This website comes from the Crayola company. It is a free website.

When kids click on the “play zone” they can find educational games and activities. The site has many free printable and coloring activities.

The following skills can be learned by kids who use this site: following directions, drawing, painting, making digital creations, use of imagination, innovation, and making new creations.

There are a great deal of DIY craft projects with detailed instructions found on this website.

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2N6LdQE

Advertisements

The Scary Truth About Nightmare Disorder And Top Treatments that Work

Most of us have had the experience of deeply distressing nightmares that wake us up. But for those suffering symptoms of nightmare disorder, the experience can be terrifying, let alone the idea of falling asleep in the first place.

Untreated, nightmare disorder can have a significant, dastardly impact on our ability to just function normally, day to day. It’s not just about having a restless night’s sleep and struggling to get out of bed the next morning laden with fatigue.

If you suffer nightmare disorder, you often experience greater frequency of your nightmares either across different nights or as a sequence of disturbing dreams in the same night.

Fear and anxiety often wreak havoc on you emotionally, mentally and physically when trying to fall asleep, during and between your sleep cycles and also upon waking. You’re terrified of sleeping!

If you’re tired of experiencing no change even though you’ve reduced your alcohol intake, started exercising and have been going to bed earlier, there is help at hand.

Yes, physical changes you make can be extremely helpful (e.g. modifying your diet and eating plan, listening more to positive, inspiring audio books, music and podcasts, doing yoga) but you may be missing some key psychological strategies that can really help to kick your symptoms to the kerb.

How to know if I have nightmare disorder?

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders III provides minimum criteria to determine if individuals suffer from nightmare disorder described below:

a) Dreams are recurrent, clearly recalled and involve vividly feeling threats to survival, safety or physical integrity which often jolt you to awaken;

b) Upon wakening, you rapidly feel highly alert and become quickly oriented;

c) The nightmare itself or the sleep disturbance caused when awakening from it, causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning as indicated by experiencing at least one of the following:

Mood disturbance – emotions upon waking persist after the nightmare

The emotions aren’t vivid and distressing only during your nightmare. Even as you awaken they remain very real, are highly intense and usually contain intense levels of anger, fear, terror and/or sadness.

In fact the mood you experience can persist for awhile after you awake from the nightmare and the feeling is difficult to shake.

Dream recall is vivid

Many people find it difficult to recall their dreams upon waking even with making a concerted effort to do so.

With nightmare disorder, dream recall is quick and vivid and there is little to no confusion about the details of the dream.

Falling asleep again is challenging

You can often suffer physical symptoms upon waking. Breathlessness, sweatiness and tightness in the chest can heighten your attention to remain awake.

Being unable to calm yourself physically and mentally makes falling asleep again not only difficult, but awfully frightening.

There also can remain the fear of re-entering the nightmare you’ve jolted awake from or re-experiencing the dream again.

You develop avoidant behaviors

Bedtime anxiety can become a common feature. A fear of the darkness associated with sleep time can also develop.

Social, interpersonal and occupational function starts to subside

Your ability to concentrate and focus at work or be fully present during social interactions starts to drop.

You might also start to feel silly and ashamed that you can’t ‘get over’ a silly nightmare.

Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and low energy

Your energy levels and fatigue can suffer from not getting enough of the right quality sleep, having incomplete sleep cycles and not getting enough cycles in the first place.

During the day you wake up groggy and feel like you’re dragging your feet to concentrate, focus and get anything done.

Other symptoms

In addition to the above, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) explains that a diagnosis of nightmare disorder is not catalyzed by the effect of medication nor drugs and also is not attributed to the presence of another mental disorder (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder). The DSM-V also indicates how severe a diagnosis might be pending the different time periods of experiencing the symptoms.

To gain an accurate diagnosis, work with a qualified, registered mental health professional. Explore your medical history, your previous and current use of drugs and medication, your previous sleep disturbances as well as presence of any similar sleep disturbance in your family and the experience of traumatic events and/or relationships.

Whilst there doesn’t yet exist a stand-alone diagnostic tool for nightmare disorder, there can be valuable clues in exploring these potential influences as well.

The Scary Truth About Untreated Nightmare Disorder

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 4 % of the population suffer from nightmare disorder.((Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: Position Paper for the Treatment of Nightmare Disorder in Adults: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Paper)) Untreated, prolonged effects can lead to the development of anxiety and depressive disorders. For those who might already be suffering symptoms of these, it can worsen them.

Whilst development of different types of insomnia, breathing problems such as asthma and snoring have been linked to nightmare disorder, one of the most alarming links is the likelihood of the disorder to suicidality. Studies have not only discovered relationships between nightmares and the presence of suicidal thoughts (ideation) but also suicide attempts.

For many, time is not on their side. Having suffered long enough, medication can be a quick and instant way to dampen and numb the symptoms and provide temporarily relief.

However, there are some incredibly effective psychological treatments that have not only helped restore an astonishing quality of slumber to sufferers but opened their gateway to rebuilding a remarkable quality of life.

5 Top Treatments to Turn Your Sleep Experience Around

If you don’t feel you have time on your side, you may wish to consult with a medical professional to explore medication that could provide instant relief.

Medication or not, the guidance of suitably trained and qualified mental health professionals can help you learn incredible strategies that will accelerate you back to experiencing a far better quality of life.

Let’s look at some of the top recommended strategies below.

1. Image Rehearsal Therapy (IRT)

Image rehearsal is a great technique applied whilst you are awake. You write down your dream but change the theme, story line, ending, or any part of the dream to be a far more positive one.

