8 Simple Ways to Have a More Productive Day

The more you get done each day, the more success you can experience. You also give yourself the opportunity to have more free time, too. Time always seems to be in short supply. If you get more out of your day, you’re making better use of your time.


Increasing your productivity can have a positive effect on your professional and personal life.

Use these tips to get more done in less time:

  1. Plan. To get the most out of any day, it’s important to know what you’re going to do before the day begins. Decide how you’re going to spend your day the night before. That way, you can get busy accomplishing things first thing in the morning.
  2. Get up earlier. You’ll be surprised how much more you can accomplish and how much better you feel about the day if you start your day a little bit earlier. Many of the most productive and successful people in the world share the habit of rising early.
  3. Turn off social media. Social media is a time-waster. Set aside a time in the evening to catch up with your friends and family, but avoid wasting too much time on this type of activity. It’s a huge mistake to engage in social media during work hours. You have more productive things to spend your time on.
  4. Say, “no” more often. It’s easier to be productive in a meaningful way if you’re attempting to do fewer things each day. Be willing to say no to tasks, obligations, and people that get in the way of your productivity. Make it a point to leverage your time as well as you can.
    • Make a list of how you actually spend your time in an average day. Do you see any activities you can eliminate? Saying, “no” can also mean refusing yourself the opportunity to waste your time on meaningless activities.
  5. Get as much done as possible early in the day. If you can get a lot done in the morning, the rest of the day will go well, too. However, if you struggle to accomplish anything early in the day, the rest of the day usually goes poorly also. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to have a plan and to get up early.
  6. Stick to one task at a time. Multitasking is for people that don’t want to be productive. Choose one task, complete it, and then move on to a new task. Many studies have shown that multitasking is ineffective.
  7. Focus on the most important task or steps. Avoid just doing the easiest or most enjoyable tasks. Focus on completing the most important tasks, and you’ll be much more productive.
  8. Take regular breaks. You might get less done in the short-term, but you’ll undoubtedly accomplish a lot more over a long day of work. Taking regular breaks refreshes your brain and makes it easier to focus. You’ll be much more effective in the afternoon if you’ve been taking breaks earlier in the day.

How productive are you? How would your life improve if you got more done each day?

Most of us could use a couple more hours each day. Unfortunately, no one has found a practical way to alter time. However, you can learn to make better use of the time you have. You’re probably not as productive as you could be. Spend a month being more productive and see how it changes your life.

Small Ways to Work on Your Self-Development With Big Results

We can psyche ourselves out by taking on too much. It’s not necessary to move a mountain in a weekend to grow as a person. Doing a little bit each day is more than 99% of the people are willing to do.

You don’t have to be a superstar each day to become a superstar, you just have to be willing to take a step in that direction each day.

There are plenty of little things you can do that won’t tax your mind or body to any significant degree. The key is to continuously make progress.

Do the little things that lead to greater self-development:

  1. Read something useful each night. Head to bed 20 minutes early and spend the extra time reading something that will aid your self-development. Twenty minutes per day is over 120 hours per year. You can learn a lot in that time.
  2. Replace one bad habit with one good habit. Pick one simple bad habit, perhaps drinking too much diet soda. Replace it with a positive habit, maybe drinking plain water. Dropping one negative thing and adding a positive is a powerful strategy.
  3. Practice patience. We have a need for patience each day and plenty of opportunities for practice. Standing in line, waiting at the doctor’s office, sitting in traffic, and dealing with insufferable people. Use the opportunities to practice being patient. Take a deep breath and relax.
  4. Create a mission statement. What is your life about? You might not have ever given it a thought. How can you develop yourself in the right way if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want your life to mean? Put your thoughts down on paper.
    • A mission statement can save you a lot of time. When you’re faced with a challenging decision, remind yourself of your mission. Not sure how to spend your day? Go back to the mission statement.
  5. Prioritize your focus. One way to accelerate your progress is to concentrate on fewer things. Cut back on the breadth of your ambitions and focus on the couple of most important things in your life. Give the most important things the attention they deserve.
  6. Try something new. If you want to expand your comfort zone and gain a new perspective, try something new. It might be going to a Korean restaurant for the first time, taking a pottery class, or joining a softball team. Break out of your routine and give something new a try.
  7. Forgive others. Research suggests that nothing is more emotionally freeing than forgiveness. No matter how terrible the transgression, you can help yourself out a lot by letting it go. Move on.
  8. Review your day. You’re making the same mistakes day after day and don’t even realize it. Record your mistakes at the end of the day and decide to never repeat them again. It’s simple to do, but not easy. You’ll be surprised how strong your habits can be.

