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10 Free Online Resources That Can Make Your Life Better

10 Free Online Resources That Can Make Your Life Better

With just a little bit of time to spare and some digging around on the internet, it’s easy to come across free online resources. I have utilized some myself. Now after doing more research, I look forward to trying out a few others too. Here are ten of online resources that may be beneficial to your life too:

1. Free Online Education

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    Alison provides over 750 free online diploma and certificate courses in a range of categories. The categories of courses available are: Diploma Courses, Business and Enterprise Skills, Digital Literacy & IT Skills, Personal Development and Soft Skills, Languages, Schools Curriculum, Health & Safety & Compliance, Health Literacy, and Financial & Economic Literacy. There are also other services and resources, study groups, and a community page available on the site.

    2. Money Saving Tips

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      The Pennyhoarder is a site that compiles inspiring money stories and practical tips about how to earn and save. They provide information on a variety of topics relating to: money hacks (money saving tips), work from home, budgeting, coupons, freebies, and more. Many of the tips are simple and straight forth, making it easy to utilize in our own lives.

      3. Swap Your Unwanted Clothes

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        Rehash is a free clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and makeup swap site. The site says, “Rehash is free to use. There are no listing fees or trading fees; you simply pay for your own shipping and trade as much as you want. Exchange what you don’t wear for stuff you will wear.” I personally haven’t tried any of the swapping sites yet, but it might be a great way to get rid of all the jeans we no longer fit into, or that “what was I thinking?!” polka dot blouse in exchange for someone else’ unwanted items. It seems you photograph your items, add a description, wait for offers, and request trades.

        4. Money Saving Coupons

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          Find 100’s of coupons for grocery, household and personal care items. As the Coupons site says, “just click, print and save!” Grocery bills can add up quick every week; why not take advantage of extra savings with coupons?! Match them with sale items for an even better deal too. They also offer coupon codes and cashback offers.

          5. Nature and Relaxing

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            Calmsound, An Oasis of Relaxation, offers free, calming nature sounds and videos. Rain, ocean, waterfall, country garden and more. Take a break to ‘get away’ for a few moments at work, or relax to the sounds while laying in bed at night. Calming sounds can help to relieve stress along with relaxing the mind and body. CD’s of these nature sounds are also available for sale.

            6. Educational Games for Kids

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              Learning Games for Kids offers a huge variety of games and activities for preschool and elementary school aged children. These games will help to build skills in areas such as math, language arts, science, social studies, and more. Fun for children, yet challenging and educational too.

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              7. Free Gift Cards

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                Earn points to receive free gift cards by performing various online activities such as watching videos, playing games, taking surveys, and more through Swagbucks. The more time you put into the activities, the faster your points will grow. Generally, the more tedious the task, the more points it’s worth. For example, completing a 15 minute survey offers more points than watching a 30 second video. On occasion, ‘Swag Codes’ are available for free points through their blog and social media sites. Gift cards are redeemed through the Rewards Store, with thousands of rewards available. Just to give you an idea, you can receive a $5.00 Amazon gift card by redeeming 500 Swag Bucks (points).

                8. CPR and First Aid

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                  Knowing CPR and First Aid basics is important for everyone. We never know if or when we’ll need it, but it’s best to be prepared. FirstAidWeb offers both these courses for free, and they adhere to the most recent American Red Cross and American Heart Association guidelines.

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                  9. Be Prepared For Emergencies

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                    Sites like Emergency and Disaster Supplies offers various emergency supplies, both for free and for purchase. It’s important for you and your family to have a plan in place should the need ever arise. There are many free downloadable PDF’s for emergency contacts, an emergency kit checklist, contact and medical information carry cards, and more. There are also other links listed for government sites, weather, services, and training resources.

                    10. Product Samples Can Be Found Through Free Online Resources Too!

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                      Product samples allow us to try items before spending the money on full size containers, potentially saving us money in the long run. Samples are also great to toss into luggage, purses or overnight bags too. Sites like My Savings offers free samples, coupons, giveaways and more.

                      With the vast information available to us now through the internet, there are tons of free online resources that we can utilize in our own lives. Useful tips and resources, free of charge, are right at our fingertips!