In rewriting the dream scenario, you build in all the sensations, thoughts and emotions you want to experience instead. You are working to displace the distressing experiences you originally had with your newly orchestrated dream.

This technique works by challenging the traumatic theme of your original nightmare by injecting a cognitive shift. You choose and design the shift.

By then rehearsing this scenario for just 10 – 20 minutes a day, you can be on your way to greatly reducing your symptoms and enjoying a slumber journey to paradise as opposed to the Amityville Horror House.

2. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR combines elements from a number of different therapies. It has become a primary treatment for those suffering from nightmares connected with having experienced either a single traumatic event or multiple events over time.

Using an eight-step approach a therapist manually induces processing of disturbing memories and experiences by stimulating neural mechanisms similar to those activated during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.((Healthy Sleep: REM))

During sessions, therapists direct clients to switch their eye movements to swing back and forth, left to right either following the therapists fingers (or some other object) whilst recalling the disturbed memory. Tones directed through headphones alternately into each ear might be used in similar fashion, or alternate physical taps to each hand.

Clients identify and process the disturbed memory and past experience, current triggers and also positive experiences to develop a helpful adaptive response to the traumatic experience.

Even though EMDR is a highly effective treatment, there are pre-requisites for engaging this method and this process should only be applied by well-trained professionals who are licensed and qualified to administer it.

However, when you experience the benefits, not just your sleep but your quality life can turn around in a massive way!

3. Graded Exposure Therapy

Graded exposure therapy is also known as systematic desensitization. Once again it is best advised to undertake the first steps of this process with a qualified, trained professional.

With this method, you build resilience to the distressing parts of the nightmare through gradually exposing yourself to recalling the experience of it.

Re-experiencing the memory of the traumatic parts of the dream are identified and organized into a hierarchy of what is least distressing to what is most distressing. Working with parts you feel you can handle, you gradually expose yourself to the different parts of the nightmare memory and re-ignite the stressful emotions, thoughts and sensations one by one at a pace you can handle.

As you experience and learn that you are not in danger, your resilience builds and your fear of experiencing the nightmare again gradually drops.

Research has shown graded-exposure therapy to be helpful in reducing the frequency of nightmares but more effective when used in combination with progressive deep muscle relaxation (PDMR).

4. Progressive Deep Muscle Relaxation

Whilst research has shown that PDMR has been effective in reducing the frequency of nightmares, the technique has a wide range of uses in managing types of anxiety.

In itself, it is an incredible mental health and physical self-care strategy everyone can benefit from, nightmare disorder or not.

Working sequentially through the muscle groups in your body – from head to toe or in the reverse direction – you deliberately tense your muscles for a few seconds, then let the tension go and concentrate on how relaxed you feel for longer.

By deliberately telling your body to relax and increasing focus on how calm and relaxed you physically feel, you send messages to your brain to relax. Working through the muscle groups sequentially helps to pacify those of us who can get particularly wound up.

There are plenty of electronic apps you can access for free on your android phone or download to your iPod (e.g. Calm, Relax Lite). Guided PDMR (i.e. with instructions) is extremely helpful to start with. You surrender to the voice guiding you how and when to tense and relax each muscle group. By creating a deeply relaxed state just before falling sleep, you increase the potential for you to have a more pleasurable sleep experience.

By getting started with PDMR straight away you not only have a tool to help you alleviate your nightmare symptoms, but a great relaxation technique to help you combat the challenges life throws at you.

Just be sure to consult a medical professional beforehand if you are recovering from an injury or could be at risk some other way. If so, whatever muscle groups could be affected, simply skip those and go on to the next ones.

5. Exposure, Relaxation and Re-scripting Therapy (ERRT)

ERRT is a combination of different steps targeting the anxiety symptoms that exist with the experience of nightmare disorder. If you’re not yet familiar with them, you’ll undertake an introduction to sleep hygiene practices.

Clearing out electronic devices from your bedroom, reducing your exposure to blue light from electronic tablets, television and android phones at least 1 ½ hours prior to wanting to fall asleep…..they all help to reduce symptoms of anxiety that can escalate your experiencing nightmares.

Looking at bedding and undertaking relaxing activities at night before bed time all contribute to creating blissful sleep opportunities.

Once you have your bedroom and pre-sleep activities sorted, you then apply the PDMR strategies which direct your focus on sensations of feeling completely relaxed. You are telling and preparing your mind and body to wind down and prepare for calm, serene sleep.

Looking at problem-solving, rescripting (similar to IRT) and coping strategies when you might awaken are all reviewed so you have an all round plan to (i) prepare your mind and body for sleep, (ii) help catalyze a far better dreaming experience and (iii) also have a plan of what to do when you awake suddenly.

The bottom line

Today might have been a wake-up call and you might have thought medication might be the only solution. You have been suffering and letting those symptoms rob you of your ability to rest, restore and regenerate your mind and body long enough.

If you have not been aware until now of the techniques and strategies above, make the decision today to get acquainted and consider undertaking an assessment with a mental health professional.

You might just turn the tables to discover a whole new lease on life!

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2NLpbYR

Productivity vs Efficiency: Which One Matters More and Why?

In this article you will discover the key difference between productivity and efficiency, and which one will help you achieve your goals.

Productivity vs efficiency is a discussion between quantity and quality. A productive person is known as someone who gets things done. Although their accomplishments may be short-lived if they did not build their strategy for the long-haul. In most of our lives, productivity and efficiency are at odds with each other.

