Where Does Your Time Go at Work?

Posted on Sun, May 29, 2016

Fotolia_77940463_XS.jpgLast week productivity seemed to disappear.  I actually spent some time looking for it, too.  Then in a moment of real frustration, I took a look at my schedule for the week.  What showed up was great intent interrupted by meetings (most not so meaningful), additional work with a short return time, and some of my own distractions. 

Creativity provided the opportunity to put the wasted time issue on my research list.  Writing this blog was on my To Do list and this is a great topic – one that could be useful for a lot of people. So here I am satisfying my curiosity and getting some work done. 

One of the best examples of where work place time goes and what to do about it came from Scoro Software, a company that gives you everything you want to know and need to do on one page.

Top 5 Time-Wasting Activities at work:

Email 43.5%

Meetings 42.3%

Browsing Online 21.8%

Commuting 17.4%

Procrastination 10%

According to office workers the number one time wasting activity is too many meetings.  When you look at your own calendar, you see that one is true.  What does an average day look like according to Scoro?

Lunch: 30 minutes

Coffee breaks: 15 minutes

Checking emails: 30 minutes

Social media:  1 hour

Team meeting: 1 hour

Total:  3.15 hours per day of potentially wasted time

Pesky Meetings

Meetings per month; 62

Unproductive meeting time: 31 hours

How about some “Don’ts”

Delay complicated tasks. 

Stop your work to read emails when they in.

Implement entire task at once.

Work without a clear goal.

Set tasks without milestones.

And here are the “Do’s”

Make the least pleasant task first on your list.

Check emails 3 times a day. 

Break tasks into smaller blocks.

Focus on 20% of tasks that return the most benefit.

Set short 60 – 90 minute deadlines for each task.

And on top of it all, only 2.5% of people can multi-task without a decrease in performance. 

Dean and Draper

We hope that you have found some time saving ideas in our blog and perhaps some tips on improving the time you lost in your own day.  When you need information about insurance – both personal and business – you’ll think of us.  We can certainly save you some time finding the information you want and need.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

 

Topics: Improving productivity

4 Ways Your Car Windshields Will Change Soon

Posted on Sun, May 22, 2016

Fotolia_89798789_XS.jpgJust when we’re getting used to revolutionary new ideas for cars, a whole new aspect is introduced.  Now we’re hearing from Robert J. Rosenfield is chairman and CEO of Bowrail Group, a Boston-based investment management group about windshields.  According to Mr. Rosenfield, windshields, too, have joined the innovation party.

They are being fabricated with stronger, thinner and more lightweight materials. Like carbon fiber, glass is becoming strong enough to contend for structural roles.

Not only will car designers start using more of it, but glass is being used as an interface to run entire Internet of Things (IoT) systems, from entertainment to cloud connectivity, from 3D imaging to vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

We have selected 4 of the ideas that caught our eye and did some editing to the original article.  To see the original information, click here.

1. Say goodbye to headlights and sun visors

In the future we’ll see the same photochromic dyes that dynamically cause vision lens [eye glasses] to darken when exposed to sunlight and lighten in the shade, applied to windshields. This type of glass adjusts to current light conditions. Adding another layer of driver protection is the potential for windshields to block harmful ultraviolet radiation. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay a premium for this kind of sun and glare blocking.

Speaking of glare, imagine never having to turn on your headlights or switch to high beams. Engineers well versed in nano technologies are already discussing ways to incorporate military style night vision capability using thermal imaging. This would allow drivers to literally see in the dark.

2. Vehicle communications

Before we can navigate without lights, road vehicles of all kinds will adapt solar panel technology to not only power hybrids and electrics, but to replace or augment alternators for charging batteries and to supply the needed power for new services.

A thin layer of photovoltaic cells could conceivably cover the hood, roof and trunk or flatbed, providing energy to more sophisticated GPS units that share info beyond map directions. Vehicles will be able to share traffic data compiled from all vehicles in the same geo location. The U.S. Department of Transportation is testing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on 3,000 cars and trucks in Ann Arbor, Mich., and claims the technology can improve safety.

