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34 Tips for Your Younger Self

34 Tips for Your Younger Self
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    In January, we asked you what advice you’d give your younger self as part of our regular We Ask, You Answer feature.

    There was plenty of great advice—and a lot of catharsis, it seemed—and we’ve collected some of the best tips for you here.

    1. Don’t worry about the future.

    2. Follow your passion, even if it does not pay very well. If you are good at what you do and love your career choice – the money will eventually follow.

    3. Now is the time to establish good habits for life in every area; they might take a lot of hard work to form, but it’s worth the effort and missed television.

    4. Listen more, listen better, pay attention and remember! Many people have been there and done that and can save you some headaches—but only if you listen.

    5. There are some narcissistic whackjobs and bitter people in the world who will make your life a misery and who are so firmly embedded in their own version of reality that they’ll never change. Should you have the misfortune to encounter such a person, in whatever capacity, don’t hang around any longer than you absolutely need to.

    6. If you get an idea that inspires you, act on it immediately! The best ideas are often the first to fade from memory, or get put on the backburner indefinitely.

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    7. Pay more attention to advice from adults. Or, pay less attention to advice from adults.

    8. Keep playing, laughing and having fun, don’t get too serious!

    9. When you’re planning your college major, don’t just think about the classes or subject matters you like most. If you want to climb the management chain, take management classes, not just marketing classes!

    10. Don’t go out to eat so much; put the money in a high-interest account instead! Self-control with your money means freedom to live the way you want to live down the road.

    11. Beyond just saving, learn to manage money now so you won’t make so many stupid mistakes later or develop nasty habits.

    12. Don’t stress about relationships. If it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

    13. Be more assertive! Be more spontaneous.

    14. Tell your parents and grandparents you love them. You don’t know how soon they will die.

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    15. There’s so much you don’t know, but you have such a great opportunity to keep learning. Never, ever stop learning.

    16. Never ever stop asking questions about how the world works. Make “Why?” your favorite one.

    17. Go to a state university. Going to a private college isn’t worth the extra money.

    18. Learn about maintaining optimum health while you still have it. Get started with healthy eating and exercise young, so you don’t spend half your life worrying about weight, blood pressure, heart attacks and all sorts of weight-related problems.

    19. Don’t be afraid to ask people for things you want if the worst outcome is that they say no.

    20. Get over it and kiss the girl!

    21. Don’t stress out all the time. It will eventually take its toll on you in various forms.

    22. Have fun while you can. Go out with your friends. Plenty of opportunity is going to come your way.

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    23. Stand up for yourself once in a while. People will respect that.

    24. Don’t just save on take-out. Save 10% off the top of every paycheck and do not touch it until you retire.

    25. Be prepared for your life to change. Realize that the relationship you thought you had is going to end. Don’t let what is happening paralyze you with fear.

    26. Be aware of life-altering decisions when you’re young. Think seriously about having kids because they will dramatically change your life.

    27. Expand yourself, even if you are sure where you are going. Learn something totally unrelated to your passion. Visit a place you wouldn’t normally go. A flexible mind and attitude will take you very far and allow you to handle the uncertainties in life.

    28. Make your life your passion. Don’t get stuck being defined by your job. Start a website, get your name out there, volunteer, teach.

    29. You’re (probably) not going to die next week. Figure out what you want to do with your life. You don’t want to be 37, broke, unemployed, and still living in your bedroom at mom’s house.

    30. Don’t put off being happy. Don’t be the person that says, “I’ll be happy when…” Happiness is only found in the present. Now, today. Try to find some happiness in the journey of life—don’t think about the destination. It’s just a wooden box.

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    31. Do all the crazy stuff. Take the risks. They’re totally worth it!

    32. Whatever you do, believe in yourself. You have untapped potential, and you will accomplish everything you have dreamed about. No one has the right to tell you can’t do something great in your life. Don’t allow them to justify their mediocre lives by destroying your dreams.

    33. Improve your skill set. Learn a foreign language. Learn a martial art. Learn web design. Learn piano.

    34. As for the best piece of advice anyone had to offer: take a piece of paper. The lottery numbers for January 1998 are…

    You can check out the unedited list of tips in the original We Ask, You Answer column. All in all, Lifehack readers left 60 responses. Thank for taking part and sharing your retrospective advice!

    Unfortunately, retrospect is something that comes too late to be of much use to ourselves in the past—but your experience may just help another reader avoid the mistakes that you found yourself making throughout your life.

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    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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