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8 Signs Your Time Management Sucks

Managing your time effectively is a useful skill to have especially these days when there are so many opportunities and options that we can choose from out there. Many people who are always on the go would like to believe that they are good at managing their time however some of those people (namely people like me) may not realize time management goes so much further than just being able to complete tasks on time but rather choosing wisely which opportunities to go after.

And if you’re like me and despite being able to complete your tasks on time but have this sinking feeling like somehow

Then read on because I did a similar article last year (around this time too) about managing time but somehow I just get a feeling that I’m still not utilizing my time to the fullest. So below are a few signs to help you figure out whether or not you have a problem when it comes to managing your time:

1. Being Tardy to almost everything.

I do understand that it is difficult to always be on time but if you’re finding yourself late to every single event you may need to stop for a minute and reassess your ability to properly manage your time. Although I am hardly ever late, but I have been on the other end of the waiting game where I once had to wait 45 minutes for someone and believe me it was not fun.

I remember awkwardly sitting in the shop telling the waiter ‘Oh no, I’m still waiting for someone and am not ready to order’ all while I was using their Wi-Fi on my computer.

2. Having to always rush for something

Does your life feel like a never ending marathon where you keep switching from one task to another? I must admit that there too was a time where I used to think that being in an unending state of rushing means that I am being productive but I’ve come to realise that I was wrong.

When I’m always rushing it usually means that I have failed to estimate the time needed to complete a certain task accurately thus leaving me almost zero time to properly plan for all the components that needs my attention. That’s bad time management right there.

3. A drop in performance at work

Speaking of having almost zero time, when I have a ton of things to do but with not enough bandwidth to do all of them I tend to try and do all of them at once – yes I know that’s not very smart but I can’t help it the never give up attitude in me refuse to let me admit that I can’t do something.

The result of such a situation has often also affected my ability to perform. And the red flags go way up for me that it’s time to reevaluate the situation and get a more realistic grip on my scheduling skills.

4. Always feeling tired or stressed

It’s simply horrifying now that I stop to think about it -how the inability to manage time can affect so many aspects of my life? The inability to manage time usually leaves people feeling either like stressed by the amount of work they have to do or tired because they’re forever catching up to the things they have to do.

If you are always overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to do maybe it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate how you’re filling up your schedule instead of stressing about always not doing something. Life is supposed to be about a balance of doing the things you want to do and doing the things you have to do.

5. Having to go back on your word

Remember that one time where you promised your best friend you will be there for her open mic but had to cancel last minute because you have too much work or remember the other time you promised your sister you would buy your mother a birthday present but only realized your forgot to get anything a day after your mum’s birthday?

I will be there first to admit I may have found myself in one of those situations and then some. When I started forgetting three events in a row that’s when I know – yep I probably need to stop having that weird fear of missing out when I say yes to everything.

6. You are known to procrastinate

If you’re not sure whether you are known to procrastinate here’s a quick test.

Step 1: Are you supposed to be doing something?

If answer is YES.

Then: Are you doing anything else to avoid doing that something?

If answer is still YES:

You’re procrastinating.

But what if it’s something else that is equally as important?

Yes, you’re still procrastinating.

Just think of it this way, if the guy at McDonalds gave you a double cheese burger when you asked for a Big Mac. Does it still count as him getting your order wrong?

(Image from http://kingdom-hearts-unlimited.wikia.com/wiki/Yzma)

The answer is YES, although you may think what you’re doing to replace it is equally as important but just like the Double Cheese Burger it isn’t the same thing.

7. Unwilling to delegate tasks

If you are a firm believer in the saying ‘If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself!’ then you my friend are most likely not using your time effectively. Can we all agree that it is almost next to impossible to do everything by yourself?

By taking on everything on your own and having a fear to let anyone else do even the simplest of things is a vice you have then it’s time to lose that vice because there’s a big red siren going off somewhere that’s going to tell you that you’re not effectively using your time.

8. You are always having to sacrifice the things you really want to do

As fully functioning adults, we all have to make certain sacrifices when it comes to the things we want to do, it could be because of budget restrictions, time restrictions or even prior commitments we have made to help others. But if you always have to sacrifice doing things that you really want to do because you don’t have time then it is time to fess up and admit that you have bad time management.

5 Lessons To Learn From Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or more commonly known as the Lunar New Year is a time of togetherness, it is a time of throwing out the old and welcoming the new, Chinese New Year at its core is quite similar to the Gregorian New Year as they both share the same spirit of starting a new but with a whole lot more fireworks and whole lot less of drunken partying. It is a yearly affair in which many Chinese people (this author included) look forward to, as we spend time with family over a tremendous amount of food and equally tremendous amounts of things being coated in red.

Image from partydelights.com

This year as we usher in the year of the Fire Rooster, we go through the motions of yet again following strict traditions in order to usher in good fortune and prevent bad things from happening. Coming from a family that values time together the most, my parents would –to this very day, still insist that we wake up at odd hours of the early morning to travel a couple hundreds of kilometers just to avoid the massive traffic jam in order to spend that extra time with family.