Avoid the belief that you must take on a spectacular task to develop yourself. Just focus on placing a brick each day.

Your wall of success will eventually become quite spectacular without you have to do anything spectacular.

The little things each day eventually make a huge difference. This is a comfortable way to approach life, too.

How To Stop Fighting Over Money

By Tayon Mitchell

Disagreements over finances are commonly cited as the primary cause of divorce. Even the kids can get in on the argument when it comes to clothes, video games, and toys. Avoiding money-related fights can enhance the level of harmony within the home.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to minimize the disagreements.

Discover how to get a handle on financial disputes in the home:

1. Understand your attitudes regarding money.

It’s possible you grew up in a wealthy home, and your spouse didn’t. You might value saving over spending, and your spouse is the exact opposite. If your wife grew up wearing the clothes her older sister outgrew, she might place a high priority on buying new clothes regularly.

  • Your husband might value having a brand new car because his family could only afford cars that were over 10 years old.

  • Understanding your differing views can help you find middle ground regarding finances. Those new clothes or car might mean more to your spouse than you realize.

2. Include everyone in the budgeting process.

There aren’t many of us that enjoy being told what to do. Creating, imposing, and enforcing a budget without input or explanation inevitably causes animosity.

  • Have a meeting with the entire family and go over the budget. Provide an opportunity for everyone to give their opinion and ask questions.

    Everyone will be more likely to stick to the budget if they’re involved in the process.

3. Discuss major purchases with your spouse.

Coming home with a pair of $50 shoes is one thing. Towing a new boat home without a discussion is an entirely different situation.

  • Have an agreement that all major purchases will be discussed beforehand.
  • Minimizing surprises helps to keep the peace.

4. Schedule regular family budget meetings.

A 10-minute meeting once a week should be sufficient. Go over the spending for the week and compare it with your current budget plan.

  • Discuss how the spending is matching up with the plan. Any corrections or adjustments can also be addressed.
  • It can also be a convenient time to see if anyone has any unbudgeted expenses coming up.

5. Give everyone an allowance, including you.

Many financial disputes come down to someone feeling a lack of freedom or control. Providing everyone in the household a few dollars to spend any way they desire can be helpful.

  • Having to get permission before every little purchase can create resentment.

6. Have some common financial goals.

Everyone in the house is likely to be more agreeable to a reduction in spending if it’s being done to reach a desirable goal, such as a vacation. Saving for a dream house, retirement, or college can put everyone on the same page. Set, pursue, and achieve goals together.

7. Think before you speak.

If your spouse has run up the credit card again, take some time to get your emotions under control. Share your displeasure with them, but leave your emotions out of it.

  • If you focus on the behavior rather than the person, you’re less likely to make someone defensive.

Fighting over money is a common occurrence. With patience and understanding, most arguments over finances can become a thing of the past. Include the whole family in the budgeting process and review the family’s spending on a regular basis. Your family will thank you for it.

How to Negotiate With Your Credit Card Company in Good Times and Bad

By Tayon Mitchell

There are times when you may want to negotiate with your credit card company. Perhaps you’ve been shopping for the best rates and discovered that your company is on the high end of the spectrum. Or maybe you’ve fallen behind on your payments and need all the help you can get to lower your debt.

Either way, you’ll be glad to know that many credit card companies are open to negotiating.

These tips provide helpful information about negotiating with your credit card company. Your chances of getting more of what you want from your creditor are greater when you prepare ahead of time and have all the information you need in front of you.


Negotiating in Good Times

Follow these tips when you have a good credit score and you’re in good standing with the credit card company:

1. Have all your information in front of you. Know your credit card number, balance, current interest rate, and the amount of your monthly payments.

2. Speak clearly and calmly at all times. Avoid raising your voice with the person on the other end of the phone. If you have difficulty with them, ask to speak to their manager.

3. Ask for the appropriate staff member. Speak with someone who has the authority to grant your request. For example, if you want to raise your credit limit, speak with someone who handles credit limits. If you want to lower your interest rate, speak with someone who is allowed to do that.

