Hand Me That Crescent Wrench

If you’re a guy reading this post, you likely knew what I was asking for.

I might be stretching the truth a bit, but if you’re a gal, you likely said, “Huh?”

Why is that?

First of all, let’s put everyone on the same page here. A crescent wrench actually refers to an adjustable wrench that was originally made in 1907 by the Crescent Tool Company of Jamestown, NY. Much like Kleenex is to tissues or Band-Aid is to bandages, the crescent wrench was popularized by the company that first manufactured it.

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While that little tidbit of data will only earn you points in a trivia game, it’s kind of interesting information to have – especially if you’re a woman in construction.

I’ve worked in the construction industry for most of my adult life. And while I don’t actually have to drive nails or hang drywall, I have some first-hand knowledge of how to do the jobs.

I was lucky. I grew up working in my family’s summer resort business in Canada. At the time, I’m not so sure I felt lucky; but looking back, it helped shaped so many things in my life.  I was the oldest of two girls, and Dad needed help. He always told me that I could do anything any boy could do, and I believed him. Of course, I’m guessing some of that was propaganda just so I’d work harder and not complain.

So, from a very young age, you’d find me following Dad around to each cottage, the boat house and the tool shed. At 8, I begged him to let me cut the grass. By the time I was 9, I already knew how to fix the mower when it was low on oil or the spark plug needed changing. I remember him pulling out tools one-by-one, telling me what they were called and how they were used. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I was learning the “tools of the trade” – every trade.

My family was pretty conservative back then. They wouldn’t pay for something they could do themselves, and that meant just about everything. I learned how to shingle a roof, build a dock, hang drywall (that stuff is heavy!), mix and pour concrete, build a laminate countertop, lay linoleum, fix the plumbing, wire a light fixture, fix a boat motor and paint everything in sight. It really wasn’t fair that I was the only one brave enough to sit on the boat house roof to paint the metal flashing!

It wasn’t as if I was a tomboy or that Dad thought any of these jobs could be categorized as man’s or woman’s work – it was just work that had to be done. I also learned how to clean cottages, to cook meals, take reservations and how to speak to customers – always with a smile on my face and light in my eyes.

The years passed, and I married a man that was just as good with his hands as Dad was. I carried on the tradition of helping with projects around our home – always happy to roll up my sleeves and pitch in. And like a nurse handing the surgeon his instruments, I was always at the ready with the right tool.

Fast forward to my construction jobs – first in commercial and then residential. My employers, and better yet, the contractors at the job sites were more than surprised that the blonde with the skirt and high heels actually knew a thing or two about the work that was being done. Very few knew my background, but knowing the right methods, terminology and tools gave me the credibility I might not have had otherwise. How good it was to be involved with finding solutions to problems, not just hearing about them afterward.

I’ve come to realize that construction, although still a male-dominated industry, is not unlike any other. If you want to fit in, and if you want to be part of the workforce that earns their living doing it, you have to learn the language. That means learning the names of the tools, understanding what they’re used for and maybe even trying your hand at some of the jobs yourself.

My dad and I still believe I can do whatever I set my mind to, and now my daughter believes it about herself too. Don’t let your gender determine where you choose to work. Take the time to learn the “lingo,” and you’ll fit in just fine.

Image Courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage Courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now hand me that crescent wrench.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear some of your ideas on this subject.  

 

 

 

 


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How to Customize Your Content Options

Content Options takes care of small visual changes like showing or hiding the author, date, and more!

via Introducing Content Options: An Easy New Way to Make Visual Changes to Your Site — WordPress.com News


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Where to Find the Top Performing WordPress Topics Without Using Installed Plugins or SEO (1 min read)

Psst… Hey bloggers, did you know WordPress has this free unique feature that shows you all the tags people are using at the moment…? It’s called WordPress’s Hot Tags Board, and it shows you all the top outperforming tags that people are both using to tag their post, and browsing in. Oh, and the best part…? […]

via Where to Find the Top Performing WordPress Topics Without Using Installed Plugins or SEO (1 min read) — The Millionaire’s Digest


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How to Get More Comments On Your Blog (2 min read)

1. Take a stand. Boring content will always get you zero comments. You should take a stand on your blog. Don’t be afraid to put out content that might shake things up in your industry a bit. Don’t be boring like vanilla. Draw a line in the sand: “Here’s where I stand. This is what I […]

via How to Get More Comments on Your Blog (2 min read) — The Millionaire’s Digest


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5 Steps: Time-Management Tips For Night Owls

Here’s a DebbieDeyWrites Rewind Post that I thought might be great to bring out again. Now that summer is winding down, you might find it hard getting back into a routine. Take a look at some of my tips to help you get everything done when you’re used to staying up late at night.

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Okay, I’ll admit it…I hate my alarm clock!

Always have, always will. It’s not personal. I just don’t like to get up early.

I’ve tried, really. When I was a kid, my mom would literally have to drag me out of bed to get ready for school. Her nickname for me? Elmer’s Glue – because I was always stuck to the bed.

I’ve tried everything from going to bed earlier to cutting out caffeine to putting my alarm clock across the room to force myself to get out of bed. Like most “Night Owls,” I thought it was something I was doing wrong, and therefore, could change. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this “defect” in my sleep cycle is actually genetic! National Geographic has done studies on this and concluded that it’s something you’re born with. What a relief!

Alarm clockImage Courtesy of FeelArt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once I established that I couldn’t do much to change my DNA and miraculously become a morning person, I began seeking ways to work around it. In addition to being a wife and mom, I work a full-time job outside my home and have my own business as a freelance writer. Needless to say, without a few time-management techniques, I’d never get anything done.

