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7 Habits That Will Save You Time

Time. You can't recover it, make up for it, or reverse it. There are 24 hours in a day and 168 in a week, and those numbers aren't changing. What you can do is use the hours more efficiently and wisely to free up at least 60 minutes a week.

Many executive clients work 60-plus hours a week still find a way to do things for themselves and their families. How? They do it by prioritizing. They know what's truly important, what's urgent, and what isn't. They know how to say no to certain things and yes to other things. And they know how to maximize the time that they do have and not dwell on time that they don't have. Here's how you can optimize your time:

Track how you spend your time. Do this for one week. Many people are entirely unaware of what they do hour to hour and where the day goes. This simple exercise of noting what you're doing each hour can have a huge impact. If for 15 minutes every morning you spent on deciding what to wear, that's almost two hours a week spent. Track your time and know where you're spending it.

Determine which tasks and activities are vital and which are optional.Structure other tasks around those that are vital. Schedule your day by doing the important tasks first. This is when you are freshest and energetic. So often the less important tasks get in the way of other things that need to be done. For many this is a distraction. It's easier to do the things that aren't as important. Fear leads to procrastination (overcome it!) and ends us keeping us stagnant.

Get up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do. Doing so will provide you with an extra 75 minutes in your work week. Many of my clients who are business leaders talk about how they maximize their mornings and see it as a time to respond to emails without the distraction of telephone calls or they use it to do their daily workout.

Schedule Internet use. So often people lose their sense of time when they are online. Given the sensory overload, people are drawn into cyberspace and rarely can stick to just their intended task. Think about how many times you went online to read the news or check the weather and ended up staying online much longer reading other articles.

Keep your expectations in check. Are these expectations reasonable or unreasonable? For example, are you trying to go to the gym, get the kids ready for school, do laundry, and walk the dog all before 9:00 a.m.? Make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew.

Change your thinking. "I'm so busy" and "I don't have time for anything" are negative comments that are sure to keep you feeling overwhelmed. You might think instead, "I will make good use of the time that I do have" or "I can only do so much in one day and I will make sure I accomplish what is reasonable today."

Keep your surroundings clean and organized. A cluttered desk will distract you as will a messy home. By keeping things in order you'll keep information organized in your head and minimize the possibility of losing items and having to spend time looking for them

This article was originally posted in the Huffington Post by Jonathan Alpert. We think it's great to share with you because we find it informative and super helpful for bettering our time management skills.

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7 Daily Tricks to Improve Your Memory

Here are some simple steps you can take to strengthen your memory every day.

Learn something new. Learning something new–be it a new language or taking a cooking class–is generally good for your brain. But learning formal couples dancing, it turns out, is especially good. “Not only is it physical, it’s learned dance moves,” says Dawn Buse, PhD, a health psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “You have to think as you go, change and be flexible. If you stretch the body at the same time, it’s a bonus.”

Switch hands. Many stroke survivors who suffer paralysis have to learn how to use the previously non-dominant side of their body for everyday tasks like writing. This helps create new neural networks. But even non-stroke survivors can benefit from the practice. “Brush your teeth with your left hand, buckle your belt with your left hand, eat cereal,” says Buse. “These novel activities are stimulating novel parts of the brain.”

Take breaks. There’s a way to never cram again and still remember what you learned. Researchers have determined that people who break their study time into chunks actually learn better than those who study for hours at a time. “Spacing out your learning and allowing time for forgetting to occur in between study sessions can promote your ability to remember information and promote your ability to learn concepts,” says researcher Haley Vlach, PhD, assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Write by hand. Foregoing the keyboard for pen and paper may actually be better for the brain, according to a study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. People are better at remembering the orientation of a new character if they write the characters by hand rather than type them on a computer keyboard, the study found. And research in children has shown that writing with pen and paper activates more regions of the brain than simply tapping a keyboard.

Play a computer game. Don’t write off computer keyboards entirely. In one study, adolescent girls who regularly played the computer game Tetris had changes in parts of the brain involved in critical thinking, reasoning, language, and processing, among others. The game requires players to manipulate shapes as they fall so as to create an ordered row of tiles. And while Tetris may be 25 years old, it’s still available on all types of gadgets, including the iPhone and iPod Touch. And anagrams themselves–forming new words with the letters of an existing word–are good for stimulating the brain. You can find ways to tease your brain at GamesForYourBrain.com.

Meditate mindfully. Emerging evidence shows that people who routinely meditate can produce physical changes in the brain. This increases not only attentiveness but also self-awareness and empathy. Bonus: It costs nothing and can be done anywhere, at any time.

Read out loud. Reading a book or the newspaper out loud stimulates different parts of the brain than reading silently to yourself.

This article was originally written by Amanda Gardner of Health Magazine. We shared this with you for its helpful tips on improving our memory and keeping the brain active and healthy. 

Motivational Monday: How to Kick Start Your Week!

Today, your alarm started to ring, and the Monday morning blues set in with an unexplainable feeling of dread, followed by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, and oh yeah,  let’s not forget about the anxiety.  You then realize it's 5 more days until Friday. If the last few sentences sent you off in a panic, no worries.

It’s motivational Monday!

The biggest obstacle is yourself. We often make excuses because we’re waiting to “feel ready” but it’s  just another way of saying, "I don't want to do it."  You can become the person you want to be by doing what you don't really want to do. Self discipline brings out the enormous potential that exists in every person.  So, Today you will accomplish anything you wish by..


1. Practice self discipline. Self discipline is what delivers a transformative ripple like effort in our day.

2. Decide on your goals. Choose some logical steps toward your goal.

3. Remember it's hard until it becomes easy. Be the person who can say, "I can do hard things."


And in return you will then learn that you can do things you didn't think you could do. If you practice self discipline today, it is likely that the rest of your week will follow suit. So whether it may it be with healthy eating, healthy thinking, or healthy actions, put your whole being into the present moment, and see how your Monday turns into a truly glorious day!


Sources:

  • Engole, Vishal. "10 Ways to Throw Those Monday Morning Blues Out of the Window." Life Hacker. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

  • Leahy, Ph.D. Robert. "5 Ways to Regain Motivation." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

  • Smith, Jacquelyn. "11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.