How to Procrastinate Less and Accomplish More

procrastinate less

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Most of us would love to know how to procrastinate less and accomplish more. While we may think we have solid skills in this area, there are always new tips to try. Here are some smart and effortless ways to procrastinate less and accomplish more.

How to Procrastinate Less and Accomplish More

The definition of procrastination is the act of deliberately putting off or delaying doing something despite the inevitable negative consequences of that decision. When you look at procrastination this way, it makes sense to investigate approaches that teach us to procrastinate less and accomplish more.

How Much Does Procrastination Affect Your Life?

Before trying to curb the urge to procrastinate, figure out how much procrastination affects everyday life. Procrastination plays a significant role if you put off doing even mundane tasks, thinking you’ll do them later or at some undetermined time. And it’s not a good role.

On the other hand, fear could be an underlying factor if you tend to procrastinate more when uncertain about the task or issue, your knowledge, experience, or readiness to tackle it.

  • Your strategies for learning how to procrastinate less may vary depending on when, where, and how much procrastination affects your life.

Make a List of Tasks

Before working on any task, you must know what you’re dealing with. So, list all the jobs you must do.

  • It may also be helpful to include a deadline beside the task. That way, you know the due date and can move on to the next step to procrastinate less and accomplish more.

Prioritize the Tasks to Procrastinate Less

Now that you have all the tasks listed, it’s time to prioritize them according to the parameters you set. For example, you could arrange them by:

  • Categories
  • Due date
  • Importance
  • Must-do, nice-to-do, or do-whenever
  • Reporting structure (who’s waiting for the completion of the task, duty, or assignment)

Create a Schedule

There are only so many hours in the day to devote to tasks. To maximize your time, create a schedule accommodating other work-home-social activities and responsibilities.

  • Remember that work-home balance is essential to overall well-being. Avoid waiting until the last minute on a critical project and working into the night to complete it.
  • With a workable schedule, you can procrastinate less and accomplish more.

Break it Up to Procrastinate Less

Staring at a complex, time-consuming, or complicated task is enough to tempt anyone to put it off. Sidestep this trap by breaking the task into manageable chunks. There are several ways to do this:

  • Work on the most accessible part first. This helps build momentum and self-confidence.
  • Tackle the most challenging part first. This eases some of the pressure and stress and gets you that much closer to completion.
  • Alternate between challenging and accessible sections of the task. This inserts variety into the activity and keeps interest levels high.
  • Work linearly. This is a logic-based progression where each step naturally leads to the next.

Aim for Completion, Not Perfection

Few things in life are perfect. Only some tasks will be completed to perfection. There isn’t enough time for that when deadlines loom and others count on you to deliver the product or assignment.

  • Do your best to adhere to specifications and directions.
  • Remember that overall productivity suffers from delays in task completion by individual contributors.
  • Completion is more important than perfection.

Allocate Time and Limit Non-Productive Activities

Burnout happens when task work proceeds past productive time. Set aside an appropriate amount of time to work on the task and take a break.

  • Similarly, minimize time spent on anything non-productive.
  • Extending breaks longer than necessary is too easy to rationalize. It will also cause you to procrastinate more when the goal is to procrastinate less and accomplish more.

Use Positive Thinking to Procrastinate Less

Suppose you must complete a project or task outside your expertise. This is an instance where you want to give yourself a pep talk. Use positive psychology to bolster your courage and determination to get started.

  • Remind yourself that you’ve completed challenging assignments before. You have what it takes and will do an excellent job.
  • Nothing motivates more than positive thinking.

See This as a Growth Opportunity

Some tasks are distasteful, not fun, boring, tedious, or not worthwhile. Yet, everyone must do things they don’t want to or would instead put off indefinitely. Remember that life is filled with dichotomies. The core of life is opposites: good vs. evil, happy vs. sad, light vs. dark, birth vs. death, and the like.

  • While you may not enjoy specific undesirable tasks, you can learn to tolerate them.
  • Use this as an opportunity to grow as a person.

Treat Yourself to a Reward

After completing the task, celebrate. Allow yourself a treat or reward for getting the job done.

  • When you know you’ll be rewarded, and you’re more motivated to continue until you’re finished.
  • Sometimes, the best way to get through complex tasks is the lure of post-task celebrating.

A final thought: Give yourself a little latitude in learning to procrastinate less and accomplish more. Remember that incremental progress counts – and is self-reinforcing. The habit of achieving what you set out to do becomes easier with practice.

* * *

Best Easy Ways to Overcome Depression

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Feeling down for weeks is no fun. Besides, living with untreated depression robs you of joy. Commit to taking proactive steps with these easy ways to help overcome depression so you can live a vibrant life.

Depression Statistics

The World Health Organization (WHO) says about 280 million people worldwide have depression. Furthermore, this mental health disorder is more commonly found in women than men (by about 50 percent).

  • Although effective depression treatments are available, more than 75 percent of those with depression in poorer countries are not treated.

Depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity. Yet, depression is highly treatable, and people can go on to live a normal, productive life.

Easy Ways to Overcome Depression

The most crucial decision is getting treatment. Yet, psychological depression treatments, while effective, take time. Your treatment may include behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, or problem-solving therapy. But you will want to take additional steps to feel better. The same holds for taking prescribed antidepressant medications.

What can you do today to help overcome depression?

Find Activities You Enjoy

Think about what you enjoy doing most. For example, if you like walking in nature, schedule a weekend to relax with a stroll in a nature preserve, a hiking trail in the mountains or woods, or a city park.

Walking in nature hits two significant points in the ways to overcome depression:

Maintain a Regular Routine

Now is the time to stick to your regular eating and sleeping pattern. It would be best to nourish your body and replenish your energy consistently.

