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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 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

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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