Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
01. When eliminating a wasp nest…
Always do it at night. I’ve only tried it once on a small nest. Anything bigger than your fist and I would recommend an exterminator. Bear in mind that this is only for wasps. Hornets fly at night and will mess you up. Wasp spray is super-effective. Wait until night because all the wasps using it will be present. But it’s ok to spray in the day too. The nest will be poisoned anyhow.
That stuff is super-toxic to wasps. The slightest trace kills them quickly. But the neat part is they don’t turn aggressive, they’re just confused and don’t identify you as a threat. I’ve seen some fly off when the nest gets hit but they never came after me.
If you drench the nest in gasoline to kill wasps, DON’T go and light it. It seems tempting, maybe even logical to do so, but it’s even worse than unnecessary because it can just bust open the nest before the gas has killed the occupants, scattering angry wasps and flaming debris all over the place.
02. Looking for apartments in a new city?
Make sure to reverse image search any images to avoid scams. Just right click the image and select ‘search google for this image.’ Also, never EVER give anyone money until you personally have been inside the house. Pretty much every housing scam I’ve seen on Craigslist is from someone who has “moved away” and/or can’t show the house for some reason or another – usually it’s a lengthy story.
Also, you can access property records online and check who the owner is. It’s a good thing to do before you sign ANY lease.
Google street view is also a good way to take a look around a neighborhood. Also try searching nearby on Google maps for your preferred bank/grocer/pizza shop and maybe medical clinics or even parks in the area.
03. Do you work in an office?
Keep this stuff in your top drawer.
· A good sized USB stick – nobody ever has one.
· A couple of good reliable pens – splash out. Get the $8 for 2 pens pack. You use them every day don’t put up with bad Bic pens
· Get a sharpie too – it writes on everything.
· Hand sanitizer – don’t get sick.
· A multi tool – I started carrying one and I use it all the time, the knife opens packages, the scissors are ok in a pinch, the pliers and screwdrivers I use when things break that can easily be repaired.
· Deodorant, hair gel and a comb – you never know when a client or CEO might visit the office.
· Coffee making stuff – most offices supply it but you don’t want to be there on the day they run out.
· 10 bucks in loose change – for every time I needed change for a coke or unexpectedly needed to drop cash into someone’s “going away” fund.
· A compendium – These are great to take into meetings especially if you don’t have a work laptop. This is now your diary, your note pad, your calendar, your temporary file, your pencil case and your portable office. Get a nice one too, they make you look totally boss.
04. Use ‘Focus Sessions’ and ‘Day Goals’ to stay productive at work
The above image shows a set of techniques I’ve implemented as part of my 2016 New Year’s Resolution and stick with each day. More descriptions of each section below.
· Time at Desk [Goal: get in as early as possible since morning hours are most productive for me. Tracking this by writing it down helps give a tiny surge of motivation each morning].
· Day Goals [These are intended as a FEW overarching goals (let’s say, 2-3 goals) for what would make the day successful to you. It helps immediately scope the day’s goals. A CRITICAL step: after you write these down, think: “If at the end of the day, I accomplish these 3 things, will I feel good about today?” If that thought leaves you feeling like your day goals are too daunting or too insufficient, then revise them before actually starting the day. Repeat until you feel comfortable with day goals].
· Morning Thoughts [I was finding that I’d come in with a set of emotionally charged thoughts that would then distract me throughout the day. Taking a few minutes to write down whatever happens to be on my mind, whatever I happen to be feeling, really helps to clear it, or at least postpone the thoughts for when I actually want to make time to process them].
· ToDo List [This ToDo list, at least for me, is NOT a comprehensive list of all work items. Instead, it contains things like chores, meetings, social things, smaller menial tasks, email checking, etc. The idea is to give myself less mental credit for a menial task and more credit for working towards my day goals, while still recognizing the need to get the menial tasks done].
· Retrospective [How did I actually use my time? Every couple of hours I update this list with where my time actually went. It’s been SUPER interesting in particular to see how what sometimes might feel like a ‘quick afternoon break’ to me was actually more like a 2 hour break or something. Has been very revealing and sometimes helps me with efficiency].
· FOCUS SESSIONS [These things are MAGICAL, at least for me. My big realization is that previously, I’d reason that e.g. sending a quick text message takes all of 20 seconds and is no big deal. But in reality, I was simply not creating the sort of totally focused, absolutely uninterrupted time I needed to get things done for real. So, focus sessions are 1-2 hour periods (set the time just before you begin one) where ALL SOCIAL MEDIA GOES OFF completely. Not even one exception. No text messaging. No facebook. Ideally no email. For 1-2 hours. Write down your work goal for the focus session. When I started using focus sessions I found them mind clearing and liberating. When the focus session is over, you are again free to kick back and catch up on texts. I try to do anywhere from 3-6 of these a day, and personally find that about 1.5 hours is a good length of time. During focus sessions, I listen to focus music such as Alpha Waves in my case, but whatever music works for you is fine. I find it’s good to have an auditory trigger that you gradually grow to associate with focusing. If I am finding myself tempted to cheat, I remind myself that I am specifically trying to prove that I have self-trust: If I say I am going to focus for 1.5 hours, I will. Self-trust works both ways though. If I say I’m going to have fun for an hour, I should have stress-free fun].
05. Only put items in storage…
If you have a plan to take it out of storage. If you have no plan to remove the item from storage, sell it instead. Storage fees are expensive and many people abandon their stored items after paying storage fees for items they will never use again.