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Stop Hating Your Past and Your Future Will Blossom

Is there something from your past, that you did or didn’t do, that really bugs you?

Do you find yourself beating yourself up over it?

Even if you say no, think about this: Is there something that you have wanted to accomplish for a while now, but you just haven’t done it? Why haven’t you done it? Could it be that you are so angry with yourself for letting so much time pass? Could that anger be blocking you from moving forward?

Whether you realize it or not, if you are hating yourself for something in your past, that is going to block your ability to be happy today and to realize the future you want.

Here’s the Good News: You can change your future starting TODAY!

Continue Reading →

10

Frazzled? Get Your Life Together with “Simply Put Together”

Simply Put Together

Does your life feel scattered? Is your desk swimming in post-it notes and to-do lists? Do you find difficulty coordinating your schedule, your family’s schedule and work’s schedule? Do you have goals that you never get to? Are there old friends you never get around to calling? Would you love to live a simpler life, but have a tough time finding time to make that happen?

If you can relate to any of these issues then I have a super recommendation for you. It is a self-help book/planner/organizer called “Simply Put Together” written by Maria Murphy. Continue Reading →

13

My Favorite Productivity Trick

daily-planning.jpg

The “50/10 Focus” Habit

I recently read a great article over at Dawud Miracle’s Blog. He wrote a blog post called How to Stay Focused for Greater Productivity. In his article he gave his most powerful tip for productivity and this is it:

“My productivity tip is focus. For every 60 minutes of the workday, I stay micro focused for 50 minutes. Then I get out of my chair, away from my computer and out of my office for 8 minutes (give or take). The remaining two minutes I settle back down in my chair, look over my next todos and look at what I can accomplish in the next 50 minutes. Then I’m off to the races again.”

This has been something I aspire to do daily, but sometimes I forget. I now have a reminder on my computer that simply says “50/10 Focus.” I’d like to thank Dawud for helping me get back into this awesome productivity habit.

Dawud’s article links to other bloggers who also chimed in on this topic. You can read the rest of his article here.

Planning for Success.

The companion habit to make the most of the “50/10 Focus” habit is to plan your day and plan your week. Your daily plan is the blueprint for knowing what you should be doing at any given time during the day.

Here’s how I plan my day. I take a piece of paper, often scrap paper or a page in my capture notebook and write the date at the top of the page. I draw a line down the center. In the right column I write “To-Do” and on the left I write “Plan.” I write out all my to-do’s first. Then I plan out my day by inserting those to-do items into time slots.

Often some things will have to wait until the next day because I’m very liberal with building in transition and buffer time. I know that things always take longer than expected so I allot for that. The main thing when planning things is to schedule the most important things first.

Please Share!

What’s your favorite time management trick? Let’s hear your ideas! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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12

How to Kick Your Motivation into High Gear

the long haul

photo by granth

You’ve got the New Year’s Resolutions. Now how are you going to elevate and maintain your motivation to stick with them for the long haul? Here are some solid tips to help you do just that.

Check out the article over at Dumb Little Man:

How to Kick Your Motivation into High Gear

Please Share!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? How do you plan to stick with it? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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14

Next Time You Have to Wait, Remember This

 Waiting

Waiting is the bane of modern living. Whether waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, for a baby to be delivered, for Christmas, for a phone call, for 5pm on Friday, or whatever, waiting drives us mad. But does it have to be that way? Well it depends on your perspective, circumstances, and how you choose to react. The truth is you have the power to transform waiting into a gift.

For many of us in modern society, when faced with waiting, the reaction is automatic and self-destructive. We get tense, irritated, angry, frustated, etc. Can you relate? We start complaining in our head and to others around us. We start thinking that time is being wasted. We focus on the things we could or should be doing instead causing a flood of resentment. The end result is higher blood pressure, headaches, muscle tension, and buildup of toxic chemicals inside our body. And did it change our wait? Nope. Did the waiting cause these problems? No, the negative side effects stem from how we chose to react. The good news is once you become aware, you can stop this destructive pattern.

How to Make Waiting Work for You

1. Change Your Perspective. Make a choice to see waiting as an opportunity, a gift of time, that you can use for some positive result for you or others. Instead of focusing on things you could/should be doing instead, consider how this time can be a gift for you. Consider how you are being relieved of duty for the moment

2. Deep Breathing. When that automatic reaction starts to happen, the first thing to do is to take several deep breaths. This is really good for you because it will release the tension that has been building up in you while you weren’t paying attention. The difference between this and “huffing and puffing” is your intention. With deep breathing your intention is to release tension. With huffing and puffing it is like blowing up a stress balloon inside yourself, holding in and increasing your aggravation. Deep breathing is done with a sense of letting it all out.

3. Work with the Wait Time, Don’t Fight It. Ask yourself “What can I do right now that would make this time good for me or for others?” Here are some examples of what you can do during waiting time.

