When it comes to productivity, there isn’t much better than time blocking in order to keep yourself on track and completing the work you know you’d like to get done.
Resistance to these types of activities can help us become distracted or worse yet drop the task altogether for a less meaningful but more urgent one.
We have to be prepared that these things will happen regularly and combat them with specific documentation of when we will get our project done. Whatever it might be chances are it is important to an idea or plan you’ve developed to help at an unforeseen time in the future.
Help that future self out by recognizing the important work we must get done today and schedule it out on the calendar and then hold yourself accountable. Block an hour out and go hard for that hour. Block 25 minutes, take a break, and then go for another 25-minutes. Test out some different things for a week to see how you work best. Break it up another way depending on the tasks you have to complete. The strategy you use is not as important as the consistency of using it.
If we don’t stay consistent, we’ll get down the road and be filled with regret that we put off that thing we really wanted to do and feel like we are further behind. By building a great habit of time blocking you’ll be much more prepared to achieve your goals and feel a sense of accomplishment that you had the foresight to chip away at these projects because you knew what the grander strategy was all along.
Life ebbs and flows. Some days we are on the highest of highs and others it’s the lowest of the lows.
Rarely, on the best days, are we ever thinking about despair or loneliness or how we are ever going to get out of this feeling. It’s only on the bad days
Rarely, on the best days, are we ever consumed by the passing watch hands and can’t wait for something to change and get us out of this nightmare. It’s only on the bad days.
Rarely, on the best days, are we ever comparing ourselves to others wishing we were smiling and laughing and being loved by everyone around us. It’s only on the bad days.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” as the great quote goes.
It’s always in comparison to others or to what we don’t have or to what is absent in our lives, that sucks the joy out of it. We all go through this and we know it’s not easy.
But, this too shall pass.
How quickly it passes can be directly related to our efforts in recognizing our triggers and our emotional state when those triggers come to fruition.
We can’t blame others. We have to take ownership and look in the mirror. We can fix this.
Is our worth tied up in others? Are we doing things that make us come alive? Have our decisions put us in stressful situations? How can we learn at this moment to make future moments more manageable?
These questions and others around it can help us focus on the problem areas of our life and address the parts that we need to improve. Generally, there is a “self” before them. We need to have more self-love, self-awareness, self-observation, self-control, etc.
Life can be hard a lot of the time but once we choose to make the effort to approach it in a way where we are in control instead of situations and people controlling us, we have a wonderful chance to lean into happiness more often.
We can’t expect to get most things right the first time. That’s the whole essence of learning. By putting ourselves in situations that make us beginner learners, we get the opportunity to experience all-new types of emotions and feelings that we haven’t felt this exact way before.
That is a form of freedom.
We don’t pressure ourselves by thinking we know it all and therefore have to perform at the highest peak of our talent. Instead, we get the chance to mess up, look silly, and learn from all of our mistakes
Our ego may get tested by having us shed this cloak of confidence but in the end, we’ll be more prepared for the journey ahead because most of the time we don’t know it all and we don’t know what will happen.
Having the freedom to be okay with that is one of the more liberating things we can do for ourselves.
In any planned first encounter, it can be highly important to spend some amount of time preparing. This can be true on a first date, an interview for a job, a podcast interview, etc.
First impressions are everything as they say. In our world, as it exists today, not preparing is lazy.
Years ago it was perfectly acceptable to take this approach because it might have been uber-difficult to search for any information. The people who went above and beyond and did some reconnaissance work prior often had the upper hand.
There is so much information available that starting at “square one” makes the person receiving our message or question feel like we don’t care as much. Like we didn’t put any work into this relationship. Like we are just treating them like another number.
That doesn’t fly anymore. We know less is more. High-quality conversations with high-quality people are what we are striving for.
Next time, remember that the more we are prepared with knowledge on the person, company, or otherwise, we are getting a head start to help build confidence, connection, and respect on a much deeper level with the person on the other side.
And who knows, maybe they prepared for the conversation with you, too.
There are a few definitions of the word but I’d lean toward what the masses would articulate as weird and that is by using another word; Different.
