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Finding Your Work-Life Balance

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work life balance

Everyone deserves a break now and again. We are all human and we can only complete a certain amount of work before we crash and begin to suffer physically and mentally. This is why it is incredibly crucial for all of us to find a healthy work-life balance which we can maintain through our lives.

It might be that we take a day off work once a month to give us something to look forward to, we stay away from overtime at certain times in the year to spend time with family, or even just switching that laptop off at a reasonable time before we go to bed to give us plenty of time to relax and reset for a good night’s sleep.

It can be difficult to switch off from work when you are trying provide for your family and you are also faced with a huge amount of responsibility- however it is something which we need to do for our own health. If you are wondering how to find your personal work- life balance, read ahead…

  1. Turn off your email

It is just typical on a working day that the moment you decide to call it a day and switch off, you end up getting an email from a colleague asking you to do something. The problem with this is that you end up reading the email, thinking it will be a 5 minute job, and then an hour later you’ve still not switched off. Believe it or not this was a part of work which France has put laws in to stop. No one is allowed to check work emails after 6 pm in France, instead people have to go home, spend time with their loved ones and relax. The idea of this is the idea of knowing when to stop and let work thoughts fade away. If you are constantly doing work, your brain ends up having no room for anything else. This is a huge issue and is one which needs to be addressed. So, take France’s lead and turn off for the evening at 6 pm.

  1. Say no

You might think that the best way to get ahead in your career is to always be available for your employers and to always say yes to every request, however this can increasingly turn into stupid demands until it gets to a point where you are working your butt off for an employer who wants you to pick up their dry cleaning, look after their cat and iron their shirt. It can get to a point where you are walked over to a point that you are essentially a slave.

The only way to combat this is to learn how to say no now and again. If you don’t learn to say no you will always be picked on. The next time your boss asks you to cover a school holiday or an extra day, say no. You might feel guilty but at the end of the day your employer needs to realise that you are a human being and you have your own life, responsibility and family. Don’t feel as if you have to give a reason, because you don’t. You are completely entitled to decline and it won’t reflect badly on you.

  1. Work smarter, not harder

The classic way of thinking is that more work brings in more results. It has been the way people have ran society for hundreds of years, but it is not the absolute truth. In the last 20 years with the rise of computer technology, we have built ourselves new ways to make time consuming tasks much more easy. Such as GetSling for scheduling work, Canva for creating graphic design and Grammar,y for checking the grammar on our content.

We as a species strive to find more efficient ways to complete tasks, and often this will mean finding ways to make them take less time and effort. So while it is true that more work may equal more successful, it does not mean in this day and age that you spend 12 hours in the office. There is an interesting book called the 4 hour workweek which discusses this idea, and it is an intriguing read. You need to realise that our time on this planet is very limited, which is why we need to take the chance to live life to its peak while we can. This means finding ways to work less, be more productive and feel alive. It is much better for us to find ways to make work smarter rather than bend over backwards and work until we can no longer function.

  1. What goes on at work stays at work

This is an important one. Finding the separation between work and home is very possibly the most difficult aspect of your work and life balance. We may sometimes find ourselves looking back and thinking about things we need to do at work even when we are at home with our family. The issue with this nips not allowing the brain to switch off and focus on something else for a while. Once you’ve left work for the day, don’t check your email, don’t look at your phone and don’t think about what you need to do the next day. Have fun in the moment and enjoy the time you have to be yourself.

  1. Forget random tasks

There is a temptation sometimes as we leave work and realise we still need to do something to just sit back down and get it done, but this is precisely what you want to avoid. Once you have finished for the day, don’t think about the things you haven’t quite finished. Your shift has now ended so you can go home and enjoy the company of the people you work so hard to provide for. So what if you haven’t sent that email yet? In a few hours you’ll be back in the office and you can get it done then.

6. Stop trying to be the hero

Although the sense of pride you feel by being able to say it was your work that out the company on the map and made those profits. But to be honest, it isn’t anything compared to your actual life at home. Stop trying to be THAT person and focus on being the hero of your own life instead. It will be much more rewarding than a pat on the back from your manager.

  1. Ease off the adrenaline

Whether you love the rush you get from a run, skydiving or a hard day at work- our body can only handle so much adrenaline so be careful with your body.  It will get to a point where you rely on adrenaline so much that you crash without it.

  1. Should you retire?

Some people love work just that bit too much, and it can become such a huge part of your life that you forget how to do anything else. The problem is that eventually you will need to leave work and be free, and you will want to have a few hobbies to keep you busy. Rather than focusing on work for your entertainment needs, think about finding a new hobby you can enjoy. If you don’t have a hobby and you are at work 99% of the time, you may want to consider quitting and pursuing something new. Don’t leave yourself trapped in one place for your whole life.

