Archive for life skills

5 Tips to Tackle Procrastination

By · October 9, 2009 · Filed in life skills · 3 Comments »

Procrastination is a nasty little habit in which individuals habitually put off the things they need to do.  It’s a practice that hampers productivity and can lead to a mountain of stress, but this stress could easily be avoided with an effective plan to tackle it.  This article will explore some of the quickest methods for ridding procrastination from your routine.

Each tip will help boost your performance and make you more relaxed and confident about each new day.  If you are ready to rid your procrastination then keep reading for how to get real results in your life in a very short time.  However, the key to ending procrastination is in action.  You have to do these tips in order to see if and how they work for you.

1.  Make an Appointment with Yourself

If you are anything like me, your life is filled with a multitude of meetings, appointments and obligations.  You bend over backwards to make sure the people you work and live with are happy and content.  But how much time do you spend with yourself, planning your own happiness?

I urge you to make an appointment with yourself and just engage in self-talk conducive to your own success.  If you are not planning your happiness and scheduling “me” time then who is? Make important but realistic promises to yourself and vow to stick to them.  Try it, it will feel good I promise.

2.  Make a List

With each new day, you probably find yourself juggling a thousand and one thoughts.  You struggle to remember each of your tasks, but undoubtedly something will be missed.  This is a process that requires a lot of energy to maintain and will gradually create unnecessary stress in your life.

To avoid this, start each morning with a list—a prioritized list of the things you want to accomplish for that day only.  This is not a “wish” list, but an “absolute” must list. Use this list as a road map to navigate your day, crossing items off as you achieve them.  Remember to celebrate after each item is crossed off.

When it comes to tasks a list will help eliminate procrastination and keep you focused on what is really important.  Moreover, this list will release the thoughts from your head, and help eliminate the stress they can cause.  Another style of writing that many people prefer is keep track of their thoughts in a journal.

3.  Slay the Beast First

There is probably one particularly difficult task in your life that stands out.  It may be a task you’ve avoided for quite some time, constantly putting it off and making excuses for why it couldn’t be done.  It’s only an illusion that you cannot do it, eventually you will have to own up to your inability to learn.  Then you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn it sooner.  No wonder using this method eventually causes a great deal of stress.

What is the one thing that you could do that you are avoiding, but if you did do it, it would completely change your situation?  Put this “beastly” task at the top of your list and get to work attacking it first.  Focus on slaying it and stay proactive.  Why not make a game of it and pretend your actions will determine if the who wins between you and the beast.  The more inspired actions you take the less likely the beast will win.

The relief you will feel as a result of completion will be rewarding.  This will help provide a remarkable sense of momentum in your life, making subsequent tasks that much easier.  Just think, if you can slay the beast… you can do anything!

4.  Get organized

You may think organization has nothing to do with procrastination, but I beg to differ.  A cluttered life will almost always lead to a cluttered mind.  The mind reflects your ability to get exterior results and the disorganization in your life can make any project seem impossible.

Everything in your life costs you energy to maintain.  The more papers, to-do notes and unsatisfactory relationships you have in your life, the less energy you have to focus on what is really important.  When you are tired at the end of the day and don’t want to take the extra step for your dreams, getting organized can help motivate you to move forward.

Spend a day organizing your life.  If you cannot devote an entire day at once, schedule two – 8 hour days or three – 5 hour days.  Take time to catch up on whatever in your life requires the most attention.  Make a folder for each of your important papers and file them alphabetically.  Check and answer emails.  Pay those late bills.  You know where you have been neglecting responsibility, start by paying some attention there.

When you feel more organized you will be less likely to put off the tasks in your life.  They will seem more manageable and you will feel less stress.  When you feel less stress you will want to do more with your self and your time.

5.  Schedule Leisure Time

Everybody needs time to unwind and refuel.  Whether you are a hotel maid or a Wall Street millionaire, you need to have time in your life reserved solely for the things that are most important to you.  However, most people are caught in the trap of “I have to…, but I can’t”, or “I can’t, because I have to…”.

For example, you might not think that you have the time or money to take a vacation because you are paying down debt or saving for something special.  But if you don’t invest good quality time out for yourself you will soon be paying the price in other ways.  Your health or your spiritual well-being can suffer if you don’t take a break.

Most people neglect doing the things they need to do and then out of guilt try and do things they cannot do. Avoid this trap by simply taking time out of your schedule to take a healthy break. Stick to this time, relaxing only during the parameters you have set.

With your leisure time now set, use the other time to work diligently, pursuing each of your goals without procrastination.

7 Tips for an Amazing School Year p2.

By · September 10, 2009 · Filed in life skills · No Comments »

The previous blog post discussed 3 tips to help you thrive and not just survive when it comes to school. Here are the remaining 4 tips, keep these in mind and you’ll be sure to experience an absolutely amazing school year.

