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15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

City dwellers have some strange ideas about people who live in the countryside. The charm of a country life may attract suburbanites during holidays. But there are some things you’ll only know if you actually grew up in a rural area.

1. You don’t need an alarm clock

The rooster in your backyard wakes you up every morning at the crack of dawn. It doesn’t come with a snooze button either. Some of you would argue that roosters actually have a built-in snooze button. They’ll crow approximately every 2 minutes for about 8 cycles. But you’ll have little luck sleeping in.

2. You know your neighbors’ birthdays

The village isn’t like the city where neighbors don’t talk to each other. Even though people don’t exactly live right next door, you take the time to get to know your neighbors really well. Well enough to know when their birthdays are.

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3. You catch up on local news at the local pub/bar

The community is scattered over a vast expanse of land. But, come weekend, everyone loves a tipple and catches up on the latest news at the local pub. Whether it’s jobs or someone’s had a baby, you’ll get to hear it here.

4. You have to plan for your grocery run

Unless you’re in a rather dense village and the corporations haven’t ignored your town, chances are you’ll have to travel a bit to get to the nearest grocery store. If the town is a good 30 minutes away, you had better well make sure you have your groceries for the week planned well in advance. The supermarkets are only open till 5:30 PM on weekdays and till noon on Saturday (if you’re lucky). When in doubt, you end up buying surplus provisions. It can always be thrown in the freezer.

5. You learn to become handy around the house

Getting a tradesman to come in and fix up the broken tap or the faulty lawnmower will only rob you of bragging rights at the pub. You end up asking your friends or just putting your mind to it and figuring out how it’s done. And once you’re done fixing it, you go back out to chop wood. What good is a fireplace without it? When in doubt, you use duct tape. If that doesn’t work, a staple gun or liquid nails (glue) will do the job just fine.

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6. You are part of a close knit community and proud of it

We have a strong sense of community because there are only so many people that matter. Some of us have helped Mr. Brown herd his cattle and assisted the local junior soccer team in raising funds to keep the club going. Although we’re not exactly best mates with everyone, we do have a smirk on our faces every time we think of our community. Most of us are close enough to the community that we can spot a stranger a mile away. Let the staring games begin!

7. You learn to drive at a very young age

ATVs, motocross bikes, trucks, tractors, etc. are all just toys waiting for a master to commandeer them. With the limited number of hands available in the household to assist with chores, you learn to master these machines well before you actually reach the legal age to drive.

8. They think we shop at the farmers market

Farmers markets are pretend-markets for the suburban and city dwellers. Food reaches you through the same channels as everyone else: supermarkets. You’ll likely have a favorite local deli or butcher, but all other packaged foodstuff still comes from the supermarket. How else is one supposed to get carrots and bananas all year round? However, the barter system is alive and well in the country and still very much legitimate currency. Veggies are swapped between neighbours. You can trade wild rabbits or ducks for farmed pigs with your farmer friends. Eggs are traded for lemons.

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9. You have a veggie patch even if you farm

This is more of a charm and a privilege of having more land available to you. Those apartment dwellers would never be able to get away with it. Your veggie patch gives you instant access to herbs and other condiments like tomatoes and chillies just in case you forgot to pick them up in the last grocery run. Besides, it doesn’t get any fresher than plucking the veggie off the vine.

10. You don’t have to lock the door to your home

The odds of someone breaking in are so slim that it really isn’t worth a bother trying to lock the door behind you. Your property is remote enough that anti-social elements dare not venture anywhere near it.

11. You have to drive everywhere

Unless you’re out for a stroll on your acreage, this one is in fact true. Distance between dwellings and amenities make driving a necessity. Even if you were to give your neighbor, whose birthday you know so well, a Mars bar slice, you would have to drive over, because they live 3 miles away. That being said, I’ve come across a fair few cyclists in country towns.

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12. We love having guests “pop in”

“Popping in” starts with the obligatory “Heeellllooooooo,” 40 decibels higher than one would normally speak. That’s just in case the person you’re popping in to see is out in the massive backyard feeding the chicken. If there’s no answer, you’re fully endorsed to let yourself in through the back gate to see if they’re in the back shed. I said back shed, because the front shed is for fixing things and the back shed is for chicken feed and pick-axe. And don’t worry, the giant Boxer, Alsatian, Rottweiler dog is there for show. They’re a friendly lot, unless you’re the town veterinarian. If so, RUN! If not, just let yourself in the house, which is unlocked, and make yourself a cup of coffee. The neighbor probably just popped out for more milk and should be home soon.

13. You prefer quiet time

Unlike urban life which is on the go all the time, you have the privilege of putting some quiet time aside for yourself. No, this isn’t isolation. Just time to reminisce and perhaps meditate and enjoy the peace within and around you. The best time for quiet contemplation is at night. In the country, where there is a distinct lack of street lighting, the stars seem to shine brighter. You can see the “arms” of our galaxy. Put on your stove top kettle, make a cup of coffee (or tea), take out the deck chair, and watch the stars (and occasional satellite) while sipping your coffee with a homemade cookie to munch on.

14. You are culturally in sync with the world

It’s the 21st century and the great invention that is internet, shortly after television, has made its way to rural towns. That’s right, city-slickers, we have the same sort of access to information and programs as you do. While you’re reading this we’re already thinking of whether to go to Bordeaux or Burgundy for our upcoming vacation in France.

15. You know that not everyone from the country is a horse rider

This has got to be the most common misconception among suburban and city dwellers. The first thing they think of about rural lifestyle is horse riding. Practically everyone has cars these days, and horses have been replaced by ATVs for the most part. Unless you’re part of the local pony or rodeo club or are a horse breeder, chances are you are unlikely a horse rider. The movie “city slickers” has a lot to answer for.

Featured photo credit: Australian Apprenticeships via australianapprenticeships.gov.au

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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