  1. Don’t be too fast

One of the best tips you will ever receive is this: the first time you do something, don’t do it too fast. This is because every time after that, you will be expected to complete a task in that same amount of time. Take your time, make sure you’ve got it right and enjoy the task. It will mean that your employer doesn’t expect you to do too much when you already have a lot of work on your plate. Manage their expectations of you.

  1. Set your own rules

When it comes down to the final crunch: you are the master of your own life. You cannot take orders from anyone else on how you choose to lead your life. Who you choose to be with and what you choose to do. Make sure that you maintain this level of control throughout the years and let everyone know that you are your own boss.

Manage your own working hours, decide when it is the most convenient for you to complete tasks and when or when not you want to work extra hours for your employer. Make your own work schedule for the week to keep you on track, keep your head held high and make sure that everyone knows you are confident in yourself and your life.

At the end of the day, switch off from work, relax and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling the world, relaxing in front of the TV or doing nothing at all. Your life is your life: live it, own it, and balance it.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Culture and Lifestyle

DIY Bathroom Repairs Everyone Should Know

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They say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but if something is stuck or clogged, one should be on the know-how. Reaching almost a year since quarantine began, people have been spending longer than average locked inside their homes. With this, homes may have experienced more wear and tear than usual, especially bathrooms.

It can be frustrating to feel helpless when dealing with something as tedious as a leaky faucet, a broken toilet, or a clogged drain. Considering this, small do-it-yourself remedies may be resourceful. 

That began said, if challenges are too drastic, larger renovations may be in order. If that is the case, consider commercial bathroom renovations instead. 

For the meantime, these are some nice and easy-to-do remedies than can offer your bathroom a quick fix. 

Uncloging a Bathroom Drain

When taking a shower or washing your hands, having water rise from the drain is the least you would want. Slow bathroom drains are often caused by a build-up of soap-scum and hair. Many resort to using chemical drain cleansers to remedy this; however, these products carry toxic chemicals and can be ineffective at times. 

Instead, use a plastic hair snake. This product resembles a long zip-tie which can bend inside pipes to snag the accumulated gunk.

To begin, remove the drain stopper before inserting the wand. This will require unscrewing and disconnecting the stopper’s horizontal and vertical rods. After doing this, you may finally insert the snake. Once the cleaning process begins, beware: it’ll get gross. As a tip, try to girate or make sweeping motions with the snake in order to grab as much gunk as possible. 

Fixing a Broken Toilet

Dealing with a broken toilet can be a common issue. 

If the toilet won’t flush, check inside the it’s tank. To do so, remove the toilet’s rectangular lid; the lid can be found behind the toilet seat. Look for the chain which connects the flush lever to the plug at the bottom of the tank; the plug is also known as the flapper. If a toilet isn’t flushing, the likeliest answer is that the chain is disconnected from the lever. To resolve this, simply reattach the chain. 

Meanwhile, if water keeps on filling your toilet, it most likely means your toilet is flushing by itself. This isn’t good as it is wasteful. The likeliest reason would be that the toilet has a leaky flapper. To fix this, turn off the water valve from behind/ underneath your toilet. Flush your toilet until emptied. Check the flapper’s size and purchase another flapper. Brands do not matter as long as they match in size. Replace the old flapper with a new one, and voila! 

Replacing a Leaky Faucet

Fixing a leaky faucet often requires replacing the parts inside the handles. To do so, first turn off the hot and cold water valves. Doing this will help prevent any unwanted water geysers from jumping out of the faucet or handles. 

Once you’ve turned off the water valves, check if water is still trickling down. If so, rather than replacing the handles, this means your faucet is in need of a plumber. If it isn’t leaking, you may proceed. 

Pry off the handles and loosen the screws underneath. Once both items are removed, remove the top with an adjustable wrench and pull out all the parts. The best tip is to use needle nose pliers to do this. Head to a home improvement store and ask for help in searching for new replacements. To reassemble, repeat the steps in reverse and test the faucet.

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The 8 Best Christmas Movies to Watch with Your Family

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Movie with Friends

Christmas is the perfect time of year to get together with family and friends and spend as much time as possible with them, but it’s also a time to curl up on the couch and watch those Christmas movies we’ve seen a thousand times. Don’t know which one to choose, though? To inspire you over the next few days, we’ve created a top 8 Christmas movies list to watch with your loved ones during the incoming Christmas holidays. You can easily find them all online in platforms such as movie 4k, Netflix, Hulu or HBO.

Love Actually

One of the most romantic movies of recent times is also one of the most adorable Christmas films, so why not watch or the billionth time? In this movie, director Richard Curtis mixes 10 small love stories that at the beginning do not seem to have anywhing in common, but end up intertwined at the end. Apparently, as he didn’t have them all developed enough to make their own movies, he just left them as optimistic pills. They are very different stories -some euphoric, others tender, others surprising- but all of them to make you grab the handkerchief and want to wish Merry Christmas to the first person you come across.

