By MH Staff - Posted on 25th June 2014
Here’s how to punch through the stress so you can spend more time with your feet up
THE SOLUTION: Tap into your holiday time by scheduling half-day Fridays. Only 47% of South Africans take their annual leave according to Accenture’s 2013 Defining Success study. Two months of half-day Fridays costs you only four days, and a 2006 Ernst&Young study showed an 8% increase in year-end performance rating for every 10 hours of annual leave.
THE SOLUTION: Swop the aircon for a lower energy fan and get to work on your pool – running the pump for only six hours per day, combined with a clean filter will save you about 8% over the season. Growing a garden around your house will help absorb heat as well. And keep your fridge empty.
THE SOLUTION: Join the crowd – briefly. Drop by with a six-pack, drink one beer and then quietly ask the host to turn the music down as you leave. “That works better than calling,” says Dr Edwin Riley, author of Stress Rx. If he ignores you, wear earplugs and negotiate the next day. And avoid calling the police if possible; you’ll poison future relations.
THE SOLUTION: Fire up the blowtorch. Seriously: it’s a quick way to take out weeds. Plus, flaming is non-toxic and a whole lot of fun. Just avoid dry areas or anything right next to your house and keep a hosepipe nearby, just in case.
THE SOLUTION: Check how long you should mow your grass – different varieties thrive at different lengths. And don’t water after work; the best time of day for moisture retention is 2am to 6am. Set a timer.
THE SOLUTION: Try Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT. This naturally occurring bacterium attacks bugs from the inside so only the plant eaters suffer, says Blashaw. Another option: spray diluted neem oil. It doesn’t harm mammals or birds, but is toxic to scores of pests, such as aphids, mites and beetles. It kills them and their larvae, but it doesn’t harm your garden.