No Motivation: The Struggle is Real

motivation

Lately, I’ve been lacking in the motivation department. While it has always been a struggle to buckle down and focus on my work, lately, its been nearly impossible. I feel like there’s just so much on my plate that it’s hard to focus on one individual thing at a time. When I try, I get sidetracked with other things and nothing winds up getting finished.

I work from home. Between my job, my house, Daisy Scouts and the kids, I feel like something is always getting neglected. The last Daisy Scout meeting was the least organized one that I’ve ever run and our first cookie booth was a disaster.

So what motivates you to get it all done? I need some ideas to get back on track. A pretty little planner just didn’t do the trick.

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Winter Storm Prep

It’s that time of year again and I’m finding myself home with the kids, watching the weather. They’re predicting a major winter storm to strike this weekend, which means I have 4 days to get ready.

I’m a planner and I like to get things done as quickly as possible, so keeping with that spirit, I’ll likely head out this morning to grab the essentials.

Here’s what’s on my list:

  • Food (bread, milk and non-perishables. Plenty of coffee.)
  • Chicken feed (we would normally go this weekend)
  • Gas for the car, plus extra for the snow thrower
  • Water (We have city water, so even if the power goes out we’ll have it. I won’t go crazy, but I’ll get 4 gallons to be safe.)
  • Paper towels (mostly because we’re almost out and would definitely run out if the power went out.)

In addition to these items, if I weren’t prepared at all, I might also buy the following:

  • Rock salt to clear ice
  • Candles
  • Batteries
  • Pet food
  • Prescriptions

Another good thing to think about is laundry and dishes. Do you have what you need to wash dishes by hand? I don’t have a drying rack, but I have a dish mat. That might not be very helpful if I don’t have any way to dry it when the power goes out. For laundry, I typically do an entire day of laundry the day before I expect a storm to hit. I’m a stay-at-home mom, so for me that’s practical, but it might not be for everyone. If I were working 9-5, I would definitely plan to do a load a day between now and the storm to make sure there was enough clean clothes, towels and blankets to keep us warm.

 

I also like to bake the day before a snow storm, so that if the power goes out we have plenty of goodies. I also turn the heat up the day of the storm to get the house as little warmer than average so it takes a little longer to get too cold inside. We don’t have a fireplace or a generator of any type, so if the power were to go out, it would only be a matter of time before we would need to seek shelter elsewhere.

On a practical note, I also like to make sure the kindles, phones and game systems are fully charged going into a storm. That way, if the power goes out we have entertainment until it’s restored plus a little bit of extra light at night. Also, even if the power doesn’t go out, we have Dish Network and lose signal when we have any type of rain or snow or wind, so the tablets, phones, etc. come in handy.

I’m curious what other people do to get ready for a snow storm. Do you cook? Clean? Binge watch Netflix? Let me know and give me some ideas of what else I can do.

Review: Fiverr

I’ve been using Fiverr for about 4 years now as a seller, so I think I can provide a pretty decent review for anyone thinking about signing up for the site.

As a seller, it absolutely sucks. And yes, I say this knowing I’ve been on there for 4 years. You really can’t make a living at it if you’re selling articles for $5 like I am because Fiverr takes $1 of that and you only make $4. That’s a 20% commission and they take that off of literally everything. Have a gig extra to make it extra fast? 20% commission.

On top of that, you have no control over which orders you accept.

I just ran into an issue with this over the weekend. A buyer wanted 6 articles “extra fast” for an extra $5. Fiverr has it set up so that as long as they buy them all at once, you only get 1 “extra” for the whole thing. So I would only make an extra $5 for delivering 6 gigs extra fast.

On top of that, my instructions tell buyers to not order more than 4 gigs without contacting me for availability. This guy didn’t contact me.

I politely explained that I couldn’t do 6 in that time frame and I requested a mutual cancellation. He denied it. I requested it again and emphasized that I couldn’t do the project. He denied it.

I contacted Fiverr customer support to explain the situation to them. They did nothing.

As a seller of a service, I should be able to decide whether or not to take on a project. Fiverr doesn’t give me that option. I can’t decide how much work to take on based on my availability, my experience with a particular buyer or anything else. I can’t deny service to anyone for any reason.

If the buyer isn’t happy, they can decline delivery. They can ask me to do more work, to rewrite an article, to do whatever they want and I have to do it. I can’t say no, I can’t tell them it was already done and that’s it. I have to basically provide unlimited edits and rewrites without getting paid for my time. So if a buyer simply doesn’t like what I write? Too bad for me. I’m beholden to them because they pressed “order”.

