5 Signs You Are Absolutely Taking On More Than You Should

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Being seen as successful is something that drives nearly all human beings.  From birth, we’re taught to take on more, and more responsibility because it’s a way to show the world we have our stuff together.  However, what happens when you’ve found yourself taking on too much?  Are you even aware that you could possibly be taking on too much responsibility, already?

We find ourselves in this position because it’s simply so hard to say “no” to people.  It’s much easier to say “yes” when someone asks us to do something for them, because we don’t want people to think about us as being unreliable, or unable to help them with their problems.  There are a few warning signs you can use, if you’re aware of them, that will help you identify when you’re taking on too much responsibility.

1. Your Little Voice Is Warning You Of Impending Doom

That little voice in your head?  You should probably listen to it.  It’s the voice of reason, and it knows you better than you know yourself.  If you hear the voices in your head telling you that you’re taking on too much, it’s probably time to stop and listen.

Since you know yourself better than anyone else, you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.  It may be time to take a step back and analyze your life, to figure out what’s holding you back, what’s actually necessary for you to move forward, and what you’re currently doing that can be dropped without noticing any differences.

2. Short Breaks Just Make You Even More Anxious

One easy way to tell that you’re overwhelmed is when taking short breaks just won’t work to help you relax anymore.  If you’re finding yourself looking for longer, and longer breaks, or wanting to take naps throughout the day, you’re probably overworked — and overwhelmed.  If taking a short, 15 minute break doesn’t help remove your anxiety, you’re taking on too much.

The best way to get around this issue is to make sure that you’re sleeping well at night.  Often, when short breaks throughout the day won’t work to help re-energize you, your sleep schedule is to blame.  It’s easy to give up sleep, though, when you’ve got so much going on.  If this sounds like you, look into how well you’re sleeping at night — as well as your mattress, pillows, and even the blankets you use to sleep with.

3. You’re Starting To Make Mistakes, And Forget Things

After your sleep patterns start to become out of whack, you’re going to notice other physical changes that manifest themselves throughout the day.  When was the last time you found yourself doing something, only to stop halfway through and wonder exactly what it is you started out doing, in the first place?  If you’re overwhelmed, it probably happens more often than you’re realizing.

Making small mistakes in your day to day routines means that you are spending time focusing on too many things, and not enough time on the task at hand.  This can be a dangerous situation, especially when you’re involved in activities such as heavy lifting, driving, or caring for small children.  If you’ve found yourself constantly forgetting, and making mistakes, it’s probably time to take a step back and maybe even consider a vacation.

4. Exercise, Eating Habits, and Hobbies Have Become Forbidden Words

If you look at the life you once lead, do you see things like eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, and actually enjoying a few hobbies every now, and then?  If you used to do those things but have found yourself not being able to find the motivation to enjoy your hobbies, or that your appetite has begun to suffer and you’ve adopted unhealthy eating habits, you’re probably overloaded with too much, right now.

Regular exercise is one of the first things to go when you start finding yourself getting bogged down.  It’s only natural that it happens.  When it comes to your to do list, exercising starts to feel like you’re taking valuable time away from something else that should really be getting done today.  And then it happens.  You tell yourself that you’ll exercise tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

5. Your Family Said So.

The people around you know you and your routines, and will be able to let you know when you’re looking a bit worn down and possibly needing a break.  If your family and friends have begun asking certain questions, digging into what’s going on in your daily life, they are probably starting to become concerned about you.  This is especially true if they’re consistently bringing up your health.

It’s easy to get addicted to making money online, and the thought of finally being able to make all of your dreams come true.  This addiction is something that you have to become aware of, because it works just like any other addiction — robbing you of your health, motivation, and the ability to actually move forward — instead of continuing to dream about what you could achieve.

How To Come Up With Great Ideas For Blog Topics

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When you’re away from your computer it seems like ideas for amazing new blog posts come to you left, and right.  Once you get to sit down to work, though, it’s a completely different story.  Those amazing ideas that were once overwhelming you seem to have completely disappeared.

This is a common problem that happens to just about everybody at some point in time.  The more you struggle with forcing an idea, the worse the problem gets.

The first step is to RELAX. Don’t stress. Just get comfortable – ideas tend to flow when you are unrestricted and peaceful. Find your “zen” place.

Second, there are lot of great online tools that I and other bloggers use to come up with new ideas. You can use these simple tools to help get your creative juices flowing if you happen to find yourself struggling for what to write. Here we go:

GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER

The Adwords Keyword Planner or Google Keyword Planner, whatever you want to call it, is a tool from Google that will help you come up with some ideas to write about on your blog.  You’re also helping set the foundation for your blog to receive increased search traffic by including keywords that people are searching for.

This strategy works to help break through your writer’s block by showing you what people are searching for, related to your blog, and how often they are searching for it each month.  That information gives you an easy way to see the topics you should be covering with your blog, and helps let Google know what your blog is about — helping you tap into your share of that coveted search engine traffic.

