Four Simple Ways You Can Make Your Working Day So Much Easier

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Work is inevitable. We all have to do it in order to pay the bills and live a decent life. Some people fire through every single day with very little problems. Others, however, aren’t that lucky. For the majority of people, work ends up being super tedious and awkward to get through. This isn’t the case through the entire day and the entire week, but those slower and more lethargic times do tend to hit. 

Whether running a business or working from home, you should always be looking for ways to be more efficient and more productive. If you’re don’t bother with that, then you’ll probably end up wasting a lot of time working hard when you could have finished, say, an hour or two before. Wouldn’t it be so much nicer on your mind and body if you could get through the working day a lot easier? Of course it would. 

What are the ways, though? What can you do to make the day slightly (or a lot!) easier for yourself? Well, here are four ideas for you to ponder. These can go for any instance – whether you’re running a business, employed by one, or are doing some independent projects:  

Prepare Properly 

You’re always told that you need to have good preparation if you want to succeed. Fail to prepare; prepare to fail – that’s the famous quote, and it still stands today. If you want a less harsh amount of pressure on your shoulders regarding your work, then you should probably plan out how your following day/week is going to pan out. As a responsible working human, you probably have a brief plan of action. Maybe writing it down and making it real can help you to organize yourself a little better. 

It’s also good to get into a routine. When you’re in one, your body and brain become accustomed to it. The first few days might be quite painful, but you’ll get used to it after a little while. After a few weeks, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it earlier.  

Be More Energized  

When you’re completely zapped of your energy, it can be very easy to slow down or to switch off completely. Make sure you’ve had enough sleep. Getting into an aforementioned routine might be able to help with that – an evening routine should get you nice and tired; ready for the early morning ahead! 

Be sure to fill your stomach with enough food and water throughout the day, too. It sounds too basic, but so many people around the globe aren’t getting enough nutrients when they are able to!

Upgrade Your Software

If you have old programs on your computer or older equipment, then you’re going to be hampering yourself in terms of your work. If you had a completely new set of programs and high-tech software like a project manager or a virtual data room at your disposal, you’d probably get things done in half the time. 

Don’t Rush Your Work

When you rush, you make mistakes. You also start to panic for some reason – even if you have all day. Slow down a little. Go slowly and think about what you’re actually doing so as to avoid mistakes. If you get the urge to multitask – don’t. Take breaks if you have to. Everyone needs that rest and rehabilitation – even if it’s for twenty minutes or so.  

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“Nobody Can Stop You from Getting Better”

Originally posted by Josh Spector on Silvernest Sep 24, 2017 4:29:57 PM

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Sometimes we focus so much on getting great at something that we miss the opportunity we have to get better. But getting better is the first step to getting great, and the best way I’ve found to get better at anything is to follow this simple formula.

How To Get Better At One Thing In One Month

A formula that’s guaranteed to work.

“Nobody can stop you from getting better.” — Roseanne Barr

Sometimes we focus so much on getting great at something that we miss the opportunity we have to get better. But getting better is the first step to getting great, and the best way I’ve found to get better at anything is to follow this simple formula.

Step 1: Choose One Thing

We all want to get better at lots of things, but the first step to doing so is to focus on one.

Multitasking doesn’t accelerate improvement, it impedes it. Give yourself permission to deal with the other stuff you want to improve at a later date — your likelihood of success goes way up when you focus on one thing at a time.

Step 2: Clarify Your Motivation

Do you know why you want to get better at your one thing? The better you understand your motivation, the greater your chance of success. Clarifying your motivation before you begin also helps ensure you choose the right thing to focus on. (BTW: Need a little help getting motivated? Check out For The Interested.)

Step 3: Define “Better”

You can’t achieve a goal you haven’t clearly defined. “Better” is a tricky word. It can mean different things at different times. You need to define for yourself what it means in the context of your thing, so you can accurately measure whether you accomplish it. There’s no right or wrong definition of what better means, but if you don’t clearly define it, it’s impossible to ever achieve it. Consider what metrics or tangible evidence you can attach to it.

For example, what does it mean to be a “better” blogger? Does it mean you post more frequently? That more people share your posts? That your posts inspire more debate?

(BTW: Here’s how I approach writing better Medium posts.) It doesn’t matter what definition you choose, but in order to measure your progress you must choose one.

Step 4: Do Your Thing At Least Three Times A Week

We only get better at things when we do them regularly. You have to put in the work. Improvement comes from action, not intention. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. But in almost all cases you have no chance of getting better at anything in a month unless you commit to do it at least three times a week.

Step 5: Measure Your Results

Since you defined metrics around what it means to be “better” at your thing, you can now measure your progress as you go. It’s important to not only measure your results, but also to analyze them. The secret to getting better is found in what we learn from what we measure.

