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When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

Living away from home is a big step for many reasons. There are so many phases of emotion people go through when they first move, but eventually they realise it was the best thing they have ever done. The lessons you learn when you’re alone are lessons you use for the rest of your life. It’s also a great way to have hilarious stories to tell your friends. Here are twenty things only people who live away from home can really understand.

1. You learn to enjoy being alone.

The quiet is disturbing at first, and you may find it difficult to get used to. Eventually, you learn to enjoy the quiet and learn that being alone is time for you to spend with yourself, which is very therapeutic. It becomes something you miss when you go back to visit your family from time to time.

2. You have the opportunity to figure out what your thoughts on things are.

When you live at home, you are surrounded by people who have different opinions and these opinions have an effect on how you think. When you are alone, you have time to really find out what you think about certain things and develop your own set of beliefs.

3. You realise you are stronger than you had realized.

When you’re faced with adversity, you seem to muster up strength you never knew you had. Only when you live alone do you really see how strong you actually are when dealing with stressful situations.

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4. You appreciate the little things.

You never realised what a blessing it was to have a fridge full of groceries and a table ready with dinner when you were living at home. When you live away from home, you come home to a dark house and bills. You will never take things for granted ever again.

5. You learn to be more aware of your responsibilities.

When you live alone, you develop a biological alarm clock that reminds you to do important things. This biological alarm clock doesn’t exist initially; it grows over time, and when it does, you end up being pretty proud of yourself.

6. You can blast music throughout your house and dance with no inhibitions.

There is nothing more liberating than turning up the volume and just letting go of all your stress, which is something you can only do if your not in a house full of people.

7. You become more aware of money and when not to spend it.

You have the balance of your debit account recorded in your mind, and you mentally subtract from it every time you spend, making sure you don’t go past your budget. Sometimes you do spend too much, and when that does happen, you spend the rest of the month never leaving your apartment.

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8. You tend to double check if you locked the door and turned the stove off multiple times in one night.

You can never be too careful. You do not want to be the person that sets the fire alarm off at three in the morning.

9. You learn to appreciate just how much you enjoyed being around your family, even if you didn’t realize it when you were living with them.

You miss their dumb jokes at the dinner table. You actually just miss having them at the dinner table. Any chance to Skype with them is just bliss.

10. You learn to self motivate.

With no one around to tell you what to do, it’s easy to get carried away, but you find a way to motivate yourself to do work. When you do end up getting work done, you feel pretty good about yourself.

11. You develop some kind of organizational skills.

Even if things don’t seem organized to everyone around you, you understand your system and that’s the most important thing.

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12. You learn to appreciate the things that were done for you when you did live at home.

Now that you have to do them all yourself, you see how hard they actually were. Paying bills and writing checks are not exactly fun jobs. You are grateful that these jobs were once done for you, but appreciate that you are learning to do them yourself.

13. You become an expert multi-tasker.

Multi-tasking is the best way you can make maximum use of your time. You never realized there would come a time when you had to stir spaghetti sauce whilst you were sweeping the floor and reading simultaneously.

14. You find that almost everything in life requires filling out forms.

You spend ninety percent of your time ticking boxes and signing on dotted lines. If these forms were a final exam you would probably get a hundred percent.

15. When you take important phone calls, you find that you have slowly transitioned from being awkward to actually sounding like a grown-up.

You hang up and you realize that you managed to make it through the phone call without saying anything awkward and that’s when you know you have won at life.

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16. You fake being an adult so well that you eventually become a fully functioning one.

During some point of your life away from home, you will have an out of body experience where you will watch yourself be such a grown up that you won’t even recognize yourself. It’s a pretty spectacular moment that you’ll cherish for a long time.

17. You become good at responding to unexpected changes.

You eventually deal with them calmly and rationally, which is a change from how you first used to deal with them. You are impressed with how well you handle erratic situations, but are glad you developed this vital life skill.

18. You are a master at keeping in touch with people because you are so used to living away from people you love

Technology is your best friend when it comes to keeping in touch with people.

19. You learn to enjoy change and transitioning more than you used to

You learn that change is a part of life and you find that change builds character. You look at any potential changes as challenges that you will eventually master and learn valuable lessons from.

20. You hold on to things less tightly

You become good at letting go of things and moving on, which is a big part of growing up.

Featured photo credit: young hipster man looking at the mountains via shutterstock.com

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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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