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7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself

7 Powerful Ways To Invest In Yourself
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Investment legend, Warren Buffett once said the best investment anyone can make is in themselves. He wasn’t being philosophical when he said that. Economists may tell you that investing in yourself builds human capital. In other words, if you put enough time and energy into learning new skills you’ll never have to worry about financial security or finding a job.

Here are the seven best ways to improve and invest in yourself.

1. Get certified training

Learning should never really end. Even if you’ve recently graduated, there are a lot of ways you can (and should) stay ahead of the crowd. Sign up for courses in business management or get a professional qualification in your industry.

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Not only will this set you apart from rivals, but it will also help you deliver a professional service to whoever you work with. A lot of these certified courses are designed to be flexible, so you don’t have to spend too much time away from work.

These courses are also regularly updated with the latest trends in your industry, so you’ll stay updated with the cutting edge in your field.

2. Join a special interest group

Special interest groups can help you create a network of like-minded people. There’s absolutely no limit to how much you can learn from the experiences of others. Every new person you meet brings a unique perspective and a ton of fresh ideas you can apply to your work right away.

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3. Read

From Bill Gates to Elon Musk, a lot of super successful business leaders have said that their reading habit is the key to their success. Reading is a habit that will genuinely transform your life. You can start by reading just a few pages a day, every day and keep doing it forever.

4. Gamify learning

Leverage technology to make learning fun. A lot of learning apps are designed like games to aid the learning process. Solving math quizzes is a lot more fun when you’re trying to set the high score.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

Step out of your circle of competence on occasion. Try to learn skills you’ve never considered before and don’t be afraid to look silly as you take on something uncomfortable. Even if you don’t master a new skill, attempting it will boost your confidence immensely.

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6. Track your progress

If you’ve decided to invest time and money in mastering a new skill or getting a new qualification, track your progress. Track the number of hours you’ve spent reading or the number of tests you took. Tracking your progress will motivate you when you’re slacking off and help you see how far you’ve come after a while.

If you’ve been to business school, you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Kaizen philosophy. It’s a system of constant and gradual improvement that Japanese companies have used to develop a world-class manufacturing sector. But this system can also be used to help you realize your full potential. Take small but meaningful steps every day to improve yourself.

7. Create something tangible

Taking time and effort to create something tangible is a great way to grow yourself as a person. Creating something that can be seen and comprehended will provide you with utmost satisfaction. It will not only create an instant feel good factor but also will inspire you in the future in case you have any doubt upon yourself.

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You could try anything from painting, sculpting, and poetry to writing computer programs or working on a DIY project. It doesn’t even have to be particularly good. The sense of accomplishment from being able to create something is more than a valid reason to spend your time and energy.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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