This varies widely depending on what your thing is, but your actions will result in a set of impacts you need to study. Learn from how people react to what you do, how you react to it, and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Step 6: Develop A Hypothesis

As you measure the results of your activity and analyze them, use that knowledge to form a hypothesis about how you can improve. Improvement comes from making adjustments and those adjustments are inspired by a hypothesis based on the results of the work you’ve done to this point. It’s an iterative process — don’t feel pressured to know exactly how to improve your work. Remember, a hypothesis is just a theory. That’s why the next step is to…

Step 7: Test Your Hypothesis

There’s as much chance your hypothesis of how to get better is wrong as there is that it’s right. That’s fine. You’re in a testing phase and the valuable lessons you learn from being wrong help get you closer to being right. Don’t put too much pressure on your hypothesis to be right and don’t get discouraged if it’s wrong. Learn from it and use those findings to develop a new hypothesis to test again. Each step — in success and failure — gets you closer to your goal of becoming better. Even if it may not seem like it in the moment.

Step 8: Recognize That Better Isn’t Great

As you go through the month — doing, measuring, testing, and repeating — you may feel you’re not making progress, but it’s important not to get discouraged. Don’t confuse getting “better” with getting “great.” The way to get great is to keep getting better. And the way to get better is to do so one month at a time. You’re not going to get great at anything in a month — that’s not the way the world works.

But you 100% can get better at anything in a month. And if you follow these steps, you will.

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5 Guaranteed Mood Lifters for Dreary, Down Days

Aren’t those days the worst? Your alarm blares out annoyingly, the rain pours down and you open the fridge to find the milk carton is empty. Everyone experiences dreary, down days that seem unavoidable, but there are ways to turn your bad day into a positive one. When you’re caught in a negative spiral it is important to find activities that are guaranteed to trigger happier emotions inside your body. If you find yourself in these situations regularly, then consider some of the following mood lifters right now.

1.Music

Listening to some upbeat and quirky tunes can work wonders when you’re trying to lift your spirits. Expand the type of music you listen to and try out new genres here https://stockmusic.net/blog/western-movie-music/. You will be surprised at the type of songs that spark inspiration and happiness inside of you. Try to take on projects that might require music too, such as home movie making or video editing; this will help to refocus your mind and give you an instant lift in positive endorphins.

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2. Talking

When you’re having a bad day, the last thing you want to do is talk about the embarrassing reason why you’re feeling down. However, if you can talk to someone who is neutral and understanding, you will feel a whole lot better. Call up a close friend or go out for coffee with a colleague and you will feel like a weight as been lifted.

3. Moving

Exercise releases a rush of endorphins that can instantly make you feel better when you’re having a terrible day. Even though you might want to spend the day on the sofa eating cookies and watching romantic comedies, you might find it more beneficial to head to a dance class or go for a run!

4. Cooking

The methodical and therapeutic process of cooking should never be underestimated. Even if you aren’t the greatest chef in the world, you will probably end up with some delicious dishes in the end. Use some online recipes to start of simply and then branch out to more complicated foods when your confidence has grown. A couple of hours on your own in the kitchen will give you the time and space you need when you’re having one of those days.

5. Laughing

The benefits of laughter are undeniable, so why not go out of your way to have a giggle? Watch a funny film, rewatch your favourite comedy series or call up your most hilarious friend. Forcing yourself to laugh might sound crazy, but it will be an instant mood booster.

Some of these ideas might seem pretty obvious from afar, but have you ever given them a try? The next time you wake up with negative energy, you should try a handful of the activities mentioned above. Don’t allow a bad morning to spiral into a terrible day; uplift your mood using tried and tested techniques that work for you!

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3 Tips for Rallying Your Forces and Moving Forward When You’re Caught in a Negative Spiral

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Sometimes things are going well, and sometimes things are going badly. It’s never exactly positive or pleasurable when something’s gone wrong in your life, but it happens to all of us from time to time.

Sometimes, however, it’s not just a matter of one or two things going a bit wrong, but of an entire series of things falling apart before our very eyes, and sending us into a negative downward spiral that it can be very difficult to pull out from.

If you don’t have effective ways of escaping from these negative spirals, you can quickly end up in real trouble. But, on the other hand, when you do have techniques at your disposal for “breaking the cycle,” you can often save yourself from a lot of trouble.

Here are a few tips for rallying your forces and moving forward when you’re caught in a negative spiral.

Seek out help or guidance

At the end of the day, you are always the person who is responsible for your own circumstances, and for correcting any issues that exist in your life. If you try to rely on someone else to do the job for you, you’re in for a nasty surprise – because no one else can live your life for you.

That being said, though, there are definitely situations in life where you might not be able to see the way out of a fix you’re in, and where you need someone else’s help in order to take that all-important first step.

