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How You Can Be Productive Just by Sorting Out Your Thoughts (in 3 Easy Steps)

It’s easy to feel overloaded by so many ideas for your projects, tasks, and roles, especially when you’re already in the middle of an important task.

This is because our minds are a lot like computes – in order to be more productive and focus all your attention and energy on the tasks you need to finish in that certain time period, you need to clear out your cache of “temporary” files and reboot.

Here are three simple steps you can start doing to be more productive:

  1. Choose the best time

You may not always have the energy when you wake up in the morning and before going to bed at night. But what’s important is that you do this twice a day to make sure you remember everything.

Do this when you are wide awake, and not groggy or sleepy. For instance, you could start doing this after you’ve taken a shower and had your coffee (before going to work), or when you have a few minutes at lunch.

  • Write everything down

The one thing you need to do in order to de-clutter your mind is simple: just keep a record of your thoughts and the things you need to do.

There are all kinds of ways for doing this, from using the “Notes” app on your phone, or even typing it on your computer. If you don’t want to type it out, you can even record yourself talking and listen to it later as an audio log.

But this may not always work for you, in which case it’s completely okay to write them all down the old fashioned way. Being able to write things down using physical pen and paper lets you use muscle memory, and because you’re paying more attention to what you’re writing, there’s a good chance you can retain them better.

  • Keep your journal/planner in hand

Now that you’ve written your thoughts and plans down, keep them with you all the time! This way, you’ll be able to glance at it any time and not forget anything you had written down.

It’s easy to keep them around as voice recordings on your phone or as a Word document on your laptop, but when you’re physically writing them down on paper, have a specific notebook for this and keep this with you as much as possible.

By making it a habit to write everything down, you not only allow yourself to clear your head and focus on your tasks and projects, but you also give yourself ideas that you can use in the future.

How to Choose the Best Lens for Your Eyeglasses

The types of lenses you choose often determines how satisfied you are with your eyewear. And while you might think at first that it’s easy enough to choose your glasses, the truth is that it’s more difficult.

In fact, there are four factors you need to consider when choosing your own eyeglasses: appearance, comfort, vision, and safety, and all these depend on your diagnosis, your needs, and your lifestyle.

Types of Lenses

Eyeglass lens can be made of different materials, which have their own pros and cons:

  • Tribrid – While thin, lightweight, and impact-resistant, this material only allows for limited lens designs.
  • Trivex – Fully blocks UV light, has great impact resistance and a high Abbe value being extremely light.
  • High-index plastic – Relatively cheap to produce while being thin, lightweight, and able to block UV light.  
  • Polycarbonate – Parents with children who may not take good care of their glasses may choose this impact-resistant material for their kids, and because of its durability, it’s also a great choice for going rimless.

Other than the material that your lenses will be made of, there are other factors for glasses that you need to keep in mind as well, such as Abbe value, thickness, and refractive index.

Abbe Value

Abbe value is the measurement of how the material disperses different wavelengths passing through it. Low-value lenses will tend to have a higher dispersion value, which results in colored haloes around objects.

This means that when you try to look through this type of lens, you will see a blurry image instead of a sharp, clear one.

You can usually notice this when viewing the lens’ periphery, but less so when you’re looking through the center.

Center Thickness

There’s a certain limit on how thin laboratories can grind your glasses because of the thicknesses different materials allow while retaining impact resistance.

It’s because of this that concave lenses (ones used to treat people with myopia) made of polycarbonate or Trivex can be ground to just 1.0 millimeters thick at the center, while other materials will usually be thicker in order to pass this standard.

Refractive Index

The refractive index of a lens material depends on how efficiently it bends light, and it all depends on how fast light can travel through the said material.

The higher its refractive index, the better it can bend light. Lenses with high refractive indexes are usually a lot thinner than lenses with lower indexes, which is why lenses of certain types of materials can have a higher grade while still being lightweight.

