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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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