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5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

5 Things You Should Do Every Year When The Weather Gets Nice

No matter how mild the winter, spring always brings a welcome improvement to the weather. Before you know it, areas that were, just weeks earlier, covered in snow and barren trees are full of lush greenery and flora.

Though we humans don’t hibernate throughout the cold months of the year, many of us use winter as a sort of “downtime,” during which we stay indoors as much as possible. When spring arrives, we emerge from our warm nests, ready to finally enjoy our surroundings yet again.

The following is a list of ways in which you can maximize your enjoyment of nature during the season when the Earth regains its liveliness.

Prepare Your Yard

You most likely don’t take much care of your yard during the cold, wet, winter months — and that’s fine. But when the spring rolls around, you’ll need to do some work to make it look presentable again.

If you didn’t rake your lawn before the last snowfall of the year, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of unsightly leaves that never ended up decomposing. While a lawn full of leaves probably didn’t stand out in November, it certainly will in April and May. Take care of them as soon as possible.

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If need be, plant grass seed throughout your lawn to patch up any areas that need it. Remove any weeds, sticks, and brambles from your garden, and replant annuals as needed.

Finally, break out the grill, hammock, and anything else you know you’ll be using throughout the spring and summer months. It might not be warm enough to use them right away, but you’ll be prepared to do so when the sun finally peeks out.

Prepare Your Home

Everyone knows about spring cleaning, right?

As mentioned above, you may have gone through a period of downtime throughout the winter months, during which you might have allowed your home to get a little, well, messy.

Take some time to dust off surfaces, clean out closets, and air the rest of your home out. Just getting some fresh air circulating throughout your house can improve your health and elevate your mood.

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As you move things around to dust and sweep, you might realize you have a ton of miscellaneous items around the house that you never really use. Instead of tossing them back into the closet to collect even more dust, consider having a yard sale. You’ll end up with a little extra change in your pocket as well as some extra space in your home.

Have BBQs and Picnics

The first day that the weather is nice enough to eat outside is always a cause for celebration. There’s just something about eating outside that makes certain foods taste better.

Whether you’re having a small party with friends and family or a nice quiet lunch with your loved one, you’ll have a to do a bit of preparation. Make sure you have all the utensils and cutlery you need to cook and eat your delicious meal, as well as napkins or paper towels to clean up afterward.

Also, make sure you have some citronella candles and bug spray handy. Nothing ruins a potato salad quite like a swarm of mosquitos.

Lastly, bring some warm clothes just in case it gets a little chilly. It might be 85 degrees in the sun, but if clouds start to roll in, the temperature can drop quickly.

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Get Up and Out

Obviously, the springtime is a great time to enjoy some outdoor activities. You wouldn’t play baseball in the house, would you?

Even if you don’t need to be outside to partake in an activity, you should still get up and get out. Take your laptop or book outside instead of staying cooped up in the house all day. Bring your guitar outside and let the neighborhood hear you as you practice. Paint a picture of your surroundings or take photographs of the blooming flowers.

We simply weren’t meant to spend our life inside. Get out and enjoy yourself.

Get Dirty

Just as we weren’t meant to stick around indoors all our lives, we also weren’t meant to be pristinely clean all the time, either.

Most of the items on this list require you to forget all about cleanliness, at least for a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and not care about how ridiculous you look.

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Throw on an old pair of jeans and start a garden. Play catch with your nephew. Eat with your fingers and wipe it on your shirt.

The spring is not only a time of rebirth, but it’s also the perfect time to forget all your worries for a little while and remember what it was like to be as carefree as a kid. Don’t let it slip away.

Featured photo credit: Declan Rex via unsplash.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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