Throughout the many years of celebrating or should I say surviving this auspicious yearly event, I begin to reflect and have realized that there are many things that can be learnt from the many traditions and taboos still practiced today.

Below are five things I’ve learnt from years of successfully surviving the grueling marathon of cleaning a year’s worth of dust in a day, the test of agility and stamina by being part of the crew of people cooking enough food to feed the whole terracotta army, the test of strength and patience in answering uncomfortable questions courtesy of the many extended family members that I cannot begin to name, and the seemingly innocent house visiting and/or guests hosting events that never seem to end.

1.  WHEN IN TROUBLE : TAI CHI YOUR WAY OUT

Gambling, drinking, overeating and giving money away to big babies who do not deserve it has always been big no no in any Chinese household except for a select 15 days in that we like to call the New Year (Chinese). Annually on the Eve of Chinese New Year, Chinese families reunite in their households to usher in more luck and prosperity for the New Year, and this is when the lifting of the strict rules begins.

During this period of time, all rules that were stringently in place and behaviours that are usually frowned upon are allowed and sometimes even encouraged. To me this has been quite a curious phenomenon and from this I have observed that the ability to get away with something unfavourable can also replicated outside this 15 day period using the simple martial arts concept of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is practiced worldwide for good health. It is the concept of pushing away the bad energy from ourselves and changing that energy into good energy and reverting it back to ourselves. This same concept I’ve found can be extrapolated and replicated to other situations outside of Chinese New Year.

When attempting to do something you know will not end very well for you, for example taking an extra cookie from the cookie jar, or maybe wanting to borrow an extra bit of money; it all boils down to pushing away the bad energy from whomever your targeting –by either distracting them or shifting their focus,

Image from diylol.com

making that energy positive again –by providing them with a bit of good news to get them into a good mood,

Image from heardcitizen.com

and then going in for the kill

2.  WHEN IN DOUBT: OBSERVE AND PLAY ALONG

Having a large extended family can make anyone feel dizzy after a while; this is especially the case during Chinese New Year when you have long distanced relatives who are supposed to be your grandmother’s second cousin’s daughter’s husband.

On top of having a long list of unidentified relatives, the list to the many traditions and taboos are equally as long if not longer. Both these situations leave many people in confusion and after a while you will realized that there will always be someone – a cousin, a sibling, a second cousin, who knows exactly what to do in those kind of situations. The best course of action is to then follow that person and play along with confidence almost as though you too are a connoisseur in all things Chinese New Year.

This concept can also be duplicated in other situations as well. Whenever you’ve encountered a roadblock and have absolutely no idea on how to get pass it, look out for people from your peers who might have the solution. I usually share my difficulties in passing with the people I meet; some people may have the answers I’ve been looking for and in the unlikely event that I find that

Image from memegenerator.net)

I'd at least get that person to suggest someone else to give me further clarification.

3.  DO THINGS IN MODERATION

After many years of stuffing my face and breaking the weighing scale after the 15 days are up, I’ve realized that when approaching the goodness of Chinese New Year too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I’ve realized that whenever I’ve gone past my limit I usually say to myself “I’ve already gone past my limit anyway, what one or two more of these is going to change”. Sooner or later this one or two more becomes ten or twenty more and by that time I’ll be regretting my earlier decision of allowing myself to compromise on the little things.

Little things being overlooked will eventually lead to even bigger and bigger things.

Image from pinterest.com

The best way to ensure that you do not break deviate too far from your limit and goals is to do things in moderation. Doing things in moderation takes discipline and continuous effort. You would have to set a limit for yourself and learn when to say no thanks once you’re approaching that limit.

What I’d usually like to do when I realise that I’m nearing my limit especially when it comes to bad habits would be to distract myself with other things long enough for the desire to pass. About 90% of the time the desire to continue on with the bad habit will naturally just disappear.

4. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF A NEGATIVE 'CRITICISM'

Leading up to the festive season a friend of mine posted a very interesting question. She wondered why during the festive season our relatives only asks us really uncomfortable questions. Questions like ‘Are you getting married soon?’, ‘Are you earning a high salary yet?’ and sometimes even the painful ‘You look like you’ve put on more weight this year’ but nobody ever asks you whether you are happy.

And that did get me thinking, why don’t they ever ask you whether you are happy? Is it because the society in which we exists in only functions to make us feel like we’ll never be good enough? Or is it connected to an underlining desire to see us prosper?

Image from pinterest.com

I choose to believe in the later, I choose to believe that my relatives me ask these uncomfortable questions because they associate wealth, appearance and having a stable family as things that will naturally make you a happier and better functioning part of society.

This choice to find a positive action you can take from a mean critic can get you far in life. Instead of being affected by the negativity it's best that you bounce back and try to find action steps to better improve yourself (though this needs to be done after thorough reflection and taking those criticisms you've received with a pinch of salt.)

