Recent General Posts

Some Tips on How to Make 2018 a More Productive One

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

Happy New Year!  I came across this article today and thought I should share it as it had some good and "to the point" tips on how to make this a more productive year.  It was written by Kirstin O'Donovan and the title of the article is "5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet"

Everyone wants more time, that is something almost all of us share. Time is the most valuable resource and when you learn how to make your time work for you and how to get the most out of it – you experience life differently.  

Improving how you manage your time is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself – it’s a real game changer in your business and personal life. There are many ways that you can get more productive and get the right things done sooner; but not all of them are obvious or bring the same results.

Here are 5 productivity shifts you want to make if you are trying to make the most out of 2018:

  1. 1. Ditch your to do list

Productive people don’t keep to-do lists, they schedule everything they need to do in their calendar and work directly from their calendar!  To-Do lists are just ineffective and they are impeding your productivity. A never ending list of items only leaves you overwhelmed and with a false sense of ‘productivity’.  

If you schedule your To Do’s directly into your calendar at a time to get them done, you commit to it and you are more likely to get it done. Less is more – you don’t need a separate list to remind you what you need to do.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

  1. 2. Give up on motivation

Productive people don’t always have to be motivated before starting something. They balance discipline with motivation and do what they need to do, regardless of motivation. When we come up with resistance to take action on what we have planned, we might tell ourselves that we are not motivated and we believe that we need to be motivated to complete any task.

If you want to increase your productivity, you need to challenge yourself more in the moment to take action and give up on motivation sometimes. Do what you need to in order to get the results you want in the future. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel now, make them based on what result you are really after.

  1. 3. Master your mornings

Wake up early and get yourself into the productive mindset with your routine and diet! Productive people start the day with some sort of routine, whether it’s meditation, exercise or visualization, etc. AND they have a healthy breakfast to fuel them for the day. Your health is everything when it comes to productivity, what you eat directly affects your productivity.

We can just no longer ignore the direct connection any more. Get in the right mindset to start your day and fuel your mind and body to get the most out of it. Starting your day off in any other way undermines your success – there is no doubt.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferris

  1. 4. Schedule according to energy

Productive people know their energy cycles and they plan tasks around their energy levels. Why plan something at a time when you know it will be hard to rise to the challenge? Schedule tasks that require focus and concentration for those times of day that you feel the best and you will find it’s easier to follow through and you will be at your best to perform. Identify your filler tasks and complete those when your energy drops. Be more realistic when scheduling your tasks and set yourself up for wins.

  1. 5. Working backwards

Productive people always focus on those activities that will take them to the next level. They plan backwards, they look at their goals, then identify the tasks they need to do to support those goals. Those tasks get broken down into weekly actions. That’s how they plan.

Don’t only plan on tasks that come in or those which you ‘feel’ or ‘think’ you should be doing. Your day needs to consist of at least one activity that directly supports your longer term objectives, your big project. What sounds like common sense is definitely not common practice.

Back to School Lunch Tips

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

4 simple rules for healthy, budget-friendly lunches your kids will love

By Mike Timmermann

Most parents want to provide their kids with the healthiest meals possible, but the challenge can be finding nutritious foods that taste good to them.

4 tips and tricks for healthier lunches

Coming up with new kid-friendly recipes is overwhelming, so we reached out to Ashley Koff RD, a well-respected registered dietitian and creator of “The Better Nutrition, Simplified Plan.”

She says these four tips can lead to better health for the entire family!

1. Better nutrient balance

When’s the last time you actually saw what’s served in the school cafeteria? Sure, it’s not as bad as it used to be. But it’s still not ideal.

By preparing your child’s lunch regularly, you can focus on better nutrition.

“We need nutrient balance just like our car needs gas, oil (engine), air (tires), wiper fluid and so on,” Koff said.

Mistake #1: Not enough protein or healthy fats

Kids love carbs, but too many of them will result in an overwhelming rush of energy that will wear off before their next class period ends.

The challenge can be finding the right proteins and fats to store in a lunch box.

Ashley suggests trying hemp hearts, which provide complete plant protein, essential omega fatty acids, iron for growth and fiber to help you feel full.

Mistake #2: Skipping carbs

If your little one isn’t getting enough carbohydrates at lunch, Ashley says they won’t get the quick energy needed to make it until afternoon snack time.

Often times, carb-deprived adults and children will just end up reaching for the cookie jar later on.

Simply adding chickpeas, beans, a piece of fruit or some sweet potato can give your child’s lunch the nutrient balance to fuel their body for hours.

Mistake #3: No non-starchy veggies

We know that getting your kids to eat vegetables is a tough one, but non-starchy vegetables are so important.

“They are the body’s clean up team and we need to aim to get in a rainbow of colors most days to give our bodies what they need to clean up and stay healthy,” Koff said.

Here are some examples of non-starchy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Baby corn
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Salad greens
  • Tomato

2. Better quality

Ashley says there is no perfect food, but she recommends buying organic whenever you can.

“Our bodies run best when we give them fuel that they recognize, and have the least likelihood to irritate or disrupt optimal functions,” Koff said.

 Costco and Aldi both have a great selection of organics!

And if you prefer the farmer’s market, Ashley says you may be able to get a discount if you go right before they close.

3. Better quantity

If you’re trying to introduce your children to different types of foods, sometimes the problem is they eat too little.

“While trying a bite is an awesome way to encourage new tastes, it’s key to back that up with ensuring their bites add up to enough nutrients per nutrition pit stop,” Koff said.

Ashley recommends skipping hyper-processed snacks, including those that say things like “fat-free” and “sugar-free” on the label. Instead, opt for whole or minimally-processed foods.

