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14 Fall Activities To Do Alone

14 Fall Activities To Do Alone

What do you think of when you think of fall? I think of changing colours, cozy textures and longer hours stargazing. If you love fall, and love doing things alone, then here’s 14 ideas for you.

1. Walk under a confetti of leaves

Autumn leaves are ethereal and beautiful. When you notice the wind blowing slightly, why not wrap up warm and stroll down a tree-lined avenue? There isn’t a more mindful exercise I can think of as walking through a confetti of golden and red leaves, feeling them brush past your skin, whilst hearing your feet crunch down the carpet of fallen leaves.

2. Mull your own (fermented) juice

Fall is all about warm spicy drinks. Where ginger, cinnamon and star aniseed infuse into wine, cider or juice and dance on your tastebuds. Throw in some demarara sugar, orange and lemon peel into a pot on low heat and you’re all set. Or, you can always buy a pre-made mulled spice mix.

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3. Cozy-fy your house and your body

What are your favourite textures when it gets cold? Cotton, wool, angora or a custom blend? Do you start to think of chunky knits too? Why not break out your collection of sweaters and coats to adorn your body? Then, get those blankets and winter cushions out of storage. Assemble your favourite candles and lamps, and turn your home into a vision of what Fall Coziness looks like.

4. Make a pinecone bird feeder

If you love wildlife, then this is for you. Mix 0.5 cup of shortening or peanut butter with 2.5 cups of raw oats, chopped up dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Cover a pinecone with the mixture, then tie it to a string, before suspending it from a tree branch. There, you have an autumn-worthy bird feeder.

5. Set your goals for the end of the year

As the end of the year draws near, sometimes we have goals that we’ve yet to start on. If so, ask yourself what you’d like to have achieved as 2015 closes, and then take steps to work towards that. Feeling unmotivated or procrastinating too much? Perhaps this guide on creating momentum and slaying procrastination may be of use.

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6. Bike to the woods

The energy of the woods changes with the seasons. In autumn, everything feels like they are in a state of transition, as though they are preparing for hibernation. Why not bike through the woods, or stroll leisurely. Take in your surroundings and see what animals you can spot. Bonus: Pick the berries and apples that you spot, to make a hearty pie with.

7. Eat your way through everything pumpkin and squash

Farmers’ markets in the fall are full of everything pumpkin and squash. It feels as though there are endless recipes available for these versatile fruits. Pumpkin and almond waffles. Squash and bacon risotto. Mauritian pumpkin curry. Why not visit a few farmers’ markets and open your tastebuds to the infinite world of pumpkin and squash?

8. Explore a nearby town or village

Is there any place nearby you’ve been wanting to explore? Fall is as great as any time to do so. Make a list of things you want to do in this place, decide on how you’ll get there, and off you go. May you have a beautiful fall-scented adventure there.

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9. Go apple picking

Did you know that there are more than 7,500 apple species in the world? Like grapes, cocoa and coffee, the different apple species are favoured for their taste, acidity and uses. If you love cider or apple-rich desserts, then a visit to an apple farm may be in store.

10. Visit a castle in the afternoon

Castles are full of history and mystery. You can spend hours exploring it, dining in it or taking part in the activities organised by the owners. In fall, visiting a castle in the afternoon means that the sun would have set by the time you’re finished. If you have a vivid imagination, it’s like stepping out into another world, possibly making your visit even more memorable.

11. Stock up on your cold weather reading

Where do you get your books from? Kindle? Second-hand bookstores? Libraries? Independent shops? If you like to read, snuggling under a blanket in fall by the fire and getting immersed in your book can be one of the best experiences ever. Especially if it’s raining outside and you’d love to stay in, sipping your drink-of-choice whilst soft jazz plays in the background.

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12. Roast pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are extremely nutritious and high in energy. What’s more, they taste fantastic. For every pumpkin you cook, you’ll find hundreds of seeds. Why not roast them at 350F for 15 minutes, letting the beautiful aromas waft through your house. Great flavours include chilli oil, paprika and sea salt; fennel and garlic oil; and salted caramel and ginger.

13. Go on a Ghost Walk in your town

Think you know your town really well and are bored of it? Well, think again. It probably has a fascinating (dark) history that only those who dig deep enough will know. How do you learn about it whilst having fun? Ghost Walk tours may be your answer. Find one, wear good walking shoes, and prepare to be spooked.

14. Curate your fall scents

What smells remind you of fall? For me, it’s baked pies, hearty stews and spiced drinks, as I move away from the crisp-er summer scents. Can you translate any of these smells into perfumes and essential oils? If yes, why not assemble a Fall Scent Collection. Burn them in the form of incense, pour a few drops onto your candles, and mix some into your body lotion to live and breathe your signature fall smell.

Featured photo credit: Single Apple Hanging from Tree/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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