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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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