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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Wrap-up

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Wrap-up

    It has been a great few weeks of giveaways here at Lifehack.org, where we hooked-up our readers with the finest productivity gear that we could get our hands on. We gave away a bunch of stuff, and in the process of doing so got to hear some excellent comments from our very-savvy readership. Some were funny, thoughtful, and even inspiring; we truly appreciate our readership and we were happy to help you guys out over the holidays.

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    On Lifehack.org we had about 395 comments over the 12 Days and on our Facebook fan page about 240. We also gave away well over $1,000 worth of prizes (not including the shipping and handling that some of the companies picked up the tab on!). It was awesome to see all of our readers participating and we hope that in 2012 we can bring you more giveaways that help you get your work down faster and better.

    But, wait a minute, it’s not over… We still have to choose our last winner who will receive the JetPens Paper Productivity Starter Pack! Brian Damitz, in a very hybrid input fashion, answered the question, “What are the 3 things you’ve written down as goals for 2012 — and did you use a pen, pencil or device to capture them?”

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    My top three goals for 2012:
    1) Finish my Eagle Scout project (My plan is written on blank paper in blue fountain pen)
    2) Get a job as an Apple Genius in May/June (I have my tech notes in a notebook, some handwritten, some clipped in)
    3) Get certified as a Google Apps Trainer (My notes are in Google Docs and double as presentation material)The funny thing is, our family gives office supplies for Christmas a lot. We have an affinity for good writing materials.
    (To be honest, I lost my last pencil, which is unusual for me, and I’ve felt so unproductive since.)

    Thanks a lot, Brian. Hopefully your new JetPens Paper Productivity Starter Pack will help you realize all of your goals this year.

    Also, we had a commenter from the Jetpens giveaway that was truly in the holiday spirit by giving up his entry to help the needy Moleskine users out there:

    Instead of entering the contest today I have decided to step back and let one of the Moleskine users win (hopefully) so they can be introduced to a better writing experience. The Maruman notebook has beautiful paper that is a dream to write on. Good luck. It seems that Moleskine has either dropped the quality of their paper in the past couple of years or I just started using nicer paper. Either way there are so many better options for the same or similar price.

    We don’t have anything for you, Bornagainscholar, other than a sincere thanks for looking out for you fellow Lifehack readers. So, thanks!

    And that’s it folks. Once again, we at Lifehack would like to thank all of our readers for entering and participating as well as the companies (links below) that helped make these giveaways possible. Without you guys this wouldn’t have been nearly as successful or fun. Thanks!

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    Stay tuned for more giveaways in 2012.

    (Image credit: Winter landscape with snow via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

    Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut only to get back into another one.

    How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

    • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
    • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
    • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
    • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
    • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
    • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

    When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnancy in life, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help.

    Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

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    1. Realize You’re Not Alone

    Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths.

    Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

    2. Find What Inspires You

    Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation.

    What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

    On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem.

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    If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

    3. Give Yourself a Break

    When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

    Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave.

    Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future.

    These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

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    4. Shake up Your Routines

    Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

    Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’re 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

    When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

    5. Start with a Small Step

    Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

    Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward.

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    Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years.

    On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

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    Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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