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50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

Do you ever have those moments in your life where you realise you’ve been doing the same things repeatedly for days or even months? Almost as though you’re on auto-pilot? That’s no way to live life; life’s about opening up your world to new experiences! It’s about adventure, even in the smallest form of the word. Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, has 50 ways you can start living a more fulfilling life today:

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~Unknown

Maybe you feel stuck. Or bored. Or frustrated. It’s not that you don’t like the life you live, it’s just that you suspect there’s something more. Some greater sense of meaning or excitement. New connections. New adventures. New possibilities.

The truth is those possibilities are always within your reach. You may not be able to quit your job or develop new skills by osmosis; but every day contains within it countless opportunities, all dictated by the choices you make.

Some of those choices may seem inconsequential when you face them. They’re the little things, after all. Why not do it how you usually do? Why not stay in your comfort zone when it’s just so comfortable there?

Do it for the possibility. The possibility that if you make one minor change you may set the stage for major fulfillment. Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking or doing can create the biggest opportunity. Here’s how to get started:

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD

1. Challenge your beliefs about what you can and can’t do. Maybe you are a good leader.

2. Challenge your ideas about how things should work. Sometimes when you decide how thingsshould be you limit your ability to be effective in the world as it actually is.

3. Have a vision session. Write in a journal, create a video, sketch—anything that lets you explore what excites you most.

4. Look for opportunities in a tough situation. Avoid a victim mentality, and opt instead for a “ready for new beginnings” attitude.

5. Remove something from your life that doesn’t serve you to make room for something better and new. You never know what you might let in when you let something go.

6. Commit to something you always say you’ll do but always fail to start—and then take the first step right now.

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7. Turn your focus from something don’t want to something you do want. This allows you to shift your energy from complaining to taking action.

8. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive energy creates positive results.

9. Identify the blocks that keep you from breaking a bad habit. Anytime you improve your habits, you pave the path for personal excellence.

10. Forgive someone if you’ve been holding a grudge. Removing that block will open you up where previously you’d shut down.

GET OUT IN THE OPEN

11. Walk to work and open your eyes. You may find a gym you want to join or an organization where you’d like to volunteer.

12. Talk to someone while waiting in line and ask what they do. You don’t need to wait for a specified event to network.

13. Make an effort to connect with people you pass—smile and make eye contact for a little longer than usual. Being even slightly more open can open up your world.

14. Learn a new skill. Start taking piano lessons or karate classes.

15. Say yes to something you always talk yourself out of—sing karaoke or take a kickboxing class, even you’re afraid of you’ll feel embarrassed.

16. Take a walking lunch. Walk around your neighborhood for a half-hour with no destination in mind, and then eat at your desk when you return. You never know what will happen when you get out without a plan.

17. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or ASPCA chapter.

18. Start something you always assumed it was too late to do. Take gymnastics, learn guitar. If it moves you, get started today. It’s never too late.

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19. Take up urban foraging—the act of foraging for “free” fruits and vegetables around your city (where harvesting is sanctioned). According to worldchanging.com, “It saves money (free food!), it reduces waste (all that fruit isn’t rotting on the ground) and it builds community (…by forcing interaction between strangers…).”

20. Join an adventure club to try new activities, like white water rafting and rock climbing, and meet new people at the same time.

GET IN WITH PEOPLE

21. Offer to help someone else. Sometimes it’s the best way to help yourself, and not just for the warm fuzzy feeling it provides. You never know what you’ll learn through the process.

22. Carpool to work. This gives you a chance to get to know coworkers better—good for socialization, and possibly good for your career.

23. Compliment a stranger on something you notice. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and it’s a great way to start a conversation.

24. Take pictures of things you find interesting that other people might not notice. When you’re trying to frame the smiley face of leftover food on your plate, people will naturally want to ask what you’re doing. (I know this from experience).

25. Do something you enjoy alone. Go to a museum or read a book in the park. You’re more accessible when you’re not engulfed in a crowd, making it easier for new people to approach you.

26. Wear an interesting T-shirt, something funny or nostalgic. You likely won’t get through a day wearing a Gem or Alf shirt with at least one conversation with someone new!

27. Move one of your friends into a new pool. Take one from the “we keep things light and casual” pool into the “we share our dreams and confide each other” pool. Research shows people who have five or more close friends describe themselves as happy.

28. Bring enough lunch to share with other people at work—particularly childhood favorites. Nothing bonds like shared nostalgia.

29. Pay attention to other people’s body language and expressions so you can offer assistance when they seem to need it.

30. Help someone else get out of their comfort zone. You just may set the precedent that you challenge each other in your friendship.

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GET INTO YOUR WORK

31. Show up a half-hour early or leave thirty minutes late. You’ll get more done, you may impress your boss, and you might open yourself up to opportunities for growth, particularly if your coworkers aren’t around.

32. Speak up in a meeting, even if you don’t feel confident or you’re afraid you’ll be embarrassed. Your ideas can only take shape if you put them out there.

33. Hold your meeting outside. People work and engage differently in new environments, particularly when they can feel sunlight on their faces.

34. Hold a meeting standing up. This will most likely make it shorter, meaning you’ll be more efficient and create more time to work on something else.

35. Create a business card that speaks to what really matters to you, like Meng Tan’s “jolly good fellow” card.

36. Start learning a new language. The more people you can communicate with, the more valuable you become, particularly for work that involves traveling abraod. Only six percent of the world’s population speaks English.

37. If you don’t work in your dream industry, volunteer within it. This allows you to be your purpose now, even though you don’t have the job; gain experience; and make valuable connections.

38. Find a mentor. Ask someone who does what you’d like to do for tips.

39. Attend a networking event or conference that’s big in your industry. Collect at least ten business cards, and follow up with emails the next day.

40. Consider one of these creative ways to turn everyday situations into opportunities.

GET CAUGHT IN THE WEB

41. Check the Craigslist Community section for activitiesevents, and classes—and then send at least three emails today. Don’t wait.

42. Start a group at Meetup.com to connect with like-minded people, or join one that already exists.

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43. Ask on Twitter if anyone can offer you tips to move forward with your dream.

44. Learn to cook one tweet at a time. @cookbook tweets entire recipes and instructions in 140 characters each.

45. Learn how to do anything that interests you on eHow, Instructables, or wikiHow.

46. Have a “friend trade” day on Facebook. Introduce your friends to one of yours, and ask them to do the same.

47. If you blog, find other bloggers in your niche and email them to introduce yourself.

48. Search WeFollow.com to find the most influential people in your niche, then initiate contact them through Twitter or email.

49. Become a host on Airbnb if you have a room to rent; it’s a great way to meet new people and earn a little extra cash!

50. Join the TinyBuddha forums to seek help and help others who need it. (Or subscribe to tinybuddha.com for more tips to live out loud!)

There’s a lot of information here—way more than you can tackle all at once. But it’s more about quality than quantity. Even just one small change can have a ripple effect into every area of your life. Of course it’s up to you to decide what’s possible.

How do you open your world to new possibilities?

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) and Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. She’s also the co-founder of the eCourseRecreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the HeroFollow @tinybuddha for inspiring posts and wisdom quotes.

50 Ways To Open Your World To New Possibilities | Tiny Buddha

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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