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10 WARNING Signs You Definitely Need A Break

10 WARNING Signs You Definitely Need A Break

We all need a break at one point or another, but perhaps you need one NOW. You may say that you are absolutely too busy to take a break or there is no way that you can let go right at the moment. These are both signs that you need a break TODAY.

If you find yourself saying any of the following, it’s time to take a day off and turn off the computer and all of your notifications and get away.

1. There is Only 24 Hours in a Day

Are you one who says that there is never enough time in the day to get everything done? Are you running around somewhat like a chicken with its head cut off? If you continue at this pace, you will always be behind. You are putting tons of items on your plate and only a few items are getting completed.

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2. Your Social Life is Non-Existent

If this phrase rings true, then you definitely need a break. It has been said that not spending enough time with friends and family is one of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds. Do you want that to be you?

If you are missing your children’s events, missing momentous occasions from your best friends, and your family has no idea where you are at, then a break is long overdue.

3. A Change Throws You for a Loop

Are you flexible? Do you hate change? Change is what should bring you opportunities and a chance to see life in a new perspective. However, if you are continually trying to be in charge of every single aspect of your life without allowing room for change and absolutely detest when someone asks to change a meeting time, then you definitely need to take a deep breathe and schedule a day off.

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4. You Have Dinner at the Office

Does ordering in for dinner and having it delivered to the office ring a bell? Or what about eating in front of your computer telling yourself that this last deck must get out tonight? If you cannot take 30 minutes to de-stress and eat in a peaceful (note: mobile and work free) environment, then you must start to ask why and make yourself distance away from work. Lastly, schedule a day to disconnect. No email. No calls. No thinking about the to-do lists.  A day to yourself.

5. The Gym Hasn’t Seen You in Months

You have not had any injuries. You used to be at the gym five out of the seven days a week, and now you are so busy working from sunrise to sunset. If anytime fitness was closer, then you would try to squeeze in a twenty minute workout, but it is a balancing act between sleep and working out.

6. Phone Calls Anger You

Hearing the ring of your telephone just sends an overall sense of more work. The words “it never ends” continues to go through your mind. Work is constantly calling or if it is your best friend that you have not talked to in months is calling, you sadly slide the notification to decline. Sighing and saying, “One day, it will be better.” I’m here to tell you that it’s time to take a break and realize that a phone call may just be what you need from your best friend.

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7. What Used to Bring You Joy is Now A Hindrance

That hobby and job that you once loved seems more like an obligation than something that makes you smile. You regret every item that has to deal with the job. It feels as if you are chained to it and cannot escape. As my friend AJ Leon said so eloquently, “I have met many entrepreneurs that leave a job they feel is a prison, only to find that now the door is locked from the inside and they are holding the key.” No more smiles and happiness.

8. You Answer Emails as You Go To Bed and Right When You Wake-up

Are you answering work emails in your bed at night and then checking your email immediately upon waking? Taking work with you to bed is a recipe for a high stress lifestyle. Having it by your side 24/7 is a recipe for disaster. You are always thinking about work and adding it to your to-do list, which is not giving you any time to yourself. It’s time for a break.

9. You Have a Quad Americano Three Times a Day

Does your barista know your orders based on the look that is on your face when you walk? Do you have a morning, afternoon, and evening order all with at least four shots of espresso? Maybe it’s time to step back and realize that all the caffeine in the world is not going to make your work go away.

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10. You Are Never Home

Your roommates don’t believe you exist. They get the rent check but never actually see you. Your house looks impeccable because you have not had enough time to spend there to make it dirty. You have just a couple of groceries in your pantry, and the refrigerator is empty with the exception of condiments that have a two year expiration date. You are literally home to sleep and wake up early to do it all over again. It’s an unsustainable lifestyle. You live and breathe work.

It’s time for a break if you can check off one of these items. It’s time for a week vacation if more than two apply to you. If you have all ten, then you need to take a break, go on vacation, and reexamine this lifestyle because you only have this one and is this how you want to live?

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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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