Blog :: 01-2017

My New Year's Resolution: Procrastinate More

I came across this article on RIS's housecall and my first thought was..."Finally. Validation!"

My New Year’s Resolution: Procrastinate More Posted on Dec 19 2016 - 5:00pm by Maria Patterson

procrastinate While I painfully preach advance planning and preparation to my sons, I was actually the kid in school who waited until the last minute to cram for tests and was up until 5 a.m. banging out term papers due later that morning. Even right now, I’ve waited until the last possible minute to finish this blog—the RISMedia holiday party kicks off in 45 minutes and trust me, you don’t want to miss a minute of that. You think I would’ve learned by now…

Luckily for me—and my kids…and millions of others—turns out procrastination isn’t necessarily all bad.  According to Psychology Today, highly productive people tend to procrastinate in ways that actually increase their productivity. This makes a lot of sense to me. Despite my last minute-ness, I was actually a very good student and excelled at those term papers. My professional life revolves around deadlines, which are never missed—the magazine comes out on the first of every month and the Daily e-News goes out each morning, in addition to countless other time-sensitive projects. In other words, my tendency to procrastinate doesn’t derail me.

As Psychology Today explains, effective procrastinators often take care of small tasks while they’re avoiding the larger task at hand. While this may seem counterproductive on the surface, you’re actually getting things done and thereby clearing the mental space needed to tackle your big job. I do this a lot—I’ll respond to emails, return calls, update spreadsheets—all things that need to get done, which thereby relieves my guilt about delaying something more important and clears my plate of nagging yet important to-dos.

Another classic procrastination tactic is diverting your attention by chatting with a friend or colleague, or surfing the net. But this may be exactly the type of activity your brain needs to get jump-started or inspired to move on to your project. A good laugh, an interesting blog or video, or a few words of inspiration will help you relax and potentially spark a creative idea that sets you in motion.

What’s more, some say that procrastination might actually be the smartest choice when we’re confronted with making a big decision. According to “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” author Frank Partnoy advocates that we wait as long as possible when faced with making a decision—up until the last possible minute, in fact.  In an article in Smithsonian Magazine, Partnoy says, “People are more successful and happier when they manage delay. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do, so we will always be imposing some sort of unwarranted delay on some tasks. The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well.”

How does one “procrastinate well?” Here are some tips for effectively pushing things off:

Get outside. Take a quick walk, have lunch at the beach or read a magazine in the park. Fresh air will reset and relax the mind.
Phone a friend. You probably owe your best friend or your mother a call. Take a few minutes to invest in a relationship.
Get inspired. Scroll through some favorite quotes or watch a YouTube video of someone you admire.
Keep busy. A body in motion stays in motion, so do small tasks while you’re procrastinating. Vegging out on the sofa can be a dead-end street.
Take a nap. Sometimes, however, we’re just plain tired. So take a 20-minute power nap and wake up with a fresh set of eyes.

Honestly, for me, I do my best work when I’m under the gun. I wish that weren’t the case sometimes, but I’ve learned that when my back’s against the wall, my mind gets laser-focused and I become super productive. So let go of the guilt, learn some tricks of the trade, and accept your procrastination—it can serve you well when done right.


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    What To Do Before You Get Settled In Your New Home

    Published in RISMedia's housecall
    Posted on Dec 23 2016 - 9:39am by Mikkie Mills
    Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 3.40.15 PM

    Buying a new house is an exciting adventure to embark on. Whether you are a newlywed just beginning your life with your significant other or a retiree looking to downsize, purchasing a new home is a time of new beginnings. Despite all of the anticipation of owning a new home, there are some housekeeping items that should be taken care of prior to settling in.

    Committing to a Final Walk Through

    As eager as you may be to finally move in after weeks of paperwork and waiting, completing a final walk-through with your REALTOR® and/or inspectors is beneficial. This is the time to make sure all of the requested updates and repairs have been corrected prior to signing the final binding paperwork. Have your inspector ready to make any last minute notes or perform any additional tests to confirm the state of the home. Investing just a few minutes in this process can save you thousands in expensive repairs later on.