Be sure to talk to your optometrist to ensure the best results for your eyeglasses and how you can best take care of your eyes.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

Tips to Manage Travel Expenses While Still Going All-Out

Travel is no longer a luxury, but is doesn’t come cheap, too. You can still go on a fun vacation without going home broke as long as you plan beforehand, manage your expenses before, during and even after your vacay. Here are some tips how to achieve it.

  1. Load Up Your Vacation Stash

When it comes to saving for your dream vacation, the simplest ways make a great difference. Grow your vacation savings by riding public transport and/or bringing homemade lunch at work. Also, separate your vacation fund from your everyday expenses. That way, your savings is out of sight and you won’t be tempted to use it.

  • Save on Plane Ticket

How to save on plane ticket? Take advantage of discounted fares, which means you likely have to book at least six to eight weeks in advance for the best deals. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for cheaper fare that may come to surface on off-peak days of the week (usually mid-week). Keep in mind that connecting flights and early morning flights may save you a few dollars, but make sure to factor in the trade-off, like having to spend a meal, taxi fare or an overnight stay, as a result.

  • Avoid Overscheduling

Be realistic about how much you can do in a day. If you are too exhausted from trying to do so much, it will no longer be a relaxing vacation. When doing your itinerary, plan only one major activity each day. The remaining hours of the day allows you to recharge, minimize expenses and more opportunities for spontaneity.

  • Travel in Groups

When friends join together for a getaway, you’ll have more meaningful moments to share and reap the benefits of expensive travel cuts, from accommodation to family package meals every time you dine out. Agree with your group how to divide the expenses before flying. Will you split all the expenses equally, take turns paying, or settle everything upon return? Plan ahead of time to avoid chaos within the group.

  • Explore on Foot

Avoid riding the cab; they’re expensive regardless where your destination is. Walking is the best way to explore the place and experience the authenticity of a country (while also burning off the extra calories from your indulgent meals). If walking isn’t for you, try renting out a bicycle. Some destinations, like Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are known for being bike friendly cities.

They key to effectively manage your travel expenses is to strategize and plan ahead of time—and even while you’re already on the trip. Know these money-saving tips by heart and you’re sure to have your dream vacation without costing an arm and a leg.

4 Risks You Must Take Before You Turn 40

You’re young, wild and free in your 20s, but your 30s should be the time to start cementing the habits that will help you achieve your personal and professional fulfillment. From your health to your personal relationships, here are four lifestyle risks you should take before hitting your 40s.

  1. Working for a Promotion

Very few people push themselves hard to get out of career rut and actually work hard to earn the promotion they deserve. And it isn’t skills that’s holding them back—but the lack of confidence. Get out of your comfort zone and listen to what your heart desires to get clarity on what exactly that you want. Of course, show them that you deserve it by working harder than everyone else. Then, take the courage to speak up and be confident to express to the right authorities what you want to achieve in your career.  

  • Forgiving Yourself

If you are one of those people who made it in their 40s and have zero regret or angst from past decisions, then you’re truly one of a kind. As you reach this level of maturity, it’s time to also let go of bad decisions and move forward. Drop the shame and guilt to live a graceful life. Forgiving yourself might be hard, but you can make it bearable by finding gratitude for every step along the way. You will feel happier, lighter and begin to enjoy the journey when you leave the extra baggage behind.

  • Travel as a Local

By this age, chances are, you’ve already been to many different places. But if you have toured those destinations as tourist, it’s time to take a new risk and explore new places as how locals do. Instead of seeing the most popular sights, find out where locals spend their time away from the hustle and bustle. Keep yourself off from expensive and touristy restaurants and dine at a small neighborhood favorite. An authentic local experience will make you appreciate these incredible places more.

  • Splurge on Something Worth It

Yadda, yadda, yadda—we have all heard how important it is to save on your retirement plan and save money for the rainy days. But if you are a renowned cheapskate ever since and has never splurged on an expensive item, now is the time to reward yourself. Whether it is a classic designer bag, a Picasso artwork or a luxurious furniture, every once in a while—perhaps on your 40th birthday—go for the gusto!