When you are focusing on productivity, your efficiency is the first thing to suffer. Likewise, when you are confirming your plans are thoughtful and well-crafted, you run the risk of burying your goal in months of red tape.

Productivity In Your Life

Measuring productivity tends to be straightforward, so it is usually where people place their focus. People usually calculate productivity by measuring a person’s output during two similar time periods. For example, if you read two books in January and four books in February, you were more productive in February.

Businesses will calculate productivity by comparing employees, departments, and locations. For instance, the California office of a firm generated $60,000 in March, while the Florida office generated $50,000 in the same month, making the California office more productive.

Productivity’s Blind Spot

Because most people measure productivity by calculating output, you have probably felt at least once in your life that productivity was capturing the complete picture.

If your supervisor asks you for a report by end of day, they are thinking it is a reasonable request. While it is true the report only takes 30 minutes to create, that is not the only thing you are working on today.

If the report was your only task, you agree you should have it completed by the end of the day. However, your department added a new employee and you agreed to train them on all the processes.

Depending on the complexity of your role and the engagement of the trainee, it could take you an entire day to walk step-by-step through your work. You also have a few additional time sensitive matters that you accepted last week and they have the same deadline.

As you are starting to see, when you only capture someone’s output to determine if they are being productive, you are lacking key information.

You open yourself up to the possibility of thinking someone had a less productive week, when they were more productive than last week.

Efficiency, the Other Half of the Productivity Coin

If productivity focuses on your output, then efficiency emphasizes the quality of your work, which usually focuses on saving time or conserving resources.

Think of your productivity as the revenue you generated from a sale, and think of your efficiency as the money you get to take home after you pay your expenses.

Using the business example from before, while the California office generated $60,000 in sales, they spent $20,000 in related seminar and travel expenses. The Florida office generated their sales by using an inexpensive online-webinar platform, so the Florida office was more efficient and generated larger profits.

Efficiency also accounts for quality in relation to time.

For example, Autumn and Alek work in a call-center where their job was to survey 100 customers per day. Autumn reached her number after she called 150 customers and Alek reached her number after calling 300 customers.

While they both achieved their productivity milestone, Autumn was more efficient because she only had to call an extra 50 people, while Alek had to call an additional 200 people.

Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Efficient?

Like productivity, focusing solely on efficiency can lead to unintended consequences. You do not want to complete your work hastily, but you also do not want to set the unreasonable expectation that you can achieve perfection.

Challenges, missteps, and failure are a part of growth and achieving results.

Whenever you focus too much on quality, you will find yourself coping with self-doubt, anxiety, and procrastination. If you are in a leadership position, your team may be too scared to produce anything because they are so worried about making a mistake.

Out of fear, everyone remains in the analysis phase as they continue to plan for every possible outcome. Even though it is tempting to celebrate successful perfectionists like Steve Jobs and others, there are studies that confirm most successful people in any given field are less likely to be perfectionist.

Perfectionism keeps most people from making decisions because the anxiety about making mistakes holds them back.((American Psychological Association: Is perfect good? A meta-analysis of perfectionism in the workplace.))

Striking a Balance Between Productivity and Efficiency

When trying to decide whether productivity or efficiency is more important, it is important to understand you need both. Accomplishing your goals and keeping your resolutions provide a great feeling, but you are going to want to measure the cost.

You need to monitor the amount of time and resources you invested into achieving your goal. There is a point of diminishing returns where you are producing at such a high output, your work is full of errors and requires additional attention.

The same diminishing returns exist if you are concerned about quality to the point you are teetering on perfectionism — as perfectionists have an unhealthy fear of failure that keeps them from producing anywhere near optimum levels.

Three Strategies to Maximize Your Results

1. Be Intentional with Your Time and Resources

Start by attempting to maintain your current level of production while lowering the resources you use.

This strategy requires you to be intentional with your goals. For example, if you oversaw the marketing budget for a multi-billion-dollar company, you may be reaching your results, but only because of you are flooding the market with ads.

If you wanted to increase your efficiency without impacting your productivity, what would you do?

One simple strategy is to conduct a review of all your marketing campaigns. Once you have completed the review, you can rank your campaigns based on their return on investment.

You can then increase your productivity and efficiency by reallocating the money you spent on the bottom 10% of ads and moving them to your top 10% of ads.

2. Reduce Waste

Another strategy that will provide an immediate impact is for you to focus on reducing your waste. Again, we are going to implement techniques that will positively impact your efficiency and productivity.

Start reducing waste by finding less expensive alternatives that will accomplish the same tasks you are currently producing.

As was the case with our business example where the California office spent significantly more money that the Florida office. Are there more cost effective, but reputable options that you have not explored yet?

It is a great idea to review your expenses annually to see if there are places you can improve. If you are not sure, shop around to see if your prices are in line with the market.

You can even employ this technique with your own personal finances.

Have you ever wondered why every car insurance commercial promises they can help you save 40%+ on car insurance? It is because most people do not update their auto coverage on a regular basis. Since automobiles are a depreciating asset, your car is losing value every year.

If you bought your vehicle for $20,000, then it may only be worth $15,000 after the first year. However, if you are still paying insurance based on a $20,000 value, you are naturally going to be paying more if you received insurance based on a $15,000 value.

Therefore, when you call the new insurance company, they are going to offer you insurance based on the vehicle’s current value of $15,000.

The reason car insurance companies are so confident they can save you money is because they know you are paying for insurance on a $20,000 car when your car may be worth half or a third of that.

3. Prioritize Your Goals

The third approach to help you balance productivity and efficiency is to prioritize your goals. If you want to avoid falling into the perfectionism trap, you are going to have to admit you cannot have everything exactly the way you want.

