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To Have Better Control Of Your Life, Remember To Focus On Your Own

To Have Better Control Of Your Life, Remember To Focus On Your Own

People say you can’t control much in life. Partly true.

You can’t control 100% about what happens in your life, but you can choose how to live with them. This is what differentiates successful people from unsuccessful ones.

This seems to be easier said than done. Indeed we need some concrete ways to do so. Below are 5 tips to help you focus on yourself and have a more fulfilling life.

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1. Measure what you can control, don’t obsess over what you can’t.

When working towards a difficult goal, it’s easy to fall short of the targets you set for yourself. That’s because you’re setting the wrong targets. You might be thinking, “I should have a new job in two weeks’ time,” when a more helpful goal would be, “I should send out 10 job applications this week.” By measuring what you can control, rather than what you can’t, you’ll feel more empowered.

The act of measuring something turns a scary unknown into something real and quantifiable [1]. Instead of feeling lost and confused about why you’re not achieving your goals, you can consult your measurements and see where you might be falling short.

2. Stop blaming others for your problems.

Life owes you nothing. It’s a harsh truth, but accepting it will give you the motivation to create the life you really want, without expecting it to be handed to you [2].

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Next time you find yourself thinking, “Life is so unfair,” stop. Ditch the victim mentality, and focus instead on actions you can take to change your situation. If you’re unhappy with your weight, take the first step and sign up to a gym. If you hate your job, start sending out applications. It’s down to you to create the life you want.

3. Be proactive, not reactive.

Do you go through life only taking action when you really need to? You’re not alone, as most of us behave in a reactive way, even though it doesn’t help us. There’s a theory that explains the four stages of motivation, and the higher you are, the more successful you’ll be [3].

1. You’re motivated by fear. You act only to avoid punishment or negative consequences.

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2. You’re motivated by reward. You take action when there’s something you’ll get in return.

3. You’re motivated by duty. Fear and reward no longer play a part in your decisions to act, and you’re on the way to success.

4. You’re motivated by love. You aim to bring as much happiness to the world as possible, and you no longer worry about your own needs. This is the level you’re aiming for.

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Next time you catch yourself being motivated by fear, or by the desire for a reward, stop and think about your true motivations. What do you really want to achieve? Once you’ve worked that out, you’ll be ready to take proactive action to get there.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing yourself to others is one of the easiest ways to damage your self-esteem [4]. No matter what you achieve, you’ll always find someone who has done more or done it better. This behaviour is completely self-defeating, and won’t help you achieve anything. Focus on achieving your personal goals, rather than basing your self-worth on external factors.

5. Be your own biggest supporter.

While support from others is great, the only person you can truly count on is yourself. When working to create the life you want, you might find that friends and family cast doubts on your plans. Remember that nobody knows you better than you know yourself, and work on becoming your own biggest supporter.

Changing your mindset truly can change your life. Stop blaming your problems on external factors, and start taking control of your actions.

Reference

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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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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