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10 Ways Technology Can Make Your Life Easier and More Secure

10 Ways Technology Can Make Your Life Easier and More Secure

Technology has changed the world and our individual lives in a virtually countless list of ways. Despite this, it is still common for people to bemoan these achievements. Additionally, news outlets like to speculate about the danger of robotics. With all of this negativity, it is easy to forget about the perks associated with technology, including the fact that Lifehack and the entire Internet wouldn’t exist without it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a few moments to recognize a few pieces of technology that are dedicated solely to making life easier and more secure. Without these advancements, everything from deadly illnesses to identity theft would be much more prevalent.

1. Improved healthcare

Technology and healthcare go together better than peanut butter and jelly. In fact, the tech world has boosted healthcare so much that it would be impossible to list all of the positive changes that have been made in the last year alone. However, the invention of apps and wearables that help people monitor everything from their blood sugar levels to their pulse rate is definitely one of the best healthcare related technological breakthroughs of the past decade. Patients are now able to report data remotely to their doctor, and they can also keep a closer eye on medical conditions. There are still some issues processing all of this data, but look for this to be resolved in the near future.

2. Safer online payments

Everyone has heard about the rise of identity theft and cyber-crime, but there are many ways for Internet users to protect themselves. For example, the Apple Pay app allows users to store their credit card data and other personal information in one secured resource. From there, users can make payments from their phone or online by validating the process via their fingerprint. Other methods for protecting payment data include utilizing services such as PayPal. No matter which option you choose, this type of technology can help keep your information secure while also presenting an easier payment method at the same time.

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3. Online grocery shopping

Are you too busy to spend an hour at the grocery store each week? Many stores are now offering online shopping and curbside pickup. Not only does this help busy parents, but it also provides a huge relief to people with autism and other sensory processing complications. To make a good thing even better, stores such as Kroger keep a log of each purchase in the user’s account so that they can easily repeat an order with a single click.

From a security standpoint, parking lots are one of the most common spots for abductions and sexual assaults. Not having to get out of your vehicle will make you much more secure, especially if you keep your doors locked while you wait for the store employee to bring the groceries to your car.

4. The rise of smart cities

If you are concerned about being eco-friendly, yet also want to embrace technology, a smart city may be the perfect choice for your next move. These cities are designed to take advantage of technological knowledge in order to reduce each building’s consumption of natural resources. Seeing key data about water usage and electric consumption on a single dashboard installed in your home or business is definitely a good way to ensure that you meet your eco goals.

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5. Reduce wasted resources with used items

The Internet makes it possible to find almost anything you could possible think of. Even better, most of these items and services can be rented or purchased used. This is a great way to save money, but it also goes much further when you consider how much waste is kept out of landfills with this option. You can find everything from used textbooks to free manure by searching Craigslist and your local Freecycle board, which makes this another great use of modern technology.

6. Exercise incentive

Exercise may not be easy, but doing it on a regular basis can offer you a more secure future in the sense that you will be less likely to deal with crippling physical issues. Innovative companies have recognized the need to offer a strong exercise incentive to help people help themselves. As a result, technology keeps finding new ways to give people a much-needed boost. One of the best recent examples is the augmented reality game Pokemon Go. The popular app rewards players for walking, and this has led people to walk as much as six miles per day in search of new and rare Pokemon.

7. Telecommuting opportunities

Do you prefer the idea of working from home? There are many perks to doing this, including reducing your carbon footprint, saving money on gasoline and having a lower risk of being in an automobile accident. Thanks to high speed Internet, laptops, smartphones and project management software, 45 percent of U.S. employees are now able to telecommute at least part of the time. Instead of driving through rush hour traffic and arriving at the office frazzled, these workers can minimize their stress, increase their productivity and work comfortably in their pajamas or favorite pair of jeans.

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8. Instant answers to everything

Everyone has thought of a random question or gotten into a debate about whether or not something actually happened. Before the Internet, these questions and debates could last a long time, and there was often no clear answer. Now, though, you can look anything up on Google and get instantaneous results. This has definitely made life easier, and it’s also a great educational tool for people of all ages. The time savings alone of finding something online versus having to make phone calls or go to the library is huge, but don’t forget that you can expand upon the quick answers the Internet provides by reading books dedicated to the topic in question.

9. Bringing families together

Email, Skype, texting, Facetime and social networking sites give people from around the world the easiest possible way to stay connected. Interestingly, studies have shown that people who use Facebook on a regular basis have a 10 percent increase in the closeness of their connection to family and friends. This helps highlight the potential of technology to bring people together. Family members who are spread across the globe can join family gatherings via Skype. Additionally, shared calendars help families avoid scheduling conflicts.

10. GPS makes it difficult to get lost

We’ve all heard horror stories of people making a bad driving decision due to the instructions from their GPS unit, but these incidents are definitely not the norm. Instead, GPS giving us step-by-step voice directions to get from point A to point B makes it easier for every driver to keep their eyes on the road instead of looking at a map. This makes driving safer, and it is also helpful by telling you when you’ll arrive, which roads to avoid and the fastest possible route.

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This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the many ways that technology improves our lives and keeps us more secure, and that’s exactly why these innovations are such important game-changers. After all, technology has been created for almost any scenario you can imagine. Therefore, even though you may benefit from occasional tech breaks, it’s worth noting that you can also regain focus with technology.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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