How to Handle Life’s Most Common Frustrations


Life can feel like one frustration after another. Most of the frustrations you deal with are dealt with by everyone. Being human is largely a universal experience, so there are plenty of ideas floating around about how to deal with the frustrations that frequently appear in life.

While all frustrations can’t be completely eliminated, they can be greatly minimized.

Consider these common frustrations:

  1. The inability to control yourself. This is perhaps the most common frustration of all. Whether you want to follow a diet, get to the gym each day, clean out the garage, pay your bills, save money, or stop staying up late watching TV, it can be extremely frustrating when you can’t control yourself.
    • Be clear on why you want to take or avoid a specific action. Why do you want to go to the gym? What do you gain? What is the consequence of not going?
    • Visualize being successful. If you can clearly imagine it, you’ll be more likely to do it. Imagine yourself doing, or not doing, the action.
    • Relax. When we have the urge to do something we shouldn’t, or have resistance to doing something we should do, it creates tension. Relax your neck and shoulders and take a deep breath.
  2. The lack of financial resources. This is one of life’s most common complaints. Whether you need money to buy food or your dream car, a lack of financial resources is frustrating. There are only two ways to deal with this issue:
    • Increase your supply of money. This can be accomplished by earning more money, spending less, or saving more. Find a way to increase the amount of value you’re delivering to the world, and the money will follow.
    • Decrease your list of wants. We all want more than we need. If you can cut back on the things you think you need, you’ll have more money available for other things.
  3. The behavior of others. While there are thousands of books on how to influence others, it’s only influence, not control. There are many things you can do to get others to do what you want, but it’s never a sure thing. Avoid trying to control them, and you’ll be less frustrated.
  4. Indecisiveness. Indecisiveness is the result of either a lack of information, a lack of goals, or a lack of clarity regarding your values. If you take care of those three areas, your indecisiveness will lessen dramatically.
    • Understand that if you’re stuck, one option is probably just as good as another. Pick one and get busy.
    • As a general rule, it’s worse to fail to make a decision than to make a poor decision. When you don’t make up your mind, nothing happens.
  5. Others sabotaging your efforts. This is another common frustration. Most of the people in your life would like to see you do well, but not too well. It’s hard on their egos for a variety of reasons. Just accept it as a part of human nature and move on.
    • If someone is actively trying to sabotage you, confront them. If that doesn’t work, decide if you really need them to be part of your life.

Life will always have its frustrations, but you can minimize many of them. You’re not alone regarding most of the frustrations you face. Most frustrations are universal. Deal with the frustrations that are within your control and try to relax regarding the rest.

6 Ways to Minimize the Cost of Your Auto Loan


Let’s face it, cars are expensive. It’s not only the price of the car, but also the gas, insurance, maintenance, car washes, and more. For most of us, there are also considerable costs associated with the auto loan. With the economy as it is, every expense is worth examining.

Use these strategies to save money on your next auto loan:

  1. Improve your credit. Nothing has more impact on the terms of your loan than your credit score: the better your score, the lower the interest rate. If your credit history is sketchy, it’s going to cost you. So if you have credit problems, put off buying that new car until you’ve done some work on your credit.
  2. Avoid small loans. In many cases, interest rates tend to be higher on small loans. If the car costs less than $5,000, then it’s best to simply save up ahead of time and pay cash for the car. If you’re desperate for a vehicle, however, this may not be an option.
  3. Refinance. You can refinance an automobile at a lower interest rate if interest rates have fallen since you bought the car. This especially makes sense if you’ve also been able to improve your credit since you obtained your loan. You could easily save $100 per month by refinancing.
    • With the subsequent reduced payment schedule, you can apply the extra you’re saving toward other investments or you can pay off your car sooner.
  4. Shop around for financing. It might be easiest to get your financing at the dealership, but it’s rarely the best place. Finding a better financing offer means extra money that could be in your pocket instead of the dealer’s.
    • Check out what the dealer has to offer, but get some other financing quotes and see what makes the most sense.
  5. Consider leasing. While leasing is usually considered to be more expensive in the end than purchasing, it can make sense if you never own a car long enough to get it paid off.
    • Your monthly payment will likely be less and the taxes are less, since you usually only pay tax on your payments, not on the value of the car.
  6. Find a less expensive vehicle. Cars today are almost universally quite reliable. There’s almost no practical difference between a modern $10,000 car and a $100,000 car. All the extra cost has little to do with how reliably or safely the car will get you from point A to point B.
    • Consider purchasing a slightly used automobile to really save some money. If you can find a car that’s almost new with low mileage, you get all the advantages of a new car, including the warranty, without the new car cost.