 

Here are 5 of my favorite tips:

1. Get Organized.

Anytime I’ve been stressed about running late or not getting to something I had promised, it’s been because I wasn’t organized. With so many things to fit into my day, it’s imperative that I actually write down what I need to accomplish. I find that I need more than a “to do” list, so I put sticky notes on everything, use a calendar with audible reminders on my computer, and apps on my mobile phone to record everything from grocery lists to doctor appointments.

The key to making this work is getting into the habit of recording everything and updating it regularly. It’s easy to become blind to the tasks requiring attention, so when an item is done, I discard the notice and reminder. I also look at my lists before I head to bed at night, so I know what’s happening the next day – especially to coordinate with my family’s schedule. If I don’t plan ahead, I can be sure everyone in the family will be fighting to get in the shower at the same time.

2.  Prioritize and Re-Prioritize.

It seems only logical that I have to determine a priority order to my chaotic life. Surprisingly, I still find myself trying to fit “one more thing” into a few extra minutes before work or shaving off some time by multitasking. The problem with that plan is that I always miscalculate how much time it takes to do each task. While it seems simple enough to throw a load of laundry in while I’m waiting for the toast to pop, inevitably I get sidetracked with an unexpected phone call or the smoke detector going off.  I ate a lot of burned toast and ruined a few silk blouses before I figured out I had to prioritize.

Now, I check my list in the morning, determine what HAS to be done that day, and work toward getting those things done. Whatever didn’t make the cut that day moves up the list the next day.

3. Delegate.

While I like to think that I’m Superwoman and can handle everything alone, reality has proven that I’m not, and I can’t. This is still difficult for me to do. I take great pride and joy in doing it all. In other words, I’m a bit of a control freak! In order for me to maintain my sanity, I’ve had to let go of a few things and let others help. Surprisingly, the dishes still get just as clean if someone else loads the dishwasher. There are many things I have to do myself, and asking for help doesn’t mean my Superpowers are slipping.

4. Say No.

This is another challenge for me. I’m a people-pleaser by nature, and I never like to disappoint. If you’re like me, you’ll want to extend yourself to the max just to avoid saying no. Continuing on this path will certainly help you accomplish two things: burnout and dropping the ball on something. Time management is only successful if the amount of work you’re trying to accomplish is reasonable. If you take on more than is humanly possible, or at the least, establishing a standard no one could possibly maintain, bad things will happen. Instead, learn to manage your workload, and kindly defer projects with impossible deadlines to a time when other obligations have been completed. Trust me, your client will appreciate your honesty and commitment to doing the best job possible.

5. Give Yourself a Break.

I know it goes against every logical bone in your body to manage your time by taking a break. I used to think it was crazy to not fill every waking moment with something productive. Of course, I was wrong, and so are you. A groundbreaking study in the journal Cognition suggests “that prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance.” I used to think that my shortening attention span was tied to the fact that I was a night owl living on an early bird schedule. But actually, once I started taking short breaks throughout the day – even just walking around the building for a couple minutes, or the unthinkable, taking a lunch – I found I had more energy and drive to finish the task at hand.

Photo Courtesy of Photostock by FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage Courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve given up thinking I’ll ever be an early bird. In fact, I kind of like how quiet the house is late at night when I’m up writing my blog. Hopefully, these tips will give you a better perspective on how to manage your time better and be more productive, especially because you’re a night owl like me. Now, if I could just figure out how to get rid of that pesky alarm clock!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear some of your ideas on this subject.  

 


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Be Who You Are: Live Your Dreams

Are you living your dreams? This may be a difficult question to answer, because actually following our dreams is usually better said than done. One of the first steps to follow our dreams is to be ourselves. Many times we live our life for what other people expect us to be. Once we are true […]

via Be Who You Are: Live Your Dreams — Jay Colby


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How to Create Instant Expert Positioning On Your Blog

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This is something I’ve struggled with myself, establishing a niche and then positioning myself as an expert in the field.

Check out the great tips from 

How to Create Instant Expert Positioning On Your Blog

Whether you are an experienced blogger, or just starting out, you have only a few seconds to make an impression and to capture the attention of someone who visits your blog.

One way to do so is to create expert positioning on your blog.  By doing so, you establish instant credibility and trust, as well as authority, with your visitor, and they are more likely to stick around.


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7 Top Secrets That Will Turn You Into a Superhero Blogger in 2016 and Beyond

Superhero-Graphic-17 tips from guest author and acclaimed blogger Theodore Nwangene that will turn you from an ignored blogger to a successful content marketer.

Source: 7 Top Secrets That Will Turn You Into a Superhero Blogger in 2016 and Beyond


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7 Freelance Writing Myths Exposed

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Sadly, when you’re new to any business (especially freelance writing), it’s challenging to know just what to believe. I remember searching the internet five years ago wondering if I was good enough to write for money, committed enough to learn about my new career path, and savvy enough to avoid being scammed.

I’m here to tell you that if you’re just starting out and worrying about the same things I did, STOP!

Writing definitely takes time. Writing definitely takes diligence. Writing definitely takes commitment. But with the amount of information available on this very topic, you absolutely can earn money with your skills.

Take a look at this re-blog by Elvis Michael at Blogging Pro for some solid advice on the subject. Elvis uncovers so many of the myths that I bought into early on in my writing career. Take a short cut…understand what’s real and what’s not, and then jump right in!

7 Freelance Writing Myths Exposed

Freelance writing myths are a dangerous thing. They have the power to stop many from achieving greater success and prevent new freelance writers from even bothering in the first place. Let’s discuss some of the many, many false ideas and assumptions that plague the freelance writing world today.


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