    Make Sure You Have Adequate Homeowner's Insurance

    Prior to closing on your new home, it is often required to provide proof of homeowner's insurance. As a new homeowner, it is your responsibility to do your due diligence in researching insurance companies and selecting the best fit for our needs. Be sure to consider different coverage and research terms, such as "replacement cost," "actual cash value," and "depreciation" to help you better understand what you are paying for. Examine your policy thoroughly, select appropriate deductibles, and make changes as necessary.

    Consider Different Contracts

    While homeowner's insurance covers many catastrophic events, what happens if your furnace goes out or you have a power surge off-premises that kills your refrigerator? This type of coverage steps in at times like these to help cover losses that are not otherwise covered by homeowner's insurance. A home warranty can be a lifesaver when it comes to issues that are not detected at the time of purchase or during the walk-through. Home warranties are often serviced by different entities than insurance providers, so homeowners may be out the cost of two policies. However, many think that being safe rather than sorry is worth the cost.

    Complete Renovations Prior to Moving In

    Do you really despise that carpet in the family room? Would you prefer to paint the walls in the bedroom? If so, it is best to complete any renovations or household changes prior to moving in. It becomes much more difficult to make these changes when there are people, furniture and belongings in the way. Deciding on what changes you wish to make and establishing a timeline for completing these changes prior to moving in allows your family to plan accordingly.

    Switch the Utilities to Your Name

    If your new home had previous residents, it would be beneficial to consider changing the utilities over into your name immediately. Some utility companies require a security deposit that will be refunded later after making payments on time. Other companies charge additional fees if services are turned off by the previous owners and then must be turned back on.

    Change Your Mailing Address

    One of the most simple, yet overlooked tasks in new home ownership is the process of contacting the post office to have all mail forwarded to your new address. It can take four to six weeks to get this process fully instated. You can also set up online payments for essential bills or contact companies directly to make sure no important paperwork is overlooked during the transition.

    Moving into a new home can be very hectic and exciting at the same time. By making a checklist of items to complete prior to settling into your new home you can rest easy in knowing that you are prepared for this new journey.


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      4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market

      Welcome to our new blog and my first post!

      Having recently returned to the real estate business after a long absence, I have found that RISMedia's official blog, "housecall" has been a great source for industry information and trends. The following is a short article posted by Zoe Eisenberg,  RISMedia’s Associate Editor.

      If you have just listed your home, or are preparing to list, here are a few tips to get you started.

      4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market

      Posted on Dec 29 2016 - 10:27am by Zoe Eisenberg
      home on the market

      So you've decided to put your home on the market. Congratulations! Hopefully, you've brought a rockin' REALTOR® on board to help you list your spot, and together you've done your due diligence on what to ask for. As you start checking things off your to-do list, it's also important to pay mind of what not to do. Below are a handful of things to get you started.

      Don't over-improve.
      As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas. However, it's important not to over-improve, or make improvements that are hyper-specific to your tastes. For example, not everyone wants a pimped out finished basement equipped with a wet bar and lifted stage for their rock and roll buds to jam out on. (Okay, everyone should want that.) What if your buyers are family oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? That rock-and-roll room may look to them like a huge project to un-do. Make any needed fixes to your space, but don't go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so.

      Don't over-decorate.
      Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it's more universally palatable.

      Don't hang around.
      Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust, it's awkward for them to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling like a maniac. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can't leave for whatever reason, at least go sit in the backyard. (On the other hand, if you're buying a home and not selling, then making it personal is the way to go, especially when writing your offer letter. Pull those heart strings!)

      Don't take things personal.
      Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your homes, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer lowballs you or says they will need to replace your prized 1970s vintage shag carpet with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.



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