Cherish Connections with Family and Friends

One easy way to overcome depression is familiar and healing. Connect with family and friends often. This helps lift your mood, overcome lethargy, stop self-destructive and potentially downward-spiraling thoughts, and promote well-being.

Be Kind to Yourself to Overcome Depression

Kindness always helps. But when you are working to overcome depression, kindness can be highly effective. First, be kind to yourself. Healing from depression is a long-haul experience. You want all the help you can get.

Plus, the benefits of self-kindness radiate to all aspects of life.

Find Someone You Trust to Talk to

Even though you may see a psychotherapist or counselor to help you overcome depression, you may need someone to talk to in-between sessions.

  • Choose this person wisely.
  • You want someone you trust so you know they won’t betray your confidence.
  • And you want to talk openly about your feelings with someone who can be empathetic and encouraging in your healing journey.

Give Yourself Goals to Achieve

One of the best easy ways to overcome depression is to have something to look forward to. Your list of goals to achieve can include the following:

  • Making plans to go on vacation
  • Going back to school to get a degree
  • Taking a course to learn something new
  • Achieving proficiency or mastery in a sport or hobby
  • Embarking on a new career
  • Expanding your network of friends

Creating opportunities for goal achievement and accomplishment is one of the cornerstones of positive psychology interventions to reduce depression.

Embrace Hope to Overcome Depression

Be optimistic about your future. Adopt a hopeful attitude. Hope helps restore your body and mind to a healthy state. Hope drives motivation. It is a source of inspiration and is essential for creativity.

Treatment Resources

Need help locating treatment? Check out these resources:



10 Best Easy Solutions to Most of Your Problems

10 Best Easy Solutions to Most of Your Problems

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Some problems are so challenging that it seems impossible to find a workable solution. Let alone one that is easy to do. Often, problem-solving is so anxiety-producing that you give up. That creates problems. What you want are answers. So, here are my best easy solutions to most of your problems.

Is this possible? If so, how do you go about it? While no single approach will work for everyone, there are some general tips on finding your way through the potential solutions to find the one that works best in any given situation.

Divide – So You Can Conquer

Separate what’s necessary from what can wait. If you have too much competition for your attention, you cannot find the motivation to get going on any task or problem.

First, pare down your list. Identify what is necessary to do before anything else. Set aside anything that can wait. This helps reduce the tension and stress that may cloud your judgment and prevent you from finding workable, easy solutions to most of your problems.

Set a Completion Timeline

Determine your timeline for completion. Some tasks, problems, duties, or responsibilities are more pressing. Factor this into which ones you’ll tackle first. Also, allocate sufficient time to gather needed information, line up resources, and get needed assistance. Add some cushion time to avoid a last-minute rush. This is another excellent strategy to reduce pressure to complete tasks or solve problems.

Make the Problem Manageable

Break the problem into manageable parts. Splitting them into smaller chunks is essential for complex, complicated issues that take a lot of effort or time. They need to be ones that you can manage more easily.

Consider that solving any task means going through specific steps. Use a ladder approach. This helps you arrange steps into more accessible ones. It also gives you a feeling of accomplishment when you complete each one. After going through the steps, you’ll find that what once seemed difficult or impossible is not overwhelming.

Use Your Support Network for Easy Solutions

Your support network is a great resource to learn how others successfully tackled similar problems. Whatever problem you’re trying to solve, it’s likely that someone in your support network has come up against something similar and may have suggestions on what you can do. Listen to their solutions and use what works best. If your problem is unfamiliar to the group, they can still provide the support and encouragement you need.

If a Solution Works, Keep It

There’s a reason specific strategies and techniques prove successful. Once you discover one or more that work for you, hang on. You can use it again. This gives you a ready-made list of easy solutions to most of your problems. Even if this solution doesn’t seem to apply, knowing that you have a list of strategies and approaches that worked well before gives you confidence that you can also solve this problem.

Every Mistake Holds a Lesson for Easy Solutions

If you find that the solution you put so much effort into didn’t succeed, it’s easy to be disheartened. But there is value there. It would be best if you discovered it.

  • Ask yourself, did you rush things? If that is the case, the lesson may be to take more time with your approach.
  • Did you forget to consider all the potential ramifications before seizing on the solution you anticipated would work? The lesson here could be to take time to weigh one approach with others.

Remember that every mistake holds a lesson. You can always learn something valuable.

Sleep on it.

A good night’s sleep rejuvenates the body. It also calms emotions and makes problem-solving easier. Write down or think about the problem you must solve. Give your subconscious permission to work on the solution while you sleep.

This technique works beautifully. Writing what you want to accomplish frees you from worry. You can sleep knowing that your powerful mind will sort through problem-solving scenarios. When you wake up, you may have an answer or several potential solutions to pursue.

Take a Break

Another way to find easy solutions to most of your problems is to take a break. Stop thinking about it so hard. Instead, do something you enjoy.

Easy Solutions

  • Go for a walk outside. This will clear your head and boost your mood from the endorphins released during brisk exercise.
  • Watch a movie. Immerse yourself in the story, characters, genre, and theme. This brief hiatus from problem-solving will refresh your mind with ideas.
  • Listen to music.
  • Read a book.
  • Go shopping.
  • Meet a friend for coffee or lunch.

While you enjoy yourself, your stress level reduces, and your mind clears. This may lead to unexpected easy solutions to most of your problems. And it is often when you least expect it.

You Are Unique

While you want to be as successful as possible in solving challenging problems, accept that you are unique. This means avoiding comparisons with others’ success. Avoid being envious of their apparent ease in solving a comparable situation. You have no idea what it took for them to arrive at the solution.

Instead, remember that you are unique. You will find solutions that work. Adapt or adopt what others used successfully. With your creativity and fresh ideas, you will make it your own. 

