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10 Free Online Resources That Can Make Your Life Better

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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.

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                      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 October 21, 2021

                      How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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                      How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

                      Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                      Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                      The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                      Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                      Program Your Own Algorithms

                      Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                      Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                      By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                      How to Form a Ritual

                      I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                      Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                      1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                      2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                      3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                      4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                      Ways to Use a Ritual

                      Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                      1. Waking Up

                      Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                      2. Web Usage

                      How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                      3. Reading

                      How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                      4. Friendliness

                      Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                      5. Working

                      One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                      6. Going to the gym

                      If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                      7. Exercise

                      Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                      8. Sleeping

                      Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                      8. Weekly Reviews

                      The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                      Final Thoughts

                      We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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                      More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

                       

                      Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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