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Quit Streaking: Cleaning Glasses and Screens Without Streaks or Smudges

Quit Streaking: Cleaning Glasses and Screens Without Streaks or Smudges

Most of us spend a fair bit of time in front of our computer screens, and a fair number of us squint through eyeglasses while doing so. What’s ridiculously frustrating is trying to focus on a screen through greasy, streaky eyeglasses, and even worse when the screen is slathered in smudges as well. Is there a way to solve these problems without pitching both out the window? Yes. Yes, there is.

Let’s tackle eyeglasses first, shall we?

Though this is heralded worldwide as the tried-and-true method for cleaning glasses, it doesn’t always do the trick: if the soap you’re using has any sort of oil or moisturizing lotion in it whatsoever, you’ll end up with a greasy film all over the glass that’s nearly impossible to focus through. Trying to rub it away with a lens cloth or chamois doesn’t work either—it just smears that oil around and makes it worse. There is one kind of soap that works really well for cleaning glasses, though: dish soap. It’s naturally formulated to cut through grease and oil to leave drinking glasses squeaky clean, and it’ll do wonders for your specs as well. All you need to do is wash your hands, put a couple of drops of dish soap on your now-clean fingertip, and use it to wash all around the lenses. Be sure to get around the nose bridge as well: that tends to collect a fair bit of oil too. When you’re finished, rinse them clean with hot water, and dry them off with lint-less fabric such as very clean cotton (like an old tee-shirt or handkerchief), or microfiber cloth: they’re the least likely to shed lint onto your nice, clean glasses.

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If every bit of soap you have in the house has oils in it—some dish detergents have “hand-softening” cream, or essential oils in them—then you can also use a bit of white vinegar on a cloth to clean the glasses: vinegar cuts through oil really effectively, and is actually the best cleaner on earth for mirrors and windows. If it can get those clean, it can do the same for your eyeglasses. Just dip some lint-free cloth into a 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar, rub the lenses gently to clean them, and then let them air dry—the liquid will evaporate quickly, leaving the glass streak-free.

Do not use:

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  • Windex or other glass cleaners
  • Alcohol-based wipes (they can discolor plastic frames over time)
  • Dryer sheets when washing microfiber cloths (they’ll leave film on them)

So, now that your eyeglasses are nice and sparkly, what can be done about those streaks plaguing your computer screen? Well, there are a couple of different cleaning options depending on the kind of screen you have, i.e. glass computer monitor versus flat LCD screen.

Cleaning a CRT Monitor

You can treat your CRT monitor as you would a mirror or other delicate glass surface, and use that same 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar that you used for your eyeglasses. First, ensure that the monitor is turned off: you’ll be able to see smudges and spots far more easily against the black background. Next, moisten a lint-free cloth with the mixture and wring it out so it doesn’t drip, and wipe your screen in a single direction (as opposed to a back-and-forth motion) until you’ve cleaned the entire surface. Wipe away any moisture with a clean, dry,cloth, or use a hairdryer on its “cool” setting to speed the drying process.

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Cleaning an LCD Screen

For a flat LCD screen, you can also use the vinegar/water solution applied with a damp cloth, but many people seem to prefer a rubbing alcohol/water mixture for a streak-free shine.

To use this method, you’ll want to get yourself 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol and some distilled water, and blend the two of them into a 2:1 ratio solution of water and alcohol (so there’s twice as much water as there is rubbing alcohol). Just like with any other glass, ensure that you use a lint-free piece of fabric to clean it with—any paper-based material (bathroom tissue, paper towels, etc.) will leave dust and paper fibers all over the place, and nobody wants that.

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Turn off your monitor or laptop so all the smudges pop out from the black screen, and use the same process with the dampened cloth as for a CRT monitor.

Do not:

  • Spray liquid directly at your screen—always moisten a cloth and use that on the surface instead
  • Press on the screen as you’re cleaning it. You have to be very gentle so you don’t scratch it or damage it accidentally

Once you’ve wiped it down, you can dry it gently with another clean cloth, and you’ll be left with a shiny, streak-free screen you can stare at happily for hours.

Featured photo credit:  A small man cleaning a pair of reading glasses via Shutterstock

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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