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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.

    How to Master the Art of Prioritization The Importance of Scheduling Downtime How to Make Decisions Under Pressure 11 Free Mind Mapping Applications & Web Services How to Use Parkinson’s Law to Your Advantage

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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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