5.  JUST SMILE AND WAVE

Speaking of intent and dealing with relatives who seem to shoot questions at you faster than a machine gun, the best way of dissuading them of their pursuit is to simply smile and wave. Despite being uncomfortable just smile and wave, despite feeling like sarcastically retorting to their questions just keep smiling and waving, this method works wonders in helping you remain in a happy mood

Image from pinterest.com

Your relatives will tire of asking you questions eventually and when it is all said and done, you’d probably be more likely to get away with even more things next year when you see them again (case in point number 1 above).

In following the fashion of this article, I will now tell you how smiling and waving can applied to other aspects of life. Smiling and waving can distract you long enough to get over the feelings of negativity. If you have a bad habit in which you wish to break start replacing that bad habit with a good habit, and I understand good habits are difficult to cultivate. A trick I used here is to smile whilst attempting to cultivate this good habit and sooner or later I believed that this good habit was something I looked forward to doing.

I hope you’ve found this article useful, write to me and tell me more about what you think about surviving Chinese New Year and maybe we could even exchange ideas on how to survive it better next year.

How To Stand Out While Interning

As you sit (or stand) there by the Xerox printer at 5pm waiting for the final documents of your supervisor’s report –that so happens to be due on her desk tomorrow morning at, counting down the minutes before you bolt out the door. You hear that dreading beeping telling you that there is an error with the machine. You quickly start maniacally pressing every single button available whilst scanning across the room looking for someone who you think will be willing to help out but to no avail. As the feeling of helplessness and frustration begins to kick in, you think to yourself are internships really worth all that it’s hyped up to be?

If the above scenario seems a little too real for you then I hope you find comfort in knowing that we’ve all ( or most of us anyways) have been there and it’s probably a rite of passage one must go through before entering the working world. Internships, especially specialised internship programmes, are growing in popularity these days both in the number of companies offering them and the number of people applying for such positions.

Internships are a great way for an organisation to not only recruit great talent even before they graduate but also a great way to keep a steady pulse on the changing needs of their future workforce. Then you might be thinking

Image from memegenerator.com

There are many benefits to doing an internship ( though we cannot deny there are some downsides but) the upsides are:

· You get to have a test run of what the working world is really like before diving head first

· You get to gain valuable insights and knowledge you’d probably not get anywhere else, and

· Lastly if you are outstanding it will most likely guarantee you a job once you graduate/ finish your internship.

Therefore for you to get to that end goal of securing that job here are a few things to keep in mind to stand out while interning.

ALWAYS ACT PROFESSIONAL

You might be thinking

Image from quickmeme.com

However, being professional goes so much further than how you dress and how you do your work. It also includes the way you speak with other people and how you carry yourself in the work setting. The degree as to how ‘professional’ you should act are also subjective to the organisation, therefore the best way to know what level of professionalism you should adhere to is to observe those who are already in the organisation. How people act are a good indicator as to the company culture and how you should act as well.

GET TO KNOW YOUR BOSS

Every boss is unique and has different working styles. Sometimes we interns may get stuck with a really sucky boss/ superior but that is not to say that there is no good thing that can come out of it. Know his/her working styles, what he likes or dislikes and what is his values both as an individual and as a professional.

This is not to say that you spend all your time with your boss nor this is to say that you’re always there with a cup of coffee in the morning when he enters the office – unless you’re absolutely sure that is what he needs to start the day, because really that’ll only make you look like a kiss ass to the other people in the office. Observe from the way he presents his ideas to others, observe how other people behave around him and from there it would give you a good guestimation on who he/she is as an individual and how to anticipate what he requires of you before even asking for it.

BE THERE TO LEARN

Interning is your best chance to learn all you can and absorb everything like a sponge, try your very best to get into projects that’ll give you the best opportunity to learn something new. Try your very best to say yes to projects that you have no experience in because chances are everything they throw at you is going to be something new. Say yes and figure it out along the way.

A word of caution though, don’t say that you know how to do something when you clearly don’t, say you are willing to learn and would need some guidance in the area because that way that would set a manageable expectation for the person giving you the task. Do your research on the task and ask questions should you be unsure about anything. The best way is to either ask other interns first or ask those in the organisation whom you can trust to validate that what you’re asking isn’t some trivial question that may trigger the person giving you the task.

HUMBLE YOURSELF

Being young and well educated can sometimes lead us to thinking that you probably can do a better job that so and so but the likelihood of you knowing more on how things are run and what should be done at the organisation are probably really low. That is not to say that you aren’t an outstanding individual and can probably do a great job but sometimes it is good humble ourselves to just living the experience and learning how to play nice with others.

If you feel that you could add value and help things run a little more efficiently than by all means I do suggest you voice your opinion but keep in mind the way you phrase your sentence or question can make all the difference between people (or worse your boss) thinking you’re a know-it-all snob versus a genuinely curious pro-active intern trying to make the workspace a better place.