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.portalguard.com/blog/2014/04/09/enhancing-personal-protection-stronger-authentication-token-approach/woman-on-computer/ via portalguard.com

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                      Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                      How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

                      How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

                      All managers and leaders must master the art of delegation. Understanding how and when to allocate responsibility to others is essential in maintaining a high level of productivity, both on a personal and organizational level. Knowing how to delegate is also essential for an effective leadership.

                      To learn how to delegate is to build a cohesive and effective team who can meet deadlines. Moreover, knowing when and how to delegate work will reduce your workload, thus improving your wellbeing at work and boosting your job satisfaction. Unfortunately, many leaders are unsure how to delegate properly or are hesitant to do so.

                      In this guide, you will discover what delegation really entails, how it benefits your team, and how to delegate work effectively.

                      The Importance of Delegation

                      An effective leader knows how to delegate. When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more on a daily basis. Effective delegation also promotes productivity within a team by drawing on the existing skill set of its members and allowing them to develop new knowledge and competencies along the way. The result is a more flexible team that can share roles when the need arises.[1]

                      When you are willing to delegate, you are promoting an atmosphere of confidence and trust. Your actions send a clear signal: as a leader, you trust your subordinates to achieve desired outcomes. As a result, they will come to think of you as a likeable and efficient leader who respects their skills and needs.

                      Delegation isn’t about barking orders and hoping that your staff falls in line. A manager’s job is to get the very best from those under their supervision and in doing so, maximizing productivity and profit.[2]

                      Here’s an example of bad delegation:

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                        Careful delegation helps to identify and capitalize on the unique strengths and weaknesses of the team members. Delegation also boosts employees’ engagement as it proves that the managers are interested in drawing on their talents.[3]

                        The Fear of Delegating Tasks

                        Delegation boosts productivity, but not all managers are willing or able to delegate.[4] Why? Here’re some common reasons:[5]

                        • They may resent the idea that someone else may get the credit for a project.
                        • They may be willing to delegate in principle but are afraid their team won’t be able to handle an increased degree of responsibility.
                        • They may suspect that their staff is already overworked, and feel reluctant to increase their burden.
                        • They may suspect that it’s simpler and quicker just to do a task themselves.
                        • They dislike the idea of letting go of tasks they enjoy doing.
                        • They fear that if they delegate responsibility, their own manager will conclude that they can’t handle their workload.

                        Delegation vs Allocation

                        Most people think that delegation and allocation are synonymous, but there is an important distinction to be made between the two.[6]

                        When you allocate a task, you are merely instructing a subordinate to carry out a specific action. You tell them what to do, and they do it–it’s that simple. On the other hand, delegation involves transferring some of your own work to another person. They do not just receive a set of instructions. Rather, they are placed in a role that requires that they make decisions and are held accountable for outcomes.[7]

                        How to Delegate Work Effectively (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                        So what’s the best way to delegate work so you can fight the fear of delegation, build an efficient team and work faster? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

                        1. Know When to Delegate

                        By understanding how much control you need to maintain over a situation, you can determine the best strategy for empowering workers. There are 7 levels of delegation that offer workers different degrees of responsibility.

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                        This brief video explains these levels and offers examples of when it’s appropriate to use each one:

                        Delegation occurs along a spectrum. The lowest level of delegation happens when you tell other people what to do. It offers little opportunity for employees to try new approaches. The most empowering form of delegation occurs when you are able to give up most of your control over the project to the employee.

                        Knowing how to delegate work helps you understand how to connect people with tasks that make the best use of their talents. When done properly, it ensures that you will get the best end-result.[8]

                        When you’re deciding how to delegate work, ask the following questions:

                        • Do you have to be in charge of this task, or can someone else pull it off?
                        • Does this require your attention to be successful?
                        • Will this work help an employee develop their skills?
                        • Do you have time to teach someone how to do this job?
                        • Do you expect tasks of this nature to recur in the future?

                        2. Identify the Best Person for the Job

                        You have to pass the torch to the right team member for delegation to work. Your goal is to create a situation in which you, your company, and the employee have a positive experience.