There are several ways to save money on your next auto loan. If you have the luxury of time on your side, fix any credit challenges you may have and shop around for the best financing terms. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Do what you can to keep as much of your money as possible.

Considerations When Lending Money to Friends or Family


It’s wonderful to be able to help a friend or family member with a financial challenge, but money has a way of creating disagreements and hurt feelings. Many financial experts recommend never lending money to loved ones. But every situation is different. It’s important to consider all the issues and then make your best decision.

If you’ve decided to make a loan, taking these steps will help ensure things go smoothly:

  1. Consider making the loan a gift. Without any expectation of being paid back, there’s less opportunity for the relationship to be harmed.
    • Be sure you can afford it. It doesn’t make sense to create financial challenges for yourself.
  2. Avoid lending additional money. It can be wise to get all of your money back before you make a second loan. Many people have financial issues as a result of poor financial habits. It’s unlikely that a loan is going to help in some cases. Be firm.
    • If they were unable to pay back the first loan, the odds for an additional loan won’t be any better.
  3. Consider creating a loan agreement. A document will make the loan feel more formal, and your friend or family member is more likely to take it seriously. In the event that you need to take action to get your money back, having some paperwork is bound to help.
  4. Be clear about your expectations. If you make it clear that you’re happy to help, but it’s also important that you’re repaid, your borrower will have a better understanding of the need to be responsible. Be honest and open about the importance of being paid back.
  5. Consider a peer-to-peer lending tool. There are websites that will administrate personal loans. The program keeps track of payments and will send reminders.
    • This does add some expense to the loan, but your borrower will be nudged if he doesn’t make a payment on time. And you don’t have to do the nudging!
  6. Keep these stats in mind. Surveys have shown that 45% of people that make personal loans aren’t paid back entirely. And 25% never get paid back at all! Understand that the likelihood of getting paid back isn’t great.
    • If you can’t afford to lose the money, consider refusing to make the loan.
  7. Charge some interest. This might seem a little unkind, but charging interest has multiple benefits. It lets the borrower know that you’re serious. It also avoids any potential gift tax by making it clear that it’s actually a loan. The IRS has interest guidelines for family loans. Be sure to check them out.
  8. Consider what you’ll do if you don’t get paid back. What will you do? How will you feel? The answers to those questions might change your mind about making the loan. Are you willing to just let it go? Are you going to take them to court?
  9. It might be best to just say “no.” In some instances, refusing to make the loan might be the wisest option for everyone involved.
    • If you really need to be paid back in full and you believe the borrower won’t honor the agreement, it might be better to disappoint them instead of putting yourself into a financial bind.

Lending money to friends and family is a kind gesture but full of potential pitfalls. Personal loans aren’t reliable. If you decide to make a loan, communication is critical. Ensure that everyone understands the details for the best experience for all involved.

Top 4 Strategies to Rebuild Your Credit


1. Get a secured credit card.

  • A secured credit card works just like a regular credit card with one major difference; you have to make a deposit. So you would make a deposit, typically $300-$2,000. You then have an available balance equal to that amount.
  • You get your money back when you cancel the card or, sometimes, after you establish a history of on-time payments with that creditor.
  • Your payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus just like a regular credit card. No one can tell that it’s a secured card. Keep the card until you can qualify for an unsecured card and then cancel the secured card.

2. Get a loan.

  • Here is a trick real estate investors have been using for years: Deposit $1,000 in a savings account. Then take out a loan against that account; the account will be frozen. Take that $1,000 loan and open up an account at a different bank. Do the same thing. Two or three loans are enough.
  • Now you have several loans and an extra $1,000. Use that money to make payments on your loans. As you pay down the balances, an equivalent amount will be freed from your savings accounts. Pay off the loans in a few months and you’ll have some great positive credit on file.
  • An alternative if you don’t have any money to start is to borrow the initial $1,000 but let them hold the money. You make the payments and get the $1,000 after the loan is paid off.

3. Pay on time.

  • Keep in mind that a significant part of your credit score is paying on time. From this point forward, never be late. Just don’t do it.

4. Pay down your balances.

  • The amount of money you owe versus the amount you can owe is called your utilization rate. So if you have a credit line on your credit card of $10,000 and you currently owe $6,000, your utilization rate is 60%. If it’s more than 30%, it hurts your score.

If you’ve had some credit challenges, then there’s no time like the present to start building some new, positive credit.

You might think that you don’t have any options available to you; after all, you need decent credit to be able to get credit, right? Not really – there are always options. 

Good credit makes life easier; it also makes life less expensive.

Bad credit not only can prevent you from being able to borrow money in the future, but it can also cause you to pay much higher interest rates when you are able to borrow money.

