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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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