35 Best Tips on How to Start Being Productive

By |2018-09-04T21:16:04+02:00September 4th, 2018|Work-Life Balance|

My life would be so much better if only a day has 32 hours. I would have 8 extra hours to…

….get enough sleep

….read that book

….get certified

….spend more time with family

….work out

….cook

Do you know the feeling?

The bad news is that we can’t have more hours in a day. The good news is that Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Branson or Elon Musk have the same number of hours in a day as we do. If they can be doing so much in a day we can do a bit more as well.

The point is to use smarter our time and resources.

35 Tips on How to Start Being Productive:

  1. Check emails only every 2 hours (and not more frequently).
  2. Don’t try to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of execution.
  3. Sell your TV.
  4. Don’t watch the news.
  5. Talk only to positive and enthusiastic people.
  6. Make a routine. Morning routine. Evening routine. Weekly routine.
  7. Get up early.
  8. Say NO to everything that’s not worth your time.
  9. Work out.
  10. Stop multitasking.
  11. Use the Pareto 80/20 principle.
  12. Use the Pomodoro technique as well.
  13. Finish the task you started before you move to another one.
  14. Revisit your goals regularly.
  15. Eat the frog first.
  16. Manage the time you spend on social media and the Internet.
  17. Chunk tasks into smaller pieces.
  18. Delegate. Don’t do what you don’t have to do.
  19. Batch similar tasks. For example, assign 4 hours every 3 days for replying to emails.
  20. Do the task that takes less than 2 minutes immediately.
  21. Create time records for specific tasks and try to beat them.
  22. Sort tasks by must, should and want.
  23. Eliminate everything that does not have to be done, replied to or seen.
  24. What would make me feel accomplished in the evening? Ask yourself and focus on that task.
  25. Give yourself a reward for completed tasks.
  26. Maintain a power pose.
  27. Laugh. Start in the morning before you leave your house.
  28. Sleep enough.
  29. Silence your phone.
  30. Clean up your workspace.
  31. Work in a pleasant environment.
  32. Write distraction down for later.
  33. Go for a walk.
  34. Meditate
  35. Listen to ambient music.

Why You Should Go to Sleep Early Tonight

By |2018-07-10T17:31:51+02:00July 10th, 2018|Work-Life Balance|

I was thinking lately about a modern habit of not having enough sleep. All of us cut on sleep. There is always something more important to do than have a full night rest. Always. Recently, I realized that I need to reconsider this because sleep is such an essential part of my life.

Although it is said we should sleep eight hours a day, how much sleep a person actually needs is individual and everyone should listen to her body. One thing is clear, if you don’t get enough sleep you gain weight, you are not happy, you are ill more often, your immune system can break down and so on. Let me tell you what to do about it!

Why You Need to Sleep More

The Immune System Will Benefit

Lack of sleep has a bad effect on your immunity. You are much more susceptible to get the flu or some other illness when your body is not rested. Although it’s not proved, some scientists say that you are up to 3 times more likely to get a cold when you sleep less than your body needs to.

You Will Be Happier

Yes, you are happier when you sleep well. Everybody is, no doubt about it. It’s much easier to keep yourself in a good mood when you sleep enough. You can’t live your life to the fullest if you are tired.

You Will Lose Weight

There are two reasons for this.

  1. You are too tired to go running or do some exercise, you might be even too tired to cook a healthy meal or go shopping to buy something and then you end up eating unhealthy fast-food or snack.
  2. Your brain is more tired, your body is more tired and they ask you for energy. What is the first thing your body wants when you are tired? Sleep. And second? Food. Automatically, you are going to be hungrier than on days when you are rested.

Your Overall Health Will Benefit

When your body is refreshed, all of your organs are refreshed too so they function well. The stomach can digest properly, kidneys can filter water, the brain can think, everything’s working. Have you ever experienced that shaking when you didn’t sleep enough? Yeah, that’s wrong and it shouldn’t occur.

Your Memory and Concentration Will Get Better

Just an addition to what was already said, you can concentrate much better when you are recovered after a good night sleep. Your brain works faster and you can focus on what you are doing. Scientists proved that having lack of sleep for more than a couple of days may cause you troubles remembering things and not even that – you will remember them differently than they actually happened.

Phases of Sleep

Do you know what happens to you when you sleep? As you fall asleep your body temperature, heartbeat, and blood pressure drop. Your body recovers and starts to produce important hormones such as cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin, which are essential for your immunity, health, and also control over hunger and eating habits.

REM

This is the time of your sleep when you are dreaming. This phase is only about 25% of the whole sleeping time. It occurs every hour and a half and it actually provides the energy for the brain and body. This phase is also helping you to wake up in the morning.

