How to Implement “The One Minute Rule”

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Have you ever heard of “The One Minute Rule”. It’s basically just if you notice a task that will take less than one minute to do, you just get it done right away.  Things like putting stuff away, making your bed, or hanging up your clothes.

Well, THIS WRITER tried doing obeying the “one minute rule” for a week, and she ended up loving it. Why? Because it decluttered her life! She found herself putting things like scissors up more often, doing her dishes when they needed to be done, and putting her clothes either away or in the laundry. All those things that we will “get to later” add up. And before you know it, you’ve got to deal with one gigantic mess after another.

So, the “one minute rule” encourages us do the things that need to be done right away, and as she says:

“If you’re looking for a way to have a neater, cleaner space — and a shorter to-do list — without putting in much effort at all, I think the One-Minute Rule’s definitely worth a try.”

So do I.

 

9 Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep Because Your Mind Is Racing

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(photo www.rootreport.com)

So, when we’re young, we hate going to bed. We avoid it like the plague. Then, when we get older, sleep becomes more and more precious as we age. It really is one of the most important factors in what kind of day we have. So, don’t you hate it when you try to go to bed at a reasonable hour, so that you can be refreshed and ready to go the next day, and you just can’t stop your brain? You toss and you turn, thinking and thinking. What do you do?

Older generations might tell you to “try counting sheep”, but I came across a great article in Time Magazine that has some other recommendations. I really like most of them. In all, they give us 9 things to do when you can’t sleep because your mind is racing, but I’ll give you some of my favorites:

Make a to-do list. Many of us can’t fall asleep because we’re too busy thinking about tomorrow and all that it may bring us. So, if you didn’t manage to be super organized and write that “tomorrow to do list” before you get to bed, get OUT of bed and clear your head with all the things that will concern you about tomorrow. May I add that you should try to make sure that you exhaust each idea or item on the to do list BEFORE you get back in bed, or you will re-think each item to death.

Read a book—but nothing too exciting Experts say this is a great way to “re-direct you brain” to think about something neutral instead of all of tomorrow’s nagging concerns. Those same experts caution that it should be something that’s not too stimulating and won’t get you worked up about something else. For many of us, reading in bed for about 20-30 minutes should do the trick, but if that’s not working, get out of bed and go read somewhere else. And, did I mention? You should really read an ACTUAL physical book instead of the digital kind, because those have been stones to disrupt sleep.

Listen to a podcast! How great is this?! Now, this didn’t come from me. Podcasts or audiobooks can take your mind off your worries as well, and they can be good alternatives to reading if you don’t want to turn on a light or strain your tired eyes. You can use headphones to listen without disturbing your bed partner too. Just like books, find a topic that’s not too exciting or upsetting. That’s why MY PODCAST is perfect!

Pray. Now the article recommends meditation, which certainly has its place, but if you believe in God, Pastor James MacDonald recommends the optimal way to pray: on your knees, out loud, with a list. So, take the time to make a list and give God all of your concerns and pray for everyone you know that needs it. That will not only clear your mind, but your heart and spirit as well.

Oh yeah, and my wife Leanne highly recommends taking Melatonin each night to help you fall asleep faster.

 

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(photo: www.dailyhaha.com)

4 Ways to Make Timing Work For You

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(photo: www.lifepalette.com)

How many times in your life have you heard the expression, “timing is everything”? I’ve heard it so much that I’ve taken it to heart. A good friend of mine years ago told me “If you ain’t got timing, you ain’t got diddly”. That’s why timing is essential especially when we are doing the essential things.

I came across a cool article from Forbes.com that not only expands on this premise, but shows us how to maximize it!

According to  Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. we need to maximize the RIGHT times to do things in our lives. Here are four great, practical examples:

1/Get a bird’s-eye view of your day. You have determine what kind of bird you are. Are  you a lark, an owl or a third bird? Larks are “early to bed and early to rise”. Owls are the opposite, and third birds are somewhat in between the two. Research shows that most of us go through the day in three stages: a peak, a trough and a recovery. “For most of us, that peak is the morning, the trough is the early afternoon and the recovery is the late afternoon and early evening,” says Pink. Night owls, you generally operate in reverse. For you, it’s recovery, trough and then peak.

2/Manage money when you’re at your analytical best. Pink says if you’re going to make financial decisions, do it at your “peak” part of your day. That’s when you’re at your most analytical. In fact, he says, you’re likely better suited to tackle many of your most important tasks each day during your peak. When you hit the trough of your day — which is when your brainpower decreases — instead of grabbing a coffee, try taking a break to boost your productivity and overall performance. Try getting up, moving around, getting outside and fully detaching….WITHOUT your cell phone.  Finally, there’s the recovery period, when you’ll likely get another boost of energy that’s particularly well-suited for creative tasks.

