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Sure, we all want to be efficient with our time - it’s our most precious commodity. But what if it’s more efficient to do things slowly? What if going faster actually slows us down? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as we are going through a renovation at our house. There have been many instances where rushing has cost tradespeople more time and money. For example, there’s the installers who put down brand new hardwood and, rather than taking a moment to place a piece of board down to protect it, dragged our old fridge out the kitchen doorway and gouged the floor. They had to come back, set up their equipment, chip off the damaged boards and put down new ones. The cost: 3 guys, half a day and another box of wood flooring. Not to mention an unhappy customer and lost referrals.

Rushing Wastes Time
I don’t know about you, but I find I frequently forget things when I’m rushing, and end up wasting more time than I saved. We get so hooked on the habit of hurrying that sometimes we rush needlessly (I guess that’s why they call us the human race). Efforts to get to our destination a few seconds sooner often backfire. Being pulled over or getting into an accident would cost more time and grief than if we just took our time.

Is our obsession to do everything in less time really worth it?
Time Management guru Harold Taylor, in his book, “Slowing Down the Speed of Life”, advises us to drive slower, walk slower, talk slower and work slower. The faster you go, the faster life seems to go. I can tell you from my experience, once you can get past the initial feelings of panic and guilt (that you are not doing enough) and see the amazing results, slower is better.

Accidents Increase with Speed
When we rush, there is more chance of making mistakes. This can impact our stress levels, our finances and our relationships. Yet we associate doing things slowly with inefficiency and perhaps even laziness. And we glorify speed. This is a perception that is outdated. Just look at the benefits of slowing down and see if that shifts your view.

Benefits of slowing down:
- increased creativity - decreased stress and anxiety - fewer mistakes - more opportunities - more productive - experience more joy - improved communications and better relationships - longer survival rate (The Body Clock Advantage, Matthew Edlund).

And if you’re still not convinced, here’s something you can try. Whenever I find myself rushing to get more done, I remember the famous chocolate scene from the old I Love Lucy sitcom. Through humor, it illustrates how speed reduces productivity. Are you addicted to the fast paced life? Or have you tried taking it slow?

Hellen Buttigieg
Make Time & Space for What Matters Most
Life Coach, Certified Professional Organizer

Autumn brings with it shorter days and colder nights which can add up to increased electric costs. Finding a way to save money, and, keep your home warm and well lit will no doubt be a priority with most homeowners. One way to save is to replace incandescent and CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are considered direct replacements for the 175-year-old incandescent bulb and the more modern, environmentally unfriendly, CFL bulb.

Here are a few reasons why LED bulbs are better.

1. Energy Efficiency. One 11.5-watt LED bulb emits as much light as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That means five LED bulbs still use less electricity than a single incandescent lamp.

2. Replacement. Incandescent bulbs typically have a life of no more than 1,000 hours, while LED bulbs may have 40,000 hours of life.
That is 40 times more.

3. Instant Start. CFL bulbs have a warm-up period each time you turn them on. LED bulbs turn on at full brightness.

4. Dimmable. LED products are fully dimmable and are compatable with more than 100 different dimmer switches. CFL bulbs may be dimmable but still have a flicker tendency.

5. Disposal. It is safe to place LED bulbs in the garbage, after they burn out. CFL bulbs contain mercury and must be recycled through using the correct facilities.

6. Heat. LED bulbs emit very little heat. CFLs and incandescent bulbs waste 80 to 90 per cent of their energy in heat. LED bulbs typically waste no more than 50 percent of their energy on heat and are far cooler to the touch.

Although your home reflects your personal style, trends help trigger your creativity and provide the opportunity to shake things up a little. Here are a few hot home trends:

1. Shower Spa - Seek a serene, spa-like shower environment with a curb-less design for a spacious perfect and open shower experience.

2. Open It Up - Open plan kitchens are expanding even further with glass front cabinets and open shelving units to give the feel of even more space.

3. Smart Sensors - Using Environmentally - friendly Smart Thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature based on your daily routine.

4. Back to Nature - Add value and comfort by blending indoor and outdoor living space. All-weather furniture and outdoor fireplaces are top picks.

5. U-Sockets - The smallest upgrade can make the biggest difference! U-sockets are wall plugs with two built-in USB ports that can be used to power devices such as tablets and smartphones.

The average home is shrinking now that our urban centres are getting so dense. But this should not get in the way of enjoying your small home, condo or cottage. Here are some tricks to optimize all available space.

