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How Vampire Electronics are Running Up Your Electric Bill

How Vampire Electronics are Running Up Your Electric Bill

In an age when everyone is plugged-in 24 hours a day, it can be difficult to save money on electricity costs. Constantly using your computers, tablets, and phones is expensive, but do you know how much your devices are costing you even when they’re turned off? Many types of electronics are considered “vampire electronics,” and they may be racking up your energy bills without you realizing it. Here are a few notes to take into consideration when dealing with vampire drain and what to do about it once you’ve discovered where it’s coming from.

In an age when everyone is plugged-in 24 hours a day, it can be difficult to save money on electricity costs. Constantly using your computers, tablets, and phones is expensive, but do you know how much your devices are costing you even when they’re turned off? Many types of electronics are considered “vampire electronics,” and they may be racking up your energy bills without you realizing it. Here are a few notes to take into consideration when dealing with vampire drain and what to do about it once you’ve discovered where it’s coming from.

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What are Vampire Electronics?

Vampire electronics are devices that sap energy even when they’re turned off. These blood suckers can range from your microwave to your electric toothbrush, or any other device that plugs into an outlet. They maintain a constant current so they can be ready when you want them. While this may be convenient, it unfortunately results in a huge amount of wasted energy over time.

While any plugged-in device has the potential to be an energy vampire, the worst culprits are probably not things like your air freshener or digital alarm clock. The major offenders include devices like your computer, DVR cable box, and stereo amplifiers. The second place contenders include your laptops, MP3 player chargers, and your phone chargers. Yes, your phone charger, like your phone company, is out to leach the pennies from your wallet. These electronics need a considerable amount of energy to start up and run, meaning they increase your electricity rates even when they’re not in use.

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How Much are They Costing You?

Your blood-sucking electronics probably aren’t costing you a fortune individually, but their combined energy usage can quickly add up. If you consider all the electrical devices you have in your house, you could easily be wasting a couple hundred dollars per year.

Just look at some of the numbers: a sleeping desktop computer uses 21 watts per year, and a plugged-in stereo amplifier uses 34. At an average of 12 cents per kilowatt, you could be spending $60 per year on those two devices alone.

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Who knows what you could buy without vampire electronics draining your wallet? You could set aside more grocery money, start a mini-vacation fund, or buy yourself a little something nice. The possibilities are practically endless, but the first step is to stop wasting money on your electric bill.

What Can You Do About It?

There are a few steps you should take if you want to stop wasting money on vampire devices. The first thing you can do is determine which electronics are the worst offenders, either by consulting a list or buying a monitor that will let you know how much energy your devices are wasting.

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You can then start conserving energy by unplugging your devices when you’re not using them. Or even better, since you won’t want to spend 15 minutes unplugging outlets every day, you can buy a smart surge protector that will do the work for you. These green power strips automatically know when you’re not using your electronics, and will cut the power to them when they’re idle.

When it comes to your electronics, you will always want to have them at your every beck and call. However, in order to save few extra bucks, patience is a virtue. Make sure to check any and all of your appliances to make sure that they’re either turned off according to your power strip or unplugged completely. Don’t let vampire electronics keep getting the best of you. Follow some of these pointers, and you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a lifetime.

What are a few extra ways you can think of to stop your vampire drain?

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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