How to Make Productive Use of Spare Time

 

Many of us do not have a lot of spare time in our lives, but there always seem to be things that need our attention. Since science has not figured out a way to clone people, we will have to figure out how we can do everything that needs doing, despite being only one person.

We don’t have a full answer for that question, but you can always try to make better use of the time you do have available. Here are some suggestions on how to do this:

Make a List and Check It Twice

Always having trouble keeping track of what you want to be doing? Use some of your downtime to create a comprehensive list and also make note of when you think you might be free to work on these issues.

Clean Up Your Desktop

This can be your computer desktop or your actual desktop. Either way, life is simpler and more productive when things are neatly organized and easily accessed.

Turn Off Your Phone

This can be your cellphone or a landline. Sometimes we need time to ourselves with no interruptions. Unless the building is burning down, everything else can wait for a bit.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Even if you are not currently looking for a new job, it never hurts to keep your LinkedIn profile updated. That goes double for your résumé and list of references.

Clear Out Those Emails

We all have messy email inboxes that never seem to get cleaned up. It ain’t glamorous, but here is your chance to bring a little order to electronic chaos.

Go for a Walk

Most people don’t get enough exercise in their lives and going for a walk at least 30 minutes per day can make a major difference in your health, especially if you have a sedentary job.

Beware of the Hot Water Challenge

The internet has been responsible for starting all manner of trends, some very positive and some not so. Among the most troubling in the latter category is the Hot Water Challenge, where people are dared to drink boiling water. While any reasonably intelligent adult would recognize that this is a very bad idea, children do not yet have such reasoning powers and that has already led to tragedy.

Eight year-old Florida native Ki’ari Pope accepted a challenge to drink boiling water through a straw. This dare was inspired by a social media video that Pope and a cousin had just watched. The child drank a large gulp of the scalding liquid, burning her mouth and throat, and losing the ability to talk. Pope suffered complications for months afterward before developing problems breathing two weeks ago. She lapsed into unconsciousness and died shortly after on July 31st.

This leads to the inevitable question of access: should children be kept off of the internet until they have reached a certain age? Parents know that it is largely impossible to police what children do online, so education seems to be the only other alternative. That means talking to your kids about what they are doing online, discussing the latest “challenges” that are appearing, and trying to stay ahead of the game.

Most would not find that advice to be very encouraging, but there appears to be little else to do at the moment. Many parents will say that they are already busy enough, but tragedy, such as the one that hit the Pope family, will leave you scarred forever. Take the time to make sure your children understand that just because they see something online or on TV or in a movie, that doesn’t mean it is safe for them to do in real life.

Benefits of Prefabricated Homes

Building a home is a monumental time in anyone’s life—especially if it just so happens to be your first home after renting for a long time. Building your own home provides a lot of choice, opportunity, and personalization, which can not only become overwhelming emotionally, but also costly to your wallet. This is often where beautiful prefabricated homes come into play. Lets review some of their significant benefits now:

Impact on the Environment

When you have a prefabricated home, both during construction as well as after, you can reap the rewards from a lessened impact on the environment. The fact that they are prefabricated means there is far less material waste, which means less strain on landfills and the overall environment. In addition, you can actually have prefabricated green homes in some cases, which means you can reap the rewards long after the home is finished and you are living in it.

Reliable Construction Schedule

Royal Homes are Ontario home builders, and with their expertise comes the significant benefit of a reliable construction schedule for all prefabricated homes. Since their homes are constructed in a facility rather than on the land, they are able to avoid delays from inclement weather, season changes, et cetera. Thus, workers can continue building even with a thunderstorm raging on outside. Not only will this provide a far more accurate idea of when the house will be ready to live in, but it also leads into the third benefit in this article.

Affordable Construction Costs

Building a home can get very expensive when you consider delays in construction, unforeseen material costs, et cetera. This is not the case with prefabricated homes. As you know from the previous benefit, prefabricated homes come with a reliable construction schedule free from the common delays due to weather and seasonal changes. Thus, you know you won’t have to wait and pay for things during a delay: there won’t be one in the first place.

You will also know all of the material needed for each prefabricated home, since they are based on templates. This means a dramatic reduction in unforeseen material requirements.

How Can I Invest a Small Amount of Money?

There are a lot of people out there who let their money sit in a low interest savings account because they think they just don’t have enough to get involved in investments. Banks count on that, which is one reason they get away with offering such criminally low interest rates.

However, you don’t actually need a huge sum to test the waters. Here are few ways to invest small amounts of cash and still possibly have them pay off handsomely for you:

Keep a Handle on Your Debt

This may not sound like investing, but it is making you money, so that is essentially the same thing. People would drop dead from shame and horror to learn how much money they waste in interest over the course of a lifetime due to outstanding debt. Don’t be one of them.

Loan to Friends

Have a friend in need? Well, be a friend indeed by loaning them some money. Offer a better interest rate than the banks. You can also take advantage of peer-to-peer lending services that handle all of the particulars for you.

Robo-Advisors

Don’t feel confident about your ability to pick stocks? Some companies offer what are known as robo-advisors. These programs automatically select investment opportunities for you based on information users provide when signing up (e.g. the degree of risk you are comfortable with).

Invest in Your Children’s Education

By starting to put money away early for your child’s college funds, you can earn a great amount of interest over the years. Of course, if your kid goes on to have a great career, they will also likely pay you back in generous ways.

Diversify

Even though you are not betting the farm, it is still not wise to put all of your eggs in one basket. Make a series of small investments, rather than putting everything into just one.