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5 Hacks To Greenify Your Home

5 Hacks To Greenify Your Home

You don’t have to be some hippie who only shops at Whole Foods to understand the benefits of going green in your day to day life. All of us end up wasting far more resources than we truly need. By limiting the amount of resources we use in our home and our day-to-day lives, we can both help limit carbon emissions, promote a greener world, and save money all at the same time.

Here are a few tips for how you help greenify your home, along with notes for how easy or difficult they may be.

1. Fix Household Leaks

As the EPA notes, more than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted nationwide every year, enough to provide water to 11 million households. But with so many pipes in your house, it can be difficult to detect when there is a leak in your home.

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So what do you do if you notice a leak? You may need to call a plumber, but sometimes you can do it yourself just by tightening a showerhead or replacing the toilet flapper. If you want to try a more extensive repair yourself, do take care to turn off the water line first. There are far too many stories out there of self-professed “experts” who end up destroying their own homes with a plumbing job gone wrong.

2. Get a Native Lawn

Do you have a grass lawn outside just like all of your neighbors? Generic grass lawns can cost a huge amount both in terms of water as well as the fertilizers and chemicals needed to take care of it. A homeowner will spend 10 times as many fertilizers and pesticides per acre as a farmer does for his crops.

Part of the reason we use so many chemicals is because we try to put grass lawns in places where they have no sense being, especially in drier states like Texas or California. This is especially shameful because every area of America has their own natural wildlife which is beautiful in its own right. Natural wildlife has adapted to the local conditions over thousands if not millions of years, meaning that they only use as much water as they need and are not dependent on fertilizers.

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Check out your local nursery, which should have native plants which have adapted to the climate. They can help give you pointers on how to get rid of your normal grass lawn and replace it with something more natural.

3. Get off of Junk Mail lists

You get home after a long day at work, only to find a dozen envelopes crammed with junk mail inside your house when you enter. But junk mail is not only annoying. More than 100 million trees are destroyed every year to produce junk mail which no one even opens.

While you should obviously try to recycle your junk mail when you get it, the best thing to do is cut the mail off at the source and not get it at all. The FTC has a list of organizations you can contact to put yourself both on a “do not mail” and “do not call.”

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4. Install Solar Panels

Needless to say, this option is not for everyone. Installing a solar power can represent an upfront cost from $15,000 to $29,000 and they may not be the best investment if you live in a cloudy area. However, there are tax credits and rebates which can help lessen the cost and a solar panel can save you money over years to decades thanks to almost non-existent energy bills.

Installing solar panels on your home roof is obviously a professional’s job, and you need to take the time to find a contractor whom you can trust. Inspect any contractor, ask for professional references, and go over the contract and warranty they offer in detail. Installing a solar panel is not like buying a computer. It’s something which will be part of your life for decades, so make absolutely sure that there are no surprises.

5. Install CFL lights

This is the simplest, yet arguably the most important way to greenify your home. Lighting and using incandescent bulbs are one of the biggest ways in which we end up using too much electricity and resources. A CFL bulb uses one-fourth as much electricity as an incandescent bulb. And while some individuals may complain that a CFL bulb’s light is not bright enough, that is actually an argument in favor of CFL bulbs. This is because you can purchase a CFL bulb with a larger wattage that will still use less energy than a regular bulb, while a larger incandescent bulb can be dangerous depending on your lamp.

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You can find CFL bulbs at pretty much anywhere which sells light bulbs these days, so there is no excuse not to own one anymore. Just put it in your lamp and feel satisfied on helping to make a greener, less resource intensive home.

Featured photo credit: www.motherearthnews.com via motherearthnews.com

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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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