Monthly Archives: July 2015

8 Life Tips to Get More Done and Feel Better Doing It


Managing life and work seems to be more difficult than ever before. There are many reasons for why so many people feel that maintaining a healthy work-life relationship is harder than it was just a few years ago. For examples, our phones now tend to keep us “turned on” and overstimulated 24-7.

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to achieve a new level of productivity while feeling better doing it.

Tip One-Your Diet

paprika-421088_640It is simply impossible to discuss boosting productivity, feeling better and having more energy without a serious discussion of diet. Your diet is critical to your health. Medical science has shown that choosing the right diet can add years to your life, whereas selecting the wrong diet can work to subtract years. What you eat and drink really does matter. There are steps, regardless of your budget, that you can take to give your body what it needs to thrive.

Start by drastically reducing or if possible even eliminating fast food and processed foods. These foods are usually very low in nutrition and, to make things worse, they are high in chemicals, preservatives and other harmful ingredients. That means you’ll have far less energy when you eat these foods regularly. No one can expect to feel great when eating junk food. Consider making healthy meals and freezing them on the weekend so that you have a fast and easy way to eat healthy.

Tip Two-Meditation

sunset-691848_640Meditation is most definitely not a waste of time. Medical science has finally caught up to what the ancients have known for well over a thousand years – meditation works.

Rather interestingly, new studies point to the fact that meditation might actually serve to help the mind function more efficiently. That means that this practice might actually be able to help you achieve more with the time you work.


Tip Three-Sleep

baby-22194_640We’ll keep this tip short. You likely need more sleep. Not getting enough sleep will hamper your performance and can even impact your decision-making; after all, no one does there best on very little sleep.

Tip Four-Time Out

Do you check your smartphone or email constantly? This keeps your brain in a heightened state.

Relaxation is made more difficult by the ubiquitous nature of our modern gadgets and the interconnectivity that provide. Give your mind a time out and you’ll see a boost in your productivity during the hours you are working.

Tip Five-A Digital Assistant

hand-66610_640Digital assistants are becoming popular because they work. You may have to invest some time to find a good digital assistant, but once you do, it will be money well spent.

The first step in hiring a digital assistant is to determine what you would have your assistant do. Map out all that you do in a given day and then determine which of these tasks could be outsourced to someone else. You may discover that you don’t have much that a digital assistant could do, or you may discover that a digital assistant could handle a large chunk of your daily routine. Just imagine how great that would feel!

Tip Six-Track a Typical Day

children-403582_640Make a list of what you are doing during your day. The best approach is to chart out what you are doing in 10 or 15-minute intervals. Next look for the wasted time.

The odds are great that you have at least some wasted time. Sure, you’ll still want to do things like watch your favorite shows or read books. But look for the major “time sponges” such as watching shows you don’t like, mindlessly surfing the web or having long and unsatisfying phone conversations.

This tip will help you find a better way to manage your time so that you can get more of what your body needs like, sleep!

Tip Seven-The Reward Board/List

Create a board that has tasks you need to accomplish and the accompanying rewards. At first, this one might seem a little silly, but it does, in fact, work.

The simple act of focusing on what tasks need to be tackled and when will help you become more efficient and effective. This is true even without the rewards! Adding in a reward makes this tip a true winner.

Tip Eight-The Priority List

smartphone-570507_640Our third list related tip is to make a priority list. Again, just like making a reward board/list helps you to focus your mind the same is true for a priority list. This practice forces you to select what is and is not important.

Eliminating mental clutter will help you achieve greater clarity and that translates into greater efficiency. If you want to achieve more, then tracking your typical day, creating a reward board and making a priority list will do wonders!

These eight steps can be used rather well together. By increasing your efficiency, you can spend more time focusing on other areas of improvement. For example, tracking how you spend your time on a typical day will allow you to spot inefficiencies. Once you’ve spotted those inefficiencies, you can eliminate them and use that time to meditate, which leads to feeling better, looking better and being more productive.

Modern life has the potential to become extremely hectic. Human beings are not meant to always be on and always be connected. Yet, that is where many of us find ourselves. Finding time to relax and “be” is often the difference between being happy and healthy and being sick and miserable. Don’t be afraid to invest in you.