Start rebuilding your credit today for a healthier financial tomorrow!

7 Social Media Mistakes That Can Harm Your Career


Many courts have upheld the right of employers to see everything in your social media accounts. Employers even study the social media accounts of prospective new employees before they’re hired! You can even be forced to log in and provide full access!

Avoid making social media mistakes that could result in the loss of your employment.

Use social media platforms wisely by avoiding these mistakes:

  1. Posting about controversial topics. Public comments regarding emotionally charged topics is always risky. You might not like the idea of same-sex marriage or have strong opinions about religion, but you never know whom you might offend with your stance. Proceed at your own risk.
  2. Discussing work, interview opportunities, or job offers. Does it seem smart to post to the world that you just had a great job interview with another company? You might be excited about the opportunity down the street, but it would be prudent not to announce your enthusiasm in a public forum.
    • Until you’ve accepted an offer and submitted your resignation, be discrete.
  3. Failing to understand the concept of “zombie” content. While it may seem that you have the option of quickly deleting any inappropriate content, that’s rarely the case. Once it’s out on the web, it’s there forever. It can keep coming back to haunt your future like a zombie rising from the dead.
    • That inappropriate picture or post may show up at the most inappropriate time. Perhaps right before an important job interview or offer.
    • Avoid ever posting anything you wouldn’t want your boss or mother to see.
  4. Posting content while you claim to be sick or injured. There have been several instances of employees calling into work sick, only to post photos of themselves at ballgames, the beach, or a party.
    • All it takes is for your work nemesis to see it. You can be sure your boss will be informed quickly.
  5. Combining personal and business contacts unskillfully. It’s likely your personal contacts will be bored with your posts regarding work. It’s also likely that many of the posts your personal contacts would find interesting aren’t appropriate for a work audience.
    • Your old college buddies might be impressed that you can still stand on your head and drink from a keg. But your boss might wonder if you’re the right person to negotiate a contract with a European supplier.
  6. Adding content at the improper time. We all slow down a little at 3:00PM, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time to post to your social media accounts. Your boss and coworkers think you should be working. At best, your boss will decide you need a little more work to do. At worst, your boss will suggest that you find another job with another company.
    • Posting too much can be nearly as bad as posting at the wrong time. What message are you sending if you post continuously on your time off? That’s not the type of person that’s given greater levels of responsibility in a professional capacity.
  7. Profanity, poor grammar, and nudity. While the use of colorful language can help to get your point across, reconsider. Poor grammar can also send the wrong message. Modesty is usually the best policy when it comes to clothing.

The various social media platforms provide an effective way to communicate others. Use these tools to your advantage! Unfortunately, social media also can also cause a lot of harm to your career. Be careful of the image you present to the world. Take control of your social media presence.

Quitting a Job Without a Plan? Read This First

If you’re unhappy at work, it may be tempting to head for the nearest exit
immediately. However, leaving before you have something else lined up could have major consequences for your wellbeing and career.

The truth is that quitting your job without a backup plan may be reasonable or reckless depending on the specific circumstances. Find out what you need to know about this important decision before you hand in your resignation letter.

What to Do if You’re Quitting Immediately

Does your job involve physical hazards or such intense stress that it’s undermining your health? Is it so demanding that you’re unable to look for other opportunities as long as you’re in your current position? If so, you may need to depart now regardless of whether you have another job waiting.

Use these strategies if you’re quitting right away:

  1. Exit gracefully. Just because you’re leaving quickly doesn’t mean you can forget your manners. If possible, tell your boss before you put anything in writing. Be sure to express your appreciation for your time with the company.
  2. Revise your budget. Reduce financial pressures by calculating a monthly budget based on minimal expenses. Think about how you can supplement your income with part time jobs or freelancing.
  3. Review your network. Start letting others know that you’re looking for a new position. Challenge yourself to make a specific number of contacts each day.
  4. Stay busy. The gig economy has made employment gaps less problematic, but you may still need to explain them to some employers and recruiters. Figure out how you’ll describe this time on your resume. As a bonus, activities like consulting and volunteer work will help you to stay engaged.
  5. Refresh and recharge. It can be difficult to make a positive impression in interviews if your old job has left you depressed or anxious. Reach out to family, friends, and your spiritual community to boost your mood and self-esteem.
  6. Be flexible. Take time to reflect on why you left your old job. You may want to explore another industry or transfer your skills to a different set of responsibilities.
  7. Order business cards. You’ll look more professional and strategic if you hand out updated business cards rather than trying to cross out your old office information. There are many sites where you can order affordable and high-quality printing.