If you’re caught in a negative spiral, seek out help or guidance from people you can trust, or who you feel will have skill sets that can save you from a messy situation. Contacting criminal defense attorney Matthew Leyba, for example, may keep you out of jail.

Find ways to get yourself a bit of breathing space and evaluate your systems and habits

One of the most important things to do when everything is falling apart around you, is to find ways to get yourself a bit of breathing space, where you can then evaluate your systems and habits, and recover a bit from the shock and disorder that you are experiencing.

Certainly, this is almost always easier said than done. If you’re working 12 hour days, seven days a week, there’s not a lot of opportunity readily available for finding the time to catch up on your sleep, and to go for a long walk.

Still, though, whether you need to take time off work, make arrangements with your family, or anything else, it’s important to try and find time to get a sense of perspective on things, to rejuvenate, and to analyse and tweak your system and habits to begin moving you in a better direction.

Deal with any health and energy issues as a matter of priority

If you’re caught in a negative spiral you need to be able to act proactively in order to get out of it, and you also need to have enough energy and wherewithal to consistently move yourself in a different direction.

Clearly, if you are chronically fatigued and are experiencing overall ill health, it’s going to be much more difficult to try and sort things out in this way.
That’s why one of your first priorities should be to take care of any health and energy issues, to the best of your ability. Try different nutritional supplements, consider consulting with medical professionals, and do what you can to get better first and foremost.

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Empty Nesters: Time To Forget Your Age

Aging parents can have a hard time coping when their children have left the family home. Indeed, as a parent, you can feel useless. As an individual, the sudden realization that you are not the young adult you were when you started your family can be equally painful. But the truth is that most parents will go through the empty nest experience, and it is the sign that you’ve done your job as a parent. However, don’t let the situation affect the way you think of yourself. Time has passed and now’s the perfect moment to train yourself to forget about your age. 

Fancy a RC car race down the park?

Nobody is ever too old to have fun

Do you have moments when you find yourself avoiding activities and hobbies that you think are for young people? While it’s fair to say that the aging process is as much a physical as it is mental development, empty nesters who believe they are too old to do this or that are more likely to struggle with a variety of self-inflicted health issues. The truth is, age is only a number. As long as you are safe, there is nothing you can’t do, and that includes splashing out on the best RC rally car to have a play at your local park. Don’t let your mind put age in your way of fun. 

Who said there’s no gym for seniors?

Just because your local gym tends to attract a young population, there is no reason why you, as an older fitness enthusiast, wouldn’t benefit from sports. In fact, keeping active is tremendously important, regardless of your age. Sports activities help not only to boost oxygen to your brain and maintain cognitive functions, but it also keeps your heart and bones healthy. More importantly, as you engage in physical activity, you learn to push the mental barriers your age would typically set for you. 

You don’t need to be young to look good

Fashion is for young people, right? You couldn’t be further from the truth. Even popular platforms, such as Instagram, are filled with accounts of huge fashion influencers who are over 50. There is no need for you to stay away from the clothes you like and embrace the dull grandparents’ style. Wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and cool at the same time is half the battle when it comes to age. You are only as old as you tell yourself to be. 

Is it too late to learn something new?

Life is full of excitement and new adventures. From the moment you decide you can’t contribute or learn anymore, your mind begins to shut down. While society continues to push the idea that a young brain is quicker and more effective, there is something that most people get wrong. Indeed, the plasticity of the brain is at its best when you’re a child and up to your 20s. However, the brain develops learning patterns and a facility to make sense of new knowledge in time. In other words, if you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, you’ll never be as good at it as today. 

In conclusion, age is no indication of your value as an individual. While it’s tricky to adjust to the situation as a new empty nester, you have to put yourself first and rediscover what you can do. Don’t deny yourself fun, sports, style, or even knowledge; the more you allow yourself to engage with the world, the younger you’ll feel. 

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Why a Sense of Purpose Can Extend Your Life

Originally posted by Silvernest Team on Mar 12, 2017 11:33:13 PM

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For many baby boomers, retirees and seniors, winding down a career, or having an empty nest can be a shock. The quiet, and lack of daily demands can take some getting used to; and it is common to feel a lack of purpose. Studies show that NOT having a purpose in life can increase illness and reduce longevity.

With 10,000 people turning 65 per day, the aging population is growing, and with greater health and vitality, a new era of “active aging” is underway. The “Third Age” of life can be one of renewed purpose via encore careers, volunteering, caring for children or meaningful travel. Science shows the best gift we can give ourselves is to have an upbeat and positive attitude about the future- whatever comes.

“It is time to expand our perceptions of aging,” said Paul Irving, president of the Milken Institute. “Having a sense of purpose literally changes everything.”