3/Automate financially to save you from yourself. We talked about this some in my earlier post “3 Ways to Save Cash This Year.”  Research shows that there are some financial maneuvers the human brain isn’t particularly wired for, including saving for things far in the future — like college for our kids and retirement for ourselves. If that’s true for you, take yourself out of the loop. Automate contributions into not just 401(k) retirement savings accounts, but also IRAs, HSAs, 529s and even emergency savings. And while you’re at it, you may want to download the AgingBooth app on your phone and take a good look at yourself — 30 years from now. Research shows looking at yourself in a prematurely aged state can provide motivation to save even more.

4/Look for small-but-mighty productivity boosts. To save yourself time and money, try asking yourself this question about every task you take on throughout the day: “Will I do this again?” If the answer is yes, then ask yourself what can you do now to make doing this in the future easier and more efficient? For example, if you find yourself sending the same types of emails on a regular basis, draft models for them. If you know you have those same things going out on certain days, schedule them on your calendar. That in and of itself will save you time and increase productivity.

See, timing isn’t just everything, it may be the ONLY thing when it comes to being more productive!

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(photo: www.redfairyproject.com)

3 Ways to Save Cash This Year!

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(photo: www.azquotes.com)

We all want to save money, but the fact remains that many Americans are one or two paychecks away from serious financial ruin. What if you lost your job? What if you or someone in your immediate family had a prolonged hospital stay? These two and many other scenarios could wreck your financial picture. We don’t want to think about these kinds of eventualities, but isn’t it better to be able to be ready for them?

Living in America, we all have the tendency to want to “keep up with the Jones'”, right? At Christmas time, we spend like no other time of the year. Many of us, myself included, tend to be pretty irresponsible in our spending habits. Fact is, we can’t take it with us when we leave this earth, so what are we leaving behind? Stuff. Stuff for our family to fight over. Stuff that will disposed of at an estate sale. Stuff that will be thrown away. Fact is, many times when we spend our money, we are just postponing the inevitable, because we are just throwing our money away.

So, what do you do about it? Save! Save, save, and save some more. A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Don’t we feel better when we SAVE money than when we spend it? The security of saving lasts a lot longer than the initial thrill of buying that thing that we just “had to have.”

Luckily, resources are boundless when it comes to HOW to save money. How do rich people get rich, and more importantly, STAY rich? By saving. By being frugal. I came across a cool little article from CNBC quoting Mark Cuban on 3 Ways to Save More Money in 2018. These are some great common sense tips, like pay OFF your credit cards and DON’T use them unless you can pay off the balance each month. Or, watch your spending. Clip coupons. Stock up big time when stores have deals on things you use everyday. That kind of thing.

To those, I’ll add 3 MORE Ways To Save This Year:

1/Save and Stash Every Day. Set aside $1 a day, working your way up throughout the week—so on Sunday, you save $1, $2 on Monday, $3 on Tuesday, and continue on until Saturday, when you put aside $7. Then, every Sunday, start over at the $1 mark. That’s a total of $28 per week, or $112 per month. If you do it for the full 52 weeks, you’ll have $1,456 saved up by the end of the year!

2/Keep a Cash Jar. This may sound silly and old fashioned, but it works.
Some people feel more productive, savings-wise, if they use cash. If that’s you, and you’d prefer to physically put a dollar (or however many you’re supposed to put aside depending on which day of the week it is) aside every day, try keeping a money jar in a place you’ll remember to drop cash into every day, like on top of your dresser—you’ll see it when you’re getting ready, so you won’t forget. At the end of the week (or month, if you prefer), just deposit the cash into your savings account.

3/Use a Money App.If you’d rather keep things digital (or, if like me, you rarely carry cash on you) a money app like Qapital—or Acorns, if you want to invest your money-can be your best friend. Qapital lets you set up automatic transfers in the same dollar amount every day, every week, or every month, and has the traditional 52 Week Challenge transfer rule.

If you don’t mind remembering to put aside money every day, you can simply transfer the dollar amount for that day into your account with your preferred app—think of it like a digital cash jar, no deposits required. Or, if you’d rather set it and forget it, you can simply set up a recurring automatic weekly transfer of $28, and let your money basically save itself. That’s well over $1,500 a year saved with minimal effort.

However, you do it, you should at a MINIMUM, have a $1,000 emergency fund (in case of emergencies) that won’t charge you interest like a credit card. After that, you should try to save enough for 6 months wages, so you are set if financial disaster strikes.

