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Going on a vacation is a great way to relieve stress and rejuvenate yourself. However getting back to work after the gorgeous break is where the problem begins. After unpacking, catching up on laundry and getting some sleep, you need to mentally prepare yourself to get back to work.

So how do you ease yourself back into the daily grind? Follow the tips below.

Visualise fun times at work

Mentally prepare yourself by thinking about the fun times you had at work. If you have bought souvenirs for colleagues, keep them ready to be disseminated along with great stories when you go to office the next day. These thoughts will keep you pleasantly engaged and not scare you about piled up work.

Clear up workstation

After you settle into your desk, ensure you declutter your work space. Tidying always gives you a sense of clarity and direction. It makes you sit at peace.

Work after Vacation

Check emails

Sort your emails by subject or sender to gain better perspective on what happened when you were away. Reading mails in chronological order will confuse you and make you feel disconnected. DonÔÇÖt forget to turn off the out-of-office responders.

Meet up with team

Arrange a quick meeting with your team to understand developments and issues faced while you were away. Comprehend the way forward and assigned tasks. Collaboration is the best way to move ahead, especially when youÔÇÖve just settled in.

Prioritise task and revise calendar

Now based on discussions and emails, prepare a list of tasks to be done based on priority. Accordingly review and revise your calendar. DonÔÇÖt forget to include upcoming meetings, due dates, reports, projects and other concerns. This will prevent you from getting caught off-guard, when approached about a project or deadline.

Tackle one task at a time

DonÔÇÖt be overwhelmed and handle too many tasks at once. Take it slowly and do one task at a time. After a relaxing vacation you shouldnÔÇÖt be getting overstressed.

DonÔÇÖt be distracted

If you really want to ease out your transition into work, you need to cut out all distractions. DonÔÇÖt start group texting or checking social media or taking long coffee breaks. Ensure you focus on what needs to be done, so that at the end of the day, you will get a sense of accomplishment. This feel will help sustain you till you completely get on the groove.

Remember not to work late, the very first day. Leave early and celebrate your return to work after a great vacation!

Are you scared about having to depend on your husband, son or sibling for future financial support?

Well you donÔÇÖt have to be if you manage your current income well. Different women have different approach to money management. Some are more structured, and disciplined with good knowledge about how the investment market works, while others prefer to let their hair down and seek trusted advisors to manage their money.

DoesnÔÇÖt matter which category you belong to, itÔÇÖs important you develop consistent habits thatÔÇÖll make you financially healthy and happy!

HereÔÇÖs a peek into steady financial habits that smart successful women follow.

Work towards specific goals

Everyone sets several goals in their life. But smart women work towards measurable, feasible, specific goals. They rethink their budgets in such a way so that it will be aligned with those goals.

Build multiple income streams

To support the goals, they increase their earnings and divert the extra earnings to their saving and investment accounts. For example if they find that a portion of their home or any other property is idle, they rent/ lease it out for an additional income stream. Or if they have an extra skill, they leverage the same to boost their income.

financial habits of smart women

DonÔÇÖt eat or wear it all

Smart women donÔÇÖt spend all their money on expensive dining, partying and shopping. They exercise discretion, save and then spend the rest.

Pay debts off

A smart lady always pays her most expensive debt off first. Paying interest for the debts costs one so much of money. Hence when you pay off debts first, it helps you save a lot of money in the long run.

Automate investments

Not always can we fight impulsive spending temptations. So shrewd women automate their accounts in such a way that as soon as their salaries are credited, the amount apportioned for investment automatically leaves into their respective accounts. For eg 15% of salary goes into the retirement fund, 10% into emergency account, 30% into spending account, and so on!

Use credit card wisely

Credit cards are a real boon when used wisely. But if you get reckless it will land you in insurmountable debt. Successful women are not necessarily risk averse but they exercise discretion about the kind of sensible risks they would take. They avoid the temptation to overspend by setting their credit limit in such a way that is easily affordable for them. They ensure they never just pay only the minimum repayments, as it will land them into the vicious cycle of more debt. HereÔÇÖs another important tip. During the rainy days, the emergency fund should be accessed and not your credit card.

Keep emotions out of money

Smart women try their best to keep stress, jealousy, anger, fear and sadness away while making financial decisions. Though money provides a certain amount of security, it doesnÔÇÖt always have to be the source of happiness. Secure, confident, savvy women find other priceless ways to make themselves happy.

