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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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Irrefutable Truths About Having Kids in the Modern World

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There are so many things that play a role when you have kids, and you need to understand that there are plenty of things that you need to bear in mind. Having children is a massive responsibility, and there are a lot of things that you need to think about to help you make you the most of this. Understanding what parenthood entails is one of the things that plays a massive role in helping you hit the ground running. 
There is no rulebook or manual for telling you the right way to parent, but there are plenty of tips and hints you should be looking at that can help with this. Every child is different and every parenting approach will be different, but there are a lot of things that you have to keep in mind to help with this. Make sure you focus on trying to make the best possible decisions you can, and there are a lot of issues you can look at that will help you with this. Check out these irrefutable truths about being a parent these days that apply to everyone.

You’ll Always Worry

One thing that is absolutely certain about being a modern parent is that you are going to worry. It’s part and parcel of the process, and this is something you need to work on. Don’t be afraid that you are worrying too much, as this is something that all parents do, you are not alone here, and it’s important to understand that. Worrying is part of having kids, and it’s the part you’ll never quite get used to, so you are going to need to do as much as possible to work on this and do what you can to try to stop worrying and panicking quite so much, but this can be hard. 

It’s Expensive

Something else to think about when you have a kid is the fact that this is very expensive, and you are immediately going to be having additional costs to contend with. Make sure you look at what you can do to save money as much as possible. Whatever you can do to cut the costs of having a child is something you need to look into right now. That means saving where you can, using hand me downs if possible, using coupons and vouchers to save money on travel or days out, and preparing and cooking meals at home as opposed to eating out all the time. Everything you can do to slash costs, even slightly, is going to have a major impact on this process. 

Kids Change Your Life

Children will change your life, there is no question about that. This is something nobody can really be prepared for until it actually happens to them, and there are so many factors that will change in your life as a result, such as family holidays. Try to think about some of the best ways of making sure you work on this as much as possible. There are a lot of things that will change forever when you have children, such as your responsibilities, and your approach to life in general. You will now start to base your life around your children and helping to nurture them as much as possible.

State Help is Available

A lot of people forget or overlook the fact that state help is available to those with children. Whether it’s Taiwan’s childbirth allowance or the UKs Child Tax Credit, government help is available to parents all across the world. Having a child can be tough, and it can especially be tough for couples or parents who have low incomes. Sometimes the money received from government support can be crucial for improving your livelihood and helping you feed and clothe your kids as much as possible. So this is definitely something you’re going to want to know about and look into as much as possible. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Something a lot of new parents seem to struggle with is asking for help when they need it. Being a first-time parent can be incredibly hard, and this is something you are going to have to get right as much as possible moving forward. Try to come up with ideas that will help make things easier for you, but also, make sure you ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of ways you can get help from the state, and, of course, family and friends can play a big role in the process of helping you out as well, especially your parents who have done this before so do have wise words to impart on the matter of parenting.

Nighttimes Might be Stressful

One thing that is for sure is that nighttimes are going to be stressful. You can kiss goodbye to that 8 hours of blissful and uninterrupted sleep, and this is something a lot of people struggle with. Getting into a good nighttime routine early in the process is really important, and this is something you should try to work on. Alternatively, you could get in touch with a sleep therapist who can give you advice for some of the things you should look to do when it comes to getting your child to sleep better. With a structured routine in place, it is going to get a little bit easier to deal with this, and you should have a baby that sleeps better as a result. 

There are a lot of things you need to bear in mind as a parent, and you need to try to do as much as you can to make this process easier for you. Try to do as much as you can to understand the important parts of being a parent, and try to work on being as good as you can be for your kids. There are so many things that you need to make the most of right now, and this is something that plays a big part in the process of improving your approach to parenthood. 

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Buying The Right Furniture To Do Your Home Justice

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Pixabay furniture

Home furniture options seem to be much more limited when it comes to high street shopping these days. Even out-of-town stores seem to stock a smaller range of pieces as rents rise and floor space is at a premium. Today, everyone’s buying online. It’s easy to visualise yourself buying a book or a kitchen appliance online – after all, you know that wherever you source it from, it will be essentially the same item. However, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start when it comes to home furniture. How can you tell from a few photos what will be a good buy and what won’t?