Irving went on to offer four astounding statistics on the power of positive perceptions of aging and having a purpose:

  • Yale University research has shown that older individuals with positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer.
  • Rush University Medical Center found individuals with a high level of purpose were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Older adults with positive perceptions of aging were 44% more likely to recover from severe disability than those with a negative perception of aging.
  • Having a sense of purpose in life was associated with a 19% reduced risk for both heart disease and stroke.

“Having a sense of purpose is not just ‘nice,’ it is as important to our society as good nutrition, smoking cessation or exercise and should be a public health mandate.”

At Silvernest, we have found that active aging extends into our perceptions of our homes. An empty house is a lonely house; and bringing in a roommate creates a positive vibe. Many homeowners say they are more motivated to take on little projects, cook meals, turn the music up and actually look forward to coming home seeing the lights on for a change!

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Alternative Methods for Helping to Ease Depression

Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

If you have been experiencing a low mood for a while now, you may be suffering from depression. To establish whether depression is the cause of you feeling this way, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice so that you can begin to get help through it. It is not uncommon for most people to go through times where they are feeling a little down, but usually, this passes after a few days. However, if you find that your low mood is persistent and making you lose enjoyment for things that you typically love to do, then it is a good idea to get checked out.

While sometimes people are reluctant to take medication when feeling depressed, it is still best to consult a medical professional to discuss your symptoms. Several alternative ways can potentially help when you are experiencing depression, take a look at these suggestions that you may find useful:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a skill that is useful to practice even when you are feeling well. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, observing thoughts without judgment, and letting them pass.

Using mindfulness enables us to escape from unhelpful thought patterns that drag us into the past or way ahead into the future. Mindfulness is about acceptance and being present in the moment. Mindfulness is especially useful in depression as a way of being present with yourself without judging. Mindfulness is all about accepting the thoughts that come and go without attaching extra meaning to them and allowing yourself some peace. If mindfulness is something that you are interested in trying or reading about, you will find lots of useful books and articles to help you, and even some apps that can provide a practical way for you to get started.

Talk

Depression can be an incredibly isolating illness, where you can feel that you are trapped inside your mind. Speaking to someone that you trust about how you are feeling can often be a big relief. Confiding in a friend or family member will enable you to get some support to help you through the depression and on your journey to feeling well again.

As well as speaking with a friend or family member, you may decide to talk to a professional too. A therapist will be experienced in working with people that have depression and will be able to guide you through talking about how you are feeling, asking you questions that can help you to gain some insight and understanding into your depression. Many people find speaking to a therapist beneficial, and a way to untangle their feelings and make progress towards feeling better.

TMS Therapy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is more commonly referred to as TMS therapy. TMS therapy is a treatment for depression and was first approved for use by the Federal Drug Administration over a decade ago.

TMS therapy works via electromagnetic pulses that stimulate the part of the brain that regulates moods. No anesthetic is needed for the treatment as tms therapy for depression is non-invasive, because the treatment is applied via an electromagnetic coil that is placed on the patient’s forehead.

TMS therapy is not suitable for everyone, for example, pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant, or anyone that has metal devices already fitted in their body. TMS therapy is most commonly used on patients that are affected by major depression that does not respond to medication.

Diet

Making a connection between what you eat and your mood levels may seem strange, but increasingly food is cited as a way to improve your mood. Research shows that certain foods may help in the battle against depression, while others can be less helpful and could potentially make symptoms of depression worse. While everyone knows the foods that they should eat to improve their physical health, identifying foods that can improve mental health may not be something that you are aware of.

Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels

There are many similarities between a diet for physical health and one for improving mental health. A healthy diet that is full of fruit, vegetables, and wholegrains is ideal for your all-round health. Cutting down on sugary snacks, red meat and processed meat is also a good idea. While firm evidence on the impact of unhealthy eating on mental health is an ongoing debate, eating a diet that makes you feel physically healthy, is likely to help your mental health too.   

Exercise

Exercise can offer many benefits for physical health, but can also have a positive impact on mental health, including depression. When you are feeling depressed, it can be hard to get motivated to get out and do some exercise, but if you do manage to get active, even for a little while it can give your mood a real boost.

If you are someone that doesn’t regularly exercise, don’t push yourself too hard, as you want the exercise to be an enjoyable experience. Even an activity such as going out for a walk in the fresh air can feel like hard work when your mood is low, but you will often feel much better for doing it.

Physical activity is thought to encourage the brain to produce endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals. Exercise also acts as a tool to break free from negative thought patterns, and an opportunity to get a change of scenery and focus the mind on something else. Group exercise can be especially helpful as a way of combining physical activity with social interaction, and it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

Take Care

When you are stuck in a low mood taking care of yourself is something that you may not even be thinking about. However, taking small steps towards self-care can leave you feeling a little better, and not quite so stuck in your low mood.

Don’t forget that if you are feeling suicidal or are concerned that you may harm yourself or others, it is vital to seek urgent medical attention.

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