What to Do if You’re Biding Your Time

Maybe your job is less than fulfilling, but it’s still tolerable. Maybe it even provides a path for advancement if you’re patient. Looking for a job while you still have a paycheck can increase your options and decrease your stress.

These strategies will benefit you if you have some time before you quit:

  1. Address obstacles. If your job is satisfying except for certain aspects, you may be able to fix them. For example, being proactive about setting priorities could help you deal with a demanding boss.
  2. Ask for support. Talk with your boss and HR department if you think they would be willing to assist you. Maybe you could modify your job description or transfer to a different department.
  3. Warm up your network. Catch up with old contacts and look for ways to help them. It’s less awkward than getting back in touch because you need job leads right away.
  4. Add to your savings. Put a percentage of each paycheck into your savings consistently. Having a financial cushion will allow you to take the time you need to find a position that suits your career goals.

Quitting your job without a safety net can be frightening, but sometimes it’s your smartest option. There are practical advantages to searching for a new position while you’re still employed. However, letting go of a job that’s holding you back may inspire you to pursue your dreams instead of settling for something less.

10 Sideline Sources of Income That You Can Earn From Home


Do you have some extra time to kill and need another source of income? There are several ways to generate a secondary source of income without leaving the comfort of your own home. It’s surprising how many home employment opportunities exist. Anyone with a few hours to spare can earn extra money.

Check out these ways to stay at home and earn money in your free time:

  1. Freelancing. With the capabilities of the internet and associated technologies, working from home is a snap. Whether your talent is writing, graphics, building websites, or voiceover work, there’s no end to the amount of work available for a freelancer.
    • No matter what your skills might be, there’s someone out there looking for you. Check out one of the many freelance websites to get started.
  2. Telemarketing. Any place with a telephone is suitable for your telemarketing headquarters. It’s a job that few enjoy, so there are usually employers looking for callers. If you have a pleasant voice and can deal with rejection, telemarketing can be an easy and flexible way to earn some money.
  3. Grow and sell vegetables. Okay, you might have to leave home to do this. On the other hand, you might be able to convince someone else to sell them for you at the local farmer’s market. Seeds are very inexpensive. Mother Nature will take care of the rest, minus weeding.
  4. Make scrapbooks. Not everyone has the skill to make a custom scrapbook. Create scrapbooks for those who are unable or unwilling to do it themselves. A few supplies are all you need to get started.
    • Begin with offering your scrapbooking service to family, friends, and neighbors. You might be able to generate enough referrals to stay busy without additional advertising.
  5. Data Entry. Most jobs pay for each entry rather than by the hour. It’s a great job if you have a few spare minutes here and there. It’s super flexible and can work around any schedule. With focus and fast fingers, you can generate a reasonable income.
  6. Tutoring. Part-time tutors can make $30 or more per hour. You might have to brush up on your geometry or Latin, but tutoring can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.
  7. Translate. Are you skilled in a second language? There are many opportunities to translate conversations and documents. While certifications are required to translate for large companies and government agencies, they’re totally unnecessary for translating a love letter or a conversation on Skype.
  8. Rent out a room. If you have the space to spare, rent out a room. A good roommate can be a blessing and help you cover the bills. It might help your social life, too.
  9. Host a party. There are parties for Tupperware, candles, and numerous other types of products. While these parties are typically held in the homes of others, host the parties yourself.
    • You could also allow your friends to use your home as a party location, and then keep a percentage of the profits.
  10. Sell ad space on a personal blog. Create a blog and then sell ads on your website. You can sell the ad space directly or sign up with Google Adsense. With Google, they’ll post relevant ads for you, and you’ll receive money whenever someone clicks on the ad.

Whether you’re in financial pain or just need an activity to fill your spare time, a secondary or part-time source of income could be the solution. Someone almost certainly has a need that fits your skill set perfectly. Find them and provide your services. It might be the most enjoyable money you’ll ever earn.

Destroy Insecurity and Take on the World

Insecurity is perhaps the biggest roadblock to achieving your goals. If you lack confidence and certainty in yourself and your skills, you’ll never leave the starting line.

Insecurity is the result of poor mental habits and giving too much power to others. With work, you can be a highly confident and secure person!

What causes insecurity? Babies aren’t insecure, so it must be something you’ve learned over the course of your lifetime. How do we become insecure and how to we maintain insecurity into adulthood?