So put into the practice the financial habits mentioned above and share your experiences with us!

Are you constantly anxious, angry or depressed? There is no one in todayÔÇÖs hectic concrete jungle who can escape these detrimental emotions. However thereÔÇÖs one way you can improve your psychological wellbeing and be more productive in your personal and professional life.

You must reconnect with nature! ThatÔÇÖs the only way.

Wondering how? LetÔÇÖs make this easier for you. Reconnecting with nature doesnÔÇÖt mean you return to the Stone Age. ItÔÇÖs about you using nature to heal, strengthen and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Here are simple ways to achieve the same.

Head outdoors

DonÔÇÖt stay glued onto your couch/ chair in front of your computer or TV all the time. Get up and go outdoors. Find time either in the serene morning or during lunch breaks or anytime thatÔÇÖs comfortable for you. Make sure you have some private time with nature. Use this time to reconsider perspectives, calm your emotions and reflect on personal choices and situation. Just be still and enjoy your outdoor time.

Walk bare foot

If you are walking along the beach sand or on fresh grass, remember to take off your shoes.

This process called earthing helps increase antioxidant secretion in the body, reduces inflammation, and improves sleep. Walking also reduces cancer risk, improves cardiovascular health, helps maintain healthy weight and prevents diabetes. Instead on running on a treadmill while monotonously watching television, itÔÇÖs much better to head outdoors and walk bare foot breathing in fresh air on lush green grass to receive the benefits mentioned above.

World environment day

Visit parks

Are you a person who always hangs out at malls? Then itÔÇÖs high time you give it up. Spending time in closed air conditioned malls, makes you more prone to respiratory allergies and asthma. Whereas the open air circulation at parks helps build your immunity. So meet up and have a whale of a time with friends and family at parks nearby. The splendid view of lush greenery, children playing and freedom from artificial cooling and light systems helps bring down your stress levels.

Add greenery to home/work area

Start a garden patch and grow your own organic veggies, herbs and fruits at home. Plants can also be grown indoors to have a healthy clean environment inside your living space. To reap more benefits, you can add some greenery to your work area by decking up your workstation with plants. Research proves that workspaces filled with plants, can increase creativity by 45%, boost productivity by 38% and even reduce your sick days. Plants such as aloe vera, lucky bamboo, english ivy and boston fern, make great indoor plants.

Go camping

This is a great way to reconnect with nature especially when you are on a vacation or a weekend escapade. Camping helps you to appreciate natureÔÇÖs bounty, and develop a lifelong interest in caring and preserving nature.

Mentioned above are few ways, you can connect with nature. This world environment day 2017, letÔÇÖs vow to revisit and reconnect with our roots. All for a greater good!

Fun ways to live on a budget

Friday, 02 June 2017

Did you know that budgeting leads to depression? No, itÔÇÖs not the act of creating a budget thatÔÇÖs depressing. Trying to live life adhering a rigid budget produces a sense of gloom.

If you stick to your monthly budget, your impulsive nerve accuses you of being cowardly and stingy. And if you donÔÇÖt stick to your budget, you get miserable because you accuse yourself of not having financial discipline!

So wondering how to live on a budget, yet be happy. Follow these fun strategies.

Start off with a game plan

Create a challenging game plan that delays or prevents you from spending money, at the drop of a hat. This is an easy exciting way to stick to your budget. See how long you can go about curbing your urge to spend money. Exempt monthly obligations such as rent, food, etc. from this game. Include impulsive expenses such as shopping, gifting, hangouts, spa trips, etc. Celebrate and reward yourself when you feel youÔÇÖre progressing.

Economise in style

Think of ways in which you can downsize and save money in style. Instead of owning a big place and paying heavy mortgage, analyse whether a rented accommodation would be best for you to save money. Or think of renting out portions from your house for an added income. Try to carpool with your friends and neighbours, instead of driving your own vehicle and spending on gas. Socialising this way keeps you upbeat!

living on a budget

Use a travel card

While travelling it is wiser to use a prepaid travel card than cash. This will shield you from losing money or overspending. Choose a card that has a facility to save money by locking exchange rates. You can also avoid exorbitant credit card charges by using the travel card for shopping, POS payments, online purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Find one free fun activity per week

There are so many fun activities that do not require you to spend money unnecessarily. Instead of hanging out at posh clubs or dining at really expensive restaurants, have a great time at the beach or nearby park or museum. Challenge yourself to spot one free fun activity per week.

