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7 Small Pieces of Technology That Will Change Your Life

7 Small Pieces of Technology That Will Change Your Life

One of the most influential and life-changing pieces of small technology is the smartphone, but there are many other worthwhile options that you may not be using. Whether you want to lose weight, protect your home or keep a closer eye on your health, you have the ability to turn to a relatively small and inexpensive technological advancement.

Although some people question if technology is driving a wedge between social interactions, the reality is that it can be used to improve our lives in numerous ways. The best part is that this doesn’t require a big budget or even a lot of storage space. Here are just a few of the best small examples.

1. Fitness Tracker

Wearable technology offers much more than merely a statement piece. In fact, for the estimated 20 percent of Americans who wear a fitness tracker, this small piece of technology offers many important statistics to help them get into the best possible shape. Long gone are the days when it was hard to keep track of vitals such as pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature.

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This could be life-saving for the 29 percent of people living with hypertension because it offers important clues about the impact of physical activity, diet and stress on their blood pressure levels. Additionally, individuals who need help getting active can receive regular reminders from their fitness tracker.

2. Home Monitoring Device

Being able to monitor and change things from afar such as the temperature in your home is a highly useful tool that enables people to save money. It’s also a great way to ensure that your house is safe at all times. Home monitoring systems are typically small and unobtrusive, and they work with your smartphone.

It’s possible to lock your doors and turn your lights on or off without being home. Even better is the ability to monitor for issues that could cause massive damage, including flooding. According to Alder’s flood calculator, a toilet overflowing in a 1,500 square foot home would cause an astounding $1,861 worth of damage in a mere 30 minutes. With a home monitoring device, you’ll be alerted before this type of damage is able to rack up.

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3. Electronic Food Scale

Are you truly aware of how much food you eat on a daily basis? Sadly, 68.8 percent of Americans are currently overweight, even though many of them make a regular attempt to keep their weight under control. One of the biggest problems is the prevalence of large portions, tons of sugar and sodium in the typical American diet. However, you can get this under control by using an electronic food scale to ensure that you stick with reasonable portion sizes. By doing this for every meal, you’ll adjust to consuming less food, and you’ll soon find yourself feeling less hungry throughout the day. As a result, you’ll be able to lose much more weight than you would be exercising daily without making a calorie adjustment. There are even some scales available that have built-in food information and tracking, and it’s possible to get a scale that can sync to your smartphone.

4. Built-In Water Filter

Many modern refrigerators include a built-in water filtration system that offers cleaner, tastier results. Chlorine is typically filtered out, which means you get the benefits of having it sanitize your water without having to smell or taste it. This technology can make a huge difference with the many water problems that have been plaguing the U.S. recently.

Of course, you should always review the user manual of your refrigerator to determine what type of water filtration system it uses and what contaminants are filtered out. That way, you won’t inadvertently keep drinking a contaminant that could be removed with further filtration. For example, the CDC has indicated that reverse osmosis systems are best for removing certain parasites, but that will require you to install one of these systems in addition to using the refrigerator’s filter.

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5. MP3 Player

You may be asking yourself, “How will an MP3 player change my life?” We all know that MP3 players have made it more convenient to carry a large library of music, so that’s far from breaking news. However, are you aware of the impact that music can have on your mental health? Studies have shown that listening to enjoyable music can reduce your stress levels by a staggering 61 percent. When you consider the fact that and could literally kill you, it makes sense to invest in any small technology that will reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life.

6. Blood Glucose Monitor

Are you diabetic, pre-diabetic or have a family history of diabetes? If so, a blood glucose monitor is a piece of small technology that you should definitely own. These monitors have been available for several years, but the technology behind them keeps improving. As a result, combining a blood glucose monitor with a wearable fitness tracker will provide you with one of the best defenses against the damage that can be caused by living with dangerously high blood sugar. In other words, this one small piece of tech could actually save your life.

7. Solar Powered Keychain Battery Charger

Power outages in the U.S. have been increasing since 2000. It’s also necessary to pay attention to the damage that global climate change is causing and take steps to correct the problem. Fortunately, a solar powered keychain battery charger gives you the ability to keep items charged without electricity while also helping the environment. These portable chargers double as a keyring and typically come with a built-in flashlight. Simply expose the charger to the sun’s rays in order to charge it up, then use it to charge you smartphone or anything else that is powered via a USB cord.

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Technology, in general, has dramatically altered the lives of almost everyone on the planet. Due to this, even the most elderly members of society are learning to use and embrace many modern pieces of tech. By adding items such as a home monitoring device, a fitness tracker and a solar powered keychain battery charger to your life, you can boost your health, improve your quality of life and become more self-reliant.

Featured photo credit: Intel Free Press via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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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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