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5 Factors to Consider When Moving to a New City

5 Factors to Consider When Moving to a New City

The average American moves about eleven times in their lifetime. This begs the question: Do people move until they find a place to settle down where they truly feel happy, or do our wants and needs change over time, prompting us to eventually leave a town we once called home for a new area that will bring us satisfaction?

Or, do we too often move to a new area without knowing exactly what we’re getting into, forcing us to turn tail and run at the first sign of discomfort?

To minimize the chances of this happening, we should always do proper research when planning our next move in life. Consider the following factors when picking a new place to live so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time and money making a move you’ll end up regretting.

Weather and climate

Obviously, if you’re not a winter person, you’re not going to want to move to Minnesota. This goes without saying.

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But no matter where you go, there will be certain quirks in the weather than you might not have anticipated at first glance. For example, though you may have chosen a fairly temperate area, the way in which your new home is situated may make it a prime target for flooding–and you might not recognize this possibility until it’s too late.

Though you likely won’t let the slight possibility of dangerous weather deter you from moving into your new home, you also don’t want to overlook the potential cost to your home if such a catastrophe were to occur.

Safety

Safety should definitely be a top concern when moving to a new area. If you don’t feel safe in your own home, you’re not going to be able to enjoy living there.

Before you make the big move, take a look at the crime statistics for your area and the surrounding areas. Find your potential new city’s municipal website and read about any initiatives that have recently been put into place. This will give you insight into some of the issues that have been plaguing the area, as well as what actions are being taken to curb this behavior.

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Most areas across the country aren’t completely crime-free. Check out Facebook pages and other websites created by the city’s populace to inform yourself about areas to avoid and other precautions to take. As long as you know how to avoid dangerous situations, you’ll most likely keep yourself free from danger.

Quality of schools

Of course you want to provide your children with incredible opportunities when it comes to their education. But even if you don’t have children of your own, the quality of your new city’s schools can tell you a lot about the surrounding area. Cities that focus on education are generally more progressive. These cities demand equality for all citizens, as they understand how important it is to cultivate a community of acceptance and growth in all of its members.

Cities that focus on education want to see their residents succeed in all areas of life. If you’re moving in order to discover a “new you,” these are the types of cities that will benefit you the most.

Job market

When moving to a new city, you absolutely need to make sure your skills are in high demand around the area. Your dream may be to move to a beach town and live comfortably for the rest of your days, but if you can’t find a well-paying job, you won’t last very long.

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In addition to being absolutely sure that you’ll be a great addition to the workforce in your new city, you should also pay attention to the area’s economic trends. Is there a high turnaround when it comes to others in your industry? Are businesses packing up shop and moving to a more affordable area? Will governmental budget cuts affect your chances of getting–and keeping–a well-paying job?

Perhaps an even worse fate to suffer than not being able to find a job in a new area is finding your dream job in your dream locale…only to be laid off once it finally starts to feel like home.

True cost of living

No matter where you go, the cost of living is expensive.

However, your dollar does go further depending on what state you live in. The median salary for all workers varies, as well as the amount you’ll make in a specific position. You might make less money on paper in a specific area, but the cost of living may be much less–meaning you’ll be able to stretch your lower wages much further.

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Research the cost of transportation, insurance, groceries, taxes, and all other aspects of life that might not come to mind right away, but ultimately determine how much money you have left at the end of each month. You want to be sure you can live comfortably without worrying about being able to pay the bills.

As long as you know what you can afford, you’ll be in good shape whenever you make a new move.

Featured photo credit: Matthew W. Jackson via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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