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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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