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10 Ways You Can Be Mean to Yourself (and Prevent Your Own Happiness)

10 Ways You Can Be Mean to Yourself (and Prevent Your Own Happiness)


    No wonder many of us are not happy; sometimes we bring our misery on to ourselves by being mean to ourselves and not letting ourselves be happy and free.

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    I was catching up with my friend the other day – it took us 6 weeks to find a time to meet. I had nothing to do and flexible with my time as I was not working and spend my days recuperating. However, she was either travelling for work, or in the office slaving through projects. Then when she had time she would attend birthday dinners and farewell parties and other invitations. It seemed she never had a moment where she could decide what to do – she was always obliged to do something else or be somewhere for somebody else.

    I was enlightened after our “catch up” coffee, which she had to cut short too because work called her and she went back to the office on a Sunday afternoon.

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    We are quite mean to ourselves without knowing.

    Take a deep breath and a huge step back, and see if you are good at being mean to yourselves in the following ways:

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    1. Say “Yes” to every invitation and leave no time for yourself.
    2. Take on too much at work at the office because you are afraid of saying “No” and let other colleagues abuse this fear and push more work that is not yours onto your desk.
    3. Criticize yourself harshly at every single thing you do, and ignore the good bits.
    4. Be quick to judge everything, even if it is none of your business.
    5. Try to be nice to everyone and please them, thereby losing yourself.
    6. Feel obliged to make decisions immediately.
    7. Surround yourself with people who have negative thoughts and complain all day.
    8. Worry excessively that everything would go wrong.
    9. Discount your efforts and achievements.
    10. Sleep as little as possible to pull all-nighters at work.

    We need to put ourselves first in some situations, and make sure we are rested, have time for ourselves, and do not do what we do not want to do. Until then, we really cannot complain we are not happy – we can be, we just prevent ourselves from being so.

    (Photo credit: Image of a Mobster via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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