Put Procrastination In Its Place

Put Procrastination In Its Place

 

Unless you’re some sort of mental warrior you’ve probably found yourself dealing the procrastination issues from time to time. (For some the problem runs more along the lines of – all the time.) Whether you’re a sometimes procrastinator or an always procrastinator there are a few things you can do to put procrastination in its place.

 

Start with the hard stuff

You may find that the hardest thing on your to-do list is the thing that gets pushed forward day after day. That hard thing is probably one of the things at the root of your current bout of procrastination, so get it out of the way first. Tackle the hardest thing first thing in the morning when you have the most energy and brain power. Meet the enemy head on so procrastination can’t hide behind it. Even if you don’t finish that’s okay. Getting started on it is important.

 

The Zeigarnik effect has shown that starting a task and leaving it unfinished causes your brain to keep on working on the task even after you’ve stopped giving it your full attention. That means when you get back to it (first thing the next day) you’ll have an easier time of it because your brain never completely let it go. You won’t even have to battle so hard against procrastination!

 

Remind yourself how capable you are

You have succeeded at many things before. Remind yourself how capable you truly are. Take a couple of minutes to sit with your breath. Full deep breaths where you feel past successes in your body.

 

Turn your phone off

Give yourself dedicated time without interruptions. Turn your phone off. Don’t check your email. Have a block of dedicated time where the only thing you are going to think about is the task at hand. (Our natural body rhythms work on 90 minute cycles that’s an deal amount of time to give yourself.)

 

Challenge yourself

It may sound crazy to make the task even harder than it is, but sometimes if you have to work harder at something it forces your attention and makes it easier to concentrate on what you’re doing and stick with it!

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Breaking The Bonds of Worry

Breaking The Bonds of Worry

 

Like so many other things, worry can be good in small amounts, but disastrous when left unchecked.

 

When you realize you’ve done something wrong or someone isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do, or something is going wrong, you might get worried on the way to getting the situation rectified. A little worry is good. It can get the ball rolling by spurring you into change mode.  Too much worry leads to sleepless nights, illness and can often be paralyzing.

 

In the words of Erma Bombeck, “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it never gets you anywhere.”

 

When you’re stuck in a worry cycle things feel out of control. Once you take steps to change the situation you regain that control.

 

So, once worry has done its job, identifying that there is a problem, it’s time to move on to the words of the Dali Lama, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

 

Easy for the Dali Lama to say. Simply deciding to stop worrying isn’t as easy as it sounds. We’re conditioned to worry. We’re hit by worrying news day in and day out on our newsfeeds, on every screen we turn to, in the newspapers, on TV. It seems like there’s always one threat or another waiting around the corner, so when it comes to our personal and professional lives we’re already primed to worry about those too. However, as wise Erma points out, as occupying as worrying can be, it will never of itself solve anything. Here are a few tips to help you vacate that chair:

 

Identify the problem

Sometimes we simply feel a general sense of unease about a situation. If you don’t know what the problem is, work on identifying it. If you do know the cause of the problem, try and drill past generalities down to specifics. For example if you’re worried someone on your team isn’t pulling their weight try to figure out exactly why you feel that way. Write down examples of the problem. Shave it down to the core.

 

Take action

Now that you know precisely what’s bothering you, take tangible steps to change it. Worrying holds on to the problem. Taking steps to change it, helps you release it.

 

Worst case scenario

Our imaginations often jump from problem directly to worst case scenario outcomes. Since worst case is by definition the worst case, let yourself imagine it. Now come up with a contingency plan. You probably won’t need it, but having something in place can ally your worries.

 

Release it

Once you’ve done everything you can to change the situation, let it go. Things will unfold on their own from there whether you wear grooves into the floor with the constant rocking of your chair or whether you go out for a walk in the sun. So you might as well enjoy the sun! Remember, life isn’t made for sitting around worrying, it’s made for taking charge action!

 

Other ways to release worry can include meditating and staying hydrated. Here’s a list of helpful worry releasing ideas from tiny buddah

What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy?

“What makes you happy?” Should be an easy question. You know what makes you happy right? But as many of us know, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes when we’re down, we’re not sure how to get back up. If you feel like you’re not as happy as you should be, and you’re looking for ways to be happier, we’ve got some ideas to help put a smile on your face.

Be Generous

When you ask yourself, “How can I be happier?” you might assume the answer is about what you can do for you. However, when outlining his 10 tips for happiness, Pope Francis listed “Be giving of yourself to others” as number 2. Giving of your time and efforts for the benefit of others has a weird way of making you feel good.