Non-REM

It’s the other 75% of your sleeping time. Your muscles are relaxed, your blood pressure drops and your breathing is slow. During this phase, your body restores energy, rests, and recovers, so this phase is very important for recovering from stress, exercising or even injury. Usually, you don’t have any dreams during this phase.

How to Sleep Better

Get Earplugs

They really help. I use them every day for 8 years now and I can’t understand how could I sleep well without them before.

Get Eye Mask 

Another thing I use for a few years now. You might not need it if you like to sleep with a light on, but in case you are sensitive to light like me, eye mask is a must!

 No Electronic Devices in the Bedroom

This is what I suck at. I don’t even have any other alarm clock than my phone so I can’t prove it with my personal experience. However, many scientists would tell you that it is the best thing you can do for your restful sleep.

Get Some Fresh Air

Try to open the window for 5 minutes every day before you go to sleep. Fresh air will help your brain relax and your sleep will be better because you won’t have a lack of oxygen during the night. (I can prove that this works 🙂 ).

Manage the Light

Just set it right. If you don’t like light put an eye mask on if you do turn on some ambient light. Just don’t allow any light, like that annoying little red light on TV interrupt your sleep.

Take Advantage of Time Routine

If you go to sleep at the same time every day and you wake up at the same time every day, your body gets used to it and will automatically switch you off when it’s the time to go to bed.

Thank you so much for reading. Are you a sleepy head or you cut on your sleep often? Let me know. I’m curious.

Good night. Have a blissful sleep and stay positive. 🙂

Why Aren’t We Creative Anymore?

By |2018-07-03T14:05:43+02:00July 3rd, 2018|Work-Life Balance|

Creativity is intelligence having fun.
-Albert Einstein

If it is fun, why aren’t we creative anymore? When I look around I see people stuck in their full-time jobs looking for something that would entertain them and enlighten their day.

The problem might be that most of us look for entertainment in our surrounding, not in ourselves. Building an inner creative environment where one can think and develop and have fun is the best thing a person can do for himself.

Why Being Creative?

Creativity is about new stuff, about changing traditional ideas, relationships, rules or any other different pattern in this world to create something new. Something that is meaningful, original and inspirational. Creative people tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives. Changing some of the rules or ideas can bring you new self, maybe higher, maybe more self-conscious maybe more fun self. It’s definitely worth discovering what you have in yourself.

How To Be Creative in Everyday Life

  • Use Your Phone

    There is a vast amount of mobile apps these days that will support your creativity. You can download them and play as long as you wish. Do you use Instagram? Play with it too, use different filters and features, find out how creative you can be with your pictures. If you like organizing your thoughts go for Evernote, it’s the best app out there for thinkers, writers, brainstorming and people who want to have things clear.

  • Fall for Photography

    It can be very creative to take pictures; you can try different angles, different light, various options for the capture. You can go wild and if you want to go beyond taking pictures, play with photoshop, your pictures will get a brand new look. There are a lot of great photoshops out there from Adobe to Corel Draw and other. If you don’t feel like going pro and spending money on it, I would recommend GIMP. It has great features, and it’s totally free; you can download it here.

  • Draw

    Express yourself and show the world how you see things. It can be exculpatory and calming at the same time. No matter if you haven’t drawn anything ever, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s just your mean of expression and finding your creative self. If you are not a fan of traditional drawing, again there are apps for that. You can download Sketchbook or other app and draw right into your phone or a tablet.

  • Write

    You can be creative with a word, from a diary to letter, article, newspaper, blog or even a book. Capture your thoughts, create a story or do some research on a topic you like and write an essay. It can bring you something new and take you beyond the routine, just don’t force yourself. Write about stuff you like or don’t write if you don’t like it. Remember, this is supposed to make you happy and creative.

  • Cook

    Try out new recipes, bake a cake which you can decorate. There are limitless options when cooking or baking. The plus of this point is that it’s not only for you but also for your closest ones. I bet your family will love the new creative you with all those pastries.

  • Take a Different Route to Work

    In case all five options above are way too much for you, you can start with some small changes in your everyday routine, just to open your eyes. One of the best options is to take a different road to work. If you are taking the same route for months or even years, you don’t even perceive things around you. Take a different route, observe what you see around you and look for some inspiration.

I would definitely add travel, but that’s up to you. 🙂 What does creativity mean to you? Are you a creative person?

If You Don’t Have Strong Daily Habits You Are Screwed

By |2018-06-16T17:48:21+02:00May 15th, 2018|Work-Life Balance|

Waking up in the morning is tough. But imagine it is Monday 5 am and you have slept only 5 hours. Your alarm is ringing like crazy and you know you are supposed to get up and go to the gym. It’s a new daily habit you are trying to create.

Yet, you hit snooze and it ain’t happening again. Like many times before. Waking up early is, in my opinion, and working out is the hardest new habit a person may be creating.

You might wonder, why are daily habits so beneficial to us. You would be surprised by the actual number of all the benefits, but let me name just a few of them.