4. Discover.

School is a time to discover new things including yourself. Learning new things gives you the opportunity to change and grow with new information. Have you recognized your own growth over the past few years? In what ways have you grown and matured? What do you classes to you enjoy? What subjects are you good at? What new courses or projects will excite you to take on this year?

It may seem selfish to spend time thinking about yourself but if you don’t do it, nobody else will! Therefore, you might as well start to get to know yourself because no matter where you go, there you’ll be. You can never lose yourself. The sooner you start inquiring into these questions the sooner you can start to receive answers for creating more fun, joy and results in your life.

If you discover only one thing this year, discover the values in which you stand for. Why is it important to know what you stand for in school? Because if you do not know what you stand for, you simply may just fall for anything.

What should you stand for? Keep it simple and real by always standing for what you believe in your heart.

5. Grow.

You are a powerful being that is constantly unfolding a new person from within. School provides the perfect opportunity to stretch yourself. Nature also grows based upon this principal, for example picture the development of a tree. The tree doesn’t get bigger because the bark grows from the exterior, the tree grows from the inside out. You do too!

Don’t buy into the pressure to seek “material” success. The fanciest pencil case, cool shoes or most expensive jeans, etc. These are all exterior representations of yourself, and we all know what matters and counts is what’s on the inside. No matter what the appearances are on the outside, the real question you need to be concerned about is: “Are you happy with the person who is inside?”

Are you unfolding into a fair, joyful, giving, kind and loving person?  Or.. are you continuing to practice being a person who is jealous, angry, vindictive, revengeful and full of fear? In life, the fruits of your labour will depend on what type of tree you are. The good news is, this decision is solely yours to make.

Use your Imagination to explore the following ‘Power Questions’:

“What kind of tree am I becoming?”, “What fruits do I wish to bear this year?”, “What keeps me firmly rooted during bad weather?”

6. Fail.

One of the biggest investments you can make in your future right now is to learn to be comfortable when you are uncomfortable. More specifically, you must learn how to view failure in a healthy way in order to learn and grow from the experience. To avoid being paralyzed in fear you must adopt a perspective along the lines that says: “Experience is what occurs when I fall short of my goals.”

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt

The secret that smart and successful people have realized is that they will never be completely comfortable when doing something new, so they just practice doing it anyway. In fact, the only difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people in life make a habit of doing the things that the unsuccessful people are too uncomfortable doing.

When you practice being comfortable when doing new things you are building your ability to respond, or your response-ability. If you resist the feeling of experiencing the uncomfortable feeling, you will never be able to practice being comfortable in new situations because you will be too busy “being” uncomfortable.

It is delusional to think that feeling good about doing something will come before the practice. Feelings always lag behind action. Get familiar to the proper order of things by practicing doing something new without judgement or reservation. You goal is to practice doing something you are not very good at and experience whatever feelings arise.

Before, during, and after you try something new, say the following power affirmation(s) out loud to yourself:

Personal Power Affirmations: “I am a winner”, ” “I can win”, “I will do prevail!”

7. Participate.

What activities do you want to participate in? What ‘good’ are you going to contribute too this year?

Are you a good team player? Can people count on you? Can you rely on other people? Do other people benefit in a positive way from having you around? The only way to be an effective person is to start practicing. Volunteer work and team sports are two great environments to practice your participation muscle.

Joining a team or becoming a member of a group can help you foster the social dynamic skills necessary to compete in today’s “real world”. Remember, when you graduate out of school you will still have to deal with other people and work in groups, so the sooner you start preparing to be an effective team player the better.

Begin by researching places you would like to volunteer. Do you want to rescue animals? How about being a Big Sister or Big Brother? Feed the homeless? You could even volunteer to babysit for neighbors so that they can enjoy a romantic night out. Volunteering is also great for connecting with people who believe in the same cause. If you cannot give your time then find a cause you can afford to support financially.

Another way you could get active is by joining a team, club or association. Teamwork teaches you social dynamics, accountability and discipline. Working with people can teach you a lot about your self and your emotions. The sooner you learn how to manage your emotional state the better. Learning discipline is also easier with the guidance of a school coach and the support of teammates.

What are some sports that appeal to you that will get your heart racing and exercise the mind? Not athletic at all? Try running or jogging because doing 10 minutes or more of aerobic exercise will help dose those grumpy feelings and help to moderate your mood.

Note: If you haven’t yet disciplined your mind don’t worry, it’s never too late to start, and it is always too early to quit.

Keep this list in mind the next time you want to craft up an amazing school year. Some of these exercises and questions may seem difficult at first but the sooner you start exploring your values and answering some of these tough questions the easier your year will be. You can not change what you are not aware of. The sooner you discover your unsupportive habits of thinking, feeling and doing, the faster you can get onto things you really enjoy.