And if all else fails I suppose you can always continue studying! So don't sweat the small stuff, stay focused and just do your best!

Start Committing To Taking Action

Happy New Year! Yes it is still technically the new year as I’d like to believe that last week was a practice run for the real 2017! And every year during this time when we scroll through our social media feed, we can’t seem to shake the never ending posts of people determined to be a better person this year. And as you sit there on your phone scrolling you think back and say to yourself

Image taken from ginavalley.com

Though it does feel like we’ve been busy the whole of 2016, in a frenzy running around doing things, but let’s be honest that’s just what life is - busy. We occupy our time with things to keep us busy so we don’t have to face the reality that we’re really just running around in circles and not really getting anywhere.

If you’re tired of running around and feel that this is the year you want to make the leap forwards below are a few steps you can take to see your plan to fruition.

CONQUER YOUR FEAR

Most of time, people are unable to take action because there is an innate fear within them that leaves them paralysed (sometimes it’s the lack of drive) but most of the time it’s fear. Fear of failure, fear or letting other people down, fear that the road ahead is going to be difficult and rough.

This year choose courage over fear and the best way to do it is to start by understanding what exactly is it that you want. It’s usually easier for us to downplay our fears when we can see the benefits outweighing the costs.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR GOAL

The next step after you’ve gotten over your fear you need to map out a plan to get to your goal. In his bestselling book the 7 habits of highly effective people, Stephen Covey says that people who are highly successful usually start with the end in mind. This is a great concept that will help us understand our goal.

To start with the end in mind, you would have to begin each day, task, or project with a clear visualization on what you want to achieve at the end of the day. This goal needs to be specific, actionable and measurable.

With the goal in mind, you would have to work backwards on what action steps you would have to take in order to get to that goal..

HAVE A PLAN

Map out your action steps through careful planning. Think of possible challenges that you may face and opportunities you will have to seize in order to get from one step to another. Start by setting up mini goals or mini ‘upgrades’ you have to go through so that the cumulative of these goals will lead you to your ultimate goal.

The next step is to set up a general timeline of what you want to achieve and by when you want to achieve this goal. Set up check points to motivate you and give yourself that little added pressure in order to sustain your motivation. For example if your plan is to start and run a successful online business with revenues amounting to $500,000 then your plan would be a breakdown of each month and the things that you would have to get done and the sales you would have to make in order to get to that $500,000 mark.

The easiest way to do this is to break down what are the different components of your resolution and set up weekly or monthly milestones that you need to unlock. This reprograms your brain into thinking it as more of a game or a challenge that you can unlock instead of an arduous task that you have to complete at the expense of your own comfort.

TAKING THE NEXT SMALL STEP

As you look at your plan, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to get done and right about now that little voice in your head is probably already saying that it’s too much effort.

Now more than ever you have to start doing something because if you let that voice in your head convince you that you can’t do it, you’re back to square one. Just start doing something, pen an email to someone who think might help, go online a Google for ways to start an online business ( or whatever it is that you want to do). Just keep taking small steps forward and stick to your timeline because sooner or later by just doing what is possible you’d surprise yourself by doing what is impossible

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOURSELF

Last be true to yourself, you can get someone to be your accountability buddy to track your progress but in all truth and honesty

Working towards bettering different areas of our lives is bound to be difficult but it doesn’t have to be. Things like leading a healthier lifestyle or saving more (or starting to save) money are probably difficult things to start doing.

Image from memecenter.com

The only person who can make a change in your life is you so it’s about time that we try our very best to stay discipline and do whatever it takes to get there.

I’m rooting for you! You can do this!

Starting The Year Right

As we wake up for work (or classes) today on the third day of the New Year, most of you are probably already contemplating breaking that good streak of going to the gym every morning.

New year’s is a magical thing, it gives many people –especially people who’ve always been putting off doing important things, the sudden rush of motivation to want to do/be better and conquer the mountains in their life, however this rush of motivation can only last for so long and when this motivation eventually fades off, we go back to doing things we’ve always been doing.

We sometimes think that maybe we’re just not meant to better ourselves, or think that we don’t have enough will power to carry through with what we’ve set out to do because the tasks is probably impossible. If you’re thinking this you’re probably right. Eventually you will give up mid-way and tell yourself that next year it will be different.

Instead of beating yourself up about not being able to sustain your motivation, let’s start this year a little differently. At this point of the year while you’re still on that motivation high, it’s time we take a pause, sit down and take a good look at how we’re going to go about sustaining this motivation and maybe, just maybe this year will finally be the year we achieve that same New Year’s resolution that we’ve had since 2012.

Here are a few ways in which you can start your year right in order to sustain that motivation to make this year your best year yet

STOP RELYING ON YOUR RESOLUTION

Some people may suggest that to achieve your goal you would need to have a big vision board and have it constantly in your face for you to sustain your drive to want to succeed but as mentioned above motivation can only get you so far, what really makes difference is your active choice to want to do something about achieving your goals.