3. Windshield as world interface

We will see glass offering an immersive experience, projecting live TV, video on demand, social media chats and smartphone apps that can be directly accessed on glass by using special motion and optical sensors to turn standard glass into a touch sensitive surface. Because of the emphasis on safety, designers will look at using the steering wheel or dashboard for activating features, per status quo.

As an interface, touch will most likely take a back seat to voice-activated prompts. Apple is naturally in the game, working with Honda on versions of its Siri voice-activated assistant. And Toyota and Microsoft have teamed up to experiment with gesture commands just like those used by the Xbox Kinect gaming console.

4.  Say goodbye to wiper blades

In 2008, Italian designer Leonardo Fioravanti devised a self-cleaning and water-repelling nano-dust system into his prototype Hindra vehicle.

The new system eliminates the need for wiper blades through the use of advanced nanotechnology and aerodynamic principles that combine to ensure clear visibility for drivers. Specialized coatings exist that can repel water, ice and oil, but most agree these coatings will fade over time given the harsh exposure of weather. That's why McLaren is testing a promising technique of using high-frequency sound waves on smart windshields to fend off the nasty elements.

Now the question is how soon?

With intelligent applications of auto glass and the rush to market of advanced driver assistance systems, it's not a matter of “if” the technology becomes standard, but how soon. 

Dean and Draper

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Car Innovations

2015 the Deadliest Driving Year in a Decade?

Posted on Sun, May 15, 2016

Right now people in Texas are counting their lucky stars that we’re not on the Top 10 List of states with the highest accident costs.  (We do have that list a little further down this page.)

Fotolia_68936033_XS_3.jpgIn the largest jump in 50 years, Motor-vehicle deaths increased by 8% in 2015 according to the Itasca, Ill.-based National Safety Council. NHTSA reports auto-related deaths increased 9.5% in the first three months; NSC says there has been a 14% jump in the first six months of 2015.

Analysis from the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has found that distracted driving, increase in traffic congestion, changing demographics, distracted walking and the decriminalization of marijuana are among the leading causes contributing to the rise in accidents. With a more robust economy, along with cheaper fuel prices, more people are driving and, therefore, more exposed to the outcome from a mistake or bad decision behind the wheel — or another motorist’s bad decision.

This trend means more claims for Auto insurers. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when claims are becoming more expensive.

According to Robert Passmore, assistant vice president, policy development and research at PCI, writes "On average, insurance claim costs for bodily injuries rose 42% and collision coverages are up 17% during the past decade."

Enhanced safety technology has made automobiles drastically safer for passengers. However, we are still witnessing a significant increase in auto accidents and highway fatalities. The National Safety Council estimated that motor-vehicle deaths were 8 percent higher in 2015 than they were in 2014 – the largest increase in 50 years.

PCI analysis has found the leading causes contributing to the rise in accidents include distracted driving, increase in traffic congestion, and changing age demographics. New emerging trends such as distracted walking and the decriminalization of marijuana also could be playing a role in more auto accidents.

The rise in auto accident frequency comes at a time when auto severity trends (increasing costs of auto repair and medical care) also have been rising nationally. While safety is PCI’s first concern, the combination of the increase in auto accidents and accident severity are a serious concern to consumers and could be impacting your auto insurance costs and hitting your families’ pocketbook.

Still, the role of cellphones is being analyzed, too. NSC estimates one in four car crashes involve a cell phone, the Wall Street Journal notes.

The news also comes in the midst of a spirited debate among automakers, regulators and safety experts as to what technology could be used to prevent accidents – even as the proliferation of smartphones has been linked to distracted driving. Drivers are texting, face-timing, taking selfies and posting on Facebook while trying to keep one eye on the road. Some studies suggest that telephone conversations, even with hands-free technology, can be highly distracting. Although many states have laws prohibiting handheld cellphone use, no states ban all cellphone use. 

