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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

Did you know laziness has roots in our survival instincts?

A long, long time ago, our ancestors didn’t have to think long term. They had to stay focused on the here and now, so they could react and survive in case they were attacked by enemies, animals and, well, nature.

Yet, in the modern age, when survival is not our top priority, this instinct prevents some of us to engage in projects that don’t offer immediate results.

The reason for a man being lazy, carved deep into the structures of our brain, is not the only one. Sometimes, people are lazy because they didn’t find their true path and they just don’t know what they would actually like to do.

In case you think of yourself as a lazy person, and you managed to go this far through the article, there might be good news for you. Let’s quickly go through some ideas for improvements that could help you stay consistent.

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Start Working Out

I know, you don’t have time, right? Well, let me tell you something. You do. You need 20 minutes, three times a week, to get some results. “But that’s not enough training time to reap the benefits”, you might think. Well, I don’t want to be rude, but how do you know? Did you try it?

As you can see, it is important to catch that little self-sabotaging part of your ego that says a big NO to any thought that considers taking action. Maybe you have your reasons why you don’t want to work out. Is it that you have to go all the way to the gym, workout, then come back home? Don’t worry, there are workouts you can do at home or outside, so you can get it over with quickly and get good results.

Why am I emphasizing workouts from the start? Because some psychologists say that the reason people are lazy is because there are no immediate results after taking action. Bear with me, it is a fact that exercise floods your blood with endorphins, hormones that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. You will have immediate results after your activity; you will be happy and high on endorphins. Go for it, you can do it!

Increase Confidence

Lack of confidence is often the underlying issue of laziness. Some people are simply born or nurtured to develop good confidence levels. Other have to put some effort into building their own.

It’s not complicated. Some of the handy things that are really helpful are already available, right this very moment. Think about all the things that you have accomplished so far. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. They are still accomplishments.

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This can point out the fields you are good at. If you were trying to overpass your weaknesses, no wonder you had little success. Build on your strengths!

Sometimes it is best to make some goals that can be checked off a list, and boost your self-confidence that way. Start with something small, like go out with friends, read an article online or make cookies.

Stay Motivated and Focused

Don’t get fooled. Even people that are not lazy are having problems staying consistent for a long period of time.

The key lies in understanding passion and boredom. I’ve heard many times that people quit doing something or don’t even want to engage in something due to a lack of focus and motivation. They adopt the lazy mindset just because they think successful people with immaculate work ethics have incredible passion and willpower.

This might sound like news to you, but successful people sometimes feel boredom and a lack of motivation. Still, they somehow manage to go through it without going into lazy mode. What makes them different? They don’t let their emotions determine their actions and stray their course towards planned goals.

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You have to think. Gradually, you will become more introspective and you will be able to tell the exact moment when the emotional drop spills the cup, and all the focus and motivation fades to black. Use that moment to work on yourself. If you find it too difficult, you can always ask for professional help.

Spark your Creative Genius

Start by pronouncing yourself as someone creative. It might sound silly, but believing that you are a creative person will actually help you become one.

There are dozens of methods that can help you spark creativity without breaking a sweat. Write a list of “Must do things this week” or keep and Idea Book.

Becoming more creative is very important if you want to gradually self-improve. It provides a powerful incentive and the energy needed to follow up on your ideas.

Put on the wings of Social Butterfly

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If you start to mingle, you will meet new people with whom you will be able to share your thoughts, worries and ideas. Never underestimate the power of the feedback people give you. Keep your ears open and listen to every word.

Testing your plans and even asking others to help you with something that is bothering you is such a stress reliever. It is important to understand that you want to change your personality, and that takes time.

Hang out with motivated people in real life, let the enthusiasm, energy and motivation of others in. Everything you let into your mind will influence you. Try feeding your mind with positive and motivating things.

Look at all these ideas as a sort of “cheat sheet” on tricking yourself into achieving great things. The only obstacle that stands on your way is you.

This whole transformation is a process, and it is important to take small steps and take time to enjoy small victories. All the rewards that await you on this road will make sure that you get that great sense of achievement. In the end, Rome wasn’t built in a day – as long as you are consistent, even a bit of effort here and there can add up and help you make huge leaps within a few years.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

Or even better:

What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

  • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
  • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
  • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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  1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
  2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
  3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
  4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
  5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

Who can use Excel shortcuts?

There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

  • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
  • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
  • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
  • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

=sum(

…and then press F3.

When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

=match(

…and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

  • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
  • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
  • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
  • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
  • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

9. Use filtering

Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

11. See formula results with F9

If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

Here’s how to use EDATE:

=EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

=EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

Here’s how to use EMONTH:

=EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

=EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

15. Remove spaces with TRIM

TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

20. Use data validation

This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

  • Create dependent drop-down lists;
  • Create drop-down lists;
  • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

21. Use conditional formatting

It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

22. Use formula auditing

This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

The bottom line

As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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