Celebrate success.

You found the best solution to your problem. Congratulations. Yet there is one more step. Celebrate your accomplishment. What does this do? It reinforces self-confidence that you have what it takes to plow through the details to get the job done. This is especially important to your self-esteem and expanding your mental energy to solve problems. Celebrating success builds hope about the future and what you can accomplish.

Top 10 Easy Ways to De-Stress About Money Problems

ways to de-stress about money

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Money cannot buy happiness, but it can help. On the other hand, when money is an issue in a relationship, it can create problems. Since we all have money issues, it is important to learn how to confront and overcome them. Check out these easy ways to de-stress about money problems.

Meaning of De-Stress

What does the word “de-stress” mean? Simply, it means to relieve, alleviate, or reduce stress. Other meanings refer to reducing and relieving tension and anxiety.

Here, the verb is used in connection with the hot-button topic of money stress.

Ways to De-Stress About Problems with Money

This is not a blog about making money. It is a blog about how to get past the stress associated with money problems. In the process, you might discover ways to increase your income or add to your savings. Consider this a bonus.

So, whether you have too little or too much money, here are some effortless ways to solve the stress-related problems associated with money.

Have That Conversation

Money is a source of much friction in relationships. It is one of the biggest sources of disagreement between couples. No wonder people find it tough to talk about money, let alone how to de-stress about money problems.

Yet, having that conversation with your spouse, partner, or significant other is important. It is better to discuss how you feel about money now than wait until finances become unmanageable. For example, discuss what to spend money on, how to divide expenses, how much to allocate for savings, whether you want children (a huge financial expense, loving them notwithstanding), how much of a house, or whether you want a house to own, and other topics.

Figure Out What Is Important

Most people want to succeed in life. They want to pursue their dreams and feel fulfilled. Some say that getting married and having a family is most important to them. Others cite a satisfying and rewarding career.

Think about what you want your life to look like. Do you want to travel? Is finding a better job your goal? Whatever you find most important, envision what that looks like. This helps you shift priorities (and values) to better align with your dreams.

Determine the Money Stress Source

What keeps you up at night about money? If financial anxiety causes sleeplessness, it will only get worse without action. Money experts suggest listing the top money challenges you have. Make it a brief list because too many will frustrate you further.

  • Once you know that certain expenses (like the mortgage and car expenses) are causing you the most stress, you can look for ways to minimize that stress. If you worry that you cannot pay for your child’s college education but other major expenses are still within budget, there are ways to address this money problem.
  • If you are always afraid of never being able to get out of debt, you’re operating under what is known as the scarcity mindset. You will never have enough money (or time, or whatever you’re afraid you won’t have enough of). Instead, experts on reducing money stress suggest reframing your thinking into what you’ve gained or learned from your money problems.

Create a Budget (One You Can Stick to)

Budgeting is a necessary financial activity for any family. One of the best easy ways to de-stress about money problems is to take control of family finances. A budget can mean the difference between overspending and not having enough money to pay the bills and being able to save money for what you want.

Tip: The starting point is net income, the amount left after taxes. List every expense. Set up automatic payments for bills that come every month – like mortgage and utilities. Be sure to sign up for bank alerts so your balance doesn’t dip below a specific level.

Divide Income into Wants and Needs

Now that you know your income, divide it into wants and needs. Your needs are the top priority. The goal here is to make the best use of what you earn. Money only goes so far, whether from salary, investment earnings, a side gig, or freelance jobs.

After classifying what you spend each month by want and need, the next step is to look for ways to cut some wants. These are the expenditures that eat away at the budget – and cause stress. Yes, that daily high-priced coffee drink tastes great, but it is an unnecessary regular expense.

Reduce Debt to De-stress About Money

Have credit card balances become unwieldy? Are you able to make more than the minimum monthly payment? Remember that the interest still accrues on unpaid balances, so unless you can pay the balance in full, at least pay more than the minimum monthly.

  • A better strategy is to stop using credit unless necessary. Another is to set aside high-interest-rate credit cards and only use those that charge lower interest rates.
  • Look for trusted resources if you have trouble reducing debt and still need help with money problems. Your bank financial advisor, your CPA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling are some good choices.

Add to an Emergency Fund

We all know the value of having an emergency fund. But how many people have the recommended three to six months fund to pay for living expenses in an emergency? While allocating money to sit in a bank account for just-in-case situations may seem distasteful, think of this as a self-insurance policy. That should help you de-stress about money problems.

Earn More from Your Investments

If your bank savings account returns 0.04 percent or less, switch banks or transfer some funds to online banks offering better annual percentage rates. For example, several online banks in April 2023 offered 4.45 percent and higher on high-yield accounts. There may be a minimum investment and a monthly maintenance fee, so check the specifics. A reliable source to check is Bankrate.

  • Also, check out certificates of deposit (CDs). Although your money will be tied up for the duration of the CD, you will earn more than if you leave it in a regular savings account.
  • Another suggestion to earn more from your investments and de-stress about money is investing in high dividend-paying stocks. Even though the market may drop, high dividend-paying stocks will continue to make you money. Look for companies that have consistently raised dividends for 10-20 years.

Schedule Regular Check-Ins with Your Partner

Life can get hectic, and things can change quickly. Goals you or your spouse or partner had six months ago may seem less desirable today. Or, one or both of you may want to pursue something else. Be sure to check in regularly to familiarize yourself with your individual wants, needs, and those you share.

Enjoy Free Leisure Activities with Your Loved One

Financial concerns can interfere with the quality of life if you only stress about them. Besides taking proactive steps to de-stress about money problems, enjoying leisure activities with your loved one is another way to reduce money anxiety. Even better, many things you enjoy doing together are free, like walking in nature, cooking a meal together, and laughing at a comedy you watch at home.

