Six Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

If you are thinking about the holidays right now and frowning, smooth your face, square your shoulders and take a cleansing breath. A little positive thinking can go a long way in helping you to enjoy the holidays this year instead of agonizing over all the little details. These 6 tips for a stress-free holiday season will start you off on the right foot.

1. Plan ahead. Print out return address labels for cards (I’m really doing it this year – bad hand cramping), update your address book, make room in your front hall closet for guest coats instead of piling them on a bed like usual, and prepare guest rooms ahead of time. Tackling a few of these tasks before you get really busy can make a world of difference.

2. Rethink your gift giving. Cut down on the mad shopping rush and stress of finding exactly what everyone wants this year – consider giving experiences instead of material gifts, and maybe even implement The Four Gift Rule. My extreme-gift-giving mom is actually trying it this year. Thanks, Mom!

3. Keep things simple with food and d├ęcor. Stick to your favourite recipes instead of trying something complicated and new, and a simple homemade centrepiece is all you need on your table. Please don’t belittle yourself for not having matching napkins and candleholders! Focus more on the family and friends you are gathering with rather than stressing over too many fussy preparations.

4. Have a few extra gifts on hand. A small stash of thoughtfully wrapped gifts is perfect for unannounced friends or last-minute invites. Choose items that have universal appeal and can be used by you and your family if they are still around come January. Think locally-made condiments, soy candles, handmade chocolates, wine and preserves.

5. Be choosy when it comes to events. This can be tough for social butterflies (my husband) and people who have trouble saying no (me). Only accept invitations to gatherings that are pertinent to the holiday and meaningful to your family. When planning your own event, keep it small and intimate with just a few close friends and relatives. We used to have a big Christmas open house but after a few years, we realized it was too chaotic as we spent most of our time greeting and seeing friends out, refilling glasses and snack bowls, and making sure little ones didn’t trash our house (even if they were adorable). Choose to host big parties at a different time of the year, when there is less going on and you are not so taxed.

6. Live in the now. As you trim the tree or make cookies with your kids, don’t forget to pause and really live in the moment. Don’t worry about what’s still on your to-do list (there’s always something), because before you know it the holiday will be over and you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t make the most of it. Also, carve out some time to do something just for you – take a walk, read your book, have a hot bath – it will go a long way in helping you to keep your sanity during the holidays.

Get Your Car Ready To Sell

If you are looking to offload a vehicle that you no longer want, need or have room for, it is important to make sure that the car is in excellent condition. Not only will this help you fetch a reasonable sales price, but it will additionally help you avoid a number of problems with future owners. Following are several steps that you should take before officially offering your auto on the market.

Take Your Car In For A Tune-Up

If you have been diligent about maintaining a vehicle throughout the years, you probably have regularly scheduled tune-ups according to the recommendations of a trusted mechanic. If you haven’t, now is definitely the time to get one. You don’t want developing problems or unexpected ones to rear their heads when prospective buyers are inspecting the merchandise. During a tune-up your mechanic will:

– Search for and replaced worn or damaged hoses and other connections

– Change all fluids

– Inspect your brakes, brake pads and tyres

– Inspect all systems and their components for signs of breakage or other problems

– Make sure that your care is capable of meeting emissions standards as per your area

These inspections and repairs are critical for keeping cars working like they should. They also give professionals a chance to spot minor issues and resolve them, before these problems start to spiral out of control. Many buyers will pay good money for cars that have received regularly scheduled tune-ups. Having these services performed in advance of a sale will usually increase the overall marketability of cars.

Depersonalise The Vehicle

The next step in this process is to depersonalise the auto. This is especially important to do if you have added a lot of custom parts and accessories. Your car will be a lot easier to offload if it has a basic look that people can alter to suit their own personalities, preferences and needs. If you have added on aftermarket parts, make sure that the price of the auto reflects these. You also have the option of removing these additions and selling them separately.

When taking miscellaneous, personal items out, make sure to check under the seats and in any cracks or gaps that exist. Take out car seats and check between seat cushions. You may be surprised at what you find hidden in hard-to-reach spaces when you take the time to look.

Collect All Maintenance Documents

Let prospective buyers know just how carefully you have maintained your vehicle. Make a folder that contains all of the receipts or invoices that you have collected during your time as owner that show the different mechanical services that have been performed. Not only can you share these with prospective buyers as evidence of your diligence, but new owners can use these documents to access any warranties that still exist on the related parts and labor.

Check The Tyres

Tyres are a relatively inexpensive automotive component to upgrade and fix. Despite this fact, they are one aspect of autos that nearly all buyers take the time to inspect. If these look good, the overall opinion of the vehicle will be good as well. Thus, before meeting with interested investors, be sure to take advantage of tyre replacement services as well.

