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What Can We Learn From Children?

What Can We Learn From Children?
You can learn a lot from children

A lot! Although most of the time they seem like little devils, children are true angels that teach us a lot about how we can better our life. Yes, most of the time they don’t have a clue as to what they are doing, but unknowingly and without a clue they allow us to explore things that we tend to forget as we grow into adulthood.

There is a reason we call them a gift from god. They allow us to better our life, see the good things in life and just take each day with a smile. Watching my own kids I have been able to learn some things that has helped me take a new look on life itself. I would like to share some of the things I have learned from them on this post.

What Day Is It?

Everyday a child wakes up, it’s a new day for him, a whole new world to explore. The curiosity to find out new things, the enthusiasm, the energy with the start of each new day is just breathtaking.

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We as adults have seem to lost this energy, curiosity and enthusiasm. This is one thing we could definitely learn from children to make our life better and manage it well. Starting each day with a smile can change the way we do things on that particular day. So next time you wake up just think of yourself as a 5 year old child, your day will start out better, you will have a smile on your face and the energy and enthusiasm restored during your sleep will be ready to take off. It’s a new day, It’s a new world. Explore the possibilities!

Can I Do It My Way?

Sometimes the best way to do things is to do it differently. Have you ever watched a 3-year old try and do things? It’s different isn’t it? I am not sure what goes into a 3-year old’s mind but it seems like they usually get what they want, and most of the time because they took the route we adults usually hesitate to.

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Sometimes breaking the rules helps. The “Do Not Rock The Boat” phrase doesn’t apply to children as they are always ready to rock the boat and try to get things done. We adults seem to be so engaged in doing things a certain way, we tend to forget that there are other ways to get things done. Learn from the children and break the rules every once in a while, as long as you can get something done effectively without any adverse effects.

Are We There Yet?

Probably one of the most annoying questions they ask while you are trying to get somewhere, but there is a different way to look at it as well. What is it that drives a child to ask these question time after time when going to their grandparents or to a children show? It’s the passion, the desire, the curiosity as to what might be different than last time.

We need to ask these questions to ourselves every once in a while. Are we there yet? It might be a business we want to start or a project that we want to get done, but how exactly are we going to get there? The answer lies within you and only you. Next time you get into a comfort zone with your business just take some time to ask yourself, “Am I there yet?” If not, try a different route, take a different approach and rock the boat and get to your destination – faster!

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Can I Have It?

Next time you put your hands on your head and wonder why you can’t have what you want, remember what you just told your child. Every time you are walking by a toy aisle at a store, your child yells “Mom, can I have it?” You say “No!” What does the child do? He sits, maybe cries for a couple minutes and then simply forgets.

Although there are a lot of things we would like to achieve, like that million dollar mansion and a private jet, it doesn’t necessarily mean we deserve or need it. We don’t always get what we want. Life goes on and it’s just another day. So forget what you don’t have and focus on what you do. Just look at the child sitting in your cart who was crying minutes ago, he is now smiling and playing with the toy he brought from home. We need to realize we can’t have everything, a child learns it from us and we need to learn it from them. It’s a cycle!

I have been fortunate to have four children. Yes, it is a constant struggle and I have become a time and management juggler but they are the ones who teach me the most valuable lessons in life. They are the best teachers, the perfect mentors! I am looking forward to more years of learning from them — I have got a lot to soak up!

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What about you?

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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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