Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.
We all want to be brilliant, fully-motivated and active, and we want to do as many things as possible in 24 hours. But we all complain “I wish I had more time,” “I wish I had more energy,” “If only I could take that course once a week,” and we give up on half the tasks and commitments we had.
So, we all have many dreams and projects but we don’t achieve a lot. When you feel that we are not able to get things done, and this is immensely frustrating. What prevents us from crossing half or more the items off our daily to-do list is something simpler than you think, it’s something very close to us: it’s actually our state of mind.
All of our actions start in our mind. With the right mindset, we can get everything done on our to-do list. As a result, what we need to do to get our things done is to change our mental approach to time management and organization. This is especially difficult for women and men with both a family and career to care for. For example, a woman with all these challenges needs to be perfectly organized, she needs a lot of energy and the right attitude to face all her daily tasks.
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Keep Your Mind Clear And Stress-Free
If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open for everything.
— Shunryu Suzuki
The most important thing is trying to have as few distractions as possible to let our mind work properly on our projects and organization. Worries bring confusion and inefficiency, they slow down our productivity and they don’t let us focus on our daily activities – they make us waste time on thinking, worrying and trying to remember what we have to do. We are like computers, our brain is our hard disk, and it needs as much space as possible to work efficiently and productively.
What if your whole day were completely under your control? What if your mind were completely clear and stress-free? I guess you would be able to focus entirely on whatever you are working on. And you would know perfectly where things are headed. This would let you achieve both your short-term and long-term goals without feeling exhausted.
Eliminating all the useless worries and thoughts is crucial to make more space in our mind. This actually makes our brain work 100 percent efficiently. But how can we do this?
It’s simpler than it seems. According to David Allen, the author of “Getting Things Done,” in order to have everything under control, we need to “get things off our mind.” We need to create a trusted management system outside our mind, and we have to use it as our most important tool where we capture all our thoughts, projects and worries. This way our mind will be clear, stress-free and ready to work efficiently. Whether you use a list to organize yourself or a phone app to help you remember what is important, getting things off of your mind are essential.
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Don’t Forget To Dream
If you can dream it, you can do it.
— Walt Disney
I cannot stress enough how important it is to dream. In all this chaos, we need to feel motivated in order to go through our challenging days. And there is only one thing that can powerfully encourage us to work for the achievement of our goals: having a dream.
This means being ambitious, and having that strong motivation that makes us work hard day and night to attain what we really want. So, what you really need to do is putting yourself in the state of mind where you strongly believe that you will soon turn your dream into reality and that you are working every day on it. You need to wake up excited every morning because of the goals you are working on, and you can do it only if you are in the right state of mind.
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What you should work on…
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
— Joseph Campbell
As we mentioned before, being a working woman can be really challenging, if you are not well-organized or are overlooking some elements of your life, you can easily feel overwhelmed by your daily to-dos.But, what are these important elements?
The most important part of your life you should care for, especially if you are a working mother, is yourself. With this I mean that you must find some time to dedicate to yourself. During this time you could for example go for a walk, read a book or enjoy a hobby. The important thing is that you spend some time alone and do something that you really enjoy. You need to do something nice for yourself, every day.
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Another important part is taking care of your social life. This means that you have to make sure that you are surrounded of good people with a positive mindset, and spend time with them organizing nice activities to enjoy together.
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The last aspect I would like to highlight is your well-being. This is very similar to the first part we talked about, but it’s not the same thing.
This has nothing to do with time. This refers to the habit of regularly taking care of yourself, eating well, exercising, meditating and spending time with the people you love, understanding and believing that this has a positive impact on your life.
Image: Giuseppe Chirico
Featured photo credit: markus spiske via flickr.com
Last Updated on July 16, 2019
6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills
Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.
Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:
What to have for dinner tonight?
Which route to take to work?
How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?
How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?
Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.
No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.
Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?
Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.
Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.
Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.
How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills
Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.
You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.
When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.
1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem
Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem. This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.
I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.
2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem
5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.
By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.
If the problem is “always late to work”…
- Why am I late to work?
I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
- Why do I want to go on sleeping?
I feel so tired in the morning.
- Why do I feel tired in the morning?
I slept late the night before, that’s why.
- Why did I sleep late?
I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
- Why did I drink coffee?
Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.
So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.
3. Simplify Things
As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.
Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.
4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible
Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.
Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.
Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.
5. Think Laterally
Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,
‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”
Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!
Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.
6. Use Language That Creates Possibility
Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.
Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.
The Bottom Line
There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.
Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.
Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.
So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.
More About Problem Solving
- How to Solve Any Problem Efficiently with 5 Whys (Step-By-Step Guide)
- 30 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Creativity
- The Power of Deep Thinking: Essence of Creativity
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
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