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Routine Checkups That Could Save Your Life

Routine Checkups That Could Save Your Life

Approximately 70 percent of all U.S. deaths are linked to health issues that are actually preventable or highly treatable if you receive regular checkups. There are also countless other unnecessary risks that people take on a daily basis that could easily be avoided. By implementing the following routine checkups, you can potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.

1. Preventative Cancer Screenings

Every year, 4 million people die prematurely from cancer. The good news is that if you begin getting regular cancer screenings, you can drastically reduce your risk of battling an advanced case of this medical condition. Anyone who has a family history of a specific type of cancer should get an annual screening, and there are also preventative screenings available for people based on their age, gender, and race. Be sure to consult with your doctor about the type of cancer screenings that would be most beneficial for you, and follow through as recommended to help avoid an unnecessary premature death.

2. Eye Tests To Detect Harmful Eye Diseases

When most people think about issues that could impact their eyes, they are likely to be primarily concerned with going blind. In reality, because your eyes are so complex in their anatomical structure, a routine eye examination can reveal a lot about your underlying health. For example, an eye exam can identify serious health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Regardless of whether or not you have perfect vision, the average person should be getting their eyes tested once every two years. This is even more vital if you have a family history of any type of eye disease, as your risk factor will be increased.

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3. Regular Tire Inspections To Avoid A Highway Blowout

Having a tire blowout is dangerous at any speed, but this potential danger becomes greatly exacerbated on the highway. After all, not only will you be traveling more quickly but there will also be a lot of fast-moving traffic that may be unable to avoid hitting your vehicle if it stops suddenly. Some experts indicate that approximately 400 deaths are caused in the U.S. each year by tire blowouts, so it is definitely wise to avoid this problem with tire inspections. As an added bonus, getting your tires rotated and inflated regularly will increase their life and decrease your vehicle’s gas consumption.

4. Dental Checkups To Detect The Early Signs Of Gum Infection

A serious gum infection can lead to several complications, and you could even die if you do not get assistance quickly enough. With this in mind, it makes sense to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup. It is also important to note that gum disease can be shared via kissing, which means that going to the dentist regularly could save you and your partner a lot of pain in the future.

5. Property Inspections To Identify And Repair Hazards

Your home or business undoubtedly passed a property inspection at some point, but when was the last time that you had the grounds thoroughly inspected? You may not realize it, but trip hazards and other problems can easily develop. If someone is injured or killed because your premises have become unsafe, you can be held legally accountable. Additionally, there is a strong possibility that you, a loved one, or a pet will end up getting injured or worse if hazards are not identified and repaired.

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6. Depression Screenings For Those With A Family History Of Mental Health Issues

Tragically, suicide is the tenth-leading cause of fatalities in the U.S., and 42,773 people took their own lives in 2014. Each of these deaths could have been prevented with proper access to mental health care, including depression screenings. If you have a family history of mental health problems, it is wise to undergo a depression screening at least once a year. This is especially vital if you begin feeling sad on a regular basis. Keep in mind that many people suffer from depression for several weeks or months before they recognize what is happening. Be open about your family history with your physician so that they can help you stay mentally healthy and safe.

7. An Annual Vet Visit Can Save You And Your Pet From Many Dangerous Diseases

An annual vet visit is a good idea to ensure that your pet remains in good health, but getting into this habit can also personally benefit you and the other human members of your household. Dogs and cats can pass several potentially deadly illnesses to their two-legged friends, including rabies and Lyme disease. Fortunately, a veterinarian can identify and treat issues that might otherwise be passed to you.

8. Work Equipment Should Be Routinely Inspected To Prevent Deadly Injuries

According to OSHA, hundreds of people die each year as the result of using work equipment that is defective or improperly assembled. This makes it imperative for every piece of equipment you work with to be inspected regularly. If you are not given this opportunity, be sure to say something to your supervisor. It is against OSHA regulations for equipment to not be properly maintained and inspected, so your employer has a legal obligation to follow through on any complaints.

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9. Weekly Weigh-Ins Offer Critical Health Details

Sudden weight loss or gain is often one of the body’s first indicators that something is seriously wrong. Therefore, if you weigh yourself weekly, it will be easy to determine if something unusual appears to be happening to your weight. There are many diseases that are often accompanied by unexpected weight loss, including parasitic infections, Parkinson’s disease, depression, tuberculosis, HIV, and leukemia. Many people first discover an issue because their weight changes rapidly, but you may not notice this symptom quickly enough without weekly weigh-ins.

10. Monthly Skin Self-Inspections Can Detect Early Signs Of Melanoma

Sudden changes to your skin could be indicative of the early stages of melanoma, so you should set aside some time once a month to do a self-inspection of your skin. Any changes in the surface of an existing mole or the spread of pigmentation should be closely monitored and reported to your doctor. Just like every other type of cancer, early detection and treatment will greatly increase your chances of making a complete recovery.

Aside from utilizing the previously listed 10 tips, it is also necessary to be aware that your specific medical checkup needs will change based on your age. Make sure that you discuss these changing needs with your physician to ensure that you get exactly what you need in a timely manner.

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Featured photo credit: Conor Lawless via flickr.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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