All you have to do is write a blog post around the keyword, solving the problem or providing the answers that the searcher is looking for, and let Google take care of the rest. Link is here.

BUZZSUMO

BuzzSumo gives you ideas for blog posts to write about, but also gives your social media marketing campaign a head start.  This tool gathers all of the blog posts and articles related to the keywords you enter and sorts them based on the amount of social shares they’ve received since they were published.

As you read through the results that BuzzSumo returns when you enter your keywords, you’ll start to gather ideas about what you should be covering with your blog posts, and how to write in a way that your audience will respond to.  This makes it a lot easier for you when you actively start promoting your blog on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Link is here.

QUESTION & ANSWER SITES

Sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers are chock full of new blog posts ideas waiting for you to dig through.  These two sites, and others like them, allow users to submit questions that the general public are able to answer.  The answers that other users leave for the original poster are then rated, and sorted by the best answers first.

Having data that’s easily accessed and sorted by outside users gives you both the idea for the problem you need to solve, provided by the question that was originally asked, as well as what other users consider the best answer — giving you an idea how to angle your blog post for the most effect.

FORUMS & SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media platforms, or forums where your customers and readers hang out, you have probably already seen the sheer volume of questions that get asked on a daily basis.  If you’re not already active in the communities where your potential readers and customers are at, you need to find them and get active.  You can search for forums on Google, and communities on Facebook.

When you see the same question coming up on a regular basis, instead of providing a short answer in the group you’re a part of, or on the forum that you’re active in, try providing the complete solution to their problem in the form of a blog post.  This will introduce your blog to a new group of readers, reinforce your message with the reader’s who have already seen you, and give you an increased presence in the communities you’re hanging out in.

ASK YOUR READERS.

If you already have a foundation of readers on your blog, one of the best ways to come up with new topics to cover is simply to ask them what they want to see.  Sites like SurveyMonkey will let you create surveys you can send to your audience to find out exactly what they think, and learn a bit more about who they are.

If you don’t already have a list of email subscribers, or a steady stream of visitors to your blog that would make giving a survey worth your time, there is one more method you can use to figure out what your readers and customers want to see.

CHECK WITH THE READERS OF LARGE BLOGS.

Find the biggest blogs in your market that you can and make a list of them.  This is going to be a wealth of information for you to dig through.  After you’ve gathered a list of say 10, 15, or 20 of the bigger blogs in your niche, start pulling them up one, by one.

Most blogs will have a popular posts section, or widget, that you can use to sort all of the posts on the site by the posts with the highest comment count.  After finding the most popular posts on the blog, read the article and then start looking through the comments.  Pay attention to what the readers are saying and how it relates to the article.

This will help give you a better understanding of exactly who your readers and customers are, and the ability to help better serve up the types of blog topics that they really want to see.

We hope this helps! If you are just starting out blogging and don’t have your very own blog and domain but want to get started, here is a link to my article step by step walkthrough on setting up a blog: How To Setup Your Own Blog In 4 Easy Steps

 

 

How To Choose The Best WordPress Theme For Your Blog

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Choosing a theme for your blog can be a lot of fun — if you know exactly what to look for. In this post I’ll outline the most important things you need when choosing the best WordPress theme for your blog.

What is a WordPress theme?

A WordPress theme is the same as a template; the two are interchangeable. A WordPress theme is really a customizable website or blog template. It will save you from having to learn code and allows you to quickly get your blog up and going.

Here are five things to look for when selecting your WordPress theme:

1. Simplicity

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You don’t need lots of extras, but many theme developers will add unnecessary plugins and features to make you think you’re getting more for your money. Chances are you’re never going to use those extra features, and they’ll only slow your WordPress theme down.

The main goal for your theme is speed. Most theme marketplaces have reviews, so pay attention to reviews mentioning speed and features.

2. Easy-to-Use DashboarD

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The dashboard is the backend content management system. This is the cockpit of your site and controls everything your visitor will see, including your home page, blog, etc..

Almost all WordPress themes come with backend dashboards — but they aren’t created equal. Some sites make it much more difficult to edit pages than others. You’ll want to look for a simple drag and drop or “What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” editor to easily make changes to your site.

One thing I like about Studiopress themes is they all have the same easy-to-use backend dashboard and it’s always being improved by the Copyblogger team.

3. Mobile Friendliness

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Almost all new WordPress themes are mobile friendly, or have been upgraded to mobile friendly, now that Google penalizes non-mobile friendly sites. The main thing you’ll want to look for in your WordPress theme is a responsive design. That means no matter what size you make the screen or what type of device your audience is using, the content on the screen will rearrange itself to find the best fit.

For example, if you try resizing the Moving Mountains site in your browser you’ll see how the content rearranges to fit whatever size you make the window. It does the same thing for any mobile phone and optimizes the viewing experience.