Sure, there are a whole lot more of risks you should be letting yourself experience before you hit the ripe age of 40. But let this list serve as a good start to learn to prioritize yourself and your ambitions more.

7 Ways to be a Good Speaker

                Many would say that becoming a great speaker is an art. Any art can be achievable and made better through learning and practice. Here are only some of the many tips that you can get to be a better speaker.  

1. Make eye contact

                The simplest yet one of the hardest things to do on stage is to actually make eye contact with the audience. Move your eyes around and don’t focus only on one part of the room. If you’re still having difficulty, just look at the audience’ foreheads instead. They usually won’t notice and think your making direct eye contact. 

2. Practice slowing down

                When you’re on stage, usually you hardly grasp the amount of time you speak. This is partly because you are nervous and anxious. Some people would say “Speak as fast as you think you need to.” This way notice when you’re probably talking too fast and need to slow down.

3. Observe your own body language

                Body language compliments verbal communication. Your posture and actions can make or break your appearance on stage. When you’re nervous, this unconsciously shows through your body. Fidgeting with your fingers, swaying too much, or keeping your hands in your pockets the whole time are only some of the signs.

4. Take a video of yourself

                See yourself first to realize how your audience views you. By doing this, you will be able to recognize things you did not even notice before. You may observe that you’re doing unnecessary gestures, or maybe you’re talking too fast. With that, you are able to fix anything that needs to be fixed.

5. Focus on your topic

                While doing your speech, focus on the topic and not how you perform it. This is to highlight that the content of your speech is something to be listened to and not just taken for granted. If you focus too much on how to perform it, chances are the contents of your work will not leave an impact.

6. Don’t try to be perfect

                Nobody delivers a perfect speech. The difference with a really good one and a bad could be because the speaker is trying too hard. Simply sounding natural can be a good way to put it. You could easily differentiate someone who speaks naturally and someone who sounds like a robot trying to sound perfect.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

                Just like in everything we do, improving in speaking comes with a lot of time and practice. A good piece of advice would be that your goal is not to practice until you get your speech right, it should be to get your piece wrong. That way you can recognize your mistakes before taking the stage.

5 Tips to be a Good Leader

Not many people say they are cut out to be leaders. But leadership is something that is developed over time through constant learning. Here are 5 tips to be a good leader.   

  1. Be a role model

Being a leader does not mean to command or impose on people how to act or do their job. A good leader embodies the characteristics and behaviors they want from their peers. An example of this could be punctuality. If you want your peers to be on time for work, you should be there on time as well so as to promote this attitude. Doing this will affect how others respond to you. Because you are a leader who talks the talk and walks the walk, they will replicate your actions therefore doing better later on.

  • Be humble

Give credit where credit is due. Being a good leader means to give up the spotlight to others who deserve it. A grave misconception of humility comes because it is associated with being weak and “giving up the glory”. But it’s not that at all because you as a leader did not let go of the glory, but instead shared it with the people who truly deserved it. As the old saying goes, the insincere leader gives you the feeling of their greatness, while the genuine leader always leaves you with the feeling of your greatness.

  • Do not be too concerned with unnecessary things

A leader should not dwell too much in times when they would be labelled as good or bad. If you do so, you will do your job to benefit your own appeal. In the words of the first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, “If you’re concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind.”

  • Know your limits

There can be times when a leader is too happy-go-lucky that his/her peers learn to show little respect to them anymore. Knowing and establishing clear boundaries can save us from more frustration and confusion. As a leader, you should also set boundaries in terms of work distribution among your peers to avoid overworking and exhausting them. Generally, this means to recognize limits between each other for a healthier relationship.

  • Mistakes are normal, but can be avoided

Everybody makes mistakes and even the best leaders are not an exception. It all comes down to recognizing the “symptoms” that can lead to these mistakes. Knowing these will help you determine and take the necessary actions to avoid making the mistake again. Another thing to remember is to avoid thinking negatively. Usually, if you keep thinking that you will make a mistake, chances are it comes true because it’s always on your mind.

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