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How to Survive the Holidays.

How to Survive the Holidays.

The holidays are a time for joy, wonder, love, and cheer. They give us an opportunity to reconnect with family, laugh with friends, and can provide us with a rare respite from the humdrum of the day-to-day.

However, they can also give us those awkward moments that we wish we could forget, handle better, or avoid completely. Here, I will give you a few tips on how to survive the holidays.

Family

Loved Ones

It’s always exciting to see that family member that you haven’t seen in “forever”, the new additions to the family, and of course the elders in their twilight. It’s a truly a beautiful thing. You should be aware of everyone equally. Don’t play the priority game with the ones that you love. Be weary of favoritism – provide everyone with the warmth and affection that they deserve. Sure, you may miss a moment or two with your “bestie” but in turn gain moments of love with the people that you’d never expected to adore with all your heart. Life is short, so love everyone thusly.

Not So Loved Ones

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Everyone has a relatively torrid history. There may be a person or two in attendance that you may not be very fond of. Remember, it’s the holidays. That individual(s) has dealt with the separatism for long enough. Extend your heart to them. If they rebuke the gesture, it’s okay, but never underestimate the power of love pitted against repudiation.

Festivities

Host

It’s never easy hosting a party. The stress mounts, the bar raises, and everyone seems to be unappreciative. The trick here is to acknowledge that most of the attendants are simply happy to be invited. They’ve come because they trust in your abilities as a host -abilities that you’ve proven yourself capable of transcending. There is no need to worry or over-reach. They’re the ones whose job it is to impress you. Give it your best effort and the crowd will follow suit in their praise.

Attendee

Etiquette is the key ingredient to participating in a successful gathering. Mind your manners, dress according to code, and obey the same “unwritten rules” that you do every day. No one enjoys a show-off and everyone hates an isolate. Find your niche and use it to happily engage your fellow patrons. Use your strengths as a person to commit to the success of the event, not to its detriment. You’re an attendee – not a judge – so act accordingly. Complimenting the host is not required (though it is highly encouraged).

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Interaction

Social

If you’re a social butterfly, then you are allowed to fly free (but not without some assistance). It’s never okay to gossip, mock, or “stir the pot”. If you’re bored, find someone interesting, talk to them. Chances are that they’re bored as well. Just don’t do anything regretful. Gatherings can tend to bring out the worst in people, so this is not the time to give an expose’. Use your powers for good! Connect the room. Whether you’re loud, angry, miserable or frustrated, these people love you. Find a way to bridge that gap and love them back – with the best of you.

Non-Social

You’ll be seen as the outcast – but this is a positive. This is your chance to break out of the rut. For {insert reason here} you feel as if you don’t connect with the people that you’re “forced” to see. But you have to understand that the tables of reality are turned.  Here, they wish to see you. The holidays are a happy time. Your goal is to show them what makes you happy and what makes them smile. Your connection with them could last a lifetime.

Conversation

Talker

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“Shut Up!”

Non-Talker

“Speak Up!”

Company

Big Family

The joy is simply having the company that you never knew you had. Embrace the people that you may never see again. It’s the little things in life that count. Some people are seasons – endure the weather and find its beauty.

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No Family

Enjoy the solitude that offers you an unrelenting peace. Endure what ails you and respect the things that you’ve chosen to love. This is your time to reflect, improve, and change the world. Every day is your opportunity. Grasp it with a passion that undeniably succeeds.

Happy Holidays!

Featured photo credit: Steve via flickr.com

More by this author

Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

What Happens When Ego Closes Our Mind but We Aren’t Aware of It The Hardest Part of Being a Minimalist That Most People Have Overlooked 5 Ways to Beat Procrastination How to Survive the Holidays. 5 Productive Ways to Multitask

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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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