The easiest way to do this is to break down what are the different components of your resolution and set up weekly or monthly milestones that you need to unlock. This reprograms your brain into thinking it as more of a game or a challenge that you can unlock instead of an arduous task that you have to complete at the expense of your own comfort.

THINK OF THE BENEFITS

Working towards bettering different areas of our lives is bound to be difficult but it doesn’t have to be. Things like leading a healthier lifestyle or saving more (or starting to save) money are probably difficult things to start doing.

Most of the time we are probably thinking

We need to start thinking of immediate benefits we can derive from choosing to say exercise or put away money. It may be slightly more of a hassle but if you want to keep that motivation we need to see for ourselves the immediate benefits we can derive from actively taking the decision towards bettering ourselves.

FINDING MORE ENJOYABLE WAYS OF GETTING THERE

For example, I find it absolutely difficult to go to the gym and almost every time for the past year I have been choosing to not go because of ‘reasons’. This year I am committed, I have told myself that for every five days I go to the gym I’ll get to indulge in eating ice cream and that will be my motivating factor to get me going.

You are far more likely to complete something you actually enjoy than to complete something in which you have to drag yourself to. Similar to doing things that you don’t like you are far more likely to do it if you find more creative ways to make it more fun. Distract yourself from the things you don’t want to do with something else more appealing.

JUST KEEP GOING

Whenever you feel like you’ve failed, or you’ve derailed from your original plan in achieving your resolutions this year don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes we get ourselves into this state where we feel that we’ve utterly failed.

Tell yourself It’s alright! We’re all still human after all, all we have to do is just keep going.

Image from memegenerator.com

What are your new year's resolutions that you've been trying to complete since forever? Comment below and let me know!

Things We Accidentally Do At Work

Sometimes despite our best efforts to stay productive and actually do meaningful work, we cannot seem to prevent ourselves from straying off tangent and being distracted by anything and everything especially during these end of year season with Christmas and New Years just around the corner.

Below are the five things that we tend to accidentally do at work:

1. Being busy without actually doing work

Have you ever gotten in bright and early on a Monday morning and just decided that today will be the day I’ll be productive. As you sit down at your desk and look over at the amount of work you have to do, you then decide that you’d probably need coffee first.

After your coffee you decide maybe you should clear your emails, oh and since you’re already organizing online you might as well reorganize your desktop and you definitely would also talk to Sarah from accounting about those claims that you’ve missed out the last time.

Image from mensaycards.com

2. Getting sucked into a black hole online

Doing research or any form of analysis that requires us to work online, has always been a little bit tricky. Not only do we have to comb through thousands of sites for information and cite them properly but we would also have to resists the allure of pop up ads and side bar ads that are strategically placed to intentionally catch our eye.

Not to mention the hyperlinks within the research material. And we could stop, refrain ourselves from being sucked into a black hole of never ending information but

3. Forget that we actually are at work

Another thing that we sometimes accidentally do while at work is that we forget we’re there to actually work. We get so caught up with certain things during our break time that we actually sometimes we’re still at work.

You’d be there talking to your colleague about a report or about a prospective client, intently discussing work matters when suddenly you’ve got the urge to ask him about something else, and another thing and another, after a while you’ve gone so far off tangent that you’ve absolutely no idea how you got there.

4. Munch a little too much.

The pantry the place where we the gravitational pull gets stronger with each day our deadlines get closer. And as much as your try to stop yourself from snacking on those Chinese New Year cookies every 5 minutes, let’s be honest we’ve already exhausted all our will power to continue working on particularly difficult tasks, there simply isn’t enough will power left over for us to resists the cookie jar.

Image from pinterest.com

5. Have discussions that turn into meetings which turns into conferences

You’re set, already working on something when suddenly your colleague needs to run some ideas by you for the big presentation. You put your work on hold and bounce of ideas with your colleague when suddenly the both of you realise that you need a second opinion because you’d want to avoid tunnel vision.

You get another person on board and you slowly move into the nearest meeting room because your discussions are getting a little too animated and loud for the others to concentrate. Ten minutes in and this discussion turns into a meeting with flip charts and an additional two other people. At the end of the meeting you’ve realized that it has turned into a conference with calls to other people in different branches all with the client on hold at the other line.

In these moments, you look around and think to yourself

Image from travelersmug.com)

Note: this piece isn't a self help, nor does it provide you steps to help you with anything. It's just a shout out to everyone who has ever felt that working can get a little too much.

Hang in there and know that there are others who's going through the same things.

distractions

Dealing With Procrastination

It's only a few more weeks till the end of the year and as we get ready for next year I believe that one habit we need to look into seriously kicking is the habit of procrastinating.

Let's face it having to do important things and sticking to a deadline is all part of being a fully functioning working adult and as much as we try to use our time wisely - so that we don't die of stress and exhaustion, there are times (sometimes, special times, okay let's be honest most of the times) when we give in to the lure of temptation and actively choose to do something else.

