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3 Game-Changing Life Tweaks That Really Work

3 Game-Changing Life Tweaks That Really Work

Everyone wants to improve their life in one way or another, whether it’s to be smarter, more successful, or just change their situations for the better. Three life hacks the Quora writers used themselves have made all the difference in their lives. From changing how they view their weekend, to an easy smartphone hack, to an entire life overhaul, these tried and true tweaks will inspire you.

1. Stop treating weekends like mini vacations.

Quora writer, Todd Busen set out on a mission[1] to wake up for work on time. He found that sleeping in on the weekends disrupted his sleep schedule on his work days. So, he decided to treat the weekends like his work days and wake up at the same hour every day of the week. His experiment proved a success. He has not viewed weekends the same way since then.

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According to Busen, the weekends should be treated like every other day of the week, and instead of losing those precious moments, you should use that time productively to grow, move forward, and better your life.

When facing your next weekend:

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  • Try getting up the same time you do during the week.
  • Use those extra hours of free time to read or workout.
  • Instead of watching a movie, watch a documentary.
  • Exchange watching YouTube videos of cats for YouTube videos that will help your business grow or teach you a new skill.
  • If a whole weekend seems like a daunting overhaul, use baby steps to make your tweaks.

2. Move where to charge the phone.

Smartphones are usually the first thing a lot of people grab in the morning and Quora writer Matt Sandrini recognized his own electronic addiction and knew he had to conquer it.[2] Matt wanted to read more, write more, and get more sleep, but the siren call of his smartphone was too tempting. He decided his best course of action was to move the distraction and began by moving his phone charger away from his bed. This small tweak appealed to his lack of willpower. Before, it took willpower to put his phone down, and now it took willpower to get up to get to his phone.

Matt now reads more than ever, writes more, and even gets more sleep. He recommends placing the phone as far away as possible, even in another room.

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How can you charge your phone in another room if it’s your alarm clock?

  • Choose a louder alarm tone on your phone, one that you can hear further away.
  • Consider getting a regular alarm clock.
  • Set an alarm on your watch.

3. Quit all things that don’t create value.

What would happen if you changed the way you viewed your entire life? Perhaps the biggest game-changing tweak comes from Quora writer Josh Fechter, who learned his lesson the hard way.[3]

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Broke and living in his dad’s apartment as he struggled to get his writing career off of the ground, Josh turned to reading self-help books for inspiration. From the books, he learned “success and happiness parallel how much value people create for others.” Josh knew he had to focus on his writing to be a success, but in order to do that, he would have cut meaningless distractions from his life.

Josh took the plunge and decided to let go of all things that didn’t create value in his life. He stopped watching TV and Netflix. He ceased reading his Facebook feed. He no longer paid attention to politics, and even stopped going out to eat. If it didn’t add value to his life, he didn’t do it. He focused only on what would be beneficial, or bring meaning to his life and work. With the distractions gone, he was able to concentrate on his writing, and his career began to take off. Three years later, Josh is head of growth for a $50 million-dollar venture capital company.

So, how do you determine what has no value?

  • Face each life situation with a question before proceeding: will doing this enrich me, my business, or my life?
  • If the answer is no, make the decision to not do it and fill that void of time with something that will be beneficial to your personal growth, your health, and your business.
  • If the answer is yes, go ahead, armed with the knowledge that you are enhancing your life.

Move your phone, rethink the way you live your weekend, or trim the useless distractions from your life. Three proven tweaks that can make a difference. Try one out or use them all, or choose the best bits of each. It’s your life, make it a good one.

Reference

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Sally White

writer, artist & blogger

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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