Here are the 10 states with the biggest increase in accident costs, according to PCI's analysis of Fast Track data:

10. Rhode Island, 6.5%

9.  Colorado, 7.2%

7.  Maryland, 7.4% tie

7.  South Carolina, 7.4% tie

6.  Mississippi, 7.8%

5.  Nevada, 8%

4.  Massachusetts, 8.1%

3.  Florida, 8.5%

2.  Georgia, 9.5%

1.  Washington, D.C. 12.2%

The steady introduction of technology in vehicles such as adaptive cruise control portends a day when vehicles can safely drive themselves, removing human error and possibly reducing accidents drastically. On Monday, ten automakers announced they would install automatic emergency braking, which could lessen the number of car-related deaths dramatically.

Dean & Draper

We invite you to contact us if you have questions about your auto insurance.  We are pleased to answer your questions and provide information to you.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Distracted Driving, Auto Insurance Costs

Things You Should Never Apologize For...

Posted on Sun, Apr 24, 2016

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Yep, we all make mistakes.  We’re allowed, we’re human.  And when we do make an error in judgment, we simply apologize and move on.  Missy Yost has some great advice in her article in Lifehack.  We’ve picked our favorites below and added a link to the Lifehack site here.

But the truth is, there are simply some actions we shouldn't have guilt over because our emotional and physical health depends on it. Below, find seven instances that don't merit apologies, and instead deserve some celebration! (Sorry we're not sorry.)

You Should Never Apologize for Saying No

So often we find ourselves saying “yes” when the truth is you simple don’t want to. Years ago a wise woman taught me these two sentences, “Thank you for asking. That doesn’t work for me.” 

You Should Never Apologize for Following a Dream

Never apologize for following a dream because that dream makes you who you are. You will never fulfill happiness unless you live your dreams instead of dreaming your life.

You Should Never Apologize for Taking “Me” Time

You will never be successful and fulfill your happiness unless you first take care of yourself. Always take care of your own needs and take “me time” to do things that make you happy.

You Should Never Apologize for Your Priorities

Always take care of your own priorities first. If it’s important to you then it is important. The people who matter will respect your choice.

You Should Never Apologize for Your Imperfections

Imperfections are what makes you beautiful and unique. They should be embraced. Never say you’re sorry for a quality that makes you imperfectly perfect.

You Should Never Apologize for Standing your Ground

Never say you are sorry for defending your values, morals, ethics, religious or spiritual beliefs. Leaders never apologize for doing what they feel is right.

You Should Never Apologize for Not Knowing the Answer

Being able to admit you do not know is a sign of strength and humility.

You Should Never Apologize for Spending Money on Yourself

Buying yourself something nice improves your self-esteem. Happy and successful people know their own desires are important to a fulfilling life.

Dean & Draper

We hope you found the blog as interesting and thought provoking as we did.  We invite you to add you thoughts in our comments section below.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs..

 

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Communications, Building Relationships

UPDATE: OFFICE CLOSED TODAY (4/18/16)

Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2016

Due to severe flooding in the Houston area we are closing our office today (4/18/2016).  Please stay safe. Thanks.

Topics: Dean & Draper News

OFFICE CLOSED UNTIL 10am (4/18/16)

Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2016

Due to severe flooding in the Houston area, our office will open at 10am (4/18/2016).  We will keep you posted for any further delays. Thanks.

Topics: Dean & Draper News

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Posted on Sun, Apr 17, 2016

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We’re all aware that children across this country are being abused.  Until April comes around and Child Abuse Prevention Month comes along, this issue just might not hit our radar.  For some people – mostly kids – abuse is a daily event.  Here are some statics from TexProtects, The Texas Association for the Protection of Children.

In Texas, more than 3 children die from abuse or neglect on average every week, 182 children are confirmed victims daily, and more than 7 children are maltreated every hour.

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child that results in harm or injury. There are four basic types of child abuse. Children being abused are likely to experience more than just one type of abuse.

