A long day on the job has its productive moments and those that cause many of us to start to fade. Morning starts off with an energetic rush and when the day is nearing its end, most people find a renewing burst of excitement for the evening of "me time" ahead. But then there's that draining mid-day slump that can lead to lethargy and lack of productivity.
The afternoon crash does not have to be your daily destiny. You can ward off the mid-day dip by making plans to trump the slump with these 4 tips to pep you up and keep you going strong 'till it's time to head home. Working with fervor and staying on top of your game will make each day one to be proud of.
1. Graze on Snacks All Day
In order to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to be sure you are well-energized all day long, opt for small meals or snacks throughout the day rather than waiting until you're famished and then devour a big lunch that will surely make you sleepy.
As per Reader's Digest, "You want a snack that combines protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates (such as whole-grain crackers or raw vegetables)." Be sure to stay well-hydrated throughout the day as well and limit caffeine so you don't rely on that coffee kick to keep you falsely fresh.
Snacking regularly will keep your mind active and your body going strong for hours. It's great for your metabolism and sense of focus. Just be mindful of your portions and calorie count and you'll gravitate towards grazing rather than gorging.
2. Use Lunch Hour for Some Exercise
Since you won't need your lunch hour to eat since you've been noshing on small snacks throughout the day, use your break to get your blood flowing and your body moving. Some companies offer a staff gym, but if yours doesn't have such a perk, get outside for a brisk walk or head for a 45-minute workout at your local gym.
Another idea for being active as suggested by Greatist, "Try a walking meeting. Take that meeting to the streets and discuss what you would in the office outdoors." The fresh air paired with the multi-tasking is a win-win.
If it's too cold outside or you can't get away from the office, Greatist offers some clever ways to "deskercise." 33 workout ideas you can do right in the office. Tone up, get your energy pumping, and make the most of your day.
Even if you are able to fit in some exercise during the day, it's also important to stretch periodically to improve circulation, perfect your posture, and reel you in from any distractions or dull moments. As per Huffington Post, "Research shows that straightening your posture can help give you an energy boost and even pump up your confidence."
Reader's Digest recommends to, "Roll your shoulders forward, then backward, timing each roll with a deep breath in and out. Repeat for two minutes." Do some stretching any time you feel the threat of a slump ready to strike. You'll be more limber and less lethargic.
4. Schedule Mid-Day Meetings
Get together with co-workers to work on a group project or hold your daily "pow-wow" mid-day. Just at the time when a slump might slip you up, get up and move to a meeting room and get the momentum back into your day by allowing collaboration to crush the nap that's calling your name.
According to Reader's Digest, "We are social animals, and interactions always rev us up. But make sure it's an interesting, interactive activity." Plus, as per Greatist, "A change of scenery may boost productivity."
Not only will you slay the slump, but you'll have a productive afternoon that will keep you on your toes for the remainder of the day.
The mid-day slump can be a thing of the past when you ward it off wisely. Every moment of each day is valuable and staring blankly at your computer screen is no way to get the job done.
Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.
Entering your 20s means you'll quickly need to learn how to navigate the world of personal finances, much of which you probably didn't learn in college or high school courses.
Without any previous lessons on finances, it can be challenging to know where to start. Follow this guide as we outline the financial decisions you'll need to make in your 20s.
Setting a Budget
The first step to being a fiscally responsible young adult is setting a budget. Your budget will determine many future financial decisions, from where you can live to what splurges you can make. Look at the expenses you currently owe every month and your projected income to determine how much you should be spending on bills, daily expenses, etc.
Getting rid of your debt as early as possible is a critical step for newly independent 20-year-olds. However, some may not be able to get rid of debt as soon as they hope. Once again, look at your budget, then decide if you'd like to put more toward tackling debt now or pay your loans as they come.
While you may be able to hold onto your parents' insurance until 26, you'll have to choose your own plans sooner or later. From health insurance to renter's and car insurance, you shouldn't skip an opportunity to cover yourself in the case of an accident. Find a provider and plan you're comfortable with, and get your coverage as soon as possible.
Saving for a Rainy Day
Navigating how to save is another critical financial decision you'll have to make in your 20s. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a sustainable course of action. Even putting a small portion of your wages into a savings account can make a big difference—especially if an emergency you didn't prepare for occurs.
Starting To Invest
Investing is a scary topic for young adults, but it's a great way to build wealth. Starting to invest as a young adult will set you up for success on your long-term financial plan. However, be sure to conduct research before jumping into the market to decide when, where, and how much you'd like to invest.
Your 20s are an optimal time to learn and grow. One area of life you'll undoubtedly learn a lot about is managing finances. Use this guide to help you get started on the path to becoming a fiscally responsible adult.
Tax deductions can be tricky to understand if you're new to the finance world.
One of the biggest sources of confusion is knowing what you can and can't deduct from your taxes. Deductions can be a massive financial boon for a lot of people, yet not everyone files for them correctly. This causes people to miss out on money that should be theirs. We'll go over some of the most common tax deductions that are overlooked, so you don't get shortchanged when Tax Day comes.
When you start regularly giving to charity, even if the donations are small, you'll want to start getting itemized receipts for your donations. These receipts will help you write off these charitable contributions on your taxes. You can even write off supplies that you bought for use in a charitable cause or any miles you drove on your car while in service to a charity. Make those donations to the Purple Heart Pickup with an open heart, but make sure you get your deduction on top of that.
Student Loan Interest Payments
Student loans take up a significant amount of a lot of people's money. If you're one of these people, make sure that you get a deduction on the amount of interest you paid off in the last year. What's important to remember is that even if you aren't someone's dependent, you can write off the money someone else gave you to pay for said student loans. If someone else helped you pay off part of your loan, don't think that means you can't still get a deduction on that sum.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you have a reimbursement account through your job that pays for child or dependent care, you might be forgiven for forgetting about this particular tax credit. However, you can use these funds for a tax credit if you file for them correctly. This is hugely important because this is an opportunity to receive a full tax credit, not just a deduction. You're losing money you could be directly receiving if you don't file for this credit.
Jury Pay Given to Your Employer
A lesser-known tax deduction that often gets overlooked is the money you can deduct from jury pay you gave to your employer. It may not be the most exciting thing to come out of jury duty, especially after handing over any money you receive to your employer, but you do get to deduct however much money your employer made you hand over after you finished jury duty.
Credit for Saving
While this credit is more for people that are working part-time or for those that have a retired spouse, you can get a tax credit for contributing to a 401(k) or another retirement savings plan. This is also a great incentive for those that are just starting out in their careers and need another reason to start saving for the future.