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How to Escape Being Locked Outside of the House Without Breaking Down the Door

How to Escape Being Locked Outside of the House Without Breaking Down the Door

Being locked out of a house is one of the most frustrating things but it is almost inevitable. If you don’t have a spare key and a family member or trusted neighbor doesn’t have a spare, sometimes you are the only option you have for getting back in. Ideally, you should be able to get back in without causing damage to your home, but in an emergency, you really have to do what is necessary. Below are some ways of getting around being locked out of your house without breaking down any doors.

Check the Windows

While it is never wise to leave a window unlocked intentionally, accidents do happen. Check to see if you or someone in your home accidentally left a window unlocked, as this becomes the ideal entry point when locked out of a house.[1] If there is a screen on the window, it will need to be removed. Then, just open the window and squeeze on through. Do be careful when entering the home through a window, as you will likely be off-balance and there is probably furniture in the way of your entry.

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Standard Spring Lock

Use a credit card on these types of locks if there is no deadbolt. To open a door using a credit card, you will need a sturdy card that you do not mind potentially damaging. You will insert this card between the door frame and the latch. The card should be held perpendicular to the door as you push and wiggle the card between the two. While pushing, bend the card away from the knob as an attempt to get the latch to slide back.

Use your body weight on the card when bending. If successful, make sure that you take measures to make your home more secure because, even though you’re in, you have now seen how easy it is to break into your home.

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Use a Pet Door

This may seem unconventional, but if you or someone you know is small enough to fit through a doggy door, it is worth a shot. Though it should not be a habit for you to leave a pet door unsecured, it will work in your favor if you have the unfortunate occurrence of being locked out of your home. Even if the pet door is blocked off, it may be possible to move the obstructions from the outside.

Pick the Lock

If you think you can, try to pick the lock.[2] While using a bobby pin or a paper clip, do the following:

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  • Straighten the item out flat and do not break it. If there are rubber-coated tips, remove these.
  • Insert it slightly into the lock by 1-2 centimeters. Bend the item back so that there is now a 90-degree angle at the tip.
  • Make a grip on the end that you are holding by curling it around your finger.
  • Take a second pin and bend it to a right angle.
  • Use this second pin (lever) and insert it into the lock. Turn this in the direction that normally opens the door. Use gentle pressure.
  • Insert the first pin now and feel for the lock pins by moving them up and down. If you do not feel the lock pins, ease up on the pressure.
  • Push on the lock pins until they click into place—the pin should be resisting, and you should move it up with your pick.

Smash a Window

While this is definitely not ideal, it could be your only option. If there is a door with window panes, one of the panes can be broken, allowing the knob to be unlocked from the outside.

Remove the Doorknob

This will work as long as there is not a deadbolt in use. Many times, the mounting screws are concealed, but there should be a tiny hole below the knob. Use a paper clip or bobby pin to apply pressure to this and twist the doorknob until it comes off. Then remove the decorative plates to expose the lockset.[3] This allows you to pull back on the lock mechanism to unlock the door.

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Call a Locksmith

If no other options are doable for you, call a professional. It will cost you, but getting a quick quote shouldn’t be a problem. There may be a visit fee in addition to a service fee, so be clear about what is needed.

Featured photo credit: Neshom via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] Safewise: What to Do When You’re Locked Out of Your House
[2] Qualified Hardware: How to Pick a Lock
[3] How Stuff Works: 10 Ways to Break Into a House

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Sasha Brown

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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