Signs of Child Abuse

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Changes is emotional behavior
  • Returning to less mature/younger behavior
  • Fear of going home
  • Changes in school performance or attendance
  • Lack of personal care in hygiene
  • Risk-raking behavior

What are the types of abuse?

Neglect

Failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, medical, or emotional needs. Leaving a young child home alone or failing to provide needed medical care may also be considered neglect. Over 80% of child abuse cases in Texas and in the U.S. are the result of neglect.

Physical Abuse

A physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, such as bruises, fractures, or death. It also can include a genuine threat of harm even if there is no visible injury.

Emotional Abuse

An action that results in a marked impact on a child's growth, development, or psychological functioning. Emotional abuse includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, or belittling to the point that it results in noticeable effects on the child's daily functioning.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare. This includes fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or producing pornography.

Everyone is a Mandatory Reporter in Texas

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a central place to report:

  • Child abuse and neglect.
  • Abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities living at home.
  • Abuse of children in child-care facilities or treatment centers
  • Abuse of adults and children who live in state facilities or are being helped by programs for people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These are run by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).

Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS. A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony. Time frames for investigating reports are based on the severity of the allegations. Reporting suspected abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.

Dean & Draper

This week’s blog was disturbing to write and read.  We would hope that in our world abuse simply wouldn’t happen.  Of course that’s simply not the reality of our times.  You are invited to browse the links embedded in this blog and learn more about what you can do to prevent abuse.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

 

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 ©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

 Resources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

TexProtexts, Texas Association for the Protection of Children

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

The Cap Abuse Prevention Center

http://www.thecapcenter.org/help/events/child-abuse-prevention-month-2016

Topics: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, Child Abuse Prevention

Sleep Myths & Signs You Aren’t Sleeping Enough

Posted on Sun, Apr 10, 2016

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Sacrificing an hour or two of rest in order to get more done may sound like a reasonable trade-off in order to finish more projects.  The truth is that even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss wreaks havoc on your health.

The excerpts from article below from the Information from HelpGuide.org highlights the need for sleep, the myths and facts about sleep, average sleep needs by age, and how to tell if you are sleep deprived.

By understanding your nightly sleep needs and what you can do to bounce back from chronic sleep loss, you can finally get on a healthy sleep schedule.

Sleep is a Necessity

The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

The good news is that you don't have to choose between health and productivity. As you start getting the sleep you need, your energy and efficiency will go up. In fact, you're likely to find that you actually get more done during the day than when you were skimping on shuteye.

Myths and Facts about Sleep

Myth 1: Getting just one hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning.You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day, but losing even one hour of sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It also compromises your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.

Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules. Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by one or two hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.

Myth 3: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue. The quantity of sleep you get is important, sure, but it's the quality of your sleep that you really have to pay attention to. Some people sleep eight or nine hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.

Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. Although this sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.

Adapted from: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, The National Institutes of Health

How many hours of sleep do you need?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

Average Sleep Needs by Age

Newborn to 2 months old

12 - 18 hrs

3 months to 1 year old

14 - 15 hrs

1 to 3 years old

12 - 14 hrs

3 to 5 years old

11 - 13 hrs

5 to 12 years old

10 - 11 hrs

12 to 18 years old

8.5 - 10 hrs

Adults (18+)

7.5 - 9 hrs

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more (see Average Sleep Needs table below). And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, older people still need at least 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

You may be sleep deprived if you...

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Rely on the snooze button
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
  • Need to nap to get through the day
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed

The effects include:

  • Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems

For more information on getting enough sleep, visit the HelpGuide.com website.  You can also download Your Guide to Healthy Sleep from the National Institutes of Health.  

Dean and Draper

Getting your quota or sleep each night can do wonders to improve your health and productivity.  We hope you will trade your bad sleep habits for some energy and great day tomorrow. 

