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10 Tips To Help Smokers To Quit Cigarettes

10 Tips To Help Smokers To Quit Cigarettes

Six million people will die before 2016 is over. Cancer.org reported that 30% of those numbers will be from cancer-related diseases. Scary, isn’t it? It’s especially horrifying if you’ve spent the last few years of your life smoking two packs a day, every day.

Heck, I used to smoke a pack a day – which isn’t as bad… if it weren’t for my mom smoking two packs a day while she carried me in her belly. I was born with asthma and a whole host of other trials. Heck, I didn’t even experience life until I was 2 – my first 2 years on Earth were inside various hospitals.

I’ve been smoking since I was born. So, yeah, quitting is hard. BUT, through trials and errors, and putting myself through sheer hell for the benefit of others, I’ve managed to cut back to six cigarettes a day. How? By rewiring the brain, which believes anything that makes you happy is good for you. The brain doesn’t understand good from bad. Prime example: alcohol.

One thing I actually cannot get rid of is the orgasmic joys of that first cigarette in the morning. You know what I’m talking about, right? (Yeah, you know.) This is because nicotine gives us a temporary (but addictive) high.

Here are several ways to curb that high.

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1. Stand Up And Shout

The biggest way to make sure something never goes away, is to be silent about it. Bring the issue to light. Grow the proverbial balls and try to make a difference for yourself, and others suffering, by confiding in people. A research firm Stollznow did a study that found two thirds of people who talked to others about quitting, felt like smoking less.

2. Avoid Triggers

Avoiding triggers helps us to not destroy ourselves. One of my triggers is coffee – after a few cups of Joe, I’m fixing for a cigarette like homeless people need food. If we stay away from triggers, we’ll sidestep that gut instinct and unracking nerve to light up. Sometimes it’s as simple as returning your mind’s frequency. Other times, it means not going out with certain friends or colleagues.

Now, what I want you to do is this: throw out all your cigarette packs, ashtrays, lighters. Then wash your clothes; put them in bags, and wash them a bag at a time. Shampoo-clean your drapes, carpet, and steam your furniture clean. We want to exterminate the smell of smoke.

3. Cold Turkey

You may or may not have heard horror stories about the benefits of quitting cold turkey. The power of the mind’s will and human spirit is a tremendous feat, and no small matter. A number of people have pledged to themselves to quit, and they did. This flies smack in the face of “medical experts” who advise you to never go cold turkey. (Then again, if medical experts told you to down a mickey of Jack Daniels, in less than 5 minutes, would you?)

Surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about you, and want you to quit smoking (and to live a happy, long life, hopefully) is key here. Warm friends. Good family. People who make you smile. There’s nothing like seeing the motivation reminders about why you’re doing something, each and every day.

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4. Make A Journal

How much time have you put into a crave journal? In the same vein as budget tracking, in your crave journal you list all the times you wanted to smoke throughout the day; who you were with, where you were, what you were doing.

It’s as simple as being vigilant about note-keeping, and here’s why: At week’s end, you’re giving yourself a chance to see what fires off your triggers and makes you crave. Giving you a hands-on experience to see which people/places keep you from kicking the habit.

5. Why You’re A Fool For Smoking

For measuring our best chances to quit, it’s imperative we look at exactly why we smoke. You can’t put out a fire without knowing where it is. Otherwise, nothing will be done: smoking is water. So, what is the fire? For many people (myself included), smoking (whether it’s weed or cigs) is a way to deal with stress, loneliness, fear, and depression.

Many people don’t realize the full-on, real-life benefits of alternate lifestyle methods. Some of them were beaten over our head for years until they were accepted and validated: vipassana meditation, sensory relaxation strategies, and Buteyko exercises.

6. The Lazy Man’s 10-Minute Exercise

Medical experts try pounding into our brain (again and again) that just ten minutes of exercise can significantly help us out – smokers and non-alike. The benefits of exercise have been chewed to death by now, for good reason.

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They found that brain activity changes, triggered by exercise, could help reduce cigarette cravings. Who’s getting hurt from exercising? I personally surrender my joints to a five minute daily round of jumping jacks, seal jacks, and “boxer hops”.

7. Nicorette Gum

I’ve used Nicorette gum now and then (as in, I bought 13 boxes at once and still have a hefty supply of gum), and can say it does work. For me, the nicotine is a lot more prominent in gum than in cigarettes which, believe it or not, has me smoking less. (Remember I used to smoke 2 packs a day.)

8. E-Cigarettes

Some people say e-cigarettes filled with e-liquid can help wean smokers off tobacco, at little risk to their health. For others, both of those assertions are false.

You’ve heard of these – some people say e-cigarettes help wean smokers off tobacco, others say it doesn’t work at all. But the U.S. Surgeon General often cites the combustive chemicals in the cigarette, not the nicotine itself in cigarettes or the e-liquid in e-cigarettes, is responsible for a majority of smoking-related illnesses and diseases. (After all, do you know how many chemicals are in one cigarette?)

Other medically-proven (University of Geneva’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine) cigarette-stopping measures include inhalers, nasal spray, and lozenges.

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9. How To Kill Withdrawal Symptoms

Everybody has them. A few commons ones are:

  • Irritability: can last less than a month. Take hot baths, exercise, anything to use up that energy.
  • Exhaustion: lasts less than a month. Take power naps. Weariness is nothing to take lightly.
  • Hunger: lasts a few months or more. Water helps curb our appetite and replenishes our system.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety, on all levels, is something that needs to be treated by a professional. To help until then, though: consider Buteyko breathing.

10. Quitline

“There’s an app for that” is so funny because it’s true. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help you quit by putting you in touch with quitline coaches. For those times, you need someone to talk to, and it feels like there’s nobody out there who truly understands.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, quitting the cancer stick isn’t easy, but it is do-able. Just be sure to keep a few things in mind: you can do this. You can do this. You will do this. You must do this. For the safety of yourself, your children, and everyone who wants you in their lives.

Featured photo credit: comfreak via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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