Best Easy Ways to Ensure You Are Happy Today

best easy ways to be happy

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Happiness is what we all want. To be happy means feeling fulfilled, at peace with yourself, one with nature, and much more. Some people strive all their lives trying to find happiness. Yet happiness is readily available. And it is free. Here are some of my best easy ways to be happy today.

Best Easy Ways to Be Happy Today

Start with these tips to begin your journey of happiness.

Clear Your Mind with Meditation

Scientific research on the benefits of meditation reveals that cultivating mindfulness through meditative practice results in improved well-being, reduced stress and anxiety, lower levels of depression, lowered heart rate, and major changes in the brain. Each of these contributes to the ability to recognize and appreciate happiness.

Meditation practitioners say that the time involved can be brief yet effective. You don’t need to spend hours meditating to reap the benefits. Start by clearing your mind, focusing only on the sound, and feeling your breath. According to Headspace, tapping into happiness and reconnecting with your mind’s happy state is possible by meditating for happiness.

Besides, you can meditate anywhere, making meditation one of the best easy ways to ensure you are happy today.

Treat Yourself

Think of the last time you treated yourself. How did the experience make you feel? If you say delighted, fulfilled, satisfied, content, nurtured, or filled with joy, you’re onto something. That something is happiness. While generally reserved for a reward after accomplishing a goal, a treat can prove useful when you’ve put in the work and deserve a break.

And we can all resonate with that. This makes treating yourself one of the best easy ways to be happy today.

Enjoy Food That Tastes Good

Let’s start with chocolate, specifically dark chocolate. While a 2020 study found that cocoa consumption in young adults improved brain performance, research published in 2019 found a lowered risk of depressive symptoms by eating dark chocolate.

Yet good-tasting food that improves well-being and happiness goes beyond chocolate. Other happiness-inducing food includes coffee, eggs, coconut, avocado, red peppers, blueberries, red wine, beets, walnuts, salmon, black beans, honey, whole-grain bread, and seaweed.

Whatever sparks your taste buds, consider adding one or more of these good-tasting foods to your menu this week. It’s yet another of the best easy ways to ensure you are happy today.

Be With Upbeat People

Since having a positive outlook is aligned with happiness, one of the best easy ways to be happy today is to be with upbeat people. Why is this true? Verywell Mind says positive people are happy, compassionate, optimistic, helpful, humorous, upbeat, solution-oriented, and grateful.

On the other hand, negative people tend to be unhappy, unhelpful, apathetic, cynical, ungrateful, pessimistic, and serious and dwell on their problems.

Get Outside and Connect with Nature

Nature’s sights, sounds, smells, and touch sensations provide many benefits that add up to increased well-being and happiness. An American Psychological Association article points out how spending time in nature can boost cognition and improve mental health.

One key finding is that spending time outside in nature induces awe, the feeling that you’re part of something much bigger. The result: you are happier, more content, more giving. Strive for at least a couple of hours a week outside. Carve out 15-minute segments for a quick walk if that is easier, or take an hour-long hike and a few short walks during the week.

Visit a Good Friend

Isolation is not conducive to happiness, whereas spending time with a good friend helps promote happiness and an overall sense of well-being. Friendship has long been associated with good mental health and happiness, so it is no surprise that visiting a good friend can lift your mood when you need it most.

Have a Laugh or Two (Even More)

Who doesn’t love a good comedy? I enjoy watching sitcoms (especially reruns of Two and a Half Men). Furthermore, growing up, I always laughed a lot. While we didn’t own many material things, we enjoyed experiences. In short, we learned to laugh at ourselves, at life’s seeming contradictions and its many idiosyncrasies.

The science behind why laughter helps promote happiness is clear: Laughter releases endorphins in the brain, making us feel good. Laughter also helps support long-term relationships by cementing social bonds.

Give Yourself a Challenge

The satisfaction you feel when you accept a challenge and do your best to achieve the goal can easily correlate with happiness. We all feel good about ourselves when we aim beyond our comfort zone and tackle something new and difficult. Yes, it can be scary to venture into an activity with uncertain outcomes, but the exhilaration that comes with success is self-reinforcing. We feel confident going after new challenges.

Be Nice to Others

Kindness and being nice to others have a beneficial effect on happiness. Researchers in two separate studies found that practicing kindness boosts happiness and that kindness and happiness encourage each other.

Be kind to someone today. It is one of the best easy ways to ensure you are happy today.

Embrace Happiness

The final item in my best easy ways to ensure you are happy today is embracing happiness. It is good to be happy, not only because it feels wonderful but also because happiness promotes more happiness.

When you do what you love and feel happy, you want to continue to do what you love. You find additional ways to add to that ability, new ways to express your talents, and progress in your learning experiences.

Everyone deserves happiness. We all have the capacity for happiness since it is in our DNA. Call it the happiness gene. For the best easy way to be happy today, embrace happiness.

How to Make the Most of Your Strengths

We all have strengths. Yet many of us have difficulty identifying what we’re good at – much less capitalizing on our abilities to maximize them. So, how do you make the most of your strengths?

10 Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Strengths

The process is straightforward. It is also easy to do. Allow sufficient time for each step and analyze the results. Be patient and forward-looking. Remember that progress is built on a foundation of incremental layers. Think of them as building blocks.

Figure Out What You Do Best

To get started, think about your past successes. What themes or elements stand out? Is it a particular character trait that enables you to push ahead and overcome obstacles? For example, are you determined and unfazed by mistakes or less-than-stellar initial results?

Is there a specific talent you have that you’ve used with success? For example, if you write well, do you use this ability in your career? It could be a significant component of the job requirements or a talent that serves you well in various aspects of your job.

