How You Can Stay On Track While Working From Home

How You Can Stay On Track While Working From Home

In the last year or so, many people and businesses have been forced to do their work from home, and for some people, that’s not been easy. Even if your work has been on hold for a while, you need to get back on track at some point, and that’s not always easy when you’re stuck inside the same four walls rather than your usual work environment. Luckily, with the tools available, a lot of businesses and job roles are still able to do their work, even if they would have previously needed to be face to face with their clients and colleagues to get things done before.

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Designate your workspace

If you want to still be able to get things done while you’re working from home, you need to make sure you still have a workspace that you can use. While your office might not be accessible anymore, you can set one up in your living space! Even if it’s a small part of your room, it can be easier to work if you have allowed yourself a set amount of space to allow you to be productive. Even if it’s just a desk with your laptop, having an area that lets you set apart your workspace from your home makes it a lot easier to get back into the working mindset without leaving the house!

Remove distractions

If you’re going to work effectively when you’re at home, you need to make sure the usual distractions that are in your living space, are out of reach when it comes time to work. Making sure your TV isn’t easily accessible, or your phone isn’t lying around when you’re trying to get things done. Being at home makes it much easier for you to be more relaxed and less strict with yourself – so making sure you don’t have these distractions around for you to turn to when you’re feeling bored is very important.

Make full use of the tools available

If you’re going to be able to do your work effectively, you’ll want to be making full use of the tools that are available. There are many tools for businesses to use to keep things on track, and even someone like a trainer can learn how to manage online clients for personal training. You don’t have to surrender your business and income while you’re in lockdown, and you can still work with your clients – limited as it may be.

Remember to keep it professional

Like mentioned before, being at home makes it far too easy to feel more relaxed, but it’s important that you’re able to discipline yourself. You still have to make sure you’re earning your income, and it’s best to make sure for the period of time that you’re working – you act as if you were at work in the first place. If you want to be able to stay productive, you should be sure to act professionally while you work.

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Get Rid of Damp Fast with These Tips

One of the worst things to happen to your home is for it to develop damp. Damp really takes a damper on your home, it can make rooms cold and strips your home of all its cosiness. Not only is damp bad for your aesthetic, but it is bad for your health too. To put it simply, it needs to be eliminated as soon as possible. If you want to know how you can get rid of damp fast, keep on scrolling.

How to identify damp

First and foremost, you need to diagnose your home with damp, here is how to do that. 

Smell

  • The smell is a dead giveaway of damp, so if you notice a musty odour in your home it’s time to check the walls and ceilings. 

Temperature

  • A cold surface can be a telltale sign that you have damp

Fungal growth

  • Look for black specks and grey growth on your walls, wallpaper, and woodwork. If the paint is flaking or the wallpaper is curling up, that is a sign you have damp

Colour change

  • Is the surface discoloured or stained? Brown patches, in particular, indicate damp

Condensation 

  • If you find small splashes of water on your window sills, this can be a symptom of damp. 

Mould

  • Black mould can appear on your window frames and curtains, as well as inside cupboards and cabinets. Remember a musty smell signifies mould and damp. 

How to treat damp

You’ve confirmed there is damp in your home, now what? Well, the first thing to do is to call a professional company to tackle the issue. If you’d like to resolve this problem yourself you need to adhere to the following:

  • Use a squeegee to scrape the damp away
  • Apply a sealer to prevent further moisture from leaking through 
  • Get a mould killer and follow the instructions required 
  • Open the windows to ventilate the house

Preventing damp

Here are simple steps you can take to dampproof your home and prevent future outbreaks:

  • check roof regularly for damage 
  • Clean your gutters frequently 
  • Get loft and wall insulation 
  • Set your thermostat to a lower temperature 
  • Open windows to allow ventilation 
  • Don’t dry washing inside (use a tumble dryer or hang clothes on a line outside)
  • Buy a dehumidifier 
  • Turn on the extractor when cooking
  • Invest in some dampproof products (see everbuild

Health complications of untreated damp

It is important to get rid of damp as soon as possible, if left untreated unpleasant illnesses can manifest as a result. Research has shown that those living in damp homes are twice as likely to develop asthma, and are at significant risk of other respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and chest pains. Damp can affect the skin and cause nasty skin conditions like eczema to break out. Scottish researchers also demonstrated that damp is strongly associated with fever. This gives you all the more reason to get scraping those walls and ceilings pronto. 