You are going to need to decide what matters to you most and be willing to sacrifice other less important goals to ensure you achieve your top priority.

For instance, the truck driving industry is extremely competitive and as a result, truck drivers must focus on keeping costs down and operating higher efficiency. To manage their costs, truck drivers like to make sure they are never driving an empty truck. If they have a delivery in Miami, they want to make sure they have a pickup in Miami to cover the drive back.

Anytime a truck driver is unable to find cargo for their drive back, they are wasting time and resources. Imagine if your next pickup was in Atlanta. Without cargo, that entire drive would be an uncovered expense and those can add up quickly.

To ensure they have their costs under control, truck drivers will prioritize ensuring they are not driving empty over all other goals and objectives.

Sometimes the driver is unable to find a pickup at their drop-off location at the same rate they hauled the cargo down. However, since they have prioritized “not driving empty,” they do not have an issue offering reduced pricing when they find themselves in this situation.

If they did not prioritize their goals, they would be waiting in Miami for a back-haul that would cover their drive to Atlanta. Perfectionism tells you that you must accomplish all your goals or none of them.

When You Cannot Have It All

When you find yourself faced with difficult decisions, take a moment, and determine what matters to you most. If you can only accomplish one or two goals, which one will provide the greatest impact?

Then, take the time to understand and account for the necessary shift you will need to make to your productivity or efficiency levels. In the case of the truck driver, they sacrificed their productivity by taking a lower rate for their back-haul. Yet, they increased their efficiency because they covered their costs and made a small profit with their lowered rate.

What it ultimately means is the truck driver increased his productivity because the choice was not between their normal rate or a reduced rate, it was between an empty haul and a reduced rate haul.

Conclusion

By being intentional with your time and resources, reducing waste, and prioritizing your goals, you can increase your overall efficiency and productivity.

No matter the goal you have set for yourself in your life, there will always be a benefit to working more efficiently and balancing that with increased productivity.

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2R7cuFS

Why Use Productivity Tracker Apps? 11 Ways They Can Change Your Life

The life of a modern man is very busy; it is subject to the tough schedule with many things to do, meetings and events to attend.

At one time, about 50 years ago, a simple paper diary became literally a revolution in the work organization and affairs planning. Nowadays, in the modern world of information and gadgets, the paper diary became an anachronism – digital solutions have come into play. It is much more convenient to use programs for planning and productivity tracking.

These are usually different digital calendars, programs task scheduling analysis, to-do lists, etc. All these digital tools assist a lot in organizing business routine and reach a high-level productivity. So what is the practical benefit of productivity tracker apps and how can they change your life? Let us get all this straightened out.

1. Track Where You Spend Time Mostly

Whatever program you decide to use, it allows you to set/ track tasks for yourself and your colleagues, assign responsible ones, co-executors, or simply specify observers.

Performance tracking applications can provide a report on where you or your team are spending time. Despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with viewing such reports, for someone it seems very difficult and will take a few hours to dive into the thematic sections analysis.

If you are working with any tracking activity, then using any application, you, at least, realize how much time you spend on it.

2. Plan Your Work

Using performance tracking software raises an understanding of how much time is spent in general for performing various tasks. Thus, you can manage your workload easily.

Knowing how much time is needed for completing a particular type of tasks, you can optimize the work to be done during the day and make sure your “to-do” list is well managed. Therefore, it easies your work planning and task management. As a result, you feel less tired at the end of the day and do your work more effectively.

3. Boost Your Productivity

Think about how you use your time, time tracking applications can boost your productivity.

When using the application, you derive a regularity of being more efficient than a day before. There is no necessity of you always succeeding in everything, but knowing that there is some application that monitors what you do makes you optimize your work.

So every time, you go to Facebook, you log out and think how it would affect your productivity.

4. Calculate Your Wage

If you have an hourly rate, time tracking software makes billing much easier. Instead of approximately estimating how long it will take to complete a task, using the application you will know exactly how many hours it will take to complete each part of the project.

This means that you can quickly bill customers for the tasks they you to work on, which is why many time tracking applications include a way to create accounts.

5. Reduce the Risk of Invoice Dispute

The time tracking software also provides you with a measure of protection against anyone who disputes the invoice that you have issued. If the client disputes what you have done, you have a way to show the exact time spent on their project.

Although this is not a magic shield, but in case of a dispute, it will cover your sit-upon.

6. Manage to Achieve More Goals

With the proper understanding of you performance rates and time frames necessary for managing particular tasks, it is easier to set goals and reach them.

What is more, performance tracking software will help you find out the peak time of your performance rate; thus, you can schedule the most important meetings and work on the most complex tasks during that time. Plan your day effectively!

7. Become Successful in All Spheres of Activity

Proper planning of your day and workload will free some time for both your personal and professional development. Thus, time that you have previously spent on working on regular tasks can be now used with the great benefit to you.

Performance tracking software will help you become successful in all the spheres of your activity. You may have been formerly busy and have no time for development and learning new things.

Performance tracking software will help you find a balance and achieve goals that were impossible to reach before.

8. Have More Time for Yourself

It is impossible to be efficient without a proper rest and switching your mind from the work to relax mode. Each person should have some time for self-improvement, recreation, hobbies, and staying with his beloved ones.

Unfortunately, for a modern man, it is today difficult to free up his tough schedule and find a window of time to dedicate it to recreation, hobbies, or staying for his close people.

This is where performance tracking software can help a lot. This digital instrument will assist you in elaborating the most effective and easy-to-manage schedule.