Once you identify what you do best, incorporate that strength into your life. Take writing talent as an example. Start a blog to increase your posts’ visibility and gain a greater audience. If you’re good at woodworking, you could have a side gig selling your hand-crafted products.

Become More Proficient

Suppose you always enjoyed math but haven’t capitalized on that ability. What can you do to make the most of your strengths in this area? Can you become more proficient in mathematics to secure a higher position in your company or another employer? You might consider taking a course or returning to school to obtain a degree.

What if your skills could be better in a particular strength you know you have but do not use to advantage? Again, gaining proficiency is an excellent first step. It could also be that you need to practice using that strength, and it will then work like a finely tuned engine: perfectly humming and with plenty of horsepower.

Whether it is something you once learned or know you are strong in but out of practice, or something you want to learn, by becoming more proficient, you’ll be on your way to making the most of your strengths.

Stay Up to Date

Becoming proficient is essential, but so is the tip for staying current on your strengths and skills. Without ongoing learning – through coursework, seminars, networking groups, clubs, and online classes, your talents could stagnate.

Keep up with current market trends to see how you can best use your strengths, talents, and skills to your best advantage.

Sharpen Problem-Solving Skills

Everyone runs up against a formidable challenge at some point in their career and life. This is human nature. Yet, it can be a partial stop or a severe obstacle. One game-changing tip in solving problems that get in the way of making the most of your strengths is to sharpen problem-solving skills.

Target Your Strengths for Success

What benefit do you get from identifying your strengths if all you do is let them remain unused? Or if you need to use them in pursuit of success? The ideal solution is to target what you’re good at, some trait, skill, ability, or talent to achieve your goals. Making the most of your strengths means targeting them toward a desirable success achievement.

Network to Make the Most of Your Strengths

The key to networking to make the most of your strengths is ensuring you have strategic contacts. Many opportunities to succeed come from recommendations and referrals from connections you make through networking. You gain visibility among your contacts and benefit from word-of-mouth notifications of ways to improve your strengths and take them to the next level.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

While it may be tempting to go along with things as you’ve always done, when it comes to how to make the most of your strengths, this is a no-go. It is time to take a deep breath and embrace the opportunities that come your way.

For example, your company may be expanding or just completing an acquisition. This may allow you to make effective use of your strengths. Yes, you need to be proactive and seek this role, but summoning the courage to do so is worthwhile.

Be Fearless

Success results from putting in the work. It demands the best effort, yet it does not require perfection. That’s many people’s mistaken belief, thinking they must be perfect. When you do your best, you are the best you are. When you learn more and become more proficient, you expand your experience and make the most of your strengths. To do this, be fearless.

Use Technology to Enhance Your Strengths

Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Many worry that artificial intelligence (AI) will render their jobs obsolete. While AI is making significant inroads in labor-intensive industries, it is also surpassing itself in research and development as one discovery zeroes in on the next in the continual progression. There is some cause for concern about AI displacing humanity, which should be monitored, and strong safeguards should be put in place to ensure a human is always in the oversight and control position.

Still, technology helps streamline mundane, repetitive, and complex tasks, freeing time for more strategic planning and implementation. Be sure to utilize the appropriate technology to make the most of your strengths.

Embrace Your Values – They’re Strengths, Too

What about your core values? These are strengths to embrace. They are at the heart of who you are and strive to be. These include honesty, loyalty, compassion, determination, commitment, courage, generosity, adaptability, dedication, and flexibility.

Remember, making the most of your strengths is essential to realizing success and achieving happiness. When you love what you do best and continue to learn and grow, you enhance your opportunities, expand your network, and feel fulfilled and productive. You maximize your ability to live a vibrant life when you make the most of your strengths.

10 Ways You Can Win Big When You Lose

win big when you lose

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Losing could be better. Like winning. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t speaking honestly. Or they’re deluding themselves. No one wants to lose, ever. Not getting the promotion you’ve worked hard for also hurts. Here are ten ways you can win big when you lose.

  1. You win big if you learn something.

If everybody loses at one time or another, the key is to profit from the experience. If all you do is complain about your bad luck or wrong timing, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Figure out what went wrong and learn from it. As long as you come away with a better understanding of what caused this failure, you’re one step ahead when doing it better the next time. Already you’ve turned a loss into the first part of a big win.

  1. Losing can spur you to renew your commitment.

How much do you want to succeed at the action or endeavor you failed? With the right mindset –wanting a successful outcome – you can rededicate yourself and renew your commitment to the goal. This is part of what it takes to develop a winning strategy and reinforce a winning mentality. It is another way to win big if you lose.

  1. After you lose, call on your strengths.

Losing isn’t pleasant in the best of times. In the worst times, losing can seem like the world is against you. Don’t fall prey to that self-defeating line of thinking. Instead, list your strengths and begin to make use of them. Some, no doubt, are strengths you haven’t used for a long time or ever.

This is the time to call on your strengths, for they will help you reinvigorate your willingness to challenge yourself to win again.

  1. Remember, you never give up.

This isn’t the first time you’ve been on the losing end of a situation. Even if this is your first recorded loss, the point is that you know it’s not in you to give up. Those little hurdles you put forth such effort to overcome and continued despite how tough it was? Those were little losses, but you remained steadfast and refused to give up.

You will win again with this can-do attitude. Keep at it, and you’ll be at the finish line before you know it.

  1. Competition makes you sharp.

If everyone had the same amount of talent and ability, the world would be a boring place. Thankfully, there’s competition. When you’re engaged competitively in the same endeavor or pursuit, seeing what others do significantly sharpens your skills, amplifies your determination and motivation, and keeps you engaged.

Do you want to succeed? Are you in it to win? Pay attention to your competition, even the competition you instill in yourself, and you’ll soon win again.

