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5 Reasons Why You Should Have Total Strangers as Roommates

5 Reasons Why You Should Have Total Strangers as Roommates

Nowadays, it is fairly common for people living in big cities to decide against staying at their mom and dad’s house or on their own. Instead, it’s becoming more and more common for people to live with people who are not blood relations. You know this, of course, being the up-to-date cosmopolitan that you are. But what you may not know is that there are multiple benefits offered to those who take this one step further by deciding to have total strangers as roommates. These benefits include:

1. You Learn to Communicate And Speak Your Mind in a Healthy Way.

If you are living with family, they have likely known you since birth. Therefore, in a lot of communication, you likely rely on your family understanding your body language and the things you don’t say. Even long-term friends who become roommates can understand you in a similarly intimate way. When you decide to have strangers as roommates, you have no such luxury. Every time something annoys you in the slightest, you have to say something, because there is no way these newly-made-intimate strangers are going to know your peccadilloes without having them spelled out.

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2. You Expand Your Social Network.

If you decide to keep living in the same space and spending time doing the same things you’ll likely continue to see the same people. And, as Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” In the same sense, if you desire to meet new people and be exposed to fresh ideas, there’s nothing that will get you integrated into a new group of people as quickly as having strangers as roommates. You open up a whole new network of potential friends, loves, and business contacts just by sharing a living space with people you didn’t previously know.

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3. You Save Money and Live Somewhere You Otherwise Couldn’t Afford.

Millennials are often said to be overly concerned with money, having come of wage-earning age during the Global Financial Crisis, so if there’s one reason you should consider having strangers as roommates, it’s the extra cash you will have in your wallet at the end of each month. I, myself, am about to move in with a few strangers into a townhouse on the West Side of Chicago. I am going to have the top-floor bedroom of this four-storey all to myself, along with ample living space and multiple bathrooms. With the average price of a single bedroom apartment in Chicago approaching $1,600 a month, what I am getting for the price I am paying is a steal.

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4. You Will Learn Which of Your Possessions You Truly Need to Survive.

In moving in with strangers, you will likely have to negotiate concerns over shared space and how much of your “stuff” you can actually haul into this new home. Accordingly, you will find out that your prized Wolfgang Puck Howitzer-Style Cappuccino Maker is not something that is essential to your survival, but, rather, is a fictional appliance I just made up on the spot. In fact, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that your new roommates Keurig machine works just fine in delivering caffeine directly to your blood stream.

5. You’ll Learn How to Be Friendly With People Without Necessarily Having to Be Friends With Them.

The skill of being cordial and friendly with people you don’t know (and may actually want to maintain a distance from) is something that is very valuable in work settings, especially in offices. You’ll have to learn how to have your new roommates like you, and feel warmly towards you, without having them know every detail of your life– or having to eat every meal with them. Trust me, this is a skill that is not easily obtained, but is one that is needed in many circumstances.

Featured photo credit: Peek/MJZ Photography via compfight.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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