Serendipity

Some may think that this is one of the most cheesy films in the history of cinema, but there is no denying that the chemistry between Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack is enormous. Serendipity’ is related to chance and the possibility of two people meeting over time and that’s what happens to Jonathan and Sara. The two meet in a department store while looking at a pair of wool gloves; they will connect in such a way that they are going to have a drink and skate to Central Park. When that ‘casual date’ is over, doubts will arise: to exchange the phone or not? To reveal their true identity or not? Destiny will play a key role in them.

Elf

The film follows the story of an abandoned baby who manages to slip into Santa’s sack and ends up at the North Pole. There, he will become one of the elves who help Santa make toys all year round. However, as soon as he learns that he is human, he will go to New York to look for his father. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely hilarious.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

A classic among Christmas movies starring 90’s TV stars such as Connie Sellecca, Corbin Bersnen and Cole and Dylan Sprouse. The film shows how little Justin sees his mother kissing Santa Claus -and doesn’t recognize his father in the costume-, and he beleives that his mother’s affair is the prelude to their parents divorce, so he tries to keep Santa far away from the house with his bad behavior.

While you were sleeping

A classic romantic comedy that tells how Lucy, a subway ticket vendor, is in love with a man that she sees every morning catching a train. One day, he accidentlly falls on the track; she rescues him and, for some reason, she ends up pretending to be his girlfriend to his whole family. Everyone receives her with much affection except the brother of the victim, who did not buy her story.

Bridget Jones

A good dose of Bridget Jones never hurts anyone, not even at Christmas, and especially if you choose the first movie of the saga -since the second one wasn’t as good and the third and last wasn’t successful at all. Renée Zellwegger brings to life the most clumsy journalist in history who struggles between two men: Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy, an old friend of her family who seems a dull, boring guy, but also charming and caring.

Home Alone

Just in case you missed the huge cultural phenomenon that was John Hughes’ big Christmas movie, it needed to be on this list. Starring Macauly Culkin, it tells the story of a young boy who is forgotten at home when his family leaves to Paris to spend the holidays. While the parents try to come back for him, the boy ends up having to defend his home from thieves who are determined to celebrate their own Christmas party by robbing everything in the house.

It’s a wonderful life

Only a director as skilled as Frank Capra could turn a film about a suicidal man into a Christmas classic. Jimmy Stewart leads the cast as George Bailey, a guy who plans to end it all until an angel named Clarence shows him what his life (and that of all his neighbours in Bedford Falls) would be like without him. In a story taken directly from Dickens, it turns out that George has a much bigger impact than he thought.

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Try These Tips out to Simplify Your Everyday Life

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Everyday life naturally has a way of getting complicated, and spiralling out of control in one way or another.

Especially if you are an ambitious person and want to achieve the most you possibly can in your professional life, while also having a lively and uplifting personal life, it can be very difficult to avoid the experience of being drowned in excessive complexity from time to time.

The thing is, there are many downsides to excessive complexity in your everyday life, ranging from significantly increased stress levels, to a real difficulty with regards to being able to effectively juggle assorted projects and responsibilities.

Try these tips to simplify your everyday life.

Declutter your home and make sure everything has a place

A lot of excess complexity can sneak into your life via a cluttered home, where things just naturally feel overwhelming because of the fact that your mind and attention are constantly drawn to the chaotic nature of your living environment.

There are many different potential benefits to decluttering your home, but one of the key benefits that various home tidying gurus and productivity experts praise about the act of decluttering, is that it helps promote a state of mental tranquillity, focus, and an overall reduced sense of complexity.

So, do what you can to declutter your home and make sure that everything has a place. Contact e-waste recyclers, load bags of clothes to donate to charity shops, and do whatever else you need to do in order to begin simplifying your life and your mindset by simplifying your home environment.

Identify one or two big goals to work towards, and put the rest aside for later

Most of us have all sorts of different dreams, projects, and potential goals that we would hypothetically like to explore and devote our time and attention to, at some point or another over the course of our lives.

Unfortunately, however, trying to juggle too many goals at once is usually a recipe for stress and failure – not to mention a sense of overwhelming complexity, as we are constantly trying to figure out the best way to allocate our time and energy to the various projects we want to make headway on.

One of the best ways of simplifying your life and of focusing your energy, is to identify just one or two big goals to work towards at any given time, and put the rest aside for later.

Do your most important tasks at the start of each day

“Analysis paralysis” is a very real phenomenon, and it tends to occur when we have too many different options at our disposal, and have to try and figure out how best to juggle a variety of factors – such as where to fit in the different tasks and chores that we are committed to each day.

A great simplicity-boosting exercise here is to always do your most important task at the start of each day. That way, everything else is more or less a nice optional extra, and stress decreases dramatically.

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