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Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day

Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day

“How’s your day?” People ask us about our day all the time. Sometimes, you brushed it off because you know these are just small talks. Often, you had a really bad day and wanted to de-stress. Or maybe, you didn’t even bother to answer. Everyday, we fill our 24 hours up with an extensive to-do list — daily routines, work, sleep, eat, and other miscellaneous, arbitrary things. But have you ever sat down and taken a minute to reflect on your day? If not, here is how and why you should.

When we start to reflect daily, we learn from the little things we experience.

Life has its learning curve. We learn from others, our pasts, our failures, our surroundings, and we adjust our lives and grow from them.

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Take 10 minutes before your bedtime, sit at a quiet spot and analyze your day from the moment you wake up. What did you do? Who did you meet? Where did you go? Was there anything special or rare happened? Ask yourself questions to piece the scattered memories of your day back together. We tend to forget what happened after a short period of time, so writing down your experiences is also useful.

After you have gone through your day, start listing the things you feel like you could improve on, and even think of solutions or approaches to avoid the same mistake from happening.

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  • Was I too emotional when handling this conflict with this person?
  • Was I slacking off at work?
  • Did I rebuff my parents because I was too tired to talk to anyone?

So you may think it’s time to go to bed, but no, you should also list the things you think you managed well that day. Give yourself a pat on your back and tell yourself “I can do this”.

  • I was on time for work today!
  • I helped an old lady with her groceries!
  • I did everything I planned to do today!

Give yourself a confidence boost before you go to bed, and you will be ready to take on the world after a good night’s sleep.

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It’s just 10 minutes a day!

This doesn’t take long, you only need to spend 10 minutes before you go to bed. Separate a private time for yourself, analyze your day, repeat this every night, your outlook and approach to life will certainly transform!

Featured photo credit: Sophie Ollis via unsplash.com

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Frank Yung

Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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