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Blog Action Day Revisited

Blog Action Day Revisited

Monday the 15th October saw the Blog Action Day project begin. Kicking things off with the very and, maybe always, timely topic of the environment.

In my mind, it was a success. And to celebrate how much the blogging community got on board, I want to share some of the best posts that came out of Blog Action Day.

Blog Action Day Stats

Seven tips for how simultaneously to boost your happiness and safeguard the environment (in your own small way) by The Happiness Project suggests some simple practices to make you feel better about yourself and the environment.

Leveraging Ideas suggests there may be an environmental impact from virtual worlds such as SecondLife in Environmental Concerns In Virtual Worlds.

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GearFire Student Productivity has 6 tips to save on the electricity your computer uses while hinting to taking public transport while away from the monitor in 7 Ways To Conserve Precious, Precious Electricity.

Cranking Widgets’ Tips For Environmentally Friendly GTD are using either recycled paper, digital tools instead of paper, or at least using the entire sheet of paper!

On a similar note is Kate Davis’ idea of Using GTD To Reduce Negative Environmental Impacts. After all, GTD is for everything and everybody.

Want to start Getting To Know Your Environment? David Seah tells you how:

More importantly with regards to me, I need to live in it. Even more specifically, I need to be aware of it. From a purely selfish reason, there may be secrets in the Environment that will help me in much the same way that hike through Winchester opened my eyes to just how much more glorious Nature could be, and how I could be bound with it.

If you work from home you may already be doing your part saving the environment, says Success From The Nest as Simply Thrifty talks about your water usage.

Lifehacker has some Easy Ways To Live Greener with software, tips and hacks. If you want to put your two cents in they have a poll for each idea.

Leo at ZenHabits goes all out giving us 5 Ways To Save the World, While Getting Fitter, Saving Money, Simplifying, and Becoming Happier. The topic was only the environment, right?! :)

Scott H Young goes a similar route with Save The World And Improve Your Health At The Same Time. His final suggestion to Get Involved is a vital element when discussing any of these posts. What good is a Blog Day without the Action?

If you think your job can’t be friendly to our environment, then check out Top 5 reasons green workplaces make their employees happy at work by the Chief Happiness Officer Alex Kjerulf.

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Ririan simplifies things again with 10 Simple Ways You Can Save the Planet and Money while The Positivity Blog has 20 Simple Ways to Help the Environment by Using Your Computer.

The Dumb Little Man himself, Jay White, shows us a few Items You Never Thought To Recycle like car batteries and shoes. Pst, have you noticed I’m just recycling blog posts?

Freelance Folder’s How We Can Help Save The Earth drew upon stats, Jon’s own environmental tips as well as a plethora of Blog Action Day resources like this one. Apparently only 3-5% of plastics are recycled in any way!

Get into the habit of things with OrganizeIT and 20 Tips For Laying The Foundations Of Your Environmentally Friendly Habit.

LifeDev has some controversial suggestions like If It’s Yellow Let It Mellow, If It’s Brown Flush It Down. There are indeed Small Changes In Your Bathroom, Big Benefits For The Environment.

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The environmental wellness principle is a term that I’m going to coin right now. If you aren’t benefiting the environment, you’re harming it. It’s as simple as that. If you’re reading this, you have internet access, which means you know, or can easily find out, many ways to be environmentally friendly. The only thing that remains is to choose benefit over harm.

That’s a big call from Alex Shalman, but we understand what he’s saying. It’s that old ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ mentality that is very warranted in this day and age.

blog action day

On that note, we end with Dustin’s excellent post over here at Lifehack.org called You The Consumer. It includes a brief history of consumerism as well as a checklist for those of us trying to become better shoppers, environmentalists, human beings.

Please feel free to add your own favorites. Over 20,000 blogs participated so be sure to check out BlogActionDay.org to read about them all.

It’s almost a week on, how do you think it went? What have you been doing in response? What are your suggestions for next year?

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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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