Turn Off

Falling into the habit of being busy all the time leads to stress and fatigue. When we are constantly on the go, we don’t give ourselves time to decompress. “Have a habit of disengagement.” says Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer. Everyday Joel goes for a walk in the evening to clear his mind and reboot. This gives him the time to work through things and find solutions to the day’s problems.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Moods and attitudes have a way of rubbing off on those around them. If you find yourself in the company of people who are often negative and ornery, chances are you’ll slip in to the same mood. The same is true for surrounding yourself with happier, positive people. If you’re around happy people, slowly you’ll find you can’t help but smile.

Get Some Sleep

If you’re tired, remembering happy things is actually more difficult than remembering negative things. Being rested also helps with productivity and will improve your reaction to negative emotions.

Drink Water

Hydration is important. You’re about 60% water and maintaining your hydration is essential for a variety of reasons. Water carries nutrients and detoxifies the body. Drinking the right amount of water per day (about 8 glasses) keeps you from getting too irritable and helps you stay mentally alert.

 

If you take time to focus on your day-to-day well

Have A Phenomenal Phone Interview

Have A Phenomenal Phone Interview

Through the years of your career you’re going to have all kinds of interviews. One-on-one in person interviews are the most common, but there will also be group interviews, Skype interviews, phone interviews, quick ones in a café, the list goes on and on.

 

Today we’re going to talk about phone interviews and what you can do to excel.

 

Treat it like a regular interview

Because the interview is on the phone, you may be inclined to treat it as less serious or more preliminary than a regular interview. If you have any intention of moving on to that next interview you’d better take this first one on the phone seriously. Which brings us to our next point.

 

Prepare

No matter whether the interview is on the phone, in person, on Skype or via satellite from the moon to Earth, your first priority is to prepare for it.  Research the industry and the specific company. Check out their website. See what they post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Which brings us to our next point.

 

Make a list of questions

All that homework may trigger questions on your part. Write them down. Have questions ready about the company, the job you’re applying for, the sort of future they envision for you. They will ask you if you have questions. Have some ready.

 

Use common sense

Don’t think it would be okay to have this interview on the go, in a coffee shop or during a commute or somewhere noisy. Find a quiet room and get yourself comfortable in there. Also make sure your phone is charged! The last thing you want is to suddenly notice you’re about to run out of power in the middle of the interview. Also if you expect the interview to take fifteen minutes leave yourself half an hour. If you expect it to run half an hour then leave yourself at least 45 minutes. Give yourself plenty of extra time.

 

Act like you are there in person

If this was an in-person interview you would have a smile on your face and you’d be sitting up all tall and attentive so do those things during the phone interview. You would be amazed how much body language and facial expression come across over the phone.

 

Take notes

Make sure you take notes of the sorts of questions you were asked during the interview. These are the sorts of things that will come up in the next interview. Use them to help you prepare.

 

Thank you

Finish the interview off by thanking the interviewer for their time and letting them know you look forward to meeting them in person.

 

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

 

If you are not a writer, you might wonder what writing a book has to do with your career. At first glance, maybe not much, but if you look a little closer you will see it has a lot to do with your initiative, and with getting ahead in your career and your life.

 

A question of initiative

If there’s a better way of doing something at work, should you wait for someone else to figure it out or should you go ahead and do something about it? It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to hope someone else will change things. However, hoping and complaining do not, in general have any effect on life’s outcomes.

 

Even if you feel like it isn’t your place to step in and make suggestions, go ahead and do it anyway. Best case scenario your efforts will help make a change that will benefit you and everyone else who has to deal with that situation. Worst case scenario, your efforts will be noticed and appreciated.

 

Improvements never happen by leaving things the way they are

Maybe it’s not a question of figuring out a way of doing something better. Maybe it’s a question of a complete overhaul. A brand new way of doing something. Or a brand new way of thinking about something. Less a question of building a mouse trap and more a question of realizing a mouse trap needed to be invented in the first place.

 

Obviously writing a book – or figuring out a new way of doing something is a big undertaking and complaining and wishing someone else would fix the problem are much easier. But remember effort and reward are usually proportional to each other. So the harder you have to work to get something done, the greater the reward in your accomplishments.

Internships – A Great Way to Get Experience

Internships - A Great Way to Get Experience

Whether you’re looking for experience to fill out your resume, or you’re interested in learning more about a particular field or company, internships are an outstanding way to learn, make connections and grow as a person and a professional.

 

Check out these eleven awesome internship opportunities from The Muse.