To summarize

Damp can be stubborn but is easy to get rid of if you adhere to the advice above. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.  

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Planning A Home Renovation? You Need These Tips!

Whenever it’s time to renovate the home, you have to put a project together and bring in the experts to help you to make your project come to life. You might bring in an architect to help you with an extension, or you might bring in a decorator to help you with the planning of the colors of the space you’re changing. You should think about bringing in a contractor, too, to work with you on the construction of the place if it’s needed. 

A remodel isn’t a simple job, even the smallest job can be complex if you’re thinking about remodeling the house. You can bring in a construction team, however, who can look at ensuring that they have the right equipment – down to the forklift propane regulator – that will get your job done in half the time. You want to know your renovation is going to be done in the right time frame, and for that, you need to think about ensuring that your renovation is planned to perfection. Below, we’ve put together all of the tips that you need to make sure that your project gets finished on time.

Image Source: Pexels

  1. Budget, and then budget again. The costs of renovations can change even during the project. You want to ensure that your budget is correct and that means planning for all possible eventualities. You should ensure that you have a budget laid out to include every single piece of material and the cost of hiring experts to help. You should also consider adding at least half of your total budget on top!
  2. Make a point of ensuring you’re not overdoing it. You are making changes, and this can often make you choose everything over the top for your home. You should plan your renovation so that you can know for sure that you are doing what’s needed, rather than everything on top of that!
  3. Get as many quotes as possible. You need to do a little research here, and that means getting as many quotes as possible, from materials to equipment to teams of construction experts to help you out. You need to avoid any unnecessary costs, and that means having a clean, clear plan to help you out with those.
  4. Always figure the finances before starting everything. If you have quotes, you can get moving with the next steps. Just because you have a quote for a job, it doesn’t mean that you need to go with that particular company. Choose to figure your finances first so that you can be sure you’re definitely sticking to that budget of yours.
  5. Be patient. This is going to take some time and putting your home renovation project on hold will ensure that you have more than enough money to save for this endeavor. Any renovation done under budget may have corners cut, so do what you can to ensure that you are careful with your budget and your renovation, too.

Your renovation will go to plan with the right project management. Find the right team today and you can get started.

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Need A New Hobby? Try One Of These!

Everyone needs something outside their families and their working lives. As humans, we are built to enjoy life to its fullest, and without things like hobbies, we can’t adequately fill up our time. It’s not like you need to join several classes or teams, but you should choose things that make you feel happy and excited about life. With this in mind, if you’re in the market for a brand new hobby, check out the options we’ve got for you below.

Image source: Pexels

  1. Electronics. You don’t have to be young to use a remote control car or get joy from a segway. You can really enjoy the modern electronics that are available today because the remote controlled cars of the 1980s? They are so much better than they used to be! Check out these hobby electronics and see if there is something you’d be interested in starting up.
  2. Fishing. Man, woman or child, fishing is a fun hobby to be involved in! You can relax when you fish and you can spend time in the sunshine, too. If you catch a fish, throw it back and use soft bait rather than hooks to do this. Even if you don’t get any bites, it’s a fun hobby in which to be involved.
  3. Become a coach. Did you love sports in your heyday? Why not maximize on that and start coaching or training a local kids team? You could coach anything from chess to basketball, and no matter which you choose to enjoy, you’re going to get some joy out of it. 
  4. Darts. If you love going to the local pubs and bars, you should think about joining a darts team. You can learn to throw, and you can learn to enjoy the camaraderie of being a part of something. There are plenty of options for darts teams, too, and that means that you will be able to enjoy a new hobby as a group and not just on your own.
  5. Brewing. Have you ever considered brewing your own signature beer? You wouldn’t be the only one. If you have a lot of time and patience, brewing is going to be a gamechanger for you! Log online and think about buying your own brewing equipment to keep in the garage and you’ll be making your own in no time at all.
  6. Collect something. This is a broad one but you can collect anything that you like. Stamps, magnets from places you’ve been to before, memorabilia and more, you can collect anything as long as there is more than one type of thing!
  7. Chess. Does this sound boring? It shouldn’t. Chess is a game for the thinkers out there, for the ones who can think five or six moves ahead. If you’re like this in life, you’re going to love chess and what you get out of it. This strategy game is going to blow your socks off when you learn how to play properly. 