Daily habits replace motivation. Instead of trying to self-motivate yourself you get used to it and don’t even realize it. I used to feel so much resistance when trying to motivate myself to do something. Motivation only works when we have time and when we feel like. When you are going through hardship only habits will keep you going.

By incorporating daily habits into your life you get control of life.

Daily habits equal consistency. If you are doing something every single day, even if it is for 5 minutes you are consistently moving towards your goals. Daily habits will help you to reach your goals faster, easier and more efficiently.

Habits eliminate wasted time. You no more waste time thinking what to do, for how long, where and when. You follow the schedule and you are ticking off the to-do list at a fast pace.

Daily habits simplify life. They reduce the number of stimuli and decision making that we must do in a day. Even if doesn’t feel like it at the beginning, in the end, daily habits are making our lives much easier.

Habits make us more efficient and productive. You don’t think about the habits, they are done automatically without you even realizing it and you move on to other tasks. If your daily habits are set right, you can be much more efficient than someone who doesn’t have any routine in his day.

By really using habits for anything we can, we free up our energy.

Motivation is one thing, but habits reduce the need for willpower as well. For example, if your habit is to eat last meal at 6 pm and never eat anything afterward, someone can give you a dozen of cupcakes you don’t have to use any willpower to refuse them. It’s just wouldn’t feel right eating them.

Habits build momentum. When you get used to the habits you are able to build more habits on top of them.

If you are used to getting up the same time, meditate, workout, take a shower and eat a breakfast same time every day there is no morning stress. Everything is in order and going. Habits reduce stress.

Last, but not least, daily habits build self-confidence. If you have a habit of working out daily, you will just look good. If you have a habit of learning Spanish daily, you will speak Spanish. All the upward-downward spiral caused by always starting and quitting is eliminated.

What Are the Most Useful Daily Habits?

We all know that habits are good like working out and bad like smoking. Yet, you might wonder what are the best habits of them all? Where should you start? What to incorporate into your life at the earliest?

  • meditation
  • workout
  • affirmation of gratitude, motivation, self-love, acceptance, forgiveness o stress-release
  • read a book
  • set 2 most important goals for the day
  • review your goals
  • call a friend or relative
  • get up early
  • get enough sleep
  • don’t waste your time procrastinating, commuting, having long meetings
  • laugh as often as you can
  • write down what are you grateful for today
  • take a deep breath
  • spend time in nature
  • step up of your comfort zone
  • do an act of kindness
  • eat healthy/prepare your lunchboxes

How To Make the New Habit to Stick

The rule how to make or break any habit can be said in 3 words. Trigger. Routine. Reward. The rule is same for every person and for every habit. There are only a few of different things that trigger the habitual behavior.

Time. I used to admire the people who are doing things the same time every day. Wake up, eat breakfast, come to work, make a coffee, start working, eat lunch make a coffee and so on. Same time every single day. Then I realize how efficient and beneficial it is. You don’t have to think about it anymore.

Emotions. When you feel some way you do some things. I used to overeat when I felt depressed or sad, and I used to eat many sweets on Friday evening when I was tired. As soon as you realize these habits triggered by emotions you can break them and create a new habit instead. It might sound counterintuitive, but when I feel tired now I go for a run. I learned that if I feel tired after the whole week, it’s my mind tired not my body so a nice run will do me better than a basket of marshmallows.

Environment. Another trigger that can invoke good or bad habits. If you are with friends in the pub your habit is to get a beer. You make yourself a coffee when you come to the office in the morning.

People. Strong trigger as well. We tend to do different things with different people and we usually create a habit of doing something or going some places with them.

If you want to make a habit to stick start small. The smaller the habit the easier it is to stick to it. Create or change your routine using the trigger and reward yourself afterward. You want to meditate in the morning and you are used to brushing your teeth right after bed?

Get out bed, used the teeth brushing as a trigger and every time you finish brushing your teeth start meditation immediately.

After finishing the meditation give yourself some reward. A piece of chocolate, a cup of coffee. Something you enjoy. Soon, you will meditate automatically after brushing your teeth.

This way you can learn any new habit. You just need to overcome the resistance from the beginning and stick to it for 21 days (until your brain rewires and it becomes automatic), afterward it will be a piece of cake.

Good luck.

How to Motivate Yourself to Do What Needs to Be Done?

By |2018-06-16T18:29:55+02:00April 24th, 2018|Work-Life Balance|

If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.

To achieve something we want we need to take small steps consistently day in day out. Yet, it can be very challenging to motivate yourself every.single.day.

Motivation comes and goes in waves. When you are up the wave you are strong, you are positive, you are willing to fight, to work harder, to beat everybody and to show the world you can do it. Those are the days you can easily motivate yourself to do what needs to be done. (more…)

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