Top Tips for Working More Efficiently at Home

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Whether you work remotely for a company, or you are running your own business from home, working more efficiently can make your day better and give you more time to focus on things that are important to you. One of the biggest factors that can slow down your work is your laptop or mac. When you first purchased your laptop, it probably ran fast and smoothly. Over time, its performance and speed will slow down. From slowly opening programs to not having enough space to download any files, it can become frustrating and impact your work.

Making some simple changes to your device will significantly improve your efficiency and the way you work. 

Here are some of the best ways to improve your laptop performance and efficiency. 

#1 Free up space 

Freeing up space on your device can be one of the most helpful things that you do. Even if you don’t need to download files on a regular basis, your device will still need empty space available on the device for virtual memory, to perform tasks and run programs. You must aim for completely clean MacBook storage. Start by removing any old programs and files that you don’t need, delete any temporary files and uninstall any unnecessary or unwanted software. 

#2 Check your device for malware 

Sometimes your device might not be running efficiently due to a virus, adware, spyware or another malicious software or program. This can take up a lot of space, and use a lot of resources on your device, as well as put your security at risk. You should regularly check your device for malware by running a virus or threat protection check in the settings, to ensure your device is running as best as it can. You should also download anti-virus and anti-malware on your device. These steps will keep your device running efficiently, and ensure you do not hit any costly or detrimental disruptions later down the line, that may stop you from being able to work altogether. 

#3 Service your laptop 

You should get regular service on your device, especially if you use it every day. You can do this yourself by watching YouTube tutorials by professionals. Alternatively, you can find a reputable company that can service your device for you. This service will increase the speed and performance of your laptop, by making sure everything is running properly. A service will focus on the hardware, rather than the software. When dust and debris build up on your device, it can impact its performance. All the parts of your device, including the circuit board and other components that sit inside, require cleaning at some point. If you choose to service your laptop yourself, make sure you are careful and put everything back properly. You should also try to avoid eating in your workspace to reduce the crumbs that fall into your device and keep your workspace clean. 

#4 Regularly reboot your device 

When you regularly lock your device or reboot it, you are providing it with the chance to improve its performance automatically. During this time, your device will fix any bugs, reduce memory leaks, and flush the RAM. If you don’t have anything of importance on your laptop, you may also consider the option of resetting your laptop. Over the years, you may have built up many files and programs that you don’t want or need. A reset is quick and will get rid of all the files, and set it back to the way it was when you first purchased it. 

#5 Increase the Random-access memory (RAM) 

RAM is the short term memory of your device. While you might not be downloading a file during your workday, the RAM is used to process all the tasks you are working on. Without RAM or a sufficient amount of RAM, your programs or any activity to try to do on your device, will not work. It works by reading files, temporarily storing them for you to use, and loading applications. Depending on what you do for work, will dictate how much RAM your device requires. For example, if you just use your laptop for basic activities, then 4GB of RAM should be sufficient. If you are running bigger and more demanding programs, for activities such as programming, graphic design, or gaming, then you will need 8GB of RAM or more. Review the tasks that you complete regularly, and consider if increasing the RAM will help your device run more efficiently. 

An efficient workday heavily relies on the performance of your laptop or mac. Follow these top tips to help you improve your working day. 

Why You Should Be A Business Mentor

When you started your business, there would have been challenges and issues that you had to face, and you probably faced them alone. Getting over those hurdles took time and could have cost you dearly if you hadn’t successfully navigated your way through. If you had had a mentor right at the start of your business, everything would have been a lot simpler to deal with. The challenges would still have been there, but you would have known which way to step to deal with them. 

Now that you are more established, is it time you became that mentor for a younger generation of entrepreneurs? There are many reasons why you should. 

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

Strengthen Your Learning 

Over the years, you will have learned many important lessons. You know what to do and what not to do now, and that’s a hugely positive thing for your business. If you now choose to pass on that information to someone else, not only are you helping them to succeed as you have, but you will also be strengthening your own learning. That means that you will be even more able and confident to deal with anything that comes your way. 

