Making a schedule is easy. Sticking to it is what often doesn't stick. Things come up, distractions derail you, and there's always that pesky procrastination that can turn a well-meaning planned out day into a free for all.
Creating and sticking to a schedule can not only make you feel less stressed, but you'll have the capacity to get more done with your precious time. As per The Order Expert, "Keeping to your schedule is all about maintaining balance." Be mindful of what you have to do and what you want to do, and do your best to include all you can in your schedule with realistic expectations.
There is only so much time in the day, so space out your to-dos with a little wiggle room, and don't try to cram everything in to one day. Just because there are many tasks on your schedule doesn't mean you'll be able to complete them successfully if you overload yourself. Once you "maintain balance," you'll get better and better at planning and sticking to your schedule. Here are some tips to help you abide by your schedule and get all your tasks and goals accomplished by bedtime.
1. Schedule Everything in One Place
You will have the best luck sticking to your schedule if you actually know what's on it. If you post a reminder in your smartphone, jot a meeting time onto your wall calendar, and leave a sticky note on the side of your computer, you'll have a hard time knowing what's what and when to do it.
As per Entrepreneur, "Not only will it save time to only have to check one calendar but it will also help ensure that you are not double booking or missing any meetings." And be sure you include both work-related and personal business in the same place, to be sure your professional plans jive with what you've got going on during your free time.
It doesn't matter if you prefer an old fashioned Rolodex, to store your plans in the cloud, or you like using apps. Just find one secure scheduling spot and stick with it.
2. Think Outside the 9 to 5
If you find yourself overbooked during the work day, don't limit your scheduling hours to the "conventional" ones. If you're an early bird, for example, plan some of your activities as soon as you wake up. If you are already up and at 'em, you'll be the type to see what's planned and get right on it.
Of course you won't be able to plan meetings with co-workers during these off-hours, but this extra time is ideal for working on a personal project, fitting in exercise, or studying for your Master's. You will free up more of the workday hours for your meetings, emailing, and other job-related functions.
You'll get a lot more done with your day, and you'll look forward to following your schedule again in order to keep the momentum going in the future.
3. Review the Night Before
Just like you did back in school to prep for an exam, review your schedule the night before to get your head in the game before the bustle of the next day begins. As The Order Expert notes, "This is a great way to gently introduce your schedule into your subconscious. When you review your schedule again in the morning, your appointments will seem very familiar and manageable."
Reviewing beforehand will also allow you to work out the kinks and decide if what you've got scheduled is a realistic workload and if each task is slotted in for the best time for what you need to do in order to complete it.
4. Learn to Say "No"
A major reason lots of people cannot stick to their schedule is because they fall victim to interrupters and interruptions that cause them to break from their plans. Sometimes there's simply no way around it, but in other cases, people just don't want to say "no."
If you don't feel like your attendance in a meeting is beneficial, opt out. You don't have to answer every email as it pops into your inbox. You don't have to break for an hour lunch with co-workers if you'd prefer to eat quickly at your desk. You don't have to go for drinks with friends after work if it will cut into a pre-planned activity. All the little interferences and disturbances add up and you won't get the time back. It's OK to say no if you feel it's appropriate and won't compromise your job or your personal life.
Just remember, if you do get pulled away from your schedule, don't give up if things fall off track. Get to your next assignment or finish off the job you were doing. Reorganize a bit and you will make it through. And with a schedule laid out in an organized fashion, you will be able to assess what's most important in order to revise wisely.
Are you scheduling and need to find a way to get more done with your time? Check PayPath's 7 ways to do more in less time.
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.