I've been feeling like I'm in this endless loop of procrastination.

Procrastination can come in many forms whether it is blatantly obvious or discreet. Generally procrastinators fall into three categories: the perfortinators, the busycrasnators and the fearnators. Each type of procrastinator are driven by different motives and sources to procrastinate.

One single common thread that binds all three categories is that we would off doing work until the last minute every single time expecting that it will turn out different but we know deep down that it won’t.

Below are a few different methods to procrastinate less ( because it's definitely impossible to put an end to it) and hopefully regain a little more control over your life.

1. For the Perfortinators

Being a perfortinator means that you’ve mastered the art of performing ‘better under pressure’. Perfortinators are those who can only work if there is enough pressure being exerted onto them. Simply reading the task and doing the work for a mere 5 minutes will not do anything to produce any kind of work. We the perfortinators can only work if we have 48 hours left (sometimes 24 depending on the task).

However sometimes being a perfortinator can be quite tiring and we might want to switch it up a bit and be less stressed the next time another assignment is due. The best way would be to have a task chart or a timeline indicating what needs to be done.

On that timeline set our own deadlines for the task to be carried out. For example assuming that you have 2 months to complete a certain task given to us, we set our own deadlines as to when everything needs to be done by. That way we give ourselves enough pressure while at the same time pacing ourselves enough so that we don’t burn out.

The easiest way to execute this plan would be to use a calendar and then set reminders and deadlines on them for that added pressure to get us to work.

2. For the Busycrasnators

Image from dumpday.com

To those of us who are busycrastnators, we tend to be in denial and prefer to be in the buffering phase of the procrastination cycle. We tend to think we have a whole lot of time left to get to work or we feel the need to get the conditions absolutely perfect to start. This situation makes us feel a great need to want to fill our time doing other things of inconsequential outcomes.

We understand that we really have got to start doing work instead of browsing through Facebook or endlessly refreshing our Instagram feed, heck we probably didn’t really need to know what do sloths eat ( the answer is leaves in case you were wondering) but somehow our minds would wander every time we even attempt to get any work done.

In order for us to control this inability to concentrate on a certain task for a long period of time, us the busycranators need first to set a small goal for ourselves to complete every day, make it something small and attainable. The first goal we could try getting the title down as a task. Then the next day set ‘decide on direction of campaign’ as the goal for the day. Then the next day decide colour scheme for our presentation.

This small goal needs to be set every day and then we then need to make sure that these small tasks get done. But let’s face it even with this small task sometimes we tend to wonder off track and procrastinate doing other things.

When we find ourselves in this dilemma of doing something else, we need to be truthful to ourselves and stop what we are doing, realign our focus and then get back to work. It doesn’t matter how many times we get distracted as long as we get back to what we were doing.

Keep this up for as long as it takes to complete the task you’ve set out to do.

3. For the Fearanators

The fearanators among us are people who are too paralysed by fear. The fear that our work will never be good enough, the fear that if we did well this time we would never be able to measure up to our past works leaving us unable to actually start on our work, the fear that we will not have enough time or skills to pull it off.

We need to take everything we do as a learning experience. We will never know whether we’d do well or do horrible if we don’t try, the earlier we start work the more time we have to actually edit our work and let others have a look at it.

Instead of fearing to start, we need to just start write ideas at random, take it as a draft that you’ll improve on anyways so it doesn’t matter whether or not it is great the first time around. Every time you feel unhappy or that is it not up to the standard that you want, go back and edit it.

Just like the busynators, we the fearanators would need to set a small goal every day and stick to accomplishing that goal. We might take a longer time to get there but at least we started somewhere.

If you have any other methods on how to deal with procrastinating do share it with me in the comments section below I'm super looking forward to reading them!

ways to become an proper adult

Being A Fully Functioning Working Adult

After almost a whole year of working, I can safely say that being an adult is very much like sitting a roller coaster, except I can't get off and the roller coaster is on fire, the tracks are on fire, and everything is on fire!

(hahaha okay so I took this quote from somewhere but I honestly identify with it so well )

No one ever said it was going to be easy being an adult, we may not have believed it when our parents said it, we may not have believed it when our siblings said it, we may not have even believed it when our friends said it but as we grow into adulthood and the responsibilities start pouring in, we begin to realize that our grandeurs of proving them wrong and taking on the world by storm is becoming less and less of a reality.

Some of us make it through to adulthood unscathed while others continue struggling as time goes on, there are even those who choose to deny the reality of life thus choosing to remain a big baby, a big annoying baby that makes life difficult for everyone around them.

I believe that many of us try our best not to be a big baby, we actively try to become better people but at the same time we secretly feel that it is absolutely absurd that we are suddenly thrown into the world of adulthood. The many years that we spent growing up never prepared us for the realities of life. It would be nice if we have had training wheels or a crash course called ‘how to adult 101’ but as of now it looks like:

it's exhausting being an adult

Image from pinterest.com

As of now I cannot claim to say that I’ve nailed this whole adult thing but what I can say is that I have uncovered a few ways on how we can adult decently enough to convince others around us that we too are responsible functioning working adult.

