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Four Things You Can Fix Without Calling A Repairman

Four Things You Can Fix Without Calling A Repairman

Part of life is that things deteriorate and eventually break. This is true for just about anything (although my Toyotas sometime make me believe this may not be true).

Because most people’s homes have a large number of appliances and systems working together to make everything run smoothly, it may often feel like there is always something new breaking in your home. That is probably true. This can get incredibly expensive if a repairman or specialist is required every single time something goes wrong. You will have to pay for the time they drive to your house, parts, labor, and likely a few other expenses. It can be extremely frustrating when they fix the problem in ten seconds, yet leave you with a bill in the neighborhood of $100. Here are four things that, should they break in your home, you can probably handle yourself.

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Toilet

Sure, a toilet might sound like the most complicated thing on planet Earth, but once you take off the top and see how it works you come to realize that toilets are a great, but simple invention. Most of the parts that keep a toilet operating are standardized and cost just a few bucks to replace. A common issue is leaking toilets, and they are one of the easiest to repair. There is something called a flapper which essentially stops water from going into the toilet after a certain point. If the flapper is old and deteriorated then it will have issues.

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A flapper costs about $2 to purchase at Home Depot and takes about thirty seconds to install. A plumber may charge you upwards of $60 for that same repair. A flapper is just one example. There are a few things that can go wrong with a toilet, but most of them can be solved by watching a simple YouTube video.

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Garbage disposal

Garbage disposals may sound big and scary, but they are frequently quite easy to repair. All they are is a motor that spins- fairly simple. There are a few issues that can arise with them, but oftentimes it is just a simple button that needs to be pushed, or some gunk that needs to be cleaned out by hand. You can watch a quick guide for garbage disposal repair here.

Hot water heater

Hot water heaters can be dangerous and should be treated as such. However, they also have a common issue that many people are unaware of. They have a pilot light that is a continual flame for the water heater to draw off of. If the pilot light goes out, the water heater will not work. Sure, you could call a specialist, but you could also light the pilot light yourself with a lighter. Some pilot lights today will even light with a simple turn of a knob. Here is a pretty good video of this.

Electricity out

Electricity can be extremely daunting to deal with. Fortunately there is a common issue that most houses go through at least a few times. Their breakers flip. If a breaker flips, it is usually due to a circuit (group of outlets) having too many items plugged in. The electricity will go out in part of your house leaving you thinking you may have to rewire your house. Oftentimes you can open a box in your house and simply flip the breaker back on. You will want to be careful to unplug a few things before doing so to make sure it doesn’t flip right back off, but it is often that easy. Don’t pay an electrician to come push one button in your home.

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Spencer Mecham

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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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