Sell unused stuff at home

It is a mortal sin to have idle money at home in any form. Figure out which of the old unused items at home, you can sell for a good price. It could be old electronic items, used cot or sport equipment, or anything that may be of value to others. For most items, the value depreciates as time goes by. So the sooner you see them off, the better price youÔÇÖll get. You can add this money to your surplus.

Use apps to track spending

Maintaining an accounts notebook may be old school and tedious. So, use apps such as Adaptu, Mint, Wally, Acorns etc. Very little effort is needed to track your expenses, help you stay on your budget, get out of debt, and save more.

Follow the above mentioned strategies and see what difference it makes to your finances!

daily habits 01

Summer season is here!

ItÔÇÖs a spell where good times and tan lines go hand-in-hand. The happy sunshine makes us want to enjoy this period to the fullest without getting roasted. Here are some fun ideas on how you can spend your summer weekends in Dubai.

Laugh till your belly hurts

Want to sparkle like a splash of sunlight in water? Then you should laugh and dance as much as you breathe. Block your dates this weekend on 19 MayÔÇÖ17 and attend the live comedy show ÔÇ£Y So Serious NightsÔÇØ at The Music Room, Dubai. Or you can also visit The Laughter Factory, Middle East's longest-running comedy night, at Gramercy. Get ready to tickle your funny bone!

Escape into the magical world of music

Music has the mystical power to transform a usual boring day into a fabulous one. Get ready to groove on to the Punjabi Bhangra music explosion by famed brothers Daler Mehndi and Mika Singh at Zabeel Hall 6, Dubai World Trade Centre on 19 MayÔÇÖ17. Or if you love singing karaoke, you can hop straight onto Hip Hop Karaoke Dubai Season closing party in Tribeca Dubai at the JA Ocean View Hotel in JBR on the same day. You can also chill with various music genres from rock to jazz, middle eastern to latino at the Music Hall in Jumeriah Zabeel Saray on The Palm, Jumeriah. Let music take you to places you dream of!

Fun ideas for summer in Dubai

Set sail and answer the waters calling

Has cruising been your dream for a while now? Then here is your opportunity to dip your toes into the cruising waters. Begin this summer, by sailing along Old Dubai with a 360-degree view of the Dubai Creek from a sleek, all-glass, Seine-designed Bateaux Dubai boat. Or you can choose the traditional wooden dhow to sail around the city from Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina. Now let your dreams set sail!

Go on exciting rides

Love rollercoaster rides, skiing and snowboarding? Then you must visit Ski Dubai, Middle EastÔÇÖs first indoor ski resort located at the Mall of the Emirates. Or you can visit IMG Worlds of Adventure, DubaiÔÇÖs first mega themed entertainment destination that excites the visitors with epic adventure zones. This theme park is located next to Global Village, in the heart of Dubai. DoesnÔÇÖt matter the age group you belong to, the above theme parks have something for everyone!

Cool yourself in the rain forest

Want to experience some cool rain forest greenery, this summer? Then visit the Green Planet at City Walk, Dubai. This bio-dome is home to several rain forest species. You can explore and interact with the exotic flora and fauna found here. What a cool place to spend your day at?

Remember, you can get tickets for all the above mentioned events and locations at UAE Exchange counters at Dubai Mall, Deira City Centre, Burjuman Station, Mall of Emirates (Metrolink), and Mirdif. Apart from these events, you can also spend time at various air conditioned malls, theatres, indoor activities and events in Dubai. Just take your multi-purpose prepaid card along, to avoid cash hassles.

Enjoy the great summer vibes!

Did you know that words are the most powerful force with latent, instant ability to destroy or build anything?

Even at our workplace, verbal communication is vital. It really doesnÔÇÖt matter how accomplished you are, there are certain sentences that instantly plunge down your credibility and have a detrimental effect on your career. These lines may not be ruthless or wreckless. But the sheer helplessness hidden in these lines below will kill your career.

ÔÇ£Why should I help? ItÔÇÖs not part of my job description.ÔÇØ

If you donÔÇÖt want to be perceived as a petty coward, then you should refrain from saying the above lines. Not only does it undermine your attitude, but it also portrays you as a rigid, non-team player. But if you feel you are really overexploited, then discuss the scenario with your boss to see whether your job description is updated. However you must also exercise some amount of flexibility and help out wherever you can, even if it does not come under your work purview.