Recruitment Business Setup Cost?

A recruitment business remains relevant even if it gets shaken by the economic growth or crisis. More and more people are always looking for jobs alongside the growth a number of SMEs as well as short term projects. There is always a high demand for supply workers where companies could find in qualified recruitment agencies. Due to this scenario, a lot of entrepreneurs are getting interested in putting up their own recruitment business.

Industry leaders say that while learning the ropes of a recruitment business set up is not as challenging as it is with other businesses, planning for the capital and operating expenses must be importantly considered. So, if you’re thinking of launching such a business, prepare yourself because this business usually has high start-up costs due to the following reasons:

1. It requires a spacious office. You definitely cannot use your home office even if you’re starting out small. One thing you need to make sure of is that the office is big and comfortable enough to accommodate all your employees and clients, as well as the equipment you need for daily operations.

2. You have to have an eye for a good location. This must be an easily accessible place. Prime locations are always expensive regardless of whether you’re buying or just renting.

3. It needs highly qualified and competent employees right away and you need to pay them according to their professional value (which is usually higher compared to other employees) and make sure they get their benefits. This includes insurance, medical benefits, and others (as mandated by the law) – even if your business doesn’t generate enough income for the first few months.

4. Setting up communication technology is necessary too, especially if you want to properly cater to clients and market your services effectively. You will need multiple phone lines, fax machines, photocopiers, printers, computers, and other equipment that expedite day-to-day processes.

5. A properly designed website can be a lot of help, too. You’re simply not doing this business right if you do not have a website, especially with more and more people conducting their employment search online.

6. Just like any other business, there will be respective taxes to pay.

7. Marketing also needs a significant portion of your budget. Boosting your marketing efforts can attract an initial batch of job seekers.

Indeed, a lot of money is involved, but the good news is that you can recover your investment easily, especially if your marketing efforts and good quality service draw in clients for the business right away.

Multitasking High Cost

In today’s busy world, multitasking is so common that juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities might seem like the best way to get a lot done. While multitasking, what we are really doing is quickly shifting our focus from one thing to the next. Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to avoid distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow us down, thereby reducing our efficiency.

It has been found that when chronic multitaskers focus on just single task, their brains are less effective and efficient. But, on the other hand, the evidence suggests that if they stop multitasking, they will be able to perform better.

Experts also suggest that the negative impact of chronic, heavy multitasking might be the most detrimental to young minds. At this age, in particular, brains of teens are busy forming important neural connections.

High Cost of Multitasking –

When we multitask, our attention is expended on the act of switching gears from one task to other and, as a result, we never get into the zone for any of the tasks, affecting our performance. Multitasking affects performance in the followings ways:

It Slows One Down – Contrary to the common belief that multitasking saves time, actually it slows us down making us spend more time on an activity because we are jumping back and forth on different activities. Every task requires a particular approach. Once we get into a groove for an activity, we can do it fast and better.

One Makes Mistakes – Experts estimate that multitasking can cause as much as 40% loss in productivity. It has been found that the human brain can handle two complicated tasks without too much difficulty because it has two lobes that can divide responsibility equally between the two. However, adding another task can overwhelm the frontal cortex and increase the number of mistakes one makes.

It Stresses One Out – Multitasking keeps us perpetually in “high alert” mode, which sooner or later can stress us out and cause some stress-related problems.

It Makes One Miss Out – People, who are busy doing two or more things at once, don’t see the obvious things in front of them. For example, while talking on cell phone, we miss noticing an acquaintance passing by us. This is termed inattentional blindness because even though the cell-phone talkers are looking at their surroundings, none of it is actually registering in their brains.

It Makes One Miss Important Details – One is likely to miss important details while doing one or more things at once. It happens more so with older people. Researchers say that as the brain ages, it has a harder time getting back on track after even a brief detour.

It Can Make One Overeat – Being distracted during mealtime can prevent brain from fully processing what one has eaten. This can result in overeating. Even people who eat alone should refrain from turning on the television while eating.

It Can Dampen Creativity – Multitasking uses up most of working memory. So it can take away from our ability to think creatively because so much is already going on in head.

It Can Be Dangerous – Driving when texting or talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, is as dangerous as driving drunken. Even that doesn’t stop people from doing it.

It Can Hurt Relationships – Using a cell phone during a personal conversation can give rise to friction and distrust between partners. Do your relationship a favor by paying your partner some exclusive attention.

Conclusion –

We all multitask at times but it has become a common trend amongst many, especially children and youngsters. In fact, we do it at a high cost because researchers have found that it can cause brain damage resulting in cognitive impairment and a decline in IQ. Moreover, multitasking has been found to slacken our emotional control. In this context, it is all the more important that children and youngsters should avoid multitasking as their young brains are growing.