Every piece of furniture is an investment and one you hope will last for years to come. The pieces you choose are also a reflection of who you are and make a statement to those who see it in your home. Moreover, each item also needs to fit within the overall décor of your room and not look out of place. You don’t want antique furniture if you’ve invested a contemporary house design. So how do you go about choosing and buying furniture online? 

You will probably already have a good idea of the style of furniture you want for the room you are fitting out. The first thing to do is search relevant keywords and note down the manufacturers’ names that come up. Maybe you’re after ‘best shabby chic bedroom furniture’, in which case the Coach House Fayence or Belgravia range may pop up in your search results. Perhaps you ask Google for a more contemporary look for your living room, in which case the Rowico Lulworth range may be more your scene. 

Once you’ve found a few names of popular makers of the kinds of home furniture range you want, your next step is to narrow down the search based on quality and budget. A rough look through a few retailers’ websites will give you an indication of prices. In fact, you might be surprised at what you can afford: Internet retailers can often reduce costs by cutting out the middleman and selling directly to the public. As for quality, search for independent online reviews from past buyers to back up the manufacturers’ claims.

Once you’ve found the pieces of furniture you want, the next factor to consider is who to purchase from. There is an ever-growing wealth of online sellers, some great and some not so good. The first thing to check on a company’s website is whether it will deliver to your part of the country. There’s little benefit in ordering low priced items from overseas if you then have to fork out a fortune for delivery and/or customs charges. Many good retailers will offer free delivery on larger items, or for orders over a certain amount. This can help save you money. 

Check how long it will take for your furniture to be delivered. Six to ten weeks for hand-crafted items is reasonable; anything less is a bonus. As furniture, especially that made from solid wood, is heavy and prone to damage, look for the company’s assurances that shipping and delivery are managed appropriately and with guarantees against damage in transit. You should also choose a firm with a fair returns policy in the unlikely event you’re not happy with your order when it arrives. Finally, it’s a smart idea to find out what past customers have said about retailers. Has the company delivered on its promises or been responsive if there were any issues?

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Why Do Movies Change The Way People Dress?

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via GIPHY

Movies transcend the silver screen. Apart from being avenues for actors to show off their skills, they also let the great and good of Hollywood strut their stuff. Impacting fashion, then, is inevitable.

At least, it has been for the past couple of decades. Directors and stylists create the looks, and ordinary people try to recreate them as best they can. But why? What makes films the leaders of fashion? After all, they are the original influencers because their reach was far and wide before social media became a thing!

Here are four factors that give Hollywood a say in the fashion industry, and why anything isn’t likely to change.

Escapism

People don’t watch movies to connect with real life. If you wanted to do that, you’d binge-watch documentaries or never turn off the news. No, you sit down to take in a film because you want to get away from life for a few hours. What this does is convince you that the characters are not representations of fictional people, but real. So, recreating their charm and swagger through their outfits seems like the logical next step. After all, you may see yourself through the width of a lens rather than your eyes.

Latest Trends

Of course, actors aren’t regular, run of the mill human beings. They’re part of the 1% of society, which means they get rich and famous perks that aren’t available to others. This means they don’t turn up on set looking angelic – they are morphed into Gods and Goddesses by stylists. Stylists are professionals with their fingers on the pulse of fashion, so they know how to dress people to appear cool or sultry or effortless. The public doesn’t have this type of access, but that doesn’t stop you from copying the styles.

They’re popular for several reasons!

via GIPHY

Pop Culture

It’s hard not to know about the latest pop culture trends, even if you actively stay away from them. That’s because they are everywhere, including on your TV screen. This has been the case for decades, from Morpheus’ rimless glasses in “The Matrix” to Marilyn Monroe’s blonde hair and white dress combo in “The Seven Year Itch.” Part of the reason that movies are iconic, aside from famous lines, is their recognizable outfits. At some point, you’ll see a trend that you love and want to recreate at home because there are thousands of movies/they are derivative.

via GIPHY

Accessibility

Film is one of the most conspicuous forms of media. Movies start their lives in theaters, move onto your screen, and finish in your DVD collection. As a result, you get tons of opportunities to see the latest fashion trends. You’re exposed to it, even if you don’t read glossy magazines or class yourself as a budding fashionista. The rise of Netflix has solidified the effect as your reference points are only one click away in an app or folder on your mobile device.

And, that’s why movies will continue to change the way people dress in the future.

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