  1. You have greater compassion – because you know how losing feels.

No one likes an arrogant winner. It takes humility – losing – to realize how it feels not to succeed. Since you have lost, you now know how the other person feels. This helps make you a better person, one with compassion and empathy. When you’re in the winner’s circle again, this compassion will help keep your inflated ego at bay.

  1. You gain perspective by looking at the broader picture.

It may be tough to see past the recent loss. Yet that’s precisely what you need to do after you lose. You’ll never be motivated to continue if you can’t gain some perspective to see the broader picture. Your world isn’t a narrow confine or a box you can’t escape.

It’s wide open and waiting for you to discover. This should motivate you to keep going and recognize that this most recent loss is one step to success – and how to win big.

  1. You’re already invested.

You’ve already put significant effort into what didn’t work well. So, you’ve already invested. Therefore, it makes much sense to profit from the effort you’ve already put forth and find new ways of approaching the task, project, pursuit, or endeavor. Refresh your memory with what worked well before and modify or adapt those strategies and techniques to the job.

  1. Gain new insights by sharing experiences with your network.

What you need is a separate set of eyes and ears. By sharing your experience – the recent loss – with your network, you might learn a few things that can help you get back to winning.

Often, it’s just this type of interpersonal communication. Talking over what happened and listening to suggestions and techniques that worked for others is enough to get you back on track to winning again. That loss also won’t feel as painful when you listen to how others came back from losing.

  1. Hold on to your dreams.

In the darkest times, what keeps us going are our dreams. Remember, dearly prized dreams are nature’s way of pushing us to keep going, especially when things look the least favorable.

Your plan may take a little longer to achieve, but you’re making progress if you hold fast and take small steps toward achieving it. This is a sign that you’re a winner, even though you may have lost a thousand times before and likely will again. Hold fast to that dream, and you will achieve it.

Bottom line: The best way to win big when you lose is to use every strategy that works. Persevere until you succeed.

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8 Proactive Ways to Let Go of Anger

8 Ways to Let Go of Anger

Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

When you are angry, it’s hard to find ways to let go of anger. Life holds many frustrations to deal with. These ignite angry feelings and a desire to retaliate.

  • Some inconsiderate driver cuts you off in traffic.
  • The woman in front of you in line at the coffee shop gets the last pastry – the one you had your eye on.
  • Your co-worker takes credit for the report you researched and wrote.
  • Neighborhood kids smashed your car with rocks, causing extensive damage.

You’re angry. You want to lash out. But will this do anything to change what happened? Or will it only make you feel more miserable as you can’t escape the fire of your anger?

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

No one picks up burning hot coal with their unprotected hands. That’s foolish. Fire burns. Yet, that’s exactly what we sometimes do regarding powerful emotions like anger. We hold onto it. Expecting a different outcome than getting burned is the definition of insanity.

8 Proactive Ways to Let Go of Anger

If the best way to deal with anger is to let it go, how do we do that? Here are some suggestions:

Walk Away

Putting some distance between you and the situation or people that prompted the angry feelings, to begin with, is a logical first step. If you aren’t close to the source of your anger, you’re less likely to lash out and do or say something that will cause harm to another. In addition, by walking away, you’ll allow yourself time to cool off so that you can think about what happened in a more rational way.

Identify Why You’re Angry

Take the inconsiderate driver that cut you off. This happens all the time. Why is today any different than another day?

  • What is it about being cut off that makes you so angry now?
  • Is it that you’re already late for work?
  • Is it just another string of things that went wrong today, and this is the last straw?
  • Are you upset with yourself for failing to complete a task or due to an argument with your spouse, child, or co-worker?

By identifying what’s underneath your anger, you’ll be better able to get past it.

Let it Out to Let Go of Anger

Instead of bottling up your anger and holding it inside like a captive coal that continues to burn, find a place to let it out with a scream, a vigorous physical workout, or a good cry. Letting go of the anger before confronting the person that prompted the negative feelings will allow you to behave more constructively and proactively.

Figure Out What to Change

Realize that you have three options when dealing with anger: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it. Once you decide that there’s something you can do to change the situation, act on that. It will help you let go of the anger and move on.

Own Responsibility

Secretly, you might have prompted the situation that made you angry. Instead of trying to shift the blame and punish others, take responsibility for your part in what happened.

Even if you only acknowledge this to yourself, it’s a huge step. Then, focus on what you could have done differently so that the next time something like this occurs, you’ll act in a more responsible way.

Calmly Talk with the Offender to Let Go of Anger

You’ll need to use the walk-away technique before confronting the offender about what made you angry. When you’ve put some time and distance between you and the person and situation, you can better tell that person how you feel about what happened. It’s important to remember that you won’t be able to control how that person reacts. The only thing you can do is express your feelings kindly and calmly. This will help you let go of the anger.

See the Anger Melting Away

The anger you feel doesn’t affect the other person as much as it does you. Knowing this, why hold onto it? Instead, visualize the anger as ice that’s melting away in the heat. Feel the sense of coolness that replaces the anger. This will help you regain peace and kindness toward yourself.

See it From the Offender’s Perspective

The person who angered you wasn’t aware he or she was doing anything wrong. They could have inadvertently done something, not out of malicious intent, just without thinking of the potential consequences. Mistakes happen. People don’t necessarily intend to harm. Recognize that you’ve done the same thing to other people. Have a little compassion. This will go a long way toward your ability to let go of anger.

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7 Ways Fear Holds You Back

How fear holds you back

When was the last time you felt fear? Was it worrying about getting sick when so many around you fell ill? Or the agonizing fear that you would be fired, your loved one would leave, your finances would tank, your investments fail, that you’d be found incompetent or a failure? Everyone feels fear. Sometimes, fear is the last emotion you want to dwell on. Here are some ways fear holds you back, plus helpful tips on workable solutions.

