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Hacks for Shipping Holiday Gifts

Hacks for Shipping Holiday Gifts

The holiday season is a time when you are shopping around for the best deals on gifts. However, not all of your gifts can be given in person, and not all of your deals are always found online. This turns into you having to make sure of shipping services to ensure that your gifts are sent and received in a timely manner.  Today, let’s go a bit over how to find the most affordable provider, how to stay on top of deadlines, and ways on how to track your shipments effectively.

Shipping Providers: Compared

For this article, we will focus on American shipping providers. The main providers are FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In terms of price, USPS is a good choice for individuals who don’t have an issue with size. If you item is able to fit into USPS’s flat rate boxes, you will be able to pay a specified price, as long as it’s under 7 pounds.

This is perfect for individuals who aren’t frequent shippers and want to take the guess work out of shipping. So, when is UPS or FedEx a good choice? The holiday season is a unique time when timing is of the essence. You may send a card or gift throughout the year for birthdays or anniversaries, and if they come a couple of days later than expected, then it’s not a problem.

However, during the holidays individuals are more serious about delivery times, something USPS isn’t as good at holding on to. FedEx and UPS aren’t apart of the postal service, these shipping companies are focused solely on shipments, and in turn they have been more reliable in terms of arrival times and dates. If price and delivery timing is an issue, you best bet would be FedEx.

Affordable Supplies for Shipping

If you are price conscious, USPS is a provider that provides individuals with free flat rate shipping items by request. These boxes, usually arriving at your door step a week after request, allows you to not only skip having to rush out for shipping supplies relative to your item’s size, but you can also ensure that you’ll pay a certain price. If you are shipping with USPS or considering this option, here’s how to get your boxes.

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    Deadlines: Closer than you Think

    You can choose a provider with the best deals or the fastest delivery times, but all of these titles become empty if you don’t put in the effort to ship on time. Providers love when we ship late because this gives them a promise to hike up prices.

    Don’t become victim to last minute shipping price gouging by making sure you know the deadlines for your basic ground shipment dates. As follows, USPS’s deadline is December 20th, three days earlier on the 17th (ten days from today) is FedEx’s deadline on Ground shipments, and finally, UPS is the most attractive in that you can ship anytime up till December 24th, they will be shipping on Christmas Eve.

    Of course, in the end, everything comes at a price. FedEx is moderately priced, USPS is one of the cheapest, but UPS is the most expensive. This, of course, isn’t taking into consideration if you miss the aforementioned dates, which means you’ll have to pay even more for next day or two day shipping.

    Amazon shoppers: more on specific deadlines are found here.

      Tracking the Package

      Apps for tracking your packages are available on almost every system that you use. First, let’s look out for our iOS users and list a couple of applications that help with tracking packages:

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        Slice for iOS – Focused not just on package tracking, but also your online spending habits, Slice automatically adds packages to track based on what you purchase online through your connected email accounts. Also, track how much you are spending and more. (Free)

          Delivery Status Touch – Resembling Parcels for Android, Delivery Status Touch makes use of visuals (including color scheme) as a way for you to quickly tell the provider. You can also get a high quality map view on the right side and up-to-date parcel information at the very bottom. ($2.99)

          Next up, Android users. Here are a couple of applications available to ensure that you know the status of your package.

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            Parcels for Android – This free application ensures that you stay updated on your shipment. even without having to lift another finger after first setting up. Package statuses are viewable in the application’s Google Maps view. (Free)

              TrackChecker – This basic barebones tracker application is perfect for our international shipping readers out there. (Free)

                Package Tracker Pro – Along with package tracking, Package Tracker Pro also allows you to receive up-to-date notifications and the ability through the sync site to automatically add/remove shipment tracking. ($1.99)

                An IFTTT Hack: Shipment Tracking

                If you aren’t familiar with IFTTT (no pun intended), the website allows you to create your own online algorithms allowing different websites to connect with each other to perform novel tasks, allowing the “Internet to work for you”.

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                  One quick example would be “If I take an Instagram photo, automatically add the photo to a specific folder in Dropbox”. Get it now? Well, there’s an algorithms (or recipe as they are called) for package tracking that can be sent as a text message to your phone, perfect for the non-smartphone owners. Simply edit the XXXXs with your tracking number, and there you go! Here’s the link to the recipe.

                  Holiday shopping can be stressful, but shipping your items don’t have to be. Let us know in the comments which tip was most helpful for you and which tips you have for our other readers.

                  Featured photo credit:  Tug boat taking out the ship from the harbor via Shutterstock

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                  Last Updated on October 23, 2019

                  50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                  50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                  If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                  That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into fifty key points.

                  Here’re 50 habits of highly successful people you should learn:

                  1. Believe It to See It

                  Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                  2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                  While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                  3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                  Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                  4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                  Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                  5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                  There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                  6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                  It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                  7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                  Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                  8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                  Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                  9. Maximize Your Strengths

                  Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                  10. Be in It to Win It

                  Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                  11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                  People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                  12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                  Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                  13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                  You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                  14. Be a One-Off Original

                  Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                  15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                  Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                  16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                  Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                  17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                  Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                  18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                  We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                  19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                  Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                  20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                  Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                  21. Make Your Own Luck

                  In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                  22. Ignite Your Initiative

                  While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                  23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                  Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                  24. Champion in Communication

                  Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                  25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                  Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                  26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                  To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                  27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                  While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                  28. Live by Core Values

                  Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                  29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                  Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                  30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                  Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                  31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                  Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                  32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                  Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                  33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                  Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                  34. Change Opens New Doors

                  People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                  35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                  It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                  36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                  Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                  37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                  When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                  38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                  How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                  39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                  If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                  40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                  Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                  41. Swim Against the Tide

                  Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                  42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                  More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                  43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                  Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                  44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                  While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                  45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                  Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                  46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                  Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                  47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                  While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                  48. Follow Through

                  Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                  49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                  We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                  50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                  To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                  So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

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                  Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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