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5 Top Tips For Surviving Life in a Shared House

5 Top Tips For Surviving Life in a Shared House

It’s fair to say that shared housing is more popular than ever. With rising numbers of young professionals heading to the big cities in search of work and the monthly rent climbing to new heights, sharing with others is becoming the best compromise.

Sharing a house or apartment with people who will likely be strangers initially is a pretty unique experience. Different people have different personal boundaries, making shared living spaces like living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens, potential places of contention.

No matter how tricky shared living can get, there are ways to make it a more relaxing, friendly and liveable space. With that in mind, here are the 5 top tips for surviving life in a shared house.

1. Plan Your Meals

Whether you’re sharing a place with 2 people or 10, there will seemingly always be a fight for space to store food. Whether it’s the fridge, freezer, bread bin or fruit bowl, there will always be a battle for space.

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To make the most of your space, you can try a number of things. The first is to suggest (if you haven’t already) sharing certain basic things like milk, bread and condiments.

They are all things we need pretty much daily and cost relatively little, so having a weekly whip-round for bread money  shouldn’t be the biggest of deals to even the most stubborn housemate.

Another thing which really saves space is to make meals in advance. Batch cooking is a really effective way to prepare all your week’s meals, meaning all of your loose ingredients aren’t filling the fridge.

Follow this handy post from Nutrition Stripped for all you need to know about batch cooking.

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2. Share The Cleaning

Another potential sticking point in any shared house is the issue of cleaning in the shared rooms. Bathrooms and kitchens in particular often become the battlefields for many shared house arguments.

Looking to the blog of London Fox Lettings for their expert advice and guidance on these situations, they said, “First, you need to work out which rooms need the most attention. Usually the kitchen comes top of the list because of dish washing.”

“Make a timetable or rota that best suits everyone’s work shifts and spread the workload evenly amongst yourselves. Often a simple whiteboard can do the trick for this, making it easy for everyone to see, especially if you don’t actually get a chance to speak in person that often.”

3. Make Time For Each Other

It can be very easy to exist in a house share without offering more than the odd “hi” to your housemates when passing each other in the kitchen. However, while it is easier than getting to know them, it’s probably not the healthiest solution.

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Life is so much easier when we all get along right? So why not try getting to know everyone with a house movie night or put a team together for the local pub quiz?

It might not work out and that’s fine, you can’t be friends with everyone, but even knowing everyone a little better will certainly make the whole experience a lot easier.

4. Keep In Touch

Even if it turns out that you aren’t going to be the best friends in the world, it doesn’t hurt to keep in contact, in fact, it could save you from having a lot of pointless arguments in the future.

Recommended apps for housemates include:

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  • Home Slice: a great platform to keep on top of bills, chores. Specifically designed for housemates.
  • Chroma: perfect for planning chores between your housemates
  • WhatsApp: because how else do you speak to anyone ever.

5. Pick Your Battles

Sometimes, you have to concede that you might not get along with someone. Perhaps they woke you up, maybe they ate your food, whatever the reason, you can’t always give them both barrels, no matter how frustrated you are.

The best thing to do is to prioritize the problem. Is it going to impact your daily life? Has it left you short financially?

Consider some compromises before you burst into their room like a bull in a China shop. Sometimes we all feel like we need a win in these situations, but you’ve also got to consider how it might impact your housemate.

Going overboard with them over a couple of slices of bread might not be the best move. These things are never easy, but do try and take a step back and reassess every situation as it comes.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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