There are several causes of insecurity:

  1. A lack of self-esteem. If you view yourself negatively and believe that you’re incapable, you’re going to feel insecure. The amount of self-esteem you have is ultimately up to you. No one else can decide it for you. However, they can influence your self-esteem if you let them.
  2. Relying on others to make you feel good. Approval from others is nice, but when you need it to feel confident and secure, your feelings of self-worth are out of your control. This creates a strong need for approval and gives too much power to everyone around you.
  3. Unreasonable expectations. The people that are held up in our society are especially beautiful, wealthy, or both. These are the people that we see in the movies. These are the people in the magazines. It’s easy to forget that they’re a very tiny portion of the population. Avoid comparing yourself to others.
  4. Insults and criticisms from the past. These negative comments may have come from parents, teachers, peers, or anyone else from your past. Children are especially sensitive to criticism and may have a hard time moving past negative comments.

Few people feel as secure as they would like. Your feelings about yourself and the world rarely change without work and focus. Make the decision to let go of your unreasonable expectations and your past hurts. The future is waiting for you.

Use these strategies to feel more secure in yourself and meet the world on your own terms:

  1. Approve of yourself. You can give yourself as much approval as you choose! Notice every time you’re hoping for approval from someone else and stop yourself. Give yourself a compliment and practice self-acceptance. With time, your interest in receiving approval from others will dissipate.
  2. Only compare yourself to yourself. Are you in better shape than you were last month? Is your financial situation improving? Are you experiencing gains in your social life or your ability to play the piano? Seek improvement over your past. Avoid worrying about what everyone else is doing.
  3. Let go of the past. Think of the times you’ve been unkind or critical toward others. Does it seem reasonable for someone from your childhood to still feel wounded by the comments you made so many years ago? Your comments weren’t relevant, and neither were the comments anyone made to you. Forgive everyone from your past and enjoy today.

Feeling secure is about removing the power you allow others to have over you. You don’t need the approval of others. You don’t need to compare yourself to others. The past doesn’t have to define you today.

Identify the challenges that are creating feelings of insecurity in your life and face them head-on. You can be more accepting of yourself and trust yourself more than you do today.

As an added bonus, the better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll feel about others too. Refuse to allow insecurity to tarnish your future. Make the decision today to trust and love yourself more.

Deliberate Practice and How to Use It to Gain Mastery

There has been a lot of attention focused on the idea of deliberate practice over the last few years. There are several books on the topic and a large body of associated research. There’s no doubt that deliberate practice is the best way to advance your expertise.

But what is deliberate practice?

Can anyone use this technique?

Follow this process to use deliberate practice to master what you want:

  1. Identify your weaknesses. Which skills would you like to strengthen? Ask yourself how you can best use the time you have available to you. What specific skill can you practice that will bring you the greatest benefit?
  2. Have a purpose for your practice session. It’s not enough to just go to the driving range and hit golf balls mindlessly. Randomly pulling out sheet music and playing the piano won’t help much. Before you begin practicing anything, it’s necessary to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
    • Think about your practice session and write down your objectives. “Learn the C Major scale.”
    • Know your intention before getting to work.
  3. Do it daily. Regular practice is key. If you only practice once a week, your progress will be much slower. Your highest level of development will also be much lower. There’s no substitute for consistent practice.
    • Practice more than once each day to maximize the effect.
  4. Focus. Deliberate practice requires your full attention. You know that your practice session will be less effective if you’re staring out the window or daydreaming.
    • The quality of your practice is dependent on the amount of focus you can create and maintain.
  5. Seek to improve. It’s all about improvement, not just repetition. Try to make each attempt better than the last.
    • Constant improvement is the goal of deliberate practice. Mastery
      requires a lot of incremental improvement. If your intention is to improve, your rate of improvement will be higher.
  6. Have a mentor. A mentor can make all the difference. A mentor can have a variety of titles: expert, teacher, or coach. Regardless of the title of your mentor, what’s important is their expertise.
    • A great golf coach can immediately pinpoint the error in your swing. A piano teacher knows what’s wrong with your hand position.
    • Find a subject expert to help you. Feedback is critical to deliberate practice. Without it, you might be practicing the wrong things over and over. Are you sure you’re doing it correctly?
  7. Allow time to rest. Physical and mental recovery are necessary. For example, focus can only be maintained for so long before you run out of gas. Experiment and find the optimal length of practice sessions for you. How much of a break do you need? Only you can determine that.
  8. Deliberate practice cannot overcome all. If you’re short, slow, and
    middle-aged, you won’t play in the NBA, no matter how much you practice.
    • Deliberate practice is the best way to come close to realizing your full potential at a particular task. It cannot give you potential.

Deliberate practice consists of using your time in a very intentional and focused way. Identify your weaknesses and build your practice routine to address them. Consistent practice is the key. With deliberate practice, you will discover what you’re really capable of.

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.

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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.