Perform tasks faster than those who do not know what time management is and do not use it. After a short period of using performance tracking software, you will be able to cope with many different things without feeling stressed and tired.

9. Forget about Constant Fatigue

You’ll become less prone to stress and will not experience emotional fatigue when you’ve planned for a working day.

Even if you had less tasks in your to-do list but spent half of the day on Facebook, you will feel tired in the evening.

It is way more efficient to plan your day based on results of your performance rates being tracked. Therefore, you will never overload yourself with tasks and will not spend hours in social networks.

Instead, you will know when it is necessary to take a break and how much time to dedicate to it so that you are not in delay.

10. Have a Clear Plan of Action

When using performance tracking software, you always know how to act when working on complex and challenging tasks. The idea is that you divide a big task into smaller sub-tasks and handle a complex assignment step-by-step. Thus, you always have a clear plan of action and follow it closely.

You know when to take a coffee break and when it is better to work efficiently without being disturbed and abstracting from the task. Performance tracking software will help you elaborate the most effective plan of action when dealing the most complicated tasks.

11. Control Your Life

Everyone of us would like to control our life and take the maximum out of it. Unfortunately, it is not always possible. We are all busy, and if not busy, we feel tired after a hard working day.

To avoid the feeling of being а fagged-out person and to free up your calendar, using a performance tracking and task planning software will be of great service to you.

Once you start tracking your time and paying close attention to your daily activities, you can control your life as you wish.

Forget about staying at work till late hours. Spend this time with your family or friends instead. It is not about doing your work worse or taking less tasks; it is more about increasing your performance and spending no time on useless and “for-fun” stuff.

Productivity Apps to Strat Tracking Your Performance

Do you have a plan for the day? And how many points from it do you usually perform? Do you manage to cope with all the tasks you set, eat, and rest normally? Do you have time for your family and friends?

For proper self-organization and high performance, it is not necessary to keep all thoughts and plans in your head or notebook. Instead, you can rely on applications aimed at tracking your performance and boosting it.

Finding a good task planner and performance tracker is perhaps the first thing a modern man needs to do when he buys a smartphone, pc, or tablet. And this is one of the most useful features of mobile devices, especially for those who are not used to planning their tasks and projects in a paper diary.

There are a lot of different task managers in the AppStore. Some of them are good, while others have poor functionality and cost a lot. That’s why we have decided to help you with the search and have picked five convenient planners that will help you set global goals, plan your life, and compile wish lists.

Toggl: Work Hours Time Tracker

Time management is the global problem of the 21st century: everyone talks about it, everyone wants to get it. However, very few people understand and effectively organize their working day.

Time tracker Toggl makes registration in client projects easier, so you can keep track of how much time was spent on client projects, and how many hours have been dedicated to coping with company projects.

And knowing the costs of your time, you can plan further work and your workload.

Download Toggl

Remember The Milk

Now you will never forget to buy milk. Remember The Milk is a handy to-do list for busy people; the application will send a reminder to you even on Twitter. You can plan everything from shopping lists to important meetings.

A user-friendly interface, not obtrusive, but insistent, notifications help you plan your time effectively.

Download Remember the Milk

Evernote

A modern workspace that can sync with all your gadgets and work in an offline mode. You can write notes, compile lists, organize materials, add articles to the reading from the Internet, collect data for work, and discuss tasks with other users.

Download Evernote

Basecamp 3

The application will allow you to simultaneously manage several projects, current tasks and elaborate business plans. By the way, the utility can be used by the whole team thus increasing its performance exponentially.

What is more, in this application, you can work with documents and give access to them to other employees.

Download Basecamp

The bottom line

Time is a limited resource that is constantly consumed. Unfortunately, you cannot stop using it, and you are not able to restore its reserves. Nevertheless, you need to do your best to ensure all the planned tasks are done qualitatively and in time. From planning meetings to fulfilling assignments – time is behind every aspect of doing business, and you can not afford to dispose of it badly.

Ineffective time management can manifest itself in different ways. Procrastination, distraction due to personal affairs or complicated projects, there are many things that take a lot of our time every day. This is because the wasted time that you break your life-work balance, feel more stress, and are faced with tough deadlines.

Fortunately, today’s modern technologies can offer us a lot of opportunities for more productive time management. Free up your schedule, find time for your personal life, and focus on doing important work. Start using performance tracking applications today already!

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2Ir3E1S

Stock up on These 9 Healthy Snack Foods to Boost Your Brainpower

Brain food is food that is beneficial to the brain. Like our skin and our stomachs, certain foods contribute to the nourishment and treating of these areas of the body. The brain also needs certain foods to help boost its power so that we are functioning at our best daily. We should be stocking up on brain food!

The brain, the complex machine that controls our entire being, is actually easy to feed and nourish. Certain foods feed us nutrients and provide benefits that many of us are unaware of. For instance, Barbara Shukitt- Hale, USDA Nutrition Research Facility at Tufts University states the following about the nutrients we consume:

“Plants have developed mechanisms to deal with stresses in the environment. Because of sunlight, smog, and temperature they have developed antioxidant or anti- inflammatory capabilities. When we ingest them they are protective in our bodies as well.”

In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of healthy brain foods and will recommend to you the best 9 healthy snack foods to boost your brainpower!

