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5 Things to Look for in a Potential Roommate or Tenant

5 Things to Look for in a Potential Roommate or Tenant

So you’ve found the perfect home, and you’re looking for someone to take up residence there. Whether it’s going to be you and a roommate, or you’re looking for someone else to live in your home, it is essential that you find a tidy, reliable, and friendly person to share your place of residence. Everyone has heard the roommate horror stories of destroyed property, missed rent, and unsavoury houseguests. Better learn to weed out the riff raff before anyone signs a lease or roommate agreement. These five simple things to look out for will save you or your property managers a great deal of headache.

1. Do they look nice, and are their clothes well-kempt?

First impressions are important. When planning for a job interview or the first day of class at school, just about everyone will consider what they’re going to wear and how they will put on their best face for their new classmates or potential coworkers. Why should it be any different for a roommate or tenant? A potential renter who cares how they come across to you is the type of fastidious person you want sharing your home. If they can’t make an effort with themselves, how can you expect them to care about two weeks’ worth of dishes piling up in the sink?

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2. Are they happy to have a friendly conversation?

A great roommate or tenant is one you can have a friendly working relationship with. In every cohabitation situation, there’s going to be a time where you’ll have to hash out how chores, food, and houseguests can be managed, and the outcome is going to have to work for both of you. Try having a pleasant conversation with your potential flatmate or tenant. Are they bright and forthcoming, or surly and withdrawn? Even if there are disagreements, it’s far preferable to work them through face-to-face with a reasonable, mature adult instead of pushing notes under each other’s doors.

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3. Are they forthcoming with references?

Everyone has a past, for better or for worse, but even if everyone gets a chance, it’s better for you to be prepared than to enter into a legal agreement with someone whose track record you don’t know. There are a few different camps when it comes to how many references you should ask for, but the general feeling is the same: if your potential renter shies away from your reference request, then likely they’ve got something to hide and maybe you should shy away from them.

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4. Do they have pets?

Sure, the idea of a nice cat or dog to keep you company sounds pretty great at first, but that’s before a week of sleepless nights punctuated by claws skittering up and down the hallway. Before you agree to share your house with people and animals, make sure you know what kind, how many, and how friendly they are. Nobody wants to be explaining to the FedEx guy why their roommate’s untrained dog is currently hanging off his forearm. Most of all, know yourself. Do you want alone time and hairless clothing? Maybe animals aren’t for you. Choose your flatmate accordingly.

5. Is their employment situation stable?

If you’ve ever rented an apartment before, you know that feeling when half your paycheck turns into rent. Whether you’re renting out your basement suite to help pay your mortgage or looking for someone to live in that spare room, you need to be positive that their bank account can handle the hit, so yours doesn’t have to take two. Sure, some people win the lottery or inherit thousands from their rich uncle, but the best way to ensure regular rent payments are made is by choosing a housemate who has a regular income and knows the value of money. Keep in mind that someone who works part time for minimum wage is going to struggle to pay $1500 for a luxury apartment. If your place is out of their price range, they might be out of the running.

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Josh MacDonald

Internet Entrepreneur

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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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