The system is rigged against the seller and because Fiverr won’t give sellers the right to set their own schedules, build their businesses according to their availability and work with the clients of their choosing, I won’t recommend Fiverr to any seller.

Service Review: Geico Auto Insurance

I don’t normally blog about services, but I had to share my experience with Geico.

As a longtime customer, I’m used to defending their less-than-stellar reputation. Everyone says they’re a nightmare to deal with, but I’ve always found their customer service to be pretty good. They addressed problems quickly and even when we had to submit a claim it wasn’t too much of a hassle.

We have been with them for about 6 years. When we first changed to Geico, I was impressed that they scoffed at those stupid automated answering systems that require you to press 1 for English, then 1 for auto, 2 for homeowners, etc… Unfortunately, in the past 6 months that has changed and you now have to go through 1,527 prompts to speak with a real human. Ok, it’s more like 4, but it still took over 10 minutes for me to connect with someone to find out when my policy expires.

For the past 6 years I really haven’t had much to say about them. They’ve provided decent service and I was happy overall. No big deal, right? The prices seemed good. ($150/month for auto insurance for my husband and I. Full coverage on 2 old-ish vehicles, but he has a crap driving record.)

Well, last month I got an email. Our rates were going up… $272/month. What?! Surely that was a mistake. I called the number, did the prompts and spoke with a representative. Was this about a recent speeding ticket my husband got? No. That hadn’t been rated yet. Apparently Geico applied to the state for a rate hike and that was what caused our bill to nearly double. (It went up $122/month if you don’t feel like doing the math.)

Is there anything I can do? I could drop comprehensive and collision or raise my deductible to $1000 from $500, but that’s it. Doing both still wouldn’t get me back down to $150/month, but it would get me close. I didn’t feel good about dropping coverages or raising my deductible that much, so I decided to call around.

Every single place I called gave me a rate lower than Geico’s new rate for full coverage. Even “premium” insurers that we would never normally consider.

I called them back and told them that. They said there was nothing they could do. No additional discounts. I had to drop coverages and raise my deductibles to get the price down. Rate hikes they said. One agent told me they would hate to lose me since I’d been a customer for 6 years. I guess they didn’t hate it that badly since they weren’t trying very hard to keep me.

Committed to changing my insurers – because I’m not opposed to leaving a company that’s screwing me – I went online and asked friends who they use. Most recommended calling a broker.

The very first broker I called was able to get me $91/ month for car insurance with higher coverages than I had with Geico. My homeowners would go up $350/year, but I assume Geico’s homeowners policies were going up too. Even if they weren’t going up at all (their homeowner’s insurance goes up every year), I’d still be saving over $2,000 on the auto insurance which would more than make up for it.

So friends, moral of the story is to not use Geico. I’m still in shock that they wanted to raise my rates so much after I’d been with them for so long. Then to basically tell me I was SOL and had to eliminate coverages and raise deductibles to get my bill back to where it was just pushed me over the edge. You don’t treat customers like that. Geico should be ashamed. It looks like every rotten thing I’d heard about them in the past was true and I’m saddened that I paid them for so many years before making the switch.

New Year’s Resolutions

I read somewhere that putting your goals/resolutions out into the universe makes you more likely to accomplish them. With that in mind, I’d like to put mine out there publicly in hopes that this is the year I finally stick with them, or at least make it longer than a day or two.

1.) Lose weight. Yes, I have this on my list every year. I never have the money to do the 21 day fix program or anything like that, so we’re going to try the old fashioned way. More water, less soda. Smaller portions. Slowly starting to work out a little bit. I have about 10-15 pounds to lose from pregnancies and I’d love for my belly to not jiggle.

2.) Swear less. Last year I tried to “stop swearing” and that didn’t work out at all. It turns out my vocabulary is quite colorful and I like to describe things with words that use 4 letters. Who knew? Regardless, I have young kids and this is one habit I have to break.

3.) Be more organized, professionally and personally. I have a brand new planner (spoiler alert: I went with the basic plain Jane model from Target, but it has a lovely pink floral cloth cover.) and I’d love to go through the house and get rid of things we haven’t used in years. Old books, old games that only have half the pieces… things like that.

So those are my big ones for right now. Maybe I’ll make resolutions monthly this year. That seems way more attainable than making a bunch of year-long commitments right off the bat.

What are your New Years resolutions?