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6 Lessons on Making Smooth Transitions in Life

6 Lessons on Making Smooth Transitions in Life
Smooth Transitions

Last week I started working on my new job as a lecturer. The job is pretty flexible, but it takes quite a lot of time for preparation, especially because I’m relatively new to some subjects. Since I’m still adapting to the pace, my life was pretty disorganized. I couldn’t do my morning ritual as it should, and I didn’t even have enough time to write for my blog. It’s now getting better, though I haven’t coped with it completely.

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In the process, there are some things I learn about how to make such transitions smoother:

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  1. Reject new commitments
    Since I’m still organizing things, I decided not to accept any new commitments. Sometimes it’s not easy to say no to new commitments, but I’ve learned to say no without feeling guilty. In the past, I tended to say yes to new opportunities without thinking about the effect they may have on me. And more often than not, I ended up unable to handle them and failed to produce optimal results. I’m now more cautious and think in longer terms before saying yes to a commitment.
  2. Know what you want
    Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which commitments to take when there are several options. But, if you know exactly what you want, making such decisions is easy. By knowing what you want, you can easily see which commitments are helpful to achieve your goals and which are not. You can then quickly make decisions when you need to.
  3. Maintain focus
    To achieve your vision, you need focus. I learned this the hard way. For years, I set goals and saw that none of them were achieved. It was terrible. So I changed my approach and focused on only one or two goals a year (now I set only one goal). Since then, I started to see significant progress in achieving my goals. My attention and energy are used on only a few things, so the chance of achieving them is much higher.

    I apply this lesson to my current situation. While previously I could easily get distracted by various things, now I anticipate the distractions and avoid them in the first place.

  4. Maintain balance
    While we should focus on what we want, we should not be so obsessed by it that we sacrifice other parts of our life. Keep your life balanced. In my life, I always try to balance the four facets of prosperity: financial, spiritual, social, and physical.
  5. Anticipate unexpected events
    This is what I didn’t do well. I didn’t expect that class preparation would take so much time, and I ended up being disorganized for some time. I should have anticipated such potential busyness beforehand.

    For instance, I didn’t have ready-to-publish posts at that time, and since I didn’t have time to write, I missed a posting schedule on my blog. What I should do is to always have some ready-to-publish posts which can be used in such situations.

  6. Identify the weak points
    To stabilize the situation as quickly as possible, I identified the weak points I should give special attention to. For instance, I noticed that there are some days in which I’m busier than the rest. By realizing this, I could better anticipate them in the future. Another possibility is there are certain things that take too much time to do. By identifying them, I can work to make them more efficient.

Of course, these are just what I’ve learned from my experience. I’m sure there are still many other tips that I haven’t covered here, so feel free to share them in the comments.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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