Whatever your job, unless you are a flame swallower, there's guaranteed to be moments of monotony where you check the time more than once in a five-minute span. This moment, which usually falls in the sleepiest part of the afternoon, we like to call the "clock watch." It's the time when the radiator is humming louder than usual and you hear the crinkle of candy wrappers desperately opening around you. While some of us can't get past these moments, there's always that one coworker who's merrily typing along at 2:30, contentedly humming along to music. According to some of our most productive coworkers, here's what's going on inside those magical earbuds.
The Soothing Coo of Song Birds
Chances are, your office is not located near any sweet-singing birds other than squawking pigeons or pelicans attacking each other. We're talking about birds à la Snow White. But it doesn't have to be just birds. Any nature sound that is not a distraction can work great: a powerful waterfall, a peaceful brook, or an exotic rainforest. Just watch out for those baboons! They can be loud. Here is a great resource to connect your soul back to nature in the office.
Otherwise known as ambient sound. This is the kind of "white noise" that some people use to help them sleep. It can sometimes sound a little space-aged, or a little spa-like. Music without lyrics will help you focus on things other than seeking the intentions of the artist. The intention is to make you focus! Check this 2.5 hour soundtrack out.
If you're going to go old school, go to one of the oldest: Mozart. The old Wolfy has been known to boost the brain activity in the right side of your brain, actually inspiring more creativity. The longer you listen to classical music while you work, the more of a difference you'll be able to notice. A good place to start is his Sonatas.
The fast licks of the popular gypsy jazz manouche style are just enough to get your heart racing. We love Bireli Lagrene, whose wicked-quick fingers make us want to move. This kind of jazz is great, as opposed to slow, contemplative jazz. That might make you want to fall asleep at the bar.
While listening to music can be a great way to stimulate your brain while you work, it's important to keep it in the background. We guarantee your coworkers will not appreciate you singing karaoke at your desk. Be sensible. Listen responsibly.
For more, read this.
- 6 Science-Backed Playlists for Improving Your Productivity ›
- Productive Music Playlist (1.5 hrs) - May 2016 - #EntVibes - YouTube ›
- 283 Free Productivity music playlists | 8tracks radio ›
- spotify made the ultimate work productivity playlist. we need this today. ›
- The Secret Sauce Behind Your Productivity Playlist – The Sound of ... ›
- How to Craft the Perfect Playlist for Productivity ›
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.