1.    Fear Keeps You Stuck

No one likes feeling stuck. If you cannot motivate yourself to get going, could fear be the reason for your inaction? Are you afraid to succeed or afraid of failure? Is this a new fear or a recurring one? Have you ever been successful before in defeating this kind of fear?

Acting is the only way to become unstuck when fear holds you back. There is a way out of this. The key is to figure out what works best to push past this fear and get moving again.

2.    Fear Makes You Reluctant to Pursue Your Goals

What happened to the list of things you wanted to accomplish in life? What about your short-term goals, which you hoped to achieve in the next month, 6 months, or one year?

Is fear the reason you’ve put those desired goals on the back burner? If so, you’re dealing yourself an unnecessary blow. Not only are you letting your goals slide, but you’re also giving yourself subtle reminders that you don’t deserve to succeed.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You deserve to enjoy success. By working hard and refusing to give up, you’ll push fear into the background and get back to working on what’s important.

3.    Fear is Counter-Productive

The irony is that fear itself never helps you get past the crippling emotion. Also, the more you give in to fear, the less effective or productive you are in most situations. How can you solve a problem or decide if all you’re thinking about is what can go wrong, how ill-prepared you are, or that others will think poorly of you if you fail?

Beyond being counter-productive, though, fear is also self-perpetuating. The more you wallow in fear, the more fearful you become.

Recognize fear for what it is. In dangerous situations, it’s a survival instinct that you feel fear. This helps galvanize you to take action to protect yourself and others. Otherwise, fear should not be allowed to keep you from living your life.

4.    Fear Makes You More Likely to Repeat Mistakes

It’s okay to be afraid. But if you haven’t learned from your mistakes, fear will take over and propel you into repeating those mistakes. Beyond mere repetition, however, mistakes can be compounded by fear. Making one mistake after another can result in a downward spiral that leads to a complete lack of self-confidence and a serious erosion of emotional well-being.

Take stock of mistakes you’ve made. Write down the lessons you’ve learned from those mistakes. These show that you’re capable of making progress. It’s called life.

Everyone makes mistakes. There’s no reason to allow fear to convince you that you’re inept or incapable. You’re not either of those. Believe in yourself, and fear gets the boot.

5.    Fear Makes You Doubt Your Instincts

After succumbing to fear, or finding yourself unable to think about anything else, you’re not in the best mental state to trust your instincts. Even though you’ve made good decisions in the past, you’re worried that your judgment is now clouded. Worse yet, you allow fear to hijack your determination to move forward.

Rather than trust your gut, you endlessly review in your mind why you think your instincts are wrong.

Humans rely on their instincts for more than survival. It’s an inner sense of what to do in a situation that has served mankind well for millennia. You do have good instincts. Try listening to them instead of discounting them.

6.    Fear Makes You So Afraid of Failure, You Avoid Acting

Ever heard of being so paralyzed by fear that you can’t do anything? Some people with a diagnosed mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, are so plagued by fears that they cannot leave the house. Instead of interacting with others and functioning normally in society, they hide away, shun friends and family, and do things that bring them enjoyment.

When fear paralyzes someone to the extent that they are petrified of failure, they’re more likely to do nothing than act.

Remember that inaction is dead-end. Not acting, this is a choice that has profound repercussions. It will not solve any problems and will only worsen existing ones.

7.    Fear, Left Unchecked, Leads to Runaway Emotions

While some fear is normal, allowing fear to run your life is not. When you can’t function in everyday situations because your fear stands in the way, your life is out of control.

This isn’t sustainable, either in the short- or long-term. For one thing, life is less enjoyable. For another, your emotions, sparked by fear, begin to run rampant. You see danger everywhere. You’re less trusting of others. You also don’t trust yourself to make good judgments.

What kind of way is this to live?

Workable Solutions to Overcome Paralyzing Fear

There are effective things you can do to get past the fear that’s holding you back and resume living a joyful life. To succeed, you must dedicate yourself to making healthy choices and taking the risk to change your lifestyle, modifying or eliminating unhealthy behaviors, and recognizing that mistakes do not equal failure. Try these tips to overcome fear:

Employ the 24-Hour Rule

No matter what makes you afraid, one effective solution is to use the 24-hour rule. If you’re afraid of an upcoming surgery, for example, think about getting through the next 24 hours and look at your situation then. You’ll be past the surgical procedure and on your way to healing. You need to think about that 24-hour mark.

This technique works in almost any situation. Can’t wait to go on vacation, but you’re afraid of the flight? By the end of the 24 hours, you’ll have completed your flight or been on your way to your destination.

No matter how fearful you are, your fears are blown out of proportion. It’s not as bad as you thought. You can make it through this. Countless people do it every day.

Talk it Over with Someone You Trust

Discussing what you’re afraid of is an excellent way to deflate fear and reduce its hold on you. Keep in mind that everyone experiences fear. We’re human, and fear is a human emotion.

Listening to how others overcame their fears can inspire you to do the same. What worked for them in surmounting fear could work for you, also. Be willing to give their tips a try.

If nothing else, talking it over with someone you trust is a time-proven way to feel like you’re not alone. This helps boost your self-confidence and encourages you to face your fears head-on.

Start With a Small Act

The only way to overcome fear is to act. If the problem is complex or complicated, start with a small act. This will get you going. There’s nothing like momentum to keep you motivated. Making some small progress will help boost your self-confidence and encourage you to keep going.

Keep a List of What Works

Even if this is a new fear, there’s likely to be an example in the past of something similar. That’s why keeping a list of what’s worked before is often helpful. It may work again. This may require modification to fit the present situation, but you’re up for the challenge. Besides, succeeding in this instance means you’re adding to your reservoir of resiliency. No matter what the situation, when fear rears its ugly head and threatens to derail you, know that you have a stockpile of techniques to use that will get you past the fear.