The Importance of Brain Food and How it Helps The Brain

Our brains control everything that we do. Certain chemicals impact the way it works in good and bad ways. Brian food helps increase your intellectual power! According to an article published by Fernando Gomez- Pinilla, Departments of Neurosurgery and Physiological Science at UCLA:((Nat Rev Neurosci.: Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function))

“Research over the past 5 years has provided exciting evidence for the influence of dietary factors on specific molecular systems and mechanisms that maintain mental function. For instance, a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is garnering appreciation for supporting cognitive processes in humans and upregulating genes that are important for maintaining synaptic function and plasticity in rodents.”

The classical saying “you are what you eat” holds a lot of value and truth as proven by research. Here’s some insight:

  • Amino Acids are derived from protein and help support and connect your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help keep the brain sharp — dopamine for nervous system function, serotonin for mood, memory, and learning, norepinephrine for alertness and concentration, and acetylcholine for storage and recollection of memory.
  • Glucose is what gives the brain energy. Brains get almost all of their energy from glucose.
  • Fatty Acids such as polyunsaturated, omega-3, and omega 6 help strengthen nerve cells which help strengthen memory.
  • Antioxidants inhibit oxidization. Antioxidants remove damaging oxidizing agents in living organism.

Lack of Brain Food and Its Effect on The Brain

I discussed the great impacts of brain food consumption for the brain. Lack of brain food will have a reverse impact. Lack of brain food can cause memory, cognitive, blood sugar imbalance, brain fog, nutrient deficiencies, and mood difficulty.

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, appetite, and mood is produced in the gastrointestinal tract (the digestive track that takes food, digests, extracts, and absorbs the energy and nutrients from food consumption).

Simply put, proper brain food is essential to your everyday health. Brain food is essential for a healthy digestive tract which is needed for healthy serotonin levels. Healthy serotonin levels are essential for healthy sleep, appetite, and mood.

Other physical difficulties can result from lack of brain foods: blood pressure, increased acuteness, and irritability to name a few.

Brain food is essential to our lives because they feed the machine that keep us going. Lack of brain food means lack of proper care for ourselves.

What Foods Harm The Brain?

It’s no secret that certain types of foods are bad for us in multiple ways. Healthy brain food consumption can be looked at and handled just like consuming food for weight loss. There are some foods that feed your entire being for overall health and many that you should stay away from in high quantities because they negatively impact your entire being, here are a few:

  • Sugary foods and beverages– higher sugar levels in the blood can increase the risk of dementia.
  • Trans and saturated fat– this one has been a known fact for weight; however, linked to the brain, observational studies have found an association between saturated fat intake and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Refined Carbohydrates– this also includes sugar. Please note that refined carbs turn into sugar. This means that they turn into high glycemic food. Foods high in GL (glycemic load) have been found to impair brain function.
  • Aspartame– “but I’ve been told it’s a sweetener, a sugar substitute, and better than consuming sugar”. Aspartame is used as a sugar substitute more so for weight loss because it has 0 calories. It may be effective for weight loss; however, it is a food that can be harmful to the brain. Aspartame is a product made up of phenylalanine, methanol, and aspartic acid.((European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain))
  • Phenylalanine– can cross the blood-brain barrier and might disrupt the production of neurotransmitters- serotonin.((Choudhary, Arbind Kumar: Neurophysiological symptoms and aspartame: What is the connection?))
  • Methanol– can cause metabolic acidosis causing central nervous system disturbances.((Neurosciences (Riyadh): Methanol intoxication with cerebral hemorrhage))
  • Processed foods– generally the foods found in the middle of the grocery store, these foods tend to be high in fats, sugar, and salt. Not only do these foods cause weight gain, that gain is harmful to the brain.

A study of 243 people found increased fat around the organs, or visceral fat, to be associated with brain tissue damage.((Ralph L. Widya: Visceral adipose tissue is associated with microstructural brain tissue damage))((Michiel Sala: Microstructural Brain Tissue Damage in Metabolic Syndrome))

9 Healthy Foods to Boost Your Brainpower

1. Avocado

These amazing, green, circles/ovals of joy are packed with nutrients! If you like guacamole, then you like avocadoes! Avocado is a fruit consisting of healthy carbs, fat, and vitamins:

  • Vitamin K– synthesizes certain proteins that are prerequisites for blood coagulation.
  • Folate– one of the B-vitamins that is needed to make red and white blood cells in bone marrow, convert carbs to energy, and produce DNA.
  • Vitamin C– cannot be produced in the body therefore awareness on consumption is essential. Vitamin C is a necessary antioxidant for strengthening the body’s natural defenses, also known as immune system.
  • Potassium– a mineral and electrolyte, that produces electrical impulses around the body and assist with: blood pressure, muscle contractions, nerve impulses, digestion, and heart rhythm.
  • Vitamin B5– essential for the production of energy and breaking down fats and carbohydrates.
  • Vitamin B6– necessary for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous and immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin E– dissolves fat and supports vision, reproduction, and healthy blood, brain, and skin.

2. Walnuts

Understandably, those with nut allergies cannot consume walnuts.

For those that can, walnuts provide amazing benefits, like having twice as many antioxidants than almonds and peanuts. These small nuts are packed with DHA (omega’s), protein and minerals.

3. Spinach

A study conducted by Rush University showed that people that 1-2 servings of greens, like spinach, for 5 years, had the cognitive abilities of someone 11 years younger.

Spinach is loaded with vitamin K, folate, beta carotene (an antioxidant), and lutein (an antioxidant).

4. Dark Chocolate

This is a win. chocolate for brain food!

Chocolate has high levels of flavanols. Dr. Bret S. Stetka, MD, states the following about flavanols:

“These abundant phenolic plant compounds have marked antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to be responsible for much of the health benefit ascribed to chocolate consumption”.