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs not fair.ÔÇØ

If you donÔÇÖt want to risk looking immature or na├»ve, then you should not utter the above line. Everyone knows life is not fair. Your boss is probably looking to see how you handle the unfair situation. So instead of stating the obvious, be constructive, analyse the circumstance and gently delve into how you can better the situation next time.

Ten things never say at work

 

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs his/her fault. Not mine.ÔÇØ

Even if it indeed was not your fault, itÔÇÖs not a good idea to point out and blame. Offer a completely objective description of what happened to your higher ups. Be subtle, tactful and stick to the facts while indicating the errors done by the other employee. This will reinforce your credibility and accountability with your boss and colleagues. Also you will not be targeted for a strike back for any light error you might end up committing in future.

ÔÇ£This is the way itÔÇÖs always been done.ÔÇØ

Every company or boss wants an employee who evolves and develops. People who say the above line are seen as ones who are lazy and resist change. They are perceived to be a threat to the growth of self and company. However if you have strong reasons to believe that the existing process is better, then present the facts to your boss in a convincing manner. Ensure you donÔÇÖt sound obsolete.

ÔÇ£I hate my job.ÔÇØ

This is the worst thing you can say at work. From the moment those words blurted out of your mouth, consider your career ruined! Then on, your work will be considered as haphazard and unsatisfactory, even if you put your heart and soul in it. Since no one wants a pessimist on their team, your higher ups will be only waiting for the opportune moment to get rid of you. However if your really have concern or issues about your job, take it up as a healthy discussion with your boss. Remember that optimistic, passionate replacements are waiting just around the corner!

Hence, whenever you feel your work situation demands you to use the above phrases, use alternative lines tempered with tact and wisdom.

Enjoy your working experience and use words that only boost your career!

Imagine youÔÇÖre walking into a supermarket for a pack of cookies. What are your odds of getting out of the store with just that? None.

Trust us, you are not the one to be blamed for this. The strategically placed wobbly signs, stickers, call outs and signboards begin playing their trick on your mind, the moment you enter the supermarket. These psychological games are sure to bust your family budget, anytime you enter and exit the shop.

So how do you fight the temptation, and save money while at a supermarket? Follow these simple tips.

Stick to your grocery list

This is one of the simplest ways, to not end up spending double or triple your budgeted amount on groceries. Prepare your shopping list at home and when you are in the supermarket, ensure you stick to the list. One easy method to come up with a thrifty grocery list is to craft a prudent weekly/monthly meal plan. Depending on the supplies needed for the meals, you can build the grocery list. If you are still tempted to make impulsive purchases, try reserving them for the next visit.

Be diligent about discounts and offers

Freebies, discounts and offers are key tricks supermarkets deploy to increase impulsive buying. Before tucking the bundled offers into your cart, ask yourself if you would have purchased them , if they werenÔÇÖt on offer, and think about the actual price difference. It does no harm to use your calculator to estimate the price difference and spend a couple of minutes to analyse if itÔÇÖs worth the buy. If you are still convinced about the purchase, then feel free to go ahead.

Supermarket Shopping

Shop with your tummy and ears full

Did you know that colourful fresh produce, appetizing bakery aroma and relaxing music are sensual stimulators that persuade you to shop more? They prompt you to dawdle around the aisle, eager to cart any food item that catches your eye. So to defy these temptations, you should always eat well before you head into the supermarket. This way you will be more stable, and buy only whatÔÇÖs necessary. Another economical move would be to go shopping alone with your earphones plugged onto loud, high tempo music, which will make you cruise through the aisles faster, thus saving time and money.

Use a prepaid card

One of the most effective ways to save money is to use a prepaid card to pay your bill. Since this isnÔÇÖt a credit card, you do not have exorbitant fee/ interest rates associated with the payment. You can just use it like cash, but without the disadvantages of carrying hard cash around.

Now are you ready to shop the smart way?

Splashing cheerful hues of bright yellow sun, green palm trees, ocean breeze, chill drinks and perky children in your mind, summer is the most happening of all seasons. However the heat from the scorching sun often burns out your cheery spirit when you go outdoors. With so many fun activities on the bay, how can you just stay indoors all day?

Just follow our tips below, to make the most of this summer.

