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6 Websites To Help You Get Out Of The House And Find Something To Do

6 Websites To Help You Get Out Of The House And Find Something To Do

    Have you just moved to a new town? Are you a couch potato? Or have your friends decided they don’t want to do anything this weekend? Have no fear, the internet is here!  We’ll get you out of the house yet with these six websites.

    Six Places Online To Find Something To Do

    • Craigslist.   The grand daddy of all websites to help you get out of the house.  Classes? Check. Events? Check. Just friends? Check. More than friends? No problem.  I use Craigslist all the time – my favorite sections to post are “strictly platonic” when I’m looking for tennis and hiking buddies, and in the “musicians” section when looking for fellow band mates.  Whatever you’re looking for, Craigslist has you covered.  I’ve even made friends with people after purchasing used tennis rackets and guitars, and some of my best friends have been random people I’ve met on Craigslist.  I have friends in different cities through Craigslist to this day – some of whom I met as many as seven years ago!
    • Meetup.  Meetup is awesome – they have well organized events, you can see who is attending, and you will often see the same regulars at event after event so you can build a relationship.  I’m involved in about a dozen Meetup groups, although I don’t attend many events – but I love being able to see what’s being planned and having the option of attending. Many cities have dedicated “New In Town” Meetup groups, and whenever I’ve attended I’ve found them to be welcoming – and a great place to meet people when I’ve first arrived.
    • Twtvite.   A relative newcomer, Twtvite uses Twitter to publicize events and RSVPs.  You don’t even need a Twitter account to use it, you can  just show up – but you’ll want to get on Twitter so you can keep in touch with all the cool people you meet.  Just go to the site to see what’s being organized in your town and to see who’s attending.  As I was writing this I went to check it out and found an event one of my friends was organizing,  that 30 people are attending.  Instant things to do, instant Twitter followers and instant new real life friends.
    • Myspace Shows. I love discovering new music, so whenever I move to a new city, this is one of the first sites I pull up. Not only does it help me find local music, it also helps me meet people, because I can find people at the concerts that likely are similar to me.  If nothing else, the people I meet have the same taste in music. It also gives me an excuse to check out bars I may not normally visit. One night when I was living in Maui, I had nothing to do so I found an acoustic musician playing a solo show in a tiny little bar in Kihei.  I decided to check it out, and I was blown away.  He was amazing, and since then we’ve remained good friends – and I’ve introduced many of my friends to his music.  I also check out Ticketmaster since they tend to have lots of concerts listed as well, but generally not as many as Myspace Shows – and I also have a harder time meeting people at large concerts compared to smaller local shows.
    • Metromix.  A  great source for club parties and local bar events, Metromix is slick and polished.  They have lots of pictures and information about the venues, so you can make a decision about where to spend your evening.  The downside is they tend to be focused on nightlife, so you may have a harder time finding daytime events.
    • Facebook Events. This requires slightly more work which is why it’s last.  Whenever a friend invites me to an event on Facebook, I take a look at who the organizer for the event is and check out their Facebook profile.  Over time I’ve found about a dozen people – local DJs, bartenders, etc. – who constantly post new events to Facebook to get the word out.  The result is that now on any given night, there are usually one or two events I can see going on on Facebook.  Since I can see who is organizing events as well, I can often get on guest lists for free or reduced cover charge.

    How about you? Are there any websites you like that help you find local events?

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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