4. Ask for special promotions. Since you’re a good customer, you can ask them if they can give you a promotion or extra points on your credit card. Credit card companies often give extra rewards to their good customers, so be sure to ask them.

5. Request an interest rate decrease. When you have good credit and standing with the company, they may certainly consider lowering your interest rate. Do your homework to compare other credit cards beforehand and don’t be shy about letting them know if they charge more than the norm.

Negotiating in Challenging Times

Use these negotiating tips when you’re behind on your payments:

1. Get your credit information together. Have your last bill out when you place the phone call to them. Be prepared to be on hold for a time if necessary. 

2. Ask to speak to the person who makes payment arrangements. The person you need to speak to may be a manager. Explain that you are interested in making payment arrangements to satisfy your debt.

3. Stay calm when you’re telling the person your situation. Explain that you’re having money issues and wish to work out a plan. Tell them what happened to you to cause you to fall behind on your payments.

4. Discuss decreasing the amount of interest that you owe.  Ask them if they can reduce or eliminate the interest that you owe. Explain again that you want to honor your commitment to pay your debt, but the high interest is exacerbating the challenge.

5. Offer to pay a portion of your balance as a final payment. Ending the
relationship would mean that your account would be closed. They might accept your offer, knowing that getting something is better than getting nothing at all. This is especially true if you’re considering bankruptcy and tell them that you may be going that route.

6. Ask them to remove their negative information from your credit report. Sometimes, they will agree to this. Ensure you understand their terms and get the agreement in writing before you pay them.

7. Thank them for their help when the call is over. Be kind and grateful when you’re finished speaking with them.

Learning how to negotiate with your credit card company can benefit you in numerous ways. For greater success, take the time to prepare for your negotiations and use these tips in your discussions.

Buying a Car? Follow These Tips to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

By Tayon Mitchell

It’s happened before. You needed a new car so you went looking for your best deal. But somehow, you ended up leaving the dealership in a car that wasn’t your top choice. And you paid way too much for it. “What just happened?” you wondered as you drove away.

Wouldn’t you love to pay what you want for the vehicle you choose, rather than the high-priced car the dealer wants to get rid of?


Following these tips will help ensure a better experience the next time you buy a car:

1. Do your homework. Think about cars you’re interested in before you go shopping.

Jot down makes and models you like. Note specific features you want.

  • Look at car manufacturer’s websites. Notice the features, specifically
    those that matter to you. Make notes. Eliminate cars that don’t fit your criteria. Make a note why you’re rejecting those cars. Later, you can look back on your notes, if necessary.

2. Familiarize yourself with the top 2-3 cars you want.

Watch for them on the roads. Do you like how they look? Ask friends and neighbors who have a car you’re interested in if you can look at the dashboard and interior space.

3. Check the Edmunds.com website.

This website tells you what the car should reasonably cost you. You can select the interior and exterior colors and any extra options you want for pricing.

  • Find out what the car manufacturers are offering for cash incentives or buyer’s rebates on the cars you like. This info can also be found at the Edmunds website. Completing this step will arm you with expert
    knowledge about what the car should cost.
  • If a car dealer tells you the Edmunds figure isn’t accurate, move on. He’s most likely trying to rip you off.

4. Never pay the sticker price.

Car salesmen will try very hard to get you to pay that price. However, you can negotiate to pay less. If you already did your research, you’ll know what to offer. Don’t pay a penny more.

5. Consider shopping from home.

If you’ve been held captive at a car dealership for 3+ hours being pressured, cajoled, and manipulated, you’ll appreciate this suggestion. Examine internet sites like Cars.com or AutoNationDirect.com.

  • If you prefer, go to the manufacturer’s website and request a price on a particular vehicle. A salesman will respond back by e-mail. Then, negotiate back and forth by e-mail or phone to obtain the car, features, and pricing you seek.
  • Determine if they have the exact car in your desired color with your
    preferred options on the lot. This point is important because salesmen will try to get you in to test-drive any vehicle in hopes they can give you the hard-sell routine.
  • Save a lot of time and frustration by shopping from home.

6. Never get financing through the dealership.

Dealerships advertise low percentage rates then pump up “miscellaneous” fees in excess of a reasonable percentage amount. Therefore, get your car loan through your bank or credit union.

  • Seek a pre-approved loan before shopping. That way, you’ll know how
    much you’ll pay monthly based on the figure you were pre-approved to borrow.

