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The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life

The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life

Retirement will be here before you know it. For some of you, it may have already come. This is definitely a huge transition period in your life, and it will take a lot of preparation and thought. How well do you think you will be able to handle retirement? How well are you handling it now? Whether you are already retired or are planning to retire soon, you can start working now to make your retirement an extremely pleasant experience. You want to make sure that you will enjoy your senior years to their fullest and live life the way you have always dreamed of. The following tips can help you get ready to get the most from your senior years.

Set up a financial plan.

Retirement comes with a new way of life. Most people no longer have the job-based income they lived on for many years. They now become dependent on pensions, savings, and Social Security. Before giving up full-time employment permanently, it is important to work out a practical budget that takes into account your retirement income and expenses. You want to make sure that you have enough money and savings to live and have fun once you retire. Being financially smart now can really help make a different for you in the future. A financial adviser can help advise you on how to prepare for the financial changes that occur following retirement. Seeking help from a professional can really help you find the best plan for your situation so that you will be as prepared as possible for retirement.

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Maintain or increase social connections.

Leaving a full-time job does not mean you have to let go of workplace friendships. Although you may see coworkers less than you did when you were employed, you can still make plans to spend time together. Retirement is a great time to forge new relationships through activities like hobbies and community gatherings. Catching up with old friends on social media and with relatives you haven’t seen in a while are also ways of having fun and making memories with people you care about. You want to make sure that you don’t let any of your previous relationships die just because you are retired. Retirement is a perfect time to connect with old friends and even build new connections. For advice on making new connections, consult a professional with a Master’s degree in gerontology or similar expertise.

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Work on your bucket list.

Rather than seeing this as a morbid list for the golden years, consider a bucket list an opportunity to do the things you’ve always dreamed of but previously lacked time or money to pursue. Start a small side business or travel to exotic locales. You might eventually decide to update your bucket list or throw it away and enjoy a spontaneous life on a day-by-day basis. This is the perfect time to chase your dreams and make them real. Retirement is definitely a great time to travel and to try to accomplish life goals. You will have so much extra time and will be able to work on your goals. There is definitely no better time for this than retirement.

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Be open to new experiences.

With your hard-won experience and newfound insight, your senior years can also be a time to try new things. Take an art class or enroll in a dance class. You can learn a different language or volunteer at a nearby school. Write a book or become an amateur photographer. Whatever your passion in life, explore it now and possibly share it with others.

Retirement is the beginning of the rest of your life, so make it count. The above useful strategies and tips for experiencing this exciting new stage will make the golden years even more meaningful.

Featured photo credit: ageinplace.com via ageinplace.com

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Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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