1. Learn to prioritize

Have you ever realized that as an adult we’re always running out of time and energy? We’re forever running around trying to accomplish things but we never really get anything done. After a while we simply throw our hands in the air and give up stating this adult thing is just impossible.

Image from pinterest.com

We want to get everything done and at the same time experience everything that we say yes to every single event. We ‘don’t want to lose touch with our college friends’ or ‘miss out on that great deal’. We spread ourselves so thin that in the end of the day we’re forever recuperating from some event or another.

To this I say we need to learn how to prioritize. Ask yourself three simple questions before you say yes next time and answer them honestly.

1. On a scale of 1 - 10, how much energy and time will I have to put in?

2. How will this event benefit me in the long run?

3. If I had to place this benefit on a scale of 1 - 10, where would I place it?

If the benefit outweighs the energy and time needed to put in you may consider saying yes but if the energy and time out weights the benefit than it is time you said ‘No’.

Stand your ground when others try to convince you to change your answer because it really is not worth it and your well-being (most of the time) is more important than not missing out of this great experience.

2. Budget ahead of time

Another thing that many people struggle at being an adult are their finances. Many people end up with bad debt every month instead of good debt. Good debt is things like paying for property or having a good healthy investment. Bad debt are things like having overdue credit card debts on the newest designer dress.

One step you could take in making sure you that you don’t have too much month at the end of your money is to allocate your money according to how much you earn. Start allocating big chunks of your money to things that matters most like rent, food and transportation. Next comes investment, savings, and insurance and when you have left over from all those allocation then and only then can you decide on which luxury item you’d like to get.

These luxury items would include things like vacations, expensive restaurants or even that extra cup of designer coffee.

Make little notes on your phone or simply download financial apps on your phone to keep track of your expenditure. Apps like mint.com, goodbudget.com or mvelopes.com are easy to use and handy to have.

3. Have two ‘responsibilities boards’

As an adult we all have responsibilities that we need to get done (daily, weekly, monthly and sometimes even yearly). For those of us who are always forgetting to take out the trash or to pay our bills, here’s one way to make sure you get things done.

1. Prepare two boards (it could be a white board, it could be a cork board, it could even be a piece of paper)

2. Label one ‘To Do’ and the other ‘Done’

3. Get sticky notes and pens.

4. Divide the boards into 7 parts and label them Monday – Sunday

5. On every Sunday night ,write down all the responsibilities that you need to get down for the week and stick them onto the ‘To Do’ board

6. As the week passes and you’ve slowly completed the tasks on the ‘To Do’ board, transfer the post it notes onto the ‘done’ board

This will be a neat way to remind us to complete our responsibilities while at the same time give us a sense of achievement to help you towards becoming more adult

4. Choose to be the bigger person

Sometimes we cannot avoid them, the back stabbers, the irritating specimens and the big babbies. They’re usually lone wolves and they can smell your weakness. There they sit in their corner gleefully stirring the pot, fanning the fire just waiting for you to explode.

The standard advice would be to simply calm yourself down and choose to be the bigger person. But that simply just wouldn’t do, I do advice that you do choose to be the bigger person but I wouldn’t want you to fester in your misery which is neither healthy nor possible.

Instead, you should find outlets to let it out in a safe and responsible manner. Try talking your problems out with your friends, trouble shoot it together. You could also take up contact sports to let out your frustrations properly or choose to meditate as a calmer route.

If you have any other tips on how to be more of an adult I'd love to listen to it so please do give me a beep beep or comment below to tell me what you think! 

rise above the challenges

Conquering Your Fear

Fear, we all know it. It’s like that distant aunt you have but don’t really like, and just like your aunt fear will only ever appear just when you’re about to do something really important. During that crucial period of time she creeps up and shuts you down.

The original purpose of fear in humans just as it is with animals has always been about surviving. Built into our system, this fight or flight mode is automatically switched on when we sense danger. When we experience fear, our hearts starts racing, our muscles tense up and we automatically feel like running away.

As time passes and as we have learnt to live in safer places, places where we no longer have to worry about a possible bear attack or a tiger jumping at us as we walk on the street;

Stand out from your fear

Image from pinterest.com

We as human beings begin to evolve and this evolution has also altered the way we fear. We have progressed as a species to a point where we no longer find the need to be actively on the lookout in order to survive another day.

We have become specialized beings that have outsourced our basic needs –to survive, to a different authority and instead now concentrate our efforts on being well liked, accumulating wealth and becoming a functioning member of society. With this specialization, our fear has become more acute and is heightened to these things we deem necessary to survive in our society.