7. Remember you can walk away or say, “No.”

Avoid falling into the trap of doing everything the salesman says. After all, you’re the customer and he’s there to fulfill your needs, not the other way around.

8. Find out your state’s policy on returning new cars.

Car dealerships will tell you that once you sign the papers and drive the car off the lot, you can’t return it. However, many states have a “buyers’ remorse” clause, which allows you a period of time, like 3 days, to return a vehicle you don’t want. Take time to read the fine print on whatever documents you sign.

  • The best way to avoid buyers’ remorse is to shop within your budget and avoid saying, “yes” to just any car or deal. Wait for the deal you want.

By following these strategies, you can avoid getting ripped off the next time you shop for a new car.

Break Free of Living Paycheck to Paycheck

By Tayon Mitchell

Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You’re not alone? Most of us are stuck in that never-ending cycle of earning and paying bills with nothing to show for it at the end of the month. There is a way out if you’re committed to the process. It’s possible to build a financial cushion and remove most of your financial stress even if you don’t have a high-paying job.

Gain financial freedom by taking control of your finances:

1. Get excited. If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it’s most likely been going on for a significant amount of time. Why is it still happening? If you were highly motivated to change, it would’ve already happened! Make a list of the advantages of getting out of this cycle. Pay special attention to how you would feel.

  • You would be able to handle any financial emergencies, such as a broken furnace or the periodontist for your children.
  • You’d sleep better.
  • You could take a nice vacation.
  • What else can you think of?

2. Pay yourself first. It’s difficult to save any money if you don’t make paying yourself a priority. Consider your savings account to be a monthly bill that must be paid regardless of the circumstances. It’s not the last bill. It’s the first. No exceptions.

3. Get a handle on your spending. Everyone should have a budget. Do you? There are countless resources covering the topic of setting and sticking to a budget. Use them. In addition:

  • Make a list of all your purchases and review them at the end of each day. Every candy bar, magazine, and soft drink are included. Even if it only cost a cent, write it down.
  • Avoid making big purchases without a waiting period. The urge to spend a lot of money will often pass after a couple of days.
  • Create a decision-making process before purchasing anything you don’t need. This can be as simple as asking yourself a couple of questions: 1. Do I need this? 2. Is this helping or hurting my goal of breaking free from my paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle? Then remind yourself how great you’ll feel when your financial situation is better. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary expenses. If it doesn’t help to keep you alive or
    employed, reconsider it.

4. Earn more. There’s a limit to how much you can cut your expenses, but there’s no limit on how much you can earn. Most financial gurus only focus on the expense side of the equation, but your options are ultimately limited. If you’ve been in your current position for at least two years, apply for something more lucrative.

  • Find a way to earn some money on the side. With the popularity of the
    internet, there are ways to earn extra money without leaving home.

5. Tough it out. It’s not easy to get excited if you’re only saving $100 each month, but it’s a start. There’s a lot of inertia in your personal finances. It will take time to accumulate enough change to make a significant difference. It’s important to be pleased with your progress, no matter how small.

Most Americans are stuck in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Even those with well-paying jobs are at risk. Just a couple of weeks without a paycheck would spell disaster. Though it seems like a long journey to break free of this cycle, it’s worth the time and effort. Not worrying about your bills or what the future may hold is a worthy goal.

Why You Might Want To Be Rich

By Tayon Mitchell

Do you wonder if you should set wealth as one of your goals? Perhaps this question deserves more reflection. Ask yourself, “Why? Why do I want Wealth?”

If any of these ideas ring true with you, consider them in your answer.

Money is a funny thing. Despite the current sentiment among many in this country against wealthy people, those who have a lot of money want even more. Many of those who speak out against it want more too. In fact, most people would like more money.

Many say that money is the cause of corruption. However, many wealthy folks live without this corruption. So, since some are corrupted and some aren’t, wouldn’t you say it’s the person themselves who makes the choices that cause this corruption rather than the money?

But there’s no arguing that having money provides many advantages in life.

There are few downsides to having a lot of money. Those that have spent time being both poor and rich claim that being rich is much better. But there’s no arguing that having money provides many advantages in life.


1. Rich people can have more free time, if they choose.

Think of all the time you spend doing things just to maintain your life. Cleaning the house, taking the car for an oil change, shopping for food, preparing food, paying bills, dealing with the yard, and running other errands.