4. Free vs. Paid Themes

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If you’re on a shoestring budget, there are lots of free WordPress themes that can be great to start with. If you do have $50-$75 to spend on a premium theme, I would recommend it. Here are a few things you get with a premium theme that you won’t find in a free theme.

  • More updates –  The makers of premium themes are incentivized to continually update their themes, accommodating new WordPress updates and bugs that may come up. Free themes are typically not updated as often.
  • Support and documentation –  Most WordPress themes come with documentation explaining how to set things up and how to troubleshoot problems. Free themes always come with some level of documentation but they won’t include the same level of help and support from the developer as a paid theme.

5. Reputation

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Finding a good theme requires you to dig a little deeper. Don’t take the developer’s word for it when researching a theme, especially when you buy from a marketplace like ThemeForest. They have plenty of great themes but you’ll need to do your homework before you make a decision. Sites like Studiopress and Woothemes build their own high-quality trusted themes and will have plenty of feedback from users.

If you’re on a site like ThemeForest, be sure to read the comments for the theme by clicking on the comments tab at the top. Also, click on the support tab to the right and check out the response time of the developer and the questions being asked. The last thing I like to do is type the name of the theme + “review” into Google and see what other people are saying. If the general consensus is good, you’ve probably got a winner on your hands.

How to Create Chore Checklists To Save Hours On Household Tasks

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I grew up with 13 siblings, and checklists and chore charts were a big part of our lives. It was either that or complete chaos; there was no in-between for my parents.

We woke up every Saturday at 8AM, ate a big breakfast, and got to work on our chores. Each of us had a chore to do inside the house (my sister and I were usually tasked with scrubbing the floors), and in the afternoon we all helped with yard work.

Eventually, we even ‘improved’ on my mom’s processes and started creating our own. For example, the older kids all helped clean up after dinner, so we devised a system for who completed which task. Someone had to clear the plates, another had to wash the the pots and pans (the worst job), one of us loaded the dishwasher, and the last person wiped the table and swept the floor.

Looking back on it now, I don’t know how we could have done it without those checklists my mom created. I even implemented them with my wife when we got married to be sure we made the most of our Saturdays.

The framework below will help you create step-by-step checklists for each daily, weekly and monthly household task. You can use them to teach kids the proper way to do each chore, or use them for yourself like I did!

The Magic of Chore Checklists

Organizing with checklists not only saves time, it also comes with several other benefits you may have not realized. Here are a few reasons why chore checklists are so beneficial.

  • Eliminates “I can’t” from your child’s vocabulary – If your child is having trouble with a chore, a checklist makes it much easier to isolate the problem and help them. For example, if Johnny is putting away laundry and delivers it to the wrong rooms, you know exactly which step to clarify instead of just listening to him say he “can’t do it.”
  • No Guessing Games – There’s much less confusion about what “clean the bathroom” means when you have something in writing. Don’t assume your kids can read your mind. What you consider and what they consider part of cleaning the bathroom could be two very different things. A detailed checklist eliminates the guesswork.

Tips for Creating Chore Checklists

It’s not enough to simply list out the chores you want your children to complete. Kids (and most adults) will do a better job of completing chores if they have a detailed process to follow. Here are a few tips for creating chore checklists.

  • Write out each step and make descriptions short as possible.
  • If a chore requires a decision, create a yes or no or flowchart.
  • Be sure to list chores in the order you want them done.
  • Don’t forget to add the frequency and the days each task needs to be done.
  • Set aside ample time to teach your child each step of the process. Then, do the chore together until they get it. Some chores may take only once, more complex chores might require a few times.

Here’s an example for a quick checklist on shaking out the rugs weekly.

Shakeout the rugs

*Do this weekly on Saturdays after lunch.
*Do this for these rugs: front door, back door, door from the garage.

  1. Pick up the rug on the two shortest sides so you don’t spill dirt on the floor.
  2. Carry the rugs to the back door.
  3. Walk outside and shake the rug off the end of the porch.
  4. Once finished, put the rug back in line with the door.

Chore Checklist Starter List

Checklists can be created for any chore and any age. Here’s a list of common chores to help get you started.

  1. Folding and putting away laundry
  2. Cleaning the kitchen
  3. Cleaning up after yourself at the table
  4. Animal poo patrol
  5. Animal maintenance and feeding
  6. Meal planning and grocery shopping
  7. Meal prep (Kids can help with this too! Have them fill bags with ingredients.)
  8. Cleaning the floors
  9. Watering the plants
  10. Cleaning bedrooms
  11. Cleaning bathrooms
  12. Dusting
  13. Shaking out the rugs
  14. Vacuuming
  15. Yard work

Remember, the time you spend creating your chore checklists upfront will save you hours in the weeks to come. Don’t put it off! Document each chore as you do it and create your checklists today!

Article By: Joel W