No matter which hobby you pick, you will find something to occupy your time!

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Preparing For All Types Of Weather: How To Stay Safe On The Road Come Rain Or Shine

The vast majority of car accidents are caused by driver error. While the weather may not be to blame for every incident, driving in challenging conditions can elevate risks. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to prepare for all types of weather, providing tips to help you stay safe on the roads, come rain or shine. 

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/utah-road-cars-mountains-5641320/

General maintenance and repairs

Keeping your car in good working order is one of the best ways to minimize risks on the road. Check your vehicle before you leave the driveway, keep up to date with tests and inspections, and seek advice if you notice any unusual odors or noises. Maintaining your car will maximize safety and save you money in the long run. 

Driving in wet weather

Most of us have experienced driving in wet weather. Torrential downpours and persistent heavy showers can cause mayhem on the roads, reducing visibility and creating a slippery surface. If it is raining outside, and you’re in the car, it’s important to slow down and increase your stopping distance. Give the vehicles around you plenty of time and space. Make sure your windshield seal is intact and check your wipers regularly. Consider pulling over in a safe place if you can’t see in front of you or water levels are rising to a dangerous level. It’s best to delay your journey if there is a risk of getting stranded or skidding. 

Summer driving tips

Summer poses different challenges from winter but it’s often no less dangerous. The most common problem drivers face on hot, bright days is reduced visibility caused by the sun. The glare of the sun can make it difficult to read signs, to see signals and to determine what other vehicles are doing. If it is sunny outside, use your visor and make sure you have sunglasses with you. Keep back from other vehicles and take extra care to check blind spots when maneuvering or changing position. 

Ice and snow

Ice and snow can cause serious issues for drivers of all kinds of vehicles. Icy roads are slippery and snow can block routes, causing travel chaos. Heavy snowfall can also make it impossible to see the roads. If you are driving in winter, and the conditions are poor, check your route in advance, listen out for advice and warnings, and make sure you have supplies with you. It’s always beneficial to carry extra layers, a high-visibility vest, a torch, a first aid kit, blankets and snacks and drinks if you’re going on a long journey. Delay or cancel your trip if authorities are advising against road travel. If the surface is slippery, you will need to reduce your speed and give other cars more time and space. Keep two hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times.

Picture via https://www.pexels.com/photo/snowy-road-between-trees-907284/

The weather can make driving more difficult and dangerous during every season. Whether you’re planning a summer road trip, or you commute come rain or shine, it’s wise to take these tips on board.

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3 Top Tips To Help You Smash Your Online Exams

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The last eighteen months have changed the entire landscape of learning, possibly forever. Indeed, some universities are already coming out and saying that virtual learning and online lectures will be permanent things. The way you absorb learning materials has changed dramatically, as has the way you have been tested on them. Online exams are very much a thing, and they come with some pros and cons. Many people prefer them to traditional exams, though it can be hard to achieve the grades you want, largely due to how different it feels to sit these exams. 

Fear not, for you are about to learn how to smash your online exams every single time without fail! Here are some tips:

Keep your notes handy

The benefit of online exams is that you can have notes with you and nobody will know about it. Therefore, it makes sense to still do your revision and to create notes but keep them close to you while you do the exam. Try to split them into categories so you know which notes to look at for which questions. Or, if you have another device you can use, make your notes digital. This way, you could hop into a Word Document or Google Docs and search for key phrases to find the relevant notes for a question you’re struggling with. 