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Are You Lonely Tonight? How to Combat Loneliness

5 Tips to Banish Loneliness

How to Help Your Child Banish Loneliness

My Best Ways to Deal with Frustration

How to Keep Frustration from Blocking Your Goals

How to Manage Your Anger

How to Start Making Plans When You’re Recovering From Depression

10 Health Benefits of Daily Exercise

10 Ways Nature Helps Your Well-Being

Self-Care: The Most Important Person to Take Care of Is You

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How to Use Time Wisely

Use time wisely

Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” Auguste Rodin.

Everyone has begun a task or project or spent time thinking about what to do and has not yet acted on it. It may be that plans don’t turn out. Worse, they never started. Is all that time wasted? While the obvious response could be yes, the opposite is true – but with a caveat. You’ll never waste time if you use the experience wisely. But how do you do that? Here are some suggestions on how to use time wisely.

Think Long-Term

Life consists of moments. Strung together, they equal the passage of time. Yet it’s impossible to see the time, for humans exist in the present. They remember the past and envision the future, but they must only act now. Even more, a reason to figure out ways to use time wisely. Still, making plans for achieving a goal that requires multiple steps or years to complete means thinking long-term is necessary.

What does that mean?

Instead of contemplating immediate rewards for actions taken, exercise the discipline to forego a reward now by being patient. See what the future holds when diligent effort pays off for each goal stage. And it’s imperative to set benchmark interim goals to be able to see the progress from all the efforts to date.

Some short-term actions may be boring, although they’re necessary. No one gets to the top of the corporate ladder starting at entry-level and vaulting to the executive suite by skipping certain prerequisite steps. It’s necessary to work your way up. Unless, of course, you’re the heir-apparent in a family-owned company or corporation. Even then, the board of directors may have something to say about who takes over as CEO.

Bottom line: See each minor success as another stepping-stone toward goal achievement. It will pay to use this time as wisely as possible if it’s worthwhile. Thinking long-term is a proven strategy to make the best use of time.

Switch Up the Routine to Use Time Wisely

If daily tasks become so boring, they’re something to dread, one surefire way to get through everything is to switch up the routine. Instead of starting the day with an unenjoyable task, begin with a quick task that is pleasant or gives an immediate reward. That could be as simple as stopping by the supervisor’s office or desk and talking about what priorities she wants for today. Be sure to engage in pleasantries for a bit. Acknowledge her family or a recent accolade she’s received, or how the team pitched in to exceed a goal or snag an account.

More Good Uses of Time

After a few minutes, return to your workspace and take up one of the items on today’s to-do list. Spend time tackling that project or task. Yet have a set time to devote to it before diving in on something else. By setting a time limit, the mind gets tricked into working smarter to accomplish more during that time. Besides, you’ll need a break after devoting all your attention to the task.


For another quick reward and to improve productivity overall, intersperse the routine with a walk outside. This could be at lunch or a coffee break or to confer with associates on the next steps for a team project.

Note that switching up the routine works just as well for employees working from home. We’ve all gotten practiced at getting things done from the home environment. That doesn’t mean we forget about good self-care. Fresh air is an excellent way to recharge the brain and get some sunshine in the process. These are excellent ways to use time wisely.

Share What Works with Others

In group meetings, brainstorming often yields solutions to complex problems. Much of what occurs during brainstorming is tossing ideas about what’s worked well before or a suggestion based on personal experience. Sharing what works with others opens a discussion. This may dovetail with one or more of the suggestions. Or it could veer off in another direction based on something new that the group arrives at during the brainstorming session.

  • Sharing can take place without it being a group activity.
  • When faced with the task of strategizing for a long-term goal, put together an action plan and timeline using parts of previously successful campaigns.
  • Divide the work into manageable chunks.
  • Assign relevant tasks to those best suited to them.
  • Confer regularly to check in and see where things stand and who may need help.
  • Celebrating the small wins with others also constitutes sharing what works.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a huge solution. Shortcuts that save time and result in improved productivity are always welcome. Think of this as a tip of the day. Even if the tip doesn’t always work, it may work sometimes or work for someone else. This is yet another straightforward way to use time wisely.

Find the Lesson in the Heartache to Use Time Wisely

What about personal setbacks and heartache? Sometimes these events seem like time stretched out with infinite pain. Going through depression or anxiety, supporting someone’s recovery from an illness, accident, or substance abuse, and helping someone grieve are some examples. Yet here, too, some lessons can prove valuable in how to use time wisely.

  • For one thing, the experience, while painful and endless, will end.
  • Things will improve, although recognizing that it will take time and continued effort to get through it may be difficult.
  • You’ll find that you’re stronger than you think and possess reserves that build on natural resiliency.
  • You can get through this.
  • That’s a lesson many people discover once they’re on the other side of the heartache. Some learn it while amid their suffering.

When someone’s at the end of their life, they won’t find joy and comfort in what’s in their bank account. It’s better to do your best every minute of every day. Live fully in the present. Give yourself to others when you can.

Money and material possessions mean nothing in the end. What does matter is life and the life you’ve lived. Each moment is precious. Celebrate that, and you’ll be on your way to using your time wisely.

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Related Posts:

Why It’s Good That You’re Not Perfect

How to Keep Frustration From Blocking Your Goals

How to Manage Your Anger

How to Start Making Plans When You’re Recovering from Depression

10 Ways Nature Helps Your Well-Being

10 Ways Stress Harms You

10 Quick Ways to Beat Stress

Best Way to Effect Change

Finding Resilience in the Midst of Challenges

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