  • When you have enough money, you can pay other people to do these things for you.
  • How would you spend this extra time?

2. Rich people can avoid doing many of the things they don’t enjoy doing.

Think of all the time you spend doing things just to maintain your life. Cleaning the house, taking the car for an oil change, shopping for food, preparing food, paying bills, dealing with the yard, and running other errands.

3. You can help a lot of people when you’re rich.

It’s true that you can volunteer and help others with your time, regardless of your income, but it’s nice to be able to write a check, too. You already know plenty of people that could use financial help. It would be nice to actually be able to provide it.

4. You can enjoy life more.

Let’s face it, money is a limiting factor for most of us. It’s easier to explore your interests if you have greater financial resources. You can visit Paris, buy a Steinway, afford to not work and go back to school comfortably, try a new restaurant each week, or buy a couple of horses.

5. Your future is more comfortable.

Most people are worried about their retirement. If you’re sick later in life or unable to care for yourself, you can afford to have the care you need to live at home for the rest of your life.

  • Money eliminates most your concerns about what the future may bring.

6. Money solves many challenges.

Money is great for solving many of the problems that pop up in day-to-day life. Whether you need dentures, a new transmission, a new roof, or new shoes, money is the answer.

  • Of course, money doesn’t solve all of life’s problems, but it can bring you more options and take care of many of them.

Money isn’t the answer to all of life’s challenges. You’ll find that once you have money, you have a new set of issues. But that’s just life. Name a time when you didn’t have a problem!

The advantages of wealth are considerable. It’s really about freedom. Money brings you freedom of choice and peace of mind. It also gives you the option to spend your time as you choose. What’s not to like about being wealthy?

7 Ways To Protect Yourself From Recession

Just the word, “recession,” is scary for most of us, but you can put many of your fears to rest. By adopting these seven basic principles into your life, the pain of a recession can be largely minimized.
  1. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. Living within your means every day is just another way of saying that you should never need any additional consumer debt. Once you begin creating debt in your life, more inevitably seems to follow. Gas prices may be high, but buy that gas with a credit card at 27% and you’ll see just how expensive it can be.
    • Taken to the extreme, if you have a two-income household, you may want to try to learn to live off just one income. Think of the retirement you could fund with the other income. And if one of you should lose your job, you’ll already be living on one salary.
  2. HAVE A SECOND SOURCE OF INCOME (OR A THIRD OR A FOURTH). A second income source is never a bad idea, even if you just put in a few hours here and there. Job security is practically non-existent now, and an additional source of cash flow increases your financial security.
  3. KEEP A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE WITH INVESTMENTS. Expect that there will be periods of time when your investments will lose money. But you only truly lose money if you sell. The economy almost always improves over time, so you’ll make back all your money and then some. In fact, a recession can be the perfect time to invest money.
    • As you get closer to retirement age, move your money into more liquid and lower risk investments. Otherwise, you may not have enough time to recover from any market downturns before you require access to that money.
  4. CONSIDER YOUR RISK TOLERANCE. All the financial gurus have tons of charts and graphs that tell you how much of your money should be invested where, based on your age. But if you aren’t sleeping well because your portfolio is down 12%, you may need to adjust your asset allocation. You should feel secure in your investments, not be in a state of panic.
    • Don’t sell while the market is significantly down, but when things improve you can move some of your assets into bonds or more stable blue-chip stocks.
  5. DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO. Keeping your money in different investments will lower your stress and your theoretical losses. You’ll also be less likely to do something impulsive. You don’t have to get carried away; something as simple as dividing your money between your home, savings account, bonds, and stocks is sufficient.
  6. MAINTAIN A GOOD CREDIT SCORE. In a recession, qualifying for credit can be challenging enough already. If you want to purchase a house, get a new credit card, buy a new car, or in some places even rent an apartment, you need to maintain your credit scores. Pay your bills on time and keep your credit card balances as low as possible.
  7. KEEP AN EMERGENCY FUND. An emergency fund is an important part of any financial plan. There are many reasons for this. If someone loses a job, there is money available that won’t result in an investment loss if used. You never know when the unexpected may happen.
    • You never know when the unexpected may happen. What if your car needs a new transmission? Do you really want to be forced to sell some stock that will realize a 25% loss? What if you need money immediately?