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How to Create Emergency Kits for your Average Workday

How to Create Emergency Kits for your Average Workday

    People create emergency kits for car problems and bad weather, but few create kits to deal with more common but less urgent situations. In particular, misplacing a wallet or forgetting a work laptop at home can play havoc with a person’s workday.

    With a little bit of planning, you can create emergency kits that will let you deal with these types of situations in a calm and productive manner.

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    Creating a backup kit for your wallet

    Besides your keys, your wallet is probably your most important daily companion. Without it, you lack identification, money or the ability to access any of your financial services.

    No money, means you are unable to buy the essential products that gets you through a workday, like gas, lunch or even a coffee.

    Luckily, there are so many prepaid cards options available today that creating a wallet backup kit is an easy task.

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    Options

    • MasterCard and Visa both make prepaid cards that are accepted anywhere normal credit cards are accepted. You can even reload the cards if you use them in an emergency.
    • Use industry specific cards to make sure you can always get gas, food or make a long distance phone call.

    Other Options

    • Request an additional debit card from your bank that attaches to a line of credit or checking account
    • Apply for a low limit credit card that you only use for emergencies
    • 100 dollars in small denominations. The small denominations allow you to use a portion of the money without depleting your stash. Also, small denominations are accepted everywhere.

    You can protect your kit by wrapping it in a dark water resistant bag and making it look as innocuous as possible. If you keep cleaning supplies in your car you can hide it in a wipe container or at the bottom of an road emergency kit. Most thieves are not interested in stealing road flairs and cleaning products.

    Please make a list of the cards in the kit and their corresponding numbers. Consequently, you can reload prepaid cards with more funds and cancel cards if they are lost or stolen.

    Creating a backup kit for your briefcase or laptop

    Forgetting your laptop or briefcase can be annoying in some cases and disastrous in others.

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    Therefore, it is a good idea to create a backup kit for the tools and information you use every day. No matter what happens, you want to enter the office, meeting or sales call as confident, organized and professional as possible.

    Using Smart Phones as a backup to your laptop

    Most modern cell phones have the same functionalities that a laptop has, including the ability to edit spreadsheets, create power point presentations and email PDF documents.

    Make the most of these phones by adding applications that will allow you to access and edit your information anywhere you are.

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    • Remote Desktop Applications allow you to connect to your home or office computer. These programs range from free applications like MS Remote Desktop to paid options like LogMeIN. The paid applications will also allow you to access remote computers through a web browser.
    • Office suite applications like Documents To Go allow you to edit MS office documents. You can always access the files and then email them for printing.
    • Document scanning software comes in handy when you only have a hard copy but need to send it off in a pinch. Programs like JotNot lets you export scans to multiple formats.
    • Virtual Private Networks (VPN) applications help you protect your personal data when you use hotel Wi-Fi connections or a public computer.

    Create and access an online backup of your home and office computer

    Whether you are at home or at the office, you should always have an online backup you can access on your phone or a computer.

    • Carbonite is relatively cheap, works in the background without interrupting computer functionality or bandwidth speeds. While it creates a full backup of your computer, you can still access and restore individual files.
    • Dropbox and Windows Live Mesh will allow you to synchronize your work across multiple computers and offers free online locker space. 2 Gigs for Dropbox and 5 Gigs on Skydive for Windows Mesh.  Both are accessible through mobile applications and through a web browser.
    • Email your work to yourself after working on a file.
    • Complete all your work on online office suites like Office 365, Google Apps or Zoho.

    Additional emergency options

    • Keep an extra set of home and auto keys at the office. You can hide them under your desk or within a file folder.
    • Just in case you spill something on yourself or need to stay in a hotel room overnight, keep an extra set of clothes and a toiletries bag in the car.
    • Create a backup business portfolio where you can keep marketing material, business cards, pens, pencils and a writing pad. You never want to enter a meeting or a sales call empty handed.

    No matter how organized or prepared you are, there are always going to be times when things fall through the cracks. With a little bit of forethought you can create a emergency kit for any type of situation.

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2019

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

    So what changed?

    I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

    My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

    Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

    But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

    1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

    Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

    If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

    Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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    How to Tackle It?

    Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

    For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

    Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

    2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

    This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

    The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

    How to Tackle It?

    Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

    If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

    Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

    3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

    This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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    The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

    The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

    How to Tackle It?

    Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

    For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

    A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

    If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

    4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

    Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

    Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

    How to Tackle It?

    It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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    Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

    For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

    Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

    In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

    This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

    Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

    However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

    How to Tackle It?

    Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

    Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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    Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

    If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Bottom Line

    I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

    You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

    I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

    I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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