Helping others is another way of helping yourself, and there is no better way to clarify ideas and think about challenges than by dealing with those someone else has to meet. 

Reinforce Your Customer Service Model 

If you have hit upon a great way to help your customers and offer exceptional customer service, you can teach this system to someone else, reinforcing your own model in their business. Why is this a good idea? It’s because customer service is of paramount importance when it comes to running a business; without good customer service, no matter what else you do, you will never reach the heights of business success that you would otherwise do. Therefore, if you can teach a new business owner just one thing, let it be that customer service is important and how to do it right. 

Learn New Things 

Although you may think of mentoring as teaching someone else everything you know about business, sometimes it can work the other way around; sometimes you can learn new things that will benefit you as an individual and your business. 

By talking ideas through with someone else, you will often see a different side to the idea, either positive or negative, that can have an impact on what you are doing, or how you are going to implement your new plans. You might find out more about the best live chat software for business that you hadn’t realized existed, but that would make a big difference in your business. Or you could start to look at artificial intelligence because your mentee likes the idea of using it. 

Leave A Legacy 

Being a mentor is about ensuring that someone else has as much success – if not more so – as you did in your business. It’s a way of leaving a lasting legacy, especially if your mentee then goes on to become a mentor themselves, passing on information to the next generation. This kind of business immortality is exciting and something that many people want. 

Movie Nights with the LUMOS RAY Projector

Last year, we got to fix our room. We had the cabinets in the master’s bedroom taken out for more space and for decluttering. We were left with an empty blank wall. Being used to seeing a lot of things in the room, we were contemplating if we should place shelves, or decorate the wall, or add a TV so that we can watch our favorite shows.

We didn’t have any TV in the room, and we used to just watch from our laptops or iPads. We then had this idea of buying a mini projector. We tried one mini projector, but the quality wasn’t really that good. The room needed to be really dark, plus the shows on Netflix were pixelated when using this cheap projector.

Ginger Arboleda with her LUMOS RAY projector

We then came across the LUMOS RAY projector which costs either Php 8999 for the LUMOS RAY and Php 11,999 for the RAY Smart. We were pleasantly surprised with how the LUMOS RAY Projector worked. Okay, you probably are thinking why not just buy a TV with this price. What we love about this projector is that we can bring it anywhere we go. 

Before the pandemic, we used to travel a lot. Now with things easing up, I’m sure that we’ll be able to travel again, so we’ll be bringing the LUMOS RAY projector with us.

If you are a family who loves watching movies and shows, this projector is for you.

Video Clarity

This small device can project an impressive 100 inch screen. Just to share with you, the distance from our projector to the wall now is around 100 inches (2.5 meters). To give you an idea, a 3 meter distance can project the 100 inch screen.

It really can show whatever show you’re watching clearly at 720p HD clear resolution (1080p Blu-Ray Support). It has a Bright 3,000 Lumens making the colors more vivid in darkness (not grainy or washed out). Other projectors are just at 1000 Lumens.

As you can see, we shot the images above at around 4:00 pm in the afternoon, when it was still bright and sunny outside. We had no problem watching, and the video projected was clear.

Plug and Play

To use the device, just plug it in and turn it on. It has a built-in Netflix and Youtube app. Do take note to simply press ‘cancel’  when Netflix asks for an upgrade as the inbuilt version works best with the projector.

The user interface was simple and easy to use, that even our 9 year old understood how to use the device.

Screen Mirroring

You can also open a file, app or video via your mobile device and have it projected. Just open the Air Screen app on the LUMOS RAY and connect via Wi-Fi to mirror your file in your mobile device. Other people use it to play mobile games, use Spotify, or even join Zoom calls over a huge screen while lying in bed.

Sleek and portable

As mentioned, what we love about the LUMOS RAY is that you can just grab it and go! I love how it looks — it’s very sleek and compact. It also has a built-in Dolby Audio so sound is good. But if you’d like to use your own speaker, you can attach it and plug it into your LUMOS RAY.

