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7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

7 Things You Should Start Doing To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

Summer is right around the corner. We want to make sure that we’re fully prepared to have the best few months ahead of us. Most of us are too busy finishing off our work projects or exams to think about what needs to be done beforehand, which usually leaves a lot of opportunities and experiences on the table.

Luckily, we’ve accumulated 7 things you should start doing now to make this your best summer yet.

1. Plan Ahead For Travel

The best prices for summer vacation packages was 2 months ago. But don’t worry, it’s never too late. As long as you’re not leaving in the next week, you can still find a lot of great deals online by taking some time to look.

Check out Hipmunk’s 90-Day price chart, which gives you the round-trip flight prices for your desired locations for the next 90 days.

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     2. Try Out A Foreign Language

    If your goal it to travel to a foreign country, it only makes sense to learn a new language. Whether your goal is to travel to South America, Asia, Europe, etc., your experience can be much more enhanced by being able to communicate with the locals in the city. They can show you hot spots, you can build relationships, and live from the point of view of the locals, instead of depending on what journalists from the media outlets share online.

    Check out this free Learn a Language Challenge, which offers you 10 new most common words in your target language every morning (5 mins/day), or if you want to improve your speaking skills, check out Rype.

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      3. Get Your Finances In Order

      With all this talk of travel, we should naturally discuss getting your personal finances in order, because none of what we want to do in the summer can be done without it.

      If you’ve been going out every night to eat and overspending on things you don’t urgently need, it’s probably time to start saving. This isn’t us trying to sound like naggers, but it’s just reality. If you want to travel, enjoy new experiences, and have the best summer yet, it’s going to take money.

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      Check out Mint.com which integrates all of your bank accounts for you, and gives you a visual analysis of your expenses, income, and investments in one place.

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        4. Get Your Health Right

        Nothing works without your health. If you’ve been putting off getting in shape and eating healthy, it’s time to reconsider.

        One incentive is to be able to hit the beach this summer without shame, but the bigger incentive is to have more energy in your daily life. Energy gives us motivation to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and continue to be active throughout our day, week, and month ahead.

        Check out the 7-minute workout, which helps you go through over a dozen different exercises within a span of 7 minutes. Now everyone has the time to get in shape, no matter how busy you are.

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          5. Make the Most Out of Networking Opportunities

          With summer coming around the corner, the opportunity to network with the people you want to meet is shrinking – at least until the end of summer. It’s likely that whoever you want to meet is also going on vacation or taking time off networking to spend time with family and friends, so you should reach out to whoever you need to beforehand.

          Take 15 minutes a day in the morning, afternoon, or evening to reach out to someone you respect, and ask them for a quick coffee while you still can.

          6. Learn a New Skill

          The best part about summer time is not just rejuvenation, but recreation. Recreation of your goals, your knowledge, and skillsets to increase your chances of advancing your career and becoming more valuable in the marketplace.

          Time is always of the essence, so check out these tips on how to learn faster. In summary, we just have to make sure that we’re not multitasking, modeling the best out there, and being persistent with our daily practice habits.

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          Learning how to code? Code something everyday.
          Learning a new language? Practice everyday with a native speaker.
          Learning how to write? Get up and write everyday.

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            7. Re-Connect With Old Friends

            Even the best experiences can’t be fully enjoyed without friends and family around us. Is there an old friend that you’ve lost touch with due to work constraints and other obligations? It happens to all of us, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you can take action.

            Before summer kicks off, message or call up an old friend, and use the next few months to connect together.

            Which of these tips will you take action on to make this the best summer yet?

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            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            No!

            It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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            But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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            What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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            But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

            1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
            2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
            3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
            4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
            5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
            6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
            7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
            8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
            9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
            10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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