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New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

New Tools for the New Year: Lifestyle

    With the new year fast approaching, there’s no better time than to tweak what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. So far in our New Tools for the New Year series, we have explored some new tools for the new year that can help you level up your communication and management skills, and have looked at technology for you to dive into as well. Today we’re going to broaden out the scope and talk about an awfully big category: Lifestyle.

    The thing about this category is that it doesn’t just have an impact on your life outside of work; it impacts your style of life – that includes your work and your life outside of work. In a time where we seem to dive deeper into work and less into life outside of it (as the two seem to be coming more and more intertwined), these tools are meant to connect you with your overall “lifestyle”. That includes health, wellness, food, leisure time and how to live outside of the zone we call “work” when it is called for.

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    Time

    Time is one of – if not the – most valuable resources we all have. No one has more of it in a day than anyone else. It’s how we spend it that can be the difference-maker in our lives. Lifehacks can help you really make the most of your time – but they can also serve to steal it if you’re not careful.

    It’s important to manage your time in a way that allows you to be both efficient and effective in all areas of your life. That may mean using a tool like RescueTime to monitor your computer habits or lessening the amount of information you absorb on a daily basis through curation so that you can keep up with the times without losing any of the time you’ve got.

    Time is most certainly a tool; and you get new time every time a new day dawns, let alone every time a new year begins. Spend it and invest it wisely and you’ll find that you’ll have an improved lifestyle as a result.

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    Energy

    Without this, you’re not going to be able to live much of a life. Things like eating right and implementing a fitness routine are crucial in setting yourself up for a tremendous lifestyle. The best – and worst – part of the quest for energy is the choices we’re faced with along the way.

    There are numerous diet and fitness plans out there, such as adopting the Paleo Diet and through resources like NerdFitness. Spending time looking into them is part of the equation, but it’s one of the most important parts. Think about adopting these routines as being similar to the making of a movie.

    When making a movie, most of the time is spent preparing the movie and after the movie has been shot. Pre-productiion and post-production take up the most time, while shooting the film takes up the least (in general). The same goes with these healthy lifestyle routines. Figuring out which ones to go with involves research and sticking with them through the long haul takes up even more time. Yet starting them is easy, especially at the start of a new year.

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    In order to live a better life on all fronts, you need energy. What routines you use to help you get that energy is up to you. Just don’t use up all of your time figuring that out. Spend more time gaining the energy as a result of the routines, not spending it while searching for them.

    Journaling

    Journaling is one of the best ways to capture your thoughts and connect you with the life you want to live. By creating a record of the thoughts, events and moments that happen in your life – at work and outside of it (such as moments directly related to the areas mentioned above) – you can better reflect on the life you’re living. In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, taking the time to journal slows it down enough for you to reflect and connect with the person you are and also helps you direct your energy into the person you want to be.

    It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper-based journal or a journaling application such as Day One, LifeJournal or even the cross-platform app Evernote (as Brett Kelly does in chronicling his life); it’s the act of writing it out that will give you something to look back on and see how you’ve crafted the life you’re leading and how to shape the one you want to be leading.

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    Conclusion

    The beginning of a year is a time where we look at the type of lifestyle we’ve been leading and decide to make changes to improve it. These tools don’t just help you do that right away, but they’ll help you keep doing it for years to come.

    (Photo credit: Carefree Outstretched Arms via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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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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