Studies like the Swedish Mammography Cohort study found the following results:

Increasing chocolate consumption by 50 g per week reduced

  • Cerebral infarction risk by 12%
  • Hemorrhagic stroke risk by 27%,
  • Total stroke risk by 14%

5. Green Tea

Green tea is known to be a powerful antioxidant beverage that helps improve brain function, contributes to fat loss, and reduces risk of cancer.

Additionally, loaded with L-theanine (an amino acid), it increases dopamine.

6. Kale

Kale has so much of what we need in one bunch. Loaded with iron, folate, vitamin B6, and protein, it has everything that the brain needs to produce serotonin and dopamine.

7. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants; however, have an added benefit- lycopene. Lycopene regulates the genes in the brain that influence inflammation and contribute to brain growth.

8. Sage

Besides adding amazing flavor, sage is makes for great brain food. It’s an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Not only is it used for pain relief, but it also contributes to the enhancement of memory and cognitive abilities.

9. Chia

A little seed packed with huge benefits. Chia seeds are rich in DHA (omega)and a complete protein.

This means that they carry 9 of the essential amino acids necessary to keep moods sable and brains functioning at their best.

Conclusion

Eating mindfully is essential for our well beings. Our brain control everything. We feed it knowledge, we also need to feed it proper nutrients. Stock up on these brain foods to keep that machine running at its best!

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2N6giE1

25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond

Strengthening your family bond doesn’t have to be difficult. There are fun activities that can create many happy memories, help you get to know each other better, and let you experience the world in new ways.

To help you along, we’ve produced a list of 25 fun things to do with family members so you can easily find out a little bit more about each other.

1. Get Some Board Games

Traditional, sure, and maybe even a little out of place in an era of smartphones and games consoles. But board games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit offer a different type of socialising.

Get yourself a few and set a game night so you can set some happy memories.

2. Have a Picnic

Heading out into the fresh air to enjoy a picnic is something of a lost art. Although the occasional wasp might be an issue, there’s still the sense of serenity and a chance to catch up over some homemade foodstuffs.

3. Get a Family Pet

You may already have a cat or a dog, but how about adding a new member to your family?

Pets make for a great talking point and you can get a lot of happiness from simply watching animals can be a special experience.

4. Read Together

Reading is essential for personal development. It provides mental stimulation, stress relief, memory improvement, and vocabulary improvement.

It’s also fantastic for bonding – reading a story to your kids each evening is a popular family pastime that can create many positive memories.

Here’re 30 unforgettable kids books you can consider.

5. Take Up Crafts

We have you covered for these as well, with 30 awesome DIY projects you can try at home.

Crafts are a brilliant way to express creativity. But as you have to work as a team, it’s a great chance for families to enjoy making something together.

6. Take Up Your Children’s Hobbies

Whether they play video games or read book series you would normally avoid at all costs, being aware of your children’s hobbies can have many benefits.

From conversation points to understanding what sort of culture your child likes, you can then direct them to other things.

Plus, it makes buying them birthday and Christmas presents a touch easier if you know their hobbies.

7. Set a Movie Night

Most people love films (I’ve only ever met one person who doesn’t). The magic of cinema can unite people in unexpected ways.

So set yourself a movie night, get some popcorn ready, and take a tour through the classics (or latest releases). It’s kind of the reason why Netflix was invented.

8. Volunteer

Check your local community and offer to chip in where possible. There may be a cat shelter in need of staff, a local park looking for helpers, or a race track looking for marshals.

You never know what it could involve, but it’ll off endearing new experiences all the same.

9. Bake Food

Baking is fantastic fun and highly rewarding. As a family activity, it’s a character building, entertaining, and skilful practice.

Try out some new recipes and work together as a team – get your baking perfected and then head on to a new recipe. Here are 40 mind-blowing baking hacks to help you along.

10. Build a Blanket Fort

Perhaps try this one with your movie or reading night. But building a blanket fort is great fun – no matter how daft it seems. Calming, cosy, and quiet, you’ve got a great chance to chat or enjoy some culture together as a family.

Plus, it’ll show your kids adults aren’t ultra-serious sticks in the mud at all times.

Here’s how to build a blanket fort:

11. Go For a Walk

It could be a walk around your local community or a trip to the countryside.

Either way, walking has many health benefits – weight loss, better cardiovascular and pulmonary (that’s heart and lung) fitness, meditative purposes, you get to see some sights; and all the while providing you with the ideal chance to chat with your family members (and walk the pet dog, if you have one).

12. Pick a New Holiday Destination

Liven up your holiday routine with a trip to somewhere new. It can be tempting to fall into a generic pattern of choosing the places you’re familiar with.

But shaking up your next trip abroad with a new destination can revitalize your routine and provide your family with an exciting new environment to explore.

13. Visit Your Grandparents

Having a lazy weekend? Visit your grandparents. It’s a chance for your kids to learn about their lives and heritage.

Surely this ranks as one of the leading things to do with the family – a chance to bond across multiple generations!

14. Have a Dinner Party

Get your family friends around for a dinner party. Socializing is a great way for your kids to make new friends, which can lead to new social opportunities in the future.

Whilst it’s great getting to see your kids flourish, you can also be an active part in their developing personal life.

15. Get Artistic

Bring out your family’s creative side. Buy some plain white paper, some coloring pencils, and challenge each other to create something spectacular.

You can provide feedback, support, tips, and could start a blog documenting your efforts to connect with the wider world.

16. Teach Others Your Skills

What are you good at? Can you juggle? Are you still proud of that Super Mario Kart track record, but your SNES is in the attic? Are you a brilliant knitter looking to pass on your skill set?