  • Relax

  • Think

  • Plan (in your head or on paper)

  • Meditate

  • Daydream

  • Create (ideas, art, knitting, etc)

  • Read (book, magazine, online with cellphone)

  • Draw or Doodle

  • Call a friend

Obviously circumstances will dictate which of these things are feasible. Look for ways to modify them to your circumstances, though, instead of ruling them out completely.Â

4. If You Are Uncomfortable or in Pain While Waiting. Seek to alleviate the discomfort if possible. If that’s not feasible, then try distracting yourself with something. If that doesn’t work then seek to find peace amidst the discomfort. Use deep breathing. Don’t actively fret about your pain or discomfort. Attempt, instead, to observe it as if you were an outsider. In other words become immersed in it and assume a zen like state of being in the moment. Everything is temporary. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever. Depending on your level of discomfort this can be quite challenging, and at the same time quite rewarding. You will discover strength you didn’t know you had. In the end, your waiting time may still be uncomfortable, but you won’t be making it worse with building frustration.

Read more about changing your perspective towards events in your life beyond waiting in this article by my blogging friend Edward Mills at Evolving Times. Learn how to stop labeling things as “bad” and find the good in everything. The article is really eye opening and will make a difference in your life starting today. I’m sure once you visit his blog, you’ll probably want to subscribe!

Please Share!

What are your best tips for when you have to wait? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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17

How to Get Unstuck: Overcoming Writer’s Block


stuck in the mud

Break the Procrastination Habit Today

Does this ever happen to you? You sit down to write or create something and you end up doing everything but writing and creating. And then suddenly it’s the end of the day and you think “How did the day slip away from me? Arg!” It slips away because we find ways to procrastinate, often in the name of getting things done. The truth is we need to make our writing, art, and creation time a priority before we can overcome the procrastination habit.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

The reason people procrastinate is usually because of a few reasons:

  • Seeking Pleasure. You’re looking for a little serotonin fix a la checking email, blog stats, or some other compulsive pleasure producer.
  • Avoiding Pain. You’ve got your mind thinking only about the work and not the pleasure you’ll get from completing your creation.
  • Lack of Direction. You’re not sure what the next step is in your writing or what you are trying to create.
  • Faulty Prioritization. You have other things to do and you are inadvertently prioritizing them higher than your creation work. (a.k.a. procrastination by doing things)


How to Break the Procrastination Habit and Get Back to Creating

1. Make a Mental Commitment. Commit to doing your writing/creation work first before anything else. If you are reading this then it is probably important to you. Focus on how good it will feel when you complete solid progress on your creation work each day. The other things on your list can be done later.

2. Plan Your Day. Write out what you need to accomplish today including your creation work. Then prioritize each item with creation work being #1. Then schedule each item into a time slot for the day. Be realistic about your time frames and be sure to include transition and buffer time in between activities. Keep some time open for unplanned items. When your other tasks have been scheduled then your mind will be free to focus on writing and creating.

3. Clear Your Desk. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and get everything piled up or put away somewhere else. Leave another 5-10 minutes at the end of your creation time to organize and put everything in it’s place. Don’t get sucked into organizing the items on your desk. Just move them out of sight so they won’t be grabbing your attention while you’re trying to create.

4. Clear Your Computer. Close all windows that don’t relate to what you’re creating. If there is anything you need to look at later, write it down in your capture notebook to review and prioritize later. You’ll be amazed how much unnecessary stuff will be eliminated from your life this way.

5. Start Writing or Creating. Just write/create. Don’t stop. Don’t censor or edit. Anytime you come to a sticking point, find a way to highlight it and come back to it later. Examples:

  • Title: Just fill in a crappy working title. Once the piece is written then it will be easy to bring the title into focus.
  • Items to research: Highlight and return to it after the piece is written.
  • Items to hyperlink: Highlight and create your links after the whole piece is written.

6. Writer’s Block. If you’ve been procrastinating because you can’t find the words, don’t know where to start or what comes next then it is time to get away from your computer. Transition to the simple tools of paper and pen. If you’re still blocked, get away from paper and pen and find a place to daydream. Try both lighted and dark rooms. Try closing your eyes and ask yourself:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • What do I want to create?
  • What do I want to say?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What do I need to communicate?
  • What action (if any) do I want my readers to take?
  • How do I want them to feel?

Take as much time as you can. Really daydream. Don’t censor yourself. Be wild and free and loose with your ideas. There will be plenty of time later to hone your creation later. When you’re done, say after 20 minutes, then grab a piece of paper and quickly write down the main ideas you came up with.

7. If You’re Still Stuck in the Muck. You might be trying to hard or you may need a significant break. The cure is to get away from the task altogether to allow your conscious mind to unwind from the project. Don’t worry, your subconscious mind will continue to process and solve your next steps. Try doing something completely unrelated like going to the zoo, playing a sport, or going to see a movie. When you return you should have a better perspective and a renewal of energy. You may discover that you were going down the wrong path completely and you need to start anew. Even if you are contracted to create for someone else and you’re not into it, make it a goal to find a way to get excited about the project and have fun.

Please Share!

How do you get unstuck? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

 

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24

5 Simple Steps to Power Up Your Productivity

If you’re frustrated with your level of productivity, I’ve got a very simple and easy solution for you that never fails.

Please hop on over to Dumb Little Man and check it out today. If you like it, perhaps you’ll consider voting for it on Digg. Thank you!

5 Simple Steps to Power Up Your Productivity

productivity

Please Share!

What are your productivity tips? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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