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Monthly Reminders: Never Forget Your Dog’s Flea Treatment Again!

Monthly Reminders: Never Forget Your Dog’s Flea Treatment Again!


    I have several tasks that should happen on a monthly basis. When they don’t, I stress about it, feel guilty, and sometimes it’s plain dangerous (like forgetting to give my dog her heartworm and flea & tick treatments). In the past, trying to remember these monthly tasks used up a significant amount of energy, which took away from my ability to be creative and productive. These days, I use monthly reminders to remember these tasks.

    (Note: There are various systems for managing reminders. I’m not going to get into the various systems in this post. Rather, check out this reminders post for more information.)

    Here’s how it’s done:

    List Monthly Tasks

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    The first step is to list out tasks that occur on a monthly basis. Here are some examples from my list:

    • Administer my dog’s preventative medications
    • Get a new razor head for my razor
    • Change contacts
    • Review transactions vs. budget from last month
    • Review credit card statement

    (Note: It’s okay if you can’t think of everything right now. You can always add to the list later!)

    Coordinate Monthly Tasks

    It’s easiest to manage monthly tasks if you do them all on the same day. Simply pick a day of the month and designate some small portion of it to managing your monthly tasks. I like to do this on the first day of the month, but whatever works for you is perfect.

    If your monthly tasks currently are not coordinated on one day, simply stick with the schedule of the more critical tasks (e.g. your pet’s preventative care) and bring your other tasks closer to that day.

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    Another good reasons for coordinating your monthly tasks is that you cut down on notifications. Notifications can be a real distraction and by consolidating your monthly tasks into one reminder, you cut out a lot of interruptions.

    Set up Monthly Reminders

    Using your trusted system for reminders, set up a reminder that lists the monthly tasks and will remind you of these tasks on your selected day.

    Complete Your Monthly Tasks

    This system won’t work at all if you don’t do the tasks. Don’t hit snooze on your monthly reminders. Many of these tasks can be done in less than five minutes. Just do it!

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    Ideally, since this is a task list, you will also be able to check the items off the list each month. Nothing beats putting that check mark next to a completed task.

    Enjoy the Freedom of Clearing Your Mind

    Per the GTD philosophy, keeping “tasks lists” in your head is unproductive. You cannot be creative and get things done when your brain is full of “to-dos” and anxiety about whether or not you will remember an important task.

    Creating the monthly reminders list is just the beginning. You likely have a multitude of other pending tasks circling around in your head.

    For example, right now I’m thinking about the fact that I need to find somebody to fix our central vacuum system before our cleaning service comes on Friday. Why am I thinking about it? Because it hasn’t made its way into my trusted system for remembering things. It’s still on a yellow sticky note on the kitchen counter. What I need to do is add it to my task list (or ideally just pick up the phone and get it done!).

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    Creating reminders is an ongoing process. It’s never done. But it’s imperative for living a happy, productive life.

    Do you have a monthly reminder system? Does it work for you? If not, what do you think you could do differently? Let me read your thoughts in the comments.

    (Photo credit: String Tied to Finger via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 22, 2018

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences?

    Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait.

    Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth!

    So what is creativity?

    Everyone Can Be Creative!

    The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so?

    You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

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    So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.

    Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

    How Creativity Really Works

    Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original.

    Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

    From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song.

    All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

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    Creativity Needs an Intention

    Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state.

    Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question:

    “What problem am I trying to solve?”

    Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles.

    Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity.

    But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too.

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    This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison.

    For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus.

    And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

    Creativity is a Skill

    At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.

    A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test.

    A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative!

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    If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things.

    Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

    Start Connecting the Dots!

    Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

    So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, simply subscribe to our newsletter today. In it, you’ll find out how to make use of crucial skills that will push you towards a total life transformation– one that you never thought possible. Your personal growth is our commitment. So don’t hold back, unleash your creativity today!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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