Get extra help

Believe it or not, but you could actually get someone to help you sit your online exams. Again, this is a benefit of the online way of learning as it’s harder for schools and colleges to regulate. Websites like Take My Online Class can set you up with experts that will literally sit the exam for you. This is useful in situations where you’re absolutely overrun with work and exams, so you can’t mentally handle all of them at once. Letting someone else sit the exam takes some weight off your shoulders, so you can focus on the exams that you’re better at. Think of it as delegating a task to someone else, so you have the mental capacity to deal with all your work. 

Find a quiet place

A downside of online exams – and online learning in general – is that you have more distractions to worry about. When you’re at home trying to do work, you’ve got all of the things around you that distract you when you’d usually come home from school or college. So, trying to focus on the exams with these distractions can be challenging. As such, you need to find a quiet place to sit your exams with as few distractions as possible. Hopefully, there’s somewhere that fits this description in your house or flat. If not, you may want to consider going to a library to sit the exams. They are quiet and peaceful environments that could encourage you to be more focused, helping you perform better during the exams!

Utilize these three top tips to smash all of your online exams and achieve better grades. Now, you can unleash your potential and start your path towards a successful career.

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Eye Health Tips To Watch Out For

We have a responsibility to care for our entire body, but there are some parts that can go unnoticed for some time because we don’t think about them as often. Our eyes deal with a lot, so it can be difficult to tell when something of really wrong with them. Here, we’re going to offer a few tips to better care for those eyes.

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Thinking about screen time

One of the most common dangers that affect the eyes is the eyestrain that comes with forcing them to work too hard. In modern life, this is most often caused by too much time with digital screens and not enough natural or warm lighting to contrast those screens. Keeping a bottle of eye drops on hand can help you keep them moist, but if you’re experiencing discomfort and watery eyes after a lot of time facing a screen, taking more breaks or even using blue light reducing apps can help you protect your eyes.

Lifestyle habits that can affect your eyes

Screens aren’t the only thing that can cause your eyes some harm. There are some dangers that might be more surprising in origin. UV radiation due to much exposure to the sun can cause a lot of damage to the eyes, so keeping them shaded and protected is a must. If you’re a smoker, now is a good time to quit cigarettes, as well, since they can affect the blood vessels that directly support the eyes. You’re more likely to experience age-related degeneration of the eyes if you’re a chronic smoker.

It could be more than eyestrain

If you’re experiencing routine bouts of redness, it might be more than just eye strain, especially if it comes with light sensitivity and some pain. Inflammation can affect the eyes, it’s known as uveitis, and some people are more prone to repeat bouts of it than others. There are chronic uveitis treatments that can help you keep it under control. As such, make sure that you’re not just using eye drops if you’re experiencing frequent pain and sensitivity, but talk to your doctor instead and make sure to get a diagnosis so you can treat it more accurately.

Don’t neglect to get a vision test

If you haven’t had a vision test since you were a child, or you are over 65 and haven’t had one in a couple of years, now is the time to arrange a vision test with your optician. We all get more likely to experience some loss of vision as we age, and treating undiagnosed changes to your vision can affect your life in a variety of ways. For instance, many people who experience migraines do so because they have conditions like astigmatism that are not being treated with the right eyewear.

Your eye health is crucial and it’s going to become harder to maintain the longer you let it go without any kind of treatment or intervention. Keep the tips above in mind and don’t neglect to get yourself checked out.

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5 Tips For The Perfect Smile

Did you know that over half of all Americans are self-conscious about their teeth? These figures are especially dispiriting when we consider that it means their confidence will be lowered and, as a result, they may avoid smiling completely. Here are some pointers to help you brighten your smile and boost your self-esteem!