The LUMOS RAY is again priced at only ₱8,999 and the RAY Smart at ₱11,999 with 1-year local warranty. You can purchase these devices directly from LUMOS Projector via their website at https://www.lumosprojector.ph/MommyGinger. You can order from anywhere in the Philippines, Malaysia or Singapore.

Overall, we’d highly recommend getting this for your bedroom, living room or home theater. We love the experience, and now that we seldom go to movie houses, this is a great option for movie nights with the kids at home!

How to Get Some Cash Back for the Money You Have Spent?

There are several ways to earn credit card points. There are bonus points that you can earn for every dollar you spend, which is beneficial if you shop a lot on your card. You can also use credit card rewards to travel more. You can earn extra points by making certain purchases. If you spend a lot at a restaurant, you can earn an extra three points for every dollar you spend. This way, you can get some cashback for the money you’ve spent.

Convert Your Points to Merchandise:

Some credit cards allow you to convert your points to merchandise or other benefits. These items typically do not have a 1:1 value, though, so you may have to spend more than you would usually on other items. In addition to this, you may also be able to donate your points to a charity. You should be aware that the value of credit card points is low, so it is more efficient to get cashback instead. If you want to use your points for charitable purposes, make sure to check out the expiration date of your freedom flex credit card.

Some credit card issuers let you couple up to two cards with one another, which allows you to transfer your points to another card with the same issuer. By doing this, you’ll be able to earn more points per dollar. Additionally, some offer bonuses for adding an authorized user to your account. These users are responsible for making purchases and will count towards the rewards pool. Always make sure to include trusted people to your authorized users.

Different Reward Programs:

Most credit cards come with different reward programs. Some are more geared towards travel and groceries, while others are more focused on dining, entertainment, and car hire. Other cards offer cashback and bonus points. Be sure to research which ones you prefer before applying for a card. It’s worth it to look into how you can use your points. After all, you’ll be earning them in the first place. So now that you know how to earn credit card points, you’re ready to shop.

Check the Terms and Conditions:

While it’s possible to earn credit card points without using a credit card, you have to choose a card that allows you to earn points. Most rewards cards let you earn points on everyday spending, while others give you more if you make larger purchases. You should check the terms and conditions of each card to decide which one is best for you. If the card offers a higher amount, go for it. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to redeem them for a variety of rewards.

There are Many Ways to Earn Credit Card Points:

The easiest way to earn them is to sign up for a rewards program. It’s best to find a card that offers rewards that are valuable to you and will help you achieve your goals. This is also a great way to get free travel and gift cards. There are countless ways to earn credit card points. However, you can also earn points simply by using your credit card.

There are a number of ways to earn credit card points. The most common way to earn credit card points is to use a rewards credit card. Most rewards credit cards allow you to collect points by making purchases of various types. Some of these cards allow you to redeem these points at a fixed amount, while others limit you to a specific number of dollars. These programs are often free, so you’ll never have to pay for them.

5 Ways to Make Filipino Rice Farmers More Competitive

Thanks to support from the Philippine government, NGOs, credit providers, and other key groups, Filipino rice farmers are more competitive than ever. With increasing access to credit, technical support, and rice farming equipment, Philippines’ local rice farmers have consistently achieved record-high rice outputs in the past few years. 

There is no question that, despite their dwindling numbers and increasing median age, Filipino rice farmers are now more productive than they have ever been. However, despite a record output exceeding 20 million metric tons of palay in 2021, the Philippines is likely to keep importing rice from Vietnam, Thailand, and India to meet local market demands. 

This is especially notable as the annual demand for rice is only at approximately 14 million metric tons of palay. What this means is that the domestically grown rice may not be meeting specific market needs for price and quality, which comes down to factors such as production scale and access to resources.

Fortunately, the recent performance of Filipino farmers shows that they have what it takes to not only secure our nation’s food security but also to be competitive in the domestic market. There is no reason to believe that the Philippines may not become a net exporter of rice as well. 

Below are some key solutions identified by the Department of Agriculture and other 

policymakers for improving the competitiveness of our rice farmers:

1.) Mechanization

Mechanization has long been identified as a crucial component of agricultural competitiveness. The use of machinery is key to reducing labor inputs and waste, thus achieving the kinds of efficiency typical of farms in industrialized rice-producing countries.

