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How to Win the War Against Peace of Mind

How to Win the War Against Peace of Mind
    Photo credit: erasmusa (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    In some parts of the world, today is a day set aside to remember those who have fought for the freedom that their citizens enjoy. It is a day where these nations reflect on those who have died for a cause and those who fight for it even to this day so that peace can prevail over war.

    But there will be so much “noise” coming at us today – a day where we seek quiet so that we can properly remember what this day represents. Our minds will have a difficult time finding peace because of the firehose of information that enters our home and office each and every day. It may seem harsh, but it is as if we are battling our own ongoing war against the things that threaten our peace of mind – a peace that we so desperately need in order to truly enjoy our lives.

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    While it’s important for us to stay informed, it is also important for us to let our minds rest – even wander – from time to time. I suggest that even those who are figthing the literal wars in our world today (and those of the past) would want those at home to be mindful not just of what is going on outside of their own self, but also to be mindful of themselves internally. Inner peace is just as important as outer peace.

    If you’re constantly fighting a losing battle in the war against your peace of mind, here are some strategies you can use to start fighting back – and winning.

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    Disconnect to Connect

    Turn things off. The television, the Internet, the phone. Remove them from the equation – if only for a little while. Do that every day for a set amount of time. Perhaps you only feel comfortable doing it for 30 minutes a day. Go with that. After you start to adjust, bump it up to a full hour. Then keep raising the stakes until you feel that you’re not losing your mind in a sea of external factors and are able to balance what you’re taking in with what you’re simply letting go.

    You need to free your mind in order to give the space it needs to remember things better. The more clutter you have in your mind, the harder it is for you to find what is worthwhile in there. Disconnecting instantly removes the intake of a lot of psychic clutter, and can serve to actually create a better filtering system when you do reconnect. As a result, you’ll be able to better connect with what really matters and let go of what really doesn’t.

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    Capture the Moments

    Capturing things is one of the keys to creating a more productive “you”, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about capturing moments. That may mean drawing a picture, taking a photo or journaling. What you’re doing is not systematizing the capture process, but you’re fleshing out moments in time on the canvas of your choice. This kind of capturing is more likely to create a peaceful feeling than writing down to-do lists or breaking down a new project.

    When was the last time you sat down somewhere and just transposed the moment in time you were in using a method that felt right to you? Maybe you need to bring a digital recorder into the bathroom and sing in the shower – that could be a release for you. Then you’ll be able to listen to that recording later and just know that it was a moment that you captured where you let yourself go. Having an agenda with no care of what the outcome needs to be can be one of the most freeing things you can experience.

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    Visualizaion and Spiritualization

    See where you want to be. Look forward without looking at all. Let your mind go to where you let it go when your dreams were brand new. That’s visualization. See the change that you want to be in the world so that you can be the change that you want to see in the world.

    Spiritualization doesn’t have to be a religious experience. It can simply be a walk along a beach while you take in the wonders around you. It can be true meditation. It can be yoga or Tai Chi. It can be going to church. Accessing your spiritual self gets easier the more often you do so – as long as it is something that is accessible to you. Don’t go down another’s path; find your own. Don’t be afraid to do that. Those who have fought for freedom certainly weren’t. Honour them by facing the fear and doing it anyway.

    Give Peace a Chance

    The noise is getting louder every day. Quiet and solitude is getting that much harder to find. There’s nothing wrong with either, but there is something wrong with too much of either. Peace of mind and balance are both difficult to achieve and even tougher to maintain.

    Using the above strategies may not see you win every battle, but by using them consistently you give yourself a fighting chance to win the war.

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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