Posted by July 25, 2015 at 5:27 PM under Home Living Tips
What You Need to Know About the Air You Breathe

attractive woman breathing and relaxing

Air pollution takes many different forms. The idea that there is “one kind” of air pollution is a dangerous one. For example, air pollution doesn’t just come from outside. In fact air pollution can come from the goods you put inside your home. Most homes contain a range of volatile organic compounds or VOCs that can damage health. Alarmingly, many VOCs are suspected carcinogens and can lead to leukemia with prolonged exposure. In short, air quality couldn’t be any more serious of an issue.


Don’t Let Bad Air Quality Impact Your Health


Sources of indoor air pollution often surprise many people. Indoor air pollution sources range from building materials to paint and even seemingly harmless furniture. A large percentage of modern furniture and even items such as kitchen cabinets are not exactly what they seem. Instead of being solid wood, many modern furniture offerings are in fact little more than sawdust and wood remnants held together with chemicals and glues.


The “cheap” furniture one finds at many big box retailers are actually of such low quality that it starts to fall apart within just a couple of years. The bigger problem, however, is the fact this “MDF” or particleboard furniture also degasses and will do so for years. In the process, harmful chemicals including formaldehyde are released into the air.


The situation with household furniture, such as soft chairs and couches, is no better. The stuffing material in most chairs and couches are derived from petroleum products, chemicals and very dangerous flame-retardants. Such furniture will often degas for years.


The Amazing World of Low VOC Products


All of this is a bit depressing, but there are steps you can take to avoid poor indoor air quality. At the top of the list is to use low VOC products. Paint can release a tremendous amount of VOCs and continue to do so for a long time. Most large paint companies and many smaller companies now offer low VOC paint. Then there are also “green paint options” that have very low VOC. (And no these paints are always the color green.) The bottom line is that low VOC options are now out there and you can find them without too much trouble.


Carpets and Floors


Want to finish your hardwood floors or install carpeting? Flooring finishes are usually little more than chemicals and carpet will degas for years. That “new house” smell you’ve probably noticed is, in fact, VOCs being released into the air from a range of new materials.


Floor finishing can be particularly hazardous when newly applied and should be avoided. It is no accident that many people who smell some floor finishing products compare the smell to paint thinner. The good news is that there are natural low VOC floor finishing options and low VOC carpeting options, such as wool carpet.


NASA Weighs in On Plants


Sometimes you can’t help what is in your home and removal is impractical. Luckily, there are steps you can take. An inexpensive and prudent step is to populate your home with plants. Plants, such as ferns and snake plants, are extremely good at removing a range of contaminants from the air. The best scores in the NASA clean air study went to peace lily and florist’s chrysanthemum’s which both removed benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia, all of which are some of the most common indoor air pollutants.


In a NASA experiment, it was discovered that very common plants, such as ferns, worked remarkably well for reducing contaminants from the air. Snake plants are a very wise choice for anyone looking to improve the quality of his or her indoor air quality. The reason is that snake plants are very tough. These durable plants need virtually no love to thrive and are often used in many of most toxic indoor environments, such as newly constructed office spaces and shopping malls. Plants also boost one’s mood. It’s a win all the way around.


Finding a Great Air Purifier


In addition to plants, air purifiers can work extremely well for cleaning the air. Of course air purifiers come in all shapes, sizes, performance levels and prices. Finding the right one can be tricky and can also take a lot of research. Air purifiers that use ion technology should be avoided as some researchers worry that the technology might be hazardous to human health.


Low-end air purifiers, for example, those costing under $100 don’t usually perform very well. Consumer Reports has given good scores to Honeywell’s HPA300. While they have not yet reviewed the IQAir, this air filter has impressive capabilities and three layers of different filters including a hyper-HEPA filter. It is important to note that IQAir products are, however, far more expensive than most other air purifiers.


Easy Tricks to Improve Your Air Quality


There are many other steps one can take to improve indoor air quality. One of the best options is to frequently replace the filter in your home’s HVAC system and opt for a high quality filter. Your home’s HVAC filter is your first line of defense when it comes to clean air.


Another prudent move is to use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. These filters are designed to catch small particles and trap them. Periodically cleaning these filters every few months is a must in order to maintain optimal performance.

There are plenty of steps you can take to maintain air quality. Achieving great indoor air quality is a process. Don’t attempt to change everything at once. Instead, chip away at the problem of poor indoor air quality one bit at a time. While it make take some effort, great indoor air quality is invaluable for your health and has even been shown to help boost productivity.

Posted by July 02, 2015 at 10:45 PM under Environment Home Living Tips