BONUS: Once you’ve cleared those savings hurdles, strive like there’s no tomorrow to accomplish Dave Ramsey’s “7 Baby Steps to Financial Peace”….two of which I just listed. Once you accomplish those, then you can have some serious financial security!

You Can Do It!!

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(photo: www.ipinimg.com)

How To Make That Dream Trip a Reality This Year

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(photo: www.blog.constancehotels.com)

Seems like everyone has a bucket list of places they’ve always wanted to visit. For my wife and I, it’s the romance of Italy. Before we were married, I promised her I would take her on that romantic trip to Italy. That was nearly twenty years ago.

What keeps us from taking that “dream trip”? Money is a big factor, and then it’s timing. It never seems like the right time, does it? You don’t have anywhere to leave the kids. Or maybe you are putting the kids through college. Maybe you’re in the middle of a family crisis or a home renovation project. Whatever the reason, that “perfect” time never comes, does it?

Well, nobody said you have to take that dream trip right now, but as we prepare to turn the calendar to 2018, we can start PLANNING that dream right now. I came across a cool article on 8 Ways to Make Your Dream Trip a Reality. Bottom line, you’ve got to plan your work, and then work your plan. As the article says, start employing practical tips like writing down your plan, tell other people, and work out some easy ways to save for it. Maybe you want to start a vacation savings jar, or maybe you can set an automatic transfer for a set amount to come out every two weeks or every month to go to a dedicated “dream trip account.”

There are lots of credit cards that give you things like frequent flier miles or help you defray the cost of lodging by staying in one of their hotels for your dream trip. One we have used to earn miles for past travel is the American Express Delta Skymiles card. If you’ve never had this card, you can receive large sign-up bonus miles when you are approved and spend a certain amount of money on the card (as of 12.29.2017 bonus is 50,000 miles after spending $2000 in the first 3 months plus 10,000 more after spending $1000 more in 6 months. Offer subject to change at any time.) A good way to earn miles if you are a responsible credit card user (i.e. pay off your balance every month). Most major airlines have similar offers for other cards. For lodging, there are loyalty programs where you can earn free nights and they also have partner credit cards with large sign-up bonuses.

Don’t want to sign up for credit cards? There are other ways to earn loyalty points and frequent flier miles such as Delta’s Skymiles Shopping or Dining, For more on earning points without flying, staying or opening a credit card, check out https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/earn-frequent-flyer-miles/.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

You can earn:
50,000
Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within the first 3 months. Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases within their first 6 months.*Terms Apply

Special Offer Expires: 01/31/2018

Bottom line: Start planning now, and make 2018 the year you FINALLY take that dream trip. Bon Voyage!

**This blog includes affiliate links. All opinions and reviews are my own. I may receive a referral for links. 

How to “Be Still and Know He Is God”

When you lose your job and face a career crossroads, you tend to pray…a lot. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom & discernment. Pray for provision. Pray, pray, pray. How do you know then when God is answering your prayers or at least speaking to you?

For me, the confirmation came during Sunday morning worship service (God has a way of making that happen for us that love & follow Him). First came the worship portion of the service where we sang “Great is His Faithfulness” and then the real clincher came with the song sung so beautifully by one of our church’s finest singers. It was his amazing version of  Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Be Still & Know”. The title is taken from Psalm 46:10:

“Be Still and Know That I am God,

I Will Be Exalted Among the Nations,

I Will Be Exalted in the Earth” (NKJV)

Many Christians have heard that verse many times, but what does it mean really to “be still”? Does it mean to quit moving around, settle down, and be still like your mother always told you when you were little? Not exactly. Actually, the Hebrew word for “be still” used in the text means to relax. In fact, it literally could be translated to “Relax and know that I am God”

Relax.

You may have heard the phrase “Let go and let God”. Well, the Hebrew here in Psalms pretty much points to that. Literally, it calls for us to put our hands down at our sides. When problems come our way, and they invariably do, we are NOT being told to get our hands all over those problems. We are told to relax, put our hands at our sides, and remember that God is GOD. The great “I Am” as He told Moses. He’s not bound by time or space or any other measure. He is simply, God. We, however much control we may try to assume, are not.

When we get a grip on “I am God” (you know, the creator of Heaven and Earth?), we can find rest for our souls.

Someone posted on Instagram a coffee mug with the following:

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

You know who can give us that kind of peace? Well, the PRINCE of Peace, that’s who. That is, when we can “be still and know that He is God.”

 

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

From Hymn entitled “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen H. Lemmel 1922

 

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(photo credit: www.shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com)

 

 

“Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman (Lyrics Video)