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How to sharpen your focus for optimal performance

Posted on August 29, 2017 by admin

Focus requires control. Control of distractions, thoughts and, most importantly, your time.

Consider the following tips to improve your focus and concentration in your workday:

Tune out distractions
Identify your biggest distractions and plan to minimise or eliminate them while you are working on a task. This may include closing your emails, hiding your phone and putting it on silent or even telling your coworkers not to disturb you during certain times during the day unless it is urgent. If you work in a noisy environment, consider using noise-cancelling headphones and listening to relaxing music while you work away.

Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness involves bringing your attention to the present moment. Practising mindfulness can help improve your focus as it makes the wandering mind focus on the now rather than past or future events. Mindfulness is shown to be a powerful tool in improving attention, cognition, emotions and behaviour – all elements required for greater focus and concentration.

Time yourself
Give tasks your undivided attention by setting a timer for each individual task. Aim to work on the task for the duration of the time interval with no distractions. The key is to minimise interruptions to your “flow” state of productivity. Working on one task at a time is ideal for optimal efficiency as multitasking can see you lose time and concentration as you switch back and forth between tasks.

Work with your natural energy levels
An easy way to sharpen your focus is to schedule tasks around your natural energy levels. If you find you are more alert in the morning then schedule tasks that require higher levels of attention or creativity. You may choose to spend the afternoon working on low-attention tasks when your energy levels are dampened. It is much easier to concentrate when your body is naturally feeling alert rather than having to rely on multiple coffees or sugary foods to see you through the day.

Structure your time effectively
Effective time management is critical if you’re looking to improve your focus. If you don’t prioritise your work day and set clear goals, it can be hard to stay on track. Keep a to-do list, highlight the most important tasks and be sure to schedule in breaks (and take them).

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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