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#1 Avoid eating foods that will stain your teeth

There are lots of foods and drinks that can cause staining to your teeth, whether temporarily or permanently. Avoiding some of these things can keep your teeth sparkling white for longer. Some of the foods that can typically stain include:

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Tea
  • Tomato sauces
  • Cola
  • Berries
  • Bright colored candy and soda

While you do not have to completely eliminate any of the above items, reducing the amount you eat or drink can help bring back your bright, white smile in no time!

#2 Regularly visit the dentist

Lots of people are afraid of the dentist – possibly due to bad experiences as a child – but it is important to remember that the vast majority of dentists have your best interests in mind and want nothing more than for you to be confident with yourself and your grin.  Whether it is a general cleaning and oral hygiene tips you are after, fillings and crowns, or dental implants, a dentist will be able to help you.

#3 Consider your oral hygiene and tooth whitening products carefully

The market is flooded with products that promise to whiten your teeth and give you the smile of your fantasies. That being said, it is critical that you pay close attention to the products you buy, as some can actually cause more trouble to your smile over time – by causing your teeth to deteriorate. Speak with a dental professional before purchasing any whitening products or specialist oral hygiene products.

#4 Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day

It is something that is drummed into us from a young age: brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and use a good quality mouthwash afterward. This is probably the best thing that you can do for your teeth. Try to do it for at least three minutes each time but do not put too much pressure on your teeth. An electric toothbrush is always a good bet. Do not forget your tongue, as well. 

#5 Quit the sugar

We all know that sugar is terrible for your teeth, so remove it as far as possible from your diet. Remember, sugar is found in fruit and fruit juices as well. If you do eat sugary snacks, try to eat them in one go, preferably after a meal, and follow it up with a piece of cheese to mitigate the contact it has with your teeth. One of the worst things that you can do is graze on sugary foods throughout the day.

A great smile goes a long way towards boosting your self-confidence, so take steps now to give yourself the perfect smile. 

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Is It Worth Switching From an Android Phone to Apple?

The iPhone is perhaps one of the most famous and popular smartphone brands in the entire world. At the start of 2021, Apple reached the milestone of having over 1 billion active iPhones and over 1.65 billion Apple devices in use overall. But if you’re still using an Android phone, is it worth going over to Apple and giving it a try for your next smartphone?

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/4oWSXdeAS2g (CC0)

Apple has great hardware

Despite many of the problems that Apple has had in the past regarding its phones, the hardware still remains solid and for the price you’re paying, you’re definitely getting a phone that is worth it. Apple phones are unique in the sense that they hold value surprisingly well and are always long-lasting. Many people are still using an older generation of iPhone with no issues and performance doesn’t decrease as much over time compared to using a mid-range Android phone. So if you’re looking for a great investment, an Apple phone is well worth it.

There are quirks with using Apple phones

Apple phones have some unique quirks that make them strange to use when you’ve been accustomed to Android for a long time. For example, getting photos off your phone can be a bit of a pain at times because of the format that Apple uses; HEIC. There are guides on the internet such as https://backlightblog.com/iphone-heic-to-jpg that explain how to stop using it or how to switch over to a more accessible format, but it can be a little frustrating for some people. Another quirk for power users is that you can’t really install your own apps as easily, meaning you’ll have to get used to using the App Store for most downloads.

Getting into the Apple ecosystem

One of the things you’ll hear a lot when attempting to switch to an Apple device is the “Apple ecosystem”. This refers to all the Apple-related services such as iCloud and their other devices like iPads, Airpods, and so on. One of the best things about using Apple devices and services is that they all link together to create a seamless experience and some of the features, such as automatic WiFi and mobile connectivity sharing between your devices, are extremely convenient. If you’re looking to invest in more Apple devices in the future, then we’d highly recommend getting an Apple phone.
Whether you’re giving your child a smartphone and aren’t sure what brand to use or you’re looking for a replacement for your old phone, switching to Apple can be a great choice if you’re willing to relearn how to do certain things. If you already have some Apple devices then it’s a great idea to get an iPhone as well since it can pair really well with things like a Macbook, Apple Watch, and so on. However, if you’re not a particularly heavy user of smartphone technology, then you’d be fine with another Android phone if you’re comfortable with it.

