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This Is Why Having A Sister Is Better Than A Significant Other

This Is Why Having A Sister Is Better Than A Significant Other

I am one of seven children. My three sisters and I grew up in a smallish bedroom with two sets of bunk beds stacked up against the walls. We shared a closet, a dresser, and just about everything else.

I had friends who were only children. I looked longingly at their perfect dolls and toys placed carefully on their perfect shelves in their perfect little girl bedrooms. Every day their moms would sneak in while they were at school and put everything in order, like a hotel maid. These little girls would come home to everything just perfect.

These same little girls had beds with canopies. They had bathrooms to themselves. They could sleep in on weekends and some even had TVs in their rooms. Their moms were their best friends. They could leave school just to get their hair done.

Our bedroom always had stuff hanging about. There just wasn’t room to store the paraphernalia of four girls who had definite ideas about how they wanted their space to be.

As a result it was a jumble of all of our stuff, all over the floor, all the time.

All of us girls shared a bathroom with our three brothers. We could never sleep in because the house woke up when it woke up and there was din until nightfall.

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My mom did my hair, and when I turned ten I grew it long and hid behind it. It stayed that way until I grew up and went to beauty school. I could finally get a professional haircut because I was able to give one in trade. And I was good at it.

From a very young age, I really thought I was hard up.

Today is the third of July. I am getting ready to go to a mad family reunion. My family is nothing if not a little bit unusual. It will be a huge rush of humanity, all trying to catch up on communication that should have occurred over the past year but, for whatever reason, it did not.

I always look forward to seeing them again because, like them or love them, they are my sisters.
I have come to realize that there are so many reasons that sisters rock the universe but I can only give you a few here.

1. They get you

Your sisters have grown up with you so they know the ENTIRE back story of your situation and everything leading up to it.

They may not agree with you all the time but they never wonder why you do what you do or say what you say.

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To this day I can go to my sister Bess and say, “What’s happening mujere?” (pronounced Moo-hair in our Wonder Bread vernacular) and she will respond as though I have not said anything unusual.

2. They have seen your naked butt.

This may seem like a completely random statement, but there is no bond like the one forged when you catch a glimpse of your sister’s naked rear quarters as she streaks from the bathroom to the hall closet to claim a forgotten towel. There she is, dripping wet, and she looks up just in time to see your laughing face as she scrambles with the knob on the hall closet door, frantically trying to get it open.

Before you laugh too heartily though, don’t forget that you have forgotten your towel too and the chances are very, very, very great that she has seen your butt naked as well.

3. They have suffered with you through awful times.

I know sisters love to say “I told you so,” but they really do suffer when you suffer. I know that when one of my sisters is unhappy, I am unhappy too. They are family, they are blood, and they are connected to you.

Yes, there are moments when you feel like kicking each other to the curb but just wait until some non-family member tries to injure you. The claws will come out!

4. They have cheered you on.

Sisters do get jealous at times but, even so, they are happy that you are doing well. They were there when you got married. They called to check on you when your kids were sick. They gave you “atta girls” when you made some bully eat dust, and they rejoiced at your new bonus as long as you took them out for drinks and fattening appetizers!

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5. They do girl stuff.

I am a mom now and I have two boys. I love these dudes immensely but they NEVER like to get their nails done! They also don’t like to shop for shoes or dresses. I have been known to borrow a friend’s young girls because we love shopping together. When my sisters and I are together, we shop. We eat. And we laugh about really dumb things. It is the best time ever.

6. They are on the same diet you are.

We are women in a world where thin is equated with beauty. No matter how unjust this is, we are always on diets. There is nothing like a sister to call and whine about how you want an ice cream cone and can’t ever have one again. When you do this, you know that they understand perfectly what depths of despair you are going through.

We rejoice with each other’s loss of ounces and frown at each other’s pounds of gain. In the end we forget the whole diet concept and go out for cake. Then we are all happy.

7. They are aging at the same rate.

As we get older, we change, and not always in ways we love. However miserable this can be, it is heartening to know that someone shares your misery and is on the same conveyor belt to Hell that you are.

Sisters can talk with perfect understanding about love handles that have sprung up over night, a sudden wild whisker hair that has appeared on your lip, weird bumps and growths that appear out of nowhere and jeans that no longer button up like they once did.

They know what you are going through because they are going through it too. There is no one who cackles as heartily at you trying to get your stiff hips up out of a chair than someone who looks as bad or worse when she tries it.

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The last and best thing about sisters is that they are stuck with us. We can have our upsets and misunderstandings but we always come back to each other.

Looking back, my “only children” friends had nice things. They had designer beds and beautiful bedrooms, but I always had someone to play with, someone to talk to. Even if everyone hated me, one of my sisters did not and that was all I needed.

My sisters and I made up games and went around the neighborhood begging for old dresses and petticoats so we could put on plays in our garage. We made up each other’s faces and rated each other’s ability to movie kiss by watching as we practiced on our pillows and gave helpful critiques as though we knew what the heck we were talking about.

Our house was the center of activity for the whole neighborhood. We had sleepovers in sleeping bags on the lawn every Saturday night during the summer. We had dance shows and baseball games in the street. We had rope swings and caught pollywogs from the creek. In short, we had everything we ever needed because we had each other.

I know many people reading this have had upsets with their sisters or you wouldn’t be reading this. All I can say is communication fixes everything. If you miss your sister, tell her so.

If you have a BFF that has stuck with you through thick and thin, adopt her as your sister and keep her close to you. One can never have too many sisters.

I know I don’t say this enough but Sissies, I love you wacky dudettes!  Hey! I have a hankering for margaritas and something fattening and fried. Who’s in?

Featured photo credit: Beautiful Girls Having Fun in the Park via shutterstock.com

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Chris Ellis

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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.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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