Cool the pulses

To avoid health problems such as heat exhaustion and stroke, itÔÇÖs imperative to bring down your body temperature. This can be done by cooling the pulse points such as temples, inner wrists, inside bend of elbows, back of knees, inner thighs, ankles and feet. Place ice packs, cool compresses or cold water on these areas to chill your blood vessels and lower your body temperature instantly.

Drink plenty of fluids

ItÔÇÖs very important to stay hydrated with lots of water, fresh juices and coconut water this summer. Avoid alcohol, coffee and sugary sodas that actually dehydrates your body. Always carry a water bottle wherever you go. If you feel any sign of exhaustion, immediately gulp down a glass of cold water.

summer tips to beat heat

 

Dress to let your skin breathe

During summer, itÔÇÖs imperative that your wear natural light coloured clothes. White and light coloured clothes reflect back the heat, but the dark coloured ones absorb the scorching sunÔÇÖs wrath. Loose fitting clothes in natural fibres such as cotton or linen are the best way to ward off heat and enable good air circulation. These kinds of clothes let your skin breathe. Never forget to wear a hat or scarf to protect your head from the direct heat. Apply plenty of sunscreen to your skin atleast twenty minutes prior to heading out.

Treat yourself

There is nothing as delicious as a triple scoop ice cream, softy or a popsicle to make you drool during the summer season. With mouth- watering flavours ranging right from fruity, zesty sorbet to savoury gelato, children and adults rush for their frozen-treat fix.

Get cool splashes

Summer is the best season to indulge in aqua play, water slides, raft rides and much more at water amusement parks such as Dreamland, Wadi Adventure, Yas Waterworld etc. You can also beat the heat by lazing around the beach or indulging in water sports such as scuba diving, fly boarding and jet skiing along the coastline. Enjoy ice ski runs with parading penguins, toboggan slides on ice rinks, and several other cool activities to beat the heat.

Another easy way to escape the heat is to hang out in the air conditioned malls and do some shopping. Carry your prepaid multi-purpose card to avoid getting stressed over payment and cash hassles.

Now get ready for an amazing summer time!

Ever wondered why only some people are rich while the others are not? HereÔÇÖs the reason.

Rich people make their money work hard for them, while the others just keep working hard for their money. This mismanagement of income does not allow the commoners to build any wealth. Just like the game of snake and ladder, they earn money on a ladder and lose it all down the snakeÔÇÖs throat.

Now remember this secret formula!

Well diversified investments + Small savings + Time = Wealth

To stay financially fit and build your wealth from there, you need to implement the following effective investment strategies.

Direct discretionary spending into investments

This strategy applies to those who complain of not having enough to begin investing. Remember that you do not need piles of cash to start your investment process. Just cut down on the non-essential luxuries and youÔÇÖll be surprised on how much excess money you are left with.

Craft a spending plan

Creating a spending plan is all about building financial discipline and facilitating better spending habits. Giving you a sense of control and purpose, this plan helps you proactively compare and contrast your expense options.

Begin investing today

Time is a key factor involved in creating wealth. You need to give your money enough time to roll and start multiplying. Hence itÔÇÖs always better to start investing as early as possible. Remember that the power of compounding increases when you stay invested on a long term basis.

Strategies to get rich

DonÔÇÖt let your emergency stash be idle

You should have a crisis cash reserve that is safe, reliable and accessible in case of any emergencies. A simple rule of the thumb states that atleast 6 month worth expenses should be kept aside as emergency reserve cash. However to ensure that the stash doesnÔÇÖt stay idle you can invest them in the high liquidity financial instruments such as bank savings account or the money market (get the help of a financial planner!).

Diversify your investments

Dont put all of your eggs in one basket That is the most underrated, yet overused line, especially in an investment context. To reduce risk factors, you need to invest across a range of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, private equity and other asset categories. Diversifying your portfolio is more an art than science. You need to take several factors such as your age, income stream and risk tolerance into consideration. However ensure that stocks form the cornerstone of your portfolio to maintain an optimum risk reward ratio.

Separate emotions from investment objectives

An old Wall Street adage goes like this. ÔÇ£Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.ÔÇØ! Pigs refer to the emotional, impatient investors who take the market ups and downs personally. ItÔÇÖs impossible to buy low and sell high if you do not have a rational structure around your trading process.

Write down your financial objectives, think long-term and refrain from making rash buying and selling decisions. Or you can hire wealth management experts to ease out the entire process of making your money work for you.

Good luck with your investments!

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