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The Importance of Daily and Weekly Planning

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The Importance of Daily and Weekly Planning

As a self employed mother of a toddler, I fully understand the value of planning. My busy life puts me in the position where daily and weekly planning are essential to create enough time to spend with my son while still succeeding in my home based business. I plan my days and weeks carefully to include time for my family, business and health concerns. This allows me to create a clear path for myself that maintains a healthy balance of work and play. In this article I will share with you the reasons why daily and weekly planning is so important and I will also give you some of the strategies that I use for achieving my goals.

The following points demonstrate why planning is so critical to success.

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  • Planning can greatly reduce your stress quotient. Proper planning gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you have formulated a feasible plan of action and that your goals are attainable.
  • Planning also helps you to be prepared for obstacles because part of the planning process is creating a contingency pan for unexpected problems.
  • Planning serves as a way to evaluate your progress as you work. Planning your daily and weekly activities will clearly illustrate whether or not you are staying on schedule.

The following tips will provide you with strategies to implement your planning to achieve your goals.

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  • The first step to planning is to clearly define your goals. Taking a few minutes to put your goals into writing will be very beneficial in helping you to plan for your success.
  • Once you have defined your goal, it is time to brainstorm on the tasks that are required to complete your project. Ordering all of the necessary tasks into a logical order and assigning an estimated time for completion to each goal will be beneficial when you begin scheduling these activities.
  • Next it is useful to define the roles that you will take in fulfilling your goal as well as the roles of any others who will be assisting you. This is important because you can use this time to determine who will handle certain tasks to avoid redundancy.
  • Once you have determined your goal, the tasks required, the key players and the tasks they will complete, it is finally time to start your scheduling. When scheduling it is important to plan a weekly schedule as well as a daily schedule. The weekly schedule is important for the overall success of the project but it is the daily planning that will help you to track your progress and determine whether or not you are on schedule. Try using significant project milestones in your weekly planning but for daily planning break each milestone down into the necessary components and plan the completion of those components on a daily basis.
  • As the project progresses, continually evaluate your performance to determine whether you are on track or need to adjust your schedule. This is where daily planning becomes so important. Take a few minutes at the middle of the day and at the conclusion of the day to evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Finally once you have successfully completed your project review your planning process to determine how successful it was. This will help you by illustrating whether or not you have achieved an optimal planning system or whether you need to more carefully plan subsequent projects.
  • In my life, I can clearly see how planning is beneficial to my success. When I have a plan to follow I am able to track my progress against the plan to determine whether or not, I am on the path to success or not.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

The easy fundamentals

First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

Here are some examples of strong passwords:
* i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
* ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
* mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

And not so good examples
* sammy1234
* password123
* christopher

You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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Managing your passwords

I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

Upkeep

You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

Alternatives

You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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  1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
  2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
  3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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