That’s what kids mean when they say something is weird. They mean they don’t understand it, it’s new, it’s unlike anything they’ve seen before. It’s different.
Kids generally tell it like it is. They speak their mind as the stream of consciousness flows. And that should inform us of something.
Weird isn’t bad, it’s just different.
We should consider our “weirdness” a gift we can share with the world and look upon it as a benefit.
Have you ever watched a Sci-Fi Movie or Show where everyone dresses the exact same and basically looks the same? Can we even imagine how boring and limiting that must be? We can’t express ourselves, we can’t find people who share our values or our interests, we can’t find our tribe to belong to. To me, that seems like a sad way to go about living.
When we truly discover ourselves, find self-love, and detach away from the outside noise we can start to find where we belong. We can do the things that make us feel good, bring us joy, and allow us to express ourselves. We can find belonging with people who accept us for who we are and what we bring to the table. It doesn’t mean someone has to always agree with us or won’t challenge us but it’s someone who is there to be supportive and generous with their time and effort in the relationship.
We should consider changing our perspective on what weird is and why it’s important. The problem we see with the world is that we want everyone to have our weirdness and think like us and if they don’t it must mean there is something wrong with them.
Deep down we really know that’s not true.
Deep down we know it’s an “us” issue and not a “them”.
Deep down we still have work to do.
They may not be the people you connect with or form a strong bond with but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have their own voice. Acceptance of others and gaining perspective on how others may think, feel, and act as the first big step to growth and being comfortable with who you are and knowing it’s okay if others aren’t exactly the same way.
I’m weird and I think being your own kind of weird is really cool.
We might convince ourselves that the next “life hack” or shortcut will get us to the next level quicker or that speeding up and working harder will be the key to our success.
I’m not sure that is entirely true.
Have you ever been driving and seen someone fly by you, weave in and out of cars, and get in what appears to be the fastest lane only to end up right next to you at the next stoplight? Or, even worse, those actions to maneuver cost themselves much more by getting into an accident.
We have to understand ourselves and where our “north star” is pointing us to help set the tone for our daily work and future plans. Just because others appear to be going faster or are more accomplished doesn’t mean we have to be doing the same thing they are.
The quicker that we accept that consistent work over an extended period of time is what ultimately drives us to a happier and more fulfilling life, the sooner we can avoid the pitfalls of cutting corners and trying to make ourselves feel like we are accomplishing things. In reality, it may be holding us back from the generous work we really want to be focusing on and putting out into the world.
Anyone that strives for any sort of happiness or a life of fulfillment, whatever that means for you, has to go through the hard struggle that it never comes easy and it also never comes fast.
We are trained to set goals for ourselves and visions of the future, which can be good in a way. But, if we are not careful, they can also become a detriment to our daily practice and consistency.
We can get so focused on the big picture and feel like we are so far away from it that it can actually discourage us from making progress. We might feel that a small project we are doing today isn’t as important so we put it off. Hours turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. We never actually get around to do that thing.
Trying to achieve a big dream is like cutting the grass on a football field with a pair of kids’ scissors. You can grind through a day and not make any headway at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.
Each obstacle we run into, each moment of despair, each roadblock are all opportunities to get creative and look at the problem in a new way, maybe a different way than we’ve ever considered. This enlightenment could be the very catalyst that creates a new path of learning and propels us forward more quickly than before.
It’s rarely the accomplishments that advance us the most. We need to get comfortable with riding on the struggle bus and relish all of the opportunities of learning that come with that process.
Remember, it’s not the destination but the path that got us there that ends up being the most rewarding.
Blocking out the noise and going to do what we feel compelled to do sounds easier said than done at times. We often hear the opinions of others and let that in some way give us a false start and second guess the endeavors or ideas we want to go tackle.
Think about all the times people told us “You can’t do that” and then we proved them right. In those moments, trusting what we believe is best for us might have been the better decision.
How come we took their thoughts as gospel and we neglected our own?
You rarely see this with kids and I think we should all strive to be like nine-year-olds again where we listen to what other people are telling us we should do and then we go do the thing we want to do instead.
We are going to gain some valuable lessons and experiences anyways, they might as well be on our own terms.