For decades, however, the country has faced extreme challenges in mechanizing farms. These range from the difficult terrain in many rice-growing areas, supply and logistics issues related to the acquisition and servicing of farm equipment, and the lack of credit mechanisms. Many farms could not also justify the upfront cost of machinery acquisition, as these often require a certain scale of operations to rationalize.

Recently, however, private businesses and government bodies such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute have developed affordable and localized rice farming equipment. Unlike previous generations of farm equipment, many of these new devices are designed to operate in the context of most Philippine rice farming operations, making them a more attractive investment.

2.) Sustainable Credit

Many rice farmers only receive incomes when they have a successful harvest. Most rice farming areas can only support 2-3 croppings a year, which can leave farmers in a precarious financial situation in between harvest periods. 

Even when their finances are fairly stable, rice farmers may find it difficult to increase the productivity of their farm if they are not able to secure credit to pay for inputs such as good quality seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor. Ultimately, the lack of ready, sustainable credit options may leave farmers unable to improve the efficiency of their operations, leading to a higher production cost per ton of palay. 

Thankfully, there are now many more good credit options for local rice farmers compared to previous generations. Both government and private financial institutions are stepping up their efforts to make workable financial options available to those that need them. This ensures that farms remain competitive and the farmers themselves are not trapped in a cycle of unpayable debt.

3.) Technical Support

Local rice production has improved significantly in large part thanks to the adoption of modern farming practices. The Department of Agriculture, PhilRice, and various agricultural colleges have collectively helped rice farmers implement sustainable production-boosting practices that work in the various contexts of local farms. 

However, there remains room for improvement. The highly mechanized farms of tomorrow will require that farmers are familiarized with different modern technologies, from crop-spraying drones and laser-guided land leveling tools to testing equipment and agricultural satellite imaging.

Even without these cutting-edge tools, modest investments in technical support still have the potential to improve competitiveness. Teaching farmers the proper use of fertilizers and pest management solutions, for instance, can have an immediate impact on the efficiency and productivity of many local rice farms.

4.) High-yield, Location-appropriate Rice Varieties 

Many of the recent gains in rice production is down to the adoption of high-yield rice varieties developed by PhilRice and other research centers. While the improvements in yields are encouraging, things could still be better.

For instance, Filipino farmers today often select rice varieties primarily on yield potential. However, this is not the only factor to consider, as the pest resistance and the marketability or “eating quality” of a rice variety can also determine the profitability and competitiveness of a crop. 

The sole focus on yield has sometimes led to higher than normal losses from pests as well as low farmgate prices. Thus, some farms that are already using high-yield varieties could stand to become more competitive by switching to a comparatively less bountiful variety that is more in demand and suffers far fewer losses to local pests.

5.) Buy Locally Produced Rice

For many Filipinos, rice is far more than just a carbohydrate. Rather, it is central to the many different cultures in the country. As such, the price and demand for rice are subject to political factors outside of its economic and nutritional value. This often leads to the creation of policies that heavily favor cheaper imports so that rice remains affordable for poorer Filipinos. 

Unfortunately, cheaper imports from countries with large competitive advantages can severely undercut disadvantaged local producers, often forcing them out of business.

The job of balancing the needs of less-advantaged Filipinos and farmers struggling to compete is not easy. However, the growing number of middle-class Filipinos and local businesses can make a real difference simply by choosing to buy locally produced rice.

By choosing to buy local rice, ordinary Filipinos can help farmers not just stay in business but also develop their capacity to efficiently produce better rice at a lower cost. This can help them bring profitable yet low-priced and high-quality rice to the market, hopefully reducing the demand for imports even further.

Filipino Farmers Are Up to the Challenge

The production successes of the past few years show that, despite the odds, Filipino farmers are up to the task of producing enough rice for our needs. Now the question is how willing other Filipinos are to support them and help them compete domestically. With mechanization, sustainable lines of credit, technical assistance, better rice varieties, and a better-educated market willing to buy according to their values, anything’s possible.