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7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

Although the hobbit lifestyle may seem a bit indulgent at first glance, it’s actually laced with many healthy habits that we could learn a lesson or two from. I know you’re probably smirking right now, picturing one of the many scenes in which hobbits stuff their faces like there’s no tomorrow (my personal favourite is Merry, Pippin and the floating turkey at Orthanc), but holster those images for a moment. Aside from their eating, drinking and smoking habits, hobbits are actually very good at maintaining physical and mental health. They often live to over a hundred years old and radiate a seemingly never-ending contentment. They’re clearly doing something right.

Here are seven healthy hobbit habits that you should be practicing:

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1. Spend time in nature

Hobbits value the natural world. They can spend days wandering through the fields of the Shire or relaxing under trees. They have a true appreciation for the earth, so much so that they actually build their homes in it. Connecting with nature on a regular basis is a very healthy thing to do. In addition to the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine, interaction with the natural world can increase creative thinking and feelings of well being. So next time you have a break at work, take a walk through the park or even just step outside and take a breath of fresh air. It will do you good.

2. Graze throughout the day

Nutritionists generally agree that eating regularly with fewer hours between meals is healthier than than eating two or three large meals throughout the day. Hobbits employ this practice, eating seven meals per day, but they skip the most important part: restraint. Eating less, more often is a healthy strategy, as long as you ensure you eat well balanced meals (don’t graze on snack foods), and actually eat less. So in this case, it’s good to eat with a similar frequency as hobbits, but certainly not the same amounts.

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3. Relax

Taking time to unwind from stressful events can have a profound impact on both physical and mental health. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease, impair memory, and kill brain cells. Hobbits are experts at relaxation, often spending days reading or resting on the porch. During the busy weeks, it may seem difficult to find time to relax, but it’s these times that it’s most important to do so. If it’s exam season or you’re anxious about a heavy workload at your job, a stressed mindset will only cloud your judgement and decision making abilities. Making time for relaxation will benefit your health as well as your performance.

4. Eat mushrooms

Hobbits have a great passion for mushrooms — a well founded one, evidently. A central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet, mushrooms have been found to boost the immune system and kick-start metabolism. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which fight the build-up of free radicals in the body.

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5. Spend time with friends and family

Humans are naturally social creatures. Throughout our evolution, we lived and traveled in groups, and thus, evolved to rely on and crave relationships with other people. Spending time with friends and family is essential for happiness. Perhaps hobbits evolved under similar circumstances, because one of the things they hold most dear is time with loved ones. Whether they’re meeting up for ale at the Green Dragon or simply chatting under the stars while blowing smoke rings (or boats, if you’re Gandalf), they always make time for those they hold dear.

6. Garden, preserve and cook your own food

Hobbits live off the earth, growing their own food and cooking it themselves. Granted, they don’t have many other options, but it’s still a habit worth mentioning given its relevance to our world. In modern society, food is sprayed with pesticides, preserved in sugary syrups and cooked with an entire symphony of additives. Growing your own organic food (or buying it, if you can’t grow a garden) and cooking it yourself will enable you to control what you eat, something you just can’t do with processed foods or in a restaurant. Avoid anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Keep it simple, as a hobbit would.

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7. Appreciate the little things

Hobbits lead very simple lives. They aren’t concerned with reputation or riches, things that people in our world can get so easily get caught up in. They appreciate the small things, from a bird’s whistle to the taste of good tea in the morning — and this is the source of their perpetual contentment. The more things that make you happy, the happier you will be. Instead of requiring a massive pay cheque or a promotion, hobbits are satisfied with the “taste of strawberries.” Taking time to be grateful for the little things in life will help you become a happier person.

Featured photo credit: Frederic Spycher via flickr.com

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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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