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Machine Learning Is Getting Smarter

In the 1950s, the definition of artificial intelligence (AI) was simply the training of computers to do specific tasks. Today, Google AI researcher Francois Chollet states that AI is a machine’s capability to adapt to a new environment, improvising by using its stored knowledge. It is also a machine’s efficiency in learning new skills as it performs tasks in unfamiliar scenarios. Technology executive Boris Kontsevoi wrote in Forbes that machine learning (ML) identifies patterns in data and draws conclusions from these. ML develops AI and both need specific datasets to apply to specific tasks.

Any industry can use AI to increase efficiency, production quality, volume of output, and revenue in the modern world. Companies that leverage AI are outperforming their competitors.

AI in Medicine

AI was instrumental in the quick development of vaccines against the Covid-19 virus. Usually, it takes years to develop a vaccine against a specific disease. This time, it took only a few months after the start of the pandemic for several vaccines to be presented.

In February 2020, Baidu’s LinearFold AI algorithm predicted in just 27 seconds the secondary structure of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequence. This is 120 times faster than other methods and was used in developing messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. Later, Baidu’s LinearDesign AI algorithm was used to eliminate unstable and unproductive mRNA sequences in vaccines. In June, AI technology completed within 10 hours the genome sequencing of the coronavirus strain. In December, Baidu released PaddleHelix, an AI bio-computing framework for drug discovery, vaccine development, and precision medicine.

Likewise, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering released in February 2021 an AI vaccine design framework that can pinpoint the best vaccine options among many possibilities within seconds. In less than a minute, it can create a new vaccine for a new virus. In less than an hour, it can validate the quality of the vaccine.

USC Viterbi used raw data from the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) that has more than 600,000 known epitopes from about 3,600 species. Scientists worldwide have been gathering data about Covid-19 and other diseases into this database. The study also included data from the Virus Pathogen Resource.

With AI technology, more pharmaceutical firms will hopefully develop new Covid-19 vaccines that are effective against mutations. To be able to meet the demand for vaccines worldwide, companies must also maximize the use of AI to hasten production and delivery.

AI in Industry

There are many uses of AI in manufacturing, from product development to delivery. AI can design prototypes, test these virtually, and reengineer these, if necessary, without production cost. Customized versions of the design can also be quickly created virtually.

In the production line, robots do tasks that humans cannot do or are dangerous for humans. They are also used for tasks requiring absolute precision, eliminating the possibility of human error, and repetitive tasks. Robots can learn to do rigorous quality control on products. Adding AI to robots gives them the ability to continue learning as they perform tasks. In other words, experience enhances their initial programming, and they progressively get better at what they are doing.

There are also collaborative robots or cobots that work beside humans in factories. These AI-equipped cobots can do various tasks and their spatial awareness enables them to detect and avoid obstacles.

Adding AI to equipment enables the prediction of breakdowns through sensors that continually monitor all parts of the machine. This, in turn, enables preventive maintenance that saves time and cost. A fully AI-automated factory is also cost-effective because it can function without lights and work continuously around the clock with no breaks, weekends, or holidays off.

Applying AI to inventory and logistics enables a company to accurately predict needs and avoid shortages in raw materials. It can automate its supply chain based on predictive analytics. Similarly, a company can automate its delivery system to avoid delays.

AI Everywhere

You may not have realized it, but AI is almost everywhere in the modern world. With the Internet of things (IoT), AI connects many gadgets and devices. There are currently smart versions of almost any home appliance that you can control even when you are away from home.

If you are using the Internet, your online behavior is being tracked by websites. AI learns your habits and provides the ads that are related to your interests in various platforms you visit.

Any business, big or small, can benefit from the use of AI. Through data gathered from customers, AI can provide targeted and customized marketing campaigns that are more effective in triggering purchases. As it learns more about each customer, it becomes even more accurate in predicting needs and wants. Indeed, artificial intelligence is getting smarter and smarter.

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