“Winning is like shaving—you do it every day or you wind up looking like a bum.” – Jack Kemp
It’s hard for me to imagine a life-changing event more random than shaving. I shaved with an electric razor for 30-plus years and never much thought about it. Buzz, buzz, zip, zip, done in two minutes. Yeah, I had a five o’clock shadow at two, but I thought that was “normal.” Now, I spend a luxurious 10–15 minutes with warm, fragrant lather and shave with a single blade razor that works just as well (in some ways better) as a multi-blade cartridge razor. And my blades cost me under 25 cents, versus almost $4 for a modern cartridge refill. It’s almost meditative in nature. Let me explain.
Shaving A Life
In the mid ’90s I began a serious relationship with a special young lady. One thing she absolutely adored was the feeling of my face just after it was freshly shaven. Unfortunately, she could only enjoy caressing my face for a few hours before it would get a bit “sandpapery” again.Advertising
A couple of years after my wonderful young lady and I were married, we decided to go to Las Vegas for our wedding anniversary. One morning while we were there, she came to me with a gleam in her eye and said, “Don’t shave today, I have a special anniversary present for you.” That afternoon she took me to The Art of Shaving (in Mandalay Place) and had them give me a barber shave as an anniversary gift. It was a little freaky at first—I mean, here’s this stranger hovering over me with a straight-razor—but after a while it became strangely relaxing and I enjoyed it. The barber finished and pulled off the smock with a flourish. I felt my face…
My face was insanely soft and smooth. I’d never felt anything like it before. My wife had a sparkle in her eye and a huge smile on her face as she ran a finger along my jawline, “Ohhh, Mama likes!” I didn’t need to shave again for two days, and I was almost continuously touching my face in amazement: I was sold on this way of shaving.Advertising
Would you like to change shaving from an annoying (even painful) chore to a pleasant diversion? There’s a bit of a learning curve—after all, you’re learning a new skill, like riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument—but it is not particularly difficult:
Prepare the area before you shave with lots of warm water and a gentle facial soap. No deodorant or body bars! Doctors tell me it can take up to three minutes to fully hydrate the skin for shaving: take the time and leave the skin wet.
No canned shaving cream! The propellants actually dry out the skin and then artificial lubricants have to be added to try to compensate. Use a cream or gel out of a squeeze tube. Or better yet, a lather soap or cream that you apply with a shaving brush: they come in many scents that can really enhance the shave experience!
Yes, use a shaving brush. They may seem old fashioned or foppish, but they are excellent for both gently exfoliating the skin—cleaning out the tiny bits of debris from around each stubble of hair—and spreading the shave lather evenly and thoroughly. It’s better than massaging the lather in with the fingers, believe me!
Use a razor with as few blades as necessary to get the job done. A single blade can actually work better than a multi-blade cartridge for a lot of people—any more and you are just inviting razor burn or irritation.
Initially shave in the direction that the hair grows. It’s worth a careful look before you start: the hair “grain” can change directions. Not close enough? Re-lather and shave across the grain (90 degrees from the grain). Still not close enough? Re-lather and shave across the grain from the opposite direction. Want to try for “smooth as a baby’s butt?” Re-lather and shave against the grain (caution: some people just can’t do this). The idea here is to reduce the stubble in stages or passes instead trying to get rid of it all at once. Believe it or not shaving this way is actually less prone to irritation. Be sure to use the least possible pressure on the razor—don’t press down!
After you’re finished shaving rinse thoroughly with warm water. This will remove any lather residue that could cause plugged up pores (little white pimple-looking things) and ingrown hairs. Then, rinse with cool water and apply an aftershave (one that does not have alcohol as a primary ingredient) to calm and protect the skin.
I challenge you to give these techniques a try and comment below. You may be surprised at the results!
Last Updated on September 16, 2019
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 –
- (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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life
- 10 Best Ted Talks About Procrastination That Will Ignite Your Motivation
- Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)
- What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)
Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com