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Solutions for 10 MORE Annoying Modern Day Problems

Solutions for 10 MORE Annoying Modern Day Problems
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    A few months ago, I wrote about Solutions for 7 Annoying Modern Day Problems. With modern life comes convenience, but also new problems. Here are 10 more solutions for 10 more annoying problems.

    1. Need a Reliable Contractor?

    • Head on over to Angie’s List where their tagline says it all: “Home service contractors reviewed and rated by real homeowners like you!”


    2. Trouble Keeping Track of Passwords?

    Check out these two informative and useful articles.

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    3. Need to Write a Business Plan but Have No Money for Business Planning Software?

    Go to the U.S. Small Business Adminstration’s website for tons of free business planning resources:

    4. Backing Up Your Computer.

    Do you use some mish-mash system of flash drives, CD’s, and DVD’s? Or worse yet, do you not back up your computer at all?

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    Basically the advice is to have 2 backups, one on site and one offsite. Here are 3 back up solutions:

    5. Got a Great Idea, but No Pen to Write It Down?

    • Just call Jott. This is a free voice memo service that will convert your voice message to a text email message. Never


    6. Need Stuff Cheap or Free?

    I guess this isn’t a modern problem, but the solution is.

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    • Cheap Stuff: Craigslist: Buy and Sell anything. Find cars, housing, jobs, rideshare, contractors, childcare, even a date
    • Free Stuff: Freecycle. This is a Yahoo! group that has local chapters all over the country. As a member you can donate and request stuff for free!

    7. Need to Be Saved from a Bad Date or Meeting?

    • PopularityDialer.com can do this and more. How would you like to receive a call that tells you how great you are? Wow, what a concept. You need to schedule the calls ahead of time, but at the price it’s worth a try!

    8. Sick of Paying for 411 Calls?

    • Try sending a text message to Google instead. Just send to 46645 (GOOGL). Example: “Joe’s Pizza 90210” “The Palms Las Vegas”
    • For business listings: Call Google for free: 1-800-466-4411 (800-GOOG-411)
    • For residential listings: 1800-FREE-411 (800-3733-411) You will need to listen to an advertisement first, but the call is free.

    9. Always Forgetting Things? (Anniversary, birthdays, dentist appointment)

    Set reminders for yourself even if you don’t carry an electronic organizer.

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    • Google Calendar. Go to “Settings” then “Mobile Setup.” Enter your phone number. Then enter important reminders into GCal via your computer or even your phone if you have web access. You’ll receive a text message reminder.
    • Memotome.com – free reminder service that will send you an email reminder. (phone reminders cost extra)
    • Textmemos.com – free text message reminders.

    10. Need to Shed Some Books? Need Some New Ones Cheap?

    The following sites act as an auction for free swaps. All you pay is the shipping.

    K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. A few of her most popular articles are Fluid Yoga, Fluid Power, How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less, Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?, and 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.

    More by this author

    K. Stone

    The founder of Life Learning Today, a blog that's dedicated to life improvement tips.

    How to Overcome Procrastination and Start Doing What Truly Matters Solutions for 7 Annoying Modern Day Problems The Two F-Words You Should Love Opportunity Overload Solutions for 10 MORE Annoying Modern Day Problems

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why we procrastinate after all

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    So, is procrastination bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How bad procrastination can be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    Procrastination, a technical failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

    Reference

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