1. Use a light, neutral palette on the walls to give your home a larger feel. Amplify natural light in your space with lighter colors. Use a second color from the same palette to break up an open space into more distinct areas.

2. Play with brighter colors in the details to avoid a bland or clinical feel. Use colorful accent pillows or artwork to add some more punch.

3. Avoid clutter to help a room appear more spacious. Keep everything tucked away while it is not in use to make your space less congested.

4. Protect it from the sun. For carpet in a sunny area, close the drapes to prevent fading.

4. Make multi-functioning furniture choices. A headboard could double as a bookcase. Furniture that has built-in storage is a plus - one more space to tuck things away.

When the roof surface ages, it wears and becomes less and less reliable. Eventually it may leak. But not only old roofs leak. One of the most common causes of roof failures is poor workmanship during installation. The reason this is not readily apparent is that it often takes a few years for a poor installation to manifest itself in a leak. By this time it is all too easy to point the finger at wear and tear.

A leaking roof can be disruptive and costly, causing damage to interior finishes. In some cases it is easy to determine the cause and in other cases it can be difficult to diagnose. In some cases a roof leak will only occur with specific weather conditions. Let’s try to make some sense of this mystery.

Sloped Roofs Shed Water
Sloped roof systems are designed to shed water from one shingle to the next down to the roof edge. Sloped roof systems are not waterproof. Understanding this concept is the first step to understanding how a roof can leak. Flat roof systems, on the other hand, are designed to be waterproof.

It’s All About the Flashing
Roofs don’t normally leak in the middle of a field of shingles or tiles. They leak where there is a roof penetration such as a skylight, chimney, dormer or roof wall intersection. These critical areas are kept from leaking with flashing. Flashing is usually made up of pieces of metal configured so water will shed across the gap between the roof penetration and the roof surface. Often roof leaks can be traced to poorly installed or worn flashing. If you have a roof that leaks, the flashing is the most likely culprit.

Wind and Rain
Roof systems should be designed and installed to accommodate your local climate. On the other hand, it is possible for a perfectly installed and maintained roof to leak given the right combination of wind and rain. Recall that sloped roof surfaces are not waterproof but they shed water down the roof.

Ice
In cold climates, ice can cause a perfectly good roof surface to leak. Ice can block the flow of water to the edge of the roof or to the drain. Water can then back up under the shingles and leak into the house.

Eggs are one of the most versatile foods in the world - and the way you like them reveals surprising aspects of your personality, according to a new British study Just pick the “egg type” that gets your mouth watering to learn more about your most egg-ceptional traits.

1. Fried eggs: You are open-minded, confident and creative.

2. Omelets: You are a creative gourmand relishing new flavors.

3. Poached eggs: You are a conscientious, careful and precise sophisticate.

4. Scrambled eggs: You are a sensitive, warm and infectious people-person.

5. Boiled eggs: You are a no-fuss multi-tasking go-getter.

With the unpredictable winter weather on the horizon, here are some more ways to keep warm this year.

• Rearrange the furniture. Move seating away from windows and doors and nearer to the fireplace (if there is one), or just closer together to create a cozier feel.

• Snuggle with your pet. The closer you cuddle, the more body heat will build up between the two of you!

• Make use of free heat. Pull open your curtains (especially on south-facing windows) during the sunniest times of the day to let the sun’s rays warm your home, then close them at night as an extra barrier against wintery winds.

• Run a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer than dry air. Even a cool mist humidifier (which is safer because there is no risk of scalding from hot water or steam) can make a room feel warmer.

In some cases what appears to be a roof surface leak is not a leak at all but rather an interior source of water. Here are some examples –

Air leakage from the house: If household air can leak into the attic, warm moist air will condense on surfaces in the attic during cold weather. This can damage the roof decking and structural framing and even cause water to drip back into the house. Sealing the attic in cold climates is very important.

Leaking ducting: If heating and cooling ducting runs through the attic, it must be well sealed. Ducts leaking air can cause condensation.

Air conditioning ducting: If air conditioning ducting runs through the attic, it should be well insulated and have a good vapor barrier. Condensation can form on cold air ducts and can drip down into the ceiling.

Attic mounted heating and cooling: Furnaces and air conditioning evaporators create condensation. If this equipment is located in the attic and there is a leak somewhere in the condensation path, it will leak into the house.

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