Do you write things down?

This week we’re talking about writing — actual writing, with a pen or a pencil.

So much of what we do these days is done on computers, smart phones, smart watches and tablets, that the art of physically writing things down is getting lost.

Did you know that writing things by hand actually makes your brain pay better attention to what you’re writing?

When we type notes in a meeting, we tend to type everything we’re hearing verbatim, but when you write by hand, your brain is forced to filter out the unnecessary stuff. You write down only the important things.

Writing down goals on paper also helps make your intentions more real, by committing them to paper, rather just typing on a phone or a tablet.

A handwritten thank you note or letter can also show someone the importance of what you’re trying to say, and that you took the time to say it.

So the next time you need to tell somebody something important, set a goal for yourself, or take more effective notes in a meeting - try doing it the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.

You may just find the results more satisfying.

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Are you protecting your data?

This week, we’re talking about protecting your personal information, something very important to us in the mortgage industry.

As many of you know, the mortgage process is full of documents that are full of peoples’ private information, and it’s absolutely critical to make sure that information stays in the right hands.

Whether you’re applying for a loan, doing online banking, or even buying a plane ticket, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your data safe.

First, be alert for impersonators. Banks and financial institutions will never ask you for personal data over an email — only over secure websites, encrypted email communications or on paper forms.

Make passwords for online accounts as complicated as you can and still remember them, and change them regularly. Also make sure not to share your passwords with other people.

If you’re big into social media, try not to overshare. Any information about your address, phone numbers, date of birth, and email addresses can be used to defraud you, so keep your network tight, and your info to a minimum.

If you use public WiFi networks a lot, check out those networks’ privacy policies, and try and stay on encrypted websites when possible.

Disable automatic password “remember me” features on computers and phones, and never leave credit cards or important information laying around in public places.

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Travel Much? Some Tips to Stay Awake

As many of you know I spend more than half of the year on the road… Airport lounges, different time zones, hotel breakfasts and uber rides…

All of it can get a little tiring… and yes, I do get tired!

But I wanted to share a few tips with you that I’ve picked up over the years for how to keep travel from getting you down.

First - hydrate. alot.

Airplanes recycle all of the air inside, and it can get dried out very quickly - that means almost certain dehydration for your body.

The experts say you should drink at least 8 ounce of water for every hour you fly to keep from getting dehydrated, so drink up!

Next up - warding off jet lag.

Researchers at NASA found that it takes our bodies a full 24 hours to adjust to each time zone we cross, so it’s no wonder we get exhausted on those long cross-country trips.

If your trip is short - three days or less - you might be better off staying on your home time. If you’re going for a longer trip, make sure you get enough sleep the night before you leave, and seek out sunlight in your new destination.

Readjusting to day and night works best when you show your body that it’s actually day or night… 

Finally, eat well.

We’re all tempted to eat fast food on the road; and most of us get less exercise too. The combination of those things makes you sluggish, tired and dehydrated. So make a conscious effort to stay away from salty and fatty foods and try to keep the alcohol to a minimum.

Happy trails!

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Not too late for your resolutions!

We’re well into the second quarter of the year, and as everybody gets ready for summer, it’s worth looking back at those new year’s resolutions, those goals you set for yourself, or for your company at the beginning of the year.

How far have you gotten towards reaching those goals? Have you stayed the course on the plans you made?

Now is a great time to recommit yourself to those goals, or even move the goal post if you have to — the important thing is to stay committed to the end zone while you still have a chance to make a difference.

As you move toward that end, it’s also important to remember who can help you get there.

Business associates, trusted advisors, family members, or friends — who is going to help keep you accountable for these goals?  Who can you call and ask for help along the way?

You still have more than half of this year to reach the finish line — no matter how far you’ve strayed from the goal — it’s never too late to step back, take stock of what you’ve done, reevaluate your plan, recommit yourself to that goal…

And don’t do it alone — get the help you need to win the game!

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