For example, a small serving of chocolate and peanut butter is an OK afternoon snack, but make sure it doesn’t contain loads of added sugar or hydrogenated oils.

And use your fist and palm as a guide to keep your portions according to your size.

4. Better frequency

Every parent can relate to the nights when they make dinner and their kids say they’re not hungry! So frustrating, right?

The problem is that going too long without nutrition makes our bodies cranky. For a child who tends to skip lunch, Ashley says you can pack a few “pit stops” instead — which are basically nutritious snacks.

And forget about the clock! Don’t be afraid to switch things up in non-traditional ways.

“Why not have dessert smoothies at 5 p.m.? Or can’t overnight oats happen at 4 p.m. as easily as 7 a.m.? Then, at 6 p.m., mini burgers in a bowl of some veggies may go down at lot more successfully,” Koff said.

Stay Healthy this School Year!

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO provides specialty cleaning such as cleaning done for a school facility? Yep, we do as well as other types of specialty cleaning.  With all the germs that are present in the school environment and with school starting this week , I thought some tips on how to stay healthy this school year might be helpful.

Back to School: 5 Tips for Staying Healthy

Written by Leigh Matthews

Most parents know that ‘back to school’ often equates to sneezes and sniffles as kids share more than just their summer adventures.  For many parents, the on-set of the new school year means hoping they can keep their kids (and themselves!) from getting sick.

Here are 5 tips for helping to keep your kids healthy this school year:

1. Pack Water Bottles

Smaller children don’t always know to keep their mouth off the water fountain when they drink, so be sure to pack them a reusable, BPA-free water bottle every day, and get them into the habit of putting it in the dishwasher or washing it thoroughly every night.

2. Teach Kids Not to Share

That’s right, sharing isn’t always caring – at least when it comes to germs. Teach your kids to avoid sharing personal items, such as water bottles, earbuds, snacks, and other items that could spread germs.

3. Eat Well

A healthy immune system relies on a good intake of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. This means getting your kids to eat their helping of fruits and veggies, as well as other foods linked to healthy eating.

4. Sleep Well

If the return to school means your kids are getting up earlier than they’d like, help them realize that it makes sense for them to go to bed a little earlier. Set a good example by having a cut-off point for TV, computers and smartphones at least an hour before bedtime, so natural melatonin synthesis isn’t disrupted by the light emitted from these devices. Without adequate sleep, not only do kids have a hard time concentrating, but they’re also more susceptible to feeling unwell.

Children aged 10-17 need between 8.5 and 9.5 hours of sleep a night; children aged 5-10 need 10-11 hours of sleep; and children aged 3-5 need 11-13 hours of sleep.

5. Wash Your Hands!

It seems obvious, but the fact is that most people simply forget or do not wash their hands effectively, meaning that every time they touch something or someone, they risk spreading germs. With smaller kids, use this as a teaching exercise by getting them to repeat the alphabet while they scrub their hands. Older kids should get into the habit of counting to at least 20 before rinsing. Be sure to encourage hand washing after petting an animal, handling or eating food, coughing or sneezing, and for older kids who babysit, changing a diaper.

Some parents have started packing hand sanitizer for their kids and while this is better than nothing, it’s still important to teach kids to wash their hands with warm water and soap after touching things that may carry germs, such as classroom objects.

And, of course, if children do fall ill, keep them away from school. This helps protect other children (and teachers!) from germs, and helps protect the sick child from picking up anything else while they are vulnerable. If a child has a fever it is especially important to keep them away from school as this is when they are most contagious.

15 Year Anniversary for SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

This month, August, our office will be celebrating 15 years of being open for business! It’s hard to believe that it has been that long. During these years we have had the pleasure of helping so many of our Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights residents, business owners, School District and Village (municipality) customers with either water damages, fire clean ups, mold remediation or any other of our services.  We have been members of the Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights Chambers of Commerce and also members of the Better Business Bureau (with an A+ rating) for 9 of the 15 years.  Also, our office has tried to give back to the community and one of the ways we have been able to make a small difference is in our annual food drive. Each year we work together with some of the local businesses and schools to collect non perishable food items for the food pantry. This has been very rewarding for us and hopefully helpful to the needy within the community. We look forward to many more years of providing emergency disaster cleanup services to our local residents.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights is proud to announce that we are once again a Better Business Bureau accredited business! Our office has been in business for 15 years and has been a part of the Better Business Bureau for 9 of those 15 years.  While being an accredited business, we had consistently received an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we had also received a “Complaint Free” certificate for each of the 9 years that we were accredited.  We look forward to working once again as an accredited business, helping customers with their disaster cleanups and by providing the A+ service that we have been known to provide.  We hope this accreditation will give you the confidence in our office to call us if the unexpected happens such as water damage and the peace of mind of knowing that you will be helped by a company that cares about its customers and that cares about the service our customers receive. 

Rainy Times

6/20/2017 (Permalink)

Although our kids may enjoy the rain, it may not be as fun for us adults! Rain can cause unnecessary water accumulation around the foundation of your house, it can cause outside sewers to quickly fill where they can't keep up with the rain, and it can cause streets to flood causing water to enter your home or business; when these instances occur, it can cause flooding at your property. When this happens, you need a professional such as SERVPRO to help with the clean up! SERVPRO of Arlington Heights./Prospect Heights has 15 years of experience cleaning up flooded basements, from residential to commercial we are here to assist, why not call our office today at 847-637-3445, and feel free to browse our website for additional services we provide.

Happy New Year!

1/3/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Arlington Heights/Prospect Heights wishes you a happy healthy new year!