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2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

It’s that wonderful time of year again! The Christmas music is playing in stores, mall Santas are coming out of hibernation, and everyone at work is fighting for time off to visit family. Yes, it’s always the same traditions, but also different. As each year passes, it’s a time for reconnecting with family, reflecting on the year that’s gone by, and preparing a list of New Year’s resolutions to make next year shine even brighter.

One of the things we all want to avoid in the upcoming year is buyer’s remorse, especially after a season of holiday gift-giving.[1] We’ve all seen or experienced the look of dread as a child learns that “batteries are sold separately” for the toy they just unwrapped. At work, I’m certainly guilty of signing on the dotted line without reading the fine print. But the good news is this year can be different! Here are two simple but effective ways to avoid being trapped by buyer’s remorse.

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In the World of Yelp and Amazon Reviews, It’s Hard to Go Wrong

When I was growing up, we had to trust the word of the salesman. Maybe we read something in the paper, or saw an ad on TV, but the salesperson was critical to our purchasing decisions. They explained the benefits of each option, the drawbacks of cutting costs here and there, and made a hefty commission for their time and knowledge.

If something went wrong, we could go back to the store and talk to that same salesman. The honest ones would try to resolve the issue and retain a loyal customer. Unfortunately, many were sleeping through the lecture on ethics and integrity while attending school and sometimes the outcome was a much more negative one.

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But today, in this glorious digital age, there’s a plethora of online reviews! Yes, you’re right to remember recent headlines about Amazon suing reviewers and sellers for fraudulently posting glowing product experiences on their platform,[2] but, collectively, the diversity of review sites means that it’s easy to get a gist for just how good or bad a product is before hitting the “Add to Cart” button.

Take the time to read at least five to ten different reviews before making a buying decision. You’ll find your overall satisfaction with purchases made in the coming year improve substantially!

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Create a Read or Don’t Buy Rule at Work

As a freelancer, embracing all that the gig economy has to offer, I’ve had my fair share of workplace duds. Whether it’s a product or service that claimed to boost my conversions, or improve my productivity, it’s hard to know if the latest snake oil is worth the investment of time and money.

If your inbox is full of free trial offers for the latest CRM, webinar, or SEO tool, it’s time to start hitting the spam button. And, more importantly, if you’re ready to make a buying decision, make time to carefully read the Service Level Agreement (SLA).[3] When things go wrong, whose job is it to put things back together? If you’re dealing with cut-rate tech solutions, chances are that you’re going to be the one left holding the bag.

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You might be sensing a theme here. Every takeaway seems to have something to do with reading. Sales people will promise things verbally that just aren’t true in order to close the sale. Hit the pause button before agreeing to any purchase in 2017. Take the time to read the service agreement, understand the terms and conditions, and enter agreements with a realistic set of expectations, based on the fine print.

From holiday gift-giving to corporate solutions, the theme for this year should be READ BEFORE YOU BUY. Trust me, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of buyer’s remorse.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/holiday-gift-guides/
[2] https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/amazon-sues-more-sellers-for-buying-fake-reviews/
[3] http://mergertechnology.com/cloud-storage/the-importance-of-reading-an-sla-cloud-storage-data-breaches-3722

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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

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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