Although the things we fear have evolved to cater and adapt to our surroundings however the way we react to fear has remained the same. Whenever we face things that makes us afraid; things like spiders, speaking in front of large audiences or raising an issue with our bosses, our bodies automatically goes into that fight or flight mode, our minds still assume that the best course of action is to run instead of standing our ground and ‘fighting’ for what we believe in.

I'm not in denial

Image by quotesgram.com

The fighting part of this mode needs to be activated; we will continue to be paralysed when we encounter things that make us afraid unless we actively turn the ‘fight’ switch on. We can no longer be in denial or be selective about the reality we want to accept. Life is worth living and if we continue to let our fears dictate how we live our lives, we will find it extremely difficult to become success, I didn’t say impossible I just say that it will be extremely difficult.

If you are like me and are finding it difficult to get over these unfathomable fears by taking it head on, if you need a less direct and are looking for subtler way to ease out of your fears here are 3 simple steps you can take every time you come in contact with your fears.

1. Familiarize Yourself

Sometimes in life, it can very much be like a very difficult level on a video game and

Image from gamasutra.com

just like that Super Mario in the picture, both you and I will feel like there are many threats all around us just waiting for us to slip up.

For us to be able to get to the next level we need to get over these obstacles and we cannot have fear in our way. We can try pretending that the fear isn’t there but that will not help us get very far. We need to instead find out why we have this fear to begin with.

The fear we feel is usually based on a very real experience we have encountered, but if you are anything like me you have not we have absolutely no idea what that experience was to have triggered such a response. It could have been something you’ve encountered as a child and did not understand, it could be something you were brought up to fear or it could also be that the last time when you were younger, you tried to faced this ‘fear’ head on and it ended badly for you thus setting a precedence in your mind to always save yourself when encountering this same encounter.

Image from picturemic.com

Whatever the reason may be, it is still good for you to find the root cause of the problem. Unfamiliarity breeds fear, but if we know exactly what we are dealing with then it would be simpler to take one step towards every time we encounter it. We need to have a game plan on knowing this fear better and taking it down.

I have had the fear of speaking with my superiors and voicing my opinions for the longest time. Back when I was interning, the fear was very over whelming that I found it absolutely difficult to ask for help or more clarification when carrying out a task. I would also not talk to my boss unless I was spoken to and when I was spoken to I usually said yes or alright and tried to get out of the conversation as quickly as I could.

After skirting around my boss and always asking my colleagues when I needed more help, I’ve realized it would take me twice as long to get a job done as opposed to simply asking my supervisor for more help. Acknowledging that I have a problem, I then began to familiarize myself with it, uncovering the reason to me being so afraid of speaking out. Through a series of questions and a whole lot of reflecting I’ve come to realise that I did not like the feeling of being shot down and being made to feel small.

2. Just wait five seconds

Realising that I had this problem and understanding what got me into the state of panic, I’ve come to realise that I needed to convince myself that this fear is not as big as I initially thought it up to be. There was this one quote from a Hindi movie I once (twice, maybe a hundredth times) watched called the 3 idiots that really inspired me. The quote states that our hearts are easily shaken, if we are to forever follow what it says we’ll never do anything worth doing. To overcome this we would have to trick our heart by saying ‘All izz well’.

Taking five seconds to just be still, to take a deep breath and just waiting whilst saying ‘All izz well’ over and over again has greatly helped me in overcoming my fears. After that five seconds of convincing myself that all is well, my body –that was initially running on all kinds of frenzy, realized that there is nothing to fear, that nothing has happened yet, and we are probably doing just fine.

Towards the end of my internship, every time I needed to talk to my then supervisor –who would shoot down my ideas on a good day and look at me like I was stupid on bad ones, I would take a deep breath and just wait five seconds as I chant ‘all is well’.

I’ve found that my fast beating heart would calm down and I would also actually believe that everything was going to be okay. And although I still got shot down after presenting my ideas to my supervisor or got looked at like I was stupid when asking important questions that needed me to get the job done, I was better able to pick myself up, take in the good things he had said and pretended that I had only imagined the condescending demeanor.

3 idiots movie screen capture

Image from nairaland.com

3. Join a support group

Being able to overcome a part of your fear no matter how small is a big deal, thus you would need to celebrate it to ensure that you send a message to yourself to continuous look for new ways to better yourself. But what’s the point of celebrating if there is no one to share it with.

You would need someone to support you, to help encourage you and ensure that you continue to always flip on the fight switch whenever you encounter an unreasonable fear.

Neither on nor off

Image from electrical.about.com

You can share your challenges and triumphs with either one or more people who share the same fear as you or people who can identify with what you are going through. This will ignite the fire within to want to take the next step.

I’ll have to admit I wouldn’t have been able to voice out my opinion if I didn’t have people who had my back, people who understood what I was going through and people who were there to console me as I slowly licked my wounds.

If you could identify with being afraid and overcoming your fear, or are still on your way thriving towards become the superstar that you’re destined to be, comment below and let me know what you think!

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