                        Think about team members’ skills, willingness to learn, and their working styles and interests. They’ll be able to carry out the work more effectively if they’re capable, coachable, and interested. When possible, give an employee a chance to play to their strengths.

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                        Inexperienced workers may need more guidance than seasoned veterans. If you don’t have the time to set the newer employee up for success, it’s not fair to delegate to them.

                        You also have to consider how busy your employees are. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm someone by giving them too many responsibilities.

                        3. Tell and Sell to Get the Member Buy-In

                        After you’ve found the perfect person for the job, you still have to get them to take on the new responsibility. Let them know why you chose them for the job. [9] When you show others that you support their growth, it builds a culture of trust. Employees who see delegated tasks as opportunities are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

                        When you’re working with newer employees, express your willingness to provide ongoing support and feedback. For seasoned employees, take their thoughts and experiences into account.

                        4. Be Clear and Specific About the Work

                        It’s critical to explain to employees why the project is necessary, what you expect of them, and when it’s due.[10] If they know what you expect, they’ll be more likely to deliver.

                        By setting clear expectations, you help them plan how to carry out the task. Set up project milestones so that you can check progress without micromanaging. If your employee has trouble meeting a milestone, they still have time to course correct before the final product is due.

                        This type of accountability is commonly used in universities. If students only know the due date and basic requirements for completing major research papers, they might put off the work until the eleventh hour. Many programs require students to meet with advisers weekly to get guidance, address structure, and work out kinks in their methods in advance of deadlines. These measures set students up to succeed while giving them the space to produce great work.

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                        5. Support Your Employees

                        To see the best possible outcomes of delegating, your subordinates need resources and support from you. Connect them with training and materials to develop skillsets they don’t already have.[11] It may take more time up front to make resources available, but you’ll save time by having the work done correctly. For recurring tasks, this training pays off repeatedly.

                        Sometimes employees need a help to see what they’re doing well and how they can improve. Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of delegation. This is also a good way to monitor the delegated tasks as a leader. While you can keep track of the progress of the tasks, you are not micro-managing the employees.

                        Throughout the project, periodically ask your employees if they need support or clarification. Make it clear that you trust them to do the work, and you want to create a space for them to ask questions and offer feedback. This feedback will help you refine the way you delegate work.

                        6. Show Your Appreciation

                        During periodic check-ins, recognize any wins that you’ve seen on the project so far. Acknowledge that your employees are making progress toward the objective. The Progress Principle lays out how important it is to celebrate small wins to keep employees motivated.[12] Workers will be more effective and dedicated if they know that you notice their efforts.

                        Recognizing employees when they do well helps them understand the quality of work you expect. It makes them more likely to want to work with you again on future projects.

                        Bottom Line

                        Now that you know exactly what delegation means and the techniques to delegate work efficiently, you are in a great position to streamline your tasks and drive productivity in your team.

                        To delegate is to grant autonomy and authority to someone else, thus lightening your own workload and building a well-rounded, well-utilized team.

                        Delegation might seem complicated or scary, but it gets much easier with time. Start small by delegating a couple of decisions to members of your team over the next week or two.

                        More About Delegation

                        Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

                        Reference

                        [1] BOS Staffing: 5 Benefits Of Delegation – Empower Your Team
                        [2] Brian Tracy International: How to Delegate The Right Tasks To The Right People: Effective Management Skills For Leadership Success
                        [3] MindTools: Successful Delegation: Using The Power Of Other People’s Help
                        [4] Fast Company: The Three Most Common Fears About Delegation: Debunked
                        [5] Leadership Skills Training: Delegation
                        [6] Abhinav Jain: Delegation of work vs Allocation of work
                        [7] Anthony Donovan: Management Training: Delegating Effectively
                        [8] Management 3.0: Practice: Delegation Board
                        [9] Focus: The Creativity and Productivity Blog: A Guide to Delegating Tasks Effectively
                        [10] Inc.: 6 Ways to Delegate More Effectively
                        [11] The Muse: The 10 Rules of Successful Delegation
                        [12] Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer: The Progress Principle

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