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: health effects of sleeplessness, sleeplesness

Our Newest Obsession - Online Browsing

Posted on Sun, Apr 03, 2016

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We’re all guilty of falling into the abyss of the internet.  Go to Google to get the answer to one question and 30 minutes later waking up a dozen websites away wondering how we got there.  No surprise our productivity is shot. 

The gem in a recent HubSpot article, Breaking Up With Bad Habits: How I finally Stopped Procrastinating Online, author Scott Tousley sings the praises of a free website-blocking Google Chrome extension that can be set up in 30 seconds. 

So, how does it work?  After you set a specified amount of time, StayFocused blocks distracting websites and puts this message on your screen.  (LK: I couldn’t help adding some comments of my own.)

Shouldn’t you be working?

Scott describes the StayFocused setup in three steps.  (LK: Making a list of the distracting websites sounds like I’m going to break up with some of my best friends.)

Step 1: Write down all websites that distract you.   

Websites that distract me most, causing Black Hole Browsing, are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Trends, and upvote-based websites such as reddit, Hacker News, or inbound.org. Thus, I setup my StayFocusd accordingly. 

Step 2: Set maximum time allowed for all websites each day.

I set my maximum time allowed to 10 minutes per day, which blocks all websites listed. This forces me to move quickly when checking Facebook, Twitter notifications, Linkedin requests, the headlines on Google Trends, and articles websites. (LK: 10 minutes? Are you serious?)

If something looks intriguing, I'll save to Pocket for later. 

10 minutes too little? Cool. Work your way down. Start at an hour. It doesn't matter. All that matters is you start somewhere. 

Step 3: Set active days and hours websites are blocked. 

I block web pages every day of the week, for all hours. 

Why? I don't want to waste any of my life mindlessly browsing online, not merely weekday business hours.

Instead, 24/7 Black Hole Browsing blockage forces me to focus on things that are actually important, both professionally and personally. Professionally, I focus on writing these blog posts (!), listening to your feedback, and analyzing data.

Laser focus on important professional tasks then allows me more time to enjoy personal activities I love, such as hanging with family and friends, writing, playing piano, and surfing (in the water, not the web). 

Great ideas, Scott!

Dean & Draper

We want to help you focus on shopping for personal or business insurance.  Dean & Draper is happy to shop your policies, recommend changes in your coverage, and help you select the best coverage for your individual situation.  We’re only a phone call away.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

 

Topics: Home Insurance, Stop Wasting Time, Becoming Efficient

What Conditions Must Be Met to Fix the Value of Your Business for Estate Tax Purposes?

Posted on Sun, Mar 27, 2016

Fotolia_90601251_XS.jpgAs a business owner, share holder, or partner. taking care of disposing of your business assets in the event of you or your partner's death is truly best handled before the event.

If certain conditions are met, a binding buy-sell agreement may fix the value of a business interest for estate tax purposes. The purchase price, whether a fixed amount or one determined by a formula, can be accepted as the estate tax valuation if these conditions are met:

  1. The buy-sell agreement must create an enforceable obligationon the part of the estate of the deceased owner to sell and the buyer to purchase the business interest.
  2. The buy-sell agreement must prohibitthe owner from disposing of his or her business interest during lifetime without first offering it to the other parties to the agreement at a price not higher than the price (fixed or formula) specified in the agreement.
  3. The buy-sell agreement must be the result of an "arm's length" transaction, meaning that the price must be fair and adequate at the time of the agreement or any subsequent reevaluation.

Without a binding buy-sell agreement, there can be a great deal of additional detail and uncertainty as to the valuation of a business interest at the owner's death, adding to the time and expense required to settle the estate, as well as making it difficult to predict and plan for any estate taxes.

A Note from Jerry LinvilleJerry_Linville.jpg

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and thank you for taking the time to visit our site. I encourage you to take advantage of the tools and information we supply which are designed to help you reach an educated and informed decision about whether long-term care insurance is appropriate for you.

After you have had time to review our information and work with our LTCI Planning Tools we will be happy to address any questions or concerns you might have regarding long-term care or long-term care insurance. Please call me, 281-794-3783.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 

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