Well, there’s nothing stopping you from (at least trying) to get your family interested.

Having a shared passion is a great way to spend some fun, quality, productive time together.

17. Learn Something New Together

Of course, you can also learn a new skill entirely. Thinking of the future, you may want to learn the basics of web coding. Or you could start blogging on a platform like WordPress, take up photography, or learn a new sport together.

There are also sites like Udemy where you can learn a huge variety of topics at your own pace. Whilst great for family bonding, it can also set your kids up with some essential new skills.

18. Go Camping

Kids more used to their gadgets may need some convincing, but a camping trip is essential.

It’s almost a rites of passage for any family – a trip into the wilderness to set up camp, cook around a fire, and enjoy some rural sights. It’s relaxing, fun, and a great chance for your kids to get away from a blue screen for a while.

19. Try glamping

If camping seems too primitive, try glamping. It’s glamorous camping. You can have all of your creature comforts around, but enjoy the great outdoors simultaneously.

Some glamping hotspots offer tempting venues, so have a scour around online to find the right match for you.

20. Keep a scrapbook

Store your family memories in one of these! You can buy some beautiful scrapbooks online that are just waiting for you to fill them with memories.

You could update it one a week as a family, but looking back and reminiscing is also a memorable bonding activity.

Take a look at this example:

21. Build a garden

Gardening is relaxing, rewarding, and teaches your kids about the natural world.

Sow the land, work hard to create a living garden, and keep tabs of your progress in a diary (or, again, a blog).

You can add to the experience by maintaining (even building!) birdhouses. Attracting some local wildlife to watch is educational and also great fun.

22. Play I Spy

There’s something weirdly compelling about this game. From my experiences as a kid, it was always brilliant for long car journeys. Staring down at my Game Boy wasn’t always desirable.

Simply think of something you can see, then your family can gradually work their way towards working out what it is. Again, fantastic for long car journeys.

23. Perfect Some Healthy Snacks

Moving on from #9 (baking) above, it’s not always the healthiest food to eat. Why not learn a few nutritious snack recipes as well? Popcorn is a great example.

Here are 15 of them you should always have at home (make it 16 now that you know to remember the popcorn option).

24. Create a Time Capsule

Put together a time capsule to hide away for the future. You can throw together some memorable items from your life now (perhaps not your iPhone, though) and put them in an airtight capsule.

You can then plan to revisit it in a decade and see what memories it can throw up for you. Opening it can throw up some powerful emotions.

Memories pay a big part in family life, so this can be something to cherish further ahead in time.

25. Dress Up

Last of all… why not? Pick a theme for the weekend and spend your day waltzing around as a dashing pirate, vicious Viking, go for Victorian era wigs, or as a celebrity of your choice.

There’s no real purpose to this other than to have a few giggles, although you could add some pictures to your scrapbook for safekeeping.

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2DBDQ4l

Looking for Motivation? 30 Procrastination Quotes That Will Definitely Help

What do your 3pm fridge raid and perfectly alphabetised bookshelf have in common?

You most likely did both of them when you should have been doing work.

Procrastination is one of the most human behaviours. We’re all guilty of putting off what we know is important from time to time, and it seems the more pressing the task at hand, the better we are at avoiding it.

Sure, it means that every time we have an important deadline we end up with a spotlessly clean house and a completely empty inbox, but the real work gets left until the very last minute and is finished in a frenzy of stress and caffeine.

But we can gain control over procrastination by noticing it as soon as possible and stopping it in its tracks. On the contrary, you know you have a bad habit when you’re aware you’re putting something off, and you continue avoiding it anyway.

To start you off with combating procrastination, here are a few quotes to get you in a motivated frame of mind, because if procrastination has any enemies, it’s motivation to work harder.

A few home truths

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

― Mark Twain

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

“Someday is not a day of the week.”

― Janet Dailey

“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.”

― Israelmore Ayivor

“The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.”

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Procrastination is like going to a fancy restaurant and filling up on bread and not leaving enough room for dinner.”

― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret

“Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.”

― Noelle Hancock, My Year with Eleanor

“Doing things at the last minute reminds us of the importance of doing things at the first minute.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”

― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere

“By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?”

― Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes

“If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”

― José N. Harris

Some practical advice

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”

― Hilary Mantel

“Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”

― Robert Herjavec, The Will To Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”

― Pablo Picasso

“It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.”

― Lon Milo DuQuette, The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema

“Do first what you don’t want to do most.”

― Clifford Cohen

“How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.”

― Stephen Richards, The Secret of Getting Started: Strategies to Triumph over Procrastination

“How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.”

― Robert Moment, How to Stop Procrastinating

“Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.”

― James Jones

And some tough love

“Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.”

― Paulo Coelho, Aleph

“If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.”

― George Bernard Shaw

“If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.”

― José N. Harris

“What is deferred is not avoided.”

― Thomas More

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”

― Chuck Close

“If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.”

― Roy Bennett

“Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”

― Sanjo Jendayi

“You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”

― Debasish Mridha

Finally, for when you need pulling out of procrastination

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”

― Denis Waitley

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

― Karen Lamb

Now your turn

Print these quotes out, stick them on the wall in front of your desk – do whatever it takes to remember why you shouldn’t be putting your work off, or getting distracted by a desire to rearrange your socks into colour order.

It won’t be easy, but being aware of how detrimental procrastination is to your longer-term goals is the first step towards overcoming it.

via Lifehack – Feed https://ift.tt/2N031Nn